Harold Werthwein

Rail Lynx Infrared Command Control System

Harold Werthwein
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Duration:   5  mins

Jerry Bellina was the developer of the Rail Lynx Infrared Command Control System, and Harold Werthwein let Jerry develop it on Harold’s Erie Railroad layout. In this video, Jerry explained how the Rail Lynx System worked.


The biggest feature was that it was cordless. Consisting of a battery pack and a handheld unit, it had 255 channels and handled infrared communication directly from the handheld to the locomotive. The signals did not pass through the tracks.

Harold showed some locomotives that are under the control of Dynatrol, and he and Jerry demonstrated the ability to run both Dynatrol and Rail Lynx simultaneously. Rail Lynx was compatible with most other command control systems and ran on top of them without interfering. They did not control each other.

In another video in the series, Harold discussed using the two systems simultaneously.


In the second part of this video, Allen Keller continued his interview with Harold Werthwein. Allen asked about people’s reactions when they first saw Harold’s 85×30-foot Erie Railroad layout. Harold admitted that people were often stunned by the magnitude of it. Some were curious about how many cars he had — at least 700 to 800.

When Allen asked what special problems Harold had to solve in building a layout this large, Harold replied it was mostly a matter of coordination. The Erie Railroad model was the result of a joint effort by many people, and Harold was thankful that everyone got along well.


Which scenery materials and techniques were used to create this layout? Every scenery technique in existence! The predominant one was screen wire with plaster over it and then a coat of brown paint. If it was an area with dirt, Harold sprinkled sifted dirt from the yard over it. Many of the structures on the railroad were scratch built.

Watch more from Allen Keller.

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2 Responses to “Rail Lynx Infrared Command Control System”

  1. Ian Loxton

    I got an email about this video promising to show me this new control system. Bah! Was made back in 2017 and lasted about a minute. So I went to the second video mentioned. This time I don't think it was a full minute before the video stopped. If your email wasn't Click-Bait (AKA promise much but failed to deliver) then please explain to me how you justified 2 videos supposedly talking on the system and spent less than 3 minutes in total and still managed to tell me absolutely Zip about it? So far all I have learned is that you only cover American Systems and prototypes and only HO or narrow-gauge HO. Where are all the Z or N systems? Where are all the European or Japanese prototypes or manufacturers?

  2. Jack Barry

    I am an Erie person raised in Binghamton NY. I'm actually Erie, DL&W and Erie Lackawanna. Where is the layout located? I would love to see it in person.As far as rolling stock, I'm up to about 200 as well as around 30 locos. All that is accompanied by an ever dwindling bank account ;)

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