Positive Train Control and Railway Safety Improvement Act

Date: 6/18/2013

Communications and Train Control Systems Are an Essential Part of Operating and Maintaining Railroads Safely and Efficiently

Railway Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA)

ARR Association of American Railroads The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 is a United States federal law, enacted by Congress to improve railroad safety. Among its provisions, the most notable was the mandate requiring positive train control (PTC) technology to be installed on most of the US railroad network by 2015. This was spurred by the 2008 Chatsworth train collision the month prior to passage of the act. References: Archived from the original

Positive Train Control (PTC)

Positive Train Control (PTC)Positive train control describes technology designed to automatically stop or slow a train before certain accidents occur. In particular, PTC is designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, derailments caused by excessive speed, unauthorized incursions by trains onto sections of track where repairs are being made and movement of a train through a track switch left in the wrong position. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) requires Class I railroads to install PTC systems on tracks that carry passengers or toxic-by-inhalation (TIH) materials. Based on a January 2012 final Federal Railroad Administration rule, AAR estimates that PTC technology will have to be deployed on approximately 63,000 miles of U.S. freight rail lines. This will involve the installation of PTC capability on thousands of locomotives; a large, new wireless communications network and tens of thousands of track-side devices connected to signals, switches and other wayside devices. As originally written, the RSIA mandated that PTC be put into service by the end of 2015. Since enactment of the legislation, railroads have devoted enormous human and financial resources to develop a fully functioning PTC system, and progress to date has been substantial. America’s railroads remain committed to implementing PTC and are doing all they can to address the challenges that have surfaced. References: Archived from the original

Communications and Train Control

Positive Train Control PCT, Communications and Train ControlCommunications and train control systems are an essential part of operating and maintaining railroads safely and efficiently. New generation systems can increase capacity, improve service reliability, increase average train speed, reduce congestion, and maximize the effective use of assets while reducing life-cycle costs and increasing safety. References: Archived from the original

Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC)

Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) is a railway signaling system that makes use of the telecommunications between the train and track equipment for the traffic management and infrastructure control. By means of the CBTC systems, the exact position of a train is known more accurately than with the traditional signaling systems. This results in a more efficient and safe way to manage the railway traffic. Metros (and other railway systems) are able to improve headways while maintaining or even improving safety. References: Archived from the original

Automatic Train Control (ATC)

Automatic Train Control (ATC) is the term for a general class of train protection systems for railways that involves some sort of speed control mechanism in response to external inputs. ATC systems tend to integrate various cab signaling technologies and the use more granular deceleration patterns in lieu of the rigid stops encountered with the older Automatic Train Stop technology. ATC can also be used with Automatic train operation (ATO) and is usually considered to be the safety-critical part of the system. Over time there have been many different safety systems labeled as Automatic Train Control. The term is especially common in Japan, where ATC is used on all Shinkansen (bullet train) lines and other lines as a replacement for ATS. References: Archived from the original

Title 49 – Transportation: Part 236—Human-Machine Interface (HMI) Design

Positive Train Control PCT, Human-Machine Interface HMI Transportation Human factors issues the designers must consider with regard to the general function of a system include:
1) Reduced situational awareness and over-reliance. HMI design must give an operator active functions to perform, feedback on the results of the operator's actions, and information on the automatic functions of the system as well as its performance. The operator must be “in-the-loop.”
2) Expectation of predictability and consistency in product behavior and communications. HMI design must accommodate an operator's expectation of logical and consistent relationships between actions and results. Similar objects must behave consistently when an operator performs the same action upon them.
3) End user limited ability to process information. HMI design must therefore minimize an operator's information processing load.
4) End user limited memory. HMI design must therefore minimize an operator's information processing load. References: Archived from the original

Train Driver Multifunction Operator Consoles AIS offers customization Human Machine Interface (HMI) Panels design service to meet customer specific platform requirements and standards for communications and train control systems

* EN 50155 / IEC 50155: Railway applications - Electronic equipment used on rolling stock
* EN 60950-1/ IEC 60950-1: Information technology equipment – Safety
* Association of American Railroads S-9101: Standard for Locomotive Electronics System Architecture
* Association of American Railroads S-9401: Standard for Railroad Electronics Environmental Requirements