How To Clean The Wheels Of Model Train Locomotives

wheel cleaner

I just got an email from Dave with a short demonstration video of how he cleans the wheels of his model train locomotives.

Dave uses the Trix wheel cleaner which is available in HO scale (OO gauge) and N scale. It is a brush that cleans both locomotive wheels and the track.

If necessary the brushes can be lengthened  by connecting more than unit together. This is an important piece of equipment to avoid those horrible connectivity problems on your track and avoid TV and radio reception problems.

As you will notice in the video, it is incredibly easy to use. Just place the wheel cleaner on your track, place the locomotive on the cleaning unit and power up the track. In 10 to 15 seconds you will have clean wheels.

Thanks Dave for sharing this…


>> Get the Trix Wheel Cleaner here

Got any comments or feedback? Please comment below…

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Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about Model Trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

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Leave A Reply (7 comments so far)


  1. David
    6 years ago

    Looks good. However, will the wire damage the rubber drive wheels on my Bachman “steam” locos?

  2. Michael Sneed
    6 years ago

    Nice I have two of them hooked togetter and mounted so I can just sit a loco on top and hold in place works great.

  3. Sugar
    6 years ago

    Wow Dave, your loco’s must be real heavy, there was a fair bit of grunting and groaning going on there.

    Seriously though, thanks for showing me this wonderful tool, I had no idea it even existed.

  4. dave
    6 years ago

    Think it would not be wise to use on rubber drive wheels, and as also stated if you have 2 joined up makes the job easy with the bigger Loco`s, thanks for the input.

  5. William L. Lindsey
    6 years ago

    That is a very good idea. The copper (CU) wire is a good choice since the Cu won’t eat into the metal of the wheels. Hope Walthers has them here in the USA. I’ll also try Trix since it looks like that was the manfacturer. Good help.

  6. Guillermo
    6 years ago

    It is the same idea than the Atlas wheel cleaner, but bigger. It is more easy to use, with the Atlas device I must be very carefull with the short circuits, really a problem with my DCC locos.

  7. Chris
    6 years ago

    I use several Track Cleaners:
    Dapol Model Railways
    Non-motorised OO Track Cleaner with motorised cleaning heads and vacuum – Loadhaul.
    OO Gauge (1:76th scale)

    But to clean the wheels of the Locos, I took an old brass suede shoe cleaning brush, took out a centre section, put in a bit of wood with glue and soldered a 12v twin cable to it (one cable to each side). Gentle Pressure to the drive wheels ensures they get clean don’t press hard it is not a requirement

    For Rubber Tyred Wheels-“Just Carefully Remove Rubber” before cleaning.


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