Model Train Control System


I am doing a control project for a model railway club. The aim is to use an arduino or similiar to control motors, via a relay the switch the points. I will need to communicate between the arduino’s as they want both a local and central control panels with indicators showing point direction on all the central panel and the local panel. There will be two central panels and 10+ local panels.

Cost is somewhat important as it is a small club, and they have over 100 motors to control. I was thinking of using arduino’s with relay boards, and then some sort of two way communication between each board possibly over ethernet?

Can you suggest some appropriate products, it does not have to be arduino’, provided the progamming language is similiar to C++ as some of the member have a background in that, and could modify the code if necessary one I write the core components.

kind regards, Cameron Wilson

Hi Cameron,

I would probably recommend using WiFi for this application. Networking a bunch of Arduinos together with cables would get complicated fast.

Great boards that are programmable with Arduino are the Photon and the Feather Huzzah:

Both of these boards can be programmed with Blynk, which has a great mobile app that you could use to quickly make an app interface to control the trains.

In this case the Photon might be easiest because we have this shield:

In theory you could control as many relays as the boards have digital outputs. I would look into using MOSFETs instead of relays as they would work fine and it would save a lot of trouble in the design and keep the cost down.