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Hornby NEM pocket couplers now available

40668 Views 40 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  woolwinder

Hornby Pack of 10 NEM Couplings R8220NEM Couplings

This is a pack of ten replacement NEM plug-in couplings of a new design. The tension-lock principle has been abandoned and a slim 'clasp' design used instead. As the vehicles are pushed together the toothed couplings slide past each other but when the tension is taken up the 'barbs' engage and grip. One disadvantage could be unintentional disengaging if there is too much vertical play due to poorly laid track. Hornby say that they work particularly well when close-coupling their new Gresley and Stanier coaches.

[Source: Model Railway Express MAG]

Hornby have two products:
NEM close couplings (R8219)
NEM pocket coupling (R8220)

These couplers are now available at £3.50 for 10. They seem to be exactly like Roco coupler, if not the Roco coupler.

I'm not sure if these are the Roco items, I have asked Hornby and await a reply. Here are the Roco items:

Hornby NEM Close coupling - R8219 Look at the item at Hattons here.

Roco Close coupling

Roco Pocket coupling

Hornby NEM coupling - R8220 Look at the item at Hattons here.
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The only problem with this is that Hornby rolling stock does not have the sockets to plug these into. Most Continental rolling stock have a socket which you can just plug these into.
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Yeah, the Hornby couplers look like Fleischmann close couplers.
QUOTE (Dennis David @ 7 Jul 2006, 09:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yeah, the Hornby couplers look like Fleischmann close couplers.
Thats because thats what they are. Good to see they are catching up in other areas other than detail.
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it all looks very complicated to me !!! I, and probrably many of you may have too, stock dating back to the 60s, will there be a conversion kit so as these couplers can fit older stock, if not, how will old stock couple to new stock if these couplers become the standard? never having experienced these couplings i probraly sound negative towards them, i'm not, and can see why improvements are required, think i may try to get hold of these, then i might have a better idea of what they are about.
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Steve Jones has some excellent pictures of these couplers in use. Look here in the 'The thirty year gap' article and here in the 'Deploy the fleet' article towards the bottom of the page.
I suppose fitting NEM's to all the older rolling stock would be a mammoth undertaking and perhaps not economically viable.

On a related subject I also notice they are bringing out 12mm coaching stock wheels. The discs they are currently producing, are they 14mm and which goes where?
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What about uncoupling ? I assume that there is a system with these to uncouple automatically? Sorry if that's a daft question, but if you've never used them you don't know!
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I think that these devices use a ramp uncoupling system - the same as for tension lock.
These are very similar to Fleischmann "Profi" couplings but differ in the uncoupling "button". Never had any complaints with The Fleischmann version....

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 7 Jul 2006, 01:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thats because thats what they are. Good to see they are catching up in other areas other than detail.

Er - no they are not Fleischmann - I've just compared a Roco close coupling to the pics & they look identical to them.

To possibly confuse matters Roco superceeded the coupling type shown with the "claw" type shown in the centre picture - this is similar to the Marklin close coupling. However, when Roco had financial problems one of the outgoing people left & took the patents for the "claw" type coupling with them (as well as the one for the "Rocoline" track with roadbed !).

Roco make two types of NEM coupling conversion pockets & they work very well.

The Roco/Hornby coupling is a good coupling but can be damaged by very rough coupling up (better the coupling than the rolling stock though). It can become uncoupled due to lumpy track and/or harsh gradiant transitions but it does have the advantage (as does the Fleischmann Profi Coupling) that you can remove an item of rolling stock vertically without having to use an uncoupling ramp/uncoupler.

Hope that this imformation is useful.

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Hi to all,

I was delighted to hear that Hornby were offering a new close coupling. And equally delighted that it is a copy of the the Roco 40270.

I pretty much agree with everything that steve jones has said on the subject in his Thirty Year Gap article.

However, I had to think back to a couple of years ago when i did some tests on the Roco products.

I liked the standard Roco loop type 40243 and thought that I could have these on locos and the 40271 close coupler on my Bachman MK1s.

As I recall, however, neither Roco coupler is long enough to couple from loco to coach NEM socket or from MK 1 coach to coach NEM pocket!!

Thus I still use the Vac pipes and the Bachman tension coupler on locos!!!

Of course this could all be a horrid dream, but if the Hornby cc is Roco part 40270 then it is not long enough for MK 1s.

