Cleaning and restoring an old set

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AndyH
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Cleaning and restoring an old set

#1

Post by AndyH » Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:34 am

Hi all
Best way to clean an old track with rust spots?

I've retrieved an old set from the loft just to see what interest the family shows in it. I really like it but have £0 budget.
I've laid the track on the floor not pinned down or anything. It does work of sorts but trains will stall in places, still testing at the moment. I originally rubbed down bits with wire wool that made a bit of a mess and few sparks.
Will metholated spirits help clean it up? Really needs new track but no budget yet. Some sleepers missing in places and fish plates bent/twisted.

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Walkingthedog
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Re: Cleaning and restoring an old set

#2

Post by Walkingthedog » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:07 am

Not worth bothering with it if it is rusty. Try and get some second hand nickel silver track if you don’t want to splash out on new. Hornby and Peco track has been nickel silver for years.
Nurse, the screens!

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IanS
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Re: Cleaning and restoring an old set

#3

Post by IanS » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:09 am

Can you post a picture of the track? It could be very old Super 4 track, which is not compatible with modern track - or it could be slightly newer Series 6.

If it is the older Super 4 track, are the locos, wagons and coaches of the same vintage?
(More explanation to follow -either from or others- once the type of track is known via images.)

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LC&DR
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Re: Cleaning and restoring an old set

#4

Post by LC&DR » Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:40 pm

Restoring old track especially that with steel rails is laborious and unlikely to result in 100% satisfaction.

Wire wool shouldnever be used unless the power is off, and I would council, don't use itat all as it makes a mess and leaves fragrments of steel fibres which will get picked up inside the motor by the magnet and will give endless problems with short circuits. Once it is in the motor it will be a strip down job to get it out.

Track cleaning is a regular topic on here, and there are many solutions.

A rectangle of hardboard rubbed fluffy side against the rails will remove dirt without scratching.

Isopropyl Alcohol on a cloth can remove gunge.

A Peco, Gaugemaster or Hornby track rubber used sparingly will remove surface dirt.

If none of these work, the track is probably beyond repair.

WTD's suggestion is probably the best.
LC&DR says South for Sunshine

AndyH
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Re: Cleaning and restoring an old set

#5

Post by AndyH » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:00 pm

Thanks. I'll need to look how to had photos on here.

IThe track is from a house clearance, with a Hornby HM2000 so I don't think it's super old. Some of the locos are mine so at least 35 years old. I have had it going with the occasional wiggle of track or gentle nudge to get it going again.

I've found some meths in the shed so I'll give that a go.

I've currently dismantled it whilst I build the baseboard.

Could I soak it in the meths for a day or so, or just wipe on when I put it back together?
Ta Andy

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Chops
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Re: Cleaning and restoring an old set

#6

Post by Chops » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:12 am

Wipe it. Not going to dissolve plastic, will it?

Try to wipe down the loco wheels, too. A dribble on a cloth and let the pick up wheels spin their dirt off on it.

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