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Amtrak CEO says passenger trains may not run over track without PTC

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I guess we can kiss goodbye to Atlantic Coast service for a while, if the thing about not running on PTC waivered track comes to pass that is.... ;)

 

Such an excellent excuse to kill select LD trains, no?

Edited by jis

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Wow!! This is serious. I’m booked on the capitol limited next month. Pretty sure that sections of that route do not have ptc.

 

This is really a poor response to these accidents.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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"But, on sections of track where a railroad is required to install PTC yet has made insufficient progress to apply for a waiver, "Amtrak will suspend operations until such time as the carrier becomes compliant with the law," Anderson says. "

 

 

With the wording of this, I would interpret this to mean after the deadline for installation.

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Once suspended, I seriously doubt the route would be restarted. Is there an accurate database of track having PTC completed and operational? I didn't think any of the Hosts were complete or near completion.

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I sincerely hope so. Otherwise this just becomes a replay of the unintended consequences that followed the old !CC 79mph rule.

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Union Pacific posts its quarterly PTC progress report to its website: A small portion of their trackage "does not require PTC". Wonder what that means for the CS south of SJC, Heartland Flyer, and the Zephyr between PRO and GJT after December.

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Are most of Amtrak's P-42 DC locomotives equipped for PTC, wherever it exists?

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I sincerely hope so. Otherwise this just becomes a replay of the unintended consequences that followed the old !CC 79mph rule.

Please explain.

 

jb

 

The intention of the ICC order was to enhance safety by requiring all routes on which trains were to run at higher than 79mph to be equipped with specific signal and automatic stop equipment. The primary result of it was to have most speeds reduced to 79 mph rather than getting upgraded signal and control systems.

 

The fear is that at least on secondary routes which would not otherwise require PTC the freight railroads will simply do nothing an passenger trains would have to be either rerouted on some other route or simply dropped, unless of course public funding covers for the PTC deployment.

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"He said in areas that where PTC is not currently required such as in yards and terminals Amtrak is considering whether it will continue service after the end of year. “We have a question about whether we’re going to operate at all and I doubt we will,” Anderson said." https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-amtrak-congress/congress-urges-railroads-to-meet-looming-safety-deadline-idUSKCN1FZ2L8

 

Does that sound right?

 

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Cardinal Route is going to be a issue. A short line host has no plans for PTC. Has a waiver from the FRA. Amtrak was against CSX leasing these tracks out to a short line. Due to fears that the short line was unable to keep the track conditions suitable for passenger trains. Not sure Mr Anderson just kill off the Cardinal or just mess up while talking to Congress.

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Two portions of Mr. Anderson's testimony addressing "dark territory" operations:

 

Third, there are areas over which we operate for which there is an FRA “Mainline Track Exclusion” in place exempting that segment from the PTC requirements based on the low levels of freight and passenger train traffic or the presence of low-speed operations, such as in yards and terminals. We are currently reviewing our policy on operating passenger trains on Exclusions to determine whether we have adequate safety mitigation practices in place for each territory and in certain areas, where signal systems are not in place, we will reconsider whether we operate at all.

 

 

Building on the changes to our operations when signals are unavailable, Amtrak will change how we operate through sections of track with no signals at all, so-called ‘dark territory,’which is also exempted from the PTC mandate. Approximately 1 percent of our current or planned routes transit through dark territory, totaling 222 miles in Indiana, Maine, New York, Quebec, and Vermont. We believe it is time to reevaluate the risks that accompany such operations and adopt a new approach, particularly as the implementation of PTC will provide even greater safety margins beyond traditional railroad signaling on the vast majority of our routes. Based on hazard analyses and mitigation options, the application of new technologies like switch position indicators; altered operating practices; signal system and PTC investments or rerouting or route abandonments may all be appropriate for such dark territory. Working together with our host railroads and local stakeholders, we need to quickly evaluate the risks and take the necessary steps to ensure we don’t leave sections of our network unnecessarily vulnerable.

 

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Cardinal Route is going to be a issue.

I think the Zephyr might have some issues, with reroute to say the least. UP says that PTC is not required between Provo and Grand Junction, that should raise a red flag.

Edited by bmjhagen9426

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Cardinal Route is going to be a issue.

What about the Zephyr? UP says that PTC is not required between Provo and Grand Junction.

 

If FRA agrees then I would be very surprised if Amtrak would overrule FRA and still refuse to operate. If they do that could be indicative of Amtrak administration's desire to use this as an opportunity to prune the LD network. but I don;t believe that is on the cards.

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How many of Amtrak's current LD routes are expected to reach 100% PTC with no waivers?

Don't know, but BNSF says it's now 100% compliant. So, the Cascades between Portland and the Canadian Border, the Empire Builder [assuming a re-route between Chicago and MSP], and Chicago-Denver.

Edited by Palmetto

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How many of Amtrak's current LD routes are expected to reach 100% PTC with no waivers?

Don't know, but BNSF says it's now 100% compliant. So, the Cascades between Portland and the Canadian Border, the Empire Builder [assuming a re-route between Chicago and MSP], and Chicago-Denver.

 

And Southwest Chief except for La Junta to Albuquerque or perhaps Isleta (of which la Junta to somewhere in NM is BNSF that is not compliant). Also Illinois Zephyr.

 

In the Q3 '17 report BNSF said it was non compliant in 10 segments (11%) consisting of about 1,207 miles (11%)

Edited by jis

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Some of his comments could be for congress or a negotiating tactic. He also said NJT could be blocked from the NEC because they won't be compliant for their personnel and equipment. They also owe Amtrak a ton of money they they are refusing to pay.

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