CRC states it is electrical conductive, displaces water/moisture, protects metals, protects from dirt, formulated for use with modern plastics, improvesMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 2, 2009View SourceCRC states it is electrical conductive, displaces water/moisture,
protects metals, protects from dirt, formulated for use with modern
plastics, improves electronic properties for navigation,
telecommunication equipment, relays, PC cards & module plugs & sockets.
It's propellant is : Carbon Dioxide.
This is not an oil. It leaves a seal on the surface with a continuous
molecular film & never becomes dry.
The above taken from the spray can.
I have not tried transmission oil nor Whal oil as these are oils &
even though they may improve the electrical conductivity they none the
less are oils (lubricating stuff)
As I said in my original post, I am not a chemist or physics guru but
I am a marine engineer & know enough about oil to say it does not
belong on my track.
This is my personal view living here in Australia in a sub-tropical
(moisture) region & with a layout in a 4 bay garage in the back yard.
My circumstances differ from "up-top" in the USA but not by that much
I would think.
Why I mentioned this was to inform the many fellow modelers who don't
know about this little trick of using "a fluid" to very very lightly
smear on their tracks to aid in train performance.
Too tight a curves using 2-8-2's is asking too much & with the
addition of grades this makes it aweful tough on the poor little
steamers with all the trains wheels dragging & rubbing their way
behind the loco trying to pull them!
May I respectfully suggest to those who have not tried this "fluid
thing" to experiment & find out for yourselves what works for you ?
Gerry, Don t apologize - it was a very informative rant. I d always wondered about the difference between Railzip and Wahl oil and had held back from usingMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceGerry,
Don't apologize - it was a very informative rant. I'd always wondered about the difference
between Railzip and Wahl oil and had held back from using them - until now.
On the original point about gradients in relation to curves. I'm not sure of the physics
involved but gradients and curves go together about as well as oil and water. I would avoid
mixing the two if at all possible. I did this in my layout and kept the gradients to straight
sections. Someone once told me that the maximum length of train on your whole layout will
be governed by the one stretch with the steepest gradient on the sharpest curve. Not exactly
profound but frustrating when ignored.
I don t have a lot of direct experience, but I ve been to Steve Amitrano s layout a few times. He uses the AeroLube track cleaner, and I ve heard theMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceI don't have a lot of direct experience, but I've been to Steve Amitrano's layout a few times. He uses the AeroLube track cleaner, and I've heard the difference in his sound unit (I think DCC but maybe PFM?) and the increased clarity/lack of light static between cleaned track and AeroLubed track was astonishing.
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I m curious as to how he applies the Aerolube since ZEP only seems to offer it in an aerosol. That means he d have to decant it. Aerolube is basically aMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceI'm curious as to how he applies the Aerolube since ZEP only seems to offer it in an aerosol. That means he'd have to decant it. Aerolube is basically a calcium based white grease with Teflon added. It seems to be a good lubricant and corrosion inhibitor but I can't see how it improves electrical contact (other than preventing corrosion).
Visit my web site @
From: "vulturenest1@..." <vulturenest1@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 10:16:34 AM
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Re: Gradient qustion
I don't have a lot of direct experience, but I've been to Steve Amitrano's layout a few times. He uses the AeroLube track cleaner, and I've heard the difference in his sound unit (I think DCC but maybe PFM?) and the increased clarity/lack of light static between cleaned track and AeroLubed track was astonishing.
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This article saved me from tearing out my layout. I tried it and I can t say enough good things about it: http://users.frii.com/gbooth/Trains/lps1.htm JackMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceThis article saved me from tearing out my layout. I tried it and I can't say
enough good things about it:
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... tied to the brake hangers. ... on the ... wipedMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View Source--- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Richardson" <paul@...> wrote:
> It's actually spread using a Transmission Car, using toothpickstied to the brake hangers.
> Craig,on the
> How is the transmission fluid applied to the rails? Is it a few drops
> rails spread around by a loco or is it rubbed on with a rag and thenwiped
> Paul Richardson, MMR
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed
Are those the round or square tooth picks? ... From: jtcrgs455 To: Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 13:07 Subject:Message 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceAre those the round or square tooth picks?
----- Original Message -----
From: "jtcrgs455" <jtcrgs455@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 13:07
Subject: [HOn3] Re: Gradient qustion
> --- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Richardson" <paul@...> wrote:
>> It's actually spread using a Transmission Car, using toothpicks
> tied to the brake hangers.
