Advanced Train Management System (ATMS)

 
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera

Hardly unusual for a significant ITC program to take a while especially if the budget/resources aren't overly generous (which appears so here). After all not like it's a ticketing system Laughing
ATMS wouldn't happen for a few years at best even if the required $500m (2008) was provided for deployment. After all ICE is only being rolled out now. In the meantime life goes on.

Heck it could be worst... look how long NSW took to bring in CTC north of Casino Shocked

Oh that's right... they didn't Wink


"cootanee"


Where exactly is ATMS going to be installed, if indeed it ever is.
There must be a program and a rollout timetable in existance in order to determine that $500 million is needed.
What existing safeworking systems on which lines are going to ripped out to allow ATMS to be installed.
The only line that I can think of that would make some sense is Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie , but the trafiic density is far too low
to justify even CTC , let alone ATMS.



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  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!

Hardly unusual for a significant ITC program to take a while especially if the budget/resources aren't overly generous (which appears so here). After all not like it's a ticketing system Laughing
ATMS wouldn't happen for a few years at best even if the required $500m (2008) was provided for deployment. After all ICE is only being rolled out now. In the meantime life goes on.

Heck it could be worst... look how long NSW took to bring in CTC north of Casino Shocked

Oh that's right... they didn't Wink


"cootanee"


Where exactly is ATMS going to be installed, if indeed it ever is.
There must be a program and a rollout timetable in existance in order to determine that $500 million is needed.
What existing safeworking systems on which lines are going to ripped out to allow ATMS to be installed.
The only line that I can think of that would make some sense is Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie , but the trafiic density is far too low
to justify even CTC , let alone ATMS.


"MD"


MD, there's an ATMS site...

http://atms.artc.com.au/

Plenty of material that should provide hours of Xmas reading... but alas no sign of Santa.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Where exactly is ATMS going to be installed, if indeed it ever is.
"MD"


The primary physical installation really is in the locos themselves.  (Some supporting fixed installation is still required, but rather than signalling track, you are controlling trains.)

The ultimate intent is for the system to be applied to the entire ARTC network.

There must be a program and a rollout timetable in existance in order to determine that $500 million is needed.


A timetable determines how quickly you are going to spend that amount.  The total is determined by the extent and number of users of the network.

What existing safeworking systems on which lines are going to ripped out to allow ATMS to be installed.


Some of the hardware would be re-used, but the various "systems" disappear.

The only line that I can think of that would make some sense is Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie , but the trafiic density is far too low
to justify even CTC , let alone ATMS.


You are assuming that ATMS is incrementally more expensive than CTC for that stretch.  I'd really doubt that.  Something like ATMS comes with a significant upfront network wide cost, but the incremental cost from that point on is quite low.

I can see two drivers for something like ATMS:

- maintaining fixed lineside infrastucture for a network with large distances is expensive;
- fixed section signalling is inflexible, can result in unnecessary delay and reduced track capacity.

I'd say the second of these is the more important one from a "justifying the dollars" point of view.  The Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor, with its mix of operations, lots of single track sections, etc, would certainly benefit.

It would be a real shame if they couldn't get ATMS (or some equivalent system) up and running.  There might be some short term pain (the upfront development cost), but there is a pretty clear long term gain.  Rail freight is already at a hideous disadvantage due to its inflexibility and transit time, no point making those even worse with your choice of signalling and control system.
  Roadmaster Locomotive Driver



Where exactly is ATMS going to be installed, if indeed it ever is.
There must be a program and a rollout timetable in existance in order to determine that $500 million is needed.
What existing safeworking systems on which lines are going to ripped out to allow ATMS to be installed.
The only line that I can think of that would make some sense is Tarcoola to Kalgoorlie , but the trafiic density is far too low
to justify even CTC , let alone ATMS.




Have a look at the Hunter Valley strategy document on the ARTC website. ARTC has identified ATMS as the means by which capacity can be increased on that part of the network.
  landmark Station Staff

Sorry to revive an old post, but it appears ARTC have released an update to Rail Express on the progress of it's ATMS proof of concept.

http://books.informa.com.au/Rail_Express_Autumn_2013/index.html?M=8822EC0E-233F-4BB2-9478-4E2B02BF3375#/48/

It appears victory is being declared for proof of concept and the article also outlines at a high level the next steps towards deployment. It appears the detail and funding is to be worked through over the next 12 months or so.

