Re: Kadee minimum body box widths and #4 couplers

Charlie Vlk


Even Kadee cast metal couplers will fail now and then in hard operation.

However, HO operators around here (Chicago area) generally convert over to the Kadee couplers, some allowing the OEM plastic jobs to fail in service first, others before they put the car on the layout.

I think the major argument against the clones is that the plastic centering springs are not as reliable as the Kadee metal stamped or whisker springs. Cars left in staging between sessions on a curve don't center as well even though some manufacturers state this is not so. All I know is that what I've observed... the layout owners replace the couplers with Kadees. I don't know what the experience has been with the new metal Life-Like and Canadian Kadee knuckle couplers.... perhaps they won't be replaced.

Same is true in N Scale with Micro-Trains.... although the new McHenry couplers haven't been out long enough for us to make a determination about them. They have molded-in acetal springs for centering even though they have the Kadee No.5 -style knuckle spring, so the centering action will have to be monitored. The Accurail coupler licensed to Atlas and used OEM on a number of brands are not well-regarded, but they do solve the "draft gear bounce" problem of the M-T couplers as they have a fixed center post pivot in their design instead of the floating spring.

Charlie Vlk

Join to automatically receive all group messages.