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A friend of mine has a small indoor (7.5" gauge) ride on train and there is a spot on the layout where there has to be an S bend to get around a wall and it really upset the loco and flatcar as you twist through it... I am thinking get rid of both knuckle couplers and arms and just put a flat bar that pivots on each end between the loco and flatcar with enough sideways travel that it doesn't bind.

Do you think that would work? Any other ideas?
 

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or longer coupler arms for the reach. same idea has a bar.
 

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As much as is practical, I think you want to bring the pivot point for your coupling devices back from the ends of the equipment and closer to the wheelbase.

Prototype equipment has couplers at the ends of the frame. Smaller models, especially those which are more "toylike" - but for which operation on tighter radius curves is envisioned - tend to mount couplers on the trucks.
 

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Truck mounted couplers and always pull through the S, never push.
John
 

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Sounds a lot like trolley and interurban style radial couplers are the essence of what is being suggested. Some of them were pivoted almost all the way back to the truck bolsters, and some could swing through a 90 degree arc.
 
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