Re: Code 88 wheels...again

Paul LaCiura <paul.jeseng@...>

I was going to post the question to the P:87 group but Mike has clearly
brought the key issue up. I am debating going from Code 88 to Code 64
freight and passenger car wheels with P:87 modifications to existing
turnouts, that is new frogs, guardrails, etc. But if I can't run my Code
110 wheeled brass steam locomotives on the P:87 without shorting out, forget
it. I'll stay with Code 88 wheels on stock Shinohara Code 70 turnouts with
cosmetic "scale" upgrades until the Code 64 drivers are available. For that
matter, I need to wait until the locomotive lead and trailing truck and
tender truck wheelsets are available in Code 64. Changing just the drivers
would not be the complete solution. NWSL has some nickel silver wheelset
products to develop. If the Code 64 locomotive drivers and wheels were
available I would make the changes to my locomotives gradually. The Code 64
wheels look great, and I would not have to worry about any future
possibility of feeling obliged to go to narrower flanges.

I face a similar situation with the Sargent couplers. The gross draft gear
on all but the Accumate proto looks like comparing Code 110 wheels in an
otherwise scale car versus Code 64. Put two cars side by side and compare
ends, toylike versus prototype, "Athearn RTR" versus Sunshine/Westerfield.
Yes, the Sargent's are much better detailed and desirable than the Accumate
proto couplers for many reasons. If the Sargent's were available now with
the prototype draft gear like the Accumate I would do the changeover now,
lock, stock and barrel. Nothing more to consider. But a perfect coupler
sitting in an imperfect draft gear begs for retrofit. I'll take my hits
with the Accumate proto coupler/draft gear for the time being, maybe
Sargent's future scale draft gear couplers will eventually drop into the
Accumate proto draft gear. Otherwise I will do a complete Sargent changeout
when the time comes.

BTW, it appears that making P:87 mods to existing Code 70 commercially
available turnouts is a relatively simple matter. Again, side by side
visual comparison is hard to ignore, especially if you are driven to model
the right-of-way as faithfully as rolling stock.


Paul LaCiura
San Francisco, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Brock [mailto:brockm@...]
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 8:30 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Code 88 wheels...again

Tom Olsen writes:

This could be remedied by replacing the frogs with the new Scale frogs
from Details West. They are making code 83 scale maganese insert frogs
in sizes 8 and 9, with #'s 6 and 7 coming.

The frog isn't the issue. Now that sounds confusing after I wrote that the
frog is the ONLY issue. The flangeway as defined in NMRA S-3.2 is the driver

for wheel design. S-3.2 requires NMRA S-4.2 Wheel Standard and RP-25 Code
110 wheel design because of the flangeway. RP-25 includes the wheel tread
size and the flange size. Many people aren't aware that RP-25 includes specs

for Proto 87 wheel design...Code 64. Anyhow, the point is that the S-3.2
flangeway size drove manufacturers to produce wheels of RP-25 Code 110 size.

We are now finding that the tire width can be changed to Code 88 size for
better appearance as long as we operate through turnouts with frogs much
smaller than prototype. I suppose one takes their choice...too small frogs
or too large tread size. However, the real problem isn't so much to do with
frt car wheels...we can replace them. The real problem is replacing the
wheels on the things that pull frt cars...steam locomotives for our era. I
build my own turnouts including frogs [ how else to get number 12's? ] so I
could build to Proto 87 specs as easily as S-3.2. The trouble is, I can't
find anyone who will provide me the 600 or so drivers in Code 64 that I
would need to replace those on my Code 110 drivered steam engines. It's
somewhat like the dilemma faced by standard gauge O scale. NMRA S-3.2 for O
scale is still 5' between the rails. Too many wheels have rolled by I guess
to change now. Brass engines were built to a 5' gauge.

Mike Brock

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