Tri-Valley Railroad

over the last week or so, I’ve been living at and working on the tri-valley railroad, which is located in northern California.

I didn’t build the layout however, I’ve been working on installing DCC decoders in the various locomotives as well as setting up the DCC systems. This, as has been said, is a state-of-art layout, using a DCC controlled turntable with an auto reverse loop module from AAA turntables with plans of using infrared indexing. this along with DCC controlled pneumatic switches, controlled with customized SMD84 Switch machines from Team Digital.  the solenoids at the turnouts are small solenoids, that are close to the same size as original Llagas Creek solenoids, they fit into modified Llagas creek housings and are mounted on Llagas creek ties, which slip under the LGB ties, they are then set and screwed to the LGB ties.

here’s an example of an operating turnout on the bench.


several different block detection zones, breakers and a zeo-speed module as a safety protocol for some of the crossing. the goal is to automate and animate crossings and signal lights along with many of the trains.  much of this will be done through software.

The complication of this particular layout is that it’s an overlay DCC install, this means that zones for the breakers need to be set up along with block detection based on 3 different power distribution points. effectively the wiring will need to spiderweb across the layout, with breakers being hidden in weatherproof boxes. because of this setup, each breaker will also need an audible alarm.  the idea installs for the breakers would be to feed them in a central location, then to the tracks.

The last week, was the 1st time, locomotives have been run on the layout using DCC, the turntable turned using its own power, the switch machines activated and wired to the DCC system, along with a couple of installs.

it’s incredibly exciting, the owner was giddy, and got to play with some of his trains for the 1st time in 4 years.

here’s a brief video of the turntable in action








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s