Looking for some help with the Kato F40 and Commuter cars


The Chicago CTA guy
Ok, so I moved on from the Broadway Limited since I now have a complete 13 car train to one of the other trains I have lying around.

Years ago when Walthers first released their commuter cars, I set out to buy a complete 8 car set for the Chicago Metra. Metra typically has 2 train lengths that they run on the line that ran pas my grandmothers, 5 cars and 8 cars. I figured it would be easy to model both if I just went with 8 cars, including 2 cab cars. I finished the set years ago, even have 2 Walthers F40's to power it, however I have decided it was time to upgrade.

So I will be getting rid of the 2 Walthers F40's for a new Kato unit. I already have the cars, but I'll get into what I am curious about later. As far as I can tell, the Kato F40 has all of the effects that I want, working head lights and ditch lights, directional lighting, and as far as I can tell, it also has working tail lights. Working tail lights is fairly important to me, as I intend to do Push Pull operations on my club layout. The entire 8 car train as well as the locomotive is going to be outfitted with Sergent Engineer scale tight lock couplers. I have had great luck with these on my Broadway limited consist, so I intend to continue the success to all my trains. Since the Sergent's don't allow up and down movement, unlevel track is no longer a worry, and since they don't allow slack in the couplers, push pull is not a problem anymore.

Anyway, can anyone confirm for me that the Kato F40's have all these lighting features? Specifically ditch and tail lights? Also, my club runs DCC, and since I have vested much effort into converting my locomotives to DCC, I may as well continue. Since its a train that has sentimental value, I wish to also have sound, so I am curious which DCC decoder would be the best choice? I have long been a Sountraxx supporter, however in the research I have done, it appears that the Tsunami Decoder for the Kato F40 lacks several of the lighting effects I need. I know there is a difference between the Amtrak and the Metra units, but it appears to me the Tsunami decoder is geared to the Amtrak unit, not the Metra one. I did not see on the Tsunami decoder the 3rd LED which, as far as I can tell, is required to operate the tail lights.

So any insight anyone can give me there is appreciated.

Now, as mentioned before, I have all the cars already. 7 Walthers cars including 1 cab car, and 1 Kato Cab car. The Kato cab car was a later addition, to complete the 8 car set, as the Walthers cars lacked any built in lighting effects. After attempting to add a tail light to the walthers car and failing, I decided the best thing to do was buy a single Kato Cab car with the lighting effects already incorporated. However, I recall a problem with them. The Lighting system as I recall was designed to operate on DC only, with the polarity determining which LED (either Head Light or Tail Light) was illuminated. As I recall, on AC operation (as you would have in DCC) both LED would illuminate, giving you both Head Lights and Tail Lights. I do recall a switch under the body to turn the LED's off, but I do no recall any way to run them in DCC operation. So I am a little stumped here, so if anyone can give me any insight into this problem and a solution, I would appreciate it.

Anyway, sorry for the Wall of Text, but as you can see, I like to think things all the way through before I do them.

Edit: I suppose I should note this is for HO scale