Author Topic: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars  (Read 1241 times)

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jweir43

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Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« on: January 14, 2017, 02:07:34 PM »
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Please, I know a warbonnet ATSF engine never pulled these cars in real life.  It is the closest I can model what my wife rode to school every morning along the Pacific coast into San Diego 60 years ago in high school.  Bear with me.

I have this ATSF engine with a regular knuckle coupler.  I have these passenger cars with magnetic vestibule couplers.  Somehow I have to tie them together to get them around the track.  I also have an extra magnetic coupler that I can attach to the engine if I can figure out to do it.  I can also probably figure out how to attach a knuckle coupler to one of the cars.

So, to start out with, the basic question:  Attach the magnetic coupler to the engine or mod one of the passenger cars to a knuckle coupler?

Either way I do it, I need to dummy up a vestibule from the lead passenger car to the engine.  Just a clear space between the engine and first car looks like hell.

So, if I do the knuckle coupler, what do I make the dummy vestibule out of.  I'm pretty handy with exacto knife, dremel tool, and tinsnips.  I've got my choice of balsa, cardboard, or brass shim.  Or what else do you suggest?

Same problem if I do the magnetic coupler, with an additional hitch.  I have to somehow fasten the engine magnetic coupler to the engine/vestibule.  It has two screw holes, but I don't think balsa is sturdy enough to hold the screws over the long haul.  Suggestions also welcome here.

Thanks for the help.  Images attached.

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JIm

peteski

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 02:29:38 PM »
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Wow!  A Bachmann F-unit with their "boxing glove" knuckle coupler and  . . . a part of Con-Cor's Aerotrain!  What a combination.  :D  The complete Aerotrain sells for around $350!

Assuming that you want this modification (to the Aerotrain) be reversible and non-destructive, I would pull off the extra diaphragm you have there. Then create an L-shape from a piece of thin soft steel (a PCI slot cover from a desktop PC would be a good source of thin sheet steel and is already L-shaped).

Drill a screw hole at the bottom horizontal part of the "L" and screw any compatible  knuckle coupler to it.  then the vertical part of the "L" can be placed against the magnets on the diaphragm on the end of the car.  IIRC, there is a piece of plastic (alignment tab) protruding from the surface of the diaphragm so you might have to make a hole in the steel piece to clear that tab.  What is nice about this setup is that neither model needs to be modified.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 02:34:37 PM by peteski »
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jweir43

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 02:37:55 PM »
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A tin can lid from a can of chili beans is another source of thin steel  ;)

But I'm not really understanding what you are saying.  Are you saying magnetically couple the L-bracket to the diaphragm magnet on the car and attach a knuckle coupler to that bracket?

If so, how do I hide the gap between the engine and the first car?  An air gap just looks like a w#ore'$ drawers.  That was the reason for some sort of vestibule attached to the engine.  Suggestions there?

I got a hell of a deal on the engine and the cars.  Besides, the Aerotrain engine wasn't the first engine on that line, nor the one that pulled her cars to San Diego.  I hate the look of the Aerotrain engine anyway.

Thanks,

Jim

peteski

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 02:59:20 PM »
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Yes, you understood my idea correctly. But I see what you mean. If you want the close coupled engine then you had the right idea - take the extra diaphragm you show in the photo, the attach it to the back of the Bachmann engine. You will have to cut open the rear of the engine to fit the pivoting diaphragm in there.  You might have to take chunk of the chassis out to make room for the pivoting to work.  Then build up a mounting location of the 2 diaphragm mounts and attach the black diaphragm mount to that area.  The only thing I'm worried about is whether the locomotives overhang will affect the car coupled to it while going through curves (as the diaphragms do nor shift laterally).

But Areotrain was a unique train and it was never powered by anything other than its unusual-looking engine.  according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerotrain_%28GM%29 Aerotrain (with its unique loco) did run in the in the San Diego area in the mid-50s. But it would have never been pulled by just any standard locomotive. It wasn't designed for this.

Quoting the Wikipedia: In March 1956 the Aerotrain made experimental runs for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in California as a San Diegan between Los Angeles and San Diego. Its use ended because the trainset had to be turned after each trip and it needed helper locomotives on the Sorrento Grade north of San Diego.

So, it is possible that the tran set did have a "standard" diesel loco as a helper, but it would have most likely still had its original power unit still attached.
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wcfn100

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 03:21:16 PM »
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By far the easiest thing is to just remove the diaphragm and put in a false wall on the car end and just put a coupler on the car end.  and if you plan for it, it's totally reversible.

Jason
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 03:24:01 PM by wcfn100 »

jweir43

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 04:01:44 PM »
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Quoting the Wikipedia: In March 1956 the Aerotrain made experimental runs for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in California as a San Diegan between Los Angeles and San Diego. Its use ended because the trainset had to be turned after each trip and it needed helper locomotives on the Sorrento Grade north of San Diego.

