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Offline Goofy  
#51 Posted : 05 September 2020 08:51:14(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,397
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
As I've stated and Henrik has supported, the most important thing for a clean (functioning) track is low humidity.
I've tried graphite on the studs and Kerosene on the rails, neither really improved the situation. Installed a de-humidifier set to 45% and problem solved.
I spot clean a few pukos maybe once every month or two and sometimes I see rubber tyre marks on the rails which I clean off with isopropyl.

So in short, the best way to clean the track is to not have to clean it at all!


LOL
Wrong!
You must clean your tracks and the wheels on the trains.
Even Märklin recommended it.
The rail and stud contact always oxid when you have power on to the track.
So does even the wheels.
The best way to have good contact between the locomotive and the track is to clean the wheels and the rail.
Even pick up shoe must clean often.
H0
Two rail= Pure realism
Offline hxmiesa  
#52 Posted : 05 September 2020 13:02:51(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Even pick up shoe must clean often.

I don't think that I have cleaned a pickup shoe ever...
But, what I wonder the most about this goofy statement, is... How has Goofy ever had the need to clean anything, if he changes his stuff every year?

Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline MalinAC  
#53 Posted : 05 September 2020 13:19:00(UTC)
MalinAC

Ireland   
Joined: 29/05/2014(UTC)
Posts: 838
Location: DONEGAL, CARNDONAGH
Well I have only cleaned the track about 5 times in 6 years and never the centre studs. I never clean loco wheels or wagons. I only have a 4x 8 layout but everything works good every time. I run trains for a few minutes about 4 a week. So who is right--the person who always cleans and everything works or the person who rarely cleans and everything still works. Maybe its because Im Irish living in Ireland and the Irish are the chosen ones BigGrin Cool Love
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Offline hxmiesa  
#54 Posted : 05 September 2020 13:28:32(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: MalinAC Go to Quoted Post
Well I have only cleaned the track about 5 times in 6 years and never the centre studs. I never clean loco wheels or wagons. I only have a 4x 8 layout but everything works good every time. I run trains for a few minutes about 4 a week. So who is right--the person who always cleans and everything works or the person who rarely cleans and everything still works. Maybe its because Im Irish living in Ireland and the Irish are the chosen ones BigGrin Cool Love

Well, I'm a Dane, living in Spain, running German trains and talking about it on an English forum. -and I don't have problems either! So I guess that there are more chosen ones than just the Irish.

I have around 250m of rails (mostly K, the rest M), and I have never cleaned all of them. Neither do I run cleaning waggons.
After 13 years, the layout still works really well, even if nothing runs there for many weeks!

As stated many times before; The GUNK that I do have, seems to collect itself on the WHEELS, which I DO have to clean! (albeit rarely, like once a year -and only on some of the rolling stock)

Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline DB Fan  
#55 Posted : 05 September 2020 15:10:05(UTC)
DB Fan

United States   
Joined: 01/03/2016(UTC)
Posts: 201
Location: Colorado
Come to Colorado. I live in the western part of Colorado what is very dry and gets at times even lower than 45% humidity and most of the year we are around that number. I have to clean the tracks only every once in a while but as you mentioned static electricity is a some what a problem but there are ways around it.

Robert
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Offline Goofy  
#56 Posted : 06 September 2020 11:40:48(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,397
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Even pick up shoe must clean often.

I don't think that I have cleaned a pickup shoe ever...
But, what I wonder the most about this goofy statement, is... How has Goofy ever had the need to clean anything, if he changes his stuff every year?



I do have seen the result why Märklin oxid by of dirt and grease of the tyre and oil on the tracks.
What has to change the stuff to do with the science of track cleaning??? Blink

Edited by moderator 29 September 2020 10:55:15(UTC)  | Reason: Removed offensive statement

H0
Two rail= Pure realism
Offline Copenhagen  
#57 Posted : 06 September 2020 15:17:10(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
It's my experience, after a couple of years of driving, that the tracks (I use C track) are not the source of the problem whenever a locomotive stops or runs erratically at a certain part of the layout. Unless there is something wrong with the locomotive the problem is always solved by using a graphite stick on the pukos in the area. Before I learned about using graphite (on this forum) I tried cleaning and scrubbing the studs but it didn't help much.

