Re: Coupler droop, height and centering

William Keene <wakeene@...>

Hello Group,

I install and operate using Sergent scale couplers and have found them to be quite reliable. And I second what Tony Thompson has commented that nudging coupler drawbars is a more realistic operation. I have also noticed that switching operations are done at slower speeds which is also more prototypically correct.

Bill Keene
Irvine, CA

On Jul 13, 2013, at 10:48 AM, Tony Thompson <> wrote:

Mal Houck wrote:
Does anyone have experience with the scale couplers and were any changes required to insure reliable operation?

There has been considerable concern about whether or not "scale" couplers will "gather" properly and couple with other sizes, or if they will or will not couple properly on curved track.
Obviously it depends on the sharpness of the curves. I assume you are comparing #5 with #58 couplers, and yes of course, the smaller heads have less gathering range. And you know what? The prototype is the same. Prototype drawbars often have to be kicked or otherwise nudged to couple on curved track, and on a strong curvature, it may not be possible to couple conventional freight cars. (That's why traction lines had special couplers.) Some modelers do complain about the small-head couplers, in this regard, but to me it is, if anything, a step toward realism, and away from the toy-train " couple anything, anywhere" routine we were used to.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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