Question Rokuhan Inglenook plans - could use some thoughts

zaulden Jan 27, 2017

  1. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    I'm interested in getting some opinions here on a project for the future. I'm not doing this right away, but I'd like to undertake it in the next year. I would like to create an Inglenook shunting puzzle layout in Z scale using Rokuhan track and Rokuhan rolling stock.

    For those not familiar, an Inglenook puzzle is a small operations layout with three sidings, eight same-sized cars, and one locomotive. The longest siding can hold five cars. The two other sidings can hold three cars. The idea is to create a deck of cards where each card corresponds to a specific car, shuffle them, then deal five out out randomly in a row. You then need to arrange those five cars as an outgoing train.

    [​IMG]
    (from http://wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles)

    I have some things to figure out track-wise. I would like to use the Rokuhan magnetic uncouplers, the ones where you pause a car over a coupler and it detaches. I also would probably like to use Rokuhan rolling stock, the smallest possible. I see that you can buy knuckle couplers for Rokuhan rolling stock. Do these work well (or at all) with the magnetic uncouplers, or is it assumed you'd be using American rolling stock for the Rokuhan magnetic uncouplers?

    I also want to maximize space. How well can I expect the 55mm uncouplers to perform if set directly next to the turnouts? This would be instead of the 110mm notched pieces that come with the Rokuhan turnouts. I would obviously have to cut a notch in the uncoupler pieces.

    Thanks guys. Maybe some of you have done this before!
     
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  2. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    The Rokuhan R037 55mm magnetic uncoupler is only for magnetized couplers such as Micro-Trains' Magne-matic couplers with metal trip pins.

    I would think that setting the R037 next to a turnout shouldn't be a problem. The best way to make the cut on the R037 is to look at a section that is already trimmed by Rokuhan. Check this video:
     
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  3. Grindar

    Grindar TrainBoard Member

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    I'm assuming to keep the length down you're looking at the DE10 engine and assorted shorty freight cars. I'd consider doing their normal Arnold uncoupler so you don't have to mess around with converting to Micro Trains couplers.

    The other plus side to going to going Arnold is Tenshodo has options for freight cars too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  4. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    Rokuhan offers A019 and A020, "Knuckle Couplers" - would these work? I assume they are basically Rokuhan versions of the Micro-Trains magnetic couplers? On the R037 magnetic uncoupler product packaging pictures, I see that they refer to it as "Uncoupler Track for Knuckle Coupler".

    Yes to the DE10. Also the C11 steam is an option, but the DE10, being a diesel, is really great at shunting speeds for these kind of operations, I'd wager.

    Unfortunately, the Rokuhan Arnold uncoupler does not work properly on the default Arnold couplers that comes installed on their rolling stock. You still need to swap the couplers, just to a different kind of Arnold coupler sold separately. From http://www.rokuhan.com/english/news/2015/07/new-release-uncoupler-track.html:

    【For Arnold coupler】
    * Existing Arnold couplers which come together with Rokuhan locomotives or cars, do not suit this Uncoupler. Special Arnold coupler A040 (sold separately) is necessary.
     
  5. Grindar

    Grindar TrainBoard Member

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    From the video their knuckles are two-part all plastic. Says auto-uncoupling not possible.
     
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  6. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Rokuhan knuckle couplers will not work with magnetic uncoupler, they have no trip pin. It works with Micro-Trains rolling stock. They do make another uncoupler R077 that works with Arnold and Euro couplers. Checkout the Rokuhan website for more info.

    Trey
     
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  7. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

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    Cool idea. I came across the same website a few weeks back and thought the same thing, but I punted.

    I'd be interested to hear more feedback from some of the seasoned Z Scalers here. As for me, I have the Rokuhan uncoupler on my layout for my MTL magne matic couplers and find it's not incredibly reliable/easy to use. This would make completing the puzzle difficult IMO, but who knows, could be user error.

