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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like I put a little too much ballast, a beginer's mistake. It is all dried up now, and the train stalls from time to time. Please offer me advise on cleaning excess dry ballast from my N scale tracks. Maybe a knife or plastic sheet?

Thank you!!!
Brandon
 

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You will probably have to use an exacto knife along the inside of the rail to break away the ballast that is stuck there. If you have ballast piled up higher than the rail, you might just use a screw driver to chip it away until trains run without hitting it.
 

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Just as a tip, when I lay my ballast the last thing I do before wetting and gluing it down is to run a tooth pick along the inside of the rails to clear any bits that may be there preventing problems after it dries.
 

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The reason the train is stalling is that glue has gotten on the
rail tops and is preventing power from getting to the wheels.

You'll need to clean the rail tops with alcohol and possibly water.

Do a close inspection afterward with a bright light. You will likely
see small dark spots or streaks on the rail top. That is glue still there and
most be removed.

It's the way of life with ballasting. Glue will get on the rails,
and it's gotta go.

Don
 

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Unless I missed it, nobody has mentioned using a vacuum to make sure you pick up all those little iddy, biddy chips.
I bought a cheap reducer kit to attach to the large hose of my shop vac. The final attachment on the end of the hose has a soft brush over the nozzle. This picks up all those pesky little pieces my old eyes can no longer see.
Have fun,
Bob
 

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You gotta get it off. A small hobby knife is what I use.
Have a bright light on your work so you can see what
needs removal. You need to clear only the inward sides
of the rails.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I cleaned all the tracks of ballast and the train is capable of running, but still stalls at certain spots, I cleaned most of tops of rails by using a q tip and alcohol, but its not working too well. Any other way? I know I gotta get the glue off...
 

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With a bright light and close inspection, you can actually see
the slightly darker spots on your rail tops that is causing your
loco to run bad. Look for it on the inside edge of the rails also.

It just does not come off with alcohol, I've found. You'll have
to scrape it. I use a hobby knife with a small blade. A very fine
emery will do it, if nothing else works, on the difficult spots.
(but I didn't tell you that, it's a no no). :eek:

Don
 
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