• PTC Project 2017 - 2018 Positive Train Control homestretch

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by BostonUrbEx
 
Arlington wrote:I believe PTC works by GPS and Radio, both of which like the height
The wood poles are for the comm lines to support the PTC communications between sites. Only the metal poles with antenna arrays are actually transmitting.
  by neman2
 
harshaw wrote:Well, by having these poles & wires above ground these will be the first things that fail when we have trees fall on the right of way. And after last year, we can guarantee that will happen.
They actually have been aggressively clearing trees along the right of way in many places. It's quite surprising how far they are going, even to the top of slopes in cut areas. Which is the right thing to do to maintain the ROW.
  by harshaw
 
That's great. But you know, trees grow, especially towards sunlight. If you really want to protect lines you burying them. Our electrical infrastructure is so error prone in New England because of above ground lines.

On a right of way with a straight and clear access , using trenching equipment seems like an obvious way to avoid future maintenance.
  by Backshophoss
 
Trenching works well unless you are dealing with rocky ground,MBTA figured out that pole lines were cheaper to do then trenching,due to rocks
and plenty of unmarked underground utility lines crossing the ROW. :(
  by MBTA3247
 
Poles may also be faster than trenching, and the T needs to get PTC installed as fast as they can.
  by CRail
 
And when there is a problem, above ground lines are restored much more quickly. A tree coming down on a line can be rectified and repaired within a couple hours. Railroads have had above ground communication lines since the 1800s, it's not that big of a deal.
  by BandA
 
The problem, mentioned earlier or elsewhere, is the wifi project is using underground conduit and the PTC project is using poles and they are being done at about the same time, with no economy of scale.
  by neman2
 
Where are they installing underground conduit for wifi? I thought the wifi project was suspended because of objections from abutters to the installation of 70 foot monopoles needed to make it work.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by johnpbarlow
 
In my recent visits to CPF-333 and the Wachusett T station (Pan Am owned track), I have not seen yet any fiber-optic cable pole or wayside transponder installation happening, unlike on the balance of the Fitchburg line on MBTA-owned track. Anyone know the status of PTC HW installation on the Fitchburg to Westminster segment of T operations?
  by Backshophoss
 
Figure on PAR making life difficult for ACSES installation crews on PAR trackage,untill the PAR/MBTA dispute on ACSES installs on PAR locos is settled. :(
  by BandA
 
neman2 wrote:
Where are they installing underground conduit for wifi? I thought the wifi project was suspended because of objections from abutters to the installation of 70 foot monopoles needed to make it work.
Probably, I don't know.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Nesting quote removed
  by twropr
 
Does anyone know why MBTA is bustituting during weekends on the Lowell Line? All the "T" would say is that they are running PTC test trains. I don't understand why that would interfere with scheduled operations.
Andy
  by Trinnau
 
twropr wrote:Does anyone know why MBTA is bustituting during weekends on the Lowell Line? All the "T" would say is that they are running PTC test trains. I don't understand why that would interfere with scheduled operations.
Andy
Giving a test train free run of the tracks allows it to do what/where/when it wants. It is the most efficient use of a test train. It also allows adjustments to the system to be made unimpeded if problems are found during testing. If the test train had to work around scheduled service they'd sit idle if the desired test operation was in conflict with scheduled service. With a deadline looming at the end of the year they're probably just trying to expedite the testing as best possible. Getting those few extra tests in every day adds up over time.

The GLX project is also performing work at the same time in a lot of cases.
  by ziggyzack1234
 
Trinnau wrote:
twropr wrote:Does anyone know why MBTA is bustituting during weekends on the Lowell Line? All the "T" would say is that they are running PTC test trains. I don't understand why that would interfere with scheduled operations.
Andy
Giving a test train free run of the tracks allows it to do what/where/when it wants. It is the most efficient use of a test train. It also allows adjustments to the system to be made unimpeded if problems are found during testing. If the test train had to work around scheduled service they'd sit idle if the desired test operation was in conflict with scheduled service. With a deadline looming at the end of the year they're probably just trying to expedite the testing as best possible. Getting those few extra tests in every day adds up over time.

The GLX project is also performing work at the same time in a lot of cases.

Yeah. The T is trying to get as much in as they can with the shutdowns. I bet the wifi project would have been taking advantage of this too had it not been for the 70ft monopole problem.
  by nomis
 
Equipment problems hamper key commuter rail safety project
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/ ... story.html
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials are worried the agency will miss a key deadline to install a federally required safety system on the commuter rail, with testing of the long-planned system delayed by an equipment issue.

Other agencies have faced struggles with Siemens equipment. Board members at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority have threatened to cut off business to the company because of similar problems, and Siemens has issued two nationwide recalls related to the hardware problem in recent months.

The FRA said federal officials have been in regular contact with Siemens about the problem, and will soon visit a Siemens factory “to help oversee the ongoing corrective actions.”

In Massachusetts, the problem has delayed testing for the project on the northern side of the commuter rail, said Karen Antion, the MBTA’s project manager.

The southern side seems to be less of an issue because it has different signaling equipment and requires less rigorous testing, the MBTA said. But even minor software updates could cause delays because Siemens is taking months to process them. The MBTA recently received Siemens equipment back from recall, and so far the results have not been promising.
For more info on Metro North's issues, here is the thread.