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Metro Fire and Security Management Systems

Metro Fire and Security Management Systems


GL Communications supported Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in modernizing its decades-old supervisory and control system that are critical to MTA's metro rail operations.


The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) owns and operates a public transit, 12-mile Metro train system that runs through downtown Baltimore with many above and below ground stations.

In order to support the train system's daily operations and maintenance activities, Metro uses a Central Supervisory Control System (CSCS), installed in mid-90s. CSCS manages daily train traffic operations and a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. The SCADA in turn controls and monitors facilities that include fire management; intrusion detection; station and tunnel ventilation; station, traction and uninterruptible power systems; station control center booths; elevators, escalators and pumps.

The old management system and its components needed modernization because most of them had become obsolete, were at the end of useful life and the vendors no longer supported them. Fire management panels, intrusion systems, station computers, SCADA data gathering panels, and older Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) that monitor and control certain building devices and environmental factors were among the subsystems that required to be replaced.

GL's Support to MTA

GL worked very closely with MTA to upgrade the management systems. We developed specifications to modernize

  • Central Supervisory Control System (CSCS)
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • Station-wide LAN (SLAN)
  • Centralized Control and Display at Station Control Center (SCC) Booth

The newly designed CSCS comes with a modern, state-of-the-art control system with enhanced capabilities. It will provide integrated centralized (train) traffic control, traction power management, and building management. The new CSCS will provide building management capabilities using both new and existing SCADA systems. Specifically, fire management, intrusion detection, environmental systems, and station network and control systems will be upgraded and integrated. The new CSCS will also provide enhanced train and traction power management capabilities using the existing train, track, and signaling SCADA systems. Local Area Networks (LAN) will be provided for interconnection of all the subsystems.