Extra Guard Rails, do you use them, and where.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shamus, Jan 12, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Do you use on your model railroad an "extra" set of rails as guard rails? If you do, where do you put them. Is it for cosmetic reasons, to make the trackwork look good, or will they actually work in model form.
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi BobMcD,
    I use guard rails on all curves, and bridges. Bridges have them both sides. I think it's cosmetic to a degree, but they look the part.
  3. BobMcD

    BobMcD Member

    In the 'old days' when I hand-layed track, I used them where American prototype railroads did--across from frogs, on bridges and viaducts, and in situations where great harm could come if there were a derailment.

    Not being an expert, I wasn't sure what the rules were, so I just did it where it would look good. Naturally, the one big accident I had (HO articulated loco taking fatal 5 foot plunge to a concrete floor) happened at a point where I had completed neither scenery nor guard rails. After that my focus became to at least complete a secure net of hard-shell scenery base before running trains. Haven't had a major calamity since.

    I don't know if the guard rails help or not, but well-installed ones do look good and don't seem to hurt. Now I use commercial turnouts and flex track, and I DO install guard rails on the bridges I build.

    What's your practice?


    [This message has been edited by BobMcD (edited 01-12-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by BobMcD (edited 01-12-2001).]
  4. Railery

    Railery Member

    Don't quote me, but those extra rails on certain crossings were a safety feature to keep the ties in place. On my layout they are for cosmetic purpose ownly.
  5. magliaro

    magliaro New Member

    Yes, they help

    The guard rails on turnouts, across from the frog, definitely help. If you've ever used the PECO code 80 turnouts, you've found by now that their guard rails are set too narrow (probably to allow sloppy too-narrow wheelsets to squeak through). But the consequence of this is that when a properly-gauged wheelset comes into the point of the frog, it can slide left just enough to pick the frog and derail. If you cement a .010" styrene shim along the inside edge of the guard rail, to keep that wheelset against the outer rail opposite the frog, the derailments will go away forever. So here is a concrete case where the guard rails really do an important job.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've been planning to add some to my lift out section as the scenery is too narrow to catch the cars. I've needed these ever since the cat ate the fences.
    I think one way to do functional guard rails in less scenic areas would be to take, for HO, N gauge track and cut the ties apart and space them widely and put them between the HO ties.

    One of our members claims that any curve on a model railroad is so sharp that it requires a guard rail.

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