Yes I am part of the Balboa Park group, and thanks for the track cleaning cars.
The alien metal part is the black center rail as shown by the arrows:
The problem is the jumper wires on the underside of the switch which will sometimes burn out:
The ideal solution (if you can remove the switch) is to unscrew the jumper cables, drill a bigger screw hole, and attach a larger gauge wire that you can connect directly to your power bus under the layout. However, if you can't remove the switch, you can drill a small hole through the bottom flange of the center rail and feed a solid copper wire through. Then solder the other end of the wire to the center rail of the track attached to the switch:
After you solder in the jumper wire, write over the wire and solder with a black Sharpie and no one will notice.