Re: Code 88 wheels?

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Marty McGuirk writes:

The Code 88 wheel is a compromise -- it offers the improved
appearance of the narrower tire width with some comprises to work
reliably on standard NMRA track and turnouts. In short, you're right,
the wheels are standard IRC wheelsets with narrower wheel width. They
are not (and aren't intended to be) Proto 87 wheels. I know NWSL
sells P:87 wheels -- I don't know if they make "code 88" wheelsets.
But, they also are not truly Code 88 wheels. I referred to these wheels as Code 88T because I thought they were Code 88 treads on Code 110 flanges. It turns out that the treads would be slightly smaller than those for Code 88 because, while the wheel total width is Code 88, the flange is Code 110 meaning that the tread must be smaller than that of Code 88. I'll still refer to them as Code 88T. Regretfully, the analysis I did on the damned thing's ability to negotiate turnout frogs was based on a true Code 88 tread size. No...I'm not going through all that again...Not anytime soon anyhow. Applause is appreciated.

Of course, the main advantage true P:87 offers is improved appearance
of track -- not rolling stock.
A very astute observation. Not many realize just how much larger the flangeways and even the length of our frogs are compared to the prototype. I would speculate, however, that even with P87 wheels and associated track, our much smaller turnout frogs would require longer guard rails and wing rails than the prototype [ because of the sharper curves ]. For example, I'll admit to much longer guard rails because I want my long wheel base locos to be where they should be long before encountering the frog in order to eliminate quick, last second movement away from the frog. I might also note that even with correctly P87 sized frogs, we would still need to address the frt yard sized turnouts [ #8 ] that most use on the mainline.

If the goal is narrower wheels and
smaller couplers the semi-scale wheels and 58, 78, and Accurail Proto
size couplers offer workable, practical alternatives.

Mike Brock

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