MRC Sound Station 312

By Michael Benolkin


The concept of having scale sounds on train layouts is not new. Over the years, folks have been using everything from pre-recorded tapes to programmable replay devices to achieve that next level of scale realism.

In the digital age, more products entered the marketplace to satisfy the need for scale sound, including one offering from MRC. These new generations of sound systems would transmit sounds electronically through the rails to decoder modules in an engine or car to further animate the layout. With these new generations of products come some hefty prices and knowledge of electronics to make these effects come to life.

The MRC Sound Station 312

MRC has introduced a new product that offers scale sounds to the average railroad modeler. This system offers more sounds that anything MRC has ever offered before, yet the size of the system is a mere fraction of any other system on the market! Everything fits inside of a package the size of an average television remote, with the only external connections going to power and to each of the two supplied speakers.

The concept is simplicity itself. The sounds from the upper nine buttons go out to one speaker, while the sounds from the lower nine buttons/switches are routed to the other speaker. The speakers can be concealed under the layout, leaving only the controller sitting next to your power controller. No digital lines to the tracks, no sound modules in your rolling stocks. Simply place your speakers where you want them, plug in the system, and your operational.

The system provides 18 different sounds:

  • Diesel Horn 1 Long

  • Diesel Horn 1 Short

  • Diesel Horn 1 Combination

  • Diesel Horn 2 Long

  • Diesel Horn 2 Short

  • Diesel Horn 2 Combination

  • Whistle 1 Long

  • Whistle 1 Short

  • Whistle 2 Combination

  • Conductor ('All aboard!')

  • Brake Sound

  • Steam Release

  • Coupling Sound

  • Engine Bell

  • Crossing Gate Bell

  • Rail Clack Sound

  • Steam Chuff

  • Diesel Engine Sound


While this system may be too simple for the highly advanced model railroader, like MRC's Command 2000 DCC system, the Sound Station 312 is targeted for the entry-level and part-time model railroader. With an MSRP of $69.98, this system is as easy on your wallet as it is on your engineering skills.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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