HO Scale Traction Tires

Discussion in 'HO Scale' started by CM Coveray, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. CM Coveray

    CM Coveray TrainBoard Member

    Hey all. I recieved a Long Island (old paint scheme, gray-organge) for my birthday on Sunday. My dad picked it up at a train meet we went to this weekend. The sticker price was $40, but my dad talked him down to $25. The motor seems powerful, but it slips. No traction tires. Do they sell these sepertely?
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    Hey fellow Long Islander,

    I think the best thing to do is to see if there is room inside the loco to add more weights. The heavier the loco, the less wheelslip it will experience.

    Which LIRR engine is it, BTW?
  3. love the a&m railroad

    love the a&m railroad TrainBoard Member

    Thats what i would do.
  4. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I agree with the two previous messages.

    Know that they've improved materials and all of that, but if God had meant for locomotives (of any type) to have traction tires - He would have had Mr. Vauclain, Bellepaire, etc. do it!

    That being said, it seems to me that either/both Virnex Industries or Stewart Industries sold the tires and the tool to apply them.
  5. CM Coveray

    CM Coveray TrainBoard Member

    Dang. I meant to say what engine it was. It's an RS-3.
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    If it's an Atlas engine, you can probably add some more weights in the fuel tank (it's hollow I think), in the cab, and maybe glue some under the top of the hood if you can clear the lighting PCBs.

    Post some photos! :shade:
  7. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    No tires will make different diameters on wheels so some will have to slip and cause drag.

    Fill tire grooves with metal filled epoxy and turn back smooth.
  8. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Best thing is to advise who made the engine.

    If it is Atlas, Stewart, or MDC - you'd have to groove the wheels to use traction tires, not a job I'd undertake short of a fully equipped workshop and a lot of experience.

    If it is by AHM (Mekhatanica/Yugoslavia), I'd still replace the "grooved " wheels with non-grooved wheels or drivers.

    I've been slightly amazed at some of the current "good" steam engines having "traction tires" - yes I know it increases traction, but so does a well-balanced, properly weighted model.

    And that latter model is a more trouble-free model.
  9. Joe Daddy

    Joe Daddy TrainBoard Member

    I'll take Michelins please

    I saw some traction tire bands at Don's Hobbies in Greeley Colorado a couple of weeks ago. They only had one package and they were for steam locomotives. So, someone makes them. Google and phone call time.

    I have one locomotive with traction tires and frankly wish ALL my loco's had them. They pull better, don't stall as often and pul 2.5 times the cars up 3% grades.

    For the record, some prototype trains do have rubber tires, like the ones at Denver International Airport and the Disney Lands. I'd not be surprised in another 20 years we see them on the mainlines

    If you keep your train rubber side down, you'll probably never notice the tires. :shade:

    I never noticed the tires on my P2K 0-8-0 until I was trying to figure out why it will out pull my P2K 2-8-8-2 and my BLI 4-8-4, both of which are heavier than the 0-8-0 and have 1/3 the pulling power.

    I am like the others, running with out bands could cause some harm to rails over time.

    Good luck, in any event, the current situation is not satisfactory. Find some tires and play trains. . .

    Joe Daddy
  10. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    Traction tires on prototypes are restricted to light passenger rail operations where the cars weigh just a few tons, and wear and tear isn't that heavy.

    You won't ever see them on heavy mainline freight trains. A heavy high-horsepower freight locomotive weighing a few hundred tons will go through rubber traction tires like Kobayashi downing hot dogs at Coney Island.
  11. Joe Daddy

    Joe Daddy TrainBoard Member

    In 1960, I could never have imagined a battery operated drill, much less a saw.

    20 years is a lot of time. Never is a powerful word. :)
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    Well, if that is to happen in 20 years, they will need to develop a rubber that can withstand hundreds of thousands of miles of running wear while bearing hundreds of tons of weight, and can change its frictional coefficient to different conditions as needed.

    Even the best truck tires made by Goodyear can only withstand at the very most around 50,000 miles, and that's running under an 18-wheeler truck that will be hard-pressed to exceed 50 tons gross vehicular weight. You are talking about a rubber product that is going to take more than 20 years and a few hundred million dollars to develop, and would be impractical to use-- If locomotives have blown tires as frequently as a tractor trailer does, the rail network would be snarled. Clearing a mile-long train off a single-track mainline isn't as easy as cleaning up a jack-knifed tractor trailer off the Interstate.

    Will GE or EMD put out mainline freight locos in 20 years that uses rubber tires? Yeah, it could happen, but the chances of that happening would be as likely as me winning the Lottery tommorow. :D
  13. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Well there's another little point; steel wheel on steel rail = very low friction, very high pulling efficiency. Rubber tire on concrete or steel rail - much, much higher friction, much more rolling resistance. There go any advantages for the prototype.

    In the model world, any all-wheel driven diesel will pull a train that a model (or real) steam engine would have problems handling - given that they are of approximately the same weight/horsepower.

