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I still have some of the old 'hook & loop' couplers stashed in a "vintage" parts drawer.
IIRC, I never had an accidental uncoupling or derail with them.
They just looked terrible.
 

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They are fairly reliable as long as your trackwork is good. Same with the Fleishmann close-couplers.

I had one of the Roco hook-and-loop couplers get hung up on a buffer on one of my ÖBB coaches and changed them over to the close-couplers and solved the trouble.
 

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Excellent post!

Märklin is a proprietary AC model railroad system. It is not interchangeable with DC or DCC model railroads, although Märklin can be DCC and most of it today is, the same as other European DCC equipment.

Their couplers are often current-carrying and is used for lighting coaches and other electrically operated accesories on the coaches such as music, operating pans on restaurant coaches, and other lighting effects.

There is no standard coupler in Europe for use on models; the prototype coupler would be quite impossible to use for HO modeling although rivet counter model builders have replicated these, mostly for display purposes.

There are several popular couplers in use though and some are compatible with others and some are not.

Close-couplers used on Fleischmann, Roco, Pico, and other manufacturers are mostly used on passenger wagons and the coupling is bellows to bellows close. You can barely see light through some of these cars coupled together.

Ironically enough, these same manufacturers use the Roco type hook-and-loop type coupler on their locomotives. Don't ask me why. It's one of the mysteries of European model railroading. Locomotives from most major brands include a pair of both types of couplers.

TRIX also uses a universal coupler in that it mates with the Roco hook-and-loop type coupler very reliably, but it does not work with the Fleischman close-coupler. TRIX also includes a pair of different couplers with their locomotives and passenger wagons.

A.C.M.E. uses yet a third design which may be due to being an Italian made product. They are not compatible with anything and must be changed out to one of the above types. They too include Roco style hook-and-loop type couplers.

Most European model railroaders opt for one of the two pictured, however, I use both depending upon what works better with the locomotive/ first car combination. All of my passenger coaches use the Fleischmann close coupler throughout the train. The one exception in my TRIX Era III/IV coaches and they use the TRIX universal coupler. It's only universal in that it will couple with Roco hook-and-loop type.

There are several other types available I won't go into here. These are the most common.

Prototype couplers available from Märklin. Cumbersome and difficult to couple cars together without small hand toolsÖ



Roco type coupler made by Fleischmann:



Fleishmann close-coupler for passenger coaches:

MichaelE;

Thank you for a truly excellent post! I hope you will repost this info on European couplers inside the "Help a new modeler to get started" sticky post at the top of the "Beginner's Q&A" section, so it will be saved as a reference for others interested in European railway modeling, or simply trying to identify "what that weird-looking coupler is" on some car they bought second hand.

Thanks;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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I think CTValley meant to say "rails", not "trails" too. However, its still an excellent reply to the OP's questions. Minor typos corrected by Traction Fan :D
Yeah, my fingers just keep getting fatter with age! Thanks for the correction.
 

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Just a quick question.....why is the development of a superior type of track "unfortunate"? I am confused.....:confused:
Because if the OP's track is as old as he's implying, then what he has is the old brass stuff, which we all agree is inferior. So what he should do (and I eventually did) is replace all that old brass with newer, better rail. So it's unfortunate that he's stuck with the inferior product.

Any other self-explanatory comments you'd like me to explain, just ask! :D
 

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I used to do some HO scale model railroading way back when. Lately I really want to get back to it. I am not looking to spend a lot in the start but at the same time do not want to waste my money.
Lots of good advice here. I would say only these things, based on what appears to be a desire to keep your budget down.

1) Go with plain (no roadbed) code 100 Nickel Silver track. All but the largest flange vintage locos will run on it, it's affordable and it should be compatible across brands. Atlas is the most common in the US, but it's entirely compatible with Peco, Shinohara, etc. so whatever happens to be available in Mexico will work together.

2) Even though I'm a complete cheapskate, I recommend going with KD's for any trains that you want to be interchangeable. Simply, nothing is as reliable, functionally sound and generally easy to install as KD's The #148's in particular are a very easy install.

Good luck!
 

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Rolling stock weight?

What is what is a good item to use to bring up the weight of
ones rolling stock. What technique is used?
Thank you,
Regards,tr1
 

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Weights

What is what is a good item to use to bring up the weight of
ones rolling stock. What technique is used?
Thank you,
Regards,tr1
tr1;

I often replace the steel weights that come in some cars, with brass, lead, or other non-magnetic material. This is to prevent the steel weight from being pulled in close to a magnetic uncoupling ramp, and messing up the uncoupling operation. I also replace steel-axled wheelsets for the same reason. Newer high quality cars are coming with non-magnetic weights and wheelsets from the factory. Micro-Trains is one example. Aftermarket, replacement wheelsets from Fox Valley Models, Intermountain, and Micro-Trains, also come with non-magnetic materials used for the wheels and axle.

As for material, if it's heavy, it will work. I try to get the weight as low down and centered as possible. Buckshot in the center sill, or bismuth alloy in the same location works. Lead fishing sinkers are another good weight.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 
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