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Well-Known Member

I think I was a member here a few years back, but lost all my information.

I am restarting my layout after a 4 year hiatus during which my train platform has been up with a temporary track laid so the grandson could run his h.o. Thomas.
I am loosely modeling the Great Northern during the postwar period but limitations on my space will make it difficult to run my Empire Builder fully. My layout consists of basically a 10" L X 8' W X 2' u-shaped setup with what will be a couple of lift outs across the end of the U. It will consist of a pair of loops with the outer loop having 28" radius curves and an inner loop with shorter 22" radius and all the switch track and industries that will eventually be on the layout. The outer loop will rise approx. 3-4 inches where I'll have the first lift out bridge.

I am setting this up old school as I just don't yet have funds to upgrade my running gear to digital. One thing I still have to figure out is how to setup separate controllers (I have 2) between the loops and still allow movement between the loops.



Well-Known Member
Welcome back aboard Patrick. I see that you have already managed to find the Coffee Shop named for Jeffrey.
One thing I still have to figure out is how to setup separate controllers (I have 2) between the loops and still allow movement between the loops.
Put up a diagram of your layout and I'll try to assist, as I am old school DC as well as several others here.


Hello Patrick,

With regards to wiring 2 separate throttles, I think it's important to decide if thats you final number. With just 2, you can wire up the layout with double pole double throw switches, either with or without center off. They're not too expensive and not very hard to set up. In my DC days on an old layout, I wanted to allow for up to 6 separate throttles, so I bought a bunch of expensive rotary switches that I then wired up. A real waste of time and money since I really only ever used 2 throttles.

You'll also want to break your layout into separate blocks, each one separated by insulated track joiners to prevent electrical connection between the blocks. The trick that I imagine other users, like SantaFeWille, can help you with is in helping you define where to put those insulated track joiners and make your separate blocks. As your add loops, sidings, yards, etc. it becomes a bit of art/science/blackmagic.

But, I admit, I'm not as knowledgeable as the other folks on the forum. If you can post an image of your track plan, I'm sure a lot of folks will offer help in getting it all working.

In the meantime, welcome back to the forum and the hobby!


Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
Most of us have a ghost in our closets somewhere. I thought you were looking to reuse it but didn't remember.
Mum's the word - my prior post deleted ... yours as well.


Well-Known Member
I'll post it and some pictures I took last night when I can get them off the phone. I'll probably just start a new thread in the layout forum and thanks for the welcome back.

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