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Why does UK/IE modelling persist with NEM couplings

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chris
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Something that again came up when I was running some of my Irish stuff at our club open days down here in New Plymouth. Everyone else models US based stuff and all have Kadees.

 

The NEM look gigantic and terrible and also cause a lot of problems (on our layout at least) popping out all the time, especially as they compact on decline and then stretch back out. Not to mention being attached tot he bogies of most stock rather than body mounted.

 

I'm determined to change all my stock over to kadeee as funds and time allow to solve the constant issues but why is it persisted with, surely everyone encounters the same basic problems? Even the N gauge Rapido is far superior!

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Fair comments Chris. The coupling bar is the only aspect which gives them superiority really. It might just be a fear of the unknown I reckon.

 

I only used them for the first time recently and they are a doozy to work with.

 

Richie

Almost like you read my mind, Chris. I was wondering the same thing the day before yesterday while running some MM stock round a couple of ovals with switches. Just a shade off and they won't couple easily and occasional uncoupling with any blemish in the track work like a point etc. There has already been a thread on here in the last few month concerning uncoupling on gradients:(

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Rather then the NEM pocket . I presume you are referring to tension lock couplings. These are a legacy of train sets and table top radius curves. Also in our stock, unlike the US, the buffers play an important role in real life and hence you have a conflict between a buffer- less system like buckeye and our buffer and link approach. In models historically buffers played no role , and one of the main issues was to prevent them locking under tight curves , this was one of the main features of TL couplings, and has also dictated the approach of other couplings .its also the reason they are fitted to the bogie rather then the buffer beam

 

The problem has been what to substitute them with. Buckeye is , until recently , completely unprotptypical , but at least the kadee is small. Also it's also unsuitable to certain rolling stock when run on tighter curves ( or operated over tight reverse curves like crossovers ). US rolling stock , due to poor track , went predominantly to bogie based stock , whereas we can have long( ish ) fixed wheelbase stock. This further complicates things.

 

There are a number of other more scale orientated couplings , particular Spratt& Winkle , Alex Jackson and Dinghams , all of which are not compatible with the NEM pocket and require careful fitting. All , as well, limit the radius over which they operate, especially for coupling /uncoupling actions

 

There's no easy answer

 

 

 

Dave

Edited by Junctionmad
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The problem has been what to substitute them with. Buckeye is , until recently , completely unprotptypical , but at least the kadee is small. Dave

 

That arguement always makes me smile. Purist say the buckeye coupling in not prototypical yet they are perfectly ok with a huge plastic D ring and ugly metal hook! Which, ironically, work more reliably than the more recent slimlined nem couplers...

 

Also it's also unsuitable to certain rolling stock when run on tighter curves ( or operated over tight reverse curves like crossovers ).Dave

 

A common misconception. The key is to use the correct Kadee, the standard #5 is too short for buffered stock. I body mount the #146 on long wheelbased stock suck as container flats and coaches and have no problems over tight curves, even when propelling stock.

The #146 is long enough that you can mount it flush to the buffer beam and it still projects far enough so as not to cause buffer lock. The added length also gives it a wider sweep to accomodate tight curves.

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NEM Pockets - Tension Lock Couplings.

 

Murphy Models.

 

NEM Pockets. Tension Lock Couplings inserted. These can be replaced with Kadee Couplings No, 17,18,19 or 20.

 

Provincial Wagons.

 

Tension Lock Couplings with Dapol Type Couping used on the older products. These too can be replaced with Kadee Couplings as above. Glue and patience are required to set the coupling Kadee to the correct height and distance. The latter is dependent upon your track radius, points etc.

 

Provincial Wagons.

 

NEM Pockets on their later and current products. Tension Lock Couplings inserted. These too can be replaced with Kadee Couplings as above

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NEM Pockets - Tension Lock Couplings.

 

Murphy Models.

 

NEM Pockets. Tension Lock Couplings inserted. These can be replaced with Kadee Couplings No, 17,18,19 or 20.

 

 

You see this is my point. As handy as the NEM socket Kadees are, they're not the best solution. The #17-#20 don't have the same range of movement that the regular Kadees have. You can still get problems with these couplers on long coaches and tight curves. Plus, they are bogie mounted.

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You see this is my point. As handy as the NEM socket Kadees are, they're not the best solution. The #17-#20 don't have the same range of movement that the regular Kadees have. You can still get problems with these couplers on long coaches and tight curves. Plus, they are bogie mounted.

 

I can only speak for my one experiment with alternatives, but supporting anything under about 36" radius while having couplings mounted on the buffer beams of bogie stock , I found very problematic. Theres too much swing in the long bodies , especially if the bogies aren't right at the extremes ( unlike many US prototypes ).This was especially obvious when you negotiated reverse curves like in crossovers, Maybe kadees have a lot of side play, but looking at the various ones , Im not sure they would cope either ( they certainly wouldn't couple on such curves , even if they would stay coupled in such curves )

 

With coaching stock, I think the best bet for our prototypes is to use sprung drawbar style couplings in the rake with automatic couplings only at the ends

Edited by Junctionmad
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You see this is my point. As handy as the NEM socket Kadees are, they're not the best solution. The #17-#20 don't have the same range of movement that the regular Kadees have. You can still get problems with these couplers on long coaches and tight curves. Plus, they are bogie mounted.

 

Not on the coaching stock, the NEMs are coach/body mounted not bogie. Only the locos are bogie mounted. I tried the kaydee on a 141 and a Mk2 and the heights of the kaydees were completely off, so I want back to the t locks.

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Maybe kadees have a lot of side play, but looking at the various ones , Im not sure they would cope either ( they certainly wouldn't couple on such curves , even if they would stay coupled in such curves )

 

With coaching stock, I think the best bet for our prototypes is to use sprung drawbar style couplings in the rake with automatic couplings only at the ends

 

Yes, the longer shanked Kadees I mention have a much wider swing. As coupling on curves, Kadees are really not designed for that, and they tell you themselves!

Of course just putting Kadees at each end of a permanent rake is a perfect solution for some layouts.

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Not on the coaching stock, the NEMs are coach/body mounted not bogie. Only the locos are bogie mounted. I tried the kaydee on a 141 and a Mk2 and the heights of the kaydees were completely off, so I want back to the t locks.

 

That's another issue with NEM pockets; there is no consistency when it comes to the height of the pocket. Even the 141's/071's and 201's can be a shade low.

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Yes, I do indeed mean the tension hooks rather than the sockets. Even tried to make running adjustments with a coupling bar but wouldn't stay in an 071 pocket.

I do think the kadees look well on 141/071/201 when rigidly mentioned with the shield in place

 

That's another issue with NEM pockets; there is no consistency when it comes to the height of the pocket. Even the 141's/071's and 201's can be a shade low.
big issue with 201s being way lower. aren't the craven a little high too and have a step down n their tension hooks.
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