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Discussion Starter #1
After struggling for years to come up with a simple and effective track cleaner I have finally managed to come up with something that actually works well and costs almost nothing. I started with a gondola car and attached a piece of aluminum fascia to the underside (see the white piece in the 3rd photo). Then attach a piece of magic eraser with a screw and a plastic washer (also shows in the photos). A fair amount of weight is needed in the gondola ( I used 2 rolls of solder). Then wet the eraser with rubbing alcohol and pull it with any locomotive. It is best not to have any extra cars as the cleaner car is quite heavy and tends to derail other cars. After a few passes around the track clean the eraser material with a rag that is also wetted with alcohol. The oil and dirt wipe off very easily if you do this promptly after cleaning the track. Simple and works great.
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Discussion Starter #4
John. The Trackman 2000 appears to be excellent. Are the Scothbrite pads glued on or is there another mechanism for attaching them ? I get more oil than dirt on my track which is all Gargraves. That is why I use the magic eraser pads with alcohol as the Scothbrites just do not remove enough oil. I am pretty certain that Moleskin would also be a good choice.
 

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The Scotchbrite pad is secured by four push-in pins on the ends of the block of steel. You just pull them out, cut the new pad to size, and jam them through the pad to secure it. You can use other materials on the car as well, but I've usually stuck with Scotchbrite.

I actually have another track cleaning car that I use alcohol with on a pad. This is the North East Trains Cleaning Car. I've been known to put the Trackman 2000 in front of this one and get maximum cleaning, scrubbing with the Scotchbrite pad and then degreasing and drying with this one.


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I picked this one up a couple years back and have been happy with it overall. I can't recall the brand but I don't believe they actively make the O gauge cars anymore, although they make them for G gauge from what I remember. They happened to have a couple left in stock when I discovered them. Nice simple design with a frame on axles that can be hauled behind a locomotive with a heavy block that floats in the center, pinned in place by the thumb screws through the side frames. The block is two halves with a screw in the top that allows you to put a scotchbrite pad strip in between and then clamp it in place. I've used it on my track as well as my club's modular layout many times with reasonable results in a short amount of time. I usually run it around for awhile and follow up with a rag and some rubbing alcohol to get what little grime is left.

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Indeed it appears to be a similar concept, although I'm not so sure I'd call it the poor man's version as I recall it being pretty expensive for what it was. I remember thinking that I could probably whip one together out of scraps at work cheaper, but then I'd have to find the free time to do it. The main thing is that it was available for purchase at the time I was needing something 😁

I hadn't previously noticed the articulated design of the Trackman 2000 pad, that is pretty slick.
 

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Jake, that's one reason I buy most of my stuff used. :)
Me as well, very little of my collection was bought new. For some reason when I was actually in need of a track cleaning car sooner than later for my theater layout, I couldn't find one available. After I bought that one there were about half a dozen different ones that suddenly showed up on Ebay.... funny how the world works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I also switched from alcohol to mineral spirits and can't believe how much arcing is reduced.
 

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WELL (blank)!! I thought my CRC QD was smart!! OK, Imma gonna re-think..:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Guess I could just use gasoline, I know where to get that....:rolleyes:
 

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WELL (blank)!! I thought my CRC QD was smart!! OK, Imma gonna re-think..:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Guess I could just use gasoline, I know where to get that....:rolleyes:
See the reply from millstonemike about mineral spirits before you use anything else. Works great and you get way less arcing.
 
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