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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Amtrak Signal Diagrams Courtesy the Feds

So when Amtrak made regulatory filings to alter the signal system both on the Southern NEC and Springfield Line, it appears that they also submitted pdf diagrams, which now turn up when one searches through the FRA website. 

Rule 562 BACON to PERRY
Rule 562 BUSH TO OAK
Springfield Line Double Track Project Signal Changes

In addition to just being plain interesting there are a few key takeaways.  First, the 562 project that is currently going in between BACON (North East, MD) and OAK (Aberdeen, MD) will extend to BUSH, at the Bush River drawbridge.  This will eliminate three additional automatic block signal locations, each covering 3 tracks with back to back colorized position lights :-(

NEC ABS Signal 652 north of Aberdeen Station.
Second, the Springfield Line 562 scheme will include an island of 261 around Hartford with a single remaining wayside automatic block signal and the first two phases of the project will not include additional work between a point north of Hartford and Springfield, MA, leaving it pretty much un-touched from a signaling perspective.  Although the Springfield line has already lost all of it's interesting H-5 searchlights, the remaining wayside block signals were at least something extra.

The Springfield Line actually stands to gain a number of interesting features as interlockings in North Haven, Hartford and Berlin are all being expanded with gantries, cantilevers, 'C' boards and industrial track dwarfs.  There are still some puzzling instances of Rule 562 being in place between back-to-back interlockings with no obvious intermediate signaling points.  The diagrams are not very clear on that point.

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