ARCHIVED MATERIAL ON ARISTO-CRAFT 

ARISTO-CRAFT INSIDER NEW (JULY-AUGUST 2013)

Aristo-craft have announced a new website (www.crest-electronics.net) covering their high quality CREST electronics products as they will soon be producing more product for more gauges than G.

BEHIND THE SCENES – ARISTO-CRAFT WHEELS

The following article, courtesy of Insider, reveals some interesting insights into the developments pursued by Aristo-craft in the field of locomotive wheels …

“When we started in the G Gauge business in 1988, LGB (now, a division of Marklin Inc.) had 99% of the G gauge market. We followed their standards for most of their time in business.

 When they went out of business (Editors Note: Not strictly true as they went into receivership and re-emerged as part of Marklin as acknowledged above), we started to develop our own wheels and mostly followed the NMRA standards.

 We also stopped using chrome wheels for our locomotives as the spark that brought the power up from the track caused a quick degradation of the chrome plating. Frankly, we could not find a similar quality plating in China and decided to change to a fully black material.

This black material was more realistic, and as the colour went all the way through, there was no plating to wear through. As long as we were changing 

things, we also decided to make all of our wheels uniform in the depth of the flange and the radius of the flange. At the same time, we decided to make 

all of the locomotive wheels using a D-Cut method of attachment to the axle of the locos. While our tapered axle worked well too, we found the simplification and constancy of the wheels to be easier for the manufacturing staff to understand and connect each wheel in a similar conforming fashion.

We use a tenth of an inch for a flange depth and a tested radius for the wheels. We have had many reports that these wheels are working well with most vendors’ switches as well as our own. The blackened wheels provide a good current pass through and they stay new looking for the life of the locomotive.

This project required all new wheels for every loco we make and as each new run of locomotive is put into production they will have a new wheels set. 

It’s time consuming and costly, but we have made the strategic decision to follow this path for all Aristo-Craft locomotive products."

(Editors Note: If only vendors such as Aristo-craft, USA Trains and Piko could supply metal wheels on their rolling stock rather than cheap plastic version I believe such a move would be generally welcomed by the garden railway fraternity. Bachmann are able to supply such wheels on all their coaches and wagons and still manage to maintain a competitive pricing policy. What do you think?)

Read this article and lost more interesting news (including an article on Aristo-craft’s demise – or not) can be found. Download your copy here: http://www.aristocraftforum.com/insiders/2013/INSIDER_JULY_AUGUST_2013.pdf