Advanced Train Management System (ATMS)

 
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
The problem here is who is "you".
ATMS is an ARTC system, and there doesnt seem to be any evidence to show that anyone else wants to use it.
ARTC doesnt have any branch lines as part of their lease, and any improvements to any such lines such as wiring up points etc, would have to be paid for by Railcorp or whoever actually owned the line.
Thats why its imperative to know exactly where ARTC intend to use this system, and it seems to me incredible that so far they dont seem to want to tell anyone.

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  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think you can be very sure that the State Track owners/regulators will know pronto if ARTC attempts to slip it in when they think that no ones looking .
And then of course theres the people that make the choo choos go and stop . Dashed inconvenient when they call safety issues particularly if political leverage is applied .

Ask the Victorians about it .
  perwaynut Deputy Commissioner

Location: In the Land of the Mighty Hawks, and our favourite footy President Jeff
The problem here is who is "you".
ATMS is an ARTC system, and there doesnt seem to be any evidence to show that anyone else wants to use it.
ARTC doesnt have any branch lines as part of their lease, and any improvements to any such lines such as wiring up points etc, would have to be paid for by Railcorp or whoever actually owned the line.
Thats why its imperative to know exactly where ARTC intend to use this system, and it seems to me incredible that so far they dont seem to want to tell anyone.
"MD"


I'm pretty sure that ARTC would want to convert their entire system over the ATMS, owned and leased, and while ARTC may not be responsible for any low use branch lines, they do control the Portland line and other areas of the Interstate network where volumes are low, and are currently operated with train order working. And as for not telling anyone, have a look in their IA submission.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
What do you mean by convert a system over to ATMS.
ATMS is a safeworking system, and you cant have multiple safeworking systems on the same section of track.
If ATMS is only going to be used on very lightly utilized lines then its a extremely costly way of doing it , as every SG locomotive in the country will have to be modified to take the in cab ATMS equipment.
ATMS only makes sense if ARTC uses it on all their lines, and that would mean ripping out all the existing line side equipment including the signals and track circuits etc.
On the new VIC NE SG line , ARTC is currently installing brand new signals and track circuits , so it seems unbelievable that all this will be ripped out and replaced with ATMS.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
What do you mean by convert a system over to ATMS.
ATMS is a safeworking system, and you cant have multiple safeworking systems on the same section of track.
If ATMS is only going to be used on very lightly utilized lines then its a extremely costly way of doing it , as every SG locomotive in the country will have to be modified to take the in cab ATMS equipment.
ATMS only makes sense if ARTC uses it on all their lines, and that would mean ripping out all the existing line side equipment including the signals and track circuits etc.
On the new VIC NE SG line , ARTC is currently installing brand new signals and track circuits , so it seems unbelievable that all this will be ripped out and replaced with ATMS.
"MD"


It is intended to be used on all lines under ARTC control - it becomes the single safeworking system.  Elements (all?) of the system could also be used on lines not under ARTC control.  

The question is more likely to be whether the branch loco needs something, in addition to the ATMS hardware, to run on a particular branch line that's not under ARTC control.  Given Australia's history I have no doubt the answer will sadly be "Yes", but we can always hope.

There's always going to be some "rework" associated with this sort of transition.  How much is reasonable is open to debate.  What's your view?

At the moment ATMS is a system that is under development and evaluation - while I'd hope that it is likely that it would continue onto widescale implementation that's not a certain outcome.  Plus the timing of its deployment would be subject to a whole range of factors (govt funding being a big one, I imagine the attitude of the operators might play a role too).  You need to keep things running in the meantime.

The alternative to some rework is to delay all big rail infrastructure projects until you're completely ready to roll with this new system.  You could be waiting ten years or so - I don't think that's acceptable.

Also some of this new lineside infrastructure would continue to be used with ATMS - it is not all a complete waste.

One gauge.  One access provider.  One safeworking system.  It's the Australian rail industry wet dream, not that you'd know it from reading some of the posts on here...
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

One gauge.  One access provider.  One safeworking system.  It's the Australian rail industry wet dream, not that you'd know it from reading some of the posts on here...
"donttellmywife"

Hmm. A wet dream - intensely satisfying for a short period of time, and then reality sets in and you realise what a mess you have left yourself in.