As would be expected with a complex system development, the next step is to move towards a series of "live trials" and further consultation.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

the next step is to move towards a series of "live trials" and further consultation.
landmark
...before it finally gets knocked on the head.

Something still bothers me about using someone else's GPS and someone else's mobile phone network.

Does anyone know about the emergency working procedures for use when the normal ATMS network crashes?

I hope it does not consist of a reversion to a form of paper line clear ticket working.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
...before it finally gets knocked on the head.

Something still bothers me about using someone else's GPS and someone else's mobile phone network.

Does anyone know about the emergency working procedures for use when the normal ATMS network crashes?

I hope it does not consist of a reversion to a form of paper line clear ticket working.
HeadShunt
I would assume the same thing when ABS or CTC goes down- train order working. It will  be interesting to note whether the national regulator has given their opinion on this publically. This is the 21st century, but since when has there been a need for 15 trains an hour out here?
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

I would assume the same thing when ABS or CTC goes down- train order working.
seb2351
Let's hope that doesn't happen too often, and that the integrity of the emergency 'orders' is supported by a computer system that enforces absolute block, otherwise we are setting the scene for cornfield meets.


It will be interesting to note whether the national regulator has given their opinion on this publically.
seb2351
Given the PR damage control approach I have seen regulators take to public discussion of risk in the past, and given that ATMS seems to be a cheap way of increasing capacity (while avoiding track duplication etc) - in other words, a cost cutting measure, it wouldn't surprise me if we heard little or nothing about the potential risks/pitfalls of the system except from industry insiders.

If they back this system, they are going to defend it to the hills, even if it is unsafe. That's what I have seen in the past, anyway.
  landmark Station Staff

If they back this system, they are going to defend it to the hills, even if it is unsafe. That's what I have seen in the past, anyway.
HeadShunt

The article suggests that the safety case is going to be independently reviewed by Lloyds Register Rail. IMHO they are fairly rigourous in terms of giving a system the tick in terms of safety. I would suspect that the regulator would rely very much on the feedback to be provided by Loyds Register Rail before forming a view on the safety of ATMS. Ultimately it would depend on what the independent assessor has been asked to assess.




Let's hope that doesn't happen too often, and that the integrity of the emergency 'orders' is supported by a computer system that enforces absolute block, otherwise we are setting the scene for cornfield meets
HeadShunt

When looking at the documentation on the ATMS website, http://atms.artc.com.au/media/ , the Concept of Operations and System Segment Design Document both appear to show that there is a mode known as unequipped mode where the orders are actually supported and managed by the centralised computer system and that this reverts train separation back to physical block. In terms of the reliance on public comms system, the detail in the system segment design document shows that ATMS can operate on any modern IP based comms network and can allow for redundancy via satellite etc. Given ARTC are currently running the majority of their telemetry systems for train control, albeit non-vital, over the Telstra network, i would suspect that this risk has been considered. I do agree however, if the comms dont work and there is no backup, then this system would be a step backwards.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Let's hope that doesn't happen too often, and that the integrity of the emergency 'orders' is supported by a computer system that enforces absolute block, otherwise we are setting the scene for cornfield meets.


Given the PR damage control approach I have seen regulators take to public discussion of risk in the past, and given that ATMS seems to be a cheap way of increasing capacity (while avoiding track duplication etc) - in other words, a cost cutting measure, it wouldn't surprise me if we heard little or nothing about the potential risks/pitfalls of the system except from industry insiders.

