Track Cleaning Tips by Mike Lanyon

For many model railroaders keeping their track clean is a major problem. Cleaning track is time consuming and often very difficult if you have tunnels, underpasses, etc. Garden Spot Village Train Club was no exception until a few years ago. Because of a magazine article written by Linn Westcott, our problem with dirty track has been solved with great success. The article refers to a product made by SANCHEM, INC. named: NO-OX-ID “A SPECIAL” or as we call it: NO-OX.

In layman’s terms NO-OX is a special grease product that prevents oxidation to form on our track (oxidation prevents good electrical contact with your locomotive’s wheels). Because I said it is a grease, you’re thinking slippage. Don’t worry; when applied to the track properly, slippage is not a problem.

1. Begin by cleaning your track by any means you like until the rails are nice and shiny.
2. Take a very, very small amount (Linn’s article says “Microscopic amount”) of NO-OX from the tube and place it on the tip of your finger.
3. Run your finger back and forth a few times along each rail of HO track roughly 3 feet in length. (We use nickel/silver track and do not recommend brass track.)
4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 until all track has been treated.
5. Let the track sit for 24 to 48 hours to allow the NO-OX to ‘bond’ to the track.
6. WIPE OFF all of your track with a clean rag to remove any remaining NO-OX residue.
7. You’re DONE!

You can now place your locomotives and rolling stock back on the track and run your trains (Recommend cleaning their wheels first). You will be amazed at how well they run. Look at the headlights of your locomotives and notice how they no longer flicker due to the excellent electrical conductivity.

During our Open House Sessions lasting 2 ½ hours of continuous running, we used to clean track sometimes during a session. Since we applied NO-OX, we have only performed some minor cleaning of track once in 3 years.

Below are links to some references: