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 Post subject: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 459
There is a article on the TRAINS newswire about a shortline RR that is discontinuing trackage rights on the BNSF due to the BNSF requiring PTC as of 1-1-2018.

From the TRAINS Newswire:

Minnesota Commercial ends service to Bayport, Minnesota.
By Steve Sweeney | December 29, 2017
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Commercial Railway has ended service to Anderson Windows in Bayport, Minn., which it served via trackage rights over BNSF Railway and Union Pacific. The last run from St. Paul to Bayport happened on Dec. 28.

<snip>

the railroad could not justify the half-million-dollar cost of equipping two locomotives with PTC. In addition to that cost, Gohmann says there were also prohibitive insurance costs from Meteorcomm, the satellite transmission vendor

<unsnip>


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 202
Just another nail in PTC's coffin. It isn't close to economically justifiable, never was, just government-mandated vaporware.

CD


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2226
There has to be a circumstance that a shortline like this can operate without PTC as long as the normal signaling works for them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 495
Location: Floyd, AR
PTC isn't dead, It's mandated! No matter how bad, primitive, poorly implemented, primitive, and just all over terrible it is, it's gonna happen. Watch.

I have been told it's a stack of equipment so large they have had to remove a seat in some engines to fit it, about the size of a dorm fridge, and roof space for the antennas has been an issue.

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Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:47 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 202
Pegasuspinto wrote:
PTC isn't dead, It's mandated! No matter how bad, primitive, poorly implemented, primitive, and just all over terrible it is, it's gonna happen. Watch.

I have been told it's a stack of equipment so large they have had to remove a seat in some engines to fit it, about the size of a dorm fridge, and roof space for the antennas has been an issue.


It's a repeatedly-postponed federally-mandated billion-dollar solution to a thousand-dollar problem. If PTC was viable, the Class 1s would do it voluntarily, and there's be some unity. Instead, you have incompatible proprietary systems, and Heaven help when the infamous 'Russian hackers' figure out they can stop the flow of freight in America with a few keystrokes!
I've said repeatedly that PTC is the next ACI, that the mandate will be repealed - calling it draconian is an understatement - not to mention it's a fix to a problem that largely isn't there.

CD


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:28 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 212
Location: Northern WV
Reminds me of an old phrase I've heard many times -- "A solution in search of a problem".

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8597
Location: Somewhere between Baltimore, MD and Prescott, AZ
WVNorthern wrote:
Reminds me of an old phrase I've heard many times -- "A solution in search of a problem".

Said phrase has been used repeatedly by industry lobbyists and analysts attempting to rebuke the mandate.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Philadelphia, PA
There's nothing new here; for an engine (home or foreign road) to run on cab signal-equipped lines, it had to be equipped with cab signals. Same with inductive ATS.

Some years ago the Powers decided that RDG power would run through to B&O's Wilsmere Yard and certain engines had to be set up with ATS shoes to be compatible with B&O's signals. RDG's Bethlehem Branch and PRSL (and PRR for PRSL trains to Philadelphia) had cab signals so that meant the shops had to deal with both systems (on separate engines).

The Wilsmere runs lasted for a while, then they went back to using B&O's East Side yard in Phila.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2205
Location: Northern Illinois
CREEPING DEATH wrote:
I've said repeatedly that PTC is the next ACI, that the mandate will be repealed - calling it draconian is an understatement - not to mention it's a fix to a problem that largely isn't there.

CD


Maybe someone should clue Trump in on this issue. Another productivity killing gov't mandate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8597
Location: Somewhere between Baltimore, MD and Prescott, AZ
Dennis Storzek wrote:
Maybe someone should clue Trump in on this issue. Another productivity killing gov't mandate.


<CYNICAL SNARK>

The problem with this proposition is that, as soon as the suggestion leaves Trump's mouth that this might be a rational idea, the Democrats and news media (but I repeat myself) will immediately begin a six-part series on how Trump and his minions WANT PEOPLE TO DIE, and therefore hype the American public into galvanizing to DEMAND PTC of Congress........... simply because Trump said it might not be the best idea or whatever.

Lest you think I'm a nutcase of cynicism, please refer to the fact that the political tactic in question has spawned a parody video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXWhbUUE4ko

This is, in effect, what happened after the Chatsworth crash in 2008.

</CYNICAL SNARK>


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 am
Posts: 161
I see no reason to start overly-politicizing this issue. Yes, it's currently written in as Federal Law, but no, a repeal will certainly be a non-issue given the current political game. With Republican control over all three Major government branches, a repeal would have no issue. No need for Republican vs Democratic nonsense on here.

May I point to Prohibition as well? That went as far as to be Constitutionally mandated, yet here we are 80 years after such a monumental task of a repeal, in terms of how hard it is to repeal an ammendment once written into law.

