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

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Fred Frailey's article is funny, but he doesn't understand the politics (or pretends not to for humor purposes).

 

Hello, my name is James Foote. I am chief executive of CSX. I regret to say that PTC will not be installed between Washington and Rocky Mount, N.C., nor between Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., by the end of December, 2018.

The next one:

Hello, my name is Andrew Cuomo. I must inform you of an emergency order seizing the tracks from Buffalo to Schenectady by eminent domain, for vital state security purposes. We trust you will comply with the state police. Amtrak will manage these tracks and install PTC. We are sorry you were not able to manage these tracks properly, but we are happy to take the problem off your hands as it is a vital matter of state security. Of course we'll still allow some of your freight trains to operate, if you pay for access and we can fit them between our essential state needs. We can discuss payment for the track seizure in 2025 in the courts. See you!

In practice, nobody at CSX would dare to threaten to stop Empire Corridor service; it leads to Senators and Governors coming down on their heads.

Edited by neroden

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End of 1Q18 PTC deployment status:

 

https://www.fra.dot.gov/app/ptcprogress/2018q1

 

Incidentally, it is NS that will not complete PTC deployment on the Water Level Route before Dec 31, 2018. CSX is actually in relatively good shape.

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Here the same info in nice, little progress circles.

 

FRA PTC Dashboard 2018 Qtr 1

The graphical dashboard appears to be not consistent with the tabular stuff. I cannot exactly tell for sure what is represented in each so it might merely be my misunderstanding. The info as represented is clearly not he same. It is at least a very different view which is hard to reconcile.

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Apparently NS will meet all requirements to apply for Alternative Schedule, which will be upto the FRA to decide. Congress need not be involved in that one at least.

 

I am now told by Senator Nelson’s legislative assistant on the transportation committee that both SFRC and CFRC will meet requirements for Alternative Schedule too.

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Latest FRA PTC grants:

 

https://www.rtands.com/safety-training/fra-ptc-grants-28-projects-in-15-states-receive-funding/

 

Covers the following important segments among others:

 

1. NMRX around Albuquerque

 

2. SunRail, entire length of 61.3 miles

 

3. California San Jose to San Louis Obispo on the Coast Line, SMART extension (E-ATC), CalTrain PTC components

 

4. METRA Rock Island and Southwest Corridor

 

5. NICTD (CSS&SB) in Indiana

 

6. MBTA all lines and Springfiled Terminal all rolling stock

 

7. I-ETMS on MARC locomotives

 

and about a dozen more segments

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Latest FRA PTC grants:

 

https://www.rtands.com/safety-training/fra-ptc-grants-28-projects-in-15-states-receive-funding/

 

Covers the following important segments among others:

 

1. NMRX around Albuquerque

 

2. SunRail, entire length of 61.3 miles

 

3. California San Jose to San Louis Obispo on the Coast Line, SMART extension (E-ATC), CalTrain PTC components

 

4. METRA Rock Island and Southwest Corridor

 

5. NICTD (CSS&SB) in Indiana

 

6. MBTA all lines and Springfiled Terminal all rolling stock

 

7. I-ETMS on MARC locomotives

 

and about a dozen more segments

The one that interests me is the Caltrans one on the Coast Line. I wonder if Amtrak made some behind the scenes threats to California on this? UP wasn't planning to install it.

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Latest FRA PTC grants:

 

https://www.rtands.com/safety-training/fra-ptc-grants-28-projects-in-15-states-receive-funding/

 

Covers the following important segments among others:

 

1. NMRX around Albuquerque

 

2. SunRail, entire length of 61.3 miles

 

3. California San Jose to San Louis Obispo on the Coast Line, SMART extension (E-ATC), CalTrain PTC components

 

4. METRA Rock Island and Southwest Corridor

 

5. NICTD (CSS&SB) in Indiana

 

6. MBTA all lines and Springfiled Terminal all rolling stock

 

7. I-ETMS on MARC locomotives

 

and about a dozen more segments

So since Rail Runner is going to get PTC, is it correct to say that Anderson's Chief-chopping plan is dead?

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No his beef is about the route a ross Raton Pass - Trinidad to Lamy

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No his beef is about the route a ross Raton Pass - Trinidad to Lamy

Oh, right. Wasn't there some different issue with Rail Runner as well, though?

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No his beef is about the route a ross Raton Pass - Trinidad to Lamy

Oh, right. Wasn't there some different issue with Rail Runner as well, though?
Yes. That issue of lack of funding is now fixed.

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The one that interests me is the Caltrans one on the Coast Line. I wonder if Amtrak made some behind the scenes threats to California on this? UP wasn't planning to install it.

 

It's Caltrain, not Caltrans. Not yet, anyway. Caltrain is a separate agency. It runs commuter trains between San Francisco and San Jose, with three weekday trains to Gilroy on the Coast Line.

 

For now, there's no Caltrans managed/subsidised train service between San Jose and SLO. That could change if the Capitol Corridor is extended to Salinas, or if the Coast Daylight ever gets going. There's also a concept (doesn't rise to the level of a plan, IMHO :-) for train service that connects the Salinas Valley to high speed rail at Gilroy. Not holding my breath for that.

 

I don't know what kind of threats Amtrak would make to Caltrans, or anyone else in California. To the extent Caltrans cares, threatening to cancel the Starlight would only serve to piss off Amtrak's biggest customer. I don't think Caltrans cares much, though. It runs better and more frequent bus service between San Jose and SLO/Santa Barbara.

 

That said, I could certainly see Caltrans pushing for PTC money on the Coast Line for its own purposes.

Edited by TiBike

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