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So far I have purchased Horby & Bachmann locos with H, B and Dapol rolling stock and they all come with couplings. This week I took delivery of a Heljan Class 33/0 loco - no couplings but I can see that there is a space where one would fit in.

I have searched the forum using "couplings" and come up with pages and pages of info and I now realise that my Hornby might not fit my Bachmann and there are many different types of couplings.

So what I need to know is what type of coupling should I use on all my rolling stock so that coaches will appear close together, everything works but is not too difficult to fit - I am new to the hobby and haven't even built my layout! I want something simple which I might change when I have more experience!

R
 

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QUOTE (randolph @ 16 Jul 2008, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So far I have purchased Horby & Bachmann locos with H, B and Dapol rolling stock and they all come with couplings. This week I took delivery of a Heljan Class 33/0 loco - no couplings but I can see that there is a space where one would fit in.

I have searched the forum using "couplings" and come up with pages and pages of info and I now realise that my Hornby might not fit my Bachmann and there are many different types of couplings.

So what I need to know is what type of coupling should I use on all my rolling stock so that coaches will appear close together, everything works but is not too difficult to fit - I am new to the hobby and haven't even built my layout! I want something simple which I might change when I have more experience!

R

The simplest thing to use is the tension lock coupling, that is standard on most models. If your 33/0 was a new model then somewhere in the box you will probably find some tension lock couplings to plug in to sockets on the body.

Tension locks have a hook and bar like this.... Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Railway

On more modern models the bar is more discrete and does not cover the whole width of the model.

Tension locks look ugly, and do not allow close coupling in general, but they are the simplest thing to start with.

If you think you may want to change in the future - then the most popular choice is probably Kadee - see the resources section of MRF for an article on Kadee on UK stock - though as you have found there are advocates of several other systems.

In order to keep your options open if you buy models that have an "NEM" coupling facility then this will mean that the couplings can be changed for a different one at a later date.

AFAIK Dapol do not support NEM very much if at all - most of the modern models from the others do. Though even having an NEM socket is not always sufficient as some models do not have them mounted at the standard height but suggest you ignore that for the mo - stick with tension lock for the time being and try and buy models that have nem coupling sockets to keep your options open.

Good Luck

TimP
 

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QUOTE (randolph @ 16 Jul 2008, 17:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So what I need to know is what type of coupling should I use on all my rolling stock so that coaches will appear close together, everything works but is not too difficult to fit - I am new to the hobby and haven't even built my layout! I want something simple which I might change when I have more experience!
Actually you are in a good position, as you will not have loads of older stock with a variety of coupler fittings, and if you buy selectively can make life pretty easy for yourself. Just as Tim P suggested, buying stock fitted with NEM pockets that allow the easy fitting of a choice of couplers will give you maximum choice among commercial RTR coupler systems as you gain experience.

Another aspect to look for on coaches is the presence of a close coupling mechanism (CCM) - this comes as standard on all coaches fitted with NEM pockets - to achieve your objective of having your coaches close coupled. A cam system holds the vehicles close on straight tracks, spaces them out slightly for the necessary clearance on curves. Does restrict your choice of UK coaches to Bachmann BR mk1 corridor coaches, including the Pullman cars and GUV; and Hornby's current Gresley, Maunsell, Pullman and Stanier stock. (Beware if purchasing secondhand, as there are earlier versions of some of these types that are not fitted with NEM pockets and CCM.)

When it comes to wagons, the Bachmann range is largely NEM pocket equipped; Heljan probably fit NEM pockets on theirs as they are a continental European manufacturer, Hornby have just started fitting NEM pockets to their goods stock.

Locos, it's a mixed bag. Buy the newer better detailed locos with good mechanisms from Bachmann or Hornby and they come with NEM pockets. Older locos don't. Worth asking before making the purchase.
 

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Couplings are a vexed question.

If you are happy with a huge gap between buffers the go for the tension lock couplers.

If you are not happy with the huge gap then there are a number of brands out there that will work with NEM pockets to varying degrees. If shunting is your thing, then Kadees may be the answer. If running fixed rakes then the Marklin and Flieschmann couplers may be the thing. The roco coupling is great when coupled to each other, but IMHO looks the worst when not coupled to something.

I will not buy any stock that is not close coupled.

John
 

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Hi Randolph,

As John says, it depends how you intend to operate your layout. You may want to keep your passenger stock in fixed rakes, in which case 3 link couplings would be fine as the intermediate couplings with a magnetically operated one at each end and on your locos.

If, on the other hand you intend to regularly rearrange your freight stock into various train combinations with shunting operations then you will need some sort of automatic coupling/uncoupling on every wagon. Kadees can work out quite expensive, however, and there are other, cheaper options available. Have a look at the DG Couplings for instance. They are a bit fiddly to make up but are very neat, give reasonably close coupling and provide reliable operation.

I would suggest you buy a few of each type of coupling and 'road test' them before making a final decision.

Happy modelling,

Expat.
 

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An interesting subject with some thoughtful replies that have helped me.

These days, I buy my OO locos and rolling stock primarily for show case display at home. Running them is secondary, so I have a mix of makes and models, new or pre-owned.

On display, couplings aren't too much of an issue, as I can conceal unsightly gaps between older coaches with corridor connections (black card folded concertina style).

Also, the gaps somehow look more acceptable when in a cabinet.

When running however, I prefer closer coupling, as the older tension locks do not look the business anymore.

My solution is to have packets of NEM couplings handy which I can swap where appropriate. I also have 2 or 3 fixed rakes using Flieschmann couplings between coaches with standard UK couplings on the first and last coach for connecting to locos.

Full marks to manufacturers for tackling this problem.
 

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Not wanting to beat a drum here, but I got my first close coupled stock in 1986 (pre internet days, it took just about forever for info to get to New Zealand!).

Its first introduction into the German market was in 1985!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your advice, Tim you were quite right I found one coupling in the box which is now installed! As suggested I shall experiment with a few types of coupling until I come up with what is right for me.
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 17 Jul 2008, 07:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Not wanting to beat a drum here, but I got my first close coupled stock in 1986 (pre internet days, it took just about forever for info to get to New Zealand!).

Its first introduction into the German market was in 1985!

John
Pre fax machine too ! - I remember just after buying my first Fleischmann locomotive (which I still have) in the mid 70's I found some Rowa coaches & freight stock in a model shop (long since gone) that had close couplings & an early version of a NEM type pocket.
I also remember ordering a Rowa catalogue & although all in German marvelling at the quality & the fact that you could get lighting units that just clipped in (OK - the coaches were 1 : 100 in length, then at a later date I discovered Ade & have never looked back.
When you think about it, from ordering the catalogue, choseing & ordering the item, waiting for the item to arrive it could take about six weeks. How times have changed !
 

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Almost Brian.

Nowdays its order it in late January/early February, and it all should be here by Christmas.

I admit it only relates to "new" items, standard production stuff 2-4 weeks from date of orer to on the layout. Such a shame that I only now but "new" items. Either I have got fussy or to quote SWMBO "have way to much stuff"

What agreat hobby we have.

john
 
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