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Problems with Atlas track

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Problems with Atlas track
Posted by PCNDon on Sunday, January 12, 2020 5:39 PM

I recently opened a box of Atlas flextrack, and installed it...gave it the usual cursory clean then ran a train over it...and one of my best runners began to stutter and stall...ran a bright boy over new track, and it has a silver powder coating it...not conductive, and certainly sticky to wheelsets...how do I get it off!!!

 

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Posted by ndbprr on Monday, January 13, 2020 1:39 PM

First you need to find a solvent for the stuck on material. I would try isopropal alcohol first and mineral spirits second. Wet a paper towel and lay it on the track. Turn the engine on and let the wheels go up on the towell while you hold the engine stationary.  You may have to do one axle at a time depending on how the engine picks up power.  Then use a towell wrapped around a block to do the rails.  Look for discussions about gleaming rails.  It is a much better way then a bright boy

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Monday, January 13, 2020 6:56 PM

Sounds like some manufacturing mold release.

99% (if available) isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) would be my first choice. Old rag or a thick paper towel will do the trick. Second more aggressive choice would be denatured alcohol, but you "shouldn’t" need anything quite that powerful...

I've heard good things from other commercial track cleaners, but have zero experience with them personally. (My go-to is the 99% isopropyl. It works, and it’s cheap and easily available at almost any drug store.)

And ditch the brite boy. It scratches the rails, leading to more crud buildup. It is too abrasive. The scratches may be small, but it leads to more arcing which leads to crud build up, which leads to more cleaning, and if it’s abrasive, more scratches, more crud.

Solvent cleaning (like the rubbing alcohol) is not the same, as it will not scratch the rails, so is better long-term for your tracks.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Monday, January 13, 2020 11:33 PM

Rails are drawn and not rolled, so they are sometimes coated with a kind of lubricant, which also acts as a coolant in the process. I have never encountered any of that on the track I used, as the residue of the process is usually wiped off.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:19 AM

Soak a blue shop use paper towel in CRC Contact Cleaner and run it down the rails.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:49 AM

I've used a brite boy and I never encountered your problem.  Is it a real brite boy or a Chinese knock off?  I prefer 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to clean the rails.   But Ken Patterson has made a career out of model railroading and he still uses a bright boy.

  • People who gleam are true believers
  • People who spend $160 on a CMX track cleaning car are also true believers. 
  • People who use Wahl oil, ATF and other potions are true believers.

What we need is an Americas Test Kitchen or Consumer Reports for track cleaning.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:56 AM

 MY last layout, all I did was the burnish step from that whole complex gleam process. Using the back side of the hardened side cutters I used to cut the music wire for switch motors.

And never had to clean my track again. And no keep-alives in any locos, either.

                                     --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:18 AM

I've never had any problems with Atlas NS track, right out of box. Brass can be different story.

I guess it depends what the OP is using.  He doesn't say.

Mike.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:41 AM

Who would buy brass track these days?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 7:52 AM

I dunno, just sayin'

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 8:39 AM

BigDaddy

I've used a brite boy and I never encountered your problem.  Is it a real brite boy or a Chinese knock off?  I prefer 600 grit wet dry sandpaper to clean the rails.   But Ken Patterson has made a career out of model railroading and he still uses a bright boy.

  • People who gleam are true believers
  • People who spend $160 on a CMX track cleaning car are also true believers. 
  • People who use Wahl oil, ATF and other potions are true believers.

What we need is an Americas Test Kitchen or Consumer Reports for track cleaning. 

Perhaps an episode of Myth Busters!  Stick out tongue

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 4:55 PM

BigDaddy

Who would buy brass track these days?

 

Actually, brass track is still being made in S scale by American Models.

Personally, I prefer NS.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:02 PM

BigDaddy
What we need is an Americas Test Kitchen or Consumer Reports for track cleaning.

.

Steven was supposed to do a track cleaning experiment years ago and report back to us.

.

Now he is MIA.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:03 PM

BigDaddy
People who gleam are true believers People who spend $160 on a CMX track cleaning car are also true believers.  People who use Wahl oil, ATF and other potions are true believers.

.

I'm a gleamer-believer. I use a silver coin for the last step and almost never clean track.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:12 PM

riogrande5761
Perhaps an episode of Myth Busters!  

I like that idea, than put the video in a "sticky" for the top of the Layouts and Layout Building forum.

The tractor forum I belong to has something similar for manuals, diagrams, how-to's, parts sources, etc.

Mike.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:25 AM

I have two methods I use to clean my track: I have a track cleaner car that I built from a kit that was bought on eBay. (Dry friction which works for spots that are challenging.) The other thing I use is a good old pink school pencil eraser. The angle works nicely for small spots and it can be put flat for larger areas.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by tstage on Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:27 AM

I'm not a fan of brite-boys or any abrasive applied to the surface of the track, as it adds scratches that will collect debris faster than leaving the smooth factory finish as is.  99% isopropyl alcohol (91%, second choice) is what I use for degreasing track that won't harm the plastic ties.  I will have to try the burnishing method sometime.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 16, 2020 7:57 AM

My "go to" is lacquer thinner.

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:13 AM

Denatured alcohol.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by PCNDon on Friday, January 24, 2020 3:05 PM
!. It is NS track...and 2. Where can I find the entire article about the gleaming?
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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, January 24, 2020 3:30 PM

Here's one thread I found, scroll down to read what dear departed Jeffrey W. has to say.  It's all spelled out.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/212742.aspx

You need to have easy acces to all of your track.

Scroll through both pages, as there is another link that adds to or is part of what Jeffry says.

Mike.

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