Minggu, 14 April 2013

[CanPassRail] Re: Perceived Risk on Various Modes

 



James Unionrouting wrote:
>> In Canada, unless there were exemptions provided, it would
>> include very light traffic lines like the one to Churchill, MB
>> to cover the passenger trains, and most of the CN and CP
>> northern lines across the prairies, both of which handle
>> dangerous goods.

David Jeanes wrote:
> If the US is only mandating PTC for half of the rail network,
> I cannot imagine that Canada would require 100%, (compared to
> the 0% under current regulations).

News reports have said that the United States law would require
positive train control on all lines with passenger service.
If that were true, and if an identical law were adopted in
Canada, then PTC would be required on the Churchill line.

But, as is often the case, news reports don't include all the
nuances. The actual requirement of the U.S. law is for PTC
"... (a) on its main line over which intercity rail passenger
or commuter rail passenger service is regularly provided, (b)
on its main line over which hazardous materials that are
poisonous or tixic by inhalation (PIH/TIH materials) are
transported, and (c) on such other tracks as the Secretary [of
Transportation] designates by regulation or order.

"As a general rule, 'main line' means a segment or route of
railroad tracks over which 5 million or more gross tons of
freight railroad traffic is transported annually. For intercity
rail passenger or commuter rail passenger transportation routes
or segments over which limited or no freight railroad operations
occur, the Secretary must define the term 'main line' by
regulation. The Secretary may designate additional tracks as
main line by regulation as appropriate."

Source:
<http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L03614>

So a line only automatically requires PTC if it carries passengers
or PIH/TIH materials AND it carries 5 million tons of freight per
annum. If it has less than 5 M tons of freight, it's up to the
Secretary of Transportation to decide whether it should be
considered a main line, and therefore requiring PTC, or not.

I have no feel for how much traffic is 5 million tons. Can someone
give us a few examples of Canadian lines that would be above and
below that limit? What's the freight tonnage on the Churchill line?

Of course, Canada is not required to adopt the U.S. law in
exactly the same form, just as we haven't adopted the U.S.
rules that result in 79 mph speed limits on many lines. We
could come up with our own rules for which lines do and don't
need PTC.

Tom Box
tbox at ncf dot ca
Port Hope, ON, Canada

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