Monday, 10 May 2010


This last weekend I spent a very enjoyable Sunday helping (well I like to think I was helping) operate a P4 layout at Cleethorpes Model Railway Exhibition. The layout depicts a 'what might have been' at Saltfleet on the East Coast of Lincolnshire and is the work of two members of the local Scalefour Area Group, Martin and David. It is very much a work in progress and they have worked tirelessly over the last few months to get it to its current stage.

Soon after arriving I was, promptly handed the controls! Well I suppose I had offered and had hoped I'd get some hands on the controls but it had been many a year since I'd been in the drivers seat.......... I then spent the next two hours absorbed in the 65 movement sequence. To my surprise the time flew by and I honestly thought that only half an hour and passed when it was announced 'grub up for first sitting'.

A few things came out of the experience the main one being the use of automated couplings. I've been having thoughts about the merits of 3-link verses automated couplings for many a month and after Sunday it has to be automated couplings. The ease of use under exhibition conditions far out weighs the aesthetics of 3 link couplings. Goods traffic was formed into set rakes with 3-links within the rake and 'Sprat and Winkle' coupling at each end. It all worked well once I'd spotted all the magnets. So next discussion is which automated couplings......?

If my little project comes close to this standard I will be well happy.

Thanks guys........


Flymo said...

Hi Yan,

One vote for Sprat & Winkle here.

Like you, I couldn't see three-link not driving me crazy after more than five minutes use, and Alex Jacksons are fine in theory, and beautiful to (not) see, but too fine and delicate to avoid the need for constant maintenance.

You can get the S&W couplings down to quite unobtrusive proportions. At some point I'll do a post on how I make/fit them on my blog.


geoff said...

Hi Yan,
I have to agree with Flymo on this one.

Try a starter pack from MSE and see what you think. Use the finescale type which is actually meant for 3mm scale. I prefer to use the lower mounting method this means no slot is needed in the buffer beams.

I assemble the whole coupling on an etched mounting plate which are also made by MSE and then prepare a flat mounting area underneath the stock for them to be fitted.

When it comes to uncoupling magnets I use the MSE electro type as these prevent unwanted parting of couplings.

I have yet to post my method of using this coupling on my blog but I did post them on RMweb, look under Penhydd and you will see the methods I use for both rigid and bogie stock. Or hang on for a while until I update my blog.

BTW Lovely little layout you got to play with.


Yan said...

Thanks for the postings and tip, looking forward to reading your blog entry re S& W's Geoff.

I will soon be placing an order for a trial pack of S&W's but I've also a mind to trail a pack of 'Lincs Auto Coupling' I purchased many years ago.....Does anyone know if they are still available?