So, I continue to think about the signal project as I really want to add this aspect to the layout. I have found signal pricing isn't very expensive, but to add on the logic boards and such to make everything automated/simulated for more trains is quite expensive. I just can't see investing that kind of money into my small layout.
So, I have to buy some searchlight signals from BeNScale. My initial desire is to add the signals to Utica. Eventually, other signals will be added the CB&Q junction as well.
I have decided to have an operator, or station manager that will be located at Utica. The station manager would operate the signals under the direction of the dispatcher. When a train needs to work at Utica/LaSalle, they will obtain the proper work authority via track warranty from the dispatcher. They would then work with the local station manager for lining various moves through the interlocking.
The station manager will set the signals using four rotary switches (one for each track's signal). He will also manually set the turnouts as I don't have tortoise switch machines installed for the crossovers. Below is a diagram of what the station manager will see.
Eventually, when signals are added at Ottawa, crews will contact the Ottawa Yardmaster for permission through the plant. This job might also be performed by the Utica station manager (operator), but under the Ottawa Station manager title.
Crews will still require a track warrant from the dispatcher to be out on the mainline. The remainder of the (unmodeled) railroad will be Automatic Block Signaling (ABS).
In other electrical news...
Any guesses what my next project is? HA HA!
Time to fire up the layout! I stripped wires and drilled holes for nearly every feeder for tracks that have been laid. I just need to finish up a few more in Utica and will be complete. There was a lot to do at Ottawa Silica and LOF.