Lionel has offered two command control systems (TMCC and LEGACY) and many power options over the years. For any command control system, you’ll need a power supply to put power to the rails and a command system to supply the controlling signals.
Most of the power supplies that work for your conventional control trains can supply the power for command control. And better still, with many of these you’ll still be able to run both! For a comprehensive look at what is available, just check out this short video:
For some more specific information on the power supplies shown in this video, you can check out the specific product videos for each one. All of these options, combined with your TMCC or LEGACY command stations, will allow you to run command control equipment and conventional equipment without any modifications to the trains themselves.
Command Control and Conventional Power Supplies
ZW-C Transformer – The ZW-C uses external power supplies (bricks) allowing you to customize your power output. The ZW-C acts as both a conventional transformer and also is the equivalent of 4 Powermasters built-in.
ZW-L Transformer – Our newest power supply. Completely self-contained – no external supplies required – with many additional features.
Powermaster – our first dual-mode product
Powermaster Bridge – you only need this if you are using Powermasters with LEGACY
TPC – “Track Power Controller” The equivalent of a Powermaster or ZW. Available in two sizes to accommodate different size power “bricks.”
Command Control Systems
In addition to the power supply, you’ll also need a command system. Although we no longer manufacture the TMCC system, we do still support it and there are many layouts where you’ll find it in regular use. Our LEGACY system gives you all of the same control and functions as TMCC and more. For a more detailed look at how the systems differ, you can check out this video. The biggest difference is that TMCC uses an 8-bit digital signal and LEGACY uses 9. This extra bit allows for options that simply weren’t possible before. The most noticeable difference is the conversion to 200 speed steps for control and the quillable whistle / horn that is without a doubt one of the most fun features on any model train!
Installation of either system is exceptionally easy. All you need is one wire to your outside rails and you are ready to go! To see more, just read on.