KB596: Automatic Reversing and Turnout Control

This article was last updated on May 8, 2012, 3:04 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

Q: How do I use the AR1 and automatically control the turnout? I'm confused here. It is good that the AR1 controls the switching of the track power for a reverse loop automatically but it seems the turn out direction also needs auto control. Am I missing something here? Need help understanding...Please explain.

A: The AR1 is handles correcting the track polarity mismatch when a reversing section is encountered by a locomotive. When the polarity inside the reverse section does not match the polarity outside the reverse section, the AR1 detects the short circuit and flips the polarity so that the locomotive continues through the loop uninterrupted.

The AR1 does not throw turnouts.

To throw the turnout for a reversing section, you have two options for automating this task.

1. The easiest way to do this is to use a spring switch at the end of the loop; the train would always enter in the same direction since a small spring holds the points to one side. As the train leaves the loop, the wheels of the train push the points to the other side. Once committed to passing over this turnout, the train must entirely clear the turnout. It cannot back up since some cars will go in one direction and the others will not.

2. A more advanced approach would be to use a BD4 connected to a contact section inside the loop and DS64 with turnout control; when the train is detected by BD4, the turnout would be set to the opposite direction by the DS64. In this case, there would need to be sufficient distance in the reverse loop so that the train has cleared the turnout before it is operated.

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