Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

John Fitton

Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby John Fitton » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:36 pm

Hello,

I am interested in hearing about modellers' experiences with Kaydee couplings on 4 wheel and bogie goods rolling stock. I have standardized on Kaydee HO scale couplings for passenger vehicles but a P4 railway friend of mine and I are exploring alternatives for goods vehicles, as a specific result of operations issues with 3-link and screw couplings.

He has performed a visual experiment using both HO and N scale couplings on 4-wheel wagons and the results look rather good, but no operations experience so far.

Any and all experiences welcome please!!

John Fitton

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LesGros
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Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby LesGros » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:54 pm

I saw a 00 layout which employed kadees on four-wheel wagons at the recent show at Lhanbryde. The couplings were painted mat black and surprisingly unobtrusive. The operators were quite enthusiastic about how trouble free they were.

They used concealed magnets, and also had a wee shunter's pole with a curly hook for any decoupling needs away from the magnets.
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

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John Edge
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Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby John Edge » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:58 pm

Hi there,
Firstly I would say that it is very much personal choice as to what type of couplings you go for!
Now, I am by no means an 'expert' but I have some twenty years worth of experience of using the original US Kadee couplings and they are hard to beat BUT you need to fit non magnetic wheels and axles to get the best out of them. Because the Americans are well aware of this, they are generally set up to allow for this with either brass or plastic wheelsets. I have only some ten years experience of the Euro/UK version!
Here in Europe we are not set up for this small problem, generally using steel wheels and/or axles - this creates a problem when using the Kadee permanent magnets so the trains axles tend to surge as they pass over the magnet. If the train is moving slowly enough, such surges can cause unwanted uncoupling.
A way around this is to only use Kadee electromagnets, adding to the overall cost.
Another problem encountered with using Kadee's on British stock (& European too) is that the number 17, 18, 19 & 20 are designed to fit the European NEM coupler box, such boxes can give additional slop (cured with packing!), which adds further to the ills.
Other ''against's" are;
Doing the kadee shuffle when a set is reluctant to part.
Not able to couple/uncouple on anything but the very shallowest of curves.
With a long train of four wheeled vehicles, too much snatch (but maybe this exaggeration is welcome?)
Considerable cost if you have a substantial amount of stock to fit.

"For's"
Hands free uncoupling when everything is set up right.
Robust.

Tips: Always make sure the rear face of the Kadee is just forward of the buffer head, by how much depends on your curve radius.
Regularly check stock against your Kadee height gauge.
Get a pair of 'trip pin' pliers.
Always use genuine Kadee parts.

I'm trying hard to think of more "For's" but I'm really struggling! Unfortunately the Kadee is arguably much less than suited to stock fitted with buffers, especially non sprung buffers and really they are better all round when fitted to US style stock.
Hope this helps,
Regards,
John E.
Cheers,
John Edge.

Terry Bendall
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Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:29 am

I used some Kaydee couplings on a rake of MCA wagons since on the prototype the intermediate wagons in each set were semi permanently coupled using a coupling bar with an end flange bolted to a similar thing on the next wagon. The Kaydees were used to give something approximating to the prototype. End wagons in each set had knuckle couplings. They worked perfectly well - no uncoupling was done, but were rather overscale. Acceptable to us, but not very close to the prototype.

Terry Bendall

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David Thorpe
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Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby David Thorpe » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:42 am

I've always thought that Kaydee couplers look rather obtrusive on UK outline goods vehicles, particularly in the steam era. If you want a less obtrusive knuckle type coupler you could always try Sergent Engineering (http://www.sergentengineering.com/) although their products are in fact slightly underscale, being true for H0.

DT

John Fitton

Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby John Fitton » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:10 pm

Thanks for this, gents. Any more experiences from anyone?

John

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby grovenor-2685 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:24 pm

I fitted KD couplers throughout my Mk1 coach fleet, then to allow mixed rakes and coupling to locos I extended the KD fitting to non Mk1 coaches and also locos.
I don't like the looks of the KD at the H0 height, it is the wrong place on the coach end. As the KD is larger vertically than the scaled down UK buckeye it clashes with the gangway buffing plates if put at scale height for the centreline so I have chosen to fit at scale height for the top of the coupler and made a DIY version of the KD height gauge to set them up against. With locos now fitted with KDs it became neccessary for some freight stock to be similarly equipped. Currently this extends to brake vans and a scattering of single end fitted wagons so I can always have them on the ends of trains.
The delays in my layout work over the last two or three years brought the wagon programme to a halt and I have still to decide on what proportion of wagons get fitted.
Even on wagons my own view is that the appearance is better (more railway like) with the coupler set at the higher position.
Regards
Keith

John Fitton

Re: Kaydee Couplings on Wagons

Postby John Fitton » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:27 pm

Thanks for that Keith. I agree that the HO height setting is completely wrong. Does Tim V. use Kaydees on Clutton?

John


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