Some quick observations here. DCC is "alternating current". An analog (straight DC) motor will sing shriller than a cicada when placed on a DCC track. Solution - install a decoder in your locomotive. Otherwise you will be wasting a lot of time trying to determine if the problem is with your track, your DCC setup, or your locomotive. While the literature says you can run analog on DCC, it really doesn't work all that well. Installing a decoder can be as simple as cutting and soldering some wires, or having someone install the decoder for you. If DCC is running through the rails, the best way to check to see if you have voltage is to use the "coin test". Take a coin (quarter in the US, loonie in Canada) and press it across the rails. Your command station should "beep" and shut down. Remove the coin and your command station will "beep" and open up. Telephone wire is 24 AWG (American Wire Gauge) wire. If you are starting with a new layout, I don't recommend using 24 AWG wire for track feeds. I suggest using 22 AWG and even 20 AWG wire (the smaller the AWG number, the thicker the wire). The reason for using thicker wire throughout your layout is to protect your locos and trackwork when you derail or when you run a switch which causes a short. When a short occurs, the command station detects the extra surge of power and shuts down. If you use thin wire, when you short, the command station assumes that the extra demand for power is normal and keeps on pumping out the juice instead of shutting down. If the command station doesn't shut down when you run a turnout, for example, the juice continues pumping into the short. On an HO layout, this short can produce as much as 60 watts of heat at once (16 volts x 5 amps = 60 watts). To see what 60 watts is like, take a 60 watt light bulb and hold it in your hand (not recommended!) This can be more than enough to melt the plastic ties, weld some metal, or take a chunk of metal out of some rail or wheels. While you want to keep the runs of the thinner wires as short as possible, sometimes we can't do that. One trick is to run some 16 AWG wire from your 14 AWG track power buss to your track feed and solder the 16 AWG wire to the track feed. Try to keep mechanical connections to as few as possible. This is a source of power loss - if not now then certainly in the future as the wire and mechanical connections oxidize. The best form of wire connection is soldered wires. You may have to use a 100/140 watt soldering gun to solder 14 AWG wires rather than a 25/45 watt pencil soldering iron. If you look around, you can pick up a soldering gun for about $20 and a 25/45 watt pencil soldering iron for about $10. Just a few tips, tricks, and recommendations to help you along. Bob M.