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Thread: Rail yard

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    Question Rail yard

    Good morning I am laying out a small rail yard. Open end and using peco electric frog switch's. I have use insulated frog switch's on the rest of the layout and this is the first time with electric frogs, I know that both frogs rails have to be isolated from the track on the frog side. The question do I need to wire a buss line to each of the siding tracks, and grounds to the lead in track. The power rail is a straight along the switch stock rail not the turn out rail, that is the ground. I am using dc power

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    Yes add power feeds to the track. The track will be live all the time doing this. My recommendation would be to add a on-off switch to the power lead. That way you can park a loco
    and kill power to it.
    Doug

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    If you have a stub yard, and if you trust the turnout points to reliably provide electrical contact (Pecos are as reliable as they get), and your yard isn't so long that you will get a voltage drop at the far end, then just power the two throat rails. The track that the turnouts are lined to will have power and the rest will not.

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    I'm also doing analog (DC) control and the way I am doing my yard is to continue with my paradigm of having feeders soldered to every single rail joiner, including the yard tracks. I don't want to rely on the contact of the points to power anything, aside from possibly the point rails themselves. I'm not using Peco Electrofrogs, though, except in the case of one curved turnout whose feed wiring had to be slightly different than my other turnouts if I recall correctly. Maybe that is the one case where I actually am relying on points contact for the feed through the frog, with a gap just after the frog and prior to the rail joiner. In any case, for the yard tracks where I thought I might want to park a switcher temporarily, I just added in an SPST toggle that can cut the feed for one rail, for all of the feeders on that rail past the turnout. So, the whole yard is one electrical block (meaning only one cab can control it at a time), but it has track segments that can be turned off.

    If you are going to rely on the points contact for power-routing to the entire yard track past the frog, I would still suggest that you provide a feeder or two which could come from the frog on a short bus wire that basically just parallels the rail that comes off of the frog (well, two rails I guess, one rail of each track from the two routes). Without that bus and feeder arrangement you would not only be relying on the points contact but also relying on the rail joiners to convey power down the track. Feeders can at least eliminate one of those possible failure modes.

    If you are doing a whole yard ladder using power-routing turnouts then I guess you need to be careful in that each successive turnout will have one rail that is fed from the frog output of the previous one. Hard to describe verbally, but maybe if you just think of one rail of the second turnout being just an extension of the frog of the first turnout, and one rail of the third turnout being part of the frog of the second, and so on, you can see the issue. Again you get into multiple potential modes of failure with such daisy-chaining, so it might be best to plan on cutting gaps right after each frog, so that each turnout can have its own set of feeders from a common bus, rather than having the 5th turnout be contingent on the point rail contact of 4 preceding turnouts.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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    Personally, I'd drop feeders to each lane in the yard, and then you'll be worry free for weak/no power in the yard. Years ago, I did a blog here on a super easy way to put invisible feeders anywhere you want. They're cheap, easy to make up and reliable. Maybe I'm the odd out on this topic, but I go by the premise of "Over Wire, don't Under Wire" your layout... keeps the gremlins away. Good Luck!

    Cheers!!

    Matt

    GNR Pitch Fork Pass






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    I agree with Matt - a set of feeders between each and every join in the track, regardless of how long or short that section of track may be.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    I had two layouts using Peco switches. Each one was enjoyed for almost a decade. In both cases, I never relied on the switches providing power to the spurs via contact. It works flawlessly when you lay the track. It works great for the first 3-6 months. It works acceptable but with occasional issues up to a year. After that it becomes an exercise in frustration to keep the rails clean enough to reliably route power. Unless you plan on scrapping this layout and starting over in a year or two, just spend some extra time now and drop wires to all spurs and do not rely on mechanical contact for routing power.
    Serdar

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