1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Alas and alack!!! I just did a random check of my eguipment in regard to retro fitting frames. I found that, all of my box cars, flat cars and gons have a separate floor/frame and thus are candidates. However, hoppers, closed hoppers and tank cars do not all have a separate frame and will need something more complex than a simple frame switch. The frameless tank cars where the car body provides the support would require an especially more complicated solution.
     
  2. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    The frames will need to come in a variety of sizes, one manufacturers 50' boxcar may have different dimensions to the next. This should be possible though as they should be relatively simple to produce.
     
  3. 6axlepwr

    6axlepwr New Member

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    Just a teaser.

    I would like to add to this post. I am a prototype modeler. Started in N-Scale, went to HO and am now back in N-Scale. I am bringing with me the desire to fine scale model in N-scale. There are certain things that cannot be done and certain things that we have to compromise on, but there is no reason N-Scalers cannot enjoy fine scale modeling as the other larger scales do.

    I am primarily a diesel modeler. Have not given much thought to freight cars, but it has come to my attention that when you want to build a 50' box car with a cushioned under frame, your only choice is the extended MT truck mounted couplers. That just did not cut it for me. I designed a new coupler box that will accept a MT Z-scale coupler (just the coupler, not the box). It is body mounted and I received my first test shots last week and tested them on an Atlas FG boxcar. The tests were a 100% success and now am making the final tweaks and detail adjustments. I hope by the beginning of February to show the completed product.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    brian
     
  4. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

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    Leo-

    The NMRA does not have any Standards for couplers. The only thing approaching it is a "Universal" draft gear box that accomodates the Mantua, Baker, and Devoe couplers.

    The X2f coupler (horn-hook) was to have been the NMRA coupler but was never adopted. IMHO the venture derailed the NMRA Standards because they have been totally spooked by the thought of "endorsing" the defacto standards .... Kadee in HO and Micro-Trains in N.

    This stems from the thinking that the NMRA is a standards-setting organization. It isn't and never has been. "Back in the day" when Manufacturers, Magazines, and Modelers comprised the founding membership, the "Standards" were worked out with professional input (people who actually were going to produce the track, trucks, couplers, etc..) along with the help of the model magazines and hobbyists (back then the first two were all also in the third category).
    Today the NMRA wants to dictate a design without participation of the manufacturers. The magazines have long ago departed mingling with the NMRA except to chime in together to moan about the aging of the Hobby to explain dwindling membership/circulation.
    The marketplace determines what will be the standard. We all vote with our dollars.
    If Code 55 is going to "be the standard" Atlas will see the sales of Code 80 dropping off and shift their emphasis to it. Same thing for DCC, Sound, and everything else.
    I would, however, like to see the existing products that impact interchange (wheels, track, and couplers) uniformly documented and published. What is the profile of a "pizza cutter" wheel vs. others? What are the full dimensions of M-T Couplers (their "Reference Manual" is sorely lacking in most dimensions.... and doesn't accurately show the different styles of couplers nor give critical dimensions for many of them).
    This sort of documentation does not have to be an "endorsement" of anything... just document, side by side, what is out in the market.
    I agree that bodymounting couplers works just fine in N Scale..... and a number of savy manufacturers are recognizing this and offering cars that come with body mount couplers. We know that they work..... cabooses have been equipped with them forever and all recent locomotives have as well.... so there is no reason to continue with the truck-mounted couplers now that we have factory equipped M-T compatible couplers on all but Model Power equipment.
    Charlie Vlk
     
  5. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is the part I highly disagree with. There are still those out here who want and/or need truck mounted couplers. JMO


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  6. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    Mind if I ask you what era are you modeling and what your minimum radius is?

    I highly think manufacturers settled on truck-mounting not necessarily due to radius - because back then there was only one radius available - but due to the coupler available at the time. Knuckle couplers are somewhat more forgiving, and I definitely think that, at least in cars under 70', body-mounted knuckle couplers WILL work on 9 3/4" radius track. Like I said, a lot of HO rolling stock (ie. Athearn, Roundhouse) has body-mounted couplers and CAN run on 18" and even 15" radius. I think your fears are unfounded.

    Do all your locomotives have truck-mounted couplers?

    Also, let's assume that all manufacturers stopped production of truck-mounted couplers today and from then on would produce ONLY cars with body-mounted couplers. Unless you already own every single piece of commercially-available rolling stock with truck-mounted couplers, It's still gonna be at least 25 more years before you'll see nothing but body-mounts. So you'll still have a generation's worth of time to enjoy truck-mounted couplers.

    There's something called progress. We now live in the age of digital HD TV. Could you imagine if people a few decades back screamed, "There are still those out here who want and/or need B&W television. JMO" and got their way?
     
