Skip to main content

So if I can't get a monorail loop to fit, I'm wondering about modifying the track to create an isolated rail on each end of a half loop.

If it could be done, then some electronics could be set up to do a reverse at each end, like a trolley auto-reverse system.

Has anyone created an isolated section of monorail track? Not sure it willl work... we're used to using 3 rail but it looks like the monorail track is really 2 rail.

Perhaps a micro-switch at each end to trigger a reversing circuit?

Does anyone have a monorail line with two ends instead of a loop?

I will share if I can figure it out... hoping someone has some info to get me started!

Last edited by eddiem
Original Post


The MTH monorail (trolley) 10-3048-1 has PS 3 electronics in it. I would assume that means I can run it on DCS or in conventional mode. 

I suppose I could try to do the built in DCS programming to run end to end, but the accuracy on trains isn't perfect... probably worse on a monorail.

My plan is to run it conventional so it would act like any other trains with an E-unit.  The reversing hardware could probably be the same stuff that is used for auto-reverse trolleys.

My question is more related to the mechanics of getting a trigger at each end of a non-loop monorail line that I could then use with some electronics to reverse.


The question is if you're willing to run it conventional DC (vs. conventional AC).  PS3 can do either.  You lose bell and whistle if operating conventional DC...but it is pretty simply to reverse DC polarity on the track.  If you run AC conventional, I think the issue is how you know with certainty which direction you're going when you interrupt track voltage to toggle the direction.

Another issue is if you want the trolley to wait for 10 seconds (or whatever) at each end before heading back the other way.  I'm sure you've seen the bump-n-go trolleys that slam into each track end and instantly reverse direction without stopping to let the passengers unload and load.  The nice thing about AC conventional is the defined neutral position where track voltage is present but the engine is stopped (lights work, sounds work, etc.).  It's a little more interesting with DC operation but you can do it with PS2 or PS3 because there is a defined (albeit small) DC voltage window where the motor is stopped (like AC conventional neutral) but the lights and sounds should still function.  So with low-cost (99 cent) eBay DC regulator modules, I think you could cobble together something that makes sense.  The trolley could drop the DC track voltage to 0 speed but still have the lights and sound operation.  A dual-coil latching DC relay would reverse DC-track-voltage polarity using a $2 DPDT relay triggered by a pair of 50 cent micro-switches (1 on each end of track) or a 10 cent magnet on trolley triggering a pair of 25 cent reed switch on each end of track.  $2 time-delay modules could keep the trolley stopped for some number of seconds before heading back.  You could even ramp up/down or step up/down the DC voltage so the trolley slows down as it reaches each end, and gently accelerates rather than jack-rabbiting when starting the other direction.  Endless possibilities. 

Of course, as suggested by others, there are suppliers that have a variety of back-and-forth trolley solutions - like Dallee for, say, $50 and up.  I'm partial to the DIY roll-your-own approach as that's what makes the hobby fun for me plus you can save some money.


Last edited by stan2004


The hardware would be easy if I can get the trigger to happen.  I can set up an Arduino to do the reverse, the delays if wanted, and the double-click that reverses thru neutral.  Trying to determine the best way to sense the monorail getting to the end of the track.  I prefer switches instead of electronics like optical or Ir sensors.  Hoping someone has already done a non-loop monorail.


I thought I read that it was set up like a  trolley, but if it works like a trolley, they tend to miss the mark by a smidge each out-and-back, so after a while, the smidges add up and you're banging into an end! 

Yes, a half loop will be a lot easier to implement on my quickly filling up (spacewise) 5' x 9' tinplate layout.  It seems like the monorail will block too many other items if I try to squeeze in a full loop. OTOH, some of my favorite tinplate layouts are loaded with stuff!

 If I get it to work, I will certainly share the final plan...If not, I'll quietly fade into the sunset!

Still looking for someone with a non-loop monorail....

Last edited by eddiem
eddiem posted:
... Trying to determine the best way to sense the monorail getting to the end of the track.  I prefer switches instead of electronics like optical or Ir sensors.  
Doesn't get much simpler than 10 cent magnet (on bottom of trolley chassis) and 25 cent reed switch on each end of track.  I'm not sure I'd call this "electronics".

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.