One more whack on the dead horse!


davesnyder59
 

People, please forgive me. I can't even begin to tell you how many rail cleaning techniques I have tried ever since I got my early Powerhouse unit many moons ago. My first "Procabs" were marked "MasterSeries" in reference to an earlier company NCE had supplied. I was so happy with my NCE unit for quite awhile. Slowly, but gradually I kept encountering the dirty track problem. But with the sound decoders, it became incessant and I began to believe that no matter what panacea I tried, problems began within 24-48 hrs again. So many people were singing the praises of CRC 2-26, that I had already tried with the usual works good for a day or two  results. But simultaneously others were proclaiming  a dry track approach. So I retried the CRC 2-26 very sparingly and it surprised me by working for 6 days without problems, despite some black crud becoming more apparent. Then I fought off a reapplication of CRC  and dry paper towel cleaned the loco wheels and track and virtually flawless operation has resulted. Sooo, maybe less is better. Time will tell.

Dave Snyder
Louisville, Ky.


Douglas Harding
 

Dave do you have any freight cars with plastic wheels? I have found plastic wheels to be the main source of the black crud. Switch out everything to metal wheelsets. I did and it made a world of difference when it came to cleaning track.

 

Also no oil on the track or wheels, which only attracts dirt. You would be surprised how many recommended cleaning liquids leave a residue of some sort on the track. CRC 2-26 is advertised as a lubricant, and it contains petroleum. http://www.crcindustries.com/EI/product_detail.aspx?id=02005   If in doubt wipe your track with a paper towel dampened with ISO alcohol, and don’t be surprised at what is found on the towel.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org


davesnyder59
 

No plastic wheels for years Doug. Even had to change out most of early metal wheels with plastic axles as they lost their true and became problematic for derailing. Now only use metal wheels with metal axles.

Some locos/lighted cars with suspected wiper/bronze bearing pickup problems did get sparing applications of Conducta Lube or thinned NoOx with improvements noted. Used to clean track/wheels with 91% IPA until someone mentioned that it promotes oxidation, which explains why it only worked for a day or so and left more black crud. My rails are indeed "ribbons of steel", as I "gleamed" them about a year ago and have only used silver polish to clean them since. But even that would only work reliably for 3 or 4 days. Got to be I spent more time cleaning track than running trains and was thoroughly bummed out.

That brings me up to the CRC 2-26 sparingly applied with dry wipe every 6 days or as long as I can go without experiment. I honestly don't know how long this improvement will last, but it is better than it was. Don't know what the "black crud" is, but its not metallic gray like I would expect to see with metal wear. Its black and I keep thinking carbon. Maybe the hi frequency DCC current and/or arching is disassociating the C from CO or CO2 in the atmosphere.

Dave Snyder
Louisville, Ky.


Pierre Oliver <pierre.oliver@...>
 

Seems to me that you're overthinking this.
The "black crud" is most likely nickel silver oxide, which is conductive. I have found the biggest issue is plain old dust.
I have learned the hard way that most of the liquids promoted for maintaining clean track generate more issues than they solve. And I will never let an oil product near the rails again.
I just vacuum every now and then and have at it.
Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com
On 18/04/2014 11:56 AM, davesnyder59@... wrote:

 

No plastic wheels for years Doug. Even had to change out most of early metal wheels with plastic axles as they lost their true and became problematic for derailing. Now only use metal wheels with metal axles.

Some locos/lighted cars with suspected wiper/bronze bearing pickup problems did get sparing applications of Conducta Lube or thinned NoOx with improvements noted. Used to clean track/wheels with 91% IPA until someone mentioned that it promotes oxidation, which explains why it only worked for a day or so and left more black crud. My rails are indeed "ribbons of steel", as I "gleamed" them about a year ago and have only used silver polish to clean them since. But even that would only work reliably for 3 or 4 days. Got to be I spent more time cleaning track than running trains and was thoroughly bummed out.

That brings me up to the CRC 2-26 sparingly applied with dry wipe every 6 days or as long as I can go without experiment. I honestly don't know how long this improvement will last, but it is better than it was. Don't know what the "black crud" is, but its not metallic gray like I would expect to see with metal wear. Its black and I keep thinking carbon. Maybe the hi frequency DCC current and/or arching is disassociating the C from CO or CO2 in the atmosphere.

Dave Snyder
Louisville, Ky.

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Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4355 / Virus Database: 3882/7361 - Release Date: 04/18/14



Douglas Harding
 

Dave, interesting. I too run DCC with sound and IM metal wheelsets, and have not experienced the need to clean track every few days. More like once or twice a year. And my layout is not in a sealed environment, but rather in a basement with exposed ceiling. And I very seldom find the need to clean wheels, in my experience metal wheels seldom accumulate crud. Nor have I noticed oxidation caused by light cleaning with alcohol, as the alcohol flashes off quickly leaving no residue.

