At its most basic, “dead-rail” is battery power and radio control of the model railroad locomotive. Some folks don’t like the “dead-rail” term and call it “battery-powered and radio controlled” (BPRC). I understand and am somewhat sympathetic with the dislike, but for convenience and practicality (“dead-rail” is arguably more specific than “BPRC”), I will stick with the term “dead-rail.” Those two features – battery power and radio control – lured me in. Googling “dead-rail” will provide you with lots of excellent sites that explain “dead-rail” in detail, and they will provide you with additional resources. The starting site for me was www.deadrailsociety.com, created by the Dead Rail Society of San Diego. They have the trademark on “Dead Rail” that they allow others to use freely (courtesy dictates that you let them know). This site packs a lot of useful information such as suppliers, how-to articles, videos, photos, and links. Go there and learn.