The track plan is a 6 scale mile point to point single track mainline with six passing sidings, 2 large stub end yards, 3 interchange yards with 2 branch lines . A continuous loop section connections near the end points is included so we can run laps for open house events. In all we have about 25 scale miles of track to operate on. Our Eastern most point of the layout starts in the town of Palatine IL and the Western most part ends in Madison Wisconsin. The layout was converted to Digital Command Control (DCC) in 2001. We use Digitrax DCC radio throttles to control and program our trains. In early 2016 the layout underwent JMRI / Computer integration with the addition of block detection and Digitrax signal system. The mainline and sidings are all signaled with ABS control with the ability to convert over to CTC when operating with a dispatcher. A computer in our office is used by a dispatcher to monitor train movement,switch position, signaling, and freight car movement. Scenery on the layout is modeled in the 1930s-1950s transitional period of U.S. railroading. A time when steam power was changing over to more efficient diesel/electric power. The layout has approx 400 era appropriate freight cars that are in constant use with the JMRI operations program we created to control car movement around the layout. At any one time members can come down and perform 20 different switch lists to "move freight" like a real railroad would. We hold large operation sessions a few times a year with other groups that enjoy operations side of the hobby. Bench work is of L-girder construction. Homasote with plywood underlay is used as a base to lay track on. Parts of the layout still have the original 50 year old hand laid track. In 2005 we started to removed many worn out faulty track and began replacing with peco code 83. The layout has 149 turnouts of which 50 are controlled electrically. The minimum mainline radius is 44 inches. The maximum mainline grade is 1.25%.
This is what the current track plan is with the names of towns. The overall mainline is the same but town names have changed thru the years as well as some industry changes. The eastern most point is Palatine IL and Western most point is Madison WI. Its a point to point track plan but we use the Monona loop for continu
Here is a real world map of the railroad. its about 200 miles from Palatine to Madison. We condensed this down to about 6 scale miles on the layout.
We use JMRI panel pro to monitor and control layout operations. A dispatcher can sit at the computer and see where trains are located and control train movement around the layout. our signal system operates as ABS most of the time but we also run it as CTC when doing operations.
We use Digitrax Se8C for signal aspect display,train detection and turnout feedback/control. as trains move around the layout the signals change aspects to protect each block. Here we see a stop aspect as a train is in the block its protecting.What's something exciting your business offers? Say it here.
We use JMRI Operations to generate switch lists. This computer program allows us to move "freight" around the layout similar to how a real railroad does. We have over 400 freight cars and 70 spur tracks to ship and receive car loads. The operator simply grabs a posted list and he follows the instructions to what cars he is to pick up and drop off at each location.
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