Re: Basic Beginner Track Question - Common Rail or Not

Gregory Latiak

When I started my layout, knowing almost less than nothing, it became clear early on that I would need occupancy detection because of regions of hidden track. So I followed the same approach others have advocated here -- break the track into blocks as I was laying it. I brought the feeders to common locations and tied them to a multi-contact barrier strip that had adjacent terminals tied together. These were all fed through a PM42 for short circuit protection. I quickly discovered that those wonderful sound locos were real power hogs and quickly outgrew my Zephyr. But adding a second booster (I opted for a DCS100 as the command station and turned the DCS50 into a throttle and booster) meant shifting the feed from one power management zone. So I had three zones on the DCS100, one on the DCS50. When I added occupancy detection the barrier strip connections were replaced with BDL168s. Now I am implementing signalling using the BDL168s and other logic. Point is -- this is beyond what I had originally intended, but because I laid out the track isolation and feeders carefully it was very painless to add a lot of complexity. Blocking the track and planning the feeders is something best done once. But the complexity can be added later.

greg latiak

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