Add on side track

Recently  completed a shelf layout around home. Run a new mth diesel engine with a Dcs remote commander. 

Soon will be getting a steam engine with psngr car set.    I will not be running both at the same time. Well, only when I change which set to run.

So instead of having to remove one set, and put other online, plan to add a side track with switch.  Trying to find out if the side track will be without power when switch is thrown back to mainline, or if I need to just gap it, then power the section of track with a relay while I make the change between the 2 sets. 



Original Post

Gargraves and Lionel both make insulating track pins.

or just a gap as you said ... install your track and then use a Dremel cut off disk and cut where you need to isolate the power rail.

Don't have a Dremel ... cut an1/8 " off the power rail with a Hack Saw before you install it , and file down the sharp edges

The switch connects power to the center rail or one of the rails of 2 rail track. Switch in ON position powers the siding / off cuts power to the siding.

Hope this is what you are looking for..

Rick  : )


Rick Buchman

Hi Nick,

One of the benefits of running a command system, such as DCS, is that it really isn't necessary to cut the power to sidings. The engine won't start and idle until you address it with the remote.

The only reason to make a siding that has power switched is to turn the lights of passenger cars and such off, saving bulb life. It also will reduce the hours/maintenance counter on the engine.

The negative to doing this with DCS is that you may not be able to address the engine when you switch power to the siding. This is unique to DCS.

I think a viable workaround would be to shut down power to the layout and the TIU. Then, switch the siding on, power up the layout and TIU, change trains and then cut the power to the siding.

A couple of guys have created a method to get the "watchdog signal" from the TIU on layout power up to unpowered sidings. If you want to go that way, post your siding question in the DCS forum or search the DCS Forum for keeping watchdog signal.



Arctic Railroad

I'm using the DCS remote commander. Not the full system. Another forum was told just need one remote to run each engine separately. Thought I would need 2... one for each engine...

If I found a used system, might be a diff story... but for now, for my needs, basic remote commander works just fine.

Have a new MTH premier diesel, and looking for a SP daylight premier.


I'll prolly do the hacksaw method... dremel with small cut off wheels are hard to cut all 3 cleanly.


I am not sure how the remote commander unit signals an engine. It must be similar to the TIU, you just have limited commands with the remote.

Dremel makes a nice arbor and 1 1/2" cutting wheels. They are not those thin delicate wheels. The arbor and wheel kit is about $15 at Home Depot. It's called EZ-Lock. Hack saw is a caveman tool for this job.

I like the comment about cutting the common connection, leaving the center rail intact. It may preserve the signal on start-up at turn-on.


Arctic Railroad

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