My way with this kind of railway is to clean it once, then run it all day on and off, mixed in with whatever else I’m doing. The reason is the track gets dirty in high humidity so basically that’s overnight. With this layout it means 90mins of track cleaning then oodles of playtime! That’s great but I can’t do it every day of course. The breakthrough with this food train is it’s much quicker, just 10mins of track cleaning then a few minutes each time I run the train. It’s almost ‘switch on & go’.
To start with I didn’t know what (if anything) would want to eat from the wagons so it was great when both birds and hedgehogs turned up. It did though mean these old Hornby wagons would have to live outdoors. In fact they’ve coped pretty well and will be back to work this spring. The loco goes down to collect them, hauls them back to me for refilling then takes them out again. This double trip for the loco typically happens 2-3 times a day, once or twice for birdfood plus an evening trip for the hedgehogs. On the days I have the full layout running there’s a more elaborate option whereby the train makes a full circuit, backing into the siding.
The other siding had to wait for a set of points that were unavailable during the lockdown. It has several uses, including birdfood for a building that doubles up as a covered feeder. Through this winter there’s no trains but I’m still filling that one, mainly for two feuding robins who both recon they own it!