8319201 - Graphite Grease 50g
Q&A: How should I join the rails?
LGB trains run on electricity. In most cases, that electricity is transmitted to the train through the rails in the track.
So if there are bad connections between the rails, the electricity will not be transmitted…and the train will stop.
It is not fun when the train stops. You have to apologize to your visitors, climb across your layout, apologize to your spouse for stepping on the plants and push the train to make it start again.
On outdoor layouts, the problem is often caused by a bad connection at a rail joiner, the brass shoe that holds the rails together.
Dirt and water enter the joiner.
The metal inside the joiner oxidizes, and the electrical connection between the rails is weakened or destroyed.
How can you prevent this problem?
Some people use mechanical devices to rigidly clamp the rails together.
However, these “rail clamps” are expensive, and they prevent the natural and necessary movement of the rails with expansion and contraction.
Soldering jumper wires to the rails is possible, but difficult.
Another solution is far less expensive and far less difficult: Massoth 8319201 Graphite Lubricant.
Just put a small amount—the size of a pea—in each rail joiner when you assemble the track.
How does this help rail joiners? One of the materials in 8319201 is graphite.
Graphite is a low-resistance material, but as long as the graphite is in suspension within microscopic balls of grease, there is no electrical effect.
However, when 83190201 is placed under pressure, like between the rail and rail joiner, the situation changes.
The balls of grease are crushed, leaving the graphite in direct contact with the rail and the rail joiner.
Now current can flow from the rail to the rail joiner via the graphite.
This lubricant also has a low evaporation rate and good resistance to moisture and oxidation.
So it stays in the joiner after you put it there, even outdoors.
That prevents oxygen from entering the joiner, and so, there is no chance for the brass to corrode.
Does it really work? In 1989, All Aboard built a 60-meter test track with separate zones for testing different track connection methods. Ten years later, I still have not had a single electrical problem in the 8319201 zone. I have disassembled several track sections in that zone, and the rail joiners still look like new inside.
Finally, an expert tip: It is best to fill every tiny space between the rail and rail joiner with 8319201.
Use physics to help you. Gently heat the rail and the rail joiner with a soldering iron until the 8319201 turns into a liquid.
Then it will creep into the tiny spaces between the two. When it cools down, the 8319201 will change back into a grease.