Class 332 & 333/Scharfenburg & Dellner

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MCR247

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Ok, this thread is based on two linked questions:

Are scharfenburg and dellner couplers the same thing? Are they compatible?

As according to this, 332s and 333s have scharfenburgs and Dellners respectively and I was wondering if they are compatible mechanically and electrically?
 
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455driver

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Easy answer-
(probably) yes mechanically
(probably) no electrically.

The trouble in this modern age of "standardisation" is that, although units/ locos may have the same coupling, the couplings might be set at different heights/ have the electrical boxes on top of the coupling/ underneath the coupling/ either side of the coupling/ be wired up differently etc.
 

IanXC

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Well both 332 and 333 seem to have Dellner with Electrical Connector above, the units both have the same dimensions and both classes were built at about the same time, so I'd be surprised if they couldn't work in multiple.
 

jopsuk

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I'd bet they've got different and incompatible versions of the Train Management Software installed
 

cj_1985

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its not going to matter what answer is posted on here...

you can't judge a book by its cover... units built at similar times, by the same manufacturer, to similar specifications etc etc don't mean anything...

even if "in theory" they could couple mechanically and electrically..
how are we actually going to know for sure... they were built for 2 different companies (BAA and a ROSCO so no automatic need for any form of fleet compatability) , neither fleet was expected to have to operate with the other... and untill BAA decide to sell their fleet to one of the ROSCOs when they are done with them.... there will not be any need to physically test it.

so in the end.. its all academic, atleast for now
 

table38

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I always fancied coupling a 185 up to a 350 to see what would happen. The answer is probably:

*** BANG ***

(As we Electrical Engineers say :))
 

swt_passenger

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Ok, this thread is based on two linked questions:

Are scharfenburg and dellner couplers the same thing? Are they compatible?

They can be. If you follow the link to the M007 coupling type you'll read the following:

These couplers are often commonly called Scharfenberg Couplers. They work using a latch mechanism engaged by cone shaped protrusions on a flat front plate. The original patent for the design is held by Voith Turbo Scharfenberg GmbH & Co. KG. Other coupler producing companies manufacture similar couplings today.

One of those 'other coupler producing companies' is Dellner. IIRC from a detailed discussion elsewhere, we should think of Scharfenberg as the standard design, and Dellner just as one of the licenced manufacturers of it.

Nevertheless, as pointed out above electrical issues usually prevent different units being fully coupled, but if they are at the same height mechanical coupling for rescue should be possible.
 

455driver

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Well both 332 and 333 seem to have Dellner with Electrical Connector above, the units both have the same dimensions and both classes were built at about the same time, so I'd be surprised if they couldn't work in multiple.

Now I am not trying to be funny but do you work on the railways, bearing in mind how sensible your answer is I would guess not.

The railway doesnt do sensible otherwise how can a 142 couple to a 158, a 158 couple to a 170 but a 142 NOT couple to a 170 because of wiring issues?
They all have the same couplings and the electrical boxes are the same but because of wiring "improvements" made to the 170s if they couple to a pacer then the door buzzer will sound continuously, how is that sensible!
 

starrymarkb

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IIRC the buzzer triggered on the 156s initially, the Sprinters that operate with 170s were modded, so far no-one has done it with a Pacer on a regular basis
 

IanXC

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Now I am not trying to be funny but do you work on the railways, bearing in mind how sensible your answer is I would guess not.

The railway doesnt do sensible otherwise how can a 142 couple to a 158, a 158 couple to a 170 but a 142 NOT couple to a 170 because of wiring issues?
They all have the same couplings and the electrical boxes are the same but because of wiring "improvements" made to the 170s if they couple to a pacer then the door buzzer will sound continuously, how is that sensible!

Hmm, having read a few more replies maybe I did apply a little too much logic!

It would be interesting to know whether the 5th cars for the 332s were built along side the 4th cars for the first 8 333s, given that they were all constructed in 2002.

That 142/158/170 situation really is crazy, although I don't think that a 142/170 combination would look right somehow!
 

TGV

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So mechanically yes, pneumatically, maybe...

Not necessarily.

The answer is : It depends.

Not all Scharfenberg couplers are compatible with each other (let alone with another manufacturer such as Dellner). They all operate a similar principle of male and female cones and latches in the coupler head, some form of draft gear behind and a centering mechanism, but there are some crucial differences.

Electrically as stated - the electrical autocouplers are not always in the same place - some couplers have one on top of the coupler head, some have them split and mounted either side of the coupler head and others have them below (with no guide horn). The ones that have them mounted below are not mechanically compatible with ANY autocoupler with a guide horn as it would smash into the electrical coupler and wipe it out.

