Lionel FreightSounds Boxcar Coupler Problem

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  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Lionel FreightSounds Boxcar Coupler Problem
Posted by RickO45 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 10:47 AM

I recently purchased the Lionel Union Pacific FreightSounds PS-1 Boxcar. The couplers do not play nice with any of my other rolling stock or engines. Joining this to another car is very difficult and results in such a stiff connection that derailments occurr. Is this a know issue? Is there a replacement truck/coupler that would fix this?

Also, could someone tell me why this car is so noticeably larger than my other cars? I don't see any information on the box indicating it is from another product line. I'd like to avoid purchasing this larger size in the future or at least know what I am getting. Thanks for any feedback.

  • Member since
    January 2011
  • From: North Bluff above Marseilles IL
  • 6,209 posts
Posted by KRM on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 11:54 AM

Rick, The car make part number could be of help. Also what car your trying to hook up to. Sounds like it is a scale car so it would be bigger than traditional post war Lionel stock. It may be a O scale two rail car with Kadee couplers, like this one.


Joined 1-21-2011    TCA 13-68614

Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling


  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by RickO45 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 12:44 PM

Thanks for the reply. The boxcar is the #125404 (sku 2026190). Having tested more cars now, it does hooks up to some cars ok, others not so well. I can put cars on either side that it is friendly with so that will work out.

As to the size, I don't know why it is larger. There is nothing on the Lionel website or on the box it came in to indicate it is any different from other cars that I have used without difficulty. New to trains so still trying to figure it all out. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply.


  • Member since
    October 2009
  • From: Sylmar CA.
  • 3,527 posts
Posted by V8Vega on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 9:59 AM

There are like 3 scales with Lionel and O gauge in general. So buying from eBay for instance can be difficult, you have to try to fighure what size it is if something you're not familar with or sure of. With experience you learn to be able to see better.

Full correct scale size, What most call traditional size which are slightly undersize from correct scale size, and smaller yet this is mostly postwar.

On my moderate size layout I like the traditional size and the smaller size. I have no full scale freight cars but do have some scale steam engines, I feel they look great with the traditional size cars. Even with traditional size cars some are bigger, I put them in a group in a train. F3's and GP's and probably SW's in traditional size are actually scale size but look fine with traditional size cars.

I had the benifit of going to a lot of train shows back when TTOS was big here in the LA area and you can see all the trains. I don't know what happened, it's near dead now.

Dennis  San Fernando Valley CA.  Joined August 2009

  • Member since
    October 2020
  • 10 posts
Posted by RickO45 on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 11:09 AM

Thanks for the information on scales and sizes. I did buy the car off eBay. Next time I will be a bit more knowledgeable and able to ask better questions. 


  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 10,028 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 6:08 PM

Deciding what scale a toy train is built to is complicated by the fact that the scale may be different for width, height, and especially length, because of the need to get around unprotypically sharp corners.  My rule of thumb is to forgive too-short lengths (like the postwar Lionel GG1 and 2500 extruded passenger cars) and to judge the "scale" of a car or locomotive by its width, which should be 2 2/3 inches to match the loading gauge of the prototype.  If a piece has a scale length as well, like the 773 Hudsons and the F3s, that's a bonus.

Bob Nelson

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