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Track cleaning car in O scale

For a while I have been looking for a track cleaning car to put into service on my Buitenlust project. Sure, the best way to clean tracks is using a cloth with a bit of cleaning spirit, but some tracks are hard to get to. A track cleaning car gets to those gracks and saves a lot of work too. I hadn't come across a decent (and affordable) track cleaner until I stumbled upon a solution by KPF Zeller. Bingo!

KPF Zeller's track cleaner is not a whole car. You just a set of wipers to fit under a car. In the litterbox was an old chassis that was left over from an ill-fated beer car project. I glued the wipers under the car with a bit of hotglue. On top, I added a few slabs of lead to increase the weight of the contraption. The track cleaner was ready for its maiden voyage.

The first trip proved the concept works. Quite a lot of dirt was collected and the tracks did look cleaner afterwards. The concept is intended to be used in one direction: the wipers need to be dragged along the track. Traveling in the other direction brings the risk of the wipers getting stuck and car being lifted of the track. Maybe it is because of all the lead I added, but I did not run into any problems going backwards yet. I would avoid driving over points backwards though.

The track cleaner still looked ugly. So I dug up some evergreen profiles and more stuff from the litterbox. The cover used to belong to a model of a truck and now I could finally put it to good use. The car does not look like any prototype, but somehow it is not completely out of place either.

Finally I painted the car in different shades of gray. The make-shift decal on the side indicates the preferred direction of travel. The track cleaning car experiment turned out to be a great addition to the layout. And... for just a few euros.



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