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Im pretty new to this forum as a first class member ,but i have been reading and enjoying posts for some time now. So i decided to join. My name is Kyle, " The Roundhouse RnR" i have been involved in the hobby since i was in diapers. My grandfather was a TRAIN collector. He didnt stick to one scale but bought anything he liked. I, for one have stuck to G scale. We had a permenant camp site at Appalachin Campgrounds in Shartlesville, PA. Thats where we got started in Large scale after seeing Henry Hefters layout a few camps down from us (where i would spend most of my time). The trains ran under the deck , over our little fish pond and around our campsite. The hayrides used to stop at Henry's and our layout to let the kids enjoy the trains. Its nice when you can share the hobby with old and new faces every weekend. My grandfather has passed but i still play with trains. Some things never change.

I told you that little story to bring you into the main topic.
Henry hefter was the original inventor/designer of the Trackman 2000. He got involved with trains starting with N scale ,then moving to O scale , then finally G scale when LGB started to release their german stuff here in the US. He also was a camera repairmen( a dieing art forsure)Then his wife bought him a 2019s for a gift in the early 90's. It was "all over after that " as they say. He packed up the layout and moved it to Appalachian Campgrounds.
In the early 90's was when G scale was really starting to grow with other brands coming into play besides LGB. However, there was still a niche to be filled. There was no reliable , affordable , easy track cleaning solution. I guess this is where Henry saw his oppurtunity. He would spend many weeks and months designing and patenting the Trackman2000. The goal was to find something that had maximum weight to effectively keep the unit on the tracks and provide enough pressure to the rails without having to have multiple engines pull it. There was also the challenge of finding an effective abrasive material and many other factors to list. If you ever had to patent something, you would understand these issues.

The first prototype turned out something like this.


This unit is one of a kind. Henry was nice enough to give this to us, since we where a low budget railroad at the time. You can see we got our use out of it. Its got mis matched trucks on it and years and years of service and wear. Soon after this prototype was made, he realized the need for a unit that would pivot to follow the contours of the turns. So back to the workshop it was, with a unit that turned out like this, which many of you are familiar with and i beleive is the current design.


I found this trackman 2000 in a local hobby shop a year ago and couldnt let it go. It was there last one. Still had Henrys name and address on the box. This is the unit that was patented and produced on the market. He bought a mill and lathe to help mass produce the product and that he did. He shipped these units all over the states and the world from his little home based shop in Temple, PA. Soon to follow was the same concept in different scales.
I feel this is one of the best track cleaning cars. It uses no liqiud or motors. Can be pulled by just about anything and takes a few passes to clean up the rails. If you have really dirty track just throw some drywall sanding sheets under it. The pressure of the weight to the rails can be adjusted by the white thumb screws above the cleaning block. It doesnt look unsightly in a consist and theres just something to be said about having a car for the job and not trying to hide it under another. It was not designed to remove debri from the rails so no debate there. Its not the best for sidings either.But hey, Even Henry had a broom to clear leaves and a lgb 2067 to do his sidings. Also, i find if you get build up of organics and oil on the track , i throw a paper towel with alchohol on the bottom. Takes its off with ease.

Then in october of 2007, Henry unexpectedly passed away. A month after henrys death, the house burned to the ground. What a tragedy this must have been for his wife. The milling machine was literally a pile of melted iron, thats how hot the fire was. Another bummer was that Henry brought his engines home for the winter from the campgrounds and they where lost. As well as all of the stock , parts, and equipment. Only thing left was the patent itself. I read on some other forums of people asking for service and saying that they got the age old excuse of the factory burned. This sorta bothered me because I knew it ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
With no other choice , his wife sold the patent to a man in Oklahoma. They are now being sold by The Last Train Shop, in Oklahoma.I know nothing about them from this point on or how they are being made.

On the brighter side, the layout at appalachian campgrounds is still there ,along with all his rolling stock. One of Henry's good friends decided to buy the layout from Henry's wife and keep it going. So after 20 long years ,the layout is still there today. I went up the other weekend to visit but no one was there that weekend. Its a little different now then the way henry used to keep it but thats to be expected. I have hopes that one day he might want to sell the site/layout and i would love to restore it back to its orginal state the way i remember it back when.

I'm going to try to attach a link at the bottom of this post of his website which shows the great pictures he took of his home layout and the campgrounds. He took great photos. His website is a tier off of the JLS Railroad webpage. They were one of the first clubs to test his track cleaner. He was nice enough to leave his webpage up. So check it out.

