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  DCC Solutions

Southern Rail 1550 Class

DCC Sound Installation

Now available with our NEW Remastered

LokSound 5 Custom Sound Project


About the 1550 Class

The 1550 class was a class of diesel locomotives built by Clyde Engineering, Eagle Farm for Queensland Railways between 1972 and 1976. The 1550 class were the first locomotives in Queensland to be fitted with low noses. An initial order for 16 locomotives was followed by 11 that were financed by the Queensland Phosphate mining group. The second batch differed in having a lower roofline to give better clearance when operating under wires.

Two have been scrapped, while between 1997 and 2004, 19 were rebuilt as 2300 class locomotives and six as 2250 class locomotives at Redbank Railway Workshops.

DCC with Sound and Light Modifications

In October 2019, Southern Rail released the 1550 Class locomotive which includes a 21 Pin socket for easily fitting a DCC decoder.

In DC/DCC all lights in the model operate directional.

Fault with the model

There appears to be a manufacturing fault with the model and as a result the rear white markers on the model do not operate. Not sure if it was purposely done but the model is advertised with “Operating Headlights, Marker & Ditch Light” according to their website so you would assume all front and rear operating lights come with the model. Also, the models appear not to have ditch lights.

The model uses a single white LED to light up the headlight, numberboards and white markers at either end and no provision has been made for the white LED light to shine through the marker lens at the rear of the model.

For this installation we recommend the ESU LokSound 5 (Sound) with our Custom Sound Project for the 1550 Class or the LokPilot 5 (No Sound) for those not wishing sound. We offer several options of DCC installations for this model to suit all budgets and can supply the decoders only for the DIY installers.

We have tweaked the motor control of the ESU decoder to provide super slow smooth speed which is perfect for shunting operations allowing the loco to move ever so slowly towards its rolling stock. Also, 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.

Light Modification

As the model uses a single white LED to light up the headlight, numberboards and white markers at either end it is not possible to modify the lights for individual DCC light control. As a result, we can only offer the separation of the Red Marker Lights for this model at both ends to provide some individual DCC control.

DCC Solutions with Customised 1550 Class Sound

Something you won't get with OEM Sound from the manufacturers

The DCC Solutions QLD 1550 Class Custom Sound Project - EMD 12-645E

is packed with sounds and features not found on other Sound Decoders

Our Custom Sound Project now includes these fantastic features:

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 or downloadable 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 the

NSW's 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.

Working Dynamic Brake

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

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.

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.

Remastered Horn Sounds

WABCo A/B Series playable and short blast horn.

Random Sounds

At least 12 random sounds that will play when either the loco is stopped or moving to add to the realism. 

And includes all these great features to make your Southern Rail 1550 Class drive and sound impressive.

  • EMD 12-645E Roots Blower Prime Mover.
  • Short Blast and Playable Horn
  • Random Start-up sequences including Automatic Cold or Hot 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
  • Proper Working Dynamic Brakes: The prime mover winds down to idle, fans activate and brakes faster due to Dynamic Brake motor logic
  • 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.
  • Directional Coupling and Release with brake line release with 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!
  • EMD air compressor.
  • Manual Notching - manually control the notching rather than letting the decoder do it
  • Low beam to High beam Headlight operation
  • And more (See below for full list)
  • Motor settings and sound volumes tuned to specifically suit the Southern Rail's 1550 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 1550 Class Models.


Standard DCC Installation: ESU 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 12-645E sound project. No lighting modifications.

Premium Sound Installation and Light Modification: Upgraded 4 Function lighting outputs with the DCC Solutions light modification and our custom EMD 12-645E sound project that allows you individual control of the front/rear headlights with white marker lights, front/rear red marker lights using the function buttons on your DCC throttle.

Here is the selection of sound and function labels using the ESU LokSound 5 with 4 Function Lighting Outputs.


Premium Sound Installation and Light Modification

Function                       Description  

0 (HEADLIGHT)      Directional Headlights

1                              Full Throttle Drive Hold

2 (HORN)               Playable and Short Blast Horn

3                              High Beam Headlight

4                              Dynamic Brakes

5                              Coasting on Demand

6                              Brake

7                              Brake Squeal on Deceleration

8                              Prime Mover Cold/Hot Start Up/Shut Down

9                              Reserved [For Light Mods]

10                            Rear Red Markers

11                             Reserved [For Light Mods]

12                             Front Red Markers

13                             Directional Red Markers Lights

14                             Reserved [For Light Mods]

Function                       Description  

15                              Fan

16                              Compressor

17                              Coupling/Uncoupling + Shunting Mode

18                              Wheel Squeal

19                              Guard's Whistle

20                              Sanders

21                              Volume Fader - Reduces Sound 50%

22                              Front Headlight On/Off

23                              Reserved

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 Modifications.

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 1550 Class Sound Project

ESU LokPilot 5 (Non Sound Decoder)

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

DCC Solutions upgraded 4 Function Light Modifications

Supply only Decoders and Speakers for DIY Installations

CLICK HERE to contact DCC Solutions for DCC and Sound for your Southern Rail 1550 Class