    Best,

    Ray
     
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  8. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    I almost think that uncoupler track pieces in general just are not that sleek for this puzzle thing. Maybe manual uncoupling would be best for the puzzle, but I realize it'd be awkward; could rig up some kind of hook. But automatic uncoupling can be awkward too, often, it seems!

    Also, from my perspective, it would be ideal, to make sure that the sidings totally make clear how many cars are supposed to fit there. The uncoupler track section could look like a place to park a car, but it's really not! I don't know. It does not seem like there is a perfect solution exactly.
     
  9. Grindar

    Grindar TrainBoard Member

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    I want to keep an eye on this though, because after I get my main layout going I think the double-Timesaver would be really cool in Z.
     
  10. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am currently doing one of these in N scale.I am using unitrack and I started with the unitrack uncoupler section. I have all new MT 40' rolling stock and New MT couplers on my switcher. The couplers stick sometimes, so it is frustrating. I have lubed the coupler boxes and it is a tiny bit better. I am going to try the Kadee magnetic uncoupler. It seems to be a more positive action. I have read some Z scalers that also use it, although I don't know how thw mount it, as mine is in a 4 inch piece of unitrack. I also have seen videos on youtube showing the use of cylindrical neodymium magnets inlaid in the track for the uncoupling source. It seemed to work very well, but an electromagnet is the most controllable from what I have seen. I have also read that the regular undertrack magnets are too long and should be cut in half for better control.

    Good luck
    Trey
    Here are a couple of good video links.

     
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  11. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    See how I have used a Kadee uncoupler for HO in Z scale:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
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  12. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, Frank, that looks like it works well!
     
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  13. ViperBugloss

    ViperBugloss TrainBoard Member

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    I have made an Ingelnook Shunting Puzzle in Z using Marklin track and rolling stock. It uses the Marklin 8587 uncoupler. Uncoupling going forward is not always successful. In that case it is necessary to reverse into the uncoupler and quickly change direction as the couplers open up. However, the puzzle can be solved and is a lot of fun.

    I have also used the Rokuhan R077 uncoupler set up for Euro style couplers for shunting (not in an Inglenook layout). This works more reliable but not always. Generally I use Marklin rolling stock but I have used Rokuhan rolling stock converted to Euro couplers using the Rokuhan A021 coupler set (similar to the A040 mentioned by Raganim). One thing to watch out for is that not all Rokuhan wagon can be converted. I have some shorter ones which have a coupler which is not straight (sort of an old fashioned crank handle shape) to clear the axle. The longer container wagons can be converted to Euro coupler but are probably not suited to an Ingelnook Puzzle.

    I have tried manual uncoupling using a toothpick in a little run around. With my 69 year old fingers that usually resulted in a derailment. I think that trying to do manual uncoupling on a Z scale Ingelnook, with perhaps 20 or more uncouplings, would be well nigh impossible.


    Rob Pearce (aka ViperBugloss)
     
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  14. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    From all the responses, it sounds like automatic uncoupling just isn't the most reliable in Z, especially if the uncoupler is a mechanical action. I do get a sense from some of these posts that an official Kadee electric uncoupler might be the most reliable (retrofitted to work in Z). The downside is Rokuhan does not offer replacement couplers which will be magnetically affected. It wouldn't be too hard to get 8 freight cars from another brand. But the bigger deal is that since my locomotives are all Rokuhan, they all would take those snap-in couplers from Rokuhan, which cannot be magnetic. So that's a bunch of stuff I'd need to get to make this work magnetically, which is what I'd prefer. At that point, I think I could just make it in another scale like HO where I hear automatic uncoupling is very reliable. This is something to mull over. I'm having a lot of fun just running trains for now.
     
  15. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm also using #309 Kadee HO electromagnetic uncouplers on my Z scale layout. I'm satisfied with the result as well.
    Dom
     
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  16. ViperBugloss

    ViperBugloss TrainBoard Member

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    I have built a prototype of an Inglenook Shunting Layout using Rokuhan Track.

    This is the layout from Anyrail.

