Will time fix this?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by EngineerKyle, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Hi all, :wave:

    Suddenly, all my locos started slipping on a grade that they used to handle with no problem. Even with only one or two cars and even a helper from behind mattered not. The grade that was a piece of cake for any of my locos pulling a long train had seemed to turn into a toboggan run over night?! It was a real mystery. I did not oil the track.

    I thought, did my power supply get weak? Did all my locos go bad at once? Do I need to clean the track? I just did last week.

    Then it dawned on me, I’m trying out ULTRA FINE GRAPHITE POWDER on a few of my couplers that sometime stick. I puffed it on the couplers, 6 in all, while the rolling stock was right on the track. I think this stuff got spread all around. Agree?

    If this is the problem, do I hafta clean everything? Or will this stuff defuse/disappear with time (like oil does)?



    announce1 Lesson here; Apply graphite to rolling stock at workbench, not on layout.
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    yes you will have to clean it and no it stays forever.
  3. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    You need to vacuum the track, probably twice. You will also have to clean the wheels of every piece of rolling stock that has been over your track. If not, the graphite that was picked up will continue to spread, although it may eventually dissipate slowly.
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    That's a dang good layout rule, Kyle, thanks!! :thumb:
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I would go further than just vacuuming, and wipe the rails down with a cloth dampened with alcohol or something else to make sure that you pick it all up.

    I had a similar "lesson-learned" with NeoLube - it is a graphite lube in an alcohol suspension. Nice thing is that it leaves a gun-metal grey finish as well. So it is perfect for siderods and other moving parts on steam locos.

    I guess I was a little sloppy with it though - got some on the treads of my 4-6-2. It went from being my best puller (could haul everything I owned at the time) to barely being able to haul itself up a 2% grade. Quick cleanup with alcohol on a q-tip restored it.

  6. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Yeah, you aren't supposed to lube your track!! Lol.
  7. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Thanks all,

    I've been landscaping in a new structure and I usually clean up after a project like that anyway.

  8. stagingyards

    stagingyards Member

    if I may sugest I would clean the track with GOOGONE cleannier it cleans everything from sticky stuburn tape adhiesive to oil try that that might do the trick gl

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