Digital model railroading is a small, yet quite innovative niche. Are you looking to control your trains or accessories? Then you might have come accross the brand Digikeijs already. But now, there is a new name in town, with oddly similar-looking products: YaMoRC. So, what is that all about?

Digikeijs was among the innovators

Important update: Digikeijs has gone brankrupt in April 2023, read notes at end of article!

So, the digital market has been pretty stable in the last decades. The old and “large” model train brands (Märklin, Fleischmann, Roco, Digitrax…) had various and often great products. Added to this, were the specialists in digital tech such as ESU or Ulhenbrock, providing us with many digital modules for our layouts: switch decoders, train decoders, presence detectors…

One of the drawbacks of this market was a lack of innovation, and very little competition on prices. Again, that’s not to say many of those products were (and indeed still are) great; but we didn’t have lots of choices.
Many smaller brands (including many from Germany) and also DIY projects allowed us to find other options to equip our layout at lower costs.

When Digikeijs, from the Netherlands, released their products, they were quickly appreciated: relatively cheap, well made, and also well documented. Among those, for example, is the DR5000 Command station that I mentioned here. Other products that are well appreciated are the universal accessories decoders, such as the DR4018. Those decoders have the advantage to be fully configurable to control different end devices: electromagnetic switches, signals with specific country norms, or layout lighting. Before then, you basically had to invest in “usage specific” decoders: either for switches, or for lighting (often with physical relays on board). Now, you buy a module with 16 outputs, fully configurable, and above all reusable if your layout evolves.
The price to pay for this: potentially very complex CV configuration for each module.

In any case: simple, cheap, efficient and well made… Digikeijs clearly had lots of success in Europe, and also apparently in the rest of the model train world, because it was innovative. One of the reasons for this success by the way, was compatibility with Loconet, a bus system widely used in the Americas for example.

YaMoRC: the plot thickens

So, last year, when a brand called “YaMoRC” started being mentioned more often, I wasn’t sure what to expect. First of all, it was already hard to spell Digikeijs for non-Dutch speakers… and now there was a weird acronym.

YaMoRC actually standard for Yet another Model Railroad Company. A nice nod from the founder: yes, we have many players in our little niche digital model train market, here is another one.

So, what is the link between YaMoRC and Digikeijs, beside both companies being Netherlands-based and hard to spell?
Well it turns out, there is a link: the Founder of YaMoRC, Karst Drenth, designed all of the DR4xxx and DR5xxx products. And as the official FAQ explains, he left Digikeijs in 2019.

That explains why, for example, the YaMoRC products look a lot like the Digikeijs products (despite a slight color scheme change: black for Digikeijs / blue for YaMoRC). But the comparison stops there: the products and specs are indeed very different.

So what does YaMoRC have in stock? Lots, apparently. Most or all YaMoRC products, for example, are fully firmware upgradable, and configurable via web interface or USB (requiring adapters in some cases). They also offer advanced fine tuning options. For example, the track occupancy detectors offer fine settings, as explained in this very good video from DCC Train Automation:

What’s next for both brands?

Not sure! Digikeijs has made no major products announcements or even firmware upgrades from them in a quite a while. But there is also the worldwide shortage of components, affecting Digikeijs as all other brands.
Is Digikeijs dead? No reason to think so. They may very well have many things to announce soon!

On the other hand: YaMoRC is getting a lot of coverage for their newer products. While all are not yet commercially available (and the distribution network is still limited for now, even in Europe), it seems YaMoRC is slowly getting its lion share of the DCC accessory market. While their command station hasn’t been released yet, it’s already possible to “YaMoRCify” the Digikeijs DR5000, by buying a small hardware add-on from YaMoRC (voiding the Digikeijs warranty of course).
However, many other products have already been released. Look around the internet for tests and reviews. I myself just order some YaMoRC products, and will try to review them here on the blog.

YaMoRC tain detection DCC and loconet products


I think both brands bring very welcome innovative products for a reasonable price. Competition is always good for the customers, so personally, I’m hoping both will find their space.

Let me know what your thoughts are!

Edit from February, 27th, 2023:
Some wording in the article and some content were changed, after the feedback of the founder of YaMoRC. 

Edit from April 13th, 2023:
Despite my optimism in the article, there is mounting evidence that Digikeijs might be bankrupt or headed towards brankruptcy. There are discussions in Belgian/Dutch/German/French forums (example here): no product has been delivered in months, people who sent products for repair never heard back, email and phone calls don’t get answered, people have actually seen the official headquarters without anybody in it.
Let me me be clear: these are just indications, I have no insider information and this is not legal information
, but Digikeijs is yet to communicate with the public. In the meantime, as a hobbyist, I can only recommend to not plan on buying Digikeijs products, and to not send anything for repair there. If you hear from them (or if you are from Digikeijs and want to dissipate the rumors), let us know in the comments of course!

Edit from April 21st, 2023:
It’s official, Digikeijs has filed for brankrupcy and closed. I guess I was being too optimistic in my article.