Accurail Accumate Couplers- Quality????

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by alexander, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. alexander

    alexander Member


    what are the quality of these couplers, and how well are they? (i'm looking for variants to the Kadee coupler). How Reliable are they, and how well will they run in general?

    do they support Magnetic uncoupling?


  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Stick with the Kadees if you can. While the Accu-mates (and Bachmann EZ-mates) are compatible with Kadee, I have found that they don't perform as well or as reliably as the "real thing".

    McHenry might be the only one I would consider as a long-term alternative to Kadees, but even they are made from plastic.

  3. alexander

    alexander Member

    yeh, i know Plastic arent the greatest, but, i only ever run trains shorter than 10 cars and never fast.

    Arent Bachmanns just Mchenrys rebadged for Bachmann?

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I don't know about the "rebadging", but the full McHenry line has almost as many variations as Kadee to fit your particular application.

    Re: long trains - I do like to run the long trains, and the metal couplers are really a requirement for this. At we get the chance to run 60+ car trains after regular operating hours, so there can be a lot of strain on those head-end couplers...!

  5. alexander

    alexander Member

    yeh, i'll see how a few go, i'll prolly buy s few of each brand
  6. hminky

    hminky Member

    I use the Accumate Proto:HO's and I really like them. They look more like the prototype than the Kadee 58's which really look like nothing found in nature.

    They require drill and tapping but give a better looking coupler and couple better than the KD's.


    Just a thought
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The Accumate Proto:HO's. They look more like the prototype than the Kadee 58's which really look like nothing found in nature. They give a better looking coupler and couple better than the KD's. Absolutely, under the right circumstances. On a portable, modular layout, where every four feet is a disaster in waiting........,not always. Vertical changes in track, must be kept to a very definite minimum, and grade changes must have easements, especially where longer cars ( passenger, autoracks, 80+' flatcars, etc.) are used. The problems are more evident in longer trains.
    There is no one coupler to use everywhere. The choice has to include appearance, sensitivity to grade/height change, lengths, and weights of trains. For the kinds of trains I run, in the environments I run in, Kadee #5 couplers work best. I do, however, have rolling stock that run with Kadee #58's, and can see the benefit of changing these to Accumate proto, for appearance. In these cases, I would clip the magnetic pins, because air hoses are already installed, and I usually iuse a manual uncoupling tool.
    That's a good idea! It's a bit of work, but,trying each type, in a train of like couplers, would be a good way to determine which works best for your specific application. I don't have a problem with having two different coupler types, one for reliable operation, and one for photo purposes, if one or the other doesn't provide consistant service.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That is also a great point above - about the operating environment. WIth the modules, we do indeed get the occasional "ski jump" that will leave half your passenger consist behind due to unwanted uncoupling.

  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I always hear that Accumates and other plastic couplers (in both HO and N) are quite weak, unable to handle 40-60 car trains. This always reminds me of the Model Railroader magazine review which said that Accumates could handle a drawbar pull equivalent to over 1000 (!) cars and that they were essentially unbreakable in actual use.
  10. alexander

    alexander Member

    yeh, well, it doesnt take much to beat a Horn Hook, thats what i currently use
  11. KCS

    KCS Member

    I've sheared a Kadee off in consist. It was 3-4 cars back behind the head end on a train that had somewhere between 130-140 cars. Every year we go to Shrinrs Hospital to set up a handful of us on the weekends when no one is there get together and see how long of a train we can pull and how many times it'll go around before it breaks in half or just plainly get's so heavy that it pull's all the car's off in the curves. It can be done because it has been. I don't use Kadee's anymore though. I'm with Sergent couplers and that's where I'm staying.
  12. alexander

    alexander Member

    what are sergent couplers like?
  13. fseva

    fseva Member

    Closest to prototype

    :thumb: If you really want a prototypical look, use the Sergent's! However, realize that they have NO trip pin, so they are not automatic. However, they do look as close to prototype as I've seen. And they are now available completely assembled, even in a draft gear box, if you want.

    :thumb::thumb: For a direct replacement of your hornhooks, I would recommend McHenry Scale Couplers. They look pretty real, they work reliably, and they're easy to install.
  14. fseva

    fseva Member

    Atlas believes in them...

    Yes, they are magnetic, but they don't attract me! sign1

    Seriously, the Accumates are used on Atlas locomotives, and they come in 2-parts. To me, that's on par with the older Kadee's that have their centering spring separate from the coupler. You can do much better, if you're going to take the time to replace the existing ones! :thumb:
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know if the accumates have changed since the first versions came out. I tried out some of the early versions that the coupler was made in 2 parts and kind of split between the two pieces to uncouple. The problem I found occured in backing a cut of cars while switching. The Accumates would consistently go to the uncoupled position and then lock there with the weight of a few cars in front of them. Another problem I found on longer cars like 85 foot passenger cars is that the knuckle would be forced open and lock in the open position if the car had to negotiate a tight curve. When they would lock open, I would have actually use my hands or a small tool to force them closed in order to move the train forward. For reliable operation on a modular set up, Kaddee #5's are unbeatable. They are made of metal, dead reliable, and big enough to compensate for uneven joiner tracks and whoops in a modular set up. I haven't used Sergents, but plan to try them on a home layout when I build it. Being an accurate scale sized representation of a prototype coupler, I don't think they will work well over bad track, or the occasional "whoop" found in a modular set up.
  16. fseva

    fseva Member

    Sergent Couplers

    They are supposed to be able to uncouple on a curve, which Kadee-compatibles can't do. :thumb:
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That in addition to their looks is why I want to try them on my home switching layout when our house remodel is done so I can start building my home layout. When I talk about "whoops", I'm talking about vertical curves. It seems that no matter how careful we are in doing the set up with the modular club, we end up with a few vertical curves between modules where a scale sized coupler will uncouple on long equipment.

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