Experiences with the 'Profi' couplings made by Fleischmann (art.no. 6515)
Do you want to see your little PREISER figures falling down on the tracks when they are trying to change from one carriage to the next one? Well, we don’t. So we decided to remove the standard couplings from our PIKO double-deck carriages and replace them by ‘Profi’ couplings made by Fleischmann.
This should not be a problem thanks to the standardised coupling slots most model railway manufacturers build into their locos, carriages and wagons. On the internet, you’ll have to pay between EUR 0.55 and 3.00 (price in February 2008) for two couplings which is not too much if you think of the common rolling stock prices.
Although the carriages will be connected very close together, their buffers will not touch even in sharp bents (which are not realistic but often inevitable on model railway layouts…). An intelligent mechanism pushes the vehicles apart whenever necessary!
In order to remove the standard couplings we pressed their little barbed bars carefully together with a strong tweezers until they could be pulled out. Mounting the ‘Profi’ couplings was even easier: We just had to push them slowly into the slot until they snapped in place.
And here is the amazing result:
A few railway modellers reported that their locos sometimes lost one or more carriages equipped with the ‘Profi’ couplings, but that’s not our experience; we had no such problems at all. We only got the impression that connecting vehicles doesn't work quite as smooth as with the standard couplings. Disconnecting is quite easy by lifting one of the coupling pins e.g. with a screwdriver. Or just raise the carriage vertically from the tracks (that would not be possible with standard couplings!).
We can recommend the ‘Profi’ couplings by Fleischmann which will give your trains a much more realistic look. Time and effort are not worth mentioning, while the costs for a replacement appear reasonable.