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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I'm building some flat cars, I'm starting to think that
Link and Pin is the way to go. They look real, I would think they are fogiving inregards to vertical alignment, altot of it can be scratch built. This would be one locomotive and a set of cars. I saw some clever ways here for mating knuckle to link and pin. Has anyone else gone strictly L and P?
 

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Chris

I have used L&P with my live steam shay but quickly switched over to Kadees.

L&P are fine IF ... you only run in a circle. They are a pain in the proverbial rear end to put in and pull out in regular switching, the pins are frequently lost and most importantly, they make backing movements on curves very prone to derailment (unless you have cars with buffers).

All in all L&P may have a place on a backwoods shortline set pre 1900 ... but they are a poor practical choice for most of us.

Regards ... Doug
 

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A detail that seems to be forgotten quite often when dealing with L&P is the dead blocks on each end of every car. There were (usually) two blocks of wood, sometimes even cast iron, mounted on either side of the coupler so that buff forces would be transmitted through them to the frame, instead of through the couplers. Also knowns as man-mashers, because of the fact that they were designed to come into contact, but were exactly where a brakeman had to stand in order to couple cars. They're a large part of why L&P couplers were so dangerous.

They're also a critical part of what made them work, and frequently omitted from models using L&P couplers. I would submit that backing moves with properly equipped cars would be much more reliable.
 

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I use L&Ps on most of my stuff, the secret to not losing pins is to secure them to the car either with a small chain or thread to simulate a rope. I also use a very large tweezer to reach into the cars to pull and place pins, its not hard once you practice it a bit. i also bend my own links as I need longer than standard to run on my R1 curves.

I use Ozark couplers, they have 2 types for cars, an end beam mounted and an underframe mounted, they also sell a spring loaded version thats an accurate version of the real link and pins found on later installations, they also sell about 3 or 4 different multi-pocket couplers for locomotive mountings. I chose for each lokie based on the different characteristics and requirements of each engine.

Heres a typical install, showing thread to secure the pin


Heres a loco install, showing the longer links I use and the chain to secure the pin


:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feed back. Is there some rough criteria for the size of the buffer blocks?
Also, is there any historical trends as to what types of cars would use beam mounted couplers
versus under frame? I'm basically modeling a flat car that would have carried blocks of marble
or something like the short WSL flats. I like the beam mounted, but would it be appropriate?
 

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Kenneth,

> the dead blocks on each end of every car

Do you use this on your cars? Any pictures?

Best,
TJ
 

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Posted By DKRickman on 07/08/2008 5:10 AM
A detail that seems to be forgotten quite often when dealing with L&P is the dead blocks on each end of every car. There were (usually) two blocks of wood, sometimes even cast iron, mounted on either side of the coupler so that buff forces would be transmitted through them to the frame, instead of through the couplers. Also knowns as man-mashers, because of the fact that they were designed to come into contact, but were exactly where a brakeman had to stand in order to couple cars. They're a large part of why L&P couplers were so dangerous.
They're also a critical part of what made them work, and frequently omitted from models using L&P couplers. I would submit that backing moves with properly equipped cars would be much more reliable.




Mr. Rickmann

I was very glad to see your above post, particularly after reading the negative issues the moderator raised in the previous one. I intend to use L&P couplers exclusively.

Can you tell me how far apart the blocks were usually located? At or near the corners of the car, ala buffers, or near to the pocket?

Thanks,
Les
 

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Matt:

Very nice picture.

Can you tell me how those dumps were activated, prototypically? Manpower? Must've taken one strong dude.

I want to scratchbuild some and can't figure out exactly who or what tripped them. I have a pic showing the end of one, so I have the mechanism, but I'm not sure where the chain-ends hooked up.

Thanks,

Les
 

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Thanks Les.

I'm not exactly sure how the real ones were tipped. I always thought it was manpower. But the more I think about it, it seems that the Bachmann sized ore cars are too big and heavy to be tipped by manpower. And it looks to be dangerous work as well.

Most real tip tracks I've seen were covered and the cars dumped into bins/troughs under or to the side of the tracks. Much like this amazing kit by Garden Texture.

Some history about our tip track:

The mine was initially going to be the end of track, but when I started checking out the grade it was so high at the mine site and very low at the other end of the layout. I didn't want a 5% grade over the entire layout just to get up to the mine, but I still wanted a mine at one end. The tip track was a simple solution to the grade problem. I'm glad it turned out this way. Looks great and ended up separating the mine from the mainline, which seems more realistic.
 

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Posted By Les on 07/10/2008 6:25 PM
Mr. Rickmann
I was very glad to see your above post, particularly after reading the negative issues the moderator raised in the previous one. I intend to use L&P couplers exclusively.
Can you tell me how far apart the blocks were usually located? At or near the corners of the car, ala buffers, or near to the pocket?
Thanks,
Les

Posted By tj-lee on 07/08/2008 2:06 PM
Kenneth,
> the dead blocks on each end of every car
Do you use this on your cars? Any pictures?
Best,
TJ

I do not use dead blocks on my cars, but only because I do not have any cars yet. ;)" border=0> When I get around to building my fleet, I will definitely be using them, for the operational advantages and the unique detail.

I'm sorry that I cannot find any good photos of dead blocks. I just spent about 30 minutes searching the web, but the best I could find was a very grainy photo of a drawing that may or may not show anything useful. So short of photographing and posting copyrighted material, I can';t come up with pictures.

They're super simple to describe, however. Basically, they were two blocke, either of wood or cast iron, mounted to the end sill of a car on either side of the coupler. I think, but I'm not 100% sure, that they would line up with the center sills of the car, to transmit buff forces in a direct line. Since they're mounted to the end beam, they're usually above the coupler, but relatively close to the center of the car. They were long enough that when the draft springs compressed, the dead blocks would touch.

