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Steam & Excursion > A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?


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Date: 09/09/23 18:47
A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: g-spotter1

With PTC being an inhibiting factor to mainline steam operations, would it make sense to acquire ex Amtrak P42's as they go into retirement?  Presumably an operation could get a repairable unit on the cheap, already equipped with HEP and PTC technology.  Since they already look like tenders, an AMD could be painted shiny black, and not take too much away from the look of the train.  Thoughts?
 



Date: 09/09/23 19:05
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: dan

they are for sale for 340 k, but you may have to add ptc, spend some more money



Date: 09/09/23 20:22
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: radar

The host railroads don't want it.  Amtrak doesn't want it.  Insurance costs are astronomic.  PTC doesn't seem to be that much of a problem compared to the others.



Date: 09/10/23 08:21
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: TractiveEffort

Plus, it takes a lot more than simply a locomotive with some PTC equipment on it.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/10/23 12:25
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: nathansixchime

To echo the last two comments, the PTC apparatus on a locomotive is meaningless without the back-end staff support, server software, and dedicated insurance (this is not GL or railroad protective, but separate coverage for the PTC system.)

Locomotives with significant host railroad support (4014, obviously) solve this because the locomotive is already part of an established network and system. Locomotives with staff/connections to host railroads like a commuter or state-run agency (2926) are in a slightly better situation but not out of the woods. The host railroad has to be willing to absorb the technical concern of "hosting" the locomotive not just on the system but within the network. PTC just extends the age-old problem -- you can make the locomotive compatible, but does the host railroad want to do it and will the capacity to test and support it justify the time and expense in an act of corporate benevolence.
 



Date: 09/10/23 12:28
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: JOHNY5ALIVE

I am positive that any used locomotive will be “stripped” of any PTC electronics or of any added good stuff. Unless of course it is negotiated but would probably add at least another 100k at minimum.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/10/23 13:40
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: jderoo

Translation, don't expect anything anytime soon.


nathansixchime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To echo the last two comments, the PTC apparatus
> on a locomotive is meaningless without the
> back-end staff support, server software, and
> dedicated insurance (this is not GL or railroad
> protective, but separate coverage for the PTC
> system.)
>
> Locomotives with significant host railroad support
> (4014, obviously) solve this because the
> locomotive is already part of an established
> network and system. Locomotives with
> staff/connections to host railroads like a
> commuter or state-run agency (2926) are in a
> slightly better situation but not out of the
> woods. The host railroad has to be willing to
> absorb the technical concern of "hosting" the
> locomotive not just on the system but within the
> network. PTC just extends the age-old problem --
> you can make the locomotive compatible, but does
> the host railroad want to do it and will the
> capacity to test and support it justify the time
> and expense in an act of corporate benevolence.
>  

Posted from Android



Date: 09/10/23 14:50
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: Tominde

Any Amtrak P42 on the used market is most likely etreme junk and not road worthy,  Amtrak has trouble keeping them running.



Date: 09/10/23 15:57
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: TomG

Steam fan wear beer goggles. Deep down they feel railroading would be better if we just brought back steam which is kin to why cant I drive my horse and buggy on the interstate. As neat as the idea, as each day passes its slipping further into history. I personally think cars have not improved since EFI, just more things without improvement to movement down the road. That isnt going to go back either, the world will continue to evolve and beloved things will slip into history and we will repeat I remember when....

Thankfully we have shortlines and tourist operations to keep the dream alive a little bit longer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/23 15:59 by TomG.



Date: 09/10/23 20:33
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: BigSkyBlue

Tominde Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Any Amtrak P42 on the used market is most likely
> etreme junk and not road worthy,  Amtrak has
> trouble keeping them running.

