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RogerB
20-03-2013, 05:21 PM
Hi, I have now got my track laid (mixture of old and brand new Hornby OO) and wired (DCC) and have been attempting to run trains more to test my soldering skills than anything! As suspected all the track needs cleaning (the old more than the new) and I am trying white spirit, very fine emery paper and a track rubber. That is all making a vast difference but there is more to do (as ever) and I have just read about Track Magic. Before I spend another 10 or so does anyone know if it is any good? I will be applying it by hand (soft cloth) rather than a specialised carriage.

Thanks for your help with this and to date. :)

Roger

Flashbang
20-03-2013, 06:10 PM
Hi
Never ever use any abrasive on Nickel Silver track!
To test whether your track is steel rail or Nickel Silver use a magnet. NS track wont attract, steel rail will.

On NS rail use a special track rubber or the rough side of a piece of Hardboard. Then follow up with a clean using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) applied via a lint free cloth. An old clean Hankie is idea! IPA can be obtained from some pharmacies (But not many!) or from ebay suppliers Ebay IPA (http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=isopropyl+alcohol&LH_BIN=1&_sop=2&_osacat=11815&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=isopropyl+alcohol+99.9%25&_sacat=11815) Not the wipes but the 99.9% liquid. A ltr lasts for a very long time so long as the top is replaced immediately after use.

Also use the IPA applied by cotton bud to clean wheel treads.

RogerB
20-03-2013, 06:44 PM
Thanks (again) Flashbang.

Gwiwer
21-03-2013, 11:09 AM
Use track rubbers sparingly. They are abrasive and will slowly but surely flatten the top profile of your rails if used frequently. Never apply pressure to them either - allow them to do the job with a light wipe across the rails.

If you use rubbers and can safely dust the layout afterwards without dislodging ballast or fine detail then that will assist in removing the very fine particles of rubber which will otherwise be left behind on your track. These can also get into point blades and motors and very occasionally can be picked up by loco wheels causing interference with smooth running. I use a 1" house-painting brush run lightly over the track followed by a quick vacuum with a hand-held cleaner.

I obtain good cleaning results using Rail Zip which is applied sparingly to the rails and which is spread by the trains. You only need tiny amounts - too much will cause slipping and can accumulate on wheels. Some sources suggest it can rot traction tyres - I cannot comment on that as I haven't noticed any problem but have very few items so fitted.

leader
21-03-2013, 01:43 PM
Never ever use white spirit for cleaning track. It brakes down the plastic and your track will fall apart. As will any solvent derived from oil. As for using a track rubber, this has small abrasive particles in the rubber. You MUST ALWAYS vacuum clean the track after using one . Otherwise the abrasive particles will find their way into the mechanical parts of you loco's and rolling stock causing the premature failure of them.

alfaz-di-pi
21-03-2013, 02:32 PM
Hi Roger B, whte spirit leaves a residue when it dries which is not good for tracks. I have two rubbers, I can not remember which is which, but one is hornby and the other is peco. One breaks down when used and is quite abrasive, and leaves a lot of residue which has to be cleaned off, or vacuumed, the other remains quite firm and leaves no residue, and is not abrasive. So I use the non abrasive one then send my triang cleaner coach with IPA on it, round the tracks to keep them clean.
Albert.

Flashbang
21-03-2013, 05:37 PM
Hi
Try and avoid the Peco track rubber which does tend to leave lots of tiny particles on the track! The DOGA block is a good buy DOGA shop (http://www.doubleogauge.com/shop.htm) as yet I have to try the Hornby one.

Robotstar5
22-03-2013, 09:11 PM
I've always used these (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pcb-cleaning-scrub-blocks/2162706/?sra=p) mainly because I also use them at work ;)

alfaz-di-pi
22-03-2013, 09:34 PM
They look Ideal, what are they made of.
Albert.

Robotstar5
23-03-2013, 08:52 PM
There's a link to a pdf data sheet that gives composition.

jonsaint
24-03-2013, 07:05 AM
its flashbang that put me right on track cleaning. I now tend to use meths as it does the job very well but once I have cleaned my track with meths, I go over it again with track magic as they recon its got some sort of preservative in it.
don't be put off tho like I did the once after running locos for an hour and finding your track just as black as it was before you cleaned it.
also (from flashbangs advice) clean the wheels of your locos and wagons/coaches with meths or ipa because all the hard work you do cleaning the track only to relay dirt back on it from your wheels.
might take a while to do depending on your layout but with dcc its well worth the effort because slightest bit of dirt and dcc throws a fit and your locos will not respond well at all.

