With rotary knob in the centre position the train is stopped and turns to left or right to select the train’s direction. The speed is regulated by the amount the knob is turned. The signalling panel enables a train to leave a siding or passing loop on the layout.
Near each point where tracks diverge or converge there is a pair of contacts, one to set the point “normal” and one to set it “reverse”. A signaller touches the appropriate contact with the pointer to select the required route.
The panel has miniature switches located on the diagram to connect the train controllers to various sections of track, which gives or inhibits movement permission to a train in the section.
Where there is a passing loop (or a pair of sidings) the switch has three positions. When the switch lever is central neither of the routes have movement authority. When the lever is towards a route, it gives movement authority.
The passing tracks in the loops each have two sections so each track can hold two trains and
there are switches for each section. This allows the passing loops to hold four short trains which can be individually selected, or two long trains.
When operating the layout the signaller chooses a train he wishes to move, builds the route from its starting position by touching in turn all the contacts on the diagram to the destination section. Then he or another person acting as driver uses the rotary control to move the train along the route at the speed he chooses. At the destination the train is stopped and the signaller inhibits movement authority. The signaller can either plan a new movement or extend the previous one if there are no obstructions.
There are two independent through routes, so two trains can run continuously while others wait in the passing loops or sidings.
The route selection facilities can be used to set routes when live steam or battery/radio controlled trains are operating, but in these cases the panel isolating switches have no effect.
Switches are provided to allow trains to move from the outer circle to the inner tracks.
The route between the outer track and the inner tracks has point operating contacts that operate both point mechanisms simultaneously. Another switch connects the first section of the inner tracks to either of the two rotary train controllers.
The outer circle can be put into “COIN” mode. In this mode a train will wait in a section until a coin is inserted at the viewing gallery and will make one journey round the track back to the starting point. This will happen while the trains on the smaller scale layouts at the viewing window make several circuits on their tracks. The train must only have a single locomotive. If its coaches have track powered lights they will stay on while stationary.
The outer circle rotary controller could be replaced by a digital control unit. This would allow trains fitted with digital chips to demonstrate extra features such as whistles and lights.