Cheap loco with rapido coupler ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Biased turkey, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I want to purchase the Atlas track cleaning car.It has rapido couplers so I have various options for coupling it with a locomotive having Accumate or MTL couplers:

    1) Replace the track cleaning car couplers with truck ( 1129 ) or body ( 1015 ) mounted MTL couplers.

    2) Get a freight car with rapido couplers ( Walthers ballast hopper for example ) and converting 1 end with a MTL 1129 truck mounted coupler.

    Going that way, I'll have to buy the couplers, the MTL N-scale coupler starter kit with the jig etc... plus the freight car.

    At my age ( 58 ) I don't feel like assembling those knuckles, springs , gearboxes and other tiny parts.

    Another option , and maybe the best in my case , would be to get a locomotive equiped with rapido couplers and using it exclusively for track cleaning.
    So, could anyone recommend a cheap locomotive equiped with rapido couplers ?

    tia for any suggestion.
  2. train1

    train1 Member

    Biased turkey - #2 is the easiest.
    Buy a good rail car with rapido couplers (remove 1 truck assembly) - then get a package of preassembled trucks with M/T's and create a conversion car. Cheaper in the long run.

    We have a couple of these on our club layout for those who remain 'uconverted'.

    If you really want to do it right... I paid 15 bucks and had a guy in London Ontario change my Atlas cleaning car to M/T's.
    Don't ruin the look of a nice loco with rapidos - my opinion
  3. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I would go with number 3. You can buy a very cheap locomotive that you will use exclusively for pulling that track cleaning car. I only say that because you said you wish to stay away from any convertions. Buy a cheap Bachman or Life Like or Con Cor loco for 10 dollars and clean your track. Some couplers can cost about the same as those cheap locos. I know the 1129s are like 4 bucks though.
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    To Train1:
    I would appreciate if you can come with real data:
    N car manufacturer and model number + the matching MTL truck assembly for the conversion

    To SeriousSam: I don't want to stay away from any convertion. I'm ready to give a try at some pre-assembled couplers or some complete truck assembly, what I want to avoid is assembling a coupler from scratch and particularly some models ( like # 1129 ) that don't even let you use the assembling jig included in the MTL starter kit.
    I'm still surfing the web to find a cheap N scale loco equiped with rapido couplers, any specific suggestion ? ( manufacturer and model # ) ?

    Thanks to both of you for taking some of your time to reply.
  5. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    I have assembled many couplers from scratch. At the beginning, they were a pain in the butt. Eventually, you develop the skill. Still, I would rather not do it because it sucks when you lose a spring or any other part. I dont know what your intentions are with your track cleaner. I mean, will it be permanently on your layout along with the rest of the rolling stock? Will you only bring it out to clean the track? If you will do the latter, find yourself a cheap Life Like locomotive. Dont buy any of the Proto 2000 models, for these are the new Life Like and are a lot more expensive and have knuckle couplers. There is another thread that discusses a Life Like GP18 and they say it runs real smooth...and I must agree because I own two. You can get one for 15, maybe 10 dollars on Ebay. These older runs come with Rapido couplers so you dont have to worry about the conversion.
  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    To SeriousSam:
    "Will you only bring it out to clean the track?"


    "There is another thread that discusses a Life Like GP18 and they say it runs real smooth...and I must agree because I own two"
    I know, I started that thread lol
  7. SeriousSam

    SeriousSam Member

    oh ok then. Then thats your loco right there. or a life like gp38. those work real good too and are very cheap

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