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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:12 pm 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
Posts: 149
LeoA wrote:
Not a surprise, sadly. Would cost about half a million dollars to equip a pair of locomotives for PTC.


Um, we were quoted about $28,000 for a ready to go unit to install in one locomotive we might have to run trackage rights over a class one with.

Yes you have to subscribe to a back door monitoring system that is comparable with the host railroads PTC. It is not terribly expensive and easy to do.

And if we could get it to fit in an 80 tonner, an E8 should not be an issue.

I feel their reaction is more politically motivated.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 134
airforcerail wrote:
LeoA wrote:
Not a surprise, sadly. Would cost about half a million dollars to equip a pair of locomotives for PTC.


Um, we were quoted about $28,000 for a ready to go unit to install in one locomotive we might have to run trackage rights over a class one with.


I'll respectively defer to you, since I'm just a railfan.

That said, that's not what several shortlines have reported in the media. A quarter of a million dollars is the one out there in the press over recent months, with the most recent example being the Minnesota Commercial a few weeks back discontinuing serving a customer by trackage rights because of the expense to equip two locomotives with PTC. I was just repeating it, not pulling out an exaggerated number I fabricated.

In fact believe it's been posted earlier in this thread that Mr. Levin's estimate was also high to equip these with PTC, and I assume he doesn't have anything to gain by inflating the actual expense (Didn't he say he believed it was into 6 figures per unit?). Everyone I've read quotes from is saying it's far more expensive than $28,000 per unit, with the most optimistic I ever saw being $70,000 (Which was an admittedly low ball estimate from an industry trade group over half a decade ago before I suspect anyone had a finalized system even ready to actually install).


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Is there any difference in technology and standard between what has to be put into a switcher that has to tread a few feet out on an interchange versus an Amtrak-certified installation on a 100-mph diesel that is expected to use PTC and Amtrak's ACSES in passenger service?

And would that account for the cost difference between the $28K system and the six-figure price being cited for the E8s?


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:21 am 
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There are several systems depending on application and territory. From the FRA "Status update on Positive Train Control Implementation", August 2016, Page 3:

"The three most widely used systems are: (1) the Interoperable Electronic Train Management System (I-ETMS), a derivative of BNSF’s original ETMS system, and the predominant system being implemented by the Class I railroads; (2) an updated version of ACSES (known as ACSES-II), modernized to comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements of PTC and being implemented by most of the railroads operating on the Northeast Corridor; and (3) Enhanced Automatic Train Control (E-ATC). In addition, there are some individual “one off” systems being deployed by railroads, which make use of the features from one or more of these three most common systems."

Yes, the difference in systems and capability accounts for a tremendous difference in price. An Amtrak-compliant system for operation on the NEC in passenger service (ACSES II) could indeed be up as high as the $250K range, per unit, installed and certified.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:49 am 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
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LeoA wrote:

I'll respectively defer to you, since I'm just a railfan.

That said, that's not what several shortlines have reported in the media. A quarter of a million dollars is the one out there in the press over recent months, with the most recent example being the Minnesota Commercial a few weeks back discontinuing serving a customer by trackage rights because of the expense to equip two locomotives with PTC. I was just repeating it, not pulling out an exaggerated number I fabricated.


Ah I have not seen any numbers in the media so I was wondering where the numbers came from. Maybe the lines are requesting a portion of their installation and maintenance costs as part of the PTC, which would be very high indeed. However nothing has been mentioned to us when we worked with the Class one to make sure we all were on the same page.

Amtrak may use a different system on NEC, but the system we were quoted would be compatible with CSX's and NS's current systems.

All I can go on is our experiences. Others may have other requirements/issues.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:28 am 

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Location: Illinois
Do any of the mainline steam excursion locomotives like NKP 765 and UP 844 have PTC installed, and if not, will this affect their future operation?

Thomas

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:34 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
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Interesting opinion piece in Railway Age, good old Amtrak ends up with 3 flavors of PTC.

https://www.railwayage.com/news/ptc-ign ... lly-going/

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Interesting.

