I came across this blog , UK based but describing a French fine scale ‘N’ layout. And it had a very interesting post on ‘N’ gauge couplers.
N-tram are the doyen of European brass models, in N-m and N. They are often horribly expensive, but the models are exquisite. The most interesting part of the range is perhaps the N-gauge track and even more interesting, their tram track. This is laser cut with all the setts between the track. Their web-site is in German, but easy to understand or translate.
Back to the couplers…..
Essentially, they are a minimal version of the traditional hook and bar type coupling, but done so finely that they are very unobtrusive in this scale. They seem to couple and hold very well, and what’s more, compared with some of the alternatives, they are very easy to assemble.
They consist of moulded bar and an etched hook, which simply has to be engaged with a pin on the shank of the coupling and then inserted into a standard NEM coupling pocket. I did manage to break a couple before I realised that the hook does not clip-engage with the pin and is simply held in place when the coupling is inserted into its housing.
Uncoupling is either by magnet above or ramp beneath.
They do look much better than the traditional Rapido coupler, and almost as unobtrusive as the DG / B&B coupler, with less work to install them. Perhaps the only issue may be that they look as if they will work best on larger radius curves.
I may just get a set to see what they are like…..