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Is Rail Pro Worth Considering?

Klaas writes:

“My kids tell me to do what I have been dreaming of for a long time, building a HO model modular railroad. My kids surprised me with a gift of a locomotive. I want to build in modules so I can move the layout out of the house if needed. I have read a lot about Rail Pro by Ring Engineering, and it looks like something I might like to use as on their website information it claims you can also run DCC on their system. What is your opinion, what are the Con’s and Pro’s of both Rail Pro and a DCC system? Do people prefer other systems?”

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4 Responses to Is Rail Pro Worth Considering?

  • Dale Arendssays:

    I considered RailPro and ultimately decided against it. My main concern was that it is incompatible with other DCC systems. This won’t be much of an issue if you only operate on your own layout and don’t have anyone else try to operate their equipment on your layout. It also means that for any locomotive you get you will have to equip with a receiver.

    With a DCC system like NCE or DigiTrax you can get locomotives with decoders already installed or, at least, DCC ready so all you have to do is plug the decoder in.

    As far as I recall, RailPro does not support (or did not when I looked at it) accessory decoders. So if you want the DCC system to control switch machines or turntables, or lighting in passenger cars, etc., a DCC system can do it while the RailPro can’t.

    So, a lot will depend on what you intend on doing and what expansion and compatibility you want and/or need.

  • David Stokessays:

    If plugging for DCC make sure you can find the NMRA tick of approval (does the system comply with the NMRA Recommended Practice for DCC) If not you will be spending more dollars later for one that does.

  • skipduldsays:

    CENSE U R STARTING OUT I WOULD GO WITH NCE. IT IS A LOT EASYER THEN DIGTRAX . THAT BEING SAID, DIGATRAX CAN DO A LOT MORE THEN NCE. BUT ITS A LOT MORE COMPACATED.
    FOR ME IM LEARNING DISABLE AND HAD A HARD TIME W/ DIGATRAX, TO CONFUSING. SOME PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT’S NOT DIFACULT.

  • Glennsays:

    Since you have been researching, hopefully, you realize that RailPro equipped locos can run on any DCC or DC layout. It doesn’t give a crap about any signals going through the tracks. It uses radio signals. If you buy DCC Ready locos you haven’t spent money for a decoder, so buying a RailPro module isn’t going to be much different than buying a DCC decoder. If I remember correctly, RailPro modules, are compatible with NMRA standards for DCC. Similar to DCC systems you have to buy additional hardware, so no difference. With all that being said I have no vested interest in RailPro. I have been considering it, among others. There are at least two other systems that don’t use track for signals. Currently I am most interested in BlueRail Trains boards, which use Bluetooth from your smart phone. The only hardware required is their board and you control everything through their free app. If you want sound from the loco get the TamValleyDCC board, which takes over control of your installed DCC board and makes CV editing and MUing/Consisting drop dead easy. Speed matching locos is amazing simple. You need to keep doing your research. You will not get much positive feedback from DCC users about all the new systems that are available and designed to alleviate all the difficulty/problems of using DCC. Take your time and make an educated choice, as that choice will determine your outcome for years to come. I am still DC, but have two Bachmann EZ-App locos that use BlueRail to control them. They run very well on my DC layout and will run on any DCC layout, as well. Good luck with your decision. Glenn

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