Here I go starting a control panel for my layout. I don’t even have all the track down and decided to do a control panel and some blocks. I’ll post updates as I get more done, but it isn’t going very fast with life in the way. Comments welcome if I’m going down the wrong track (punny, I know).



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Nice start! Also designing my first control panel so I’ll pay close attention to your progress. I’m planning to use SPDT on-off-on toggles to control blocks and switches. What are you using for yours?

I’m going to use relays for the blocks to shutoff the track behind it. I’ll have to dig up the links for what I found on the blocks using relays.  I’ll have some switches on the panel to turn off some blocks too and to operate couplers in the small yard. The turn outs I’ll keep the Lionel fastrack switches they come with. 

interesting, I was researching relays but couldn't quite figure out how to use them on single track with reverse loops at each end as the trains would be going in both directions on the same track. do you have a diagram on how it would work on your track plan? how far apart would the blocks be? and do the relays activate a switch for your green siding or just turn on/off power?

How big is the reverse loop?  Could it hold two trains?  If so, you could have the relay shutdown one section in the reverse loop.

I don't have a full diagram yet, it is a work in progress.  I am thinking of using 3 or 4 block sections on the red line.  The green would be manually shut off via a switch.  I was thinking of using automatic switching when a train is occupied in the green line, but that starts getting more complicated than I wanted for now.  I want to start with a basic automatic block configuration so I can have two trains running on the red line and two on the blue line, and they won't crash into each other.  Once I get farther along, I'll provide more updates on what I did.

I think my blocks will be 5 to 6 feet long each.

You know what, I've not worked on my control panel since I posted this 2 years ago. 

I have been working on the layout and making changes, so my control panel will need to be changed.  If I get to it, I'll be sure to post.  Sorry for not posting updates, life has gotten in the way.


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