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Close-Coupling Bachmann 4CEP/411 and Thumper Units


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When I bought my first 4-CEP (aka class 411) my excitement on receiving such an excellent model was slightly tempered by the length of the conductive coupling, resulting in clear daylight between the coaches. This was in contrast to the Bachmann MK1s that close-couple beautifully using the Hornby version of the Roco coupler, and with the shorter Roco coupling the same effect being obtained with Hornby's Maunsell coaches. But without the conductive couplings the lights and head codes on the trailer coaches would not be usable.

 

Then the 2EPB (aka class 416) arrived with a much shorter coupling, and this unit close-coupled perfectly.  Sadly the 2EPB coupling was too short for the 4CEP.  And then the Thumper arrived with the 4CEP coupling, and the 2EPB one was also too short. I calculated that something midway between the two would work.

 

That is now available - namely the version for the class 101 which Bachmann have just made available as spares in a pack of 4 (item number 36-066). For reference, here's a picture of the respective couplings. Note that the 4CEP was first supplied with long and short couplings although there's little difference in length.  From the top the picture shows 4CEP (long), 4CEP (short), 101 and 2EPB.

 

Cpl_zpsniszvaro.jpg.42948aa54e09b7f6d0631f401543ee05.jpg

 

 

 

Here's the 101 coupling fitted to a 4CEP -

 

CEP_zpsr3cwbx7t.jpg.540572b199ed917f343f9b1bd98cfad7.jpg

 

 

And to a Thumper -

 

Thumper_zps0usezz3m.jpg.9e8250ee67c7865f6673f316020bd20f.jpg

 

 

The corridor connectors (4CEP) and rubbing faces (Thumper) touch on straight track, and the CCMs take care of the curved track.

 

I should point out that all my track is Peco code 75 and all points are 36" or higher radius.  Plain track dips below that in places in the storage yard but not below about 28-30 inches. Also I had a problem with one of the 4CEP coaches that derailed a couple of times, but then I remembered it had done this before with the longer coupling.  Its CCM at one end was tighter than on the other coaches. I had to take the body off, and unscrew the seating unit to examine it.  It was catching on one side, but once freed up everything was fine. I just had to remember to re-assemble the coach the same way round to ensure the pickups had the correct polarity.

 

Very pleased with the improved appearance!

 

It might be the case that owners of class 101 units could obtain closer coupling with 2EPB couplings but I don't have a 101 to test this out.

 

Edited by RFS
Pictures re-inserted
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for that.

There have been numerous occasions when I've been sat looking at my thumper wondering how I could get the two halves to sit closer together whilst keeping the lights. This will do the trick nicely.

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I'm very pleased with the results on my stock.  Having tried one Thumper and one 4CEP I've since bought 4 more packs and completed my other Thumper and 4CEPs.  One problem I found was that some of the couplings were a tight fit in the pockets. And in a couple of cases the coupling fell to bits when pushed home.  Both were from the same packet so I returned that packet to Hatton's for a replacement.  You do need to hold the NEM pocket tightly with one hand while pushing the coupling in. 

 

Also I found another 4CEP coach with a slightly sticky CCM. I had noticed that this coach sometimes swayed through points although it never actually derailed. But its CCM had become partly displaced so it was off with the body and seating unit to fix.

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 Very useful to know. Would you happen to know if this would work on the Bachmann Class 150.

 

Can't help you there as I don't have a class 150 to try it on.  You may just have to experiment ....

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Have updated the first post in this topic to replace the photos that were kindly deleted by Photobucket ...

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55 minutes ago, Mike Storey said:

Many thanks for this - I missed it first time around. Looks like an ideal solution for my 4 CEPs. Has it been tried on 4 VEP's by anyone?

 

 

 

The Hornby VEPs have a different type of conductive coupling so these Bachmann ones would not fit.

 

A further update is that the Bachmann 4TC produced since I wrote this also has a different coupling. It's 4-pole but fortunately the coaches couple quite close together so I've not found the need to change anything. 

