McLean Depot Train Shop

DCC is an established, train control system that eliminates complex layout wiring and allows multiple trains to operate on the same track. Engine decoders from any brand may be used with any other brand, allowing the selection of the best decoder to fit the job. Smooth, slow speeds are possible, prototypic light controls, and great sound effects replicating the ‘real thing’ are possible at your fingertips.


Decoders with light controls and smooth speed control start at about $20 per engine. Most any engine can be fitted with DCC, so older favorites are not obsolete. Control systems start at $200 allowing operation of 6-8 engines by up to 4 operators. All systems are upgrade-able just by adding components.


Not really! Compared to traditional DC control, a bedroom sized layout will work with simply 2 wires from the controller to the track (although not the best practice) compared to dividing the layout into blocks with toggle or rotary switches for cab control selection. 

The complicated wiring is wrapped up in the decoders and the command station.


Many new to DCC are put off by ‘programming’.  The programming is merely setting options to make the engine perform in a certain way, i.e. operating mars or ditch lights.  JMRI Decoder Pro is a free software program that connects a command station to a computer allowing point and click adjustments.  The program then saves the settings for later use as needed.

Stop by the Depot for a demonstration or more information on how DCC can make your model railroad more fun!

Largest DCC selection in Central Illinois.

Soundtraxx, ESU, NCE, TCS and Digitrax decoders and accessories in stock.

McLean Depot Train Shop

Installation service for both regular and sound decoders in all scales.  The right equipment and decoders for about any situation.  We are nearby and priced right, so no need to send your engines off in the mail.

Installation Services

Pretty straight forward – I will tell you what it will cost up front for the work you want done.

  • Changing lights from filament to LED (if desired) is included in all installs.
  • The decoder is programmed to your specifications as part of the service and a print out of the decoder settings is provided so you have a record for reference.
  • Whilst the engine is open, any drive train cleaning and lubricating is done to ensure smooth running.
  • Adding operating ditch lights, mars/gyra lights, or other lighting effects not already installed fall under lighting installs.
  • Machining the frame is occasionally needed to make room for speaker or ‘Keep-Alive’ units, so depending on the work needed an extra charge may be added.

The prices below are for installation only. Decoders, speakers, speaker enclosures, LEDs, and any detail parts needed to complete the project are separate.

Plug-n-Play decoder boards $25
Decoder wired into unit $35
Sound decoders (Diesels) $60
Sound decoders (Brass & Steam) $75
Lighting installs $15-25
Machining frame $5-15