G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

5,739 Posts
I have used Malibu outdoor lighting cable with good results.  It's available in 12 and 14 gauge, is made to be buried underground, already has two conductors, and is readily available and relatively inexpensive.  Either 12 or 14 gauge will work, but I opted for 12 ga due to its slightly lower resistance over distance (insignificant I'm sure, but given the choice, why not?). 

I'd recommend a good silicone caulk to waterproof the splices after taping or shrink tubing them.  Press the caulk around the splice with wet fingers (spit works) to insure a good seal.

I soldered two or three sections together but left unsoldered joints between these to allow for expansion and contraction.  Brass track expands and contracts quite a bit.  I soldered feeders to every soldered section.  I found this far easier to do after the track had been out in a sunny day for a while and had warmed up.  Less heat was sucked from the iron.  BTW, you need a good heavy-duty soldering iron to do this.  I prefer soldering irons over guns.  I'd also recommend caulking the ends of the feeders to prevent water from wicking its way into them.

Some people run PVC conduit underground within which to run their wires.  I didn't find this necessary myself since I was using cable designed to be buried underground.  Your needs will depend upon how much foot traffic you have in the area, how much animal traffic, whether or not deer will be walking through the area, whether or not a lawn mover will be employed there, and a host of other things relatively unique to your situation.

Turnouts should be installed using rail clamps, not soldered into place.  That makes them easy to remove for servicing and maintenance.

Hope that answers some of your questions.  :)
1 - 1 of 1 Posts