Engine cleaning?

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New Member
Here is my situation. I am building my first layout and I have the track wired. The engine stops at points along the track. I know it is not the wiring and I am pretty sure the rail joiners are conducting electricity. I am going to clean the track well to be sure. Do you think it could be the engine? It has been boxed up for many years. If so, how do I clean it - or do I give it to someone else to do?
Thanks for any help.
Clean the track well all over with an eraser if nothing else to start with. Clean the engine wheels as well all the way around. That is a good start. See how it works.

If there is still a problem then take a meter or a test light and go around the track and see if you have power everywhere. If not you have to run that down. If so then it may be the engine.

Some canned air to blow it out and visual inspection wont hurt if you arent sure wether to do more. Do that much and see who says what else and let us know what you found when you get that much checked out.

Good Luck


Drum Driver
Yes you need to clean the contact pickups..and wheels of the engine..and contact points in the engine where the brushes are...also, try a test light around the track...clean the track and depending on how big the track layout is...you will need to wire several spots...like every 4 feet...make sure to keep the polarity correct...Try a search on here too as this was covered just a few months ago..might be some helpful tips there for you too...Good Luck!


Go make something!
You can clean the wheels by putting one end of the loco on the track and the other on a paper towel with a little alcohol or other cleaning solution. Hold the loco and apply power letting the wheels spin the dirt off onto the paper towel. Swap ends and the wheels should be clean.


Also, along with more feeder wires, consider soldering your rail joints.

If its an old loco, you might need to take it apart and clean everything up and lubricate (lightly).

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