Monday, February 2, 2015


My upper level staging at Crescent Lake features a twelve-track reverse loop yard.  Twelve tracks represents far more trains than I currently expect to operate on a regular basis, but I learned long ago that more staging is always good.  Further, once built, I am very unlikely to ever go back to add still more staging, especially with the Eugene staging (Arrival/Departure yard) immediately below. 

I am splitting each staging track into two electrical blocks to facilitate future control developments for that staging.  Each staging track is 36 to 40 feet long, so they almost can hold two trains each.  Eventually, I want to be able to energize only the track that has been selected by the switch routing, keeping all others off.  This is one way to deal with the cacophony coming from many parked locomotives with sound.  In addition to the two blocks per track, I have split the switch ladders into two major  blocks at each end.  One more logical electrical block is used for the long lead-in to one set of switch ladders.  Finally, I have a six feet long stub track to park miscellaneous equipment (snow gear or a switcher set for restaging).  That makes thirty electrical blocks.

I began by completing the track wiring to the switch machines and connecting the reverse loop throat trackage (the switch ladders).  The photo shows me installing a spade lug for one of the throat track blocks.  I use spade lugs crimped onto wire ends backed up by soldering.  The spade lugs are then inserted into barrier terminal strips.  This may be “overkill,” but experience has shown this is a pathway to reliable wiring with a well-defined troubleshooting spot—the station electrical panel.

Installing a spade lug for the electrical connection of one of the Crescent Lake staging track electrical blocks.

The station electrical panel for Crescent Lake is mounted on a hinged panel.  After the wiring is completed, the panel will be rotated up into position and held on the underside of the overhead benchwork.  That benchwork constrains where the barrier strips and other electrical gear can be mounted.  More details will be shown in a subsequent post.

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