Author Topic: Track cleaning car recommendations  (Read 7311 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Track cleaning car recommendations
« on: February 07, 2017, 05:49:02 PM »
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What does the  :ashat: collective recommend?

MK

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 06:03:42 PM »
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I have the Centerline car and it seems to work well.  I also have a NIB Atlas cleaning car that you probably personally touched back in the day when I ordered it from Klein's.  :D :D   But I have yet to mod it for a decoder so it still sits NIB.

However, I came across a revived NO-OX-ID thread on Trainboard and I'm going to give that a shot and maybe even ditch the cleaning car!

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 06:43:14 PM »
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Ed, in over 40 years of modeling in N Scale I have not used a proprietary track cleaning car. I know there are several out there that work but just not for me. I made several T/C cars by simply turning a box car into a track cleaning car using a Masonite rubbing block installed below the car rough side down that fits between the trucks. Make a small rubbing block out of a piece of Masonite the width of the car and that will fit between the trucks. Drill two holes in the under-frame to accept two short threaded counter-head screws. Drill two holes that match in the Masonite ( just in from the ends of the Masonite). The holes in the frame need to be clearance holes to allow the screws to float up and down. Mount the screws through the Masonite up through the floor and attach a nut and then a lock nut so that the block can rub freely on the rail head. Before you mount it chamfer the ends of the Masonite and paint the ends and side flat Black so it is not noticed.
You will be pleasantly surprised just how well these work.
We ran several in our trains during regular ops sessions, on an N Scale display layout ( Thompson River Canyon ) that we built many years ago and it kept the track very clean.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

seusscaboose

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 07:46:37 PM »
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CMX N Scale Track Cleaner Car

had my layout up and running in 2 laps (just ask DeltaBravo)
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 07:54:52 PM »
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I've got a small army of track-cleaning cars.

They're OK.

The best thing I've done is switch to a "wet-style" cleaning like Joe Fugate uses, which is using mineral spirits and a rag. 

I can't remember the last time I cleaned the whole layout.

powersteamguy1790

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 08:52:15 PM »
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CMX N Scale Track Cleaning Car & Centerline Track Cleaner.


Bob...................... 8) 8)

eric220

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 08:59:53 PM »
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The Atlas/Tomix car can be set up as a vacuum cleaner, which I find very valuable.  I'd recommend running one in consist with whatever railhead cleaner you decide on.
-Eric

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peteski

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 10:35:14 PM »
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My friend has a track-cleaning train.  It consist of couple of locos, the boxcar with a Cratex rubber roller (Aztec?). the brass tank car with denatured alcohol cleaning pad (CMX?) and a car with a dry roller (Centerline?).  If it was up to me, I would put the Tomix/Atlas vacuum cleaned in fromt of that consist.
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garethashenden

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 12:52:07 AM »
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My friend has a track-cleaning train.  It consist of couple of locos, the boxcar with a Cratex rubber roller (Aztec?). the brass tank car with denatured alcohol cleaning pad (CMX?) and a car with a dry roller (Centerline?).  If it was up to me, I would put the Tomix/Atlas vacuum cleaned in fromt of that consist.

It would be interesting to put a vacuum car at both ends. One to clean the layout and one to clean up after the cleaning cars. It would be interesting to see how much got picked up by the second car.

mmagliaro

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 01:48:08 AM »
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I have, or have had:

Home-brew boxcar type with a slightly abrasive "stone" in it
Centerline roller type with the handi-wipe strips
Cratex roller thingies
Atlas/Tomix track cleaning car

I'd have to say that out of all of them, the Atlas has done the best job.  The truck contacts needed some work to get them to reliably pickup power, and the motor bearings in it need oil regularly, and I had to convert it to MT couplers.  But after getting past that, it really does the job.  I run it between a pair of F units, first wet to clean the rails, and then in vacuum mode to pick up all the "yeck" that accumulates when the layout has sat idle for several weeks.  I got it new off eBay for under $40, and it's been worth having.

The others all had a sunshine phase when I thought they were the greatest thing ever, but eventually I realized that they weren't quite cutting it.  Not so with this one.

The CMX is one I'd really like to try, but the price tag keeps me at bay.

Purrs

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 03:20:49 AM »
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Masonite pad is the only way to go in getting the track clean. Then, in those areas of problematic operation a rub of a 4B lead pencil solves the reliability issues.

MK

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 08:46:38 AM »
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I'd have to say that out of all of them, the Atlas has done the best job.  The truck contacts needed some work to get them to reliably pickup power, and the motor bearings in it need oil regularly, and I had to convert it to MT couplers.  But after getting past that, it really does the job.  I run it between a pair of F units, first wet to clean the rails, and then in vacuum mode to pick up all the "yeck" that accumulates when the layout has sat idle for several

Do you run DCC?  If you do, did you put a decoder in the Atlas cleaning car to regulate the vacuum motor?

drgw0579

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 09:19:42 AM »
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I ended up mounting a TCS M1 on top of the Atlas car.   It was just easier that way.

Bill Kepner

MK

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 09:41:13 AM »
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Bill, that's a great idea!!!  I was thinking about putting it inside and hacking away at the interior.  And ruining the "value" of the car.  Leaving it on top just means some wires going in a tiny hole (if that...don't have car in front of me).

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Track cleaning car recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2017, 10:36:07 AM »
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Thanks guys!

I wasn't sure if the pricier options were worth it, but it seems they might be.

I think I might try the masonite DIY solution though, since what I'm really looking for is something that's more "Roomba" than "Dyson". When I need heavy cleaning, I'll just get to work with the brightboys, but I'd like something to periodically run to do some upkeep.