Re: [SergentEng] Possibly Going To Kadee's On Passenger Cars

Nathan Rich

I hear and have experienced your problems. If the trackwork is not as good as one gets with a home layout, especially where it needs to travel, as in a modular or sectional club layout, there are going to be issues.

As to uncoupling at the platform, why are you trying to assemble a train at said platform? I am not trying to criticize, but in my experience passenger trains are usually assembled at the coach yard and then taken to the depot to be loaded by the yard engine. Then you just need to cut off the goat and tie on the road power. In this instance, I am merely suggesting a different operating plan.

Out on the road, if you want to preserve the aesthetics of Sergents you could keep an H Sergent on the end of your tail car and on the front of your baggage car, and use Kadee #118 couplers mid train. This way you also keep the Sergents on your power.  They are as close as you can get with a Kadee coupler to an H coupler, and they are what I used before changing to Sergents. Take your handy dandy Dremel tool to the trip pins to get rid of them (unless you use magnetic uncoupling) and shave off the top and bottom of the knuckle. Then you have something that will approximate an H coupler that won't derail adjacent cars. It will have the slack of a Kadee, but without the detailing tendency.

Nathan Rich

On Sep 26, 2016 6:50 PM, "jacob.damron@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

Fellow Sergent enthusiasts:

First, let me preface that I love the Sergent coupler in both appearance and operation. I've built and installed over 300 now for myself and others and they work great in freight trains. However, I'm about to lose my mind with these things on passenger trains.

First, I tried to install the Type H coupler on my cars and I couldn't get around the layout without derailing. I operate on Free-mo layouts and the ends aren't always perfectly level resulting in a bit of rise and fall at the module ends. This resulted in the tight lock coupler of the preceding car lifting the trailing cars trucks off the rail and derailing the car. I even went so far as to design and 3D print a new coupler box that would allow for vertical and longitudinal movement to account for these track errors.

However, that still didn't address the issues of coupling and uncoupling a car under the diaphragms. This isn't an easy task, even with the passenger car uncoupling tool, and nearly impossible on a Union Station module that is five tracks away with a train sandwiched by a platform and an adjacent train. 

I've wrecked my brain trying to solve the operational deficiency of Sergent couplers and haven't found a solution. My last idea would be to use an under track uncoupler such as the Kadee to push the ball up and out of the socket to uncouple. But that still would require a centering spring to be designed to allow for remote coupling. 

So, as much as it pains me, the only solution seems to be Kadee couplers, with the hideous trip pins, in order to efficiently operate passenger trains. I cringe at the thought of such but can't see any other solutions. Anyone have any ideas?

Jacob Damron

Ft Worth, TX

Join to automatically receive all group messages.