I own this engine and car set which have been I'm my family since their purchase.  We recently moved, and I have noticed some hazy look on the surface of the engine, which I assume is oxidation.  How do I remove this.  Also, there is the number 132 on the cab and the New York Central logo as well, which I assume are rubber stamped there.  Now they are nearly invisible due to the oxidation.  How do I clean these sensitive areas, or do I?


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That's called "patina" in collector's lingo, just a sign of the age of the item. Most like that appearance and leave it as is.

Some use an auto wax to shine it up, but those numbers are easily wiped right off the engine. Most collectors also don't like the polished appearance - again better left as is. You could give it a gentle wash with warm water and dish detergent, but again be careful around the number 152 and the NYC logo.

That engine is in really nice shape by the way. I would leave it as is. 



I have grown to dislike the word patina. In my mind it was always the green verdigris color found

on ancient bronzes in the museum.  Now it seems its normal use in the

toy train world is to describe the rust, dirt, etc on the marx caboose 

Flea Market Freddy found over the weekend and now has on ebay for $50 

plus $19.80 shipping. 

I do agree with Jim, gentle cleaning or no cleaning. That lettering is very 


Good Luck

Jim and Beardog,  Thanks for the reply.  I may try the gentle washing with dish soap and be careful around the stamping.   Thanks also for the compliment.  I have been setting this train up under the Christmas tree since I was younger than 10 and my brother did it b4 that for my Uncle Walter.  When he passed a long time ago, I inherited it.  He was nice enough to give it to me, and I have treasured it since.  I keep it on my dresser, and often still run it at Christmas.  Take it out off the dresser and put it on the track, and it still runs like a top.  Perfect.  Over a hundred years in our family!  We are very fortunate to have it.



This era and type of construction is called "Tinplate."  There's a dedicated sub-forum for tinplate.  Those folks deal with it all the time and might have some additional suggestions.  Good luck with your Uncle's train!

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Like everyone else has said, leave it as is. It is in good shape for it's age. Almost all numbering and lettering of this era on those engines have oxidize. You will only do damage if you try cleaning with anything wet on the paint, The water will leave streaks and discolor the paint.

Thanks All.  I think the overall recommendation is to just dust off the engine with a soft bruch, which I will do.  Thank you all for the input.   Planning to have the old Christmas scene with the engine and pass. cars, skaters and paper houses that have accompanied the train for most of its 102 year life, up next year.

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