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CMX User Decorates HO CMX Clean Machine

CMX User Decorates HO CMX Clean Machine

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Miscellaneous, Tony's Tips |

A CMX user Graham H. has done an amazing job decorating and weathering an HO CMX Clean Machine. He has provided instructions and pictures for those of you who may want to try it.

When we designed the CMX we were more interested in its utility than its appearance but Graham has shown us that you can have your cake and eat it too. Thanks Graham!

I recently purchased an HO gauge CMX Clean Machine track cleaning system. I, like many other model railroaders, had tried most of the other methods of track cleaning with varying degrees of success. After doing considerable research on the Clean Machine, I decided to give it a try. The unit is constructed of solid unfinished brass but I wanted to paint and decal it for my home railroad. I also wanted to bake the paint for about an hour for durability as I have done for many years on any metal parts that can withstand 180 degrees F. I completely disassembled the car, including trucks, couplers, skid pad and, most importantly, the fill port and control valve assemblies which both have rubber O-rings. I then cleaned the tank and skid pad with lacquer thinner, let them dry thoroughly, and sprayed both with Floquil Engine Black.


I contacted Tony’s Train Exchange to make sure there were no other plastic or non-metallic parts inside the tank. They assured me there were not and further suggested that I heat the car slowly so as to not risk loosening any of the interference fits that make up the assembly. I did this by placing the car in my oven and adjusting the heat slowly until it reached 180 degrees, then let it cook for one hour. After cooling for several hours, I applied decals using standard decaling techniques.
Now it was time to test the Clean Machine. I used lacquer thinner for a solvent and followed the instructions for filling and adjusting the drip rate. I coupled the car to my old SW 1000 cow/calf and an MP15AC and ran it around my home layout several times. I had read about the infamous “White Glove” test, so naturally I tried it, and much to my delight, the results were as predicted…….no black lines.


This unit is, in my opinion, the best track cleaning system available today. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to keep their track as clean as possible.