Please see my 2/22/2020 post for the solution to this issue which is drawn from the various comments received the last few days.  John

I have several modern Lionel operating hopper cars from the 1980s such as the 6-6105 Reading from 1982 pictured here:

34

These cars are modeled after the postwar 3456.  However, the 1980's versions have sprung trucks with the uncoupling tab in front of the leading axle of the truck as shown here (the silver discs in the picture):

33

The postwar 3456 (the black car in the above picture) has the uncoupling tab behind the axle.   The result is that when the car is coupled to the ramp, the uncoupling magnet mounted on the 456 ramp that is used to uncouple the train from the hopper car (circled in this picture)

36

is positioned under the uncoupling tab on the postwar car and thus uncouples the car from the train, but the tab on the modern cars ends up in front of the magnet and does not activate to uncouple the train.  Although somewhat hard to see, this picture shows the tab in front of the magnet:

37

Has anyone run into this issue and found a solution short of replacing the sprung trucks on the newer cars with postwar trucks?  Any help greatly appreciated.  Thanks.  John

 

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Last edited by jpnrc
Original Post

I substituted post-war cars in place of the modern version.  I found the sprung trucks also interfered with dumping the coal.  The dumping magnet is strong enough that it pulls the entire car down a bit, thus preventing the hopper doors from opening enough.

What if you attach a small piece of thin flat steel to the tab that will then extend over the uncoupling magnet?


Former member -Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders

 

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Now a Tarheel.

Dan Padova posted:

I substituted post-war cars in place of the modern version.  I found the sprung trucks also interfered with dumping the coal.  The dumping magnet is strong enough that it pulls the entire car down a bit, thus preventing the hopper doors from opening enough.

I too have heard of problems. What are the problems if you have the newer release of the coal ramp? I have both types, wondering which one I will or should use.

Jeff B. Haertlein posted:
Dan Padova posted:

I substituted post-war cars in place of the modern version.  I found the sprung trucks also interfered with dumping the coal.  The dumping magnet is strong enough that it pulls the entire car down a bit, thus preventing the hopper doors from opening enough.

I too have heard of problems. What are the problems if you have the newer release of the coal ramp? I have both types, wondering which one I will or should use.

The hopper I mentioned was the one released some time in the '80s.  The layout was also the one I had then.  When I purchased the 456 ramp at a train meet, back then, the original post-war hopper was included.  But wanting a more up to date hopper, I purchased the Reading version with sprung trucks.  So it was that version that was the subject of my previous description.  

Now I have the new 456 coal ramp along with the newest version of the post-war hopper.  I won't know, for sure, how things will go with it's operation until my permanent layout is up and running.

Guess I am in the same boat as to how (even) the new version works. Seems to me I once heard a problem with the cars coupling up to the bumper post, I think it had something to do with the springs or the buffers not retracting far enough into the housing to allow the cars to couple.  ???  I believe I have all the newer operating hoppers that Lionel introduced , plus a few of my original N&W hoppers. At one time I had hoped to have two or three ramps side by side, but I don't have enough room to do so, one will suffice.

As an edit to to my possible solution, you can remove the metal thumbtack and replace it with a piece of thin sheet metal that will be long enough to reach the magnet.  It would have to be rectangular in shape.


Former member -Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders

 

Meets at:

Lakewood Historical Museum
500 Country Club Drive
Lakewood Pine Park

Lakewood NJ (732) 363-7799

Meet every Tuesday nite, 7:00 - ~10:00 PM

www.ocsmr.com

 

Now a Tarheel.

Thanks all for your replys and suggestions.

1. I too would like to hear how the modern hoppers work with the modern ramp.  This could be an easy fix (but from the pictures I've seen of the "new" (made in 2000) ramp I doubt it).

2.  Jeff, I did find that the modern hoppers don't couple to the ramp as easily as the postwar 3456 hopper, maybe because of the plastic used in the sprung truck couplers.  I didn't mention this originally because I wasn't sure if it was the hopper or the nearly 70-year-old coupler on the ramp!

