I just purchased a North Pole Central Dockside 0-6-0 with Lionchief with the intent to use it for my Christmas layout at the Redford Theatre in Detroit. I've hesitated buying Lionchief locomotives because the layout is designed to be turned on with one switch at the lighting/sound booth without supervision since I can't be there every show to operate it. The Lionchief plus locomotives would allow that operation without the remote, but they're much more than I'm willing to spend on a locomotive that is basically going to end up run to death over many years of operation. Obviously the plain lion chief starter set locomotives are limited to remote only operation.
A thought came through my head though that it would be simple enough to wire in a single pole double throw switch with a bridge rectifier so I could have sort of a poor man's lion chief plus locomotive that could operate one direction conventionally or with the full Lionchief remote system if I was there and wanted to run it that way, simply by throwing the switch. Is there any reason this wouldn't work? Either way it'll be a nice addition to the collection, but if it could be a regular runner that would be even better. Obviously I don't really care about the sounds working in "conventional" mode as I usually disable the sounds on the runner locomotives so they don't disrupt the organist or other pre-show events.