Trucks & Couplers

Re: Trucks & Couplers

Postby Andy Carlson » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:46 pm

It was asked what couplers are used for TT narrow gauge. There is no simple answer because US narrow gauge operations used two different sized couplers. A Janney coupler was used by many of the narrow gauge lines, other than the Colorado Narrow gauge lines. A Janney coupler was about 3/4 the size of a standard gauge coupler, and most (If not all) of the California narrow gauge lines used this smaller sized coupler. The Colorado lines used the standard sized coupler, which makes sense when there was a fair amount of interchange between the 3 major Colorado lines. As the D&RGW was primarily a class one standard gauge railroad, it made sense to standardize on couplers for both of their gauges. The C&S and the RGS may have adopted the standard coupler to be compatable with the D&RGW. Helpful when one road would lease another RR's locomotives.

None of the California narrow gauge lines interchanged with other narrow gauge lines. The Janney was adequate for the smaller and lighter trains so they were preferred over the larger couplers.

For us as TT scale modelers, borrowing from different scales for couplers solves a lot of problems-TT couplers if made to the quality of MT couplers would have to be priced higher due to their much less demand. The design for the Kadee/MicroTrains N scale coupler was oversized for what ever reason the Edwards brothers felt was necessary for the time. This oversized condition was never changed until recently when MT introduced their "scale sized" N scale coupler. For us, this is fortunate, as that makes the N scale MT coupler very close to TT size. Nn3 modelers, who overwhelmingly favor modeling Colorado equipment also enjoy a fortunate situation, as the Z scale coupler is itself oversized but fortuitously is correctly sized for standard gauge N scale couplers. There is no fortune for Nn3 modelers doing California narrow gauge, as no mass produced operating coupler is available for N scale Janney couplers.

As I model a California TTn3 line, I am fortunate in two ways--I can use the regular MT N scale coupler for TT standard gauge sized couplers, or use the MT Z scale coupler which is fine for TT Janney couplers.

As for TTn3 trucks, both MT and MDC have N scale standard gauge arch bar trucks. Both are nicely done and I have bought dozens of the MDC archbars less wheel sets at attractive prices. By using Fox Valley N scale 36" wheel sets in these trucks, I get a 28"/29" wheel in 120:1 which is right on the money. Carter Brothers was a California company which made lots of logging equipment and rolling stock for narrow gauge railroads, including passenger cars. The typical Carter Brothers arch bar narrow gauge trucks measured 4'0" axle spacing. A TT scale ruler against an MDC arch bar measures to 4'0". So I feel TTn3 has merit for consideration for narrow gauge modeling.

Years ago I made about 15 various HO scale polyurethane resin freight cars which I offered for sale. Though I have not produced any kits for 2 decades, I have not forgotten the techniques to make the patterns and cast replicas. I am thinking of offering a resin Carter Brothers TTn3 box car in the future. The good thing about any TTn3 train is that they will run on any N scale layout, sort of like how On3 models are often run on HO layouts. The N scale scenes though are closer to correct than the bigger discrepancy of O to HO.

I cover this topic, and more, at my Yahoo group "TTn3modeler" if one is interested in the topic of TTn3.
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA
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Re: Trucks & Couplers

Postby ctxmf74 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:09 am

"I am thinking of offering a resin Carter Brothers TTn3 box car in the future. The good thing about any TTn3 train is that they will run on any N scale layout"

Are you planning to build the Carter Bros cars as TTn42 so they can run on N gauge track ? or gauge them to TTn3? The S scale guys have a similar situation when using HO scale track to represent narrow gauge, it scales Sn42....DaveB
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Re: Trucks & Couplers

Postby Andy Carlson » Wed Dec 21, 2016 5:34 pm

TT narrow gauge on N gauge track scales out to 42 inches track width, or 3 1/2 foot gauge. Like the Nn3 movement, which is also 42" gauge, we simplify the notation to TTn3 (Nn3). The vast availability of good and inexpensive N scale steamers encourages diving into TT narrow gauge. Go to the Yahoogroups "TTn3modeler" and click on photos. You will see some scratch built shays and a Heisler and a Uintah 2-6-6-2T articulated. Some of the shays are on Bachmann N gauge SD40-2 trucks. The builder, Pete Peters, removed the outer axles and used the idler axles for the drive wheels. Dimensions came out very close to the Westside Lumber company trucks and avoided making from scratch the trucks. Everything pictured is to 120:1 TT scale. The TTn3 movement can be a showcase for innovation. -Andy Carlson, Ojai CA
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Re: Trucks & Couplers

Postby Bernd » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:15 pm

Unfortunately you need to sign up to see the photo's. They would be interesting to see but I don't care for Yahoo Groups for several reasons.

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Re: Trucks & Couplers

Postby WillYart » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:31 pm

Watch makers tweezers on the shopping list.

I've installed a few now.

Turns out for me the trickiest part is shimming / milling mounting surfaces for the gear boxes. Getting to know my little milling setup better (just a little Proxxon handheld tool mounted for this purpose)
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