If they back this system, they are going to defend it to the hills, even if it is unsafe. That's what I have seen in the past, anyway.
HeadShunt
Well, train orders replacing ABS and CTC work fine now, without the use of computer systems or absolute blocks. In SA, there are no computer generated codes like there are in NSW, but end of the day both systems still require drivers to be that, drivers.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think ATMS is a crock . I think its more about saving money on a physical signalling system than anything to do with shorter headways .
When you think about it having a large number of heavy coal trains like say in the Hunter Valley close together what do you have to gain ? None will be faster than the lead one or whichever is slow up a rising grade at any time . They don't stop from any significant speed quickly nor pick up speed from slow or stationary states either . Having them real close is pretty stupid and asking for authority overruns - or worse .
Yes how does the system "fail safe" , what indication would you have if close to another such train when the Sputniks lights went out ? What an unholy mess to sort with alternative working .
Nope I'll go with a physical reminder of line clear thanks and a piece of paper to pass it if it fails . ARTC should really be concentrating on increasing line capacity physically rather than clutching at gymics to tease in capacity that isn't really there . If reducing headways means having more signals so be it . CTC (SBiDiRVD) is easy to fix with one or more mid section signals in each direction if fleeting trains for longer distances .
ATMS probably looks good compared to NSW Train Order sections but thats more a case of the NSWTO systems shortcomings than ATMSs virtues .
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Well, train orders replacing ABS and CTC work fine now, without the use of computer systems or absolute blocks. In SA, there are no computer generated codes like there are in NSW, but end of the day both systems still require drivers to be that, drivers.
seb2351
It hasn't been done much in my backyard for a very long time, and I'd be concerned to see a step away from absolute block working, even (or perhaps especially) in emergencies.

The Americanised approach to traffic control has won a lot of support because it's cheaper and requires less staff. But when the fit hits the shan it seems to be a good way of making trains crash. No pilotman, train staff or token block working, just bits of paper with loosely defined limits that are double checked and dictated as an administrative control in accordance with rubbery rules.

The same rubbish is happening with worksite protection. Cutting costs is going to cost lives. It already has...

Then, when the inevitable happens, the operator can blame its staff for failing to apply its dodgy system properly. And don't expect any help from the rail safety regulator either... I've seen it before and I really don't want to see it again.

there is a mode known as unequipped mode where the orders are actually supported and managed by the centralised computer system and that this reverts train separation back to physical block.
landmark
I guess that might not be too bad, assuming that, say the GPS has crashed but the computers are still running and communication with train crews is available. But that's not the only thing that can go wrong.

What if the on-board equipment fails on ONE train only? I'm guessing that means that moving block will not be available for that train, nor any other trains in the vicinity, because the calculation of speeds and braking distances etc required to define moving blocks will not be possible. This is something that is going to happen, I'm sure. Without reading the documentation in detail, maybe this is what unequipped mode is really for... if it is a single train with a problem, either the whole area would have to suffer the reversion to fixed block working or the offending train would be refuged and wait for replacement on-board equipment. And whose fault would that be?

Overall, ATMS is still a compromised "solution" to our line capacity issues.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
It may work out in the flatish deserts but in fast/slow/fast etc roller coaster territory and with trains of widely varied hp/tonne ratios I doubt its going to make much difference except to add complication on the east coast . Bit like TOW when GPS and Sat Comms don't work .
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

- maintaining fixed lineside infrastucture for a network with large distances is expensive;
- fixed section signalling is inflexible, can result in unnecessary delay and reduced track capacity.

I'd say the second of these is the more important one from a "justifying the dollars" point of view.  The Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor, with its mix of operations, lots of single track sections, etc, would certainly benefit.
donttellmywife


Another thing: how much extra line capacity are we really going to get out of a single line when it comes to opposing movements?

It was my impression that moving block really comes into its own for reducing headways for following movements, particularly with trains of equal performance, but clearly with a single line a lot of the movements are going to be opposing.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
A lot of opposition to ATMS here.
However most of the questions and comments can be answered by trolling through http://atms.artc.com.au/ Idea
One shudders to think of all those computer based systems managing other things we take for granted. Why people still use airlines after all those plane crashes due to a computer/human interface errors is a mystery Laughing

As long as rail is seen to be inefficient and more costly to operate than the competition it will remain an irrelevant dinosaur and is likely to go the same way.
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

Why people still use airlines after all those plane crashes due to a computer/human interface error is a mystery
cootanee


Probably because while they know that planes sometimes crash with horrendous loss of life, the chances are that it won't happen to them. That view is hardly an informed result of a proper risk assessment, though. Computers and microprocessors have been used in signalling for many years now, with great success, but that does not mean that every application of computers is safe - they just do what their programming tells them.

