Plymouth Sub Signal Update Thread

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Saturnalia
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Is it possible to have motorized switches in dark territory? I wonder if it would be worth doing? Especially with the meets in the Grain train season, and if the Essexville trains ever come back...
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Radio control switches do exist in dark territory. They are controlled from the locomotive, the crew will tone their radio on the proper channel, and it will flip the switch. The new siding that was installed last year on the New Rock is equipped with them.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Weren't the switches at Grand Ledge dispacther controlled? I seem to remember watching Q334 take the siding for a CP/SOO train back in the early 90's and they had to wait for the dispatcher to throw the switch from the main to the siding.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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trnwatcher wrote:Weren't the switches at Grand Ledge dispacther controlled? I seem to remember watching Q334 take the siding for a CP/SOO train back in the early 90's and they had to wait for the dispatcher to throw the switch from the main to the siding.
IIRC there are at least 2 spring switches out there: EE?? Sunfield and EE Grand Ledge.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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trnwatcher wrote:Weren't the switches at Grand Ledge dispacther controlled? I seem to remember watching Q334 take the siding for a CP/SOO train back in the early 90's and they had to wait for the dispatcher to throw the switch from the main to the siding.
No. Grand Ledge is a hand throw on the west end, spring switch on the east end.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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spring switch on west end sunfield siding.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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donnieland wrote:spring switch on west end sunfield siding.
Thanks! Do you, or anyone else know about any other spring switches out there on former PM lines in Michigan, or those that existed until fairly recently?
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Typhoon wrote:Wow, I guess my source was wrong. Oh well... :roll:

Guess so. Must have been one of those pesky consultants who tell foamers everything!!!!"

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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hi mqt
only other that I recall is at west olive - lined for power plant. z job springs thru southward, but hand throws northward
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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I will be shocked if either of these requests get 'granted' without some other form of protection and/or positive train control. Especially if they haul any PIH/TIH cars on the line.

That, or someone is getting wind that the FRA isn't as stringent as they used to be on abandoning signal systems. I find it odd they are requesting these for lines that have traffic, but haven't requested it for the Hoosier Sub which is basically 'abandoned in place' right now.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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CSX_CO wrote:I will be shocked if either of these requests get 'granted' without some other form of protection and/or positive train control. Especially if they haul any PIH/TIH cars on the line.

That, or someone is getting wind that the FRA isn't as stringent as they used to be on abandoning signal systems. I find it odd they are requesting these for lines that have traffic, but haven't requested it for the Hoosier Sub which is basically 'abandoned in place' right now.

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It makes sense to me to allow lower-trafficked lines to dump the signals if they add PTC for it. I'm no proponent of PTC going in as widespread as it is, but I think if a railroad wants to choose, let them choose. The locomotives will have PTC equipment on them anyway. Just my outsider $0.02.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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MQT3001 wrote: It makes sense to me to allow lower-trafficked lines to dump the signals if they add PTC for it. I'm no proponent of PTC going in as widespread as it is, but I think if a railroad wants to choose, let them choose. The locomotives will have PTC equipment on them anyway. Just my outsider $0.02.
That's why there are governing bodies and regulations. If the railroad was allowed to choose, there would still be 16 hr days, no rest days, 1 man crews, etc etc etc etc etc.

AFAIK, the FRA hasn't ruled that PTC alone will allow for the 'higher speeds' that have previously required some form of additional protection on the line. PTC will do away with the need for lineside signals, but so far the FRA, or STB if they have any say, hasn't said PTC will trump lineside signals on existing lines and allow for their wide spread removal. The writing is on the wall for such a ruling, but it hasn't been made yet.

It should be noted that with CSX's filings, they aren't asking to turn off the signals after successful implementation of PTC on the line either. The problem is if you lose those islands of CTC, it is going to be really tough to move any volume of traffic. Unless they're going to be putting in radio controlled switches, or self restoring switches, labor costs are going to go through the roof on the line.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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CSX_CO wrote:
MQT3001 wrote: It makes sense to me to allow lower-trafficked lines to dump the signals if they add PTC for it. I'm no proponent of PTC going in as widespread as it is, but I think if a railroad wants to choose, let them choose. The locomotives will have PTC equipment on them anyway. Just my outsider $0.02.
That's why there are governing bodies and regulations. If the railroad was allowed to choose, there would still be 16 hr days, no rest days, 1 man crews, etc etc etc etc etc.
I was just talking about PTC and signals :roll:
Last edited by Saturnalia on Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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MQT3001 wrote:
CSX_CO wrote:
MQT3001 wrote: It makes sense to me to allow lower-trafficked lines to dump the signals if they add PTC for it. I'm no proponent of PTC going in as widespread as it is, but I think if a railroad wants to choose, let them choose. The locomotives will have PTC equipment on them anyway. Just my outsider $0.02.
That's why there are governing bodies and regulations. If the railroad was allowed to choose, there would still be 16 hr days, no rest days, 1 man crews, etc etc etc etc etc.
I was just talking about PTC :roll:
You still obviously haven't read or learned anything about PTC outside of your initial hate towards it. It isn't required on lower density lines, IF they fall under the minimum guidelines. There isn't any 'choice' about it. Either the line meets the requirements, or it doesn't. I'm sure if were up to the railroads they wouldn't install it anywhere, but it isn't up to them.

