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NEM Pocket Kadee Couplers Problem

Phillip models OO and asks readers:

“I converted my Bachmann locos and rolling stock with Kadee couplers that plug into the NEM pockets. I find that when shunting in reverse, some of the rolling stock will get forced off the track and detail. They do not get caught between the buffers. It is frustrating and I was thinking to converting back to the hook and bar couplers that came with the locos and rolling stock. Any one had this problem. Note. I had to do a lot of adjustments with shims to get the right height but checking with the coupler guide, all okay.”

Please add your comments or answers below if you are able to help Phillip.

4 Responses to NEM Pocket Kadee Couplers Problem

  • Dale says:

    Understand that I don’t have any experience with NEM systems in OO scale. That said, I wonder if the ones you are having issues with are truck-mount or body-mount systems and if the derailing only happens on curved track or also on straight pushes. In general, derailing issues occur more often in pushes on curved track (or crossing to the diverting track on points) when the couplers are truck mounted. The physics for this are simple; as the truck on the car being pushed rotates, the forces on it by the car pushing continues straight and tries to force more rotation of the forward truck than the rails demand and causes the truck to over-rotate and climb off the rails. Body-mounted couplers have no similar effect on the trucks. Again, I have no experience with NEM couplers but the derailing issue was what caused me to convert most of my rolling stock to body-mounted couplers.

    • Phillip says:

      Bachman locos and rolling stock are all body mounted NEM pockets. When shunting on curves and through curved part of the turnouts, the kadees get compressed together and the wheels on some of the rolling stock comes off the track. Have not had problems with the kadees on the coaches and locos. Only the short light rolling stock.

    • Neville Parry says:

      I am using KD couplers on (nearly) all of my OO scale British outline rolling stock. I use KD types #17, #18, #19 or #20 couplers in all rolling stock equipped with NEM pockets, except for the early Bachmann goods vehicles which had the NEM pockets at the incorrect height. I have found that it is necessary to ‘suck and see’ which KD typel is the best fit for each vehicle as this can vary between manufacturers and vehicle types. The minimum radius over which your stock will be operating will also affect the choice of which type of KD coupler fits best and gives satisfactory operation. For older vehicles that do not have NEM pockets, I have played around with how to utilise ‘standard’ KD #5 couplers and pockets, mounted immediately below the buffer beam. Regarding vehicle weight, I have removed all added weight from vehicles, but have also ensured that I only use wheelsets with metal wheels and metal pinpoint axles that are free-running. I have not encountered any problems with derailing when reversing, but this should always take place at a scale speed not exceeding 5 mph! Unfortunately, these free-running vehicles could run away on a gradient.

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