[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!