PTC and mainline Steam?

 We all know that if steam is to ever run in PTC territory the steamer itself will have to have it installed.

My question is how will it work?  Has someone come up with a design yet?  Anyone in the know, know the cost of such a system?  I’m sure each steam engine will be different?   Will it be a big rubber mallet that bonks the engineer in the head to let him know he ran a signal?

Original Post
superwarp1 posted:

 We all know that if steam is to ever run in PTC territory the steamer itself will have to have it installed.

My question is how will it work?

Hopefully MUCH better than what is currently being used on the freight railroads.

 Has someone come up with a design yet?

Pretty much, yes.

 Anyone in the know, know the cost of such a system?

Yes, the Forth Wayne Railroad Historical Society has pretty well worked the costs out.

 I’m sure each steam engine will be different?

Why? They all should be able to use the same design.

  Will it be a big rubber mallet that bonks the engineer in the head to let him know he ran a signal?

Sounds logical.

 

BTW, PTC automatic throttle closing has been a source of much pontificating on the chat rooms.  I got straight from the FRA at the resent HRA convention that the power reduction requirement of PTC will be waived for steam locomotives, based on the technical difficulty involved, and on the fact that there is never just a lone crewman in the cab of a running steam locomotive.

Hot Water posted:
Scale City Designs posted:

That was a totally overreaction! Besides, the Amtrak President has essentially "ended all steam excursions" anyway, PTC or not. 

How has he ended steam excursions completely regardless of PTC?

PTC is being made out to be the beat all end all solution to train to train crashes.  Railroads, Amtrak, and the commuter lines are spending millions on something that I think will be no where full proof.  Time will tell.

PTC is a long way from being that perfect pill to cure problems . 

Not yet reliable, lots of learning curves that everyone seems to be having problems with,and now the FRA has asked certain class 1's their input on more automation  😲

It's hard enough to get PTC working "near" perfect on high tech diesel's. 

I really can't imagine even trying it on a steam loco. 

Collin "The Eastern Kentucky & Ohio R.R."

Dominic Mazoch posted:

And radio signals can be hacked or jammed.

I really don't think that will be an issue.

On a steamer could the PTC be placed in a car behind the tender, and make that car an aux. tender of the locomotive?

No. The PTC equipment MUST be able to over-ride the controlling airbrake equipment, i.e. the lead locomotive.

 

Hot Water posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

And radio signals can be hacked or jammed.

I really don't think that will be an issue.

On a steamer could the PTC be placed in a car behind the tender, and make that car an aux. tender of the locomotive?

No. The PTC equipment MUST be able to over-ride the controlling airbrake equipment, i.e. the lead locomotive.

 

Didn't the NYC have a form of PTC in the late 40's-50's and they dropped it due to the cost?  If so how did it work with steam engines?

superwarp1 posted:
Hot Water posted:
Dominic Mazoch posted:

And radio signals can be hacked or jammed.

I really don't think that will be an issue.

On a steamer could the PTC be placed in a car behind the tender, and make that car an aux. tender of the locomotive?

No. The PTC equipment MUST be able to over-ride the controlling airbrake equipment, i.e. the lead locomotive.

 

Didn't the NYC have a form of PTC in the late 40's-50's and they dropped it due to the cost?  If so how did it work with steam engines?

Many, many railroads had cab signal/Automatic Train Stop/Automatic Train Control back in the steam days. All the "electronics" (vacuum tubes, etc.) were usually mounted on the tenders, with the pick-up shoes/antennas mounted on the engine. The UP steam locomotives, i.e. 844, 3985, and 4014 have all the modern "solid-state" electronics in order to operate throughout the UP system (cab signal) and former C&NW system (ATC). The New York Central and PRR had various versions of continuous coded cab signal equipment, and the North East Corridor still has that PRR system, as well as Amtrak's own version of PTC.

Those older systems worked VERY well with the steam locomotives, the only difference was, back then someone in the cab had to shut the throttle off, i.e. the Engineer, or the Fireman, or the Head Brakeman, in the event of a penalty brake application. The same process will work in the future with PTC applications on a steam locomotive, as the FRA has given relief on the "automatic throttle shut-off" portion of the law, for steam locomotives.

Dominic Mazoch posted:
GenesisFan99 posted:

What would be the point in hacking the radio signal anyway?

People with evil intent.

Well obviously, but there's little point in doing it as you'd have to really cover your tracks.

TRAINS did do an article years ago explaining the various ICC orders requiring the then Class 1 railroads to have some sort of cab signal/train stop system in the 1920's on at least one operating division.

After a terrible wreck involving a passenger train on the CB&Q, the ICC slapped a max speed of 79 mph on all roads UNLESS the particular line had cab signals/train stop system.

And as HW said above, eack road seemed to come up with its own system.

Amazing this stuff worked with the tech they had at that time.

The TEXAS SPECIAL:  The REAL RED streak of the golden prairies!

Anderson ended steam excursions with its new ban on special trains. That will make it very difficult if not impossible to operate steam excursions on class 1 freight railroads like BNSF as most of those excursions ran under Amtrak to keep insurance costs low. UP can operate its steam without Amtrak.

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