3.CSXJoe, you're correct that replacing the tack with a rectangular piece might work, but it wouldn't address the problem of the dumping magnet "pull[ing] the entire car down a bit, thus preventing the hopper doors from opening enough" to release the coal, that Dan pointed out.  Replacing the sprung trucks with a set from a postwar hopper might be easier, and should also help with coupling the car to the ramp.  Also, I have at least one modern hopper, a 6-19804 Wabash hopper from 1987, on which the tacks already hang so low that they won't clear the unloading magnetic!

John

Last edited by jpnrc

Well it sounds like I will still use my good old ramp and my original N&W hoppers and sell off my operating hoppers and the new ramp.. Too bad, as I liked all the different hoppers I collected. But I like to operate!

Grampstrains posted:
Jeff B. Haertlein posted:

Well it sounds like I will still use my good old ramp and my original N&W hoppers and sell off my operating hoppers and the new ramp.. Too bad, as I liked all the different hoppers I collected. But I like to operate!

I have the postwar ramp with modern cars.  I just put postwar trucks on the newer hopper and they all

work just fine.

Jeff B. Is the new ramp set up the same as the postwar version.  If so than the newer hoppers wont work on the newer ramp either.  Have you tried it?

The new ramp has a problem with the car coupling to the ramp. It is fixable,  and I wrote directions on how to do that, which I posted years ago when the ramp came out. Tomorrow I will look for them and repost them. Once the ramp is fixed,  it works really well with the modern cars. 

Howard Reed Upstate NY, Land of the D&H
Howard Reed posted:

The new ramp has a problem with the car coupling to the ramp. It is fixable,  and I wrote directions on how to do that, which I posted years ago when the ramp came out. Tomorrow I will look for them and repost them. Once the ramp is fixed,  it works really well with the modern cars. 

Howard, that's really good news.  Your post will be really helpful.

One question:  do you have any experience using the postwar 3456 hopper with the new ramp?  Thanks.  John

Howard Reed posted:

The new ramp has a problem with the car coupling to the ramp. It is fixable,  and I wrote directions on how to do that, which I posted years ago when the ramp came out. Tomorrow I will look for them and repost them. Once the ramp is fixed,  it works really well with the modern cars. 

Great! You must be the fellow I was referring to. I'll look forward to your post.   jeff     

Howard Reed, I found the post you were referring to.  It was from August 2018 in this thread:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ing-it-work-properly

Because it is very informative and potentially helpful, I am reproducing it below.  My takeaway from all the comments above plus Howard's post below:   

If you use a postwar 456 ramp, use postwar 3456 hoppers, but if you want to use modern Lionel hoppers with that ramp replace the sprung trucks on the modern hoppers with metal trucks from 1950's postwar hoppers.  Alternatively, you can buy a modern 456R ramp, # 6-14005, do the modifications in Howard's post below, and use any Lionel operating hopper car.  Good Luck To All.  John

Here's Howard's post

I purchased one of these ramps about a year after they came out. I had some problems with it and I figured out what the problem was and fixed it. I then posted what I did here on the forum. However, I do not think that thread still exists, so I am reposting my post here. Also I used 18 volts with this accessory. 

So here is my original post:

Lionel’s 456R coal ramp coupling solution! 

At York on Friday, I purchased the 456R coal ramp reproduction that came out last year. I had reservations about buying this accessory because I had read a number of reviews and commits by others on the computer lists. Many of these talked about how hard the train had to hit the coupler at the top to get the car to couple. Also, I already owned the postwar version, which worked well, but the only hopper to work with it is the postwar car. I have a number of modern era operating hoppers that would not work with the postwar ramp. So I had been interested in the modern ramp but with the negative commits I had heard, I had not purchased one. 

Then at York, I found the modern era ramp for a very good price so I took the plunge (like the hopper cars do when you release them. (Zoom…) and purchased it. 

Well I set it up this past week to test it and guess what? The only way the hoppers would couple at the top is if I rammed them into the coupler at the top with my hand!! (the old 0-5-0 method??) Even then the car only coupled about 20% of the time. This was unacceptable. 

