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Model Railroads/Cleaning loco track contacts


I have a 1666 steam locomotive that has the older contact points that simply slide over the track. My problem is that these contacts get dirty fairly rapidly and then the engine obviously does not run.  Was this a common problem with these older locomotives?  I would also like to know what is the best way to clean the contact points?

Thank You

Hi Larry,

Although I have no knowledge about your particular locomotive, there are a few things you can do to deal with the contact problem, both on the loco itself and on the track it slides on.  First, you might try a commercial track cleaner which is probably just a kind of alcohol.  Other solvents would probably work as well, if not better, but you'll need some ventilation where they are used. There are also some kinds of oil-based products that claim to increase conductivity, but I would stay away from those as they might attract dirt if not scrupulously applied and rubbed in. Second, you might want to try a mild abrasive of some kind.  There are erasers impregnated with grit such as Bright Boy, but beware of scratching the surfaces too much.  A very fine grit emery cloth can also be used and might be better.  I hope I have been of some help.

Larry Enwhycentral Weinberg

Model Railroads

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Larry Weinberg


I can answer many questions regarding N scale model railroading in general as well as questions about the NY Central System, especially questions about the N scale models of their passenger and freight cars.


I have been a model railroader since 1949 and have been an N scale modeler since 1971. I have an extensive N scale collection as well as an extensive model and prototype library to consult.

I am a member of about two dozen online forums covering N scale model railroading and the New York Central System. I am a member of the Northern Westchester Model Railroad Club.

College graduate/Retired.

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