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In the process of working on my PRR Panhandle 2.0 layout, different types of tasks pop up at the most unexpected times.  For example, I am working on the scenery on both sides of the Ohio River.  Some electrical bus work had been done awhile ago.  I've strung 4 bus pairs under the river so that they are available at the far (western) end of the layout.  But in the middle of this scenery work, I realized I was about to close up an area where track feeders would have to connect to electrical buses. 

OK, so no big deal.  Position the tracks, staple down the Vinylbed, drill holes for the feeders and...wait a minute.  What feeders go where?  And how do I stay consistent?

Well, I use a standard (I actually used it for Panhandle 1.0 too.).  That's not surprising given I'm modeling the "Standard Railroad of the World", is it?     

So, I am putting it out here for you.  If the direction of travel is Left to Right:

  • Inner rail is Ground (BLACK)
  • Center rail is AC Hot (RED)
  • Outer rail is Control or Insulated (WHITE)


I'm using GarGraves track and their pigtails.

GarGraves pigtail

I don't tie both grounds together.  TMCC doesn't require it.  And the Control wire is used to trigger signals.




Images (2)
  • GarGraves pigtail
  • IMG_3435
Original Post

I wish GarGraves had pigtails in green.  That would have been my choice for the control / insulated rail color.

The little piece of track I'm using as my standard will remind what goes where when the time comes.  Once I've done this very small amount of track wiring, I expect I won't be doing this again for months.  More than enough time for me to forget the details.


George, it is always good to organize the wiring and follow a standard. Those of us who are in S gauge and use Legacy have to make do with just 2 rails. The Legacy signal reception signal by the engine antenna is more reliable when the signal is on both rails. We do that by connecting a .1mfd 50V ceramic capacitor across the track power leads. It passes the Legacy signal but keeps the rails otherwise isolated. You could do the same with your control rail blocks if you find a need to improve the signal.

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