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DCC Solutions

For DCC and Sound Installations

Sales and DCC Repairs

  Authorised Retailer/Installer

Austrains 81 Class DCC Sound Installation

with Lighting Modifications

Now available with our NEW Remastered

ESU LokSound 5 Custom Sound Project

including the "Full Throttle - Drive Hold" feature.

About the NSW 81 Class

The 81 class are a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Kelso for the State Rail Authority of NSW with a total of 80 locomotive built between September 1982 and February 1986, to replace the ageing 1950s vintage 42 and 44 class locomotives as well as provide additional capacity. The 81 Class locomotive commenced service on 29th October 1982.

The first 40 were based at Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot to operate Hunter Valley coal trains, while the remaining 40 were concentrated on the Main South line between Sydney and Albury hauling both passenger and freight trains. The final 15 of this batch were also equipped with V/Line radios, and from July 1986 operated in Victoria through to Melbourne.

In 1991 a further four locos were built for the then Freight Rail by Clyde Engineering, Kelso to handle their growing freight business by using spare diesel engines, alternators and other parts held in storage plus reconditioned traction motors from the withdrawn Clyde –GM421 Class Locomotives.

In 1994 saw the delivery of the 90 Class Locomotive and from then the Broadmeadow based units were released to replace older locomotives on other freight duties. This saw their operation extended up to Brisbane and Broken Hill.

In the mid-1990s some of the later locomotives were leased to National Rail. These were later exchanged for 13 of the earlier locomotives which were permanently transferred to National Rail for use as high-power shunters around Australia. In February 2002, all these locos were reunited when National Rail and FreightCorp were both sold to form Pacific National in February 2002.

In February 1999, the 81 Class began operating in South Australia when FreightCorp won a contract to haul brown coal from Leigh Creek to the Northern Power Station in Port Augusta.

As at February 2013, Pacific National still operated 83 locos, primarily in New South Wales.

On the 11th March 2007, one loco was written off following a derailment near Forbes and remains the only loco to be scrapped.

DCC and Sound with Light Modifications

In August 2014, Austrains released their model of the NSW 81 Class Locomotives which included an 8 Pin socket for fitting a DCC decoder plus space in the chassis for two 23mm speakers although during production assembly, wires were placed through the provision for speakers making the installation of the speaker difficult without the installer re-directing the wires elsewhere. There are three micro switches under the model at both ends of the fuel tank for turning the numberboard and ditch lights on/off in DC. In standard DCC all lights will operate directional.

For this installation we recommend the ESU LokSound 5 (Sound) with our remastered 5 Custom Sound Project for the 81 Class or the LokPilot V4.0 (No Sound) for those not wishing sound. We can offer several options of DCC installations for this model to suit all budgets and can supply the decoders only for the DIY installers.

As our preferred decoder is from ESU, we have been able to fine tune the motor control of the ESU decoder to provide super slow smooth speeds at steps 1-8 of 128 (Speed step 1 of 28) which is perfect for shunting operations allowing the loco to move ever so slowly towards its rolling stock and for those wanting the locomotive to move off slowly and build up speed like the prototype. You will be impressed with the smooth slow speed motor control.

We offer full individual light control for the Austrains 81 Class to allow more prototypical light operations.

We are able to modify the Austrains 81 Class models and can offer up to 10 individual light functions for greater flexibility when operating your NSW 81 Class locomotive.

Factory Lighting

1) Front Headlight, Number Boards, White Markers, Rear Red Markers and Ditch Lights on/off when travelling forward with the headlight button.

2) Rear Headlight, Number Boards, White Markers, Front Red Markers and Ditch Lights on/off when travelling in reverse with the headlight button.

Note: Some models do not have Ditch Lights Installed.

BORING! This Factory Lighting is not how the lights operate on a real locomotive.

DCC Solutions Standard Lighting

For an upgrade to a 6 Function Standard Light Modification we can separate the lights as follows:

1) Front Headlight/Numberboards - on/off directionally with the headlight button

2) Rear Headlight/Numberboards - on/off directionally with the headlight button

3) Front White Markers - on/off with 1 function with optional ditch lights

4) Front Red Markers - on/off with 1 function

5) Rear White Markers - on/off with 1 function with optional ditch lights

6) Rear Red Markers - on/off with 1 function

DCC Solutions Standard PLUS Lighting

For an upgrade to an 8 Function Standard PLUS Light Modification we can additionally separate the lights as follows:

If your models does not have Ditch Lights

7) Front Number Boards - on/off with 1 function

8) Rear Number Boards - on/off with 1 function

If your models does have Ditch Lights

7) Front Ditch Lights - on/off with 1 function

8) Rear Ditch Lights - on/off with 1 function

And the numberboards with operate with the white markers in this option.

