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Old June 13th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #1
JoKo65
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EUROPE | Automatic Centre Coupler (C-AK)

This coupler will be the new coupler for European railways which use buffer and chain today. It is compatible to the Russian SA-3 coupler.
Here are some explanations and photos:

http://www.ba-bautzen.de/wirtschafts...wabconeu_e.htm

It will be interesting if buffer and chain will be substituted for real or if nothing will happen.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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I think that we will continue to use buffers and chains forever.

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Old June 13th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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Probably, especially when you realize that this coupler is already 50 years in development and it's still not used. And with the liberalization of the European rail freight it will even be harder to introduce a new standard coupler.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #4
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Agreed - the way things are going, Europe will still be using 'buffer and chain' when that long dreamed of standard-gauge connection to China will have been completed and European railroads begin to be flooded with all of that Chinese equipment that uses those North American style AAR 'Type E' couplers.



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Old June 14th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #5
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It will be interesting how China will "flood" European railways with an incompatible rolling stock.

If China wants to come to Europe it will have to accept European and Russian standards, otherwise they will have no chance.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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It's kinda surprising how well buffer and chain actually hold together considering that you're average European passenger car weighs about 100,000 lbs. That little thing looks like it could snap right off pretty easily.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post

Agreed - the way things are going, Europe will still be using 'buffer and chain' when that long dreamed of standard-gauge connection to China will have been completed and European railroads begin to be flooded with all of that Chinese equipment that uses those North American style AAR 'Type E' couplers.



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Sorry to stop your dreAMS ABOUT world domination but:

Atlas:


A 10 minutes changing operation and it becomes CHAIN:



(notice: they are actually 2 different locomotives there ... but it only takes 10 minutes to change from one tipe to the other)

Aditionally we also have "transition" wagons ... CHAIN coupling in one end ... ATLAS coupling in the other:



So I think that will manage to transport our 2500ton coal trains even when the chinese "invade" our westerner corner of eurasia.

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Old June 16th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay View Post


It's kinda surprising how well buffer and chain actually hold together considering that you're average European passenger car weighs about 100,000 lbs. That little thing looks like it could snap right off pretty easily.
There are some studies that concluded that actually the CHAIN coupling holds more than the ATLAS coupling (aka the american coupling) due to the diferent conception of both systems.


Nonetheless "automatic" or "bar" coupling systems are prefered in long freight block-trains and in passenger EMU/DMU over the traditional chains.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoKo65 View Post
This coupler will be the new coupler for European railways which use buffer and chain today. It is compatible to the Russian SA-3 coupler.
Here are some explanations and photos:

http://www.ba-bautzen.de/wirtschafts...wabconeu_e.htm

It will be interesting if buffer and chain will be substituted for real or if nothing will happen.
Does it look exactly like SA-3 with automatic pneumatic connectors?
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #10
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European couplers are hideous, outdated and should be just phased out in 10 years.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #11
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Once in a lifetime I agree with you (I thought I would have never said that), because they are weak and limit the weight of freight trains. They are not a problem for passenger trains, although having vehicles with different couplers is an operational problem (already partially existing in Europe with a dozen of different couplers for passenger trains).
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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #12
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The future of passenger transportation are EMUs, so that point is relatively moot for passenger trains.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
The future of passenger transportation are EMUs, so that point is relatively moot for passenger trains.
Well, coupling EMUs from some 2 different branches and sending them as 1 train down to mainline may be good option, also railway must handle breakdowns somehow.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
European couplers are hideous, outdated and should be just phased out in 10 years.
Well, the best thing EU can do - force to built all new freight cars with new automatic coupling, backward compatible with buffer/chain. Soviet Union managed to do it in 30th-50th, in a really harsh times, so I have no idea wy European Union can't do it.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
Once in a lifetime I agree with you (I thought I would have never said that), because they are weak and limit the weight of freight trains. They are not a problem for passenger trains, although having vehicles with different couplers is an operational problem (already partially existing in Europe with a dozen of different couplers for passenger trains).
I don't know what you mean. There already is a common standard which is widely spread in Europe and works perfectly well. It's the Scharfenberg coupler.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
I don't know what you mean. There already is a common standard which is widely spread in Europe and works perfectly well. It's the Scharfenberg coupler.
But it's no good for a freight trains.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #17
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I remember a while ago a thread similar to this one(which itself is quite old lol) came up and someone(or several people, forgot exactly) brought up a good point regarding why the EU hasn't adopted these kinds of couplers, and that's because gigantic US/Russia/China-style freight trains face much larger obstacles in Europe than just weak couplers.

The points I remember:
- Lack of infrastructure, such as sidings big enough to accomodate mile-long trains.
- Geographical reasons. In the EU you're rarely more than a few hundred kilometers from a major port, where it's more efficient to transport cargo through road or smaller faster trains, as is the case right now.
- Operational reasons: Railways in Europe's are currently optimized for running frequent, fast passenger trains. Unless it only runs on dedicated routes or late at night, a gigantic freight train would either cause a massive traffic jam or spend all day sitting in sidings waiting for all the passenger trains to go by.

And especially in today's poor economic times, where rail transport is a common target of government cuts, I don't see upgrading the EU rail network to accommodate heavy freight being a top priority.

All that said, automatic couplers still have the advantage of making it much faster and more efficient to couple/uncouple rolling stock, but I don't know if it's still worth the cost with that alone.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
I don't know what you mean. There already is a common standard which is widely spread in Europe and works perfectly well. It's the Scharfenberg coupler.
You have reason, the Schaku is the most common. But there are others, like the one used by Stadler on its trains in Switzerland, and many more for narrow gauge and tramway vehicles, which are not a problem (I actually was thinking of them).
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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I don't think buffers can chains have been used in the UK for 20years? Certainly none now.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
I don't think buffers can chains have been used in the UK for 20years? Certainly none now.
And what about freight? I'm aware about fact that UK rail freight is next to none, but still...
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