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I have this post war Accessory that I am using with three rail tubular track, Activate it by using the 1045C clip. I have experience trouble where this tends to chew up train wheels, And sometimes causes uncoupling of trains. I will note I am using a post war 250 W ZW transformer, With TMC trainmaster controls.

I have tried using this accessory with a insulated rail but have to use plastic pins on each side of both negative rails to make it work. I don’t know why this is happening. I’ve used insulated rails elsewhere on my layout and only have to put plastic pins on the negative rail where it is insulated. My question is does this post or accessory interfere with trainmaster command controls. I’ve read in the Tmcc manual that the outside rails have a halo effect for a circuitry wondering if using this accessory causes interference.Can anyone point me in the right direction do I need to add something else to eliminate this from happening or can I not simply use this older accessory.image


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Have you insulated the outside rails to the metal ties? Just insulated pins on one rail won't insulate the rail because the metal ties will provide a ground to the other rail, that is probably why you have found you need insulating pins on both rails. I don't see why the contactor is chewing up wheels and causing uncoupling, doesn't sound right. Is that a reproduction contactor? It doesn't look right.

The rail in your picture with the clip is not insulated for use a an activation track.

The ONLY insulators are on the Center Rail preventing it from making contact with the ties.

Both outer rails have FULL Contact with the ties which makes them both connected. For it to be used as an activation track one rail has to be electrically separated from the ties and the other rail.

To make it an activation track you need to pry open the crimps on ONE of the outer rails and add a 1/2" x 3/4" piece of  Heavy Paper like on the center rail, then re-crimp the rail to the tie. (File Folders are a good source for the heavy paper). Then Add the Plastic Pins to that Rail to insulate it from the rest of your track.

Last edited by Yendor

Yes I have insulated the rails. The clip I show in the picture is a reproduction clip, this is used without an insulated track I no longer want to use this. I’m trying to make the Accessory Work with just using an insulated rail. I will go over my insulated rail again to make sure there is no contact to metal.

Thank you very much for your help.

The only issue with the insulated rail method is the flagman won't 'wave' the flag . It will just have his arm sticking straight out while the train passes. Be careful as that little coil inside him could easily overheat.

Another possibility for operation is if you can get a Marx short clip- on insulated rail like they use on their signals. I know these are available as  reproduction part.

Last edited by Chuck Sartor

Rich, I have used this gateman successfully for many years on my layout using an insolated rail. To make the man wave his flag it requires that one of the outside rails be removed and cut into 3 sections or pieces, 1 about 2" or as long as the contactor plate on the 1045C.  Re-assemble the pieces using insolating pins.  If you you do this between the ties you will not need insolating pins on the ends of your section and no extra insolating  paper or tape on the ties.  You will need to attach a track clip or solder a wire to the insulated 2" piece of rail to complete the circuit, then wire in the flagman as usual.  Remember that the circuit will be grounded through the opposite side of the section you cut.  You can do this on straight or curved track and eliminate the 1045C and the bumps.  Have fun!!

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