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For me, the answer is Yes.

This could apply to all modern operating systems, including TMCC, Legacy and LionChief Plus, as well as DCS, in which the transformer voltage is set at 17 or 18, and trains run slow and smooth using a handheld remote or smartphone. Here, I'm focusing on DCS because that's the speed control modern operating system I have, and because I think our beloved moderators would like that.

With my sharp 031 curves and heavy Postwar operating cars with sliding shoes that can get snagged on the 022 switches, DCS has been a very positive game changer, almost entirely eliminating derailments. That, in turn, means greatly reducing the occurrence of circuit boards getting fried during derailments.

What do you think? Do you have much fewer derailments using DCS or other modern operating system with speed control, compared to the derailments you had running conventionally?


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Well, I can say this with a caveat. My protosound engines don't derail, pretty much at all. I chalk that up to efficient speed control. Even if the kids crank the conventional z1000 controller thing to max, they pace along at a reasonable pace. The 2001 Lionel steamer we have blazes through at max voltage and derails all the time, regardless of how many or few cars are loaded. It derails even at lower voltages,  which never happens with the MTH protosound engines...

I think derailments depend on many factors:

  • the type of track you're using,
  • how well it's laid,
  • track design (ie: S-curves),
  • the speed of the train,
  • the weight of the rolling stock
  • coupler reliability.

With modern track systems it's been my experience that derailments are few and far between and when they do occur it's usually weight or coupler related rather than a track or speed issue. 

Of course, with traditional tubular track and O22 switches there are occasionally problems at higher speeds.   Your post brings back memories of train races in my youth.   If you go fast enough with a heavy locomotive they almost always fly off the track at some point. 

I'm glad to hear command control has made your railroad run more smoothly.


Well I began to say, (somehow it I accidentally deleted the thought) that I’m very happy that your happy with less derailments using the DCS command control system. It’s a real game changer allowing us Operators more precisely FB019C68-B4E0-4C62-9DD1-ACA25D19B466555D2391-470D-4208-B0EE-451E0E9B59B919428B3B-5B07-4C47-94FA-7EB7EFDC2A3D control of our trains. Derailments held to a minimum, watching our trains travel through our little perfect, pandemic free, world. I wish all of our model railroad friends would consider some form walk around command control, they just don’t know what they are missing. We use the Lionel Legacy system and have several remotes so visitors can join in the fun. I know these units helps reduce derailments. Passengers on your nice passenger trains can get a really birds eye view of your ball field, possibly seeing Mickey Mantle knock one out of the park.  Great thread, hopefully more modelers will choose a nice command system for more fun in the best hobby in the world, Model Railroading. Happy Railroading Everyone


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