Question for 12-05, track cleaning

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by ezdays, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Today's question is all about work. About how much work do you need to do to keep your track in running condition. The question is:

    What do you use to keep your track clean, how do you clean it and how often?

    I know, I know, this question comes up often, but here's a place we can gather all that good information and maybe move it somewhere where it won't get lost.
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    For the track.... I run around a track cleaning car in front of the engine if I have not run in a while. That sems to clean off the top layer of dust. If the dirt is persistant, I use one of them big rectangular rubber eraser thingys. For regular cleanings, I use alcohol on a rag.
    For the engine wheels... I use one of those wheel cleaning devices that has the electrical brushes you simply set on top of the track, turn on the power, and move the engine back and forth a little. It does a great job but I have heard that is dangerous as it could scratch the wheels instead compounding the problem.
    For rolling stock wheels... again, I use a paper towel soaked in alcohol layed over the top of some track. I then take each car and roll it back and forth 3 or 4 times until it no longer leaves dirty tracks on the towel.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I used a soft piece of wood wetted with goo gone to scrape the rails, About twice a week, until I used Wahl clipper oil a month ago. Haven't cleaned the rails since.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I also use the famous Wahl oil. I'll run my masonite block track cleaning car over the layout once in a while to push dust around but since putting a tiny amount of the oil on my track i haven't had to clean rails or loco wheels.
    Ralph
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    The club I'm in prohibits any liquid track cleaners and requires all thru trains have masonite pads, much like I've outlined here>>> http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=23668
    I used to use an occasional drop of Wahl Clipper oil on my rails but, masonite pads and an occasional wipe with a track cleaner car filled with alcohol are all the cleaner I use now.
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    For the G gauge, I use Wahl oil and I also have a sanding block I drag around by train to loosen the dirt. For the HO I have a M.O.W. track cleaner - and I have that fancy electrical track maintainer that I hooked between the transformer and the track
  7. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    I just run my trains every day.

    Rick
  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Wow.... I wish I had read this thread a few days ago.
    My house wouldn't smell like a pickle factory right now. hamr
  9. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

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    I have used everything except the Wahl's oil. I generally run a car equipped with a masonite block followed by a Centerline car with alcohol. I need to do this about once every six weeks unless I run trains every day. Then I can stretch it out. Goo Gone has worked well for me in the past however I have read that it does leave a film on the rails...this was never a problem with me. I keep a Brite-Boy for occasional tough areas. For locos, I use an electric brass brush device made by Kadee. I have also used the alcohol-soaked paper towel on the rails under one truck at a time. Both seem to work the same. I don't really have any issues with freight cars due to the regular track cleaning. On the occasional problem car I use elbow-grease.
  10. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    I have an old AHM track cleaning car that I replaced the old foam pad with a piece of cloth. I soak it with windshield washer fluid and drag it in front of a Life/Like track cleaning car with it's original scuff pad.
    I do this before running trains and have no problems running on brass track.
    I will also use a Bright-Boy on the track if I let a layout sit unused for a long period of time.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    The only time that I've had to clean track is after doing scenery in the area, particularily ballasting. The layout is in a room by itself, with a door and finished walls and ceiling, although the floor is unpainted concrete. The room is unheated, so there's no ductwork to bring in dust from elsewhere, either. The locos, other than a couple with brass wheels, don't seem to require wheel cleaning either. Freight cars are a mix of mostly plastic wheels, with some metal, and all track is nickel-silver, with all rail joints soldered. Operation has been smooth and reliable for over 15 years. By the way, no bus wires for power distribution, either, on this DC-controlled layout.
    By the sound of things, I should consider myself lucky.:thumb:

    Wayne
  12. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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    I take just a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a piece of cloth across the tracks when they get dirty. Takes it right off and I have no trouble running the trains afterwards either.