on the rails
on the rails
Operating, functioning, or proceeding as expected, desired, or intended. (The opposite, "off the rails," is more common.) Despite his tendency to ramble and veer off into inappropriate tangents, his speech remained on the rails, evoking downright poetic imagery as he spoke on behalf of the employees who had made the company what it was. It's remarkable that the team's winning formula has stayed on the rails for this many years, as they continue to win championship after championship. His overbearing parents keep a close eye on him to make sure he keeps on the rails and completes his law degree without distraction.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
on the railsmainly BRITISH
1. If something stays on the rails, it continues to be as successful as it has been in the past. So why have these companies remained on the rails while others have failed? Note: If something is back on the rails, it is beginning to be successful again after a period when it almost failed. Co-ordinated action is needed more than ever to put the European economy back on the rails.
2. If someone stays on the rails, they live and behave in a way which is acceptable. She was in a steady relationship and that kept her on the rails. Note: If someone is back on the rails, their life is going well again after a period when it was going badly. I was released from prison last year and I'm now back on the rails with my own apartment and a part-time job.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
on the rails1 behaving or functioning in a normal or regulated way. informal 2 (of a racehorse or jockey) in a position on the racetrack nearest the inside fence.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017