These approaches are very educational, many above my pay scale.
How about this: suppose I place an insulated rail at the end of the line. When my Lionel bump and go trolley enters the insulated rail, it triggers stage 1 of a 2 stage timer: stage 1 leaves power on for 1/2 second, enough time for the trolley to strike the bumper and reverse. Then, stage 2 turns off the power for, say 10-20 seconds, then turns power back on. Onward to the other end, with the same setup.
Is this too simple?
1. What relay has such a 2 stage timer that can do this?
2. Any reason why both ends of the trolley line can't use the same relay?
I don't want to have to deal with AC vs DC, just something simple.
Any advice is welcome.