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Plastic verus steel.

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Plastic wheels should only be replaced if the following occurs:


Running quality like derailments take place often

Dirt is transferred to the rail head causing electrical interference.


They were/are tooled the same as metal, even the Lima steel pizza cutter wheels with big flanges. Cleaning them usually resolves a multitude.


I'd check your stock on a case by case basis. Put a suspect wagon on the end of a long rake and if she jumps the rail, it could be either re-wheeling or additional weight required. 25g per axle is the P4 standard, but most would be happy with 15g per axle.


Where on your setup are the most failures occurring? What vintage are your points? More info would help focus on identifying the problem.



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Plastic Wheels.


For - they are possibly quieter and they are less likely to short out at Points.


Against - they are dirt distributors (have a look to see grey grunge they pick up).


I quite like the sound from metal wheels - it sounds 'right' - to me.


Any train will have metal wheels somewhere, if only just those on the loco, and so, if you have shorting issues at points, etc., then that will probably happen anyway and it would be better to sort that out.


The dirt aspect does seem to be exacerbated by plastic wheels.

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