Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Light Railway

And here we see D812 again, this time waiting to depart Platform 2 at Sueston station, while a Class 55 approaches from under the road bridge. 
An interesting scene, indeed, but all the more interesting because, as the sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed, we now have coloured light signals controlling the exit from Sueston. 
For the moment we only have two signals, for Platforms 2 and 3, but the plan is to add two more, for Platforms 1 and 4, in due course.
We have used Traintronics two-aspect coloured light signals, Catalogue NÂș: TT102, and these are connected to an old Hornby 12V DC Controller. The wiring for this is fairly straight-forward although, having said that, it did take a certain amount of research and two attempts before before we got it right. 
Therefore, for anyone else out there contemplating the addition of two-aspect coloured light signals to their layout, I will describe the wiring process in a future posting.
So why did we decide to add the signals? Well, for several reasons really:
To begin with they obviously add authenticity to the railway. 
Any form of lighting always brings life to a layout and, as we want to add more general lighting to the layout in the future, it seemed a good way to learn how to go about it. 
Finally, the signals do serve a practical purpose in that, when we operate the railway and perform several train movements with more than one driver, the lights will help the Operations Manager come Signalman (usually me) to indicate to said drivers when they have the 'right away'.
Unfortunately there are some places on the layout where lights are not easily seen by those driving the trains and, at these locations, semaphore signals will have to be used instead but that is okay since, I believe, a mix of signalling will serve to make it all the more interesting.

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