The 3469 coal dump car & 3472 milk car couplers shouldn't be affected by the sliding shoes making errant contacts as they have magnetic, not electric coil couplers.

For the electric coil coupler cars, there's not much you can do. Sometimes if you turn the car around it won't happen as much.


See ADCX Rob’s post above. These are not coil coupler cars. Probably the armature springs are weak or the little pin that goes into the bottom of the coupler is loose. Maybe the armature plate is bent and the little pin is not verticals.  Could be wear on the knuckle where the pin locks it closed. Has to be a mechanical problem, not electric couplers. 

Hi.  Are you sure we are talking about a 3469 and not the 3459. The 3469 has mechanical couplers.  No electricity involved. The 3459 has coil couplers, if the sliding shoe touches the center rail, one end will uncouple. To dump the 3469 one sliding has to be connected to the center rail and the other sliding shoe has to be connected to the outside, common, rail. It seems unlikely both sliding shoes would contact opposite rails at the same time inadverntly.   A couple things to consider. One is that may be one or both trucks have been changed to coil coupler style trucks. Another thing is that the wires from the accessory shoes to the operating dump coil have lost insulation and are continuously contacting the grounded frame. 

In my experience when coil couplers open when going through switches or crossings may have rivets where the head is too large in diameter or sliding shoes with spot faces that are too small or shallow.  This causes the head of the river to stand too high. The head of the rivet needs to be down below the plastic barriers on each side so it can not contact rails at crosses at switches and crossings. 

Neither Gargraves or Ross switches are designed to work with Lionel sliding shoes. I spoke with a gentleman from Ross at York several years ago about the problem and his only suggestion was to glue the sliding shoes up.   As a result of that conversation  I have stayed with Lionel tubular track.  

The cars are 3469's I have not changed the trucks. I have made some modifications to the switches, grinding a taper on a rail on the ross and making a small tapered piece to fit in the gargraves to keep the shoes from hanging up. I will check for bare spots in the wires.

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