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Thread: How to run 2 trains at once?

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    You have two options.

    1. Run DCC (best solution)

    2. You can make them two different tracks and run them off different controllers. You have to be careful with this, but if you pay attention you will be okay.

    I am building mine now, but I am just doing a different switches for different blocks (electrically independant sections of track). The sections will not be able to have different speed (voltage), but it will give me the ability to run different directions or turn off a section of track.

    Running DCC would be the best solution. That is the way I would like to go in the future.

    Jason
    <hr>
    Need to choose an time/place to model and I am still learning
    but I have an idea, just need to find it.

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    DCC? what do i have to do for that?

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    DCC Is Digital Command Control. You have to have a controller or encoder and every Locomotive or anything else you want to controll (lights, signals, etc) will have to have a decoder. That is the simple answer, there is a power pack/multiplexer, but basically the decoder tell the locomotive how fast and which way to go. Now the locomotives have to be DCC ready and have a DCC decoder. There is a DCC section here, you might want to hunt through there.

    http://www.dcctrain.com/

    Also do a google search for DCC model train

    Hope this helps.
    <hr>
    Need to choose an time/place to model and I am still learning
    but I have an idea, just need to find it.

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    so the only other way is two separate tracks that dont touch each other at all, and 2 different controllers? can i connect both tracks with switches or will that short out?

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    Okay, if you have two electrically different tracks that is all that is needed. If you want the trains to be able to slow down and speed up at different rates, you need to different controllers.

    Now if you want to switch tracks and if you go from a track that is running two different ways. Then you positive will short out with the negative of the other track (metal wheels).

    This site is a little deeper than you might want to get, but check it out.

    http://www.trainweb.org/girr/tips/ti...ower_tips.html

    I could also burnout the locomotive if you were not watching or being careful. You locomotive would go forward and backward and then just sit and short out the controllers.

    Just be careful and all should be fine.
    <hr>
    Need to choose an time/place to model and I am still learning
    but I have an idea, just need to find it.

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    so the only other way is two separate tracks that dont touch each other at all, and 2 different controllers? can i connect both tracks with switches or will that short out?
    Excuse me guys, but we're leading Peter a bit astray with the responses. Yes it is easy to wire your model railroad to run two trains independently, whether they are on the same loop or on different (but connected) loops.

    While DCC is the new thing and probably the best way to control different trains, the majority of modelers still use normal DC current, and block or ''cab&quot; control.

    While it would take a long post to explain everything, basically you use insulated rail joiners in the joints of the crossover to electrically separate the two loops.

    You'll need two power packs (so each train can be controlled independently) and probably a number of toggle switches (or Atlas &quot;selector&quot; switches) so you can select which power pack controls which loop.

    Each loop would probably be broken up into two or more blocks. Each block is also separated electrically through the use of insulated rail joiners. Both power packs get wired to the selector switches. Then, depending on which way you throw the switch for that block determines which power pack sends power to that block.

    You need a good basic layout wiring book. I can recommend Atlas's &quot;the Complete Atlas Wiring Book&quot;. I have heard that the new Kalmbach book on wiring is also good, although I haven't seen it myself.

    Regards

    Ed

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    Peco also have some info on how to wire their turnouts for block control.

    Since wireing for DC and block/cab control is a pretty old and well tested technique, I suggest you go to your local library and see what they have. It helped me a lot. The idea is simple, just cut the track in parts, wire each part to all the controllers you need for that part of the layout (usually 2 is enough), add switches to regulate and control the parts, and start running the trains. Turnouts need special attention, depending on the type.

    BTW... real trains run in blocks as well. Each block can hold one train. The difference is that in real life the driver has to obey the signals given, and the model follows the DC current.

    DCC is needed on larger layouts that you normally want to run on your own, or if you want to play &quot;tag&quot; with your trains. It's easier to convert from DC to DCC than the other way around.

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    Yes, you can run two trains at once very simply. You need
    1. Your 2 ovals (or variations, thereof)
    2. 2 turnouts (one connected to each oval)
    3. 2 powerpacks (hopefully inexpensive and matching)
    4. 1 pair of plastic insulated track joiners
    5. 2 sets of power cables

    Setup your ovals and turnouts.
    Attach the plastic joiners on one of the track sections in between the turnouts.
    Wire the powerpacks so that the polarity is the same to each oval (i.e. forward should be in the same direction on each oval).
    Set the turnouts to straight. Then set a locomotive on one oval and run it around. Set the speed controls on each powerpack to the same direction and speed. With the turnouts set to inside, the loco should travel across to other oval and maintain its correct direction and speed. Make sure you set the turnout back to straight before the loco completes a lap.

    Okay, having said all this, notice I used the term &quot;inexpensive powerpack&quot;. Why? Because once you take a look at DCC you will want to save your money to get a system. The ability to run multiple locos on the same track, especially on a modest layout, really helps to keep one's interest up. Being able to have a switcher add or remove cars while the road engine idles on the same track adds tremendously to more realistic operations.

    Barry

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    Default Re:How to run 2 trains at once?

    I have set up my layout with two-cab control and it works pretty well. You can even set it up to do what is stated above (have a switcher add cars onto the back of an idlying train you just end up with ALOT of blocks. I don't feel like trying to add the DCC controllers to the engines I have and since most of the layout is wired I'll live with my DC. My whole layout is l shaped, one leg is nearly 8 feet long and the other is six feet long with a two foot depth. It's a nice modest layout with two meandering loops lots of switching in the middle of the inner loop and a yard and engine facility off the six foot leg... Lots of switching, some modest mainline running and best of all my 4 year old twin girls get to watch to trains passing eachother. They laugh each time and thats the realy reason I love my little eNpire.

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