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Power To Railroad Yards

Anthony has asks readers this question:

“I want to put side yards on my O gauge set. How do I switch off power too track when train is not to be used?”

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7 Responses to Power To Railroad Yards

  • George Warner says:

    You’ll need an insulated rail jointer (, a (electrical) switch and some wires to hook everything up.
    Use the insulated rail jointer to disconnect one rail of the track for the side yard then wire a switch across this joint so that when the switch is on the side yard has power and when it’s off it doesn’t.

  • Randall Styx says:

    One way is to isolate the branch track from the main line by using one or two insulated rail joiners. Whichever rails are isolated are fed electricity by wires that come from an electrical switch near your operating station or at a place near the turnout that is easily accessed from your viewing point. The advantage of isolating just one rail is that you can guarantee (if wired correctly) that it will always have the same polarity as the turnout. The advantage of isolating both rails is that you can run whatever is on the branch independently of what might be on the other side of the turnout.

    The other way is to purchase turnouts that have an isolation feature built into the turnout. These turnouts automatically turn off power to the branch that is closed. You need to be careful, however, if you supply power directly to either branch or if power can get to either branch by another route. If you do, you might still need to isolate the rails.

  • Michael Flanagan says:

    G’day George
    Interesting. Sounds like you may be using DC control, in which case the advice about is spot on!! If you use DCC, this problem would not exist, as each loco is addressed separately via the control system
    Good luck
    All the best

  • If you’re using three rail track, put an insulated pin in the center rail and wire around it with a simple on/off (toggle) switch.

  • Bruce Webb says:

    simple use insulated rail joiners to iaolate the area and put a on off switch in the main bus wires to turn off power to this section.

    • Bruce Webb says:

      1 more note: if your running dcc and don’t want to hear the locos that are parked while runnung others just simply mute the sound, then when you call it up you unmute it and there you go. with dcc you don’t need to isolate the parked trains just quiet them down.

  • chris leseberg says:

    Would you recommend isolating the entire yard or just designated tracks? I’m in the developing stage and have not started laying track yet on this phase. Feel would be best to ask before getting to far along on the project. I’m using straight DC no DDEC.As my trains are resurrected from my youth (1960). Found them in storage when mother past away recently. Any advice be great. Thanks and blessings

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A simple DC (Direct Current) transformer will give you a nice chugging locomotive going one way on your model train track, however, with a DCC unit you can have the flexibility of having an entire train-switching yard happening right in front of your eyes! That is the adaptability that is available with this coming-of-age technology in the hobby!

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