Re: Kadee minimum body box widths

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

I started thinking about this when I noted Jon Cagle's Southern Car &
Foundry Standard tank cars have narrow boxes and use Kadee whiskers.
They probably can be coupled car to car on an 18" radius curve
because the distance from pivot to truck center is relatively short
to - say - a 40' AAR boxcar.

Jon Cagle's tank cars do not use the Kadee "whisker" couplers. They
use a standard #78 centered by a coil spring aligned with the shank
that is inset into a notch in the back end of the shank (this
application is unique (to my knowledge), and is very creative.

A standard "whisker" coupler would not likely fit in the same space
even if the whiskers were removed.

It is very important to recognize that Kadee's wire whiskers are
carefully engineered so as to allow positive centering while at the
same time allowing just enough easy radial movement of the coupler
within the box it was designed to operate in, e.g. the industry
standard Athearn/Kadee variety. If the coupler is jammed into ever
more narrow boxes, the resistance to radial movement is ever
increased to the an end point of no coupler movement at all. How does
one manually center a coupler that is in such a straight jacket?

The same observation can also be made for other makes of couplers with
integral self centering spring features. They are all designed to
operate within certain box widths, and cannot be expected to work as
well otherwise.


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