titled Seth Newmann photo

Seth specializes in communications systems for model railroads, having developed telephone systems for several operating layouts and having presented clinics on the subject at many model railroad meets, including NMRA regional and national conventions.  He also designs power distribution, DCC, signaling and other electronic controls for model railroads. 

Seth founded Model Railroad Control Systems with his late business partner Chuck Catania. MRCS offers cpNode CMRI nodes, telephone systems, Train Order Board systems and accessories, the popular MP series switch machines from MTB and many other electronics items to support operations.

Seth is a founding Director of both the Operations Special Interest Group (SIG) and the Layout Design SIG and is President of LDSIG.  Seth holds NMRA achievement certificates as Electrical Engineer, Chief Dispatcher, Model Railroad Author and Association Volunteer.  He is the Chairman of the Bay Area Layout Design and Operations meet which is held every February in Northern California. Seth also belongs to the Santa Fe Railway Modeling and Historical Society, the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society, the Union Pacific Historical Society and the Western Pacific Historical Society.  He has written articles or presented clinics on the following topics:

  • DCC for Dummies (1995-1997) with Ed Loizeaux
  • MoPac Roofing Granules Hopper (1997)
  • Tips for the Visiting Yardmaster clinic and article in the Dispatcher’s Office (2002)
  • A Comparison Of Two Layout Designs (2003) With Mike Birmingham
  • Modeling the “Occupied Western Pacific” in the East Bay (2003)
  • A Day In The Life Of A Modern Short Line (2004) With Rick Fortin
  • Advanced Yard Operations (2004)
  • Yard Design as part of the Layout Design Boot Camp at several NMRA nationals
  • Model Railroad Communications (2004 -> 2013) - clinic and 3 part article in the Dispatchers’ Office 2011
  • A South American Narrow Gauge Line (2006)
  • Planning for Signals - clinic and 2 part article in the Layout Design Journal, 2011
  • Signal Repeaters Layout Design Journal, 2011
  • 3D printing - making that unavailable detail - PCR Branch Line 2012
  • Feeders for Hollow Core doors -  Layout Design Journal 2012
  • RFID in Model Railroading (2013), with Chris Drome
  • Model Railroad Communications (Phones for Ops)
  • Arduinos in Model Railroading
  • cpNode: an Arduino based CMRI Node
  • Arduino Circuits for Operations