Rail: Guideway Systems

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Maintenance Facility Design

Primary Guidance

  • The communications network must be separated into operational and non-operational networks with connectivity to MDOT Statewide Network for the latter. Space allocations should be designed into planned facilities rather than creating new facilities for network hardware.
  • Railway signaling equipment is required for safe train movement. Communications-based train control should be used when possible.
  • Traction electrification costs can be reduced by considering these systems during alignment and capacity planning. Higher voltages should be used when possible.
  • Two-way radio communications using MDFIRST 700 MHz Statewide trunked radio system must be provided.


  • Guideways are an integral component of an overall rail transit system for Metro Subway, Light Rail, and Commuter Rail. Regardless of guideway type, systems are an integral part of the design. Cost saving can be realized by integrating systems designs early in the planning and design process.
  • Systems Elements may include any or all the following:
  • Communication network infrastructure;
  • Railway signaling;
  • Traffic control;
  • Traction electrification;
  • Safety features that include emergency telephones, emergency trip stations and fire management; and
  • Two-way radio communication.

Communications Network Infrastructure

  • The Communications Network Infrastructure will include hardware and cabling for guideway systems communications as well as for communications of and between systems at stations, maintenance facilities, control centers, and other support facilities. Network infrastructure should include separate networks for operational (train control, traffic control, Supervisor Control, and Data Acquisition [SCADA]) and non-operational communications (CCTV, Access Control, Fare Collection, Intra/Inter-Net Access).
  • Dependable, flexible and redundant communication networks should be provided for both. Redundant pathways should be considered where practical. Redundant pathways reduce the potential for cable damage resulting in loss of communications. Communications network hardware should be planned in designed facilities throughout the guideway rather than designing separate facilities for network