I setup a switching puzzle layout. Right now I only have two of the Lionel uncoupling tracks, a LionChief+ switcher with electro-couplers, and two freight cars with electro-couplers. But still was able to work the puzzle mostly hands off (completely hands off is the goal.)
I had mixed results with uncoupling and coupling. First the LC+ switcher's electro-couplers work perfectly. Yeah, sometimes it takes a little bit more force than I like, but generally they work well.
The electro-couplers on the freight cars were mostly good at uncoupling, but not great. I got the impression that if the freight cars were heavier they might work better. Going to try weighting them down tomorrow just to test this theory.
The uncoupling tracks have a lot of power, or at least they seem to. They'll move a freight car. But the couplers don't always open. My freight consists of 3 Vision Line Reefers, 3 Vision Line cattle cars, one scale 50' boxcar, a spotlight flat car, and a 1963 era flat car with simulated wooden deck. This car my dad converted from fixed knuckle couplers to metal couplers that would operate on our old tubular track electro-magnet uncouplers. Definitely the most reliable. Always uncouples over the magnet, and easily uncoupled by hand. The spotlight car has the thumbtack deal on the bottom and it is the least reliable to uncouple over the uncoupling track. Most disappointing was the inconsistency of the 6 VL cars.
So what is recommended to making uncoupling/coupling operations more consistent? Different couplers? Trucks and couplers? Rebuilding them?