What travelling 54,000 miles by train taught me about model railwaysOn August 13, 2015 Beginner's No Comments Tags: train maintenance
For all the abuse they get, Network Rail – the organisation managing track in the UK – spends a huge amount of time and resource on trying to keep the railways running. (If you’re interested, there’s a great info graphic on how much they spend and on what to maintain the railway here).
And if you want your trains to run smoothly, you need to do the same on your layout, as I wrote in the post on keeping trains running smoothly and track cleaning tips.
- Regularly check the electrical connections are in good order.
- Maintain and clean your track – once a month
- Check for debris on the lines
Service Your Trains
From the early days of railway transport, trains have needed regular maintenance and it’s no different for the latest FGW and SW train or your small scale rolling stock.
Trains, big and small, break. Just two days ago on my journey from London to Guildford, a train broke down ahead of the one I was on and nothing moved for almost an hour.
Design for Errors
There’s hardly a week goes bye when I don’t experience some kind of delay on my travels. While these are frustrating as hell they are understandable given how complex and busy UK rail networks are now. What it has taught me however is that problems whether caused by accident or mistakes, will happen and need to be expected.
Read other posts in this series of posts on model railways for beginners.
On model railways this means planning for failure. Make the electrics easy to follow so you troubleshoot lose connections, design the baseboard so you can all parts of the layout and provide access holes on tunnels and bridges in case of derailment etc.
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