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Smaller Knuckle Couplers & Such ...
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 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2016 10:46 am
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oztrainz
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Hi all,

Following on from a question raised in

Si. wrote:

Thanks John !

I think you put up a photo before of what seems like a VERY small knuckle coupler...

...low mounting as well.


This topic is planned to be mainly about "less than full size" couplings,
and I'll start with some of the knuckle types used on narrow gauge railways in Australia.

Please feel free to chime in with questions as we go along,
and to add other coupler related information from elsewhere.

This thread could get semi-technical with discussions of coupler heights,
about mounting couplers on rolling stock,
and other types of couplings used on narrow gauge railways.
You have been warned.

:P

First off what is a 'full-sized' knuckle coupler and what does it look like?

I'll pick a US-based knuckle coupler manufacturer and link to some of the pages,
relating to the knuckle coupler specifications and dimensions.

http://www.columbuscastings.com/assets/files/couplers/C-14770.pdf

This one has top and bottom shelves that stop adjacent couplers from disconnecting,
by sliding past each other vertically.

This Wikpedia page has a a good history of the development of the full size knuckle-type coupler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janney_coupler

So much for the full-sized couplers.
On narrow gauge railways the loads being towed or shoved are less than on standard gauge railways,
so a scaled down version of the auto-coupler can be used.

In Victoria on the Puffing Billy and on the Victorian 2'6" narrow gauge network,
a 3/4 sized version was adopted in the 1920's.

The story goes that the locomotives and wagons on these isolated branchlines,
were converted from the earlier hook drawgear to knuckle couplers over a weekend.


So what does a 3/4 scale knuckle couple look like? - on a NA class locomotive:





and on a NQR gondola wagon with drop sides and ends:





Note the slot in the middle of the jaw of the knuckle.
There is a hole vertically through the jaw.

This allows a sling or a D-shackle to be attached in the slot,
by dropping a pin down the vertical hole in the jaw,
so that the pin passes through the eye of the sling or D-shackle.

This allowed the wagon to be horse-worked at sidings,
when a locomotive was not available to move the wagon.

In model terms - for On30 models of Puffing Billy rolling stock in 1/48 scale,
the standard Victorian Railways coupler height works out at the standard HO coupler height.

Dimensionally the slightly oversize standard HO coupler,
scales out at very close to the 3/4 size coupler as used on Puffing Billy in 1/48 scale.


But there was an even smaller version - to be covered in the next posting.




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 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2016 03:54 pm
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Kitbash0n30
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I wonder how much a factor reduced mass of narrow gauge equipment,
was/is, in the employment of small couplers.

Would it be true that the mass of narrow gauge equipment compared to standard gauge,
was reduced in greater proportion than were linear or volume relationships?




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 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2016 07:52 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Good topic, John!

Herb





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 Posted: Fri Feb 12th, 2016 08:20 pm
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W C Greene
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Although I can't find the photo I want of this,
I have seen really tiny knuckle couplers on 18" mining equipment.

They looked like something one would find on miniature park trains,
but there they were.

The ones I saw were on cars displayed at the Phelps-Dodge office in Clifton, AZ...
home of the 20" gauge Coronado RR.

I wouldn't have believed it until I saw it!
Imagine N scale knuckles on On30 cars.

Woodie




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 12:28 am
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Si.
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Hi John.

Thanks for posting your knuckle photos !

I thought a thread like this might be a safe haven from archaic L&P extremists.
But it looks like they've found 'the link' !

;)

Oh well, they seem quite well behaved at the moment though.
Give it time, mark my words ...
... & they'll be promoting rusty old 19th-century ironwork for sure !


I've just eMailed Woodie the 'Kadee' catalouge...
...sounds like he's thinking about modernising his mining equipment.

(or making a 1:35 roller-coaster !)


- - - - - - -


I think by accident & design,
I have ended up with a size & height of coupler,
which matches the Victorian Railway setup to a tee !

I was just going to adopt the Gilpin Tram coupler height ...
... but it was just that bit too high, when I looked at all the pros & cons.

I have ended up close to what you said about HO height on On30 cars.
Higher than HO in 1:35 scale; but the same proportion to what you're getting at.


Also I felt in the end that neither the Kadee On3 or O-scale coupler was right for 1:35n2  :td:
So I have ended up with San Juan Car Co. 'Evolution' couplers.

They have nailed the look I wanted, which the Kadees didn't.  :thumb:
Managed to find them at an OK price in Blightey as well, which was a relief.

I haven't really got a great photo of them yet on my car-builds.
But you'll see what I mean, with a figure standing next to the car-end, when I do.


Cheers.

Si.


:moose:


Nice lil' prototype that Victorian Railway.
I like Ians cars a lot !




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 02:52 am
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W C Greene
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Si  nope.

I ain't changing to knuckles.

L&P's are too much "fun" anyway...

Woodie




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 03:54 am
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oztrainz
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Hi Si and all,

Here are some photos of the 1/2 sized ones in use at my local 2'gauge museum.
It took some time to find where I'd stashed these photos and then get them uploaded.
I knew I had them on my hard drive somewhere.....


First up one of the couplers out in the open with the pin down and the jaw locked.





And another photo of the front end of a different locomotive.
The original low-height sugar cane loop coupling can be seen under the buffing block below the knuckle coupler.





The coupling here has been swung out of the way,
to allow another coupling on another vehicle to push past it,
and minimise the space taken up in the shed.

Two of them on different locomotives with the pins up.
This allows the jaw on each coupling to move and the couplings to separate.





The supporting bracket under the right-hand coupling,
prevents the weight of the coupler from causing the coupler to droop.

This might be an idea, for those who model with long-shank Kadee's or similar.


And to close out, a fixed jaw shunting coupler and with a knuckle coupler.





With this arrangement, you lift the pin on the knuckle coupler,
as you shunt up the movable jaw fits into the slot on the fixed jaw, as you close up, the jaw closes,
and then when you bump up, the pin drops and the jaw locks,

In model terms, in the larger 1/43 scale and using 16.5mm tracks for 2' gauge,
the standard #5 coupler head is close to scale. and the actual lower height of the coupler,
works out at very close to the standard HO coupler height again in the larger scale.


To close out, some photos the knuckle couplers of one of my 1/43rd scale models,
and the prototype car.





And the prototype..










See, just like a #5 from a distance.  :bg:

That ought to do for an introduction to 1/2-sized standard knuckle couplers.




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 04:31 am
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oztrainz
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W C Greene wrote:

Si  nope.

I ain't changing to knuckles.

L&P's are too much "fun" anyway...

Woodie


Hi Woodie,

Be careful what you wish for, with link & pin couplers.


How do you shunt this lot? :w:





They are all link and pin type couplings.  :P




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 05:39 am
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oztrainz
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And the correct answer is: -

VERY CAREFULLY ... and ONE wagon at a time.


The joys of working on a narrow-gauge museum railway,
where you have different stuff from different industries,
each with their own "standards".


L:  Standards??

Which standard is the "standard" standard?  :P




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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2016 06:44 am
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W C Greene
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How about "offset" links for different heights?

I have some of them because some cars have lower end beams and pockets.
'Twas done on the real ones also.

Well, that's my story anyhow.

Woodie




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