Denver RTD continuing problems with crossing gates

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Denver RTD continuing problems with crossing gates
Posted by blue streak 1 on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 5:50 PM

The "A" line and "B" line are still experiencing activation problems.  The "B" has just one crossing but unknown how many on "A" line.  Consequently FRA has stopped testing on two other lines and RTD will not be able to begin service as planned for this year.

One has to wonder what the problem is.  RTD is using 25 Kv  60 Hz CAT.  Only Amtrak operates this in the USA at three (?) crossings in Rhode Island.  Maybe RTD needs to get into consultations with Amtrak ?  This problem solutions need close following by Caltrain who has many close crossings similar to "A" line and Go transit in Toronto since they are both planning to install the same 25 Kv 60 Hz CAT as RTD.  European and most other countries use 50 Hz and that may be why there has not been any reported problems.  Now part of Japan is 60 Hz but am unaware of it having any grade crossings ?

Here below is copy of announcement by RTD   

           

FasTracks News: Inside FasTracks -- November 2016 

 
 
FasTracks Program Team <comments@fastracks-comments.com> November 2016 Welcome to Inside RTD FasTracks-your monthly update about FasTracks news, progress and people FasTracks News RTD says rail lines to Arvada and Aurora will not open this year View of G Li
 
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Today at 4:46 PM
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Posted by mudchicken on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 6:35 PM

Hardly the only problem at RTD or CDOT, and it isn't a new emerging problem. Both are lacking in any form of railroad institutional management/leadership. The ineptitude of FTA was exposed by their FRA counterparts.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Thursday, December 01, 2016 5:54 PM

Does any one know what type of sensing they use for control of the crossing protection? Is it being affected by power harmonics? 

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, December 01, 2016 6:02 PM

Japan simply strung 60hz catenary over lines built for and operated with steam locomotives.  The hundreds (thousands) of crossing gates and warning flashers that had been operating since early in the 20th century were upgraded the way Pennsy upgraded grade crossing devices under their new catenary a quarter-century earlier.

Translation.  No whoop-de-do software or microchip logic circuits, just big old brute force and ignorance circuits involving massive, virtually indestructable sealed relays.  If there have been improvements since they were undoubtedly tested for months or years before being deployed to the field.  Of course, JR East (where the 60 hz catenary is) is run by railroad professionals, from the line signal maintainers to the President's office...

Chuck (Japanophile railfan/observer)

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Posted by sandyhookken on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:03 AM

New Jersey Transit has operated their former DL&W commuter lines at 25 Kv 60 Hz since 1984. These lines, especially the Gladstone branch, have many grade crossings. I checked with an NJTransit engineer who told me that they (NJT) do not have any grade crossing issues except for one specific location. The overhead line voltage and frequency should not be THE culprit in Denver.

RME
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Posted by RME on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 11:11 AM

sandyhookken
New Jersey Transit has operated their former DL&W commuter lines at 25 Kv 60 Hz since 1984. These lines, especially the Gladstone branch, have many grade crossings. I checked with an NJTransit engineer who told me that they (NJT) do not have any grade crossing issues except for one specific location. The

They didn't source their equipment or programming from Europe, did they?

Of course there's a lot of 25kV cat over there, too, so it would be surprising, if not particularly unexpected, that something like interference with 60Hz rather than 50Hz turns out to be an unrecognized issue ...

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, June 10, 2017 2:04 AM

Same old story.  Continuing problems with gate activation problems.  Appears PTC computer system causes gates to activate too soon and remain down after train passes. According to a source in Denver FRA and Colorado are geting to be a joke ? 

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/06/08/a-line-crossing-gate-rtd/ 

 

 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, June 12, 2017 3:44 PM

blue streak 1
Same old story.  Continuing problems with gate activation problems.  Appears PTC computer system causes gates to activate too soon and remain down after train passes. According to a source in Denver FRA and Colorado are geting to be a joke ? 

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/06/08/a-line-crossing-gate-rtd/

What a buch of rubes!  It's not rocket science or brain surgery if they would get the heads out of their posteriors.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Thursday, August 30, 2018 7:59 PM

Flaggers have returned.  It is too bad that there cannot be some legal way to jail some of the idiots that tried to put this PTC controlled crossings into place.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12427330/this-is-never-going-to-end-a-line-flaggers-return-signaling-more-delays-for-quiet-zones-rtds-g-line-launch 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, September 21, 2018 3:00 PM

Now the contractor is suing RTD over cost over runs due to having to post flaggers at crossings.  This will get nasty in all possible ways.  The contract that was signed specifying type of crossing protection to be installed may rule the day but who knows the final outcome.  Did crossing protection specify PTC activated ?  Did contractor say it could be done or not done ? Probably many more questions ? ?

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2018/09/21-problems-with-denver-airport-rail-line-lead-to-lawsuit

 

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Posted by mudchicken on Friday, September 21, 2018 7:06 PM

Pot calling the kettle black. Amusing to no end here - The common carrier railroaders in the engineering ranks told the commuter rail /toy  train/ people not to do what they did and stay with proven technology. They ignored the advice of the experienced railroaders. Both sides were stupid to follow through with an umproven technology. They earned the mess they've gotten into with their foolishness.

