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I have six recently bought new Hornby Stanier coaches in red and cream livery. Two are BSK, two are SK, and two are FK. I have removed the short closed corridor connections which they have as bought and intended to fit the slightly longer open ones as well as the close couplings which came in the accessory packs. I have fitted the new corridor connections to the end of each BSK which will be joined to other coaches, but I can't seem to fit the other eight new connectors on the other four coaches. Is there a knack to doing this?

Having said that, I'm not sure that I want to complete the process anyway. This is because they still don't completely bridge the gap. Here is a picture of the two BSKs temporarily connected together and I hope that you can see that there is still a gap.



I don't like this. To me, any representation of a corridor connection must start by completely bridge the gap to be viable (at least on straight or gently curving track). Many years ago I made some black paper corridor connectors for some very old Airfix coaches. I have since sold them but I made one spare connector. Here it is between two of the Hornby coaches. The paper item is not fixed to either of the coaches but is held in place by the springiness of the folded paper.



And here are the same coaches on a 24" radius curve. On the inside of the curve the folds compress slightly and on the outside they open up slightly but it is still held in place. I accept that this might not be the case on set-track curves.



Obviously the paper version is more crude, but I think that the fact that it bridges the gap on straight track and curves down to 24" (and possibly less), more than compensates for this. I think that Hornby (and other manufacturers), rather than offering two slightly longer connectors, should offer one similar to mine. If it were made of moulded rubber it could include the curve at the top and other details. It could be held in place in a similar way by the springiness of the rubber.

I am interested to see what you think.

Robert.
 

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I think your paper ones look great Robert, as you say, seeing a gap no matter how small defeats the object of "connecting " corridors
Regards
Alan
 

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I cannot offer specific advice about the LMS type gangways, as I have done all my fiddling around with models with the shorter Pullman type gangway as found on GNR, LNER, Pullman and BR mk1 coaches. With these, selection of the most appropriate length coupler holds the faceplates in contact on straight and nearly so track (my scenic sections are planned for a minimum scale half mile radius, which is effectively 'straight' for these purposes). It is necessary to put some graphite on the gangway faceplates so they slip against each other, and also to retract the sprung buffers that Hornby have on their coaches to properly represent prototype appearance.

Your LMS coaches are far too distantly spaced is the first problem. If the buffers are scale, they should be in contact and lightly compressed. If the coupler used is R8220, the (fully compatible) Roco original which is on a shorter mount will space them there or thereabouts correctly.I have seen well arranged flexible/compressible gangways from Keen systems, the business that offers a close coupling retrofit kit. Not used them but seen them demonstrated and they looked good.
 

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I fitted Keen's couplings to a couple of Bachmann Mk1 coaches. The result looked like this:



David
 

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I have a number of Hornby Maunsell coaches, and using the supplied Roco-style coupling results in the same appearance, ie too much daylight even on straight track. The simplest solution is to replace these couplings with the original Roco coupling, which is slightly shorter and with these the corridors touch on straight track. These couplings are available from various sellers, part number is 40270.

The longer Hornby versions are just the right size for Bachmann MK1s.
 

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QUOTE (RFS @ 27 Feb 2021, 11:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...The longer Hornby versions are just the right size for Bachmann MK1s.
One of the happier accidents in RTR OO !

Further, this applies to most of the Bach mk1s including the Pullman cars, recognisable by having a long shanked and cranked tension lock coupler fitted to compensate for the incorrectly positioned coupler pocket.

The more recent introductions - sleepers, TPO's - have the coupler pocket correctly positioned, and thus these need the Roco 40270 type; thanks to RFS for refreshing my memory of the reference number.

Is it just me, or do others feel that while the introduction of close coupling systems was very welcome, the lack of information from Bachmann and Hornby on how to make the best of this feature is somewhat strange? Or have I missed something (from either manufacturer)?
 

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I have written an article about gangway connections here: http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/GangwayConnections

The long and the short of it is that if you have coaches with 'Pullman' connections, you need a coupling system which pulls them closer - paper concertinas are out because the prototype didn't have them.
If you have coaches with 'concertina' connections, then you need a way of filling the gap with a concertina.
Pulling coaches closer together will always help.
 

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Obviously depends on what curves are in use and it may be that a non authentic contertina may be the only way of sealing the gap between coaches which although strictly wrong will look better particularly from the typical 3ft viewing distance
 

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QUOTE (butler-henderson @ 28 Feb 2021, 23:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Obviously depends on what curves are in use and it may be that a non authentic contertina may be the only way of sealing the gap between coaches which although strictly wrong will look better particularly from the typical 3ft viewing distance

Yes and no. Curve radii are one one part of the problem, but there are several other parameters involved which should be dealt with first.

Areas which need to be looked at first are the protrusion of the buffers, gangway connection and the coupling system.

One thing I have seen a lot of is concertinas being inserted on Pullman type connections where Hornby-style couplings are still in use and no attempt has been made to pull coaches closer together.

These days, most RTR coaches are fitted with 'expandable/Kean' style couplings. I find that in most cases, these are generally sufficient, although on Hornby coaches, it may be necessary to leave a blanking plate on one coach to fill the gap. Bachmann coaches seem to be quite good. Both can be brought closer together if one makes up one's own replacement for Bachmann's 'brake pipe bar'.

