The Importance of Electric Power

Sketch of a Train

Industry experts acclaim that the mammoth electrification of the Pennsylvania Railroad was one of the last great adventures of traditional railroading with good reason. Immediately after this project was completed in 1938 (but hopes lingered about future expansion until 1960), the railroad industry struggled under the pressure of World War II traffic (noted by accountants as profitless prosperity), followed by the dismal downward spiral of the industry in the 1950s and 1960s before correction commenced. While trackside observers were justifiably impressed with the speeding electrically powered trains of the northeast corridor, the importance of having an adequate supply of electric power that made the railroad run, was often overlooked. The fact was not lost on PRR executives and engineers, and eight years before the erection of overhead catenary poles and wire, or the design and construction of a new fleet of electric locomotives, PRR worked in concert with the Philadelphia Electric Company to turn the Susquehanna River valley into a power alley to support the power needs of that project. The PRR also worked with other local power companies between Washington and New York for additional power. Few realize the upper wires along the corridor created the first electric grid enabling efficient and effective power distribution between those named cities to satisfy the ever-increasing need for f+8or power.


In common with the prototypes, smooth and effective model railroad operation depends on having an adequate source of power. Many of us start our model railroad journey with the power supply that accompanies most starter sets that are minimal to keep the cost of the sets affordable. But if we are bitten by the bug and want to expand our operation, we immediately seek larger and more powerful power packs. That expansion includes larger operating mainlines, adding a send, independent loop, adding lights and wayside accessories and eventually DCC sound systems. For those reasons, we cast the spotlight of this promotion on power supplies manufactured by Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC).


MRC is an established leader among those operating HON, TT, G, Z or another DC scale, for offering quality products that keep pace with contemporary trends in the need for electrical power. Your need for big power starts as you add switches, lights, and locos. What you’ll need is big, controlled, safe power. While some other makers claim huge outputs, they may only last for an instant. They also may continue to draw top power and units may overload, causing them to shut down. Not with MRC train controls. MRC’s power claims are for lasting power. The kind of power that can take you from slow crawls to steep grades to highballing with controlled realism without shortchanging your accessories.


MRC power offers realistic operation and that is critical to serious model railroad operators. The Railpower Series offers you the chance to experience trackside realistic operation with all the power you need, and for that reason, it is a popular first step-up unit. An engineering breakthrough, our Accutec Technology can boost the performance of every loco on your layout and enhance several control characteristics, including slow speed control, and momentum.


Model #1278 features two throttles for the operation of two, independent mainlines and is accordingly a popular choice. Other models offer LCD displays, jacks for throttle packs and a host of features to better support your expansion plans. Like sound trackwork, your power supply is not something to compromise by selecting an inferior unit. Additionally, we offer books on model railroad wiring and sound options that likewise can help you efficiently build the railroad system of your dreams and avoid wasted time, money and unnecessary frustration.


Model Train Stuff is loaded with quality products that will help you upgrade your power source, without all the hit-or-miss development costs and excessive expenses, the PRR endured back in the 1930s. Our renowned Rewards Program, damage-free, packing standards and swift shipping make that effort worthwhile. Power Up!


(M B Klein, FAW)