DCC systems offer three choices for consist control:
The Basic Consisting method is to reprogram all the locomotives in a consist to the same address and run them on one throttle. In this case all the locomotives must be headed in the same direction, head to tail, head to tail, head to tail.
Advanced Consisting stores the consist information in each decoder. The locomotives can be added to and deleted from the consist in any orientation head to head or tail to tail. This method requires that all locomotives in the consist be equipped with decoders that support this feature. This method allows you to set up a consist that will be “transportable” from one DCC layout to another but you must be sure to always put the locomotives back on the track in the same order and orientation you programmed them for or you can get some unexpected results.
“Universal” Consisting stores the consist information in the command station and allows you to consist locomotives with any DCC decoder as well as an analog locomotive. The locomotives can be added to and deleted from the consist in any orientation head to head or tail to tail.
The number of locomotives you can consist varies widely from system to system.