Using Graphite on Rail Heads to Improve Conductivity and Operation

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DakotaLove39

Always Improvising
DakokaLove39 wrote in this Thread that only Ford's ATF fluid has the electrical conductivity that is needed when using ATF fluid for track maintenance.
Disclaimer: That's third-hand information I was given, I haven't verified it nor do I know anyone that has. I read a thing the other day of someone using GM brand ATF, but they said nothing about their performance with it.

For now I'd suggest Ford brand, as it has been tested in all three clubs in the Twin Cities area. It has not caused problems for any of them.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
I've been using graphite for almost 20 years now. I was first told about it by a guy in the UK who ran his layouts at shows and exhibitions 5-6 times a year were failure was not an option. His take, which I followed was before using graphite for the first time, thoroughly clean all track and wheels completely. Then, using the purest graphite stick you can find rub it along the top and inside edge of each rail for about 3-4 inches. If your layout is very big then obviously you'll have to do it in a number of spots. But this is really a true case of the " less is more" theory. It really does improve conductivity and reduces the amount of cleaning required.

just my 2-cents.
cheers
Gene

If I read you post correctly, you are treating the tops of the rails as well as the sides and only do ramdom sections in between the 3-4 inch sections of treated rail. I'm I correct in my understanding of your post?

Thanks.

Greg
 

Genetk44

Active Member
Basically you are correct Greg. I treat the top and the inside corner of the rails where the wheel treat and wheel flanges contact the rail... I don't get anal about it, just a quick pass with the graphite stick. I do use a high-quality graphite stick that I get from a local artists supply store. And yes I only treat a 3-6 inch length of rail. How many spots of that length you decide to treat would depend on the size of your layout. If I had a big layout I would probably start by treating just 2 or 3 spots around the layout, run a train around the layout for a a number of full circuits and then lightly spot-treat spots that were showing bad contact. But this whole graphite thing really is a case of less is more.....over-graphiteing is worse than under graphiteing.
 




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