Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
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Postby sjgarth » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:38 pm

i'm new to this interesting hobby and have a silly question.
I have one train, the Graham Farish 'The Night Mail' train set, which my son gave me.
Eventually I want to change couplings to the magnetic uncoupling type, and have been reading into the subject - it has proved to be complex.
First step, what sort of couplers do I have and are they NEM type.
I am not keen on pulling and poking around, breaking what i have, so I thought of asking you.

Pictures here;
On the engine:

on the carriage:

Your help is appreciated.
Last edited by sjgarth on Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Couplings

Postby Paul-H » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:57 pm


They look like they might be NEM couplings, they should just pull out with a gentle tug.

What loco is it, most of their recent production do have NEM pockets but some like the class 66 don't for some bizarre reason.

One thing to watch out for is Farish have a different idea to Dapol as to what is the NEM standard, on each side of the coupler are two small pins that are used as a hinge and to lock the coupler in place, on the new Farish standard coupler those pins are much thinner than Dapols so the Dapol Magnetic coupler might be too tight when fitted, sometimes they are ok but not always.

Older Farish standard and their new short coupling have the thicker pin, but their new standard coupling has the much thinner pins.

If you do force the Dapol coupling into a pocket designed for the newer thin pin couplings you might have issues returning them to standard, as the standard thin pin coupler will now not fit the NEM pocket because it has been stretched but the thicker pins on the Dapol coupler, not a major issue you just have to replace it with a standard NEM coupler from Dapol or any other maker other than Farish.

Been through all this myself trying to find something better than the standard Rapido style coupler


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Re: Couplings

Postby Mountain » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:24 am

Not wanting to stray too much with the subject, but I did once try N gauge. I found that N gauge couplings (Despite their large size) had an overly large distance between the coupled vehicles. I am not saying that with 00 gauge it is ideal. I appreciate the designers of the models did need to increase the distance a bit as let's face it, all of our models need a little compromise but I feel that in general in N gauge especially it was a little overdone. (Mind you, I have noticed with 00 gauge since the nem couplings arrived that with wagons the gaps are increasing, though with coaches they have closed up (Though I never did like the close coupling system that 00 gauge coaches have as I found it prone to derailing issues where the older designs had very few issues).
When I moved into 7mm scale narrow gauge as there is no standard coupling employed in this scale and gauge (At least N and 00 and even 009/H0e gauges have a universal standard to fall back on) and I wanted a cheap and easy way to couple my stock. After much thought and various trials I found it better to use a central buffer and made my own couplings. The central buffer gave me the ability to go round very sharp curves and at the same time allowed for close coupling.
Both N and 00 gauge couplings in effect act like central buffer couplings, but the representations of the real buffers which the prototype has get in the way should one reduce the distance between pairs of vehicles. I have had thoughts that should the buffers be sprung so they move outwards (Or any direction that the forces direct them) then buffer locking would be a rare event and the buffers would spring back in their intended positions after they have been nudged. The thoughts do offer some possibilities so one can reduce the gap. I have never tried the idea myself as it is only now my thoughts have turned to it. Maybe someone can give it a go.

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Re: Couplings

Postby Bramshot » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:28 am

I use the easy shunt magnetic couplings from Dapol too. Only on the loco (both ends if one that shunts, or a diesel), and on the end coaches of a rake, so the loco can change ends. Far too expensive to use on all the vehicles, and not all have NEM pockets, those that don’t can be modified with some hacking and glueing using the Dapol pocket kits.

Things to watch out for, the tiny springs can pop out and are usually lost. Some are provide as spares when you buy the 10 packs and also available on their own. Difficult to replace, though I have now got the knack. I try to glue my springs in with a tiny dab of cyano at one end, or you could try black paint, but some if them still escape, especially if the loco hits the carriage o4 waggon a bit hard.

They don’t always work.

I find the actuations pins are set a bit too low and catch the guard rails on some points, and need pushing upwards a bit. This can then make them permanently loose, so they swivel out of the correct position for actuation.

The above could be caused by the next issue, possibly related to the differences between Farish and Dapol NEM standards which is that the couplings do not always sit level, and often have a bit of a droop.

Despite all the above they are an essential part of my railway allowing hands free uncoupling most of the time.

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