I would like to know your reason why you put Kadee Couples on your train cars and locos. I don't have the patience to convert everything over and I really think that If I came to a decision to sell the car, someone may not buy it.

Tim Lewis

 

Original Post

Some reasons I know of are more realistic look (scale size), possibly closer car spacing and they are better for switching operations. You are also correct, they are not for everyone and not everyone would buy a car with Kadee's installed.

1. because they look better

 

2. because they work better

 

3. because I WANT to

 

That's it.... not a long drawn out thought process. You either do or you don't.

Last edited by Former Member
Originally Posted by Tim Lewis:

I would like to know your reason why you put Kadee Couples on your train cars and locos. I don't have the patience to convert everything over and I really think that If I came to a decision to sell the car, someone may not buy it.

1) They work better! There is no need to bash them together in order to make a coupling, as with those big "lobster claws". I can couple into a single sitting boxcar (weighted to NMRA standards) without having it move and still have a successful joint.

 

2) They look a whole lot better, especially when body mounted for much closer coupling of cars. The newest Kadee 740 series couplers are even more prototypical in appearance.

 

3) They STAY COUPLED! Even on very long trains, they STAY COUPLED!

best operating coupler there is! period.

I converted all my HO to it.

I converted all my O scale to it.

Now I'm converting all my G scale to it.

Run out the slack on a hundred car train. Most others will fail or dip out. You'll be sold!

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

Because you don't need to run at 70 mph to couple them!!

AG.

    2 Rails Layout and a big fan of brick structure.

   TCA member # 15-71009 



 

I remember back about 1955 when Kadee couplers came out.  About the same time the NMRA came out with their stupid design.  I couldn't believe what the NMRA did.  The Kadees were so slick and looked protypical.  Oh, well.

 

I don't think body mounted Kadees work well on O-31 track. They must have fairly wide radius track.  Correct?  If I were not a toy train operator, I would consider installing them.  The Lionel couplers are OK, but they are not even close to scale.  But then, almost nothing is to scale due to space limitations.  And 3 rail isn't exactly scale.  But 3 rail track and sharp curves and limitations on the amount of track I can fit in a small space doesn't keep me from having a lot of fun with my trains.  And fun is the primary objective.  

They have problems, too. Have participated in operating sessions on layouts (HO) that 

used them. Fiddling was required regularly. These were not amateur layouts, either.

They are a good product, but not perfect - what is?

 

Frame-mount couplers do not lend themselves to sharper curves. Too bad - getting the coupler off the truck solves more problems than it causes. (Does both.)

 

Lionel's coupler design works well - and is more prototypical than the Kadees, if you want to pick nits, which I don't. The execution of this design over time by various companies is all over the map, as we know. Some are flawless; some are...the others. 

 

The "70 mph coupling" is neither required nor un-fixable. I have posted more than once the simple fix for most of the "70 mph" units, so I won't do it again. A little analytical thought can come in handy.

I run them because they look better, allow for closer spacing between cars and/or locos, and they are more reliable than lobster claws, which tend to release at random times.

 

I guarantee you people will still want to buy stuff from you that has been converted to kadees.  

I have a small layout with Atlas O-36 curves. On the kits that I build, I use Kadee's. 36' is the longest car I run, though. I use them because I model the late 1800's, early 1900's, which mainly used archbar trucks, which aren't very common in 3-rail. By time you figure the cost plus shipping from Lionel, you're looking at over $20.00 a car for plastic trucks. MTH's parts dept. is completely unworkable, at least for me, so my options are few.

 

So far the Kadee's work great, look good, and are fairly affordable. For kits, they're also easier to use. Don't have to cut out details to get 3-rail trucks to fit.

 

My situation is different than most, so I do what I do.

Originally Posted by Laidoffsick:

1. because they look better

 

2. because they work better

 

3. because I WANT to

 

That's it.... not a long drawn out thought process. You either do or you don't.

Ditto

 

Also I can run fifty car trains without having to worry about a lobster claw letting go which they do all the time.

Last edited by superwarp1

I've never heard of anyone putting a rubber band around their Kadees to keep them closed

 

I've never heard of anyone gluing their Kadees shut to keep them closed

 

I've never heard of anyone slamming their cars together to couple the Kadees together

 

I've never heard of anyone keeping a train permanently coupled because they dislike having to uncouple the cars

 

Resale value...why do you want to sell your trains?!?!?!  When your dead and gone, does it really matter?

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Same as others have said,  they look better,  function better and they close the gaps.   It's really an improvement over the lobster claws in appearance.

    Chris

 

Don't call me irrational you know that makes me crazy.

And come see my videos on modeling and rail fanning the prototypes.

 

 

I think if Kadee, or any one else, would make a SCALE electric  coupler that can be retrofitted replacing the existing claw O couplers, they may make some good money.

 

I think MTH has HO electrical couplers, not sure why they don't make them O scale too...

Sam E.

 

I will stop learning when my last breath leaves me, then I will start learning all over again in my Next Existence!...

