The Arnold rapido model railroad product line was similar to other model railroad lines from Europe in many ways. Most European model train product lines included control boxes and related hardware for the semi-automatic and automatic operation of their trains.

Arnold also made a significant contribution to the N-Scale hobby by allowing free use of their patented coupler.

There are fundamental differences between model railroaders in Germany and in North America.  While the Americans like to view themselves as the heroic locomotive engineer, the Germans view themselves as a signal tower operator, with numerous trains under their direct control.  This has been described as “Gods vs. Heroes”.

This philosophical difference shows up in many different ways, but one major difference is that German model railroaders have extensive signal systems and train control strategies which are used to control multiple trains.

These model train control strategies fall into two major catagories, analog and digital.  The Arnold rapido analog approach is discussed in the pages of this section. Basically, you control the trains by supplying power to each train selectively. Arnold rapido trains used Direct Current (“D.C.”) for their operation, which allowed for some elegant operating techniques using their track switches, special track sections, diodes and color light signals.

A more modern approach is called command control, and there are a variety of systems in the model train market. For discussion of the Arnold command control sytems and others, please see here.

For further discussion of the rapido coupler and of analog train control, please see the pages listed below:

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