About layout and equipment wire products | Railwayscenics

Electrical wire details

Railwayscenics currently supply one of the largest range of electrical wires specifically for railway modellers and hobbyists. We supply a wide range of electrical cables in various colours, sizes, and lengths which can be found by clicking here.

All cable sizes are available in black, blue, brown, green, grey, orange, pink, red, purple, white, and yellow, apart from the 55/0.1 flexible cable that is only available in black, blue, green, red, white, and yellow and the 30/0.25 which is currently only available in black, blue, brown and red.

We offer wire in 2m, 5m, and 10m lengths, or on a complete 100m reel. All are listed separately in our online shop. Where possible, measured lengths of layout wire are sent in one continuous length, but this may not always be the case. We allow a tolerance of plus or minus 3% on hand measured lengths. If you require larger quantities than those listed in our store, please either telephone or use the contact us form and we will be pleased to supply you with a competitive price.

Wire sizes

The method of describing the size of our electrical wire confuses some people. Just by way of clarification, the first number refers to the number of strands within each multi-strand wire and the second number is the diameter of each strand. So a 7/0.2 wire will have 7 strands of 0.2 wire. We also use a mm sq dimension and also an approx AWG, which is mainly used in America and the mm sq allows a comparison of the copper core area within the cable.

Try to avoid using solid cored wires on your layout as they will break if bent and flexed too many times. Solid cored wire can be used where the wire needs to hold its shape, and also for soldered DCC bus dropper wires as long as the bus wire is fully supported along its length.

Wire insulation

The wires that we sell come with three main types of outer insulation. They are:

PVC: The advantage of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) wire is that it is adequate for most situations and the ends are easy to strip to make connections. However, it can melt, or in severe cases, it can burn when it becomes hot. Also when it is cold, the PVC becomes brittle and can crack if bent.

PTFE: PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) wire is far more expensive than PVC coated wire. The PTFE insulation is more robust and can be used over a much wider range of temperatures. However, it is much more expensive and it is also much more difficult to strip to expose the bare copper wire for making connections or soldering.

ETFE: The ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) insulation is less flexible than PTFE insulation, but has better rubbing and abrasion properties, and can be used over a much wider range of temperatures than PVC. It is more expensive than some other insulation materials but is easy to strip from wires as it tends not to stretch.

MPPE: The MPPE (Modified Polyphenylene Ether) is a thermoplastic material type of insulation that allows a thinner insulation material to be used, whilst giving great protection to the wire inside. It is also environmentally friendly as it can be 100% recycled.

Wire standards

All of our wire products are manufactured to different worldwide standards. Here is a brief description of each of the standards met by our wire products.

BRITISH STANDARDS You will see reference to some of our wires meeting BS BS4808. This wire also meets the requirements of DEF STAN 61-12 Part 6 and is flame resistant to UL1581 VW-1and IEC60332-1. The wires are designed for internal cabling of electrical and electronic equipment and are widely used in model railways as general wire. It is a flexible cable with a hard wearing PVC protective sheath and usually has tinned copper conductors. It is available in a wide range of plain and multi colour outer making it ideal for easy colour coding of wiring.

DEF STANDARD Lots of our cables are designed to meet the requirements of DEF STAN 61-12 Part 6. The standard covers many outer materials ideally suited to high temperature applications and they are all resistant to oils and chemicals.

UL STANDARD UL Standard cables have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) testing classification. They consist of a wide range of wires which have been independently tested to meet the specifications for use in many applications including general purpose wiring circuits, control circuits and internal appliance wiring. UL Standard cables have single stranded cores, are supplied in various single colour insulations.

TRI-RATED The triple rating of BS6231 (UK), CSA TEW (Canada) and UL style 1015, 1028, or 1283 (America) makes tri-rated wires and cables acceptable across many markets and countries. Tri-Rated is a flexible, single stranded cable with a high temperature rating and flame retardant PVC sheath. Various colours are available as recognised under the European Harmonised designation codes.

