60’ Cars With Body-Mounted Couplers On N Scale 8.5” Kato Radius

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GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
I’m currently finalizing plans for my 20” x 33” micro layout which uses Kato Unitracks 8.5” and 9.8” radius curves. My track plan is the same as the 17” x 30” micro layout from Steve’s Trains only slightly larger obviously. He utilizes 7.5” radius curves and states rolling stock with body-mounted couplers will not work. Does anybody know if 50’ and 60’ cars will work with the 8.5” and 9.8” radius?
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
This is probably not what you want to hear, but body mount couplers won't function properly on the smaller radius curves. The couplers will tend to drag the other cars off the rails on curves, especially reverse curves. If you're going to use larger cars, you'll need to stick with truck mounts. 40' and 50' cars will probably do all right on the 9.75" curves if you use body mounts, but you'll have problems with the larger cars on the tighter curves.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
This is probably not what you want to hear, but body mount couplers won't function properly on the smaller radius curves. The couplers will tend to drag the other cars off the rails on curves, especially reverse curves. If you're going to use larger cars, you'll need to stick with truck mounts. 40' and 50' cars will probably do all right on the 9.75" curves if you use body mounts, but you'll have problems with the larger cars on the tighter curves.
No no, exactly what I needed. Thank you very much! It’s good information to learn. Most of the rolling stock I have is truck-mounted but I do have two 60’ gondolas that are body-mounted. Guess I’ll need to sell them and acquire new ones. Thanks for your help:)
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Run your heaviest cars up front near the power. If you place a locomotive at one end of the 'string' and three or four heavier cars at the back, or cars that aren't all that heavy but that have quite a bit of rolling resistance in the axle boxes, you'll experience stringlining. This can happen on a grade, on curves, or on a combination of both.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
Run your heaviest cars up front near the power. If you place a locomotive at one end of the 'string' and three or four heavier cars at the back, or cars that aren't all that heavy but that have quite a bit of rolling resistance in the axle boxes, you'll experience stringlining. This can happen on a grade, on curves, or on a combination of both.
I’ll try it out once the track is constructed. Thanks!
 

rreitz

Member
You could also try removing the body mounted couplers and replacing with truck mounted couplers if you wanted to keep those cars.. Of course you would have to check first if truck mounted couplers will be long enough to allow the conversion. Just a thought.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
You could also try removing the body mounted couplers and replacing with truck mounted couplers if you wanted to keep those cars.. Of course you would have to check first if truck mounted couplers will be long enough to allow the conversion. Just a thought.
That idea didn’t occur to me but I just happened to test them out yesterday on the track and they made it around the curves so everything worked out great. Thanks for the suggestion tho!
 

Smudge617

Well-Known Member
No no, exactly what I needed. Thank you very much! It’s good information to learn. Most of the rolling stock I have is truck-mounted but I do have two 60’ gondolas that are body-mounted. Guess I’ll need to sell them and acquire new ones. Thanks for your help:)
You may find using NEM pockets a good alternative, there are plenty of conversion kits which are simple to mount, (either screw or glue) I've used a few different ones converting UK tension locks to Kadee couplings which are HO scale.
 

GuilfordRailman

Well-Known Member
You may find using NEM pockets a good alternative, there are plenty of conversion kits which are simple to mount, (either screw or glue) I've used a few different ones converting UK tension locks to Kadee couplings which are HO scale.
I ran a quick test yesterday with the two gondolas and they actually made it around the curves which I was super excited about. Now I don’t have to sell them!
 




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