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Does anyone know who else makes infrared controllers which work like the Lionel 153 IR controller? It seems the Lionel 153ir infrared track controller 6-14111 is not available. When I checked with Lionel Customer Service they gave me an "Est. Ship Date" of 8/26/2021.

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If you buy a used Lionel 153IR be sure it comes with the "correct" manual.  Using the same SKU/model number Lionel has changed the wiring instructions for the 153IR so you need to know which version you have.  To my knowledge there is no marking or labeling on the 153IR that definitively identifies the version/release date of a particular unit.  This has been the subject of much consternation in several OGR threads.

If you're looking for a project, the 153's electronics can also be hidden under the table by separating the two halves and mounting the control panel underneath the layout. You will need to disconnect and splice in longer wires because they are too short to reach. In addition, I found that the top part was then too low for the sensor in the top half to pick up the train's movement, so I built a short box out of styrene.  In my case, the 153 (bottom of pic) operates an MTH Gateman out of the picture.



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