Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:21 am

Hello,
How do you uncouple your Hornby wagon without Hornby or Peco uncouplers ? Thanks.
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11817
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:12 pm

Hand or auto, mechanical or magnetic?
Hand - a 10mm by 20mm plate of thin plastic on a rod, slide the plate under the coupler tails and lift. For the magnetic version stick short pieces of iron wire (staples) to the top of the coupler arm, lift with a magnet on a stick.

Auto - mechanical, a strip of springy plastic laid between the sleepers so that it forms a bow, tall enough and spring enough to lift the couplers when they pass over but not that springy that it lifts the wheels off the rails.
- or a ramp or plate that lies flat between the rails, lifted by a hand lever or solenoid.

Auto - magnetic (the Brian Kirby mod) The hooks need to be non magnetic (Bachmann always have been, Dapol most are, Hornby many are magnetic. Bend small staples into an L shape, stick to the drop arm with a tail extending backwards, run over a magnet and the tail is pulled down raising the hook. I've found the easiest magnets to use are 3mm diameter by 4mm neodymium rod magnets inserted into holes drilled in the ballast around 3 sleepers apart.

Thats just a summary of the methods, you'll find them all described many times on line.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
luckymucklebackit
Posts: 3350
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Troon - where the Duchesses went to die
Contact:

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:14 pm

I have just completed a method on my layout thread - see here https://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=33932&start=465#p654477

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
Image

Bigmet
Posts: 7047
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bigmet » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:04 pm

I would add one significant caveat to the good information in the replies above: the various manufacturer's versions of the tension lock coupler are far from identical, even if we confine this to only the miniature type on sale in current product. The simplest path to reliability is to adopt a single maker's design and stick with it. This can be either over the whole layout, or for specific stock collections or groups of trains which exclusively operate together.

Bufferstop wrote:...Auto - mechanical, a strip of springy plastic laid between the sleepers so that it forms a bow, tall enough and spring enough to lift the couplers when they pass over but not that springy that it lifts the wheels off the rails...

A minor caveat specific to this method, which I very much like. This was the one I was going to use having got myself some stock of the OHP transparency film identified by experiment as 'just right'; always able to lift the disengaged hooks, but flexible enough to allow all stock over without lifting wheels off the rails. Unfortunately - and this may be specific only to the Bachmann miniature tension lock as it is the sole one I use - the droppers slowly cut their way through the plastic film. The one that completes the cut through snags and bang! the whole train can be in a heap! Now obviously enough with regular inspection one can identify when the wear is approaching failure and replacement is quick and simple enough for this to be acceptable.

But then as RTR OO models improved another problem emerged, detail and model undersides extending downwards below the coupler droppers. Now the adjustment for the combination of enough flex to allow everything to pass over undisturbed, while retaining reliable hook lifting when required, became rather more difficult to achieve repeatably.

While I was trying to find a fix the 'Brian Kirby' method was first described on line. Tried it, liked it, adopted it; farewell springy plastic method.

User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:45 pm

Many thanks gentlemen for all your replies. They are very interesting and very helpful. I'll build something like that:

999.jpg
999.jpg (17.04 KiB) Viewed 1048 times
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11817
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:11 pm

I made one very similar to the photo. With two refinements;
i) the torch, a miniature "key ring" torch fastened to the top of the handle so that it illuminates the couplers.
ii) the heel, a strip of half mm square plastic glued to the rear of the spade about its own width from the rear edge. You use it either as a stop so you know the spade part is far enough under, or as a pivot, in really tight situations insert the spade and pull backwards until the heel catches on the rail, then a flexing action on the handle causes the end of the spade to lift.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:19 pm

Very good idea. Thanks.
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:51 pm

I made this very simple, rustic and basic tool. Works fine for me.

SL 13.jpg
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:46 am

A wooden coffee stirrer works fine too.
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
luckymucklebackit
Posts: 3350
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Troon - where the Duchesses went to die
Contact:

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby luckymucklebackit » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:17 am

My old favorite used to be a plastic cocktail stirrer, with the round flat bit carefully snapped and glued back on at an angle, worked a treat!

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
Image

Dad-1
Posts: 5961
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: Dorset - A mile from West Bay.

