Athearn rolling stock couplers

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by CAS, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I had just order my first Athearn rolling stock in n scale. I have a several in HO scale and really like them. So now on my n scale layout i will probably go with Atlas and Athearn rolling stock only.

    Here is what i ordered. and

    They say they come with
    Magnetically operated knuckle couplers.

    I want to use all MT couplers on my Loco's and rolling stock. Does anyone know what make these couplers are? And if they will work with MT's couplers?

  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I beleive the Athearn cars use the Accumate coupler. I've never used it in N scale, but in HO, it's not as satisfactory as a proper knuckle coupler. That said, there are no "proper" knuckle couplers in N scale, they're all the split-shank variety, even MT. FWIW, I don't think you can do better than the MT couplers, but the other magnetic knuckle-types are much better than Rapidos or dummy knuckles.

    I wouldn't limit yourself to just Atlas and Athearn rolling stock. These are the golden years for N scale - there's never been such variety in equipment available. Even Life Like and Bachmann, traditionally toy-train quality cars, are coming with fine flanges and knuckle couplers. Kato makes great cars too, as do MDC and Intermountain.
  3. CAS

    CAS Member

    I really like the MT's couplers, for some reason. The Accumate couplers, i really don't care for them at all. just had bad expereinces with them. Lost a few trip pins that went flying, while trying to adjust the trip pins on a couple of Atlas loco's.

    Haven't really seen any in C&NW colors. Will check into those, also.

  4. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    These are former Roundhouse products, with improved graphics, Accumate couplers, and "improved price" (grrr).

    You have a couple of choices: 1) Replace the whole truck assembly with an MTL product, I'd go with the Barber Roller Bearing type with medium extended coupler. 2) Cut off the Accumate couplers and body mount MTL couplers. I still know these by the old numbers but they would be either 1023's or 1015's. Mount them a bit outboard of the end of the body to simulate the cushion underframe on the cars.
  5. CAS

    CAS Member

    This what i was thinking about doing. And one of my next search, or question was. What is the Number for the MT couplers. But you, umtrr-author had answered it for me now (1023's - 1015's).

    But if the above quote is hard for me to do, i will go this way.
    Thanks, umtrr-author.
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Does that matter? When was the last time you saw a train that was a solid block of one roadname?

    OK, TrailerTrain and Husky Stacks don't count. ;)
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Add CSX,NS,DEEX unit trains as well as several outer railroads,UP,BNSF etc or privately own unit train such as AECX,NPPX,KCLX etc.Also look closer and you will see that pig/stack trains have cars from TTX,and several railroads.:D Now add hot steel slab trains..
    You are quite correct as far as general freight trains.
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Quite right Brakie... I don't see them around here, but captive-service coal trains and ore trains certainly do to... and the Tank Train, yadda yadda yadda. :)

    But those are all trains of 1 type of car - stack, well car, ore jinny, hopper... you don't often see mixed freight with all one roadname.
  9. CAS

    CAS Member

    In a way, it does to me.

    As Bruce Chubb wrote in his book (How to operate your model railroad). Achieving a realistic blend of freight cars.
    Home Road - 50%
    Primary connecting roads - 25%
    Secondary connecting roads - 15%
    Miscellaneous roads, private roads - 10%

  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Sorry CAS, you're right, you want to mix your fleet heavier on the home-road. The (obviously wrong) impression I had when I wrote that was that you weren't going to buy anything other than C&NW cars... :)
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Note that this mix doesn't apply to modern modelling - over 50% of freight cars are now private-owner.
  13. CAS

    CAS Member

    Hey Squidbait, no problem. There is no way that i was just gonna have all CNW cars on my layout. I need variety.

    brakie, Times have changed. I checked out the site, and i did notice the big changes in numbers. A big difference.

    As i qouted Bruce Chubb, above. I needed some reference numbers of the percentage of rolling stock to have on my layout. I didn't even think of the number could have change after all these years. I know the book was written some time ago, but that is the only available stats i had. I guess i should have googled for more recent numbers.
    Thanks for the updates.

  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    CAS,That freight car site was posted on another forum and I added it to my favorites for future modeling reference.
    What I would really like is freight car information for a medium size short line that handles say 30.000 cars a year.
    Now Bruce's book is still good for some eras of modeling but not for the mega merger eras of the last 15 years or if one wants to include CSX and NS the last 27 years.
  15. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    Larry, wouldn't the answer to your question depend on the industries that the medium sized short line served (assuming it's not a bridge line of some sort--- probably very rare indeed these days)?

    My guess is that a number of these shortlines have one or two predominant shippers and/or commodities shipped, and might even be owned by those shippers. Either that, or they're in one of the shortline "conglomerates" like RailAmerica or Genesee and Wyoming Industries.

    For example, I would say that the original Genesee & Wyoming here in Western New York does a fair amount of traffic, but that's dominated by the salt coming out of the mine at the end of that line. So the principal cars you see are covered hoppers of various types including GNWR and GWIX 2 bay centerflows.

    Thanks for the link also... in my favorites now as well.

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