To me, as an operating employee, it makes absolutely NO sense to me to dump a signal system if they aren't going to install another form of protection. That signal system tells me of 'trouble' ahead. Broken rail, tampered with switch, *something* in the block, etc. Railroads preach that you can't put a price on safety, but yet, here we are, talking about 'saving money' if they turn off a safety system.

But this isn't about PTC and/or signals because that isn't a 'choice' yet. PTC can be 'better' than lineside signals as it could allow for 'rolling authorities', positive train separation, etc. However, the FRA hasn't ruled that PTC can be used in lieu of already established line side signals, and allow the railroads to deactivate those signal systems. That is what is so puzzling about CSX's request. Based upon the FRA and STB's position on signal systems, they don't grant very many abandonment proposals. So, CSX either 'knows something' or their lawyers are getting bored, needed some paper work to file, arguments to make, and then in the end have it rejected.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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CSX_CO wrote: But this isn't about PTC and/or signals because that isn't a 'choice' yet.
In my opinion it should be. That is my point: on low traffic lines, even if PTC is already required, railroads should be allowed to then remove this signals after PTC is installed.

You don't have to agree with me, and I don't have to agree with you.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Considering how much Russ knows about the system compared to you, I think you should be inclined to listen and agree with him.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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Y@ wrote:Considering how much Russ knows about the system compared to you, I think you should be inclined to listen and agree with him.
When it comes to political viewpoints, such as PTC, he has a lot of knowledge and background, but it doesn't mean I should feel compelled to agree with full, unconditional status. I'm sure we could find another railroader with a similar background that would agree to "my" side. It is just the way that, and many other issues work.

Look, I'm not posting this stuff to re-hash the debate...all I wanted to say is I believe railroads, on lower-density lines where PTC is installed, should have the choice to remove the lineside signals. I will refrain from elaboration unless someone really feels the need for that thought to be expanded.
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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MQT3001 wrote: Look, I'm not posting this stuff to re-hash the debate...all I wanted to say is I believe railroads, on lower-density lines where PTC is installed, should have the choice to remove the lineside signals. I will refrain from elaboration unless someone really feels the need for that thought to be expanded.
We are in 'agreement' but you are putting the cart before the horse' on that belief, while I'm saying that there is a process that has to take place. PTC has the potential to replace lineside signals, no doubt about it. However, the FRA hasn't come out and said that, yet. So, until then, the signals will probably have to remain in place. It is entirely possible that the FRA doesn't see it that way, and lineside signals remain as a 'backup'. Time will tell.

Again, the petitioning to remove the signals on lines with traffic still in place is a bit interesting to say the least. I will be somewhat shocked if it gets approved, as it flies in the face of the FRA's traditional stance on signals, dark territory, train protection, etc.

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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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CSX_CO wrote:
MQT3001 wrote: Look, I'm not posting this stuff to re-hash the debate...all I wanted to say is I believe railroads, on lower-density lines where PTC is installed, should have the choice to remove the lineside signals. I will refrain from elaboration unless someone really feels the need for that thought to be expanded.
We are in 'agreement' but you are putting the cart before the horse' on that belief, while I'm saying that there is a process that has to take place.
I never said there wasn't a process, I was just saying in my opinion they should come to THAT conclusion.

Watching this will indeed be interesting...does the Saginaw Sub need to go PTC?
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Re: New Signals on the Plymouth Sub

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MQT3001 wrote: Watching this will indeed be interesting...does the Saginaw Sub need to go PTC?
Considering the traffic to/from Dow on the Midland, and it being nasty stuff, then probably so.
MQT3001 wrote: I never said there wasn't a process, I was just saying in my opinion they should come to THAT conclusion.
That may be your opinion, but I bet there are countless signal manufacturers, signal engineers, signal maintainers, suppliers, construction firms, etc that would argue to the benefits of keeping those lineside signals in place.

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