Track Cleaning Cars

wpsnts Mar 9, 2022

  1. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Somewhere I have seen discussions on setting track cleaning cars in a particular order. Can't find them now.
    I have a CMX, Centerline, Atlas, three Aztec and a few less expensive off brands.
    Will putting them in any particular sequence really matter?
    How do you set up yours?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
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  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave....

    Do you have the Aztec car with the tank inside for cleaning solution ? I am looking for some info on this car. TIA
     
  3. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    No, I wasn't aware of that option.
     
  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'll run out to THERR RV tomorrow and grab a few pics of it to post here.
     
  5. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, your track should be spotless!
     
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  6. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have one of those, what do you want to know.
     
  7. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Are you sure that it is an Aztec car? I know he made a car with a wet wiper, but mine doesn't have a tank.

    I run the Aztec wet wiper first, then several of the Aztec 'Brite Boy' rollers scrubbing in both directions (the Brite boy is angled to one side so it moves and scrubs while it goes around the layout) and finally a home made hard board dragger to make sure nothing is left on the rails.
     
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  8. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    A general rule would be any cars with cleaning solution first (to help loosen deposits), scrubbing cars next, and then any "wiping cars" (I use WS dust monkeys) . I used to add an Atlas vacuum car at the end, but I'm now DCC and I haven' had time to convert the car.
     
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  9. Tad

    Tad TrainBoard Supporter

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    Aztec had a car with a tank that was called a Mini Monsoon.

    This was the description from the old Aztec website.


    N Scale Mini Monsoon™ Track Cleaning Car

    Aztec’s Mini Monsoon was engineered for ease of use and minimal maintenance. The body houses a fluid reservoir, a canvas covered roller, three brushes and a magnet. The tank is exposed but may be disguised as a transformer or any other large oversize load. Micro-Trains® trucks and body mounted Magne-Matic® couplers finish off this beauty.

    These are the features:
    • Micro-Trains® trucks and body mounted Magne-Matic® couplers. The Mini Monsoon was designed to run behind the locomotive, most of which have body mounted couplers. Body mounting the couplers allows the car to follow the locomotive in a more prototypical manner than truck mounted couplers. This will provide for better tracking and ease of running on tighter radius track with less possibility of de-railing.
    • A canvas roller is positioned at one end of the car which allows The Mini Monsoon to negotiate a 9″ radius curve track without hitting scenery or switch machines.
    • Three brushes dust the top of the rails helping to dry off any fluid that may be left behind by the canvas roller. This car can run in either direction without any problems. Roller to the front is the most efficient.
    • The magnet picks up any loose magnetic objects lying on the track. It will retrieve stray track spikes, Micro-Trains trip pins, nuts, bolts, springs and any other magnetic items not wanted on your layout.
    • The Mini Monsoon cleaning mechanism comes housed in an Atlas 40 ft gondola which allows it to run through steam era tunnel portals. It is factory painted and printed in assorted road names. By using this body style we were able to incorporate a 10 cc reservoir to hold track cleaning fluid.
     
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  10. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you Dave. Your response has the type of info I'm looking for.
     
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  11. Tad

    Tad TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi, I’m Tad and I have a track cleaning car addiction.

    I guess that it all started with a Model Power ATSF Box Car. I have six of them now. I changed the bodies to the Bachmann Hi-Cube box cars so that they are readily identifiable.

    When the Atlas Cars came out, I wound up with one of each color. I have a Yellow, Orange, and a Gray. I mounted Z2 decoders in them and put a flashing beacon on top where the switch was. I then came across another Orange one that had a decoder in it for $15. So I have four now.

    I have a CMX Clean Machine.

    I have an Aztec Track Star and an Aztec Eliminator. The Track Star has just the Cratex Roller. The Eliminator has the Cratex roller, the magnet, and the three brushes.

    I have three Centerline N2 roller cars.

    I also have four or maybe five Masonite slider cars that I built.

    I also have tried the Woodland Scenics Dust Monkeys.

    I have experimented with these all singly and in combination.

    The Model Power/Roco slider cars do a decent job of dry cleaning/maintenance, especially if you start with clean track. They are heavy and do have quite a bit of drag.

    The Masonite cars do essentially the same thing but with not as much drag.

    The Aztec Cars are also very good for dry cleaning with the Cratex roller.

    For wet cleaning, I don’t think that you can beat the CMX Clean Machine. Choose your poison to run in it, alcohol, acetone, mineral spirits, or lacquer thinner.

    The Atlas cars work best, in my opinion, when converted to DCC so that you can run the locomotives pulling them slower and control the speed of th cleaning car independently.

