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I am in the process of setting up a 4X8 O scale O27 layout. The my track is shinny and looks good. I used 220 grit sand paper to shine things up (top and sides of rails). When I run my trains periodically I get sparks (fireworks in dark). I have sanded the train wheels, contacts, and everything I can find. What am I doing wrong?

Also, I nailed down the entire layout, have a power source to the track at every corner (about every 4'). Do I need somekinda solvent on the tracks to get off corrosion I cannot see?
 

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I'm a novice here, for sure ... but 220 sounds a bit rough / harsh to me for a final finish. Most people use Scotch pads and the like. I'd imagine that the small grooves left by 220 (on both track and wheels) could act like hot-spots for spark generation. I'd suggest going finer ... 500 or 600 grit ... or better, the equivalent extra-fine abrasive pad. Do NOT use steel wool.

Also, did you vacuum up all of the residual dust?
 

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I would never take any grit sand paper to a train... In the future, you should clean up the pickup rollers and wheels with a wire brush Dremel attachment... This will give you a nice clean and smooth surface :)

I have used sandpaper in the past on some track and would never go back to it again... The track gets dirty real fast after it has been sanded... My track needs to be cleaned also, and I am probably going to get some Scotch-Brite pads this time...
 

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Yard Master & Research
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To improve the electrical connection just run the train. Being in storage doesn't help, running helps the motor electical commections where you cannot see . For example the axles and e unit connections. Cleaning wheels is just as important as cleaning track.Invest in a track set pliers or make them. The pins need to be firm in the track ends.
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I would never take any grit sand paper to a train... In the future, you should clean up the pickup rollers and wheels with a wire brush Dremel attachment... This will give you a nice clean and smooth surface :)

I have used sandpaper in the past on some track and would never go back to it again... The track gets dirty real fast after it has been sanded... My track needs to be cleaned also, and I am probably going to get some Scotch-Brite pads this time...


Yes no sand paper, as your going to take off the protective layer on the rails.
In turn it will get dirty faster an also might corrode on you.
 
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