layout type

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by meander, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. meander

    meander New Member

    i want to build a dispatcher layout(i think thats what its called) where there is a big set of controls out of view of the track and others rely messages to the one at the controls to be able to control everything
    are there any tutorials online to accomplish this or do you have any tips?
  2. meander

    meander New Member

    anyone have any idea what im talkin about?:confused:
  3. Rusty Spike

    Rusty Spike Member

    I was anxious to an answer too as I don't have one. Sorrry
  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Do you mean a dispatcher's board???
  5. meander

    meander New Member

  6. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Meander, you are looking to build a large layout that takes several people to operate with the Dispatcher in an area that cannot see the layout? Might I suggest that you find and read the book(s) by John Armstrong. I would also suggest that you build a small layout first just to find out what is involved in planning and building a model railroad.

    Otherwise, you may have to have someone else plan your large layout for you.
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Over the years I've seen a number of model railroads similar to what you are describing featured in issues of Model Railroader. If memory serves, the Ohio Southern by Bruce Chubb (I think) was often mentioned and even had an article about building a dispatcher console and how it worked to route power to blocks and control signals.
    The V&O, another famous model railroad had a dispatcher too. I think there is, or soon will be, a book about the V&O available.

    Perhaps a search over at might help. I believe you can access the archives for MR there and at least find which issues contained useful articles. Of course finding them is another matter!

    I wonder if some of the larger clubs operate with dispatcher boards and might be willing to share information? If you have one in your area it would be worth finding out. Otherwise perhaps you can find an example of such a layout in a model magazine and correspond with a representative....

    Interesting and ambitious project!
    Best wishes,
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I second Roger's suggestion. Build you a nice door sized N scale empire (I think that is the scale you've chosen). Check out a club or two and see if you're really up for that kind of commitment. Run thru that type of operation on their dime for a few months.
  9. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member

    Most of these model railroad dispatcher's panels are used to control switches, trackside signals and control blocks. There are still crewmen for each train, they just don't have to worry about throwing mainline switches or block controls, just running their trains. The La Mesa Model Railroad Club in San Diego has converted an old Santa Fe Dispatcher's panel for use on the clubs layout.

  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First a correction. The Ohio Southern belongs to Jim Hediger.Bruce Chubb railroad is the Sunset Valley... :D

    meander,The club that I am a member of has such a dispatchers CTC board..While I did not help wire(we have 2 members that are electricians and one electrical contractor that did all the wiring) the CTC board let me assure you there is a lot of wiring involved to include, toggle switches for blocks,track switches,block signals,block occupancy indicators,and cab rotary switch.That does not include the power to run this CTC board...I freely admit it is a blast to dispatch on our club's layout it can also be very stressful at times.You see our club layout is point to point single track with passing sidings.Plus the Newark Sub joins the main line at West Dayton which at times can be a real bottle neck.Heck at times main line trains has to wait on a inbound yard track to clear before entering the yard which leads to more bottle necks while trying to keep other trains moving. :confused:
  11. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Thanks for the correction Brakie...that's right. I believe the Sunset Valley had a dispather's panel as well. You can see where a lot of my influences came from...1970s articles in Model Railroader! :)

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