Like Doug "Laidoffsick" said:

 

  • They look better. Closer to scale size than the hi-rail coupler. The 700-series look more prototypical than any hi-rail coupler produced.
  • They work better. The only uncouple when you want them to. You don't have to slam into them to get them to couple.
  • Because you're pulling on the car frame as opposed to the trucks, operation is more natural. You also get the "slack action" on longer trains.

There are some caveats:

  • Body-mounted couplers require wider curves. You really shouldn't use them unless you have 36" radius (O-72) curves or larger.
  • You'll likely have to adjust the mounting height to get them to the right height on some cars. This is especially true if you're converting hi-rail cars as some of them ride high to compensate for the flanges.
  • Unless you convert every single locomotive and piece of rolling stock to Kadees, you'll need a couple of "Transition Cars".

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

Thought someone should post some photos so here's a Lionel GP9 in Wabash paint with the original coupler sitting behind an Atlas GP9 with Kadee coupler:

 

 

DSCF0004

 

Here's the Atlas GP9:

 

 

0013

 

And here's the Lionel GP9 before I repainted it and installed Kadees:

 

 

DSCF0003

 

And after:

 

 

1912 004

 

 GP9 1912 was the only Seaboard GP9 to get their light green paint scheme.  Warren Calloway provided me with a black and white photo of it in this scheme along with a black and white photo of it in the dark green scheme and you can see the difference in the shades, even in black and white.  If there's a color photo of it in the light green scheme it hasn't been published yet.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

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Last edited by Bob Delbridge
Originally Posted by AGHRMatt:

Like Doug "Laidoffsick" said:

 

  • They look better. Closer to scale size than the hi-rail coupler. The 700-series look more prototypical than any hi-rail coupler produced.
  • They work better. The only uncouple when you want them to. You don't have to slam into them to get them to couple.
  • Because you're pulling on the car frame as opposed to the trucks, operation is more natural. You also get the "slack action" on longer trains.

There are some caveats:

  • Body-mounted couplers require wider curves. You really shouldn't use them unless you have 36" radius (O-72) curves or larger.
  • You'll likely have to adjust the mounting height to get them to the right height on some cars. This is especially true if you're converting hi-rail cars as some of them ride high to compensate for the flanges.
  • Unless you convert every single locomotive and piece of rolling stock to Kadees, you'll need a couple of "Transition Cars".

So basically, if you are running O-27, Traditional, or Hi Rail trains (as the name of this forum might suggest), Kadee couplers don't really have much to offer given the amount of work and cost involved to convert? LOL.

 

Andy

 

When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains and I asked for a slow one.

Last edited by handyandy
Not really.  I have o-27 track (lionel brown-tie, right) that is 42" diameter.  Most stuff with kadees willl work with that.  Everything in the 3RS forum is "high-rail" and all of that is kadee.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by handyandy:
So basically, if you are running O-27, Traditional, or Hi Rail trains (as the name of this forum might suggest), Kadee couplers don't really have much to offer given the amount of work and cost involved to convert? LOL.

 

 

Would I/Do I personally convert to Kadee for 027/Post War trains, and 031 curves? NO

 

99% of my stuff is scale running on 072 or bigger. 3RS it's still Hi-Rail, and I do convert it all except the passenger cars. Passenger cars get a Kadee on the head end and rear end only for looks. OK so now the rear cars are getting ProtoCraft couplers as they are strictly for looks back there.

 

20150715_114940

20150716_141022-1

 

20150715_180404-1

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Last edited by Former Member

I think what laidoffsick mentioned is worth expanding upon.  Kadees generally don't appeal to people looking for the "toy train look".  If you collect postwar Lionel or Marx, you are probably not interested in kadees - they don't make sense.

 

If you like realistic trains and don't concern yourself with "collector value" (as if anything is collectible anymore), kadees may be a way to go, even if you operate railking or other semi-scale offerings from the past 20 years.

I like to think of it as "model railroading" compared to running toy trains. Yes they are all toys in the grand scheme of things, and they all use a center rail for power, but there's a big difference between an operating toy train layout, and a more scale sized hi-rail layout. Do you have the 20' tall brakeman standing next to the track or is he 6' tall?

In tests, Kadees have proven to be the strongest and most reliable couplers available.  Additionally, they offer delayed uncoupling (http://www.kadee.com/html/delay.pdf) which can be a benefit for switching operations.

 

The proof is in the pudding:  Kadees were so good that, when their patents expired, they were the couplers that other manufacturers copied.

Last edited by PGentieu
Originally Posted by Tim Lewis:

......and I really think that If I came to a decision to sell the car, someone may not buy it.

But, some one else might,


Isn't sanity really just a one trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking! But when you're good and crazy…ooh hoo hoo hoo…the sky's the limit!

I've posted this thought before.  I would like to see the lobster claw go the way of the 0-27 tin plated track, at least on MTH, Lionel, and AtlasO scale offerings.

Originally Posted by servoguy:

I remember back about 1955 when Kadee couplers came out.  About the same time the NMRA came out with their stupid design.  I couldn't believe what the NMRA did.  The Kadees were so slick and looked protypical.  Oh, well.

