Wiring a Staging Yard with lead shut-offs


I hope this finds you well, enjoying a little extra time to work on model railroading.
I'm getting ready to wire a staging yard which has twelve leads. All of the leads, except the bypass track, will have switches to kill the power to that lead. My plan is to run the positive lead from the booster through a circuit breaker to a buss bar at the  panel for this yard. From the buss bar a lead will go to each one of the eleven double pole-single throw switches. From each switch a track power lead will run the length of the appropriate yard lead, providing power to the track feeders. I will take the negative lead from the booster to run the length of the yard, providing power return from the negative track feeders. Because of the arrangement the track bus will not have the usual three turns per foot.
I have two questions:
  1. Does this sound reasonable?
  2.  Is there a way to put a snubber or snubbers into this scheme?

Thanks for your consideration,
Michael Boyle

Don Vollrath

Michael with 12 staging leads each lead is probably longer than 15 feet or so. Your plan for power cut off switches is good. However your wiring plan mirrors that of ‘common rail’. You will still need multiple track feeder connections to both rails on each staging track. May as well provide the 2nd wire as part of a sub-bus for each track after the cut off switch and twist them. And be sure to solder rail joiners except where using isolating gaps.



Hi Michael,

What you propose sounds reasonable.  You did mention the use of double pole switches.  You only need to cut one lead per staging track.  

You did not mention how long your staging tracks were.  If they are typical of staging tracks, you probably will be okay not to have twisted buses.

You can put in 12 snubbers if you wish.  You can put them between the common and each of the switched leads.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


Thanks Don,
You are right, each rail is about 20 feet long and, yes, "every piece of rail will have a feeder." I like your suggestion of feeding each rail from the panel with a twisted sub-bus, this should help keep inductance down.
That would also make it easy to have a snubber at each terminus.