Bridge guard rails or rerailers

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  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 383 posts
Bridge guard rails or rerailers
Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 11:32 AM
   While out scrounging for old track I came across this piece that use to be on my LGB 4' bridge and I thought this might be interesting to those new into the hobby for added detail to their layout. Rerailers properly called bridge guards, on both bridges and trestles were very common on the original days of railroading where jumping the track could have disastrous consequences as a car could create havoc and destruction to both bridges and trestles. Not designed to rerail just limit the damage to the ties and keep the car on the bridge. As to modern day building, you would have to consult some one other than me as when it gets past steam I'm lost. The though was by adding a second rail just inside the outer rail, if the car started to jump the track ( derail) the inner rail would keep the wheel from going any farther, and keeping the car upright. Usually at the beginning of the section the inner rail was bent in towards the other side, that way if the car was derailed before it got the section it would guide the wheel into the section between the guard rail and the regular rail.
   Enough history, and I hope it is correct, doing it to your layout is very easy. Real railroads just used another piece of track, but adding rail to a molded sleeper/tie raises the rail just a bit as the running rail is usually set in a smooth section but raising it up a little on the seen section and is not good if you are running any type of rail cleaner, whether it be brushes or pads they will clean the rerailers and not touch your mainline. Easily solved using a lower height/code rail, 250 code is what I use and I bought aluminum as it was cheap and easy to bend. Start with deciding how long it needs to be then cutting a "V" in the beginning end and end section between the steel railhead and the securing flange and pinch together so that the offending wheel has a ramp to ride up on. I marked mine on the top, turned the affected section and secured with drilling and installing with bridge rerailersrerailer endsmall screws. Before attaching I painted with a rattle/spray can some red oxide. You will be surprised how many people coming to your layout will comment on "what's that" for, just something that they will take home to remember yours over others, seeable different details is where it's at. Bill 
  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 935 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 10:48 AM

My understanding is that these guard rails did not have the purpose to re-rail but kept derailed trains from going off the bridge, and the wheels would actually ride on the ties between the guard rails and the main rail.


There was quite a discussion on either MLS or LSC a while back. Actual re-railing of a locomotive or cars is quite a job in the real world.


A note: the guard rails were normally a lighter rail than the main rails.


But the visual effect is great!



Visit my site: - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site


  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: Ormond Beach, FL
  • 383 posts
Posted by chocho willy on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 1:24 PM

   Agree completely, only reason I used the word rerailers was most people when referring to them use that word and if you say bridge guards they have no idea what you are talking about, just a little more understandable incorrect term. Thanks for the reply, Bill

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 794 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:32 AM


I have a crate of Bachmann's stamped track, which is otherwise nearly useless.  Think it'll work in this application?



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