Kiwisteam
24-03-2013, 11:29 AM
This is an old trick I have used for rejuvinating old track,I had some old series 3 track that had the surface well worn and had gone rusty,I got some soft lead from old pipeing and rubbed it with this,.Being a softer metal than the rail , it cleaned off the rust and filled up the holes without any further damage to the rails. After a bit of running usage ,you couldn't tell the difference,. Those knurled wheels could really rip the surface off!

alfaz-di-pi
24-03-2013, 02:33 PM
That is a good tip Kiwisteam,I also read once about using a carpenters pencil or any other suitable graphite, to run over the rails which would seem to improve the current to the tracks/wheels.
Albert.

Kiwisteam
24-03-2013, 03:50 PM
This next statement will sound the opposite to what you would be wanting to do."oiling the track!" I had two cases one on my tracks and on a friends track where the track was too dry and clean, the locos would stutter along the straights then run smooth round the curves,this had me puzzled! The track was clean as a whistle,the loco wheels were not dirty-they were electrically pitted! they needed polishing.A few drops of very light oil(e.g.sewing machine) on each rail and a short train working hard,created plenty of wheel spin,problem solved. this problem wouldn't be so noticable if there are gradients on the layout,because there would some slip happening on hills.The slippage stops the pitting,. Cheers K.S .p.s the track will need cleaning again,.

Dieselbob
24-03-2013, 08:44 PM
Hi Roger
If you have a Lakeland store near you, they sell a product called Sticky Stuff Remover, it does an excellent job of cleaning the track and there is no spirit involved, and no abrasive
I have found that the track stays cleaner for much longer.
I think halfords may alse sell it.
Cheers
Bob

martinfbrown
18-04-2016, 09:47 PM
Is the sticky stuff remover okay for track cleaning?

Teedoubleudee
18-04-2016, 11:48 PM
If you have a Kleenezee (not sure of spelling) agent that calls on you, they sell a product with the same name which I've used for, guess what?, removing sticky stuff. Never tried it on my track though. I've got a bottle of IPA which has been in my possession since I was employed as an engineer (about 3 decades ago!) which is my preferred track cleaner. I also bought some track magic recently after reading many rave reviews.

martinfbrown
19-04-2016, 07:20 AM
I have used IPA years ago, for track cleaning, just ordered some from eBay.

4VEP
19-04-2016, 10:39 AM
This is an old trick I have used for rejuvinating old track,I had some old series 3 track that had the surface well worn and had gone rusty,I got some soft lead from old pipeing and rubbed it with this,.Being a softer metal than the rail , it cleaned off the rust and filled up the holes without any further damage to the rails. After a bit of running usage ,you couldn't tell the difference,. Those knurled wheels could really rip the surface off!

I would not recommend this practice since lead is toxic and harmful if ingested. Rubbing the track with a pencil is an alternative. The 'lead' in pencils is actually graphite which isn't poisonous.

Walkingthedog
19-04-2016, 10:50 AM
Do not handle lead it is very dangerous.

Teedoubleudee
19-04-2016, 01:04 PM
But what about the lead in the solder we use?

Flashbang
19-04-2016, 02:59 PM
But what about the lead in the solder we use?

Its at a much lower level as its mixed with tin. 60/40. Tin is the 60% part.
But as always you should thoroughly wash your hands after using any lead content solder and never pick up and eat anything without washing your hands first!

Alternatively swap over to lead free solder and increase the soldering irons tip temperature.

RAFHAAA96
20-04-2016, 04:34 PM
If you use the lead the rails tip then do not lick the rails. Seriously wash your hands after touching the rails if you have adopted this tip, which in theory is brilliant.

I have previously oiled the track using automatic transmission fluid, as the urban myth says it is conductive (not yet proven by me of course, but it seemed to keep my DCC track clean for weeks at a time in the dusty environment of Cyprus and the trains ran nice).

Then I got traction tyres and ATF is not very good for those so now I only use IPA (the clear stuff in small bottles - not the brown stuff in pint glasses) and wipe the rails after cleaning them in case of residue.