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Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>

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SoundTraxx Operations

Tsunami Intro To MUing


An Intro to 'MUing'


Railroads are constantly trying to win a never-ending horsepower race -– adding the most horsepower to deliver the largest load in the least amount of time possible for the highest attainable profit. 

Adding another locomotive to the train would do the trick in the steam era, but also required an extra crews to run it effectively.


Coordinating locomotives became a disciplined skill and an art, and was often rough on engines. 

As their size grew larger and larger, steam locomotives, such as the massive, 6,000+ horsepower Big Boy, were being developed and could be successfully run by a single crew. 

Diesel engines surpassed steam in efficiency, allowing railroads to add units that could be run without requiring more crew members. 

This became known as multiple unit (MU) operations. 

The locomotives were run as a group called a consist, and could be controlled by a single crew in the lead engine’s cab. 

Adding a unit to the consist was as straightforward as coupling to it, starting it up, selecting “MU Operations” from inside the cab to provide lead engine control, and then linking each unit together with hefty MU cables.


Tsunami decoders can be configured to reproduce prototypical MU operations simply through adjusting corresponding CVs. 

This allows each of your locomotives to perform normally when independent, and follow the proper consist operations, such as allowing only the lead locomotive to blow its horn while all units can employ dynamic braking, when in a consist. 

Over the course of the next few newsletters, we will cover in-depth how to use consist operations (or “MUing”) on your layout so that your mainline and hostler operations will take on a new element of fun!

Originally published May 29, 2015 in Issue 26 of the SoundBits Customer Newsletter for SoundTraxx and Blackstone Models.
Issue 31 | April 13, 2016


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