Preventing Model Train Derailments Effectively

Regardless of how well you have constructed your LGB model train layouts, there are boundaries to what model trains can do.  For instance, curved track sections of model train enthusiasts tend to be tighter than their real world counterparts. Blend that with long trains traveling at a considerable high velocity and chances are a derailment will occur.  While we cannot totally eliminate the causes of train derailments we can be successful of at least keeping it low.

Operator Mistakes

The most common cause of model train derailments there is nothing that can substitute for control and experience.  If you notice that your train often derails it would be advisable to make gradual changes to speeds, controlling top speed levels and coming to a full stop prior to changing directions.  Moreover, do check the routing of your switches before crossing them in order to minimize derailment episodes.

Mechanical Problems

Even when careful consideration has been brought forward to ensure correct speed and stops are followed, derailments still occur due to problems within the train or the track itself. A good rule of thumb to follow is if more than onegarden railroad stock car car derails at the exact same spot, check the track. If one car derails in two or more spots then check the car for problems. 

Train Track Issues

If the track is to blame the most common cause include misaligned rail joints, switches that do not completely close or fail to open, rough transitions at the top or bottom of the grade and debris in the track itself.  Clean your track regularly and get rid of any remaining debris especially after a storm (for outdoor setups). Check the switches for issues and inspect and align rail joints regularly.  Look for any bumps in the track, which cause frequent uncoupling of cars. Make sure that the couplers are of the correct height.

Train Issues

If you notice that the train or car derails regularly when there is nothing wrong with the track, then some adjustments may need to be done first to the wheels, couplers and even the weight of the car itself.