How do you clean your track?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Mannix, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    I have cleaned my track with brite boy and Goo Gone. I am interested in hearing from you as to what you use to clean your track. Have you had any experience with the track cleaning car? Does it work very well? I read one post where that person used No-Ox-ID. Who has had experience using that? Were you happy with that method?

  2. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    Well, I personally either scrape-clean or use rubbing alcohol.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I use GooGone only for stubborn dirt. I have a Centerline track cleaning car and with Some stuff from Aero Locomotive Works, I get the best running I've ever had.
    I have also used, when there are spots that give problems, a Peco track eraser, a split wine-bottle cork, a bit of wood left over from the benchwork.
    Some people don't like the brite boy/track eraser because it leaves scratches that collect dirt.
    Remember that as well as cleaning the track you have to clean the wheels.

    Somewhere there is a thread about Wahl hair-clipper oil. Pro and con.
  4. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

    Try Wahls Clipper oil,Just a few drops is all you need.
  5. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    Rubbing alcohol is also good. It's very good. Does its job and evaporates quickly. You can clean other electrics and electronics with it, too, because of that. Also, if your track is unplugged and removable, you could probably use water.
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I use a center line track cleaning car with goo gone. I also have three hart gondolas that I have added Masonite scrubbing pads to, following an ancient practice that was either invented of popularized by John Allen. I usually put a Rivarossi Heisler (a geared locomotive for those who have not encountered such beasts) on either end of the center line track cleaning car. I put two of the heart gondolas on one end of the train, and one on the other.

    With this set up, running the train across a section of track back and forth twice (four passes total) will clean most normal sections of track.

    On almost all of my cars I have replaced any wheel sets with plastic wheels with Jay Bee wheel sets, which are blackened brass I have been using some Proto 2000 wheel sets as well. brass wheel s don't collect dirt, and may help clean track with frequent use. Plastic wheels will play catch and release with dirt spreading it around. Once a long time ago I used a lot of KD wheel sets. I loved them, as they looked really good, were non magnetic ( important if you use magnetic uncoupling which is really cool), and had very good rolling characteristics. I found over time that the aluminum ( I think) that is used for the wheels attracts dirt , and can be very difficult to clean, so all my KD wheel sets have been replaced. A side advantage to metal whees is improved tracking due to the extra weight below the center of gravity, and the sound of the metal wheel sets rolling through switches and rail joints is nice.

    I have made jumper cables to clean locomotive wheels , I put them up side down in a homemade foam cradle, hook up jumper cables so they will run, and run them upside down. doing this I can easily clean the drive wheels with rubbing alcohol on Q tips. Leading, trailing and tender trucks I clean with a brush attachment on a dremil, making sure to keep the speed way down to avoid removing material from the wheel tread or melting the bearing surface.

    I have a block of rubber like material, with some very fine abrasive, that I got from Micro mark. that I will use on stubborn dirt. it's action is similar to a bright boy, but the grit is much smaller

    I will try to post some pictures of my techniques.

    Bill Nelson
  7. butzi

    butzi butzi

    I bought a track cleaning car from Hornby but there was no instruction what to attached to the skid. I haven't use this car eversince I also bought this rubber like eraser from Hornby,,,,, what I used to clean the tracks was soaking cotton buds with de-natured alcohol ,,,,,,,wipe immediately with soft cotton towel,,,,
  8. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Have any scrap cork roadbed? break off a small piece and use it...also a piece work's well glued to the skid of your track cleaning car
  9. butzi

    butzi butzi

    thanks,,,i'll try this:thumb:
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Mauiman asked about my track cleaning car.
    Certain figures have been added to make it less dull.

    Attached Files:

  11. FiatFan

    FiatFan Member

    I hadn't run my trains for 6 months due to a variety of reasons. When I started up again, I took a straight pin, dipped it in some Wahl Clipper Oil, and place a drop on each rail. Then I ran a train with a few cars around the layout. Everything works fine, including my recently purchased P2K with sound on DC.

    I bought a small bottle of the clipper oil at a beauty supply store and probably have enough for several lifetimes.

    Just my experience. Yours may vary.


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