One of my background tasks for the last year or two has been building an Automated Level Crossing to go by the halt. There are various designs around, but many are very complicated and often too deep to fit under the baseboard.
This shows the gates on the current prototype – it operation, they all move so that they close either the tracks or the road:
Underneath, it’s a bit more complicated:
Each gate is mechanically connected to a servo using a pair of gear wheels. The servos have small motors that are driven by the electronics in the middle.
The end position of each gate can be independently set using the small push buttons on the electronics board. The speed of movement can also be programmed.
Originally, this used standard servo arms to connect the servos to the gates, but these didn’t move the gates to the exact position reliably.
I spent a while looking for better solutions, then looked at various designs of gear wheels on the internet, found something the right size and then printed them on the 3D printer:
They are a bit rough, but serve the purpose and seem to work well.
Now I’ve got the mechanics right, I need to find some better level crossing gates before adding it to the layout.
There used to be signals on the exit of each goods yard, but these were really not the right sort, so when the track was relaid, these were removed.
I recently found some that were the right sort, and these have now been fitted to the layout:
And the signal colours change with the points…
There is a small mimic panel at the country end of the layout which needed updating to match the recent track and point changes:
The A1 and A2 buttons are for future use…
At the same time, I decided to connect this with a plug and socket under the layout:
This will make it easier to make changes in future.
And finally, there is now a long wall by the track heading to the country station:
That should keep the cows off the track!
Continuing the wall building, there is now a wall where the narrow gauge track runs alongside the goods yard, and finally, a bit of grass filling the space to the edge of the layout:
The centre section has been left as a ‘shelf’ to store the loco controllers:
There is now a wall separating the rather unfinished tarmac outside the terraced cottages and the narrow gauge track:
The Main Station Forecourt had been a problem ever since the narrow gauge track was laid in front of it. This is how it originally looked:
Unfortunately, the curves on this track proved to be too tight, so it had to be relaid, which then disrupted the paving…
Finally, I’ve reworked this area, and am reasonably pleased with the results:
There was a gap between the New Country Pub and the railway halt that has now been filled with a small cottage and office:
Yet again, this has been made from cardboard and laser printed paper.