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Reply to "Problem with my dads old train set."

@Dan Walker posted:

ok. Any tips on what I should be looking for as I inspect the track? I'm assuming it is just signs of arcing? Are there other telltale signs that  the connections are bad?

Welcome to the forum!

Has this engine and transformer worked with other track?

Does it happen when just running the engine, or when pulling a large number of cars?

Do you have any other engines that run on this track without the overload issue?

I am just trying to narrow this to a track vs locomotive problem.

  As to the Menard's track problem, I believe a few of them had center insulation that wasn't great.  If you look at where the center rail attaches to the tie, there should be a piece of heavy paper or card stock between the rail and the the little clamp pieces on the tie.  You can do a visual inspection.   Even better,  and definitely tedious, is to use an electrician's multi meter, and check for continuity between the center rail and each tie.  If the meter is a beeping,  you got something that needs a fixin.

Also, the connections on the bottom of that piece of fasttrack should be inspected.  The need to fit snug.  A loose connection there could be drawing extra current which would also cause a trip after a few minutes like you are describing. There's lots of ways to connect to tubular track,  a lock-on being tried and true.



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