Aug 17, 2009

Forcing others to see red

So, I continued working on wiring between trips to local pool this weekend. The RGS was not signaled, of course, but my layout has a number of hidden track segments and I've added detection for those sections.

There's a couple of long hidden segments that exit directly into towns (Dolores, Ridgway, and Vance Jct). In those areas, if you are switching and blocking the main, I think it'd be helpful - and probably required for sanity's sake - to be able to block trains from unexpectedly jumping out of those hidden tracks. So - I'm adding signals (on the panels at least) for those blocks, and allowing the operator in - say - Dolores to force the signal red to prevent trains from entering blocks leading to Dolores.

So - I've got blue LEDs on the track segments, to show if a train is actually in those hidden blocks, and red/green signal LEDs (on the panels) to indicate the signal status at each end of the block - repeated on panels at both ends of the blocks. When the track is empty, the signals are green, when occupied they are red.

What I've added is a 'force red' switch in Dolores, so that if you are switching in Dolores and want to stop trains from entering, you can set the block signal at the far end to red, even though the block occupancy LED (blue) will still show the track as empty.

The wiring for this proved a little trickier than I expected, and it's not done so I'm not completely sure it'll work. In terms of physical wiring, I'm bringing all the panel LEDs from both locations to one panel (Dolores in this first case), then bringing the detectors ouputs there as well, and making all the logic connections in one place. I'll spare you further details, but it's been a fun exercise so far!


  1. is currently closed due to the death of Bruce Maxwell.
    Do you know where to get a copy of John Maxwell's 2-100 drawing of the bridge 45A Howe Truss.
    I have a long list of drawings I would love to get.
    2-099 is Bridge 9A, and it was drawn by D&RG office-I have that one and it shows me details I have not found elsewhere. I would expect that 2-100 would have the same level of detail as it has a similar date.
    I am not even sure where to start.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Nice idea to do a blog of your layout. I am thinking of doing one on building the Howe Truss in 1:20.3 scale.


  2. Unfortunately, I don't know where to get the drawings. My understanding is that there is a goal to make the Maxwell drawings available again, but haven't heard when or how.

    The RGS Story volumes (I've got listings for all of them on my website - have a number of the Maxwell drawings in them, but to a weird scale and somewhat incomplete (they're just for illustration, rather than building from). But they might be a start. The books usually include the overall dimensions.

    You might try posting the question on the RGS list on Yahoo - perhaps somewhere there would know more.