RR Radio Frequencies

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On an Amtrak ride from NY to Orlando, I used a scanner to listen to automated transmitters that provided number of axles and the train's speed. What frequency was this? It appeared to remain constant from Washington D.C. through Orlando whereas I departed.

A total listing of frequencies would be a good addition to the FAQ pages.

-- Tom Kopke (cat_driver@compuserve.com), June 04, 1999


The entire AAR designation list with corresponding frequencies can be found at this website: http://w5gb.nmsu.edu/kc5kto/generalfrqs/railroads/rroad.frq

-- Jim Coviello (jcovi60516@aol.com), June 10, 1999.

The radio frequencies for the hot box detectors are set up to match the radio frequencies used by the train crews operating over that territory. Where as the dispatcher can and frequently does speak with the train on the "road" frequency, the engineer must go to a secondary frequency to "call" the dispatcher if the dispatcher is not actively listening in (which is most of the time). Once on the secondary frequency, the engineer presses a tone button, activating one of 18 diffferent tones that corrrespond to a specific dispataching district, RO-Acca, for instance. I'm not familiar with the exact MHz frequencies. We refer to them by AAR designations consisting of transmit/receive numbers: Amtrak Road 54/54; former ACL 32/32; former SAL 66/66; former SOU 56/56; former RF&P 96/96; former C&O/B&O 08/08; former Conrail 46/46.

-- Doug Riddell (railroaddoug@erols.com), June 10, 1999.

Tom, After doing research for several NC to FL trips, Here is a compilation of several CSX requencies which you should load in your scanner for the next trip. 160.590 (road), 161.100 (road), 160.320 (dispatcher), 160.920 (dispatcher), 161.370 (road), 161.520 (dispatcher), 160.845 (amtrak station switching operations i.e. Jacksonville). Between Selma NC and Raleigh you'll need to tune into NS frequencies 160.950, 160.245, 160.830. Here are some valuable websites with frequencies. Railroad Frequency List Http://zippy.cso.uiuc.edu:8080/~roma/rr-freqs/. CSX personal website http://www.mainline.railfan.net/. Typically, the defect detector uses the road frequency in use for a particular section of line. On this channel you also hear Amtrak crews, Engineers, and freight crews. Sometimes the dispatcher is heard on this channel or on another for dispatcher to train transmission. I recommend using a head set and keeping your scanner inconspicuous.

-- jim coviello (jcovi60516@aol.com), June 06, 1999.

Mike, thanks for your reply. It does answer, in part, my question. The reports appeared to be transmitted at regular distance intervals all the way from DC to Florida. I would watch outside the window, see the speed limit sign and would wait for the next report. It appeared to be on the same frequency as the AmTrak dispatcher since once crossing, the automated voice got stuck saying "Have a nice day" over and over. The dispatcher commented when we finally got out of range ot the engineer... "guess he wanted you to have a nice day!"


-- Tom Kopke (cat_driver@compuserve.com), June 05, 1999.

Tom my name is Mike Hart and have a member of the society on and of for about six years i live in FallsChurch Va. which is three miles from D.C. I am alocksmith inthe metro area which affords me the luxury of listening to my scanner while traveling.The transmitions you heard cam from the Conrail hot box detecter located about a hundred yards across the potomac river in Arlington Va.at what used tobe R.O.tower the northern terminusof the old R.F.P potomac yards which is now a shopping mall.Yet it is the southern start of conrailwhere the frequincyis160.800 asyou traveled south the frequincy changed to 161.550 which is the R.F.P (csx)to Richmond Va.Just north of the Alexandria station the R.F.P hot box transmitts the condition of the train to the engineer in the cab.Ihope i have been able to answer at least part of yor question.I just recently began using the computer and look fowerd to corresponding with other members of the society."THANKS FOR USING COASTLINE"

-- Michael Hart (LMcGuire@erols.com), June 05, 1999.

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