I just finished getting a standalone Arduino Uno Microcontroller to produce the right signals to trigger the Lionel official sensor track system (IRV2 in this case). This was accomplished by using the original sensor car to read the data into an electrical engineer's best friend, a digital storage oscilloscope. Eventually I learned enough to write a program to analyze and store the data for later use. Then I made a program to read it back out on an IR led with the same precise timing it was originally received in.
The result is that I can now produce the IR signals that trigger the sensor track on my own hardware. Up next I will use the analysis code I made to compare differences between different variations of road names, road numbers, and engine IDs. Eventually I should have enough information build a small pluggable screen that will let you reprogram my board using a set of arrow keys to set the at least those three pieces of information. This could be powered by track power if you have the pickup rollers on the boxcar that is being retrofitted with this IR capability otherwise adding a battery would not be too hard.
Here is video of it in operation:
Let me know what you all think of it.