The relative protrusion of buffers and gangways play a big part. Coaches with Pullman style gangways had retractable buffers. When coupled, the buffers did not touch because the buckeye coupling was taking all the forces. Modelling retracted buffers helps. Some Hornby buffers actually are retractable.

I find gangways are really only an issue on non-Pullman style connections such as those used by the LMS and GWR. When the prototype was coupled, the buffers were in full use as the gangway had no buffering strength. In model form, these buffers can protrude a long way and cause problems on tight curves such that there is a trade off between the buffers touching and the coupling and gangway systems being able to expand. I replace the buffers on some of mine (sprung buffers help) and with others, I use a concertina - which for such coaches, is prototypically correct.

The settings I use works down to the radius of the sharpest route of a Peco code 75 large radius curve turnout, which I believe is around 3 foot radius. This is the tightest radius on my layout as everywhere else is in the +5 foot space.

As to whether having a concertina on Pullman connections due to tight radii is an acceptable solution, I think this is where our relative personal opinions on compromise apply. To me, concertinas on Pullman connections always look wrong. The fact that they are there at all is shouting out at me that there are serious problems with (toy-trainset) curve radii on a layout. Either that, or no attempt is being made to rid coaches of Hornby-style couplings to bring them closer together. If there are issues with gangway connections, then there will always be other issues on a layout, the most obvious of which will be the front overhang of locomotives. To me, a wildly out of control front overhang on a pacific loco on trainset radius curves is way more of a realism problem. And the joke is that people with such configurations are the most vocal for 'better/more reallistic 00 track' ! Go figure! Personally, I just wouldn't build a layout with such tight radii in the first place or I would be questioning whether I had the space for a roundy-roundy at all and whether I shouldn't be building an end-2-end instead. But then compromise is relative and we all have our own definitions of what we consider acceptable and what we don't.
 

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QUOTE (butler-henderson @ 28 Feb 2021, 13:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Obviously depends on what curves are in use and it may be that a non authentic concertina may be the only way of sealing the gap between coaches which although strictly wrong will look better particularly from the typical 3ft viewing distance
What I have seen done that looks very well on close coupling system coaches with the Pullman gangway, is a model representation by a lightly sprung loosely telescoping gangway on each coach end, which maintained contact between the gangway faceplates if the minimum radius was 36" or thereabouts. I would have gone further into this if my plans involved viewing gangwayed stock on curves of this radius. The appearance was very good because the sides and top of the gangway were solid, while the almost concealed interior piece they 'telescoped' on performed as an efficient light baffle, and the movement required was very modest.

On the scale radius question, at one time I travelled regularly by rail Waterloo-Southampton, and the trams operating the service were based on BR's mk1 stock, with the knuckle coupler and Pullman gangways adjusted specially for the curve at Northam junction which was very tight, thought by some to go as small as 4.5 chains (99 yards) radius on the up line, before the realignment of this junction in the 1980s. It was quite impressive to observe the gangway movement from inside as the curve was slowly negotiated: for sure it wasn't constant radius, but transitioned into and out of the tightest location with an accompaniment of much squealing and groaning from the vehicles.
 

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QUOTE (Ray Sadler @ 3 Mar 2021, 15:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have you considered Kadee type 17 - very short or type 18 - short? these slot straight into NEM sockets.
For myself, while I utilise Kadees for loco to train couplings, for their combination of reliable auto coupling and magnetically actuated uncoupling performance, and their good appearance on stock that utilised knuckle couplers. (I am slowly making progress on repositioning Kadees from NEM pockets into bufferbeams - where they should be - which results in yet better appearance and with no loss of magnetically actuated uncoupling capability despite being well over gauge height.)

While much superior to tension locks on vehicles with close coupling systems, they fall short when compared to the purpose designed couplers that form a rigid bar between the coupler pockets, because they have some slack and pivoting action, and thereby cannot provide such a positive recentering action. In my dreams, an autocoupler that equally imitates the appearance of the prototype knuckle coupler, but forms a rigid link, and retains the reliable autocoupling and magnetically (or some other 'magic moonbeams' method, I am not fussy) actuated uncoupling...
 

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I have returned to this topic to tell you what I have decided to do about it. I bought some Roco close couplers and thought I would see what happened if I fitted them to both ends of each coach. Here is a picture from above showing the Hornby close couplers at the top and Roco ones below. (In both cases the coaches were being pulled so you see what they would be like in actual use.)



I like the fact that the Roco ones make the buffers touch as I think that this looks realistic. I next checked that they would go round 24" curves with no problem. I then made some more of the gangway connections from folded black paper and put these between the coaches. Here is the result.



Here's a link to a short video of the train passing with these gangway connectors fitted between all the coaches. (There would normally be six coaches in the train but I'm having difficulty getting one attached. These close couplers are much more difficult to use than the hook and bar type.)

I think that the result looks quite good and hope that you will agree.

Robert
 

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Very neat indeed. Something I really like with this close coupling of coaches is that the train moves as one piece, instead of picking up one 'loose coupled' coach at a time. As the trains become heavier this provokes a neat wheelslip effect on steam locos as they ease into movement, just a half turn or two, which looks so effective.
 

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I like those


David
 

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They look really good Robert. I bought some black paper a few years ago. Must get round to making some... if I can find the instructions.
 
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