LGB / Marklin DCC (MTS) (MFX)

Note: decoder sub-page with more detail

This page is basically my listing of all the LGB part numbers for electronics I have run into. The DCC decoders are listed here, but details are on this sub page: LGB Decoders


As usual, I will translate the manufacturer's terms into the standard NMRA definitions:

  • LGB\Marklin calls the combination of the Command Station and Booster a "Central Station"
  • The cab/throttle is often just called a handheld.
  • many standard terms are "hidden" to make things simpler

LGB went through many revisions and changes, and the all the systems are very limited by today's standards.

LGB was never very forthcoming about the individual limitations, but just basically told you "use this with that". When a limitation is encountered, many people are confused where in the system the limitation exists. This can be further compounded when mixing LGB system components with other manufacturer's. Massoth, for example, can connect various controllers to the LGB command station.

I will endeavor to unravel this mess, but my recommendation is that since electronics are so inexpensive nowadays, that you jettison any old LGB system and upgrade. If you indeed have LGB equipment with the "serial function" decoders, then get a Massoth, ESU, or Zimo system.

In my opinion, newer decoders are so much more capable with so many new features and so inexpensive, that I would give strong consideration to replacing any decoder that is serial only (or no sound for that matter)

So, let's proceed to try to unravel the complex story of LGB MTS, and the Marklin "takeover", and where the capabilities and limitations are.

Credit for help with this information goes to my friends, and other helpful people, but again special note of thanks to Dan Pierce.

LGB Decoders overview:

Sometimes it's hard to know what LGB decoder you have, and even more difficult to know what their capabilities are.

LGB decoders may require the motor as a load on the decoder when in service mode... also if there is a separate lighting switch or sound switch, leave them off

CV7 = manufacturer software version

CV106 = decoder model

NOTE WELL: when fitting decoders to LGB locos, there may be a number of dip switches that need to be changed BEFORE plugging in the decoder. I suspect these switches are the ones that connect the track pickups directly to the motor, and also wire the lights to the motor. FAILURE to set the switches right BEFORE plugging in the decoder will normally DESTROY the decoder.

Be sure to get the manual on the loco and what the switches do first.


LGB offered "DCC" early on, about the time it was being standardized. There were 2 precursors to our "modern" DCC, the Motorola system, and Selectrix system.

Seletrix was developed by Doehler and Hass for Trix in early 80's. It was based on a communications protocol developed by Siemens. Trix had exclusive rights to the system.

In 1999, D&H and Trix terminated the agreement, and now it is a open standard, it's apparently popular in N and Z scales in Europe.

The Motorola protocol was called that because it used a Motorola chip,. It was shown at the 1979 Nurnberg toy fair, it was introduced 6 years later in 1985 by Marklin under the name of "Digital HO"

The MTS (Multi Train System) emerged about 1995, and the electronics were mostly developed by Massoth, (Hartmut Massoth founded Massoth Elektronik and met Wolfgang Richter in 1974).

The early system were limited in many ways.

The first generation MTS I system was manufactured in 1995 by Lenz for LGB. 8 loco address, serial functions 0-9, 14 speed steps, and apparently no way to set CVs

MTS II was built by Massoth in 2000, 23 loco addresses, serial functions 0-9, 14 speed steps, no CV programming.

MTS IIP was released sometime after, and was the same as MTS 2, but allowed both serial and for the first time parallel function commands 0-9.

MTS III was released in 2006, made by Massoth again, and allowed 4 digit addresses (finally), serial and parallel function commands 0-9, and for the first time 14 or 28 speed steps, and also CV programming.

After the acquisition of LGB by Märklin , Marklin's plans for the smaller scales the CS3???

The MFX protocol was released by Märklin in 2004. The MFX+ was released in 2013.

MFX release date

By virtue of LGB's purchase by Marklin, the MFX protocol was added to all current manufacture. I won't cover this here, even though new LGB locos come with MFX decoders, and "switching them over to DCC" can be a pain. Just say no.

Organization of this page:

First, I show the "systems" that were packaged, I review the "typical" groupings of equipment for the commonly referred to MTS I, MTS II, and MTS III

Next is a list of MTS products, in numerical order

The groupings are:

  1. Command stations, boosters, throttles (notice there are some "sets" that have command station and decoders and throttles)
  2. other DCC accessory items
  3. Decoders

A note on "serial" vs. "parallel" functions:

You will hear this a lot when dealing with MTS. Early units did not have separate commands for f0 through f28, i.e. internally a unique command for each of the 29 functions, as the NMRA standard calls out. (this is referred to as "parallel functions by LGB). Also note that no MTS system can control over function 9.

