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Public-images-osm logo.svg railway = derail
US derail detail.JPG
Derails uncontrolled vehicles to protect the main track Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: railways
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
See also
Status: in use

A derail or derailer is a railway safety device used to prevent fouling of a rail track by unauthorized movements of trains or unattended rolling stock. It works (as the name suggests) by derailing the equipment as it rolls over or through the derail.

Derailers may be operated remotely (motorized) or manually with a lever. For safe operation, a manually operated derailer may be locked with a key or locked/verified remotely.

A less 'violent' alternative, more common on busy lines, have a switch that diverges offending trains onto a safer route or a short stretch of rail towards something suitable to stop the train, like a buffer stop or sand bank. These could be tagged as normal switches. The diverging track could perhaps be tagged with service=runaway or catch_point in addition to the normal railway=rail.

Tags used in combination

  • name=*
  • ref=* The reference used for this derailer. Usually digits and/or letters.
  • railway:derail=* Suggested values: wedge, trap_point, catch_point.
  • railway:derail:electric=yes/no – electric motor?
  • railway:local_operated=yes/no – Is the it operated in field (yes) or by a person at the signal box (no)?
  • operator=* Who may have the key or from which signal controller has the remote control.

Possible rendering

Railway derail.svg suggested by User:Chrisana13

See also