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Offline Trainiac  
#1 Posted : 23 June 2018 15:39:07(UTC)
Trainiac

Sweden   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 28
Location: Södermanlands län
I’ve read many articles and texts and also watched some videos about different track cleaning methods. Some examples have been the märklin 86501 track cleaning car, the 8802 railbus and wiping the tracks with IPA.

So here’s my question: why hasn’t anyone mentioned just using a few drops of water and a paper towel?
(A dry paper towel would then be used to remove the remaining moisture and less pressure would of course be applied around the rail joints to make sure that no paper gets stuck there)

Edited by user 24 June 2018 00:07:27(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Regards
Erik
———
Mainly German trains era II-III
Collection consists of Z scale, digital H0 scale, G scale and T Gauge trains (they are sorted by collection size so my main focus is on Z scale)
Take a look at my Instagram:maerklin_z
Offline Bahner  
#2 Posted : 23 June 2018 22:10:52(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 115
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: Trainiac Go to Quoted Post
I’ve read many articles and texts and also watched some videos about different track cleaning methods. Some examples have been the märklin 86501 track cleaning car, the 8802 railbus and wiping the tracks with IPA.

So here’s my question: why hasn’t anyone mentioned just using a few drops of water and a paper towel?
(A dry paper towel would then be used to remove the remaining moisture and less pressure would of course be applied around the rail joints to make sure that no paper gets stuck there)


Track rails oxidize over time and water, while technically a solvent, is much slower to remove oxidation than a cleaning fluid. Water also causes iron to oxidize, so if you left some on the metal tracks (and in the joints) it could cause rust to form.

I use IPA and a clean, soft cloth. From first-hand experience, never use a paper towel as even a tiny spec of the paper that gets into the gearing can easily jam a Z or N scale locomotive.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Bahner
Offline Trainiac  
#3 Posted : 24 June 2018 00:05:08(UTC)
Trainiac

Sweden   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 28
Location: Södermanlands län
Originally Posted by: Bahner Go to Quoted Post

Track rails oxidize over time and water, while technically a solvent, is much slower to remove oxidation than a cleaning fluid. Water also causes iron to oxidize, so if you left some on the metal tracks (and in the joints) it could cause rust to form.

I use IPA and a clean, soft cloth. From first-hand experience, never use a paper towel as even a tiny spec of the paper that gets into the gearing can easily jam a Z or N scale locomotive.


Thank you for your thorough reply. It’s good to know what not to do and I will keep these things in mind.

If my track is very dirty I first use the peco abrasive rail cleaner, then the märklin 86501 track cleaning car and lastly the 8802 track cleaning railbus. To increase reliability even more I also use a Gaugemaster electronic track cleaner.

I will also try your suggestion with IPA and a clean, soft cloth.
Regards
Erik
———
Mainly German trains era II-III
Collection consists of Z scale, digital H0 scale, G scale and T Gauge trains (they are sorted by collection size so my main focus is on Z scale)
Take a look at my Instagram:maerklin_z
Offline Bahner  
#4 Posted : 24 June 2018 02:42:19(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 115
Location: California, East Bay
Originally Posted by: Trainiac Go to Quoted Post


Thank you for your thorough reply. It’s good to know what not to do and I will keep these things in mind.

If my track is very dirty I first use the peco abrasive rail cleaner, then the märklin 86501 track cleaning car and lastly the 8802 track cleaning railbus. To increase reliability even more I also use a Gaugemaster electronic track cleaner.

I will also try your suggestion with IPA and a clean, soft cloth.


On a side note, you might want to look into some of the different track preparation methods that can eliminate the abrasive cleaning: 'gleaming', 'metal polishing', 'burnishing', etc. I used the gleaming process (http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/212742.aspx) which is simply polishing the top of the track with a stainless steel washer, so I only have to use IPA when I bring my layout out from storage to remove a bit of oxidation.

Another use of the SS washer is to round off the rail heads. My new Minitrix N scale track top surface inner corners were really sharp which limited locomotive traction/electrical contact going up a relatively steep curved grade. Rounding the rail head profile to more closely match the wheel profile worked well to improve performance. I plan to do the same with my new Z scale layout when I get to the point that track is laid.


thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Bahner
Offline Trainiac  
#5 Posted : 24 June 2018 12:40:52(UTC)
Trainiac

Sweden   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 28
Location: Södermanlands län
Originally Posted by: Bahner Go to Quoted Post

On a side note, you might want to look into some of the different track preparation methods that can eliminate the abrasive cleaning: 'gleaming', 'metal polishing', 'burnishing', etc. I used the gleaming process (http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/212742.aspx) which is simply polishing the top of the track with a stainless steel washer, so I only have to use IPA when I bring my layout out from storage to remove a bit of oxidation.



This sounds like a great method. I have never heard about it before. But will dirt from locomotive or car wheels still end up on the rails (and thus reduce conductivity) or will that be prevented by the thin layer of wax?

Originally Posted by: Bahner Go to Quoted Post


Another use of the SS washer is to round off the rail heads. My new Minitrix N scale track top surface inner corners were really sharp which limited locomotive traction/electrical contact going up a relatively steep curved grade. Rounding the rail head profile to more closely match the wheel profile worked well to improve performance. I plan to do the same with my new Z scale layout when I get to the point that track is laid.



This also sounds like a good idea, but isn’t there a risk of damaging the rails if it is done incorrectly?
Regards
Erik
———
Mainly German trains era II-III
Collection consists of Z scale, digital H0 scale, G scale and T Gauge trains (they are sorted by collection size so my main focus is on Z scale)
Take a look at my Instagram:maerklin_z
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