Track ballast removal.

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Johnmay
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:16 am

Track ballast removal.

Post by Johnmay »

I’m going to be lifting some oo track / points which has been ballasted. The ballast was fixed with an ipa / water mix and while it’s been very easy to damp the track / ballast and lift it , it’s proving quit difficult to remove the residual PVA to get the track fully cleaned and ready to re use.
Does anyone have any tips, tricks or potions they can share which will allow me to get the track fully cleaned.
Thanks
Bigmet
Posts: 10116
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by Bigmet »

A soak in hot water with a squirt of washing up liquid. I borrowed a four foot long plastic potted plant trough from my wife's greenhouse for the purpose. It's difficult to get to a 'perfect' result, I use the salvaged plain flexi track 'off scene' so it only needs 'bulk removal', odd adhering bits that don't restrict curve formation don't matter. The points are reused as is, and reballasted as required.
Johnmay
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2021 11:16 am

Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by Johnmay »

I’ll give the hot soapy water a go . Too expensive to discard used track and points.
Thanks
Bigmet
Posts: 10116
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by Bigmet »

Quite so. I have Peco Streamline flexi and points now laid on third or fourth layouts, some of the flexi spent time outdoors...
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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by Bufferstop »

After lifting I give it a thorough brushing with a stiff brush untill no more will come off, then swarm water and washing up liquid and further brushing. Dry it by placing on a dry towel and fold it over.
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GeraldH
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Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by GeraldH »

I suspect that water can cause the over-centre springs in Peco (and presumably other) points to rust and eventually snap? I have had to replace two springs after I got a little carried away ballasting. In the older points one could replace the springs with the points in situ, but I don't believe this is possible with the new ones?
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Bigmet
Posts: 10116
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Track ballast removal.

Post by Bigmet »

GeraldH wrote:I suspect that water can cause the over-centre springs in Peco (and presumably other) points to rust and eventually snap? I have had to replace two springs after I got a little carried away ballasting...
They tolerate rainwater happily enough. What adhesive was used in the ballasting? If it was an acidic batch of PVA that might well acclerate the corrosion risk.
GeraldH wrote:...In the older points one could replace the springs with the points in situ, but I don't believe this is possible with the new ones?
' The new ones' as in the Bullhead rail points? I feel that most folk choosing these would be likely to either fit a self locking slow motion point motor, or use a rod or wire linkage with a spring in it worked by a lever or similar, which work best if the over centre point spring is removed. I am doubtful of the longevity of these points if used with a solenoid point walloper, and repair won't be as easy as with soldered assembled bullhead track.
(In my opinion it is an oversight on Peco's part not to have introduced their own slow motion motor: those prepared to pay the considerable price premium for the superior appearance are likely to find a realistic slow and steady closure rail motion preferable to the 'snap' action of solenoid.)
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