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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
Posts: 1469
Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
There have been comments in this Group from Ross Rowland about what got installed on C & O steam engine 614's throttle for Automatic Train Stop. The throttle couldn't be closed all the way because some steam was needed for proper lubrication of the cylinders while the train was slowing down to a stop.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:02 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 754
EDM wrote:
One advantage to modern steam locomotives is that most (all?) of them had front end throttles. It shouldn't be too difficult to provide a linkage, with an air cylinder or two, somewhere in the rodding to the front end that would either collapse or expand in response to a 'power knockdown' command from the PTC.


While this has been discussed, it was not the consensus of operators who convened to discuss the application on steam.

Ideally we'll have the language further refined here shortly for the waiver, but it amounts to:

"When Positive Train Control (PTC) equipment as defined in 49 CFR Part 236 is utilized by a steam locomotive, the locomotive shall be considered compliant if:
a) its braking system can execute the equivalent of a penalty application in response to a penalty application being initiated by the PTC system, and
b) its braking system can execute the equivalent of an emergency application in response to an emergency application being initiated by the PTC system, and
c) at least two people in the locomotive cab are PTC-qualified and can access the system while the locomotive is being operated in PTC territory, and
d) ​at least one PTC display unit is situated in a location easily referenced by both a seated engineer who is positioned to operate the locomotive in the forward direction and a pilot seated or standing near the engineer, and
e) it is capable of removing power on trailing units operated via multiple unit connection in the event of a penalty or emergency application being initiated by the PTC system, but automatic closure of the steam throttle shall not be required in this event."

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:55 pm
Posts: 701
Location: Warren, PA
I can't be as technically qualified as Preston by a long shot, just an observation.

I just leased a 2017 Forester with the full "eyesight" package. I got it primarily for the backup warning detection that saved me on a near-collision with a rental car in Elkins last summer, but overall, this is rather amazing technology. There are things it won't do, it absolutely gives up in a good snowstorm and tells you so. You're on your own then. But what it will do continues to amaze me.

One of the things on PTC that drives costs through the roof is trying to replicate electronically - though sensors and hard-wiring - what an engineer can visually see - other trains, signal indications, turnout position, speed restrictions, even whistle posts.

What's astounding about the current vehicle systems is how they have honed the vision detection to the point it can detect a vehicle swerving in on the side, lane stray, vehicle speed ahead, etc. All without permanent wayside modification.

PTC was designed before most of the vehicle detection systems were even conceived of. I have the terrible feeling we're designing and building in the rear-view mirror. Imagine a system that could 'read' signals visually, wayside signage, crossing power lights, all the visual cues an engineer actually sees, combined with GPS. Without new fixed wayside costs except possibly more standardization. And it sounds ridiculous, until you drive it down the road for yourself. Somehow I'm thinking that this entire permanent infrastructure cost we're looking at will be made functionally obsolete in less than 10 years.

When I look at the new cost of a main-line turnout, and the cost of the system modification to handle it, it's bad news for business and customers. I can't help but wonder if a system in the cab that could either 'read' the switch position visually or 'read' the lineside signal indication isn't possible, if not now, in the forseeable future. What's happened on the road vehicles is bypassing the entire lineside issues and focusing on the vision detection logic.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:14 pm 
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They already have some GPS based systems in use in other parts of the world that recognize the location by GPS coordinates and assign speed restrictions accordingly. i.e.: "Within a certain distance of "X" (a point on the globe, for example, a 30 MPH curve) the locomotive will not exceed 30 MPH."

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:50 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 am
Posts: 27
Randy Gustafson wrote:

What's astounding about the current vehicle systems is how they have honed the vision detection to the point it can detect a vehicle swerving in on the side, lane stray, vehicle speed ahead, etc. All without permanent wayside modification.

-----

What's happened on the road vehicles is bypassing the entire lineside issues and focusing on the vision detection logic.


Well, a problem I see with this logic is by the time you can "see" some bad thing on a moving train it is far too late to do anything useful about it. Braking distance for trains are many, many times longer for trains than highway vehicles.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2221
Location: Northern Illinois
Indeed. The guiding principle of signal system design has always been to "see over the horizon", to allow a train to operate faster than what would be dictated by the engineer's range of vision. Which is why I don't see much hope for an across the board exemption for historic equipment. Having something out on the railroad that is both invisible to other trains and bind to their movements (or unexpected stops) is just a non-starter. Best we can hope for, I think, is because historic equipment is run with extra vigilance, that some of the automatic power reduction requirements can be waived. The historic train still needs to be visible to the system, and have signal indications and speed restriction information available in the cab. At that point, hopefully automatic braking initiation, which is easy to do, will be deemed to be sufficient, without the need for automatic throttle reduction. But, we shall see.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 120
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Indeed. The guiding principle of signal system design has always been to "see over the horizon", to allow a train to operate faster than what would be dictated by the engineer's range of vision. Which is why I don't see much hope for an across the board exemption for historic equipment. Having something out on the railroad that is both invisible to other trains and bind to their movements (or unexpected stops) is just a non-starter. Best we can hope for, I think, is because historic equipment is run with extra vigilance, that some of the automatic power reduction requirements can be waived. The historic train still needs to be visible to the system, and have signal indications and speed restriction information available in the cab. At that point, hopefully automatic braking initiation, which is easy to do, will be deemed to be sufficient, without the need for automatic throttle reduction. But, we shall see.