Could someone else have a look; as I haven't got the Roco bits to try again.. Hope I'm completely plain wrong on this foolish memory test.

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I've also found that the Roco close coupler is marginally too short to connect Bachmann Mk1's together.
I use the Bachmann 37-027 short coupler, which is fine.

The Roco short is ideal for the Hornby Gresley's and Pullmans.
Isn't the Hornby Mk1 range devoid of NEM sockets?

Robt P.
>Isn't the Hornby Mk1 range devoid of NEM sockets?
As I understand it, these date from before the time when Hornby decided on a step change in their model detail. I think someone said in another thread that apart from some new flush glazing, the Hornby Mk1 moulds go back a looong time. I may be wrong, but my method for telling whether a Hornby model has NEM detachable couplings from the catalogue photos is to look at the profile of the "loop". The NEM style is to have a thin vertical section where the couplings meet whereas the older fixed type of coupling is quite a bit thicker.

I have received a sample of these couplings. To confirm, the Hornby NEM Close coupling - R8219 is not the same as the Roco close coupling, it is just the old small tension lock coupling. The photo at Hattons was not good enough to see this. I have updated the first post to hopefully make this more clear.

The R8220 NEM Hornby Coupling is the new one, Similar or the same as the Roco one. It says on the packet that is "Designed and imported by Hornby Hobbies Ltd...", but I suppose that that is just standard for all their packaging.

Here are some initial experiments with the couplings:

The old (standard) R8219 NEM small tension-lock couplings on a pair of Northumbrian coaches.

New R8220 NEM Hornby couplings fitted to the same Northumbrian coaches.

Detail of the couplings just before a Peco uncoupling ramp.

On the uncoupling ramp - nothing happens... I suppose due to the tension of the coaches and the insufficient force of the ramp.

One on, one off. This is what is meant to happen. The loops on the bottom drive a wedge between the coupling hooks and the couplings come apart. When there is no tension between coaches, the mechanism works fine.

The trouble is that the Peco ramps are not suitable for this job. I tried raising the ramp to get more pressure, but this just uncoupled the coaches as they rode over the ramp normally.

I think the solution would have to be an electric solenoid actuated ramp under the couplings that operates at the push of a button.
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QUOTE Er - no they are not Fleischmann - I've just compared a Roco close coupling to the pics & they look identical to them.

So there we go then they're not Roco or Fleischmann.
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Roco Pocket coupling

Hornby R8220 NEM coupling

They are very similar to Roco. Based on Roco, but they are slightly different.
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QUOTE (Doug @ 16 Jul 2006, 12:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Roco Pocket coupling

Hornby R8220 NEM coupling

They are very similar to Roco. Based on Roco, but they are slightly different.

Thanks for the pics Doug - looks likes they are just different enough to avoid patent issues !

BTW - do they operate together ?

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I fitted a packet of the Hornby 8220s to my "Northumbrian" this evening. The length of the train has shrunk from 61.5 inches to 60.6 inches with the new couplings in place. The gap between the coaches drops from 11/32 inch to 6/32.

I compared the Hornby and Bachmann Mk1 NEM couplings at the same time. The Bachmann pockets are set further back on the bogies and the coupling loops are offset downwards from the neck. This suggests that Hornby close couplings may be set too far back to be useable on the Mk1s and that Bachmann close couplings may be too long for Hornby.

I have taken a couple of photos which include a tape measure, but apart from the tape they don't add any information to the photos Doug has already posted.

One other word of advice - use a pliers with a flat face when squeezing the two hooks together to remove the original coupling hooks.

I got a pack of these Hornby couplings to try and sort out the class 50 problems and while I was at it thought I'd fit them to my Bachman mk1s.
The couplings are indeed too short to auto-engage between the mk1s however there is just enough play in the spring mechanism too engage them with a little help from underneath, they do have the length to couple between the class 50 and end coach but there lies the next problem, the height of the NEM pockets on the 50 and coach are not the same with the 50s being about 1mm to 1.5mm lower so this really shows up the slightest changes in track level. the solution to this I've decided is to rip it all up and start again with a little more care taken in baseboard construction and track laying, at least we're heading towards winter so at least I'll be able to heat the loft there's not a lot you can do about the summer heat.
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