Transportation Engineers = Rubber Tired Bus People (not railroaders)

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, December 01, 2018 9:22 PM

The saga continues .

FRA threating to shut down Denver's "A" &"B" lines and not allow "G" line to open.  Gives the RTD just 2 weeka to come up with solution.  Maybe RTD go back to older style sonic system if possible ?

https://kdvr.com/2018/11/29/federal-agency-puts-rtd-on-notice-threatens-revocation-of-waiver-to-operate-a-line/ 

EDIT

https://localtvkdvr.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/fra-letter-to-rtd.pdf 

In addition please note at the end  of the above FRA letter that RTD still has not installed an entrance signal into Denver Union station specificed 2 years ago.  Not mentioned but could that also affect the California Zephyr's use of the station ?  Another item is that RTD has not met  Engineer qualifications requirements in the FRA regulations. 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Friday, December 14, 2018 9:22 PM

RTD has a public announcement loong on words short on substance !    

  • Delete
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A commuter rail update from RTD: Dec. 14, 2018
Yahoo/Inbox
 
  •  
    Regional Transportation District <rtd.comm@rtd-denver.com>
    To:
     
     
    ‎Dec‎ ‎14 at ‎9‎:‎40‎ ‎PM
     
    r t d

    Regional Transportation District

    safely connecting 
    your city

    RTD

    A commuter rail update from RTD

    Dec. 14, 2018

    Recently, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent the Regional Transportation District a letter outlining concerns pertaining to RTD’s commuter rail lines partially financed, designed, built and operated by our Concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners (DTP): a consortium of private companies which includes a unit of Fluor Corp. (Fluor), a unit of John Laing PLC (John Laing), Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. (Balfour Beatty), Aberdeen Infrastructure Investments, Alternate Concepts (ACI) and Ames Construction (Ames). These concerns included DTP’s compliance with the FRA waiver conditions and FRA regulations. 

    FRA required RTD to submit an acceptable corrective action plan within 30 days. Regulators made clear that they will approve quiet zones on the University of Colorado A Line and the G Line once the grade-crossing warning system reliably activates as designed by DTP. In addition, FRA will allow revenue service demonstration testing on the G Line once RTD and DTP have satisfactorily addressed its concerns.

    Working with DTP, RTD timely submitted a detailed action plan to address FRA’s concerns. RTD will do everything possible to ensure that the plan is accepted and implemented. Millions of people have depended upon RTD’s safe, reliable commuter rail service and demand is growing. To accommodate increased ridership on the University of Colorado A Line, for example, we are planning to double the capacity by adding cars to these trains starting next month. RTD is proud of the safe, reliable service – and 97-percent on time performance – that we provide on our commuter rail lines. It is our distinct privilege to deliver the public to their destinations every day.

    The plan outlines steps to be taken to resolve FRA’s concerns within one year. As outlined in the plan, DTP and RTD are analyzing the data it collects to isolate problems and solutions based on each specific crossing. RTD will verify DTP’s findings. RTD has asked DTP to increase the technical resources dedicated to this effort. RTD has used and will continue to use all tools at our disposal to ensure that DTP continues to address and resolve these concerns.

    RTD values our relationship with our regulators and is in lockstep with their interest to ensure public safety. There will always be opportunities to do better. RTD strives for continuous improvement in the performance of this system, and we look forward to FRA’s review of the plan.

    Sincerely,

    The RTD Communications Team

 

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, December 17, 2018 7:48 PM

Here is reply to FRA letter.  Details will leave to others but it seems that the system's crossiing signal activations are completely dependent on PTC.?  So what happens if PTC fails or GPS signals are lost for an extended time ?  Happened to note that GPS signals are not always working well in some stations.  Probably that is due to satelite positions not always good line of sight ?  Also the PTC system is set for constant dwell time at all stations so when a longer dwell happens crossings signals at locations close to train operate before train starts moving.   MC any thoughts ?

 file:///C:/Users/Alan/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/RTDC%20Crossing%20Warning%20Time%20Action%20Plan%20-%20CORA%20RELEASE%20(5).pdf

Could not get above link to work.  Try this one, click on top requests, then click on RTD action plan , and then scroll down and click on the crossing warning time report , Then click on see report !

http://www.rtd-denver.com/open-records-request.shtml

  

 

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 11:07 AM

blue streak 1
it seems that the system's crossiing signal activations are completely dependent on PTC.?

   Was it designed by a bunch of kids with a worship of new technology just because it's new?   I can't imagine anyone with much experience designing something this critical without using solid, down-to-earth controls.

_____________

   "A stranger is just a friend you ain't met yet."  ___ Dave Gardner

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 11:59 AM

And now RTD says tall buildings are blocking GPS signals.  What happens when it will be that more tall buildings are built ?  That is not an if but a when ! Putting all your eggs into the GPS system is foolish.  As a  pilot I can tell you that is dangerous !

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:35 PM

Have to wonder if the Amtrak ACSES system though even more expensive at the onset would have been a better choice in hind sight ?  Ground based and no dependence on GPS . Some where I heard that one RTD claim is that the 60 Hz CAT would cause problems for the  audio crossing system that was not used.  That seems completely not correct as Amtrak uses it east of New Haven and NJT uses 60 Hz CAT on many converted lines with grade crossings !.  

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