    2017-02-10.jpg
    The layout is shown on a MDF board, size 1100 mm by 133 mm, an offcut from another project. The actual length is around 980 mm. The R012 curves keep the length down, plus, I think improve the appearance by breaking up the linearity. For a proper build I would put an extra R024 straight between the turnouts with an additional power feed.

    A few pictures.

    20170210_165010.jpg 20170210_165023.jpg 20170210_165035.jpg 20170210_165059.jpg

    The locomotive is a Rokuhan/Noch German locomotive (Noch 97104) fitted with a Velmo decoder and Euro style couplers (short version). The wagons are from the Marklin 86000 set. In operation it works well with the DCC operation making for good low speed control.

    Rob Pearce (aka ViperBugloss)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  17. shortpainter

    shortpainter TrainBoard Member

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    Are there any rules that say where the magnets should go for an Inglenook puzzle? I've seen track plans that only have a single magnet. I have also seen plans that have magnets at the front of every siding.
     
  18. ViperBugloss

    ViperBugloss TrainBoard Member

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    My apologies. I used the incorrect uncoupler in my Anyrail diagram, a mistake I have now corrected. I am using the R077 straight uncoupler, which is a mechanical uncoupler. I should have made this clear.

    I believe that track plans using only one coupler use a feature known as "remote" uncoupling, whereby a wagon is uncoupled at one place then pushed backwards into the correct position. This would not work in my example as attempting to push an uncoupled wagon backwards would simply cause the couplers to re-couple. Where this is possible it would only require an uncoupler in the head shunt. Perhaps something like this.

    Remote.jpg

    Rob Pearce (aka ViperBugloss)
     
  19. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Remote uncoupling will only work with mtl couplers.
     
  20. Jags

    Jags TrainBoard Member

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    Resurrecting this thread. Decided to try to plan an Inglenook Sidings puzzle built into a real nice gun case that I have. Internal dimensions of the case are 13 inches by 26 inches. I am using all Marklin track and rolling stock. I knew that 26 inches was too short to build the classic straight version so I figured that I would have to "curve" the ends. Turns out using the short radii Marklin curves I could actually fit an entire oval into the case! Below is the layout plan.

    Track Plan.jpg

    The Inglenook Sidings puzzle is at the top and I have also added an engine yard at the bottom. This will allow me to run out the switching engine after completing the puzzle and bring in one of two main engines to run the train on the "mainline" loop. Right now all I have together is the track and the rolling stock. It's sitting on the gun case foam insert to check the size but I will be using some one inch hard foam board to mount everything on.

    20200111_112529.jpg

    It was very lucky that the lengths work out all perfectly when using standard Marklin container, reefer, flat, goods and some other wagons. So there is a lot of different rolling stock available that are all the same length and will fit perfectly. I got lucky and won an ebay auction for the 8 wagons shown for only $32.00!! Also printed out some business sized "playing" cards with images of each of the wagons to do the random 5 car selection for the game.

    cars.jpg

    The next challenge was trying to figure out where to put the point, uncoupler, and power isolation control switches. The only real space is on the layout itself. But putting switches there would not allow for a very scenic layout. The solution I came up with was to purchase two flat roofed warehouse structures and I will mount the switches on the roofs! The switches should end up looking like air conditioning or other sort of power units normally found on roofs of warehouses. These I just purchased on ebay and they will be coming from China.

    Warehouses.jpg


    And here is the layout plan with the locations of the warehouse buildings with switches, other possible structures, and also the roads. The warehouse on the lower left will have the micro push button switches controlling the points and uncouplers for the Inglenook Sidings game. The warehouse on the upper right will have the switches for the points and power isolation sections in the engine yard. Lower right of layout has the 9v power connector and connector for the Ztrack Snail Speed Controller. The entire layout can be run with batteries!

    Track Plan Buildings.jpg

    I will try to make more posts as I get along with the project. Would love to hear any suggestions and comments!

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020 at 5:43 AM
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