At any rate I decided to solder in some new feeder wires to the short spacer tracks between the turnouts. One soldered on with no problems. The other? Well, see for yourself...
The second feeder wire decided to put up a fight and refuse to solder to the rail. I ultimately ended up causing the ties to melt and the wrecked the whole spacer! So I spent the next hour cutting a new track and then gritting my teeth and cursing under my breath trying to get it in place.
If that wasn't bad enough, in the process of fighting with the track, I manged to give the table a bit of a bump. This resulted in the N Scale equivalent of 10.0 on the Richter Scale. Several cars of a freight train parked at that end of the layout derailed and the engine, my I1sa 2-10-0 took a tumble to the floor.
The I1 did not emerge unscathed. The tender drawbar was broken. That's easily fixed with CA. The bigger problem is the valve gear crank pin. It sheared off on impact. These old Minitrix engines have been out of production for quite some time, so replacement parts are nearly impossible to come by. Sadly, this engine will be out of service for the foreseeable future. If I can;t find a way to fix it, it may be retired permanently.
After all this consternation I didn't even manage to solve the problem. Engines are still stalling in the same spot. Anyway lesson learned, when the universe is against you, just toss in the towel. It's not worth fighting because you ain;t gonna win.