Dummy coupler

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by gmbrd, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. gmbrd

    gmbrd New Member

    Can someone tell me why Rivarrosi and any other manufacturers put those rigid non movable plastic fake couplers on the front of their engines? I recently acquired a Rivarrosi Mikado and it has that kind of front coupler.
  2. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    You know I always wondered that myself but was afraid to ask! You pay so much for those engines you think they would be able to put a decent coupler on the front.:eek:
  3. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    gmbrd, I think there are at least a couple of reasons for there being dummy couplers on the front of steamers.

    My thoughts on it are:-
    1) The vast majority of manufacturers are producing toys (some to very high standards but toys nonetheless) therefore they are usually to pull trains.

    2) The manufacturers are stuck between having a good representation of the pilot as so many folkes are fussy about the looks of their locos as against an ugly horn/hook coupler on a makeshift pilot.

    3) They rekon modellers are an inovatave bunch who will find a way of fitting whatever type of coupler they need.

  4. gmbrd

    gmbrd New Member

    Thanks for the input Kettlesack, I think your second suggestion fits best. On the Rivarossi, the dummy coupler is molded with the pilot (cow catcher?).
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Possibly also why Hornby Dublo didn't put an autocoupler on the front of their express engines.

    You will find when you try to replace the dummies that the Kadee uncoupling pin forces your coupling to stick out so far that it looks awkward.
  6. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Same Question?

    I have the same question. I have one on my Rock Island Doodlebug. This is a Spectrum product.


    Attached Files:

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    offside topic

    Ahhhhh..... Doodlebugs!
    I have a UP Doodlebug (that I bashed into a VR Derm). and it has the "fixed" coupler on the front too.
    However, What did Doodlebugs tow along behind them? Another Doodlebug (backwards) Anything? Maybe flat freight cars?? Also they must have "turned" them for the return journey. Did they do this?

    Attached Files:

  8. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Real Doodlebug


    Here is a picture of a Rock Island Doodlebug. It's pulling a few passenger cars. I have also seen pictures of doodlebugs pulling gondola and box cars.


    Attached Files:

  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member



    Is that a Doodlebug? I thought they were very specific looking passender railcars........

    Is "Doodlebug" a generic term of some sort?
  10. BDC

    BDC Member


    Doodlebugs were built however the buyer wanted them to be. All passenger, all baggage, a mix of both, or what have you. Even the model RR makers admit that they don't follow a specific prototype because there is no set plan for a doodlebug. They just make it they way they want to. Kinda like how Con-cor paints it's locos!;)
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'm going to disagree with you about the item in the picture. Unless RI called it a doodlebug for their own reasons, I think its a locomotive.

    But, man, what you have in your picture is something even rarer than a doodlebug. RI had 2 E6 B units built with a baggage compartment inplace of one engine, a cab and a headlight. The unit ran behind the regular locomotive, but when the train split, the B took one section while the A took the other. The idea was that the B unit would fit into the streamlining rather than running them nose to tail.
    (details from the Diesel Spotter's Guide)
  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    "To Doodlebug, or not to Doodlebug....... That is the question"

    BTW.... is that a sonar dome above the headlights????;)

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