BlueRail for O scalers

Category : Articles

O Scale BlueRail

This page is an old post from 2017 regarding an old BlueRail board that is no longer for sale

BlueRail smartphone control for trains is a perfect fit for O scale. The BlueRail board is perfectly sized to fit most O scale locomotives, and with 2 amps of current they are a perfect match for many locos. If your O loco has DC can motors (isolated) and uses 2 AMPS or less then your loco is a good candidate for a BlueRail board.

The BlueRail board runs on DC or DCC power (from the track or battery). If you require AC track power, an AC-DC converter can easily be built from parts as described in this article.

The board controls motor and up to 4 LED lights from over 100 ft. Considering there is no system to buy (other than owning a smartphone or tablet) and that it can be run on any powered track (or non-powered) a BlueRail board is one of the most affordable train control solutions available. Discounts are available on volume orders (2,5,10). BlueRail is extremely popular for use with onboard battery.

The BlueRail board is very easy to install using a standard 9-pin JST with standard NMRA colored wires (sold separately). Here is a wiring diagram.

Sounds (which play inside the smart device) can also be played through a mini bluetooth speaker on the loco, making for very affordable onboard sound (as described in this article). This first BlueRail board does not trigger DCC sound decoders.

BlueRail's first Bluetooth board (2012) powering an O gauge Lionel.

BlueRail’s first Bluetooth board (2012) powering an O gauge Lionel.

Perhaps the biggest appeal in using BlueRail is a the well developed software control app (free in iOS and Android). This system is compatible with Bachmann E-Z AppĀ® and enjoys the benefit of thousands of users and hundreds of hours of software development, setting it apart from all other available wireless train control systems. The app updates as new features are added. Wireless firmware updates easily and safely update the board in the loco as needed.

O Scale BlueRail Check List

checkmarkDoes loco contain DC can motor?

checkmarkIs motor isolated from the frame?

checkmarkDoes loco draw 2 amps or less?

checkmarkAre you good with DC, DCC or battery power?
(if AC required, consider adding an AC-DC converter)

checkmarkDoes loco contain LED lights?
(if not, consider switching bulbs to LEDs)

checkmarkDoes your smart device (phone/table) support Bluetooth 4?
(Please read this Article)

Most frequently asked O Scale question:

Q: “Will it work with my American Flyer/Lionel?”

A: There are many variations of American Flyer/Lionel locos. If it passes the 5 check points above, you should be good.