How to install the Hornby Elite & E-link driver for RailMaster (Windows XP-8)

Hornby eLink and Railmaster Combination Pack

Download the instruction manual



Find out all about how to install and operate your Railmaster DCC system with this downloadable guide.

With the increasing number of different versions of Windows operating systems and the substantially different ways they work, this guide has been written to provide step-by-step guide to show you how to install the Hornby Elite and eLink USB port drivers onto your PC.

This guide will hopefully show you every scenario and should serve as the definitive document for ensuring the correct installation of the Hornby Elite and eLink driver on your PC.
Buy this item online



Download the instruction manual

Hornby Railmaster Instruction Manual (English)

Hornby eLink and Railmaster Combination Pack

Download the instruction manual



Find out all about how to install and operate your Railmaster DCC system with this downloadable guide.  Includes information on the following areas;

  • Installing RailMaster
  • Setting up your Hornby DCC Controller
  • System Settings
  • Setting up Locomotives
  • Controlling Locomotives
  • Voice Control
  • Reading and Writing Locomotive CVs
  • Programming Accessory Decoders
  • Designing a Track Schematic
  • Double Heading Locomotives
  • Programming to Automate your Layout
  • Programmable Floating Keys
  • Clock
  • Command Line Options
  • Programming Commands & Functions
  • Upgrading and Activating the Software
  • Requesting Help and backing up data
  • Important Notes on Scale Speeds and Accurate Loco Control
  • Troubleshooting Guide

Please note, this manual gives reference to Railmaster Plus add-ons but these are not available as standard with the controller pack.  Unfortunately, we cannot offer any technical support on the Plus features.


Buy this item online



Download the instruction manual

How do I hard wire Hornby DCC decoders into a locomotive?

A lot of people ask us how to hard wire a DCC or TTS Sound decoder into a locomotive.  It could be that the locomotive pre-dates the ‘DCC ready’ plug and socket system, or that it was never fitted.  This can be quite common with 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 type trains.

Before you start, remember this guide is for Hornby DCC decoders including the R8249, and TTS Sound range.  So if you’re using a different manufacturers chip – please contact them for help first.



Step-by-step guide & wiring diagram

A simple wiring diagram has been provided by Hornby to help you make the connections in your locomotive.  It’s important to remember that you should take your time in doing this to avoid damage to the locomotive electrics, body and chassis.


Hornby DCC decoder wiring guide
Hornby DCC decoder wiring guide


We’ve also provided a brief step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Remove the plug from the decoder chip.
  2. Locate the wires from the pick ups and remove from motor using a soldering iron.
  3. Solder the Black & Red wires from chip, one to each pick up wire.
  4. Solder the Grey & Orange wires to the motor contacts.
  5. Locate a suitable decoder position.
  6. Make sure all excess wires are bundled up so not to interfere with wheels, gears & valve gears.
  7. Test and programme loco to unit.
Important note: There should be no other connections from the pick ups to the motor and any bare wires need to be isolated to prevent short circuits.  Also, if the locomotive has lights, follow the colour diagram shown.




Quite often people experience issues running their train once they have fitted a DCC decoder.  Ensure you refer to the configuration information provided with both the decoder and your controller to get them talking to each other, and always use a section of ‘programming’ track.

Remember also that the DCC element may be more sensitive to dirty track and poor connections than when it was DC powered.  Ensure that the tracks, wheels and pickup points on your locomotive are as clean as possible.

Hornby Locomotive Decoder installation manual (R8249)

Hornby NMRA Compliant DCC Locomotive Decoder

Download the instruction manual



Replacement instructions for the Hornby standard DCC locomotive decoder (R8249).  Contains information on supported CV settings, connection information and more in English, Italiano, Français, Deutsch and Español.

The Hornby locomotive decoders may be used with all standard digital control equipment that conforms to the NMRA standards.

Note the normal running current carrying capacity of the Hornby Decoder is 500mA peaking at 1Amp shared with the Function outputs.  If this capacity is exceeded
the decoder will cut out.  The decoder must not touch any metal parts of the locomotive as this may cause a direct short and permanently damage the decoder.

Do not wrap the decoder in insulating tape as the decoder requires a cooling smooth air flow across it’s surface.  If air is restricted the decoder may over heat and be damaged.  As a precaution it is advised that any exposed metal surfaces that the decoder may come into contact with are covered with insulating tape, especially on the surface where the decoder is to be installed.

If there is no decoder housing for the decoder to be located into, the decoder can be fixed in position using double sided tape or pads.

Decoder equipped locomotives must not be operated using an overhead power supply or catenary system.

Before installing the Hornby Decoder make sure that the model runs efficiently in DC mode.  A poorly running locomotive will not be improved by adding a decoder.



Download the instruction manual

Hornby Train Controller instructions (R8250)

Hornby Standard Analogue Train Controller

Download the instruction manual



Replacement instructions for the analogue Hornby train controller (R8250).  Features information about the ‘short circuit’ protection which is commonly mistaken for a fault.

If a metal object such as a pin or a derailed locomotive lies across the two running rails a ‘short circuit’ may occur.  This will activate the safety cut-out in the Train Controller or Transformer and stop the current supply to the track.  If this happens, switch off the mains power socket and trace and remedy the fault.  Allow approximately 60 seconds for the cut-out device to reset itself before switching the power socket on again.

Also, when a train is stopped by turning the speed control knob to its lowest setting, a small amount of electricity may still reach the locomotive motor.  This may result in a slight ‘hum’ emitting from the locomotive.

The speed control knob must be set to the zero speed position before using the switch to change direction.  Forcing this switch will damage the controller and invalidate your product warranty.



Download the instruction manual