Consist IDs are the same as short locomotive addresses

Moving consists between different DCC systems can be quite challenging. The best course of action is to kill the consist FIRST at home, then verify they run as single units

Then create the consist at the club. Some systems prefer old style consists (Digitrax) which use loco numbers ONLY. Advanced consists use a consist alias (1-127) which is stored in the command station it was CREATED ON . Then in the locos the same alias is also store in CV19.Advanced consists can be run BOTH WAYS.  You can use the loco number or the Consist id (alias). The Consist id stored in CV19 SHOULD be “portable” and might be able to be used on any DCC layout. Sometimes however this is not true or not possible. One weird thing about the consist ids: they start at 127 and go down 1.  BUT they occupy the SAME SPACE as loco numbers 127 to 1. So, any loco programmed to 127 will also run at the same time as consist 127!


This ventures into the gray area where consisting aliases and regular locomotive numbers can intertwine. To make things even more interesting the way different DCC systems (NCE, Digitrax, MRC, Lenz , etc. treat consists is not standardized at all under the NMRA and can get a bit ugly sometimes. Without getting into a long winded and boring explanation the simple version is NEVER use a SHORT address that is 128 or lower. 

Remember that long address and short address are two different types of numbers. In a locomotive only type of address can be active at a time. Consequently 114 and 0114 are NOT THE SAME ADDRESS!   114 is a short address, but it is ALSO a valid consist ID. Hence the confusion. 0114 is a LONG ADDRESS.

For anyone who uses consisting and also happens to have low numbered three (or two) digit locos I have this conversation with.  Also never change the consist ID the command station automatically assigns when creating a consist.

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