locked Re: CTC on the Atlanta-Bham line

George Eichelberger

Connecting control points and track circuits from along a route to CTC machines was not a trivial (or inexpensive) project. The Southern's C&S Dept. was innovative when they adapted the signaling (E&M in tech talk) leads from analog voice channels to individual control points. Getting CTC codes from dispatch centers to individual microwave towers was relatively easy but in most cases copper cables were used to extend the MW channels from the microwave towers to the CPs.

Many of those cables dated to when buried cables replaced open wires on poles for line side telephones. Putting new cables in the ground to reach to MW towers that were around 20 miles apart for CTC was a significant cost.

Now, the MW is all digital, data radio is used to get to most CPs and everything uses the Internet Protocols (TCP/IP) that provides alternate routes to everything. As far as I could determine, NS was the first railroad anywhere to use “IP” for train control on a large scale. 

(The NS entire data network, including Conrail, was my design. Southern’s (useful, usually) “if it ain’t broke” mentality made “selling” a radically new network idea really difficult. I have to compliment NS management on their decision to spend $50M to do the upgrade at the same time CSX was outsourcing everything to ATT. I’ll never forget David Goode asking “Do you realize you are asking me to spend $50M when CSX is getting rid of their comms systems?" The answer must have been good because it represents what I consider a competitive advantage for NS to this day!)


On Oct 4, 2021, at 10:53 AM, James Walton <whovianwil@...> wrote:

Odd to imagine TT&TO still being used so late.

On Mon, Oct 4, 2021, 10:25 CARL ARDREY <carlardrey2005@...> wrote:
CTC wasn't common on Western Lines.  Southern liked to make sure the ROI was there.
On 10/03/2021 9:14 PM James Walton <whovianwil@...> wrote:
Woah, that's surprisingly late for such an important part of the Southern's network. Any reason it took so long?

On Sun, Oct 3, 2021, 09:19 CARL ARDREY < carlardrey2005@...> wrote:
On 10/03/2021 12:39 AM James Walton < whovianwil@...> wrote:
Does anyone know when the Southern's Atlanta-Birmingham line converted to CTC?

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