Scratch Building - Soldering PECO RAIL

Soldering PECO RAIL

When running electric loco(s) with track pickup there needs to be continuity between one section of the track and the next in both rails. Whilst the Peco joiner is really quite good at achieving this conductivity a fool proof method is to solder one rail to then next.

The Peco instructions indicate that a small gap needs to be left between rails for thermal expansion in summer conditions so the only realistic way to link the rails is with a piece of flexible copper wire soldered to the rail before and after a joiner.

Assuming that you are using new rails out of the box.... 

To achieve a soldered link, a soldering iron capable of giving out about 100 Watts of heat is needed so that the rail heats up quickly and joints can be completed before the plastic sleepers deforms and use proper electrical flux cored solder.

It is best the apply some solder to the rail, where the joint  is to be made, in a process called "TINNING" and to also tin to copper wire which should be of the stranded variety so that flexibility remains.

With all parts tinned making the joint will be found to be made so much more easily.

Assuming that you are using old rails that have been out of the box and used as track...

The difference here is that you should mechanically clean the rail to make it bright clean before proceeding as above else the chance of a good solder joint is limited.

REMEMBER  Do not solder across an insulated joiner else the property of the insulated joiner will be lost.


Always carry out the soldering in a well area and avoid inhaling any of the fumes given off by the process. Wash away any spills especially if in contact with your skin and ALWAYS follow the direction on the containers of flux and solder.