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Author Topic: Oxidizing of rails  (Read 3108 times)
CSXRailRoader

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« on: July 23, 2007, 10:11:50 PM »

is there any way to keep tracks from oxidizing so quickly, and is there a easy way to clean the tracks
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Craig

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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 12:11:09 AM »

It would help to know the gauge and metal type.

I use a track cleaning car. You'll get advice specific to your application if you furnish a few more details.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 03:31:10 AM »

I apply a very thin coat of light oil to the tops of the rails to prevent oxidation in H0, 0 and large scale.  In large scale I use one drop of light oil on each rail every 100 feet along the track and renew it if/when the locomotive headlight start to flicker.  In H0 I put a few drops of light oil on a small square of cotton rag, then use this to wipe the tops of the rails.  The oil layer needs to be only a few molecules thick to stop oxidation, which is much too thin to lose traction.   If you lose traction, then you are using way too much oil. 

I have been doing this in H0 for over 3 decades.  In large scale, I have used it for more than 10 years to successfully run track powered DCC on aluminum rails, both indoors and out.
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
cmgn9712

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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 09:07:28 AM »

Many "oils" are not plastic compatible.  Jim, you should define what you are using. Wahl clipper oil has been used. A better solution is a product called Rail-zip.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2007, 12:45:56 PM »

Most model track today is nickle silver, which oxidizes slower than old brass.  In addition, I'm given to understand that the NS oxide is still mildly conductive.  Old brass rail, when it oxidized, was virtually unusable.  There was a liquid made for the electronics folks  called No-Ox that kept the oxide at bay for a while.  Bottom line--if your rail is silver-colored, clean it first with a good track cleaning liquid and rag.  This should solve most of your problems.  If you are still having contact problems, then go for the Rail-Zip--a couple of drops on the rails at a few spots around the layout will do.  Running the trains will spread the coverage over the layout.  Worst case, get out the Brite-Boy and polish the tops of the rails, then do the Rail-Zip treatment.  If your rail is brass, replace it with nickle silver if you can.  Otherwise, keep the Brite-Boy real handy.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 02:24:05 PM »

From my experience, it is mandatory to clean ALL your rails before applying Rail-Zip and then clean them each time you apply some more.  Also - a little goes a long way.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2007, 05:05:03 PM »

Many "oils" are not plastic compatible.  Jim, you should define what you are using. Wahl clipper oil has been used. A better solution is a product called Rail-zip.
Many oils are not plastic compatible but then many trains have metal wheels.  And the better plastic wheels are made of Acetal or Delrin which are oil resistant (think nylon gears which spend their lifetime immersed in oil.)  Only the cheapest of the cheap wheels are made of oil-affected plastics like ABS, as least in H0.  They are, however, found in large scale, so yes, I should have been more specific.  My favourite is Labelle 108 if plastic wheels are involved.  If there are no oil-affected plastics involved, then any very light, non-oxidizing oil will work fine.  This included Whal and other brands of hair clipper oil and Singer and other brands of sewing machine oil.  None of these is listed as plastic compatible, nor need they be in their intended applications.

Rail Zip failed to impress me.  It seems to evaporate and require repeated applications.  If I followed SteamGene's suggestion and cleaned the rails every time I applied it, I would be cleaning rails weekly instead of yearly.
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2007, 06:03:54 PM »

Dear Jim, et al,

I used Jim's trick, published here several weeks ago, on my O-scale that is on the porch, overwinter in central Pennsylvania. The track got really dark and cruddy. I cleaned it with LGB smoke fluid, then used Labelle 107, as I did not have 108.  One drop on each rail for 35 feet really made those babies slip!  With the sound and smoke turned on it was impressive!  My boys and I got a kick out of it. This was 5 weeks ago and it is still running strong!  Thanks, Jim!

Best Wishes,

Jack
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ebtbob


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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 06:25:22 AM »

Good Morning All,

        For the umpteenth time,  do not forget,  time to clean the track means time to clean the wheels.   If not,  and any form of a liquid is used on the track without it being wiped off,  and all the crud on the wheels goes right back to you know where.
        The reality of it all is that there is no way to clean track that does not take work.  It is a simple fact that you will have to do it at some point or another.
         Again,  for the umpteenth time......DO NOT use any type of abrasive material such as fine grit sandpaper or emory cloth as they will scratch the railheads.
         Most track cleaning cars will do a nice job but,  in the end,  if you are smart,  you will still wipe down the rails to remove any remaining substances on the rail heads.
        My local club,  GATSME has a website - www.gatsme.org,   with a link on how we clean our rails.

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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
Bill Baker

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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 09:17:09 AM »

Bob,

Thanks for posting your link to your club website.  Wonderful craftmanship and well organized.  I might "steal" a few ideas from you.
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Bill
jsmvmd

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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 05:12:28 PM »

Dear Bob,

Very nice site!  Someone down there has done a whole bunch of work to get the layout like that!  Thanks for the tip about cleaning the rails, etc. My friend Ted's son works for CRC and just loves that stuff.  Have you ever tried "CorrosionX" for lubrication in extreme conditions.  If you contact their website they will send you a sample.  It is supposed to be superior for marine conditions. Perhaps it would work well on a RR, presuming it is plastic compatible.

Best Wishes,

Jack
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ebtbob


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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 06:39:13 AM »

Good Morning All,

       Thanks for the very nice comments about the GATSME Model Railroad Club.   The club has been in existence for over 50 years and in its present location since 1974.    The views you see are the combined efforts of many people,  most of which are NOT master modelers.   We try to work together to make things happen.   
        Sadly,   we may be in our last two years in the location.   The club is in the basement of a school complex that the township may be closing down.    The last actual "school" to occupy the building was a private school that caused some problems for the neighborhood and was asked to leave.  So if anyone out there knows of a possible location in the NW subs of Philadelphia,  please contact the club thru the website. 
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Bob Rule, Jr.
Hatboro, Pa
In God We Trust
Not so much in Congress
GATSME MRRC - www.gatsme.org
Bill Baker

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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 08:55:13 AM »

Bob,

Just as a thought, you might check into some of the local churces in your area.  With so much emphasis placed on Youth Ministeries now, you might find a local church which has a large basement that would love to be host to your club.  There would be adult supervision, a safe and decent environment and most of all a place which would get kids off the streets and into a great and wonderful hobby.

Bill
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Bill
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