Ask Phil: Wiring a crossover

16 July 2021
I am expanding the Hornby Family Fun project for my grandson. My aim is to have two ovals with a Radius 1 track inside the main loop - then hopefully with small siding going from Radius 1 loop into the middle of the layout. Both ovals will be connected by one a left and right point track - but how do I wire this up? Kathy by e-mail

This is a common problem newcomers to the hobby face. Crossovers are tricky because where the track meets in the middle, you can have opposite polarities meeting each other.

The solution is simple enough though. I'll need to assume you are using Hornby track as there are some differences if you use Peco Electrofrog points. I'm also guessing that you want to connect two controllers so a train can run on each circuit at the same time.

The triangles show where the wires from the controller should be connected. If only one controller is in use, connect the red and green feeds to each other. Also the yellow and blue ones.

All feeds are at the "toe" end of the point, that is the end nearest the moving switch blades. For the crossover, you need a pair of left or right hand (the hand is decided by looking along the point from the toe) of the same size.

Arranging the break is simple enough - replace the metal fishplates with Peco SL-11 insulated versions. These are made of nylon and are a straight replacement, but will stop the electricity flowing where you don't want it to.

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(Note: Peco Electrofrog points are shown in the photo)


More wiring advice:

Wiring or tracklaying first?

Wiring your model railway: top tips