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

Nathan Rich
 

Yeah thats the big problem with mobile laps, they get beat to hell.

Nathan

On Sep 27, 2016 16:35, "'Christopher A. Zurek' zurekc@q.com [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

My idea is to make the people with screwed up Free-mo modules fix them. I get so tired of that problem.

Chris Z.


On 9/26/2016 8:49 PM, jacob.damron@... [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




Re: [SergentEng] Re: Accurail Scale Draft Gear Availbility

Frank Sergent
 

Hi folks,
 
The narrow shank couplers are extremely slow moving compared to the compatible shank couplers. Once I ran out of draft gear boxes, I had little interest in a bulk buy from Accurail that would last 15 years or more, so I started looking into options for lower quantities and noticed they were standard products from Accurail even in bulk (and shown as in stock at the time). My options were (1) to spend big bucks on lots of very slow moving inventory (2) to buy smaller quantity and raise my price on the EN couplers to cover the extra cost of buying the boxes in lower quantity, or (3) quit acting like a middle man and just let my customers buy directly from Accurail. I chose door number 3. Since then, Accurail has indicated these are Temporarily Unavailable. I would recommend contacting them for an anticipated return date of the product. The more demand they have for this product, the more likely they are to bring it back quickly.
 
Frank
 

Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 10:13 AM
Subject: [SergentEng] Re: Accurail Scale Draft Gear Availbility
 
 

Maybe because Accurail can't supply the parts to Sergent.
Mark Lewis
Stony Point, NC

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




 

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

Jacob Damron
 

Chris:

I agree completely but that just isn't the case. Some amount of vertical play, more than what the Type H allows, has to be present to account for construction error, temperature changes, setup errors, or damage in transport. 

Jacob Damron
Ft Worth

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

Nathan Rich
 

In this instance the best solution is probably going to be Kadee couplers, because I'm not aware of any device that can produce the antigravity force necessary to push the ball upward. Uncoupling magnets can be buried in the track for kadee couplers. Add that to the inherent inaccuracy in Freemo modules that you can't control, and they seem like the least headache solution.

While they are superior in reducing slack in trains and look so much better and are about the best thing since RP25 wheels, maybe here Sergent couplers are not the best solution.

I'll be putting H couplers on my passenger cars. I don't have to deal with making and breaking trains, I model Amtrak and I build my trains in the staging yard. =P

Nathan Rich

On Sep 28, 2016 12:42 PM, "jacob.damron@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

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@..., 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




 

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

Morgan
 

I offer this more as info than anything else, but history is full of trains building at the platforms, sleepers  could be set off in mid route at the dead of night, and some trains set off Dining Cars rather than dragging them around, for other trains to take them back the other way.  And on top of that, some trains ran with multiple sections, they might leave Point A as one train and then at Point C the first third of the train and one of the engines splits off the other direction.

Good example:

Amtrak ran the FLoridian from Chicago south. there were 2-3 engines, as needed Head End Equipment, then a sleeper, a Cafe, and then the coaches, a Dining Car, and more sleepers. Once they got to Florida, They sawed off an engine, a baggage car, and the front sleeper, Cafe, and coach(es). There was a transfer (frieght) yard to do it in, but it was a long way from being in a Coach Yard. 

The Texas Eagle pulls a similar trick. In San Antonio, they whack off the last two cars, a Through Sleeper and a Coach, and tack it onto the Westbound Sunset Limited, flipping the two in positioning so the Coach passnegers don;t have to walk through the Sleeper. 

So, plenty of reasons to switch Passenger trains on the road. :) 

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

Nathan Rich
 

True, the Empire Builder does the  Superliner Hokey-Pokey in Spokane every night too with the Seattle and Portland sections, but there aren't canopy roofs there to interfere with a giant hand in the sky wielding an uncoupling pick...

Nathan Rich

On Sep 28, 2016 9:53 PM, "morganw.davis@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

I offer this more as info than anything else, but history is full of trains building at the platforms, sleepers  could be set off in mid route at the dead of night, and some trains set off Dining Cars rather than dragging them around, for other trains to take them back the other way.  And on top of that, some trains ran with multiple sections, they might leave Point A as one train and then at Point C the first third of the train and one of the engines splits off the other direction.

Good example:

Amtrak ran the FLoridian from Chicago south. there were 2-3 engines, as needed Head End Equipment, then a sleeper, a Cafe, and then the coaches, a Dining Car, and more sleepers. Once they got to Florida, They sawed off an engine, a baggage car, and the front sleeper, Cafe, and coach(es). There was a transfer (frieght) yard to do it in, but it was a long way from being in a Coach Yard. 