However you can mechanically couple up a similar coupler where one has an electrical autocoupler and one doesn't. An example would be a TGV to a Eurostar. TGV nose-end couplers have an electrical autocoupler (for running in multiple), but the Eurostar nose coupler is purely mechanical (of course, with brake pipe connections).

Mechanically, it is not as simple either. Some Schaku/Dellner couplers have a single latch system, and others have a double latch. The main issue being that they are not all mounted at the same height above the rail head. While they can take out a little bit of relative height due to wheel wear, and coupling up to a set with no air in the suspension, they are not all going to work. EDIT: There is a high speed standard height of something like 1050mm to a reference datum, but without my reference data handy, I can't say exactly. However that standard is not in force on non high-speed lines. At least it is not mandatory.

The answer to the specific question asked above would depend on a few factors then. The height above rail they are mounted at would be (I assume) either identical or very similar. The mechanical compatibilty would then come down to what exact type of head is mounted on the couplers. You can have the same headstock mount, support spring, centering device and draft gear, but two different heads.

I don't know much about the specifics of the trains mentioned but maybe that clears up some of the confusion.
 
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4SRKT

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Not necessarily.

The answer is : It depends.

Not all Scharfenberg couplers are compatible with each other (let alone with another manufacturer such as Dellner). They all operate a similar principle of male and female cones and latches in the coupler head, some form of draft gear behind and a centering mechanism, but there are some crucial differences.

Electrically as stated - the electrical autocouplers are not always in the same place - some couplers have one on top of the coupler head, some have them split and mounted either side of the coupler head and others have them below (with no guide horn). The ones that have them mounted below are not mechanically compatible with ANY autocoupler with a guide horn as it would smash into the electrical coupler and wipe it out.

However you can mechanically couple up a similar coupler where one has an electrical autocoupler and one doesn't. An example would be a TGV to a Eurostar. TGV nose-end couplers have an electrical autocoupler (for running in multiple), but the Eurostar nose coupler is purely mechanical (of course, with brake pipe connections).

Mechanically, it is not as simple either. Some Schaku/Dellner couplers have a single latch system, and others have a double latch. The main issue being that they are not all mounted at the same height above the rail head. While they can take out a little bit of relative height due to wheel wear, and coupling up to a set with no air in the suspension, they are not all going to work. EDIT: There is a high speed standard height of something like 1050mm to a reference datum, but without my reference data handy, I can't say exactly. However that standard is not in force on non high-speed lines. At least it is not mandatory.

The answer to the specific question asked above would depend on a few factors then. The height above rail they are mounted at would be (I assume) either identical or very similar. The mechanical compatibilty would then come down to what exact type of head is mounted on the couplers. You can have the same headstock mount, support spring, centering device and draft gear, but two different heads.

I don't know much about the specifics of the trains mentioned but maybe that clears up some of the confusion.

I can't help remembering that none of this happened with buckeyes and screw shackles.

 

asylumxl

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To the OP, have you could always send the original manufacturer an e-mail enquiring about the different couplers on the two units.

Never know they may be nice enough to give you more information and perhaps a definitive answer.
 

TGV

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I can't help remembering that none of this happened with buckeyes and screw shackles.

He he... yes, quite.

They work well though and it is rare that two completely "unrelated" trains (from their coupler point of view) have to couple up anyway. Most of the time there is sufficient compatibility on similar trains on the same route or with thunderbirds, etc... You're not likely to see a 220 coupled to a 373 for example, even if it was mechanically possible... I would fear for the voith transmission on the voyager if that were the case. :lol:
 

Robbies

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So given what has been said then, I presume than that you would not be able to couple together a class 332 to a 360/2?
 

TGV

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So given what has been said then, I presume than that you would not be able to couple together a class 332 to a 360/2?

Looking at them, a 332 has a Scharfenberg with a lower guide horn, and a 360 has an electrical auto-coupler there, so it doesn't look possible without retracting the electrical coupler. See attached image.

On some couplers (BSI type), the electrical couplers can be retracted if joining to a unit with an electrical fault. It should be therefore possible to do so in this case as long as:

1 - It retracts far back enough to clear the guide horn and
2 - The coupler heads are mechanically compatible.
 

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Robbies

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Looking at them, a 332 has a Scharfenberg with a lower guide horn, and a 360 has an electrical auto-coupler there, so it doesn't look possible without retracting the electrical coupler. See attached image.

