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Signaling your railroad - Parts 1, 2, & 3
Part 1 - Fundamental Concepts - Prototype and model
Bruce expands upon Signaling Made Easier series in MR and the Railroader's Application Handbook to cover adapting prototypical signaling to model railroading. ABS, APB and CTC signaling are discussed along with their impact on railroad operations. Clear differentiation is established between block and interlocking signals and speed versus route signaling. Signal placement, compatibility with DCC and how to drive different signal types are addressed. Bruce explains how to use the SMINI card coupled with the power of the computer to reduce layout wiring and system cost while maximizing system flexibility and prototype fidelity.
Part 2 - ABS, APB, turnout control, and grade crossing systems
Bruce explains optimized block occupancy detection and its application to Automatic Block Signaling (ABS). Then, Bruce clarifies how the prototype utilizes "Traffic Sticks" to determine directional movement across block boundaries to set up Absolute Permissive Block (APB) signaling thereby providing protection for bi-directional operation on the same track. The importance of "traffic sticks" in setting up grade crossing warning systems is discussed along with its utilization with a new Prototypical Grade Crossing Control (PGCC) card. Additional coverage includes prototypical turnout control and protecting hand operated switches in signal territory.
Part 3 - Centralized traffic control systems
Bruce explains CTC operations and how it can smooth traffic flow on your railroad. Typical operational scenarios are explained. Straightforward programming techniques make it is easy to "cut-paste-and-change-numbers" to set up a highly accurate C/MRI-based CTC system for any model railroad. Utilizing a standard set of callable subroutines makes the programming easy while maximizing prototype fidelity. Additionally, setting up entrance-exit interlocking plants is discussed along with using dynamic graphic interactive displays to emulate modern dispatching operations.