Ideas for Wiring a Model Train Layout

An important element of any good model railway layout is to have good wiring. I’ve seen a fair few layouts where at first glance, the layout looks fantastic (a great track plan, incredible scenery, and some great looking trains), but when it’s switched on the trains have problems receiving power at certain points round the layout and don’t run smoothly. 9 times out of 10 this is caused by inadequate wiring.

Regardless of what scale you are modeling in and whether you are using DC or DCC, your model railroad will always run smoother if the power is supplied with proper wiring busses and feeders, rather than relying on the power reaching your trains through the track alone.

A pair of bus wires (one for each rail) run beneath the track will carry the current much more efficiently. Smaller feeder wires connect the bus to the rails at regular intervals.

In this video we can see a short presentation which shows some recommendations for adding bus and feeder wiring to your layout.

In this video we can see a quick how to on how to quickly and easily install feeder wires from your track to your main bus wire.

Some important points to remember when you are wiring:
1) Make sure everything is disconnected from the main power supply.
2) Keep your wires tidy and untangled.
3) Try and colour code your wires where ever possible so you can see at a glance what a wire is for. If you cant get hod of the same coloured wire, mark the wires with coloured tape so you can tell what they are for.

FREE Member News Letter & Discounts

Receive Exclusive Member Discounts & The Best News Tips & Secrets

100% Secure. Cancel the email news letter at any time with 1 click
Be Sociable, Share!
The following two tabs change content below.

Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!


Leave A Reply (1 comment So Far)

  1. Terry Helmrichs
    4 years ago

    Something that helps is to use red and white bus wires. For the drops use door bell wiring which is also red and white wire. This helps to fool proof your first wiring as a beginner. Also the club wired in sections to locate shorts in DC & DCC wiring. (President Cedar Valley Railroad Modelers Association). It is a real head scratchier then the engine becomes Electro geography challenged. 🙂

Free Newsletter

Simply enter your information below to get INSTANT ACCESS today:

Your privacy is SAFE with us and will never be sold, rented, or released to anyone - EVER!


model trains for beginners