Keeping your Christmas trains clean...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shaygetz, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Had to address this on my own Christmas layout and because of the large number of newcomers and folks just setting up Christmas trains, I unburied it from another thread... Because THE TREE makes for about an 8' tunnel that's a bear to keep the track clean in, I brought back an old favorite for track cleaning. Using Masonite, I cut myself pads 1 3/8" x 2 1/2" in size. I laid out a center line at 11/16" lengthwise and cross lines at 3/8", then epoxied two 1 1/4" drywall nails centered on the cross lines. While hardening, I drilled two 1/8" holes centered into the bottom of my car 1 3/4" apart. I then set the pad lengthwise on the rails, placed the car over the nails. That's it, there are no fasteners as the pad needs to freely travel up and down. Leave it in your regular consist and you'll never have a problem with dirty rails or wheels thru the holiday. It's also easily modified for Thomas' Clarabelle coach by shortening your measurements. The second pic shows just how much dirt "clean" track gives up after 20 laps.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    For rare tinplate, I came up with the following to avoid drilling into a family heirloom or pricey collector's item. Using the same basic pad, I added a flexible plastic arm attached by sandwich gluing the pad to the arm with cardboard. I added a small lead weight to the end of the pad away from the arm. Then, at the other end, I sandwich glued two powerful magnets copped from those blinky pins sold at Wal-Mart (they come two to a pin) and placed another set on the car floor. Heirloom is now safe and track now gets cleaned as evidenced by the pad after ten laps.

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  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The final pics show them in action. The train's wheels now stay clean and I no longer have to clean the rails themselves on a daily basis as I had to before.

    Some may wish to color them on the sides and tops with black magic marker to hide them.

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