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Train Control

The RCW is powered by an Easy-DCC system with both radio and tethered throttles. There are seven power districts.  The system has been upgraded over the years so that four digit addressing is standard. DecoderPro is also used to program locomotives and help in speed matching.

The RCW has a signal system, using C/MRI hardware and software. It is a block permissive system, with the green-red signals controlled by a computer based on train detection using trackside-mounted IR detectors. Bill Schaper developed hardware and software specifically for the RCW. He designed IC circuits for each OS section (detectors, switch motors, and signals) which minimizes the number of leads required to go to the C/MRI SMINI boards. Main line switches have the capability of being controlled either locally (when operating without a dispatcher) or from a dispatcher's panel. The panel was made by Mike Burgett. C/MRI hardware was used to construct the system. Local control of signals protecting towns for switching crews that need to use the main has been provided. Engineers follow their trains and must stop for red and wait for a green, or clearance from a dispatcher.

Operations have been done using car-cards with 4-position waybills, with reasonable success. More recently RailOp 8.0 has been used and is the current choice for generating train manifests and switch lists. While there is a timetable, until the operating crew passes their tests, we will not use it. The Rail-Lynx fast clock would create serious frustration. Family radios are used to communicate with the dispatcher during operating sessions.