How to Clean Model Train Wheels

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Duration: 8:32

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Whether they’ve been used over and over or sat in station for months on end, train wheels are bound to pick up dirt, dust and grime that can cause trouble on the tracks. It’s important for a fluid ride and smooth operations that you take proper care of your train’s wheels and keep them clear of gunk and buildup. So in this video, NMRA expert modeler Gerry Leone teaches you how to clean train wheels using two simple techniques.

How to clean train wheels with little effort

In teaching you how to clean train wheels, Gerry demonstrates two separate methods that can be applied to both plastic and metal wheels. He begins by talking about the issues that can arise from poorly maintained trucks, and then walks you through the quick step-by-step process for removing light or heavy dirt buildup.

For the first method that Gerry introduces on how to clean train wheels, he shows you how to construct a basic cleaning track that utilizes a short stretch of flex track and cork board. Next you’ll learn how to screw a piece of brass wire into the track and apply a square of paper towel coated with the cleaning solution of your choosing. Once set up, Gerry teaches you how to clean train wheels on stock cars by rolling each car back and forth and on locomotives by running power through the flex track.

For the second method on how to clean train wheels, Gerry teaches you how to use the rubber wheel on a drum sander and a vice to remove dirt with a Q-tip. The key for this technique on how to clean train wheels is to use the drum sander on a slow speed; you don’t want your train wheels to go flying! No matter which method you decide to go with, just be sure to use one. Clean train wheels make for smooth sliding on the tracks!