Hi Everyone, I just purchased this engine: MTH 20-2147 Premier Amtrak EMD 40PH Diesel/ProtoSounds/Smoke/NEW 20-2147LP Its beautiful but it won't work on my layout for some reason. It has a new battery, lights up, engine fires in neutral and the bells ring but I can't connect it to my DCS remote. I do an engine search with the remote but no good the engine just makes a couple noises but won't connect.

Is there something I'm missing internally? It came with an owners manual and it seems to be for manual operation on a standard non DCS system.  Can it be retro fitted to use DCS?



Original Post

yes you can upgrade your engine to ps 3 kits and any asc tech can do it for you! The kits sale for $169.00 plus you have to join mth premier or Railking  which cost if I remember correctly $50.00 to purchase for this price otherwise the kit costs 200.00 plus $18.00 shipping! proto 1 engines do not run on DCS, only run conventional without DCS!


o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

You can run it on a variable TIU track with the remote. You can also run it with command engines, but it gets a little tricky controlling them both. This is well described in " The DCS Companion" , otherwise known as "Barry's Book".


Located in the real Upstate NY

Thanks for the replies! I do have Barry's Book.  

Oh boy.... I guess I'll be sending it back and getting one that's already set up. 

What about ProtoSound 2, I think that's what my other 2 engines have. If I get one of those will it be ready to go?

Thanks Again,


There are 3 engines with the 3 stripes and has DCS I know of like your F40PH and will run on DCS or conventional:

20-2713-1    PS2           2006

20-2905-1    PS2           2008

20-20256-1    PS3         2012 or 13

PS2 has a battery which can be replaced with a BCR to avoid battery issues

PS3 has no battery, but has a capacitor similar to a BCR

Your 20-2147-1 was from 1997 before DCS and only runs conventionally forom track power


Are you powering up on a layout or test track?  What transformer are you using? Check for suitable transformers in your locomotive instruction manual, inside back cover.  Some MTH Z-1000's, early ones, do not run protosound locomotives.  Are there other locomotives on the track?


Hi Bruce, I had on my layout I tried to search for it with my remote but no good. Then by asking thru here and searching Barry's book found that PS1 won't work without major surgery, so I've decided to return it.

I'm in the hunt for another but with PS3 or at least PS2. If anyone knows of any.

I'm running a new (2 years now) Lionel PH 1 80 watt 10 amp brick through my TIU. I have two trains running on the same track. Both have PS2. Just recently in the last two weeks, the darn thing keeps shutting down as if it's off the track but it's not. I'm wondering if the breaker in the transformer is getting weak as i can't move the trains but a couple of feet at this point. Very frustrating. I checked all the connections, clean and tight. I'll reduce the load down to one train, and see what happens.

Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone for all your help!


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