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Which brand of OO or HO track stays clean best.


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1 hour ago, SamThomas said:

 Please forgive the correction - "continental" as a term should be banished ! We have Triang (whose "continental" range had nothing from Europe) & those people in Devon with their magazine with the offending word in the title !

Rant ovcer !

 

As you say European layours can be very different indeed where haulage capacity is very important. Most of my larger European locomotives can handle 20 coach trains with ease & without traction tyres (where I have changed wheelsets to enhance pickup).

 

AFAIK Miniature Wunderland leave the traction tyres fitted as supplied & don't appear to have any "muck spreader" issues. Think about "muck spreading" - the much has to be present to be "spread" so maybe the so called issue is not specifically with traction tyres ?

 

If I meant European I would have said European. 

 

Continental is a valid term used well before Triang Toys appeared as anyone who is a railway enthusiast knows.

 

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2 hours ago, kevinlms said:

Changing the name to 'European Modeller' would be wrong too, as it contains articles from all over the world, as modelling subjects.

 

Yes, There must be something in the compound in traction tyres, as certainly some models are worse than others. I think is comes down again to plenty of pickups, which isn't something that Tri-ang and Hornby Railways and Lima etc, were generous with.

IIRC there was a short(ish) lived magazine called "European Modeller" - or something like that.

 

Some time ago I did confine traction tyred locomotive to in the inner loop & plain tyred locomotives to the outer lopp (or maybe the other way round) & did not find any noticable difference, but then again, there was no "much" present to be "spread around".

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There wasn't a great deal of European stock in the Tri-ang TC range* (IIRC a 2-6-2T in French and German versions (neither much like their prototype), a generic four wheel coach and a 'French 'fourgon' (again four wheels), plus a couple of wagons of obvious French outline but dubious prototype). There was also a C.I.W.L. livery version of the British Pullman Car. (I've probably forgotten something as usual.)

Apart from the generic coach and wagons (starter set items really) these are all rare and fetch 'collectable' prices.

 

* IMHO the 'Continental' really referred to North America (specifically Canada) and Australasia (mainly Australia though New Zealand got a look in) hence the 'Trans' part (not that anything Australian really counted as Trans-Continental being limited to New South Wales and Victoria).

 

 

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Storms in Channel, Continent isolated...

 

It is fairly well known to anyone who reads my posts that I consider traction tyres to be Satan's expectorant; my view is that they spread crud around your layout, wear out and need replacing at awkward times, and interfere with good pickup performance, which is a prerequisite of smooth stops and starts and good slow running, especially on DC layouts and especially with older locos which were not provided with the maximum possible number of pickups.

 

This view is 'informed' by my experiences with traction tyres on RTR in the late 70s and early 80s, a period when it had become essential that RTR locos, especially steam outline, showed daylight beneath the boilers without skirts to hide motors and gears.  This was achieved by pancake motors tranversely mounted in the fireboxes or tenders, but these motors were pretty feeble, so in order for the locos to haul reasonable loads, the motors ran at very high rpms which had to be reduced by spur gears to provide a final drive that would manage a reasonably slow speed, and traction tyres had to be used to assist.  The concept was self-defeating, as the tyres meant the loss of that wheelset for pickup purposes and had to be of a very fine profile in order to not lift the other wheelsets off the track, and the extra friction ruined any chance of smooth starting or stopping.  This seems to have been one of those situations where British manufacturers assumed (apparently correctly as the models sold well enough) that British customers were happy to tolerate such poor material and design so long as the models were cheaper than their European and American counterpars.  This had been going on for decades already, as European models had been being made made to much better standards of detail and performance than ours since the mid 60s at least; it was generally accepted in those days that if you wanted a decent model as opposed to a toy, you scratch or kit built. 

 

The 'new kids on the block' of the late 70s and early 80s, the likes of Airfix and Mainline, managed to provide much more acceptable levels of detail and finish than had been hitherto available for RTR, and even LIma were not to bad above the running plate, but it was at the cost of performance and the problems associated with traction tyres and plastic spur gears, plus those of poor material specification in the case of Mainline's split chassis designs.  The result is that, while there is nothing intrinsically wrong with split chassis, and a well designed and built split chassis made from good qualtiy materials and with a motor that can run slowly with good torque, which the Mainline chassis was not an example of, can in theory run infinitely smoothly and slowly as there is no friction and braking effect from the pickups.

