Cover the surrounding area
Replacing track can be very messy. Cover the surrounding area to avoid getting dust and pieces of ballast in back gardens and on roads. Anything that can be easily taken away and that also acts as a barrier will do.
Remove the damaged track
A set of sharp cutters will separate the damaged track from the rest and this can then be removed with surrounding ballast and sleepers scraped away with a broad, flat chisel. Any remaining track pins can be removed with fine pliers.
Clear the area
Use a small vacuum to remove any loose debris. Put a sock inside the vacuum’s pipe and hook it over the end to provide a net to catch the debris. You can then reuse it and blend the new track in to the scenery.
Insert the new track
Cut a new section of track to length and use fine pliers to transfer the rail joiners onto the old rails. Any ballast saved in the vacuum can then be reinstated onto the layout alongside any new materials if required.
Get the Gear
Sometimes the simplest tools are the most useful. A flat file can smooth the edges of the track work after cutting, resulting in a cleaner join once the new track is introduced. Available from all good hardware stores at a cheap price.