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About the Model Railroad

RTAC Software


The Randall Museum in San Francisco hosts a large HO-scale model model railroad. Created by the Golden Gate Model Railroad Club starting in 1961, the layout was donated to the Museum in 2015. Since then I have started automatizing trains running on the layout. I am also the model railroad maintainer. This blog describes various updates on the Randall project and I maintain a separate blog for all my electronics not directly related to Randall.

2019-05-03 - May Mainline Automation Update

Category Randall

An update on the automated mainline on the layout at Randall Museum, San Francisco: the UP passenger train now has two coach cars, and the freight train now has a Santa Fe F7A engine on the point. In the back of this picture one can see the special engine waiting May 10th to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the completion of the American Transcontinental Railroad.

Previously the automated freight train was pulled by the NYC 4-6-4 Hudson. This engine has worked flawlessly and superbly. It will likely return after a well deserved break.

Video of both automated mainline trains in action:

The UP passenger train with two coach cars:

We used to run the second coach car before, and we removed it after it derailed. I tried to adjust the way the trucks are mounted on the body so we’ll see if that behaves better. I also reduced the speed of the engine when going over the cross-over turnout at T320 which is where we had issues last time. Finally I swapped the engine 8736 with 8749. They are both identical, and I’m trying to avoid premature wear and tear on the engines as we had before. After all these aren’t designed to run 5 days a week, so they need a well deserved break.

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