Mike V. sent me this pic of something unusual, an Ives Rheostat. It's funny, I have about 15 Rheostats that I have acquired over the years one way or another and I have never actually used one to control my trains. I use the ZW, Lionel TMCC or DCS.
These might be a more finite way of controlling trains. I've noticed that there are some people that swear by them. I know fiddling with DCS can be frustrating, my favorite interface for controlling trains is the ZW.
Are there collectors out there that just collect the electronics of trains? I have a bag or two of just parts (like Rheostats). I think making this stuff is a bit of a lost art and I can't believe I haven't paid more attention to it. At the very least, these are items that were made when electronics (for the most part) were still made in the USA. How many rheostat users are there?