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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Crikey, it gets more complicated by the day, my mind is indeed scrambled. However it proves the value of forums when they produce gems such as these.

I'm planning a layout based on the idea, although not the location or track-plan, of a layout that appeared in the old ERR, oh, back when young Stephenson was a lad. It was called Oberstdorf which is a holiday centre in Bavaria with both summer and winter trade. Through coaches arrived from all over Germany and further afield along a single-track branch off the mainline at Immenstadt. I paid a visit in, I think the early eighties. I watched a short train hauled by a Class 218 and consisting of five coaches, a sleeper, a dining car, a dark blue express coach and if my memory serves me, two Silverfish. The train was de-constructed by the station pilot, a Class 260 and some of the coaches were used to make up a return train with others from the extensive sidings. What more could you ask for? the possibility of operating varied prototypical mainline trains on a single-track within the space available.

The point is that the main operations will be shunting where any disparity in lengths will be very apparent so I need to look before I leap

As regards the Kadee couplers, thank you for your comment B-H My layout will need each coach to be fitted because of the shunting theme as explained.

I am a trifle confused about couplings. I used Kadee and magnetic uncoupling back in 2004 because it allowed me to operate the layout entirely hands-off apart from the fiddle yard. Are you suggesting that there are similar but better systems or are you recommending the 6515 coupling because of its better appearance and does it allow magnetic uncoupling?

£74 for couplings! Sacre bleu!! Its not the cheapest of hobbies is it?
 

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...As regards the Kadee couplers, thank you for your comment B-H My layout will need each coach to be fitted because of the shunting theme as explained.
I use Kadees on my OO coaches for exactly this purpose, and with the Peco large and medium radius points and a minimum 30" plain track radius can push and pull trouble free up to 14 vehicles. These coaches are all equipped with NEM coupler pockets on the close coupling mountings pioneered by the European manufacturers, which have been cloned by Bachmann and Hornby.

There's a simple modification to the NEM mount Kadees to make them work better in these close coupling mounts: a little superglue on the head pivot to hold it in straight ahead position does the job, then all the lateral movement is left to the close coupling mechanism. Or you can attach - or even melt into the coupler pocket - the Kadee #5 to the same effect. There's still a little slack in the coupled up Kadee coupler heads, but this is small enough that a sufficiently 'rigid' linkage is achieved, so that the couplers work the mechanisms well


34C Sorry to hear the Kings X shop has gone, is nothing sacred?
Worse yet, here's the London model shop map.
Most of those putative seven are either radio control, older s/h OO specialists or closed and Hamleys is a toy shop pure and simple (not that there is anything wrong with that). It is the Gobi desert as far as railway modelling is concerned, and what appear to be Oases, are mirages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Crikey, it gets more complicated by the day. However it proves the value of forums when they produce gems such as these.

I'm planning a layout based on the idea, although not the location or track-plan, of a layout that appeared in the old ERR, oh, back when young Stephenson was a lad. It was called Oberstdorf which is a holiday centre in Bavaria with both summer and winter trade. Through coaches arrived from all over Germany and further afield along a single-track branch off the mainline at Immenstadt. I paid a visit in, I think the early eighties. I watched a short train hauled by a Class 218 and consisting of five coaches, a sleeper, a dining car, a dark blue express coach and if my memory serves me, two Silverfish. The train was de-constructed by the station pilot, a Class 260 and some of the coaches were used to make up a return train with others from the extensive sidings. What more could you ask for? the possibility of operating prototypical mainline trains on a single-track within the space available.

The point is that the main operations will be shunting where any disparity in lengths will be very apparent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
An indication of my unpreparedness for the modern railway, my previous comment has appeared one and a half times. I need my young grandson standing at my elbow!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
34c There is a desert in London, isn't there. Even the ones I've looked at on their web-sites don't have much to offer for my needs. It look as if it will have to be mail order, not always ideal, or trips to Germany.

Your use of Kadee couplings matches what I can remember of mine. I will only have one long curve, off-scene, and that is planned at 24 inch radius and as that will represent 'the route' there will be little or no need to 'push'

Thanks for the tip about the coupling mod.
 