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I run Modern era...all locos have body mounted couplers...most rolling stock has been converted to body mounted couplers. I dont run passenger...opppsss...yes I do...one set of amtrak...truck mounted. Like I said earlier...my track radii are 17 and 15 inch. So you see...its NOT that I mind body mounts. Its not that I have to run truck mounted. I just cant see leaving the other guys who NEED em in the dust. Progress is good. But some want it now and to forget the past NOW ! I think you would be happy if truck mounted couplers were outlawed and pulled from the shelves today. Once again I ask...why do truck mounted couplers still being used bug you so much ? How is it that their still available affect you ? I still cant get a straight answer...hmmmm

    BTW...your black and white TV analogy was funny...but irrelevant. ty

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  8. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    The presence of truck-mounted couplers does not automatically mean the absence of body-mounted couplers. I don't get where people are going with this.

    Here's what I do. I get the cars that I like and that I want to run. The minute that any of them give me coupler problems, I put on body-mount couplers if at all feasible. If the trucks give me grief, I swap them out for MTL trucks. Eventually, all my cars get metal wheelsets, too.

    If someone at a show is running a train with truck-mounted couplers my enjoyment is not diminished as long as the train stays on the track and operates like one would expect a smoothly-running train to operate.

    I would LOVE it if manufactuers all went to body mount couplers and decent trucks with metal wheelsets, but I don't base my enjoyment of the hobby on this one item. This is model railroading, so if I want to modify something or change it around I just do it.

    Adam
     
  9. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Brian,

    This looks like a nice solution for those who like the appearance of the smaller Z scale couplers. Welcome to TrainBoard!

    Adam
     
  10. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Exactly!! What the H E dbl hockey sticks does it matter if there are still truck mounted couplers out there or that truck mounted couplers...are still and probably for more years then most of us will be here...are still manufactured?

    If someone doesnt like em...dont use em ! But no one should tell someone else they cant/shouldnt/wont/ or will be damned for eternity if they do use them.

    To simple I suppose.


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  11. brakie

    brakie TrainBoard Member

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    That is a must.The era of truck mounted trucks should by now be nothing but a memory.

    The manufacturers want top dollar while maintaining the antique truck mounted coupler..What is so righteous about supped up freight or passenger cars if they still ride to high due to the truck mounted couplers? The realism of the details is lost and thus doesn't really justify the higher cost..The manufacturers heard our plea when we requested closed locomotive pilots..Why turn a deaf ear to body mount couplers?

    Why indeed?

    Tooling for a new floor with coupler pockets which the manufacturers say will drive up the costs and there isn't that much interest in body mounted coupler.

    Ok thinks I maybe we have met the enemy and he is us.

    What to do?

    There is 2 possibilities here the manufacturers could use.They could build cars with or without body mounted coupler or offer a aftermarket floor with coupler box at a modest price-say 2/3.99.

    What WE can do..

    Perhaps the best thing we could do for N Scale is set forth better standards and RPs.

    Perhaps we should have a National N Scaler Modelers Association that is ran by N Scalers?

    Folks,IMHO as long as N Scale remain "toy like" with truck mounted couplers we will continue to see slow growth or perhaps a gradual decline as follow N Scalers are woo away by HO..

    Now we see Athearn body mounting couplers on their side bay cabbose and ACF 2970 Hopper and BLMA on their PS-4000 Hopper and their Trinity 53' "RAF53C" 5-Unit Spine Car maybe just maybe other manufacturers will follow suit.
     
  12. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Lets hear from anyone who actually runs all truck mounted couplers because they need to and would have to give up N scale if body mounts became standard.
     
  13. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have a few cars that came with truck-mounted couplers that would be very difficult to convert to body-mounted if I was required to do so to run them simply because of the configuration of the car. This is also the case with my MTL log disconnects, but that is to be expected because disconnects are essentially just dressed up trucks with couplers or pockets for link-and-pin coupling.

    I don't think I am quite in the category you are seeking, as I convert most everything to body-mount eventually, and I prefer body-mounted couplers.
     
  14. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Two issues here. One is the direct cost of the cars, couplers, and upgrades, the other is function (which relates to cost) - how well it operates on curves that will fit in my space.

    I'm new to the game, and on an extremely limited budget. All the rolling stock I currently have is truck-mounted. If I could continue to use the truck-mounted stock I have, while buying new stuff body-mount AT SMALL OR NO INCREMENTAL COST INCREASE, I'd be happy to switch over to body-mount. Especially if there was a low-cost, beginner-friendly way to upgrade my old stuff over time, as funds permit. But there has to be a way for me to leverage my significant (to me) current investment in the hobby.

