As the owner of a railroad, it’s important for you to keep tracks in proper working order to be able to deliver payloads on time. Although railroads are built to last, they’re not unaffected by the weather, erosion, and wear and tear.


Has one of your trains been derailed? The reason might not be what you think. Here are some of the reasons that trains will get derailed.


  • Defective wheels. Whether with time or because of faulty wheelsets, trucks, and suspension, the wheels may be the reason a train derails and stalls delivery.


  • Rough handling. If the driver needs to apply the brakes suddenly, the front of the train may brake first and cause issues with the couplings on the cars near the back which can, in turn, cause the train to derail. Also, if the driver takes sharp turns at speeds that are too high, it will be much easier for the train to go off track.


  • Unusual track connections. If there is irregular contact at intersections or where tracks connect, it may cause a train to derail after slightly lifting it off the track.


  • Collision. If a train has collided with a large object, it’s likely that it will become derailed. Anything from vehicles to cattle or even smaller objects can cause a train to get off track.


  • Broken rails. It goes without saying that a break in the rail can cause major problems and extensive damage to the train and the payload after causing the train to get off track.


  • Extreme heat. When temperatures rise, the heat can cause the steel on the tracks to bend and wave. Regular speeds combined with heat waves and bends can result in a train going off track.


Regular track inspections are a good way to prevent some of these and other issues from derailing or damaging your trains and payloads. Contact us for more information about our track inspection and maintenance programs. With over 130 years’ experience in the California railroad industry, nobody else is more qualified than Sharp & Fellows, Inc.