Bearing in mind that Europe is due to be cast adrift in the near future the strategic stores have been acquiring one or two items that will be of use as things progress. These include a second example of the rather excellent 6699 controller which will be used for shunting whilst the old-fangled ones run the main line.
Now, it appears that the 6699 had a big brother, the 6600 which has some good party tricks.
Like the 6699 it has a potentiometer under the big knob and electronic gubbins to sort out the power. It also has three extra knobs amd three push buttons for the magic.
Firstly you can have momentum - acceleration and braking. The rates are set by knobs 1 and 2 respectively and turned on by button 4.
Button 6 is an emergency stop for those moments when you have mis-calculated the stopping distance and would rather like the train to stop now rather than when it has ploughed through the buffers and over the edge of the layout.
Knob 3 and button 5 are for automatic operation .
Combined with two inputs on the back you can connect detectors in the track (or switches on the panel) so that you can slow a train to a halt, wait and then accelerate away, and/or reverse it. This allows you to have a rain running around a loop stopping each time at the station or shuttling back and forth along a strectch of track. (Using the ability to automatically switch points you could have a train traverse all three arms of a tuning fork layout and then reverse the sequence.) Knob 3 sets the dwell time and switch 5 turns it on or off.
Sadly these units are often found to be faulty - usually the op-amp IC's inside have given up the struggle - but this one is in fine fettle - so I couldn't resist.
Now all I need is something to shuttle and somewhere to shuttle it. I feel that Maifeld may gain an S-Bahn.