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Discussion Starter #1
First of all let me say that i am a total newbie. I recently unboxed a train set that i have had for about 25 years. It has probably been hooked up 5 times in 25 years and has not been run in 15 years. I eventually would like to hook it up on some type of track in my son's room... (he is the 1st and on the way). But for now i just want to get it running. It is a Bachman HO set with an engine, and several cars. Other than that i don't know much about it. The trace is oval and has about 12 curved pieces, (6 on each end) and 10 straight pieces, (5 on each side). All of the pieces appear to be brass track, and are slightly tarnished. As it is right now it have hooked it up in the oval configuration. It will run but is very "rough". certain parts of the track it will run on and then stop. The track connections are loose. i assume they can be tightened up with a slight crimp with some needle nose pliers ??

1. I guess i need to clean the track, but am not quite sure as to how to do it? I m guessing by the roughness on certain parts of the track that the track is the problem, not the engine. It will run at a pretty good speed on certain sections.

2. Do i need to try and tighten up the connections. What can i do to help this?

3. What else do i need to know. What types of tracks are possible, and where can i find out what kind i have. The one i have has a "coupler" on one side of one rail and the other side on the adjoining piece that the track slide into.

4. Do i need to do anything to the engine. Does the motors need to be cleaned, I am pretty handy and can do whatever is needed.

The eventual end to this... or maybe the start depending on how you look at it. ... will be to build some type of track around the ceiling in the baby's room..I assume that i am not the first to attempt this. Nothing extravagant, but would like it to look nice. Is there someone who has done this. What is the best way to build a "ledge" to put the track up on so it will be up high above the door.

Any suggestions on any of this stuff would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Cleaning the track is easy. Do not use steel wool or sand paper. Do use a mild abrasive track cleaning bar like a Bright Boy or a pen eraser. Brass track is good to use as its corrosion actually conducts electricity, making it a good choice for what you're using it for. Once you set it up, regularly run a car equipped with a masonite pad as a regular track cleaner car >>>







With regular use you'll never have to clean it more than a couple times a year and then only with a cotton cloth---read that "old diaper"---with a little rubbing alcohol in it.

A light squeeze on the sides of the rail joiners will help a lot with continuity.

What you have is Code 100 brass rail, a common track until recently that you can get at local train shows and swap meets for about $.25 a section. Switches and crossovers will run you $1-4.

Cleaning the engine at least once a year is highly recommended. Pointers and tips are found throughout the web. A little oil goes a long way, just make sure it's plastic compatible. I use Lube It 8 and Wahl Hair clipper oil. A very light lithium grease for the gears still eludes me as I depend on local sources for such things. Until then I use Penn Reel Lube.

Don't make the track shelf project harder than it appears, if you're handy with tools, just keep the basic principles of "measure twice, cut once" and easy line of sight in mind. Hope that helps, again, welcome.:thumbsup:
 

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Bachmann sets at the time were inexpensive. The track is probably code 100. You could use an eraser to shine them up and crimping would help.
The engine shell should come off and inspect the parts. clean electrical contacts and oil moving parts. Jump the motor directly from the transformer and let it run. If you can ungage the drive, do so to test the motor. Normally a gear will strip after startup from being instorage a long time . If it doesn't run you may want to invest in a quality set. Motors have improved considerable since then.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the quick reply. I had a light buffing pad that i used to clean the track. It's amazing what just doing that did for it. I then tightened the joints as mentioned. That helped a lot to keep the sections together. Yes, i think i have the code 100 track. all except for two pieces appear to be steel, only two of the sections are brass. Is bachmann track compatible with other manufacturers? I see sections on ebay and such of atlas and others, but are they all interchangable with each other, as far as the way they connect, or do i want to stick with one brand. I plan on making just a basic oval as the room i want to put the ceiling track in is about 10x12. Also, what is the best way to attach the track to something such as MDF 1/2". glue, brads, what is the "professional" way to do that? I want to keep my costs down, but i don't want it derailing and falling 7' to the floor. I looked at the locomotive box and i think it is a santa fe 0-6-0, what does that mean ?
 

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The Code 100 tracks are pretty compatible across the board. Steel rail is not what you'd want to use on hard to reach track, it oxidizes easily and is a constant cleaning nightmare. Nickle silver is the best---but---brass rail oxides can conduct electricity, making it the better choice for hard to reach track.

As for a roadbed, I would go with the best grade of plywood I could afford, even cabinet grade is not that expensive per board foot for what you're using it for. It will save you many headaches in the long run. Decorative shelf brackets along the wall with creative suspension from the ceilings using 1/4" all-thread and toggle nuts at the curves will give you a good, solid run.

The 0-6-0 comes from the Whyte Classification system>>>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whyte_notation
 
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