• Positive Train Control Myths and Facts

  • General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment
General discussion about locomotives, rolling stock, and equipment

Moderator: John_Perkowski

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  by Jtgshu
 
JimBoylan wrote:How will the railroad's hearing examiner treat the case of an engineer who applies the brakes at the proper pressure at or before the proper place, and still doesn't slow down or stop soon enough?
Probably the same thing that happened to a good friend of mine - out of work for 30 days, a "requalification" exam and then fighting for his back pay.

The answer will be "you didn't have control of your train"
  by jb9152
 
Jtgshu wrote:
JimBoylan wrote:How will the railroad's hearing examiner treat the case of an engineer who applies the brakes at the proper pressure at or before the proper place, and still doesn't slow down or stop soon enough?
Probably the same thing that happened to a good friend of mine - out of work for 30 days, a "requalification" exam and then fighting for his back pay.

The answer will be "you didn't have control of your train"
Actually, in this case, the presence of PTC is a benefit to the employee, since it's provably (with the use of the on-board data recorder) not his or her fault. If the train still slides past a fouling point, strikes another vehicle, etc., regardless of what the engineer does, that means that the PTC enforcement didn't work (i.e. a design problem).

This, ironically enough, is what makes PTC a danger to capacity - the tendency will be to design to be conservative on the safe side (for example, by assuming a degraded brake rate in calculating the enforcement curve).
  by amtrakhogger
 
Jersey_Mike wrote:
From what I understand reading this thread, the opposite is more likely to be a problem. It is more likely that the system won't allow the trains to run to the best of the engineer's abilities. The extra "safety margin" added by PTC will place the enforcement point far enough away ("safer") than the current level of operation that engineers who run the old way will be hitting enforcement points and will have to be more timid it the operation of their trains.
Freight railroads simply will not install any PTC system that kills their operations. Will there be some capacity reduction? Probably, but the industry won't stand for their main lines getting tied in knots like after the UP/SP merger. As PTC gets installed on freight lines we'll see a few accidents caused by engineers running to the PTC curve instead of their own knowledge. They'll probably be a flap on if the PTC should be made more conservative, but if the choice is between a functional rail network or PTC, PTC will quickly get downgraded to preventing long hanging fruit type crashes. All the railroads have to do is simply starve some power plants of coal and blame PTC.

Passenger trains are less of a problem because their braking curves are easy to calculate. The Amtrak ACSES box doesn't even have any sort of speed curve information. You just see a restriction pop up and u have to begin braking w/in some number of seconds to avoid a penalty application. I don't notice any difference performance wise between the ACSES zone on Amtrak between Wilmington and Perryville and the non ACSES areas.
The only advantage of ACSES is to allow a higher top speed for Acela HST's from NY-WAS. Conventional trains (B and C type) do not get any performance increase (higher top speed) with the system cut in.
  by jstolberg
 
FRA makes $50 million in grant money available for PTC systems.
http://www.fra.dot.gov/Pages/press-releases/201.shtml

But a drop in the bucket compared with the ultimate cost of deployment. "FRA will give preference to collaborative projects sponsored by multiple railroads and public authorities that satisfy one or more specific objectives, particularly interoperability." I would say that favors railroads that share trackage with the NEC and Metrolink.
  by justalurker66
 
jstolberg wrote:"FRA will give preference to collaborative projects sponsored by multiple railroads and public authorities that satisfy one or more specific objectives, particularly interoperability." I would say that favors railroads that share trackage with the NEC and Metrolink.
That sounds good for a system like Chicago's METRA ... the ones on freight lines would be interoperable with said freights, but they also share tracks with Amtrak and (on the METRA Electric District) NICTD's South Shore Line. NICTD's South Shore Line itself allows freight railroads with trackage rights on their 75 mile line.

Chicago being a major transportation hub would be a good place to start. Get everyone in CORA on the same page!

I believe METRA is already planning in implementing in two years, so that also fits the grant's requirement.
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