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 Post subject: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8690
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
The PRR Technical & Historical Society is announcing a rare-mileage all-parlor car trip to and from their 50th anniversary convention in Altoona, Philly-Harrisburg-Williamsport-Lock Haven-Tyrone-Altoona May 9th and back by way of the Curve and AR Tower then Altoona-Lewistown-Harrisburg-Philly on May 13th, $1,000 a seat.

Ominously, however, the PRRT&HS's flyer for the event, released tonight, says:

Quote:
THIS VERY WELL MIGHT BE THE FINAL OUTING WITH THE 5711-5809 PRR E-8 UNITS AS THE RESULT OF CONGRESS’ UNFORTUNATE AND UNTIMELY PTC MANDATE

I strongly suspect this is the wording/verdict of loco owner Bennett Levin/Juniata Terminal, not the PRRT&HS.

Get your photos now--and not just of 5711/5809.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:12 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 128
Not a surprise, sadly. Would cost about half a million dollars to equip a pair of locomotives for PTC.

Even if they treated one as a cabless B unit to halve that investment, that's still a big chunk of change and not representative of the true final cost of PTC since I assume they have to subscribe to a PTC service like Meteorcomm, unless they'd just connect to whatever carrier's PTC service that they're currently on?

I imagine that ongoing fee for a locomotive that's idle most of the time is most likely cost prohibitive, unless there's an arrangement where they only pay for the days it's actually online and in service (Like a steam locomotive's 15 year/1472 service day inspection that only counts days the locomotive has steam in her boiler to the 1472 day total).

Going to be an issue for anyone that wants to operate a historic locomotive on a mainline. Also likely to be added issues for anyone that does make this investment. I'm speculating, but off the shelf packages meant for something like a SD70ACe aren't necessarily suitable for a historic and quite possibly space constrained Northern, PA-1, E8, etc.

Space and aesthetic considerations thus might require some customization, which means additional money. And while a modern mainline locomotive full of electronics in the cab probably requires no modification to meet the electrical demands for PTC, that may not be the case for something like Nickel Plate 765.


Last edited by LeoA on Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:40 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:22 am 

Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 174
Really , how much , and why ??


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:41 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 1813
PTC remains an expensive, elaborate experimental shiny bauble solution in search of a problem and an affront to Occam.

Adherents are members of the "cult of the colossal" to borrow a phrase from Ropke.


But there's big bucks in it for these companies..

http://www.railwayresource.com/category ... in-control

So see who's donating to the most vocal politicians for this. Of course, always remember this when politicians talk about trains (or anything else)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMnXxPOLBg0


https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solut ... ain-so.pdf

tells us (page 2):

The primary benefit of Positive Train Control, and the driver behind the Federal mandate to implement it, is to improve rail safety. Beyond rail safety improvement, investment in PTC will likely pay for itself over the long term through several potential business benefits.

But never offers any qualification or quantification of the improvements in safety or purported return on investment. (this is where the trained nose begins to notice the acrid smell of economic scatol)

The AAR tells us:


The AAR estimates that, as of the end of 2017, freight railroads together have spent more than $8 billion — of their own funds, not taxpayer's



https://www.aar.org/policy/positive-train-control


That's not exactly true. Last I checked $915M in government grants were expended on this idea, and of course railroads never spend their own money, they spend stockholders'.


Trains did tell us that "hacking" was possible.

http://trn.trains.com/railroads/positiv ... in-control

And here's a brand new Congressional Research Service document that tells us (page 11-12)

That for all this, the estimated savings will be 7 lives 22 injuries annually and millions of dollars. Great, but how many could be saved with mature, but less grandiose safety measures.

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42637.pdf

There's sanguine commenter (Paul Dyson) in this opinion piece

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion- ... story.html


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:55 am 
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Posts: 1425
Posted (again) for information:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-1 ... -29334.htm

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:55 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:41 am
Posts: 15
Location: NW Ohio
PCook wrote:


"...However, FRA
does propose to clarify that PTC equipment of non-controlling
locomotives may be used to restore full PTC functionality to the
consist...."

If I read that right, then by having a PTC-equipped locomotive in trail could fulfill the requirements in a case such as this, if the FRA provides the change to the regulation?


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:05 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 pm
Posts: 38
So if we have things like ditchlight exemptions for steam locomotives, couldn't we get a definition for what the government considers "historic equipment" and try to see if there is any possible way to get steam locomotives and earlier diesel locomotives a mainline PTC exemption? I'm sure this would be difficult, but what are the odds for or against this?


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1982
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
It would be worthwhile to consider how to install PTC in a baggage car or similar. We are considering the same for our signal upgrade for the Danish system. Then the signal investment can be shared by multiple locomotives.

Since most excursions in the USA operate with diesel backup, and the diesel provides the PTC, this may not be not be useful.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:28 pm
Posts: 68
Location: Florida
ColebrookdaleRailfan wrote:
So if we have things like ditchlight exemptions for steam locomotives, couldn't we get a definition for what the government considers "historic equipment" and try to see if there is any possible way to get steam locomotives and earlier diesel locomotives a mainline PTC exemption? I'm sure this would be difficult, but what are the odds for or against this?



There is no such exemption of ditch lights for steam locomotives per say. There simply isn't a rule for ditch lights in part 230. The ditch light requirement is in part 229 which does not apply to locomotives propelled by steam.


Edit: I just glanced at Part 236 and I did not see anything in the scope for exempting historic equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:24 pm 
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So a new Tesla car can almost drive itself useing a relatively small computer. All PTC has to do is monitor train location signals and speed and be able to apply the brakes and slow/stop the train. Why is it so complicated and expensive?


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 473
Location: B'more Maryland
I'm looking forward to this forum solving the nation's PTC problem!


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 821
Location: NJ
I would look into the baggage car idea with a bit of suspicion. Maybe 25 years ago, I was involved in a situation that required cab signal, and remember being told that it had to be installed in the lead unit. Wouldn't this be the same? If not, there might be good money to be made with a roller bearing and MU equipped, Amtrak 800 number baggage car, express car, or tool car.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 1982
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The railway has a wrecking crane that needs to be uncoupled from its power car, so the signal equipment and the cab elements need to be separated when uncoupled. They already have a safety case and design for this. The cab elements are less expensive, so we would have duplicate cab elements but only one copy of the signal computer.

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Lektor
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Philadelphia, PA
The lead axle of a movement will shunt the cab signals; only the pickup bar ahead of the lead axle can pick up the codes.

The E-8's are ex-PRR, so they have had cab signals, ATS and speed control for years and needed only ACSES to run on the NEC and Harrisburg line, also SEPTA.

To run on NS, I expect they would need NS's version of PTC.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:27 am 
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Posts: 1425
Most of the freight railroads in the US are using the Wabtec Railway Electronics system. See pages 13 and 14 of the linked white paper for some basic details of this system and a diagram of the hardware devices involved.

http://transitwireless.org/wp-content/u ... 2_ver2.pdf

Since this paper was written, Siemens has introduced their Trainguard PTC system, the size and packaging of that product is very similar to the Wabtec unit.

There is a lot of hardware and cable connections involved in any of these systems to try to find space in a heritage locomotive.

PC

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