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Dad-1 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:39 am

Pretty well everything covered already.
I will add that for serious shunting the best option I've come across is using Kadee couplings.
They are expensive when many wagons need converting and they are demanding in their set-up
for reliable operation. There is still a serious limitation in that you need under track magnets
and can only uncouple at those predetermined locations.
For my big layout where I may want to split trains anywhere I've converted all my couplings to
Bachmann narrow tension-lock as Bigmet has also standardized for his stock. The choice of them
is because the hooks are non-magnetic brass, onto which I add a small magnetic sliver that allows
me to easily and safely uncouple with my magnetic wand, see the shunting video.

https://youtu.be/TaWdlHCzfMI

Bigmet also says how there is NO standard even with the seemingly similar narrow tension-lock couplings
form the various manufacturers. Hornby hooks extend out further out so when matched with a bachmann
their hook are doing nothing ! They also have a fractional difference in NEM pocket opening. Oxford Rail
the new kids on the block have their own very short NEM pockets and short tailed couplings like no others !
Dapol's steel hooks fall off all too easily and their couplings usually sag badly - can be bent though !
Believe me harmonizing couplings can be a nightmare - Keep to one manufacturers product !!!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11817
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:15 am

Have to agree there Geoff. What annoys me is that with the tensionlock coupler there is no need for it. The original hook and bar coupler was the Lanal pre/just post WW2. Hornby-Dublo and Peco had patent rights on the Peco design (a sort of overscale knuckle design), so Rovex adopted a version of the Lanal which wasn't patented and probably by then couldn't be. The tensionlock hook was Rovex's adaption of a design in fairly widespread use by the bent wire brigade so AFAIK that went unpatented. So what would happen if everyone settled on one coupler design, after all they are now more or less all made in China? I think the answer is nothing, no one is collecting royalties from the use of 2 couplers per loco or wagon, the NEM pocket means the coupler fitted is a very minor inconvenience, the dimensional changes needed to make the whole lot the same, won't render any older ones incompatible. It's only thinking stuck in the 1950s that's stopping it happen, almost every industry these days has de facto standards that it's just easier to go along with than try to forge your own.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Bigmet
Posts: 7047
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bigmet » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:30 am

What is even sadder in all this is that at no time does any RTR manufacturer appear to have thought about what might be done to move closer to an ideal coupler mounting system designed specifically for OO/4mm. The adoption of the NEM coupler pocket as a 'simple' solution for allowing coupler interchange was just lifted from HO, and 'plugged in' with as far as I can see no thought of maybe taking the concept, but altering the positions to something superior for OO purposes.

Hanging the coupler at some location between the typical vehicle frame underside and the rail top is a fruitful source of trouble, in that there are plenty of locos and vehicles with structure or really restricted space right where part of the coupler or its mount needs to be. Yet this is all unnecessary. The prototype has its coupler through the bufferbeam, therefore if a model coupler is mounted in the bufferbeam potential for obstruction is significantly reduced.

Well engineered RTR compact coupler designs of the sort that present production engineering technique can now produce economically have no trouble at all with this in-bufferbeam mounting. I would invite anyone who doubts this to look at the Bachmann wagons such as the HTA with their clone of the Kadee knuckle coupler in the bufferbeam. Easily the most realistic RTR OO wagons ever produced IMO as a result since the coupler is a decent approximation to the appearance of the real thing used on the prototype and fitted in the right location: instead of some unrealistic 'invention' very different from any real coupler on standard gauge stock, waving around in the breeze where no coupler ought to be. (And even though mounted over gauge height, they still work on Kadee standard track magnets too. Either slightly straightening the tails or fitting longer ones brings them into spec in this respect were anyone concerned.)

It could be done in short, but I suspect the current system is way too entrenched to make this alternative a realistic possibility. (Bachmann provide an NEM coupler pocket mount on the bogies of their knuckle coupler equipped wagons.) But it was easy enough to put a matching knuckle coupler into the bufferbeam of the class 66 which is the traction for my HTA set, and as result the full airdam and all the pipe kit can be fitted, it looks very good indeed.

User avatar
Montfort
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 am

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Montfort » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:04 pm

For the Kadee couplers I use this lethal weapon:

pointe-a-tracer.jpg
pointe-a-tracer.jpg (8.17 KiB) Viewed 940 times
Back on the track !
Chris

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11817
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Uncoupling Hornby wagons

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:31 pm

There's no real need to use NEM pockets on 00 models, and even less need for them to be mounted to suit either KD's or the various continental designs. There can be very few modellers who run H0 and 00 in the same train. The switch to NEM pockets has increased the gap between vehicles because the Tensionlock coupler has to go in the same pocket as the other types which are much shorter. Most of my NEM fitted wagons have one to 1.5mm sliced off the face and if necessary a bit chopped off the coupler tails to stop them fouling the axle. If the coupler shows any sign of pulling out after I've attacked it I put a spot of Bostik clear on the tail, which holds it in but will still let you pull it out if needed,
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions


Return to “Hornby - including Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests