Hi guys, quick question for ya. Can a lionel operating hopper be unloaded by a standard uncoupling track or do I NEED the coal ramp to make it function? Also generally speaking how reliable is the operation of these cars? Any issues with coal getting stuck or jammed?

Thanks,

-Adam

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go" a leader says "Let's go"

-E.M. Kelly

Original Post

It can be operated with an uncoupling or operating track, but it'll dump the coal all over your track between the cars trucks.  Not sure why you would want to do that.

Train Nut posted:

It can be operated with an uncoupling or operating track, but it'll dump the coal all over your track between the cars trucks.  Not sure why you would want to do that.

At the moment I'm wanting to do an 0-27 uncoupling track with a hole in the table it sits on so it falls right through

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go" a leader says "Let's go"

-E.M. Kelly

I have a new and an old hopper. They both got coal stuck in the doors quite often. I was using the coal that was less plastic and more rock-like, if that makes a difference.

Jonathan-Arlington, TX

All Postwar, all the time

LCCA # 43702

intermodalman posted:
Train Nut posted:

It can be operated with an uncoupling or operating track, but it'll dump the coal all over your track between the cars trucks.  Not sure why you would want to do that.

At the moment I'm wanting to do an 0-27 uncoupling track with a hole in the table it sits on so it falls right through

Then an uncoupling track would work fine.

At least with the old postwar one I have(drawing a blank on the number) there is nothing terribly exotic about its operation-a magnet pulls down on the center plunger, which opens the hatches on the bottom.

The O27 "uncoupler" tracks that just had a single magnet inset into what was otherwise a standard looking section of straight track would probably work best-I think Lionel and K-Line both made them.

Honestly, though, the coal ramp is the most trouble free way of getting this to work as it is totally open under the car aside from just the small magnet set into the center.

I have used aquarium gravel in mine, but find that it tends to "leak"(although the coal loader I have sitting under it seems to feed the gravel a bit more reliably than the Lionel chunks of plastic, which it tends to throw everywhere).

Ben TCA 09-63474

Last edited by ben10ben

What I'm hoping to accomplish is placing an uncoupling track inside a Menards American power and light building

I'm hoping I can just roll cars in, empty them under the cover of the building and pull out empties ready to be reloaded

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go" a leader says "Let's go"

-E.M. Kelly

intermodalman posted:

What I'm hoping to accomplish is placing an uncoupling track inside a Menards American power and light building

I'm hoping I can just roll cars in, empty them under the cover of the building and pull out empties ready to be reloaded

Well that's just a great idea. Simple. Elegant. get a big enough funnel/deep bucket so you don't spill. 

Better idea that Lionel's rotary coal dump; I have one, built a new section of layout around it, at which time it decided to self-destruct in multiple ways. Eye-candy only, now. Maybe one day I will replace it with your scheme; I already have a hole in the layout for the stupid rotary dump.

I concur with D500, great idea, Adam! I'll have to take a close look on how that setup could work with my power plant.

Neil

That's an awesome idea. I had so much hatred of the coal flying everywhere in my layout last year, I took it out of the plans for my new layout. This would probably limit the carnage

Jonathan-Arlington, TX

All Postwar, all the time

LCCA # 43702

Encasing the mess should make it a clean operation and I assume I could make the hole under the track as big as I want since you won't be able to see it anyway further reducing mess

The tough part is going to be finding one of those buildings as they're out of print.

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go" a leader says "Let's go"

-E.M. Kelly

Last edited by intermodalman

That's a great idea and should be a fan favorite on your layout!  At the club we attached pvc pipe to the hole in the bottom of the layout (a barge actually) which empties into a 5 gal plastic bucket.  Makes it easy to use a scoop to put the coal back in the hoppers once dumped and the pvc pipe keeps the coal from going all over the place.  Of course, if you forget to put the bucket back you'll know soon enough.   

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

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Last edited by Greg Houser
Greg Houser posted:

That's a great idea and should be a fan favorite on your layout!  At the club we attached pvc pipe to the hole in the bottom of the layout (a barge actually) which empties into a 5 gal plastic bucket.  Makes it easy to use a scoop to put the coal back in the hoppers once dumped and the pvc pipe keeps the coal from going all over the place.  Of course, if you forget to put the bucket back you'll know soon enough.   

I really like the PVC idea, the plan is for a set of show modules. I could see the sound of the coal tumbling down the pipe to an awaiting bucket as a neat way to draw people in.

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says "Go" a leader says "Let's go"

-E.M. Kelly

You won't hear the sound of the coal going into the bucket.  Too much noise at a show and the pvc pipe, hopper shed, plywood, and skirting really hide the sound.   I don't notice it at all at the club and I've run the tipple 3 to 6 hrs at a time at our shows.

Just an idea.  You could record a sound bite of the sound and wire it to the uncoupler button so it plays while the hoppers are unloading.  Should be pretty easy to do.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 

Please check out the NJ HiRailers website for information about our club.  Our What's New page shows what we've been working on. While visiting the website check our Show Dates for a listing of all our public shows and be sure to visit our Club Store for unique items available for purchase to support our club and worthwhile charities!!

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