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In depth idiot
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8,354 Posts
... it'd be better still if both sides of the tender picked up. Do any steam locos do that ?...
I would think it is fairly common on N gauge tender locos to have pick ups on unpowered tenders (it's a common thing in OO where pick up is far easier due to the greater weight of the models). That it had pick up wipers both sides of the tender, one side of which you have now removed, suggests that on this model (or some other model this tender design was used with) that it picked up both sides

...One wonders why the wire had been taken off as it must aid electrical pick up...
Explanations will range from accidentally detached to deliberately removed. For example it's possible that the wire connection was too stiff and caused derailments; it needs very fine and flexible multicore preferably arranged as an 'S' shaped link to ensure the loco and tender can move freely relative to each other.

Keep in mind that you are looking at a s/h piece that may well now be in significantly different condition than it left the factory 'whenever'; anything up to 40 - ish years ago. Both intentional modifications, and changes in the plastics especially, from such as UV exposure, lubricants and solvents.
 

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In depth idiot
Joined
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8,354 Posts
I looked at the way the tender was constructed, and in particular the "copper wiper assembly" and I could not see any way it had been connected. Strange...
One possibility is that the loco chassis is 'live' to one rail, a very common construction. Then if the tender has a metal chassis and the wipers were attached to that, (or alternatively the now removed pick up wiper assembly originally had a connection to the tender front) a screw attached metal drawbar can do the job of mechanical and electrical connection to the loco.
 
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