Regarding cockpit automation, I think that is a matter of genuine concern for many people, inside and outside the industry, and it is not hard to find evidence of that.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

Heck it could be worst... look how long NSW took to bring in CTC north of Casino http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif
XYZ

The CTC originally was to go to only Grafton.

It was then extended to Casino.

Why it wasn't extended to Brisbane at this time is anyone's guess.

Perhaps CTC from Border loop to Brisbane is a QR matter, and NSWR mustn't interfere.

The CTC projected extended no crossing loops, the shortest being the one at Leeville of about 380m ("55 long").

It would have made sense to eliminate some loops altogether and extend some of the others.

Can't say why these extensions were not done. Perhaps it was a rush job.

Not extending the loops was a completely wasted opportunity.

Note that when loops were first extended to 760m, 760m is 2 x 380m.

Note that when loops were extended a second time to 1500m, 1500m is 2 x 760m.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Another thing: how much extra line capacity are we going to get out of a single line when it comes to opposing movements?

It was my impression that moving block really comes into its own for reducing headways for following movements, particularly with trains of equal performance, but clearly with a single line a lot of the movements are going to be opposing.
HeadShunt

Good points.

Moving block doesn't help with opposing movements. Things that do help include:

* Turnout speeds.
* Power operated turnouts (if not already done so)
* Higher speed turnouts, say X80 instead of X25. (what are X speeds on ARTC??)
* Simultaneous arrivals.
* Excess length of loops, say 3000m for 1800m trains, which shortens single line section by 3000-1800=1200m.
* More loops, at less the cost of a full CTC loop.

Moving block for following moves is kind of like improved intermediate block signals. However:
* following moves tend to be rare, though when overtakes occur,  moving block acts like dozens and dozens of intermediate block signals.
* if you have flight of trains in one direction crossing a flight of trains in the opposing direction, the crossing loops needs to be at least as long the shortest trains queuing end to end in the loop. If there are two 1800m trains in a flight each way, then the loop needs to be 2 * 1800m = 3600m plus a safety margin of 400m totalling 4000m. May as well just have more 1800m crossing places, which reduces the length of the single line sections.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

It hasn't been done much in my backyard for a very long time, and I'd be concerned to see a step away from absolute block working, even (or perhaps especially) in emergencies.

The Americanised approach to traffic control has won a lot of support because it's cheaper and requires less staff. But when the fit hits the shan it seems to be a good way of making trains crash. No pilotman, train staff or token block working, just bits of paper with loosely defined limits that are double checked and dictated as an administrative control in accordance with rubbery rules.

The same rubbish is happening with worksite protection. Cutting costs is going to cost lives. It already has...

Then, when the inevitable happens, the operator can blame its staff for failing to apply its dodgy system properly. And don't expect any help from the rail safety regulator either... I've seen it before and I really don't want to see it again.

I guess that might not be too bad, assuming that, say the GPS has crashed but the computers are still running and communication with train crews is available. But that's not the only thing that can go wrong.

What if the on-board equipment fails on ONE train only? I'm guessing that means that moving block will not be available for that train, nor any other trains in the vicinity, because the calculation of speeds and braking distances etc required to define moving blocks will not be possible. This is something that is going to happen, I'm sure. Without reading the documentation in detail, maybe this is what unequipped mode is really for... if it is a single train with a problem, either the whole area would have to suffer the reversion to fixed block working or the offending train would be refuged and wait for replacement on-board equipment. And whose fault would that be?

Overall, ATMS is still a compromised "solution" to our line capacity issues.


