Sliding derail installed

Today, I installed the derail on the coal track siding in Port Rowan:

Derail in set position:
Derail Installed - Set Position photo Derail-Installed-Set_zps15156853.jpg

Derail in clear position:
Derail Installed - Clear Position photo Derail-Installed-Clear_zpse385e94a.jpg

(Click on the images for larger versions)

I scratch-built the derail yesterday – here’s the story. I’ve also mounted a Bullfrog mechanical switch machine under the derail and tested it. The derail slides smoothly in both directions. I’ll “paint” the derail with Neo-Lube, which looks like oily steel and will help keep the derail sliding smoothly. The head will be painted yellow.

I still have to install a yellow post trackside to mark the derail. And my friend Chris Abbott is working on a control mechanism similar to the garden-scale switch stands we’ve used to control track switches. Stay tuned!

8 thoughts on “Sliding derail installed

  1. Your installation looks fantastic!

    Which makes me reluctant to ask this question: Shouldn’t the derail be on the opposite rail? Since the derail path is in a right-hand curve, putting the derail on the right rail would tend to pitch the wheels further to the right. Once on the ground though, the car would tend to go straight, which would have the tendency to jam the left wheel against the left rail as the rail curved into the path of the car. It’s the difference in Figure 6 and Figure 7 on the drawing you’d referenced earlier (midway down the page).

    If it were mine, I’d leave it like it is and dare someone to spot the error…

    • Also, I’m not sure what the rules were regarding derail placement, but where it is now looks like it’d pitch a car into a telephone pole. Would the railroad have considered that when placing the derail?

      Could the derail be moved further up the spur? That’d get you out of the curved track problem and the telephone pole problem in one fell swoop…

      • Hi Rhett:
        Another good observation. I think a derailed car would miss the single-wire telegraph pole. With poles spaced every 80 feet or so, I think it doesn’t matter where the derail is located – a pole is in danger.
        In any case, I can’t move the derail – there are too many subroadbed supports for the elevated track in this area.

    • Hi Rhett:
      Thanks for the kind words and the observation. My derail is actually on a short straight section as the track crosses the farm crossing. It appears that the Hayes document is addressing situations where the derail is actually placed on curved track.
      Also, if it was on the other rail, it would actually pitch the cars into the main track, where The Daily Effort could then run into them. That would defeat the purpose of having a derail at all…

      • The Hayes derail instruction booklet is very useful in siting derails on even a model layout. The prototype might locate the derail a bit closer to the coal dealer on tangent track to allow a derailed car to roll off the rails away from the main line. Though a derailed hopper of coal would make quite a show!

        I can vouch for the double-ended derails not always working as they should. I rode in the cab of an SD40-2 over one as we stayed on the rails. I personally had removed it earlier, but someone replaced the block on the rail without telling anyone We got the signal, started to move, and shortly thereafter the hogger said “The derail’s on!” as he dumped the air.

        A Transport Canada inspector was on one side of the loco as we ran over the derail, a company official on the other. Nobody said a word about this affair for some reason…

        • Hi Steve:
          I’ve located the derail on the coal track near the switch, because there’s a length of tangent track after the spur diverges from the main. Also, my prototype track map locates it near the orchard crossing. (Actually, it should be to the left of the crossing as you look at the scene. I’ve put it to the right of the crossing because I have too many pieces of supporting structure under the roadbed at this point to fit the derail in the correct location and have room for the manual switch machine that operates it.)
          Would a derail actually be located on an embankment? If the derail took down a hopper car, it could actually tip and roll down the embankment, which would make one heck of a mess of the car (and whomever was standing at the bottom at the time…)
          Interesting story about the SD40-2. Thanks!

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