Development: Tiny Railroad Crossing Controller

By: Michael J. Dempsey

The past several days in the shop have been spent developing our latest product for model railroaders; the Tiny Railroad Crossing Controller. This is our second product designed to enhance the realism of model railroads, and to bring real-life animation to these displays.

The Tiny Railroad Crossing Controller is designed as an easy-to-use, all-in-one module for operating railroad crossings on model train displays. The animated effects are triggered automatically by proximity sensor modules mounted along the side of the train track. The when triggered, the controller starts flashing the lights on the railroad crossing signs, servo motors lower the crossing gates, and the bells start ringing. This controller also allows for the control of banjo-style signals with a standard DC motor. The lights and bell automatically turn off and the gates raise after the train passes.

Like our Tiny Traffic Light Controller, this controller will be available as an easy-to-assemble kit. All components required to build the controller will be included, and the kit can be assembled and installed in an afternoon. The Proximity Prime Distance Sensor Modules used to detect the trains will be shipped completely assembled; they need only be plugged into the controller.

Very early, rough prototype circuit
Early, incomplete revision of printed circuit board design

Clearly, this new product is still only in development. However, we expect to have a production prototype prepared within a couple of weeks, and we will have units in stock by the end of August! If you have any questions or are interested in placing a pre-order on the Tiny Railroad Crossing Controller, please contact us at

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