High Speed Passenger Rail Interoperability in North America

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2 High Speed Passenger Rail Interoperability in North America APTA Rail Conference - Boston Thomas Peacock Larry D. Kelterborn June15, 2011

3 Discussion Topics The New Transportation Vision Meaning of Interoperability Why Interoperability for HSR? The European Model Danger of the Status Quo Possible Collateral Damage Path Forward Conclusions

4 The New Transportation Vision Current Administration is a strong proponent of intercity and high-speed rail Developed a Vision for high-speed rail in America Agreed to invest in an efficient, high-speed passenger rail network of 100 to 600 mile intercity corridors Tasked FRA to develop a National Rail Plan Introduces the concept of interoperability

5 Meaning of Interoperability General Definition: Interoperability is a property of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, present or future, without any restricted access or implementation. Railroad Specific Definition: Interoperability means the ability of the trans-european high-speed rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of high-speed trains which accomplish the specified levels of performance.

6 Meaning of Interoperability Railways have greater or lesser interoperability depending on conformance to standards: gauge couplings brakes signaling communications operating rules Interoperability rests on all the regulatory, technical and operational conditions that must be met Conventional North American railroads are highly interoperable What s needed for HSR?

7 Why Interoperability for HSR? Only Path to a National High Speed Rail Network

8 European Model From patchwork to a network for Europe Five different electrical propulsion systems 16 differing safety regulatory frameworks Hundreds of national regulations European track system does not exist Railroads traditionally state organized and oriented Resulted in a lack of interoperability

9 European Model to Achieve Interoperability Legal Basis Directive Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI s) European Specifications

10 European Model - Directive 96/48/EC Passed in 1996 Only concerned the interoperability of the trans-european high-speed rail system. Harmonization of safety requirements and safety certifications that were different in all Member States Created the European Railway Agency (ERA) for Safety and Interoperability Mandated the development of TSIs to establish the technical interoperability requirements which subsystems must meet

11 European Model TSI s These mandatory standards lay down the fundamental elements of each sub-system and identify in particular the constituents that are critical from the perspective of interoperability Goal: minimize mandatory prescriptive requirements to allow performance oriented solution

12 European Model TSI s Since its creation in 2004, the European Railway Agency is responsible for drawing up and revising the TSI s Rolling stock Infrastructure Control-command Energy Operation Maintenance (on-board installations) Maintenance (fixed installations)

13 European Model - Specifications Encourage performance oriented solutions European specifications, including European standards from the European standards bodies: CEN, Cenelec Significant problem is the long time needed by the European Standardization Bodies to deliver a European standard. This can take longer than 5 years, and in some cases even up to 10 years

14 European Model - Lessons Learned Clear Legal Basis Regulations/Standards are the Key Prescriptive/Performance Balance Encourage Performance Oriented Solutions Takes a long time Appears to be Working

15 Danger of the Status Quo Does North America have an advantage over Europe? Existing highly interoperable conventional rail system No existing high speed (150 mph +) systems North America has no High Speed Rail specific standards to achieve interoperability Planned very HSR systems are likely to utilize service-proven systems and technologies from overseas may not be fully compatible with conventional NA rail operations

16 Possible Collateral Damage from Interoperability Elimination of Some Technologies Implementation of non-service proven technologies Higher Costs in Some Corridors Complex Standards Development Effort

17 Path Forward - Regulatory FRA developed a High-Speed Passenger Rail Safety Strategy The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires all railroads to implement PTC by Dec Requires interoperability of the system with movements of trains of other railroads over its lines New regulations being promulgated to address HSR, including System Safety and Track Safety standards

18 Path Forward - Regulatory RSAC Engineering Task Force (ETF II) developing HSR equipment safety standards Vehicle safety & crashworthiness requirements Consistent with service proven HSR equipment Provides equivalent safety to FRA compliant vehicles in mixed service Will address some interoperability issues such as crashworthiness, carbody width, floor height, Task Force recommendations could result in future amendment to FRA Equipment Safety Standards (Tier III) or basis for some equipment requirements in a Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA) for specific HSR projects

19 Path Forward - Positive Train Control High Speed Rail Designs Must be Compatible with PTC Infrastructure being Designed and Installed Now Clear High Speed Rail PTC Integration Guidance Needs to be Developed

20 Path Forward - HS Track Standards Geometry and inspection requirements for both the dedicated and conventional operations need to be consistent with equipment utilized Requiring standard track gauge and NA back-to-back wheel dimensions will assist future Interoperability

21 Path Forward - Infrastructure Inspection Standards What to Inspect Inspection Intervals Inspection Techniques Inspector Training

22 Path Forward HSR Operating Practices Uniform Operating Rules Must be Developed Operator Qualifications Maintainer Qualifications Fitness for Duty Worker Protection Hours of Service Training Rules Compliance Supervisory Responsibilities

23 Conclusions Status quo likely to result in a patch work rather than a network If started early, HSR Interoperability will be less difficult to achieve in North America than Europe Key is Rules and Standards Keep Prescription to a Minimum PTC and ETF-II are a good start finish them

24 Conclusions A lead organization will be required to drive the effort To be ready in 5-10 years, start now In the meantime decisions will need to be made on aspects of HSR systems to be built in the near-term Make efforts to maximize service-proven aspects to existing HSR systems Manage expectations for interoperability No need to solve all aspects of future interoperability now Make decisions on current HSR projects that don t restrict future interoperability

25 Path Forward

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