Novice wiring problem n-gauge


New Member
Hello, I am a novice and I have just completed my first layout in n-guage. I have wired the track and it worked well for the first few runs, then one section of track went dead. I thought I needed more wiring, so I added one and that worked, but only temporarily. Again, certain sections of the track go dead. Has anyone else experienced this type of problem?

Thanks for any advice.

Hi njsmitty, and welcome to the ModelRailroadForums.
I'm going to make a wild guess here that you are using sectional track pieces.
To get a handle on what your problem is, if we could have a little more information I'm sure you'll get your answer.
How big is your layout, and what parts are you having the electrical problem with? Even a rough drawing would be a help, but if you can't do that it's ok just tell us a bit about the layout plan.

Thanks, Willis for responding.
The track is not in sectional pieces - I used flex track and some standard track pieces. The layout is on an 8' x 4' plywood table and it has two separate tracks. One is a deformed oval and the other is two circles that cross each other. I do not know a lot about wiring. I have very few insulated connectors on the whole layout. There are no turnouts wyes etc.
I have each set of wires for each rail connected to Atlas selectors and these are then fed into the power pack. Inside rail to one side - outside rail to another etc.
I hope this helps you understand my layout better.

Thanks again, I look forward to sharing my success with this project.
I hope this helps you understand my layout better.

Two circles that cross each other I believe we'll call a figure eight. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out where your problem is, right now I'm leaning toward the Atlas selector switches and not the wiring itself, but then again anything is possible, including deposits on the loco wheels and track.
Clean the track with a rubber eraser and also the loco wheels (there are better methods but this will do for now), if the train runs good then that is where your problem is.
If it still stops then we'll have to look a little closer to the wiring.
It is also better not to depend on rail joiners to deliver the current to the track. Oxidization can build up on the surfaces an act as an insulator.

1. How are your wires to the track connected? Soldered? to track, rail joiners, etc.
2. Do you have a voltmeter? If not a 12 volt bulb with 2 leads will do

Run your train , and when it stops, use the voltmeter or light to check the track where you are losing the voltage, if the track doesn't have the voltage, then the next step back would be to check the Atlas selector switch . But try cleaning the track and loco wheels first.