Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Edwardg42, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Edwardg42

    Edwardg42 New Member

    Hi there-

    I know why I have the derail problem the question is, is there a way to fix it via the coupler? The engine just pulls the cars right off. (see attached pic)

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  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    You're running an engine with body-mounted couplers on a curve way too sharp for it.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Edward,

    Welcome to The Gauge!

    What radius are you running that engine on? And what engine is it? Kadee has a list of the recommended couplers for nearly all engines and rolling stock from all manufacturers. That might be a good place to start. Kadee also has some "specialty" couplers and draft boxes for special situations.

    Some problems like this are possible to fix. Others simply cannot be overcome, no matter how hard you try.

  4. abutt

    abutt Member

    Triplex is right. In the picture you're showing, the coupler's position should be much closer to the center between the rails, i.e., longer shank, greater "swing". As Andrew says, check Kadee's couplers. I'm reasonably sure you'll find the right one.

  5. Edwardg42

    Edwardg42 New Member

    The engine is an Athearn 4906, C44-9W, SP 8125. I am not sure what the radius is, I will have to measure that.

    My dad build the layout when I was a kid, and we just moved it up to my house for my son (and me of course).

    View attachment 25495

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  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I've tried installing longer shank couplers on my AC4400CW (the engines are almost identical except in detail). It works, but its still a little shaky if you ask me. i just went down to the layout to refresh my memory ( i haven't instlled a decoder in the AC4400CW yet) and it appeared to work when i pushed the locomotive by hand, but things seem to work differently when the actual motor is going. It should work though.

    Kadee #20 series is what you are looking for.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I also notice that the uncoupling wire on your coupler is bent at an odd angle. that may not be the cause, but you should twist it back to normal.

    also, are your cars outfitted with knuckle couplers? that would also explain it.

    In the end, you should really be running shorter locomotives on this layout. I wouldn't go any bigger than an SD45 on that kind of layout. some larger locomotives can handle it, ( IHC GG-1, SD75M, E60CP, 4-6-6-4 Challenger, to name a few that i happen to own) but you should stick to B40-8s, GP40s, or maybe in even SWs, that sort of thing. it will look more realistic, and operate better.
  8. Edwardg42

    Edwardg42 New Member

    All the couplers that I have are the plastic horn and hook couplers. No knuckle couplers. I was going to ask about that since the kadee couplers are all the knuckle type. I had never really thought about the engine length being an issue. I just picked up this engine at the local train museum fundraiser as a spur of the moment thing.

    Thank you for the locomotive suggestions.

  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: hi and welcome to the gauge.the guys are right thats way to long a loco for your layout another loco to run would be a BL2 the P2K ones run great:)
  10. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    If the couplers on the cars are truck mounted make them boby mounted this may help in the situation. Also use longer couplers in cars as well as the locomotive.
  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Wow, my eyes must really be getting bad. I was already nearsighted:rolleyes: :eek:
  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I think your layout has 15" radius curves, a BIG don't in the model railroading world. Reall truly they are ok, but only of you run short cars with 4 axle engines, I have 18" and 22" radius curves and I still don't even think of sticking a C44-9 or an SD-40 becuase they are six axle, and six ale diesels will not look or perform good on sharp curves, escpically on that STEEP, TURNING grade you have there.

    Try to convert or purchase any nice car, like Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, or Proto lifelike, they'll have knuckle couplers, which are more realistic and seldom give you trouble.

    You can't mix knuckle couplers with horn hook couplers, End of story.

    -Sorry to sound mean, but this is many hours of frustration that I've expirenced that I care not to have again, this is a friendly warning, because good track planning with your engines and rolling stock in mind, will leave you with infinite hours of Model Railroading Fun! :thumb:

    Please heed my word, if you don't want to become discouraged!
  13. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    If those are 15" curves, how are the wheels even on the track? thats trolley track!

    Anyway, 6 axle diesels will work. there are SD7s, SD9s, SD18s (I've seen them on Ebay), SD24s, RSD15s, RSC2s, RSD1/3s.

    If it is longer than a scale 65 feet, then you might have a problem. most early and second generation 6 axle diesels will work on 18" track and not look to horrible.
  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I agree on that statement, forgot to mention my SD7! oops! :oops:
  15. Edwardg42

    Edwardg42 New Member

    No worries, you clearly speak from experience. I just measured the tracks, all the curves use 18" tracks. Sounds like the C44-9 is just too long.

    All my cars have wheel mounted couplers so I will try a longer body mount coupler on the lead car. Failing that I will just get a shorter engine.

    I will have to look into the knuckle couplers going forward.

  16. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    You might want to also cut the trip pin on the coupler. If you don't mind using the 0-5-0 for uncoupling. The trip pin might be catching the rail in the corners. Unless you have a magnetic uncoupler.
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    don't be discouraged, the C44-9 will work.
  18. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    As a modeler who still has a number of cars with horn hook couplers I do agree that magnetics are the way to go but I'm slow to convert the equipment. I've cut the trip pins off of mine as Ed suggested above because they were somtimes getting fouled in turnouts and such. As for having to "0-5-0" to uncouple (I've always gotten a kick out of that expression! :) ) I found that a small three sided mini file is an ideal uncoupling tool for horn hooks.
  19. Edwardg42

    Edwardg42 New Member

    Yes, I had noticed that initially and nipped off the trip pin on the coupler. I have always used the 0-5-0 for uncoupling, lol. Never heard it expressed in those terms though.

    Can somone explain how the magnetic couplers work? I read the description on the kadee site, but is the only way to uncouple them using a magnet or is there a manual method as well?

  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The Kadee couplers have a little "gladhand" that hangs down under the knuckle. It is supposed to look like the airhose, and it does somewhat. The trick is that the uncoupling magnet placed between the rails (or under the track) pulls these gladhands in opposite directions, allowing the cars to uncouple. Does not work all that well, in part because it relies on perfect track, perfect rolling stock, and excellent slow (very slow) speed control. The magnets can also uncouple cars when you don't want them to.

    While I use Kadees for their reliability and appearance, I uncouple manually (using a bamboo skewer) so that I do not have to rely on the magnets, and so I can uncouple anywhere on the layout, not just over the magnets.


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