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Thread: Track keeps getting dirty!!

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    Default Track keeps getting dirty!!

    Hi everyone!

    My track seems to keep getting dirty! I've had a couple layouts in the past using the same track and never had this much of an issue.
    Here is my scenario
    Layout in attic - about 65 degrees
    Humidifier running to keep humidity between 40-45%
    Atlas code 55 flex
    Track painted with Kyron camo brown

    I clean the track and a couple weeks later I can quickly fill an alcohol damp rag with plenty of black gunk. Wheels on my cars don't seem bad. I have to also keep cleaning engine wheels since I use sound DCC.

    After painting track I cleaned with a bright boy followed by damp alcohol cloth.

    I've used alcohol in the past with long lasting results.

    The room is not overly dusty or dirty.

    What could be going wrong?

    Thank you!

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    I have a similar problem. My layout is mostly ballasted now and I only have 1 feed for the whole layout and previously my little loco was running great and could creepy through every turnout. I would only need to lightly rub with my bright boy if I've done scenery or painting work around the track.

    But now I'm suddenly having to really clean the track every few days to keep the loco running and it's stalling through many turnouts. That's when I realized: maybe it's not my track, but my train. Sure enough, the train running around so much while the layout is under construction resulted in dirty wheels and even dirty pickups between the trucks and the frame. An entire truck was not picking up power at all, so of course it was running like crap.

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    It's not dirt, it's naturally occurring oxidation caused by micro-arcing between the rails and the locomotive wheels.

    Search for the No-ox topic on this forum for an easy, inexpensive solution.

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    huge help! I bet it just got worse when I painted track. the article is located here:
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showth...ight=oxidation

    I will be trying that soon!
    Thank you!

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    Yes, even a little bit of paint residue on the inside of the ball of the rail can play the dickens with keeping wheelsets clean as well.

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    I agree with Paul on the paint on the inside of the rail. A bright boy will do the top just fine , but you need to clean off the inside of the rail where the wheel flanges touch .

    Steve

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    How have you cleaned off the inside of the rail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayareed View Post
    How have you cleaned off the inside of the rail?
    I typically use the "pointy" end of a Bright Boy. And it's the inside of the ball of the rail, not the web nor the base of the rail, that needs cleaning. Usually goes faster than cleaning the top of the rail (the railhead).

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    Painting rail, bah! I just bring real dirt in from outside and rub it on there. Peat works best.

    Doug
    Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
    www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    It's not dirt, it's naturally occurring oxidation caused by micro-arcing between the rails and the locomotive wheels.

    Search for the No-ox topic on this forum for an easy, inexpensive solution.

    Sorry Paul, not trying to butt heads with you, but just another option is to use a graphite stick.
    I know, this topic has been discussed to death over the years. I'm not saying it's better than NO-OX, it's just another option to try.
    Watch this video.



    The only difference is that Graphite is dry and not greasy. IMHO, anything greasy added to the rails will attract more dirt.
    Too much Graphite will cause slippage as well, but it's easier to remove if too much gets added.
    Also be sure to shut off track power BEFORE applying it as graphite will short the system out, if not the stick will become warm to hot.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Sorry Paul, not trying to butt heads with you, but just another option is to use a graphite stick.
    Oh, not at all, Allen. I No-Ox'd the rails of the Slate Fork years ago, and I use the graphite stick as well. Maybe it's overkill, maybe it's the best of both worlds, but only dust on the rails poses an issue anymore.

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    I have to agree with Paul,

    No-Ox AND graphite together work miracles.

    I was having trouble with three dead spots on my tracks.
    No-Ox'd them, then waited a few days, wiped down the tracks with an old dry t-shirt, (no lint), and it was quite a bit better.

    Took a graphite stick to the same spots and no more problems.
    All my locos (steam and diesel), will creep through those spots now very smoothly.

    I'm thinking the No-Ox did it's job, and the graphite probably transferred some of itself from the track to the loco wheels as well, so conductivity is improved all around.

    There was one spot on my Bachman EZ track that used slow down my one loco every time.
    I applied a little pressure to widen the track at that spot (just with my fingers), nothing visibly changed, but it worked.
    I'm guessing the track was a tiny bit narrow there.
    Hope this helps someone.

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