Home Open Account Help 63 users online

Passenger Trains > Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispatch?


Date: 03/25/20 15:03
Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispatch?
Author: inCHI

A few times over the last few weeks I've been looking at ACTS of the NS Chicago Line when the Capitol Limited (30) departs. I noticed a pattern that leads to delay, and now I've also seen it in person. It isn't much of a delay, usually, but it seems so avoidable. Because of that I wonder if NS's computer dispatching is setting it up.

The pattern is: #30 departs Union Station at 6:40pm. NS 47th St. Intermodal Yard is 6-7 miles south of there, and 63rd St. is 8-9 miles south of Union Station. It seems like that is only about 15 minutes away for a passenger train if there is no delay. Despite that, at the same time that #30 departs, an intermodal will be lined out of 63rd, or maybe 63rd and 47th (as happened last night.) Leaving the yard, it'll take a long while to get onto the main, right in front of #30, which gets stuck. Then, as you'll see in the next post, the intermodal will only go a few miles before landing on some triple track to stop and let #30 past.

In this post I'll explain what is shown in the photos, the next post will be screenshots.

1. At the Englewood flyerover, a Metra Rock Island train flies overhead as an eastbound intermodal slowly pulls out of 47th St. onto Main 2.
2. Looking east, you get to see the empty bridges of the tracks that used to be. This spot between 47th St. and 63rd St. is a double track chokepoint. Light power is waiting in 63rd to head west to 47th.
3. As the intermodal out of 47th slogs onto Main 2, #30 slowly passes by on Main 1. It will stop ahead, because an eastbound intermodal was lined out of 63rd on Main 1 ahead of it.








Date: 03/25/20 15:11
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: inCHI

Now, showing the same thing on ACTS.

1. 30 has left Union Station, but once it did, NS lined an eastbound intermodal out of 47th St. onto Main 2, and an eastbound intermodal out of 63rd St. on Main 1. 30 will get to Englewood, right past where I took the photo, and have to wait until the intermodal out of 63rd St. gets past CP 509 as it heads onto Main 2 there.

2. Then, this is where I wonder if autorouter is involved. That intermodal out of 63rd gets put in front of 30 to go from CP 513 to CP 509, where it'll get stopped. The whole time, Main 1 past CP 509 is wide open. So once 30 waits 10-15 minutes for that intermodal to hurry up and stop, it then gets a signal from MP 511 to MP 490, 21 miles! Why, oh why, would the intermodal at 63rd not be held for 5 minutes to let the short, fast passenger train by on a route that is already open for it, if all it is going to do is go 4 miles to a stop?






Date: 03/25/20 15:26
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: Typhoon

Gotta make the origination.  



Date: 03/25/20 15:32
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: inCHI

Typhoon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gotta make the origination.  

That's what I was wondering, since I've seen it happen a couple times. It's like there is a train set to depart Park Manor/63rd at 18:50, and as long as it crawls out to park 4 miles away while blocking #30, that fufills the requirement.



Date: 03/25/20 16:00
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: dispr

It happens almost every day to many  Amtrak trains here - the system is not making proper decisions - like driving two westbound freights down to CP 509 with Amtrak coming behind and and eastbound frieght  going to the new track 3 at CP 509. One of the freights could have been held at CP 507 to let Amtrak go - Amtrak gets no delay, freights get minimal delay, but NO - Amtrak and the freights get stopped and Amtrak ends up getting 30 minutes delay.

It is a regular occurrance and Amtrak should continue to call NS out on it - that is once the world returns to normal.



Date: 03/25/20 16:48
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: inCHI

Day to day checking would prove this, but it seems scheduled. Just watched it happen right now.

6:40pm - 30's scheduled departure
6:42pm - 30 gets signal to Park Manor/CP 513
6:43pm - intermodal gets signal out of Park Manor ahead of 30.

30 is already passing CP 518, so it is minutes away from Park Manor. The intermodal out of there hasn't even shown up yet. What gets me that it's the exact same thing - 30 would be past there just minutes from now, ahead of it, but itstead that intermodal will take 15 minutes or more to get out of the yard ahead of 30.
 