 

Modern volume produced Chinese RTR mechanisms have 'reverted' to longitudinally mounted motors, can rather than open frame but there is little difference in principle, driving through worms and idler cogs to the rear axle so that everything is hidden in the firebox and full cab detail can be incorporated, and the can motors can by and large produce sufficient grunt for good haulage at low speeds; those who are fortunate enough to be able to run full length steam age expresses of up to 16 coaches at scale speeds of 90mph or so complain of lack of power and prefer to kit or scratch build, but all the motive power on my BLT can haul all the trains at the scale speeds required, and do so at controlled slow speeds and with smooth starts and stops.  Luckily for me, the age of pancakes, spur gears, and traction tyres is over, and I do not miss it; moreover, on my tank engine layout there is no need for tender drives, another pet hate of mine because of the appalling way in which this method was implemented in the British RTR of 30 or 40 years ago.

 

The oldest mech on the layout is an Airfix large prairie with a more recent Hornby body on it and the rear drivers, which were originally grooved for traction tyres, replaced with the front set from a scrapped loco.  It runs very well, having a 'traditional' open frame motor and worm/cog drive to the front axle, much better than it did with the tyres.  In fact, running was improved just be running without the tyres, with the naked groove in the rear drivers before they were replaced, but it is even better now.  For slow running, and smooth start/stops, it will give my more modern RTR mechs a run for their money, but is very noisy!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Il Grifone said:

There wasn't a great deal of European stock in the Tri-ang TC range* (IIRC a 2-6-2T in French and German versions (neither much like their prototype), a generic four wheel coach and a 'French 'fourgon' (again four wheels), plus a couple of wagons of obvious French outline but dubious prototype). There was also a C.I.W.L. livery version of the British Pullman Car. (I've probably forgotten something as usual.)

Apart from the generic coach and wagons (starter set items really) these are all rare and fetch 'collectable' prices.

 

* IMHO the 'Continental' really referred to North America (specifically Canada) and Australasia (mainly Australia though New Zealand got a look in) hence the 'Trans' part (not that anything Australian really counted as Trans-Continental being limited to New South Wales and Victoria).

 

 

ISTR that Triang's 'Transcontinental' range was based at least partly on Australasian prototypes, which included US imports at the time.  The diesels and double ended electric were so based, as were the Budd Railcars; the 'Hiawatha' pacific was I believe a Canadian prototype and the prairie and baltic tanks were based on British built locos exported to Oz or NZ.  Freight and passenger stock was generically 'American', but such vehicles, and the Budd Railcars, ran on Australia's standard gauge networ in those days.

 

The CIWL Pullman based coach was not intended to be part of the TC range, but represented a 00 'Night Ferry' Victoria-Paris coach to run with the L1 or Winston Churchill.

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6 hours ago, SamThomas said:

 

I still hate the term & in true RMW tradition you have found something to contradict.

 

Let's just agree to disagree on that then shall we ?

 

How about no? 

 

Maybe if you stopped being pedantic about everyone else's posts people might agree. But you have already narked me about three or four times in other threads.

 

My term was proper and correct, especially in the context I was using it. You do realise there is an entire subsection to the forum called "Continental/Overseas"?

 

 

However I don't like people changing my posts so they mean something totally different to what I wrote. If I wanted it to say that I would have written it like that....

 

So please don't do it again.

 

 

Jason

Edited by Steamport Southport
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Dragging this thread back on topic, 'Nickle Silver' is an amalgamation of two metals the proportions of which can be altered. This is presumably what makes some manufacturers track have more of a yellowish tinge than others - but does it make a difference in conductivity or propensity to get dirty?

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@phil-b259 that is really what my OP was trying to ask.  Some layouts never seem to get dirty track problems and others can't be kept clean.  Given that everything else is taken care of (no plastic wheels, track rubbers, rubber tyres etc) is there an "ideal" rail material?

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6 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

Dragging this thread back on topic, 'Nickle Silver' is an amalgamation of two metals the proportions of which can be altered. This is presumably what makes some manufacturers track have more of a yellowish tinge than others - but does it make a difference in conductivity or propensity to get dirty?

Excellent point & that could make a difference as the proportions probably do differ between manufactures & possible different batches from the same manufacture.

 

There are so many variables & you could throw into the mix different materials used for the pickup wheels themselves. Even the type of track power could have some effect ?

 

Modellers that live close to the sea could be effected by the salt laden air & so on as environmental conditions vary.

 

Ex "Train Set" track could very well be poor quality.

 

 

 

 

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