"serial functions" is where the system may or may not have individual buttons for different functions, but  f1 key "strokes" are sent at 1 second intervals for all functions, i.e. f4 is a sequence of four f1 commands 1 second apart. You can see that this is slow, and only some European brands still support this nowadays.

A note on LGB locomotives themselves:

A common situation is where the box says something about DCC, and the owner is confused if it has a decoder or not. Often it is just identifying that the loco is DCC compatible, and what type of DCC interface is inside.

For example: "Direct Decoder" actually only means there is a 10 pin interface inside.

Read more under LGB motive power on this site

Other limitations

  • If you have a serial command station, then only certain decoders will operate on your layout.
  • Also, you are often limited to decoders that support 14 speed steps, only MTS III supported 28 speed steps
  • you are limited to functions 0-9, many current sound units use many higher functions.

Special consideration for MFX decoders:

CV50 is used for turning on/off the DC and Marklin protocol.
10 is all on DC/DCC/MFX
2 is DC/DCC
8 is DC/Mfx

LGB software

I have not addressed the software that is used with the computer interface module, nor others from LGB. I don't intend to, since much of the software is old, and there will be issues with newer versions of windows.

NOTE WELL: this is NOT designed to be an exhaustive list of components, and is as accurate as I can make it with reasonable effort. I do not use MTS equipment, and honestly, the vast majority of LGB MTS equipment is limited in capability.

If you have helpful information to add here or corrections, it is appreciated, notwithstanding the goal above. The goal of this page is a sort of "catalog" of part numbers, their basic functions and to also somewhat follow the evolution of MTS. Just drop me an email.

Command stations, Boosters, cabs/throttles as systems:

Overall notes:

  • none of the MTS throttles can read CV's back (unbelievable). The only way to read back CV's is to use the 55045 computer interface (need software versions, how to download, etc), you are programming in the blind.
  • To switch the controllers (MTS 2P and MTS 3) from serial to parallel commands, press function and 9 at the same time. You can press a function key to verify the mode: if you see multiple flashes or a single flash (serial or parallel respectively)

First Generation MTS / MZS 1: (type I)

LGB 55000b

LGB 55000a

System components

  • LGB 55000 MTS 1 Starter Pack (55000 Central Station + 55010 Train Mouse + Decoder) (what was the decoder model?)

The decoder was usually model number 55020 (These were the ones made by Lenz, and it says Lenz on the decoder)

System specifications:

  • 14 speed steps only.(limited mainly by Train Mouse throttle/controller)
  • 8 locomotive addresses only. (limited by Train Mouse throttle/controller)
  • Can only program loco short address, CV1
  • System limited to 8 addresses total 1 thorough 8
  • 5 amp output, the 55000 needs a separate power supply

You program the decoder address from a sequence of button pushes, with the address selector set to the address you want, so it's clear of what the max range is.

The system is limited to 14 speed steps. Again it appears that this limitation is in the throttle, not the central station/booster.

The controller/throttle was the LGB 55010 MTS 1 Train Mouse, limited to 8 addresses, and serial functions.

Lenz made these first generation components, I have seen pictures of the Train Mouse with "Lenz" on it.

Below is a picture of the 5510 train mouse/controller

lgb 55010

The left button controlled the loco lights, and the right button is the function button, pressed the number of times for the function you wanted (serial function)

The speed control is center off. If you press and hold on the LGB logo, you got emergency stop.

You will also see "7+1" on various literature, this is because it could run 7 MTS locos and 1 analog. The 7+1 switch was on the back of the central station, as well as a reset. You used address 8 to control the analog loco.

This was a 5 amp max booster, and the power supply was separate. Input voltage was up to 24v DC, or 18v ac.

I'm not sure the central station was available by itself.

