interlocking

July 14, 2020

BuildLog – TBL – 7/14/2020

ow crazy design can be. Steve Raiford (my chief designer and wet blanket) and I have been going round and round about my upcoming Tuscarora Branch Line. We want it to do this, we want it to do that. Pretty involved for a small 2X4 foot layout with one passing siding. Now it’s got coal loads-in/loads-out, Pennsy signaling, a real coal-hauler look and feel. And then we started talking about the simple panel to drive it. Originally, of course, the old stand-by, toggle switches. Then we figured what would really be cool is if we lined the toggles above the […]
December 13, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 12/12/2020

his was a ground breaker session on the Tuscarora – the first run of the interlocking lever system, mounted in the mostly-sceniced tower. Every ounce of effort on this entire railroad, every coding step, all led to this event. And it was a blast. My dispatcher Greg was running at a steady clip, not rushing me at all. And most of the routing I’d practiced in my testing simulator. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the initial drill effort (where the train from Martin gets classified) and the actual switching around the industrial areas. As it stood, the […]
July 25, 2021

Guide to Signals & Interlockings (Review)

‘ll admit that I was desperate for this book to come out. Locked down in the pandemic, without groups of model railroaders to converse with (possibly in the casual debrief after a session) I was building my own Tuscarora Branch Line and desperate to find out how Interlocking Towers worked (these are the towers you used to see all along railroad lines that would allow the operator to set signals and turnouts, often via very crazy series of push-pull rods along trackside). But how the logic of the system worked, how it would lock out and why, none of this […]