Like house cleaning you never escape track cleaning. Even those running battery powered and/or live steam engines have to get the debris that collects on the tracks cleared off.
Fortunately there are a number of track cleaner cars and methods to keep the right of way open. I did a review of the track cleaning car I use that can be found on this site (Review – Bridge Masters Track Cleaning Car).
But my friend Greg Elmassian has an article on his Tips web site that covers practically every track cleaning car and cleaning method known in the hobby.
From motorized spinner pads (as seen above) to polish the rails to various cars dragging clean blocks (right) you’ll find Greg has them covered in his article. From the cheap to the very expensive solvent dispensing tank cars this article is the best overall review of track cleaning I’ve come across.
The article covers debris cleaning cars as well as manual pole cleaning. Each type of car and method that Greg reviews is looked at from the standpoint of cleaning the rail head as well as removing debris from the track.
Check out Greg’s article here: Greg Elmassian’s Track (and Wheel) Cleaning (sorry the link to Greg’s article no longer works. Try searching his main page.
Let me know how you clean your rails! – TJ
(Originally posted 4/20/2012, revised 4/29/2016)