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Loss of Power on Points

Barry models in N scale and has this question for readers:

“Hi, I hope some one can help. Up till yesterday my track was running without any problems. After giving the track its weekly clean l found that the train run perfectly well until coming to one set of points it then stops dead. The trains run perfectly well ether side of the points. HELP PLEASE.”

6 Responses to Loss of Power on Points

  • Mikesays:

    Check that the tip of the blade is touching the rail. You may have moved it while cleanig.

    • Barrysays:

      Hi Mike , You were on the right track ,i could not see the gap at first had to use a magnifying glass ,it was the most smallest of gaps i would never had seen it with the naked eye..
      Trains running perfect.
      Many thanks,

  • Gale Bucksays:

    I frequently have this same problem. What I have found is cleaning will “adjust” joiners, causing them to break contact. Check your joiners carefully. If they are too loose, you would be better off in the future to replacing them when you have time. Replacing joiners on older track is not always an easy task.

  • Morgan F Bilbosays:

    One of the most important parts of model railroading is track. Keeping it clean is a must. But you must be careful how you clean. Especially on turnouts. Wipe the rails and points from the frog to the point end. Do not wipe the other way, you can snag those points. The best way to clean points is to use a toothbrush/alcohol and brush the rails the same, away from the frog. After cleaning, check the points as they touch the rails to make sure they still make good contact.

  • David Stokessays:

    Your cleaning may have left detritus between the running rail and the point rail. To avoid this wire the point sets as though they are “electrofrog” style which ensures electrical continuity.

  • Frank Bsays:

    The two previous posts give you the most likely places for problems, the rail joiners and the point blades.

    Get an electrical tester to discover where the circuit is broken. Even a 12V bulb with a wire attached will enable you to discover where the problem is, by seeing how far the power goes down the lines, and where it stops.

    Get a book on model railway layout wiring. This will usually also teach basic electricity and fault finding.

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