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Southwest Chief reroute via Wichita and Amarillo?

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It's a pity the complete fools running the US railroads didn't just adopt off-the-shelf ERTMS/ETCS, which was *already debugged* and is quickly becoming the worldwide standard (China is using a very slight variant). It's quite stable and has been for years.

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India is going whole hog ERTMS Level 2 for the entire network. It was declared as policy. It also plans to electrify 24,400 rt kms in five years, which is almost unbelievable. But even if they actually do half of that it is still phenomenal.

 

 

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India puts us to shame. We live in an underdeveloped, backwards country.

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India puts us to shame. We live in an underdeveloped, backwards country.

No we put own selves to shame by not standing up and enforcing what our forefathers gave us. We gave opportunity for the Super Conducting Maglev to be dreamed and designed in our country, but because of politics it was developed and commercialized in Japan. That was the first generation of superconducting Maglev. The same inventors designed a 2nd generation of Superconducting maglev and were in process of development and were meeting same obstacles as before. ( Politics) One has died.

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What has Superconducting Maglev got to do with enhancing safety of operation of railroads completely beats me I am afraid. ;)

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BNSF is much more transparent and straightforward than most of the other Class Is. UP doesn't publish their PTC status in detail, though rumor has it that over half is done. Last I read, there is NO working PTC on NS, CSX, or CN. Not sure about CP.

 

 

I continue to assert that BNSF has no particular interest in having Amtrak run on a route which they barely use any more, want to get rid of, but are somehow still stuck owning.

 

I'm pretty sure they would happily move Amtrak over to the Southern Transcon once it's double-tracked (and with appropriate standards for station design, as I said, passenger sidings and platforms on both sides, and of course funding for the trackwork at Belen and so forth).

 

I don't think "we might want Denver-Albuqerque service eventually, so we need to keep running a train over Raton Pass" is a good argument for hobbling the Southwest Chief. If we actually had some sort of movement towards Denver-Albuquerque service, that would be different, but we don't. Colorado can't even be convinced to run service from Denver to Fort Collins, and this is with a relatively pro-public-transport administration. Out of state service is something they won't even look at.

 

There is currently a PTC waiver for routes with a "de minimis" number of passenger trains per day. I don't know how long that's going to last, but it's not a good thing to rely on; that sort of waiver has a tendency to shrink over time.

To note, UP does give quarterly updates on their PTC status. You can find them on the UP website or Facebook page. They claim to be on pace for the end of 2018 deadline. This is from November. What we don't know is where Amtrak stands in getting their fleet equipped to work with these systems.pdf_up_media_nov_2017_ptc.pdf

 

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Oh, cool. Thanks for the link to the UP updates! That makes them about as transparent as BNSF.

 

The eastern roads are still way behind.

 

So, interestingly, three major Amtrak segments appear to have exemptions from PTC: the middle of the Coast Starlight route between SF and LA, the middle of the Denver to Salt Lake route across the mountains, and part of the Texas Eagle route through Missouri.

 

On BNSF, they've already installed PTC almost everywhere that Amtrak runs -- the exception is the Raton Pass route from somewhere west of Newton to Albuquerque.

 

These omissions are irritatingly penny-wise/pound-foolish, but they don't compare to the situation on CSX, NS, and CN, which appear to have no tracks where PTC is implemented. CSX and CN don't even have status pages (at least NS is advertising how many radios they've installed and how many locomotives they have ready).

Edited by neroden

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Regarding the Raton Pass segment ,BNSF ownership ends at Lamy (does not extend to Albuquerque) From Lamy into Albuquerque is the ownership of the state of New Mexico. The part from Lamy west 22 miles is an area they want to forget about Only Amtrak uses it twice a day,

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I am almost certain that there will be no PTC required if the max speed is below some threshold.

 

Also note that just because a track is equipped for PTC does not mean every train running on that tracks is running under PTC. At present and even past 1/1/19 PTC will not become a universally mandatory item. There will be exceptions to deal with operations under failure conditions under some enforced restrictions, like max speed allowed etc. Considering how rickety most of the PTC implementations are, absent such the whole system would grind to a standstill. ;)

Now that Mr. Anderson has spoken to Congress. What do you think and why?

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There will be quite a bit of track that will continue to operate under waiver. Mr. Anderson has relatively little leverage over the owners of the tracks. Many of them are making good progress, but there will remain track segments that don’t quite make it that will be granted waivers by the FRA and Amtrak will continue to operate on them.

 

The exempt trackage that has been identified will remain exempt unless Mr. Anderson wants to spend his resources installing PTC on them to run a single train of his in each direction on them.

 

 

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There will be quite a bit of track that will continue to operate under waiver. Mr. Anderson has relatively little leverage over the owners of the tracks. Many of them are making good progress, but there will remain track segments that don’t quite make it that will be granted waivers by the FRA and Amtrak will continue to operate on them.

 

The exempt trackage that has been identified will remain exempt unless Mr. Anderson wants to spend his resources installing PTC on them to run a single train of his in each direction on them.

 

 

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Have you read what Mr. Anderson told congress?

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There will be quite a bit of track that will continue to operate under waiver. Mr. Anderson has relatively little leverage over the owners of the tracks. Many of them are making good progress, but there will remain track segments that don’t quite make it that will be granted waivers by the FRA and Amtrak will continue to operate on them.

 

The exempt trackage that has been identified will remain exempt unless Mr. Anderson wants to spend his resources installing PTC on them to run a single train of his in each direction on them.

 

 

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Have you read what Mr. Anderson told congress?

 

Yes I did. He basically said he will not operate trains illegally, and he will take some extra precautions for operating trains on trackage that are legal but do not have full PTC. That is exactly what he is doing.

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