This post was just to share some information on Henry and his product. He was a good friend and a great person to know. It would be neat to hear of others that knew him and use the trackman 2000. Im sure others know him. He was a member of Large scale online and went to many shows, including ECLST show.

Here is the link to his site:
The Appalachian Lines[/b]
 

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I have to appoligize , I tried to get the link to work a bunch of times for his web page. First time i tryed it as a hyper link. No luck . Then i tried manually entering the code for inserting a link. No luck again but i hope that people take the time to copy and paste the link to check it out. Theres some great photos of the layout and the JLS railroad is something to check out to. Maybe someone can help me figure out that little problem . Thanks The Roundhouse RnR
 

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Greg E

I got a 404 error off your link.

BTW, I own one of those beasts... works pretty good. Use it at shows wher there is track not easily accessed by the Chuck N drywall sander method.
 

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By the way i got the link working to the Henry's website at the bottom of my original post. I hope some of you got a chance to check it out. I also have a H.O. trackmann. I havent really used it much to give a good evaluation. Thanks for the info. I wonder why they are not being made? Probably alot of factors.
The Roundhouse RnR
 

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I remember Henry and his Wife very well!
Such sad luck!
I have all but the z-scale.
I do remember telling Henry that they should go to the "BIG E " train show in Springfield Mass. He told me later Thanks he did very well there.
I also mentioned that the cleaner should have metal wheels and trucks, the extra price would be worth it, tracked better!
Still my favorite car, I run it any time I can.
Sean
 

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Wow, I was just going through my train boxes and came across one of these mint in the white box. I never knew there was a story behind this piece, it is pretty heavy for it's size the one I have says M.O.W. EQUIPMENT CO. 107 Greenwood Drive Temple PA 19560

TRACKMAN "O" 2000 Patent No. 6,758,145

I'm interested in selling it so I might list it on eBay if anyone is interested please contact me from here somehow. Thank you for the story on this time piece.

MUNCHY.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Munchy , that one you have is an original made by henry out of his home based shop in Temple, PA. I dont know many people interest in O scale but i can ask around.
Thanks The Roundhouse RnR
 

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Well at the moment my printer/scanner is not hooked up. However I will type it out for you word for word.

TRACKMAN-2000
INSTRUCTIONS ON ADJUSTING PAD PRESSURE

1. Press down on short articulating bar just behind adjusting wheel.

2. Turn nylon wheel clockwise to decrease pressure and counter clockwise to increase pressure.

3. Use the red index line to count the number of turns in either direction. Repeat the process at opposite end of unit for a uniform pressure across the pad block.

If block gets out of level adjustment , place unit on flat surface and adjust until block is horizontal to surface.

To clean pad use a tooth brush dipped in Alcohol and scrub.

PAD REPLACEMENT

Remove the nylon plugs that hold the pad in place by grasping the pad at the plug and pulling away from the block. This will loosen the plug enough to allow you to remove the plug by grasping it with your fingers and pulling it out of the block. Pads can be used on both sides.

To install new pad, push plugs into the pad and push plug into hole in the block.

For the G gauge heavy duty pads , pull plugs and install the heavy duty pad over the regular pads.


Hope this is what you wanted.

The Roundhouse RnR
 

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Trackman 2000 Patents For Sale

Hello all,

My name is Dennis Hefter and I am Henry Hefter's youngest son. Henry died in 2007 and his wife, Marica, died last year. My brother and I are selling the Trackman 2000 patents and design drawings. Neither of us has the time to restart production of this track cleaners and we feel like a model train enthusiast would be the right kind of person to take over.

Please contact me if you or someone you know has an interest in discussing this opportunity. I can be reached at dhefter @ yahoo.com .

Thank you,

Dennis Hefter
 

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Trackman 2000 Patents For Sale

Hello all,

My name is Dennis Hefter and I am Henry Hefter's youngest son. Henry died in 2007 and his wife, Marica, died last year. My brother and I are now selling the Trackman 2000 patents and design drawings. Neither of us has the time to restart production of the track cleaners and we feel like a model train enthusiast would be the right kind of person to take over.

Please contact me if you or someone you know has an interest in discussing this opportunity. I can be reached at dhefter @ yahoo.com .

Thank you,

Dennis Hefter
 
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