Maintenance of the D&J Railroad is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
As my empire is pretty much built out, maintenance has become the dominant activity besides running trains.
Maintenance covers all aspects of the layout, from electronics to benchwork to trackwork to signal software.
Lots of records of the construction of the layout are on hand for reference. A lot of other things are just common-sense stuff.
This thread will continue on for the next few years to record maintenance activity as I feel compelled to photo the progress and do the write ups on my procedures.
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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
While doing final preparations for an op session this coming weekend, I noticed a sharp bend in the rail on one of the A/D tracks in the classification yard. I recall having a few derailments at the spot recently and it has obviously pronounced itself to where it's visible.


The maintenance of way crew is summoned, and they make a quick assessment of the problem and set right to work, torching off the rail for removal and prepping the roadbed for new ties and rail. The damaged rail with ties are loaded into a waiting RC Corman gondola. A wheel loader clears excess ballast as new ties and rail are just down the track.


A maintenance of way crane is used for the heavy lifting and is repositioned to pull the new rail onto the ties.
The wheel loader brings in the ballast after the tracks are laid and gives it a manicured look.


In a short while, trains are running through the new section of track again without incidence.



Gomez Addams
Staff member
Ken, do you run dedicated MOW trains to clean the track, or just throw an occasional track cleaning car into the train?

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Before an op session I'll run a track cleaner train over the layout a few times. It will consist of the A-line track cleaner with some paint thinner on the roller then a few weighted gondolas with dust monkeys on the axels.

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Track cleaner doing its thing for a few hours. An A-line roller track cleaner with two gondolas with Dust Monkeys. I usually put some weight in the gondolas so they don't derail due to the Dust Monkeys.



Section Hand
I've been using Dust Monkeys ever since you recommended the product. They sure clean the loose dust and grime off the rails. Since the CM&N Railroad is of modest size, I don't have to clean the monkeys too often.

I installed the Monkeys on the axles of some caboose so they are easy to find. I know there is a car or two with them that I've forgotten about.


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