A couple of years ago I visited a club with a large K track layout. At certain points of the track locos would have a tendency to stop. Cleaning the track in the area with a piece of tissue would remove a lot of black dirt but there would still be a tendency for locos to have difficulties in the area. I wonder if the use of graphite on the center studs would have been better because I assume that the rest of the tracks would also be quite dirty without affecting the trains.
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Offline Purellum  
#58 Posted : 06 September 2020 16:35:48(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,303
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
I do have seen the result why Märklin oxid by of dirt and grease of the tyre and oil on the tracks


You keep mixing oxidation with dirt and grease; it's two completely different things.

For e.g. normal iron and steel, oxidation is better known as rust - this is not the problem here BigGrin

For copper, oxidation is called copper-oxide; it's green and not electrical conductive - also not the problem here Blink

For stainless steel and nickel-silver, oxidation is not a problem, since the oxidated layer is electrical conductive........... Cool

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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Offline drezenpe  
#59 Posted : 07 September 2020 18:45:05(UTC)
drezenpe

United States   
Joined: 07/09/2020(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Illinois, Dixon
Hello-
New to MRR and reading this thread jogged my curiosity. Are there specific cleaners that work better for brass rail as opposed to steel or nickel-silver? I am using brass rail track and so I thought I might inquire?

Thanks
Offline Copenhagen  
#60 Posted : 07 September 2020 20:50:42(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
I have no experience with brass tracks but stumbled upon this discussion when googling:
https://www.trainorders....ussion/read.php?3,479930
Offline applor  
#61 Posted : 08 September 2020 07:16:11(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,602
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post

-But I have a question for you; How can you live with only 45% of humidity??
I tried, and below 55% I get more and more static electricity, which is somewhat uncomfortable to live with. (-and very dangerous to fine electronics, like decoders)

My floor is an IKEA lamina "wooden" floor, with all its plastic isolation on top of the concrete cellar floor.
Maybe I should ground my layout, bypassing the IKEA floor and its isolations¿?



I don't seem to have problems with static. I have laminate flooring with rubber mats on top to go easy on the knees etc. when working underneath.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline Ranjit  
#62 Posted : 09 September 2020 05:24:06(UTC)
Ranjit

Malaysia   
Joined: 18/06/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,954
Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA
Hi All...

After discussing the "Science of Track Cleaning" for over fifteen (15) months, do we know exactly what it is or are we a little muddled-up ? I would very interested in learning more about cleaning K-Track.

Take care and stay safe.

Cheers,
Ranjit
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come" - Victor Marie Hugo
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney
Offline hxmiesa  
#63 Posted : 09 September 2020 07:29:30(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Ranjit Go to Quoted Post
After discussing the "Science of Track Cleaning" for over fifteen (15) months, do we know exactly what it is or are we a little muddled-up ?

Even with 15 YEARS you would not get it right.
I think dirty tracks has been discussed since the very beginning of model railroading. -and probably was one of the earliest topics when this forum was started. BigGrin

Hm. "An ongoing investigation" maybe?

(Or "The Neverending Story")
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Ranjit  
#64 Posted : 09 September 2020 08:02:36(UTC)
Ranjit

Malaysia   
Joined: 18/06/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,954
Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA
Hehehe... !! We all have such unique circumstances. Like in the case of INOX and IPA, One man's food, is another man's poison !!

It looks like the bottom line is that there is No Science behind Track Cleaning. We just have to make sure the tracks do not get dirty and dusty. I suppose wiping the tracks with a rag and vacuuming regularly should do the trick.

