Articles - Scratchbuilt Rerailer
11/10/2015
It was the day after a weekend train show. The wheels of every engine and car run on the club layout are invariably dirty. I usually bring all of my cars, and at least two engines. This past weekend I ran both my FA-2 and RS-1 engines. So, here I was facing the not-so-fun task of putting each engine and car on the track, one by one, cleaning their wheels. Getting the wheels to go on the track is easier than it was in N-scale, but it is still not trivial in S-scale. So, I decided that my first task should be to just build a simple rerailer. I've seen many versions used, including someone taking an HO-scale rerailer, splitting it down the middle, and gluing it back together with a styrene spacer to make it fit the S-scale track gauge. However, with a few bits of styrene, I decided it might be fun to just make my own.
Scratchbuilt Rerailer
I took a leftover piece of 0.040" styrene sheet, marked off where the inside of the rails come, and drew a line between the marks. I then drew another line width-wise at about ten scale feet in. I used the score-and-snap technique to break off a straight section and an angle section. After some filing, I glued the broken off sections back to the main sheet, at a slight offset, just enough to clear the outside of the rail. This holds the rerailer in position. Next, I took one strip of scale 4"x4" styrene, and formed the guide rails for the wheels. This was all done through experimentation.
Scratchbuilt Rerailer
On the bottom of the main sheet, I glued a block of styrene, such that the working end of the rerailer rested on the ties of the track, providing a slope to gently guide the wheels onto the rails. The rerailer isn't going to win any beauty contests, but it does work.
Scratchbuilt Rerailer
This was a fun, one-evening project, that helped me with the chore of re-railing a number of cars. Of course, the "chore" of cleaning the wheels still remains...
Scratchbuilt Rerailer