Automatic Track Selection

This product is being designed.
The complete solution for the operation of yards (staging). This is particularly helpful if the yard is hidden. No more collisions or derailments due to misaligned turnouts.

This system is designed to automatically select the first available/unoccupied track in a yard ladder of up to 7 tracks (up to 15 tracks with add on). The track selection process starts when an arriving train activates the arrival sensor. This activation causes the system to look for the first unoccupied track in the yard ladder. The system then issues commands to to align the turnouts for that track. If there are no tracks available (i.e. all tracks occupied) the full LED is lit. LEDs connected to the system show which tracks are occupancy. Push buttons connected to the system are used to select the track for a train departing the yard.

A Team Digital ATS controller is the center of the system. Additional items include a custom programmed SRC162e for the switch machine drivers for Tortoise™ and a BlocD8 for train location (detection) sensors. The add on includes a second SRC162e and BlocD8.

These devices communicate via their serial bus (LocoNet® compatible). Since all activity is handled over the serial bus with sensor and turnout messages, JMRI could be used to monitor and control the system.

Two yard ladder schemes are supported. A sensor at the end of each yard track indicating track occupied. A sensor at the yard entrance indicates train arriving. No programming is required except to tell the ATS the number of tracks in the yard.

setup
Some requirements for proper operation
1. An arrival train can NOT activate the arrival sensor until all trains in the yard are stopped and the corresponding track sensors show occupied OR until any departing train clears the yard.

2. Once the train has activate the arrival sensor sufficient time must be allowed for the turnouts to be set before the train enters a yard track.

3. NO push buttons can be pressed until all trains in the yard are stopped so that the corresponding track sensors show occupied OR until any departing train clears the yard.

4. To manually override the automatic track selection with a push button, the arriving train must have already activated and cleared the arrival sensor. This requires the arrival sensor to be located sufficiently ahead of the first yard entrance turnout.