So I started to study the problem and I noticed the spring bumpers were pushing the coupler back before it had a chance to couple. So I took a second plunge and started taking the ramp apart to see if I could find the problem. I removed the metal plate that is on the back of the bumper pier. This is the piece of metal which starts at the base goes up to the top of the pier then bends to form the top of the pier. The red light lens is mounted in it too. To remove the piece of metal, you must straighten two metal tabs under the base of the ramp. Then pull straight up on the metal plate. It fits tight, so pull hard, it will come – suddenly! You will then have clear access to the bumper. 

I then saw the problem! On the end of the sliding bumpers there are black plastic tubes. These tubes are to long so when the car is pushed in to couple, the sliding bumpers push the spring-loaded coupler away before it can couple to the car. Of the two black tubes, the shorter one, which pushes the contact switch that turns the bumper light on, is the main problem. It must be reduced in length. The tubes are easily removed from the sliding bumpers by taking the small Philips head screw out from the end of the tube. You will need a very small screwdriver for this task. I then cut the tube with a razor saw, and cleaned up the cut with a fine file. I actually cut a little off at a time and experimented until I had the proper length. The longer black tube on the other sliding bumper also needs to be reduced in length however the length on this one is not as critical. When you reassemble the bumper sliders the small electrical switch, which operates the bumper light, may need to be adjusted. I did this by using a small pair of needle nose pliers, and bent the contact spring out a bit. 

When I replaced the metal plate to the back of the pier, I did not bend the metal tabs back that hold the plate. The plate fits tightly and doesn’t really need the tabs bent to hold it. This way I will be able to easily remove the plate to service the ramp without removing the ramp from the layout. This will also keep the tabs from breaking off from repeated bending. 

I can now push the hopper cars up the ramp with an engine and have them couple without any problem. It now couples as well as my postwar ramp! I am now quite pleased with my ramp. It will handle both the postwar hoppers and the modern era hoppers. I am running it at about 18 volts. The ramp looks very good and the new railings look much better then on my old ramp. Also, the bumper light is on whenever a car is coupled and is more useful then the light on the postwar version. 

Finally, those hoppers really zoom down the ramp when they are released! To slow them down I mounted a 027-uncoupling track at the bottom of the ramp. I activate the uncoupler when the car passes over it. This slows the car down, however, I think I am going to purchase a second uncoupler and wire the two uncoulpers to one button to get more breaking! I have to say I am having an enjoyable time with my ramp now. 

Finally, a note on why I think the ramp was produced the way it was. I believe the switch that controls the light was originally supposed to be mounted sideways so the slide bumper activated it as it passed by. Then the manufacturer changed the switch location for some reason when they started actual production, which caused the problem.

I hope this repost will help.

Howard Reed Upstate NY, Land of the D&H

 

jpnrc posted:

Howard Reed, I found the post you were referring to.  It was from August 2018 in this thread:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ing-it-work-properly

Because it is very informative and potentially helpful, I am reproducing it below.  My takeaway from all the comments above plus Howard's post below:   

If you use a postwar 456 ramp, use postwar 3456 hoppers, but if you want to use modern Lionel hoppers with that ramp replace the sprung trucks on the modern hoppers with metal trucks from 1950's postwar hoppers.  Alternatively, you can buy a modern 456R ramp, # 6-14005, do the modifications in Howard's post below, and use any Lionel operating hopper car.  Good Luck To All.  John

Here's Howard's post

I purchased one of these ramps about a year after they came out. I had some problems with it and I figured out what the problem was and fixed it. I then posted what I did here on the forum. However, I do not think that thread still exists, so I am reposting my post here. Also I used 18 volts with this accessory. 

So here is my original post:

Lionel’s 456R coal ramp coupling solution! 

At York on Friday, I purchased the 456R coal ramp reproduction that came out last year. I had reservations about buying this accessory because I had read a number of reviews and commits by others on the computer lists. Many of these talked about how hard the train had to hit the coupler at the top to get the car to couple. Also, I already owned the postwar version, which worked well, but the only hopper to work with it is the postwar car. I have a number of modern era operating hoppers that would not work with the postwar ramp. So I had been interested in the modern ramp but with the negative commits I had heard, I had not purchased one. 

