Uncoupling Magnets

Making the video of Thomas and Sons made me realise I should fit the uncoupling magnets to enable some proper shunting.

The magnets for the Greenwich coupling system are slightly larger than the gap between the sleepers of the Peco 009 track . The first task was to create space for the magnets by removing one of the sleepers.

I drilled a 2mm diameter pilot hole to guide the larger diameter drill bit and to allow me to locate the magnet from the underside of the baseboard if ever I need to replace it.

The magnet was placed in a 7mm diameter, 3 to 4 mm deep, hole. (For the other magnets I drilled a 6mm diameter hole. The magnets fit more snugly into the smaller holes, see the photo at the beginning of the blog).

The Greenwich system provides a gauge so the magnet can be positioned at the correct depth. If the hole was too deep I added a small piece of card to raise the magnet. When the height was correct I glued everything in place with a spot of UHU.

The critical test is whether they work. When the coupling is away from the magnet the loop is horizontal.

As the coupling moves over the magnet it pulls the lead that’s attached to the base of the coupling downwards raising the loop. Yep, it works!

In total I fitted eight uncoupling magnets in an area of 45 x 20 cm (roughly 18 x 8 inches). Well, it is a shunting layout.


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