Re: Cleaners & Lubricants

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>

My two cents comes with a caveat – choice of cleaning solutions may vary with the kind of dirt.  I am still actively building in N code 55, so I end up with a lot of rosin flux and sawdust on my tracks.  I also have a lot of plastic wheels that wear and deposit residue on the rails.  Plaster, scenery and ballast may change my thinking.  I also run long coal drags up heavy grades, so traction is critical.


To date, I have found that Bright Boy type abrasives are rough on the track, clog up, and tend to transfer the problem along the track.  Masonite pads under a box car are ok for keeping dust off of track that is already clean.  But they don’t do much for flux or plastic goo.  My current answer is a brass CMX cleaner car with isopropyl alcohol, which does a great job of removing flux, glue, plastic residue and oxides.  The downside is that alcohols (and other active solvents like ketones) may leave the track susceptible to faster oxidation after cleaning.  It hasn’t been a problem to me, because I’m otherwise so messy that I have to clean frequently.  I hope eventually to do less soldering, and replace my plastic car wheels with metal.  That should let me settle into a longer maintenance cycle using the same CMX cleaner, but with odorless mineral spirits (branched aliphatics) with low odor, low toxicity, and no lubricating effects.


From: <> On Behalf Of John White
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:52 AM
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Cleaners & Lubricants


I have a couple of the old AHM track cleaning cars that I use. I have been using Goo-Gone with these for several years. It has worked well for me, How often do I run my cleaner cars, no specific time frame, only when I notice sketchy performance or just feel the need to clean my track. It also cleans the wheel pretty well too. As for the engines specifically, I use the paper towel laid on the rail with Goo-Gone and run my engine on it to clean the wheels. All of this works pretty well. Now, if I feel a certain spot is acting up, I will take a small piece of Styrofoam and slightly wet it with G-G and rub it on the track and it cleans very well, as the Styrofoam comes out very very nasty. None of this leaves any slick spots to interfere with traction.  My two cents.

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