MTL passenger trucks w/Offset bolster pins - any truck-mounted options?

Taymar Aug 20, 2019

  1. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    You can disagree if you want to. And consider it bad advice no problem. That's why I respect you and your input. However, I won't take it back.

    I can also agree with you if I want to. Full length passenger cars with body mounted couplers, do have problems coupling on my 24" radius curves. Just like yours, as they don't line up correctly. Seldom do I ever have a problem though as I exercise a rule of not coupling on the curves. You know why and the rest of the story.

    When it comes to pulling them or making reverse moves back into the problems. Do I dare say, better then truck mounted couplers.

    All good.
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    My slightly faulty and elderly memory is recalling these cars when they first came out about them needing at least 17 inch radius to work well on. Then somebody came up with redoing the truck and bolsters and I tried it with a few that I had at the time and it worked. The article was here on Train Board shortly after they came out.
    Carl Sowell and Taymar like this.
  3. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    John, I'm getting old right along with you. I've also noted the same articles and internet discussions.

    I watched as various fellows hobbyist responded to the new MTL heavyweight passenger cars. Like you I remember, noting some disgust and some re-engineering. False claims and just a whole lot of misunderstanding. However, when i finally got those gorgeous MTL heavyweights on my railroad property. I didn't find any reason to re-engineer them or give them the kind of bad reviews...I was reading.

    I don't know if the source of all the (false news) or problems are imaginary or the inherent dislike for MTL. Seems MTL gets kicked hard all to often. I see them as the Savior, we were all looking for back when I first started model railroading in the 60's. Why does Lionel have knuckle couplers and the rest of us don't? Some of the stuff and I mean stuff we had back then would frustrate a newbie right out of the hobby.

    In HO we trusted the big A company for their sectional track and switches. That didn't really work out for me. Tight radius curves, horn hook couplers, poor electrical wipers on my fleet of engines. I could go on here but that won't solve anything. Other then to state my disgust for the hobby at one time.

    Admittedly or obviously, there are different levels of understanding when it comes to model railroading. There has always been a problem with some of our fine folk, jumping to false conclusions. Newbies are quick to blame a problem without fully understanding how it was designed, in the first place. I ought to know I was one of them. Summary, Newbies helping newbies make the same mistake. Who hasn't done that?

    The MTL heavyweights, manage my 24" radius curves on the main and 15" radius curves in the yards just fine. No complaints from this hobbyist.
    Taymar likes this.
  4. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter


    I remember that post,I think. Wasn't it Russell Straw ?? I can't find it now.

    I experienced all of these issues with a short 5 car HW train this past week. Any thoughts about where or how to find the thread ?

  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    There is no truck mounted option for these cars. Somewhere I read that the reason for the body mounts was due to the stairs would impeded the truck/coupler swing and limit the cars to large radius curves. Can't recall where I read that though.
  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member


    When a train is backing, the stresses on truck-mounted couplers try to twist the trucks right off the rails. Going in and out of curves while backing cars with body-mount couplers can push a car body to one side, which also puts stress on the wheel flanges. But it has been my experience that trucks which can swivel freely are less likely to derail from that lateral force than trucks which are being torqued by truck-mounted couplers.

    There's a reason truck-mounted couplers are rare as hens' teeth on prototype trains.
    BarstowRick likes this.
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member


    Yes and the reason is that no prototype RR has curves of 130 feet. That's the 1:1 prototype equivalent of a 9.75 inch N scale curve. Stress in backing a train is not solely determined by one factor. Track curvature, rolling resistance, different car weight, etc. are all factors in contributing to the stresses. I've witnessed many a Ntrak layout where trains with truck mounted couplers were backed into a single ended yard with no problems. As for body mounts, read about the PRR's electric locomotive called "Big Liz" classed as FF1 (2-6-6-2) on the PRR. In tests, Big Liz was so powerful that when used to pull cars, succeeded in pulling couplers off of cars. When used as a pusher Big Liz used to derail cars mid train. And those cars all had body mounted couplers.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
    BarstowRick likes this.

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