Just a quick video I did while unboxing the Märklin Central Station (Märklin #60215). The video will show you the content of the box, setting the thing up and the initial test run of some trains.
I mention the boot time being a bit in the long end. And it is, but in reality I do not think it matters much. It is about 1 minute and 20 seconds. Having used the Central Station now for a couple of weeks my routine is to turn the Central Station on and while it boots, I am getting the trains ready. Not a problem.
Automatic Control Of Trains
I mention something about running trains automatically. The Central Station cannot run your layout automatically, you still need a computer for that. You can connect your computer to the Central Station and use the Central Station as the interface between your computer and your model railway layout.
The only automatic train control the Central Station can do is operate a shuttle train that runs between two feedback contacts on your layout. The feature is very simple, and no other train is allowed on the shuttle route. The Central Station does not have any pathfinding logic, so you need to make sure that the route for the shuttle train is always set and that no other train comes in its way.
If you wire up brake modules or signals with train control they can of course control your trains and the Central Station can help you with controlling the modules. But the Central Station itself does not contain any logic for stopping trains in front of signals etc. The Central Station can also control signals and routes using the feedback contacts.
You can use the Central Station to control your trains and accessories by using the different boards available. You can setup an overview of your layout and assign buttons for operating it. The best way to describe it would be: You get semi-automatic control, but you will need to wire your layout accordingly (with brake modules etc.).
Future software updates might change this, I will keep an eye on it.
Märklin also publishes apps for the iPad and the iPhone (they also make Android versions, but sadly no Windows versions at the moment). I have tested the iPhone version and it works extremely well. I was really impressed on the features, which allow you to control your trains and use the layout screen for controlling signals, points and other accessories.
There Is No Power Source In The Package
I forgot to mention this in the video, but the Central Station does not come with a power source. You will need to buy a power source for your trains. The Märklin switched mode power pack (Märklin #60061) is the recommended power source for running H0 and N gauge.