High Rail for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch allows you to control your Lionel Legacy Engines and Lionel LCS SensorTracks like never before.


A Bit Behind The Scenes

I partnered with Lionel, LLC in 2014 to develop High Rail for iPhone and iPad. After signing the NDA and receiving the proprietary hardware communication protocols, I started prototyping and implementing the awesome features that are available today.

High Rail is my “playground” app. It’s where I get to practice learning new technologies, patterns, idioms, etc. using an app that I (and my paying customers) want to use.

I am currently working on a “control panel” feature built on top of SpriteKit. The first major release will feature controlling a Millhouse River Studio turntable. Future releases will include the ability to create an interactive virtual layout for controlling turnouts/ switches, track power, SensorTracks and much more.

High Rail Technologies

  • Swift 3
  • Core Animation
    • Implicit and explicit animations
    • SensorTrack recording feature
    • Connection button
    • Engine gesture control animations
    • Custom view controller transitions
  • SpriteKit
    • Used by the in-app Gesture Help feature
  • Core Data
    • “Model Controllers” based on NSFetchedResultsController
  • Custom asynchronous workflow engine built on top of NSOperation + NSOperationQueue
  • Asynchronous networking stack using Grand Central Dispatch (GCD)
  • Tons of XCUnit tests
    • hundreds of thousands of network packet combinations are tested against the Core Data model.
  • lots more

Here’s a few links with additional information: