So, apparently I bought the wrong item from Lowe's (pictured). There's never anyone in that place who knows anything about electrical items. I asked the hardward guy if he could open the package and check it out. I was primarily interested to know if the terminals were connected on the long side. He said he couldn't tell but thought they were connected on the inside. They were not as I found out two days ago. In another post, someone suggested a jumper strip which I think can be used with these terminal strips and solve the problem.
There won't be any more changes this year, but setup will be smarter and faster next Christmas. I'm going to wait until after I remove all houses and scenery to run the wiring for the accessories. It will be much easier to drill holes through the wood supports and route the wires in a manner that will not interfere with the various power cords for the Dept 56 houses. I had to use a coat hanger to push the power cords across the table surface since the benchwork with track and buildings was already on top of the folding table.
Yes Garrett, this is the jumper strip to use for those following along.