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In depth idiot
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7,961 Posts
As supplied Peco 'Electrofrog' (= live crossing) points rely on the 'switch' (= 'closure') rail contacting the stock rail to supply power to the crossing. This is a simple arrangement, which works well enough for some to use it unchanged, but is liable to failure if the point is in very regular use long term, and especially if the traction and or stock is heavy.

The typical 'surgery' on Peco 'Electrofrog' (= live crossing) points is to fully isolate the crossing from all rail connections, and then supply the crossing from a switch, which alters the supply correctly to match the set route, that switch usually integrated with a point motor or some other mechanical actuator.

...Does not wiring the frog from the accessory contacts on the point motor achieve the same effect?...
Not quite. The switch rails are live to the crossing so if the mechanical movement of the switch blade is not in synch with the supply switch there's the possibility of a short circuit. Also the switch rail that is open can be shorted across to the adjacent stock rail by a metal wheel that is derailed or out of gauge.

...This from someone half convinced that electricity is a figment of someones imagination!!
It's best not to think about it. In common with all subatomic particles each electron can be anywhere in the universe at any time (uncertainty) and as for how they know that here they have to work in a process to cause cooling, there they operate in someone's imagination, and yonder they have to be diffracted as a wave even though they are discrete particles...
 

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In depth idiot
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7,961 Posts
The most common short is misrouting, the loco moves onto a point set against it when approaching from the trailing direction.
 
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