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Best track cleaning car in HO scale

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Best track cleaning car in HO scale
Posted by johngriffey18ca1 on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:13 PM

Anyone had good/bad experiences with track cleaning cars?  What's the best out there in your experience?

Tags: Cleaning , HO
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Posted by wedudler on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:32 PM

That's my best:

CMX cleaning pad. With home made handle.

Wolfgang

Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Come to us http://www.westportterminal.de          my videos        my blog

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Posted by Hamltnblue on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:49 PM

How large is the layout?

We have a CMX clean machine at the club and it works well.  I have an atlas cleaning car and think it's a waste of money.

 

Springfield PA

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Posted by cacole on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:54 PM

At our HO scale club we've tried several types of track cleaning cars and the only one that really cleans the track well is a CMX Clean Machine filled with lacquer thinner followed by a Centerline car running dry to mop up any residue.

The Atlas track cleaning car is next to worthless.  It holds only a few drops of cleaning fluid and the pad is too small to be effective.  The only part of it that really works is the vacuum.

 

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Posted by rogertra on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:10 PM

The BEST track cleaning car is a few drops of "Rail Zip" or hydraulic transmission fluid (One and the same) on the railhead.

A couple of drops of that on the railhead at the busiest part of your model railroad will keep the track and wheel pick up contacts cleaner and running better than they ever have.  And there's no need to clean up the residue as it's a conductor.

I've used the product for years and sometimes didn't run my GER for a month or two and never had an issue with electrical pick up.  Just go down into the basement, fire up the power supply and start running trains.  No track cleaning, no locomotive wheel cleaning and no cleaning the metal wheels on the rolling stock.

However NEVER use any abrasive on your railhead.  That includes track "cleaning" erasers!

Cheers

Roger T.

Home of the late Great Eastern Railway see: - http://www.greateasternrailway.com

For more photos of the late GER see: - http://s94.photobucket.com/albums/l99/rogertra/Great_Eastern/

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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:51 PM

Whistling

I have most of them, but, if I had to pick the best it would be the CMX. It is well worth the price.

The Aztec cars are also very good.

I run a Work Train about once a month or so that is made up of..............

1.  A  CMX  with alcohol.

2.  A Centerline  with J-cloths

3. A second Centerline with J-cloths

4. An AZTEC boxcar with a craytex roller

5. A Bachmann tank car with a masonite pad  (supposedly a weed killer car)

6. A Trainman boxcar with a masonite pad.

7. A work caboose  (just for looks)

This is pulled by two (2) Mantua GP20s that seems to be geared real well for this job.

I have proved that I can leave it after cleaning for a number of months without getting erractic electrical contacts.   But it is fun and I like running that train more often and therefore never any problems.

Just my My 2 Cents worth.    Do any of you have change ???????????

I know, I know, it seems like overkill,  but I kind of got hooked on the idea of running track cleaning cars is alot more fun than cleaning it by hand and I also have a goodly amount of hidden trackage and this solves that problem as well.  It really works well.  The only car I bought new was the CMX from Dallas Model Works. The rest I have picked up off e-bay for less than half price.

Would I do it again ??    You bet I would..................Smile, Wink & Grin

In my collection I also have an old RibbonRail car, but the tank is cracked so it is a shelf queen also on that shelf is an old Gilbert track cleaner, that is a dropped center flat car, but it needs a new scrubber brush that I think I will have to fabricate.

Johnboy out............................................and runnin' trains

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North..

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. Tongue Tied  

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by Motley on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 4:54 PM

I want to get one of those CMX cleaning cars.

I have Peco switches, and the guardrails on them stick up quite a bit.

Will the cleaning cars pad get snagged on the switches?

Michael

Director -
Mile-HI-Railroad
Prototype: D&RGW

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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 5:11 PM

Whistling

Hi Michael,

All those cars mentioned in my last reply run over PECO turnouts as they make up about 90% of my turnouts and they do so with out a problem.

The only thing to make sure of is that the wrapping of the J-Cloths on the Centerlines or if you use those cloths on the AZTECS, are wound the correct way. That way the tail of the cloth passes any point last and not first.  This means the open end of the cloth should not be driven into the track it should be wiping it so that the looses end is flat on the track.   Clear as mud..   Just follow the directions. I tie them closed with a very fine piece of telephone wire in the center of the roller.

Johnboy out..................................

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North..

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. Tongue Tied  

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:45 PM

I have subways, and a lot of my trackwork can only be reached by removing liftoffs, some of which require disconnection of wires because there are buildings on top.  Ah, the joys of urban modeling.  Other parts of my subways, though thankfully only a few, are almost inaccessible by any means.

The CMX is the answer.  I run it around 3 or 4 times a year, and I'm done.  I also use lacquer thinner.  The car has a needle valve which lets you fine tune the flow rate of your cleaning fluid so you keep the pad damp but don't dribble out any excess.  It's well worth the money.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Flashwave on Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:15 AM

For cleaning, I'm giving strong consideration to gleaming and doing a wipe-down car. I would liike to get the Atlas car, but only for that vaccuum.