DCC Solutions Ultimate Lighting

For an upgrade to a 10 Function Ultimate Light Modification and you will have total control of all the lights in the Austrains 81 Class model.

This will allow you individual control of the front/rear white marker lights, front/rear red marker lights, front/rear headlights, front/rear number board lights and the front/rear ditch lights using the function buttons on your DCC throttle providing you with 10 lighting possibilities.

This option is intended for models that come with Ditch Lights.

With our light modifications you can operate the lights on your model locomotive just like the real thing! 

The DCC Solutions NSW 81 Class Custom Sound Project

is packed with sounds and features not found on other sound decoders especially factory fitted sound.

Factory Fitted Sound only offers you the very basic sound for your model

So why not get fully featured sound from DCC Solutions

Our Custom NSW 81 Class Sound Project now includes these fantastic features:

Our Custom Sound Project now includes these new features:

Remastered Drive Sound

A new remastered Drive Sound for the EMD 16-645E3B Turbo which now includes a Low Engine Idle option while the loco is stationary. Press a function button to select low idle, release the button and the engine will return to high idle. We have created a new sound file structure to allows for a faster flowing drive sound with changes you make with your DCC Throttle.

Full Throttle – Drive Hold

This feature allows you to simulate a loaded or empty train by pressing the F1 function button. When the button is pressed, the motor will remain at a constant speed, while the sound can be controlled independently by adjusting the speed on the throttle. This exciting, new feature gives the operator the ability to have the train crawl in notch 8 or coast at 100 km/h. Release the Drive Hold function button and you simply go back to throttle-controlled speed and motion. Available only from DCC Solutions, our Drive Hold will stop your loco when you reduce the speed to zero even while the function is still active. Your ESU factory fitted sound will not stop your loco at speed step 0 with the drive hold on.

Coasting on Demand

This feature allows you to enter coasting mode whenever you want with a press of a button. Often when coming to a stop, the throttle of a real locomotive is put into Idle and the locomotive coasts to a stop. Another situation that occurs is that once a train is up to speed when operating over a rolling countryside, the driver can coast to maintain a certain speed. By pressing the coast function button, the sound drops into coasting and remains there. Using the throttle speed control, you can now speed up or slow down the train with the sound remaining in coasting mode.

Press the function button to exit coasting and the sound will exit and return to whatever speed is set when exiting.

Working Brake

Press the Brake Function button and your locomotive will come to a stop at a much shorter distance than if you were to bring it to a stop by reducing the throttle speed. Release the brake and your locomotive will move off again or choose to have it remain stationary when the brake is released. We have designed our own version of a working brake that will actually work when Drive Hold or Coasting is activated unlike other version of this feature.

Working Dynamic Brake

Apply the Dynamic Brakes and the Prime Mover will wind down to idle while the Dynamic Fans engage to assist with cooling. Reduce the throttle and the decoder's dynamic motor logic will reduce your speed faster than normal. Disengage Dynamic Braking and the primer mover will returned to it's notched speed and the fans will turn off.

Brake Squeal on Deceleration

Activate this function and when you reduce your throttle speed quickly, your locomotive will show signs of slowing up along with the sound of the brakes squealing. Accelerate, and the squeal stops.

Random Start-up sequences with Move Off and Stopping Sounds

Now with random start-up sequences including hot or cold engine starts your start up and shut down will not always sound the same.

As your locomotive begins to move off you will hear the sounds of brakes releasing with random speed activated wheel squeal, rail noises and other sounds. Some of these sounds are random or speed sensitive that will turn on/off automatically depending on your take off speed. When the locomotive comes to a stop you will hear the squeal of the brakes, air releases and then the compressor will cut in automatically to fill the reservoirs with air until full and will cut out

Remastered Horn Sounds

A new remastered Nathan P5 playable and short blast horns.

Coupling and Release with Shunting Mode

Activate coupling or release and your loco will automatically reduce its speed to allow for a more realistic coupling or release operation. Once the operation is completed your loco will continue to run at slow speed for a few more seconds before returning to the speed set on your throttle.

Random Sounds

DCC Solutions will have between 6-8 random sounds that will play when either the loco is stopping or moving which is more than double found on standard ESU sound files.

