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SManual uncoupling


50 posts

Is there any "standard" method for manually uncoupling Hornby wagons, coaches, etc.?  With the regular Hornby couplings, fingers aren't going to do it.

In the good old days, I used a bent paper clip with some success, but the couplings on new stock won't even allow that to pass betwen them when coupled.  So there has to be a better way that most people use.

Are there any commercial products available, or is it a question of do-it-yourself?



19155 posts

This is what I use when the picture appears. They don't make them any more but it isn't  difficult to make something similar. .

WTD ........... Nurse, the screens.


3891 posts

Community Moderator

I use a piece of old credit card that I have cut into a similar shape as a boomerang.  However as you suggest, it is sometimes difficult to get it between couplings and probably more difficult than your paper clip.  My longer term intention is to introduce a automatic coupling operated via DCC.  The other option of course is the standard uncoupler that fits onto the track but I don't really want to be limited to having to uncouple in the same places each time.

00 Gauge. DCC. Elite (v1.43) with Select (v1.0) as Walkabout. RailMaster Pro running on a Windows 10 Laptop. 19 Loco's. 2nd copy of RailMaster (Not Pro) running on Windows 10 Desktop and Networked to the Laptop. Handheld RM running on Android Phone.


3401 posts

Have you thought of making something a bit like a spade from plasicard and wire? Then insted of trying to insert it between the couplings, pushed the coaches together and slide it underneath the couplings just above the rails so it pushes up on the downward pointing projections on the hooks. This is after all the princple behind hown an uncoupling ramp works.

See http://s243.photobucket.com/user/Rog_RJ/media/Uncoupler-1.jpg.html

Modelling the GWR in the Welsh Borders, and the Glyn Valley Tramway with quite a few bits from elsewhere!


19155 posts

I have posted a picture of the old Triang uncoupler that I use. It will be along tomorrow. You can buy them at toy fairs and occasionally on eBay but it isn't difficult to make something similar

WTD ........... Nurse, the screens.


6831 posts

My goodness, WTD. I used to have one of those more years ago than I can remember, if that's possible. I don't seem to have it now and wonder where it went. I find the main problem, though, with uncoupling by means of any sort of long device like that is particularly difficult when trying to uncouple something when you have two trains on close parallel tracks, especially against station platforms as well.


I'm afraid I generally use the flying ham-fisted fingers but am occasionally inclined to use a less brutal method such as a needle, having found bent paper clips just a bit too thick for separating the more recent rolling stock.

The out of Controller


10824 posts

Community Moderator

My uncoupler is almost the same as Rog-RJ's picture posted by 81F but made from an old biro case, a bit of bent wire and a square of plastic. Used under the coupling pair to lift the hook bars.

Halton Brat - Running Win 10, 64-bit - RM (Pro-Pack) with Elite as Controller-A, Select as Walkabout and E-Link as Controller-B - Locos are mostly TTS. http://www.halton96th.org.uk/page21.html


981 posts

Hi Graskie,


Apologies for the profanity filter blocking your message. The word to blame does have a profane connotation but it is incredibly unlikely it will ever be used that way (even by a furious Forum member or "troll"). Because of this I have removed the word from the filter and released your message.


19155 posts

I have made a 'similar' coupling to the Triang one to fit in tight spaces. A small rectangle of plasticard with a piece of plastic rod fixed to it at a right angle as opposed to 45 degrees. Works a treat. 

WTD ........... Nurse, the screens.


6272 posts

I use a long Z of piano wire - I think it is .5mil gauge. (The same stuff I use for remote point operating push-rods.) That is bent in such a way that I have a handle at the top, a long shank, and a shorter leg at the bottom, which slides in between the tension locks, and lifts the hooks from the 'D' loops. The only thing I have to watch is that the hooks don't latch onto the wire! A gentle push towards the other item sorts that, if there is no room to move the thing sideways until it disengages.

if it works first time, you did something wrong!

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