>> How is the transmission fluid applied to the rails? Is it a few drops
> on the
>> rails spread around by a loco or is it rubbed on with a rag and then
>> Paul Richardson, MMR
>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed
> HOn3 list web pages are:
> Yahoo! Groups Links
All: The matter of cleaning rails and keeping them that way is an ever-ongoing discussion! For my 650 foot garden railway, I use an LGB track cleaning engineMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceAll:
The matter of cleaning rails and keeping them that way is an
For my 650 foot garden railway, I use an LGB track cleaning engine --
with a one of a kind leaf blowing box car of my own design on its front
-- that polishes the rails. Two large front wheels (2" or so in
diameter, the outer 1/4" or so of which is cratex material, spin in
reverse of the direction the diesel looking engine is going. I can
clean all track, including stub end sidings, with it from my control
station, when the good weather returns in the spring and before any
other trains are put on the tracks. The LGB rails are code 332 brass
and have a thick layer of oxidation on them in the spring from the
rains, etc., that usually happen between November and April/May. The
crud flies off in clouds, literally, so such a technique cannot be used
The fineness of the cratex set me to thinking. I contacted the Cratex
Company [Google the name], found a local dealer, and bought a small
block of very fine (and dense) cratex from him. Cratex is the same
material that is used in "Bright Boys", except that Bright Boys are
extremely coarse and leave dirt collecting scratches on our indoor
rails. They also harden with age (rubber is one of their components),
which makes them even worse. The cratex which I bought is very fine
and polishes rail -- even my code 55 ones -- and is very dense. It is
industrial grade stuff. I received a block of the material which I cut
into small blacks roughly the size of Bright Boys. My radial saw blade
was "toast" when I was done -- could not be sharpened, only thrown
away. These very fine cratex blocks even remove Bright Boy scratches
and incidental scratches that result from building all my dual gage
turnouts and track laying. At the moment, I use the blocks to clean
tracks before running anything.
However, I may try the ATF -- Automatic Transmission Fluid -- technique
described below when my HO/HOn3 layout becomes complete enough for
A year or so ago, a Letter to the Editor appeared in U.S. NMRA's
magazine Scale Rails regarding the ATF technique. It was written by a
friend of mine, Ernie Simard. He and I, along with many others, are
members of the Sonoma Hi-Ballers -- an Operations round robin group and
I often operate on his Western Pacific HO layout. He uses the the ATF
technique and the trains run flawlessly. I don't know the steepness of
his grades, except that they are there in two different helixes. The
railroad occupies a 3-car garage (cars remain permanently outside) with
the main level in all three bays at about 40". One bay contains the two
helixes, which reach levels that only someone over 6 feet can really
see. Most of the rest of us stand on stools to operate that part,
which is easy to do. The trains climb those helixes without a stumble
or a slip, yet the helixes have the ATF treatment. Ernie also runs
Aztec track cleaning cars in his trains, too.
Last April, Ernie sent me a copy of an e-mail which he had received
about the ATF treatment. This appears as the first text below my
signature. He followed that up with a personal e-mail to me about how
he applies the ATF. This is the second text below. He has emphasized
in conversations that he makes sure the ATF is very thin on the rails
as he states in his e-mail.
Read the texts below and go from there.
Best regards, Hart Corbett
"As to the topic of ATF for track cleaner. Let me give you a little
background on my experiences. Originally the Four County Society of
Model Engineers (FCSME) was located in the second floor of a Civil War
era building. Track cleaning was a weekly chore due to the fact that
the building was so old, drafty, and was heated with Kerosene in the
winter. One day, a club member brought over a bottle of RailZip. Just
a few drops on the rails and "Presto", the track seemed to almost clean
itself. One problem, eventually RailZip dries, and the track crud
seemed to reappear. Really it didn't just reform. It just
re-transferred itself from the rolling stock wheels, back to the rails.
More on this topic later.
As we searched for a solution, we tried bright boys, abrasive
rail cars, masonite skids, chemicals like alcohol, various track
cleaning fluids and such. All had some success, but each also had a
drawback. My vocation, being in the automotive service trade, taught me
that one of the chemicals with the highest detergent level was
automatic transmission fluid. Also, like in model trains, transmissions
nowadays have a lot of plastic, light metal, and electrical parts. None
of which seemed to really care or be affected by the fluid around
them. So on my own layout, I tried it. A little really seemed to do a
great job, but a lot could render a heavy steamer like a Mantua Pacific
unable to pull more than 2 cars! Lesson learned! Moderation is key!
