Removing rust from AF track

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  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 151 posts
Removing rust from AF track
Posted by skippygp123 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:59 PM

I've been reading the posts about cleaning the American Flyer track, but what about removing rust from the track? 

Will the isopropyl alcohol work on the rust?  Or do I need to use something else first? 

There seem to be all kinds of different cleaners on ebay.  They seem to be expensive and never list their ingredients (suppose that's logical...keeps them in business).  Most say biodegradeable and/or non-toxic, which make them sound like glorified water to me. 

I've got several pieces of track that are in serious need of rust removal (found them in a box in the attic).  I'd like to use them, not just toss them out for the trash men.  So, if anyone has any suggestions for me, I'd sure love to hear them.


I do not suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it!!!      Over 60 and still playing with toys!

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,895 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 4:26 PM

Right now the consensus is use a Scotch-Brite pad and lots of elbow grease.  Scotch-Brite pads reportedly do a good job of cleaning without using any supplementary chemicals, and they don't leave any fibers, metal or otherwise, that might get into the electrics of the locomotives and cause other problems.

  • Member since
    October, 2011
  • 852 posts
Posted by TrainLarry on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:55 PM

Evapo-Rust is what most people use.

If you have the time and equipment, the electrolysis method has worked for me in cleaning rust track, tools, etc.



  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 3,407 posts
Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:28 PM

When cleaning track I use a fine brass wire wheel mounted to an 1/4 hp motor with light pressure.  After removing the rust I wipe it down with WD-40 if it is going into storage.  If the track is pitted it is not worth cleaning.  I focus on the top of the rail.  A little patina on the sides adds character!

The pikemaster is more delicate and easily damaged on the wire wheel so go very easy


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