Addressing Common Model Train Problems

There is nothing more annoying than to prod your electric model train across the railroad track. Taking care of faulty model trains would be much easier if you know what you are dealing with in the first place. Model trains like the ever-popular G scale sets depend on the rails to power them up. They will slow down to a complete halt if there is a fault somewhere in the connection.  If you notice sporadic train performance, there are several probable causes and effective solutions.

For beginners take note that it is quite common for model trains to run perfectly for a while and then gradually deteriorate. When this occurs do not immediately order repair parts for garden railway just yet until you know what is the cause of the problem. Surprisingly, most are amazingly simple to detect, correct and prevent.  Dust is a major cause of this problem and since it is such a magnificent insulator you need to ensure that you get rid of most of it as much as possible, which means regular cleaning.

Troubleshooting Voltage Drop

If you notice that your train frequently slows down or stops only in certain portions of the track then the most probable cause would be voltage drop. Train distance and joints in between sections of track serve to slow the flow of electricity. To correct this, you will need to tighten any loose joiners and if needed, run a second set of wires from the power supply to the troubled section of the track.

Large Layouts

 If you have a large layout a bus wire with feeders to multiple track sections is highly advocated.  Depending on the scale and the length of the run you can use no. 14 to no. 10 heavier wire. Smaller feeder wires gauge 18 to 20 may be used between the rail and the bus. Usually, feeders are connected every 6 to 12 feet.

In order to greatly reduce voltage drops, solder the rail joiners yourself. This will also help remove kinks, which are often the cause of train derailments.  Keep in mind to leave a few joiners open in order to allow for expansion and contraction of your setup.