Uncoupling...How to?

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Chris UK


As part of the plan to build an American layout for exhibition over here in the UK, I have a question...

I wish to use an automatic, invisible uncoupling system but dont know what works best or how they work. I do not want to use the 'hand of God' method.

Can anyone help, I have some stock with, I think, Kadee couplings on them and some bachmann stock that has a plastic hook type that I will replace.

I am a little unsure as to the numbers relating to couplings and what they mean.

Any help would be useful.

Thanks :confused:


Registered Member
Staff member
I am a little unsure as to the numbers relating to couplings and what they mean.
Hi Chris, Ok as Jeff suggested your best bet is the Kadee website. Click on the link select the scale that your models are and go from there. They have pages on what # couplers work on what models by specific manufacturers, like Bachmann. For the majority of revenue cars, a #5 coupler will do the job. Perhaps if you look at what Kadee has to offer you will be able to ask specific questions about mounting couplers and uncoupling. Give this a try first
Watch the animation on this page http://www.kadee.com/animation/c1.htm

Then look around at the links here


Cheers Willis

Chris UK

Thanks for the info, I need a 308 apparently which is a magnet hidden under the track and is not visible. Interesting as a 308 is a car over here made by Peugeot.

The couplings are all #5 and I have been able to source them so on with the recoupling of stock.


I use Kadee couplers too. I have found in operations that a wooden meat skewer either the thin ones like those used in Japanese cooking or the larger ones for meat shish kabobs work well. 1 package will yeild you a lifetime supply of uncoupling tools. You place the point in between the knuckles from the top and twist clockwise. And the couplers uncouple. A note here that if you use a combination of kadee standard #5 size couplers and the newer #58 scale coupler they are harder to get apart from each other because of the size difference. #5 to # 5 couplers or #58 to #58 are pretty easy to uncouple.

Another avenue to look at are Sergent Couplers. These are HO scale all cast metal and have a steel ball inside them. Their uncoupling tool is a magnet on a stick. You hold the magnet over the top of the couple and the jaw opens. These are also American scale type 'E' couplers used for decades on US railroads.


These are a new alternative to the Kadees. They will NOT however mate up with the Kadee coupler. These are a nice alternative for those who wish to use a more prototypical coupler on their models. They come in 5 packs. So you have to buy another package to get that other coupler to do 5 models.

Bill S.
Last edited by a moderator:

Chris UK

Thanks Bill, I have opted with the Kadee #5 and am recoupling all my stock. Since my last post I have sold my house and am about to move so the layout is packed ready for transit.

I have also elected to go digital and have bought the Lenz system as it is well supported over here.



New Member
Why doesn't Kadee make uncouplers for n-Scale?

The Pug 308 is an awesome car, wish they sold them out here, gotta love watching them in the WRC!

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