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Track Maintenance Vehicles

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I use a CMX track cleaner which I find very effective especially as I have several sections of hidden track, it does look slightly odd running around the layout.


Having seen the following thread and a visit to at “Miniatur Wunderland” in Hamburg where they had “Roco” cleaners running around I thought about how I could improve the look of my track cleaner.



I looked at pictures of various tank wagons but decided against simply painting the CMX cleaner as the bogies are all exposed and look wrong for a UK wagon. I decided it would be best to hide away the mechanism as much as possible. I settled on using a Bachmann VDA van.


The chassis has been cut-out to allow the CMX cleaner to fit onto it with the Van body then fitted over the top, the mounting points for the van body have to be removed but the body is a snug fit and simple pushes onto the chassis


To fit the chassis and the CMX cleaner together I used a length of 6mm wide brass strip in place of the coupler as supplied with the CMS cleaner and to this I fixed Parkside Dundas Mounting Blocks for the Bachmann 36-027 Coupling, assembly is then bolted together at either end.


To fill the cleaner the body is removed, the mixture screw for the cleaning fluid has been saw cut to allow it to be adjusted using a small screwdriver through a small home in the van roof but in practice it is just as easy to lift the body off  and on again.


CMX Cleaner and VDA



Comparison of VDA Chassis and CMX



Brass Strip and coupler mounting block with hole for fixing bolts



Ready to assembly before final painting



On the layout between a pair of 37's need this much power to access the  upper section of my layout.

Still need a few more transfers to be added and eventually some weathering





Edited by LongRail
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My second attempt at a 1:76 scale track maintenance machine is a track vacuum to clean of dust and  debris from the track.


The idea came from looking at the thread below which details how to make a cheap track vacuum cleaner I decided to have a go at making one of these for my layout so that I Could clean the hidden tracks. This was used an old Mk 1 coach and I brought a USB keyboard vac from poundland,  for £1 not surprisingly.





The coach required quite a bit of cutting about to get the vacuum in and I added a few plastic sections along the bottom to stiffen it and to make it look like the underside of a coach.

Photo showing underside after spraying



To get the vacuum into the coach body required a bit of cutting and removing of material from the underframe and cutting out a section of coach sides.

The vacuum can be made to fit but fairly easily but to get it to sit low enough to allow the roof to be fitted properly requires a reduction of the width of the bottom part of the vacuum which collets the dust . This part was lined with “Milliput” which allowed me to then file the sides down reducing its width to fit between the coach sides. The back section of the vacuum needs to be trimmed but can be modified without too much work.



The image below shows vacuum removed and opened for emptying, you can see the inside of the dust collection part (on the left) with the Milliput just  visible



The cleaner is held in place by the coach roof and after removing the roof can be simply lifted out and separated for emptying.


The photo below shows the suction attachment just behind the wheels



It works surprisingly well and is much cheaper than the Dapol vacuum cleaner.


When I first put it together I wired the motor direct from a feed from the wheels but it was drawing almost all the power and was affecting the driving loco too much. I have wired in the circuit board which comes as part of the vacuum but have removed the on off switch which is very poorly made. I have wired in an off switch which I will mount properly so that the power can be switched on and off without removing the roof section should I want to run it around without the vacuum in operation.


photo below shows roof removed and circuit board reinstalled


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Latest additions to the fleet.


The first one is the Robel mobile Crane, although HO scale and not really correct for layout era but it is a great model, I am only running on DC but it the sounds and the flashing lights work fantastic why cant Horny and Bachmann do this?

I will remove the air con unit from the roof and the other items except the flashing roof light and paint the roof grey to give it a more UK look in addition to adding red double arrows to the side.

This was purchased direct from a German ebay seller brand new including postage for £187 which compared with UK prices is very good




The next item is the Britannia Pacific 00 Guage Tamper, wanted one for ages and one popped up on ebay second hand and unused. The buffers were missing but have now been received from Britannia Pacific via the ebay seller




The last item is a Kibri kit for a Dynamic Stabililser, although HO scale it is not to bad when compared with the 00 gauge tamper (last photo)

I have motorised this using the running gear from the bachman H0 tamper which in comparison is very small 

The model is not yet finished and the top is currently held on with white tape at the ends












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The kibri kit was very easy to build very detailed. Graphical instructions so no language issues.

I had to strip out the parts from the Bachman tamper which doesn't gave a proper chassis so took a bit of work and had to remake one of the kibri chassis completely. The Bachman bogies and axle centres are the same as the kibri ones so that made life a little easier although it would probably be easier if you could get a self contained motor bogie

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  • 3 months later...

Have been working on the Dynamic Track Stabiliser, thanks to Lyddrail  for some excellent reference photos I have been able to create the necessary transfers as you can see applied, the model is slightly different from the Network South East version DR72212 so have used a little modelers license. (Paul Many thanks)


The top and bottom halves are not yet stuck together as I am looking to put min LED's into the lamp positions therefore there is a little visible gap at the moment. It also means that I cant yet fix the handrails to the steps.


the transfers appear a little thick in the photos but they have not yet been varnished, you cant see the edges on the actual model.











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  • 1 year later...

Have repainted my Dapol track Cleaner to disguise it and have also added coupling hooks and buffers. I only use the Vacum part as I have the CMX track cleaner which has been disguised with a wagon body and painted yellow as per the previous post


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  • 5 months later...
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Any thoughts on the Atlas 'World of Stobart' ballast undercutter? motorising one might prove difficult but a re-branded/weathered one should look good alongside your other engineers stock. There is also a road/rail Unimog in the same series that several people have motorised.

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Any thoughts on the Atlas 'World of Stobart' ballast undercutter? motorising one might prove difficult but a re-branded/weathered one should look good alongside your other engineers stock. There is also a road/rail Unimog in the same series that several people have motorised.

Phil,have thought about the undercutter but prefer motorised vehicles as opposed to static displays. Going to build a Bruff at some stage already have a suitable motorised chassis

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I like the Permaquip, very nice.



Paul, thanks,

The current body is made of clear sheet with overlay stickers I produced, currently working on an etched brass version which will have better details and which can be sprayed the correct shade of yellow

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