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Richard37
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Just finalising my layout and running some train sets. A problem I seem to have with almost every set is uncoupling of the loco and or various carriages. It usually happens at a slight incline. I also find the coupling mechanisms for ( mostly Bachmann) carriages to be particularly difficult to operate. However, no matter how carefully I assemble the set the problem persists. What are the solutions ?

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After twenty years modelling north american I have made a small re-entry back to UK/irish modelling due to the ever improving quality. I also find Bachmann coaches a pain and this area of UK/Irish stock the most ignored part of modelling as it hasn't improved in certainly 25years. What couplings are you using between the Bachmann carriages?

I eventually found the coupling bars supplied with the coaches the best solution and body fitted Kadee couplings (lots of experimenting) at the end of the rake the best solution. This is only really suitable to home based layouts that the stock can sit on all the time.

I also work with a minimum of 24" radius curves and medium or large radius points.

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The Tension lock couplers can be hit and miss. There can be problems with smooth coupling as well as unintended uncoupling since the hook has to rise to couple and hold in a vertical height of about a millimeter. I've had some problems with brand new stock out of the box on occasion if the coupler height isn't perfect.

When you say slight gradient what are we talking about? It may be that at the bottom or top of a gradient, at the transition point, the loco or coaches change their orientation relative to each other, one is level, one on the incline, causing uncoupling. Also any areas of imperfect track, points etc. usually worse on tighter (or any) curves.

What locos, stock?

Edited by DiveController
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As DiveController says the tension locks are hit and miss,I've had similar problems with cravens and mk2 coaches,some were uncoupling some were fine.I switched the lot to kadees and it seems to have worked,i haven't had any problems since.

Which Kadee did you go for?

 

The problem seems to be a difference in height between the loco coupler and the coach ( haven't measured but I would say 3-5mm) The gradient is gentle but don't know the slope. When the set hits the slope it's enough to uncouple. But, it also happens on other flat sections. Am I going to have to replace all the couplers? And why would there be a such a big height difference? The stock is all brand new Cravenscsnd Mark iis.

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Which Kadee did you go for?

 

The problem seems to be a difference in height between the loco coupler and the coach ( haven't measured but I would say 3-5mm) The gradient is gentle but don't know the slope. When the set hits the slope it's enough to uncouple. But, it also happens on other flat sections. Am I going to have to replace all the couplers? And why would there be a such a big height difference? The stock is all brand new Cravenscsnd Mark iis.

 

What loco do you seem to have the problem with,i found the 201 class to be slightly lower than the coach,i was also having problems with the coaches themselves uncoupling from each other and not necessarily from the loco.

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All locos seem to have the same problem I'm afraid. 141,181, 71 and 201 although I haven't checked all yet. I'm quite astounded that the same manufacturer of Locos and coaches can get such a fundamental thing wrong. Short of changing couplings ( if even that will work?) is there a fix?

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'tis funny, in a way, that we take such models for granted that we moan about couplings. In years gone by, we never had the models....

 

So all these lovely models are good for is looking at?

 

Would you rather not have the lovely models, then?

 

 

They certainly aren't up to pulling any of my coaches.

 

Change to Kadees?

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All locos seem to have the same problem I'm afraid. 141,181, 71 and 201 although I haven't checked all yet. I'm quite astounded that the same manufacturer of Locos and coaches can get such a fundamental thing wrong. Short of changing couplings ( if even that will work?) is there a fix?

Well as I said the only one i found to be slightly lower was the 201 the rest of my 071s 141/181s are fine height wise.Regarding the coaches i found the kadee to solve the problem that i was having.

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Its a fair point though. The NEM pockets are NOT at standard heights and vary greatly across the range of Irish model locos and coaches. The Mk2d's are a total pig to convert to kadee's. The whole point of NEM coupling pockets was to make the process easy, and accurate - it is NOT.

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Its a fair point though. The NEM pockets are NOT at standard heights and vary greatly across the range of Irish model locos and coaches. The Mk2d's are a total pig to convert to kadee's. The whole point of NEM coupling pockets was to make the process easy, and accurate - it is NOT.

 

I agree totally Noel they should just run when you put them on the track but you know yourself it never seems to work that way,but a a bit of nip and tucking here and there will usually solve the problem.

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Here is some info from the past.

 

I fitted all my Murphy Locos class141's 071's and 201's with the #19 Kadee with the 201's requiring a small piece of plastic card inserted in the pocket below the coupling to tighten it up. The end coupling of the Murphy Mk2's is a Kadee #20 with a 2mm screw fitted, this means that it is easy to revert back to the original couplings if desired. As I run in fixed rakes I then found that I could fit #19's to one coach and then #20's the next alternating throughout the rake and just using the coupling pockets without any mods. This gives me a rake that I can use on 24" curves minimum with no derailments and the minimum gap between coaches. They can also be reversed slowly and the loco can be uncoupled with under track magnets. Some pictures in flickr of the mod and the results.

 

Some pictures in here just scroll down.

 

 

Short demo video

 

 

One vital piece of kit is a Kadee coupler gauge.

 

http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page206.htm

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You can fit Kadees to MM coaches in two ways, either by straight swap in the NEM socket, or by attaching #5 to the underside of the body. The latter is, strictly, the more correct, since it replicates the way that the prototype operates with the bogies just carrying the body, but it's horses for courses, whichever suits your situation best.

 

Stephen

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Some great advice there.

 

I have a rake of mark 3 coaches which I have yet to run. I expect the same if not a worse problem as they gave the older type coupler which is attached to the bogie.

 

Kadee no.5 with gearbox, yer only man. Get a kadee height guage, and mount the coupler to the underside of the coach itself, cutting off the hornby giant yoke entirely.

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Some great advice there.

 

I have a rake of mark 3 coaches which I have yet to run. I expect the same if not a worse problem as they gave the older type coupler which is attached to the bogie.

 

Here are a few pics of how i used them,the first is the Kadee with the gear box and is mounted directly on to the chassis using the height gauge which you will definitely need to get them lined up correctly.The second on the MK2 is no.20 and is just inserted straight into the NEM pocket.I find both ways to work fine.It might help you with your problem.jason pics 216.jpg

jason pics 211.jpg

jason pics 214.jpg

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