Coupler Standards ?

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Re: Coupler Standards ?

Post by Fred_V » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:54 am

Do you mean the they come undone or are you talking about sliding vertically and separating? The later is very common.
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Re: Coupler Standards ?

Post by John_S » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:56 pm

Andy R wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:49 am
it appears that mating isn't the greatest challenge, It is keeping the things coupled, especially upgrade, on a curve.
That sounds more like a track issue than a coupler issue.

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Re: Coupler Standards ?

Post by Andy R » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:06 pm

Disengaging of couplers by sliding vertically and separating seems to be a problem when the weight on the car is not well distributed, for example on a public riding car. In that scenario (a) there appears to be too much slop (to use a highly technical term !) in the grip of the two couplers. If there was less slop, friction would tend to resist that vertical motion. Poor quality track of course could also be a contributor. And couplers at different heights could also be a factor, if cars don't comply with the IBLS centerline height.

Disengaging by coming undone falls into two categories: (b) Knuckle opens, and (c) uncoupling with the knuckle closed. I have seen both.
In the scenario (b) pins could fail but the latching mechanism can fail to latch and remain so also.
In the scenario (c) the knuckles tend to rotate apart. I would not have believed that it can happen but have seen it at least twice. It's almost as if the fingertips of the knuckle have insufficient grip. Maybe it's a function of wear.

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Re: Coupler Standards ?

Post by BAdams » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:39 pm

Hi Andy,
At the Riverside Live Steamers, the Car Foremen before me ("ForeForemen"?) noted the very things that you listed.

We have quite an assortment of couplers in the fleet - Railroad Supply, Mercer, Railroad Warehouse, Tom Bee and I think there’s are even few couplers cast up by Jack Sessums, the big thing we have worked on is getting all the rolling stock to a standard coupler height.
I have a gauge made up by Phil McFadden years ago that sets the centerline of the coupler at 4.4375".
That in itself has dramatically reduced our uncoupling events, the rest of the issues are normal wear and tear.

Also, don't forget to consider the length of the cars that are having vertical sliding events - long cars have more vertical movement on the ends than that a shorter car over a given section of track unless it's perfectly flat (think Angle, Hypotenuse Opposite Side - Damn, my Trig Teacher was right, I would use this someday).

I'm very fortunate to have Rich Casford as our Roadmaster and a great team of Club Members that keep up our railroad track, they do make me look good. :D

Car Foreman - RLS

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Re: Coupler Standards ?

Post by Andy R » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:07 am

I like the idea of enforcing the coupler height standard.
It would be good if all of the So Cal clubs (LALS, RLS, SCLS, OCME) used your gauge and enforced compliance.
(Other standards too.)
The long cars uncoupling display most of the challenges.
p.s. I've visited RLS many times and (especially since reconstruction) have been impressed.

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