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Old 26-11-2017, 11:30 AM   #1
Maz066
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Default Track cleaning- oh no not again

This thread hopefu.lly is a bit different to other threads on this topic which go into how to clean track. I am interested in how tracks get dirty. Walking the Dog in a recent post says he cleans track sometimes once a year. I clean track with a rubber every running session. So what is the difference in operation that produces such disparaging results?
I have no traction tyres on my locos
All rolling stock has metal wheels
My track is normal old peco streamline code 100 except for a small patch of code 75
I use a Trix brass brush wheel cleaner
My layout is in a garage- I don't live in the city and there are no industries around me

However, after two days my locos stop and start till I go round the layout with a rubber. The problem APPEARS to be oxidation rather than dirt although the area can be dusty.
I would be interested to hear of the frequency of track cleaning from other modellers
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Old 26-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #2
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I usually clean the track every few weeks with a cloth and IPA. If I've got plenty of time I'll send the Sharge unit around a few times. I am a DCC operator and I think it is less forgiving of crud on the track than DC.

I have just started keeping a note of when I clean the engine wheels, and wheel backs. I haven't got a large fleet but I am sure I miss some. R-
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Old 26-11-2017, 12:02 PM   #3
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Oxidisation depends a lot on atmospheric conditions in the layout location.
I find that dirt builds up no matter what. One of the things is that unless you clean everything: all the track, all of the loco wheels and all the rolling stock at the same time you can be spreading old dirt around freshly cleaned track. Since most of us tend to do a bit at a time, we probably aren't helping ourselves.
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Old 26-11-2017, 12:20 PM   #4
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DC is much more tolerant to dirt than DCC.
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Old 26-11-2017, 12:46 PM   #5
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Micro Fibre cloth with meths.......when needed
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Old 26-11-2017, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1951 View Post
DC is much more tolerant to dirt than DCC.
Though I've not used my DCC much, I have to say I did notice a difference compared to DC.
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Old 26-11-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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I was given a piece of a second hand layout which I attached to my main layout. The trains ran on DCC on it no problems compared to the main part of the layout where the track was always getting black.

Why is this?

Comparing the two sections of layout, I noticed the extension section had a different type of track - brass.

Peco do three types of track - SL-100 nickel silver, SL- 100, SL-102 galvanised steel and SL102B brass.

It must be that nickel silver and galvanised steel gets black more than brass.

I don't know what the scientific explanation is. Any chemist in here know why?
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Old 26-11-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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All my track is nickel silver and never goes black. It does look dull sometimes, like me, but that doesn't affect running.
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Old 27-11-2017, 02:12 PM   #9
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Steel tends to go black before it needs a good clean.
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Old 27-11-2017, 02:31 PM   #10
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Default Examples of Peco and Hornby Track Cleaning Rubbers.

Much has been said about track cleaning and some maybe puzzled what they look like, so I thought I'd better show examples of the Hornby and Peco track cleaning rubbers that I use. (I only ended up with so many as they are easy to lose! Like the bus saying goes... Can't find the things and then three or four turn up at once!).

Description relating to the photos
The offset diamond versions are Hornby. The squarer ended versions are Peco. I've found both work well. Peco have more thickness so they last longer in theory, although Hornby versions tend to lose little rubbery bits slightly less often just before they wear into nothing, but by the time they get that thin, like soap, both will shed little bits.
They are rather similar to ordinary rubbers for rubbing out pencil, but they are specifically made with track cleaning in mind.
The Peco rubbers... One has had very little use and one has had some use.
The Hornby rubbers... One has had some use and one has had lots of use.
(See thicknesses! Hornby are thinner to begin with but have a slightly larger surface area. While both are just as good as each other, Hornby seems to slightly have the edge in use (Not by much and is probably due to the slightly larger surface area), and the Peco version lasts longer due to thickness when new).
A friend has a Gaugemaster track cleaning rubber but this is a totally different thing as this is closer to one of those sponges that one can buy to sand down paint on a car or other similar applications. I found it didnt work as quickly on the brief try that I had of it as being sponge based, one couldn't put pressure on it like one can with both the Hornby and the Peco versions.
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