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I have a question about MTH 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 steam switchers that have the 2-rail / 3-rail option.  If the engine is set to 3-rail, are the left-and-right drive wheels electrically isolated from each other?  (My layout is Lionel tubular rail with 022 and 711 switches.  I want to know whether the non-derailing feature will work with those engines.)  Thanks.

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FWIW, I was trying to look this up and answer. I only have a Premier PS2 3V 0-8-0 and it doesn't have 2 rail capability nor a switch. So then some searching for common MTH engines with the criteria you listed 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 with 2R/3R switching so it has to be a Premier engine, and my first attempt fails 20-3452-1 O Scale Premier 0-6-0 USRA Steam Engine w/Proto-Sound 3.0 as an example isn't 2 rail either. In fact, even more searching, and while they made 0-6-0 USRA in PS2 and PS3, also scale wheels  (-2), or high rail wheels (-1) they were still only 3 rail with no switch according to the manual.

Example search https://mthtrains.com/prod-sea...ge_ak=0.2&page=1

Searches for 0-8-0 with the same criteria (Premier, and more likely a later 2017 model) I'm still coming up with the fact they all seemed to be 3 rail and no switch and not insulated wheel sets to be run in 2 rail/ https://mthtrains.com/prod-sea..._product_line%3A3934



So to me, it might be better if you list an engine you are thinking of that is an 0-6-0 or 0-8-0 that has a 2 rail / 3 rail switch.

2R by design has left and right wheel isolated so there is no short in 2R.  Engine and tender.  Normally the switch for steam can control how the left and right tender wheels connect via the switch.  Depending on the model, the engine wheels may not factor in for 3R pickup.  The switchers usually have the front coupler that complicates the wiring available for power.

If your after 3R only, there are methods to link the left and right engine wheels to gain better outside rail continuity.  Same with tender and bypass switch.  G

Thanks everyone.

The engine I've been considering is the 20-3281-1 New York Central 0-6-0.  It's PS2 with a wireless drawbar.  The owner's manual indicates that it has a 2-rail / 3-rail switch on the tender.  I will be running 3-rail only, and need the engine to be able to trigger the non-derailing feature on my 022 and 711 switches.   I assume that, even if the engine is configured for 3-rail operation, the left- and right-side drivers will be electrically isolated from each other -- which means that the non-derailing feature of my switches won't work.  Correct?  Is there a solution that won't require major surgery?  Thanks.

@700E posted:

Thanks everyone.

The engine I've been considering is the 20-3281-1 New York Central 0-6-0.  It's PS2 with a wireless drawbar.  The owner's manual indicates that it has a 2-rail / 3-rail switch on the tender.  I will be running 3-rail only, and need the engine to be able to trigger the non-derailing feature on my 022 and 711 switches.   I assume that, even if the engine is configured for 3-rail operation, the left- and right-side drivers will be electrically isolated from each other -- which means that the non-derailing feature of my switches won't work.  Correct?  Is there a solution that won't require major surgery?  Thanks.

As long as you’re comfortable opening up an engine, it’s a very simple mod….you’ll see ground wipers located over the axles in the engine, Run a jumper from one of the wipers to the frame ….easy peasy ….

Pat

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