Re: scale draft gear


The bottom line to this discussion will be written on modelers layouts.
Since I have not yet had one of the new Kadees (or Accumates) to play
with, I can only make an educated guess as to how they'll work based on
my familiarity with Kadees "old" #5s and how prototype draft gear works.
But I wouldn't bet the farm on modelers using the new couplers on much
more than display models.

I feel that Seargant did their couplers a disservice by incorporating a
Kadee #5 type shank which requires a wider housing just to get it on a
car. But what else could they do with modelers using the #5s on at least
98% of their models? Somebody needs to develop plug in draft gear
housings for the two types, scale and Kadee, which will allow interchange
on a car by car basis. But unfortunately, those cars built with the
coupler housing as an integral part of the end/end sill will be very,
very difficult to convert, unless the manufacturers take pity on us and
cut two different ends for their kits.

I shudder to think of the work ahead of us to correct those thousands of
unbuilt Westerfield and Sunshine kits, not to mention the hundreds of
thousands of unbuilt plastic kits. And how about throwing in all the
built-up cars we have rolling on test tracks and display cases. Or

There is some true scale coupler testing being done by some adventuresome
types, like Randy Anderson, but I'm kinda betting that this is one area
where the more things change, the more they will stay the same. Whatever
that means.

I hope that this development doesn't splinter us into non compatible
groups like 1/4" vs 17/64" vs Proto 48 did in O scale. How ironic it
will be when our steam engines will be able to operate on smaller radius
curves than our freight cars.


On Sun, 24 Dec 2000 15:41:37 -0500 "Tim O'Connor"
<> writes:

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 <>
Marlborough, Massachusetts

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