Topics

[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




 

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

Jacob Damron
 

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

Jacob

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




 

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



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

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

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

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. :) 

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. :) 

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




 

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




 

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.

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