Then at York, I found the modern era ramp for a very good price so I took the plunge (like the hopper cars do when you release them. (Zoom…) and purchased it. 

Well I set it up this past week to test it and guess what? The only way the hoppers would couple at the top is if I rammed them into the coupler at the top with my hand!! (the old 0-5-0 method??) Even then the car only coupled about 20% of the time. This was unacceptable. 

So I started to study the problem and I noticed the spring bumpers were pushing the coupler back before it had a chance to couple. So I took a second plunge and started taking the ramp apart to see if I could find the problem. I removed the metal plate that is on the back of the bumper pier. This is the piece of metal which starts at the base goes up to the top of the pier then bends to form the top of the pier. The red light lens is mounted in it too. To remove the piece of metal, you must straighten two metal tabs under the base of the ramp. Then pull straight up on the metal plate. It fits tight, so pull hard, it will come – suddenly! You will then have clear access to the bumper. 

I then saw the problem! On the end of the sliding bumpers there are black plastic tubes. These tubes are to long so when the car is pushed in to couple, the sliding bumpers push the spring-loaded coupler away before it can couple to the car. Of the two black tubes, the shorter one, which pushes the contact switch that turns the bumper light on, is the main problem. It must be reduced in length. The tubes are easily removed from the sliding bumpers by taking the small Philips head screw out from the end of the tube. You will need a very small screwdriver for this task. I then cut the tube with a razor saw, and cleaned up the cut with a fine file. I actually cut a little off at a time and experimented until I had the proper length. The longer black tube on the other sliding bumper also needs to be reduced in length however the length on this one is not as critical. When you reassemble the bumper sliders the small electrical switch, which operates the bumper light, may need to be adjusted. I did this by using a small pair of needle nose pliers, and bent the contact spring out a bit. 

When I replaced the metal plate to the back of the pier, I did not bend the metal tabs back that hold the plate. The plate fits tightly and doesn’t really need the tabs bent to hold it. This way I will be able to easily remove the plate to service the ramp without removing the ramp from the layout. This will also keep the tabs from breaking off from repeated bending. 

I can now push the hopper cars up the ramp with an engine and have them couple without any problem. It now couples as well as my postwar ramp! I am now quite pleased with my ramp. It will handle both the postwar hoppers and the modern era hoppers. I am running it at about 18 volts. The ramp looks very good and the new railings look much better then on my old ramp. Also, the bumper light is on whenever a car is coupled and is more useful then the light on the postwar version. 

Finally, those hoppers really zoom down the ramp when they are released! To slow them down I mounted a 027-uncoupling track at the bottom of the ramp. I activate the uncoupler when the car passes over it. This slows the car down, however, I think I am going to purchase a second uncoupler and wire the two uncoulpers to one button to get more breaking! I have to say I am having an enjoyable time with my ramp now. 

Finally, a note on why I think the ramp was produced the way it was. I believe the switch that controls the light was originally supposed to be mounted sideways so the slide bumper activated it as it passed by. Then the manufacturer changed the switch location for some reason when they started actual production, which caused the problem.

I hope this repost will help.

Howard Reed Upstate NY, Land of the D&H

 

 

Thanks a bunch Howard, your post is the one I remember reading, now I have it printed for as my instruction sheets!!

Hi JPNRC, thanks for finding and posting my old post. I was about to post this and I saw you had already posted it. Saved me the work of finding and posting it myself. Great. 

Howard Reed Upstate NY, Land of the D&H

It seems adding a second magnet would make it universal among cars by uncoupling the tack couplers too. 

You could also quickly fill the spring area with black silicone to stop vertical travel while dumping. (and/or gel superglue, but silicone could be removed someday/resprung) Some of the sprung ones roll like mad. I'd balk at swapping them with lesser rolling quality is all.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Howard Reed posted:

Hi JPNRC, thanks for finding and posting my old post. I was about to post this and I saw you had already posted it. Saved me the work of finding and posting it myself. Great. 

Thank you Howard, for sharing your findings with the forum. Very much appreciated as I have this accessory sitting and waiting until I had time to do what you did, this will save me a bunch of time.

Charlie

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