Re: Reverser for Staging Tracks

Steve Haas

>>>>> At one time I thought I 'could 'include the Peco 3-way turnout in the reversing loop. I have been informed that would lead to a short,... <<<<<

A properly designed, manufactured, and wired three way turnout should not lead to the generation of a short as you have been led to believe.  Fortunately, any problems can be corrected.  See the Wiringfordcc web site at, specifically the section on turnouts:

One of the leftover ideals from the days of DC wiring is that the section of track that reverses the direction of the engine/train.  With DCC this certainly isn’t a requirement.

Here are some guidelines to the location of the section of track controlled by a reverser:

  1. The electrical reversing section should be as long as your longest train, so that any given train/engine is not entering and exiting at the same time,
  2. Ideally only one train at a time is entering/exiting the same time,
  3. Located, engineered and installed in a manner that eliminates “Model Railroad Thoughts”, or other distractions that detract from the engineer running his train.

Were this my layout, I’d make the necessary alterations to the three way turnout to avoid those shorts, then insulate all three branches  off the three way, start the reversing section with those gaps, through the three way and one train length up the helix; it’s long enough and with proper following rules (time and /or distance) only one train would occupy it at a time.

Best regards,


Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

Join to automatically receive all group messages.