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Blog- Up the Line - 1918 - The Thomas Coupling Affair - a perplexing mystery

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Having survived the crowds (and cancelled trains), involved in getting to, and getting around Warley show I have a loosely connected (honestly, I didn't mean that as a pun!), mystery.


I shall explain. As has become a tradition in these parts, our rail friendly friends came over from Hertfordshire with their little girl and her collection of small push along Thomas toys. Now, these toys have a very interesting feature which I am wondering if there is any use for in our pursuits, but I am at a loss to explain it (short of fatally dismantling one and even I am not cruel enough to do that). Alternatives then are to either buy one myself to destroy or pose the question here. Anyway, feature is that they couple magnetically but - and this is the bit of magic - they will still couple if you turn the wagons around. Now having a rudimentary grasp of physics I know that this is not typical behavior for magnets. They do seem to rattle a bit when you shake them so something is moving around in side the coupling block. Could it be a rectangular magnet that is free to spin about the center (a sort of 'T' arrangement?) so one end will always be able to attract the end of the other magnet?


Here are a couple of pics to illustrate - comments (sensible or otherwise!), would be most appreciated.


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  • blogentry-16008-0-08534300-1416781482_th


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