Scale Sized Couplers

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Like several others, I have the Proto:HO Accumate couplers for testing. While I wanted to try them in different environments before reporting back, I think I'll go ahead and comment.

First, regarding sizes:

One thing that needs to be understood is that real couplers were not all the same size and even shape. However, every knuckle I have seen in the '53 Frt Car Cyc drawings shows a height of 11". From here the sizes vary, but just looking at the type E coupler, the height of the body is about 17". The width at the widest point is about 16" and the width across the knuckle area is about 14.4".

Here's how the Kadee 58 and Proto Accumate compare to the Type E:

Knuckle Height:

Kadee: 12" Accumate: 12" Type E: 11"

Width at Knuckle:

Kadee: 14" Accumate: 13+" Type E: 14.4"

Height of Body:

Kadee: 15" Accumate: 14" Type E: 17"

Extreme Width:

Kadee: 18" Accumate: 18" Type E: 16"

The dimensions are fairly close. Real coupler shanks run from 5" to 8" or more. Both the Kadee and Accumate easily fall into this range being about 5". The lengths of shanks also appear to vary.

The one area in which the Accumate really stands out is the draft box. It's width is 18" whereas the Kadee...apparently using the standard Kadee 24". Real boxes appear to be about 13" wide.

Appearance wise...and, yes, this is entirely subjective...I prefer the Accumate...because it has no visible spring, the shape from the side appears prototypical and Dennis sent me free couplers. Actually, both couplers are real plusses for the prototype modeler. If the Accumate spinging mech holds up I will tend to go with it because of its appearance and the lack of a spring to fall the much better appearing draft box. Now, the proof of the puddin' is in the eatin'. If one of these couplers fails...sending a long string of N&W hoppers down Sherman Hill out of control into Laramie at 80 mph or so...everyone will hear about it everyone knows...N&W hoppers never made it to Laramie.

Mike Brock