The following review of some popular cleaning cars was forwarded to us, unsolicited, and is used herein with permission.
This is one of our FAVORITE topics here.
I have a track cleaning car fetish. I own them all. Anyone I can find, from the crummy Roco tank with a dragging pad, to the newest CMX. I have even built some of my own design with varying results. I have tried them all and they all have pluses and minuses that have mostly been touched on here. I will try not to repeat the ones I agree with. The fun thing about this subject is people’s cleaning situations can be very different. Some have lots of dust or humidity or spiders… Your mileage will vary!!
ONE PASS CLEANING.
How well does the track act with regular locos after I have run my cleaner around once. For this I like to use Alcohol in the wettable cleaners.
3rd 2 Centerlines (one wet one dry)
4th Aztec Dry
5th Masonite drag pad
6th Bright boy drag pad.
MULTI PASS CLEANING.
How well do my regular locos do after the cleaning car has been looping for about 30 minutes on my layout (about 10 laps). I find the ones with bright boy like characteristics fair much better and almost match the wettables. I still find the CMX to be better.
2nd Aztec Dry
4th Masonite drag pad
5th Bright boy drag pad
6th 2 Centerlines (one wet one dry)
EASE OF USE
Well, anything you don’t have to put anything in or tie anything to comes in tops.
1st Bright boy drag pad. Does not seem to ever need cleaning.
2nd Masonite drag pad. Sometimes needs cleaning or replacement of the pad
3rd Aztec dry. Have to clean the roller from time to time.
4th CMX Easy to fill and regulate flow
5th Monsoon. Flow is harder to set and harder to fill.
6th Centerline. Have to replace the wipes and they dry out
fast in use.
NOTES: One thing about the Aztec cleaners that sometimes bothers me is the magnet. True, it does pick stuff up, but what usually happens to me is it derails in a tunnel because a spike on the magnet gets hung up on something. I like the fact it got it of the track for me, but I hate fishing the derailed car out of the tunnel.
All in all, I use them all at different times for different reasons….cleaning spurs I use the Centerlines cause I can add lots of cleaning fluid to them on really dirty track very easily… Over all, right now I like the CMX the best, until someone comes out with a newer better one…and I will HAVE to have that one too!!!
Sean B. McCaskey
Owner – TBA Railway