your answers are hitting right the bulls eye! Thank you.
Now I know how to deal with this problem.
If 'black ice' counts as snow, you may have to do the 4 degree cut soon!
Well, I do like to go back to Houston (or Dallas). But, please no wild bull for
me. I do not like to endanger the clowns!!
And we do have even honey roasted baby back spare rips, gumbo and faijitas here
in Germany. But (thanks heaven) no root beer, my worst experience in USA!
And I shook hands with Tom Landry! My son pushed me to do so.
The punishment of engineers having parted a train, I am able to understand.
There is a nice computer program on the market, showing the difficult task of an
engineer. How often I have derailed or parted an US-American train at the PC!
Years I most probably had to do a retraining to get back my licence.
Greetings and Howdy
> From: BJKRONEN@...
> > with pleasue I read you praising the MTL couplers.
> > Also I was impressed by the nice appearance of these couplers and ordered
> > some.
> Great !
> > However when I received them, I was puzzled. The coupler assembly
> > instructions stated that under the pressure of a long train the couplers
> > may be forced to slip up or down against each other (and uncouple!). MTL
> > recommends to make angled cuts of 'no more than 4 degrees' towards the
> > center of the knuckle hook.
> Yes. Those instructions come in both the Z and N scale packages.
> I have never done that to any of the 100 plus cars I own and run with MT's on
> them. But then, I've never done it to any of my N scale cars either. I have
> a lot more of those.
> It is much more important for layouts which have "rough" trackwork, and where
> couplers are truck mounted and the trucks pitch up and down going over hills
> and valleys in the track.
> If I may use my non-scientific words of "fingers" and "thumb" again, you will
> notice the "fingers" are a smoothe verticle surface. When a truck/boggie
> hits a "bump" in your track, it will tilt upward, which will make the coupler
> move upward too. The "fingers" of the coupler will easily slide up on the
> "fingers" of the coupler in front of it. If the verticle mis-alignment
> between the two sets of "fingers" becomes extreme, obvioiusly they will loose
> their grip on each other (vertically), and uncoupling will result.
> But so can a Marklin coupler, given similar circumstances. It takes a bit
> more to shake a Marklin coupler loose, if it is of the type that is attached
> around the truck/boogie "mounting pin" rather than mounted to the
> truck/boogie itself.
> The obvious cure, is to fix the trackwork. Run your finger over it. If you
> can feel a bump, so will the wheels, and so will the coupler. Get a track
> gauge. Best tool you'll ever buy.
> If you can't fix the track, consider body mounting the couplers. The carbody
> does not move up and down as much when the truck underneath pitches up and
> down over a "bump". I think its a lot easier to fix the track, myself.
> The idea of the 4 degree cut, is to cause a coupler which is moving upwards
> not to slip off as easily. Because of the "incline" it sees between the two
> sets of modified "fingers", it will be "pulled back down" by the other car's
> "fingers" even though the truck it is mounted on is tilting upward.
> > Bill, having read this, I do have two questions:
> > Do you have experienced unintended uncouplings with MTL couplings (away
> > from magnets of course) with long trains? How many cars were involved
> > (MTL cars and/or Maerklin cars, the latter may be heavier)?
> AFTER we learned the value of good track work (a painful lesson # 1) and
> reworked the modules until all the "bumps" were worked out, we have excellent
> performance. Before we "learned", both Marklin and MT couplers gave us a
> fit. Equally.
> One fellow forgot to cover the track with tape, while he was doing scenery.
> Oh my. What a mess to clean out between the rails later. All those little
> "pieces" of "stuff" that landed down in there played heck with the wheel
> flanges (lifted the cars right off the track tops). (painful lesson # 2).
> Hours and hours of a bright light, coke bottle glasses and a dental tool to
> dig it all out.
> We routinely run 50 car trains on the layout at shows. Why 50? One of the
> modules has 2.5 percent grades on a curve (that's another lesson). That's
> about all a pair of Marklin F7s can handle, with a little extra weight added
> to the locos.
> I don't perceive a big weight difference in MT/Marlin cars. We run a mix of
> Marklin and MT cars. The MT couplers are not modified. There are a number
> of turnouts on the mainline, but no Marklin "crossovers" or "double slip
> As long as the trains are running at any steady speed
> As long as the trains are accelerating smoothly
> As long as the trains are slowing down smoothy
> We can go for hours and hours without a problem.
> However, if someone gets crazy on the thottle and abruptly slows down the
> train (all the cars compress together) and then turns the throttle rapidly up
> (train abruptly stretches back out) there is a risk of one of the couplers
> letting go from the sudden "jerk" in the train. Not every time, but it can
> We just change operators instead of making all those 4 degree cuts when that
> happens <grin>.
> It can also happen if the loco is in bad running shape, and jerks along
> rather than running smoothly. We set both the loco AND the owner off to the
> side until its fixed.
> Guess what, it happens with real US trains too (slack, then high tension).
> The Engineer generally gets 3 days off without pay for pulling that stunt.
> Or worse. It litterly tears the "fingers" right off one of the "knuckle
> couplers" and the train separates into two parts. It sets off the emergency
> brakes on both parts of the train, and serious derailments and damaged track
> often occur.
> > Do you have ever tried to make the "less than 4 degrees cut"? This must
> > be a very, very delicate and difficult task in scale Z!!!!
> > I am scared to make the cut and to miss the 4 degree limit :-<!
> I promise to try my hand at that modification, the next time it snows in
> Houston. That's about once in every 25 to 30 years.
> > Nevertheless, since I am hooked on the US American railroad scene <snip>
> > only one GP 38 purchased. Are there rumours, that this loco may re-appear??
> GP 38? You lucky fellow. There is a rumor I won the lottery too.
> > Dear Bill, I wish you a happy weekend, even without the 'Houston Oilers' (
> > where they have gone?)
> Nashville, Tennesse and they are called the Titans now. But we are working
> on a new team for Houston.
> > My favoured team, the Dallas Cowboay are also not doing
> > well now. Is it still rodeo time?
> Gee !! I feel like this is a conversation with a fellow down the street,
> instead of someone in Germany.
> February is Rodeo time. Come on over, we'll have a wild horse for you to
> ride. Or a wild bull. But bring your own beer, the stuff over here is just
> colored water compared to yours.
> Bill Kronenberger
> > Small iZ Beautiful!
Dieter W. Nolte