Maintaining Your Model Toy Trains

Maintaining Your Model Toy Trains

A hobby is described as any interest or activity that is not pursued as an occupation but done for pleasure, or to pass time or for relaxation. Hobbies help relax the mind from the daily stress and humdrum and keep one engaged in an activity that gives pleasure such that one is keenly interested in it. Hobbies are highly recommended, irrespective of what it is since it lets one unwind, de-stress, relax and rejuvenate the mind, and occupy the attention into something that one is enthusiastic about.

Hobbies could be singing, dancing, playing a sport or a musical instrument or riding a bicycle or solving puzzles or photography or collecting coins, stamps, paraphernalia, and the list goes on. Certain hobbies require special attention and care, such as philately or collecting models of cars or trains which have tiny parts and several models.

In fact, just considering train models, there are several models ranging from the first locomotive invented to the latest bullet trains, each having its own unique feature and appeal. Whether it is a Bachmann model or Auscision model trains (the numero uno brand in Australia) or any other, each have their own charm and maintenance checklist as well.


A few tips are suggested here to help maintain the prized ‘chuggy’ collection.

Tips to maintain model trains of various brands

  • Track the tracks

Sometimes, collectors might observe that the locomotives are not moving ahead smoothly, with trains experiencing judders or slowing down. While this happens the first thing to look at is the tracks and not the loco itself. Watch the train going down through the entire layout and check for any hiccups on the layout. Also, check if the problem occurs for all the models or for only the engine and not the other compartments. Checking each individually will help resolve whether the problem persists in the engine or in the layout or track or in the power.

Dust settling on the tracks can also act as an adherence and the best way to avoid that is to regularly clean the tracks as well as the wheels with white spirits and similar cleaners which remove all the debris.

Similarly, dust, dirt and grime can be cleaned by using a cloth that is lint free and is dipped in methylated fluid spirit. The tracks can be cleaned with this but not the delicate surrounding scenery.

  • Check the joints

The joints between the rail tracks that make the layout can also slow down the trains. Use pliers to fix the fish plates or rail joiners tightly and replace the ones that are old and worn-out.

  • Ensure wiring is not wonked

If the engine and the tracks are perfect and still the problem with speed exists, it could be due to the power connection and the wiring for the same. Check the wire connection, help your kids to understand how it works and look out for loose connections or tight wire fittings or places where the wire is split or frayed. This problem especially occurs in instances when the layout is not permanent and the setup is laid out every time.

  • Clean the wheels

The wheels of the locomotives also need regular cleaning to avoid dust, grime and dust from settling in. A cotton bud dipped in methylated spirit can be used to clean the wheels.

The collection becomes more valuable when proper maintenance and care add to the luster of the model trains.

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