coal car bl ues

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Harp, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. Harp

    Harp New Member

    Trying to sort through all of the different coal car kits, when I finally find some that that I like. I start reading about different couplers and trucks and flanges. Is there a good line that offers the features that work the smoothest without a lot of changing out? Thanks.

  2. Railery

    Railery Member

    Hi Harp. i guess it depends how much u want to spend. Most of the higher priced cars come with a knuckle coupler. The lower priced come with the plastic coupler, or as some modelers say the throw away coupler. Usually most kits come with decent trucks. Its the modelers preference when they change the wheel sets and couplers. For example some modelers put on Kadees for the couplers and use Kadee wheel sets or some other metal wheel sets. Like i say modelers preference. :) i should note the higher priced cars are usually better detailed. U still may change the couplers and wheel sets though ;)
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Many folks will recommnend The Tool or the Exxact Socket . Either will do; they are one in the same, two diff manufacturers. The purpose is to clean out and reshape the bearing surface in the truck and make the wheels roll smoothly. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes!
  4. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Hi Harp,
    Welcome to The Guage.
    As Railery has said, the higher priced rolling stock (Atlas, Life-Like P2K)will come with metal wheels. However the couplers are plastic Kadee clones.
    I have some problems with the plastic couples in that they break at the shank and I think Gary had some where the plastic spring took a set and the coupler would not couple any more. I leave the plastic clones on until they cause a problem, then I change over to the metal Kadee's.
    I use Life-Like metal wheel sets. They improve the rolling qualities, keep the track cleaner and sound neat. As jon posted, I also use The Tool whenever needed.
    The only rolling stock that has the metal wheels and metal Kadee's are produced by Kadee. Very expensive IMHO.
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Marty is correct about the problem I had and it was caused by simply leaving a train parked on a downgrade. The couplers were pushed together and developed a "set" in the open position. Replaced with Kadee's and no further problem.
  6. Rusted

    Rusted Member

    I purchased a six pack of the Walther's bethgon coal porters for $55 and expected good performance out of the box.

    The stock couplers used to join the cars to each other are meant to be more scale in appearance but were very troublesome. They were very difficult to couple without taking them off the track and they lacked centering springs. Similar to the previous post, this caused derailments when sitting on a 2% grade with no more than 10 covered hoppers uphill from them.

    I've since replaced the stock - coal porter to coal porter couplers with the plastic imitation Kadee's that come on other Walther's kits (look fine, don't need the uncoupling action) and they've worked fine. The ends of the the 6 car unit are equipped with #5 Kadees for magnetic uncoupling, etc.

    It sure seems like someone should start including Kadee couplers on the mid price range cars!
  7. Harp

    Harp New Member


    Thanks for the help, feedback makes all of the difference.

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