Most model railroaders use the prototypical appearing Knuckle
Couplers in regular layout operations. TYCO supplied X2F-style Couplers with its locos and rolling stock with very few
exceptions. The Transformers train set of the mid-'80s is an example of a TYCO item that did not come equipped
with X2F's. Again, the vast majority of TYCO pieces may not be easily compatible with today's operations due to this
One very simple suggest is to take a piece of rolling stock and put a Knuckle Coupler at one end and
install an X2F Coupler on the other end. This single piece of rolling stock suddenly allows you to operate both Knuckle
and X2F Couplers together on your pike.
Another suggestion is to purchase a pack of IHC-Hobby's Magic Mate Couplers. These couplers,
stock number 19001, are a unique item that is a cross between an X2F and Knuckle in appearance and can mate with either type
in operation. IHC offers them in sets of 4-Pair that may be simply constructed and sell for about $5.
For the more determined operator, Kadee has done most of the research and trial-and-error work for
you and offers a listing of replacement Knuckle Couplers for TYCO items. The following information is taken from Kadee
and is provided for your information.
TYCO HO-Scale Kadee Coupler Converstion Listing
0-4-0 Steam Booster -#37 on the Pilot and #5 on Tender
0-6-0 Little Six -#37 on the Pilot and #5 on Tender
0-6-0 Big Six -#37
0-8-0 Chattanooga -#5 on the Pilot and #27 on Tender
2-6-2 Prairie -#37
2-8-2 Mikado -#38
4-4-0 General -#5 on Tender
4-6-2 Pacific -#39 on Pilot and #37 on Tender
Century 430 -#27 fits truck mounted coupler pockets
F-9A -#33 on front pilot and on rear truck mounted coupler pocket
F-9B -#33 on both truck mounted coupler pockets
GP-20 -#9 on both truck mounted coupler pockets
GG-1 -#26 on both truck mounted coupler pockets
Diesel Switcher -#5 fits both ends
Most Brown Box Era TYCO Rolling Stock accepts a #28 into the talgo truck coupler pockets
Older TYCO Rolling Stock may require a #9 to fit properly
Steamline Passenger Cars take either #5 or #58 couplers
Old-Time Passenger Cars use the #9 couplers
Those wishing to replace broken or missing TYCO's talgo truck coupler on Rolling Stock selections,
may try Life-Like's Bettendorf Trucks. These trucks include a coupler mounted to the truck and should fit many TYCO
items. The Life-Like Bettendorf Truck Couplers come equipped with an X2F and are part number 1413 in the company's product
line and sell for around $5 a pair.
Kadee does offer a very nice running Bettendorf Truck with talgo-style coupler mounted to the truck.
One problem with trying to use them on TYCO Rolling Stock is the lack of prongs on the truck. TYCO trucks snapped into
the underframe and Kadee has designed these trucks to accept a screw or possibly a plug. These Kadee trucks, stock number
502 selling for under $10 a pair, could be used but would take about as much work and simply mounting your own coupler pocket
to a TYCO underframe.
One my best suggestions for operating yesterday's toy trains on today's layouts is to switch out underframes.
It may take some minor work to the underframe, but you'll find that the current Bachmann HO-Scale Rolling Stock comes very
nicely equipped with body-mounted knuckle couplers and great running metal wheels in nice trucks. When you consider
the cost, you can pick up a Bachmann Box Car for around $10 and take its underframe and put it under a TYCO Box Car for about
what you might spend to get new metal wheels and replacement knuckle couplers.
I recently acquired a set of Lionel-HO 50' Beer Reefers that I wanted to run and I simply swapped
out the underframes from the old Lionel-HO with plastic wheels and talgo X2F's and put in a new Bachmann 50' Box Car's underframe
and off and running great my Coors Box Car went!