Case Study

Baltimore North Avenue Yard

Learn how MTA Maryland modernized its staging yard using Frauscher Axle Counters and Wheel Detectors.

Baltimore North Avenue Yard


The Baltimore North Avenue Yard is a staging yard where trains are parked and maintained. A manual system enables train drivers to stop at both entries and switch tracks to determine their route within the yard. The operation is tedious and time consuming. To automate the functionality and modernize the yard, the first task was to use the latest technology for reliable and precise train detection. In addition, the benefits of such a system were defined as inventory management by keeping track of the number of axles in the yard for optimum utilization of the facility.


MTA Maryland’s strategy for yard modernization introduced proven signaling technology. The Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdCi, a CENELEC SIL 3 product for vital applications, is specially designed for yard applications and for use on industrial lines. It enables train detection up to speeds of 50 mph without the maintenance requirements and downtime of other methodologies.

Baltimore North avenue yard


In the yard there are 31 wheel sensors distributed to provide train detection for all switches. To efficiently gather the information of each wheel sensor and get reduced cabling costs a decentralized system architecture was chosen. The information from the various wheel detectors throughout the yard are gathered in two trackside bungalows that housed the indoor equipment.

Baltimore North Avenue Yard

Product & Tools

Facts & Figures

  • Operator: MTA Maryland 
  • Partner: M.C. Dean
  • Scope of supply: Delivery of components, trial system, training
  • Scope of project: 31 counting heads 
  • Axle counter: FAdCi
  • Wheel sensor: RSR180