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It has been a long time coming.  Nearly finished with wiring all the blocks, accessories, lighting and adding sound boards.  While my journey started 28 years and 3 transfers/cities ago, the layout phase 1 is almost done.  Putting 3 kids through college, caring for elderly parents with their final rest, helping my wife begin her second profession after being that stay at home mom....and now nearing retirement myself.  And what a great time it has been.

I have to grin a bit about the angst I'm reading about the closure of MTH.  Not that I am a Lionel vs MTH guy.  The great leaps and products Mike has brought to the hobby....the competition that has raised the bar....the advances in electronics...quality...etc.  Congratulations. And I do miss K-Line..

But my grin is that I still push the lever forward, switch the blocks, walk over to the operating section of track and push the button.   And all without software, obsolescence or signal interference......or on a cell phone or iPad.  

And yes, I play with my trains...and will continue to do so.

For all of those on the forum that have helped answer my questions, thank you again.

See you on the rails!

Original Post


I started my layout 40 years ago somewhat like you.  Conventional control was the only way to go then.  The layout has two "state of the art" for the times, relayed and blocked loops to allow two trains at time on one loop.  The layout works very well even today and is it too much effort and money to go modern.  All my post war locomotives would be obsolete as well as the layout and a brand new modern locos or two would cost as much or more than all my 50 so mostly vintage post war locos.

I also think operating a modern control system with 31 switches would be harder and more confusing than using my two current Active Touch Track Plan Diagram Control Panels.

One great thing about this hobby is there is room for older traditional toy trains and layouts and the new, high tech, more realistic trains, operating systems and layouts. 

It is all about having enjoyment in collecting, planing, building, sharing and operating trains.


Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I tried Legacy/TMCC years ago, and considered DCS, but ultimately went back to and I ran only conventional, and still like it: the only system that runs everything, and the way my Dad taught me to operate a toy train.  


But lately I have bee seduced by the simplicity and dependability of Lionchief Plus, and have bunch of that now.  Still run a lot of conventional though . . . 

I run TMCC Conv.  The square wave of thevTMCC does help PW motors run smoother.  And it does give a type of remote control.  

But the O22 switches are operated by HAND.  But with the Cab1, I can follow the train and operate the switches.

Now, Lionel needs to take the clicker control of LionChief, and have a clicker controlled transformer.  Or a simplified PowerMaster with a clicker.  Call it Trainmaster LionChief (TMLC)?

Presently, the only high tech I use is my Z-4000.

Me too!

And, that same answer (Me too) also applies to the comments about Lion Chief Plus. User friendliness and relative simplicity is essential for me, enabling me to relax (my "1 priority) running trains. I can also relax running MTH Proto 1, 2 and 3 conventionally using the MTH 4000, a fabulous transformer IMO.


Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

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