I noted in a recent Trains Magazine article that the USA freight railroads carry 2 trillion tons of freight each year. On that tonnage they probably have less accidents pro-rata than we do. So their so called unsafe systems are probably safer than ours and at a lower cost as they have the most efficient freight rail system in the world. Train crew in Australia are a very precious bunch and are paid very well to do a job with reasonably easy entry requirements. As for work site protection, whose fault is if some worker stands in the 6ft whilst a train approaches as happened last weekend in NSW or the protection officer fails to acknowledge a warning toot from a train driver.
HeadShunt
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

I noted in a recent Trains Magazine article that the USA freight railroads carry 2 trillion tons of freight each year. On that tonnage they probably have less accidents pro-rata than we do. So their so called unsafe systems are probably safer than ours and at a lower cost as they have the most efficient freight rail system in the world. Train crew in Australia are a very precious bunch and are paid very well to do a job with reasonably easy entry requirements.
nswtrains

I don't have the safety stats on me at the moment, and indeed a comparison between mainlines using American vs British precepts may not be the easiest given the huge difference in traffic, but certain aspects of typical American safe working methods have on many occasions led to crashes. These methods include things that have not been standard practice on mainlines in the UK or most State government railways of Australia for more than a century like facing points without approach locking, locking or fouling bars, or track circuit control; very short or non-existent overlaps, a lack of proper interlocking between automatic block signalling and points, simultaneous reception at crossing loops without trap points, and large amounts of permissive working. The safety integrity of systems using these methods is by definition lower, but usually also much cheaper and sometimes quicker. It is my understanding that at least some of this persists to the present, and in some cases it has returned after APB or CTC has been ripped out as too expensive to replace/maintain.

The above characteristics do not necessarily apply to an ATMS line, of course; it was a general reference to a cultural shift in safeworking that has occurred in Australia (some parts more than others), largely to save money.

More specifically, my concern is that a reversion to nineteenth century style paper orders, should that path be chosen for emergency working, could reduce the level of safety compared to what is currently in place in some areas that could be subject to ATMS under the initial ARTC programme, assuming it doesn't get the axe, or at a later date. It does appear that computer verified track warrants are the preferred option, but that may not always be an option.


As for work site protection, whose fault is if some worker stands in the 6ft whilst a train approaches as happened last weekend in NSW or the protection officer fails to acknowledge a warning toot from a train driver.
nswtrains


An 'as low as reasonably practicable' risk based approach to worksite protection would not go astray. Yes, individual front line workers have a responsibility for safety, but they do not design the safety systems. They can only work within the safety systems provided, be they adequate or deficient, using the skills they have acquired through training and experience, and they do make mistakes on occasion. A good case could be made that there are serious deficiencies present in some of the worksite protection methods currently in use in Australia.

Sometimes an operator will take all practicable measures to ensure safety, but it is established fact that this does not always happen, leaving potential risks uncontrolled and susceptible to human error.

The fact that:
- an accident has not happened yet, or
- the list of recorded errors or incidents is short or non-existent, or
- front line workers have been publicly blamed for past incidents rather than the system, or
- a State rail safety regulator has approved a safety system
is not proof in itself that a system or rule is particularly safe, either.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

What if the on-board equipment fails on ONE train only?

HeadShunt

In the same way that big trains have two or more engines, locos might be fitted with twin ATMS systems, with a changeover switch.

The ATMS equipment would not be so big or so heavy that locos could not be fitted with two.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
In the same way that big trains have two or more engines, locos might be fitted with twin ATMS systems, with a changeover switch.

The ATMS equipment would not be so big or so heavy that locos could not be fitted with two.
awsgc24
Failures are covered in the doco Idea
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller

As long as rail is seen to be inefficient and more costly to operate than the competition it will remain an irrelevant dinosaur and is likely to go the same way.
cootanee


It's already happened to a large extent, hasn't it?
We're trying to pick up the pieces, but long distance rail will never win in the present economic and political environment of Australia, ATMS or no ATMS. Of course, I hope that changes.

Despite my misgivings and suspicion that ATMS will be fairly useless for single line capacity growth, at least without major infrastructure changes that could be done without ATMS, I think it is still worth a try, at least on double lines - start with one (I guess that's what's happening on Crystal Brook to Coonamia). :pBut a "try" and full implementation are two different things.

On top of boosted unidirectional double line capacity, if the trackside infrastructure costs fall and the comms are reliable, the financial benefit would be welcomed.

