Is anyone else using Kadee's #58 scale couplers? I have been using
them for a year now and they are great. I like the appearance of them
and they operate very well. I also like the fact they are metal
instead of plastic.
I've been using them exclusively since they were introduced. I
especially like the way they look on the pilots of engines and on my
cabeese. I've gone so far as to start retrofitting some of my better
'old' equipment (ie, #5s) with them.
I've found that they have no operational problems with #5s (except
excessive short-distance vertical track differences, which is bad
trackwork and not bad the coupler's fault), but they don't operate worth
squat with any plastic couplers, except the Accurail scale couplers.
Even then they're hesitant.
In short: I love 'em. I wish they were offered in bulk (especially
since I've still got around 200 unbuilt kits), but that's only a small
consideration compared to their pluses.
Nope, not I. And I'll probably never use them. I do not like the look
of the "knuckle gap" they put in to mate with older designs, and I don't
like the decreased dependability of the smaller knuckle. Not that I think
it will break, just that I have hard enough time keeping cars together both
on my layout and my club's due to mis-aligned couplers.
Sure, I could go out and spend tons of time on hundreds of cars to get
them to the perfect height, but I'd rather run my trains.
So, my trains aren't 100% realistic, but then if I wanted that, I'd use
Sargeant couplers and be done with it. Throw in the fact that the new Kadee
couplers are like twice the price of the #5's, and, well, you get the idea.
Personally, I'd rather spend the money on a re-tooled #5. The #5
coupler is showing it's age in the detail (or lack thereof) it has. IOW, I
like the larger #5 couplers; I just wish they had the detail of the #58
(without the "knuckle gap").
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
They came out about a year after my switch. Luckilly, most of the
equipment that I had before the 58 introduction was junk equipment that
I bought the experiment with, aside from a few 'nice' pieces.
All of my new power has 58s, and like someone else said I'm surprised
at how well they work on my hilly tracks given the smaller facing
area. Pretty darned good stuff. I still use the cheaper 5s on most
I am not favorably disposed to the #58s. Don't get me wrong, I love
Kadee products, and will I replace all of the clones of the #5s with
Kadees upon failure in service.
My disappointment with the #58s stems from installation on my 10 car
Empire Builder (85 foot cars). I installed them last spring, and
after getting "most" of the mismatch out of the couplers, I was able
to have the train negotiate my entire appx. 200 ft. mainline without
Then winter came, the humidity dropped, and what I consider darn well
built benchwork has some slight changes in dimension (3/4 plywood
subroadbed, with 1/2 homasote, unsealed, glued to it. "L" girder
support),and the train started uncoupling. Total piss-off. Given
that I didn't have time to redo the entire train with #5s, I parked
the train on a siding, and didn't run it for a couple of months.
This May, I had a group of friends over for an operating session, and
we ran the Builder. Ran around the track flawlessly.
Suffice it to say that by the time you stack up the tolerances in the
Kadee coupler pocket, variability in coupler pad height from car to
car, and throw in benchwork variability, with 85 foot cars, they
haven't worked out well for me. Installations on 40' cars haven't
caused me any problems, as the mismatch isn't magnified like it is on
the longer cars.
In conclusion, unless the car comes equipped with #58s (new Kadee
releases, which I don't buy many of), I'll stick with the old reliable
#5s and it's siblings. I personally don't find the size a big
turn-off for me.
I haven't tried 58s on passenger cars yet. Well maybe one or two, I
can't remember. The brass cars are problematic enough, so I just use
5s. Except for the Overland cars - their high level ATSF cars are the
best running brass passenger cars I've ever encountered, bar none.
I've had to replacing the lighting in them, but otherwise just added
couplers and a couple drops of oil on the journals. They run
incredibly well - no wobble at all, and they glide by with the
presence of an O scale car. I wish I could say the same for all my
bra$$ pa$$enger cars, but unfortunately.... ain't happenin.