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I want to replace the couplers on my 3rd Rail Lehigh Valley John Wilkes Coaches.  The OEM couplers do not open while in motion but they don't keep the cars together either.  I haven't been able to figure out why the geometry of the couplers allow them to slip apart.

Can anyone suggest a coupler that will work well on 3rd Rail coaches?


Rev Richie

Original Post
Rev Richie posted:

Hey John... This seems to be a common problem on 3rd Rail Coaches.   You can replace them with Weaver passenger trucks or glue a piece of plastic to the coupler knuckle to prevent them from slipping apart. 

Maybe glueing a piece of black plastic underneath the knuckle, thus it would be out of sight.

The guys at 3rd Rail were not very helpful and would not replace the trucks.

So, you saying that the couplers are truck mounted? Virtually all the Sunset/3rd Rail/Golden Gate Depot passenger cars I owned, had the coupler assemblies mounted on the underside of the carbodies. Thus, it was pretty easy to remove them and up-grade to Kadee couplers.


This problem existed on earlier heavyweight P70 plastic passenger car runs from GGD. While the cars would not necessarily uncouple, the couplers would move downward thus separating the train when a heavy load was put on the train ie a good number of cars, yet the couplers remained in the closed position.  Make sense?

Hot Water has a good solution to this problem - use Kadee couplers.


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