|It was the case some years ago that Kadee's magnets didn't provide
realistic uncoupling from the point of view that you needed magnets all over
the place, which was one reason I didn't adopt them for a previous layout.
However now a number of magnet types are provided, (fixed track magnets,
undertrack invisible magnets, and underbaseboard eletro magnets). In addition
Kadees now provide the option for delayed uncoupling, One magnet in a yard
throat will allow realistic shunting, as the shunting loco needs to pass to and
fro across the yard throat area as it places wagons in different sidings. So a
magnet placed in the throat area, will allow the loco to uncouple one or more
wagons from the train being shunted, and propel them to where they will be
left, without recoupling. In addition supurous uncoupling used to be a minor
problem on occasions with the visible between the rails magnets, but with the
newer undertrack magnet this problem seems to have vanished as well.
KADEE FITTING LIST (so far!)
*LOCOMOTIVES (Tender locos Kadee on tender only)*
Kadee couplings come for all scales from 3.5mm to 19mm except 4mm (where 3.5mm couplers will suffice).
Modelling the corridor connections.
Having basically solved the coupling problem, corridor coaches posed another problem. This being the problem of corridor connections. I dislike the idea of passengers having to do a long jump between coaches. As the Kadee couplings allow for coaches to be coupled so that corridor connections touch this is fine on straight track, but as model corridor connections from Hornby/Bachmann aren't flexible, derailment on curves would result. Having perused the pages of Railway Modeller, I found "Keen Systems", advertising a number of coupling and FLEXIBLE corridor connection alternatives, and SR stock featured quite prominently in their advert. As flexible corridor connections are not a new idea, (I had ones made out of cartridge paper my father made just after the last war), I had a chat with Keen systems to ascertain more details on how their system worked, and any limitations. I happily puchased a couple of dozen for initial installation on my Bachmann Bullieds. Their system is well designed and produced, as the parts have to be clean and crisp to function smoothly. Simple to assemble, the hardest thing is to disassemble the coach to actually fit the new parts.
As the SR operated so much of its stock in sets, some end vehicles need NOT have a sprung corriodor connection fitted, with obvious savings. Much of the sprung connection is within the rigid frame (which is also supplied to replace the one fitted by the manufacturer. This is imperitive in the case of the Bachmann Bullieds, as the rubberised connection on these models as they come is useless, and prone to warpage). In addition I didn't want to increase the distance between vehicles to accomodate an un-naturally long sprung connection (as was the case with the old fashioned cartridge paper type, which simply filled the gap). The new connections allowed me to have the rigid corridor parts only a couple of millimetres apart, with the sprung plates filling the small gap. Having tested the connections, I then fitted the Kadee couplings only to the outer ends of my Bullied sets. I used the No5 (with it's own pocket), as Bachmann Bullieds don't yet come with NEM pockets. Conveniently the No 5 Kadee simply glues to the top of the coupling plate on the Bachmann bogie, having first cut off most of the ugly tension lock coupler, to obtain the correct Kadee coupler height. Between vehicles in my Bullied sets I use a simple piece of brass rod bent each end. One end is glued into a hole drilled in the remains of the coupling plate, and the other end hooked into a slightly oversize hole in the coupling plate of the next vehicle. This type of semi-permanent set coupler, being both quick to make and install and of negligable cost. Obviously the length of the brass rod (1mm dia) can be made longer or shorter to suit the sharpest curve on your layout. Some adjustment of the Keen systems corridor connections are also possible to fill a larger gap if unlike me you don't have minimum 6ft radius curves.
Hornby Pullmans, like the Bachmann Bullieds, don't yet come with NEM pockets, and here I had a bit of a think, as there was insufficent space for a Kadee No5 in its own pocket. The Pullman models come with the tension lock coupler screwed to a sliding expanding arm, and not wanting to loose this benefit (which allows closer coupling even on Hornby track kiddy curves), I checked to see what height a glued or screwed Kadee (Nos 17-20) would be. This revealed another problem in that the screw and tension lock coupling are lower than a Kadee must be. The solution was to remove the screw, washer and tension lock coupling, and then remove with a scalpel 2mm of the barrel shaped screw monting part. I then cut a piece of thin brass strip 5mm wide, and 11mm long. Snipped the corners off one end so it fitted into the C shaped recess of the bogie end, drilled a hole in it to take the Hornby screw, (minus the washer) and screwed it into the remaining barrel shaped part on the end of the sliding arm. To the underside of the little strip of brass I superglued a Kadee No 18, after roughening the surface of both the brass and the Kadee coupling shank (for a stronger superglue bond). Being the end vehicle of my ten car Bournemouth Belle rake, the buffers were still in the extended sprung mode, so the coupling was positioned so the jaw was just proud of the buffers (about 1mm). Coupled to a Hornby Bullied tender (also with sprung buffers) the buffers just touch on my sharpest 6ft radius curve, with very little gap on the straight.
One final note here is the problem of buffers. As mentioned in relation to the real thing, buffers are superfluous when Buckeye and Pullman type corridor connections are in use. (Some Maunsell loco hauled coaches, even had their buffers removed within sets!). Good old Hornby have happily added working buffers to both their lovely Maunsell and Pullman models. These realistically should NOT spring, when within a set. The buffer is in reality retracted, so that the Rubbing Bar on the bottom of the corridor connection is proud of the buffers, as IT becomes the buffer, when the buckeye immediately below it is in use. I therefore remove the spring from the Hornby buffer, and glue the buffer as far in as it will go. Only the buffers on the outer ends of sets where they will couple to a loco, do I leave in its supplied sprung state. This fact also means the Hornby class 73, and Heljan class 33/1 need their buffers retracted, and on the Hornby 73, the rubbing plate extended slightly to be proud of the buffers,(it appears too close to the bodywork), if your model is going to normally haul passenger stock! These models also look so much better with a Kadee buckeye fitted.
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This page was last updated 24 August 2009