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Old 07-12-2020, 04:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I was working on some oxidized track, that still had good conductivity in the joiners, a rag with some CLR or other other acid-based cleaner worked great.

I found much stronger stuff at Home Despot under the Zip brand.

Just enough to remove oxidation. When I had loose sectional track, I dipped the joiners in a cup of the stuff.

I rinsed off with a hose thoroughly. The allowed the weathering on the side of the rails to stay, and the tops nice and shiny.

Clearly this will not work well for organic buildup, heavy corrosion, etc.


p.s. degreasing and overall cleaning in a dishwasher works well, time when wife out shopping... ask me how I know.
Be sure to visit my site, lots of technical tips & modifications, and a functional search.

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Old 07-14-2020, 02:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Brasso left the track too slick? Guess you need to not forget to fill the sand dome.

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Old 07-14-2020, 07:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Charlotte area, NC
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Has anyone tried this Rail Zap product.

I actually bought a bottle for my S Gauge track but have never tried it, according to the attached data sheet it only has a 1 year shelf life.

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Old 07-14-2020, 08:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have used it by the drop for balky HO locomotives. Helps oxidized wheels start conducting again. Probably will work in any scale, but could be an expensive proposition for cleaning a lot of track. It comes in a relatively small bottle, and is fairly expensive.

Have fun, david Meashey
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So here's my update on the cleaning project so far. (And just to be clear, none of this track has been laid yet - it's all sitting on a workbench in my shop). I've been using a small amount of mineral spirits with gray Scotchbrite as mentioned in the original post, and it's been working great. It's taking off much of the original glue and bits of ballast left behind by the previous owner, and not damaging the ties or the rail. It's cleaning up the rails just fine. For the rest of the gunk on the ties, and to clean the ends of the rails for the connectors, I bought a pack of brass (not steel) wire wheels on eBay - super cheap, 45 piece set for 11 bucks - to use in my rotary tool. I have a Foredom - like a Dremel on steroids. Came with three different configurations of wheels, so they've been great for getting into all the nooks and crannies without damaging the track. Not a terrible amount of effort, and the track is coming out great.

Thanks to everyone who responded with suggestions!
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aristocraft, brass rail, rail connectors, track cleaning

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