Cheers,
Ranjit
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come" - Victor Marie Hugo
"If you can dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney
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Offline Copenhagen  
#65 Posted : 09 September 2020 10:42:30(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by: Ranjit Go to Quoted Post
... We just have to make sure the tracks do not get dirty...


Well, some of the answers indicate that dirt on the tracks is not an issue and that a rigorous cleaning schedule is not needed.
Offline Danlake  
#66 Posted : 09 September 2020 12:17:53(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,541
From the people who runs more trains than anyone else:

Track Cleaning
Tracks need to be kept clean, regardless of 2- or 3 conducts!

When the tracks are dirty the locomotives can’t get power because dirt on the track acts as insulation be-tween the wheels and the tracks and prevents contact. The 15,715 meters rails in Wunderland are no longer cleaned by hand; there are cleaning trains on each track. These consist of a double traction regime (two locomotives) pulling 2-4 cleaning cars.
The cleaning cars have a plate of felt or cleaning stone (a kind of eraser) between the axle, which rests on the rail and cleans it. These plates are regularly changed or cleaned.

In the wider community I think it’s a minority that states track does not require cleaning for smooth running. And I think there is a common understanding that non abrasive cleaning is better than abrasive cleaning. But apart from that I think we can agree there is many different options that may work differently depending on AC or DCC, humidity in your train room, use of wheel tires, amount of dust and probably also your own personal sensitivity to what smooth running constitutes etc.

Best Regards
Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline dickinsonj  
#67 Posted : 10 September 2020 01:56:00(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
These days I run all C track and I clean it a couple of times a year or my trains have problems. Clean track is like a spouse, in that it is best to avoid the issues in the first place. BigGrin

For years I always used isopropyl alcohol, even after a dealer said it left a residue that would just make it all worse. I thought that he was confused and now I think that he was right!

After I read the article on polarity in various cleaning agents I tried three different low-polar cleaners last year. I see somewhat less gunk on my rails but my tracks still need periodic cleaning. I run a Märklin felt pad cleaning car which needs pad changes at a regular interval but I do clean the whole layout less often after the switch away from alcohol.

No doubt I am also behind in wheel cleaning which can defeat the track cleaning very quickly, so nothing goes on my track without clean wheels this year! Everything is currently packed away and that allows for a good cleaning of both track and rolling stock, which is no fun but means a nice functional layout by Christmas. ThumpUp
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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Offline Copenhagen  
#68 Posted : 10 September 2020 10:56:46(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
To dickinsonj: The only residue pure isopropyl alcohol could leave is a diluted layer/thin film of the dirt that was on the track.

I googled 'miniatur wunderland gleis reinigen' and it's always fascinating watching and reading about the attraction.
Here it says that they use cleaning trains with felt or cleaning rubber pads and don't do any hand cleaning anymore
https://www.miniatur-wun...lbahn/schienenreinigung/

In this video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FrddN8DpYAU we see different kinds of cleaning actions. It's from December 2019 and may show some outdated procedures. When they use microfiber rags to clean they seem to use a glass cleaner from a spray bottle on the rags. It seems that they still clean the tracks by hand twice a year because at 15:07 and onwards he demonstrates the difference between a section that has just been cleaned by hand and a section which is scheduled for hand cleaning (unless I've misunderstood something).
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Offline applor  
#69 Posted : 11 September 2020 07:05:27(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,602
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post

You must clean your tracks and the wheels on the trains.
Even Märklin recommended it.
The rail and stud contact always oxid when you have power on to the track.
So does even the wheels.
The best way to have good contact between the locomotive and the track is to clean the wheels and the rail.
Even pick up shoe must clean often.



I am not saying that the wheels or the track don't ever need cleaning. I am saying that at low humidity the track does not need regular cleaning.

The wheels and the rails both accumulate 'dirt' from the rubber tyres and need cleaning on rare occasions.

Oxidation of the centre studs is dramatically reduced in low humidity to the point that occasional running of the trains negates the need to clean them due to the pickup shoe.


