does the amtrack ne corridor use pl tones?
When we get foreign power for our own trains, we have a hell of a time getting over foreign property. They require a PL tone, but UP, BNSF, NS, ect. . . don't have that programmed into the radio's. We we either have to use another engine in the consist(if we have one) or having everything keep getting relayed via our dispatcher. Luckily its only a 15 miles trip.from what i have read here railroads do not use tones
probably for safety
if someone had a different tone they might not hear someone else
and that could be a matter of life and death
I'm not aware of any "rule" or law about PL usage in the rail industry. The places where I have been that used PL, was all yard limits. Not 60MPH freight's or passenger.Correct me if i`m worng here, but isn`t there some rule that railroad radios can`t use PL tones anyway for saftey reasons? as in every radio has to hear/communicate with any other radio on the channel? I recall a conversation i had with a fellow ham up in NW WI about that once and he said that they don`t use PL`s for that reason. Besides, having no PL to worry about just makes it easier for the users, no having to try to remember which PL for which channel/repeater. N9NRA
Same here...in L.A. Amtrak uses DCS for their UHF yard repeater and Amtrak PD uses PL for their VHF repeater. The road frequencies, any railroad, are "open".I'm not aware of any "rule" or law about PL usage in the rail industry. The places where I have been that used PL, was all yard limits. Not 60MPH freight's or passenger.
Regarding Conrail PL tone, the cab radio would send out an alert in the cab when it heard that PL tone notifying the crew it had a defect. I wish that was still used to todayGenerally speaking (another mostly universal post), PL tones are not used on road channels with the major or most regional railroads. The AAR states that you must have an AAR spec radio for interchange - as a lead locomotive - but that does not mean you cannot use PL tones.
The front panel of the AAR radio does not permit you to select a PL tone, but all the AAR radios I have seen since the original Motorola Clean Cab Spectra does permit the radio to be preprogrammed with "Home channels" that may include PL tones or non-standard offsets/frequencies. You can however, select a singletone for those railroads that did/do still use an audible tone to bring up the dispatcher. In most places, it has been replaced by DTMF for just about everything.
Many of the east coast commuter railroads are a country by themselves and do not need to worry about PL tones as they use preprogrammed channels, if even an AAR radio (they don't interchange, so no need to spend extra $$ on radios that will never be used as a leader pulling a coal train around).
Amtrak that runs on some of these type of lines have pools of engines that are dedicated or at least can be configured for these areas and remain there (different cab signal types, LSL, ATS units, etc) so that is not an issue for those. Same with any freight railroad that needs to operate on those lines.
In some instances, PL tones are left on due to programming issues or for other reasons. I know Conrail at one point had a non-standard PL tone of 150.0 on defect detectors, and I cannot recall the reason why they did that. I will tell you that the Springfield line did/does have a PL tone on the base towers, but the locomotives do not have a PL tone transmitted or decoded in the cabs last I checked.
In the yards, that is a whole nuther matter. Those who work in the yards where repeater equipped have their radios programmed to allow repeater use if so desired. The engines (unless a dedicated unit) will just transmit and receive on the repeater output channel - as the engine radio is typically 45 watts and will be heard all over. Of all the radios I have come across with repeater pairs, the receive channel has always been CSQ.
Railroad police - depends on where they are. Amtrak has a very well installed base of repeaters from Boston down to DC. They (as well as large commuter railroads) are the exception to the rule. Most freight railroad police operate by cellphone and/or on local police channels depending on any MOU's. Texas and California is a typical example of this. Otherwise, its the cellphone for dispatch and normal railroad channels if they need to talk to other railroad employee's. Their railroad radios in the patrol vehicles are programmed up with all 97 AAR channels and can use any channel needed to talk to whoever they want...be it UP/BNSF NS/CSX etc. Many times the local RR cops (which are far and few anyways) have it worked out between themselves internally and with other carrier cops.