Amtrak and other sources told us that the trucks were no longer available for P42's, so Amtrak canibalized some P40/42's for their trucks, in order to keep the rest of the fleet running.
Now it seems that Amtrak has gone ahead and sold off a few of their P40/42's (saw a pic of one at LTEX).   Are the trucks suddenly viable, or is Amtrak "rolling the dice" that they have enough trucks to support their GE's until Chargers can replace all of them?  A shaky proposition IMHO.
And if some entity was to acquire a secondhand P42, would they be looking at unserviceable trucks, or trucks with unavailable parts?  BSB 



Date: 09/10/23 20:38
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: g-spotter1

These are good responses to the question.  I felt the AMD's might still be a good choice for an HEP equipped diesel booster for steam, PTC aside.  The units are high mileage, but there may be a few with some gut left in them by the end of their tenure.  340K is a lot of scratch for an old unit like those.  I suppose Amtrak thinks there is a secondary market for them.  It sure looks bad for mainline steam, but hope springs eternal.  These relics still bring out the crowds despite being from the way, way back machine.
 



Date: 09/11/23 06:16
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: Englewood

nathansixchime Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To echo the last two comments, the PTC apparatus
> on a locomotive is meaningless without the
> back-end staff support, server software, and
> dedicated insurance (this is not GL or railroad
> protective, but separate coverage for the PTC
> system.)
>
Interesting !  Do I understand this correctly, railroads buy
insurance to protect themselves from an accident caused by PTC ?



Date: 09/11/23 06:32
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: engineerinvirginia

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> nathansixchime Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > To echo the last two comments, the PTC
> apparatus
> > on a locomotive is meaningless without the
> > back-end staff support, server software, and
> > dedicated insurance (this is not GL or railroad
> > protective, but separate coverage for the PTC
> > system.)
> >
> Interesting !  Do I understand this correctly,
> railroads buy
> insurance to protect themselves from an accident
> caused by PTC ?

Railroads buy very little insurance....nobody would insure most of what we do.....we have to be self insuring. Whether you want to commit capital as self insurance for certain endeavours is a thing to be considered. Where steam does run like UP...the routes are carefully chosen to have very good rail quality for example....that's self insurance agains dynamic augment...or hammer blow from steamers which reportedly is murder on the rails. The reason CSX was always resistant to having steam on our mains is because we knew our rail was just barely up to the job of running freight....let alone let live steam hammer away at it. We might....just might, be in a better mood about it....but I kinda think the bond that the steam engine owner would have to put up would be prohibitive. 



Date: 09/11/23 07:37
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: dan

think the rr's are self insured to a point?  750 million dollar deductible, just made that up?



Date: 09/11/23 07:50
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: engineerinvirginia

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> think the rr's are self insured to a point?  750
> million dollar deductible, just made that up?

There's no deductibles....railroad swallows it all....ask NS about Palestine OH...big dent in earnings, and I bet they try to swallow it all in one year so its not a drag on future earnings. Though they would be guessing what the cost will be as this becomes an ongoing effort. As for live steam...I don't think there's any real problem with letting a steamer come out an play several times a year...the owener are going to be very careful....the engine itself will be blue carded....and yes, something will be done about PTC....that's the thorny issue....UP handled it creatively if not expensively...but what they did makes me think a portable kit could be cobbled together that could put a monitoring screen in any locomotive that is not equipped....that locomotive would need to have a specially set up unit behind it to patch into with several yards of connecting cables that go past the tender to the ahem....PTC tender! Locomotives equipped with wabtec PTC have a slave screen for the conductor to view...it should be simple science to set up a second extra screen in a remote location such as the cab of the steamer ahead! This is actually doable....if any road wants to do it. 



Date: 09/11/23 09:18
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: Lackawanna484

There's an interesting article in one of the insurance trade publications about how railroads and shippers often layer various coverages for specific liabilities. The railroad may eat the first $750 million to billion five on environmental liability, and lay off the remainder on reinsurers.  But, it may have a lower threshold for evacuation insurance and maintenance.  The shippers may have similar coverages to protect their tank cars and cargo.

