Yes, James is correct. You will need at least two DPDT reversing switches, one at each end. But, still you will generally be guessing which one to throw pretty much each time. There are probably ways to install indicators to let you know if you are ok or not. But, this one concept is enough for me to rant about DCC and why it is so much better. One of the first expenditures after I setup my DCC system was to install an auto reverser for 30 bucks. It worked so well, I cried with joy that I no longer worried about the short circuits that occurred when a switch was thrown the wrong way. The locomotive would go smoothly and seamlessly without stalling or stopping and without any interaction on my part, aside from throwing the turnout the right way. In my humble opinion, this one thing makes DCC all worthwhile, not to mention, you no longer have to mess with block switches and you can have as many locomotives on the track as you want.
Just my 2 cents, Vic Bitleris
jbvb wrote:The usual way to do this in moderate-sized DC layouts is for each cab to have two reversing switches, one which feeds the reversing section (loop, wye, turntable etc.) and the other which feeds the rest of the railroad's blocks. Operators need to know what position each switch needs to be in when entering the reversing section from either end, and that the "mainline" reversing switch needs to be thrown while the train is in the reversing section.
I have never used common rail myself, so I'd want to check a book before going farther;I have Linn Wescott's 'How to Wire Your Model Railroad', but not handy (I'm aboard Amtrak's Downeaster in Dover NH right now).