Back in the day, CNJ installed a two-aspect inductive loop cab signal system on its Southern Division. P&R/RDG had the same on the Atlantic City RR, plus an ATS overlay with an air tank on the pilot beam. To reach the Southern Division at Red Bank, you had to run over the NY&LB, which had PRR's four aspect pulse-code cab signals. Thus a CNJ engine had to have both systems to run to Bridgeton and all three for the Blue Comet to Atlantic City.

If you look at some CNJ engines, including 592 when it was in service, you will see two cab signal boxes on the pilot beam, and before PRSL in 1934, an air tank parallel to the rails for a Blue Comet engine.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:27 pm 
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In the recent past, I attended a class on the PTC-compliant Northeast Corridor system. The instructor brought in a fully functional system, all of the locomotive hardware items, mounted on two platform carts, connected with cables, and demonstrated operation and troubleshooting in the classroom. His class presentation was more than 300 slides. The quality of the instruction was superb, he knew the subject very well.

Looking back with the search function, we have had about a half dozen discussions on PTC here on RYPN. In each discussion some of the participants expressed the view that this system is manageable for an excursion operator. Well, the "clock is running" now, and we will soon get to see if that is correct.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:54 pm 

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Might there be an exemption for heritage equipment?

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
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Location: Back in NE Ohio
Yes, this looks nearly impossible now, but as with every other technical "advance" of the last 50 or so years, the systems get smaller and less expensive over time. It's just a question of how long you're willing to "store serviceable" the heritage locomotive(s) involved. I'd really hate to see those two magnificently kept E units end up like the ones that the Blue Mountain and Reading had 30 years ago - gutted as part of some theme restaurant/hotel. I realize the Levins aren't getting any younger, but hopefully one day in the not too distant future a retro-fit PTC system will be about the size of a current Head of Train Device (HTD), and able to fit nicely on top of the historic control stand. We do great things with miniaturization in this era of human existence. Hopefully that will continue to be the case for a little longer.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Here is the FRA resources page for Positive Train Control:

https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0152

Note that some of the materials available on the page, such as the PowerPoint information presentations, are up to 10 years old.

It is unfortunate that with all the time that this topic has been under discussion there are not more FAQ pages available on the subject. Some of the Class Ones have their own FAQ pages, but they really do not address shortline and heritage operation issues.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:38 pm 

Joined: Mon May 04, 2015 12:06 pm
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Trainkid456 wrote:
Do any of the mainline steam excursion locomotives like NKP 765 and UP 844 have PTC installed, and if not, will this affect their future operation?

Thomas


I read that FWRHS hosted a meeting of the minds with several mainline steam operators about a year ago. Recently, they have said that the FRA may be open to just the brake application, and not requiring the power to be cut.


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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:30 pm 

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softwerkslex wrote:
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.


The problem here is that for every move you make has to have either available. What happens when a tool car gets a flat wheel or the assigned diesel power gets bad ordered? Too many risks in order to try and avoid compliance - not to mention the complications in leading power vs. trailing power.


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 are efforts to get historic equipment exempted - but that doesn't mean the carriers have to accept you or the waivers, which means they are basically non-starters unless you have the right relationship or a gaurantee from a host.

If the railroads are investing billions in PTC, the likelihood that they'd let a potentially risky people magnet run around the system all day without it is very low - thus not a good business strategy. We've all seen the reactions after Amtrak's two recent wrecks - can you imagine the news of an excursion that isn't PTC compliant being involved in an incident that PTC could have prevented?


mdogg wrote:
Trainkid456 wrote:
Do any of the mainline steam excursion locomotives like NKP 765 and UP 844 have PTC installed, and if not, will this affect their future operation?

Thomas


I read that FWRHS hosted a meeting of the minds with several mainline steam operators about a year ago. Recently, they have said that the FRA may be open to just the brake application, and not requiring the power to be cut.


Yep - we're actively engaged in sourcing parts and equipment and working with the FRA on a power/throttle reduction exemption and coordinating with a few other steam locomotive operators and funding sources. It makes far more sense to reduce the more onerous mechanical requirement of PTC than to pray someone will let you run your steam engine without the system at all.

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 Post subject: Re: PTC Kills Off PRR E8s 5711/5809?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
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Location: NJ
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.


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