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.
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