PTC Question

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PTC Question
Posted by Northtowne on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:02 PM

Was wondering if foreign power PTC set up on board (usually on a run thru unit train) is always compatible with that of the host track. I realize that usually host crews are manning the engines. I thought that several different companies were in the business of implementing PTC nationwide. Do they all follow a certain uniform protocol?


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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 8:08 PM

I believe the term is interoperability, which foreign power will need to have.

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:08 PM

Most of the freight carriers are using the Wabtec system.  It isn't automatically interoperable, I imagine it's software issues, but they are working towards the goal of all being interoperable.


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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 10:08 AM

Most of the freight carriers are using the Wabtec system.  It isn't automatically interoperable, I imagine it's software issues, but they are working towards the goal of all being interoperable.

It's equally as useless across all roads. 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Opie Cunningham on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 5:54 PM

PTC as mandated by law must be interoperable between carriers. While the systems may come from different manufactuers the display and how the engineer interacts with it must be the same across the board. When the engineer initializes the system, they must select the company they work for and what railroads the train will operate over. The PTC system will verify if the correct software version on the host railroad is installed. Each railroad can use a different software version, but they cannot be more than a few versions behind. When the track bulletin numbers are entered the system will download the appropriate track files needed for the route. Before a foreign locomotive can be used the host railroad must validate the other's system is compatible with theirs. As an example, BNSF and UP were the first class ones to become interoperable with each other. The current list of interoperable railroads on UP is too large to post here, most of the class ones, most of the shortlines that run over UP and all passenger/commuter carriers that run on UP are interoperable.  

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, July 10, 2020 4:33 AM

What happens when there may be alternate routes all in a day's work ?  That is you leave ABC to DEF but along the way another route is assigned by way of XYZ ?  Does engineer have to stop and load new route. Thinking about locations such as CHI, Houston, LAX, Conrail shared assets ?

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Posted by GBSD70ACe on Friday, July 10, 2020 6:11 PM

as long as the territory is covered in your train orders that you entered when initalizing PTC, the system will with any routing. if you are going to be running over territory not covered by your train orders then you need to first receive new orders and then relog in to PTC with your New orders. 

my class 1 is compatible with all other class 1 carriers and you Simply enter each set of train orders you are issued into PTC when logging in and you it will automatically transition to each different railroad when you are running.


BTW when I say train orders I mean operating bulletins, General train bulletins, track warrants for bulletins, daily operating bulletins, etc. Each railroad has their own name for them.

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