Messages From digitrax



#46302 Jun 27, 2002

This need to clean the track and engine wheels too frequently sounds all too

familiar. At our club, it is at least an every other week cleaning, with


operating on Saturday mornings. I can keep things running if I frequently,


that almost constantly, keep MY track cleaning cars in the consist.

One is a Centerline, roller type with cloth wrapping, that we use lighter


on it as the solvent. Two problems have shown up, one of which is solved.


loose wrapping--this is a one direction only car. In the other direction,

the wrap

unwraps, and things come to a screeching halt, both from derailed cars, and

the short

of the brass roller across the tracks. Now we tie the wrap in place with


line, and have solved that problem. The second problems is the size of the


casting of the actual car, its overhang causes some collisions with tunnel


and ground throws.

The second car is an Aztec Eliminator, with two cralox rollers. This car is


like a real rail car (they actually use other manufactureres bodies on their


chasis) so no overhang problems have been noticed. The two slightly

abrasive rollers

roll at a slight angle to get a scrubbing motion. Aztec has a choice of

cralox and

cloth covered rollers, and also a different car that has a fluid storage and

means of

application to the cloth roller.

My feeling is that our real problem is the car tires. They visually look


were once attempted to be cleaned with goo gone, and I think the long term


to our problems is to remove every running item, clean engine wheels with

the cloth

on track method, and then clean each car tire with acetone and cotton

clothes or

swabs. I think once we get the whole fleet cleaned, and running on clean

track, we

will have won the battle.

One other member has brought in his TOny's trains track cleaner. It is a

small tank

car, with wiper underneathe, that drips cleaner onto the pad at a variable

rate. This

car has no clearance problems, and appears to be a good solution to the wet


agent method of cleaning.

The end result is that the club has just ordered, or will immediately

complete the

ordering of a Tony's tank car, and an Aztec Eliminator. The car wheel


Saturday is early in July, and then the CR-26 might have a chance of doing


thing. At this point, I think our wet cleaning is loosening grime from the


cars, and depositing it right back on the track. It is likely that the wet


is also working counter to the expected results of the CR-26, by disolving

it and

wiping it away.

Bill Barger, CTS

C&BA, Technology Group

Classroom Support

Bidgood 21



Message: 11

Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 06:43:42 -0700

From: John Claudino aztecmfg@...>

Subject: Re: Constant 'dirty' track


Several track cleaning cars are on the market today both wet or dry

and a combination of both. Check out the web for the manufactures.

Tony's Trains, Center Line, Roco and Aztec just to name a few. This list

has a lot of great people who will give you feed back on which car

would work best for you. Dirty track should not be a problem these

days with so many cleaning products to choose from.


>Each time before we can run any trains on the club layout, we must

>clean all the locomotive wheels and the entire track. Otherwise the

>locomotives will operate in a 'jerky' fashion. We mus do this even if

>we just ran trains the day before!


>When we clean the locomotive wheels, they all show much black stuff

>coming off them. Once cleaned, the locomotives run great. Sometimes

>we needn't clean the track, just the locomotives (even though they

>were just cleaned the previos day). The locomotives are mostly Proto

>2000, some Atlas (Classics), a few Athearns and a couple Stewarts and

>one Intermountain (also a Rivarossi Big Boy). The locomotives are

>mostly new (les than 6 months old in most cases). All have Digitrax

>decoders with the exception of one Arnold (UP Big Boy Rivarossi) and

>one Soundtraxx. It would appear that the locomoitve and decoder brand

>names are not the problem nor the locomotive ages. The layout is all

>nickel silver, but is nearly 20 years old. There are various

>removable 'drop ins' to allow layout disassembly to go to shows

>(desinged as a 'show' layout). Are the nickel silver rails wearing

>out? Even the new section of track (new track installed within the

>last 6 months) have this problem.


>Any ideas? Trains will run OK on analog as there is no 'pulse signal'






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