Yes but thats ok for a "technology" viewpoint but not from a hardware point of view . There is a reason why mill spec hardware costs more than consumer level gear yet the technology level can be similar .
The trouble is that all this ATMS and like technology does nothing for train performance when the alignments and grades are steam age level .
Having more trains closer to the lowest common denominator , the slowest train in the pack , doesn't really get the hangers on any closer to their destinations faster . The followers will at best travel at the same speed until the leader can go faster or they can get past the slow train . Agreed it will allow more trains into the grid lock but they can only go as fast as the curve speeds and grades allow and for the given Hp/tonne ratios .
Like so many things before it ATMS cannot fix the problems that have been there for a long long time . We started out with token working and that was replaced by systems like block telegraph or CTC and that was itself replaced by track circuited automatic signalling . So we can have more trains and closer together but if we reach the stage where drivers can be in sight of the train ahead much of the time you still can't do any better than matching the lead trains actual speed . Its the individual trains performance that calls the shots and the critical factors become curve speeds and balance speeds on grades .
This is as always coming back to money and the fact that the Governments know the worst case scenerio , most expensive one anyway , is to bite the bullet and actually regrade and realign stone aged alignments that are totally unsuitable for todays traffic requirements .
Consider this . Assume we still had the old single line between Goulburn and Cootamundra and consider what potential ATMS would have given todays traffic levels . Not going to have any chance of coping and even if that alignment was doubled the slow trains are only going to be slower .
The Southern line was doubled to increase capacity and the grades reduced to allow the trains of the day to pull acceptable loads . Todays trains are a lot longer and heavier than the double alignment was intended for but to be fair motive power has come ahead a long way too .
I suspect systems like ATMS are another way of avoiding the real issue which is going to the source of the problem and fixing it properly .
Lets just say we sink lots of money into these moving block systems and they alow more trains in fleets to be closer together . When that doesn't have a profound affect on the corridors capacity where do you go from there ?
Probaby good to look at a working example of a system where many trains are long and heavy but a few are very short and light and have priority , yep the Hunter Valley . ATMS was always going to do SFA for a DMU following a 10,000T coal train if it couldn't get past it . ATMS is also going to do SFA for a 10,000T coal train held at a junction so the DMU can have the clear run . The logical answer is to build more loops and passing lanes in places where heavy trains will be slow ie I think Minimbar .
Physical improvements like high speed junctions pay off better than ATMS does because you are removing the physical choke points that virtual signalling cannot . Yes it costs good money and no cheaper "Matrix" solutions don't always cut it in the real world .
Something I keep dragging some of you back to is what the opposition runs on infrastructure wise . Again look at the old south road and the current Hume Highway , the newer one works far better because it fixed the alignment and capacity issues and added passing opportunities where heavy vehicles are slow - and that didn't involve the grab the opposite side lark stopping all traffic in that direction .
Its cost lots of money but its largely fixed most of the issues the old south road had .
Using ATMS on the main southern line CANNOT do what a similar approach to road infrastructure can .
If the pollies , through ARTC etc , and the system providers of ATMS can buy time playing XBox games then its someone elses problem or time in Government office to come up with the billions to do it properly isn't it .
Also some of you think I keep an army of "REDS" chained under my bed to use as ammo for my assumed political leanings .
What I do think it this . Some of the billions blown by the last couple of Federal Governments could easily have been spent on making the east coast arterial railways far better than they are today . The minority they pleased won't save them and there isn't much they can really say they achieved for the generations to come . Better land transport and the multitude of potential benefits could have been some but nope their leftward leanings and their hopes of an EU type nucleus over here squashed all that .
Bottom line ? Build us a couple of bypasses if theres any money to spend and forget about the pixillated signals on wheels ...