Additionally, while the system is functional, I imagine that worksite protection would be improved, because ATMS could ensure that trains are prevented from encroaching on possessions. However, it might not help if the Controller believes the gang is in one location when they are in fact in another, a serious risk. Furthermore, I would not like to see, for example, detonators being totally replaced by GPS devices for protection (not that I am suggesting that is their intention).

But on lines like the NSW North Coast, I can't see it ushering in a new era of expeditious traffic flow.


In the same way that big trains have two or more engines, locos might be fitted with twin ATMS systems, with a changeover switch. The ATMS equipment would not be so big or so heavy that locos could not be fitted with two.
awsgc24
Some sort of dual redundancy?.. fair enough
Once a non-equipped train enters the network, the system must increase safety distances around that train to non-ATMS safety standards, thereby reducing track capacity.
I'm guessing that would apply to trains with a total on-board equipment failure.
How will ATMS work should one or more of its subsystems fail? ATMS will provide for graceful degradation should any of its sub-systems fail. Ultimately, under serious conditions, it will operate as a train order system.
When the comms link drops out or the central computer takes a dump, will we be treated to a hundred thousand tonnes worth of emergency brake applications all at once? That'll do wonders for the civil infrastructure...
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I can't see ATMS having any marked improvement over any line I can think of in NSW - except Goobang Jct to Broken Hill .
Everywhere else you have fast section - slow section - fast section etc etc etc . Whats going to dictate follow on speeds is the curve and gradient speeds of the line and trains in fast sections will always catch trains in slow sections ATMS or not .
Single or double line , ATMS makes no difference and whilst its easy to think yep we can use the other line to overtake slow trains on - what about opposing traffic ? If you want more freight on rail it means more paths and more trains - higher traffic density so there goes a lot of your Bi Di capability .
Now to the NSW North Coast railway , it copes sort of ok because the loops aren't all that far apart so the crossing opportunities are increased . The issues there are loop lengths and XPTs sidelining up and down trains in loops not too far apart . Also the lack of mid section signalling wastes line capacity at times .
The bottom line is that CTC works and works well , and US railways have been using it for a long time with a lot of success . TOW in NSW on more that one train a day branches is a flop IMO and has not saved jack over a simple CTC system of which axle counter ones are significantly cheaper than track circuited ones . SSFL is axle counter CTC and is proving a great success .
Examples of stupidity are TOW Orange East Fork to Parkes and Stock to Goobang East . Really stupid with track circuited level crossings , main line point indicators which ARE a signal in my book , and motorised and self restoring points in some parts .
Not others , up Indian Pacifics are tabled to sit in Bumberry Loop for down Sprinter services which means climbing down and using a point lever frame to get into the loop . Same at the other end , walk down the loop swing the frame to let Hiawatha out and walk the length of the train once the exit points are reset behind it . Great fun at 3 in the morning and costs usually about an hour . No bloody better than electric staff working in that instance . Is ATMS going to set and rest loop points or are we going to combine satelite technology with a mile or twos walk and a conventional ground frame ? This is the BS that goes on when the powers that be decide that saving money is more important than the timely running of the actual trains . If Parkes Orange was CTC these crosses could take place in 10 minutes - happens on the North Coast and Junee Albury CTC sections many times every day .

I'll say again ARTC would do better to decrease transit times by making the physical infrastructure less restrictive ie more loops with higher point speeds and looking at easing curve speeds where possible . ATMS is something that may make ARTCs expenses a bit less but it does jack for the operators trains and its the viability of these trains that dictates ARTCs very existance . They are clutching at straws IMO and spending money in the wrong areas in an attemp to impresses "educated" know nothings with shiny chairs .

Go to the butcher not the block when you want the right answers .
  HeadShunt Chief Train Controller



I can't see ATMS having any marked improvement over any line I can think of in NSW - except Goobang Jct to Broken Hill .
BDA
I think it would be of limited value beyond the potential long term cost savings, and I wonder how much those savings will really amount to / how long it will take for them to be realised after the initial $500M expense.



