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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ralph S on September 12, 2021, 02:44:26 PM



Title: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Ralph S on September 12, 2021, 02:44:26 PM
Which is better to use, a track cleaning car or a motorized track cleaning locomotive?  Then is it better to have a track cleaning car that accepts a liquid that gravity feeds to the track cleaning pad or just have a dry track cleaning pad?

I use E-Z track both the Grey and Black versions.  Bachmann has an EM80C motorized version and also the Boxcar version.  I haven’t seen a Bachmann liquid type track cleaning car.  Then again, what type of liquid would be used, ...alcohol based maybe?

The reason behind this... is I purchased some old E-Z track (again both grey and black) and for some reason seem to be getting hits and misses in engine operation on this used purchased track.  Yes, I did use a magnifying glass on the track rails and did not see anything out of the normal.  Since I've never owned a track cleaning car, this might be the an enlighten moment.


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Terry Toenges on September 12, 2021, 03:51:57 PM
I've tried track cleaning cars and didn't like dealing with having to add liquids and getting the flow right without a mess. I'm hooked on Woodland Scenics Tidy Track.
(https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/images/NewWSWeb/TT4550_f_1.jpg)


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Terry Toenges on September 12, 2021, 03:53:09 PM
I modified my Tidy Track cleaner to pull behind a loco. I removed the handle attachment and added some weight. I cut out a slot and installed a coupler pocket and coupler.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADZurqqcBmE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADZurqqcBmE)


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Terry Toenges on September 12, 2021, 04:17:06 PM
This shows pics how I did it.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10159125215325522&type=3 (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10159125215325522&type=3)


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Terry Toenges on September 12, 2021, 07:51:42 PM
Another cleaner car I use like John Allen did. I took a piece of Masonite and super glued two cut off nails to it. I angled the ends of the Masonite. I drilled two holes in the bottom of the car. Stick the nails in the holes and Masonite floats on the rails. When the bottom gets dirty, I just sand it off and I have a fresh surface.
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10159705955775522&set=a.10157939761420522 (https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10159705955775522&set=a.10157939761420522)


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Len on September 13, 2021, 01:34:08 AM
The reason behind this... is I purchased some old E-Z track (again both grey and black) and for some reason seem to be getting hits and misses in engine operation on this used purchased track. 

One problem with used track is the rail joiners may have spread open through use, so they are not making good contact with the connecting rail. You can use a pair of flat nose pliars to squeeze them slightly closed, so they are making good contact with the connecting rail.

Len


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Trainman203 on September 13, 2021, 02:49:48 PM
I rub my track with an old piece of cork roadbed.


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: jward on September 14, 2021, 01:27:38 PM
I use a pair of these.

https://www.centerline-products.com/product-page/ho-scale-nmra-specification

One is run with the pad soaked in GooGone, the other is run dry. It's amazing the dirt they pick up.




Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Desert Rose on September 14, 2021, 10:37:12 PM
Well boys somehow my husband conned me into cleaning his e-z track about 200 feet of it. I prefer Using Mr Clean Magic Erasers you can wipe down the e-z track dry in minutes, I defiantly do not like doing this very often. I do this every 200 hrs or 12 months witch ever comes first. We run 200 to 300 hrs a year, We stick a Bachmann mow - track-cleaning single-dome tank car dry, second to the last car.


Deborah



Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Trainman203 on September 28, 2021, 05:38:56 PM
There have been on line shouting matches about whose track cleaning process is best.  It boils down to not abrading the rail if at all possible, since microscopic grooves collect microstopic partiscules.


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: CNE Runner on October 03, 2021, 02:14:31 PM
Ah, the track cleaning debate. It seems everyone (or almost everyone) has their favorite method. I suggest you steer clear of ANYTHING abrasive (e.g. track-cleaning erasers, wet/dry sandpaper, etc.). Abrasive 'cleaners' will leave tiny scratches in the surface of your rails...which attracts more corrosion.

I run Bachmann 45-ton locomotives on my Monks Island Railway; so the lack of pulling power precludes the use of some of the heavier track cleaning cars (e.g. CMX). Additionally, the Monks Island Railway is a point-to-point road and the tried and true Masonite block under a boxcar won't work either. So what is my answer?

These are the steps that have worked for me: 1) I run my trains frequently, 2) I use the IHC Track Cleaning Caboose with an appropriately-sized piece of t-shirt material in place of the [supplied] felt pad (I do not use/fill the onboard cleaning agent tank), 3) spray the aforementioned t-shirt pad with Inox MX3 (an excellent Australian product that is available from Amazon).

I run the Inox-'equipped' caboose all over the layout. Generally speaking this is done every other month. A small piece of t-shirt material (soaked with Inox MX3) can be used on some of those 'trouble spots'. That is it. Oh, I should mention that I do (once a year) clean all the wheels on my rolling stock (and locos) with ACT-6006 Track & Rail Cleaner. Why the change in product? I have several bottles of ACT-6006...making it less expensive than Inox. I, absolutely, do NOT recommend the use of isopropanol due to the water (and impurities) 70% and 90% isopropyl alcohol contain.

Want some entertainment? Watch the 'Crazy Australian's' YouTube video on this subject.

Keep 'em rolling,
Ray


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Trainman203 on October 03, 2021, 03:23:03 PM
Rubbing your track with a piece of cork road bed does the same thing.  Non abrasive is the key.  My layout is also a small point to point, so a track cleaning “car” is not as practical as on a road with long running time.


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: plas man on October 03, 2021, 04:19:38 PM
Peco track cleaning rubber for me , the Dapol motorised cleaner (scrubber/buffer/hoover  but it burnt out , balast wedged in fan) 

also of note the EZ track is ,, black steel rails ,,, grey nickle rails

also I find the Kato track stays cleaner than Peco ( N Scale)


Title: Re: Track cleaning -any recommendations?
Post by: Trainman203 on October 13, 2021, 12:22:32 PM
I’ve found that no matter hard you surgically clean the top of the railhead, there’s always going to be partiscules or residue left on the upper inside corner of the railhead.  Sometimes this area is more critical to electrical pickup than the top of the railhead, especially if a tender being is pushed to one side while in motion.  In these cases, track cleaning cars of any kind won’t do the job.  You have to get down there like a gandy dancer with your non abrasive block and rub the inside corner at a 45° angle.  For some reason, on my layout this aggravation happens around concentrations of switches like in yards.