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Discussion Starter #1
I see on the MTH catalogs that the options are for Hi Rail or Scale and I seem to have both wheelsets in my MTH locomotives. I assume both will run on Fastrack just fine. What's the difference?
 

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Actually, in my personal experience, scale wheels will have issues with Fastrack or tubular track. I had a couple of MTH scale wheel steamers, and they were simply not capable of making a complete trip around an O72 loop of Fastrack. They ran fine on the club Atlas track.
 

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Scale wheels may have difficulties navigating some switches, especially Ross turnouts, from my own experience. There is too much ”slop” in a regular 3 rail switch that cause the scale wheels pick or drop off the rail.
Basically, two rail needs tighter tolerances to track properly. The larger high rail wheels fit better on 3 rail switches, while scale wheels will “get lost” in the area of the frog and guard rails and derail...

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not sure what the difference is. I do know a bit more now from your comments what scale wheels do. It sounds like Hi Rail is not truly prototype, scale wheels are but they cause performance issues. I wonder what the percentage is for sold between the two. Lionel must only use one kind of wheels.
 

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99.999% of three rail trains come with high rail wheels. MTH has made a version with more scale wheels primarily for two rail O scale. These engines come with pickup rollers and a switch so it will recognize DCS commands. They will run on a lot of three rail track but may have a problem with 3 rail switches as they have bigger gaps to handle the big high rail flanges.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It took me a while to find MTH's explanation in their current catalog. Evidently the feature is intended to allow use of the locomotive on 2 rail or 3 rail and Hi Rail cataloged items are intended for 3 rail only. I would assume since there is no mention of the option in most of the Rail King side of MTH's current catalog that all Rail King level of detail are Hi Rail equipped. I would also assume that all 3 rail locomotives from MTH are delivered with Hi Rail wheelsets UNLESS specifically ordered with scale wheels. I guess I don't like the option at all in case I get a scale wheeled special order and I don't like the 2 railers once again claiming superiority over the 3 wheelers by having a more scale correct wheel set.
 

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Splitting hairs here but MTH "scale" wheels actually have large flanges by two rail standards which is NMRA. NMRA wheels also have larger flanges than scale wheels. The only true scale wheels are P48 (proto48) but you'd better have perfect trackwork to be able to run those.
If you want to surf around ebay you might be able to find pictures showing two rail train wheels vs MTH scale wheels. Most MTH scale wheel engine numbers take the form of 22-xxxx-2 vs 20-xxxx-1 for high rail engines.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am not a purist so have as close to authentic wheels is not a requirement. My inquiry had more to do with wanting to effectively run trains and get the correct wheel set and if I did not, maybe by accident off an ebay purchase - be able to understand the differences.

For me, when I look at a model train locomotive and my rolling stock I want to see authenticity and detail but for the running gear I can't believe anyone would notice the small differences there and go "wait, your MTH or Lionel wheels are not prototypical!" I would hand the guy a beer and the throttle to my Z-4000.

I won't likely ever see any of those folks so no worries but I will pay closer attention when I purchase an MTH locomotive from a LHS and make sure it's Hi Rail wheelset.
 

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MTH actually sells replacement wheelsets so if you happen to get a 2 rail engine you can put hi rail wheels on it. The only catch with diesels, the pilots don't swing so minimum radius might be half again as large as a 3 rail engine.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's what I am afraid of. When I pull my locomotives out of the shipping boxes from Des Moines to Iowa Falls, I am going to check all of my MTH locomotives for scale wheels
 

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It appears to be a traditional size engine, K-Line, Railking?? 042 should not be a problem. Most will do 031.

Pete
 

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I would also assume that all 3 rail locomotives from MTH are delivered with Hi Rail wheelsets UNLESS specifically ordered with scale wheels.
If it has Hi-rail wheels, the product number ends with -1. If it has Scale wheels, the product number ends with -2.

If you ever look closely at a real set of train wheels, you will be amazed at how small the flange is. Hard to believe the real things stay on the tracks at all.
 

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Gargraves shouldn't be a problem, but I don't know about O42, which model is this?
It is Williams traditional line spec.'d for O-31. It is not the Williams brass version spec.'d for O-72.

There must have been some confusion or liberties taken at Williams with the packaging as seen in the first pic. But the Williams 2000 catalog's coming attractions for this loco specified O-31 and the 2001 catalog retains that spec.

It better run on O-42 or I'm "down steam in a creek with a dead trolling motor battery."

G-4 box.png G-4 2000.png G-4 2001.png
 
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