| Plan | Pictures |
Construction | Scenery
| Signalling and Control | Layout Team | Exhibitions
| RPC Hardware | MRCCC Software |
Signalling Plan | Wiring
Horton's Signalling and Control
The layout is fully signalled
with Roger Murray
Colour Light Signals, fully track circuited (for train detection) with
MERG FTC modules and has electric control of all mainline points via
SEEP motors and MERG CDUs. A Personal Computer (PC) provides the user
interface to control the signalling and route setting, together with
a comprehensive configurable computer based signalling interlocking.
All route setting is carried
out using entry-exit style route setting on the PC. The software also
assists in the Cab Control selection via Computer Assisted Cab-Control
(CACC), and incorporates a form of Automatic Train Protection (ATP)
to prevent trains passing most red signals.
The traction supply is currently
conventional DC cab control using six controllers and switched using
both rotary switches on a control panel and the CACC relays. Each section
is also provided with a section switch, either on the panel, or as a
virtual control on the PC.
Digital Command Control (DCC)
is now being Used on Horton, together with software changes
to support operators when working under DCC. The Lenz system will be
The software is the Model
Railway Computer Control Centre (MRCCC) software which I have written
myself and made available as freeware. Additional Client PCs can connect
to allow multiple operators to control or view the layout.
The layout is interfaced
to the PC using the Remote Panel Control (RPC) System designed and made
available through the Model Electronic Railway Group (MERG).
The Panel and Relay Rooms
connect to the baseboards using 25w 7/0.2 cable. Boards simply connect
to the nearest box to reduce cable lengths. The RPC stack is split into
three; starting with the main panel housing the RPIC processor (with
RS232 link to the MRCCC Server PC), inputs from the main panel to SRI
modules, outputs via SRO4 modules to points and signals, FTC track circuit
modules and some traction relays, all for those boards fed from the
The Remote Stack Extension
system of RSS and RSM modules is used to extend the stack to board F4
where inputs from the fiddle yard panel are read in, and on to the Relay
Room with Relays for traction power, FTC track circuits for sections
fed from the Relay Room and the SRO outputs to signals and points.
Standard Category 5 network
cable and connectors are used to join the RSS and RSM modules to make
up the RPC datalink between parts of the stack. The RPC system has been
used together with the PC to also provide a transmission system between
the panel and the relay room. Section Switches and Cab Control selection
switches for the area of the layout fed from the Relay Room are wired
to SRI inputs at the Panel. The PC monitors the states of these inputs
and drives corresponding SRO4 outputs or DPR relays in the relay room.
The control panel
contains part of the RPC stack, and the switches for traction power.
It was constructed from softwood and MDF. The faceplate was produced
in Microsoft Visio from the signalling plan, printed in A3 sections
on a colour laser printer, laminated, and stuck to an MDF top using
double-sided tape before being framed. It was later drilled, fitted
with switches and wired.
relay room houses a large part of the RPC stack and feeds the most complex
boards at one end of the layout. A large number of CACC relays are located
here, and the section switches operate remotely at this end, resulting
in more relays. The multi-way cables can be seen terminated on the left
hand side and wired to the tagstrips on the inside of the lid.
The screenshot below
shows a typical view of the MRCCC software in Test Mode. Trains are
shown in red, with routes set being white.