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Glad to see that this is a reasonable and realistic debate! Just to add a pennyworth to whatever body of opinion which is gathering, Simon Kohler (no connection) has explained well the difficulties of getting weight where you need it in a 4-4-0- Not a fan of traction tyres- even with metal wheel generally, the gunk eventually gets through, and the replacement problem as above is one which concerns regular runners.
the old L1 was pretty good and can, without magnahesion, start a 5-coach train (or 4 Bachmanns) on a 1 in 66- but it has that chunk of motor magnet in the cab... the tender bearing on the loco is ok as long as you don't expect it to cope with abrupt shifts of gradient, rather like the Bachmann N tender coupling.
I do think finer wheel standards have something to do with it- the treads of Romford-style wheels definitely don't grip as well. Having said all this, wait for the summer- the condensation on my loft layout this week was making even established locos slip! Oddly enough the strongest was an old B-o-B Triang version with steamrollers and flangeless middle set... practically a 4-4-2!
Sure debate like this can only assist- it's moving towards better understanding rather than gripemeister stuff.
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