 

Your second post mentions several other products you also put on your rails in an attempt to clean them. Without seeing what you are doing, I am inclined to suspect too much is being applied, leaving a wet, oily or sticky surface which is attracting dirt and dust.

 

Are you by chance a smoker? Do you have forced air heating/cooling in your house? Do you open windows for fresh air? Do you have problems with dampness and moisture? Do you have pets? It sounds like some sort of environmental matter or particulate is settling on your rails. Determine what it is, locate the source and eliminate it to the best of your ability.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


Chuck Higdon
 

I also do not put any liquid on my rail. I do vacuum the tracks once or twice a year and if I am working in a section. I have operations sessions 2 or 3 times a month and there is not a dirty track issue during them. Once a year I clean the loco wheels or it they start to stall. But I learned over the years that the liquids attached the dust to the wheels. If everything is dry, then it gets pushed to the side and off the tops of the rails.



Take care,
Chuck Higdon- check out my FEC layout at
https://picasaweb.google.com/102920461774912857361







From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Pierre Oliver
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2014 12:17 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: One more whack on the dead horse!





Seems to me that you're overthinking this.
The "black crud" is most likely nickel silver oxide, which is conductive. I have found the biggest issue is plain old dust.
I have learned the hard way that most of the liquids promoted for maintaining clean track generate more issues than they solve. And I will never let an oil product near the rails again.
I just vacuum every now and then and have at it.



Pierre Oliver
www.elgincarshops.com <http://www.elgincarshops.com>
www.yarmouthmodelworks.com <http://www.yarmouthmodelworks.com>

On 18/04/2014 11:56 AM, davesnyder59@yahoo.com <mailto:davesnyder59@yahoo.com> wrote:



No plastic wheels for years Doug. Even had to change out most of early metal wheels with plastic axles as they lost their true and became problematic for derailing. Now only use metal wheels with metal axles.

Some locos/lighted cars with suspected wiper/bronze bearing pickup problems did get sparing applications of Conducta Lube or thinned NoOx with improvements noted. Used to clean track/wheels with 91% IPA until someone mentioned that it promotes oxidation, which explains why it only worked for a day or so and left more black crud. My rails are indeed "ribbons of steel", as I "gleamed" them about a year ago and have only used silver polish to clean them since. But even that would only work reliably for 3 or 4 days. Got to be I spent more time cleaning track than running trains and was thoroughly bummed out.

That brings me up to the CRC 2-26 sparingly applied with dry wipe every 6 days or as long as I can go without experiment. I honestly don't know how long this improvement will last, but it is better than it was. Don't know what the "black crud" is, but its not metallic gray like I would expect to see with metal wear. Its black and I keep thinking carbon. Maybe the hi frequency DCC current and/or arching is disassociating the C from CO or CO2 in the atmosphere.

Dave Snyder
Louisville, Ky.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com <http://www.avg.com>
Version: 2014.0.4355 / Virus Database: 3882/7361 - Release Date: 04/18/14







[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


davesnyder59
 

Hi gentlemen, my intention was not to rehash the earlier discussion, but to state that it did provide me with something that seems to work. Chuck and Doug, your insights are true and I do have a lot of environmental problems on my layout. Garage attic, high heat and humidity in Summer, windows open and fan going to reduce heatstroke, lotsa air pollution in Ohio valley, intestate .5 miles away, and I do admit I have overused some cleaning agents in the past. Of course, reverse in winter, windows closed, space heater to reduce frostbite, etc. Pierre, I respectfully submit that if the "black crud" is nickle-silver oxidation and it is conductive, my observations are the opposite. No black crud, locos run fine, lights don't flicker. Lights flicker, locos hesitate, sound decoders skip/reset, black crud is present. One person stated in the last discussion that no one thing works for everyone and that certainly appears to be true. But the present course has given me optimism. Thank you gentlemen for your input, and so as not to incur the moderators wrath, I plan on biting my tongue in the future.

Dave Snyder
Louisville, Ky.


Rashputin
 

Are you a smoker?

 

Smoking doesn’t cause a problem if you spill a little Scotch on the rails on a regular basis.

 

Just thought I’d toss that in for folks who like a cigar while the run their trains.

 

Regards,

 

R Hume


Anspach Denny <danspachmd@...>
 

For the most informed and authoritative source on this subject, go to http://www.gatsme.org/HintsTips.html

I first was made aware in about 2000 of how this 60 year old club cleaned their track, adopted their method verbatim , and have used it successfully ever since:  Clean the track with -whatever-, then coat it with CRC-2-26, and repeat one year later. CRC-2-26 is some kind of conductant used by the electrical industry. When I first purchased it, I had to go to an electrical supply wholesaler, who remarked “that’s really Houdini stuff!”. Although one may read “petroleum” on the can, it displays none of the characteristics:  It does not build up, does not collect dirt and dust, and does not interfere with traction, and….you apply it only once a year.  The only thing that I do differently is to distribute it with AZTEK rollers, instead simply letting the car wheels do the job. The latter sounds easier.