Is that what you are expecting from ATMS?
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
One gauge.  One access provider.  One safeworking system.  It's the Australian rail industry wet dream, not that you'd know it from reading some of the posts on here...
"donttellmywife"

Hmm. A wet dream - intensely satisfying for a short period of time, and then reality sets in and you realise what a mess you have left yourself in.

Is that what you are expecting from ATMS?
"duttonbay"


Seconded, Brother Duttonbay.

The whole idea of having a "one size fits all" safeworking system seems quite unnecessary. It seems perfectly natural that you'd have a different sort at Lidcombe than you'd have at Clandulla. Even the idea of a single access provider seems to rule out private lines, for some reason that strikes a bum note for me. I work on two gauges as it is!

M
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
You do wonder what century it is.  Rolling Eyes

Meanwhile the states agree to national heavy vehicle 'reforms' including ITS with road friendly super B doubles and B triples rolling along a highway near you  Wink
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
ATMS is SFA use to us in our current circumstances. In fact, in cab signalling is moderately useless unless you want to take the razor gang to fixed signals, and have none, which hardly sounds like an advance in safe practices.

Nobody is going to willingly change our circumstances to suit ATMS if they know what they're doing.

M
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The whole idea of having a "one size fits all" safeworking system seems quite unnecessary. It seems perfectly natural that you'd have a different sort at Lidcombe than you'd have at Clandulla. Even the idea of a single access provider seems to rule out private lines, for some reason that strikes a bum note for me. I work on two gauges as it is!

M
"Grantham"


Well, chances are you'll get what you want (different systems at Clandulla and Lidcombe, and neither under ARTC too).  But could you please explain how that helps rail freight?

Access provision is different to line ownership.  ARTC already provides access to lines that it doesn't own.  If anything, having a single "neutral" access provider makes private lines more workable.  Operators (and customers) get very nervous when faced with the prospect that the lines they need to run on might be being managed by someone that might want to make things difficult for them. Think about QRN privatisation/the various iron ore access requests/Hunter Valley capacity discussions...

An unavoidable downside to rail freight is its lack of flexibility - trains can only go where the tracks take them.  Differences in signalling, differences in operating procedures, differences in gauge, etc, etc, etc only make that problem worse.  You can't change history, but it is beyond me why the current pitiful situation needs to exist for the rest of time.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
The whole idea of having a "one size fits all" safeworking system seems quite unnecessary. It seems perfectly natural that you'd have a different sort at Lidcombe than you'd have at Clandulla. Even the idea of a single access provider seems to rule out private lines, for some reason that strikes a bum note for me. I work on two gauges as it is!

M
"Grantham"


Well, chances are you'll get what you want (different systems at Clandulla and Lidcombe, and neither under ARTC too).  But could you please explain how that helps rail freight?

Access provision is different to line ownership.  ARTC already provides access to lines that it doesn't own.  If anything, having a single "neutral" access provider makes private lines more workable.  Operators (and customers) get very nervous when faced with the prospect that the lines they need to run on might be being managed by someone that might want to make things difficult for them. Think about QRN privatisation/the various iron ore access requests/Hunter Valley capacity discussions...

An unavoidable downside to rail freight is its lack of flexibility - trains can only go where the tracks take them.  Differences in signalling, differences in operating procedures, differences in gauge, etc, etc, etc only make that problem worse.  You can't change history, but it is beyond me why the current pitiful situation needs to exist for the rest of time.
"donttellmywife"


I thought ARTC were losing management of the Country RIC branches this month? (Clandulla included) Not that ARTC have kept all "their" branch lines open anyway, just ask LVR! Nobody would provide access if they didn't want your business, the corrollary is they'll shut you down if they want to. And they do.

The current pitiful situation exists with it's origins in so many places that a change in safeworking won't help. Differences in signalling, rules and gauges is just chicken feed compared with difficulties in maintenance, management and accreditation.

M
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
ATMS is SFA use to us in our current circumstances. In fact, in cab signalling is moderately useless unless you want to take the razor gang to fixed signals, and have none, which hardly sounds like an advance in safe practices.

Nobody is going to willingly change our circumstances to suit ATMS if they know what they're doing.

M
"Grantham"


If ARTC can make it work and choose to deploy it then you'll get on board or be left out. It's their agenda.

Surely a light or stick on a post isn't the only way to let a train driver know what to do  Rolling Eyes
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!

If ARTC can make it work and choose to deploy it then you'll get on board or be left out. It's their agenda.

