Designing a Model Railway Control Panel

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The model railway control panel serves a crucial role in the operations of the layout. It is sometimes overlooked in the modeling process and created after the layout is complete. There are numerous types and styles of control panels. A centralized traffic control board (CTC) is one method of communicating with the dispatcher. Unfortunately, incorporating a CTC into your layout can cost you excessive amounts of time and money. If you want to have a dispatching system on your layout, there are other methods that do not require electronics and heavy installation. In this video, Allen Keller demonstrates how to create a dispatcher control panel using a magnetic board and a track plan graphic.

The Model Railway Control Panel

Allen Keller explains the four main components of the dispatcher control panel. First, he illustrates how to create a magnetic board with a track plan graphic. Next, he describes the function of the radio set. Then, he distinguishes a fast clock from a regular clock and determines its purpose in model railroading. Finally, he defines the objective of the Dispatcher Duties checklist.

In Allen’s model railway control panel, the magnetic board with the track plan graphic is manipulated with color coordinated magnets. Each magnet represents a train. The magnets are moved about the board to represent the progression of the trains. With the use of the radio, the operator communicates with the dispatcher to deliver the operating system instructions.

This is an extremely basic model railway control panel, but it still allows your railroad to operate seamlessly. It is an easy and straightforward alternative to using a CTC board. With the help of these tips from Allen Keller, you will be equipped with the knowledge to create your very own model railway control panel.

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