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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Amtrak petitions FRA to retire fixed wayside signals in Maryland


Amtrak has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration for approval to retire fixed wayside signals on a branch of the Northeast Corridor in Maryland, according to a Jan. 17 notice in the Federal Register.

The FRA is seeking comments on Amtrak's request until March 20.

Specifically, the signals that Amtrak wants to retire are located between the bridge interlocking at milepost 98.2 in Baltimore and Grove interlocking at milepost 112.4 in Severn, Maryland, on Amtrak’s Mid-Atlantic Division, from Main Line Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

In its petition, Amtrak said it plans to "convert approximately [14] miles of its cab signal with fixed automatic block signal system to a signal system having cab signals without fixed automatic block signals, operated under NORAC Rule 562." Therefore, Amtrak determined that "the automatic block signals are not necessary and require additional maintenance," according to the Federal Register.

Amtrak is asking the FRA for permission to remove wayside signals at automatic block points in three locations: 994 and 1014 on Track Nos. 1, 2, 3 and A Track; 1031 and 1034 on Track Nos. 2 and 3; and 1054, 1078 and 1102 on Track Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

Amtrak adds that all locations will remain in service as block points without wayside signals.