Introduction


Alexander Smart
 

Hello

I’m a model railroader from Oban, Scotland, UK who loves American railroads.
I’m a retired high school teacher.
I model Southern and my son Cotton Belt.
My son and I have a small HO switching layout, only 5’x 1’!
It’s set in Memphis TN in the late 1960s. This allows transfer runs and lots of switching.
We also have a 1/29 garden railroad of the same era, with lots of first and second generation diesels.
We have always used Kadees , but we decided to try Sergent couplers for the small layout. This was for their better appearance and because there are lots of curves which doesn’t suit Kadees so well.
We want to know how well the Sergent couplers perform on a switching layout, and if there are any tips for successful switching operations.

Thanks.

Kind regards

Sandy Smart


Steve Wintner
 

Sandy,

I'm sure others here can chime in.

I'm curious why you say the Kadees aren't suited for the curves. But I'd suggest Sergents are quite good for a small layout - they can be fiddly but I've not found them objectionably so, and in real life couplers don't always line up properly either.  I find that uncoupling is easy enough as long as you can reach and see what you are doing - another aspect suiting a smaller layout well.

And I really like their appearance, especially allowing for scale width draft gear, and that they do not extend quite so far from the end of the car - near scale coupling distances are achievable. 

If your curves are very tight, you may find the Sergents don't extend far enough, and your cars are too closely coupled. That may require a bit of re-working to mount them a bit further out, but that should be doable. 

Steve


Alexander Smart
 

Steve

Thanks a lot for your helpful suggestions. Our curves are not too bad, it’s just there are not a lot of straight sections to line up Kadees properly, as we were able to do in the garden with more space. We can see and reach so far, and as I’m building the layout I can make sure that structures, power lines etc are suited to the need for access.

Like you we like the scale appearance and the close coupling is a bonus with our limited space. I’m practising operations with them to get past the fiddly stage!

Regards 

Sandy


On 8 Apr 2021, at 04:41, Steve Wintner via groups.io <steve_wintner@...> wrote:

Sandy,

I'm sure others here can chime in.

I'm curious why you say the Kadees aren't suited for the curves. But I'd suggest Sergents are quite good for a small layout - they can be fiddly but I've not found them objectionably so, and in real life couplers don't always line up properly either.  I find that uncoupling is easy enough as long as you can reach and see what you are doing - another aspect suiting a smaller layout well.

And I really like their appearance, especially allowing for scale width draft gear, and that they do not extend quite so far from the end of the car - near scale coupling distances are achievable. 

If your curves are very tight, you may find the Sergents don't extend far enough, and your cars are too closely coupled. That may require a bit of re-working to mount them a bit further out, but that should be doable. 

Steve


John Larkin
 

Steve,

You hit a good prototype point that most people aren't aware of unless they've been unfortunate enough to encounter it in real life - it's not at all unusual to find coupler alignment problems, especially if the car has been switched over curved trackage (i.e., switches).  This problem gets exponentially worse if the weather is either very cold or very wet and you're out there trying to align it. 

John Larkin

On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 10:41:36 PM CDT, Steve Wintner via groups.io <steve_wintner@...> wrote:


Sandy,

I'm sure others here can chime in.

I'm curious why you say the Kadees aren't suited for the curves. But I'd suggest Sergents are quite good for a small layout - they can be fiddly but I've not found them objectionably so, and in real life couplers don't always line up properly either.  I find that uncoupling is easy enough as long as you can reach and see what you are doing - another aspect suiting a smaller layout well.

And I really like their appearance, especially allowing for scale width draft gear, and that they do not extend quite so far from the end of the car - near scale coupling distances are achievable. 

If your curves are very tight, you may find the Sergents don't extend far enough, and your cars are too closely coupled. That may require a bit of re-working to mount them a bit further out, but that should be doable. 

Steve