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Author Topic: Good track cleaner  (Read 3373 times)

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« on: December 30, 2014, 06:03:48 PM »

Hi all!
I was wondering what the opinions out there were for track cleaner cars.
Are there any good ones? Are some better than others? Do they work well?
Nothing Ventured-Nothing Gained

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2014, 06:52:37 PM »

I would just use Denatured alcohol to clean my track with and not bother with a track cleaner car unless their are some areas that you can't reach like a tunnel or a enclosed bridge etc.etc. 
A Derailed Drag Racer

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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2014, 08:30:21 PM »

In my opinion, track cleaner cars are a gimmick, at best. They are by no means, a substitute for a thorough cleaning by hand. For tunnels, Micro-Mark sells basically a Brite Boy on a stick, and Woodland Scenics has their own track cleaner on a handle thingy.....both are good for reaching into a tunnel.

And track cleaner cars are useless at cleaning a turnout properly.



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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2014, 09:11:37 PM »


There are three aspects of track cleaning: the initial cleaning, maintenance cleaning and wheel cleaning. There are special cars which use proprietary cleaning fluids to do both initial and maintenance cleaning. These mostly do a good job. Then there are electrostatic cleaners. These give mixed results, based on what I have heard. It's possible that the mixed results are due to operator variability. Also, these cannot be used with operating DCC systems so a back up DC system is needed.

I use a Brite Boy block for initial cleaning and occasional touch ups, and a couple of box cars with a block of Masonite riding on the rails to keep things clean. This works remarkably well for the effort needed to do it. However, they're of little use on sidings, spurs and yards because they don't spend enough time passing over those tracks.

I don't find a need to clean metal rolling stock wheels. Loco and tender wheels are another story. For those I use a special brush-like thing. It has brass brushes which send power to the loco so the wheels get cleaned as the loco rests on its back. The brass brushes don't harm the wheels on the locos. I use the Brite-Boy on the non-driven power pick up wheels on the locos or tenders.
                                                                                                                  -- D

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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2014, 10:03:02 PM »

There have been too many discussions on this topic to begin to list them.  But a Search of the board will find them.

Sid makes a great point about turnouts.

I like Wahl clipper oil on the rails.  Put a couple of drops on them, run the train around and then wipe the oil up with a cotton rag.  I do think for regular track, a track cleaning car with hardboard on it works.  I do not like abrasive track cleaning blocks, but I do like the softer ones by Perfect.  I think to a lessor degree a white or pink eraser will work in a pinch.  My go to is definitely the Wahl.

Keep Calm and Carry On

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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2014, 10:17:57 PM »

I have gotten good results with my centerline cars. they have rollers which you soak in your choice of fluid. I have two of them, I run one wet and the other dry in the same train.

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA

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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 12:59:03 AM »

I have 2 IHC track cleaning cars that have fluid in them and put it down as they go. I also have 8 walthers track cleaning cars (dry). I think I also have one other one but can't remember who made it.

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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2014, 07:28:39 AM »

What's your gentleman's choice for cleaning fluids?

Keep Calm and Carry On
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