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An indication of my unpreparedness for the modern railway, my previous comment has appeared one and a half times. I need my young grandson standing at my elbow!!!
This is really weird, but one of may focal modelling interests is the Allgäu region of Germany (some great beers). I have a lot of information on the region, and have visited many times over the last two decades. Hell, in 2018 I made my wife walk the 'Koenig Ludwig Weg' with me - from Starnberg to Fuessen - 130+km in 6 days walking (two days of 30km+) - but I was researching all the time!! (I think I got away with it).
The operation of the Oberstdorf branch is pretty routine today, I think there is still an IC but will check this. In the 1950's and 60's it was very interesting with Br 64 and Br 86 steamers performing a lot of the work, many through carriages from the North, often tacked on to local trains from Immenstadt. Many classic pictures of Touropa trains on the branch exist.
Anyway the detail is for you to decide. Good luck.

6991

PS you will also have noticed we are all different... I for example, have no wish to move to digital, for me it is about the trains, not the computers. John has successfully run DCC as have others, but what a faff when you want to run trains. I do not want to be programming the fireman's fart or whatever. And just think, with DCC you can run multiple trains, all with sound, can you imagine the noise? We are all different. Carriage lighting ? what? how good does it look to have trains running around with bright LED carriage lighting and no-one in there. Surely there is a limit to ECS movements.....
We are all different, and that is what makes this forum unique !! I am glad you have found it....There is a wealth of knowledge.....Kris, 34C, Bear, Babz, and all the rest... and the sum of the whole is greater than that of the individual parts !!
 

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... just think, with DCC you can run multiple trains, all with sound, can you imagine the noise? ...
You are not wrong in that respect. My expensive home hobby is high fidelity music reproduction, which is a substitute for attending live music making; just as the model railway substitutes for the real railway as it was in steam operation. (Both these entertainments doubly invaluable during the Covid episode.)

That DCC sound had never come to pass is the greatest improvement the model railway hobby missed out on. It's appallingly poor quality, but happily not compulsory, most of the time. I'll be the one carrying - and at need wearing - ear defenders at the next model railway exhibition I attend, fingers crossed for the CMRA show at St Evenage, hopefully winter 2022.
 

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Hello David B,
Whoops! My apologies, I assumed (yes, I know!) that you were looking at Kadees mainly for freight stock.
Fleischmann 6515 are only really good for within fixed rakes of vehicles - where they are brilliant at holding vehicles buffer to buffer, even though curves. They are NO SUBSTITUTE for Kadees when it comes to shunting so please, stay as you were!
As 34C says, you can mix up your rakes of coaches with them, no problem.

For myself, I have been experimenting with most of the various brands! I went all American some 30 years ago and of course, quickly adopted Kadees! This was when their patent for this design was still in force and it was either Kadees or “horn hooks” (ugh, bleuch, horrible, horrible!). A few years later, other companies started making copies but nothing compares to the original.
Upon my return to European modelling something like 20 years ago now, I tried hard to find a European coupler that works like a Kadee but will hold vehicles close together.
The closest I have found is this;
It is a soft touch coupler meaning it doesn’t require you to slam into stock, just to buffer up. Once you’ve coupled together, it will hold stock rigidly and quite closely BUT it is harder to uncouple! You need either a “spade” to manually uncouple (similar to dealing with the standard Euro coupler or a British tension lock), a lifting ramp between the rails or a digitally controlled coupler as fitted to the most sophisticated models around, like ESU, Roco etc.
Kadees do the same job for a lot less cost, are easily available, robust and reliable AND have a further advantage in that you can physically lift a vehicle up and uncouple it! The Americans call this the 0-5-0 shunter/switcher, we call it the hand of god.

I guess all this waffle is to show there’s more than one way of skinning a cat, says he, a confirmed cat lover.
Cheers,
John
 

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You are not wrong in that respect. My expensive home hobby is high fidelity music reproduction, which is a substitute for attending live music making; just as the model railway substitutes for the real railway as it was in steam operation. (Both these entertainments doubly invaluable during the Covid episode.)

