Re: scale draft gear

Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>

I think Byron exagerates the difficulty of using a closer
to scale draft gear. For one thing, on a model coupler the
amount of swing as measured by the deflection at the coupler
face depends on the distance from the pivot to the face of
the pocket opening, as well as the length of the shank, as
well as the size of the opening. Kadee PS-1 cars come with
a closer to scale draft gear that does NOT use #5 size shank
couplers and they seem to work perfectly well. True, you may
have trouble coupling over #4 turnouts, but why would you
couple or uncouple there anyway? (It sounds like something
the prototype would not do.) So while Byron is correct that
there are physical limits to how close to "true scale" you
can go, the fact is that the "next generation" #58 (i.e. the
one with a redesigned shank to fit a narrower draft gear)
should work quite well on model railroads with reasonable
minimum curvature and turnout sizes. They probably won't
work very well on 18" radii with #4 switches, but those are
not the customers for the #58 anyway.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
Marlborough, Massachusetts

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