Connecting point rails & closure rails : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Hi guys......wondering what wire size you are using to make the connection between the point rails and closure rails ?? I would imagine it has to be pretty small and flexible....stranded copper of some sort ??

Many thanks in advance for your replies

David Gallaway

-- David Gallaway (, June 20, 2004



Please see my website at:

I used #24 AWG wire underneath the layout. This gave the least amount of springiness. Note that you can also drop feeders from your point rails to your buss for the least amount of springiness of all.

-- Allan Gartner (, June 20, 2004.


Yes, go directly to your power bus. I started recommending this approach when some people were having trouble with switchmachines that didn't have enough strength to flip a turnout when the bond is soldered between the point and closure rails.

If you look at the Walthers page that I cited previously, instead of dropping the feeder to your power bus, you can solder the bond under the turnout. This makes the bond a little longer and a little more flexible. However, since yours are already installed, this option is not open to you. You must drop the feeders to your buses.

Please note the above assumes you have DCC friendly turnouts. In a DCC friendly turnout, the point rails and the adjacent stock rails are at the same polarity. Then drop the feeders to the bus wires. However, if you are trying to improve the conductivity of non-DCC friendly turnouts, such as unmodified old style Walther's turnouts, instead connect the feeders from your points to the same point on your switchmachine as you connected the frog.

-- Allan Gartner (, June 21, 2004.

You are using Shinohara turnouts. On their older turnouts, the points were connected together by a single rotating pivot. If this is the turnout you are using, you only need to attach one wire. You can attach it to the plate connecting together the points if you can do so without melting anything. I think I would simply attach it to EITHER point rail as you are less likely to melt something.

-- Allan Gartner (, June 22, 2004.

HI Allan....So what you are saying is that instead of connecting the point rails to the closure rails, you connect the point rails direct to your power bus ?? Will that work for turnouts already installed on the layout? I don't mean to sound stupid, I'm just trying to get it clear in my mind Many thanks for your quick answer

cheers David

-- David Gallaway (, June 21, 2004.

Hi Allan....once again many thanks for replying to my question. Yes I am using Shinohara turnouts, which I guess you can consider NOT DCC friendly. You are correct in your assumption that I am trying to improve the conductivity of the turnouts that are already installed. I will follow your advice of connecting the point rails to where I have connected the feeder from the frog to the switch machine. I have been following an article published in MR a few years ago by Allen Keller, where he showed various methods to improve the reliability of turnouts. In the article he suggests connecting both the frog and the point end of the stock rails, to contacts on your switch machine ( I am using NJ International ). As I have used that method, do you envisage any problems by adding a further 2 feeders from the point rails ???

Again, many thanks for your time

regards David

-- David Gallaway (, June 21, 2004.

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