Edited by RFS
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1 hour ago, Dogmatix said:

What we need now is a way of fitting close coupling couplers (no; Kadees will not do) to the outer ends of the units (as Bachmann failed to do so) so we can couple units together as well.

 

What do you mean exactly, if Kadees will not do? Do you mean electrical coupling (I am not sure how that would work on DCC) or something else? If something else, do you mean something like this (even though the pipes would be at the wrong height, but perhaps better than nothing)?

 

http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com/p/28308/36-060-Bachmann-Coach-Close-Coupling-Vacuum-Pipes

 

Or maybe the Keen systems (although my limited experience of them suggests a lot of work would be needed on the ends of 4 CEP units)?

 

I am not sure what you are looking for? 

 

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I was clearly insufficiently clear.

 

When I talk of close coupling, I mean the sort of close coupling that has been standard on continental HO models for over thirty years. The system involve mounting NEM pockets on a cam system such that the pocket extends lengthways when pivoted to one side. The purpose of this is that wagons and coaches can be coupled buffer-to-buffer, corridor connection to corridor connection, and yet not lock buffers on the small-radius curves typically found on most model railways.

 

For this system to work, the coupler heads, when coupled, must form a rigid, straight connection. Only such coupling heads can properly action the close-coupling cam. Roco, Fleischmann and others supply such heads, and Hornby supply a slightly longer version of the Roco one. Non-rigid couplers, such as hook-and-bar (tension lock) or Kadee buckeye couplers, cannot.

 

Close coupling cams are now fitted to some OO models, but most modellers seem to ignore them, and use standard tension lock coupler, and put up with (or just not notice) the big gaps between wagons and coaches.

 

It is possible to retro-fit close coupling cams, but can be tricky when space is limited. As it is on the outer ends of Bachmann EMUs.

 

Yes, if your track is dead straight, you can get Kadee couplers to provide buffer-to-buffer coupling. If your buffers and corridor connectors are sprung, you can have very gentle curves. But even such layouts often have sharper curves and points in hidden sections and fiddle yards.

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On 12/03/2019 at 17:05, Dogmatix said:

What we need now is a way of fitting close coupling couplers (no; Kadees will not do) to the outer ends of the units (as Bachmann failed to do so) so we can couple units together as well.

 

Bear in mind that the Bachmann EMUs have their buffers in the retracted position, so even without a CCM it's possible to couple them quite closely together with Kadees.  I'll get up to the layout tomorrow and take a couple of pictures to show the effect on mine. 

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  • 10 months later...
On 28/01/2016 at 20:26, RFS said:

When I bought my first 4-CEP (aka class 411) my excitement on receiving such an excellent model was slightly tempered by the length of the conductive coupling, resulting in clear daylight between the coaches. This was in contrast to the Bachmann MK1s that close-couple beautifully using the Hornby version of the Roco coupler, and with the shorter Roco coupling the same effect being obtained with Hornby's Maunsell coaches. But without the conductive couplings the lights and head codes on the trailer coaches would not be usable.

 

Then the 2EPB (aka class 416) arrived with a much shorter coupling, and this unit close-coupled perfectly.  Sadly the 2EPB coupling was too short for the 4CEP.  And then the Thumper arrived with the 4CEP coupling, and the 2EPB one was also too short. I calculated that something midway between the two would work.

 

That is now available - namely the version for the class 101 which Bachmann have just made available as spares in a pack of 4 (item number 36-066). For reference, here's a picture of the respective couplings. Note that the 4CEP was first supplied with long and short couplings although there's little difference in length.  From the top the picture shows 4CEP (long), 4CEP (short), 101 and 2EPB.

 

Cpl_zpsniszvaro.jpg.42948aa54e09b7f6d0631f401543ee05.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I require the shorter drawbar for the 4CEP Class 411 (2nd down in the above photo), but can not find a part no. for it. The longer drawbar (top in photo) is part no. is 36-063. Can anyone help?

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