Perhaps, to satiate both sides, actual compromise, such as a PTC mandate only for passenger equipment would suffice. But given the all or nothing mentality of this nation as a whole, I doubt such an objective is possible.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8597
Location: Somewhere between Baltimore, MD and Prescott, AZ
My comments were not intended as political haymaking; rather, they are a cynical, but perhaps unduly accurate, prediction of how the political process over PTC would play out were a repeal of the mandate suggested. (And, hey, we just may find out how right I am!)

We do not choose to make this possible issue with preservation political. Rather, the issue is being forced upon us by politicians, because politicians inserted themselves into the issue of railroad safety after the 2008 Chatsworth crash--either at the behest of their constituents or because they had to make themselves appear to be doing "something" after such a crash, depending on where you fall on the political spectrum.

This is the hand we're being dealt to play, not the one we wish we had been dealt. And until we start learning how best to play what we're dealt instead of what we fantasize we have, we're going to have a few more Catskill Mountain RRs, Pembertons, Indiana Transportation Museums, CSXs, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 am
Posts: 161
My mistake, then. Lampooning is virtually indistinguishable from some of the crazier thoughts of people these days.

The hand being dealt to us may seem unfair, and there is plenty of merit in that thought, but it's nothing new. The association of railroading and it's respective aspects regarding preservation has always seemed to have a steeper grade to conquer within America when compared to those such as our European counterparts. While over in Europe, mainline Steam and other preservation related events are more common, American events, save for sponsored activities, are much more subdued. Regulation and the ever-present threat of litigation and costs are another major factor, as is the unwillingness of individuals to support such endeavors, even when proven to have benefits to local communities and companies.

I can go on with more of a critique of the social constucts precluding success, but it's unnecessary for the issue at hand, the gist is enough. Private-Public partnerships, and strong community connections have proven themselves to be some of the best driving forces behind preservation in this country. The power to shift public perception is there, the hand can still be changed. But I'm afraid that until society can be moved to care more about the past, and understand the present beyond the scope of "now", that I would have to agree with your perception.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:05 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1959
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
My colleagues here in Europe continue to be concerned at the accident rate (and death rate) in the USA relative to the number of train-miles or passenger miles. They do not understand how the Washington State accident conditions were allowed.

Here in Denmark a very similar accident in 1988 resulted in high speed derailment and many deaths (The Søro train accident, or Søro ulykken). Afterwards full train speed supervision was mandated on all lines with potential speed over 120 km-hour (75 mph), which is nearly all lines. Trains that are not equipped (like our steam trains) are limited to 70 km-hour (44 mph).

For the USA, there are three choices:

1) do nothing
2) install PTC
3) install a different train supervision system

Over the last 10 years, I have seen or read nothing from the railways on any proposals for an alternative to PTC. I have only seen full objections to any complete signal upgrade. If the PTC technology were truly inappropriate, I believe the railways and AAR could have proposed an alternative, but instead they have sought from congress either delays or lobbied for repeal. If anyone knows of any congressional record that demonstrates railway proposals for an alternative, other than repeal, I would like to see them.

Also: this is relevant to preservation. If we wish to operate historic railway equipment, we need to have an understanding of the modern safety systems and integrate them with our rolling stock. In Denmark, the expectation is that we will equip our steam locomotives, etc. with modern signals. Plans for this are underway.

Further: the comments about regulation and the relative availability of historic train excursions on mainline track is not supported by the real experience. I do not see any evidence that less regulation in the USA would lead to more participation by corporate railways in the USA or Canada for historic rolling stock excursions. Here in Denmark, Europe, and especially in the UK, we have very lengthy and specific regulatory demands and compliance, and as noted, we have a much more rewarding and active mainline steam excursion offering.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost and Effects of PTC
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:34 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:13 pm
Posts: 57
PTC was mandated after the Chatsworth, CA AMTRAK collision that killed 25 people. Estimated cost to install PTC is around $25 Billion or $1 Billion/life lost. The idea for PTC has been kicking around since the 1990s.

PTC does not meet any standard of cost-benefit I’m aware of. The loss of life is tragic but there are limits to what it’s practical to spend to achieve a given result. While 2017 may have been the safest year for air travel, if a major airliner crashed tomorrow, would anyone realistically expect the airlines to collectively spend $200-400 Billion to prevent another crash? The NTSB likes to push their ideas but they don’t have stockholders or Wall Street to answer to, nor do they suffer consequences if a better or cheaper solution comes along.

IMHO what PTC is doing is building the framework that will eventually lead to one man or unmanned freight trains. The Class 1s are always looking to cut costs and crew costs are the logical step. PTC is a big step in that direction. PTC doesn’t stop for lunch or breaks, doesn’t drag its feet getting out of the terminal, can run across country only stopping for fuel or set outs or pick ups. With self driving cars and truck on the horizon, why should trains be any different?


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