You're overcomplicating it quite a bit. In active PTC territory, trains don't "see" each other. The train only recognizes its authority to operate in the block, where that authority ends, and what it must do to avoid overrunning that authority. Where the other trains are, is irrelevant. On a full-blown PTC activation, each individual train is governed only by its own authority limits. It doesn't care where trains X, Y, and Z are. It only knows it can operate from A to B, and must stop before passing that location.

At present, my employer has been slowly integrating PTC into its operations. The PTC system is on, and active, but the operating rules governing its use haven't been fully implemented. Essentially, it is a full-scale test of the system, to work out any issues. While they work the bugs out, some of the trains (home units equipped with functioning PTC equipment) are using it. Others (such as trains with "foreign" power in the lead) aren't operating with PTC. The non-equipped trains don't affect the system negatively in any manner. As long as they shunt the current signals (which will remain even after PTC), PTC still functions fine on the equipped trains.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2221
Location: Northern Illinois
CP O'Shea wrote:
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Indeed. The guiding principle of signal system design has always been to "see over the horizon", to allow a train to operate faster than what would be dictated by the engineer's range of vision. Which is why I don't see much hope for an across the board exemption for historic equipment. Having something out on the railroad that is both invisible to other trains and bind to their movements (or unexpected stops) is just a non-starter. Best we can hope for, I think, is because historic equipment is run with extra vigilance, that some of the automatic power reduction requirements can be waived. The historic train still needs to be visible to the system, and have signal indications and speed restriction information available in the cab. At that point, hopefully automatic braking initiation, which is easy to do, will be deemed to be sufficient, without the need for automatic throttle reduction. But, we shall see.


You're overcomplicating it quite a bit. In active PTC territory, trains don't "see" each other. The train only recognizes its authority to operate in the block, where that authority ends, and what it must do to avoid overrunning that authority. Where the other trains are, is irrelevant. On a full-blown PTC activation, each individual train is governed only by its own authority limits. It doesn't care where trains X, Y, and Z are. It only knows it can operate from A to B, and must stop before passing that location.


OK, fair enough. I was really trying to steer the discussion way from automotive vision systems, which have NOTHING in common with railroad signalling, or PTC. The fact still remains that the system rather than "other trains" has to see our historic excursion locomotive, and our locomotive needs to have the signal information displayed in the cab, and some method of automatic train stop, so there is not going to be a blanket exemption for steam locos. I think the best we can hope for is is an exemption from any automatic power-down provisions, on the theory that with a qualified engineer, fireman, and one or more railroad officials in the cab, someone should notice the train has gone into emergency and not try to keep on running.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 120
Dennis Storzek wrote:

OK, fair enough. I was really trying to steer the discussion way from automotive vision systems, which have NOTHING in common with railroad signalling, or PTC. The fact still remains that the system rather than "other trains" has to see our historic excursion locomotive, and our locomotive needs to have the signal information displayed in the cab, and some method of automatic train stop, so there is not going to be a blanket exemption for steam locos. I think the best we can hope for is is an exemption from any automatic power-down provisions, on the theory that with a qualified engineer, fireman, and one or more railroad officials in the cab, someone should notice the train has gone into emergency and not try to keep on running.


Understandable, and I agree that the automotive stuff has no relevancy. I was just trying to clear up some common misconceptions as to what PTC does, and does not do. For example, I-ETMS does not display or replicate any of the wayside signal indications. The system itself can tell that a more restrictive signal is coming up, but that information is displayed as a "Target Speed XX MPH XX.XX Miles Ahead" on the display. The actual signal indication isn't shown, because signals vary from carrier to carrier, and the equipment is designed to be interoperable. The wayside signals are still there, and they still govern. PTC won't show them to you.

As for the E8's in question, it could be any number of scenarios. It could be expense. It could be that the Levins just don't have the desire to clutter up the roof of their E's with a box full of antennae.


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