Rusty Rails

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by TR-Flyer, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Do any of you "tin platers" have suggestions on how to preserve old AF or Lionel rails? I clean them up but they just start oxidizing again. Thought about cleaning them up, and then spraying them with matt fixitive. Would then clean off the top and inside of the rails so i'd get good electrical contact.

    Also, what can you put on the old switches, and other plastic parts, to clean and shine them up again? I forget what this plastic was called. Very brittle and thick, early plastic radios werre made out of it too. I have just been using dish detergent and a toothbrush for most of my cleaning chores. Use "GOO-GONE" for the tough stuff.

    Also, again, If the rail is rusty, after you clean off the rust, is there anything you can coat the metal with to maintain good electrical conductance?
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    The plastic is (was?) called Bakelite, I'll bet. Don't know how to restore it, but if you know what it is that's a start! Wax, maybe?

    Also, I've heard somewhere about an oil they use on hair clippers, called something like "Wahl's" - maybe someone else can come up with the right name - anyway, it's conductive, maybe that would help keep the rust down. Except that oiling your tracks probably isn't a good idea, traction-wise.
    Bill K
  3. Lance

    Lance New Member

    Stop rusting rails

    I use a light coat of 3 in 1 oil, and wipe off any excess with a paper towel. The oil stops rust as long as it is present. The oil does not seem to affect traction or electrical pickup.

    Keep the track dry and away from paper. Most paper is acidic and promotes rust.
  4. trainbrainmike

    trainbrainmike New Member

    I have great results using 600 grit wet or dry sandpaper, then coating with a product called Rail Zip. I clean the tracks about twice a year and run the trains nearly every day, and occassionaly touch up places that start to spark when the cars or loco run over this.
  5. PennRailRoads

    PennRailRoads Member

    You know what might work? Brasso!! I use it all the time to clean my HO and N scale tracks and it keeps them in top shape without the worries of oxidation.

    So use Brasso if you want, it'll save you time and some money on spending to replace track.

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