Of course, not all cars had dead blocks. One thing to remember about L&P couplers, though, is that they worked differently thana lot of us think. First off, they didn't swivel - they were mounted to a shaft that (usually) was able to slide in and out, but not side to side. Second, the links were short enough to allow the coupler pockets to touch. Thus, when shoving a train, the coupler faces would be transmitting the force, not the links.
 

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Posted By San Juan on 07/08/2008 3:34 PM
If there was a way to convert the Accucraft Whitcomb loco from link & pin I'd do it.
This little loco and one Bachmann mine car are all the link and pins I use:





Wouldn't it be possible to take a knuckle coupler (of whatever brand & design you prefer) and cut tongues onto the shaft, so that it could be mounted into the slots on the loco, and pinned just like a link would be? If the coupler shaft were cut to be a relatively tight fit in the slits, it should be pretty stable. For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I've seen real locos with this arrangement.
 

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Posted By DKRickman on 07/10/2008 7:12 PM
Posted By San Juan on 07/08/2008 3:34 PM
If there was a way to convert the Accucraft Whitcomb loco from link & pin I'd do it.
This little loco and one Bachmann mine car are all the link and pins I use:


Wouldn't it be possible to take a knuckle coupler (of whatever brand & design you prefer) and cut tongues onto the shaft, so that it could be mounted into the slots on the loco, and pinned just like a link would be? If the coupler shaft were cut to be a relatively tight fit in the slits, it should be pretty stable. For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure I've seen real locos with this arrangement.


I actually use a Kadee in the link pocket of my lead mining car to attach to the engine and the pins to connect to the remainder of the trailing cars. When a Kadee (no draft box) is "rounded" out it will fit right in an Ozark Miniature coupler pocket and sit at the right height at the engine. (+-) There is still enough swing that it can negotiate 8' diameter curves.
 

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Kenneth, I read about that very method of mounting a knuckle coupler on a forum somewhere, and I absolutely cannot remember where...maybe the Gn15 Gnatterbox? Also, I use link and pin couplers on my scratchbuilt shorty mining equipment that I run outdoors. My cars stay coupled! But switching, pulling the pins on a railroad that's less than 11" above grade...it's too much of a hassle. And lining up links and inserting pins is even worse!! They sure do look nice, though.
SandyR
 

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Hi, all

I use L&P couplers on my line and they work great. Simple and reliable. But you can run into difficulty (especially backing up) unless you follow a few simple rules that boil down to following prototypical practices.

The main thing is to ensure that the coupler housing (the part that attaches to the end beam) is allowed to make contact with the housing on the other car. This means the link must be short enough, and pocket deep enough, for the link to disappear from view. If this isn’t happening, the link takes the stress, deflects at an angle, and can push a car off the rails on a curve. Sort of what Kenneth describes, though I think he’s confusing L&P with the coupling system used on UK rolling stock, which is neither knuckle nor L&P. I’ve never seen buffer blocks used with L&P, since that would be redundant.

Prototypically, link and pin couplers come from the old days of short consists, or narrow gauge industrial sites, where consists are, again, short -- they were never intended for a 20 car autorack consist. Some designs are fixed to the end beam, some swivled side to side as you can see in the picture below, respectively.


 

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Research by the 7/8ths modellers indicates that they were dumped manually, with the aid of a long bar that was inserted and then pulled (hung on to -- feet off the ground) to increase leverage.


It's worth noting that, in our experience, these tippers were often narrow gauge, and therefore not that big, such that a man could tip them, and even push it by hand. If you take, for example, the Bachmann vee tipper, we can't find protoypical evidence anywhere of a tipper that large. It really scales out to about 1/12...nowhere near 1/20.3.




Posted By Les on 07/10/2008 6:33 PM
Matt:
Very nice picture.
Can you tell me how those dumps were activated, prototypically? Manpower? Must've taken one strong dude.
I want to scratchbuild some and can't figure out exactly who or what tripped them. I have a pic showing the end of one, so I have the mechanism, but I'm not sure where the chain-ends hooked up.
Thanks,
Les
 

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PDK is correct, those wood ore cars were manually operated, the chains one each side were looped thru hooks on the frame and the chains held the box level in place. When they wanted to unload the car they would unhook the chains allowing the unchained side to rise up tipping the box, so the picture above is a little inaccurate in that the chains are still attached, often only gravity was needed for the car to tip to the side but I can see where a long bar could be very handy, the ingenius bar mechanisms on each end raised the sides as the box tipped to allow the material to exit. The steel v-bucket ore cars often had a man-platform on one end and a lever mechanism to tip the bucket to one side or the other. The wood ore cars were often quite large (12'-16') and can be found even in standard gauge use, where the often smaller V-buckets were more commonly found on smaller gauge tram lines, most I have seen were from 600mm, 2', & 18" gauges. LGB had some very nice steel sidedump ore cars as well.
 

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The pantographic framing of those tip cars gives the unloader a tremendous leverage advantage. It almost overcomes the weight of the load. And, yes, the chains are hooked on both sides while rolling, or they might decide to dump on a curve. You unhook the chains on the opposite side of where you want to dump.

Link and pin: If you want to hook a set-out of link and pin cars to a loco with a standard coupler, do what the real guys did and make a transition coupler. They would have the shop weld one up for them. It is a standard coupler on one end and a pin pocket on the other end. I'm sure it took several men (or one really butch one) to mount one of them, but they were used frequently.
 

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Regarding transition couplers, here's the one I made from a Kadee and how it fits in the l/p coupler. The droop doesn't seem to affect performance, so I haven't bothered to fix it.



 

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This shot shows another approach, where I've mounted the Kadee under the l/p coupler, and this works fine too. The pin is short enough to not interfere.



 
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