Model Train Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have been working on the N scale layout since around November or so and started out with all rapido couplers( cause I didn’t know better then) and I’ve yet to have a train make it around the layout more that once or twice without detailing! Traction fan instructed me on how to repair my turnouts and I’m going to do everything he said. However I haven’t started on that yet. My son in law got me a knuckle coupler engine for Christmas and so now I have to have all knuckle coupler stuff!! So the question is this. I bought an engine and cars yesterday at a train show and it’s all knuckle couplers and it made it around the track 10 plus times!! So I got thinking obviously the knuckle couplers are way better looking and in function but because they are shorter than the hokey rapidos do they not push the cars off the tracks? Has anybody changed all their couplers over and had the same results? I’m thinking the rapidos are so long they have Enough leverage to push the cars on the turns?https://youtu.be/F0ovm-ZzlLc
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,744 Posts
I'm trying to figure out your terminology....when you say "push" the cars off the track, what do you mean? The cars are being "pulled" by the locomotive, unless you are in reverse and "pushing" them....:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm trying to figure out your terminology....when you say "push" the cars off the track, what do you mean? The cars are being "pulled" by the locomotive, unless you are in reverse and "pushing" them....<img src="http://www.modeltrainforum.com/images/smilies/confused.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Confused" class="inlineimg" />
Yes pulling cars what I’m taking about is as the front car swings into the turn can the movement of the rear end of that car push the front of the next car sideways enough on turn outs to literally push the wheels out of the rails? I know they have centering springs to prevent it but do they? It seams with the much shorter reach of the knuckles the cars stay on much better. I guess the best way I can explain it is if you tow a trailer with a motor home the over hang past the wheels flings the trailer around. If you pull the same trailer with a pick up there is far less overhang so that sideways force isn’t there? Does that help?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Yes pulling cars what I’m taking about is as the front car swings into the turn can the movement of the rear end of that car push the front of the next car sideways enough on turn outs to literally push the wheels out of the rails? I know they have centering springs to prevent it but do they? It seams with the much shorter reach of the knuckles the cars stay on much better. I guess the best way I can explain it is if you tow a trailer with a motor home the over hang past the wheels flings the trailer around. If you pull the same trailer with a pick up there is far less overhang so that sideways force isn’t there? Does that help?
If the couplers on the two cars are the same length and rigid it should not push the following car sideways - it should pull it on a tangent to the curve of the track. Imagine ridiculously long couplers a foot long. The couplers would stick way out over the edge of the track, but the following car would be nearly 2 feet behind being pulled in the line of its own coupler on a tangent to the curve. If the couplers are flexible they may get pulled into a common line which would exert a sideways force on both cars. If the coupler on the second car is shorter, then it would get pulled more to the side, off the track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yes pulling cars what I’m taking about is as the front car swings into the turn can the movement of the rear end of that car push the front of the next car sideways enough on turn outs to literally push the wheels out of the rails? I know they have centering springs to prevent it but do they? It seams with the much shorter reach of the knuckles the cars stay on much better. I guess the best way I can explain it is if you tow a trailer with a motor home the over hang past the wheels flings the trailer around. If you pull the same trailer with a pick up there is far less overhang so that sideways force isn’t there? Does that help?
If the couplers on the two cars are the same length it should not push the following car sideways - it should pull it on a tangent to the curve of the track. Imagine ridiculously long couplers a foot long. The couplers would stick way out over the edge of the track, but the following car would be nearly 2 feet behind being pulled in the line of its own coupler on a tangent to the curve. If the coupler on the second car is shorter, then it would get pulled more to the side, off the track.
Ok just trying to figure out why the knuckle coupler cars stay on and the rapido coupler cars not as well. I have metal and plastic wheels in both styles that doesn’t seem to make the difference. Ok how about this then? Can the rapido couplers somehow lift the car up? Were the knuckles slide up and down through each other better? Just asking I know they are are all spring centered so I don’t see how there is such a performance difference or is it something else all together?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,744 Posts
Well, whatever the reason, it's obvious that the knuckle couplers are superior to the old Rapido's, so use the knuckle couplers....

It makes no sense trying to figure out why, when you have a solution right in your hands...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, whatever the reason, it's obvious that the knuckle couplers are superior to the old Rapido's, so use the knuckle couplers....

