This project uses an O27 Lionel 45 degree crossover, with reed switch activated relays, to control the stopping and starting of rail traffic at the crossover intersection. A small magnet is glued under the rear end of each handcar and the magnet closes the reed switch when it passes.
The glass contained reed switches are glued with epoxy to the crossover, with most wiring done underneath and concealed within the crossover
The relays are glued to a thick piece of styrene and the whole crossover lays flat on the surface.
This is a typical reed switch. Notice the green glass that surrounds the metal contacts. These switches cost about $1 on average.
The wiring schematic. Insulated outside rails could be used in place of the reed switches and magnets. A regulated 9 VDC wall transformer provides a constant 9 VDC voltage to the rails, even when one handcar is stopped.
This wiring schematic for AC or DC with the signal.
Note the direction of travel through the crossover.
This is the modified Lionel Mickey Mouse and Minnie handcar with an electronic e-unit (reversing unit) in the homemade ore car, however the e-unit is locked in "forward" and is not used for any part of the automatic control. Pluto was added since he is my favorite Disney character. Minnie's dress, shoes, and bow were repainted with acrylics in traditional Minnie colors: red dress with white dots, and yellow shoes, not the purple dress and shoes as manufactured by Lionel.
Here is my original Lionel Snoopy and Woodstock handcar with a homemade gondola and lantern. (Later this gondola was modified and attached to another Snoopy handcar with an e-unit in the trailing car.) The handcars do not operate in reverse as manufactured, however they can be modified with an e-unit (reversing unit) or run on DC with the rectifier removed for forward and reverse operation by changing track polarity.