The first digital system we had was a handheld system that allowed for one operator
to control multiple engines. Since then we have expanded to three computers each
controlling in dependant engines with a handheld throttle on the layout for use in
the yard and the spurs. We use a Lenz digital control system linked to a PC.
The current layout was started in June, 2013 and is slowly coming together. The
decision was made to get rid of any access that had to be made by going under the
layout. A modified E shape was designed and the benchwork was completed in July
2013. Track laying was started soon after. Switch machine were installed on the
layout after the track was drawn out in chalk. The control room was redesigned to
allow the operator a full view of the layout. Cameras were added back into the layout
giving the operator full view of the entire layout. The cameras also have night
vision for use in a nighttime setting. Buildings have been added with a new power
station, hotel complex, stockyard, a traffic bridge, cement plant, parking garage,
a new larger train station, a grain depot and an oil storage facility. Ballasting
is almost complete and the amusement park is shaping up nicely.
Did you know that with our digital system we can control up to 128 engines, each
with at least two functions (speed and lighting). While it certainly is not practical
it is cool to think it is possible!