And includes all these great features to make your Austrains 81 Class drive and sound impressive

  • EMD 16-645E3B turbocharged prime mover with Throttle Sensitive Prime Mover Sounds.
  • Nathan P5 Short Blast and Playable Horns.
  • Random Start-up sequences including Automatic Hot or Cold Engine Start.
  • Air and Brake Release Sounds when loco moves off and stops including Brake Squeal.
  • When the loco stops after braking the compressor cuts in to fill the reservoir and will turn off when the tanks are full.
  • Speed sensitive Wheel Squeal and Rail Noise when the loco moves off.
  • Full Throttle Drive Hold - Lock the loco speed and control the sound independently to simulate a heavy loaded or empty train
  • Coasting On Demand
  • Working Brake to bring your locomotive to a stop even when Full Throttle Drive Hold is active unlike other ESU sound files.
  • Proper Working Dynamic Brakes: The prime mover winds down to idle, fans activate and brakes faster due to Dynamic Braking Logic
  • Brake squeal on deceleration and turns off on acceleration.
  • Directional Coupling and Release with brake line release plus auto active shunting mode to reduce the speed of the loco for shunting
  • Stop & Drive Random Sounds including fans, compressor, rail noise, track wheel squeal, air releases and more!
  • Wheel Squeal
  • Guard's Whistle
  • Modified Lighting Options for more prototypical light operation.
  • Low beam/High beam Headlights
  • And more (See below for full list of sounds and functions)
  • Play 10 different sounds simultaneously
  • Motor settings and sound volumes tuned to specifically suit the Austrains 81 Class Locomotive Model.
  • Individual sounds slots and master sound volumes can be adjusted by the user to suit personal requirements.
  • Full function button remapping to suit your personal requirements.
  • This Sound Project is also suitable for other brands of 81 Class Models.
  • DCC Solutions High Performance Speaker delivering impressive sound 


Standard DCC Installation: Non-sound decoder with no lighting modifications.

Standard Sound Installation: Alternate brand of sound decoder with factory generic sound. No lighting modifications.

Premium Sound Installation: ESU LokSound 5 sound decoder with our Custom EMD 16-645E3B Sound Project. No lighting modifications.

Premium Sound Installation and Standard Light Modification: Upgrade to 6 or 8 Function lighting outputs with the DCC Solutions Light Modification to separate lighting to have individual function control on your DCC controller plus our Custom EMD 16-645E3B Sound Project.

Premium Sound Installation and Ultimate Light Modification: Upgrade to 10 Function lighting outputs with the DCC Solutions Ultimate Light Modification to separate all the lights in the Austrains model to have individual function control on your DCC controller for real life operation of the lights plus our Custom EMD 16-645E3B Sound Project.

Here is the selection of sound and function labels using the ESU LokSound 5 with 8 Function Lighting Outputs.


Premium Sound Installation and Standard PLUS Light Modification

Function                       Description  

0 (HEADLIGHT)            Headlights/Numberboards (Directional Only)

1                              Drive Hold

2 (HORN)                   Nathan P5 Playable Horn

3                              High Beam Headlight

4                              Proper Working Dynamic Brakes/Low Idle at Stop

5                              Coasting On Demand

6                              Working Brake

7                              Brake Squeal on Deceleration

8                              EMD 16-645E3B (Start Up/Shut Down)

9                              Front White Markers (On/Off)

10                             Rear Red Markers (On/Off)

11                             Rear White Markers (On/Off)

12                             Front Red Markers (On/Off)

13                             Directional Marker Lights (On/Off)

14                             Numberboards

Function                       Description  

15                              Fan

16                              Compressor

17                              Coupling /Uncoupling + Shunting Mode

18                              Wheel Squeal

19                              Guard's Whistle

20                              Sanding Valve

21                              Volume Fader - Reduces Sound 50%

22                              Front Headlight

23                              Manual Handbrake Ratchet

24                              Spitter Valves

25                              Manual Notching

26                              Notch Up / Short Air Release

27                              Notch Down / Cab Door

28                              Rail Clank

Note: The above functions are for the LokSound 5 Decoder programmed with DCC Solutions Premium Custom Sound Installation with Light Control

To learn how to use these functions see the Info & Help page.

All functions can be reprogrammed to suit your own personal requirements.

Options Available

ESU LokSound 5 Sound Decoder programmed with DCC Solutions Custom 81 Class Sound Project

ESU LokPilot V4.0 (Non Sound Decoder)

Alternative brands of Sound and Non Sound Decoders of your choice.

DCC Solutions upgraded 6, 8 or 10 Function Light Modifications

Supply only Decoders and Speakers for DIY Installations

CLICK HERE to contact DCC Solutions about installing DCC into your Austrains 81 Class