Track soldering


Hello all. I have a question:
I have heard 2 different ways of setting up a track.
1) is to solder each tracks joiners.
2) leave a space between tracks to allow for track expansion (suggesting that the joiners be free to allow the slippage of the track).

SO.. What is the BEST way?

Answers ( 5 )


    I would definitely not solder the joiners – temperature and humidity changes will cause distortion as the track expands and contracts. leave a small expansion joint to avoid this. Personally, I have soldered a dropper wire to every piece of track, and connected all these to a bus cable. This way you will not rely on the joiners for an electrical connection.

    Good luck happy modelling,


    I would not solder the rail jointers. As long as they are transmitting electricity all is well. If you have a problem then deal with it by soldering the jointers or running extra dropper wires where needed. Maybe an extra track nail close by may reinstate the connection. Just my experience.


    Terry, I would qualify my answer to say that soldering shorter section of track may make sense. I still use block sections and limit the blocks to around 6 feet in length. In the past I have soldered track inside the block but not at the block boundary. My general experience supports this method. I also solder the wire leads to the rail joiners, making sure that the joints are tight without soldering the rails. Soldering the rails to the jointers will make disassembly of the track very difficult since you have to unsolder the joint or cut it out to change things. It also requires heat sinks to prevent destroying the plastic ties. I use four 1 inch square multi layer pieces of paper towel soaked in water to prevent damage to the ties. This is also necessary when soldering lead wires to the rails directly. My last layout used soldered joiners. My current layout doesn’t have any but I have had to tighten up several rail joiners before installing them to ensure good electrical operation.

    Good luck and Have Fun! Ray


    My layout was constructed in 1994.
    I use Peco flextrack, Code 100, and the Peco rail joiners. Electrical conduction is via the joiners. They have worked well. I have not needed to solder the rails. This has made subsequent track changes very easy. Good luck.


    The only time I solder tack is when I use flex track on a curve. To do this it is necessary to stager the joints to maintain a smooth curve. All track connections are made to the track itself on opposite rails and then feed the wires through a single hole in the center of the track bed. Using this method, you do not have track feed wire sticking out the sides of your track. Ballast covers the hole so that all is hidden.

Leave an answer