If your set was made in , you have the earlier of two different locomotives which were both confusingly numbered Both models should have the 3-position reversing unit "e-unit" --forward-neutral-reverse-neutral. You can step through the direction sequence by turning the right-hand control off, or by moving the left-hand control counter-clockwise. The had a wheel arrangement, that is, a 2-wheel pilot truck, 6 driving wheels, and a 2-wheel trailing truck. This was called a "prairie" locomotive.

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The model had a arrangement, which Lionel incorrectly also called a prairie, but which is properly an "Adriatic". I suggest you lubricate the engine and all the cars before you run the train.

Here is a link to a service manual. You might also want to consider one of my recommendations: Bend the center pin on each piece of track slightly to one side. This makes a better connection and will keep the track together. If you have switches, you probably shouldn't try to bend the pins as it may damage the switch. Actually, you don't bend the pin, but bend the center rail where the pin is inserted into it.

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If you use this technique, you will find it is much quicker than trying to squeeze the holes in the track together, you will find that the connection is better, and you will find the track comes apart easily when you want to take it apart. Thanks to all of you who responded, I got everything working, but the locomotive derails a lot in foreward works fine backing up. Does the pilot truck derail to the inside of curves? If so, that is characteristic of that locomotive and results from an incorrect design of the steering geometry. It can be fixed by modifying the locomotive, but probably more than you want to attempt.

I have found that proper lubrication of the engine will reduce or eliminate derailing. There is another problem to look for. I believe your engine has a pilot truck made from die cast zinc. On a that I have, the hole for the axle was badly worn.

CSX trains hooking up to freight at the CSX yard in Cayce, SC

I removed one of the wheels and made a bushing to go in the axle hole, and the problem was fixed. I am careful to keep everything well lubricated, particularly engines. I have seen a lot of damage done to engines caused by lack of lubrication. Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account. Order Ascending Order Descending. Member since December, 2 posts. Posted by UP on Sunday, December 13, Member since July, From: Sierra Vista, Arizona 13, posts.

Posted by cacole on Sunday, December 13, Member since September, From: Seattle, Washington 1, posts. The posters there should be able to help you better than anything we can do. The Moderator here has been known to switch posts to different forums, so Ill give a shout out to him to switch this one for your benefit. Member since January, 1, posts. Posted by 8ntruck on Sunday, December 13, 1: While simple in principle, the system suffered from a lack of standardisation regarding size and height of the links, and the size and height of the pockets. The link-and-pin coupler consisted of a tube-like body that received an oblong link.

During coupling, a rail worker had to stand between the cars as they came together and guide the link into the coupler pocket. Once the cars were joined, the employee inserted a pin into a hole a few inches from the end of the tube to hold the link in place. This procedure was exceptionally dangerous and many brakemen lost fingers or entire hands when they did not get them out of the way of the coupler pockets in time.

Many more were killed as a result of being crushed between cars or dragged under cars that were coupled too quickly. Brakemen were issued with heavy clubs that could be used to hold the link in position, but many brakemen would not use the club, and risked injury. An episode of the television series Casey Jones was devoted to the problems of link-and-pin couplings. To avoid the safety issues, Karl Albert, then director at the Krefeld Tramway , developed the Albert coupler during , a key and slot coupler with two pins.

Cars to be coupled were pushed together, both couplings moving to the same side. One pin was inserted, then the cars were pulled to straighten the coupling and the other pin inserted. This operation required less exact shunting. Due to the single-piece design, only minimal slack was possible. The system became quite popular with tram systems and narrow gauge lines.

During the s most cities replaced them with automatic couplers. But even in modern cars, Albert couplers get installed as emergency couplers for towing a faulty car. The link and pin was replaced in North American passenger car usage during the latter part of the 19th century by the assemblage known as the Miller Platform , which included a new coupler called the Miller Hook. The Miller Platform and hook coupler was used for several decades before being replaced by the Janney coupler.

Norwegian or meat chopper couplings consist of a central buffer with a mechanical hook that drops into a slot in the central buffer. The Norwegian coupler allows sharper curves than the buffer-and-chain, which is an advantage on those railways. On railway lines where rolling stock always points the same way, the mechanical hook may be provided only on one end of each wagon. Similarly, the hand brake handles may also be on one side of the wagons only. Not all Norwegian couplings are compatible with one another as they vary in height, width, and may or may not be limited to one hook at a time.

