Maintenance of your locos and rolling stock

by Robert Thompson

In the past many suggestions have been made in the modeling press on how to keep your fleet going. I have seen people use too much oil or too little, fibreglass pencils used for cleaning wheels, this just will not do your wheels any good and takes forever to do. My fleet of both ready to run and kit built locos tends to haul 60 wagons+ and 11 coaches, so they are prone to wear’n’tear and dirt.

As little time as possible needs to be spent as I want to run my trains. First of all, track cleaning would be a good idea. By using the Association’s track rubber to clean the track, this will speed up the process and eliminate loose particles getting into mechanisms or a cleaning wagon (another article will appear soon). A pipe cleaner soaked in methylated spirit or lighter fluid would be ideal for cleaning out those point blades.

Now for our locos. The best and quickest way I’ve found for cleaning the powered wheels is soak a piece of tissue in meths or lighter fluid and lay it flat across the track. Then with the loco off the track, turn the power up so the loco would run towards the tissue, then place the loco on to the track with most of the wheels on the tissue whilst holding on to the loco to stop it getting away (and just make sure the tissue doesn’t disappear beneath your locos wheels!). Within seconds, hey presto! Two thick black lines, turn the loco round and do the other end. When it comes to non-powered wheels and rolling stock, a cotton bud will he needed soaked in our two favorite chemicals. As a rule, ALL working parts should be oiled such as gears, coupling rods, wagon bearings etc… Just one drop is sufficient for each application.

So there you are, give it a go and see that improvement in performance.

This article was first published in the Summer 2004 Double O Gauge Association Journal
All Material copyright the Double O Gauge Association 2004