Powerline flat & log wagon saga

Categories: Model Railway Tips and Resources.

Due to unforeseen errors, the current crop (March 2007) of Powerline wagons need some work to get operating. Something for Powerline to correct so they can compete with the RTR rolling-stock from other manufacturers. 

As purchased the wagons do not come with couplers at all. What follows is my method to correct the wagons.

Step 1

Open the box to remove the wagon. If it is the log wagon, do take care! In the box you will find a small plastic sachet with the coupler lid and screws.

Keep the foam the wagon comes in as you will use it as a cradle for this conversion.

Step 2

If doing the log wagon place it upside down on the foam it came with. Remove the bogies by unscrewing them.

Step 3

Grind/file flat the lip in the coupler pocket, back down flush with the underfloor. I used a small grinding/engraving bit in my motor tool to do most of the filing, then finishing with a small file. Ensure you have really got the lip flush completely.

This is important to insure the coupler will be as high as possible.

Step 4

Drill the coupler hole out a bit, using a drill bit roughly same size as the existing hole. Be careful not to go through the top.

Step 5

Time to get the Kadee #148 out. As the coupler box is too high you have to do something, the coupler has to be held up for coupler height.

One way would be to grind this box down, or as I have done which is to pack the box with spacers. You could make these packers out of plastic with a hole. In my case I used a insulated Kadee washers and a ground metal washer to pack the coupler pocket.

Step 6

Put the coupler in, the packer, then screw on the lid with the supplied lid & screw.

Step 7

Time to put the bogies back on. the wagon as supplied by Powerline sits too low on the wagon, allowing the wheels to scrap onto he underfloor, bad for curves ! Put a washer between the body & bogie, screw bogie to wagon. Test check on the gauge. If gauge is slightly low put another washer under the bogie (you may have to find a new longer screw to do this). 

If the height is still too low , check the coupler, it should not have and slop, you may have to repack the coupler pocket.


That is hopefully it. In my case I wish to weather them a bit. 


I got a flat wagon well before these log wagons came into my fleet. I decided to grind away the entire coupler pocket, and the lip. Then fitted the Kadee under-set couplers. Bogies as per step 7. Unfortunately it took a lot of abuse and some detail has been broken off. Still it can now enter service!

Think I’ll add some weight under the wagons, in the centre still. Or make some loads! They are very light on their feet

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