Piko ore car rigid coupler

kim

kim

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This is not so much a review more of a be wary of what you buy! I now have 3 of these old MDC moulding ore cars that Piko are selling and looking at the 'accessories available' list that comes in the box I saw the alternate coulings available. Thinking back to the LGB ore cars were the alternate couplings actually reduced the distance between cars I asked Darren at Top Slots to order me a few up and I picked them up yesterday. The couplings are the same as the ones used by Piko to couple loco and tender together - without the electrics - and they do give a very good connection but when the cars are coupled the distance between them is exactly the same as with hook and loop! They aren't expensive, under a fiver, but the gain is zero and they have a mechanism built in to allow coupler swivel so not really lending themselves to hacksaw alterations.
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kim

kim

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On the plus side I can pick up 3 cars at once!;)
 
P

Paul M

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It does seem a bit of a gap, silly question, have you followed the instructions properly?
 
F

Fred Mills

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Without in any way trying to convince anyone to "Convert" to any other coupler type...
"IF" anyone is really "DEDICATED" to trying to make any of the existing, North American style ore cars look at all like the prototypes, there is a simple solution, but it does require some real modelling effort.
The "Look" needed is "Close coupling, and knuckle couplers, of the correct scale, or close to it" . You can't successfully, achieve the "Look" using truck mounted loop&Hook couplers. Yes, you can use "Drawbars", as sometime was done in prototype operations, but that is only of use if all you do is run trains in a roundy-roundy display fashion, and do no shunting (Operations)
I have successfully body mounted Kadee 1906/820 couplers to the LGB, MDC/Piko, and USTrains/Lionel ore cars. It is not a simple screw-in, screw-out job, but any person who has a bit of modelling skill can manage it.
So; if anyone wants their ore cars to look anyway close to prototype, DON'T GIVE UP HOPE....!!!
Fr.Fred
 
kim

kim

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It does seem a bit of a gap, silly question, have you followed the instructions properly?
Oh yes, very easy fix, take off hook and loop, fix coupler body in same screw hole and put covering plate on!
 
kim

kim

retired at last
27 Apr 2015
712
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Blackpoo
Without in any way trying to convince anyone to "Convert" to any other coupler type...
"IF" anyone is really "DEDICATED" to trying to make any of the existing, North American style ore cars look at all like the prototypes, there is a simple solution, but it does require some real modelling effort.
The "Look" needed is "Close coupling, and knuckle couplers, of the correct scale, or close to it" . You can't successfully, achieve the "Look" using truck mounted loop&Hook couplers. Yes, you can use "Drawbars", as sometime was done in prototype operations, but that is only of use if all you do is run trains in a roundy-roundy display fashion, and do no shunting (Operations)
I have successfully body mounted Kadee 1906/820 couplers to the LGB, MDC/Piko, and USTrains/Lionel ore cars. It is not a simple screw-in, screw-out job, but any person who has a bit of modelling skill can manage it.
So; if anyone wants their ore cars to look anyway close to prototype, DON'T GIVE UP HOPE....!!!
Fr.Fred
Roundy roundy for me Fred. Been down the knuckle route years ago and decided then that hook and loops held stuff together better and body mounted KD's are not even in the ring. As stated I looked at these having had experience with LGB replacement couplers that did bring the cars closer together, these don't but I can live with it. I'm looking at getting a log cabin for the bottom of the garden that will let me run trains straight in off the main and if that happens I will revisit and make my own drawbars to permanently couple them together.
 
SophieB

SophieB

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My husband's Piko TEE train has those couplers between every coach. I am NOT a fan. They are very fiddly to get lined up to go together and that metal latch bar seems to bend very easily. If that particular train didn't need to have an electrical connection between both ends of the consist then I'd be looking into how to put hook and loops on it.
 
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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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I have for one reason or another never been fond of these shorty Hoppers even in my N Gauge Modelling USA days. I think it is the jutting out wheels that offend, however as this pic shows it is perfectly prototypican and reflects the fact that the Ore Loads these carry will be heavy in relation to the size of Wagon. Interestingly when permanently coupled they have a bar that looks remarkably like the Piko one, though without the gaping great gap.

Me wonders if a bodgel up with shorter coupling bars could be made of some Metal U shape and utilising the existing Holes in the Coupling bar to effect a closer coupling? Or perhaps a piece of Metal Flat Bar with screws or Pop Rivets in the existing holes may work.
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For those of a European persuasion it is entirely possible to create a European look to these by adding a Balcony at each end.
 
kim

kim

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I have for one reason or another never been fond of these shorty Hoppers even in my N Gauge Modelling USA days. I think it is the jutting out wheels that offend, however as this pic shows it is perfectly prototypican and reflects the fact that the Ore Loads these carry will be heavy in relation to the size of Wagon. Interestingly when permanently coupled they have a bar that looks remarkably like the Piko one, though without the gaping great gap.

Me wonders if a bodgel up with shorter coupling bars could be made of some Metal U shape and utilising the existing Holes in the Coupling bar to effect a closer coupling? Or perhaps a piece of Metal Flat Bar with screws or Pop Rivets in the existing holes may work.
View attachment 241922
For those of a European persuasion it is entirely possible to create a European look to these by adding a Balcony at each end.
If my log cabin becomes reality I was looking at brass sheet drilled to fit the existing coupler fixing holes as a permanent coupler.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

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My husband's Piko TEE train has those couplers between every coach. I am NOT a fan. They are very fiddly to get lined up to go together and that metal latch bar seems to bend very easily. If that particular train didn't need to have an electrical connection between both ends of the consist then I'd be looking into how to put hook and loops on it.
Yes, I have a Piko TEE set too, and I agree with Sophie that they are fiddly to connect up.

I guess though that power through the train is not an issue here for you Kim....
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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Roundy roundy for me Fred. Been down the knuckle route years ago and decided then that hook and loops held stuff together better and body mounted KD's are not even in the ring. As stated I looked at these having had experience with LGB replacement couplers that did bring the cars closer together, these don't but I can live with it. I'm looking at getting a log cabin for the bottom of the garden that will let me run trains straight in off the main and if that happens I will revisit and make my own drawbars to permanently couple them together.
I think the answer to closer coupling has to be body mounted :nod::nod::nod:
 
kim

kim

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Yes, I have a Piko TEE set too, and I agree with Sophie that they are fiddly to connect up.

I guess though that power through the train is not an issue here for you Kim....
It certainly isn't Gizzy, in fact until I read Sophies post i didn't know you guys have that task everytime you run - unless you have a logcabin with run in!:)
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

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It certainly isn't Gizzy, in fact until I read Sophies post i didn't know you guys have that task everytime you run - unless you have a logcabin with run in!:)
No log cabin to stable my TEE set....
 
ntpntpntp

ntpntpntp

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Don't seem to have had such a large gap with my LGB hoppers. I used the alternative couplings provided but with a hole drilled through and a "pin" (old nail)! Still not as close as the real thing but they didn't look too bad to me

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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Tha also shows up in the pic I posted. I reckon if the LGB Bars sans couplings were touching they would be pretty well spot on. A bar on top of them with a little gap to allow for curves ought to work just fine.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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Hard to find a good picture, but the prototypes were coupled close, so much so that the wheels of adjacent cars almost touched. Look on the left side of the picture.

In reality, it's all about the discharge chute - put the bogies further under the body and it'll take longer to empty :nerd::nerd::nerd:

:shake::shake::shake: time is money :cool::cool: