Jump to content

Graham Farish & Knuckle couplings.


Recommended Posts

We are standardizing on Knuckle couplings on our current N Gaige Layout,

 

It was surprising to find that some items purchased last week ie 377-525C/235/390 ( the latter being triple packs of weathered wagons fairly recent releases) do not have the facility to easily fit knuckle plug in couplings, whilst the WD 2-8-0 loco received in the sam e order did!!

 

Other recent purchases Mk 1 coaches and EMUs do have suitable coupling packets fitted.

 

Any comments?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Farish are always including an NEM socket for couplings when they retool a chassis ... however, there are quite a lot of their "new(er)" wagons, first released in the early 2000's, that you might expect to have a socket as they're tooled to a high quality, but actually use the same clip-in coupling pocket as US Bachmann stock. Prime candidates are the VGA van, BR standard brake van, and other wagons released around that time.

 

This means you can use the Microtrains conversion kits for Bachmann N wagons (which include a replacement for the clip pocket), or perhaps some of the US Bachmann non-automatic knuckle couplers (similar to the old and long gone Red Caboose couplers, which everyone seems to talk about) - these are compatible with the Dapol NEM knuckles. Another option would be the Kato non-automatic knuckles, although these are a different shape. but might work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You may find that the 'new' wagons are just on and older underframe moulding whihc has the older style Rapido coupling and mounting box. The same goes for many locos that are released in diferent liveries.

 

The newer tooled locos (such as the newer class 47, class 60 etc) coaches and wagons will have the NEM style coupler box.

 

As to whether Farish will retool older items we will have to wait and see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of Farish's new items do not have NEM pockets, despite being all-new toolings. As far as I can tell these are all short-wheelbase wagons. The reason for this is that the NEM pocket is larger than a rapido box and there is physically not enough space for an NEM pocket without protruding beyond the buffer-beam.

 

I do not know of an easy solution to this conundrum. Dapol suggested on one thread that their new short-shanked knuckle coupler used in conjunction with their forthcoming conversion kit for non-NEM stock would be suitable for this situation. However I suspect that this may have been a statement of aspiration rather than a promise.

 

There may be workarounds such as having a translator vehicle at each end such as a brake van. This would need to be a vehicle with NEM pockets. You then leave the rapido shank at one end of the vehicle and put the replacement knuckle coupler at the other. This would suffice for running round trains or breaking them up into consists. It would not allow individual shunting of the affected wagons but then even with Dapol's new couplers, I am not quite sure if N gauge is ready for RTR shunting planks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have considered the use of a Convertor wagon etc

 

I must admit that as a long time user of \knuckle couplings on most of my layouts I find anything else to be a bit crude,

 

Why the major manufacturers still persist in rapido couplings on N Gauge, & hook & Loopd on 00 is beyond me, unless there is some sort of patent which prevents the use of Knuckles!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Knuckle couplings are compatible with all current Dapol models IIRC. However they won't become universal until something appears that is equally easily to fit and reliable in use with the pockets still used on many current Farish models not to mention a long list of non-current models.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why the major manufacturers still persist in rapido couplings on N Gauge, & hook & Loopd on 00 is beyond me, unless there is some sort of patent which prevents the use of Knuckles!

Simple inertia. It is a gamble to sell the first items that are not compatible with anything else. Dapol have done a nice job with the NEM knuckles but they have thoughtfully come up with a solution that is backwards compatible.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple inertia. It is a gamble to sell the first items that are not compatible with anything else. Dapol have done a nice job with the NEM knuckles but they have thoughtfully come up with a solution that is backwards compatible.

 

We will give them a go, already using Dapol on t 4 EMUs.

Its a regularly aired issue this one of couplings on N Gauge, I remember back in the late 60s early 70s there was some discussion in the magazines re the incompatability of some Rapido couplings on LIMA and Minitrix stock, when seemingly the same coupling would couple but phantom uncoupling occured, even on perfectly laid track!

 

Purely as a matter of interest here is a Farish WD with a Dapol Knuckle fitted.post-10539-0-34366900-1343724359.jpg

Edited by Stevelewis
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had major problems with stock uncoupling on Banbury . The worst culprits are the container flats that have NEM Rapido couplings. The older non NEM rapidos are genrally fine.

To get round the phantom uncoupling, I put a small amount of canopy glue in the NEM coupling box. This cured the problem with the shorter wagons such as the HYA coal hoppers.

 

However the longer container flats started derailing a lot more on the curves in the fiddleyard. The sharpest curve is 11.5" radius and some of these trains are about 10 feet long, so a lot of drag on them.

 

Fitting the Dapol magnetic couplers to these Container flats has cured both the uncoupling and derailements.

 

I have now started fitting the Dapol magnetic couplings to the HYA coal hoppers but not sure that it is really woirth it on these as they run in fixed 21 wagon trains.

 

On the Dapol Mk3 push pulls I have used the fixed knucle coupling that comes as an alternative in the packs. These have worked fine even when in push mode.

 

The one big thing I need to do now is to convert all the locos over to the Dapol magnetic couplings but most are Farish 66's which do not have the NEM box.

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think Farish are always including an NEM socket for couplings when they retool a chassis

 

 

Unfortunately not so. The recently retooled and released 22T Presflo bulk powder wagon doesn't have NEM sockets.

 

G.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why the major manufacturers still persist in rapido couplings on N Gauge, & hook & Loopd on 00 is beyond me, unless there is some sort of patent which prevents the use of Knuckles!

 

Until recently the design of Microtrains (& Kadee?) couplings was protected.

 

The manufaturers carry on releasing models with Rapido and tension lock couplings because that's what the majority of people have and are happy with. There are millions of models in use with the traditional style couplings so anything new has a lot of work to do to take even a small market share.

 

Those bothered about them enough to fit something else are very much in the minority.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

Edited by Steven B
Link to post
Share on other sites

Until recently the design of Microtrains (& Kadee?) couplings was protected.

 

The manufaturers carry on releasing models with Rapido and tension lock couplings because that's what the majority of people have and are happy with. There are millions of models in use with the traditional style couplings so anything new has a lot of work to do to take even a small market share.

 

Those bothered about them enough to fit something else are very much in the minority.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

 

Seems I am in the minority then!!

 

But at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that i am using couplings which actually do a better job ( I.E. they stay coupled and have the faclility to remotely uncouple when required!)

 

Interesting to note that all the major manufacturers of US outline H0 & N gauge standardised on Knuckle couplings several years back.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Having used Microtrains on my USA N scale stock, I was considering using them on my British stock until Dapol announced theirs.

 

Generally all my USA stock has Microtrains couplers but a few newer ones have the knuckle coupler fitted by the manufacturer. Those ones work OK but they are not as reliable as the Microtrains.

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to note that all the major manufacturers of US outline H0 & N gauge standardised on Knuckle couplings several years back.

 

Not entirely true in N-scale, as Walthers persisted until very recently in supplying Rapidos on their N-scale stock (calling then N-scale standard couplings, even though no other manufacturer was using them). Their acquisition of Life-Like seems to have mostly cured them of that silliness.

 

You do get the issue of not-quite compatible knuckles, though - MicroTrains, Accumate, McHenry, Kato, etc... I standardize on MicroTrains as they have the widest range of mounting options.

 

Adrian

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've taken to using the short Bachmann Dummy Knuckle couplers to replace the Rapido's on fixed rakes of Farish stock. They really close the coupling gap on coaching stock and work fine on a 9" radius with MK1's, 3's and 4's.

 

It looks like Bachmann have dis-continued these though, I haven't seen any for sale recently. Used to buy them in the 25 pair blister packs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Dapol did have their dummy knucles on their website recently. The pack contains a mixture of short and long though.

 

I spent part of last night fitting the longer Dapol ones to my HYA's. The short ones work fine on Dapol Mk3's on my curved tracks but they are too short on the HYA's. They also couple up fine with the Dapol magnetic couplers whihc I have installed on a few of the HYA's.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For Farish Freightliner hoppers on curves down to 15" I found the best compromise was for each pair to have one long and one short Dapol non-working knuckle. As well as closer coupling I've found these are much less prone to spontaneous uncoupling than the Rapidos are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that i am using couplings which actually do a better job ( I.E. they stay coupled and have the faclility to remotely uncouple when required!)

 

Only if they're properly installed and adjusted, but then the same is true for Rapidos. I've seen Microtrains coupled trains split at locations where Rapido couplings stay connected.

 

The standards for Microtrains couplings are generally more rigorously applied. That said

 

It doesn't matter what coupling you use, if your track is level and all your couplings are at the same height then you should never have anything uncouple unless you want it to.

 

Happy modelling.

 

Steven B.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For Farish Freightliner hoppers on curves down to 15" I found the best compromise was for each pair to have one long and one short Dapol non-working knuckle. As well as closer coupling I've found these are much less prone to spontaneous uncoupling than the Rapidos are.

 

That did seam the best optionand I think they would go round my 11.5" radius curves. However I suspect that when others are setting the stock up at shows they wuold forget to do this and we would have derailments so for now I will use the long ones.

 

My Dapol Mk 3's have short couplers but the DVT and loco have the long ones as these cant get set up incorrectly.

 

Stephen - All the NEM rapidos came as fitted to the stock (and there is little adjustment you can do to them) but they still came uncoupled (possibly due to the length of the train being run) even on plain level track. The Dapol and fixed knuckle ones run fine on the same track. The fiddleyard is used on a USA layout and not had any problems with the MIcrotrains couplers coming uncoupled. I do agree that if Microtrains are not set up correctly on items they are retrofitted to (especially if the tails are too low and catch on turnouts) then they will often come apart.

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.