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Far as running two trains at once, no "maybe not", as he claims above !
It's as easy as keeping tabs on what each is doing so you don't cause a realistic crash or other bad situ, same as the 1:1 scale has to beware of at all times !! That's what makes DCC great; the realism in running..You can, if you like, have one train rolling easily thru the main while you take a yard switcher thru its routine making up/breaking up trains. Or, run two main line trains in opposite directions, one taking a passing siding to wait for the other to pass it; ANYTHING you want, just like the real one. You can have a head on collision which can not happen in analog DC. And this means way more drama/more fun/more proto action...
The DCC throttle can hold up to 6 locos all with separate addresses (usually we use the number on the side of the cab as it's 'slotted' address). You can assign locos to any address you like. One can be 89, another 7750, another 112, another, 4...whatever...
And with added walk-around, plug-in throttles you and friends can (tho ludicrous) run up to all 6 at the same time if you want to argue it ! ..
All DCC locos come factory default address '3'...You can immediately run it as that..But locos 2-6 will need to be re-addressed, as I explained, so they can run independently.. The manual with the throttle explains the procedure to assign locos their new address other than '3'...
All the best with you decisions, Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
The only thing is if, IF you do make a reverse loop of any kind (loop/wye/turntable) you will either have to have an auto-reverser (AR) of any make to handle the polarity or phasing of that section (about $40/One can handle several loops), or do it manually with one $4.00 DPDT toggle switch and the reverse section rails merely gapped between the TOs at ends of each...Dat's it !
OK, so if I add a wye to each side as you describe, all I would need is to incorporate one AR? I think I'll post a file of my mainline with the wyes inserted so I can be sure to stay on the same page. Thank you both for helping explain it to me!

This is just a rough draft, but it has both wyes so that the train can switch directions. If this is as easy as I hope it is, I'll make a bigger yard in the northwest and add some sidings. But for now, please just help me understand the wiring. I'm a pretty handy person, but I know nothing about wiring layouts.

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K62 (above)..
I noticed that as well..But if Jeff doesn't go DCC and remains old analog DC he'd have to gap the rails into blocks and have a panel with toggle switches to open/close/Fwd-Rev each block (ugh !!) as train(s) runs in opposite direction into blocks that were previously set for the opposite direction !
As OP is likely reading this, to him I say, and as others have said, going DCC makes all that go away ( the need to tediously have to break the layout into toggled blocks and the logistical confusion/frustration that can cause )..
Jeff ! Trust us ! Go DCC now (about $165 for an NCE PowerCab) and 'DCC equipped' loco(s)..A simple 2 wires from its main plug-in panel to the rails would likely be enough to run this large but simple trackage...2 wires, period !!
Then you could run 2 or more trains in any direction anywhere, same as the real thing; one train's activity totally separate from the other, all controlled from your hand-held, walk-around throttle....
TT,
You're over thinking it, and over explaining things,,,Again. Overloading the OP’s brain.
Let it go man, let it go...
Give the OP some time to digest and think through one thing at a time.
He was speaking of only one train there to begin with so all this talk about the necessity of multiple blocks and toggles Is simply not needed. Just one set, period. He’ll figure things out and have more questions as his mind grooves through things. DCC too, will get beat into his brain soon enough. As it should be.
 

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Jeff,
Wiring; Pretty much the same as you mentioned in post #13 to achieve the constant continuity we all desire. A smart move btw. You then would only need to isolate/insulate a few rails at the dual divergence rails of the WYE turnouts and then, add an AR module between the bus wires and track connection you'll already have there for track between the two WYE sections. Still only two wires. Only that the module is added between them and it, automatically ‘sees’ the need for polarity/phase reversal within a minor fraction of a second. The simple and complete directions come with the module. You can do this.

In fact: you can use the same two wires to feed that second, and separate, run of track that has the dual track bridge in it because, all locomotives have an assigned command number to operate regardless of wich track they are on. No need for a second power system there. This also includes any and all sidings and yard operations you design.
I believe also that, but not positive yet that, you do not need to use electrofrog turnouts either with DCC. While the peco insulfrog turnouts (I own 30 or more) do come from the factory as ‘power routing’ they can be changed to constant live with two rail cuts and, two jumper wires added underneath. Delicate process but not difficult. I do believe also that Peco now offers an insulfrog turnout that is easily switchable between power routing and constant live. I haven’t researched that though but, you should. Still easier than messing with electrofrog wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
OK, so here's my feeble attempt to describe and visualize things. In the attached picture, thin blue lines are your typical track feeders with no shorts. Thin red line is the AR feeder, and thick red lines are isolation gaps.

I'm assuming that the east/west section between the wyes is the only section I need to be concerned about "reversing' phase.

In this example, all turnouts would be insulated EXCEPT for the 3 on each side that make up the 2 wyes... those 6 would be electrified, correct?

Is it that simple, or am I not even close?
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I need to research DCC more. I just don't see me running 2 trains at once. But if it's simpler to have reverse loops and/or a wye, then I might give it more consideration.
[Ed.] WHoops - - - just realized I am late to this party, hopefully the below is of some value to OP.

Yes, but you might. Here is a picture of my yard to date. It is the 'ell' off my main table. even doing the switching for making/breaking trains, it is pretty darn cool to see one loco gliding along at 2% and have another moving slowly in opposite direction.

