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Dead Rail System

Ian models HO and asks readers for opinions on dead rail systems – “Any thoughts anyone
if so best systems available please?

Dead Rail Definition – One of two rails that are laid across a railway track-scale platform, but which are not connected with the weighing beam, and that will permit a locomotive, or other load exceeding the capacity of the scale, to move across the scale.

3 Responses to Dead Rail System

  • David Stokessays:

    Are we talking a scale that actually weights stuff, or a simulation/scenic item?

    Either way, if you want to run equipment that needs electricity over it, then electricity is necessary. Dead rails stop locos. The rail over the scale needs to be seperate from the running track to look “right”, so the track on the scale is wired to take power from the local bus wires or jumpered from one end of the running rails from underneath so as not to spoil the illusion.

    As for weight restrictions, these are “local rule applies” situations only because scale models are not scale weights. A 50 ton loco in H0 scaled down would weigh over a pound (575 grams) so not a problem as most commercial full size railway scales weight upto 250 tons.

    Trains moving over scales do so at slow speeds so don’t run over your scale at 60 mph, it just doesn’t look right.

  • Jimmie Pottbergsays:

    I’m no expert and I’m not disputing your definition, but in regards to model railroading I typically associate the term “Dead Rail” to mean a railroad in which the locomotives contain the power source (typically a battery) and the rail system is just a mechanical guide, it does not provide power.

  • Frank Bsays:

    Is the question actually a separate thing from the definition, and this is really asking for recommendations on deadrail control systems ?

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