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To all who were able to attend the indianapolis O/S Trainshow,was there any mention of the E Upper/Lower Safety Shelf couplers or the H Tightlock Coupler displayed in the following link? All replies will be appreciated. Many thanks.

As Always,

Al Hummel

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Hot digs! Shelf Couplers again.

When the market exceeds one, you may see production.  The all time best way to do this is to get patterns made (or buy existing patterns) and have a short production run cast up.

This is neither difficult nor prohibitively expensive.  When you finally do this, you may get a glimmer of understanding why Protocraft and Kadee have declined.

There are good foundries that do this stuff.  I just had some custom castings made.  Not cheap, but also not out of line for a hobby expense.

I do not know who makes patterns.  I bet an advertisement in MRR would get you started, or maybe Jay C.  has a good pattern maker.  I bet you are under $500 for reasonably good patterns.

All opinion.

Alan Hummel posted:

To all who were able to attend the indianapolis O/S Trainshow,was there any mention of the E Upper/Lower Safety Shelf couplers or the H Tightlock Coupler displayed in the following link? All replies will be appreciated. Many thanks.

As Always,

Al Hummel

My suggestion would be to contact they who made the ones in the image you posted.



This is my problem,I don't have the slightest idea who's behind the "possible" development of these couplers. All I know is the man who drew the design for them & he isn't sharing any knowledge on ownership. At 1 time in the early development of these couplers,the "3D man," was developing draft gear for Atlas cars that would allow these couplers to drop right in place. That would be a great idea I think then sales could be made to Atlas and likely to MTH&Lionel. I'd throw in with this idea. 

RULE 292,

I think you mean I can expect to see these couplers when Hades sees it's 1st snow storm. LOL

As Always,

Al Hummel

Alan Hummel posted:


If you opened the link I sent,someone has made,(supposedly), the Masters & looks ready for producion,so figured they'd be advertising them,but sometimes I think this is just a joke. They look very nice in the photo.

Al Hummel

And how did you get that link; who sent it to you? 

As Bob noted above, this could be a reasonable DIY effort.


I sincerely hope your getting enjoyment from the trains you have, or are able to buy from the currently available market inventory. The coupler issue you've become involved with shouldn't be a factor in your success in this hobby...many of us deal with limited or nonexistent availability issues and manage to either make our own oddball stuff or find an acceptable substitute and march ahead. Times a wasting ... go enjoy the hobby.

I have done the "lusting after" bit.  I get some strange thing fixed in my mind as a "must have."  It has never been a coupler.

I have never missed.  The first one was an MM-2 in 17/64.  I lusted for that beast from about 1957 to 1984, knowing that I would have to build it.  I now have four.

Then it was the Lobaugh Cab Forward.  I placed a bunch of ads in MRR and 48/ft, and one day Peter Thorp (RIP) agreed to sell me his.

My current project in that vein is a sand- cast Erie-Built.  The sides (the last pieces I need) are now at a foundry. It has been maybe 20 years in its inception.

I think this sort of thing, if kept under control and in perspective, can be entertaining and healthy.  If it becomes an obsession it can be harmful.



You hit it right on the head-obsession with anything isn't good. 

Since getting into O Scale,I had 2 things I said were "absolutes"-shelf couplers & operating ground throws with moving targets. Thanks to All Aboard trains,the switchstands are VERY PLEASANT realities. Truly amazing,these groundthrows are the 1st of their kind in any scale. They work just like the Prototype 'stands. My congratulations to Larry for his years to perseverance & determination.

My problem now is that if these couplers are headed for production,I don't want to start a marketable product to find someone gets ahead of me & I tied up the money for nothing.

As a modeler,I have many 3rail cars sitting in "limbo" with no couplers as I can't afford to put on a Kadee,for instance,then buy a shelf coupler later. What I have for sale in HO&N HAVE TO FUND my O Scale as that's my only form to income for a hobby. So this represents a problem that's unique to me that may not bother other modelers.

 I started in HO with flaky looking F2X couplers then graduated to #5 Kadee's then finally #58 scale couplers,then shelf couplers from Kadee,then Sergent introduced an E coupler,then years later came couplers of ALL types,E,F,H and other unique couplers. These included shelf couplers in the E&F styles.

While I still intend to use Protocraft E couplers on freight,most of my fleet is modern that has shelf couplers & to put anything on them other than these couplers is a serious oversight. Atlas couplers especially earlier style Atlas,are junk. So those have to go too.

I renumber freight cars,design buildings,plan benchwork&track,etc.,but there's times as you modelers know,you have a craving to work on other things,which for me,is couplers and nothing else. 

I know my shelf couplers over the years seem like a "terrible obsession,"  but it's not intended to be. MTH,in their history of the tank car's evolution,even lists double shelf couplers as a modern development,so these couplers are refreshingly recognized.

Just my opinions and desires.

As Always,

Al Hummel

Ed &Jay,

Ed the email for the switchstands is, Jay ,these groundthrows turn the switch points when the throw arm on the switchstand is turned just like on all groundthrows and turns a lamp or target on top of the groundthrow at the same time. Larry also has a motorized version of the same 'stand. At current,he's working on targets to fit the 'stand. Future groundthrows will be New Century designs. The current groundthrow is a Racor 22 with an Adlake lighted lamp on top.

Larry has lots of great things planned for the future. This is a FANTASTIC PRODUCT for O Scale and plans are for other scales,also.

Hope this helps.

As Always,

Al Hummel

Jay C posted:

Red Cliffs Miniatures offers working switch stands with movable targets and illumination.  Done in brass from lost wax.


Yes, they are nice piece of kit.

What would be great is to see someone creatively come up with a working Bethlehem New Century model 51.   Pretty common for east coast RRs and many are still in use today with bow handles.

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