Exact scaled wheels of 1/32 scale would work if it matches the track.
If u want 2 model a real train on a prototypical track, track, esp. of narrow ga. or a
standard gauge industrial yard for your switcher (shunter) loco, then your model track itself
should be never perfect. The prototype rails are sinusoidal up n down, same for side
directions, and the rails are off phased (remember trig in hi schl and later about AC current-
voltage studies?). The rails are even kinked here n there. Curves were never smooth at a
typical industrial yard or at a query. Rail joints are not flushed at the top (bumps). So how
do we model a train running on a realistic 'bad' track?
Proto:48, which is exact 1/48th scale in USA 0-scale, it uses .021" deep flanges (1" deep)
with exact to scaled .115" (5.5"/48 = .115) tire width + 3 deg taper on the tire as in the full
size equipment. Wheels with .021" deep flange with this thin tire width work fine in the
smaller 0-scale for exact scale. So there should be no problem indoor or outdoor for the
bigger 1/32 scale of .032" deep flanges as long as the track doesn't have a twig of >
match stick diam laying across it. My 0-scale brass KTM B&O C16 0-4-0 with Proto:48
wheels and exact to scaled 4ft 8.5" track (not Russian broad ga. of 5ft = 1.25" 0-ga. track)
worked fine on an imperfect switching track with 5 turnouts. The turnouts were made to
Proto:48 standard as well as the rest of the track. And, the loco was only sprung. The
switching track was indoors. With that diminutive .021" flange with narrow .115 tire width,
yes, it works without derailment on a perfect Proto:48 track too (LoL)!.
For outdoors, try with Equalization. I did (see my modified Mamod below). Even for a US diesel (diesel-electric) which doesn't have equalized trucks, we can add equalization levers if we wish for our models. Equalization of 1/32 scaled model is not new. Aster did it though had ugly wide n deep flanged wheels of G1MRA std. I've even had a 10mm/ft** plastic UK wagon which came with equalization but no springing that worked great outdoors. It's
better to be equalized than stiff axles or even better than just sprung. The 2 axle wagon
had a nice more prototypical wheel contour but with glass embedded (?) plastic wheels.
She got lost in my moving several yrs ago.
Equalization means not just sprung axles but has levers to equalize and push down or pull up axles to compensate undulating rails and defects. It forces the opposing equalized
wheels to stay on the rails. My Mamod, which is about the size of an 0-scale loco (actually
smaller than a typical 0-scale locos of US outline steam) was modified into 2-4-0 with exact
.021" deep flanges and .222 wide tires. I don't remember why i made the tyre width such
unmatched dimension vs. the flange depth, 20yrs ago but i think it was because i had a
Proto:48 tyre form tool. I hated the ugly fat 'standard' 0-scale (not even a 3 rail Lionel's
but 2 rail 0-scale model) wheels of 8" wide mag wheel tire with 4" deep flanges. Lionel
wheels are uglier still. I've made the Mamod's pilot truck and it is equalized w the front
driver axle with a lever from the front drivers pressing down on a V-block atop the pilot
axle. This thin metal lever also puts tension against a pilot wheel to slam against the rail
side going into a curve to keep the pilot wheels on rail and guides the entire chassis.
When the track becomes straight again, the lever springing inside the V-block releases the
tension and straightens the pilot automatically. Yes, the axles are sprung too for the
You may study how equalization of a loco is designed. It's of 3 point chair system. It's fun!
Too many of our 16mm (1/19th) commercial models are just drilled chassis with axles
pushed thru the holes*. Their axles doesn't even have vertical springing. No wonder we
worry about derailments for these models. And even 1/32 scale models, esp. tenders are
such or just sprung. But again, we can say that the 16mm/ft scale models can get away w
the stiff axles since they should be running at much much slower speeds than the latter of
warped speeds (s/b running at scaled 15mph vs. 300mph)!
When u c an equalized model at work on a rough track, it's beautiful. The loco's body
would float smoothly but the axles (wheels) jiggles up/down compensating!
Here in US, all of the steam locos were equalized, not just sprung except for maybe cheap
0-4-0 lockies? When i asked one of my acquaintances from UK why their prototype locos
are not equalized, he replied: "In UK, our tracks are perfect!". Well, in USA, we can't afford
to hire our best track layers at that time in steam era everywhere, which is the Navajo
Indian track gangs over 3000 miles across all sorts of terrain, temperature, and weather
conditions from cold cold -30F to hot hot desert of 120F to grueling hi snow covered
14,000ft mountain grades!!! Well, u can say since US locos though on the same standard ga
of 4ft 8.5 inch as UK or other European's and even 5ft broad ga'd Russians, ours locos were
wider, taller, and longer and so much much heavier. So, because of our locos were much
much heavier, maybe they would have stayed on the track w/o equalization or even w/o
springing the axles? Sorry for the passengers though the engine crew can take it. They
get paid but the passengers paid to get on...
I don't have 1/32 scale locos w scaled wheel contour. I think the wheels of these are ugly
fat too deep flanges of G1MRA std. If exact prototype scaled wheels work on 1/48th
0-scale it'll definitely work on our bigger and heavier 1/32 scale equipment. Even G1MRA fine
scale standard is too fat ugly at .197" vs 5.5/32 = .172"! In fact, Mark Wood in UK who
designs and sell beautiful lost wax (not rough sand casts) wheel castings has exactly scaled
wheel models with matching 1/32 tracks for his use. He calls it Proto:32 Dead Scale. Note
that the track laying standard must match the wheels. He also runs converted US outline
Big steam locos too:
*Well, at least they push fit hat brass bearings but no up/down movement still.
**10mm/ft is slightly bigger than the 1/32 scaled model, a compensation for a smaller
prototype equipment than the USA equipment of UK's standard gauge or even smaller
3.5ft ga Aster's Japanese models of 1/30th scale. These two enlarged models do not
match to Ga. 1 (45mm) track representing 4ft 8.5in