Any Richmond Controls Special Effects locomotive lighting module can now be supplied with Automatic Ditch Light Control.  An appropriate sensor (supplied) must be mounted in the locomotive and a non-contacting actuator (also supplied) must be positioned at trackside locations.  When the sensor is briefly activated, the ditch lights switch to the Alternating mode.  When the input signal is removed, a timer starts counting down.  When the timer is finished (presently 15 seconds), the ditch lights automatically return to the Steady mode.  Any time the sensor receives the appropriate signal, the timer resets and starts over, while keeping the ditch lights alternating.

In the real world, some railroads use this type of ditch light operation when approaching grade crossings.  The mode can be set to change to Alternating when the Engineer blows the horn, and the mode returns to Steady after a time delay.

So far, available sensors and actuators include reed switches used with trackside magnets, Hall-Effect sensors used with trackside magnets, and infrared phototransistors used with trackside infrared LEDs.  The output of a DCC decoder can also be used.  Potential mounting locations in locomotives like the N Scale SD90 or C44-9W include in the radiator area, in the Engineer’s window, and in front of the fuel tank.  There are many possibilities in HO and larger scales.

This option adds $10.00 to the module price.  Upgrades to existing modules are possible -- please inquire.