Custom Painted P-2000 units

Friday, March 7, 2014

Track Cleaning Cars Update

Greetings Blog Followers,

As some may remember I have been regularly running my homemade track cleaning cars in my train consists and have been extremely happy with the results. This has lead to the NYCTL acquiring two additional cars for conversion to homemade track cleaners. The newest cars are the old MDC / Roundhouse 40 boxcar kits. These cars are easiest for me to convert as their weights sit over the ends of the cars and do not approach the middle of the underframe. This makes it easy to drill the two required holes with a pin vise.
The cars, Western Pacific #1953, and Southern Pacific #163113, are on now on the roster and in service.

 Western Pacific #1953 came painted in a good looking orange paint scheme. This easy to build old MDC/Roundhouse kit was easy to convert to a home made track cleaner. Track cleaning pad is in place. The car has been upgraded with Kadee #5s and Intermountain 33" metal wheels.  

Southern Pacific #163113 factory painted in a catchy silver paint scheme with Southern Pacific Overnights lettering. An MDC /Roundhouse kit, it has received a home made track cleaning pad, Kadee #5s and Intermountain metal wheels.

Four of my Five homemade track cleaning cars pose at Empire City. The Lehigh Valley and Chessie System cars are old LifeLike products. Missing from picture is an MDC/Roundhouse NYC Pacemaker car.

Do they work ? Yes, they absolutely do work and work very well at that. The pads are easily cleaned with an alcohol pad. If too much dirt has accumulated then a light sanding will do the trick.

The WP #1953 shows off it's track cleaner. The pads come right off the car making it super simple to clean and reinstall or just leave off if desired.   

For anyone thinking about adding some homemade track cleaners to their fleet I highly recommend giving them a try. On the positive side they are easy to build and maintain. The are inexpensive to add and easy to remove. They work extremely well and create very little drag. A huge positive is that the wheel to rail - rail to wheel dirt transfer ends up on the pad and results in both rails and wheels getting cleaned. Check the shine on the LV boxcar wheels, they were bought used and had years of crud. Not anymore!

The dimensions for these cleaning pads is the exact same dimension of the commercially available Walther's and Roco products. The pad can also be used as a replacement pad in those models if you wish to save some money and reduce the drag of those cars.  


  1. A-Line also makes pads like these. The advantage is that you get all the parts in a kit and then just have to drill the holes. The 1/8 inch holes aren't that hard to drill through Athearn RTR or Accurail weights if you have a Dremel.

    1. Thanks for sharing that information John. I have enclosed the link for anyone interested Price is $5.95 plus shipping.
      Much cheaper to do it yourself if you are able but if not the above kit should work well.