Rocky Mountain Pacific in Fn3

Link & Pin coupler conversion

I have many AMS 1:20.3 narrow gauge cars. I like the detail on them.

I recently got a logging disconnect. It has link & pin couplers for the disconnect and for connection to the train. That’s fine if you have a full logging train that’s all link and pin. In fact, I have a mine train and I converted one loco to link & pin to pull it.

However, I want this logging car to meld into my mixed freight consists. So, I need to add a coupler that is compatible with the AMS couplers to this car.

Here’s how to do it in one minute or less. First you buy a set of Kadee 908 couplers. Put all the hardware in your junk box. You only need the two heads.

In the photo below, here is the logging disconnect car with its receptacle and pin and the Kadee 908 coupler.

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Next, I took a pair of wire cutters and cut off the “ears” - everything that sticks out on each side of the mounting boss.

Then, remove the pin and insert the Kadee coupler into the pocket. It will be a nice tight fit. Insert the pin and run your train.

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You can always go back to the link & pin setup by pulling the pin and removing the Kadee. Or, for a permanent conversion, a 2-56 (black) bolt and nut would work, but you’d have to drill the bottom of the pin pocket. Or, you could drill and tap the bottom of the pocket and forget the 2-56 nut.

Ready to Party

Today (October 10, 2015) we are hosting the West Valley Model Railroad Club and tomorrow a group of neighbors, including members of the PebbleCreek Model Railroad Club (

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While the track is all wired, the electronic connections (in the barn at the far left of the photo above) are not complete and the track has not been cleaned and tested. Turnouts may have rocks in them and there is a bit of ballasting to be done (in the area near the barn).

So, I decided on a static display. Many of the structures (depots, for example) are just pieces of the kit held together with tape or a bit of caulk, to provide an idea of the planned town and on-line industries.

One of the scenes was designed to show the difference between 1:24 (G-scale narrow gauge) and 1:20.3 (scale narrow gauge). The two boxcars parked on the spur headed to the passenger depot, see detail photo below, are the same series of box car from the same railroad. The one on the left (on the bridge) is 1:24 and the one to the right (sitting in front of the mock-up of the freight depot) is 1:20.3. The Goose in the foreground is 1:20.3.

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When these show-and-tell sessions are over, then it will be back to wiring.

Here’s the panoramic view. Click to enlarge.

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Copyright © Bruce F. Petrarca 2007 - 2018; All Rights Reserved