There are many other standards for wires, but these are the main ones that we stock.

Why use a Stranded Wire?

We always recommend that, where possible, you should use a stranded wire. The stranded wire carries a similar maximum current to a similar size solid wire, but the stranded wire is far more flexible and is more tolerant to bending and flexing. This flexibility makes it easier to work with. A large solid core wire also cannot be used with most crimp and lever style connectors.

Why use copper cored wire?

Most wire is made from some form of copper internally. The copper core in a stranded wire conducts more current with less voltage loss than the equivalent sides aluminium wire. Copper is also easier to solder and does not need any specialist tools or equipment.

Copper cored wires come either plain copper or tinned copper. The difference is easy to see. Plain copper wires are copper coloured, and tinned copper wires are a tin colour. Tinned wires can generally be soldered without pre-tinning first, whereas copper cored wires should be tinned before soldering. The benefit of a tined wire is that it will not corrode the way a plain copper coded will. This is also why lots of wiring connectors are pre tinned.

Wire types and specifications

Below you will find the general specifications of all of the wires sold on the Railwayscenics website. These descriptions are also included in the category headings and on the product description pages.

7/40awg (0.03mm sq) 32 AWG

A general purpose ultra flexible and ultra fine stranded wire, supplied in multiples of 1 metre lengths, that can be used for wiring DCC decoders and power leads between tenders and locomotives. Due to the very fine nature of this cable it can also be used as lighting wire where wires need to be insulated in lamp posts.
Where multiple quantities are ordered we will ship in one length where possible.
Available in 10 plain colours.

Rating: 1.2A @ 250V RMS max
O/D: 0.53mm nominal
Wall cover: PTFE
Core: Stranded, 7 x 40awg tinned copper conductor
Standards met: UL AWM 1213
Link to products: See all products

7/0.12mm (0.08mm sq) 28 AWG

A general flexible stranded MPPE covered wire, supplied in multiples of 1 metre lengths, that can be used for wiring DCC decoders and other wiring applications where a thin wire is required.
Where multiple quantities are ordered we will ship in one length where possible.
Available in 10 plain colours.

Rating: 1A @ 240V RMS max
O/D: 0.9mm nominal
Wall cover: MPPE
Core: Stranded, 7/0.12 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: UL758, UL1581
Link to products: See all products

1/0.25 (0.05mm sq) 28 AWG

A general flexible stranded ETFE covered wire, supplied in multiples of 1 metre lengths, that can be used for wiring DCC decoders and other wiring applications where a thin wire is required.
Where multiple quantities are ordered we will ship in one length where possible.
Available in 10 plain colours.

Rating: 1A @ 240V RMS max
O/D: 0.55mm nominal
Wall cover: ETFE
Core: Solid, 1/0.25 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: MIL-W-81822/13
Link to products: See all products

1/0.6mm (0.02mm sq) approx 24 AWG

A general purpose single strand wire. This wire stays in its formed shape without cable ties and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.
Available in 11 plain colours and 4 different lengths.

Rating: 1.8A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 1.2mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.3mm to DEF61-12 Type 2
Core: Solid, 0.6 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6
Link to products: See all products

10/0.1mm (0.02mm sq ) approx 24 AWG

A general purpose single core unsheathed, stranded, tinned, copper wire for wiring where there needs to be flexibility within the wire and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.
Available in 11 plain colours and 4 different lengths.

Rating: 0.5A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 1.0mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.3mm to BS 6746
Core: Stranded, 10 x 0.1 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6, BS4808
Link to products: See all products

55/0.1mm (0.43mm sq) approx 21 AWG

A general purpose very flexible wire used mainly for making test leads and is sold in multiples of 2m lengths.
Available in 6 different colours.

