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Will This Layout Work?

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Will This Layout Work?

Postby jackstrat » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:33 pm

David and all,

Okay, I have a layout that in my mind should work. Can you please review it so that I can be sure the investment will not end up a pile of track in a box?

Explanation:

Two separate tracks. Each track will have its own power transformer and control.

The purple track is for an Atlas locomotive with four cars (Atlas HO 35). The main radius is 22" the inner loop is an 18" radius.

Are the radiuses okay for this train at moderate to slow speed?

The blue track is elevated to clear the bottom track and will run a single (inexpensive) Bachmann trolley car. It includes a switched side that ends in a bumper.

I assume that if the trolley is not stopped using the transformer control, it will jump the bumper correct? Thus I plan on installing an auto reverser (Circuitron 5401 AR-2 Automatic Reversing Circuit).

After the rev circuit reverses the trolley, I assume that the trolley will continue to run in reverse until the operator changes direction at the transformer control correct? Any issues I should consider in regards to the auto reverser?

When the trolley transverses the loop in reverse I assume it will jump the track if the side switch is not returned to the original state, correct? Any way to prevent such derailments?

I plan to use an Atlas 205 connector block that includes three SPST electrical switches to control the track switches. Should that work? I may substitute mini toggle switches.

I am concerned about the track switches and derailments. Again, I assume the train / trolley will derail if it hits the track switch with the switch set to the other direction, correct? Is there anything I can do to prevent such derailments in case the kids forget to switch the track correctly?

Thanks again for all of your help!!!

jack

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Re: Will This Layout Work?

Postby dmaynard » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:24 pm

Jack the purple track looks good, and will work if you run smaller equipment. 18 inch curves and very long equipment don't play nice together. The switch controllers need to be SPDT momentary push button if you are using the twin coil machines. As for trains derailing if they run against the points, that isn't always true. Some switch machines have soft enough springs that the locomotive and cars can "push the points over", especially if the cars have metal wheels. In fact the switches on my reverse loops on my garden railroad are spring switches, I don't ever throw them. The trains just push the points over as they are coming out of the reverse loop and the points spring back after the train has left.

Automatic reverse units typically use a break in the track and a diode to stop the train, or in your case trolley. I am not sure if you can get your reverse unit to toggle back and forth with only one end. That you would have to talk with the manufacturer about or someone who has used that type unit before. I have my doubts. It may only work once then have to be manually reset to work again, I don't know.

You are on your way, but some of the details you will have to look into a bit deeper. Sorry I can't give you a more complete answer, but I an not familiar enough with the specific equipment to gave a certain yes or no answer.
David A. Maynard
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Re: Will This Layout Work?

Postby ddhayes » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:05 pm

I don't know the technicalities of how it's done, but the outdoor layout at Lauritsen Gardens in Omaha, NE has a trolley line that is just that - a single straight track that a trolley car runs on one direction, goes into a small holding area, then comes out going the other direction. Same action at the other end. There must be some sort of automatic reversing mechanism that makes it go one way first, then the other.
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Re: Will This Layout Work?

Postby dmaynard » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:38 pm

ddhayes, there are many automatic reversing circuits on the market. Most involve putting a gap in a rail at each end and soldering a diode over the gap. Then when the trolley crosses the gap it ends up on dead track, until the polarity is reversed and then the diode allows the dead track to be powered and the trolley goes the other way. Remember a diode is a one way gate, so power will only flow through it in one direction only. A simple timer with a reversing relay and a diode/gap set up at each end is all thats really needed to make this work. Of course there are more elaborate systems out there, some with intermediate station stops, but the simple timer system is effective and used on many displays.
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Re: Will This Layout Work?

Postby herrinchoker » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 am

I remember years ago Lionel had a reverse switching layout used on a trolley line. The car would run to the end of the track, hit a switch mechanism, reverse direction, and run to the other switch mechanism--hit that and reverse direction. As I recall the switches had a red light on the top to indicate power applied.
You might be able to build one using a cherry switch, or, this type of switch configuration may still be available.
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