The decoder supplied was a 55020 I believe




OK all here goes:
I have set up many Marklin and other decoders to run on MTS. The MTS 3 is a serial based command station and tries to run new decoders as they have shipped at 14 speed steps. You must type F9 to switch the loco to parallel operation.
Next, one must change the Marklin decoder to DCC and optional DC but eliminate other modes by changing CV50 contents to 2. Setting CV50 to 0 is DCC only.
Now if you change the locos address, once again the MTS3 must be set to parallel again or it will default to serial operation.
The MTS 3 system will do 28 speed steps if you use the Massoth Navigator to run your trains and allow you to go to 9999 addresses. It (MTS/navigator) can not do 128 speed steps.

I hope this helps all understand what is needed better.

PS: I own and operate both the MTS1 and MTS 2P system but program all decoders with my Zimo system as the newer DCC systems are much easier to use for programming. MTS can not read decoders but you can get the 55045 interface to a computer to program (read and write) decoders with a colored graphic screen but you are limited to the first 256 CV's.

Also note the 55015 can program addresses 0-22, it is the MTS 1 that can only do 1-8!! MTS II is 1-16 with the 55016, and 1-22 with the 55015.

Second Generation MTS / MZS 2: (type II & IIP)

LGB 55005

System Components:

  • LGB 55105 MTS 2 Starter Pack (55005 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + Decoder)
  • LGB 70255 MTS 2 Starter Set (55005 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + 2 digital locomotives + 2 freight cars)

System specifications:

  • 14 speed steps only
  • Note this came in serial only and serial/parallel (the "P" suffix), original release was serial only, and these could be upgraded to parallel
  • This system can control locos and accessories.
  • LGB 55016 handheld originally serial, upgradable to parallel, parallel versions also made, P added to model number.
  • 16 addresses (0-15) with 55016
  • 23 addresses (0-22) with 55015
  • Only CVs 1-4 can be programmed. This can only control locomotives.

Used with 55015,

  • LGB 55050 RC Sender Adapters
  • LGB 55055 Wireless transmitter

At this time the decoders supplied, 55020, were made by Massoth

Note that the system still cannot do more than 14 speed steps.

Early MTSII "P" equipment, was identified by the separate black sticker with the white "P" - later production versions had the "p" suffix on the part number, eg: 55016p

Note you press F then press 9 to change to parallel... if you change address of the loco, you need to do this again, since the serial/parallel setting is associated with the loco number.

Third Generation MTS / MZS 3: (type III)

LGB 55006p

  • LGB 55006 MTS 3 Central Station with serial and parallel function control (defaults to parallel function control, F and 9 switches to serial)
  • LGB 55106 MTS 3 Starter Pack (55006 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller)
  • LGB 70257 MTS 3 Starter Set (55006 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + 2 digital locomotives + 2 freight cars)
  • system as shipped is still limited to 14 speed steps
  • can use locos 0 to 22 (needs verification)
  • speed step limitation and address limitation in throttle, command station/booster will work 28 SS and standard NMRA long addressing. Common setup is to


add Massoth Navigator to the command station and add 28 speed step (still not 128) and long addressing


Tips for MFX decoders on this system



 Marklin Central Station CS3

Multi protocol central station

LGB 60216


The CS3 has been released in a number of versions,  60212, 60213, 60214, 60215, 60216, I won't go into the differences... but pretty goofy to keep changing the model number.

    • 60212 - 2004?
    • 60213 - 2008 - color display
    • 60214 - made by different contractor a few months after 60213
    • CS3 was announced with touchscreen 2016, and CS3+ which can be used in multi unit systems


The system supports mfx, mfx+, DCC, Motorola protocols

Has a tablet size screen, supports automation, loco naming

Check the version and model number, some have expansion capability (basically using as a booster)

 If you buy one of these, be very sure the capability of the model you are looking at

Old notes that need verification:

The CS3+ has one S88 bus built in.

A CS3 and a 60145 Terminal (for expansion), and a L88  60833 (don't know what this is) is cheaper than a CS3 +

The CS3+ does have the advantage it can be slaved to another CS3+ or CS3

Additional CS3+ units do not add processing power, just wired controllers



This is just some unorganized notes, mostly dealing with "gotchas"

Like many other European systems, this system likes to "register" a loco with the system in order to run it (which I think is an unnecessary complication, especially for newcomers)