That DCC sound had never come to pass is the greatest improvement the model railway hobby missed out on. It's appallingly poor quality, but happily not compulsory, most of the time. I'll be the one carrying - and at need wearing - ear defenders at the next model railway exhibition I attend, fingers crossed for the CMRA show at St Evenage, hopefully winter 2022.
Hello 34 old chap.
Now, that is an expensive hobby! You clearly have much more discerning hearing than me so please don’t be offended if I ask whose digital sound do you find so appalling, please?
Is it the typical products of say, Hornby, Bachmann etc, etc. I don’t consider the TTS stuff to be hardly any better than the sound of sandpaper on a scraper.
Have you heard the sound produced by a model from say, ESU, Scale Trains etc. Furthermore, if you have heard such models, do you know how their prototypes sound?
I do but as I say, my hearing isn’t worth that much, I am tone deaf in fact!
But I do know what a Ludmilla sounds like when it’s pulling hard, think a class 56 on steroids and my ESU version in H0 makes a good facsimile in my poor opinion.
I also have a Roco 01.5 and that makes a terrific sound, to me it sounds acceptable but I don’t know the real thing!
I apologise if this sounds confrontational, I don’t mean to be, I am simply eager to hear your rather more eloquent aural opinion.
Cheers,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Hello 6691 Yes I think Bavaria/ Allgau is a great part pf the world, we're holidaying near Garmisch (this blasted virus permitting) next May and I could stand on the bridge outside Munich Hbf all day long watching the trains come and go. We often get a Bayernkarte and spend the day travelling by rail - I must remember your tip and claim 'research'. Very interesting stations at Augsburg and the trip from Garmisch to Kempten via Reutte in Austria is brilliant. I thought Oberstdorf offered everything I wanted in a railway and which I could model fairly realistically (much abridged trackplan) I'm going to bend the rules a bit and find some way to accommodate a Ludmilla and possibly a French diesel loco. Fully agree about the beer!!

As you say we are all different and looking for different things in our modelling. I can remember a chap I knew in Berlin who had a monstrously complicated layout that he was constantly fiddling with and adding to and modifying - the only thing he never seemed to do was operate it. If I had to pass on one suggestion to someone building their first layout I would say, have a good think about precisely which aspect of railways you really enjoy watching. Then you won't end up building rural termini if you like actually enjoy watching coaches being shunted.

Hello John Perhaps I wasn't clear about what I'm looking for. However I'm glad of your confirmation that Kadee is the way to go if you want hands-off shunting. I can remember, and once again I'm going back to the technology of 20 years ago, trying to uncouple using ramps etc and never getting it to work reliably. As to the other couplings you mention I imagine they do look more realistic. I went to an exhibition in, I think Falmouth, where the local model club were running a small layout with German stock and Kadee couplings and I had never seen a layout work so well and hands-off. I was convinced.

One further question if I may. If I buy a loco that is DCC and 'fitted' am I right in thinking that it contains a coder and will be ready to run as soon as assigned a code by whichever system I buy?
 

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Faller do an Oberstdorf back scene - FALLER - Oberstdorf Model background

I've been to Fuessen several times - it's a lovely spot.
There's a wonderful Konditorei on the main street in Garmisch. As far as I can remember, the town toy shop only stocks Maerklin.

The line from Munich to Lindau which I think traverses the Allgau valley was electrified at the end of 2020. This allows SBB trains to work the whole Munich - Zurich service. 218 haulage on the Munich - Lindau section has ended. There are a few YouTube videos of the final few days of the service.

Even with new models you have to check the scale. The new ICE4 from Trix is 1:93.5. This is marked on the Trix website - Details

The Piko model look to be full scale at 1330mm for a four car set ~332mm per coach. BR 412 4tlg. ICE 4 VI + DSS PluX20 Buy modeltrains | PIKO Webshop For reasons best known to Piko they have used a proprietary DCC socket so you can only fit their decoders.

David.
 

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...whose digital sound do you find so appalling, please?...
There's no problem intrinsic to the digital element. It's the inadequate sampling, low grade processing, and limited frequency range, consequent on having little data and processing capacity, and a miniscule transducer, driven by the need to get it all inside a model vehicle.

Just for a start, the limited data means that any sample used for representing constant speed is looped, and it is very obviously repetitive and deeply irritating as a result, the same effect as a stuck gramophone record. Then there's the grainy reproduction, and very restricted frequency range of the transducer, and in particular where's the bass? I know what a real train going past sounds like, and it is nothing like any DCC sound I have yet heard.

There are well proven alternatives: multi channel surround, well proven for the film industry, or if the layout is only operated from a well defined position, a stereo soundstage aligned with the layout over a roughly 90 degree arc. I occasionally play one of the old Transacord recordings - just stereo - matching the train movement to the movement of the train's sonic image through the soundstage. Much better.
 

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Faller do an Oberstdorf back scene - FALLER - Oberstdorf Model background

I've been to Fuessen several times - it's a lovely spot.
There's a wonderful Konditorei on the main street in Garmisch. As far as I can remember, the town toy shop only stocks Maerklin.

The line from Munich to Lindau which I think traverses the Allgau valley was electrified at the end of 2020. This allows SBB trains to work the whole Munich - Zurich service. 218 haulage on the Munich - Lindau section has ended. There are a few YouTube videos of the final few days of the service.

