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How many lock ons?

  • Just finish installing 33 feet of O-27 track on an 8X8 board with a crossover. Only have 2 lock ons, do you suggest more?



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  • That might work out ok. Try it first and see. You can always add more. Make sure all your track pins or connections are tight.


  • While not using 027 track for a while, I am using 031 & 042, I would suggest adding at least two more lockons. Also worth checking into are track clips, both 027 & 0 gauge have track clips in Lionel's regular track, that go under the track and help keep it from pulling apart.

    I have had some very bad power losses with 031 track, even my multimeter would not pick up the power loss, I added more power clips and reduced the power loss. Newer track tends to have less problems with power loss. To close the rails on most track all that is needed is a pair of needle nose pliers.

    One other related note to mention is that an engine with smoke will add dirt to the track a whole lot quicker than a non smoking engine.

    Lee F.

    Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • Add more.  Especially if you have switches "back to back".  You'll have a poor "ground" [common] from there to the next switch [due to the insulating pins]. 

     God bless TCA 05-58541   Benefactor Member of the NRA,  Member of the American Legion,   Boss Hog of Roseyville Laugh,   KC&D QualifiedCowboy       


  • I am using 027 track and I have power drops, lock-ons, every 6-8 sections of track.  My layout is 6 x 16 and don't have any problems with trains slowing down the farther they get from the transformer.  I would definitely add more if I were you.


  • I don't know what you mean by 33 feet with a crossover.  (Do you perhaps mean "crossing"?)  But that length of track in a simple loop with no block gaps would have about 33 milliohms of resistance from a single lockon to the farthest part of the loop, assuming decent rail joints.  If you have any problem with trains slowing in that case, it's probably because of loose or corroded joints.

    Bob Nelson

  • Every 4-5 feet, I have a drop.  I have 4 loops going, layout is 16x 15 feet.


      There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; Robert Service. TCA 03-55991
  • My layout is 15x8 and my outside loop has 4 lockons.  And that main line goes the perimeter of the layout.  I would put a lockon every 5 feet to 6 feet of track roughly.  Thats what I do and I have no issues.  Yes, its more wiring. But, you dont want to stress the transformers or engines. I have 3 loops and a gang car/trolley line and adding lockons is easy, just the wiring is a pain. Thanks. 

  • There's no real danger of damaging anything, just the inconvenience of having the trains slow down.

    Bob Nelson