December 5, 2011

The future of model railroad is ..... now.

Over the past few years as I have been working and test operating my layout, dealing with shorts,  dealing with dirty track, and having to engineer reverse loops and frog power, I thought, "when are we going to drop this archaic system and go to battery power?"

Well, the answer is now.

This weekend, in a discussion with Ted Pamperin, he alerted me to the availability of the Stanton Radio Cab DCC system with battery pack. I had looked at it a few months ago, but because the NWSL's web site, the company that is offering the system, was so hard to use with broken and circular links, I could not tell if it was for sale.  Now, I confirmed that it is for sale. Today I ordered a starter bundle with a lithium-polymer (li-po) battery system.

I plan to overlay this on my Easy DCC system and use the 15V from the DCC system as a trickle charge. If the radio-battery system works as advertised, I'll convert the whole fleet to radio-battery control. At that point, my Easy DCC system would be come a bit overkill, as all I would need is a 15V DC source on the rails. But I can keep it for use on my N Scale DCC equipment.

If you need convincing about this system, check out this video.

I think that this type of system, as it comes down in price and becomes ready installed will lead to a new revolution in model railroading. If I was a DCC manufacturer, I'd be looking into this.

I also received my Christmas present today, the Model Railroader 75-Year Collection DVD. This is another move toward the future. But in this case, it looks like the future must wait. My disks were damaged during shipping and they won't install. I called Kalmbach customer service and they are sending replacements. They said they had a lot of trouble with disks 1 and 2 in the way they are packaged in the case.  I hope the replacements work.

In a triple play, I also received a review copy of The Iron Way, by William Thomas. I'll post a full review once I read it. Thanks to Ivan Lett at the Yale University Press for the copy.


  1. I'm curious as to what you think of "The Iron Way". I saw it on Amazon and was wondering if it was any good, or material already covered before.

  2. So far the first chapter is very good. I'll post a full review when I finish reading it.