Model Railway Signals and Locations

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Installing model railway signals in your layout requires planning, measuring and calculating. Mike Burgett’s Chesapeake & Ohio model railroad was initially based on the signal system and served as the foundation for the planning stages of the track. Mike stressed importance on the signaling system for his layout and gained valuable experience and expertise in the process.

Model Railway Signals

In part five of the 11-part Chesapeake & Ohio series, Mike Burgett demonstrates how to appropriately determine where to place model railway signals throughout your layout. More specifically, he shows you where to place line side details and signals at an OS section and at an industrial switch.

Mike begins by listing the parts you will need in order to install a signaling system in your layout. He breaks down in detail the union switch and signal power switch machine. Next, he considers where to locate the signals. He determines that three signals are needed in the section of track he is working with. One signal is needed to protect facing point movements coming into the turnout, one is needed in the trailing point direction for the main track, and another is needed in the trailing direction for the siding. This will allow the dispatcher to protect any direction a train could move through this power operated turnout.

One valuable tip Mike offers is to consider the time period of which your model railroad is set in when creating a signaling system. Mike points out that prior to March of 1985, the federal government required signals to be placed to the right hand track for which they govern. If you model after 1985, the requirement was lifted allowing railroads to place signals to the left of the governing track.

MRA offers a wide range of videos dedicated to adding model railroad signals to your layout. It can be a complex and sometimes even problematic process in model railroad design. Seeking advice and instruction can greatly improve your skills in completing a signaling system for your own layout.

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