Home Open Account Help 247 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > PTC, like it or hate it?

Date: 03/11/17 13:32
PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: Lackawanna484

Railroaders - have you run trains on PTC equipped lines? Do you like it, hate it?

Some people seem to love it, from what they post. The Amtrak ACSES has fans, too.

What would you change about it?

Posted from Android

Date: 03/11/17 16:38
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: BN4364

I think it's a great tool. I know 5 miles in advance what's coming up. I wish it would list more targets especially when there's slow orders close together. Also, if it's run by GPS then why do I get speed warnings when the wheels spin? The train isn't going any faster.

Date: 03/11/17 16:51
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: MW810

The speed you see is a combination of GPS and sensors (wheel, radar, etc) and mux'd into that speed.

I've asked the same question as I've seen the display show speeds greater than zero when not moving...

Date: 03/11/17 19:59
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: DuneCoon

The Wabtec I-ETMS uses a wheel tachometer and the two NSM (navigation sensor modules, basically GPS recievers) for independent (that is, within the I-ETMS system and not using data sent from the locomotive) speed determination. However, the I-ETMS does use signals such as reverser, throttle notch, dynamic brake notch, and tractive effort to predict locomotive speed. Sometimes, the combination is not always perfect.


Date: 03/11/17 21:26
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: Trains232

Hate it... but if it saves one life it's worth it. 

Date: 03/12/17 11:09
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: jkchubbes

I like it, it has some bugs to be fixed but in the end I think it will be a great tool. I'd like it to become a little more lenient approaching restrictions and red signals. 3000' from a red signal at 3mph is a little overkill. I think it's asenine that the conductors screen isn't interactive. All the train information, track bulletins and authorities are what the conductor's job revolves around and he can't pull them up on his side. As for trip optimizer I wish they would scrap that program, it runs worse than a fireman on his first week. In the end trip optimizer is the one taking jobs away. The UP is already testing the two programs together and at the point it will be a automated system.

Posted from Android

Date: 03/13/17 05:27
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: bnsfengineer

I agree with the others answers. There needs to be some changes, but over all I tend to like it.

Date: 03/13/17 20:55
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: Pinlifter

The hardest pill for most of us to swallow, is its change..  Its automation to keep us safe, but automation to cut jobs as well.  Its a great tool.  You know exactly where you're at, the signals up ahead, if you're taking the siding, and how fast you're able to go.  The user interface was obviously not designed by a railroader.  They could put things like where the next slow is, next form B.  Or even show if a train is lined the opposite direction.  They need to change the color of slow orders.  They show up as yellow, but if you have a yellow indication in the block, the whole block shows yellow (so you can't see where the slow is).  Another change is that PTC really freaks out when you're approaching a signal going downhill.  They need to adjust the software to not go off so far in advance.  It wants you down to ridiculous speeds before the signal.  

Once you get used to it, you really like it cause it keeps you in check.  We work weird and long hours.  PTC or "patty the conductor" has her head in the game always.  I could see a person that hired right now, get too complacent with it.  Using it as the only tool rather than knowing the territory or having the skill set to survive without the technology.  

Date: 03/14/17 04:50
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: Lackawanna484

That last point about a new guy not being familiar with the territory and relying on the machine is also a pilot issue. Working an unfamiliar airport with ILS.

Posted from Android

Date: 03/14/17 09:45
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: portlander

In addition to what's already been mentioned, PTC also shows grade, track curvature, and crossings in relation to the entire train. It also begins the horn sequence for every crossing. The amount of information is awesome.

Besides the bugs that will hopefully be worked out a few other things bother me. When logging into the system between signals, there is no option to enter the previous signal indication. The system defaults to restricted speed until the next known (to PTC) signal is passed. Also, at least on the UP, the screens don't get anywhere near dim enough. I often have to cover them at night to save my eyes.

Date: 03/14/17 21:25
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: ble692

I'll second the screens not getting dim enough at night. Or bright enough in full daylight either when the sun is hitting them.

On the whole though I like it. Having more information is all the better. The dispatchers don't always have time (or the desire) to give you a heads-up to things out there, but PTC will give you it 5+ miles out. It is definitely a little conservative approaching stop signals, even on the flats. Recently I had a shooter Z train that was only around 2500 tons with 3 big units. We were cruising into a siding and at 1/2 mile from the signal I was still going 25 mph. The train was going to and did stop on a dime. But boy PTC sure wasn't liking it. I wish there was a relax button you could hit on it. And maybe they could figure out how to get the Form A & B restrictions in milepost order. Even trip optimizer has that figured out, but not PTC. Kinda annoying on a run where you routinely get 50 bulletins and you are jumping all over the place to check them. At least they have just figured out the Form C's were kinda excess on it and now it doesn't display them unless they are something like a crossing order. Maybe PTC 2.0 or what ever the next update is will address some of this.

Date: 03/14/17 23:11
Re: PTC, like it or hate it?
Author: jointauthority

The subs I've run on sort out the slows in milepost order.

Posted from Android

[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0601 seconds