cleaning trains?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by dclark, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. dclark

    dclark New Member

    Hi. :wave: I've got several locomotives that have been sitting in the attic for quite a few years (at least 5) which no longer seem to work or only judder along a couple of inches and stop. Is there any way of cleaning them or something that could help them run better, or is it more likely that I have a power problem (the power adapter has also been in the attic for years)? I have already thoroughly cleaned the track. I've looked all over the internet with no luck, so I was wondering if anyone on here could help. Thanks!:)
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    To start with, welcome to the Gauge. I would not think you have a power pack problem rather, it is more likely that your locos need cleaning. You don't say what scale they are or if they're steam or diesel. But, it you do a search here at the Gauge, you can find several discussions regarding cleaning and lubercating engines. After that long in the attic, you can be sure they have collected a lot of dust and the oil has dried out. I wouldn't try to run them any more until they have been cleaned and lubed.

    Basically you will need to remove the shells and use a mild cleaning solution, like soap and water or alcohol. Don't use solvents like acetone or laquer thinner. Use a very light oil, very sparingly to lub the moving parts. Make sure the motor turns freely as well, and be sure the wheels are clean so you get good electrical contact with the rails.

    A few years ago, I bought a collection of N scale that included around 30 engines that were sitting on a layout in a garage untouched for at least ten years. They all were in serious need of cleaning. I wound up putting some of the engines in an ultrasonic cleaner and a few I never did get to run right.

    Good luck
  3. dclark

    dclark New Member

    Thanks for the advice. I'll give that a try. Is there a special oil that should be used?
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You want plastic compatible oil. Labelle makes a line of lubes for model trains. If you have a local hobby shop that deals with trains, they could help you out with advice for cleaning.
  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    i would use Wahl clipper oil for cleaning and the Labelle for prement lube.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've used rubbing alcohol to clean out Athearn gearboxes in the past.
  7. Marxed

    Marxed Member

    that sounds like a dirty track to me!

    you really should clean your track!!!! alot of the time if the track is dirty the engine will do that, before you go cleaning your trains, clean off your track!!!

    get a towel and rub the crap out of it, theres track cleaning solutions and stuff, but i never used any of that... i just get a towel and wrap it around a foam block and then rub all dirt off.. not hte best way, but it works!!!

    i've cleaned up my n-gauge platform this month, it was running all jumpy and bearly going, and all i had to do wasclean the track to get it going.... and i know my 0-gauge marx trains that run horrid if the track gets dirty...!

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