-Morgan
PR, CEO of the Madison Railroad in HO. no, not that one, the one based off the City of Madison Port Authority.
Exchange Passes? PM me.  
Green Signals Dad, Love ya.

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:16 AM

wedudler

That's my best:

http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/748/10-11-23_IMG_1469.jpg

CMX cleaning pad. With home made handle.

Wolfgang

Wolfgang,

I run my layout in DCC.  Where can I put a decoder on that thingamajig to automate it?   Laugh

Rich

 

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Posted by wedudler on Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:22 AM

The decoder is in my brain. Smile

This way it cleans only where necessary.

BTW, this is my CMX tank car:

Wolfgang

Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Come to us http://www.westportterminal.de          my videos        my blog

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:28 AM

Wolgang, in all seriousness, that track cleaner that you built looks pretty effective and I may try to copy it if I may.  I, too, use a CM track cleaning car.

Rich

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Posted by wedudler on Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:48 AM

richhotrain

Wolgang, in all seriousness, that track cleaner that you built looks pretty effective and I may try to copy it if I may.  I, too, use a CM track cleaning car.

Rich

That's the good point with this forum. You get a lot of ideas and may copy a few.

Wolfgang

Pueblo & Salt Lake RR

Come to us http://www.westportterminal.de          my videos        my blog

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Posted by jacon12 on Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:22 AM

How difficult is it to 'fine tune' the CMX car for the right flow?

Jarrell

 HO Scale DCC Modeler of 1950, give or take 30 years.
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Posted by johngriffey18ca1 on Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:30 AM

Why shouldn't you use abrasives on railhead?  I heard of someone using a dremel with sandpaper fitting to "rough up" the railhead for better grip on some other forum.  What's the problem with track erasers or other rough techniques?

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Posted by strider on Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:33 AM

CMX with Lacquer thinner. Loosen the filler cap to open the vent and adjust the flow to about 1 drop every 2 or three seconds. Let the pad get saturated first before cleaning.

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Posted by strider on Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:36 AM

Abrasives leave fine scratches in the rail which makes it easier for crud to collect.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, August 18, 2011 2:18 PM

jacon12

How difficult is it to 'fine tune' the CMX car for the right flow?

Jarrell

The control knob is right in the middle of the top of the car, if you look at Wolfgang's picture of his nicely-painted model.  I usually open mine about a third of a turn or so, but it's easy to adjust at any point.  It's not terribly critical.  If you see excess liquid left in the frog after the car passes over a turnout, you've got too much flow.  If you feel the pad and it's dry, you don't have enough.  I typically run it for half an hour or so, making multiple passes, before I run out of fluid.

Some people prefer to use isopropyl alcohol.  It's OK, but doesn't clean quite as well.  I've also noticed that lacquer thinner is a better lubricant.  These cars are heavy to give good downward pressure on the cleaning pad.  That also produces a lot of friction, though, and lacquer thinner makes it easier to push.  Incidentally, that's how I usually know I'm out of fluid - the pad runs dry and the subway cars can't push it any more.

I need both of my powered subway units MU'd together to push this thing around.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by jacon12 on Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:18 PM

 

Thanks, that's what I wanted to know.

Jarrell

MisterBeasley

 

 jacon12:

 

How difficult is it to 'fine tune' the CMX car for the right flow?

Jarrell

 

 

The control knob is right in the middle of the top of the car, if you look at Wolfgang's picture of his nicely-painted model.  I usually open mine about a third of a turn or so, but it's easy to adjust at any point.  It's not terribly critical.  If you see excess liquid left in the frog after the car passes over a turnout, you've got too much flow.  If you feel the pad and it's dry, you don't have enough.  I typically run it for half an hour or so, making multiple passes, before I run out of fluid.

Some people prefer to use isopropyl alcohol.  It's OK, but doesn't clean quite as well.  I've also noticed that lacquer thinner is a better lubricant.  These cars are heavy to give good downward pressure on the cleaning pad.  That also produces a lot of friction, though, and lacquer thinner makes it easier to push.  Incidentally, that's how I usually know I'm out of fluid - the pad runs dry and the subway cars can't push it any more.

I need both of my powered subway units MU'd together to push this thing around.

 HO Scale DCC Modeler of 1950, give or take 30 years.
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Posted by last mountain & eastern hogger on Friday, August 19, 2011 3:42 PM

[quote user="jacon12"]

How difficult is it to 'fine tune' the CMX car for the right flow?

Jarrell

Whistling

It is not hard at all Jarrell. With the car sitting on the tracks, you can see under it well enough to adjust the flow to about 1 drop every 4 seconds after you have the pad wet to start. So if you want it a little wetter cut back the time a second or two or visa versa.

CMX are a great investment.   No I do not have shares in CMX.

Johnboy out.......................................

 

from Saskatchewan, in the Great White North..

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station. Tongue Tied  

We have met the enemy,  and he is us............ (Pogo)

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Posted by strider on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:32 PM

Once you have the flow right, use a sharpie and mark the location on both the flow knob and the tank so the next time you don't have to adjust it just match the marks.

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