    And, at least in my case, the size of the layout (most layouts I believe) precludes trains of more than 12 to 15 cars in any case, so - the need for all this traction?
  14. Joe Daddy

    Joe Daddy TrainBoard Member

    In regard to the prototype, I'll leave the rationalizations to others, as to whether steel wheels will be replaced by some type of rubber or other composition wheel in the future. Science has a way of clobbering alot of what we think we know every 10 - 20 years, unlike politics which remain constant. :)

    As far as pulling long trains, I'd love it if I could pull 12 or 15 cars on my pike, but about 7 - 8 is max without rubber tires. My mainline is about 60 feet and 15 - 20 40 ft cars look really nice to me which is all that really counts, right?

    My best to all who opine,

    Joe Daddy
  15. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    Well, the problem with the supposition that "because rubber traction tires work well on models it would work well on the prototype" is that it's a non-scientific statement.

    Yeah, some model locos have traction tires to prevent wheel slip so you can pull more cars, great. But take a minute and think whether or not the prototype locomotives suffer the same problems.

    The scientific answer for the large part is NO.

    Unlike our models, the real thing has sanding systems which gives the steel wheels good adaptability to different conditions: Slick when it needs to maximize efficiency and minimize friction and move a train with as little energy as possible, gritty with sand when it needs the extra grip to get up a hill with a heavy train.

    Why use rubber wheels with CONSTANT high friction (which kills your fuel economy) which is only advantageous for climbing hills, but otherwise sucks for flat-out running? A prototype railroad already has something that is more adaptable to different conditions. There is no reason to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to literally reinvent the wheel. :D
  16. Joe Daddy

    Joe Daddy TrainBoard Member

    Mabe only 10 years.. .

    Quoted from
    Montreal Metro

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Rubber tires make the Metro exceptionally quiet, transmit minimal vibration, helps the cars climb uphill more easily and negotiate turns at high speeds. However, the advantages of rubber tires are offset by noise levels generated by traction motors, which are noisier than the typical North American subway car. Trains can climb slopes of up to 6.5% and economize the most energy when following a humped-station profile (track profiles that descend to accelerate after leaving a station and climb before entering the station). Steel-wheel train technology has undergone significant advances and can better round tight curves, climb and descend similar grades and slopes. Despite these advances, steel-wheel trains still cannot operate at high speeds (45 mph) on the same steep or tightly curved track profiles as a train equipped with rubber tires.

    Also rubber in Paris and Washington DC metros today.
    Maybe only 10 years.

    interesting topic

    best regards

    Joe Daddy
  17. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom TrainBoard Member

    And as I already said before, light passenger rail is NOT the same as a class-I mainline freight railroad.

    To save you the trouble of USELESSLY quoting endless articles about rubber tires on light rail passenger cars until you are blue in the face, you need to understand one thing: The needs of a heavy long-haul freight railroad are COMPLETELY different from that of a commuter rail line.

    Inner-city rapid transit by necessity need to build with steep grades to get around neighborhood hills and have closely-spaced stations to move lots of people. It needs to be quiet and comfortable for the people riding it. Electric subway cars are VERY light, pretty much hollow inside, since they have no need to carry engines or fuel. Typical subway cars weigh maybe 15 tons, which rubber wheels can support without wearing out too fast.

    On the other hand, a heavy high-horsepower diesel freight locomotive can weigh 200 tons, which will wear out rubber tires VERY FAST. And they are all about hauling freight VERY long distances, such as across a continent. Do you ever see a freight train needing to stop at train stations every two city blocks, or need to be quiet to avoid disturbing the freight it carries? In case you haven't noticed, freight such as tons of coal or processed corn or fuel oil or auto parts don't need a quiet ride like a passenger would. :p

    Put it to you this way: when you see a 10,000-ton freight train move through the Montreal Metro or the Washington or Paris mass transit systems, let me know. I'm sure you will wait diligently ( :D ) for 10 or 100 years for that to happen, but I'll save you some time right now and tell you it never will. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2006
  18. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Diligentman - Wat type of power are you running? I am surprised that you can only haul 7 or 8 cars per unit. It's been a few years (~20+) since I tried this, but I read somewhere that 25 cars was a typical load for an F-7, so out came a standard (not "Super-Weighted) Athearn F-7, and it could haul a mix of freight cars (including some real "lead sleds") of 18 cars.

    It didn't move 'em fast, but it did move 'em.
  19. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    The super high speed train in Europe that wrecked killing a lot of people, crashed because one of the rubber cushioned wheels came apart, allowing the steel tire to run out of alignment with the wheel hub.

    What you have tried to compare, has never yet happened. There is no rubber TIRE that holds the weight and traction of a full sized freight or passenger train operating anywhere.

    The nearest thing to a "rubber" wheel, is a rubber donut captured between the steel TIRE and its steel HUB, that only dampens out rail vibrations.

    Only on model engines can you find a rubber TIRE riding directly on the rail. The rail and this rubber traction ring must be completely dry and clean in order for any added traction to take place. These were added because the light weight plastic models would not pull enough cars to be "fun" for kid's train sets when they quit making metal engines.
    Wipe a film of water or oil on the rails, and the rubber tires will spin like crazy!
  20. watash

    watash Passed away March 7, 2010 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

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