I posed the idea of ATF to the club, and we agreed to try it. One
of the 1st demonstrations involved a train with a flickering headlamp
proceeding along , as I placed a drop on each rail ahead of the train.
As soon as the engine passed that spot, the headlight stopped
flickering and the engine ran smoother. I got a few instant converts
with that one! Slowly we developed a method of judging when more ATF
needs to be applied and what helps to keep the track clean. Watch the
engines, flickering headlamps are usually the 1st clue!
Why or How does it work? ATF ( I use Dexron II or III ), or any
oil for that matter, forms a barrier to oxygen on the rail. Remember
brass rail and tarnish? Well Nickel Silver rail does this too, but the
tarnish is conductive to a point, after that, the tarnish slows
conductivity (dirt gets trapped in the rough surface of the tarnish).
Plus the oil won't allow dirt and crud to stick to the wheels and the
rails. It literally can't do anything but fall off! Don't however
believe this is the cure all and end all of track cleaning. Rails will
still need to be wiped down at times, just less often than before.
Bright boys will still be needed for trouble spots, just not as often.
Also, as far as rolling stock wheels (mentioned above), about the same
time we started using ATF, the FCSME basically outlawed plastic wheels
on rolling stock, as a separate group of members had pretty much proved
the case for how much cleaner metal wheel sets run vs their plastic
counterparts, but that's another argument.
In summary, try 2 drops, one on each rail ahead of a train and
see how far it goes. Our 60 x 100 modular layout generally only gets
that much on each main for each show. As far as the removal of the
fluid (if you get too much) we just use a clean towel to get off the
excess (or a cloth roller on a track car for tunnels). Chemical
removers may be too harsh for the plastic ties. Eventually, the effects
will wear off as traffic breaks it down, but that will take some time.
Oh, by the way, it's also the only lube I use on all 75 engines
in the fleet!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Second e-mail (from Ernie):
"I cleaned the rails with alcohol removing all the oxidation, then
apply the ATF with a lint free cloth strongly rubbing it on all rails.
I found that using the few drops method made the coating a bit thick
and made the rails slippery up steep grades. After several months I
need only reapply with the cloth. I liken it to cleaning the rails
with ATF rather than coating the rails. I have also found that Atlas
Superflex track does not oxidize as quickly as Shinohara flex. I
assume this has to do with some difference in the combination of metals
making up the NS alloy."
I m in a modular traction group that has over 25 modules with many of those only used twice a year in the local big shows. I m usually the set-up andMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceI'm in a modular traction group that has over 25 modules with many of
those only used twice a year in the local big shows.
I'm usually the set-up and fine-tuning chief. We use a fluid very
similar to ATF on the track. It's applied by wipes of fluid moistened
generic Q-tips for about 4-5 inches every 6-10 feet of track with
attention given to also moist Q-tip wiping the points and frogs of
track-switches. [One Q-tip dipping is used for most of the layout.]
Then we run a powered unit a couple of laps or so and deal with any
areas that obviously need additional attention. Beefy paper towels are
used for any old-filth removal. Track cleaning blocks are available,
but very rarely used by us.
Even when the layout is around 20 x 40 feet, it only takes about 10-20
minutes from start to finished fine-tunings.
Best to ya,
On Mar 2, 2009, at 9:54 PM, Craig Linn wrote:
> Hi Paul,
> I 'think' that he said he puts it on by doing a few drops on his CMK
> tank car and runs it around. Every so often he puts more fluid on the
> pads and runs around a bit more.
> I will double check with him the next time I see him on how he is
> doing it for sure.
>> How is the transmission fluid applied to the rails? Is it a few
> drops on the
>> rails spread around by a loco or is it rubbed on with a rag and then
>> Paul Richardson, MMR
Mea culpa, wrong name. It s by Aero Locomotive Works, called Conducta-Lube. Used to be called AeroCar, I think? It s a thin liquid. Mike Conder ...Message 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2009View SourceMea culpa, wrong name. It's by Aero Locomotive Works, called Conducta-Lube. Used to be called AeroCar, I think? It's a thin liquid.
