Beginning model railroading: Rerailers, a tutorial…

There are two basic types, the sectional track mounted and the removable ramp.  The sectional track mounted type is most familiar, that easily recognizable grade crossing most often found in N and HO scale sectional track…

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…it works by simply lifting the flanges of the wheelsets above the rails while guiding them the necessary direction to rerail themselves.  By slowly rolling the car or locomotive back and forth–while gently pushing down on the car—, the wheelsets fall back into place…

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The portable ramp has been my preferred method since I first found them in my teens.  Its only drawback is that you do need a straight length of track at least as long as the ramp itself,  plus half a car length to make it work its best.  You simply place the rolling stock on the ramp, roll it against the sides to straighten out the trucks, then slowly roll it down the ramp, allowing the guides to do their magic.  With a little practice and, again, no pushing down on the car with undue pressure, it will roll straight onto the track with ease…

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Portable ramps are made in both HO and N gauges, mine are made by Rix Products.

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