Surely a light or stick on a post isn't the only way to let a train driver know what to do  Rolling Eyes
"cootanee"


Might be the simplest though!

I'd be worried if I owned a private line, too. All this talk of a monopoly by one access provider.

M
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!


I thought ARTC were losing management of the Country RIC branches this month? (Clandulla included) Not that ARTC have kept all "their" branch lines open anyway, just ask LVR! Nobody would provide access if they didn't want your business, the corrollary is they'll shut you down if they want to. And they do.  

M
"Grantham"



And six years on people still don't understand ARTC's role in the CRN  Rolling EyesRolling EyesRolling Eyes

Why bother understanding why ARTC is pursuing ATMS  Exclamation
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!



Why bother understanding why ARTC is pursuing ATMS  Exclamation
"cootanee"


Well, I see little signs at work (there are little signs everywhere) that say "ATP test area" or words to that effect. A little (very little) light bulb goes on inside my head and tells me that they're testing in-cab signalling.


I would hope against all hopes that the gentle and steep gradients as well as the wildly variable distance between fixed signals will be taken into account, but I think it will be a total cock-up, just like all the new speed boards in the same area.

One is supposed to trust that the engineers who choose the speeds know what they're doing, but exactly what the railway does with that knowledge seems to generate more anxiety about their competence....a good example is the 40km/h board on the down just before Mt Victoria, on dead straight track? It was 65km/h before, and there is a 65 for the next curve? And the 50km/h advisory speed board before the platform is gone, part of a 65km/h area now.

What would possess me to think that if they can't be clearly seen to post sensible speed boards, that they'd get in-cab signalling and ATMS right? Nothing. I'd expect there to be more severe limitations than exist at present.

I'm sure I sound cynical!

And the ARTC monopoly thing... what happens to private railways?

M
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

And six years on people still don't understand ARTC's role in the CRN
"cootanee"

What does CRN mean?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
ATMS is SFA use to us in our current circumstances. In fact, in cab signalling is moderately useless unless you want to take the razor gang to fixed signals, and have none, which hardly sounds like an advance in safe practices.

Nobody is going to willingly change our circumstances to suit ATMS if they know what they're doing.

M
"Grantham"


So... no issues with signal sighting, no issues with warning distances, no issues with block lengths being inappropriate for a particular train, no issues with maintenance of lineside infrastucture, no issues with a lack of hard protection against driver error, no issues with the different state based systems of "this is what this light means", no issues with the time required for paperwork/tokens for the non-ctc type systems, it's all just tickety-boo?   I am amazed.

And the ARTC monopoly thing... what happens to private railways?


Whatever they want to happen.  If its a private railway its their call.  Plenty of existing examples of that.  But for the sake of simplicity and consistency, if I was operating a private railway (track only) that was connected to the national network I'd definitely be having a good hard think about making it as easy as possible for my "customers" to run their trains on my tracks.

Single access provider => less accreditation issues.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes and then your ATMS in cab screen goes "pffffttt" amid a little cloud of smoke - oopsh ...

Yes those speeds are stupid but its because some galoot from Rail Corp with his computer simulation says that everything that is loco hauled or light locomotive/s has the braking performance of four 82's with 45 100T coal hoppers behind them .

Not to worry , with brain dead pursuits like BER batts wind farms solar panels NBN etc where's the Fed Gumbyment gonna find money to give everyone's locomotives another shiny new box of electronics .
The buck stops with the asset owner which in our case it a state government about to be ousted by one of a different flavor to the Feds .

Fun times ahead .
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Yes and then your ATMS in cab screen goes "pffffttt" amid a little cloud of smoke - oopsh ...

Yes those speeds are stupid but its because some galoot from Rail Corp with his computer simulation says that everything that is loco hauled or light locomotive/s has the braking performance of four 82's with 45 100T coal hoppers behind them .

Not to worry , with brain dead pursuits like BER batts wind farms solar panels NBN etc where's the Fed Gumbyment gonna find money to give everyone's locomotives another shiny new box of electronics .
The buck stops with the asset owner which in our case it a state government about to be ousted by one of a different flavor to the Feds .

Fun times ahead .
"BDA"


Even four 82s and 45 NHSHs stops very easily from 65 there before the next stick, don't even need dyno. Enough stuff breaks down on our locos all the time, we frequently have to remarshall them mid run because the countrynet radio keeps dropping out-and now they want to put more fancy electronic equipment in the cab? Just so we don't have to worry about "sighting distance"? Far out, if if you can't drive to the conditions, you're in the wrong job. If you think bad conditions can be avoided by putting even more fancy equipment in old locomotives, the same applies.

