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I can make suggestions for alternative detection methods but as I have no experience of any of them, I certainly can't promise 100% reliability.

1) Use a current detector such as that available from LDT. This will only work with DCC.
2) Use a short section of rail which only gets power when shorted by the wheels of a train.
3) Use reed switches triggered by magnets
4) Use DCC modules designed for the purpose. If I remember correctly, Steve Jones of uses Lenz units to provide feedback to his Railroad & Co software. Using this he shuffles DMUs along a partitioned track in his fiddle yard.

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