Previously I had to clean my entire layout weekly just to keep the trains running when I had no humidity control.

Now that I maintain 45% humidity I no longer need to do regular cleaning, only the occasion spot clean of rails from tyre rubber or a small deadspot with centre studs every couple of months.

When I clean, I use isopropyl for rails and wheels. I use the roco track cleaner for the centre studs (pukos)

I previously tried cleaning rails with Kerosene and used graphite on the studs but without humidity control it made no difference either way.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline phils2um  
#70 Posted : 11 September 2020 11:23:11(UTC)
phils2um

United States   
Joined: 12/01/2016(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
No doubt I am also behind in wheel cleaning which can defeat the track cleaning very quickly, so nothing goes on my track without clean wheels this year!


Sounds like a New Years weight loss pledge!

Phil S.
Phil S.
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Offline Garoux  
#71 Posted : 12 September 2020 17:36:56(UTC)
Garoux

France   
Joined: 15/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 38
Location: Occitanie, Canton de Lacapelle-Marival
Originally Posted by: Harryv40 Go to Quoted Post
Hi Everyone,
I wondered how long this subject would be raised again.
.....

I discovered these exchanges and I was interested. Infortunately, I live in France and the products named are not avalaible.
And I think that the words "PRODUIT POUR NETTOYER LES RAILS" would bot be effective in google search.
For many years I used my finger in a dry cloth with a drop of gasoline C for lighters.
I dont trust in cleaning gondola. No sufficient weight!
Luckily there is no tunnel closed on my layout. Indeed!






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Offline 1borna  
#72 Posted : 12 September 2020 20:50:15(UTC)
1borna

Croatia   
Joined: 21/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 770
Location: Hrvatska
There are big differences between layouts for an audience that drive several hours each day and small private ones that are in use several times a year.
The big ones drive thousands of hours a year until the little ones do it for a lifetime?
I would say, however, that the most important thing is to start with clean wheels on all models and a thoroughly cleaned track, because dirt is easily transferred from one to the other.
Abrasives in small layouts will not do any harm as they are rarely used while in large ones that need constant cleaning it would lead to thinning of the rails.
No cleaning wagon can clean the track as well as your hand, they make sense to maintain the cleanliness once achieved.
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Offline dickinsonj  
#73 Posted : 13 September 2020 00:55:38(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: phils2um Go to Quoted Post
Sounds like a New Years weight loss pledge!

Phil S.


And about as much fun Phil BigGrin

Cheers

Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline Goofy  
#74 Posted : 21 September 2020 19:51:59(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,397
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
I do have seen the result why Märklin oxid by of dirt and grease of the tyre and oil on the tracks


You keep mixing oxidation with dirt and grease; it's two completely different things.

For e.g. normal iron and steel, oxidation is better known as rust - this is not the problem here BigGrin

For copper, oxidation is called copper-oxide; it's green and not electrical conductive - also not the problem here Blink

For stainless steel and nickel-silver, oxidation is not a problem, since the oxidated layer is electrical conductive........... Cool

Per.

Cool


You miss the real problem what you add to the tracks...power feeder.
It makes more grease on the rail and stud contacts with the dust, oil and rubber after traction tyre (locomotive).
Oxidation exist support by the power on the rail, because the rail and the stud contact is unprotected or as they says...exposes themselves.

H0
Two rail= Pure realism
Offline Copenhagen  
#75 Posted : 22 September 2020 01:09:50(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
How long time do traction tyres last? Are they worn so fast that they account for a good deal of the dirt on the track?
My take is that the dirt on the tracks is mainly microscopic metallic particles mixed with dust and other microscopic particles.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#76 Posted : 29 September 2020 11:06:52(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,744
Location: New Zealand
Some off topic posts have been removed from this thread.
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Offline Minok  
#77 Posted : 30 September 2020 01:12:50(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,204
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Do NOT use inox if you run locomotives with rubber traction tires. Inox, to my understanding, leaves a film on the metal to provide its oxidation protection. Running traction tires over those rails will pick up some of the inox onto the rubber tires. Reports are that this will much more rapidly degrade the traction tires.