  • Recently, with the Marklin acquisition of LGB, the MFX protocol has been added to all new decoders, and the CS3 supports MFX, DCC, and MM (I'm thinking this is the motorola format or the marklin format)
  • To register a loco supposedly you press stop on the CS3, then put a loco on the unpowered track (I assume no other locos on the track) then press stop again. This should register it. Supposedly this works for ordinary DCC decoders, so that means the system must be putting the track in service mode. I would expect doing this to the entire layout could result in data errors with a large layout, or the loco a distance from the DCC feed. But reading some LGB stuff further, it seems that you have to manually add a loco that is DCC or MM...  ahh reading the same article further indicates that the automatic registration only works for MFX, the layout does not go into service mode, and if you don't know the address of a DCC loco, you have to use the dedicated programming track.
  • This is an example of how "simple" it is to use from the #3 2020 Depesche magazine.... actually misleading


LGB DCC components in numeric order

search this page for "decoder" or "central station" or "throttle", etc. if you don't have the part number

55005 Central station

The second generation central station. Came in 2 versions, first has serial function control only, the upgraded version will be the 55005P, which can do "normal" function commands, what is called Parallel.

The "P" may be on a sticker on the bottom, or maybe on the top. You could get it upgraded at the factory.

LGB 55005

LGB 55005a


55006 Central station

Same as 55005 but supports parallel functions, i.e. a 55005P


LGB 55006pa

LGB 55006pb


55010 "train mouse" controller/throttle

  • part of very early MTS I system
  • apparently only serial mode

LGB 55010


55015 / 55015p - controller / throttle

  • controller from 2nd gen system, P indicates parallel function capable
  • "universal remote" can consist 2 locos


LGB 55015p


55016 / 55016p - controller / throttle

LGB 55016p

similar to 55015, but cannot operate switches/points

no consisting?

55017 - controller / throttle

wireless throttle works with CS2 and CS3 central stations


55020 - decoder

lgb 55100

There were 2 versions, the first by Lenz

  • there are single motor
  • only CVs 1-4 programmable
  • Lenz logo on circuit board
  • 14 speed steps only
  • no BEMF

Second by Massoth: (there appeared to be several versions of the 55020 from Massoth)

  • no logo on board
  • parallel function control
  • possibly more addresses
  • no BEMF
  • 25 x 55 mm
  • (Also need to verify if there were address limitations built into the decoder. Were they short addressing only?)



U+ - common for function outputs
L1 - front light - 200 ma max
L2 - rear light - 200 ma max
F1 - F1 function output - 50 ma (V1), 300 ma (V2)
GND - ground
GL1 - gray - track (not sure which side) 24v max
GL2 - brown - track
yellow and green are motor (not sure of polarity)


Per Dan Pierce: Note that if the 55020 is made by massoth, then CV 8 will be 123. If you can not change CV 29 then most likely it is the LENZ. Only CV1-4 can be changed on the LENZ.

55021 - decoder

  •  made by massoth only
  • version 2.3 (CV7) and up will support 28/128 speed steps. (all support 14 speed steps)
  • This decoder adds back emf and some other cv's that the 55020 did not have.
  • max 1.2 amps
  • (nice to get a list of these)

LGB 55021

Original version only supports CV1 addresses 0 to 22 (what happens at zero?)

CV2, 3, 4 etc, there are some BEMF settings, and parallel to serial settings

note CV 5 and above need to be written in register mode, so if you are not using a DCC system with register mode on the programming track, you use CV6 as the "register" that holds the CV number, and then CV5 will have the value.

This is further confused that the reset for this decoder is only available by register mode programming, and it is CV55 = 55  .... so  it does not become clear to neophytes that syou set CV6 = 55 (that means you will talk to CV55) and then you set CV5 to put the value 55 into the index.

To make it even more confusing, with CV6 = 1, it means CV29...  and you write to CV5 to set the values for CV29 ... these people should have been slapped silly for doing this.


  • small decoder for small field railway engines
  • smaller size than 55021
  • lower capacity, rated 0.8 amp, mas 1.0 amp

LGB 55022


55025 - switch decoder?


