So I realize that its been quite a while (embarrassingly too many months) since I posted on the progress of my layout. The last post was The Staging Level is complete! back in January. This hiatus has been due to a number of factors; a recent trip to Europe, work, enjoying the nicerailfanning weather, etc. etc. While all this is true, the lack of layout progress has been chiefly due to the fact that I decided to add on to the staging tracks, and a lot of the work has been relatively unglamorous.
Today I hit a milestone. The Government of Me and my basement HO Scale Layout is pleased to announce the realization of a major new rail infrastructure project. Construction spanned many months and cost millions (well hundreds) of dollars, and while this project came in over budget and behind schedule, the QGRY hidden staging reversing loop has been completed.
Full automated with a DCC Specialties PSX-AR, the reverse loop allows Westbound trains from Montreal (staging) enroute Quebec City to then seamlessly make the return trip from Quebec City back to Montreal (staging). My thinking was that this would allow for passenger service or a RDC tourist train. The long return loop will also allow for turning trains in my hidden staging tracks between operating sessions. One other plus is that the track leading up to the return loop can be used for staging longer trains than will fit on my 10 hidden staging tracks.
The DCC Specialties PSX-AR is pretty cool piece of tech! I have a Digitrax AR1 Automatic Reverse Controller, that I have used in the past, but I never really liked it. (Anyone wanna buy it from me?)
The PSX-AR is a different beast. What attracted me to it is that (1) it is solid state; (2) it has a circuit breaker built in; and most importantly (3) it automates reverse loop turnouts and integrates the control of the Tortoise stall motor so that the turnout is automatically thrown and the points lines up as the train enters and exits the loop!!! WOW!!!
Not a cheap solution, mind you; however, worth it to have completely automated, hands off running – as you can see by the results of the video below.