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Author Topic: Tomix DD51 couplings  (Read 136 times)

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Offline NeMo

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Tomix DD51 couplings
« on: May 26, 2020, 11:58:29 AM »
Dear all,

A while back I bought a charming Tomix DD51 locomotive that runs beautifully and looks cool. But it has these slightly odd Rapido-like couplings, similar to these:

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10058687

While they sort of work with my regular couplings on the Japanese rolling stock I have, they aren't exactly right. The socket they fit into isn't an NEM socket. Is there a like-for-like replacement that allows either a NEM socket or a plain vanilla Rapido coupling to be dropped into the sockets?

Many thanks,

NeMo
NGS Journal Editor

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 12:02:22 PM »
Dear all,

A while back I bought a charming Tomix DD51 locomotive that runs beautifully and looks cool. But it has these slightly odd Rapido-like couplings, similar to these:

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10058687

While they sort of work with my regular couplings on the Japanese rolling stock I have, they aren't exactly right. The socket they fit into isn't an NEM socket. Is there a like-for-like replacement that allows either a NEM socket or a plain vanilla Rapido coupling to be dropped into the sockets?

Many thanks,

NeMo

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 01:31:12 PM »
Dear all,

A while back I bought a charming Tomix DD51 locomotive that runs beautifully and looks cool. But it has these slightly odd Rapido-like couplings, similar to these:

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10058687

Those are magnetic couplings for remote shunting operations and the like (though I have no experience with those).

While they sort of work with my regular couplings on the Japanese rolling stock I have, they aren't exactly right. The socket they fit into isn't an NEM socket. Is there a like-for-like replacement that allows either a NEM socket or a plain vanilla Rapido coupling to be dropped into the sockets?

Haha, no such thing as a NEM socket on any Japanese N scale train (though recently I came across an unusual MicroAce design which is close but no cigar).

If it helps, this is my Tomix DD51 with the standard fitted Rapido couplings:


Tomix DD51 (DD51 856) by Rail Squid, on Flickr

which have that "outswept arm" which Tomix likes to use for its locomotives, but hasn't caused me any problems. As far as I can tell it's the same shape as the magnetic ones, and I can't find any parts number for the standard version. Looks like it would need major surgery to attach anything other than a coupling specifically designed for that socket.

Sadly one of the dirty secrets of the Japanese N gauge world is that there's very little in the way of coupling socket standardization, and particularly for locomotives there is a ridiculous variety of attachments (as my drawers stuffed full of packs of different varieties of coupling will testify).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 01:34:57 PM by railsquid »
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline NeMo

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 01:40:49 PM »
Looks like it would need major surgery to attach anything other than a coupling specifically designed for that socket.
I feel an extremely niche Journal article coming on!

I replaced the couplings on my 'KUMOHA 11 200 Nambu Branch Line' unit because they were unreliable on my 15 cm radius circular layout. Cut off the socket-y bits, glued on fragments of neodymium magnet, and then painted them black. Works so much better! Can couple them up easily on the circular layout because the carriages want to stick together.

Sadly one of the dirty secrets of the Japanese N gauge world is that there's very little in the way of coupling socket standardization, and particularly for locomotives there is a ridiculous variety of attachments (as my drawers stuffed full of packs of different varieties of coupling will testify).
Bizarre! But I guess this is the country that gave us VHS and Betamax to choose from...

Cheers, NeMo
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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 01:47:48 PM »
Looks like it would need major surgery to attach anything other than a coupling specifically designed for that socket.
I feel an extremely niche Journal article coming on!

I replaced the couplings on my 'KUMOHA 11 200 Nambu Branch Line' unit because they were unreliable on my 15 cm radius circular layout. Cut off the socket-y bits, glued on fragments of neodymium magnet, and then painted them black. Works so much better! Can couple them up easily on the circular layout because the carriages want to stick together.


If it helps, here's a blog article where someone grafts a Kato knuckle coupling onto the Tomix DD51 coupling mount (as Kato and Tomix knuckle couplings are of course not compatible...): https://yorokinoko.blog.ss-blog.jp/2013-10-26

Funnily enough I had a good sort-through of my couplings drawers and was thinking I really should create a visual guide to identifying the various types (though I have absolutely no experience in any kind of surgical modification and have no intention at this point of going down that particular rabbit hole).
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline NeMo

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 01:52:08 PM »
...have no intention at this point of going down that particular rabbit hole).

Oh, please, please do!

Sounds a really fun article. We could be positively whimsical here; "a spotters guide to Japanese couplings" or some such!  ;)

Cheers, NeMo
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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 02:01:44 PM »
...have no intention at this point of going down that particular rabbit hole).

Oh, please, please do!

Sounds a really fun article. We could be positively whimsical here; "a spotters guide to Japanese couplings" or some such!  ;)

Cheers, NeMo

Umm, OK then (the rabbit hole I referred to is surgical modification, I have reached that point in one's life where one gives serious consideration to taking close-up photographs of various kinds of Arnold coupling). Will 16 journal pages be enough? ;)

On the plus side, one problem you don't get with Japanese models is broken buffers, because the real railway got rid of those and chain link couplings in the course of a few weeks in July 1923 and replaced them with various kinds of standardized automatic couplings (see also here, which might make for an interesting historical "did you know?".

Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Offline NeMo

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2020, 02:09:19 PM »
Will 16 journal pages be enough? ;)

If you can pad it out a bit to 20, and we'll run two 10-page articles across two issues!

Cheers, NeMo
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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 02:12:56 PM »
In the meantime, slightly related, here's my Flickr album of before/after coupling replacement pictures, mainly for closer coupling of multiple units/coaching stock:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/railsquid/albums/72157709106574968
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Online railsquid

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2020, 02:20:48 PM »
Dear all,

A while back I bought a charming Tomix DD51 locomotive that runs beautifully and looks cool. But it has these slightly odd Rapido-like couplings, similar to these:

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10058687

Those are magnetic couplings for remote shunting operations and the like (though I have no experience with those).


Well breaking news and all that, it has just come to my attention that modern Tomix locos come equipped with magnet-enabled Rapido couplings by default (for use with the Tomix uncoupling track, part number 1521), which explains why I was unable to find a part number for a non-magnetic version.

There's a whole new chapter for my PhD thesis on Japanese coupling design.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

Online railsquid

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Re: Tomix DD51 couplings
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2020, 02:23:28 PM »
Here is one from another loco class reclining with the aid of a large magnet:


Tomix magnetic locomotive Rapido-style coupling by Rail Squid, on Flickr
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

Birmingham Knotmore Street - (ex) GWR mainline through the Midlands

 

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