Large scale season is here!!!

It may not be the perfect weather where you are located to get out there and start running your outdoor layout yet, but it will be soon. Many of you are starting to dust off your rolling stock & locomotives that have been tucked away for the off-season and are now thinking of all those things projects you wanted to do but didn't get around to. Don't worry; you have plenty of time; you only need a couple of hours of sleep. Those of you who got new equipment in the off-season, may still need to get it equipped with Kadee® couplers so you can get it running with the rest of your layout. (see our conversion list at

Now, I know there are some newcomers out there who may be confused about all the proprietary couplers that come on the different brands of equipment and wonder why different brands of rolling stock and locos won't work together. Well, I am telling you they can; however, they can't all work together with the factory's proprietary couplers. You must make a transition car using Kadee® couplers to make two large-scale car brands operate together. We like to say, "Kadee couplers make difficult cars play nice together." The best practice is to upgrade all of your couplers to Kadee® couplers to bring new life to your layout with the features Kadee® couplers bring to any layout. Whether it is HOn3, HO, On30, S, On3, O, #1, or G Scale. But that will have to be a different month's tech tip. Go with Kadee® couplers to help operate your trains!

A transition car is where you have the Kadee® coupler on one end of the car and the factory-proprietary coupler on the other end. That way, you can run different brands of large scale cars together. The Kadee® couplers allow the different incompatible proprietary coupler equipment to couple up and operate together. Remember Kadee® couplers operate at NMRA coupler height and don't operate at factory proprietary coupler height, so you must use our coupler conversion information page on our website ( to determine the correct Kadee® coupler to fit your equipment. Don't try eyeballing what you think is the correct coupler height using the factory-proprietary coupler; the Kadee® coupler operates at a different height than most factory-proprietary couplers (that may or may not be at NMRA standard height). Remember you will need to make a transition car for each brand and sometimes for each style of coupler the car brand is equipped with (whether it be hook and loop, link and pin, or proprietary knuckle coupler) or change all the coupler out to Kadee® couplers for the ultimate operationally experience.

We will take a deeper dive into large-scale couplers next month. Large scale can be overwhelming, so we need to break it down into smaller parts so It doesn't overwhelm you with too much information at once if you are new the hobby.