Two versions of radial coupler were used in South Africa. One, the Johnston coupler, commonly known as a bell link-and-pin coupler, was introduced in and is similar in operation to and compatible with link-and-pin couplers, but bell-shaped with a circular coupler face. The other, the bell-and-hook coupler, was introduced in and is similar to the Norwegian coupler , but also with a circular coupler face and with a coupler pocket which is open at the top of the coupler face to accommodate the drawhook. All new Cape gauge locomotives and rolling stock acquired from were equipped with these or similar couplers, beginning with the CGR ST of , a construction locomotive named Little Bess.

The first of these narrow gauge lines came into operation in , when the first NGR Class N T locomotives entered service on the Weenen branch out of Estcourt. Coupling and uncoupling were done manually, which posed a high risk of serious injury or death to crew members, who had to go between moving vehicles to guide the link into the coupler pocket during coupling. Johnston couplers gradually began to be replaced on the South African Railways from , but not on narrow gauge rolling stock. All new Cape gauge locomotives and rolling stock acquired from that year were equipped with AAR knuckle couplers.

Conversion of all older rolling stock was to take several years and both coupler types could still be seen on some vehicles into the late s. During the transition period, knuckle couplers on many locomotives had a horizontal gap and a vertical hole in the knuckle itself to accommodate, respectively, a link and a pin, to enable it to couple to vehicles which were still equipped with the older Johnston couplers.

The coupler is similar to the Norwegian coupler. It is a radial coupler with a coupler pocket which is open at the top of the coupling face. Instead of a link and pins, it makes use of a drawhook which, upon coupling, slides over the drawhook pin in the coupler of the next vehicle in the train. To prevent the drawhook of the mating coupler from accidental uncoupling, the coupler bell is equipped with a drawhook guard, commonly known as a bridle, above the coupler pocket.

Usual practice was to have a drawhook fitted to only one of the mating couplers and train crews therefore carried spare drawhooks and drawhook pins on the locomotive. While automatic coupling is possible, this rarely happens and manual assistance is required during coupling. Uncoupling is done manually by lifting the drawhook by hand to release it. The coupler could be adapted to be compatible with the Johnston coupler by replacing the drawhook with a U-shaped adapter link, which was attached using the same drawhook pin. Bell-and-hook couplers began to be replaced on the Avontuur Railway upon the introduction of Class diesel-electric locomotives on the narrow gauge system in All new narrow gauge rolling stock acquired for that line from that year were equipped with Willison couplers.


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Older rolling stock were not converted and an adapter was used to enable coupling between the two types. The drawhook on the bell-and-hook coupler would be replaced with the adapter, which was attached using the same drawhook pin. The knuckle coupler or Janney coupler was invented by Eli H. Janney , who received a patent in U. Janney was a dry goods clerk and former Confederate Army officer from Alexandria, Virginia , who used his lunch hours to whittle from wood an alternative to the link and pin coupler.

The term buckeye comes from the nickname of the US state of Ohio , the "Buckeye State" and the Ohio Brass Company which originally marketed the coupling. In , satisfied that an automatic coupler could meet the demands of commercial railroad operations and, at the same time, be manipulated safely, the United States Congress passed the Safety Appliance Act. Its success in promoting switchyard safety was stunning.

That percentage fell as the railroads began to replace link and pin couplers with automatic couplers.

Coupler-related accidents dropped from nearly 11, in to just over 2, in , even though the number of railroad employees steadily increased during that decade. When the Janney coupler was chosen to be the North American standard, there were 8, patented alternatives to choose from. The only significant disadvantage of using the Janney design is that sometimes the drawheads need to be manually aligned. Many AAR coupler designs exist to accommodate requirements of various car designs, but all are required to have certain dimensions in common which allow for one design to couple to any other. Unicoupler has been developed by Knorr company from Germany in the s and is widely used in Iran in freight cars.

This type of coupler is compatible with SA-3 and Willison couplers.

The Unicoupler is also known as AK69e. The Unicoupler was the West-European development, it was developed in parallel with a compatible East-European counterpart, the Intermat coupler. Unilink is a coupler compatible with SA3 and screw coupling, which is used e. Multi-function couplers MFCs are "fully automatic" couplers that make all connections between the rail vehicles mechanical, air brake, and electrical without human intervention, in contrast to autocouplers which just handle the mechanical aspects.