[bigimg]http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8776/1010601.jpg[/bigimg]

(Yes, the date is wrong! Embarassed ) Even some antiquated equipment still works ok, it requires far less maintenance than a system wide radio system, is far cheaper and is as safe as any...even an ATMS can be isolated. A physical token for a single line section has saved many a brain explosion over authority to use the line, and having a train register to fill in has done the same.

[bigimg]http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/2971/1010017.jpg[/bigimg]

Fancy electronics are probably great in new equipment, but older locomotives like like this should not be written off because the electricity supply to new equipment has too many spikes and whatnot. It's not just a case of fitting new gear, it usually means good locos become junk, just beacause they're not able to be reliably fitted with equipment. A good example is the countrynet system, requiring turning off then back on half an hour before you want to talk to the man on the wall....the poor things are on 24/7, they get hot, or bothered, or confused, and stop working. And nobody wants to spend money maintaining or repairing them either, because the new "ICE" radio is just around the corner, so we've been hearing for several years...

[bigimg]http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/3817/image0356ny.jpg[/bigimg]

Of course, some railway/non-safeworking signals can't be replaced...note the hand held radio too, for improved reliablity...

M
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
P.S.: Not having a go at anyone here, I'm not trying to make a personal attack on anyone! I have my gripes about modifying the long established existing safeworking systems. My gripe is twofold:

1. Reliability of in-cab equipment appears to form no part of an accurate risk assessment on anyone's part. The operator might be responsible for equipment condition, but the equipment is mandated by someone who doesn't have to, and never had to, and never will, work with it under service conditions. Failures are usually hidden by management by remarshalling loco consists, lost time can be attributed to incompetence by the train crew. Many otherwise perfectly good locos are trailing unit only, despite being fitted with all the gear, and the same class as the lead unit. This is not acceptable. I bet this crap never comes up in your risk assessments... what a surprise.

2. The locomotive should be a piece of equipment that hauls a train. It should not be a telecommunication device. Using a locomotive as a telecommunication device is like using your telephone at home to power your model railway. It can be done, but it's not the best way of doing it.

Frankly, safety and reliability are two things that should be so basic that you shouldn't have to worry about them. So use the appropriate safeworking system to the task at hand, don't try to re-invent the wheel!

M
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Isnt ATMS simply cost shifting.
The track operator cuts their costs by removing track side equipment and simply lumbers the Rail Operator with the costs of the loco based equipment.
Whats in it for Rail Operators and ATMS.
Will ARTC reduce track access fees on ATMS based lines.

Have a look at the history of Vlines now almost abandoned ASW system.
Many similarities to ATMS.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The major benefit of ATMS is the creation of additional network capacity without the need for additional, and costly, track infrastructure (duplication, crossing loops etc).
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Just look where road freight is headed and its not back to 19th century.

My car has every computer control device you can think of. Sure when it dies its dead but day to day its more reliable, fuel efficient, safer and powerful than my equivalent car in the 80's. You'll still have people pining for pre EFI, EMS, ABS, ESP cars.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Ok, but I think we can agree to disagree about this. Expensive track and trackside infrastucture is actually a good thing, in cab equipment will never make up for it. Everyone seems pretty quick to bag out the technology of the 19th century, but look at what they could do! Imagine surveying the site for Tumulla bank with new tech equipment...you'd still put the line in the same place...trust me, it's been looked into! Another surveying example is the re-use of the long abandoned right of way for the new track into the new mine at Mt Airly...

The greatest 19th and 20th century engineers would be horrified at the decline we've allowed ourselves to be dragged into. From Brunel to Bradfield, imagine the vision and foresight that they'd apply to our circumstances!    

And for the record, (Cootanee) I drive an extremely fuel efficient 1975 utility, with no ABS, or even air con or power steering, yet it does what I want, and it's far more powerful than a 1980s chariot, despite being all dinosaur tech! Modern machinery still can't improve on getting the basics right.

M
  perwaynut Deputy Commissioner

Location: In the Land of the Mighty Hawks, and our favourite footy President Jeff
It seems that this thread has degenerated into a weird miasma of rumor, ignorance and innuendo.

Oh well.

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