Q #31: The RFP addresses HSR. What assumptions should the proposer make in order to address HSR requirements?There. Just in case there remained even the shadow of a doubt: Caltrain couldn't care less about interoperability with HSR, but is focused like a laser on interoperability with Union Pacific freight trains, a.k.a. "tenant railroad."
A: Evaluation of the potential for the proposed solution to meet future HSR needs will not be part of the proposal evaluation.
Q #43: [Caltrain] states that "the system will be required to be interoperable with the train control system selected for HSR operation throughout the California High Speed network." Since this train control system has not been identified, how can the contractor ensure that their system will be interoperable by the 2015 implementation date?
A: The Caltrain PTC system must be interoperable with existing tenant railroads by Dec 2015. HSR is not an existing tenant railroad.
Caltrain is betting all its chips on the AAR's Interoperable Train Control (ITC) project, an industry-wide consortium effort to stonewall and delay the federal PTC mandate. If there is any doubt about what the AAR (representing the big freight railroads) thinks about PTC, read their litany of complaints and ask yourself just how likely it is that ITC will be completed on time--regardless of the law. Expect the AAR to slow-walk PTC just as the Europeans run rings around us worldwide!
ORIGINAL POST: Caltrain's planned Positive Train Control system (known as CBOSS) has been out to bid for a little while now, and the Request For Proposal process is continuing with some back-and-forth Q&A between Caltrain and prospective bidders in advance of the November 3rd deadline.
The latest volley of questions and answers includes question #20 from an astute prospective bidder:
What assumptions should me made in terms of HSR? (Interoperability, Operations, sharing track, etc.)Caltrain's official response:
Under current RFP Scope of work, HSR Operations is not considered for this phase of PTC implementation. Public information is available via HSR webisite. (sic)It's October 2010, and Caltrain still considers high-speed rail as an afterthought. Shall we give them another raise?
Also, just where is the funding for CBOSS going to come from, and is the undetermined funding source why Caltrain refuses to change the wording of the contract payment terms from "will endeavor to pay" to "shall pay" (see question #11) ?