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Kato C57 Primary Rear Coupler Holder Replacement


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Hi All,


I installed a Micro-trains MT-10 Magne-matic coupler on my N-gauge Kato C57 Primary Form Steam Train. Unfortunately, I accidentally modified the rear coupler holder by cutting the plastic where the original knuckle coupler inserts. This means regular couplers likely won't fit anymore.


I'm looking for the replacement part for the rear coupler holder (circled in red in the attached picture). This part isn't listed in the Kato C57 manual. While it seems uncommon for Kato not to sell such a frequently modified part, I'd like to confirm if they offer it.


Attached also the picture of the train for reference.


Rear Knuckle Holder.jpg

Kato C57 Primary.jpg

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It may very well come with a replacement tender 2024A1. It’s not listed as a spare for either my C57 1 Yamaguchi or C57 4th type. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll do what you recommend and just find a replacement tender instead. For the couplers, do you have any specific Kato Magne-Matic coupler item number you would recommend for this train? I have all my Japanese freight train couplers converted to Kato/Micro-Train's MT-10 but just as I shared, it seems impossible to install the MT-10 onto this train. 

Edited by Adrian
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Not really a recommendation, just looks as if the only way to get the part is getting another tender, which seems a bit annoying. I have a similar issue in that my Twilight Express EF81 shipped with a cockpit piece missing on one end. Bought in Japan and then took back to the UK before I noticed.  Annoyingly, the only way to get the part is to buy a whole new body, which seems overkill.


As for couplers, Kato are the most obvious, 28-255. I've not found them to be as reliable as the Micro-Trains though. The chap at Treasure Trains in Kokura made a shunting puzzle and used MT-10s. Little to no issues compared with my Kato uncoupling tests. Definitely a fine tolerance with the magnetic bar between effectiveness on the un-coupler rail and snagging on anything but the flattest of tracks. Perhaps a under board on/off electro magnetic un-coupler would work better. The advantage with the Kato ones is they obviously drop in without any modification needed. The Kato American locos have come boxed with these for some time. Not sure how North American Modellers get on with them or can share their knowledge on what they've found works. I figured Kato carry MT couplers to replace their own knuckle couplers.

Edited by Kamome
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Hi Kamome,


Still, it is a good idea of yours to just buy the tender since I didn't know that part exist. Really thankful for that giving that option.


For couplers in model railroading, is it really like this? You experiment which couplers would work or not? I have yet to see freight train shunting using Japanese trains made by Kato. 

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Not sure N scale is the right size for shunting and to be honest the magnetic rapido may very well work better, but look awful.  HO is way better for shunting and the Kadee amongst others work reasonably consistently. You get the odd one sticking from time to time. 


The Kato N scale ones do work, but certainly I haven’t found them as consistent. The other challenge with n scale is the weight so rolling resistance is very light. You could of course add more weight so when couplers need to push or pull to couple/uncouple, you get a bit more control. 


I have added some Kato magnetic couplers to some of my blue trains. They’re ok, probably get 50% working as supposed to. Otherwise it’s taking another pass. Possibly my expectation was high, as I’ve converted all of my loose HO stock to Kadees and they’re great for shunting wagons etc and I only get a few fails now and again. I just found the Microtrains ones seemed a little more consistent to what I experienced with the Kato ones. Maybe some more tinkering and they’d be fine. Problem is I also use rental layouts and the track laying is not always as good as it should be so if forward facing there’s a danger the magnet arm will snag on something. 

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I have built an experiment with success with a magnetic coupling on locomotive and tankcar



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11 hours ago, Adrian said:

I have yet to see freight train shunting using Japanese trains made by Kato. 

That's not how Japanese play with their trains.


But, as a side note, I had seen a video demonstrating a simple shunting puzzle layout using a Tomytec locomotive and a few Tomix freight cars. Simple loop with a siding. The person had embedded a couple of neodymium magnets under his track. It worked very reliably.

I think I had posted the video here, somewhere, but it's been a while and I'm not sure I can find it again.

@Falcon Nice, but I don't think this is what the original poster had in mind.

Edited by disturbman
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11 hours ago, disturbman said:

That's not how Japanese play with their trains.



I was just hoping that there's someone like me who thought of shunting Japanese freight trains 😄


Thanks for the input though. I'll keep this thread updated once I sort this out.

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You still can, but it's not done often and there isn't many examples.

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Tony Galiani

Check out this youtube channel for Japanese freight trains and some shunting:  https://www.youtube.com/c/Nosuview/videos


I have seen some Japanese N Gauge layouts by Phil Hendry in the UK (one photo here:  http://www.japaneserailwaysociety.com/jrs/modelling/modelling.html) that featured shunting with MT couplers and worked really well.  However, I think this takes a certain amount of effort to fine tune everything to achieve smooth reliable operation.  Definitely not plug and play so to speak.




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