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Can anyone advise me on the best and simplest solution to a coupling problem.

I have a problem with ALL Bachmann wagons and coaches as they constantly seem to catch and derail and are apparently incompatible with Hornby and Heljan locomotive couplings.

I have tried changing the couplings on loco stock to NRM small tension lock couplings but the Bachmann ones which are fixed to the majorty of their rolling stock just do not seem to have the appropriate space on the bar for negotiating curves.

I use second and third radius curves and have no problem with Hornby rolling stock. Similarly Bachmann locos are fine with Bachmann rolling stoc (and in fact all other rolling stock) so it seems to be just the Bachmann wagons and coaches.

I was hoping that changing the couplings on the locos would change things but I am still getting constant derailments.

For information it tends to be the wagons more than the coaches.

What couplings can/should I use and can I avoid changing couplings on all my Bachmann rolling stock?

Any help much appreciated.
 

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My own experience is that standardising on a single manufacturers version of the tension lock coupling is the route to reliability on 4 wheel wagons (I do not use this coupler on coaches). The appropriate decision was to go with the Bachmann NEM mounted miniature version, simply on the grounds that 70% of my wagon stock is from that source. Purchase of a moulded mounting block to take the NEM pocket, (available from Chivers Finelines) facilitated the fitting of this coupler to the remainder of the wagons, mostly scratch and kit built stock, but also some Hornby, Airfix, Hornby-Dublo and Dapol vehicles.

Trains of 60 wagons are now reliably operated over 30 inch radius minimum curves, and through medium and large rad Peco points, whether pulled or pushed. I could never quite see the exact reason why similar reliability was not obtained with a mix of mainly Bachmann with some Hornby miniature tension locks: when equipping the various older and kit built wagons whichever version my local stockist had available was purchased, on the assumption that they were compatible. But following trials of trains all of one type of coupler it was clear that reliable running could be obtained this way, so pragmatically the change was made, and the good result has been maintained. Uniform use of another manufacturers tension lock design should produce similar reliability gains.

A welcome side effect on Hornby locos, I found that Hornby's NEM pocket all too frequently fell out of the mounting provided on tenders with prolonged running. Substituting the Bachmann coupler in its' pocket eliminated this trouble as it was a much tighter fit; although the mounting block has subsequently split on a Britannia tender, but with no sign of the pocket coming loose so far.
 

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One possible solution is to fit the widest coupling with the thinness depth (ie the old metal Triang/Hornby type or equivalent) to your locos with the hook removed. This loop should be compatiable with the hook from any makers coupling
 

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Couplings can be a pain at times. I don't have any derailing problems but with the variety of stock of different ages uncoupling can be a nuisance as not all the couplings lift on a Peco uncoupling ramp. The worst offenders with regard to any derailment problems are the Bachmann Thompson coaches. There were two types of bogie with different coupling lengths and I found that some of my rake had been fitted with the wrong type with the result that two coaches were far too close together and buffers locked.

I find that the newer type couplings with NEM pockets are sometimes not very durable as I have lost a number of hooks.

What a pity the UK manufacturers haven't bitten the bullet and gone for the US style couplers which are far more reliable.
 

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QUOTE (Saint Johnstoun @ 6 Oct 2008, 21:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..
What a pity the UK manufacturers haven't bitten the bullet and gone for the US style couplers which are far more reliable.
Another way of looking at this is that British railways persisted with loose coupled three link goods stock, long after it was technically obsolescent. That's why I use the tension lock on goods stock on my circa 1960 model. The miniature version may be set with the bumper bar in the line of the bufferheads so that the vehicles buffer up when pushed (but are protected from buffer locking) and open out properly when pulled, just like a real loose coupled train. This contrasts nicely with the coaches where I use Kadee on the ends of sets as a good representation of the real buckeyes employed (a semi-permanent bar or Hornby's R8220 coupler are used inside sets, no slack, and better CCM actuation where fitted for corridor connectors in contact). There is some consequent inconvenience with some steam locos, swapping NEM mounted couplers or exchanging spare tenders; at least diesels are easy, different coupler each end.

Now if there was a truly auto-coupling three link (and alternative screw link) coupler of prototype appearance which provided the loose coupled effect, I would have to move to it for goods stock. The Dingham is close, but not quite close enough to spring the money...
 

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QUOTE (Madkitten @ 6 Oct 2008, 23:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I use chain link couplings on everything - even though they run perfectly together uncoupling is difficult though!!!
And there's the rub. On a 400+ wagon operation with breaking up, shunting and reforming trains a major element of interest an autocoupler is a must.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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I think that's why a hybrid solution could be one solution. My current planning includes for 3 link for stock permanently raked and hybrid wagons with 3 link one end and a Kadee on the other for shunting purposes and connecting these rakes together.

Some form of onboard DCC controlled uncoupling is what we need....
 

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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 8 Oct 2008, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think that's why a hybrid solution could be one solution. My current planning includes for 3 link for stock permanently raked and hybrid wagons with 3 link one end and a Kadee on the other for shunting purposes and connecting these rakes together.

Some form of onboard DCC controlled uncoupling is what we need....

*** It exists - The design works a treat, but I just haven't produced it yet


Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 8 Oct 2008, 13:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** It exists - The design works a treat, but I just haven't produced it yet


Richard

This is one for USA models & not cheap - Double-end uncoupling US$70
http://dccuncoupling.com/
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 8 Oct 2008, 11:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** It exists - The design works a treat, but I just haven't produced it yet


Richard

My leading dots always bring out RJ!!

I was thinking about memory wire for this application (seen it used somewhere else for that matter) however individual wagons needing decoders would be cost prohibitive so it would be best used in a tender I guess with the release from coaching stock at a station in readiness for a run around or something similar. Only issue there is that that is actually probably one of the easier uncoupling via magnetic locations there is in terms of repeatable location to uncouple as opposed to shunting away in yards. Hmmmmm, must check this out further Richard....
 

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QUOTE (zmil @ 8 Oct 2008, 03:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi All

Roco do a DCC controlled uncoupler - probably expensive though - and a little bulky looking

Regards Zmil

It will be available later as a decoder conversion with two coupling heads - no idea of the price as yet though.
 

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For what it's worth, I understand that Trix, in both England and Germany, sold locos in the late 1930s, i.e. 70 years ago, with remote uncoupling. This depended on the AC reversing mechanism as the Trix OO/HO offerings at the time were all AC not DC powered. The remote uncoupling system was lost when Trix in England later switched to the Peco/Hornby Dublo style coupling. Trix moved over to DC in the mid-1950s anyway.

Keith.
 
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