How to … clean wheels the quick way

Many years ago at an exhibition, I came across what to some of you may seem obvious. However, to me at that time it was anything but obvious. So, to the topic, cleaning your coach and wagon wheels … how do you do yours? Some use solvents, some use nothing at all! Well, to those of you who don’t bother, take a look at the picture below …

ResizeWheel Cleaning 1

Grime from the track will easily congeal on the wheels over time, this being a mix of dust, grease and whatever other deposits are on your track – surely a reminder to clean your track more often! You can easily see the grime on the surface of the wheel. So, what is a quick way to clean this off?

Simple, all you need is a length of masking tape (no longer than a coach length), a piece of track and your “dirty” coach or wagon. Simply place the masking tape over the track, sticky side up and then locate the wheelsets of the wagon on the masking tape, being sure to locate them “on the rails” as if the masking tape wasn’t there. Now, in whichever way suits you best (either fingers on roof or griping side frames) push the wagon or coach back and forth on the masking tape. It is important to keep the wheels on the rails and to apply slight downward pressure. You will be amazed by the results – or maybe not if you’re an old hand at this already. Below you can see the fruits of one’s labour …

ResizeWheel Cleaning 2

Note that this is only effective for “free-wheeling” wheels and you shouldn’t attempt to force geared wheels via this method.

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