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· Registered
79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. Since I was visiting here peeking in, I thought maybe I could ask a question.

I just read your extensive, and very informative information on the Milk Car, which probably applies to my newly acquired red and black Coal Hopper car too.

Just bought this Hopper Car and had heard about the coupler height differences in certain ones, and I just experienced it. I got a good buy on this hopper car, and it is in good shape and everything works, but the couplers on it are almost 1/4 inch higher than my other cars I recently acquired. Does anyone know of an adaptor or has anyone made any adaptors that I could get to match them up?

If it had not been that my daughter gave me this 225E for Fathers' Day a few years back, I wouldn't put all this money into cars, but I want to have it running soon for her to see.

This Pre-war stuff can be a challenge when it comes to the many types of couplers and the different heights in them too, especially when I am just learning about Pre-war. Fascinating, yet also frustrating.

I know, welcome to the world of toy trains. :(:(:):):D:D:D

Any help would be appreciated.


· Premium Member
16,705 Posts
In the Lionel O family, pre-war couplers had 3 evolutions: latch, box (both with and without black covering), and knuckle. None are directly interchangeable. I have a few pre-war locos and cars, and have yet to mate this to that, re: differing couplers.

One common solution is to modify a freight car with one type of coupler on one end, and another on the other end, such that the car can bridge any desired consist.



· Yard Master & Research
12,459 Posts
Out of luck

The quarter inch doesn't surprise me. Some cars are huge and just can't be expected to work with all of them. The 800 cars would be an example. You would not expect to pull them with a Lionel junior. They would fit the 225e, I think. My 249e is the same, a larger car fits better. I can pull smaller cars by just changing the tender that has a draw bar adjusted to the height of the Loco.
I have bent the latch couplers to fine tune.

To a certain extent this goes into postwar also. The couplers mate better but some cars can appear to be out of proportion. I did investigate my old cars and most have the latch couplers that are bent down to a lower level as shown.

All of these will latch up but I can see with other couplers there is a problem of height.
The first sign of this problem in prewar was the 249e tender. It was a adjusted box type and bent to step to latch to the engine. After getting an original tender I started lookimg for cars to match in height and found the 610 and 612 coaches. For a solution, it is a matter of planning on what you get. I now have engines to suit both sizes.



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