Creating A Model Railway Coupler With Magnets

Ever wondered how you can successfully couple and decouple your model railway carriages whilst they are in transit? At FIRST4MAGNETS we receive a ton of phone calls and emails from model railway enthusiasts asking how they can use magnets to enhance their models! With an abundance of enquiries regarding magnets and model railway couplings, we decided to create our very own solution to recommend to our model railway enthusiasts!

Searching across the web can produce a handful of tutorials on showing how you can use magnets in your railways to decouple carriages, but only on specific coupling types! Our solution of magnetic decoupling is universal and can be fitted and used on all types of train couplers!

See the magnetic couplers in action!

Our coupling system was created by attaching two 0.2″ x 0.08″ x 0.2″ thick N42 Neodymium Magnet – (0.22lbs) Pull to the coupling element of the train and placing a single 0.16″ diameter x 0.49″ thick N42 Neodymium Magnet – (1.59lbs) Pull magnet magnet embedded into the ground underneath the train track. When the train is passed over the large magnet it attracts the smaller magnets that are attached to the coupling element. Therefore, pulling the coupling downwards and detaching the two carriages whilst still moving. Depending on the type of model railway set you have, you need to consider the positioning of the large magnet and take your time to make sure it is the accurate distance between the two magnets for a seemingly smooth carriage decoupling.

In order to attach the smaller NB0502005-LM-50 magnet to your train coupling, all you need to do is simply apply a small volume of Araldite or Loctite adhesive to the magnets and place them on the coupling. By doing this, it will form a lasting bond. Now, to embed the larger NB04125-LM magnet into your train layout. A 0.16″ drill will be required to create a hole with a maximum depth of 0.31″ – 0.35″ depending on the distance you require between the two magnets.

And there you have it, the perfect way to couple and de-couple your model railway carriages!’

If you have a project you are working on, or need some advice on your model railway coupling, our team would love to hear from you! Contact our experts on 800-917-0841 or email at

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