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Rail Spacing and Distorted Track

Owen sent in this tip to share:

“This might help someone with the same problem I had. My Baldwin 4-6-0 loco was derailing after exiting a turnout onto my straight track section. No problem with my other 3 locos. I eventually checked the rail spacing widths and found the rails narrowed just enough causing the front wheels on my 4-6-0 to ride up and come off the track. It was hard to spot because by the time the loco stopped part of the 6 wheels would already be off the track. I think I might have accidentally narrowed and slightly bent the track when laying it. Apart from being careful handling track, this experience taught me to measure track and check rail spacing using a gauge, and to run the locos very slowly through troublesome areas to hopefully identify any problems. I hope my experience with this problem saves other people some time and frustration.”

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