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Given the high cost of official Lego monorail track, I was wondering how long it tends to last/if there are any maintenance tips or tricks? I'm planning on using power functions to reduce the start/stop strain, but is there anything else to increase longevity?

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Try to keep the track in mint condition. For example, don't expose it to extreme heat or cold. Keep it away from any pets or children who don't know better. Looking at some pictures, it seems that the vehicle on the monorail runs on a gear. Try interchanging gears every so often so that the gears don't wear and the teeth don't get bent or break.

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One of my concerns is that since the gear is metal it may wear away the teeth on the track. Is there an oil (perhaps vegetable?) that won't attack the plastic? –  user2969 Sep 19 '13 at 0:16
Yes, vegetable oil would make a good lubricant as it does not wear away plastics or rubbers when applied. –  ChiggyChonga Sep 21 '13 at 14:31

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