I am pleased to announce that the two mainlines of the Lower Level of the North Western Railroad are now operational. Basic wiring is in place which allows me to run four trains on both levels of the railroad. Once I acquire the rest of the necessary switch tracks for the freight yard, engine terminal, and reverse loop I will be able to run or at least have more than four locomotives on the layout at one time.
None of this would have been possible if I had not come up with a solution to solve my shortage of Lionel Accessory Power Wires which provide electrical connections to the Lionel FasTrack. While I could of simply ordered more from a train store I wanted to see if I could make my own. Both of the mainlines are divided into isolated electrical blocks using the MTH DCS Star Wiring pattern which provided a solution detailed below.
All Lionel FasTrack 0-72 Remote/Command switchers include these little 1 3/8 in pieces for spacing purposes between interconnected switches. They can also be used to isolate power in the center rail. Lionel sells them separately with or without roadbed on the sides.
Underneath is a small wire with two connectors that just so happen to be the same size as the FasTrack Accessory Wire connectors.
Pulling the wire breaks the connection and creates an isolated center rail. As I have a total of 8 blocks I had plenty of these little wires to work with.
I cut each wire down the middle to create two new separate connectors. I stripped a little off the ends and attached them to my stranded 16-gauge speaker wire that I use for all my power needs.
My speaker wire has two colors copper and silver. Copper is positive for the center rail, silver is ground for the outer rails. Once they are connected to the track we have a solid secure connection that is virtually cost free!