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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at the Dapol Class 66s, and noticed that they have an option to install different couplers, similar to the knuckle couplers used on US locos. This got me thinking, is it possible to install such couplers on Farish locos, wagons and coaches, as the Rapido couplers they use are... not the best IMHO
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Thanks,

Dave.
 

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QUOTE (digitaldave @ 4 May 2007, 18:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>is it possible to install such couplers on Farish locos, wagons and coaches, as the Rapido couplers they use are... not the best IMHO
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Yes for sadomasochists!

It depends if you want to make serious modifications to the chassis/bogies, I understand that there is some serious filing involved! I think Micro Trains?? do American style ones and although they couple nicely major chassis modifications are often needed. Fleischmann do a range of coupling adaptors and close couplings but they are quite expensive. If you plan to have fixed rakes then perhaps homemade permanent coupling is worth thinking about using wires because you can minimise the gap and yet take into account the spacing needed to negotiate the tightest corner particular to your layout etc.

I hope I haven't made it sound like a lot of work? Close-as-possible coupling is very important in my opinion, (but then I have the luxury of modelling European N where it has come as standard for many years...).

Goedel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply
.

I think you are right, it'll be a lot of hard work - I hadn't realised that there would be a lot of reconstruction
. I think I'll stick with Rapidos
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Does anyone have an opinion on the development of couplings in British N gauge? Are Farish and Dapol moving towards proper close coupling?

I don't think the problem is with the Rapido itself but rather how it is attached to the coach. European N usually often now comes with a special swinging assembly (known as 'kinematisch kurze kupplung' or KKK) with NEM socket into which an alternative coupling can fit. Which standards does the UK conform to if any, MOROP (mainland Europe) or NMRA (North America)?

I know which I would prefer, these are ordinary Minitrix coaches from several years ago with KKK and standard Rapidos - no derailments, no sudden uncouplings, run beautifully, and no problem with small radius curves:

Which can be improved further if necessary with Fleischmann Profi couplings:


The UK scene still has some way to go if this is the best it can manage! :

From Electric Nose : http://www.electricnose.co.uk/omwb/omwbarchive10.html

The attachment mechanism for the Rapidos to the bogies is crude and ugly, (and I'm not going to mention the lack of proper windows and translucent plastic body) the only thing it does well are the small wheel flanges (Minitrix is still cutting pastry) but then you notice wheel flanges a lot less than an inch gap between every coach, especially in a long rake!

If the UK market manufacturers got the coupler attachment mechanism sorted then there should be no problem with Rapidos.

Goedel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting post... I didn't realise that Rapidos are used on Continental models as well, and if UK stuff could couple as close as that without problems, I'd be more than happy to run with them as there would be no need (for me at least) to change them for something closer. Like you said, I think the ideal solution would be a system with a universal mount where you can swap the actual coupling for your preferred option. I believe the Dapol class 66s have something like this, and it would be great if Farish did too. Maybe we need something like Hornby to enter the N-gauge market and start using such a system, the mike encourage Farish to use it too. Well, I can drean can't I?
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Dave.
 

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QUOTE (digitaldave @ 5 May 2007, 03:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was looking at the Dapol Class 66s, and noticed that they have an option to install different couplers, similar to the knuckle couplers used on US locos. This got me thinking, is it possible to install such couplers on Farish locos, wagons and coaches, as the Rapido couplers they use are... not the best IMHO
.

Thanks,

Dave.

I have mixed feelings about dumping the Rapido couplers for Knuckle type, in the past I modelled USA N Gauge, made the mistake of mixing Micro Train and Atlas Accumate couplers, I did this because I purchased Atlas rolling stock which is fitted with the Accumates and converted everything else over the the Micro Trains couplers.

Both brands have a piece of wire that hangs down, it is intended to be a vacuum hose, when used with a magnetic uncoupler the magnetic pull activetes the coupler to disconnect (another set of problems), the biggest problem I had was with the Accumates, the wire just falls out, I found both brands cause derailments becase the wire can be to low and hits sleepers, a pair of long nosed pliers were used to bend the wire up which can be a real pain as these couplers are not that strong to begin with.

I now model N Gauge Japanese rolling stock, all fitted with Rapido's (God Bless their little Hearts).

Regards
Dave
 

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DigitalDave, Rapido couplings were the first N scale coupling used commercially as far as I am aware & they started in Europe by Arnold Rapido many, many years ago & they were convinced by an American to let them be used by any manuafacturer without royalties, That is the reason why basically all N scale use a similar design irrespective of prototype , UK, USA, Europe, etc.
MicroTrains ( was part of Kadee) came along later & of course clones like Accumate appeared.
 

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QUOTE (Jonathan @ 22 May 2007, 19:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But that was years ago. You would think by now somebody would have developed something that didn't look quite so horrible.
The problem is that different people want different things: modern era modellers will probably operate fixed rakes and so as long as the coaches/wagons close-couple and you can't see the rapidos then they don't matter. If you prefer earlier eras with mixed freight and lots of coupling and uncoupling then you would want something more sophisticated, but able to uncouple mechanically, electronically using a wagon decoder, magnetically or by hand with a hook? The options are endless...

The Arnold Rapido is a doubled edged thing - because it was deliberately made free to copy for other manufacturers by Arnold it meant that modellers had total interoperability but when something becomes so widespread it's harder to change. Maybe if only Arnold had copyrighted the design then other manufacturers would have been forced to develop an alternative.

All European models now come with NEM coupler sockets for instant changeability to what ever you like so I suppose it doesn't matter if you don't like rapidos because they can be swapped away at the drop of a signal...

Goedel
 
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