Within the fascinating world of scale design railroading, nothing is more fundamental compared to keeping your trains on the trails. Likewise, nothing is more frustrating in the development of your model train layouts than mysterious derailment issues. There are many things that can cause your trains to go off the tracks, so here are some tips regarding locating and solving the problem which includes practical model train repair advice.
Tip #1: Check each railroad joint. Rail joints are a typical culprit in train derailments, so make sure they are correctly fitted and degree. After the track is spiked down, use a fine file to clean the top until you can slide your own fingernail over it without catching.
Tip#2: Inspect Turnouts. Turnouts, or track switches, are one of most frequent factors behind derailments and a common problem region in model train repair. If the track gauge is too tight, it pushes the flanges against the railheads and causes the wheels to boost up and derail. Too broad of a gauge can also cause an issue, causing the wheelset to climb up as well.
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Many turnouts are manufactured as well wide, but this can be corrected by filling in the inside area of the guardrail until the gauge has a snug fit.
Tip #3: Weight the cars correctly. Many freight cars need some excess weight to function properly and stay on track. The NMRA has some recommended remedies to determine the optimum weight based on various car lengths (see further resource at the end of this article for the guidelines). Weight in the car should be put near to the bottom, secured and centered to maintain their position.
Tip #4: Verify wheelsets. The wheelsets must be in the right gauge and be centered on every axle. If it is out of gauge, it may usually be corrected by rotating the wheel along the axle till it matches the gauge.
Suggestion #5: Do not overlubricate. Many modelers use too much lubrication, which can attract dirt to the equipment and trigger derailments, or damage the paint and result in additional model teach repairs. Use only the bare minimum of oil, and for couplers, use a powder graphite Teflon which will not catch the attention of dirt.