Richard08 wrote:... Pity really, I still really like the radio control idea. Mostly so I don't have to clean track (and can have 'rusty rails' in sidings etc)...
a myth for small scale model railway if operation is intensive. In small scale model railway - OO and smaller - reduced track cleaning is what you get, not its elimination. The dirt still collects, it is mechanical in origin, and soon enough wheelsets are eccentric and eventually something fouls up on a point crossing and there's derailment.
I too would appreciate a model railway oriented r/c system, for precisely the same reason of being able to run a loco or two on the rusted over rails of a very infrequently used industrial siding. The option for transmitting the DCC signal independent of the rails is what I want, so the DCC controller talks to all locos whether on track signal or radio signal. In the r/c controlled loco a small battery which is continuously recharging where track power is available, with enough 'off-power' endurance for a couple of minutes running. This is necessary because the locos that will benefit most from this system are typically small, and it's a struggle to get all the kit concealed inside, so a physically small battery is required.
Secondarily models get damaged when handled, so having to physically 'do something' for recharging the battery is undesireable. Since we have to lay a pair of wires very carefully for the trains to run on, it is so obvious to use these for keeping batteries charged, essentially a super size 'stay alive'.