2B or not 2B?

Keeping track clean, and by association keeping wheels clean, is a perennial problem.  How often do you see a loco stall at an exhibition, followed by a lot of work with a Peco track cleaner?  I came across this tip in N Gauge Forum, and it looks a good one…

This is a tip that I don’t know if it has been mentioned before but if you can get artists soft graphite pencil (I use a 6B) run it over your clean track it improves pick up and since I did it about 12months ago I have not really had much of a dirty track problem even when running sound equipped locos.  I got this tip from an American magazine.

The full chain on N Gauge Forum is here….

And at Model Railway Hobbyist here….

If you want to buy some, try here.  They describe the product as below….

How does it work?
In our case its going to improve the electrical performance of our tracks and reduce the frequency of track cleaning.
Graphite, when applied in a very thin layer, does wonders for conductivity. Graphite also reduces arcing (which is why it’s used as electric motor brushes), by reducing the arcing it reduces the formation of nickel-silver oxide, which is most of what’s in the “black gunk” that builds up on your track [It’s rare to see arcing between wheel and track but at microscopic level it will arc between the peaks of both wheel & track].

What are its benefits?
Our armchair research revealed overall claims of improved track performance, reduced cleaning of track & wheels and improved loco performance (where poor performance was observed previous to treating the track with graphite). In practice we found the claims of improved track performance and improved locomotive performance were valid and the reduced cleaning can only be verified by time. We’ll keep you posted.

I think we might try it for the club layout!

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Hints and tips, Inspiration, Jon's layout ramblings, The trade and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 2B or not 2B?

  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Thanks for the tip


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