• Positive Train Control (PTC) Status and Potential Amtrak Ban

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by EuroStar
 
There are reports that NJT is looking almost certain to miss the deadline for PTC installation (December 31, 2018). Here is one of them https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ments-show, but other sources are also available on the net. The article obviously has certain inaccuracies in its description of what PTC could have done for the Hoboken crash and does delve in the controversial firing of the safety officer, but let's put those aside. I have seen other reports suggesting that even the first line to get PTC, Morris&Essex is still very far from even testing.

What happens if NJT misses the deadline and is really far behind? I imagine if many other commuter agencies are not able to satisfy the deadline Congress will give another extension. What happens in the case when almost every other commuter railroad is ready with it and NJT is not? Complete shutdown of every line that does not have PTC until it is installed? That probably means that only the NEC will be operational for some time.

On a related note, how far ahead is the MTA? If LIRR and Metro-North are ready by the deadline and NJT is not, it is likely to be much harder to get an extension of any kind.
  by Backshophoss
 
There's a report on the WCBS news stream that the feds are thinking of fining NJT $50,000 for missing some of their "internal" deadlines
on the PTC install.
Given the "cash-strapped" NJT is behind on projects in general..... stay tuned!

This started from a FRA inspection report dated June 2017,via "The Record",a Bergen county newspaper obtained a copy of this.
NJT blames contractor,also only 13 locos are setup for PTC,crew training is running slow as well.
  by time
 
There are new silver boxes (assuming PTC equipment) placed at where the M&E and Montclair Boonton lines merge, and at Millburn where it bottlenecks from 3 tracks to 2 tracks, with curves, a grade and wet leaves. :)
  by kilroy
 
And then they'll work out the bugs and install it on the remaining 316 miles of track in ..... nine months. Riiiiiiight.
  by time
 
I believe they've already made significant progress with installation. As I mentioned earlier, the infrastructure is being put in place now near Newark Broad and Millburn. They're not waiting on test results to move forward with build out.
  by EuroStar
 
Amtrak is threatening to prevent any equipment without PTC from running on their rails after Dec 31, 2018: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/ ... 340269002/.
Amtrak's CEO said Thursday that it would not allow railroads such as NJ Transit to operate over its tracks after Dec. 31 if they did not have a required safety system in place by then.
It is hard to blame them, but Amtrak probably does not want the liability. I suspect that NJT can cobble enough resources to install the necessary hardware on all electric engines, so service is unlikely to stop. The diesel lines though will definitely not have PTC operational by the deadline.
  by Nasadowsk
 
I wonder what the MBTA's situation is - supposedly, they are even farther behind on PTC than NJT, and IIRC, they run over Amtrak trackage too.
  by ThirdRail7
 
MBTA trains that operate over Amtrak territory have been ACSES equipped for years. Any train that operates on the NHB must have ACSES. That includes the P&W and CSX.

It's not a problem for them. I doubt it is a problem for NJT as a significant chunk of their equipment is ACSES equipped.
  by EuroStar
 
As per the press release at http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet. ... SE_ID=3207 trains are being eliminated to facilitate the installation of PTC.

This looks very fishy to me. It is a service cut under the pretext of PTC installation. I find it hard to believe that cancelling a few trains really frees much equipment to be shopped for PTC installation. In best case it is probably an indication that they are short engines and cab cars, in worst case it is a cost saving service reduction masquerading with a PTC pretext. In my view there is no way that they are short engines because they could bring into revenue service any and every sidelined diesel plus the mothballed ALP44s (at least the four in the MMC yards). Those sidelined diesels and ALP44s don't need PTC -- they could be run only while the newer stuff is shopped for the PTC given that this is only supposed to last until early 2019 as per the press release (by the end of 2018 there will be another press release continuing the temporary cuts for another year and then the temporary reductions will be made permanent in a stale manner so nobody notices).
  by blockline4180
 
EuroStar wrote:As per the press release at http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet. ... SE_ID=3207 trains are being eliminated to facilitate the installation of PTC.

This looks very fishy to me. It is a service cut under the pretext of PTC installation. I find it hard to believe that cancelling a few trains really frees much equipment to be shopped for PTC installation. In best case it is probably an indication that they are short engines and cab cars, in worst case it is a cost saving service reduction masquerading with a PTC pretext. In my view there is no way that they are short engines because they could bring into revenue service any and every sidelined diesel plus the mothballed ALP44s (at least the four in the MMC yards). Those sidelined diesels and ALP44s don't need PTC -- they could be run only while the newer stuff is shopped for the PTC given that this is only supposed to last until early 2019 as per the press release (by the end of 2018 there will be another press release continuing the temporary cuts for another year and then the temporary reductions will be made permanent in a stale manner so nobody notices).

Yup, that's how it always is with them right??
Want to do anything about it? Then contact your state senators and assemblymen and other means of social media and state pretty much what you just said above...Obviously expressing your displeasure here is encouraged, but it won't get you anywhere as primarily buffs and railroaders with very little pull are the only ones who read these forums... Additionally, I don't think all the trains will magically disappear for good like you say.. Train 643 or 645 (I had forgotten which one), that is being abolished had been eliminated years ago, but then came back so there is still hope for some of them!!
  by lensovet
 
those "sidelined" trains would need time and money to bring up to revenue service. the equipment crunch is real. they are cancelling what looks like to be about 4-6 locomotives worth of trains. note that to continue running them might actually require 2x the number of locos which are definitely not there. for some of the cancelled trains i am amazed that they have enough ridership to be worth running, e.g. 5822 which has another train 6 minutes earlier and another train 5 minutes later.
  by trainbrain
 
I don't see a conspiracy here. Many of the trains that they cancelled are redundant and they could just add cars to the trains before and after since the trailer cars are unaffected. What's interesting is they cancelled one of the Metro North Express trips on the PVL on weekdays, yet kept both on weekends. If they were really trying to save money, they would've dropped both of the weekend ones.

What's also odd is the Main/Bergen Line is unaffected. They can't drop any Port Jervis trains because those are limited to begin with, but I thought for sure they'd be making cuts on every line. There are a few redundant trains, but I doubt shortening or dropping them would actually free up additional sets.
  by lensovet
 
the PTC ban would affect lines that touch the NEC. that's why RVL, Main/Bergen, and Boonton trains are not affected. my completely uninformed guess is that one of the M&E Hoboken trains used to turn into a Main/Bergen train. since that's canceled, they need an MN train to replace it, and therefore have to kill the MN express on PVL.
  by Ken W2KB
 
lensovet wrote:the PTC ban would affect lines that touch the NEC. that's why RVL, Main/Bergen, and Boonton trains are not affected. my completely uninformed guess is that one of the M&E Hoboken trains used to turn into a Main/Bergen train. since that's canceled, they need an MN train to replace it, and therefore have to kill the MN express on PVL.
All RVL trains utilize the NEC for the final mile or so to Newark Penn and most if not all also beyond Penn to the NEC to the Harrison yard, and some off peak to NYP.