Good morning, I have looked for a lead on this issue with no success, I can find tidbits. Once again I can use your invaluable advise and hope everyone is having lots of fun with their trains...
Last night one of my lighted MTH O Premier Amtrak Superliner Dining Car decided to go up in smoke. We bought a two car set new in the box 20-6539 last month and probably have about a total of six hours of use. The consist was made of four superliner cars and one Proto-1 F59PH Diesel. We currently run the MTH engines that have not been converted to CAB-2 in conventual mode.
Our current layout has 48' of MTH Solid three rail RealTrax Powered by a 1966 Lionel ZW that has been internally upgraded with Whistle Diodes and a fast acting circuit breaker output is set to a constant 18VAC . We have Polyswitch 30V 8Amp quickset fuses on all of the power to track leads. The lionel ZW circuit breaker nor the Polyswitch tripped, I first noticed the smoke just as I was about to cycle the train into motion and cut the power immediately.
When I opened the car I found that there are two sets of brass rails that house two incandescent lights on the bottom and four up top and gets power from the pickups from both trucks from a red and black wire. There are no obvious shorts or signs of contact that I can see. The red power wire has melted from one end of the car to the other, the black wire is intact with no signs of damage. It almost looks like heat damage from too much current? There is no damage or signs of heat on the brass strips or the trucks, just the melted red wire.
We have started converting all of our trains to LED. We had not planned on doing anything to the Superliner's for the time being, they are new right? - Trash that plan now mind you. The question we have is what could have possibly caused the wire to melt so fast with such a small load (my assumption) and should I install separate fuses in the train cars themselves as we convert them to LED's? For the conversions we using JW&A 20110 LED Lighting Regulators.
Thanking you in advance,
Carl and Susanne