The Texas Eagle pulls a similar trick. In San Antonio, they whack off the last two cars, a Through Sleeper and a Coach, and tack it onto the Westbound Sunset Limited, flipping the two in positioning so the Coach passnegers don;t have to walk through the Sleeper. 

So, plenty of reasons to switch Passenger trains on the road. :) 

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

Tim L
 

This might get the creative juices flowing.

http://www.sergentengineering.com/pass1.htm

I'd not likely try a nail like shown but the principal of the idea;
redirecting the magnetic flux from the wand is. It might be possible to
fashion fixed uncoupling bars with a bulky end over the top of the
coupler so you only have to touch the uncoupling lever at the side of
the car with the wand or something similar. No idea of the best material
to do it with though.

If I ever get around to making some passenger cars this is what I'll
have to do, no way the passenger car wand that's available will fit
between the diaphragms and couplers on what I model.

- Tim

On 29/09/2016 05:37, jacob.damron@... [SergentEng] wrote:


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 te
rminal 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 absenc e 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

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

Alan Hummel
 

Jacob,

Even though I've never had H or F couplers installed yet,I understand from the Sergent Website,those coupler types must have their height "right on" as you've painfully found out.

I only run freight so my contact with F couplers will face a similar situation. Fortunately,I'm working on a new layout so will be able to work over my benchwork first.

Is the difference between moduals,sufficient to correct the height difference by using risers to compensate?

Good luck.

Al Hummel

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

Andrew
 

The main issue with modules is that they are moved around, exposed to wild swings in temperature and humidity and have varying degrees of quality in construction.  It can take quite a bit of effort throughout the course of a train show to get a module set back into adjustment.  

I had no issues with lower shelf and double shelf couplers at the National train show.  I do not have any F or H type couplers installed yet.  

Andrew

On Sep 29, 2016, at 7:31 AM, "Alan Hummel ahummel72@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Jacob,

Even though I've never had H or F couplers installed yet,I understand from the Sergent Website,those coupler types must have their height "right on" as you've painfully found out.

I only run freight so my contact with F couplers will face a similar situation. Fortunately,I'm working on a new layout so will be able to work over my benchwork first.

Is the difference between moduals,sufficient to correct the height difference by using risers to compensate?

Good luck.

Al Hummel

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

Alden G. McBee
 

I ran into a related problem on my home layout with type H couplers on the new Walthers Amfleet cars, which have prototype spacing.  The diaphragms are too stiff to allow the cars to negotiate 30” radius curves when coupled with type H couplers. Reluctantly my solution, at least for now, was to keep the Kadees (with the pins clipped) between the cars and use the type H couplers on the ends of the cars where they are visible as someone previously suggested.  The Kadees have enough slop to let things work.  Removing one diaphragm also works but looks worse.  I tried to get some spare diaphragms from Walthers to try and alter the springing setup, but they couldn’t supply them. 
—Alden McBee
 

On 29/09/2016, at 7:43 AM, Andrew Porter ihtsbih_2014@... [SergentEng] <SergentEng@...> wrote:


The main issue with modules is that they are moved around, exposed to wild swings in temperature and humidity and have varying degrees of quality in construction.  It can take quite a bit of effort throughout the course of a train show to get a module set back into adjustment.  

I had no issues with lower shelf and double shelf couplers at the National train show.  I do not have any F or H type couplers installed yet.  

Andrew

On Sep 29, 2016, at 7:31 AM, "Alan Hummel ahummel72@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

Jacob,

Even though I've never had H or F couplers installed yet,I understand from the Sergent Website,those coupler types must have their height "right on" as you've painfully found out.

I only run freight so my contact with F couplers will face a similar situation. Fortunately,I'm working on a new layout so will be able to work over my benchwork first.

Is the difference between moduals,sufficient to correct the height difference by using risers to compensate?

Good luck.

Al Hummel



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

Andrew
 

The footprint of this module is 43' X 20'.

Jacob,
Wow thats quite a module.  Do you have pictures online?

Andrew
 

On Sep 28, 2016, at 3:37 PM, "jacob.damron@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

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@..., 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




 

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

Jacob Damron
 

I wonder if another piece of metal rod would have better magnetic flux capabilities?

Jacob

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

Jacob Damron
 

Al:

The problem isn't the rail height at the module end. All of the modules have adjustable legs and are very accurately matched. The problem is poor construction techniques that provide for rail either falling or rising at the end plate creating a 'ski ramp' effect. This is the undulation that causes the issues. The rail is supposed to be perpendicular to the end plate for the first six inches but routinely isn't. 

Jacob

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

Jacob Damron
 


Andrew:

I plan to start a Facebook page documenting the design and construction of this module. I hope to have it up soon.

Jacob

---In SergentEng@..., <ihtsbih_2014@...> wrote :

The footprint of this module is 43' X 20'.

Jacob,
Wow thats quite a module.  Do you have pictures online?

Andrew
 

On Sep 28, 2016, at 3:37 PM, "jacob.damron@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:

 

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




 

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

David Olsen
 

On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 7:49 PM, Jacob Damron <jacob.damron@...> wrote:

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.

A few years back (maybe a decade, actually), someone came up with a very simply centering spring design for Sergents.  It's been awhile, so I can't seem to find any photos of it (I'm sure I saved them somewhere), so I'll describe it as best as I can.

The design uses a short piece of wire that extends from the rear end of the Sergent shank and fits in the middle of a coil spring that is oriented perpendicular to the centerline of the car, at the rear of the coupler box.  You drill a hole in the center of the back end of the coupler shank and insert a short piece of stiff wire (I would recommend maybe .010" or .012" steel wire) so it extends along the centerline of the coupler box.  Next, find (or make) a coil spring that will lay horizontally at the rear end of the coupler box, perpendicular to the wire in the coupler.  This obviously may require a coupler box that has extra room at the back end, but you already mentioned that you designed your own coupler boxes, so I'm sure that won't be a big deal to modify. Finally, insert the coupler so the wire fits in the center of the coil spring.  When the coupler swings side to side, the coil spring will center the wire automatically.

I haven't gotten around to installing Sergents on any passenger cars, but I plan to use Type H couplers on my Amtrak equipment.  Since I don't like Kadee trip pins, I figure Sergents will actually be easier to use, especially with Superliners that have high diaphrams with more clearance under them for an uncoupling wand.  My layout plan calls for the Capitol Limited to just pass through without needing any switching, so that helps as well.

Hope that helps!

Dave

Draft gear boxes

David
 

In light of the discussion about the Accurail boxes not being available, has anyone tried using Sergent couplers in the Moloco draft gear boxes?  Would these work best with the compatible or the narrow shank couplers? Or both perhaps?


Re: [SergentEng] Draft gear boxes

Ryan Harris
 

I've used the compatible shank couplers in Moloco boxes without any issues. 



Ryan Harris


-------- Original message --------
From: "scott.d100@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...>
Date: 10/1/16 21:39 (GMT-06:00)
To: SergentEng@...
Subject: [SergentEng] Draft gear boxes

 

In light of the discussion about the Accurail boxes not being available, has anyone tried using Sergent couplers in the Moloco draft gear boxes?  Would these work best with the compatible or the narrow shank couplers? Or both perhaps?


Re: [SergentEng] Draft gear boxes

Nathan Rich
 

I just use Kadee boxes for compatible shanks, #262

Nathan Rich

On Oct 1, 2016 19:44, "Ryan Harris ryan.harris@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...> wrote:
 

I've used the compatible shank couplers in Moloco boxes without any issues. 



Ryan Harris


-------- Original message --------
From: "scott.d100@... [SergentEng]" <SergentEng@...>
Date: 10/1/16 21:39 (GMT-06:00)
To: SergentEng@...
Subject: [SergentEng] Draft gear boxes

 

In light of the discussion about the Accurail boxes not being available, has anyone tried using Sergent couplers in the Moloco draft gear boxes?  Would these work best with the compatible or the narrow shank couplers? Or both perhaps?


Re: Draft gear boxes

David Olsen
 

The compatible shank couplers work fine in Moloco boxes, but I personally think they stick out just a tad too far when compared to prototype photos.  I think it's because the Sergent pulling face is the same distance as a Kadee from the pivot point of the shank, but the scale Sergent head is smaller overall, making the exposed part of the coupler shank a little longer. I've noticed the same thing using compatible shank couplers in some other brands of coupler box, such as Tangent. I bought a few sets of the short shank couplers to see if they look better. Keep in mind that I'm pretty picky about the appearance of things like this, so you may not even notice. It has no effect on operations at all.

Dave Olsen
El Paso, TX