Date: 03/25/20 16:54
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: inCHI

dispr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It happens almost every day to many  Amtrak
> trains here - the system is not making proper
> decisions - like driving two westbound freights
> down to CP 509 with Amtrak coming behind and and
> eastbound frieght  going to the new track 3 at CP
> 509. One of the freights could have been held at
> CP 507 to let Amtrak go - Amtrak gets no delay,
> freights get minimal delay, but NO - Amtrak and
> the freights get stopped and Amtrak ends up
> getting 30 minutes delay.
>

Thanks for explaining that. Is the "system" autorouter? Do dispatchers have to let it run, and how much can they override its decisions?

Edit - Also, your example practically just happened, just with the directions reversed. From what I saw on the screen:

6:40pm - 30 departs Union Station
6:42pm - Eastbound freight on Main 2 passing 513, 30 gets signal to 513 on Main 1
6:43pm - Eastbound intermodal gets signal out of Park Manor on Main 1 ahead of 30.
6:55pm - 30 is holding at Park Manor for the intermodal departing ahead of it, just like last night.
2 eastbound freights are taking up Main 1 and Main 2 going into 509; a westbound freight (or more) is on the third main at 509.
7:07pm - 30 is now finally able to follow that intermodal that got in front of it at Park Manor; it's only at Whiting/506

At the moment tonight, it looks like it has to trail that intermodal all the way to 497. Like last night... it could have been in front of it with a relatively unobstructed route if given just 5 minutes to get by there.





 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/20 17:12 by inCHI.




Date: 03/25/20 16:56
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: goneon66

inCHI,

could you please post a screenshot of the entire dispatcher's display highlighted?

thanks for any info..........

66



Date: 03/25/20 17:18
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: inCHI

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> inCHI,
>
> could you please post a screenshot of the entire
> dispatcher's display highlighted?
>
> thanks for any info..........
>
> 66

Sent a PM about that.



Date: 03/25/20 20:36
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: Englewood

Well the solution is called Train Dispatching.
"Dispatch" definition: dealing with a problem quickly and effeciently.

As I have said many time before on TO, Conrail had a capacity constraint
project in the early 1980's that reduced the four main tracks between 
Englewood and CP 509 to two tracks. Sure could use those now.

Why would a railroad with Precision Schedules have such a conflict?????
Hmmmmmm.  Maybe it is all bull***.

And supervisors afraid of their own shadow that tell the DS to line
the IM up in front of the Amtrak.

Senator Durbin told me that the Englewood flyover would eliminate delays to
Amtrak.  Now the NS delays the Amtrak at Englewood.

Can we get our millions back that were spent on the flyover?

No.  See TAW's post on the Eastern Board about the government 
bailing the NS out at Pullman Jct. to the tune of $20 mill.



Date: 03/26/20 00:56
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: mp51w

There's probably some computer code that could be written for the autorouter software dealing with this situation, but that would be above my pay grade!



Date: 03/26/20 04:07
Re: Example of recurring NS delay to 30 in Chicago-computer dispa
Author: Englewood

I doubt if autorouter would be to blame in lining a train 
out of a yard on to the main.

Unless things have degenerated worse than even I can imagine.

I can't see the system just lining up a signal out of the yard because
it is a train's scheduled departure time.  There has to be some dispatcher
initiated event to tell the system that there is a train ready to go.

I do know from experience that yardmasters and yard trainmasters 
are the most positive thinkers in the world.  If you ask them how an outbound 
train is doing they will tell you that it is doubling up when in reality
the power is just tying on, it is on the air test when the head track
of the triple begins to move, etc.  When the marker man truck
pulls up to the rear of the train they tell you it is ready to go.

The only way to keep them honest is to monitor their radio
channel and what DS on PSR size territories has time to do that.
Chicago West or whatever they call it now has greatly expanded
territory. Probably no time to plan for even the best DS.  Just be a monkey
and press buttons to keep the overlords happy in the downtown
Atlanta office.  Maybe get a banana at the end of the shift.

Passenger trains are the canary in the coal mine.
If they are getting screwed the priority freight trains are probably getting
hammered also.  Typical railroad knee jerk reaction would be to demand
that trains be given the signal when ready to go no matter what what 
chaos results.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0948 seconds