    I tried the Atlas car for wet cleaning, but the reservoir is not very large and with it being plastic, you would not want to use the more aggressive cleaning fluids in it. It does a decent job, but not as good as the CMX.

    The Atlas car also has a dry cleaning option with the sand paper disk if a fellow wants to use that. I tried it on some old dirty track, it did okay. The sand paper disks kind of load up and seem to wear out pretty quickly.

    Where the Atlas car really shines is as a vacuum car. It’ll pick up stuff that you didn’t even know was there.

    For a dry cleaning train, a combination that I have found works pretty well is an Aztec car followed by an Atlas car in vacuum mode and then maybe a slider car with a Dust Monkey behind it.

    For a wet cleaning train, a combination that works well is to run the CMX car, followed by an Atlas car with the cloth disk scrubbing before the fluid evaporates, with a couple or three of the Centerline N2 roller cars wiping up the rails with the Handi-Wipes.

    As always, your mileage may vary.
     
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  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    This sounds just like the one I have. I bought 3 Aztec cars from Jim Reising estate. Its the rollers I am confused on. The rollers may not have been with the right cars. :( I cant tell one roller from another.o_O It sounds like it takes the 'canvas' roller. All 3 of the ones I have look different. They have been used and not sure what the canvas one should look like...if that makes sense. :confused:

    It has warmed up enough now so I am heading out to THERR RV and will snap some pics and be back to post them....;):):whistle:

    .
     
  13. Tad

    Tad TrainBoard Supporter

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    Look at this link on Trovestar to see a picture of an Aztec Predator with all three rollers.

    https://www.trovestar.com/generic/zoom.php?id=128449

    The white one is the canvas roller. I reckon that a used one probably wouldn’t be white anymore.
     
  14. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ok...here are the 3 Aztec cleaning cars I have...

    [​IMG]

    Here are the 3 rollers I have....

    [​IMG].

    Here they are torn down....
    [​IMG]

    The 2 cars on both ends look like the 'frames' are different from each other looking at the holes in the tops. :confused: So...I am not sure which boxcar body goes one which of those 2...:(

    The center one is the one with the tank. Not sure what roller it should have. :confused::( Also what should the 'flow rate' be set at ???:oops:

    Which brings up another important question:

    Aztec is out of business. Where would a person get Cratex...Canvas...or any other roller covers for these cleaning cars ?????:(:sick:

    TIA for any more info you guys can provide...(y)(y)

    .
     
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  15. Tad

    Tad TrainBoard Supporter

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    The car on the left is a Track Star. The car on the right is an Eliminator.

    If the brass roller has a slot in it, it is a Handi-Wipe roller. You cut a strip of Handi-Wipe, insert it in the slot, wrap the Handi-Wipe around it and secure it with a piece of thread or a small rubber band.

    If it doesn’t have a slot, then it is a canvas roller missing its cover. You would have to cut a small piece of canvas and glue it on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
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  16. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I knew John for over 30 years and I don't recall him ever showing me the mini Monsoon. I have several of his other track cleaning cars, though. 3-4 Track Stars and 2 Predators and dozens of his custom printed cars (he even printed several cars from pictures and art I provided). Miss him.

    "Each Aztec track cleaning car comes complete with one, two or three rollers depending on model, as specified in the product description."

    "N scale rollers come in three types: the Cratex® roller, the Sidewinder™ (canvas covered) roller, and the Cobra™ (Handi Wipes® covered) roller."

    You are missing several of the rollers for your cars as you should have all three types for the center and right car. The left car only came with the Cratex roller.

    Strange that John's website is still up (but I couldn't find anywhere to order anything) but it looks like it has been sidetracked as well.
     
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  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sooooooooooo...basically these 3 Aztec track cleaning cars I bought...are useless ? o_O:(:(:(
     
  18. Tad

    Tad TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not at all.

    But, if you decide that you don’t want them, I’ll take them off of your hands at whatever you think is a fair price.
     
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  19. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh I will keep them. With them coming from Jim Reisings estate. I had great respect for the man. Talked to him a bunch of times. Having a small portion of his train stuff is a blessing...(y)(y)

    Maybe I will just remove the rollers and run them as plain boxcars. ;)
     
  20. WolfWorks

    WolfWorks TrainBoard Member

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    If you can find some picks of what the missing rollers look like, I am sure Jenn will look for them. I know she would not have known that the parts were missing, they just removed the trains from the layout and tried to match up to cases.
    Jim Web site is being kept up until the records expire. The site is also being kept up (archived) at http://theoakvillesub.rrarchives.org/ for those interested.
    As for items of Jim's estate, they have been posted in the Trainboard Swap Meet for awhile now.
     
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