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

Jacob Damron
 

Nathan:

You said:

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.

Ideally, yes, we would have a separate coach facility to break down and assemble passenger trains. And building such a module is on the to-do list but it's about four years out. The module I'm building, not just planning, is a near prototypical replica of Dallas Union Terminal from 1961. The footprint of this module is 43' X 20'. Dallas was a busy place and not one that I completely understand the operations on. The terminal was on the north end, the coach yard and engine facilities were in the middle, and the Rock Island and MoPac yards were south with Tower 19. Adjacent to the Union Station was the REA express building with three tracks for those type of cars. My understanding, based upon photos and other sources, was that express head end cars were pulled off on the terminating trains after the power was removed and sent to be serviced by the hostlers. The coach/lounge cars were routinely pulled away separately by the 0-6-0 switcher DUT #7 (early years) or the SW900 DUT #8 (later years) to be serviced in the coach yard. The reverse was accomplished and the train reassembled at the platforms for some of the 80 trains that Dallas saw each day. Some trains, such as my RI Twin Star Rocket, just stopped for pax and bags and then pressed on. 

My module has the REA tracks and the wye facility to turn the trains. In the absence of the coach yard, either by facility limitations or until it's built, we will have to service some trains at the platform. But, regardless of operating philosophy which I would love to continue the discussion on, there is still a need to easily assemble and disassemble passenger cars with diaphragms. I'm a died in the wool Sergent guy but operational capability always trumps prototypical accuracy with me. 

If anyone has a solution I'm all ears. How much magnetic force would it take to push the Sergent ball out of the socket?

Jacob Damron
Ft Worth 

---In SergentEng@..., <thaddeusthudpucker@...> wrote :

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.

Cheers
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




 

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