Re: BLI Hopper Mods

Don Valentine

Quoting Andy Harman <>:

At 10:45 PM 7/14/2004 -0400, you wrote:

Couplers are a funny thing, Andy. I know of at least two Master
Model Railroaders, both now deceased, who were still using Mantua loop
couplers into the late 1960's, in one case, and early 1970's, in the other
case. I think they both had so much equipment they just didn't want to

If I had a well established layout today, and no plans to do a major
makeover, I'd probably stay with Kadee 5's for everything just to remai
compatible. But lacking a real layout, and even though I've got tons of
rolling stock, only a small percentage of it is really "grade A" in that
it is up to my standards and fits my era, I can dabble a bit. But I will
end up making a choice at some point - either the operability between
different brands and styles of couplers will improve, or one brand will
emerge a clear winner. Right now, I'm using 58s but I'm not beyond
backtracking. However, once layout construction starts - a year or two
away I'm afraid - I will probably weigh my options and go with my best
gut feel. If I had to make that choice today, it would be the 58/78 head
and whatever draft gear works.


Why Backtrack when you are using, IMHO, the best product out there? Since
the 58's and then 78's were introduced my passenger car fleet has been
converted to them, largely the 58's. I understand Ben's point about the
"end view" but am not going to lose much seep over it or else nothing else
will get done. Any new freight cars constructed or purchased have also had
58's or 78's installed and the rest of that fleet will eventually get
converted as well.

Perhaps Kadee could have responded somewhat sooner to the need for bulk
packs of couplers, the need for something more to scale than the 4 and 5
types and saved themselves the loss of a few sales to the "competition".
From my own experience, however, those who have been wooed away to another
make have largely come back. Whether the naysayers like it of not, Kadee
couplers are still the only brand in town....and they will probably still
be around when all the others have gone the way of Mantua loops.

Just my two bits worth.

Don Valentine

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