Route of the Broadway Lion, The largest Subway Layout in North Dakotaat Assumption Abbey, Richardton North Dakota
The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota
There are nine scale miles from the 242nd Street station, south to the loop at the South Ferry station, and then back uptown to the 242nd Street station. The trip takes a single train 22.5 minutes. Using eight train sets, the railroad runs a rush hour schedule on a three minute headway, and a total of 576 revenue runs every 24 hours. AUTOMATIC TRAIN CONTROL (ATC), is as far as I know, almost unique to the Route of the Broadway LION among model railroaders. Gone are the throttles, the reversing switches, the cab controls, the radio controls, the digital controls, and even the computers. In common with DCC the power is on all of the time. Unlike DCC and other control schemes, there is no command carrier. Indeed, trying to run ten trains at once, making all of the scheduled stops is far beyond the capacity of one operator. Resistors embedded in the tracks slow the trains down as they approach a station. Once the train passes an open gap at the end of the station it stops there. Since the car lights are battery powered they remain lit. A time clock in the main control panel runs out, a relay will pull in applying power to the train, and by the way, clearing the block signals. A second set of resistors embedded in the tracks allow the train to pick up speed. This system also keeps separation between trains, and the trains running on time. Because the voltage delivered to the tracks would vary with the number of trains moving at any particular moment, regular transformers were discarded in favor of a 12 volt, 15 amp regulated power supply. The train sets run by the LION were manufactured at different times and have different operating characteristics. The slowest trains require 10 volts to run at a scale 35 miles per hour, the faster trains need resistors across their motor circuits to match their speeds across the fleet.
This timer switch controls the start of trains from each station. It turns one revolution per minute, and each of six circuits are energized for 10 seconds at a time. It is a GE product, about 70 years old and has no part number on it. But the switches were built in to it, and when Brother John showed it to me, I grabbed it for the railroad. Apparently it was setup to control the firing of an oil burner before I put it on the railroad.