Hello-  I just purchased a conventional Lionel Alco RS-11 (Pennsylvania, 8620) dark green/black.  It is used, nice shape, horn works but it not especially loud.  I have read in the forum and the magazine about adding Railsounds to various locomotives.  This would be my first attempt at this.  Any thoughts folks might share on the process, what would be needed (i. e. do I want to buy a standard Railsounds 4.0 upgrade kit, diesel dash-9, etc.)  Is this a project that one can successfully accomplish without experience?   Thanks, Todd B

Original Post



This is going to be kinda difficult to do if you're not going to add TMCC...  There is the Railsounds Commander... But I've never used one (but GunRunnerJohn has!).


What I would do to simply add sounds to a conventional locomotive is just order the True-Blast Plus sound system for the RS3, it'll be close enough (than any EMD-sounding unit) and you don't have to change the control system.  I found it by Google, it is Bachmann part number 00253.


Check out some videos on Williams True-Blast Plus.


Thanks and good luck!


- Mario



All Railsounds boards work in conventional but with limited functionality. You will get horn, bell, and prime mover though.

Electric RR has a couple of boards for Alcos that might be close. Lionel has them as well but will cost more and be a more complicated to implement plus a larger footprint as three boards are required.



I wouldn't install a RS4, I think it would more trouble then its worth. If you want prime mover sounds I would install the new ERR Alco sound set. With this you will have horn, bell and engine sounds. You can find the manual here  




You can also listen to the sounds on ERR web site.



The only reason I included Lionel is they have made an audio board specific for RS11s while ERR's is generic Alco. Whether either one is accurate, I couldn't tell you.



That's true Pete, and you can buy the RS4 boards from Lionel.  I haven't checked for the RS-11 board specifically, but I've gotten a number of other engine specific boards from them.


Thanks everyone for your feedback.  I appreciate it!  I think I am going to add TMCC as well (since we're running Command- and Lionchief, too- already) and the ERR.  Best- Todd B

I'd look at the ERR offerings, the Cruise Commander will be a great addition, and they have a number of diesel sound boards.  One should get close enough to the RS-11.

how well do any of these kits work out using hot glue to secure a magnet and reed switch to a metal surface? I have 2 new metal trucks that could work converting a non sound boxcar to a railsound the trucks have rollers in place now just wondering about the fitting of the mag and reed

Well, I've stuck the reed switches to all sorts of stuff, including metal trucks.  The diecast metal isn't magnetic, and doesn't affect them.

Normally, I use CA gel to attach the magnet to the wheel.  However, first I "calibrate" it by rotating it and making sure I'm getting the proper switch operation, then I glue it in place.

thanks for that info the CA gel sounds like a winner and before a permenant attaching I would test the mag and reed for proper operation too I don’t worry about the reed as it’s just riding on the truck but the mag could be subject to some track vibrations but i’m on fastrack and don’t run anything too fast so should work well

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