If you want more freight on rail it means more paths and more trains - higher traffic density so there goes a lot of your Bi Di capability .
BDA

Yeah, it could only be a help on unidirectional double lines, not really in terms of bidi



Now to the NSW North Coast railway , it copes sort of ok because the loops aren't all that far apart so the crossing opportunities are increased . The issues there are loop lengths and XPTs sidelining up and down trains in loops not too far apart . Also the lack of mid section signalling wastes line capacity at times .
BDA


I say realign and double it




The bottom line is that CTC works and works well , and US railways have been using it for a long time with a lot of success . TOW in NSW on more that one train a day branches is a flop IMO and has not saved jack over a simple CTC system of which axle counter ones are significantly cheaper than track circuited ones . SSFL is axle counter CTC and is proving a great success .
BDA


Seems they are just desperate to squeeze every cent worth of savings out, with a few potential side benefits, and a few new potential weaknesses introduced. I hope they intend to include good computer hacking defences.




Is ATMS going to set and rest loop points or are we going to combine satelite technology with a mile or twos walk and a conventional ground frame ? This is the BS that goes on when the powers that be decide that saving money is more important than the timely running of the actual trains .
BDA


I don't think that is the plan, but suppose ground frames and hand-thrown points with electric detection could be substituted for full power operation if the money dried up, and that's where the whole thing would start to collapse into a steaming pile of...






They are clutching at straws IMO and spending money in the wrong areas in an attemp to impresses "educated" know nothings with shiny chairs .
BDA


We are living in a world of Nintendo engineers, geologists, economists and politicians, flawed Nintendo risk models and projections and too big to fail institutions where noone has the incentive to care about long term viability because the parasites at the top always manage to take their cut and taxpayer will supposedly always pick up the tab.

If ATMS is abandoned after the trials, ARTC bureaucrats will have cost everyone a shedload, but they won't care because they still got paid.

The ATMS program is comprised of four phases.

Phase 1: Due Diligence
Phase 1 was a study phase intended to reduce risk during the development and implementation phases. During this phase both Lockheed Martin and ARTC collaborated for one year on several documents that were delivered at the completion of the phase. Included in those documents were: Statement of Requirements Concept of Operations ATMS Risk Register ATMS Performance Specification Interface Requirements Specific Test Certification and Acceptance Plan Logistics Support Concept Safety Case and Accreditation Strategy ATMS Draft Rollout Plan Statement of Work for Phase 2 Delivery Schedule

Phase 2: Proof of Concept
Phase 2 will design, develop and integrate the ATMS, culminating in a demonstration over a portion of track north of Adelaide from Crystal Brook to Port Augusta. Phase 2 of the ATMS Program is divided into two stages: ATMS Phase 2 - Stages 1 & 2 Stage 1 80km from Coonamia (Port Pirie) to Stirling North Train Order Territory, 3 loops No ATMS interface to special signals at loops indicate presence of other trains but not status of points The Functionality Requirements to be developed during Stage 1 include: delivery and display of electronic train orders management of equipped and unequipped trains determination of train positions speed enforcement coarse end of authority enforcement electronic blocking to current boundaries monitoring and remote control of switches Stage 2 25km from Crystal Brook to Coonamia CTC territory, Double Track, 2 crossovers ATMS in parallel to CTC with long term plan to decommission CTC The Functionality Requirements to be developed during Stage 2 include: management of bi-directional double track a completely paperless cab monitoring train integrity metropolitan interfaces enhanced electronic blocking multiple control centres (including handoff and redundancy) ATMS Stage 1: Port Pirie to Stirling North / ATMS Stage 2: Crystal Brook to Coonamia

Phase 3: Rollout
If Phase 2 is successful, ARTC will give consideration to Phase 3 Rollout, which will be a roll-out of the ATMS across the ARTC Managed Rail Network.

Phase 4: Logistic Support
Phase 4 will provide logistic support for the entire ATMS system commencing at the conclusion of Phase 2.
What stage in the development of ATMS are we? We are currently at the midpoint of Phase 2 (Proof of Concept) of the ATMS Program.

So given the description of Phase 3, clearly it is an expensive experiment, rather than a firm commitment.

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