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I got the idea from the L.O.T.S. Switcher magazine & it works. There's a product called Evaporust that takes the rust right off of old track overnight. The track in the foreground was soaked for 24hrs while the track in the box is what it used to look like. Night & day difference, the only problem being it also removes the "Bluing" if the ties had it. If they're just painted black, they're fine.

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The Tin Man, a forum advertiser, reconditions used Lionel track to like new condition. If you don't want to do the work yourself, his products are already cleaned, rust free and ready to use. 

You could also remove all rust from old Lionel 0-027 track by soaking them in a bath solution of 24% molasses and 75% distilled water for a few days. I doubt if the rust bath removal process would work on Gargraves or Ross track though, as the wood would warp or probably not take well to soaking in a water or chemical bath.

Actually I like the rusted track look as it looks like the side rails of real track.

The process is basically- Pull all the pins, soak it for a day, then, as per instructions, when you remove it, you just flush it with water to remove any remaining Evaporust. Then I dry it off overnight & the next day I wipe them down with oil to prevent rust from forming again. I made a tube out of pvc pipe to dip large track sections In Evaporust. The Gargraves stuff must have something coating the metal because you have to brush off a light, thin membrane that looks like dead skin or something, but it comes off clean with just a cheap bristle brush. The wood ties returned to their natural color so I wiped them down with oil too, they look nice but on both types, wherever there was pitted rust, the area remains pitted, but instead of broken out with frosty rust, the spot becomes a gray color. I guess you can say, they don't look 100% new, but they're much improved in appearance & you can reuse crappy old track & it's much cheaper than retail on new manufacture if you're doing a lot of it. I've done 70 pieces of O-32 tube track straights & curves + 2 pieces of Gargraves & my total cost so far is ~ $50 for a gallon of the product & the pcv tube & cap. I had old cans of new, clean oil, so that was free. Considering new pieces of tube track go for $3.50 MSRP, & good used is around $2.50, for this box of old track that I got for free, it's a no brainer, the work is easy once you get set up.

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I don't need any, I got this box for free. I'm just talking about retail prices for new manufacture & for used track in like new condition. I got that $2.50 price point from the advertiser here called "The Tin Man" & the new price from Modeltrainstuff.com. That's about what it goes for in hobby shops. I'm just trying to illustrate the amount you could save doing this proceedure as compared to higher end, nicer stuff. The track under the table at the train shows will be stuff like I already have to restore here, so if you had to buy it, that would cut into the savings, but it will still be cheaper if you don't HAVE to have "new & shiny" track. For me, it's ok. The peices that come out looking real good can go where you can see them on the layout & the stuff with the gray marks can go in a tunnel, or wherever else you don't see them, maybe on the backside of the table near a wall or between buildings. 

This is the result with a pretty rusty peice of track that had the blued ties (right) & a less rusty peice of track with painted black ties (left) after treating with Evaporust, washing, drying, & oiling. Obviously, the better the track originally is, the better it comes out, but they still come out serviceable anyway, which is better than they were because in the condition I got them, they were all gonners. The Evaporust did change the look of the blued ties. It lightened the color & would need to be reblued, or painted black if you didn't like the way it turns out. Personally, I don't care. These will make nice tracks for some out of the way area of a layout or a nice starter set for Jr when he's starting out on some future train display of his own without having to buy a massive quantity of new stuff. 

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As I posted elsewhere, to rehabilitate track, I simply use lightweight sand paper to scrape the tops of the rails, where there is electrical contact,  and wash them down with WD-40 and wipe clean. I learned of this technique from YouTube. I rehabbed 0-27 track I use for a trolley line, sixty years old to run as good as new. I do one track-at-a-time while watching TV.

Mark

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