Model train coupler types

Dave has been in touch with some thoughts on model train coupler types. Clearly some are better than others.

I have to say, over the years, there is one brand that always comes up as best in the comments: Kadee.

Dave is also now in this camp as you’ll read, and best of all, he is now derailment free!

“Hi Al,

Well after the great response and comments for the advice wanted re my derailments with the Pullman coaches ( and a lot also said having same problem ) with various couplings , I have found the solution.

I followed most of the suggestions and came up with the best answer, most suggested that I change to a different type of coupling mainly to Kadees which are very popular world wide.

I tried out the Bachmann pipe connection and this proved very good, but not the best for uncoupling after, so I ordered some Kadee large size 19 with NEM pocket fittings, and near perfect, just caused the one derailment at speed in reverse, as shown in the video.

Looking closely as shown in the video the buffers where just catching due to needing longer fitting couplings, causing the derailment, and now I have ordered some of the extra long size 20 which should solve the problem completely, but running forward with these as they are on size 19 not a problem…

Thank you all again for your suggestions in helping me solve this.

Here is my video showing fitting the new couplings and the results.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

A huge thanks to Dave for sharing his thughts on model train coupler types. If you missed his original post, it’s here.

Another post you may find useful if derailments are haunting you, is Mal’s:

How to stop derailments.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming though, it’s very quiet this end.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

5 Responses to Model train coupler types

  1. Peter briggs says:

    Dave, the authenticity and realism of your layout is now legendary! your authentic track is worlds best! I can only see one improvement that you may care to investigate; the bellows interconnecting each carriage does not actually connect, I wonder if some whizz kid out there can suggest a means of making a simple ‘squeeze-in’ piece of ultra flexible bellows to make the carriage connection absolutely authentic? I am sure I speak for many when I say how much pleasure your layout gives us.

  2. Eric Pallister says:

    Dave, I have been using the kadee couplers for over 25 years and have built exhibition layouts. With kadee and under track magnets you can actually shunt rolling stock into siding.

    They are brilliant, take of height adjustment but once they are fitted correctly, you will have hours of enjoyment.
    good luck my friend


  3. Robert Brady says:

    Dave me man Hi Robert here love your show (videos)Now Kadee couplings are the best and they’re pronounced- K D- couplings not KA -d,just a minor correction.I am slowly changing out all of mine especially on my passenger cars.They’re a little expensive but they are the best.Look forward to your next video.

  4. John Rybak says:

    Dave! Great layout. Excellent backroads behind the layout as well. I am newer to the hobby and have been impressed on how many folks are still enjoying it after all these years. Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks here.

  5. C.P. Treft says:

    Since I’ve been Modeling I’ve always used Kaydee Couplers on all my units. I have made sure that when I get a new engine or car I either buy them with Kaydee couplers or replace them before they go on my layout. I am sold on them, and right now I am using #146’s but I also model in the U.S.A. and so I use what looks best for my layout.

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