Last month I revisited my OO Gauge Fixed Link Wagon Couplings, you can find the post here, and last week the sample set arrived so now I can show you how they worked out.
The sample set, as pictured below, contained 8 couplings. There’s a mixture of 3 Link and Instanter couplings with some being straight and some stepped. (See the coupling page here to find out what each is for).
The biggest different to the couplers was the removal of the flexible section which was the weakest point.
To test the couplings properly I paid a visit to the McKinley Railway which uses a mixture of Kadee couplers and these 3D printed couplers for its wagons. For the test we made up a train with a variety of couplings.
At the start we had some box vans with Kadee couplings installed.
Then we had one of the new 3D printed Instanter couplings.
Followed by a 3D printed 3 Link coupling.
And at the back were three vans connected with my 3D printed coach drawbars. These have not been released yet so I will have more on those in a later post.
The 3D printed couplings clip directly into the NEM sockets; these box vans all have their couplings sockets at the same height so the stepped couplings are not required.
For the test the requirement was fairly simple. Will the couplings without the flexible section allow the train to navigate corners, ‘S’ bends and junctions without pulling the box vans off the rails? And the answer is ‘yes’, as you can see in the video below. The train was sent all over the layout, at full speed, including passing through the yards, tight curves and junctions where speed is normally reduced.
Of course running forwards the train is being pulled but what about pushing the train? In the video below you can see the train being propelled through a busy set of junctions at max speed, which was way too fast, with no issues right until the end when the last box van derails due to a wheel issue. But the couplings worked.
I do need to point out that although these are much stronger than the original version they are still made from the same material and will break if over-twisted, just not so easily.
Now the new version has been tested and proven to work without the fragile flexible section I’ll work through the range and update the shop. I’ll add a note to each relevant product to mark it as the second version but if you’re unsure if it’s been upgraded before you buy please drop me an email or get in touch via the contact page and I can check for you.