Handy Tools and Accessories

Handy Tools and Accessories

By Roger Heid


Some time ago, while browsing the REI web site, I ran across the brand name Proses. I had never heard of them before. So I opened up the site to see what they have to offer.

The first thing I liked was their handy little track cleaning tool. I bought two of them. I frequently use them for just quick spot cleaning. I dunk one into some white spirits and leave the other one dry. First, I wipe with the wet one, then with the dry one. This works very well for quick local jobs. The pads are washable. Replacements are available.


For electrical trouble shooting, I have two Volt-Ohm Meters. For some reason, these darn things seem to have a mind of their own. More often than not, they are not standing by as they should. Mine have an amazing talent to shirk their duties, whenever they can.

They will be in a tool box in the car trunk, or in a box hidden in the garage, or a neighbor borrowed one of mine because he can’t find his own. If all else fails, the batteries are dead in both of them, and there are no suitable replacement batteries in the house. Of course, none of my flash lights or remote controls use the same batteries. That just figures.

In one case, my helper cat decided that one of the cables makes a nice toy. He is smart enough to yank it out of the meter, you see. Most likely, it will take him two weeks before he brings it back to me. I know him very well. It took him 12 days.

For such occasions, Proses offers their Track Voltage Testers. For the 2-rail DC users, there is one that can actually handle HO, HOe, HOm, TT, N and Z scales. That is pretty nifty.



For the Maerklin folks, they have the HO 3-rail version. It works with all HO Maerklin tracks. I bought one and I like it for quick tests, when my meters have decided to be off duty. I can only recommend it. I keep it handy in a cat proof location. The best thing is, it does not need batteries, and there are no cords dangling from it.

 VT-002 (1)

As it can only be used to check model railroad track voltage, it has no reason to migrate to other realms. If you do your job, it will stay at heel, always able to perform the task. No excuses. Just don’t lend it to someone, as you might never see it again.

If your loco refuses to run, this is the quickest way to check if track voltage is present or absent. Track voltage also seems to have a mind of its own. It must be in cahoots with gremlins.


If you are experienced and handy enough to work on your locomotives, you need a good clamp or rig to hold them firmly in place to enable you to perform certain surgical procedures, being able to use both hands. Sometimes I wish I had a third hand.

Years ago, I bought a real cheap contraption in a local hobby shop. I wound up throwing it into the trash can after it had caused more damage than I can shake a stick at. On the Proses site, there are two rigs shown. See pictures below.

LB-901 (1)

LB-902 (1)

They are relatively costly at about 100 bucks a shot, but they seem to be built like the proverbial brick outhouse. Looking at them makes it obvious that they are up to the task. I am planning to get one as soon as I decide which one.


Personally, I do not use ‘Flex Track’, but I know of a number of modelers who do. On the Proses site, I ran across an item that may be of interest to those who use flex tracks.

FT-HO-01 (1)

If you look through the entire Proses site, you may find other items of particular interest. I have also learned to go into the REI web site and shop by brand. It is amazing what you can find that you have been looking for. Myself, I found many a good thing I wound up buying.

Happy Railroading!

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