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Derailments | Model Railway Hints, Tips, How To Articles and Reviews at Model Trains Online

derailment

One thing that all model railroaders have to do, is trouble shoot problems on their layout. Believe me, no matter how advanced some of us might think we are, when it comes to trying to figure out why a derailment occurs in the same spot gets all of us going.

In this trouble shooting page, we will look into what can cause derailments, how to pinpoint the problems, and then how to fix them. We will look into several problems, and show how to find out what is causing the issue.

Derailment in the same place.
Nothing worse than running your trains around your layout, and having a derailment. And not every time, does a derailment mean anything is wrong. A car may have been placed incorrectly on the track, or maybe a switch was thrown while a train was in the switch, and then it was thrown back. If you have a derailment, best thing to do is place the cars or engines back on the track, and to keep running them. The first thing that needs to be understood, is to not trouble shoot something that happens once. No need to tear up half the track, and remove scenery for a car that jumped off the track.

But when a derailment happens in a certain place several times, then we need to start finding out what is causing this.

A few questions to ask, before we start trying to fix anything:

  1. Has any Scenery been done in the area, or remodeling?
  2. Is it the same cars or engines?
  3. Is it in a switch?

Where is the problem happening?
This is important, not only to trouble shoot, but to see WHERE to start trouble shooting. Just because a car is derailing in a switch, or a curve, doesn’t mean THAT is where the problem is. The best way to find out is to watch your train, and the car that has been having the problems. Put it back on the track, and the let it run around, as you watch the wheels of the car. It might be jumping off in the straight away from a nail head, but it doesn’t derail until it hits the switch. You can look into the switch as much as you would like, replace it, and take it out. If you don’t find that nail, you will still have the same problem.

Your trains wont lie. If there is a problem, they will show you where it is if you just watch them.

Also, watch at what speed you run them at. Most model Railroad engines are best run at a slower, more realistic speed. If you run them too fast, you can just cause problems because of the speed they are traveling.

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