DC Train Control

Tutorials for a few systems that you can use to control your DC or analog powered trains.

Running trains with DC has its advantages and what is in this page is intended to help you use those advantages to your benefit. Included is information on running your DC trains from your phone and various automate DC train control systems.

I am a proponent of DC control systems.

As a collector, 1 I want to keep my locos as they were built 2 not all antiques lend themselves to DCC conversion, and 3 the cost of conversion of over 40 locomotives makes conversion nonsensical.

DC is great for kids. They can make a simple floor layout with temporary houses and whatnot  and play as they wish.  With a simple DC power pack having speed control and a reversing switch even the youngest find operations simple.

And then on the kids, DCC locos are expensive.  DCC systems are expensive.  For the kids, a used, low cost loco and be bought off the web.  These locos run on DC. And damage is not an expensive happening.  In short, it is a low cost way to get kids into model railroads.

DCC is expensive. DC inexpensive,


First, I will show you three systems that you might like.


DIY Power Pack For Model Railroads

Manual control from a DIY power pack is simple, inexpensive and easy to set up. Actually this is my favorite system.  I use it on my shelf layout.

The image to the left shows a system set up to operate two trains at the same time.  It is a DIY system that is probably good for everyone to have on hand.  I even use it a a motor speed controller in other applications.

It is great for kids to use on a floor layout.  It sits flat on the floor. It can be kicked and stepped on and it keeps on working I can be left unattended while the operator moves around the layout, hands free, doing this or that.

To go to the page with instructions showing you how to build it, Click Here


Layout Wiring

DC Layout Wiring  – How to use the Dual cab controller shown above for two cab operation.  This shows how to wire the layout so you can use it with the dual cab controller or two single cabs.   Click here.


DC Control With A Smartphone

Smartphone_Controlled_Model_Railroad_With_an_ESP8266 –   How to control a model railroad layout using a smartphone through Wi-Fi with the help of an ESP8266 micro controller

A bit more complex but very effective.




Also Rans – Automated And Remote DC Train Control Tutorials

I am constantly looking for DC control system.  You may like some of these.

Control Your Model Railroad From Your Phone — This is a very inexpensive and simple way to control your train from your phone.  Easy to set up and operate. A bit primitive in that it uses DTMF tones

Control Model Railroad With Slide Of Finger – This uses a PS/2 touchpad.

Control Trains Using A Wii Nunchuk – Simple and easy to use by anyone, and that includes kids.

Simple Automated Point To Point Railroad – Excellent for trams or trains that do not have to have engines change position at the end of a run.

Simple Point To Point Model Railroad Running Two Trains –  The is a two train automatic point to point  automatic control system.

Automated Train Layout With Reversing Loops-– An automatically controlled DC reversing loop layout.  This is a step beyond the point to point layouts above.

Model Railroad Layout With Automated Passing Siding (V 2.0 )

Simple Automated Railroad Layout

Automated Model Railroad Loop With Siding-Control –

Automated Point To Point Model Railroad With Yard Siding

The following systems take a bit of work to set up.  But if you are determined, it is said that they work well. I have not tried them yet because I am happy with my DIY power pack and have not yet found time.


This system allows you to use JMRI for remote DC train control. It is a bit complex, but well worth the effort. Click here.






Wireless DC control of 3 locomotives with joystick. This is quite a piece of work.   Probably worth an early try.  Click Here.






Questions, Comments, Help

If you need help getting your DC layout running, have any questions or have comments that would help us make this page better, including adding other DC systems, please contact us here.

We hope that you found the information in this page useful. The internet is all about getting and giving. And giving back is the best. Please donate $1 or more to aid us in our continuing quest to add to and polish the information in our site.

Scroll to top