Model Railway Beginners Q&A: How to connect more power leads to a model railway set

If you’ve added more track to your model railway set you’ll reach a point where just one power-clip isn’t enough. But how do you get more power to your track and trains?

The power to your trains runs from the controller, through the power clips, around the rails and eventually to your trains. As the electrical current travels around your track, particularly over rail joiners, it gets weaker. As you add more track the weaker the signal can become and your trains will slow down or even stop as they get further away from the power clip.

Alternatively, if you have points the power will only flow in one direction. If you want to run trains on the main line and the branch line at the same time you’ll need to connect power to both the main line and the secondary line.

But how? The standard controllers supplied with Horny and the like model railway sets only have one set of wires coming from them.

The answer is to use track link wires.

These use the standard track power clips you already use to carry power from one section of track to another.  The video below shows them how they work.

Alternatively, if you’re handy with electical wiring you could splice wired rail joiners into the leads to the power clips and then connect these to other rails just as you would with normal rail joiners. This is more involved and should only be attempted if you’re confident with soldering and electrics but is more flexible in the longer term.

This is one of my Q&A articles to making model railways and part of my beginners guide series to model railway series.

 
> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.
Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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