LGB 55025

55026 - cable to connect decoder to 6 pin interface

LGB 55026

55027 -  decoder

  • have more functions (F1-F6) as well as 2 LGB motor capability (24 volt/3 amp)
  • early versions 14 speed steps, later versions (need rev number) 28/128 ss
  • long addressing supported

55029 - decoder

Retrofit motor and sound decoder, works with mfx

has 27 pin interface

they claim the decoder handles 10 amps, and the motor output is over 4 amps

6.7 watt sound output using 4 ohm speaker

55030 - for 2nd motor with 55021

  • used for second motor when using 55021
  • booster decoder
  • not very good

55045 - programming module w/computer interface

  • works as command station, reads and writes CV's, service mode only
  • works with LGB software
  • first 256 CVs only

LGB 55045

55050 transmitter - European


  • transmitter
  • fits in handheld throttle, like 55015 or 55016 to make it wireless transmitter, need receiver on other end
  • may have come in serial and "P" parallel versions

55051 - US version of 55050


55055 - receiver - European

  • receiver
  •  I believe it is matching the throttles using the 55050


55056 - receiver - US frequencies


55057- receiver for 55017 throttles

, can have up to 4 55017 throttles


55060 - pc interface module - runs trains

  • Use LGB software
  • Cannot program decoders

55063 braking module

I don't know much about this module, but apparently it is very flexible and can work on analog too.

Can control signals also apparently

Also has some "shuttle" capabilities and reverse loop capabilities

55070 feedback module


55080 - reversing loop module


55085 - reversing loop module

  • not weatherproof
  • can be used for analog

55090 - 5 amp booster

  • 5 amp booster (slave command station), may have a P sticker, but it appears this is a simple booster, 2 wires in from the command station, just low level DCC, so the booster just boosts the input, therefore it can boost any DCC signal, serial or parallel. This was confirmed with Massoth helpline by Richard Sobey, thanks Richard.
  •  can be used with up to 4 55063 braking module
  • can operate up to 55063 on analog layouts
  • Massoth apparently took over production of the 55090 in 2003 or 2004 and added the support for the 55063, and there was a program to allow older units to be retrofitted with the newer firmware, retrofitted units would be returned with a white sticker "Bremsboost 2x" on the underside.
  • As of January 2019, apparently Massoth will still retrofit the older units to add the software to support the 55063 units.

55100 - MTS 1 Starter Set

  • (Central Station + Train Mouse + Diesel locomotive with decoder)
  • See description at top of page

55429 - keep alive storage module for 55029

55524 - single turnout decoder, dcc, mm, mfx

55525- quad turnout decoder dcc, mm, mfx

55529 - adapts 27 pin decoders to 10 pin loco interface

60175 - 5 amp booster for CS3


Throttles & Transformers & Misc


17100 / 1700 - reed switch

LGB 17100

50030 / 5003  - Transformer

7 va - barely enough power to run anything, a third of an amp at 21 volts, for example

spring clips that connect wires weaken, has thermal cutout

throw it away

LGB 50030 

50060 / 5006 - Transformer

LGB 50060

  • comes in either 230 or 110 voltm, be sure to look carefully. Later 110v ones have 50060/110 on top
  • 230v is 64 va,
  • 110v is 52va, 18vac 20va, 21vdc 32va, so approximately 1 amp on ac, and 1.5 amps DC
  • has overload lights, and spring terminals on back

50070 / 5007 - Analog throttle

  • dc input only (but manual says 17v AC input is ok, 18v DC)

50101 - transformer "Jumbo"

LGB 50101

Input: 120 volt AC
Output: 0-24 volt DC
Drive current: 10.0 amps max.
Dimensions: 334 x 212 x 140 mm
(13.2 x 8.4 x 5.5 in)




50110 - transformer

LGB 50110

  • 6 amp
  • 20 volts AC
  • 230 volt model

 50111 - transformer

LGB 50111

  • 6 amp
  • 20 volts ac
  • 120 volt model

 50120 - analog throttle

LGB 50120

  • dc only

50121 - analog throttle


  • dc only

51070 - analog throttle

  • 5 amp
  • accepts AC or DC input
  • throttle only, needs power supply

51079 - analog throttle

  •  5 amp
  • accepts AC or DC input
  • throttle only, needs power supply
  • not sure what difference is from older model, can be controlled from 55050 / 55055

51095 21 volt switched mode power supply

LGB 51095

  • normally used to power 60175 booster
  • Advertised as 21 volts, but actually 19. Strange, it would seem that DCC track voltage would be lower than normal 24v
  • actually rated 100 VA

51120 - analog throttle

  • dc input only
  • up to 24v
  • 2.7 amps

52120 - analog throttle

  • takes AC or DC input
  • basically updated version of the 51120 "linemans shanty"
  • 5 amps

52121 - analog throttle - panel mount

LGB 52121

60195 - wall wart 5 amp power supply






Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78