Neat Ideas

Here are a few concepts and techniques used on the ARE that may be of value to other modellers.
(Click on image for more information.)

independent_power.html Too many unpowered throttles on the Digitrax loconet can overload the power booster. The ARE uses independent loconet power. Marshal operations.jpg Mounting switch machines under the layout has always been challenging. Here are a few ideas that may make things easier.
Control panels are used to mount the switches that control electrically thrown switch machines. These are made using computer drawings, transparencies, and white melamine board. Push button wiring with LED indicators for twin coil switch machines is also explained. Working with car cards requires a place to put the cards when switching an industry or yard. The ARE uses vinyl house siding to provide two rows  of display.
The ARE has a 12' long cut-away (longitudinal cross section) of a tunnel. On the schematic  it's the Silver Spring Tunnel. The ARE has both grade crossings and plans for trackage to run in the street. 
Very effective backdrops can be made using pictures obtained from the Internet. Many pictures used on backdrops are available for download. 
Track Warrant
Silver Spring District
The ARE uses "track warrants" for single track sections. Possession of the warrant grants permission to occupy the district. This prevents collisions. 
Its easy to see an uncoupler magnet when the track is empty, but what do you see when there are cars present?
Building flats serve as place holders until I can construct the necessary buildings. I expect the flats to be in place for many years.

Step-by-step replacing bulbs with white LEDs.

Make realistic chain link fence using inexpensive nylon tulle bridal netting, paper clips, and piano wire.

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