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Coach Corridor Connections and Couplings - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 02:12 pm
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Genetk44
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I thought this article might be of interest to some members here in the forum. It is an article written by my fellow club-member John Kendall and he has given explicit permission for me to reproduce it here in full.
Enjoy!

Coach Corridor Connections and Couplings by John Kendall

One of the things that really bothers me when viewing a passenger train is that most of the time one sees a great deal of daylight between coaches. Another issue is that coaches out of the box have couplings that make the coaches way too far apart. I'll discuss simple ways to improve matters.

These are some Mk 1s I improved (well, I think I did).


Making working corridor connections is not difficult, nor does it take a lot of time and you can use materials that are probably already to hand.

Materials:

Photocopy paper which is on the heavy side
0.020" Evergreen pastic sheet

Take the corridor connection off the coach to be treated and mark the dimensions of this on the paper:


Note there is a half line at the center of the corridor outline.

Cut the connections as shown. Use the back of an Xacto knife to score the fold lines:


Fold each piece and cut the half line in the center. Colour the paper black.

Now thread two connections together to obtain a concertina:



Make end/rubbing plates from the plastic sheet using the original coach corridor as a guide:

Glue the plates to the paper concertinas, and paint black:



The surface of the rubbing plates needs to be smooth since coaches negotiating points and curves have sliding contact at this location and any resistance will cause a derailment. Here's one I did earlier:


I should probably say that you can get the MJT design from Dart Castings. These come with white metal end plates and etched rubbing plates, as shown here.

Now, as to distance between coaches. If your coaches stay in more or less fixed rakes, ie. there is no coach shunting/marshalling on the layout, you can use something I learned from Tony Wright. This method is detailed in BRM's Right Track 4 DVD, "Detailing and Improving RTR". (By the way, these DVDs will play on my DVD player but not on my BlueRay).

The method involves:

1) removing the proprietary coupling system.
2) fixing copper clad strip behind the buffer beam. The surface of the strip should be flush with the buffer beam so will need shimming.
3) 0.45" nickel silver wire is soldered to the copper clad strip. On one end of the coach in a hook shape and on the other a loop.

These pictures illustrate what I mean:




Before painting, you will want to test the coupling on your layout. Check it through curves and points and especially check while propelling. If the coaches are too close for your layout, buffers will lock so its a simple matter of tweaking the distance of the hook from the bufferbeam until all is well. The loop should be in line with the buffer heads. For corridor coaches this is less critical since the working corridor described above will stop the coaches getting too close. For non-corridor coaches you might need to solder a piece of wire across the loop to prevent the buffers from getting too close:


This coupling method works very well and permits propelling. I put Kadees on the ends of coaches that will couple to the locomotive.

One other thing, if the coaches are quite close coupled, as mine are, you may find that there is a lot of pressure on the end plates. Too much pressure will reduce the ability to slide when going round curves and through points causing derailments.
The solution is make the corridor concertina only three corridor widths wide instead of four. When coupled there should be very little rubbing plate pressure while the corridors stay in contact.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 04:26 pm
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Kaiser
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Thanks for a really useful & informative post.  I'm using screw link couplings but they are expensive &, as you say, most coaches will be in rakes.  Using this method I only need screw links on the end coaches.  By the way, you can buy 90 gsm plain black paper that will save you having to stain the plain white for the connections! Nice one! :doublethumb



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 Posted: Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 09:35 pm
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Brossard
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I'm glad you thought my ramblings useful.  This issue of daylight between coaches has been a real teeth grinder for me and whenever I see such a thing on an exhibition layout I usually walk away in disgust.  This isn't my only bugbear - locos without crews, stock straight out of the box, stock straight off the mantlepiece - dust and all, buildings falling down, I could go on.  I try to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Anyway, yes you're right about the black paper, but when the muse grabbed me I felt I'd better act and I didn't have any to hand.  I made do with white paper and a felt marker.

The coupling thing isn't new, I think Pendon have something similar, but I have found this system works well.  As Tony W will tell you in his video you can attach bits of bent soft brass wire to the assembly to replicate hoses.  I've been meaning to do this but that particular muse has yet to strike.  I'm very much of the "if you can't see it when you're going past on a bike, don't bother" school.

John

 



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 Posted: Sat Jul 23rd, 2011 10:09 pm
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Robert
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Great John. I have placed your article alongside the two others we have in our forum Index. There should be something there that everyone can manage. Thanks again.



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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2011 11:13 am
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watcher
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Thank you for the tips. Yet another thing to add to an almost endless list.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 18th, 2012 05:21 am
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Khris
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Hi,
Is there an actual ft and inch measurement between coach and coach, so that one can actually model the correct distance?

Khris

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 Posted: Wed Jan 18th, 2012 02:10 pm
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Brossard
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Khris, unless you are doing P4 with proto curve radii and large points, modelling the correct distance is probably impractical.  I do mine to reduce that awful chasm while ensuring that things run smoothly.  It has been done I think and I recollect an article by Mike Clark in MRJ (Issue 48 and 49 I think).

John

 



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 Posted: Wed Jan 18th, 2012 07:27 pm
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Khris
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Thanks for that John.

Khris

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 Posted: Thu Jan 19th, 2012 06:45 am
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ddolfelin
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Excellent.
Black plasticard is also available (and often cheaper).



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