So how do you clean track????

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by twilight, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. twilight

    twilight Member

    I bought a box of used 027 at a flea market. It's respectively in fair shape. Only some slight rust and tarnish. What is the best way to clean this up and will it ever look as good as new?:-?
  2. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I would throw it out and buy new but then again I can still buy it cheap. What ever you do just don't use steel wool. You can use some sand paper for the rust and depending on the grime anything from a cleaner to an alcohol will work fine.

    Others will use a mix of products from denatured alcohol to those brite pads. Anything and every thing will work some just might take some elbow grease. I have heard of people using their dremmel tools with a nylon brush.

    I even have been know to give mine a light coating of WD 40 when storing. Just remember to wipe the tracks off after storage. This works for me but I know others would never think of doing this.

    As long as you don't use a steel wool type of product nothing is wrong. Steel wool can leave behind small parts of the wool that can short or do damge to a power unit.

    Will it ever look new? I guess you could buff it enough but then again it will rust faster.
  3. Dr. John

    Dr. John Member

    As long as the rust isn't too heavy, the track should clean up pretty easily. I recommend a ScotchBrite cleaning pad. As Renovo PRR said, NEVER use steel wool! I would stay away from sandpaper as it can remove the plating and leave grooves in the rail.

    I'm a bit leery of using WD-40 as the residue can cause the track to accumulate grime, but some folks swear by it so I don't think it would hurt. There are some off-the-shelf track cleaning fluids, but I've not had much luck with them, personally.
  4. kpolak

    kpolak Member

    I agree with using the denatured alcohol, and a scotchbrite pad ( the abrasive plastic side of the sponges). Remember you only need to clean the tops of the rails, and the areas the pins go into to connect the track. That's all the trains need to conduct electricity.

    I used Railzip. It seemed to seal the track after I had it cleaned, but it made it very slippery, so I stopped using it.

    Will it ever look new? No. But it will continue to have personality. If you want the track to look new and shiny, buy new O-27 itrack. It isn't that expensive. Curves and straight pieces list at $1.59 ea, you can get a small oval for under $20 (8-curves and 4-straight).

  5. cnw1995

    cnw1995 Member

    I use a scotchbright pad and 'elbow grease' - on older track, I have been known to run a dremel motor tool with a polishing disk across the top of the rails - the rest looks very prototypical when rusty - LOL. I have also run a homebuilt track-cleaning car which works very well. [​IMG]
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Plain old cheap white vinegar will remove rust. It's also not bad for removing other grime.
  7. Frank53

    Frank53 Member

    Keep in mind with old rusty track - even though you get it cleaned up, including the pins, there may be rust and corrsion inside the rails affecting connectivity from pin to track.

    I use a combination of scotch bright pads and then wipe the track down vigorously with straight household ammonia - which works exceptionally well.

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