I had a piece of plate steel laying on my workbench that just happened to be about the right size to make a standard gauge car, I also has a couple of trucks Some old decals and a piece of a vinyl trim board that I used to fix my front porch. I put them together and it makes a track cleaning car that actually works. The abrasive pad I stole from the kitchen sink and attached it with a rubber band. The only things i bought for this masterpiece? of home engineering were the couplers, screws and binding posts that the pad rides on.   I guess I was bored but it came out pretty good and it works! TRACK CLEANER 3tRACK cLEANER 1tRACK CLEANING TRAINtRACK cLEANER 1


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Looks pretty similar to the one some unknown person made for our toy train museum a while back. I rebuilt and repainted it a couple of years ago as it was in sad condition. I put Velcro on the bottom of the pressure pad. The Scotchbrite (actually a cheap substitute from the dollar store) sticks to it nicely, eliminating the need for the rubber band. 

STD track cleaner 1STD track cleaner 2



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I like what you guys have done making some neat track cleaning cars.

However, I do not recommend the constant use of an abrasive pad. It is too abrasive and actually damages the rails. The pad scratches the railhead, creating grooves for more dirt and grease to be trapped in. And repeated use of an abrasive pad eventually wears down the plating on top of the rails.

A softer material, like cotton cloth, foam etc., would  do much less damage to the rails.

There has been much discussion on the OGR forum and other model railroading forums about abrasives for track cleaning, not a good idea.


Just curious for users of either the abrasive pad or cotton cloth.  Do you have problems with the pad/cloth hanging up on less than perfect rail joints?  I have several sections that were cut to either make blocks or bridges.

Thanks  Ron


"I'd rather be lucky than good"

I don't have any issues with the pad catching but... I have something I bet no one else does. I have a pair of stainless steel surgical pliers that are the perfect profile for crimping rails back to their rounded profile. Years ago the hospital I worked for was selling a bunch of old useless instraments for scrap. I noticed the profile on these pliers and when the bidder came to pick up the lot ( probably hundreds of pounds worth) I asked if I could have this one set of pliers. He said sure and I've been using them to reform rails ever since.

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