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I have a two level Fastrack layout with drop downs approx. 6-8 feet apart. Two tracks on the upper level have a dead spot. I mean completely dead with switches in this section that stop working. There are three 0-72 turnouts. Trains on either track come to a dead stop before the switches.  The length of the dead area is about six feet.  The Z4000 does not show a short anywhere, but it does show a 5-8 volt leak. I've gone over the tracks with a magnet looking for screws, nails, anything metal that would cause this. I've checked the wiring. It all appears solid. Could it be one of the Fastrack switches, and if so, how can I tell which one? It's beginning to look like I'll have to dig up all the landscaping!

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It's actually surprisingly common for the internal crimps in Fastrack switches to develop high resistance.  Why Lionel insists on depending on bent metal to conduct amps of electricity through the switches is a constant source of amazement to me!

My first mission in this kind of situation is to remove the back of the Fastrack switch and solder all the crimped joints that carry any kind of current of signal to the switch.  Here's my thread on what I did to the switches.

Fastrack Switch Reliability Upgrade

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