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Dealing with Inevitable but Occasional Derailments!

Click on each image for a closer look!
All railways have the occasional derailment. It is a fact of life for flanged wheels on steel rail that occasionally the best laid plans come to naught and the wheels hit the ballast. It is not so much a matter of "whether" you have a derailment as "when" and the planning of how exactly you get (in our case) a hot steam locomotive weighing some 3/4 of a ton back where it belongs expeditiously needs to be in place well ahead of time.
The two photos shown above (by Stephen Gardiner) show how we do it at Roundhouse Park. The black steel plate forms a ramp with guides intended to allow the locomotive to be pushed as shown or winched back into place in one move without the need for lifting of any kind. Full-sized locomotives (like our #4803 and #7020) carry heavy cast-steel devices (see photos below of #4803's rerailer) using similar principles to deal with one axle at a time.
Posting by Michael Guy; Pictures by Stephen Gardiner and Russ Milland

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