DC 2nd Control station question

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MHinLA

Well-Known Member
IH, how could the outside 3rd rail have problems if it's the common side, same as the common in the middle of Lionel 3 rail 0 track ? Was it because of switches (TOs), where the 3rd has to be split, in turn causing stall outs with certain engines' wheelbases ?
 
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bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
IH, how could the outside 3rd rail have problems if it's the common side, same as the common in the middle of Lionel 3 rail 0 track ? Was it because of switches (TOs), where the 3rd has to be split, in turn causing stall outs with certain engines' wheelbases ?
How would it be outside when it went through a reverse loop? The outside would then be inside.
 

MHinLA

Well-Known Member
Terry, There were 2 rail AC 0 scale layouts in the 50s and earlier which had an outside 3rd rail (same as LIRR). I believe it meant that the loco had to have a pickup shoe/s on both sides, and so once train came back to the switch having traversed the loop, the shoe on the other side of the engine probably took over on same 3rd rail. Maybe it overlapped a tad here to prevent stall outs, both sides on the common for a bit. And I think this would mean that the running rails were both the same polarity, Pos. or Neg. throughout ....
 
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MHinLA

Well-Known Member
Patrick , if you have 2 completely separate, we'll say, layouts with a powerpack for each, then no problem at all !! I'm just saying you don't have 2 powerpacks on the track of one layout... Even if it doesn't damage anything, it's redundant...As previously said: To run 2 or more trains on the same track, independent of each other you still use 1 Ppack and split the rails into blocks, each with their own on/off switch/toggle on a panel next to the Ppack... Ppack connects to them in parallel / each toggle out to blocks it's controlling..speed and direction still done on the Ppack...
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
That is I never heard of 3 rail DC. What was the center rail?
Yea we Americans tend to ignore our HO cousins in Europe and Japan. If you look at Marklin track you won't really see a rail. That is because the "rail" is really a button on the center of each tie (that they would call a sleeper). Under the locomotives is a slider so it glides over the bumps.

I never heard of .... outside rail hot.
That would put you in the majority. Back when O-Scale was king of the tiny trains, many people wanted to run Lionel, Marx, and other center third rail trains but didn't like the looks of the 3rd rail. So instead of the very difficult conversion of those locomotive to two rail, they did an easier conversion and put a feeler or whisker on the outside. Sort of like the real subway trains use. There were all sorts of problems with it loosing contact through turnouts and the like and the power had to be shifted from one side of the track to the other.

I found two photos of outside 3rd rail. Both of these are from the "Practical Guide to Model Railroading. 1952". I do not have permission to post them but the 50 years copyright has expired. In the first I put two red lines on the feelers off the locomotive. And it answers MHinLA and BNSF971's questions for me... One can see how they had to work the rail so the train could switch from the left side (of the loco) to the right if it goes down the track to the left (in the photo). And we thought we had problems with dead spots on frogs. Also note in this picture they are using actual rail.
In the second picture it is harder to see the outside rail because not only is the picture taken from further away, the "rail" is a much lighter gauge wire instead of a full blown rail. Once again less distraction from the train track. Don't know how long it lasted. Never saw a real one in person.

ThirdRail#1L.png


ThirdRail#2P.jpg
 
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Bruette

Well-Known Member
Yea we Americans tend to ignore our HO cousins in Europe and Japan. If you look at Marklin track you won't really see a rail. That is because the "rail" is really a button on the center of each tie (that they would call a sleeper). Under the locomotives is a slider so it glides over the bumps.

That would put you in the majority. Back when O-Scale was king of the tiny trains, many people wanted to run Lionel, Marx, and other center third rail trains but didn't like the looks of the 3rd rail. So instead of the very difficult conversion of those locomotive to two rail, they did an easier conversion and put a feeler or whisker on the outside. Sort of like the real subway trains use. There were all sorts of problems with it loosing contact through turnouts and the like and the power had to be shifted from one side of the track to the other.

I found two photos of outside 3rd rail. Both of these are from the "Practical Guide to Model Railroading. 1952". I do not have permission to post them but the 50 years copyright has expired. In the first I put two red lines on the feelers off the locomotive. One can see how they had to work the rail so the train could switch from the left side (of the loco) to the right if it goes down the track to the left (in the photo). Also note in this picture they are using actual rail.
In the second picture it is harder to see the outside rail because not only is the picture taken from further away, the "rail" is a much lighter gauge wire instead of a full blown rail. Once again less distraction from the train track. Don't know how long it lasted. Never saw a real one in person.

View attachment 113605

View attachment 113607
Thank you, great post!

I'm so fixated on Lionel I don't know much of anything else. I do have some HO trains, I know enough about DCC to make them run, but that's it.

I'm just now getting my feet wet with MTH DCS.

Lionel is still King for me. :)

Americans tend to ignore anything and everything that is not American.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
On a side note. Ever since I got a copy of this book when I was 3? years old. I've been fascinated by that first picture. A great picture in many ways. For the 1940's it is amazingly detailed and just exudes the overall feeling of a steam locomotive powered train driving through a small town.

I always wish I can do as well with both my models and my photography.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Patrick, I know you have been busy with more important things, but I was wondering if you have had time to connect your 2nd power supply?

Also I edited my earlier post in this thread, #13, for clarity and to add addtional information.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Patrick, I know you have been busy with more important things, but I was wondering if you have had time to connect your 2nd power supply?

Also I edited my earlier post in this thread, #13, for clarity and to add addtional information.
Not yet. I spent some of last night working on figuring out how to make black ties and nickle silver rails appear "real". It is on my list of next steps.
 




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