It makes no sense trying to figure out why, when you have a solution right in your hands...
Just don’t want to replace 200 couplers only to find out that wasn’t the answer, but that I was missing something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,665 Posts
It's not the couplers

So I have been working on the N scale layout since around November or so and started out with all rapido couplers( cause I didn’t know better then) and I’ve yet to have a train make it around the layout more that once or twice without detailing! Traction fan instructed me on how to repair my turnouts and I’m going to do everything he said. However I haven’t started on that yet. My son in law got me a knuckle coupler engine for Christmas and so now I have to have all knuckle coupler stuff!! So the question is this. I bought an engine and cars yesterday at a train show and it’s all knuckle couplers and it made it around the track 10 plus times!! So I got thinking obviously the knuckle couplers are way better looking and in function but because they are shorter than the hokey rapidos do they not push the cars off the tracks? Has anybody changed all their couplers over and had the same results? I’m thinking the rapidos are so long they have Enough leverage to push the cars on the turns?https://youtu.be/F0ovm-ZzlLc


Cousin Eddie;

While under certain odd conditions, couplers can be a factor in derailments, (Remember all that truck-mount, body-mount discussion?) , it's normally not the couplers that cause derailments, or cause cars to stay on the track like your new (knuckle coupler equipped) ones did. The more likely causes of you new car's good behavior are that their wheels are in gauge, and possibly their weight. Wheel "gauge", (the distance between the two wheels on each axle) and the gauge of track and turnouts, is the #1 cause of derailments. Cars that are too light is another common cause. The file, "Improving Atlas turnouts" that I sent you, covers the gauge discrepancies built into many commercial turnouts, including Atlas, and how to correct them. Since your new train stays on the track better, I suspect its wheels may be in correct gauge and that some of your old cars may not be. Do you have an NMRA track and wheel gauge? If you don't, then I recommend you get one as soon as practical. You can order one from www.modeltrainstuff.com The gauge sells for about $12. You will need it to correct your Atlas turnouts anyway, and you can use it to check the wheel gage of those older problem cars. I have used cars with Rapido couplers and they didn't derail because of having Rapido couplers. Mostly they didn't derail at all. When they did, it was usually due to gauge problems in the wheels or track.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,744 Posts
If I may, the word is "gauge", not gage.....sorry to be a stickler about that, but the correct term/word should really be used if we are trying to help folks in the hobby.....:eek:hwell:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So I have been working on the N scale layout since around November or so and started out with all rapido couplers( cause I didn’t know better then) and I’ve yet to have a train make it around the layout more that once or twice without detailing! Traction fan instructed me on how to repair my turnouts and I’m going to do everything he said. However I haven’t started on that yet. My son in law got me a knuckle coupler engine for Christmas and so now I have to have all knuckle coupler stuff!! So the question is this. I bought an engine and cars yesterday at a train show and it’s all knuckle couplers and it made it around the track 10 plus times!! So I got thinking obviously the knuckle couplers are way better looking and in function but because they are shorter than the hokey rapidos do they not push the cars off the tracks? Has anybody changed all their couplers over and had the same results? I’m thinking the rapidos are so long they have Enough leverage to push the cars on the turns?https://youtu.be/F0ovm-ZzlLc


Cousin Eddie;

While under certain odd conditions, couplers can be a factor in derailments, (Remember all that truck-mount, body-mount discussion?) , it's normally not the couplers that cause derailments, or cause cars to stay on the track like your new (knuckle coupler equipped) ones did. The more likely causes of you new car's good behavior are that their wheels are in gage, and possibly their weight. Wheel "gage", (the distance between the two wheels on each axle) and the gage of track and turnouts, is the #1 cause of derailments. Cars that are too light is another common cause. The file, "Improving Atlas turnouts" that I sent you, covers the gage discrepancies built into many commercial turnouts, including Atlas, and how to correct them. Since your new train stays on the track better, I suspect its wheels may be in correct gage and that some of your old cars may not be. Do you have an NMRA track and wheel gage? If you don't, then I recommend you get one as soon as practical. You can order one from www.modeltrainstuff.com The gage sells for about $12. You will need it to correct your Atlas turnouts anyway, and you can use it to check the wheel gage of those older problem cars. I have used cars with Rapido couplers and they didn't derail because of having Rapido couplers. Mostly they didn't derail at all. When they did, it was usually due to gage problems in the wheels or track.

regards;

Traction Fan
Ok traction fan. I looked last weekend at the show I was at and I could not find the gauge. I am going to the Greenberg’s show this Saturday and another smaller one Sunday if I don’t find the gauge there I will order it for sure I just hate paying shipping if I don’t have to. Once I have that turnout rehabbing will be priority one! I was super excited to actually make it around the layout more than once! I got another new engine yesterday and that one also stays on.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top