In these rarefied coverage amounts, the terms are negotiated sentence by sentence, and will often differ in coverage from one railroad or insurer to another.

https://www.crcgroup.com/Tools-Intel/post/train-derailment-impacts-on-environmental-insurance-liability

Nuclear power plants and shippers have a similar program, with the operator eating the first layer of damage. The other owners of the power plant eat the next upper layer, and the feds are responsible for the excess over that on Price Anderson Act funding.  Railroads are covered under Price Anderson for damages resulting from a nuclear incident during transport. 



Date: 09/11/23 09:20
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: NSDTK

During Akin the deductible was 500 million, The railroads are NOT self insured just the insurance has a super high deductible other wise the premium would be too expensive to afford. 
engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> dan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > think the rr's are self insured to a point? 
> 750
> > million dollar deductible, just made that up?
>
> There's no deductibles....railroad swallows it
> all....ask NS about Palestine OH...big dent in
> earnings, and I bet they try to swallow it all in
> one year so its not a drag on future earnings.
> Though they would be guessing what the cost will
> be as this becomes an ongoing effort. As for live
> steam...I don't think there's any real problem
> with letting a steamer come out an play several
> times a year...the owener are going to be very
> careful....the engine itself will be blue
> carded....and yes, something will be done about
> PTC....that's the thorny issue....UP handled it
> creatively if not expensively...but what they did
> makes me think a portable kit could be cobbled
> together that could put a monitoring screen in any
> locomotive that is not equipped....that locomotive
> would need to have a specially set up unit behind
> it to patch into with several yards of connecting
> cables that go past the tender to the ahem....PTC
> tender! Locomotives equipped with wabtec PTC have
> a slave screen for the conductor to view...it
> should be simple science to set up a second extra
> screen in a remote location such as the cab of the
> steamer ahead! This is actually doable....if any
> road wants to do it. 



Date: 09/11/23 09:56
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: engineerinvirginia

NSDTK Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> During Akin the deductible was 500 million, The
> railroads are NOT self insured just the insurance
> has a super high deductible other wise the premium
> would be too expensive to afford. 
> engineerinvirginia Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > dan Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > think the rr's are self insured to a point? 
> > 750
> > > million dollar deductible, just made that up?
> >
> > There's no deductibles....railroad swallows it
> > all....ask NS about Palestine OH...big dent in
> > earnings, and I bet they try to swallow it all
> in
> > one year so its not a drag on future earnings.
> > Though they would be guessing what the cost
> will
> > be as this becomes an ongoing effort. As for
> live
> > steam...I don't think there's any real problem
> > with letting a steamer come out an play several
> > times a year...the owener are going to be very
> > careful....the engine itself will be blue
> > carded....and yes, something will be done about
> > PTC....that's the thorny issue....UP handled it
> > creatively if not expensively...but what they
> did
> > makes me think a portable kit could be cobbled
> > together that could put a monitoring screen in
> any
> > locomotive that is not equipped....that
> locomotive
> > would need to have a specially set up unit
> behind
> > it to patch into with several yards of
> connecting
> > cables that go past the tender to the
> ahem....PTC
> > tender! Locomotives equipped with wabtec PTC
> have
> > a slave screen for the conductor to view...it
> > should be simple science to set up a second
> extra
> > screen in a remote location such as the cab of
> the
> > steamer ahead! This is actually doable....if
> any
> > road wants to do it. 

I don't want to be the insurer that bets on a railroad.....but as an insider I know the real risks!



Date: 09/11/23 12:11
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: Lackawanna484

There are no "bad risks" but there are bad prices...

Posted from Android



Date: 09/11/23 19:16
Re: A shortcut to PTC on Mainline Steam Operations?
Author: junctiontower

I imagine the railroad insurance is just like us in trucking.  We are fully insured, but the ONLY time we would EVER actually file a claim is in the event of a company altering accident. The proverbial busload of nuns type of thing. 



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