Even with new models you have to check the scale. The new ICE4 from Trix is 1:93.5. This is marked on the Trix website - Details

The Piko model look to be full scale at 1330mm for a four car set ~332mm per coach. BR 412 4tlg. ICE 4 VI + DSS PluX20 Buy modeltrains | PIKO Webshop For reasons best known to Piko they have used a proprietary DCC socket so you can only fit their decoders.

David.
Actually David, I think you'll find that the newly electrified line pretty much misses the Allgäu completely !!
I'm pretty sure it runs via Kisslegg, Leutkirch and Memmingen to Buchloe and on to Munich. It's an interesting route, taking in parts of the original Wurttemberg line to Isny between Kisslegg and Leutkirch, The Allgäu route heads South from Buchloe, to Kaufbeuren, up the famous Gunzachersteige (a mountain in the way of the railway), then down it, to Kempten, then on to Immenstadt, Oberstaufen and Lindau. The electrified route is straighter, flatter, and therefore more suited to upgrading for high-speed running. However, nothing takes away from the magic of the Allgäubahn.
6991
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Every day seems to bring more questions. I have read a suggestion that Kadee uncouplers might not work so well with Code 75 track which I'm planning to use. Any thoughts?

Also, could anyone give me their thoughts on the pro and cons of magnetic as against electromagnetic uncouplers

Thanks in advance
 

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No trouble using Kadee on Code 75, or indeed any rail section track the wheels will cope with. The Kadee height gauge sets the 'trip pin' a millimetre above rail top, but if the permanent magnet coupler is too deep, such that the magnet top is above rail top, the position of the Kadee can be raised by an appropriately gauged amount by adding a shim to the gauge platform.

I am currently engaged in putting Kadee through the bufferbeams of OO stock, and the trip pins unmodified are still operated reliably by the permanent and electromagnet uncouplers despite being circa 2.5mm above gauge height. (I thought I would have to bend the trip pins to bring the bottom ends to gauge height but this proved not just unnecessary, but actually a functional improvement: there is no incidence of random uncouples if a train 'bumps' while in motion over a permanent magnet uncoupler.)

For Kadees at Kadee gauge height placement, I would definitely suggest going with electromagnet uncouplers to avoid any chance of random uncoupling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Many thanks 34C Just the answers and info I was hoping to hear. I don't think that Peco 75 code with large radius points, all properly ballasted can be beaten for appearance.

You second answer confirms my thoughts about electromagnetic uncouplers, another box ticked

Thanks again

David
 

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... I don't think that Peco 75 code with large radius points, all properly ballasted can be beaten for appearance...
Have you checked out the code 82 from Tillig and Rolf Weinert's 'Main Gleis' product? - no idea of the current status of the latter. I am all for Peco's product for proven long term robustness, and use it extensively: but better is now available, from the above in HO, and from Peco in the form of their bullhead code 75 for OO, though this is compromised by retention of the Streamline geometry rather than scale crossing angles, sigh... (Peco are very conservative, with Romanesque capital C, but they are now making an EM bullhead point with a scale crossing angle: and you never know, they might give up on 'set track' for their bullhead range, and allow this radical concept into OO...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I haven't checked Tillog et al, to be honest I've never heard of them but will have a look, they presumably have a web-site. I've always been very unimpressed by German track, I've never understood how an industry that produces such high quality rolling stock produces such Toy Town track. Sounds as if things have changed.

Just had a look and, you're right, it does look good. Hefty price tag though.
 

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...Upon my return to European modelling something like 20 years ago now, I tried hard to find a European coupler that works like a Kadee but will hold vehicles close together.
The closest I have found is this;
It is a soft touch coupler meaning it doesn’t require you to slam into stock, just to buffer up. Once you’ve coupled together, it will hold stock rigidly and quite closely ...
John,
Now I consult your expertise, regarding a suitable 'rigid bar' coupler. I have used the Roco pattern 40270 coupler inside 'permanent' coach formations, as it provides an efficient rigid bar linkage between the close coupling mechanisms, and the effect in motion is very good, all gangway faceplates in contact on straight or nearly so track. (In the UK Hornby supply a clone of this coupler with their coaches so there is a cost saving benefit too.) But this pattern coupler is not an autocoupler anywhere near the class of even the miniature tension lock or HO 'hook and loop', and has limited life if separated and recoupled frequently.

Two questions for your considered opinion:
Does the Roco 40397 provide an equally rigid coupling as the 40270 supplies?
How robust has the Roco 40379 proved to be on your layout?

Thanks and regards, Paul..
 
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