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I'm trying a new loop to loop layout for my Christmas train setup, and can't get it to run completely.  I worked off the plan below from, bought all my Fastrack pieces, and assembled it.  The train will run on the loop with the terminal section, no problem, but when it gets into the straight away, it craps out two or three sections from the switch piece.  (It's not consistent how far it makes it.)  

I can get it to run reliably if I shorten the straight away to only three 10 inch sections of straight fast track, but then it doesn't fit my space as well as I'd like.

Forgive my newbie questions, but does a longer setup need a more powerful transformer, or multiple transformers?  Would I be better served with 30 inch pieces of fastrack to minimize the connections that can be dodgy?

Thanks everyone for any help you can give.  Below is the 



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  • looptoloop
Original Post

The connections are fine, at least in principle. I do not know the condition (or brand) of your track. Doesn't matter. It should work.

You don't need multiple transformers.

One of the most valuable tools that a model railroader (of any kind) can have - indeed, it should be required with your first traxk purchase! - is a multimeter. They can be had a Harbor Freight (etc, etc) for 7 bucks, sometimes.

This allows you to, among other things, check:

1 - voltage, AC and DC; you need to know this, sometimes.

2 - continuity - that is, do we actually have a circuit? (as on a piece of apparently dead track...)

3 - can be handy around the house, in general

4 - just read the instructions 

Thank you for the quick response and good advice.  I'll buy a multimeter right away.

I did some experimenting on the floor, swapping out various pieces of straight track to see if some of the sections of Fastrack were problematic.  I'd try the 3 piece straight away setup and label pieces as "good," then proceed to test others.  Then I'd try different combinations to try to get it longer. Invariably when I lengthened it to 4 pieces of 10 inch straight away, it caused problems. 

Push a lighted caboose around to see where the light goes out... Fast track?? there was a Lionel video on here a few days ago about  tightening up track pin connections.   You may have to run a wire from one outside rail to the other outside rail in a couple of spots depending which rail the lock on is on.  By the looks of your pic a good place for the lock on  ( or whatever is used)would be between the switches on the straight on the lower rail. .

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