The "horn hook" coupler was never an NMRA standard. There was an NMRA committee, which was completely outside the Standard Committees, that looked at a number of experimental (X) coupler designs, one of which was the X2F. When it was put to a vote, around 1955, the NMRA membership rejected the X2F (and several others) as an NMRA 'Standard' coupler. What was accepted was a standard coupler pocket, so a standard shank could be developed for the many couplers being used at the time could be interchanged between manufacturers cars.

 

The problem with Kadee's at the time was they wanted a licensing fee from manufacturers that would have priced most cars out of people's reach. Instead the manufacturers jumped on the X2F as their de facto standard coupler. Not because it was an NMRA standard, but because it was easy and cheap to make. The main differences being the size of the mounting hole, large for body mounts, small for truck mounts.

 

Len2

Originally Posted by Martin H:
Not really.  I have o-27 track (lionel brown-tie, right) that is 42" diameter.  Most stuff with kadees willl work with that.  Everything in the 3RS forum is "high-rail" and all of that is kadee.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by handyandy:
So basically, if you are running O-27, Traditional, or Hi Rail trains (as the name of this forum might suggest), Kadee couplers don't really have much to offer given the amount of work and cost involved to convert? LOL.

 

 

Lionel 027 track is NOT 42" diameter

Tim you can't be concerned about selling them after you have used them anyway. You buy them for yourself, so the question of "what can I sell them for later" should never be a factor. You want to invest.... buy gold.
Originally Posted by tr18:
Originally Posted by Martin H:
Not really.  I have o-27 track (lionel brown-tie, right) that is 42" diameter.  Most stuff with kadees willl work with that.  Everything in the 3RS forum is "high-rail" and all of that is kadee.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by handyandy:
So basically, if you are running O-27, Traditional, or Hi Rail trains (as the name of this forum might suggest), Kadee couplers don't really have much to offer given the amount of work and cost involved to convert? LOL.

 

 

Lionel 027 track is NOT 42" diameter

Not exactly. K-line did O-42, O-54, and O-72 in O-27 rail profile & ties. We used it for DCS demonstrations with TCA Western.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

As I stated above, I don't have a problem on Atlas O-36 curves. Haven't tried anything longer than 36' yet, though.

Originally Posted by AGHRMatt:
Originally Posted by tr18:
Originally Posted by Martin H:
Not really.  I have o-27 track (lionel brown-tie, right) that is 42" diameter.  Most stuff with kadees willl work with that.  Everything in the 3RS forum is "high-rail" and all of that is kadee.
 
 
 
Originally Posted by handyandy:
So basically, if you are running O-27, Traditional, or Hi Rail trains (as the name of this forum might suggest), Kadee couplers don't really have much to offer given the amount of work and cost involved to convert? LOL.

 

 

Lionel 027 track is NOT 42" diameter

Not exactly. K-line did O-42, O-54, and O-72 in O-27 rail profile & ties. We used it for DCS demonstrations with TCA Western.

Oh, he meant 027 "style" track.  My bad!

Good educational subject matter. Everyone kept hinting around the main reason. It's because they look cool...

 

One good thing. They don't make Kadee's for Standard Gauge.

Respectfully,

"Pappy"

My Two-Cents                 

 

Lionel O27 track is different from regular lionel tubular track.  I believe o27 was introduced after as a more economical track system.
 
Lionel Tubular Track:
1) black ties
2) straights are 10"
3) ties are higher profile.
4) minimum available curve is 31"
 
Lionel O27 tubular Track
1) brown ties
2) straights are about 8.75" 
3) ties are lower profile
4) minimum available curve is 27"
 
This isn't something I read somewhere.  I own all the above mentioned examples and have measured them myself.
 
Originally Posted by tr18:

 

Lionel 027 track is NOT 42" diameter

 

You want to do it, or you don't.

No sense making it a battle or trying to poselytize for or agin 'em.

 

I have not foresaken the electro couplers on my locos . . . at least not yet. Everything else is done including my 21" and 18" passenger cars except for one transition car. Didn't even have enough sense to keep a transition freight car!

 

I have discovered that grades can be a problem with KDs. I am "easing" my grades to be "KD-friendly."

Ok, here's what happens when you don't switch your whole fleet!

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Originally Posted by Engineer-Joe:

Ok, here's what happens when you don't switch your whole fleet!

Hey the rivet counters will have something to cry about.

Tim Lewis

 

 "I have o-27 track (lionel brown-tie, right) that is 42" diameter.  Most stuff with kadees willl work with that"

 

   Yeah, I had an industrial switching layout with those O-42 curves and ran body mounted couplers with no problem. Longest cars I tried were 50 footers so passenger cars or modern freight cars might not work but they'd look pretty bad on O-42 anyway. The O scale Kadees have a pretty wide gathering range compared to real couplers which can run on 90 foot radius on 40 foot cars(90 foot in O scale is 22.5 inches or in the O-42 ball park) ..DaveB

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