Track cleaning cars - Printable Version

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Track cleaning cars - faraway - 07-06-2018

Walthers offers some track cleaning boxcars in the Mainline series. I tried one and it worked very well. It learned the car runs fine in a train and the car could be switches without hassles too. But the various shells are plain awful and did not match my contemporary layout. 

- The shell of Athearn 40' high cube boxcars fits with little adaption. I sprayed two of them dark brown similar to the current NS boxcars. They are still a phantasy car but fits quite nice into the layout scenery (after some decals are added).

[Image: 29371428168_bfefd9a61d_c.jpg]

- Two short but heavy CSX scrap cars adopted to the track cleaning device with little work.

[Image: 41432163810_b04e719fb6_c.jpg]

The four track cleaning cars will be placed on each train in my  four track staging yard and go with each local freight train over the mainline as it serves the industry.

[Image: 42338039015_b04e719fb6_c.jpg]

RE: Track cleaning cars - BR60103 - 07-06-2018

If you are cleaning the track, you should also clean the car wheels. At some point (depends on how much running you do) take off all the rolling stock and clean all the wheels before you put them back. Run a short track cleaner over the whole layout while it's empty.
It's amazing how much dirt will come off one car.

RE: Track cleaning cars - faraway - 07-07-2018

David, I do absolut agree. I used in the past with German layouts and US layouts with 40' boxcars a lot of this little monsters:
More than 50% of the cars had them attached to one axis and they kept the tracks very efficient clean. They are not capable to clean dirty track but they prevent to become dirty. They did that extreme efficiently. I had no dirt over many years on my tracks. Problem is that they do not fit under modern 50'cars.
The idea to have in each train one cleaning car should prevent the tracks to become dirty long before a more intense cleaning is required. The challenge is to find a "track cleaning car" that is as universal is the little guys I used before. I will also make some tests with 50' boxcars.
The preventive cleaning applies for the wheels as well.

RE: Track cleaning cars - faraway - 07-07-2018

I mounted the cleaning device under two 50' Atlas boxcar and added some weight. The installation was straight forward. The test in the yard was very positive. I could switch over #6 Atlas switches without a problem. But the engine stallen running through a 90° curve with a radium of 24". The outer edge of the rubber slip inside of the outer rail.

Easy to install, works fine on #6 switches but the minimum radius but be better then 24". I am back to 40' cars due to my layout limitations.

RE: Track cleaning cars - BR60103 - 07-07-2018

I have some of those that Woodland Scenics sells. I found that they fight with the underfloor detail and they don't fit under a truck. I think I have a British wagon with nothing under the floor that works.

RE: Track cleaning cars - faraway - 07-08-2018

David, they fit under 40' boxcar of the transition area etc. They do not fit under more modern boxcars like the 50' and up. That is the reason why I am fiddling with track cleaning cars.

RE: Track cleaning cars - faraway - 07-30-2018

The outcome. All four 40" track cleaners got a 40" high hood shell sprayed dark brown and lettered with Microscale 60" BNSF high hood boxcars.

[Image: 43707324082_5161b5453a_c.jpg]

They stay permanent in their trains and blend nicely with the real high hood boxcars. Just the huge Microscale BNSF logo stands out. Thanks for all your input.

[Image: 43039821534_1471e72937_c.jpg]

RE: Track cleaning cars - ngauger - 07-31-2018

Looks great! Best of luck with them.

RE: Track cleaning cars - Chet - 09-17-2018

I have a Bachmann track cleaning car which is quite similar the the cars shown above. I also use Woodland Scenics "Dust Monkeys" They also work fairly well. I have no problem with any build up on wheels because all of my rolling stock have metal wheels.

At our club, wvwey train running on the layout has some kind of track cleaning car. Due to the grades on the layout, I run Dust Monkeys because the locomotives I have are wimps and a track cleaning car weighs as much as three cars.

My layout is built mainly for switching and track cleaning cars aren't very effective in sidings, I used a sponge cut down wrapped with a piece of an old T shirt with some Iso alcohol occasionally to clean them.