More from Dave on his rusty rails

Dangerous Dave has been in touch again. This time he’s been kind enough to record a short video to answer the questions on his last post.

I don’t know where Dave finds the time, but I’m glad he does.

Thanks for all the comments on John’s ‘how to’ video – if you missed it, it’s here. His tricks and tips really do transform any building on a layout.

And don’t forget, come tomorrow, the latest engine shed will be full price, so if you fancy having a bash at it, now’s the time to act.

That’s all this time folks – truth be told, I’ve done well to get this post out. Some days there just isn’t enough time… which is also why the Beginner’s Guide is a sound investment.

Latest ebay cheat is here.

Please do keep ’em coming.



39 Responses to More from Dave on his rusty rails

  1. claus says:

    Hi there, can you tell me if you are using OO or N Gauge? I tried to make my N Gauge track rusty, but found, that, since the inside of the track had paint on it, I had to take that off again, as locos pick up current from the wheel flanges as well as surfaces and the flanges (particularily round curves) did not get any current from the painted insides of the track. Any ideas??
    Nice work!

  2. Rod Mackay says:

    Historical note – right up to 1970 or so the railway used really effective weedkillers and all this growth round the lineside was unthinkable except on remote rural branches, and the lineside areas like embankments were usually cut for hay, of course a lot of this stopped with the end of steam (1963-68 depending on area) as it no longer presented such a fire risk.
    Dave, those single girders end-to-end along the edge of the cliff don’t look right mate, been all over Britain and never seen anything quite like that. Happy modelling!

  3. Alan roberts says:

    Hi Dave, it would be a lot easier if you rusted the rails before any scenery was laid. But you probably knew that anyway. Cheers!

  4. Barry Gaffney says:

    Hi Alastair and Dave. I run an O gauge railway in the U.S., using 1950s vintage transformer (AC to DC conversion). I was shocked to see in this video that you were running two trains on the same track just seconds apart! If I did that on my set, I’d trip the circuit breaker in the transformer and put myself in the dark. How is it you can run two trains on the same track? Thanks, Barry

  5. Cliff says:

    Hi Al,
    Love the videos from Dave and the exquisite layout and scenery he protrays; however, us Yankees (at least me) need an interpreter to understand him! (Yorkshireman?) Do you think he could put up some graphics on his videos so we’d know what he is saying?? Keep up the good work!!

  6. John says:

    Absolutely Brilliant thanks Dave

  7. Dave Fairfull says:

    Thank you Al for posting Dave’s video and thanks Dave for another fine one.
    Dave F.

  8. James Ervin says:

    Thanks guys for the great info. I’m in my eighties and just getting started and
    need all the help I can muster. Before ordering this video pkg. can I save/copy
    the info onto a USB/disc as I am prone to get smashed on some of my efforts
    at the computer. Besides I have had all the Microsoft/Google crap I can take.
    Going to Apple when I get the nerve to venture. Any and all recommendations
    much appreciated. “Humble Yank”

  9. Marklin ed says:

    Thanks again Al and thank you Dave. How do run two trains on the same line so close together ? I looked forward to all the posts on this site, it is a great too see them


  10. Austin Wilson says:

    Outstanding,but then again, Dave always is. Thanks for the video Dave and thanks Alistair for posting it. Love my large HO Scale DDC layout.

  11. Ross Johnston says:

    Your videos are always great dave and i really appreciate watching them and learning things about the hobby. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, Australia

  12. Tom says:

    Nice one Dave as usual, but where is the gingerbread man, have you sacked the lad?

  13. peter briggs says:

    Dave, your rusty rails and greasy track treatment is the BEST I have EVER seen on a model railway,(and I’ve seen a lot!) thanks for the detailed explanation, it should be mandatory on all model railways. My belief is the weedkiller train sets BR used to use helped that brown look; not only on the sleepers and rails, but locally to the track too like platform sides. Your treatment looks FANTASTIC mate!!!! well done and thanks for sharing I don’t miss one!
    Peter Briggs (in Australia)

  14. Don says:

    Thanks again to Dave for another very interesting video. One comment that others may possibly find useful – In N gauge, wiping the tops of the rails with a rag tends to be pretty destructive on the infrastructure and scenery. What works for me is to push a short length of 3mm balsa along the rails, pressing fairly hard, maybe 30 cm at a time. It soaks up the excess and leaves the railhead nice and shiny. With care you can even clean the points. And once your balsa scraps have dried out you can use them again for the same purpose. Thanks again – Don

  15. Phil Saruk says:

    Dave, you never stop amazing me!! Thank You for sharing!

  16. Dangerous Dave says:

    Thank you all for your comments …..good idea Don , I have used a piece of wood in the past to clean rails and that works fine , my layout is 00 gauge , and adding rust has not caused a problem for picking up the currrent from the rails , and to answer Barry , I am on DCC and you can run a lot of loco`s at any time , you could have maybe up to 4 on the same line , no problem except making sure they are far enough apart to prvent a collision , dcc controllers can take probably up to 100 and more Loco`s , but for running the best is just one per circuit , but I have run as many as 10 at one go , its just keeping control of them all…Dangerous Dave

  17. Ian Mc Donald says:

    your how toos are just what everyone needs you make it simple and easy with a few mistakes but Always correctable, it is so good to watch what you call a run down area and turn it into something great, thanks Al and Dave. it is very inspiring to get to the layout and do something.

