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Passenger Trains > Metra Flips and PTC


Date: 12/05/18 20:04
Metra Flips and PTC
Author: KEL27

A question over in the Eastern Railroads section lent rise to another: how is Metra handling the short flips (like on the BNSF line at Fairview Ave or Congress Park) with the need to re-initiate PTC from the other end of the train? I remember the flips were usually pretty quick, often happening between expresses and was wondering if they have significantly slowed down the process.



Date: 12/05/18 21:43
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: kevink

I haven't timed the flips I've seen at Fairview (Downers Grove) on the BNSF but I have noticed that they cross the train over to Main 3 so it is clear of following trains on Mains 1 and 2. They do seem to sit on Main 3 for a while.



Date: 12/05/18 23:18
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: DevalDragon

They had to put out a new timetable on the BNSF line with longer flip times because of PTC.

Details here: https://metrarail.com/node/5839



Date: 12/06/18 04:42
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: czephyr17

That was an excellent public explanation from Metra. In another post on this topic three days ago, TAW mentioned that prior to PTC a flip would take about six minutes.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/06/18 10:00
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: OliveHeights

czephyr17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That was an excellent public explanation from
> Metra. In another post on this topic three days
> ago, TAW mentioned that prior to PTC a flip would
> take about six minutes.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Yes, IFRC they are averaging about 12 minutes now.  They said as that added time builds up through the day they had to change the schedule for the trains later in day which added confusion to longtime commuters used to riding the same train at the same time everyday.



Date: 12/06/18 10:15
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: mbrotzman

With the cab signal system already present on the BNSF and other lines METRA could have dual equipped those routes with ACSES, which doesn't rely on stored databases.  Or they could have just gotten some proper IT involved.

Seriously, there is no excuse for initialization delays.  I pull up Waze and it'll have the speed limit for the section of road I am on within seconds.



Date: 12/06/18 21:38
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: ats90mph

mbrotzman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seriously, there is no excuse for initialization
> delays.  I pull up Waze and it'll have the speed
> limit for the section of road I am on within
> seconds.

Waze isn’t “vital” (in signal system parlance)... 



Date: 12/06/18 23:09
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: TAW

mbrotzman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With the cab signal system already present on the
> BNSF and other lines METRA could have dual
> equipped those routes with ACSES, which doesn't
> rely on stored databases.  Or they could have
> just gotten some proper IT involved.
>

The problem with that is that BNSF locomotives would have to carry equipment for another system. It's bad enough to equip them with one new system.

> Seriously, there is no excuse for initialization
> delays.  I pull up Waze and it'll have the speed
> limit for the section of road I am on within
> seconds.

It's not quite the same thing. WAZE doesn't load the speed restrictions and work zones, which are in a different database from the permanent infrastructure database.. However, I have never been able to find out why, if a train is known to be a round trip with the saem crew, why it can't be fixed as a round trip from the initial terminal. Since any changes to the permanent infrastructure are covered by the train dispatcher, there should be no need to reload that data for the return trip.

TAW



Date: 12/07/18 12:49
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: Jishnu

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> mbrotzman Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > With the cab signal system already present on
> the
> > BNSF and other lines METRA could have dual
> > equipped those routes with ACSES, which doesn't
> > rely on stored databases.  Or they could have
> > just gotten some proper IT involved.
> >
>
> The problem with that is that BNSF locomotives
> would have to carry equipment for another system.
> It's bad enough to equip them with one new
> system.

Not if the track is dual equipped, like the NEC is between Perryville and Bayview.
 



Date: 12/07/18 13:03
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: kevink

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They had to put out a new timetable on the BNSF
> line with longer flip times because of PTC.
>
> Details here: https://metrarail.com/node/5839

PTC was only part of the reason for the new BNSF Line schedule. As noted in the last two Q&A's at the above link, the schedule was also adjusted to  reduce overcrowding on Naperville and Rt.59 trains AND to match actual operating conditions that had been measured over the previous year. Curiously, either of the two evening trains I ride now take longer per the schedule and they both are often 4-5 minutes late when they reach my station. And my friends who get on at Naperville and Rt. 59 say the overcrowding remains.



Date: 12/07/18 19:05
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: justalurker66

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> However, I have never been able to find out why, if a train is
> known to be a round trip with the saem crew, why it can't
> be fixed as a round trip from the initial terminal.

I believe the problem is that the train is operated from a different cab on the return trip.  The engine could be loaded with a round trip but the data is in the wrong cab when the train is operated from the cab car.



Date: 12/08/18 06:52
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: Englewood

TAW Wrote:
-------However, I have never
> been able to find out why, if a train is known to
> be a round trip with the saem crew, why it can't
> be fixed as a round trip from the initial
> terminal. Since any changes to the permanent
> infrastructure are covered by the train
> dispatcher, there should be no need to reload that
> data for the return trip.
>
> TAW

Don't  try to make any sense out it.

