Minggu, 14 April 2013

[CanPassRail] Re: Perceived Risk on Various Modes


No doubt the Canadian government would make their own rules, if they decided to require such a system. There are differences between the rail services in each country, such as almost no passenger trains run on unsignalled territory in the US, which it is more common in Canada. (The Campbellton route in the maritimes, northern Quebec, northern prairies, as examples) The regulators would have to decide how best to handle that type of operation. Given that the Ocean derailed a couple of times due to open switches, it would be tempting to the regulators to require some sort of protection on those routes.

Even still, if the US rules were applied, the transcontinental routes of both railways would have to be equipped, plus the through routes on the northern prairies. That is a significant amount of mileage.

You can also bet that the railways would move toward single person crews on through trains on PTC territories. They would want to find some sort of saving to balance the high cost of the system.

As to the prevention of trains passing stop signals, that is the whole idea of the system. If in place, it would have prevented the Dalehurst collision, the crossover accident in Burlington, and a couple of other collisions that have occurred. It wouldn't have prevented the collision between the oil train and the freight east of Montreal, since the cause was the derailment of one of the trains.

Ensuring that the trains stop short of any stop signal is somewhat of a challenge, since train braking can be a bit variable. The tendency with safety systems is design things to be on the safe side, but the result from doing that is that the system will often want to apply the brakes before the locomotive engineer would normally do it. In essence, the effect will be to slow trains down, reducing capacity, plus interfere with the way the engineer would normally handle the train. They are currently wrestling with the issue on US railroads.

Like any of the supervisory systems, such as the alerter or the overspeed system, PTC does not apply the emergency brakes, but instead applies the brakes at a normal service rate.

Cost/benefit assessments for airbags were made in the US, since that is required under their laws. The Office of Management and Budgets is empowered to make those assessments, in cooperation with various departments. Normally, such mandates are not made unless the economics are reasonable. Such was not the case with PTC, since Congress simply ordered it. As previously mentioned, they typically use between $5 and $10 million for each life saved as a benchmark. PTC is far above that, like in the order of 20 or 40 times that threshold.

--- In Canadian-Passenger-Rail@yahoogroups.com, David Jeanes <djeanes@...> wrote:
> On 13 Apr, 2013, at 8:59, James wrote:
> > In the US, they are estimating that about 1/2 of the total mileage would have to be equipped under their mandate. That works out to about 70,000 miles of track, and close to 20,000 locomotives.
> >
> > 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. I wouldn't be surprised that the railroads would simply apply to abandon those lines, and perhaps the CN lines east of Quebec City, rather than equip them with PTC. Otherwise, the economics are simply awful.
> 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).
> Although all locomotives that use lines with PTC would need to be equipped, (or at least the controlling units), only those lines where the benefit is greatest need be equipped immediately. These would certainly include the high-traffic routes in the corridor and heavy traffic mainlines elsewhere.
> Other countries with PTC have reduced their labour cost by going to one-person operation, (even the French TGV and Japanese Shinkansen), which is not permitted in North America. However, Canada allows one-person operation of the federally regulated O-Train in Ottawa, which does have a form of PTC using INDUSI from Germany.
> PTC would probably have prevented many derailments which have happened when trains entered a siding or crossover at too high a speed, such as VIA Rail at Burlington in 2012 with 3 deaths, St. Charles de Bellechasse QC in 2011, and Thamesville in 1999 with 2 deaths.
> PTC cannot always prevent collisions caused by trains passing a stop signal, (such as at Hinton in 1986 with 29 deaths, Chatsworth CA in 2008 with 17 deaths, Ladbrooke Grove UK 1999 with 31 deaths, or Silver Spring MD in 1996 with 12 deaths), but it can at least reduce the severity of a collision by immediately activating emergency braking on any train approaching the signal in question.
> Cost-benefit arguments could probably have be made against the installation of seatbelts and airbags in automobiles, but they were made the law in the interest of safety, despite the cost, and lives have been saved.
> David Jeanes

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