Some time ago my first O gauge stretched out into the yard. After some time it was obvious that while the AMRA standard wheels were more than a match for the ups and downs that developed, the one or two sets of British Fine profiled wheels spent a lot of time in the dirt.
With the need to expand outdoors once again I have been very hesitant; given my change to Fine Standard wheels as the norm for my stock. There are many options available to provide flexible suspension for 4 wheelers that will hopefully return the reliability I had with the larger flanged AMRA wheels when it came to vertical deviations. All these cost money and/or extra complication. In the end I tested the results of simply deleting the brass bearings to provide some flexibility. Nothing new, been done in other scales for decades. I have a test track where deviations can be dialled in by turning screws. Wagons with sloppy bearings...no derailments, dead square wagons with no slop... derailed almost every time. Result, bearings being removed from all wagons. I might well get some accelerated wear in the whitemetal W irons but I am prepared to live with that. To assist I have rounded of the ends of the axles, filled the axle holes with powdered graphite and removed most of the extra weight previously added to assist track holding.