And remember a key aspect of this: the goal is not to have clean rails. It should not matter if the rail is clean, or if wiping it with a cloth or finger shows a black streak of dirt.
The goal is to maintain good conductivity, so use products that maintain conductivity. I'd prefer a grey conductive rail that requires very infrequent to almost no effort all day over a shiny silver clean rail that is less conductive or that requires very regular cleaning to maintain that shiny silver state.

Attacking the article that presents the various solvents based on polarity and the discussion in the articles about the pros and cons of polarity on maintaining conductivity or attracting dirt, just because its not scientific enough for your taste is pointless. Its not a peer reviewed research paper, but a collection of expert opinions that serves to guide the reader on better cleaner selection. Use it to try a better option and see if it works better for you. That its not scientifically rigorous doesn't make it worthless, it doesn't make it or its conclusions wrong. Your letting the concept of best be the enemy of 'good enough'.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#78 Posted : 30 September 2020 01:19:00(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,744
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Do NOT use inox if you run locomotives with rubber traction tires.


There's a warning on the Inox can which says that rubber may be affected by using Inox, so yes this is a pertinent warning.

Offline Copenhagen  
#79 Posted : 02 October 2020 15:39:14(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Attacking the article that presents the various solvents based on polarity and the discussion in the articles about the pros and cons of polarity on maintaining conductivity or attracting dirt, just because its not scientific enough for your taste is pointless. Its not a peer reviewed research paper, but a collection of expert opinions that serves to guide the reader on better cleaner selection. Use it to try a better option and see if it works better for you. That its not scientifically rigorous doesn't make it worthless, it doesn't make it or its conclusions wrong. Your letting the concept of best be the enemy of 'good enough'.


If you're referring to my post, #40 and some of the later ones, I'd say that my points are valid.
Another thing: Inox is not on the list but some of the other substances on the list might also have bad effects on traction tyres. Acetone is on the list... as far as I know acetone will harm plastic so it shouldn't be there together with other agents that can be used for track cleaning, like IPA, contact cleaner and (soapy) water. At least not without a warning.
Offline parakiet  
#80 Posted : 06 October 2020 14:03:45(UTC)
parakiet

Belgium   
Joined: 20/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 65
Location: Flanders!
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post


And remember a key aspect of this: the goal is not to have clean rails. It should not matter if the rail is clean, or if wiping it with a cloth or finger shows a black streak of dirt.
The goal is to maintain good conductivity, so use products that maintain conductivity. I'd prefer a grey conductive rail that requires very infrequent to almost no effort all day.


What do you use?

Offline river6109  
#81 Posted : 07 October 2020 14:51:24(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,491
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
My cleaning days, to be honest I can't remember the last time I've cleaned the tracks, one thing I'm sure is since I've added ball bearings to my motors and not oiling the armature shaft, the tracks are cleaner, the wheels are cleaner, the cleaning work can be done in minutes. another improvement with the layout has been the insulation of the garage in recent years especially in winter time., we've gone through winter and had minimal disturbance regarding the tracks are concerned., the insulation will continue and will be improved further.

K-tracks have lasted now for over 40 years and this is something you don't hear very often and the layout modules have been through some tough conditions.

So what is the science of keeping tracks clean ? repeating the same process by keeping on oiling motors over and over again ? until someone takes time out and thinks about it what they are doing, I'm afraid there isn't much science left over., sometimes its just common sense. , to me the whole process sounds like a comedy, one shovels sand out of a hole and the other puts it back in again

John

Edited by user 10 October 2020 03:04:09(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline danmarklinman  
#82 Posted : 09 October 2020 20:16:58(UTC)
danmarklinman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,235
Originally Posted by: parakiet Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post


And remember a key aspect of this: the goal is not to have clean rails. It should not matter if the rail is clean, or if wiping it with a cloth or finger shows a black streak of dirt.
The goal is to maintain good conductivity, so use products that maintain conductivity. I'd prefer a grey conductive rail that requires very infrequent to almost no effort all day.


