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Discussion Starter #1
I recently ordered "the ultimate track cleaner" from Norms Model supply (http://choochoostuff.homestead.com/)








It's designed to sit underneath a car. With the right car, it's almost un-noticeable in ordinary running

















It's well made and solid. It runs with no trouble over switches, forward and backward. The cleaning wheels are made of a material similar to the rubberized abrasive in aristo's cleaning car pads. Rolling resistance is quite low. I would say it's far from the "ultimate" track cleaner though. It does work, and having it run in a train will clean the track. But if you want something fast and more effective, the Bridge masters track cleaner would be my choice.


On the positive side, it's very unobtrusive, most people won't even notice it if it's mounted to a car like the aristo gondola. On the negative side, it's a relatively less aggressive cleaner, and you end up with a machine screw and nut visible on the top side of your car. Not noticeable in a box car, but hard to miss in a gondola. On the whole it's exactly what I expected
 

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I forgot.. do you have brass or stainless?

I seem to remember you have brass and a low amount of cleaning required as compared to many other brass users with higher rates of oxidation.

I would be interested to see how many "laps" it would take to work on very oxidized track?

My guess is that this is best for maintaining track that is "un-oxidized" on a regular basis.

Do you have any comments on what happens when it hits sticky stuff like sap?

Also, any ants? I find that when rails are used as an ant highway, it takes something that is very absorbent and has a large surface area to "absorb" dead ants.

Greg
 

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So, Mike, obviously you bought it (I think)... it might be the kind of thing people do indeed leave in the train to run for several hours, or maybe on a commercial layout.

Please let me know if you use it on sap, and how it is to clean, etc. I read the writeup on it on their site, and I did have a little trouble with "ultimate".

I was thinking of getting a trackman 2000 at one time, although not sure they are really being manufactured.

Since I am all stainless now, one lap with the swiffer, lightly walking it around the rail removes all gunk, bugs, etc... and the black goo that eventually builds up here near the coast (moisture, dead plankton, dead ants and carbon dust from track power).

Greg
 
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I also got one, and this is the result:

Can't tell you how many laps it took to clean it like this, but certainly more than 10 laps.
I like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I'm hoping that if I have a running session that goes all afternoon, I can run that cleaner in a freight train instead of now and then bringing out a cleaning car. I'm thinking of it more as a "keep it clean" car than as a cleaning car.

The abrasive wheels have a small ridge on them--you can see it in the picture. Right now I assume the ridge is the only thing contacting the rails, but it will fairly quickly wear down.
 

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I stopped saying anything about rail cleaning, reguardless of the "power source", its has nothing to do with rail cleaning.
Thus ...rail cleaning is rail cleaning.
stop calling it track cleaning.
 

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IMarty does bring up an important point... Rail does need to be cleaned. bird **** is bird ****, and none of us can run on,.. or over it!

Our rails need to be clean to get the most enjoyment from our layouts don't we!

So , this sparks a future project, a sort of self contained LORAM unit for layouts. Large clubs like the Fairplex and large layouts like Marty have cannot get in a 10 lap cleaning period to keep rail clean. So how about a multi unit rail cleaner based on a LORAM. Several of these cleaners - tho needing to be power driven - could be placed under a long car body with a power unit in front. Even with the units out in the open and not hidden, they would add to the look of a real unit.

Once around would clean with the effect of 10 laps for a single unit..

Any takers?

Dirk
DMS Ry.
 

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I drew a distinction on my site...

One thing is cleaning the surface of junk, usually organic, I call that cleaning... dead ants, tree sap, grease/grime, etc.

The other thing that is important to track powered people is removal of oxide, usually on brass track, but applicable to aluminum or nickle silver, but the questions seem to almost always be about brass.

So, the questions to Mike and Deutch Reisbann (be easier to call you by your name) are:

how effective on oxide removal

how effective on sap, dead bugs, slugs etc.

From my experience with a lot of different units, I would guess this one would take a while to remove oxide, and gum up easily with organic stuff.

Might be useful on track that is usually not heavily oxidized.

I did rankle a bit at the adjective "ultimate".

For clearing the organic stuff from rails, I'm sold on the "Swiffer", cheap, fast, easy. I tried many different types of "cleaners" and they would "gum up" pretty quickly if you had a lot of organic stuff.

If I had brass rail, and ran regularly enough to keep it "in check", I'd see using this in a train on a regular basis, which would probably keep the rails very conductive, provided I cleaned the organic junk off first.

I guess how "ultimate" this would be would depend on if it got gummed up often enough to make it a pain to run.

Dirk, were you thinking of a Loram rail grinder as a "prototype"? The LGB track cleaning car type of idea?


Greg
 

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I stopped saying anything about rail cleaning, reguardless of the "power source", its has nothing to do with rail cleaning
I do love it when the Moderator deletes a bunch of posts without a note of explanation. Not exactly polite or transparent. [We'll see how long this one lasts.]
 

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I think the message is stay on topic, don't try to shove your power system down someone else's throat, and don't bring personal accusations into the thread.

I like the message.

Let's go back to trains.

Greg
 

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Give it up Greg. It's over! Nobody's shoving anything. Sorry you can't take a little kidding once in awhile. You guys are the ones that screwed up this thread by over reacting, not [email protected] url(http://www.mylargescale.com/Providers/HtmlEditorProviders/CEHtmlEditorProvider/Load.ashx?type=style&file=SyntaxHighlighter.css);@import url(/providers/htmleditorproviders/cehtmleditorprovider/dnngeneral.css);
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey everybody! Did you know you can run on batteries too! And then you never have to clean the rails, although you still have to clear the track of sticks and leaves and fallen nuts.

Now I know this has zero to do with the topic of the thread which is a REVIEW (see it's in the PRODUCT REVIEWS forum) of a very specific track cleaning product.

But what better place for a guy who has a business selling battery power products to randomly plug battery power? What better place than in the product reviews forum, in the middle of a review of a product which has nothing whatsoever to do with battery power? It's never a bad time to plug your business, forum rules to the contrary.

Just kidding!
 
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