Track cleaning 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.

WT fan

I've added a site about my Track Cleaning Transfer Caboose to my homepage, with video. :)




Wannabe Engineer
You know as I start back into this hobby I was wondering what exactly is the best way to clean your track. So what is everyone's preference and why?
Can you help me out with a site on the centerline, Josh? I found their site but it seems to be old and prices out of date. Are they still in business? Didnt see anything on ebay. Thanks.

I use the caboose with the tank in it and adjusting valves to clean my track. But with 8.8 miles of track it goes thru pads like you wouldnt believe. An eraser works great but I cant stand getting the rubbings up.

Anyone else have anything they use that really works?


Diesel Detail Freak
There's quite a few on Walthers now, including ones built into a locomotive chassis.

As for centerline, I dunno, I'd assume they're still around.
Three of their cleaners just sold on eBay, around $20 a piece. the only inherent problem with them would be the rag unraveling and the brass roller grounding out.


Coal Shoveler
I use the Aztec cars, one with a scrubby roller, and one with the wipe. I actually need a third one, also with a wipe, so the other wipe one can be loaded with goo-gone, while the last one has Alky to take up the residue...



Grandson of ALCO Bldr
As I mentioned before on B_Kosanda's post on Speaker Magnet Mystery that he post a week or so ago...

HO Annihilator™ Track Cleaning Car

The Annihilator is one of the meanest weapons in Aztec's arsenal of HO cleaning products to fight the war on dirty track. This car was not built to look utilitarian but as a fashionably functional piece of rolling stock. The custom painted Roundhouse® 40ft gondola is gray with black “M.W.” and dimi data. No road or end numbers are provided. The modeler may apply decals (not included) in the railroad of his choice. To finish off the car the hobbyist might want to cover the mechanism with a piece of cloth (not supplied) to simulate a tarp.

The Annihilator was engineered for ease of use and minimal maintenance. It can be run in a train and go unnoticed without hitting scenery or derailing.

A hard black anodized aluminum chassis holding two free rolling canvas (Sidewinder™) rollers at a slight angle to the railhead, a magnet and a fluid reservoir (1/2 oz. capacity) is housed in a Roundhouse® 40 ft gondola equipped with Kadee® couplers.

There is a valve to regulate the amount of cleaning fluid dispensed to the front roller. The rear roller is run dry and mops up loosened grime. A clear plastic lid covers the reservoir allowing you to see when it is running out of fluid. Turn valve about one quarter turn for ten seconds or so. Turn off and run for 10 to 15 minutes (or change times to suit).

This stealthy lightweight tips the scales at a mere 7-3/4 ounces soaking wet. The Annihilator will clean in either direction but works best with the magnet to the rear.

Some assembly required.

The Annihilator HO scale track cleaning car
Part Number TS1165
$124.95 each
Includes FREE shipping within the U.S.A.
Photos by Jon Fox

To read a review on
The Annihilator click here.

DCC Kit for the Annihilator™

This kit replaces the Annihilator's manually-operated metering valve with a solenoid whch is controlled using a DCC decoder (not included).

With the kit installed you no longer have to stop the car to moisten the roller. Just call up the car’s address, push the F2 function button for a few seconds, and the roller is wet again.

Some assembly required.

Works only with “The Annihilator” track cleaner purchased after August 2004.

DCC Kit for The Annihilator
Part Number TS1175
$64.95 each


Coal Shoveler
I've seen the rig at the NMRA Train Shows. It's pretty impressive, and I like the DCC metering system, especially for my alky rollers. Those tend to evaporate quickly and dry out, while the Goo Gone one sticks around longer.

Unfortunately, it's a pricey item, and I haven't sprung for one yet....



Central Indiana & Ohio RR
I use a centerline car and a CMT (whatever the tank car from Tony's is called)
I use the Centerline dry and the CMT/tank with Iso alcohol in it. Don't have any issues really.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.