This is one of those unique repurposing projects that would have never occurred to me. Having never owned a train set in my life, why would it? I didn’t even know they came in such scales that would be capable of shifting a DSLR. It did, however, occur to the folks at Granite Bay Software, creators of GBTimelapse.
In this video, we see how the “Loco Moco” system works. A laptop running GBTimelapse powers the whole thing. Signals get sent out through a USB interface to the train and camera. This controls when the train moves, and when the camera takes its shots.