Track Cleaning Car for a 3-D Printer

A project by Tom Frommeyer and Ken Hanawalt.

The Turtle Creek Railroad has some hard-to-reach track in tunnels, and there are tiny spiders who get into the tunnels to spin their webs. So Ken Hanawalt and Tom Frommeyer designed and 3-D printed underframes for track-cleaning cars to be run between operating sessions. The 40-ft car underframe (Pic 1) has truck bolsters, guides for coupler pockets, and a pair of brackets to guide the cleaning pad holder (pic 2). The guides keep the pad holder centered under the car while permitting it to ride up and down a little so it doesn't snag the track. The pad holder has two posts used to install Woodland Scenics tidy track cleaning pads that slide along under the car on the rails. We put a regular metal freight car weight on top of the underframe, and two thicknesses on top of the cleaning pad holder. We run several of these in a work train with different kinds of cleaning pads and our favorite cleaning solution. You can download the Stereolithographic files below if you would like to print some for yourself.

The above image shows the design as displayed by the FreeCad design tool.

The files CleanerCar.stl and PadHolder2.stl are Stereo Lithographic files that you can use with a slicer to make prints of the design on a 3-D printer.

The files are to make a 40ft track cleaning car underbody designed by Ken Hanawalt and Tom Frommeyer. The first file makes a car floor with guides for the cleaning pad holder. The second file is the holder for two Scenic Express tidy track pads. The pad holder will slide up and down under the car frame to avoid snagging on the track. We add weights to the top of the floor and top of the pad holder and run of string of these to clean the track in tunnels.