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Last Update: Oct. 20, 2014

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As we select new tips, we will be introducing them here and then later move them to their specific section. Please browse other sections too. If you have specific questions, please call any of our team members for assistance.
  • Metal Wheels or Plastic?
    Never let oil get in contact with plastic wheels. If you have plastic wheels, do not oil the tracks while cleaning them. Oil increases the amount of cleaning as dirt and fibres stick to the plastic wheels. Also if the oil is incompatible, you may not notice until the plastic wheel crumbles due to the reaction between the two.
    As and when possible, remove the plastic wheels and replace with metal ones. Your Trainaidsa dealer will be happy to guide you or change them for you. Please contact them for assistance. Metal wheels will also run better and with less resistance than plastic wheels. Metal wheels stay cleaner longer and keep the rails cleaner too.
  • DC or DCC, which is Ready to Run (RTR)?
    DCC is Digital Command & Control, whereby the locomotives can be controlled individually even though there may be more than one on the same track circuit. Each locomotive is controlled by giving the controlling directions specifically for that locomotive. This is achieved via a decoder which is installed inside the locomotive. Get a more detailed picture of What is DCC?
    A locomotive with a decoder installed, should say “DCC equipped”, or “Decoder Installed”, or “DCC”, or something similar. Be careful and ask your dealer to clarify. The words “DCC Ready” usually means that the locomotive is ready to receive or has the wiring ready for a decoder, but the decoder is "not" already installed inside. A decoder is the electronic device, installed inside the locomotive, that interacts with the digital controls from the Digital Controller. Generally, locomotives are not sold with the decoder installed. In a “DCC ready” locomotive, the wiring inside the locomotive is ready for the decoder mostly with a socket, ready for addition of a decoder that can be plugged in.
  • Suggested weight for wagons in HO:
    10 grams + 10 grams per centimetre. (+/- 33%) – G. Procter.
  • Laying Track & Ballast: – Adarsh Narayan
    We strongly advocate using screws for laying tracks. The two primary reasons are, that they are removable and can be refixed easily and are less risky to use than nails which require hammering and pulling which can disturb an existing layout, while increasing the chance for misaligning the tracks in the same process.
    Yes, we have and can arrange for screws for HO Scale, extra long ones for use in ramps etc. Also for N Scale tracks such as Kato. Check out the Fasteners section, and ask your Trainaidsa team member to get them for you. or order directly from
    Suitable stone for ballast for tracks is Basalt also commonly called "Granite". Crush to size required or better still, order some from our scenery section. Some may need to be placed after the track is laid. Try and experiment on a small section first to get the exact feel you would like to give to your tracks.

    There is no set color for the ballast. Ballast was generally the variety of granite or quartzite stone found locally that met the structural and physical criteria. But different parts of the country had different colours.

    Moisten the laid ballast by spraying a fine mist of water. Spray bottle for glass cleaners will be easy to find for these tasks. This water spray will allow the next step of gluing to be smooth and the glue to spread more evenly in wet ballast.

    Mix separately 70% water and 30% wood glue (e.g. Fevicol for wood). Spray the mix over the ballast. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Increase the percentage of glue if needed. It is always better to try it out elsewhere or on a small test section. The metal track should be protected or cleaned throughly to remove all traces of water and glue as soon as the spraying is done and the glue dries. Use grey paint or actual ash to create natural ash dump and dirty tracks.

    Warning: Please test the electrical connections and alignment of tracks before and after carrying out this process. If you are using any sound deadening technique, such as foam under the tracks, it may reduce its effectiveness.

    • Watch how Track Ballasting is done:
    • On Cork Road Beds & Tracks:

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