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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The ready to run manufacturers sometimes get criticised for the size of flange that appears on their locomotives and rolling stock. It is said to be overscale.

Now I was messing about with some rolling stock fitted with finescale wheels tonight. On the temporary layout quickly set up the rolling stock kept derailing on the bends.

So I reverted to typical ready to run rolling stock with standard wheels and hey presto, it did not come off.

I had a look at the track and levelled it off as best I could. The finescale wheeled wagons were then placed back on, and this time they did not come off.

So it then occured to me that those who say that the ready to run manufacturers should fit finescale wheels as standard don't really appreciate why overscale flanged wheels are fitted in the first place.

Is a brand new modeller (youngster?) going to lay track perfectly flat the first time around?


And is the semi skilled modeller when created a permanent model layout at home for the first time adept at laying track perfectly flat?


How are they going to feel if every brand new loco that they buy, fitted with the finescale flanges some demand, keeps coming off on every bend?


To be honest, I can now see the manufacturers point of view with this one.

Any thoughts anybody?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I like the present wheels, they fit nicely in my bin.


Seriously though, I think the main push is to get standard wheels fitted more than finescale wheels. The present wheels vary between manufacturer, and also between batches of the same product.
If the manufacturers could make their wheels to a standard such as NMRA RP25-110 or better still RP25-88 then the models would not only look alot better, but would be garanteed to run on any track which is also built to standard, and derailments wouldn't be a problem.

Of course on my P4 models I don't have any of these problems, I simply scale down the fullsize dimensions and it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE would be garanteed to run on any track which is also built to standard,

But isn't this the issue in the first place?


The uninitiated and newcomers want to open the box and get a model railway up and running in just a few hours. They don't want to spend days and days making sure track is "built to a standard" before their new loco will run without coming off every 30 seconds.

For those that don't mind spending the time doing this, fine. And let them replace the wheels if they are unacceptable. But as for passing comment it seems a bit unfair (to me anyway).

And I am very confident that every fine scale wheel manufacture around the world applauds
the efforts of the big model loco manufacturers to drive business their way!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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When I said "track built to standard" I was refering to it's physical dimensions (such as flangeway width) more than how well (or not) it is laid.
There's at least 5 differant standards for 00 or H0 track, not all of which are compatible with each other. Then of course there's the wheel standards which Bachmann and Hornby use which don't seem to conform to any standard, just however they feel like shaping the wheels when they make them.

What we need is for manufacturers to build their loco's and stock to suit the track they are running on, this means wheels that conform to a set standard rather than willy nilly bodge ups.

You don't need dead flat track if you are using finescale wheels, one look at my circular test track will show that. What you do need is wheels which suit your track, and that's not what ready to run 00 manufacturers are making.
 

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I too feel I must side with the manufacturer here. As far as I can see they do a great job with what they sell. If I buy my grandchildren a train set for Xmas then all I have to do is get the track out of the box, slap it on the floor or table, plonk the train on the track, plug in and off we go. The only way the train comes off the rails is if someone kicks it or centrifugal force comes into play on the curves.
If there are at least five different standards, not all of which are compatible, can we really expect a toy manufacturer to cater for all these. The manufacturer supplies the train and the track, both of which fit nicely together. Now if you want to use different track, or different wheels, then surely it is incumbent on you to do whatever is needed to achieve your aim.
I use flexible code 100 trackwork from Peco and have never had any problems with straight out of the box running from either Hornby or Bachmann. Indeed, I really admire the present day appearance and running qualities of their products.
 

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The thing is that Hornby's loco's don't even match Hornby's track! The reason there is so many standards is that every time a manufacturer changes something someone redraws the standards to suit. In the US there is the NMRA standard, all manufacturers adhere to it, and everything works together. There is only this one standard which manufacturers need to follow, they don't, hence Gary's derailing problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My derailing issue was with a few coaches that had finescale wheels fitted and it was uneven track causing this set up on a slightly uneven base. Once the track was leveled with some packing under the issue went away. The coaches with "toy like" flanges did not have an issue on this slightly uneven track.

It is unfair to lay the blame at Hornby's track for this. It was my tracklaying with the Hornby track.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Opening this age-old subject is almost an invitation to provoke argument - so let's try to avoid that, though it may be difficult.

First, the flanges are not just "said to be overscale", they actually ARE overscale!
One of the most unfortunate things about model trains is that so few are factory built to a proper scale in the first instance. The reasons being historic, I don't intend to go into them. The fact is that OO gauge is not a scale at all and neither is HO, though it is an awful lot closer than OO. OO is a mongrel in having totally different scales for the track compared with pretty well everything else.
(Even in N gauge there are at least two different scales in common use.)

It's very well-known and accepted that most OO flanges are overscale, no matter whether you use 3.5mm or 4mm to the foot and the reasons for it are almost as well-known - to enable a greater margin of error in both production and operating tolerances. Having said that, generally speaking, today's flanges are considerably less coarse than they were 30 years or more back, and that's a good thing. Nevertheless, they ARE still overscale and that is still a visual offput to many people.
So, the criticism will not go away - most of us just accept it and don't make an argument out of it to no useful purpose.

It's interesting that Gary said he had no bother with his 'finescale' wheels AFTER making sure the track was made properly flat. This rather bears out the necessity that all track should always be laid properly flat. It goes almost without saying that this is a necessity for virtually any succesful running - even using coarse wheels! It also suggests that finER scale wheels would be virtually problem free if only the track were laid properly and so perhaps more emphasis should be put into developing a more foolproof track system than into arguing about the size of flanges!

QUOTE "Is a brand new modeller (youngster?) going to lay track perfectly flat the first time around?"
I don't see why not. It isn't in the least bit difficult to do so, as long as one lays it on a suitable hard, flat surface as universally recommended. If that prerequisite isn't possible, he/she shouldn't be running model trains - after all, you don't play crown green bowls in a ploughed field!

The biggest problem here is that there is a fairly large gulf between people who like to "play with trains" and "scale modellers". They ARE different and trying to amalgamate them doesn't work well - their requirements are too much at variance.

LisaP4's comments re manufacturing standards ring very true. It almost doesn't matter which standard were adopted as long as that standard was KNOWN, agreed and rigidly adhered to. Intelligent selection of a standard in this area would automatically cure a multitude of needless problems (AND avoid a lot of argument!)
 
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