It does bring up the question of how manned helpers are handled PTC wise.
And how does one Metra train tie onto and shove a preceding disabled Metra train in PTC?



Date: 12/08/18 23:59
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: jointauthority

Yes because a smartphone navigation app and PTC are exactly the same thing......seriously???



mbrotzman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With the cab signal system already present on the
> BNSF and other lines METRA could have dual
> equipped those routes with ACSES, which doesn't
> rely on stored databases.  Or they could have
> just gotten some proper IT involved.
>
> Seriously, there is no excuse for initialization
> delays.  I pull up Waze and it'll have the speed
> limit for the section of road I am on within
> seconds.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/18 00:12 by jointauthority.



Date: 12/09/18 00:11
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: jointauthority

PTC automatically cuts out when you cut out the automatic brake valve, like you would do when helping another train.

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TAW Wrote:
> -------However, I have never
> > been able to find out why, if a train is known
> to
> > be a round trip with the saem crew, why it
> can't
> > be fixed as a round trip from the initial
> > terminal. Since any changes to the permanent
> > infrastructure are covered by the train
> > dispatcher, there should be no need to reload
> that
> > data for the return trip.
> >
> > TAW
>
> Don't  try to make any sense out it.
>
> It does bring up the question of how manned
> helpers are handled PTC wise.
> And how does one Metra train tie onto and shove a
> preceding disabled Metra train in PTC?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/09/18 07:42
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: Englewood

jointauthority Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PTC automatically cuts out when you cut out the
> automatic brake valve, like you would do when
> helping another train.


Thank you for the information.  Being retired, I no longer have access to much info.

If I recall correctly, for a 1000 mile air test the brake valve was cut out for the leakage test.
After cutting it back in does the PTC automatically reconnect or must you go through the whole initialization procedure?

Another question.
Assume train 1, with one unit has an engine failure.  Lite power (train 2) comes up to the rear with the intent
to shove train 1 into the next siding.  Train 1's unit is totally dead, unable to control air except by an emergency application.
Which train, if any, in this case will have PTC cut-in?  Or will it just proceed as if a train were shoving cars and limited by
rule (on some roads) to 20 mph?



Date: 12/09/18 11:42
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: jointauthority

You have to press the cut in button but it stays logged in. You have to reselect your location though.

I’ve never had that situation happen before so I don’t know how it would be handled but I guess you would either swap ends and run from another engine in the consist or like you said run from the helper at the rear as a shove move and in that case I imagine PTC would be manually cut out. You could update the train totals in the helper PTC system and run it like that but I doubt they would have you do that. PTC is pretty cool it’ll work even in reverse. When you put the reverser in reverse it’ll flip the map and show the rear of your train as the head end and work the same. It’ll make you go restricted speed until you pass the next signal and then it’ll pick up signal indication and let you run just like normal.

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jointauthority Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > PTC automatically cuts out when you cut out the
> > automatic brake valve, like you would do when
> > helping another train.
>
>
> Thank you for the information.  Being retired, I
> no longer have access to much info.
>
> If I recall correctly, for a 1000 mile air test
> the brake valve was cut out for the leakage test.
> After cutting it back in does the PTC
> automatically reconnect or must you go through the
> whole initialization procedure?
>
> Another question.
> Assume train 1, with one unit has an engine
> failure.  Lite power (train 2) comes up to the
> rear with the intent
> to shove train 1 into the next siding.  Train 1's
> unit is totally dead, unable to control air except
> by an emergency application.
> Which train, if any, in this case will have PTC
> cut-in?  Or will it just proceed as if a train
> were shoving cars and limited by
> rule (on some roads) to 20 mph?

Posted from iPhone



Date: 12/09/18 11:43
Re: Metra Flips and PTC
Author: engineerinvirginia

Englewood Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jointauthority Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > PTC automatically cuts out when you cut out the
> > automatic brake valve, like you would do when
> > helping another train.
>
>
> Thank you for the information.  Being retired, I
> no longer have access to much info.
>
> If I recall correctly, for a 1000 mile air test
> the brake valve was cut out for the leakage test.
> After cutting it back in does the PTC
> automatically reconnect or must you go through the
> whole initialization procedure?
>
> Another question.
> Assume train 1, with one unit has an engine
> failure.  Lite power (train 2) comes up to the
> rear with the intent
> to shove train 1 into the next siding.  Train 1's
> unit is totally dead, unable to control air except
> by an emergency application.
> Which train, if any, in this case will have PTC
> cut-in?  Or will it just proceed as if a train
> were shoving cars and limited by
> rule (on some roads) to 20 mph?

I'm in freight, but we would do our brake tests before we set up PTC....if you cut out the brake while PTC is engaged you will get a "brake interface" flag and PTC will not enforce, but should stay logged in, and ready to go active when conditions permit. A mini setup may ensue where it updates consist information, but not a full log on procedure. If lead engine dies you can get permission to cut out PTC while you are being pushed to the clear, since it won't enforce unless you are still controlling the brakes, and if the brakes aren't controllable....you won't be.



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