Doubling Up On Engines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Floyd, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Let's say you have a continuous mainline, so trains can go around and around without any "supervision". Let's say you also have a DCC system that right now you only have one throttle for - like a Digitrax Zephyr with one built-in throttle control. You could take control of locomotive 300 and couple it to the head of a train and start the train running at 30 scale mph along the mainline. You could then take control of locomotive 200 and use that to work in the yards, or run a second train with etc. All the time you're controlling 200, engine 300 and it's train is still going around the mainline at 30 smph. If you have a double track mainline, you could set up engine 200 to run a second train on the other main going 40 smph, then call up engine 100 and do some operating with that while 300 and 200 continue to run on the mainline.

    Until you take control of 300 and 200 and stop them, or shut down your system, they'll keep running. Of course if you take engine 100 onto the same mainline as no 300, you have to be aware of where no 300 is, since if engine 100 gets in the way, 300 and it's train will plow right into it!!

    In DC, you could set up trains to run independently on the mainline, but it would take a lot of careful use of individual blocks to allow engine 100 to go out on the mainline. If say engine 100 is in a DC block and is stopped, any other engine that runs into that block will stop. In DCC, the other train will keep going so 100 better be in the clear!! :twisted:
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I should have noted that the situation mentioned above was DC-operated. The sight (and sound) of a 25 car train of brass passenger cars pulled by 5 or 6 diesels was enjoyable enough in its own right, even running around in large loops, without the added distraction of all the other long trains with multiple locos vying for my attention. :eek::-D:-D

  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Stix,Thats why at the club we use block signals..Even DC(we are going DCC for better sound but,there is a lot of train running restrictions) the engineer has to heed the red block.Even with DCC the following train will stop if the engineers runs through a red block..You see a lot of the dispatchers( including me) routinely shut the block off before resitting it for the following train.
    BTW we have had rear end collisions with a stopped train in DC..A resistor failure unprotects the rear of the train giving the DS a "empty" block indication on the CTC board.Of course the DS gives the block to the following train and that leads to the collision..
    That happen to me once while running #7 "The Laker" at 70 smph..Imagine my surprise when I walked around the corner of the layout to the next throttle plug and saw a stopped freight...Nothing I could do to stop the collision because the plug I was going to was still 12 foot away.:eek:
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    GAAAK!!:eek: All the more reason for old "I-can-only-do-one-thing-at-a- time-Wayne" to pay attention to the one train that he's operating. :rolleyes: Maybe that's one of the reasons that I chose to model a secondary line that runs with train orders in "dark" territory. ;):-D:-D

  5. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Larry, I've had a few collisions, who hasn't, mostly when I forget to put a train on a siding and it gets rearended, hopefully not by a fast passenger train. It has happened, once or twice, when running several trains at once. That's my multi-tasking at it's low point. But remember, being a guy, I'm only working with half a brain. And to think that Wayne misses all those delicious moments by sensibly running only one at a time. bob
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Hey, Bob, I get enough excitement running through improperly lined switches with steam engines carrying loose coal in their tenders. :eek::oops::-D I call it aversion therapy, but it's still not totally effective. ;):razz:

    Wayne (author of "Wreck of the 26", and other tales) hamr
  7. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Hey, I've got one train that can run in either direction. Talk about trauma. Ever had a head on? Me neither. Actually, with this system, I can run 2 trains in opposite directions on the same track. Not a wise thing to do. Last time I tried it, I lost my train license and now I'm on probation. bob
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've always tried to say "one train, one brain". We run lots of trains on Lostock Junction and operators often get 3 in a section; lots of fun when the slow one is in front.
  9. Floyd

    Floyd Member

    Thanks for the input

    I have enjoyed reading all the feedback from everyone. Even though DCC terms, etc. are greek to me I am slowly learning. In the meantime we have set up or DC layout and are having some fun. There is still a lot of work to do be done but at least my grandson can run his train every chance he gets. Keep the info comming, it is great to read all the comments.
  10. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Re: our discussion above, I've decided to create a loop around my layout using a long bridge and join it to a track on the other side. It should be easy since the two tracks with trains going in opposite directions, at the narrowest point are only 33 inches apart, and I'll still have plenty of space to duck underneath when I need to. No problem with loops on a Marklin AC setup. The rails are always the neutral and the center studs are the hot side no matter where they are or what shape they're in and the digital control signals use the rails as well. Then I can run any train in any direction on any of the 3 main lines, just like the real UP does near my house. Should be fun. I only need to remember what I'm doing out there when I'm doing it. I can just imagine 2 night trains running past each other in Equity J, chugging along with whistles blowing. That's the kind of stuff that I love about model railroading. A little romance as well as a little trauma can make the old brain cells work better. bob:eek::mrgreen::twisted:
  11. How do you manage to run just the one unit? Are you using a Miniatronics 4-pin or some other system?
  12. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    S of Chaos, good question. I have to disconnect the two units from each other. It entails unplugging the unit 2, 4 pin cable from unit one and disconnecting the special coupling. I have to remove the housing on unit 1 for this, but there's only one screw to loosen. It's usually located under a hatch cover. Then unit 1 can run independently since it has the decoder and it's own motor. However, unit 2 only has a motor and no decoder, so it can't run by itself. The Marklin system runs on 42v AC using a modified 3 rail system. The 3rd rail is really just composed of small, hardly noticeable, studs in the middle of the track. That 3rd rail is the hot side of the circuit and the 2 rails are the neutral side. It's really a simple way to do it and it is relieved of all the problems that DC and DCC may have with loops, wheel contact, blocks, etc. The motors in the locos are actually DC motors but where the decoder circuit rectifies the AC from the track to DC for the motors. The digital signals go through the rails. There's also a feedback setup where the locos communicate with the digital controller/computer so it knows who is out there and what they are doing. The system can be connected directly to an outside computer through the controller/computer if that is what you want. There are 2 control nobs on the controller so that 2 different locos can be directly controlled at the same time. Other locos can be run "using the system" also at the same time and they can be controlled directly very quickly when desired. I often run 5 locos at the same time. Theoretically, you could run 99 locos with this system, but that would take a lot of track, for sure. I like this system over my previous experience with DC and DCC but they have their good points too. This just seems much more reliable to me. bob:wave:
  13. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Hey Chaos, I see where you're a Big Boy fan. Here's a pic of my HO model of same. It's Marklin's version of that classic. The model is also an out of production classic, I guess, since one vendor in Florida has one for sale for around 5k. It's a real beauty, with full sound and smoke too if you want it. I love to see all those gleaming rods on those 16 drive wheels as it goes around the setup. There's nothing like it. Great pulling power also. bob

    Attached Files:

  14. Mine's a Rivarossi:

    Attached Files:

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