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N Scale Insight: Derailments of the curious kind

Read the N Scale Insight column from the July 2017 Model Railroader
X marks the spot where the switch rod used to be. After several years of sporadic derailments at this turnout, Jim Kelly relocated it a few inches from the curve so engines would get a short straight before entering the turnout.
Roen Kelly photo
Several months ago, my operations chief Gordy Spiering and I were orbiting a couple trains on my N scale layout for a group of visitors and the same boxcar kept derailing at the west end switch in the town of Tehachapi.

In a situation like that the show must go on, so I pulled the car out of the train and waited until the visitors had left and the dust had settled to try to solve the problem. I put the car back where it had been, right behind the engine, and ran up the hill. The car derailed again in the same way at the same spot. That’s a good thing – the most difficult problems to solve are those that occur inconsistently.

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