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Can Smoke Damage Track

Gene writes:

“Our RR Club has HO and O scale members operating in the same room in our building. The problem is since the O scalers have started using smoke with their engines we have been having more dirty track with the HO members. Is there such thing that smoke can cause dirty track?”

Add your thoughts below.

4 Responses to Can Smoke Damage Track

  • Dale says:

    Absolutely! Smoke is made up of very fine particulates that are “visible” when concentrated but disperse quickly. The particulates then settle wherever they happen to be and that includes track, scenery, clothing (ever smell smokey after using the BBQ?), etc. So, yes, the smoke can add to your dirty track issue and, depending on the chemical composition of the smoke, may be difficult to clean off the rails.

  • Morgan BIlbo says:

    And the solution is: Clean your track thoroughly with Mineral Spirits. Clean all your wheels/loco and cars with Mineral Spirits. Make them shine. Then dab graphite about 1/2″ every 6″ till you get 3′ to 6′ done. Then run a car back and forth to distribute the graphite. Repeat for the rest of the layout. That will keep the smoke from doing much damage. You may find that you have to do this periodically. But if no smoke, would last a year.

  • Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    More to the point, what and how much are you invisibly breathing in? What products result from the burning? The premises may need more ventilation during running to disburse said particles and products of the combustion. Do any members/visitors have respiratory conditions or allergies to the smoke products?

    • Frank B says:

      I agree ! It actually sounds very unlikely, but if there is so much smoke that it is causing track problems, definitely fit a ventilator fan to your clubroom, if only for the sake of everyone’s health !

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