Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

How to make older turnouts dcc friendly

Reduce the potential for short circuits by following these easy techniques
Southern Ry. Alco RS-3 no. 2143 passes over an older HO Shinohara turnout on Larry Puckett's HO layout. He explains how to make older turnouts DCC-friendly.
In the September and October 2014 issues of Model Railroader, I wrote about how I modeled the Rockfish River crossing on my HO scale Piedmont Southern layout and built a gantlet track over the bridge. Since I use Digital Command Control (DCC) on the layout, I wanted all the track and wiring to be “DCC friendly,” a term coined by Allan Gartner that I introduced to the hobby press in my March 1998 “DCC Update” column in Model Railroading magazine.

The basic idea behind the DCC- friendly concept is to reduce the potential for short circuits to occur. One thing to keep in mind is that you can usually convert a DC-powered layout to DCC without going back and modifying all of the track and turnouts. However, addressing some of the topics covered in the following paragraphs may make things easier in the long run, especially if you are building a new layout. In this article I’ll cover various things I did to make the installation of the gantlet track as DCC friendly as possible. For more information on DCC-friendly practices, see Allan Gartner’s “Wiring for DCC” website (

The full text of this article is available to registered users of Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in below.
Comment on this article


How to get started in HO or N scale.

Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Model Railroader magazine. Please view our privacy policy