Wiring for Digital Command Control

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Wiring Your Railroad for Digital Command Control


The following pages explain DCC wiring concepts, methods, and best practices. Please note that there varying opinions on how to wire a layout. These articles do their best to provide generally accepted principles and wiring guidelines. You control your trains, not the track.

Edit a page if you find the information incorrect.

Wiring is extremely important for reliable DCC operation and signal integrity. Digital Command Control is not Analog DC, and the wiring practices for analog operations do not apply here. Your focus is on controlling the trains, not controlling the track voltage.

General Topics

Additional Topics

Track Wiring

  • Wiring Your Layout The approach you'll take will depend on what type of project you are attempting. This page is intended to steer you in the right direction.
  • Block detection – Block detection is a method for detecting rolling stock within a given section of track with the use of Accessory Decoders
  • No Common Rail Wiring – In wiring for DC (analog) operations, modellers usually had one wire which was common to all blocks, the rail it connected to was not gapped over the entire layout. Do not do this for DCC!
  • Reverse sections – Although the electrical phase on the rails does not control the direction of the loco, you still have to deal with reverse sections on your layout. If the track turns around back onto itself, the right rail will come in contact with the left rail, which will cause a short circuit; the same as placing a metal object across the rails.
  • Turntables – Wiring Turntables
  • Turnouts – Wiring Turnouts. For Digital Command Control things are a little different. What to look for, selecting turnouts, and other topics.
  • Crossings – Wiring Crossings, Single and Double slips
  • Crossovers and Slips – Wiring Single, Double and Scissor Crossovers.