  18. Bruce Young says:

    Dave marvelous it’s got the embers in my brain get a little bit brighter to start a layout myself from being retired so long from the craft/hobby

  19. tom says:

    I second the motion on Dave`s voice, wish I could understand what he is saying!!!! Where can we buy the spray rust in the US? Thanks Tom

  20. Martin Slaughter says:

    Nice and simple but very effective. Great video.

  21. John Renard says:

    Don’t worry if you cannot understand him, our American friends – it can be difficult for us on this side of the pond, too!
    I am reluctant to call it a Yorkshire accent, because if it’s a Lancashire accent he will be very annoyed, and vice versa!
    Nevertheless, great tips and great layout.

  22. Ray says:

    I found a 4?x8″ exercise mat at Academy Sports for about $20. It makes a great base for the track.
    Found that taking a Qtip and scrubbing the track with auto transmission fluid does an excellent job of removing dust and grim. For the rust used a side electric metal sander.


  23. Jack Stables says:

    I am so excited to get back into trains after 65 years. I do need direction as an “O gager” in scaling up to size. Just built your sample garage. Came out beautifully. Really impressed as to what you offer. Thinking that I should invest in a 11 X 17 printer? Would surely appreciate your comments and any from the “family”. Sitting here with dagger in hand and a glass of Port, ready to start building.

    Jack — Fremont, Indiana USA

  24. Jack Stables says:

    Love Dave’s accent. Grew up in my “Scottish” grandmothers house. Maybe some of you guys should tweek the volume on your “hearing aids”. Just kidding around.

    Jack – Yank of Scottish decent

  25. Rich B. says:

    Dave sets the bar on these things of coarse but has the cogs turning…… if something were out there that could be applied with small brush? Not paint but perhaps gun blueing or a fabric dye; something translucent that would take the shiny away, retain conductivity with no wipe off; ties are black or brown anyways, maybe not so rust colored? Could make cement ties look aged, something like applying the Elmer’s to secure ballast and gravel etc?

    Regards, Rich

  26. Scott J says:

    I’d say Dave’s accent comes from near the Irish/Scottish line. Just a guess, of course. Got plenty of Irish and Scottish friends and he sounds like a mixture. I’ve had good luck on my N scale layout with running rather heavy weight paper over the tops of the rails with moderate pressure. Been amazed by how much oxidation appears on the paper after running a short track (30cm or so). I’ve tried the balsa wood trick and while it works after a fashion, the paper method seems to be a little more thorough, and it’s a bit friendlier to the rail surface, in my opinion.

    Cheers, Scott J

  27. Mitchell says:

    I would like to see more of his layout.

  28. Joe Boyle says:

    The automatic transmission fluid is also good for removing paint from plastic rail cars. A small magic marker is great for making rails rusty and not as messy and easy to work with. I have used it with HO and N gage rail

  29. Marklin Ed. says:

    THANKS DAVE again I looked forward. to your videos. I have learn some many wonderful modeling ideas from you.
    Thanks again. For your site.

  30. THOMAS says:

    Thanks Dave for making video of your trains running !

  31. joe says:

    easy way to rustic your rails is; put a cote of vaseline on the top , flat area and put them all outside in the elements for a week. wind, rain sun sleet. that’ll do the trick. Assemble, then wipe off the Vaseline with a terry cloth. Walla.

  32. sally says:

    That’s a great idea Joe. I must try that. You’re very intuitive.

  33. Tony says:

    Why are all the vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road?😄
    Great video and tips!

  34. Ian White says:

    Dave what type of cameras do you use on the layout

  35. LOU DEL says:

    What do you use for your brick retaining walls?

  36. Mike Balog says:

    Hello Dangerous Dave: (1.) Love your Authentic Accent.. after watching and listening to your videos for the past year, I understand what ye are Saying Mate.
    Wish I could find a decent English Lass with such an Accent, willing to jump the pond to the states here. Would make life a tad bit less lonely for me here. . (2.) Liked the Info about Weathering Track… Could you use a Magic Marker to do the same? Less messy or costly? What if you Weathered the Track Prior to setting it on the layout? (3.) Regarding Tufts of Grass or taller vegetation. Have a suggestion, I have a large group of Sunflowers outside.. being now Fall, the heads are starting to dry out on the stalks. If you cut the Heads Off the Stems and Carefully Remove the Seeds, (for later planting in the Spring) You can use the Dried Sunflower Heads or Large Shrubs. Just use food coloring or dye and add “Woodland Scenic s” or even dyed sawdust to them, and you have instant Shrubs.. Just don’t bang anything into them… they are Brittle when dried out. ~ From Mike, in N.H., U.S.A., Across the Pond.

  37. Will in NM says:

    Dave, As always I admire your willingness to share your modeling techniques with Al’s large audience. I like that your track and rail weathering methods are so easy to duplicate, even by a novice. Personally, I love your accent and don’t have any problem understanding you, though I do watch a lot of BBC drama series and have to sometimes turn on the captions to follow the program. 🙂

    The only problem I have with your narration is sometimes the terms you use for an item are different than what we yanks would call it. For instance, a “rubber” over here is not a track cleaning eraser.

  38. Harry from downunder says:

    Dave once again simply brilliant, you teach so many of us, so many techniques – but above all you encourage us to “ have a go”. As for the accent – I have been watching your tips for quite a while now and I am beginning to understand you. Keep up the great work. Harry

  39. Ted Eggleston says:

    Dave- echoing Ian White’s question- what kind of cameras do you use? I am looking for a remote, or Blue Tooth, video camera that I can mount on inside a modified box car or even on a flatcar that would remote to my lap top or Iphone. To be able to watch the consist go through tunnels, under mountains, would really add so much to the experience. Thank you.

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