Track Cleaner and Conditioner
from Label Lubes, a division of Con-Cor International, Ltd.
Review by Doug Teggin
From the manufacturer's website:
I have tried out a few track cleaners over the years. I've used track rubbers and cleaners. Rubbers scratch your rails and apparently thus increase the amount of dirt that can adhere to the rails - most pundits will say that cleaners are the best way to go.
This cleaner, Labelle 105 from Label Lubes, a division of Con-Cor International, is a thick fluid that is designed to clean the dirt and increase connectivity thus helping and improving DCC conectivity.
The instructions say that you should run your finger over your rails, if it comes up with a mark, they are dirty. OK, I did this (see below) and my rails are dirty. I haven't run any trains on them for about 3 months. Prior to that I used a Peco track rubber to clean the rails.
A drop or two of the Labelle 105 track cleaner fluid on one of their cloth pieces and it picks up the dirt straight away from the track.
I have some bare track and some ballasted track. Obviously the bare track is easier to clean than the ballasted track (see below). Cleaning the track is easy and painless as you would expect.
Working on ballasted track is another matter. The glued-down ballast shreds the cloth cleaners and bits of fluffy cleaner get spread all over the place. Even if you wrap the cloth around you finger, it tends to disintegrate. You have to then go over the area with a vacuum cleaner picking up the fluff. It gets stuck in point blades, between track pieces and onto solder joints that may have little sharp pieces exposed.
Is this a really bad issue? Perhaps not, the cleaner does clean, it is just how you go about applying it that needs attention. Perhaps a cotton cloth would be better.
I tried the supplied cloth pieces, the round pads and the 'ear bud' applicators, they all shredded on the ballast. The black stick applicators work quite well in tight areas, but as they are black, you can't see the grime come off. Not sure why they are black...
My final opinion. It is an excellent cleaner. I really didn't think my track was that dirty, but quite a bit of oxidised muck and dirt came off the areas I worked on.
I tested a couple of locos on the cleaned track and they ran well. I should clean the wheel-sets too whilst I'm at it.
This is perhaps a little expensive to fill up a track cleaner, but it would work well. I'll use it with some old cotton cloth in future to prevent the fluff from getting all over the place. See the video below, an An extract from the Instructional DVD that shows how to use the Labelle products.
An extract from the
Review sample supplied by OnTracks. OnTracks is the UK distributor for Labelle Lubes. Speak to them if you would like more info on the Labelle range.
|Lo-Fi Version||Time is now: 5th July 2015 - 12:49|