What do you use?



You just need to run your trains every day? Just for a few minutes and problem solved. It’s a bit like a real railway. Rusty Rails = disused Railway, I sometimes have a clean if the trains sound goes on a short section of track. But I never have the ball ache of. Cleaning rails and pukos before running anything. Regards Dan
Marklin and Piko era 4 SNCB , Marklin wagons
Wiking model car Fan
Faller fan including car system
Instagram: marklin1978
Wiking fan
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Offline Agneaux  
#83 Posted : 08 November 2020 07:22:35(UTC)
Agneaux

Australia   
Joined: 16/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by: Copenhagen Go to Quoted Post
It's my experience, after a couple of years of driving, that the tracks (I use C track) are not the source of the problem whenever a locomotive stops or runs erratically at a certain part of the layout. Unless there is something wrong with the locomotive the problem is always solved by using a graphite stick on the pukos in the area. Before I learned about using graphite (on this forum) I tried cleaning and scrubbing the studs but it didn't help much.

A couple of years ago I visited a club with a large K track layout. At certain points of the track locos would have a tendency to stop. Cleaning the track in the area with a piece of tissue would remove a lot of black dirt but there would still be a tendency for locos to have difficulties in the area. I wonder if the use of graphite on the center studs would have been better because I assume that the rest of the tracks would also be quite dirty without affecting the trains.


Graphite on pukos.

This is a revelation. This is also at odds with what others are saying elsewhere in this forum.

Thanks to those that suggested blocks of rubber, WD-40, electrostatic burnoff, Gumption, Inox, isopropyl alcohol; it seems that just anything can be used to keep stainless steel clean. Maybe the freight car (46049) that Marklin sell would keep these (HO) tracks just as clean? That seems to be their recommended solution.
Offline Timnomads  
#84 Posted : 10 November 2020 11:34:05(UTC)
Timnomads

Switzerland   
Joined: 16/09/2015(UTC)
Posts: 209
Location: Grandvaux - Lausanne - Switzerland
Hi all

I have been experimenting with my wife's nail polish remover, especially on my turntable. Seems to be ok although I am not sure if has any side effects eg effects the rubber tyres.

Tim
Offline MalinAC  
#85 Posted : 10 November 2020 15:48:49(UTC)
MalinAC

Ireland   
Joined: 29/05/2014(UTC)
Posts: 838
Location: DONEGAL, CARNDONAGH
You will be pulling her tights off next and using them for traction tires
Offline applor  
#86 Posted : 10 November 2020 22:31:24(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,602
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Agneaux Go to Quoted Post

Graphite on pukos.

This is a revelation. This is also at odds with what others are saying elsewhere in this forum.

Thanks to those that suggested blocks of rubber, WD-40, electrostatic burnoff, Gumption, Inox, isopropyl alcohol; it seems that just anything can be used to keep stainless steel clean. Maybe the freight car (46049) that Marklin sell would keep these (HO) tracks just as clean? That seems to be their recommended solution.




This has already been discussed here and replied to. I have now also posted in the thread you have linked to give an update on how graphite went.

In short, it can help but overwhelmingly the problem is humidity. Keep it below 50% and that will improve things far more than gaphite will.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline hxmiesa  
#87 Posted : 11 November 2020 14:03:51(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Timnomads Go to Quoted Post
I have been experimenting with my wife's nail polish remover, especially on my turntable. Seems to be ok although I am not sure if has any side effects eg effects the rubber tyres.

That is typically acetone. A big NO-NO in the world of plastics!!!
It will dissolve/degrade most kinds of plastic, so better stop using that...
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Agneaux  
#88 Posted : 11 November 2020 21:54:31(UTC)
Agneaux

Australia   
Joined: 16/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Agneaux Go to Quoted Post

Graphite on pukos.

