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Model Railroad Crossing Signal and Crossing Gate Control System

Where do most folks see trains in the real world? At a grade crossing. Visitors to your model train layout will connect your crossing signals to the real world. The more realistic your model grade crossings, the stronger the connection.

Give your visitors a visual treat. A realistic operating grade crossing signal system will definitely boost the 'cool' factor of your layout.

It's easy to add sound effects with the Bell Ringer Module.

brake lights
MRX2 includes a connection for non-flashing lamps, like these automobile brake lights

Grade Crossing Signal Flashers

2-quadrant xing

Now with 4-quadrant crossing gate control

What are four-quadrant crossing gates? Typical North American railroad crossing gates on two-way streets block traffic on half of the road. The gates cover the lanes of approaching traffic, but not the lanes leading away from the tracks. Foolish drivers sometimes cross the highway median, drive around the gate and get hit by a train.
To reduce collisions at grade crossings, railroads are installing four quadrant gate systems on high speed rail corridors, commuter lines, light rail systems and in areas with high concentrations of foolish drivers.
  2-quadrant xing
Four quadrant gates block all lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks. Gate operation is sequenced. The 'entrance' gates close first, blocking approaching cars. Then the 'exit' gates close on the opposite side of the tracks. The delayed closing of the exit gates prevents vehicles from being trapped on the tracks.
Operation Lifesaver has a video of a prototype four quadrant crossing gate, [click here].
crossing signal controller

Installation instructions [pdf]
Working crossing gates examples
Where to place the IR sensors
Use with block occupancy detectors
MRX2 Flasher Controller
  • Accepts input from 2 to 6 built-in infrared ('IR') train detectors to simulate real world crossing signal operation.
  • May also be used with block occupancy detectors.
  • Flasher circuit works with all types of signal lights. Configuration is automatic, no manual programming:
    • Common anode LEDs
    • Common cathode LEDs
    • Back-to-back LEDs
    • Incandescent bulbs
  • Includes a connection for non-flashing lights for automobile brake lights or lights at the tip of the crossing arms.
  • Signal lights circuit will supply up to 550 milliamps.
  • To raise and lower crossing gate arms you may use either Tortoise™ slow-motion switch machines or R/C type servo motors. Supports 2-quadrant and 4-quadrant gate systems.
  • Will operate non-flashing devices such as a banjo or wigwag crossing signal.
  • Power required: 8 to 15 volts AC or DC.
    If using R/C servos to operate crossing gates, a regulated DC supply is recommended, such as our PS906.
MRX2 crossing signal controller with or without pre-wired infrared sensor sets
Select the number of IR sensors to include with the MRX2.
No IR sensors included.
For use with block occupancy detectors or with your own infrared sensors.
  Six IR sensors sets, two with 2 ft (60cm) and four with 6 ft (180cm) wire length.
6 sensors for one track, or
use with two MRD1 single detectors (sold separately below) to protect two tracks with 4 sensors per track.
2x 2 ft, 4x 6ft
Four IR sensors sets, 2 ft (60cm) and 6 ft (180cm) wire length.
4 sensors for one track, or
2 sensors per track, 2 tracks.
2x 2 ft, 2x 6ft
  MRD1 single IR train detector.
Add two MRD1's with the 6-sensor MRX2 (above) to protect two tracks at one crossing with 4 sensors per track.
Price shown for each MRD1.
MRD1, each
Tortoise® motors and mounting kits
Regulated 9v dc plug-in power adapter
multiple track expansion module

Installation instructions [pdf]
MRD6 Expander Circuit
2 tracks
3 tracks
4 tracks
7 tracks
MRD6 HexDetex™ with four or six pre-wired infrared sensor sets
Select the number of IR sensors and their wire length.
No IR sensors included.
For users who will use their own IR sensors.
  All six sensor sets with 2-ft (60cm) wire length.
Use when all detection zones are close together.
6 x 2 ft.
Two sensor sets with 2-ft (60cm) wire length.
Two sensor sets with 6-ft (180cm) wire length.
Four sensor sets for crossing signal control where only four sensors are needed.
2x 2ft, 2x 6ft.
  Two sensor sets with 2-ft (60cm) wire length.
Four sensor sets with 6-ft (180cm) wire length.
Use when detection zones are widely separated, or for crossing signal control where six sensors per track are needed.
2x 2ft, 4x 6ft.

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