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FAQ:My Train Keeps Stopping

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If you have a train that will, for no obvious reason, suddenly come to a stop, and if you adjust the throttle, it resumes its journey, the most likely cause is two throttles are sharing the same address.

Some DCC systems allow two throttles to control a single address for the purpose of operator training, creating consists, and other functions. Digitrax uses the term Steal to indicate that the address is currently in use, and the operator can choose to take (steal) control of the address or not.

The second throttle is often referred to as a Ghost Throttle. This is often a product of poor operator discipline, as someone hasn't cleared that address from their throttle during a previous operating session, or earlier in the current session. That throttle is set to a zero or non-zero speed, and will regularly be polled by the command station. When that happens the ghost throttle overrides the other throttle.

Digitrax DCC Systems:

  • There are two slots assigned to that locomotive's address. The one slot is set to speed zero. At some point the command station will refresh the slots. It reads the slot which is set to zero speed and sends a packet to your locomotive telling it to stop.

JMRI can help by using the slot monitor to clear all unused slots, as well as using it to release a specific slot.

See the article about dispatching for more details.