Vehicle Wood Mode of transport Urban design Track


And yes, DCC gives you that kind of control. Three of my locos have the function '6' which initiates "switching mode" - - i.e. the DCC automatically halves the speed order for the loco so that you get more slow speed control.

My Digitrax Zephyr and DT602 (dual hand-held throttle) both display speed orders in percentages. So it is very possible to order up 1% or 5% or whatever in order to control two locos without too much risk. Takes some practice, and there have been times I had to double my Blood Pressure meds, but man, it is fun!!

And by the way, I too, am a newbie stil figuring out DCC and other Model RR stuff. Learning lots and experimenting (and asking lots and lots of questions!) So research DCC until you need to but I echo the strong suggestion to start there rather than DC.

Steve J
 

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Jeff, I must add one more if you don't mind:
You do not need 2 wyes ! Just one wye is enough for this layout..Delete one of the two you show in post #26..Save the $$, work, and skip the redundancy of it..Once you reverse a train in the one, that will suffice....
Or, am I "overthinking, over explaining, and overloading your brain" according to K62 in post #23 ?!!

And, of course you, K62 , are not overthinking it and overloading the OP with your huge tome of post #25 !! Talk about hypocrisy !
I haven't heard the OP complain yet about anything I've said. He's given me thumbs up on all but one of my posts !
He seems to appreciate all the important info he's obtaining..He's not a child..He's a young man who can read the gueen's English and write it, too !
 

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If I remove one of the wyes then I limit the direction I can go on that side's oval.
No, sir ..
You've turned the train's direction on the one wye...Now it will go thru the entire trackage in the other direction until you utilize that same wye again to return to first direction..at which time It will require a back-up move off the main into the wye to achieve that,..properly throwing switches for...
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
No, sir ..
You've turned the train's direction on the one wye...Now it will go thru the entire trackage in the other direction until you utilize that same wye again to return to first direction..at which time It will require a back-up move off the main into the wye to achieve that,..properly throwing switches for...
Thanks, but I don't want to have to do a backup maneuver to tur the train around. That's the whole point of the wye.
 

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Very nice idea with the 1:1 plan. Our club did that with a section of our layout but did so free hand. It really helps to visualize the spacing of features and track plan. Is AnyRail for PC or Mac? Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Very nice idea with the 1:1 plan. Our club did that with a section of our layout but did so free hand. It really helps to visualize the spacing of features and track plan. Is AnyRail for PC or Mac? Good luck.
I run AnyRail on a PC. Not sure if they have a Mac version. It was relatively inexpensive and has a reasonable learning curve.
 

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Hi Jeff!
Another Johnny-come-lately here. Impressive layout you've got planned here. A couple of questions.
Are you actually going to build it to the straight line geometric precision you've depicted? 1:1 railroads seldom look that way, as terrain, construction cost, and right-of-way acquisition issues usually force them into more irregular patterns. I think that your geometrically precise and repetitive track plan will give your layout a kind of artificial appearence. Not hard to fix. Create a few terrain driven squiggles and undulations in your various loops. A wandering river in a wandering valley could force some more scenic variations in your right-of-way.
Is your hesitancy about DCC attributable to a case of electroniphobia? As one who's made the switch, I can attest it's much more intimidating to hear explained than it is to actually use. I prefer the NCE Power Cab for this reason, as its operating instructions are so easy to use.
One of the posters upthread made a point of emphasizing JUST TWO WIRES, which is conceptually accurate and appropriate for a temporary small oval to play on while getting comfortable with DCC. However, given the length of your mainline run, you're going to want trunk and feeder wires to provide equal voltage to all points on your layout. It's still a simple two wire system, but it has many branches. Not something to worry about just yet, but keep in mind for your eventual construction. BTW, you're going to need that trunk and branch wiring, whether you go DC or DCC. But don't forget, "Have fun now, hear?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Hi Jeff!
Another Johnny-come-lately here. Impressive layout you've got planned here. A couple of questions.
Are you actually going to build it to the straight line geometric precision you've depicted? 1:1 railroads seldom look that way, as terrain, construction cost, and right-of-way acquisition issues usually force them into more irregular patterns. I think that your geometrically precise and repetitive track plan will give your layout a kind of artificial appearence. Not hard to fix. Create a few terrain driven squiggles and undulations in your various loops. A wandering river in a wandering valley could force some more scenic variations in your right-of-way.
Is your hesitancy about DCC attributable to a case of electroniphobia? As one who's made the switch, I can attest it's much more intimidating to hear explained than it is to actually use. I prefer the NCE Power Cab for this reason, as its operating instructions are so easy to use.
One of the posters upthread made a point of emphasizing JUST TWO WIRES, which is conceptually accurate and appropriate for a temporary small oval to play on while getting comfortable with DCC. However, given the length of your mainline run, you're going to want trunk and feeder wires to provide equal voltage to all points on your layout. It's still a simple two wire system, but it has many branches. Not something to worry about just yet, but keep in mind for your eventual construction. BTW, you're going to need that trunk and branch wiring, whether you go DC or DCC. But don't forget, "Have fun now, hear?"
Thanks for the feedback! I hear you about the geometric look. What I laid out is just a starting point. I wanted to see how big the open areas were in real size if the layout had the biggest open areas possible.

Honestly, my hesitation to DCC was more about cost than anything... And a little bit about not wanting sound or the desire to run multiple trains at the same time. But the idea of having a few locomotives on standby in a yard is appealing.

Thanks again for the feedback, I appreciate it.
 
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