Jeff Brundt wrote:
> I'm curious as to how he applies the Aerolube since ZEP only seems to offer it in an aerosol. ... Aerolube is basically a calcium based white grease with Teflon added.[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
... The key phrase here is a few drops -- a little of this oil goes a loooong way. If you can feel the oil on the railhead with your finger, you put it onMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 4, 2009View Source--- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Richardson" <paul@...> wrote:
>The key phrase here is "a few drops" -- a little of this oil goes a loooong way. If you can feel the oil on the railhead with your finger, you put it on 'way too heavy!
> Many modelers use a product called Wahl Clipper Oil to do this. It
> electrically conductive and a few drops on the railhead and run the
> over your track, the loco will distribute the oil.
> I have resisted this forTwo additional comments: If you use plastic wheels you will find that the track develops a lot of "gunk" for a while after you start to use the clipper oil. This is all the crud from the plastic wheels being dissolved and brought to the surface of the rails, both from the rails and from the wheels passing through the oil. After a while this accumulation tapers off -- it ends almost completely if you replace the plastic wheels with metal ones. Second, once the rails have been purged of oozing crud you will find that you do not need to clean the rails as often, especially if you operate frequently, and if you use only metal wheelsets.
> many years and recently operated at a railroad where they use it. At
> beginning of the session the yard I ran had not been operated in
> months and the loco would barely run. A few drops on the railhead and a few
> more on the points of a few turnouts and the yard worked like a charm the
> rest of the day. I think I'm going to have to give this a try on the
... Very true! ... Can t talk to traction tires, but as far as grades, my experience is exactly the opposite. If a VERY SMALL amount of the oil is used andMessage 1 of 26 , Mar 4, 2009View Source--- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, Gerry Hopkins <gerrymmr@...> wrote:
> As Dave Barron has already stated there are two "camps". I agree
> all he said - the problem is the user and how it is done.
> Wahl Oil is just that - a thin oil. Yes it does dramatically improveCan't talk to traction tires, but as far as grades, my experience is exactly the opposite. If a VERY SMALL amount of the oil is used and spread around on the layout, the oil, as it dries out, leaves a very, very thin film on the track that helps conduction between the wheel and rail, and IMPROVES traction -- sort of like putting a thin traction tire on top of the rails of the whole layout. Initially, when the oil is wet or if you have applied too much of it, the track does become slick. Over time, however, as you operate on it, the oil provides a surface with a pretty good grip and traction improves over the performance of dry rail and wheels.
> running as long as you do not have grades or traction tyres.
> Transmission Oil is a step up. Yes it is an oil but has better antiHow well does plastic hold up to the stuff? After using it for a while, do the plastic ties of flex track begin to deteriorate where the rail meets the ties?
> corrosive elements. Same restrictions as above.
> WD40, as far as we are concerned, is not worth the trouble - goodThat is also my experience.
> cleaning but nothing else.
> Rail Zip was/is the best of the "custom" products. People made theMy understanding is that the RailZip has to be removed before more is applied, else a layer of gunk builds up that is not helpful to electrical conduction. I have not seen this with Wahl's oil; the new application seems to dissolve the old and replace it.
> mistake of putting a few drops on the track and then just running
> trains. It should be left to dry after the initial application. Back
> the dim and distant past I used to take a HOn30 exhibition layout
> the states (Oz). I would clean the track and apply the Rail Zip on
> Friday night - let it dry over night and then run the little locos
> for 3
> days without touching the track.
I ve heard of the Wahl oil treatment technique for over 50 years, never tried it though. I have used RailZip and thought at the time it worked quite well.Message 1 of 26 , Mar 4, 2009View SourceI've heard of the Wahl oil treatment technique for over 50 years, never
tried it though. I have used RailZip and thought at the time it worked quite
well. I've also needed to hand clean the wheels on a number of pieces of motive
power over the years to get the collected crud off.
I've also heard that the oxidation of nickle-silver is conductive.
With this in mind, I today use a CMX track cleaner car with one of the
solvent type of cleaners they recommend and also the electronic cleaner B-unit
being pushed ahead of it. The theory here is, "cleaner is better".
Since I haven't seen this facet discussed at any length, I felt the need to
In a message dated 3/4/2009 9:47:25 A.M. Mountain Standard Time,
If a VERY SMALL amount of the oil is used and spread around on the layout,
the oil, as it dries out, leaves a very, very thin film on the track that
helps conduction between the wheel and rail, and IMPROVES traction
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