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 Code 88, Code 110;or don't care?
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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/07/2016 :  10:38:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Poll Question:
Poll Question:
I wonder how many of use are using Code 88 width wheel sets. I've run into some problems lately ordering wheel sets. I always replaced all the wheels on my cars with metal wheel set and formerly used 33 inch Proto 2000 wheel sets which have not been available for at least a years now. These wheel sets where Code 110.

If there is room and you would like to state who's wheel-sets you use, by all means give that information.


I only use metal Code 88 Wheel Sets.
I only use metal Code 110 Wheel sets.
I use plastic wheel sets and don't care what code they are.
I use a mixture of both Code 88 and Code 110 and don't have any problems. (Added 1/23/2015).

(Anonymous Vote)

Edited by - NP2626 on 01/23/2016 06:59:18 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 485


Posted - 01/07/2016 :  10:46:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Standard Intermountain metal wheel sets.

Everything, freight cars, gets then except Proto 2000 and Atlas. I've never changed wheels on passenger equipment.

Atlas trucks are super smooth rolling right out of the box. Plastic wheels are not a good thing.

Karl Scribner
Kentucky Southern Railway
and associated lines
Midwest Lower Michigan

Edited by - k9wrangler on 01/07/2016 10:56:03 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 9488 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/07/2016 :  10:51:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't fit any of the categories exactly. Generally, I use the wheelsets that come with the kit. When I buy wheelsets, I buy metal, usually .088 tread width, but standardizing all my wheelsets isn't a priority. Between what's on my layout and what's in the boxes I take to modular layout setups, I probably have around 120 freight cars and 50 passenger cars.

Country: USA | Posts: 5599 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  01:12:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I model the 1895-1905 period and use code 88 wheelsets, usually Kadee or NWSL. Code 55 rail for the most part. Bridges are built to Harriman standard E-35 or E45. Also Kadee "scale head" or Sergeant couplers. Even a few link-and-pin coupler MOW projects in the que.


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Posted - 01/08/2016 :  07:40:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll skew the bell curve....

Code 125 rail with Intermountain wheelsets in Athearn trucks 90+% of the rolling stock.

Yeah, O scale,

I’d say that your chances are as thin as a homeopathic soup made
from the shadow of a pigeon that died of starvation…

Country: USA | Posts: 1681 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  08:13:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use Kadee code 110 as I like the detail on the face of the wheel and they are already blackened. I run a paint pen around the face and dust with earth toned pastel chalks.I add a little rust to very the color sometimes. Axle tips are cleaned off. When the wheelsets are in the trucks I burnish the wheel tread with a Dremel wire brush. This takes off the black and really shines up the tread. Wheels stay clean a long time. I use only metal wheels on the layout.


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Crew Chief

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  08:28:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit emccamey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Another 'skew' of results from me. Doing Proto87, my wheels are P87 code 64. For my HOn3, I even remove and face the code 88 wheels to 0.080" and reface the flanges. This does allow some carefully constructed dual gauge trackwork. Couplers now are all being retrofired with Sergent.

Country: USA | Posts: 964 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  09:08:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use the code 110, mainly for reliability, availability and cost. I used to use P2K until they changed. I now use Intermountain and Kadee metal wheelsets. I have been happy with the performance of both but have been leaning more to IM lately since my LHS has them in bulk packs of 100. Still have about 100 cars left to convert, mostly blue box and Roundhouse from the 80's and early 90's. That in addition to the Accurail cars that I still purchase today.


Country: USA | Posts: 113 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  09:44:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are missing a choice 'D'. To paraphrase what jbvb said, mixed mode and functional ain't a bad choice. To replace all wheelsets is bit of being a 'rivet counter' for me.


Country: USA | Posts: 3332 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/08/2016 :  09:58:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit LandNnut's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This discussion does not directly apply to N scale. I have found that my N scale Peco turn outs have large sloppy clearances do not like low profile wheels on 50 foot cars so N scale pizza cutters for me for now. If I ever build a new layout with different turnouts I may be able to run low profile wheel sets.

Cool sounding stuff there on Proto 87, Ed

L&N nut Jon

Country: USA | Posts: 1608 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  11:33:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How foolish of me to think there were only 3 choices! Maya Culpa. I guess I thought the Code 88 width wheels in HO, were Proto 87. Don't really know anything about P 87, I guess.

Edited by - NP2626 on 01/08/2016 11:34:34 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 485 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 01/08/2016 :  11:42:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit Graffen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
On my HO std gauge I use mostly code 88.

Michael Graff
"Deo Adjuvante Labor Proficit"
Swedish custom model builder.

Country: Sweden | Posts: 1477 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  12:51:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit emccamey's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Proto:87 is VERY NEAR exact 1:87.08357 AREA and AAR dimensional reduction. ONLY code 64 wheels can run on P87 track, and code 64 wheels will NOT run on standard HO track. (Code 88 and code 110 wheels can not run on P87 track.)

Flangeways in P87 turnouts is a tight tolerance 0.021" - 0.022" and the standard HO wheels flanges won't fit. Code 64 wheels have flanges 0.012" width and 0.013" deep - which won't work with standard HO track. P87 track has severe restriction on gauge widening and most properly modified P87 equipment will require VERY generous curves. My own minimum radius is 32" in yards and sidings with 42" minimum radius for mainline.

It's a very different world and requires some extreme construction techniques.


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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/08/2016 :  5:32:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
emccamey, thanks for the information!

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/09/2016 :  07:21:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In another thread a person made the following statment: "I'd rather have the layout work than worry so much about details on an operations oriented layout". I am of that same opinion, I pay attention to the details that are of interest to me (Like almost everyone else, I would guess) but, am most interested in the layout working well. I am also very interested in stretching my hobby dollar; so, given these two interests/criteria, going in for complete scale adherence just doesn't appeal to me. I like that I feel I can get buy with Code 110 width wheels, they fit into my idea of what a "Good Working Layout" is all about. I understand that others may want to take scale farther and some even want to take it to the Nth degree and I applaud them for their endeavor to do so, as long as it doesn't effect how I can enjoy my interests in this hobby!

I am wondering why if there are Code 110 wheels and Proto 87 wheels, why is there a "tweener" sized Code 88?

Country: USA | Posts: 485 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 01/09/2016 :  07:29:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
.088 width wheels work with many commercial turnouts, enough that one Hub Module Group member brings trains to run whose cars all have .088 wheels. I know, he found a couple of broad-gauge joiner tracks I had, which led me to revise how I make them.

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