The majority of trains fitted with these types of couplers are multiple units, especially those used in mass transit operations. There are a few designs of fully automatic couplers in use worldwide, including the Scharfenberg coupler , various knuckle hybrids such as the Tightlock used in the UK , the Wedgelock coupling, Dellner couplings similar to Scharfenberg couplers in appearance , BSI coupling Bergische Stahl Industrie , now Faiveley Transport and the Schaku-Tomlinson Tightlock coupling.

There are a number of other automatic train couplings similar to the Scharfenberg coupler, but not necessarily compatible with it. Older US transit operators continue to use these non-Janney electro-pneumatic coupler designs and have used them for decades. The A ends of the cars typically have the Westinghouse coupler and the B ends use either a semi-permanent drawbar , or a Westinghouse coupler.

The updated model N-2 with a larger 4-inch The model N-2 used lightweight draft gear slung below the center sill, to allow for the wide swings required to go around sharp curves. This made the N-2 unsuitable for main line railroad use so an updated version NA was developed for that market. The Tomlinson coupler was developed by the Ohio Brass Company [15] [16] for mass transit applications, but eventually found use in some mainline railroad vehicles as well. It consists of two squared metal hooks that engage with each other in a larger rectangular frame with air line connections above and below.

For applications outside of rapid transit the coupler had to be significantly enlarged to meet the increased strength requirements first appearing in this capacity on the Budd Metroliner and later on the Illinois Central Highliner fleet. Its relative lack of strength is one reason the N-Type has been more successful in the mainline railroad arena.

The Scharfenberg coupler [25] German: Scharfenbergkupplung or Schaku is probably the most commonly used type of fully automatic coupling. However, there is no standard for the placement of these electro-pneumatic connections. Some rail companies have them placed on the sides while others have them placed above the mechanical portion of the Schaku coupler. Small air cylinders, acting on the rotating heads of the coupler, ensure the Schaku coupler engagement, making it unnecessary to use shock to get a good coupling. Rail equipment manufacturers such as Bombardier offer the Schaku coupler as an option on their mass transit systems and their passenger cars and locomotives.

It also equips all the dedicated rolling stock used for the shuttle services in the Channel Tunnel.

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Due to the rush to dieselise and the number of different suppliers, the United Kingdom ended up with a variety of incompatible connections for multiple working. The latter were categorised as yellow triangle, blue square, and so on. This has nothing to do with the physical connection of vehicles. Coupling codes, as they were known, became relevant only if multiple working of locomotives or multiple units was required.

The Swedish-made Dellner coupling, [28] is a proprietary version of the Scharfenberg coupler , connecting vehicle, pneumatics and electronics at the same time. The patented energy absorption D-BOX technology allows coupling at speeds of up to 15 kilometres per hour 9.

It is the standard coupler type for all passenger trains in Japan as well as on commuter and subway trains in South Korea. Shinkansen bullet train rolling stock utilise a variation of the Shibata coupler developed by Sumitomo Metal Industries in the s which uses rotary tight-lock pins, and which coincidentally bears a closer resemblance to the Scharfenberg coupler rather than the Shibata coupler. The electrical connection block below the coupling mechanism is not used in North America. Schwab type coupler , Switzerland. Sometimes a wagon with one coupling system needs to be coupled to wagons with another coupling type This may be needed when taking metro rolling stock from its manufacturer to the city where it is to be used.

There are two solutions:. Only some kinds of couplings coexist on the end of a wagon at the same time, because amongst other reasons they need to be at the same height. For example, in the Australian state of Victoria , engines had the AAR coupler, with buffers, and the chain mounted on a lug cast into the AAR coupler. If a pair of match wagons is used, a rake of wagons using coupling A can be inserted into a train otherwise using coupling B.

A coupling adaptor or compromise coupler might couple to an AAR coupling on a wagon, and present, for example, a meatchopper coupler or rapid transit coupler to the next wagon. An adapter piece allows a Janney coupler mate with an SA3 coupler [31]. Automatic couplers like the Janney are safer in a collision because they help prevent the carriages telescoping.