The CTC project – which will improve safety as compared to Dark Territory/Radio Clearances, and increase density on the Guelph subdivision is nearly complete. Signals have been turned in the direction of travel, but at this time, signal numbers are all boarded up, on purpose, until commissioning day.
You see, if a signal is ‘extinguished’ you must treat it as a stop and do not proceed sign until released by the RTC. But no signal number, no signal, thus the rule is avoided
At any rate, crews on the ground indicate end of October is likely…. why is this important? It will lead to increased service for GO and possibly even VIA – without CTC the Railways would have said no.
And it avoids the potential mistakes that can occur in dark territory:
Note: Thamesville was caused by an improperly reversed switch, in CTC it is the theory this would turn signals to RED giving engineers a warning the next signal up. The near head-on derailments on GEXR are alarming, but part of that problem was procedural, which has been fixed due to installation of radio towers and repeaters, and implementation of better procedures for acknowledement.
Derailments and accidents occur in CTC… which is why PTC is the big push now.. (for better or worse.. don’t get me started on PTC! the Jury is still out on this one!)