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The consensus is to use an MTH tire, from a locomotive with the same-size driving wheels.

MTH has recently announced that they are going out of business, so their replacement tires may become more difficult to obtain.  There's another thread on the Forum about this very subject.

You can get tires from MTH or Lionel.  They're not THAT expensive, relative to the cost of a locomotive.  Perhaps try to guess the size (diameter), order a few from each, and see which ones are the best fit in terms of thickness / depth, and width.

Personally I despise rubber tires, because of their periodic need for replacement and other issues.  As long as your grades aren't unrealistically steep, they probably weren't necessary in the first place.  But since the loco was made with grooved wheels, now you're stuck (and so is everybody else!)

Last edited by Ted S

I'd like to know who the Braindead Jackass was that introduced traction tires and grooved wheel sets on O gauge locomotives to begin with?  Once upon a time back in the Good Old Days there was Lionel Magna-Traction (Reg.U.S.Pat.Off.) not to forget the heavy metal models manufactured by All Nation (for example), that could pull anything a model railroader could couple onto the drawbar.

Now today, in our ultra modern high tech complicated Century 21 world you pay Big Bucks for a super detailed locomotive that comes equipped with rubber tires for goodness sakes.   A Ready-to-Run Rip Off from the Get Go if I ever saw one.  No thanks, I prefer to pass!

Oldtimers well remember when Model Railroader magazine proudly carried the slogan, "Model Railroading is Fun" on the front cover.  If you ask me (or even if you don't), Frustration has replaced the Fun in the hobby, with traction tires being found at the top of the list.

Remember to play it safe: Protect yourself, your loved ones, and the general public at large, by wearing a mask when you leave your home.  The Lone Ranger always did! 

 

 

Magne-traction was mostly a marketing gimmick, it's great for picking up ferrous debris near the tracks.  Amen on the All-Nation reference!  I'm not sure that any Lionel loco had rubber tires while Mr. Cowen ran the company.

I think the impetus for rubber tires was a switch to lighter, plastic-bodied locomotives, and also the introduction of graduated trestle sets that result in action-oriented "over & under" layouts for kids.  That's a great idea for a road racing set; for a loco hauling cars, not so much.  As a layout designer I wouldn't mind having a lower level for hidden staging, but it's better to just not have that steep grade.  Ultimately it's a devil's bargain, and rubber tires are a price that I would choose to avoid (if I could!)

I'd like to find a source for Williams and Weaver brass locomotives, the tires are much narrower than any that MTH or Lionel offer.

I purchased a Wm's Class A that needed a traction tire replaced. It came w/ one 3/4" diam. spare tire.  I couldn't find any tires anywhere's. Using the one spare tire as a reference.  I purchased some 3/4" diam. for Lionel and made a 3/4" pvc jig to cut the wdth down w/a razor.

@Trussman posted:

I purchased a Wm's Class A that needed a traction tire replaced. It came w/ one 3/4" diam. spare tire.  I couldn't find any tires anywhere's. Using the one spare tire as a reference.  I purchased some 3/4" diam. for Lionel and made a 3/4" pvc jig to cut the wdth down w/a razor.

Brilliant!  Any chance you could post a short video of your setup, and the cutting process?

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