Plastic or Metal Wheels?

Latest update: 2 November 2015


Most manufacturers equip their rolling stock with plastic wheels. Why don’t they fit metal wheels? Simply because plastic wheels are cheaper.

Replacing plastic wheels by metal axles is expensive, but it’s certainly something you should consider. Why? Read below.

Plastic wheels:
+ Cheap
+ Quiet while rolling
– Wear quickly
– Light cars derail easier
– Pick up dirt easily

Metal wheels:
+ Low rolling resistance
+ More realistic
+ Longer life
+ Weight: less derailments because of the added weight and lower center of gravity
– Expensive
– More noisy
– Weight: a higher weight means your locomotive might struggle with a long rake of cars

LGB Metal Wheels

Fitting metal wheels to your rolling stock is expensive, especially if you have a large fleet. It hurts your wallet, but it’s worth every penny. Cars runs better, sound better and look better. As an added bonus, you will have to clean your track less often. I’ve decided to switch from plastic to metal wheels in 2012, and I don’t regret it.