Latest update: 2 November 2015
There are several ways to remove a standard metal rail joiner (LGB, PIKO G, Train Line …), this page shows how.
There are two ‘challenges’ when removing a rail joiner. First of all, there’s a small ‘tab’ that holds the rail joiner to the ties. Then there’s also a small dimple on the bottom, which presses firmly on the rail section itself.
1) Brute force
Before we get the pliers and drills out, you can try removing the rail joiner by using a bit of brute force. As I wrote above, the only thing holding the rail in place, is the dimple on the bottom of the rail joiner. The trick is to tap the rail section backwards out of the connector which then just falls out undamaged (if you’re lucky). Better to use a piece of hardwood so as not to damage the rail end. Also some are tighter than others but it’s definitely worth a try before you get the pliers out. (Thank you to Sandy from gardentrains.co.uk for this tip)
2) Pliers method
When using pliers to remove the rail joiner, the rail joiner cannot be recovered because we will bend it in the process. The first step is to bend the upright sections to the outside.
Once the rail joiner has ‘opened up’ sufficiently, pull it down gently as to not damage the ties.
3) Drill method
A less damaging way of removing rail joiners, is to drill out the dimple on the bottom of the metal rail joiner. You should then be able to slide both the rail joiner and ties off.