For more than 150 years, people have played with toy trains for the same reason: to have fun. But seldom has there been an opportunity to make the toys of an earlier era more fun to play with today. Yet that’s exactly what DCS — the M.T.H. Digital Command System — does: it makes tinplate trains more fun to operate than a child of the 1920s or ‘30s could have imagined.
Choose Lionel Corporation trains equipped with the Proto-Sound 2.0 option and, with any compatible conventional transformer, you’ll have sound, speed control, steam engine smoke, and all the other features detailed in the Features section of our Web site. But add DCS to your layout and you’ll open up a whole new world of fun with your Proto-Sound engines:
- One-hand, remote operation of your entire railroad: From the comfort of your favorite chair or walking around your miniature empire, your can control trains, switches, and accessories from a single DCS handheld. (Requires Optional AIU [Accessory Interface Unit] to control switches and accessories.)
- Operation with friends: Get a second (or third) DCS remote, hand it to a friend, and each of you can run your own train — or several.
- Command control: Like a real railroad, you can operate multiple engines on the same track, without the need for electrical blocks or electrical switches to control different sections of your layout. One DCS system can control up to 99 Proto-Sound 2.0 and Lionel TrainMaster Command Control (TMCC) or Legacy-equipped locomotives at the same time on the same track. (Lionel Command Base required if using TMCC/Legacy engines.)
- Speed control: The screen on the DCS handheld shows which engine you’re currently controlling and its exact speed in one-scale-mile-per-hour increments. Thanks to our “cruise control,” your engine will maintain that speed smoothly and steadily regardless of hills or curves.
- Additional sounds: Additional engine sounds are accessible with “soft” keys on the DCS handheld, including special whistle or horn signals and crew conversations.
- Additional sound control: With DCS, you’ll have individual volume adjustment of whistle, bell, and steam chuff or electric motor sounds, enabling you to adjust each engine’s sound spectrum to your individual preference.
- Easy, one-button operation of Proto-Couplers (on O gauge engines equipped with this feature), passenger station and freight yard sounds, brake sounds, smoke on/off, and other features.
- Routes and Scenes: Program the DCS handheld to setup a route (a group of track switches that you throw with a single command) or playback a scene (a series locomotive, switch, and accessory commands that you can record and then play back automatically — and watch your railroad run itself!).
- Upgradeability: The software in DCS equipment can be upgraded for free over the Internet. Since the introduction of DCS in 2002, M.T.H. has issued 6 upgrades, each available as a free download and each compatible with every DCS system ever made.
Learn more: For more information on DCS fun, see our DCS brochure and DCS Catalog Page.
DCS: Simply the Best Way to Run a Railroad