This is a revelation. This is also at odds with what others are saying elsewhere in this forum.

Thanks to those that suggested blocks of rubber, WD-40, electrostatic burnoff, Gumption, Inox, isopropyl alcohol; it seems that just anything can be used to keep stainless steel clean. Maybe the freight car (46049) that Marklin sell would keep these (HO) tracks just as clean? That seems to be their recommended solution.




This has already been discussed here and replied to. I have now also posted in the thread you have linked to give an update on how graphite went.
In short, it can help but overwhelmingly the problem is humidity. Keep it below 50% and that will improve things far more than gaphite will.


Thanks for the update. This may be a part of the problem.

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Offline PeFu  
#89 Posted : 28 December 2020 11:07:19(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 878
My final tracks are set and I plan to go for an extensive testing period. As most areas of the layout haven’t been used for 1-2 years, I decided to go for another round on the net for finding out the latest cleaning options and to ”bump” this exciting thread.

Cool

There seems to be a neverending discussion whether to use fluid or friction based cleaning. However, on a UK forum I found a link to this ”research” where they use a microscope to find out if a Peco Track Rubber scratches the rails, and the result was interesting:



After this, I went for the following cleaning process:

(1) Peco Track Rubber very light on top of the rail
(2) Vacuum
(3) CRC Contact Cleaner (as listed above) using a cloth

On the first test of the complete layout Yesterday, my old SBB RAm TEE (Märklin 3071) ran like a charm I never expected looking at my ”sawmill” a few days ago...

Smile
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
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Offline dickinsonj  
#90 Posted : 29 December 2020 01:29:39(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,432
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post
After this, I went for the following cleaning process:

(1) Peco Track Rubber very light on top of the rail
(2) Vacuum
(3) CRC Contact Cleaner (as listed above) using a cloth

Good advice Pe Fu - that is what I have done for years. Some of the discussion here on this forum has made me hesitant on using the rubber lately, because of possible scratching. But I found that a rubber worked very well and did no visible damage when using them in the past. Over the last two years I have done only your steps 2 & 3, but with one of the non water based formulas. The amount of buildup on track/wheels is about the same and the track rubber removes it more quickly and easily, so I think we have a workable solution.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline Mr. Ron  
#91 Posted : 29 December 2020 23:46:34(UTC)
Mr. Ron

United States   
Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 68
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
I have a product called "BOESHIELD" that leaves a conductive non-oily coating on metal surfaces. I don't have a track setup yet that needs cleaning, but I am keeping it in my arsenal of possible cleaning products. BOESHIELD is a cleaning agent used to clean and protect cast iron surfaces, like table saw tops, etc. If anyone out there has this product, they might think about trying it out on track to see if it works. As I said, I will be trying it out once I have a track layout set up.
Offline Copenhagen  
#92 Posted : 30 December 2020 00:13:01(UTC)
Copenhagen


Joined: 23/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
I have a product called "BOESHIELD" that leaves a conductive non-oily coating on metal surfaces. I don't have a track setup yet that needs cleaning, but I am keeping it in my arsenal of possible cleaning products. BOESHIELD is a cleaning agent used to clean and protect cast iron surfaces, like table saw tops, etc. If anyone out there has this product, they might think about trying it out on track to see if it works. As I said, I will be trying it out once I have a track layout set up.


If it's any of the products on this page it doesn't appear to be useful for track cleaning:
https://boeshield.com/products/
Offline hxmiesa  
#93 Posted : 30 December 2020 11:15:07(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,207
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post

There seems to be a neverending discussion whether to use fluid or friction based cleaning. However, on a UK forum I found a link to this ”research” where they use a microscope to find out if a Peco Track Rubber scratches the rails, and the result was interesting:

YOUTUBE

On the first test of the complete layout Yesterday, my old SBB RAm TEE (Märklin 3071) ran like a charm I never expected looking at my ”sawmill” a few days ago...

Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.
I'm still skeptical, as these tracks are of another material than Märklins tracks, and his scrubbing seemed rather light. -Even when he applied more of it. I mean; What happens after years of periodical scrubbing?
Even my perception of the microscope video is different; I see lots of scratches and lines on the surface. -But as his Hornby and Peco track are already extremely rough on the surface out-of-the-box, a good scrubbing might be beneficial to THAT kind of track-material.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline kimballthurlow  
#94 Posted : 01 January 2021 01:08:33(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,950
Location: Brisbane, Australia
The video was interesting, thanks for sharing Pe Fu.

The methods used illustrate very well that the rubber (with embedded abrasive material) actually polishes the surface of the metal.
This has the effect of removing material (oxide film, dirt) which hinders conductivity.

It would be very interesting if we knew what standard of grit is used in the various track rubbers Märklin, Fleischmann, and Hornby.
Sand and emery paper are quoted in grit sizes.
The larger the number the finer the grit.
So 100 grit paper is very course (used by carpenters), while 1200 grit is very fine.
I use 1200 grit (or finer) to polish plastic when modifying plastic kit parts using files, blades or chisels.
This action leaves the part smooth enough for painting.

As well as using the Märklin rubber, I use the 1200 grit paper on my Märklin C stainless steel track including the centre puko.
In fact on the pukos I find it more useful than the rubber.
You can buy grit paper from the hobby store - up to 2400 grit usually made in Japan .
I understand this as a polishing process.
It is the same as polishing the paint work on a car, using a cutting compound which is full of very fine grit to cut away the dross surface of the paint.

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline Goofy  
#95 Posted : 02 April 2021 14:11:55(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,397
Here is a good tip to clean Märklin tracks.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoJJZ1wcpxc
H0
Two rail= Pure realism
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#96 Posted : 02 April 2021 15:32:45(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,694
so what is the downside of small scratches on the rails?
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Hannes Porsche  
#97 Posted : 03 April 2021 00:06:03(UTC)
Hannes Porsche

South Africa   
Joined: 08/12/2015(UTC)
Posts: 44
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi nice videos and many worthy plans.

Funny nobody give attention to the center studs.!
They are the real rusting components in the rail assemblies.
Cleaning them also, is crucial for the reliable operation and running of trains on tracks
So I would say, yes use the proven methods of cleaning outer tracks, but what then .????

OK, pukko cleaning is tedious and abrasive job if you use some soaked material wrapped around your finger.
It may mean fitment of a modified cleaning center pickup under a weighted wagon to then do the cleaning on the run.
And then after cleaning to apply a thin layer of oil based electrical contact cleaner. ( Plastic friendly !!!!!!!! type)
THUS PREVENTING PUKKO RUSTING FOR A LONG TIME

Thanks,
HANNES

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Offline marklinist5999  
#98 Posted : 03 April 2021 00:41:50(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 268
Location: Michigan, Troy
The Marklin dudes who host the digital webinar say you don't have to clean the center studs. The slider keeps them clean. The slider collects dirt, and wears thinner with run time.
Offline marklinist5999  
#99 Posted : 03 April 2021 00:44:02(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 268
Location: Michigan, Troy
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
The Marklin dudes who host the digital webinar say you don't have to clean the center studs. The slider keeps them clean. The slider collects dirt, and wears thinner with run time.


Also, an Aussie on youtube despises abrasibve track cleaning erasers. They leave behind grit that gunks up the wheels. Same for sand paper.
The Dudes like karosene. Alcohol has some water.
Offline grnwtrs  
#100 Posted : 03 April 2021 02:41:12(UTC)
grnwtrs

United States   
Joined: 18/06/2005(UTC)
Posts: 622
Location: El Sobrante
I also heard that "lighter fluid" was an approved cleaner for motors,etc as well as tracks. This subject will be debated for another hundred years. Keeps the mind active.

Regards, gene
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