    Yes, I bought a cheap Bachmann starter set. I've since augmented it with a few Atlas Trainman cars. All of them are truck mount. Did I make a mistake by buying "cheap"? Maybe. They run fine, for the most part. I'm enjoying running them. And had they cost any more than they did, I would have been forced to sigh and put model railroading back on the shelf as a "wish" hobby alongside flying (real) airplanes.

    The second angle is tied to the first. I simply have no room, and cannot afford to create the room (or the benchwork) to build a layout with 18" and greater radius curves. I'm lucky to get anything decently interesting using 11" mainlines and 9-3/4" auxiliary tracks. I know that means that modern passenger, TOFC and car racks are going to be rare - and look funny - on anything I build right now. So be it. I'm also not going to be running any Constellations or Big Boys.

    If I had to (a) bulk-upgrade all of my current stuff at significant expense, (b) buy new locomotives, or (c) scrap what I have and start over, I'd simply find another hobby. I really enjoy railroading, and have since I was a kid (though I haven't been active till recently), I simply don't have much money at any one time to "invest" in the hobby.

    For me, the best deal would be a good, standard (or compatible competing designs) body-mount design that I could get at reasonable cost (maybe +5-10% over truck-mount versions) for new rolling stock, together with (a) downward compatibility to truck mounts AND (b) a low cost upgrade path (no more than, say, $5/car or $10-15/locomotive). Then I could afford to simply choose body-mount for my new stuff and incrementally upgrade the old as I went along.

    Bonus points if somebody figures out how to hide some extra flexibility in a body-mount coupler so that it can take tight corners more reliably. THEN you'd have a winner.

    So yes, in a sense, I NEED truck-mount couplers. Or more accurately, I NEED compatability with truck-mount couplers, and a slow, easy upgrade path to body mounts. I body mounts that are incompatible with truck mounts became standard, I'd probably have to quit the hobby.

    That includes if body-mount cars were compatible with truck mount, but twice as expensive. I might not get out right away, but the cost frustrations would likely drive me away after a while. I can afford a $10-20 freight car every now and again. I can even save up for a more expensive "special" car or locomotive occasionally. But if the "floor" for cars was suddenly $20-40, and the "floor" for a decent engine jumped from $100 to $200, I wouldn't be long for the hobby. I wish it were otherwise, but that's the reality of my checkbook.
     
  15. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    There is absolutely no reason that body-mounted cars should cost significantly more (indeed, ANY more) than cars with truck mounts. If the design includes a body-mount coupler, the production cost simply can't be much, if any, more. After all, you're paying for the coupler and coupler box now, only as part of the truck. Moving that cost to the underframe can't be much, if any, more expensive (I'm talking about new designs here, not retooling old designs, where the manufacturer would have to charge more to recoup the new tooling cost).

    Second, there is absolutely no reason that body-mounts couldn't be compatible with truck mounts within certain operating parameters. No one is suggesting that the coupler height should change. I have a few old 3-bay hoppers that have truck mounts because they didn't have an underframe at the ends that I could body-mount a coupler on. I run these occasionally in coal trains where all the other cars are body mounts with no problems.

    BUT, if you try to use a body mount on a long (say 60') car coupled to a truck mount on a similar-length car and try to run that combo around a 9" curve, you're asking for derailments. The bodymount car's coupler will push toward the outside of the curve, whereas the truck mount's will push toward the inside. The body mount will win the war because it is rigidly mounted to a longer, heavier infrastructure (the entire car), and will therefore push the truck mount's truck off the track. However, it is quite likely you could get away with having BOTH cars with body mounts (I run 80' passenger cars with body mounts around an 11" curve; they look ridiculous, but they don't derail), because then both couplers would offset to the outside of the curve. And this problem likely would go away with short cars (e.g., 50' or shorter) and/or somewhat larger radius (e.g., 11" instead of 9.75").

    So there's no reason that switching to body mounts would or should drive folks with "legacy" truck mounts out of the hobby. You just mix & match until you've got time to convert the old stuff over.

    John C.
     
  16. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Amen.

    One of the reasons I took the stance I took is because I understand how hard it should NOT be to meet my requirements, from a design, tooling, and cost perspective.

    My concern is that it will end up incompatible or expensive anyway.
     
  17. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe I should have worded the question a little differently.

    Lets hear from anyone who actually runs all truck mounted couplers because they need to because body mounts won't work on their layout and wouldn't be able to buy any new N scale cars if body mounts became standard.

    I wasn't meaning those who use truck mounted couplers because of cost issues, only those who physically can't run cars with body mounted couplers. Newly tooled cars with body mounted couplers should cost no more than newly tooled cars with truck mounts, compare the price of similar new cars with each. Over time the body mount cars coming out today will become tomorrows 'trainman' line. Switching from truck to body mounts on locomotives hasn't stopped people from buying and running them, or put up the price.
     

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