Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jun 30, 2006.
whats the best way to clean lionel 3 rail track? i got some that needs the rust taken off.
I use a scotch bright cleaning pad. Pick one up at wal-mart or you grocery store. What ever you do, do not use steel wool. Some fibers will remain on the track and then get into your egines.
My layout is built on fast track. I have all size curve sections and four runs all with twists and turns etc. I got caught up in the fast track cause it was available and cheap.at the time. I have a big problem with MTH signal strength and the rails cleanliness may be part of the problem. I use old socks soaked in rail cleaner and go around as much as I can. Today I removed an incredable amount of dark heavy hard grease looking stuff from a locos wheels. I had been told not to worry about the outside wheels but the center is most important. I have no idea what my question is. Keeping the rail clean is way more than I seem to be able to handle. My line is med sized with three bricks powering thru the MTH remote box. 25 x 18 thirty hand switches 8 power many power feeds.
I use sand paper if it is bad and some I have had was.
Spankybird has it right however.
I second the Scotch Bright pads for rust removal. Once you have it cleaned, check the rail for scratches and pitting. Those spots will be your weak link for the return of rust. I used to wipe my track down with WD40 and then remove that from the top of the rails with Life Like track cleaning solution and an old sock. For general gunk and track cleaning there are several track cleaners that are mounted on cars to run in your trains. Two fellows here in Reno run them all the time in their trains and are using the MTH DCS control system. While humidity isn't an issue here, dust is. A track cleaning car can keep you from doing major clean up so often. Once in a while time and elbow grease has to be spent cleaning.
Today I saw a spark at a 0-72 turnout while a GP-9 was going over it straight. It sparked on the long frog contact piece. I looked and the switch was as clean as a whistle. But the track section ahead was pitted on the center rail as if a miniture welder crew was gouging out a bad rail for rewelding. I was amazed at how quickly it had pitted like that. I replaced the section and to my surprise the engines now stopped if going 8-12 scale mph. I removed the dection and pulled the feed wires off of the section and re-installed the track. It does not stutter anymore. Lionel engines passed over the feed and loved the extra juice. But the MTH signal went down to a 4 as the engine went over the section than up to a 7. Maybe to many power feeds? Or to close together. Each feed is a home run from a block carefully checked for polarity. The Lionel remote system works flawlesly and I went for the glitzy MTH system. All that Glitters......
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