As to cigars, cigar smoking, cigar ashes, and steam era freight cars, I have an ancient string of naturally weathered/aged fine Ulrich gondolas that spent about ten years ‘50s - 60’s repeatedly and slowly circling the old West Bay Club layout (Menlo Park, CA) as dedicated rolling ashtrays  in the service of the host of cigar-smoking club members then active. As the train rolled by wherever they were, the cigar ashes would be flicked, most ashes -but not all-  hitting their targets.  it took a year or two before the cars had to be finally emptied.   I remember these cars well in that service, and subsequently received them in a bequest; and -minus one- they all still very much in use, and looking good 50 years later without any need whatsoever  for any weathering artistry.   

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento





Aley, Jeff A
 

I will add that the Ulirch gon that is “minus one” is decorated for the SP, and is sitting on my workbench.  I think that it is fun to have decent models with an interesting provenance.

 

Regards,

 

-Jeff

 

 

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Anspach Denny
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2014 10:55 PM
To: Era Freight Car List Steam
Subject: [STMFC] Re: One more whack on the dead horse!

 

As to cigars, cigar smoking, cigar ashes, and steam era freight cars, I have an ancient string of naturally weathered/aged fine Ulrich gondolas that spent about ten years ‘50s - 60’s repeatedly and slowly circling the old West Bay Club layout (Menlo Park, CA) as dedicated rolling ashtrays  in the service of the host of cigar-smoking club members then active. As the train rolled by wherever they were, the cigar ashes would be flicked, most ashes -but not all-  hitting their targets.  it took a year or two before the cars had to be finally emptied.   I remember these cars well in that service, and subsequently received them in a bequest; and -minus one- they all still very much in use, and looking good 50 years later without any need whatsoever  for any weathering artistry.   

 

Denny

 

Denny S. Anspach MD

Sacramento

 

 

 

 


jon miller <atsfus@...>
 

On 4/18/2014 10:54 PM, Anspach Denny wrote:
CRC-2-26 is some kind of conductant used by the electrical industry.

��� Like everything you wrote Denny BUT CRC 2-26 is� not a conductant (conductor) but a non-conductor.� I spray it in electrical sockets and use mine for general purpose.� It does somehow clean and coat the item it is applied to but can safely be sprayed on almost any electrical surface.�
��� It is a "Multi-Purpose Lubricant, plastic-safe, penetrant and corrosion inhibitor".� For those that need all the information Google CRC.

-- 

Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax--Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Anspach Denny <danspachmd@...>
 

>CRC 2-26 is not a conductant<.  CRC-2-26 is commonly confused with the same company’s similar product that competes with WD-40.  They are not the same products.  If CRC-2-26 is not a conductant, then why does it conduct electric current, which it does, and does very well?

This is off topic (I do know!), so with forbearance, I am bowing out of this subject.

Denny

   
(conductor) but a non-conductor.
Denny S. Anspach MD
Sacramento





hayden_tom@...
 

Indeed, CRC 2-26 is NOT a conductor, See these specifications:
Note in particular it has a "Dielectric Strength"
  • Provides precision lubrication by its thin, high dielectric strength, lubricating film
Dielectrics are insulators.

Apparently what it does is removes and prevents corrosion which is a non or poor conductor. And apparently when a wheel touches a rail the film itself must get displaced by the wheel and allows then good contact between un-corroded metals,.

Neat stuff.

Tom Hayden


albyrno
 

 Humidity is a major factor in track conductivity.Since the club building experienced a flood (in 2004) we have implemented very strict rules to insure track is kept clean A member train stalled in tunnel and following train ran into it..
   Since then even after thorough drying of room we now must clean all track including the 30 ft of tunnel prior to each op session,open house is sat. therefore track is cleaned friday.All equipment is removed from layout once a month while cleaning track,rolled across alcohol dampened paper towel to check for residue wheels cleaned before placing back on layout.Members equipment must be checked for clean wheels,coupler operation and height by superintendent prior to placing on layout.Aerosol lubricants are not allowed in train room.Since implementing these standards operations have become much better,we have tried using clean brite boys,alcohol,wahl oil,track cleaning cars and tiles,with simular results.Turnout points and frogs are also cleaned with alcohol.
        Alan
 


jon miller <atsfus@...>
 

From the dead horse's mouth. Actually I'm surprised he can still talk but anyway;

Mr. Miller:
The 2-26 is non-conductive material. It is not considered an insulator because it is very thin film which will not interfere with electrical flow. Please let us know if you have additional questions.
Regards,
Christine Richie
CRC Technical Support



--

Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax--Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS