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What it is:

The StationMaster is a model train controller which can perform realistic station stops in addition to realisitic Back-and-Forth Reversing operations. The StationMaster uses gradual accelerations and decelerations in addition to a self-adjusting "creeping" feature where the train runs at a slower speed as it approaches the station, and also leaving the station.

The StationMaster is available in a "5" or "6" hardware configuration. Both do the same basic train operations, however the StationMaster-6 has additional hardware enhancements as described below:

  • The StationMaster-6 allows maual control where the StationMaster will disconnect from the track when the input voltage is reversed (you can run the train backwards with the transformer), or the bypass switch is turned off.
  • The StationMaster-6 can control an external 10 AMP relay. This relay can be used for turning on something when the train is stopped at the station, or controlling signal lights for back-and forth operations, or controlling red/green signal lamps in synchronous with stop and go. The operation of the relay is configurable.
  • The StationMaster-6 allows a much higher input voltage (up to 24 volts) due to an internal DC to DC converter.
  • The StationMaster-6 has an additional sensor input for "justa-station-stop" as described in the manual. (Perform a station stop without triggering a YardMaster which is useful in some alternating train hookups)
  • The StationMaster-6 has a "Minimum Speed" setting to keep lights, sound, and smoke on when the train is stopped.

All StationMaster units come in either a 4 AMP or 10 AMP configuration, and can control standard DC trains straight out of the box. DCC trains can be controlled when set for DC mode by setting CV29 bit 2. And sometimes they just work without doing anything at all.

The StationMaster has these simple adjustments: (Usually the factory default settings are perfect)

  • Deceleration rate.
  • Pause time at the station. (Programmable 5 seconds to many hours)
  • Acceleration rate.
  • Multiple laps before stopping.
  • Advanced programming and features which are described in the manual. (See below)

When the Creep Stop or Creep Acceleration features are enabled you will think there is actually an engineer in your locomotive as the train decelerates into the yard, and then runs slowly into the station before stopping at an exact position. When leaving the station the train creeps out of the yard and then accelerates up to full speed.

How to hook it up to your existing layout:

Simple station stops are easy. Just attach two wires from your transformer directly to the StationMaster, and two more wires from the StationMaster to the track. No isolators or engine modifications are necessary except to add a magnet to the engine. Your train will slow-down, pause and then accelerate at every location where a train sensor is placed under the track! Multiple laps can also be programmed so the train can run around a few times before stopping too.

Station stops can also be done without using sensors with the on-board current sensor which detects the train, however the track must be modified to add isolators at the stopping location.

Realistic Block control (running 2 trains on the same loop of track) is also easy with a StationMaster. The trains will be spaced apart from each other regardless of their speeds.

Back-and-forth Reversing is wired the same as the Simple Station Stop and can operate with or without sensors. This reversing operation does not contain the "hands-off, self-adjusting" operation that is only available in the Shuttle. See the manual for details.

Advanced Features and Capabilities:

For a simple station stop, the factory settings are perfect and it just works.

For the advanced user the StationMaster has additional programming capability as described below:

  • Full adjustments for DECELERATE rate, DELAY time and ACCELERATION rate to accommodate any size railroad.
  • Short Circuit Detection which protects electronics from accidental damage when train wrecks occur.
  • "Top Speed" adjustment dial which allows running with a less expensive fixed voltage power source.
  • StationMaster-6 "Minimum Speed" feature so smoke, sound, and lights can stay on when stopped.
  • Exact train stopping position using a STOP sensor which allows every train to stop at exactly the same position after deceleration.
  • Programmable station stop time can be up to 1 hour, or anything when triggered from an external switch. (Maybe from a doorbell, a motion sensor, when someone opens a door, or triggered by the hands of a clock, or another StationMaster)
  • "ACCEL" sensor allows easy block control and passing siding hookups.
  • "Multiple Lap" programmable will allow many loops before the station stop if desired.
  • "Creep Stop" and "Creep Acceleration" works on up to 5 different trains running concurrently, with each train realistically slowing down and stopping at a preciese location with their own ideal creeping rates. The StationMaster will self-adjust for each train.
  • Train detection feature allows station stops without using any sensors or magnets. Any train can run on your railroad straight out of the box.
  • Quick connect terminals allow unplugging the StationMaster for storage while leaving all the wires in place.

On The Web:

Miscellaneous other videos on YouTube: MGRS, Two Trains opposite directions, Battery Train throwing turnouts, Station Stops and alternating trains in the U.K., OO Gauge Action James Ingram 1/4, James Ingram 2/4, James Ingram 3/4, James Ingram 4/4, MGRS 2, Maine Mall 2011, San Diego Model RR Museum, From Europe, Medford Garden Railroaders running with batteries
Also check out the Gaylord Texan resort which has dozens of StationMaster & YardMaster units controlling train operations 7 days a week all year long.

Click here to download the StationMaster-6 Manual (PDF)

Click here to download the StationMaster-5 Manual (PDF)

Click here to see manuals from all previous versions