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Well , I gave up on my fast track and took it all out. Today my last batch of Menards track came in. This loop is 12x9. I  started to put it together, but each joint was, lets say a little loose. well a pair of needle nose vise grips and a little work, all is well.. It has a constant 18 volts all the way around , so, I'm a happy camper now... I have 7 different loops on my layout ,so I'm hoping this will be the last time I replace some track... ya right...  Bob..

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FWIW, if you measured your 18 volts with a digital voltmeter and no current flowing to a load, you wouldn't detect even a very poor connection.  It is only when a substantial current is flowing through the poor connection that you will see a voltage drop.  A one ohm joint is troublesome, but the meter wouldn't even flinch at a 1000 ohm junction without a load current flowing.

I don't know if the boxcar has an internal load.  An engine and/or a bunch of passenger cars with incandescent lights would work.  You might want to stall the locomotive with your hand at various test spots so that it draws more current.  If it is crawling along, it won't draw much.  A PW engine would draw more than a modern can-motor engine.

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