Cannot find track short


I run a DC setup with 6 blocks, 2 of these cross on a 45 degree angle.

I have one dead spot about 12 inches long and now another on the same block.

Have tried with a voltmeter and there’s a short showing but for the life of me I can’t find anything that would cause an issue.

It’s driving me crazy can anyone help?


Answer ( 1 )


    You don’t say whether this happened after the track worked successfully or has it always done this. Did you make any changes to the track just before the short showed up? Some turnouts/switches can cause this if you put jumper wires to the track beyond the switches because of how the turnout is wired through or around the frog.

    Without a track plan it’s difficult to tell what’s going on. Reverse curves are famous for not showing up until you want to run a train, usually for somebody else. Common rail setups can cause a similar issue if the common rail gets crossed in one block. I’ve done this at least once and it’s not difficult to mix them up. Block isolation of both rails can cause a similar issue if the wires are crossed between blocks. You can check this by ensuring a small locomotive goes in the same direction on all blocks. If there are no reverse curves and your block wiring checks out ok, then I would first check for debris of any sort on or under the track. If the crossover is involved, I would check it as well to ensure that the rails don’t touch where they actually cross. I would also check that there is nothing metallic below the crossover to cause a short in the jumpers that provide electrical continuity. If you can still remove track from the layout, I would pull pieces around the dead section to see if the short can be traced to a specific piece of track or hidden debris. If the track is mounted, then this is an extra cost last resort option. Good Luck, Ray

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