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Author Topic: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner  (Read 373 times)

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Online texhorse

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Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« on: August 12, 2017, 03:46:02 pm »
Hi guys

A couple of years back, I bought the Woodland Scenics Tidy Tracks loco wheel cleaner.  At first, I thought this thing was awesome.  It worked so well.

However, it's now a paperweight.  I connect clips to recently cleaned track, and put the pick ups on the bottom of the wheel cleaner onto the track as well.  I sit a loco on it, turn on the throttle, and no power gets to the loco.  If it does get to the loco at all, it's sporadic.  I take the loco off, and clean the wheels with alcohol placed directly onto a cloth onto the track, the loco's wheels are clean.  The loco runs nicely again.  I replace it back onto the Tidy Track to test the contraption, and the loco struggles to move again.

So, the conclusion is that the Tidy Track is no longer working well.  Power cannot be getting to the two brass strips on it very well.  Has anyone got any ideas how to improve the functionality of this thing?  It cost quite a lot of money, and I don't want to just throw it away, if I'm missing something obvious.  I've tried contacting Woodland Scenics by email, but got no response.

Andy
UK
Montrose and Highland Railroad



Online austinbob

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 04:09:07 pm »
I too have found this device a bit variable in operation. The positioning of the cleaning strips either side of the rails seems critical. If you set them too close to the rails they seem to prevent proper rail contact. If they are new you need to make sure that they are properly seated or, again you won't get proper rail contact.
The weight of the loco can also be an issue. Heavier locos work better. Some locos need a bit of pressure and/or 'jiggling'.
I think there may also be an issue with traction tyres which obviously rub against the cleaning pads and may wear out or stretch, particularly if you use cleaning fluids like IPA.
I don't use mine very often now.
 :beers:
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 04:25:05 pm by austinbob »
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline silly moo

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 06:51:14 am »
I posted a review about it in the review section, I got very mixed results from mine which is a pity because I thought it was a really good idea. I think it is more suited to diesel locos and as most of mine are steam it doesn't get much use.

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 09:23:05 am »
Bought one years ago but after my experiences of the stuff they sell in their track cleaner it's never been used.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 09:57:43 am »
Like others have said, it's a bit hit and miss for me, too. If I recall correctly (on holiday, can't check) there are some allen key bolts underneath you can adjust to raise or lower the middle strip somehow. I think this is important for getting the right amount of pressure on the loco, otherwise it'll ride too high over the metal rails.

Cheers, NeMo

Online austinbob

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 10:06:31 am »
Like others have said, it's a bit hit and miss for me, too. If I recall correctly (on holiday, can't check) there are some allen key bolts underneath you can adjust to raise or lower the middle strip somehow. I think this is important for getting the right amount of pressure on the loco, otherwise it'll ride too high over the metal rails.

Cheers, NeMo
Didn't know about that adjustment MeMo. I think I'll check that out.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Online texhorse

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 11:12:50 am »
I didn't know about the adjustment either.  I'm going to go and take a look!

Andy
UK
Montrose and Highland Railroad



Offline NeMo

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 11:32:02 am »
Hope I'm right!

If you push the centre strip you'll feel it's spring loaded -- the screws are there to adjust how high the centre strip sits proud from the plastic base.

Cheers, NeMo

Online texhorse

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 11:39:16 am »
You join me here, live by the trackside in South Pine on the Montrose and Highland Railroad.  After testing with the adjustment screws, they only seemed to make a slight difference.

What has really made a difference is to remove the Tidy Track altogether from the track, and connect it to the layout using the alligator clips.  Put the loco on the Tidy Track, and tilt it so that the loco is actually running slightly downhill.  Gravity seems to make it work very well!  This would appear to be a great way to warm up the switching or shunting locos which get the most use.

If I have any more earth shattering discoveries, I'll be in touch!

Andy
UK
Montrose and Highland Railroad



Offline NeMo

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 11:42:24 am »
You join me here, live by the trackside in South Pine on the Montrose and Highland Railroad.  After testing with the adjustment screws, they only seemed to make a slight difference.

What has really made a difference is to remove the Tidy Track altogether from the track, and connect it to the layout using the alligator clips.  Put the loco on the Tidy Track, and tilt it so that the loco is actually running slightly downhill.  Gravity seems to make it work very well!  This would appear to be a great way to warm up the switching or shunting locos which get the most use.

If I have any more earth shattering discoveries, I'll be in touch!

Andy
UK

Definitely turning the screws will adjust a fraction of a mm -- but that's the point, surely?

I use the thing more or less in the way you describe, with the croc clips on the power supply, and pressing the loco down ever so slightly, while dragging it back and forth, wheels spinning at about half speed. My worry was that undue stress could wear the gears down, so I'm a bit cautious. What did help was using a Q-tip to apply some IPA to the wheels while they were spinning.

Cheers, NeMo

Offline lil chris

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Re: Woodland Scenics Tidy Track Wheel Cleaner
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 10:49:33 pm »
This post took some finding tonight, moving it twice by the mods did not help plus a bad link and then it was not what I thought it was, I am always looking for track cleaning ideas and the like.

Moderator Comment Hopefully the link has now been fixed
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 10:57:30 pm by Pengi, Reason: Update »
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

 

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