Digital Command Control – Are You Considering DCC for Your Model Railroad?

model train

Digital Command Control, or DCC as it is commonly known, is a clever way to control more than one locomotive on your model railroad and have them both doing different things.

In the past a power pack would provide a DC voltage to the track. By increasing or decreasing the voltage this would determine the speed of your locomotive. If you reversed the polarity of the DC voltage the locomotive would change direction.

However, if you had 2 locomotives on the same track they would both respond the same way. This wasn’t realistic and often the operation of the one train would get boring. Another issue was the voltage drop in some parts of the track.

A dodgy connection or a power pack that was under-powered would mean erratic operation of the locomotive.

The experienced model railroaders got around this by having different electrical sections of track. Locomotive 1 would run on section 1 while locomotive 2 ran on section 2. The clever use of toggle switches allowed each section to be switched on and off, and the polarity reversed when required. This usually results in complicated wiring and a good understanding of electrical flow is essential. Without good electrical knowledge, a simple short could mean many hours of problem solving and frustration.

For the model train beginner, using DC control is far too complicated.

Digital Command Control is the answer. It is a simple control and works by supplying a constant low voltage to the entire track. Each locomotive is assigned an electronic address and will only respond when the digital controller sends a message down the line for that particular address.

Locomotives will not respond until they get the signal from the digital command controller. It is a fantastic system and I would strongly suggest you start your model railroading with DCC (Digital Command Control).

DCC (Digital command Control) has allowed the beginner to control multiple locomotives and not just the experienced model railroader. Sound, smoke effects, lighting, more control, better realism and a huge amount of extra fun are just some of the benefits of digital command control.

As you can probably tell, I am a huge DCC (Digital Command Control) fan and wouldn’t even consider DC control. It may be more expensive, but the benefits are well and truly worth it.

Want more information on Digital Command Control? Then check out the popular and 100% FREE Model Railroad Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your dream model railway and achieve it within the time, space and budget you have available. More at

>> Click Here To Check Out The DCC Guide: How to Select and Use Your Digital Command Control System

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

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