Metal Wheelsets - Just a Gripe...Sort Of



I have decided that metal wheels are needed on my layout, from what the HO crowd states, track stays cleaner, cars seem to track better and the clickity clack sounds great too.

So I have been converting my cars, and it does seem to make a difference, but now my gripe, and maybe someone knows a better method or plan.

I have basically 3 different style of trucks/cars I run. MicroTrain cars and truck/coupler sets, Atlas Cars with their Accumate couplers and the Athearn cars with I believe Accumates also. Now the dilema or I should say what happened to me.

I run Atlas Code55 track all the way, that means I have to have low-profile wheels if I run plastic. Intermountain has now come out with MT replacement wheelsets that work on Atlas C55 track. They also make 33" and 36" wheelsets for Atlas and similar manf's trucks.

I found that MT replacements fit great, but roll so whell I had to purchase the MT retainer springs to keep my cars on the sidings from rolling away, I run proto-type track laying, kinks, not one level spot etc, by mistake :)

I placed IM 33" wheels on Atlas cars and the coupler height is too low, okay so I need 36" :( but wait, the Athearns take the 33" wheels fine, coupler height is spot on. So at the LHS today I see they have Atlas 36" metal wheel sets, so they work fine on the Atlas now.

My gripe...I have to buy 3-4 different wheel sets to get my 300+ cars converted. I sure wish that the manf's would have all gotten together to standardize things.

Okay just a observation I thought I would pass along for those looking at converting to metal wheels sets. Boy model railroading is fun :)

Thanx for the heads-up, I'll be going that route [metal wheels] eventually myself, AFTER I get my layout built and locos decoder-equipped. "One headache at a time!" <LOL>

I am also going DCC, but have to wait for either Lenz or TCS to get some additional drop-in decoders for my engines, the n scale scene is probably like you HO guys getting into sound and finding room.

I did just discover that the Atlas metal wheels are "junk", they wobble and are out of gauge :mad: so it looks like Intermountain all the way.

At the store, we have a lot of guys buying those Branchline wheelsets for HO, can't remember off the top of my head what we sell them for, another guy mentioned that the Kadees have plastic axles :confused:

I can imagine what the real guys went through just to keep a basic stock for all those cars at the RIP track :)
Frist i'll i am a HO guy so i dont know much about N but i run branchline on all my rolling stock they roll real good.

but like you stated above if it's unevan they will roll .but on the other hand you can pull more cars because of the free rolling wheels.

oh and just a side note if you try branchline wheels . look at them verry good. i found out that they make a proto looking wheel that is thinner then there normal wheel set to give the car a more proto look . now i don't know if they make them in N but just incase don't just grab a set off the wall look frist
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I am going to go with Intermountain, they seem to have the best price, the best quality, though NWSL sells replacement sets that are proto in size, they are $8.00 a set for 1 car :( and the IM are $7.oo a set for 3 cars. I spoke to the LHS and he is going to discount them to me at 30% off so I feel that's fair. I wish Branchline would make N scale, we have a very limited choice for many of the things you guys can take for granted.
I think i'll findout about this N scale stuff real soon .

i maybe moving in with my grilfriend and she has gotten into trains from our jount trips to the hobby shop.

but i do HO and she likes N so the layout room is split into two rooms one big room for my HO and one smaller one for her N scale (there gose my stageing yard ):D
Does she have a sister? LOL

I think you will be amazed at how much train you will get in that small room.
Well,I prefer to use one size wheels in HO and on my N Scale.This cuts down on having to buy different sizes of wheels and the need to keep the wheels separated.
The thought of using metal wheels in N Scale has cross my mind several times but,I decided I am paying enough for the MT wheels/couplers since all my cars regardless of brand gets MT trucks/couplers and the additional cost of metal wheels isn't worth it since plastic wheels gets the job done and in my past HO experience with metal wheels the track will still need clean.
Howdy all!!,,

I would like to say a few words..

A FEW WORDS!!!. I slay my self,,,,LMAOOOOOOOOOO

But really,,, with the new layout I will be going cd55 and cd40. So going to lo-pro's is a must. Ok, first I thought of the plastic route,,,, figured also on getting a ultrasonic cleaner... Then here comes the pesky metal wheel issue, dagnabit!!!!

Looking at a fleet of purty close to 600 cars, that is alot of wheels. But heck, what am I worried about, I don't even have a layout built yet.LOL I am not in the same neck woods as the rest of you on the sound thing. I like peace and quiet. Maybe that comes from working in a LOUD manufacturing plant,LOL

Now I have to see what kind of trucks my revenue fleet rides on!!!! Dernit!!!

Adios Wyatt

I am using Atlas C55 track, also have umteen hundred low-pro's from MT on all my cars, the new Intermountains will run fine on C55 not sure how they will react on C40, I am guessing ME for the C40?

I plan on handlaying the 40 rail.. Yes I am sick and demented. wyatt

I'm not allowed to talk to you anymore, you are going off the deep end of the pool ;)

That should look nice when you get done. I am too chicken/lazy to handlay track...
Regarding metal wheels: Has anyone ever heard of MODERATION??

Switching your whole fleet over just because the HO crowd says they're better is foolish.
The main advantages of metal wheels are a lower center of gravity and more weight, the sound, and supposedly cleaner track and wheels.

Let's look at this intelligently.
If you keep your track clean, and it's usually easier to wipe-down track with alcohol and periodically treat it with Flitz than clean individual plastic N-Scale wheels, the 'cleaner track' argument is busted.
If the track is always clean, the wheels don't get dirty.

As for the improved weight distribution theory, okay. Put metal wheels on those light cars you have that are hard to add weight to, like gondolas and flatcars without a load. But on properly weighted boxcars? Why bother?

As far as the clickety-clack, it seems to me that most people would be unable to tell the difference between the sound of a train with every car being equipped with metal wheels versus one with only those cars that would actually benefit from having them. The train still clickety-clacks, right?

Already changed-over because of the supposed advantages?
When a cut of cars is spotted on your siding, having most of them still equipped with factory plastic wheels might help keep it from rolling away, so there's another point. Why torture yourself with adding springs?

Moderation. Pick your battles. Shades of gray: What's best for one piece of rolling-stock can't possibly be best for them all.
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Metal Wheelsets - Just a Gripe...Sort

I am also one of those who prefer metal wheels to plastic ones. I find that they run smoother and cleaner. I use Atlas 33" metal wheels for some time now but the recent batch I ordered was a disappointment. They wobbled and many were out of guage. Looks like I will to look for another source.
Keith 55,What those HO guys fail to mention metal wheels doesn't really help keep the track all that clean..If metal wheels did help keep the track clean why do they have so many ways of cleaning track from putting a oil base product on their track to buying high price cleaning cars??
Now,I do like metal wheels on my HO cars for one reason and one reason only..It put some weight on the rail(where its needed) far better the RP20.1 does which I don't follow anyway.
I know all my cars are getting them. I just haven't decided on which manufacter is getting my Business. I started off the atlas metal wheelsets to go in my MT trucks. But now Intermountain has came out with own version So I am going to try them. All My rolling stock have the trucks pulled from them and they are replaced with MT trucks. So Now I need to replace the wheelsets to ones that made from them. I heard great things about both.