What's the NORAC definetion of a controled signal? In GCOR & USOR it's Dispatcher or Control Operator that controls the signal, i.e.: CTC absolute or a Manual Interlocking.
Never really knew that the NORAC rules were that different. I'm assuming that the CSX rules are pretty much NORAC with unused rules removed?
"Controlled Signal" is pretty much the same in NORAC:
"A fixed signal, capable of displaying Stop indication, that is controlled by a Dispatcher or Operator"
And the definition of "Automatic Block Signal System (ABS)":
"A block signal system in which the use of each block is governed by an automatic block signal, cab signal, or both."
"Form D Control System (DCS): A block system, signaled or non-signaled, in which the movement of trains outside of yard limits is authorized by Form D"
I think the only difference from what you describe is that, if DCS Rules are not in effect, or there are not timetable special instructions for a particular signal, the signal indication is the "authority" governing the "use" of the block. No written order or verbal permission is usually required. There are a few points in the timetable where a train entering a signaled subdivision from DCS territory needs verbal permission but this is rare.
The only one I know of in this area (CSX Albany NY Div) is for the 2 mi. long, single track (Rule 261) Fair Grounds SD that connects the Baldwinsville SD to the Mohawk SD (ex Conrail Chicago Line).
"Southward trains from Baldwinsville SD must not pass signal at CP-SALT without permission from ND Dispatcher"
In this case the train would be leaving the NE Dispatcher's non- signaled DCS for the ND's signaled territory so I guess it is to give the ND a "heads up" before the train actually enters his territory. (This is from the last CSX timetable under NORAC. I don't know if this is still in effect under the new CSX Rules.)