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I have drawn a simple layout, to go in my office. 

I want to be able to have one operator-touched switch handle two rail-switches.

I would like to use one switch to toggle the "A" switches so that they are either parallel, or connecting, to eliminate operator error.  Same thing goes for the "B" switches.

Is this easy to do?

40X60 inch baseboard single crossover switches identified

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  • 40X60 inch baseboard single crossover switches identified: My layout 03May21
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I believe that if the switches are anti-derailing switches, you don't need to do that.

If your engine is travelling cc around the outside loop and gets to the first A switch and it is set for divergent to the inside loop, then the second switch A will automatically allow the engine onto the inner loop. Same with the B switches - if the engine is travelling cc around the inside loop and gets to the first B switch and it is set for divergent to the outside loop, then the second switch B will automatically allow the engine onto the outer loop.

Jim, your plan appears to use FasTrack.  If so, yes it's easy to wire the pairs of switches so that each connected pair operates in tandem.  If you're using FasTrack, you'd connect the Remote Control's 4 wires as normal to one turnout.  EDIT: [Then you would need to run 3 additional wires from the Out, Ground, and Thru terminals on the first turnout to the same 3 corresponding terminals on the adjacent turnout.  A paralleled connection between the RSC Lights is unnecessary (this is either a +5 or -5VDC signal output from the turnout that controls which color the light is in the remote.]

This is known as wiring them in parallel (sometimes also referred to as parallel operation).

If using some other type of switches and/or machines, please provide the make and model of the switch machine.

EDIT: Richie posted while I was typing. He is right that you could rely on the Anti-derail feature instead of parallel wiring.

Last edited by SteveH

@JimR34 after thinking about it a little more, it would be better NOT to connect the RSC Lights Out (outputs) together between the two turnouts.  See my Edit in first reply.

One other thing to mention about relying on the FasTrack Switch's Anti-derail feature to change position through the second FasTrack turnout.  I have seen when sometimes, due to poor conductivity of the lead wheels, the anti-derail circuitry in these switches will not fully throw the points to the opposite position.  The next time a train enters that partially thrown switch from the opposite direction, it can derail on the partially thrown points.

Steve, it has been my experience that Fastrack switches' nonderail feature works whether powered or not. Once a train goes through, there are no partially thrown points anyway. The only derailments I have had with 26 Fastrack switches have been due to not having a section of straight track entering the switch when thrown diverging. I have a RK Hudson that sometimes will pick the point because the lead driver is hugging the inside of the rail because of the curve. I like using them on reversing loops because they automatically switch and allow the train to go into the loop in the opposite direction of what it exited on the previous pass, without any manual interaction. I have had my present layout since 2014, and have only had to pull one up for repair, and that one had a melted wire when I bought it used and installed it without testing. In my  opinion, they are pretty much bulletproof. This is certainly merely my experience, and others may have different results.

@John H posted:

Steve, it has been my experience that Fastrack switches' nonderail feature works whether powered or not. Once a train goes through, there are no partially thrown points anyway. The only derailments I have had with 26 Fastrack switches have been due to not having a section of straight track entering the switch when thrown diverging. I have a RK Hudson that sometimes will pick the point because the lead driver is hugging the inside of the rail because of the curve. I like using them on reversing loops because they automatically switch and allow the train to go into the loop in the opposite direction of what it exited on the previous pass, without any manual interaction. I have had my present layout since 2014, and have only had to pull one up for repair, and that one had a melted wire when I bought it used and installed it without testing. In my  opinion, they are pretty much bulletproof. This is certainly merely my experience, and others may have different results.

That is an excellent feature and is visually appealing by having the train go up one side the first time and then the other on the next pass.

FINISHED TT - 1

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