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Coupling help for beginner.

Having recently got into model railing after a gap since childhood (longer than I thought), I was bought a Hornby DCC Mixed Goods set for my birthday. The other day I purchased 2 Bachmann goods wagons (a firestone plank truck and a Toad Brake Van). All was well till I tried to couple up to a Loco. The couplings, although both use the same principle - hook and loop (tension lock?), they are completely different in size, and as a result create all sorts of derailments on bends and points, and uncouplings on the run.

I have read lots of forums talking about all sorts of different couplings, but that has just confused me more.

What options have I got?
What is the easiest and most cost effective method without destroying my existing rolling stock?

Other than that, DCC is great. I have also bought a Pendolino 4 car train which is great too.
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There is now a wide choice in couplings, and - at last - UK manufacturers have fairly recently adopted the NEM pocket mounting which makes it easy to fit the coupler of your choice. Because it is relatively early days since the NEM pocket was adopted, there are however a fair number of models in both Bachmann's and Hornby's ranges without this useful fitting. Of the stock you have, the Bachmann wagons are likely to be so fitted. Another immediate solution to your present problem might be to buy some screw on versions of the small tension lock coupler, to replace the older type on the Hornby; these are usually readily available in model shops in a pack of ten by Bachmann. In the longer term, take the time to look at what is available. A google on Kadee should find their website: you may well be pleasantly surprised to see how things have developed while you have been away. On which note, welcome back, there is much to enjoy.
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