Have R-17 Silver Blue North/South Bound MTH PS3 sets which are beautiful compared against LifeLike/Walthers HO subway trains. Found MTH cars feel more durable and with PS3 makes the set more fun to use IMO.
Operated HO set using Z1000 and found unit responded similar to operating an O-Gauge. Not sure how DCS explorer would operate but one would assume there should be no problem with using the setup.
Think you'll be happy. MTH has expanded the HO subway line with soon to be released RedBird, GreenBird, Red Robin and work trains sets in R-17 & R-21/2 cars.