• River Sub Automatic 13: advance home, repeater?

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by EthanTX
Hey guys;
I'm new here, but have been a fan of the CSX River sub for a while. I used to monitor their radio a lot, but not much recently.
Anyway, I have been wondering about what exactly is the function of automatic signal 13 south, located in Dumont NJ at New Milford ave.
The southbound signal has double-head, so I am assuming it is an advance home or repeater for CP10.
That said, I don't think it always repeats the aspect of CP10.

Can someone fill me in on what A13S displays in relation to CP10, and for that matter, what CP10 displays under different conditions.
I am aware that there is an interlocking on Main track 2 at CP7 with the controlled siding, and another interlocking at CP5 with universal x-overs and yard lead (Bellmans?)

  by Wayside
Having been away from that area for quite some time, I cannot answer the question completely. What is the current layout of CP10, in terms of switches, crossovers, and possible routes of movement? If there is a crossover that connects to either the other main or the controlled siding or both, then the 13S signal would simply govern the approach to CP10, requiring two heads for diversions at CP10 (or whatever CSX calls that location these days). A "repeater" signal doesn't make sense to me, anyway. But as I said, I have been off that railroad for years. In my time there, CP10 had a single switch leading to the siding, which was not a "controlled" siding in those days.
  by EthanTX
The current alignment at CP10:
Single track main from CP22 to CP10. CP10 is immediately south of New Bridge road grade crossing in Bergenfield. It is actually at MP 11.0.
Double track main from CP10 to CP 1 (then CR to CP Croxton?)
Controlled siding from CP10 to CP 7. CSX calls this the 'middle siding'.

You can see the alignment in Google Earth if you search for Bergenfield or Teaneck NJ.

Interestingly, the old PC River Line or West Shore Line had 4 tracks, then just two, with the east track (now Main track 1) being a controlled siding, which ran from what was CP13 in Dumont to CP7 in Bogota.
Conrail added the middle siding and re-aligned (completely replacing ballast, ties, and rails) to make what was the controlled siding, Main track 1 with Main track 2 being the original main.
Main track 1 was extended past CP7 to CP5, and the universal X-overs were installed at CP5.

I do not believe A13S is what could be correctly labeled as a repeater signal, but it does have two heads and is capable of displaying advanced aspects.
  by MattW
Based on what you've described, as well as looking at the signal in question I would guess that CP10 gives a medium speed onto the second track so auto 13 would give approach medium. If however CP10 is lined for the controlled siding, CP10 would show restricting while Auto 13 would show approach. Auto 13 is also a block signal so it wouldn't be a distant signal only showing the state of the next signal. Except in maybe a one-off highly specialized circumstance, I don't think CSX uses any kind of repeater signals. Also, the signals aren't really "advance home" signals, I usually hear crews refer to them as "distant" even though since they're block signals that's technically incorrect.
  by TrainDetainer
You hear crews refer to it as a distant signal because that's what it is. Technically. Really. It is also an automatic, not any kind of repeater (never heard of an "advance home"), so it does convey track information for the block. And the distant information for CP-10. Lots of things can have two names or functions. Also, Conrail called them Controlled Sidings or Non-Controlled Sidings - CSX calls Controlled Sidings Signalled Sidings. I don't recall what the turnout sizes are at CP-10 or the associated signal aspects, but on the CR system the speeds conveyed by the signals for interlockings most reflected the most restrictive turnout speed used by the route selected within the given interlocking. If you line a route that uses a 15MPH turnout the best aspect would be Slow Clear (toward a Signalled track), regardless of the listed speed for the track you're lined for beyond the interlocking limits (which could be 79MPH or more). On CR at least, the signals were used as a tool to allow engineers to comply with what comes next, not just for interlockings, so while the home signal speed indication applies within the interlocking, it can also be used for compliance beyond the interlocking (you wouldn't design a Limited upgrade into a distant track that's designated as Medium Speed even if the turnout size allowed it) since the interlocking signal does convey track condition for the distant block and governs the entrance to that block. Since the Middle Siding at Teaneck is signalled/controlled, it's best aspect is not Restricting. Restricting as highest available upgrade is for non-controlled tracks, so why would anyone signal a siding just to limit the signal to restricting? If you see a restricting at CP-10 with the switch lined for the siding it's because the track is occupied by another train or there's a problem. We used to stuff two normal sized trains in there all the time. Someone more current could fill you in on the actual aspects at EAS CP-10, but IIRC Track 1 is signalled Limited and the Siding is Medium.
  by WhartonAndNorthern
Surprised I haven't seen this sooner. Having spent quite a bit of time watching the Bergenfield rail cam and the SAS (Southward Absolute Signal) CP-10 signal, I'll try to answer.

Auto 13 when viewed from the North is the automatic block signal (Rule 261) protecting the track block between itself and CP-10. In addition to being directly controlled by the track circuit, auto signals may be have their most favorable aspect reduced by the state of the next signal(s) down line. ABS signals do not protect against conflicting movements, but are intended to keep a train from running into the train in front of it.

I should also mention that while I've never seen Auto 13, I do know that SAS CP-10 has displayed the following aspects: stop, restricting, approach, medium approach, medium approach medium, medium clear, approach medium, and clear.

  1. if the block is occupied, it will show red over red (Restricted Proceed, Rule CR1291 as it displays a number plate*)
  2. if SAS CP-10 is all red (Stop Rule CR1292), and the intermediate block is unoccupied**, Auto 13 will show yellow over red (Approach, Rule CR1285)
  3. if SAS CP-10 is showing green over red over red (Clear Rule 1281) and the block is not occupied, Auto 13 will also show clear by the same rule (green over red)
  4. if SAS CP-10 is showing Medium Clear (likely switch from single track to track 1), Medium Approach (switch from single track to track 1 or center siding, next signal (Auto 7 or CP 7) is stop or restricting), or Medium Approach Medium (likely switch to center siding at CP 10 and track 2 at CP 7), Auto 13 will show Approach Medium
As for the other aspects, I'll guess since I don't know whether CSX has 2,3 , or even 4 block signalling in place. Such a determination is based on track speed and block lengths.
CP-10 at restricting (train lined into occupied block) -> Auto 13 at Approach
CP-10 at Approach -> Auto 13 at Clear (could be Approach Medium if 3-block signalling in effect)
CP-10 at Approach Medium (likely used in place of an advanced approach) -> Auto 13 at Clear (could theoretically be Approach Limited if 4-block signalling is in effect)

References: *= well at least the other side shows number plate "132," verified by Google Street View
**= this condition pretty much applies to all statements below