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BNSF SD70ACe 9049flagMerriam KS Merriam

BNSF 9049 crosses over at Control Point Bravo. Springtime!

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©  Apr 18, 2014


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Exposure: 10/12500
Aperture: f/14
Focal length: 300 mm
ISO: 800
Time: 15:38

BNSF 9049 crosses over at Control Point Bravo. Springtime!



storyThe new signals seen here, "imperfectly displayed", are representative of what is happening all across the US, and is due to a conflict between two laws passed by Congress. One law, regarding safe railroad operations, mandated that Positive Train Control (PTC) equipment be installed to allow dispatchers the ability to stop a train in which the crew is disabled for any reason. Many new signals and associated hardware are needed all along the railroad right-of-way to make this technology workable. The second law prohibits any sort of digging or earth-work alongside the railroad tracks which may contain any sort of historical artifacts from any Native American tribes, until EACH SITE may be inspected by a representative from such tribes as may have inhabited the areas affected. Work on PTC signals stopped in mid-2013, due to the fact that the Native American tribes have nowhere near the manpower required to VISIT all the thousands of such locations that exist, let alone remain on site to supervise the digging activities. It appears that the mandate for the railroads to comply with the first law by 2015 will be missed unless some accommodation can be reached by all concerned.
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