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Eilzug coupler hack

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:55 am
by dileTTante
In the early 1990s I bought a new set of BTTB eilzugwagen coaches - C40. Later I bought more of them second hand, and a couple years back I got a set of the Karwendel Express - which I always wanted - and extra coaches to go with the set.

These models have close coupling mechanisms but the coupler fittings are non- standard. BTTB couplers were provided to fit them, but they don't give close coupling. Special links were provided, and are still available, which snap into place and give close coupling. They work but are not convenient to use, especially at train shows; and several of the second hand coaches had broken fittings which no longer can hold the couplers - shown in the first photo.

A solution to this is couplers sold by Peho. They require rebuilding the coach to replace the fittings. Some of the second hand coaches I bought have Peho couplers. I noticed that these have no steps under the doors. This is because the Peho mechanisms leave no clearance at the front for attaching the steps to the bogies.

My solution may not satisfy anyone else but still may be of interest. I wanted to glue couplers to the broken mechanisms so they would not need to be rebuilt. but also have close coupling. Gluing the fixed links isn't a good idea because the coaches can't be separated.

I cut off the loops and the hinged hooks from the BTTB couplers and glued the couplers to the mechanisms. I used staples for pneumatic nail guns to make links as shown in the photos. The staples have rectangular cross sections and fit snugly into the holes in the couplers which held the hinged hooks. The close fit keeps the couplers lined up so the close coupling mechanisms can do their job. This was just a lucky combination.

In practice I leave a clip in the coupler at one end of the coach. Since the couplers stay centred it's just a matter of lifting the coach and hooking the clip into the coach ahead. This avoids trying to fit the clip separately where there's little clearance under the bellows.

I haven't tried these running on a layout yet. If there are clearance problems they can be adjusted by bending the clips, although the stiff metal doesn't make that easy.

- Terry C

Re: Eilzug coupler hack

Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:16 am
by ConducTTor
I never understood why they used that coupling mech on those fits nothing else and isn't exactly the greatest thing since sliced bread :crazy:

Re: Eilzug coupler hack

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:05 am
by dileTTante
These models are from the time Tillig bought BTTB. My guess is that BTTB had plans for more models with that coupler design, but Tillig didn't. Not much later Tillig introduced the coupler currently in use. I couldn't determine what coupler mechanism is in the reissues of these coaches. It would be nice if the parts could be bought separately and retro-fitted into the old models.
- Terry C