Model railway maker Hornby has released a new Digital Command Control to bring model railways into the digital age.

The wireless system allows up to 254 locomotives to be controlled by the same remote, thanks to small micro chip processors.

Two versions are available, Select and Elite, priced at £70 and £140 respectively. They communicate with the locomotives via a system of micro chips and a receiver in the remote control. The processor than responds to commands to move forward, reverse, speed up, slow down, or turn lights on and off. The trains can even be moved on to different sections of track with the touch of a button.

The unit features a small keyboard as well as an LCD display to show which train or accessory is being operated by it, which is necessary if you’re trying to command over 200 trains at the same time.

The Select controller can only manage up to 60 trains and allows any ten of them to be commanded at any one time; the Elite remote can call up to 254 locomotives, and also allow ten to be run simultaneously. The top-end model can also be updated via a PC connected to the Internet.

The digital system will be available to buy pre-installed in new train sets, but for those who need to convert existing systems, a small micro chip is available to buy.