Track Wiring

30 years ago when I wired up my layout I didn't do it the conventional way.  I wired from the transformer into a lockon, then from that lockon to the next lockon and so on completely around the loop.  Loops are 8' x 20' and I used 6 lockons per track.  I'm currently wiring in 2 more tracks using a main wire then feed off of it to the different connections, same as I saw on Lionel instructional video.


My question is what are the drawbacks of going lockon to lockon like I did originally?  I've never noticed problems with operation of the trains.  I was considering rewiring the original loops when I wire in the new ones.



Original Post

I have been trying to rewire my layout using the minimum amount of wire I can.  I tried making a

wire buss system, but I haven't been all that successful.  I asked a guy at a train meet once and he

said he made use of trailer plugs.  I guess I've been overthinking it. I can't seem to get around the

voltage drop either.  As inconvenient as it may be, I'm ready to abandon all and just go back to the

rat's nest method...........ugh!

If it's done right, there will be no rat's nest.

The lockon method is unsightly and inefficient.

If you run a large enough pair of bus wires, and solder on smaller gauge short feeders to various track locations, using either soldered connections or the "male crimp-on connector into the rail slot" method, you will get the best results.

Arthur P. Bloom TCA 86-23906 "I love the smell of smoke pellets in the morning!"

CP BOB posted:

I concur with Arthur. I used 12 ga wire buses and 14 ga feeders. No voltage drop. Some loops have 175 feet of track.


Your 12awg buss wire, stranded or solid?  Crimped spade connectors to/from terminal strips or...?  Did you daisy chain the buses around the layout?  Solder to track?  Thx 

Hi Ted,

The buss wire I used is stranded. However, solid could be used. I purchased 500 feet of 12ga romex (solid) years ago in the anticipation of expanding  lol. It was cheap before copper prices increased. The stranded , for me, is easier to use with splice connectors, no soldering.  I solder where I can, eliminates headaches later on.  I like to connect to terminal strips with spade connectors. In the future, I will be using buss bars with the solid wire. I soldered feeders to the track, and where the track was slightly out of reach, I soldered the track together.  Which type of track are you using?

If you plan on using DCS, I would suggest getting Barry's book, and think about star wiring. Some people use buss wiring and have no problems, but if your starting from scratch, definitely something to consider. Lots of good info and people on this forum with tremendous knowledge.  That's where I learned.




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