Model Train Control Software

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One of the latest developments in model railroading is model train control software. Basically you are replace an analog controller which varies the voltage to a digital command control center that can operate all kinds of devices as long as they contain decoders.

Model trains can now be controlled through a PC or even your smart phone. And it’s not just the trains that you can control. Your signals, buildings, switches (of course) and any associated moving scenery can be computer controlled. Almost everything in your track layout can now be controlled digitally.

Model Train Control Software – The Beginning

Most model train control software was born out of a few guys tinkering with PC throttle controls, sharing their programs and generally just being train geeks. The earliest versions were very technical and required extensive computer programming knowledge to just make them function. Many of these “open source” programs have now been fine tuned with the input of many model railroad enthusiasts and while they do a good job can still be a bit complex for someone who just wants run his trains.

Digital command control , or DCC, allows model trains to run more realistically than ever before, with controlled speeds, your locomotive can perform exactly as it’s full scale counterpart would. Authentic sounds can also be added at the perfect time for a much more realistic effect. with this model train software Trains can automatically uncouple cars, lights and signals can operate on command and you can control many trains on different tracks all at the same time.

The availability of decoders is now such that virtually all model railroaders can start out with a DCC system, which is much easier that upgrading an older train. They are easily obtainable for all scales, even n scale, although you’ll need some tiny tools and some patience installing them.



Model Train Control Software – What To Chose

There’s a couple of questions you’ll need to ask your self before choosing a model train control software. Do you want to spend the least amount of money possible? If so there is a lot of open source software available that you can download for free.

If on the other hand, you just want to hook it up as fast as possible and get your trains running, then you might want to purchase some professionally developed software that is ready to use out of the box. I personally feel that starer versions of software are so cheap now, that I would not even consider messing with open sourced code.

Regardless of what software you choose there is still going to be a learning curb as you discover how to get your model train control software to “talk” with you decoders and learn all the functions of your throttle. Also some people prefer a handheld device to control the trains while others prefer everything, including the throttle, to be “on screen”.

Since whatever you choose, you’ll be stuck with for sometime I sincerely recommend that this is not a purchase you should rush into.   Instead, take a very long time, do plenty of research and ask around the forums before deciding on the model train control software that’s right for you.