So, it is possible that the tran set did have a "standard" diesel loco as a helper, but it would have most likely still had its original power unit still attached.

The Sorrento Grade is just a couple of miles north of where Cyndi would have boarded the train in Del Mar, so my guess is that we saw it nearly every time with a warbonnet pulling it.  The F7 would then have decoupled at the yard near Capistrano and waited around to do the reverse pull over Sorrento back to San Diego.

jweir43

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 04:12:00 PM »
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By far the easiest thing is to just remove the diaphragm and put in a false wall on the car end and just put a coupler on the car end.  and if you plan for it, it's totally reversible.

Jason

I'm not quite sure how this "false wall" would track the engine-car gap around turns, but you all have given me an idea.  If I can get a coupler that attaches to the vertical body of the car, leave both the car diaphragm in place and the "engine diaphragm" magnetically attached to the car diaphragm, remove the pivot pin on the engine diaphragm and take the mounting bracket off, the gap would have a double diaphragm on it with no attachment to the engine, but would ride close enough to it to look like it was attached.  This would solve the curve problem because the back wall of the engine would move the coupled diaphragms from side to side. 

If you had a magnifying glass, you could probably detect that the engine diaphragm wasn't attached to the engine, but from a foot away, it should be invisible.

Now the question becomes whether or not anybody makes a coupler that attaches to a vertical surface or whether I get out the plastic glue and styrene sheet and make an L-bracket to make that happen.  Ideas?

By the way, how do you make an avatar and how do you edit your own posts on this board.  I've spent a lot of time fooling around and can't find either answer. 

Just for the heck of it, here is a mock-up (Photoshop if you will) of the Del Mar & Lemon Grove Eastern layout.

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Jim

nickelplate759

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2017, 04:35:31 PM »
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Just re-read the additional post, so my comment was all wrong.
I wrote:
Just a thought - wouldn't she have been more likely to have seen it with the F-unit coupled onto the front of the Aerotrain locomotive rather than directly to the passenger car?


I would love to know more about the train that your wife rode.    Was it some kind of articulated gas-electric, like M-190?

Here's a link to a picture M-190 pulling a coach:


George
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 05:23:23 PM by nickelplate759 »
George

NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

wcfn100

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2017, 04:44:36 PM »
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I'm not quite sure how this "false wall" would track the engine-car gap around turns

It doesn't.  Just build an end for the car and put a coupler on it.



Jason
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 04:50:18 PM by wcfn100 »

jweir43

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 04:54:18 PM »
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Just a thought - wouldn't she have been more likely to have seen it with the F-unit coupled onto the front of the Aerotrain locomotive rather than directly to the passenger car?

I'd love to see a picture of what you describe - an F-unit directly pulling the Aerotrain cars.

George

Well, since I don't have an Aerotrain engine, this is the best I can do  8)

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wcfn100

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 05:11:05 PM »
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Here's a shot of the end of one of the cars.





Jason

cjm413

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 05:46:39 PM »
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If you don't want to modify the locomotive or cars, look for a cheap shorty passenger car (e.g. Model Power) to convert into a "transition car"

http://www.spookshow.net/passenger/mpcorr.html

cjm413

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 06:28:11 PM »
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Its use ended because the trainset had to be turned after each trip and it needed helper locomotives on the Sorrento Grade north of San Diego.

They should have used one of those double-ended DL500's

:D :ashat:

peteski

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 06:35:13 PM »
+1
Well, since I don't have an Aerotrain engine, this is the best I can do  8)


Jim,
looks like you got yourself the Aerotrain extension set (only the middle cars - no engine and no tail car).

You can't edit your posts until you have accumulated certain number of posts (25 I think).  At the pace you're going now, that won't take a long time.  :)

Avatar?  Actually, it is  now easier than ever.  Basically you need to first create a small picture (like 100x100 pixles) to be your avatar.  In the past we had to host the picture on an external website but now the Railwire has a Gallery feature where you can upload photos, then use them on the forum.  So, upload your avatar photo to the Gallery (and get its .jpeg link), then go to your Profile -> Modify Profile -> Forum Profile and configure your avatar there (using the URL to the avatar stored in the Gallery).  This might again be something you can only do after you accumulated enough posts.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"

jweir43

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Re: Need to couple coupler engine to magnetic passenger cars
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 11:56:15 PM »
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Well, folks I solved the problem with a silver hammer.

I bought the Kato 10 car early Amtrack set for $170 off of eBay; it matches the NTSF warbonnet nearly perfectly.  I'll use the three little Aerotrain cars in some sort of vignette on the periphery of the layout.

I'd like to thank you all for spending the time with a complete tyro and helping me to my ultimate decision on THIS part of the layout.

Of course, I've got ten million questions that I don't even know that I don't know, so if you would treat me kindly as we progress in this little routine, I'd appreciate it.

Once again, thanks for your help.

Jim