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Discussion Starter #1
I still run DC. I have the track already divided into various blocks. Can I connect a different transformer to one of the blocks without damaging an engine or one of the transformers? The main transformer is an MRC 7000 sound and power. The other would be a stock Bachmann one (powering the 3 foot block)

I want to do this so that if one train is faster I can slow it down when it hit block and then speed up the slow one.
 

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It sounds like he wants to create a variable-speed block of track to prevent collisions. If train B is hot on the tail of train A and you don't have separate control of the the two trains, let A fly through the isolated block and then reduce power to that block behind it, delaying train B. Tim, if you make sure your polarities are matched on the two transformers and use plastic track pins at both ends of your isolated block, it should work okay. you may even want to do a T-Man and use Bondo at those points to make sure the tracks can't slide up on the plastic pins and touch each other.
 

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I stand corrected, T-Man. I recalled you mentioning that in a previous thread and thinking it was a suggestion worth remembering.
 

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Reckers, a "variable speed block"? I've been in this hobby quite a while, never heard that one before.

Just have Train "A" grab a siding so it is out of the way of the "Express". Isolate the siding and turn it off as the "Express" passes. The bad part is having to "pace" the "Express" while Train "A" enters and clears the siding. Jackrabbiting through switches can cause derailments. No fun......no fun at all.

The OP's(Original Poster) situation, if your scenario is correct, sounds like a good time to switch to DCC. Truth be told, that is why I switched to DCC. My prior layout had the same problem. I had to "pace" my engines while Train "A" grabbed the siding, then turn "off" the block that was the siding. Turn it on after the "Express" passed, again "pacing" both until Train "A" cleared the siding. Seemed a PIA to have to do that all of the time. So, DCC was MY answer. For less than $150 one can get into DCC. Wasn't the case 12 years ago. Much cheaper now.

"Variable Speed Block"..............gotta remember that one.

Bob
 

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Bob,

That's probably because I made the term up. *L* Or more correctly, I was using a description as opposed to a label. A block of several sections of isolated track where he could grab the transformer and yell, "WHOA, NELLIE!!!" to slow the second train down.

Since I use AF and try to think my way around using DCC, I've envisioned a couple of scenarios that are similar to avoid collisions. Sidings are great for real trains or smaller model trains, but sometimes there's just not room to put in a siding. At that point, you either invest in DCC or get creative. If it works, you get to name it and take a bow!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. I had planed to use the plastic joiners and nail down the track. I only have a 4x8 with a 4x4 L so there is not much room for the sidings. In the past I have balanced things out by adding cars to one train or another. Just would be nice to have an area that I could slow one down just in case. The ones that I have are occupied with additional trains waiting for their chance at the mainline. I would switch to DCC but I get allot of enjoyment out of trying to find a simple solution using what I already have. Also my favorite engines have been a set of small Mantua steamers. With their cast boilers and frames I do not think they would convert to DCC well.
 

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You're a man after my own heart, Tim! I'd rather scramble to find a between-the-ears solution than go to the computerized stuff!
 

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I've got several Mantuas converted to DCC. Been working on an 0-6-0 conversion to a cab forward all afternoon. And added the decoder. No big deal.

You will find that DCC, once you get it, if ever, is the most important revolution in the hobby since plastic. To be able to control multiple cabs on a layout is, quite simply, the cat's meow. There would be absolutely no way to run 14 engines, not including the yard engines, without DCC.

When owning a smaller layout, one may not seriously consider DCC. However, by jumping on board early, you will have the engines converted, and the system in place, should you ever decide to build a larger layout. And the project would not be as large or intimidating. Nor as costly.

I can see few options to your current dilemma. You say you lack room for sidings, and adding blocks would not solve you problem. The problem lies with the speed differential of your engines. Blocks would not solve the problem. No matter how you look at it, you may have a single engine layout. Nothing wrong with that, just something you'll have to accept and live with.

Bob
 
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