A tale of two switches

Having spent yet another really interesting night in front of the telly, fast asleep, I awoke at just before midnight… No point going to bed yet then!

I frequently end up on FaceBook and model railway forums when this happens but tonight I decided to do something useful with my time first. I don’t mind electrics but they’re definitely not my favourite part of railway modelling so, being as I can’t work on the layout scenery at this time of night (knocking nails into bits of wood after midnight doesn’t go down too well with the neighbours), I thought I’d knuckle down and get on with wiring the switches for Cuarto de Pulgada.

I want the station to be capable of being operated from either a local controller or from Centrales via the upper level controller. The switch on the left will facilitate this with the paired wires, red/yellow to Centrales, black/blue to the local controller and white/white to the track feed between Cumbre and CdP. Wiring the layout this way will allow trains to be driven all the way between Centrales and CdP without stopping to change controllers. On arrival at the station running round the train and any other shunting will be done via the local controller, then the train will be handed back to the Centrales controller for the return journey.


Both switches are DPDT/centre off.

The switch on the right, with the crossed wires between the outer terminals, is for the turntable. The white pair will connect to the main track at the station throat (i.e. not the three switched platform tracks) and the blue pair will connect to the turntable, allowing reversal of the track polarity when turning locomotives.

With the soldering done it is now an easy job to connect the turntable but I still need to figure out how to get power from Centrales to the feed point between the lift out bridges. CdP is fed via the bridge across the house door but the electrical section only extends as far as the Cumbre end of the bridge across the garden door where there is an isolation break in both rails. A pair of wires from the upper level at Rio Paleta/Cumbre* will need to be routed across the second bridge (or around the doorway) to reach the power feed point for CdP.

* Taking power from the end of the Rio Paleta scenic section will be simpler than tapping into the track at Cumbre because the existing layout wiring is easily accessible at the scenic break between Rio and the extension.

stop board


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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