Rating: 6.0A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 2.8mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC Type 2 to BS6746 (DEF61-12 Part 6)
Core: Stranded, 55 x 0.1 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: BS6746
Link to products: See all products

7/0.2mm (0.2mm sq) approx 24 AWG

A general purpose single core unsheathed, stranded, tinned, copper wire for wiring most accessories for model railway layouts including low voltage lighting and LEDs. Not suitable for DCC bus or dropper wires, but can be used for solenoid point motor operation as long as a capacitor discharge unit is not used.
Available in 11 plain colours and some striped colours, and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.

Rating: 1.4Amp @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 1.2mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.3mm to DEF61-12 Type 2 and BS4808
Core: Stranded, 7 x 0.2 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6, BS4808
Link to products: See all products

16/0.2mm (0.5mm sq) approx 20 AWG

A general purpose single core unsheathed, stranded, tinned, copper wire for wiring most accessories for model railway layouts including DCC bus dropper wires and point motor wiring. Can be used as a bus wire or ring main for low voltage interior building lighting. Also used for solenoid point motor operation where a capacitor discharge unit is used.
Available in 11 plain colours and some striped colours, and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.

Rating: 3.0A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 1.6mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.3mm to DEF61-12 type 2 and BS4808
Core: Stranded, 16 x 0.2 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6, BS4808
Link to products: See all products

24/0.2mm (0.75mm sq) approx 18 or 19 AWG

A general purpose single core unsheathed, stranded, tinned, copper wire for wiring most accessories for model railway layouts including shorter runs of DCC bus wire, and larger dropper wires.
Available in 11 plain colours and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.

Rating: 4.5A @ 1,000V RMS max
O/D: 2.3mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.6mm to DEF61-12 type 2 and BS4808
Core: Stranded, 24 x 0.2 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6, BS4808
Link to products: See all products

32/0.2mm (1.00mm sq) approx 17 AWG

A general purpose single core, unsheathed, stranded, tinned, copper wire for wiring most accessories for model railway layouts including longer runs of DCC bus cables. Available in 11 plain colours and is sold in 2m, 5m, 10m or 100m lengths.

Rating: 6A at 1500v RMS max
O/D: 2.6mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.3mm to DEF61-12 type 2 and BS4808
Core: Stranded, 32 x 0.2 mm tinned copper conductor
Standards met: Def Stan 61-12 part 6, BS4808
Link to products: See all products

16/0.2mm (0.5mm sq) approx 22 AWG Tri-rated cable

A tri-rated wire with a plain annealed, stranded, copper conductor that can be used for heavy duty DCC bus dropper wire and is sold in 10m lengths.
Only available in black, blue, brown and red.

Rating: 11A at 1500v RMS max
O/D: 2.6mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.8mm to BS6746
Core: Stranded, 16 x 0.2 mm copper conductor
Standards met: BS6231, UL and CSA
Link to products: See all products

30/0.25mm (1.5mm sq) approx 16 AWG Tri-rated cable

A tri-rated wire with a plain annealed, stranded, copper conductor that can be used for large runs of heavy duty DCC bus wire and is sold in 10m lengths.
Only available in black, blue, brown and red.

Rating: 21A at 1500v RMS max
O/D: 3.3mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.8mm to BS6746
Core: Stranded, 30 x 0.25 mm copper conductor
Standards met: BS6231, UL and CSA
Link to products: See all products

50/0.25mm (2.5mm sq) approx 14 AWG Tri-rated cable

A tri-rated wire with a plain annealed, stranded, copper conductor that can be used for large runs of heavy duty DCC bus wire and is sold in 10m lengths.
Only available in black and red.

Rating: 30A at 1500v RMS max
O/D: 3.6mm nominal
Wall cover: PVC 0.8mm to BS6746
Core: Stranded, 50 x 0.25 mm copper conductor
Standards met: BS6231, UL and CSA
Link to products: See all products

Multi core cable

Railwayscenics can now supply a range of budget multi core multi strand 7/0.2mm electrical wire. This wire has a white outer PVC sheath and is available in either 4, 6, 8, or 12 stranded options. This wire is suitable for all low current applications and is rated at 1.0amps. Wire colours can be found in the individual product listings.

Our complete range of electrical wire can be found by clicking here.