We have had couplers issues for as long as we have been in model railroading. Often when cars derail it has nothing to do with the tracks. Or the wheels. But the couplers.
We are getting ready to mount couplers on all three Bachmann locomotives. Couplers seem simple, but they require forethought as there are things that can go very wrong. So far I have not set are “rules” on the railroad as to what couplers will be used. And this means much of what we have is not compatible. So step one: Set rules as to coupler hight and what type of couplers to use.
As we have several scales, we have decided to use different couplers with different scales. Moreover, the logging equipment has special needs, so its going to get its own style of coupler.
The go to coupler for all scales for years has been the Kadee Coupler. And we are going to use the 830 Kadee on all the 1/2″ scale equipment. In a pinch its compatible with the Bachmann and AMS couplers we are using on other equipment, but for the most part, the 1/2″ gauge equipment will never be used in the same train with a 1: 22.5 scale or 1: 20.3 scale train.
The logging railroad will also use Kadee, but the #1 scale which will be used as a prototype conversion from link-and-pin couplers. We love link-and-pin, but the logging railroad is really hard to get to and link-and-pin is tricky at the best of times. By inserting the Kadee #1 into the coupler pocket and securing it with the coupler pin (as done on many prototype railroads) we gain an easy to use knuckle coupler AND a coupler that can be uncoupled with a magnet under the track. And advantage when the railroad is eight feet off the floor!
The 1: 20.3 scale (including the three “Connie” locomotives) will ALL recieve AMS Accucraft couplers with working hand realease levers. This looks great, works great and is as close to prototype as possable.