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Took some time off MRR due to illness and everything just sat out for a year. Track Locos rollers everything. Dusted it off slapped down some track...CLEANED it and hooked it up. Everything was a little stiff at first but ALL my runners RAN Bachman BLI and Athern Genesis. My Genesis SD45 was the most ornery and took the longest to stop balking.BLI Baldwin Shark and Bachman DD40 AX Ran like CHAMPS from the first second!

An unexpected experiment and that is what happened. I'm not going to worry too much about leaving the stuff out when not in use. I know one probably should and that's what Id recommend but if something happens and you can not tend to it every day don't stress too much it should be fine was my main message

Happy Rolling
 

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I'm glad you had that positive experience. Mine has been the same. A soft camelhair artist's brush and blowing as you brush gets rid of cobwebs and dust. Wipe the rails, plug in the power supply, and start playing trains.

One caveat, though: if you have wooden benchwork and homasote that is unpainted, you should take precautions against excessive moisture or humidity. Try to keep the train environment within a narrow range of humidity between, say, 40-65%. Much on either side of that range invites problems such as cracking, buckling tracks, torsions, pulling apart of tracks or altered alignment at gaps.
 

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Table top is unpainted "MDO" been standing for 3-4 years now and Ive had minimal movement. I have a dehumidifier running ALL the time it seems to help.
 

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Table top is unpainted "MDO" been standing for 3-4 years now and Ive had minimal movement. I have a dehumidifier running ALL the time it seems to help.
Yes, it does. Humidity is the killer. It's what causes wood to warp and what causes our tracks to buckle and separate with the expansion and contraction of the layout.
 

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I always worry in the same way. when I have neglected my layout for a while I feel the same trepidation that maybe things won't go well, even though, as an engineer I know there is no reason why everything should not go well.

It happened again this past weekend, here. Due to a series surgeries and all that, I had "neglected" my trains for eight weeks. When I went up this past weekend to run them all, I worried. The entire layout was a bit dusty, and the track was dirty. I ran a vacuum cleaner car and then a track cleaning car for half an hour on each loop, while I set up a jig to clean rollers and wheels on the locos I wanted to run. I had no problems. Everything worked perfectly.

This always pleases and surprises me a bit when this happens, and yet when you think about it, why should it? If the layout is well made, there is nothing that should go wrong. In my case I have sold-rail O-Gauge track with every joint soldered, and big wire (#10 or larger) feeders soldered to the rails every ten feet, all run under the layout where they are out of harm's way. The whole room is heated and cooling and kept dry. The power supplies and such are reliable and will last for decades. Barring some critter getting under there and chewing the wires up I can't see anything going wrong there. The locos and such aren't going to deteriorate if left for a few months ((longer than that and I'd oil them and renew the smoke fluid, but . . .). Everything should just sit there and wait - and still work weeks, months, even years later if the tarnish is cleaned off . . .

But it always surprises and delights me when everything does go ell. It guess the eight-year old kid inside me just doesn't complete trust the knowledge the 70-year old enginner has! :):):)
 
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