Tam Valley Depot ‘Dead Rail System’

Latest update: 20 July 2015

System Overview:

The ‘Dead Rail System’ (DRS) is an add-on for DCC systems that puts the DCC signal in the air. The DRS system is fully compatible with DCC.

How does it work? The DRS transmitter takes the DCC signal output from any make of DCC central station, and sends it wirelessly to the DRS receiver that is connected to the DCC decoder inside the loco. The locomotive is powered from an onboard battery, which means the system is completely independent from the track. Hence the name ‘Dead Rail’ 🙂 .

You can convert one loco at a time, and run beside other DCC locomotives without problems.

A DCC central station is still required for this system, although the DCC central station doesn’t have to be a very powerful one as it will only provide the DCC control signal instead of actually providing power to the locos (the battery is powering them!).

Tam Valley Depot Dead Rail System

Available Components:

Tam Valley Depot offers transmitters/receivers for both the US and European market.

  • DTX021 DRS1 Transmitter, 916.49 MHz, MkII (US) – left picture
  • DRX021 DRS1 Receiver 2A peak, 916.49 MHz, MkII (US)
  • DRH191 DRS1 Hi Power Receiver 5A peak, 916 MHz (US) – right picture
  • DTX022 DRS1 Transmitter, 869 MHz, MkII (Euro)
  • DRX022 DRS1 Receiver 2A peak, 869 MHz, MkII (Euro)
  • DRH186 DRS1 Hi Power Receiver 5A peak, 869 MHz (Euro)

Tam Valley Depot Dead Rail System TransmitterTam Valley Depot Dead Rail System Receiver

For large scale, you’ll need the ‘Hi Power’ receiver as it can put out 3 Amps continous and 5 Amps peak.

Pros & Cons:

+ Independent from track
+ DRS converted locos can run alongside other DCC locos
+ Versions offered for both US and Europe
– Requires a DCC central station
– Range?


Europe resident? Buy your Tam Valley Depot products from Garden Rail Outlet (UK).