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4 years ago I had a layout in progress of building, when I was struck down by a life threatening infection. It needed to be torn down for a hospital bed and equipment needed for me to return home. One setback after another, and now trying to go through my pieces of Fastrack that had to be stored in the garage that most of the track plating has either come off or turned dark and doesn't contuct electricity anymore. Is there any fix, tarnish remover, electrical contact cleaner, silicone cleaner lube that will restore it or it is all junk? Hoping someone has a answer from previous experience that works. Thank you all in advance. Gary

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Gary,

Is it rusted or corroded? There are a couple of things you might try;

  1. Some people soak tubular track in a product called Evaporust, available at Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. It does a good job of removing rust if you , soak the track in it for 48 hours and then wash it off. I have not tried Evaporust on Fastrack, so I don't know how the plastic roadbed would react to it.
  2. You might buy a scowering pad called Scotbrite , available at Kroger or Publix and rub the track with it. Scotchbrite does a good job removing rust. Do not use steel wool.

Maybe you could post a picture of it so we can see what the problem looks like.

Pics might help here. Like tubular track Fastrack is "tinplate": that is, it is steel plated with "tin" (some non-corroding electrical-conducting alloy). If it has 'come off' (and it can be worn off) you would have red 'rust' showing. I have seen some darkening of Fastrack rails but it did not affect electrical conductivity. As long as you don't have [heavy] actual rusting I think your track is salvageable. Scotchbrite or an old fashioned eraser are acceptable cleaning tools. As has been said, NEVER use steel wool as it leaves behind metal particles that play havoc with magnetraction and/or exposed gears.

There is a common problem with Fastrack continuity that is easily addressed by bending each center-rail tab slightly to ensure solid contact from one track piece to the next. Also squeezing the tubular rails slightly will make each track joint tighter.

Gary,

I think if you assembled some sections of it to make it easier to work with, a wire wheel on a Dremel type tool would knock that off. One or two passes on each rail with light pressure would clean it up nicely- not a polish job - just knock of the corrosion - wear goggles for sure - get some extra wheels - the process is not too stressful - it just takes patience to buzz a lot of rail

Sanding will remove the plating and be too harsh

Home depot and others sell a product called CRC 2-20. Spray each rail end and wipe with a cloth.

I did this with 250' of RealTrax on a layout that was in a barn attic for 11 years - we saved it - it even had some rodent fluid corrosion areas

I hope your medical issue is under control - there are enough curveballs in life - we don't need extra

I picked up several switches FasTrack switches and track sections cheap, with varying degrees of tarnish, areas where tinplate appeared to be gone, and areas of light rust and minor pitting.  Soaked them in a Rubbermaid container full of Evaporust for a few hours, and gently brushed offending areas with an old toothbrush.  I rinsed the Evaporust off with isopropyl alcohol, as i did not want to use water and encourage additional corrosion, and dried with compressed air.  Neither plastic nor paint were affected.  While the tinplate is not shiny, they rust and oxidation is gone and they work fine.

Jim

Last edited by Jim Harrington
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Evaporust will not affect the plastic.  It "might" affect the painted ties, but I tend to doubt it.  I soaked a bunch of plastic car and engine shells with metal parts in it from hurricane Sandy, it never touched anything about the plastic or paint.  Painted metal with rust under the paint peeled the paint right off, no surprise there.

Evaporust will take off chemical blackening though. Blackened trucks will come out shiny silver. 

George

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