All About Postage Stamp Trains
The Trix switch controls sold by Aurora were quite likely a source of some dealer headaches. One problem was the lack of documentation on how to use them, particularly 4994 (the yellow one), which was designed to control Trix accessories not imported by Aurora.
In their catalog, Trix details some of their applications, which not only explains why the two control types existed, but also reveals why they had more connectors than required for typical applications. Among other things, they were designed to operate a system of signals with "automatic train control," which was limited to (abruptly) stopping and starting the train in coordination with the aspect of the manually-controlled signal:
The controls can be used for many other applications—multiple uncouplers, for instance. Incidentally, these controls were not created just for Trix's N Scale line; they actually predate N Scale by years, originally created for use with their HO products.
NOTE: Beginning in 1969, according to their catalog, Aurora included a small, branded pushbutton control with track switches. It was either bright yellow or dark green, not to be confused with the function-coded colors of the Trix controls. This may have been in response to user frustration with Trix controls, and/or frustration at having to buy something else in order to operate track switches. I have a few of these pushbuttons, but I've yet to find a track switch box that contained one; they were perhaps included separately with switch and uncoupler purchases by dealers.
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Postage Stamp Trains is a Trademark of the Aurora Plastics Corporation.