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Clean Track, Axles and Pickups – How Often?

Online Train Club Member Tom posted this question:

“Two weeks ago I unpacked my new Bachmann loco and ran it over several days for nearly 25 hours give or take. The loco wheels and pickups are already very dirty despite cleaning the track several times. How often should I clean the track, axles and pickups? I’m running DCC.”

5 Responses to Clean Track, Axles and Pickups – How Often?

  • phil johnsonsays:

    if you are using plastic wheels, they are the primary cause. Brass wheels are notorious for gumming up. Usually I clean my track 2X year. We clean track at my club before each open house. I use only metal wheels on my layout. Club rule only metal wheels on all equipment.

  • David Stokessays:

    The answer to track cleaning intervals is “as often as you need”. There is no one answer. I have had layouts where once the track was down, I never “cleaned” in 6 months. I lived in a very dry environment (Alice Springs, central Australia). When I lived in Gawler I needed to run a rag over the rails before every session – 15km from the coast in a moderately moist climatic region.

    Strangely, the gunk buidup so often talked about has not been a problem for me, my layouts have been both N and H0.

  • George Fishersays:

    I just completed my layout with all new atlas code 100 and 83. Turnouts are atlas and shinohara. I clean my track once a week because of the very humid climate in south Georgia.

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      I had to do a quick double-take there. For a moment I thought you said, “South Georgia!”

  • Ronsays:

    I use track cleaning cars from Walthers. Each train that I run has one. So I’ve never had to “hand clean” my layout. I keep a good supply of replacement pads that are easy to change. Two screws and I’m back in busness. Takes about a minute to replace.

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