I had been running engines on my two loop layout pulling freight cars for months. Today I swapped them out for passenger cars. I started the running session with my C&O Semi-scale Hudson (6-18043) it would struggle at certain points on the layout and fly at others. Although that may mean I need some extra power drops or possibly a signal issue, it got me curious and I did the voltage check. I replaced the C&O with my Hiawatha and it ran fine.Out of curiosity, I put my multi-meter on the tracks and discovered the voltage read around 14 v. I had added 6 passenger cars to each loop, being pulled by a Legacy steamer and a TMCC steamer. I supply power by a ZW-L operating in command mode. A and D outputs set to a maximum of 18 volts. The passenger cars are light by incandescent bulbs. With the engines on, alone on the track voltage reads about 17+, both loops. I then started adding the passenger cars and i lost about 1/2 v per car so that by the end of adding 6, the track voltage dropped to 14v.
Is this normal? Will this adversely affect my Legacy or command engines?