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I use a battery powered mini vacuum cleaner with a piece of bendy plastic hose, about 1 cm diameter and 300mm long, gaffer taped to the inlet. This is used in conjunction with really soft brushes for delicate items and rolling stock. Being of a small diameter the end of the hose can be used to suck up the dust from the track bed and out of nooks and crannies whilst doing less damage to signals, station awnings and so on. It picks up any loose ballast as well.

Most sawing and sanding operations are now carried out in another room. This goes for spraying as well.

Because I like to leave my rolling stock in set trains on the layout stock does eventually attract a sort of ingrained dirt that can't be brushed off, particularly on carriage roofs. This is a bit like weathering. Eventually it becomes necessary to wash them.

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