On some couplers (BSI type), the electrical couplers can be retracted if joining to a unit with an electrical fault. It should be therefore possible to do so in this case as long as:

1 - It retracts far back enough to clear the guide horn and
2 - The coupler heads are mechanically compatible.

Okay, thanks TGV.

Another good example of the non sensible approach we take to trains in this country. Having said that though, I don't think any of our European cousins are that much better either when it comes to making sure that different types of train can work with each other.
 

Crossover

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TGV, may I ask what a guide horn is and what its purpose is?

From what you refer to with the 332's, I guess it is the metal "arm" underneath the coupler. I have seen them on a few couplers on various trains and often wondered what their purpose is.
 

TGV

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TGV, may I ask what a guide horn is and what its purpose is?

From what you refer to with the 332's, I guess it is the metal "arm" underneath the coupler. I have seen them on a few couplers on various trains and often wondered what their purpose is.

The coupler is held central by a "centering device" which can take the form of a spring/damper or some trick geometry and springs on the vertical support. However to take out any discrepancies in the exact centres when the couplers are coming together, the guide horns make sure that in their last few inches of travel that they meet perfectly aligned by the horns engaging and pulling the two coupler heads together.

If that makes sense?
 

table38

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There are a few videos on youtube of Scharfenberg's in action, but I also stumbled across this fascinating training video for BSI couplers. Sorry, OT I know!

[youtube]HU9GX0iQRb4[/youtube]
 

jopsuk

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the BSI coupler was a pretty good attempt at standardisation- pity it was only ever "Sprinter" and "Pacer" DMUs and modern units that had to work with them that got it.

It would have been good if, when orders restarted after a privatisation, a new BSI standard had been issued specifying coupler type (probably Schafenberg type) with height defined and electrical connector postion and pin allocations defined. I appreciate that getting software compatability would be harder, but if the designers of one type of unit always allocated the same pin to the same control, like might have been easier? Even more so if there'd been a drive to replace older couplings with new.
 

MCR247

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To the OP, have you could always send the original manufacturer an e-mail enquiring about the different couplers on the two units.

Never know they may be nice enough to give you more information and perhaps a definitive answer.

I probably won't bother as it was only a passing interest really :)
 

cj_1985

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the BSI coupler was a pretty good attempt at standardisation- pity it was only ever "Sprinter" and "Pacer" DMUs and modern units that had to work with them that got it.

It would have been good if, when orders restarted after a privatisation, a new BSI standard had been issued specifying coupler type (probably Schafenberg type) with height defined and electrical connector postion and pin allocations defined. I appreciate that getting software compatability would be harder, but if the designers of one type of unit always allocated the same pin to the same control, like might have been easier? Even more so if there'd been a drive to replace older couplings with new.


AIUI there is a differece in the coupler heights betweeen (for example) a pendolino and an electrostar... and iirc that is to do with European rules relating to high speed train interoperability or something like that, so in theory a UK class 390 pendolino could couple (atleast mechanically) to a DB ICE, SNCF TGV or Eurostar class 373... and where in practice its known that a class 220/221 can couple to a class 390 pendolino

also as far as compatible units/couplings post BR is concerned.. the class 168/170 Turbostar was probably the best in that respect... it used a BSI coupler that was able to allow multiple working with BR class 15X, and with class 165/166 (after some sort of adjustment)...

the Alstom class 458s for SWT were specified to be able to (atleast) physically couple to a BR Southern Region (Slam door) EMU...

as for the Electrostars, and an ability to couple to BR EMUs... seems to differ from person to person... but i can't recall ever seeing or reading about an electrostar coupling to a class 317 North of the thames, or to a class 465 south of the thames (for example).. thats not to say that it hasn't happened on a depot, out of public sight.
 

Robbies

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AIUI there is a differece in the coupler heights betweeen (for example) a pendolino and an electrostar... and iirc that is to do with European rules relating to high speed train interoperability or something like that, so in theory a UK class 390 pendolino could couple (atleast mechanically) to a DB ICE, SNCF TGV or Eurostar class 373... and where in practice its known that a class 220/221 can couple to a class 390 pendolino

also as far as compatible units/couplings post BR is concerned.. the class 168/170 Turbostar was probably the best in that respect... it used a BSI coupler that was able to allow multiple working with BR class 15X, and with class 165/166 (after some sort of adjustment)...

the Alstom class 458s for SWT were specified to be able to (atleast) physically couple to a BR Southern Region (Slam door) EMU...

as for the Electrostars, and an ability to couple to BR EMUs... seems to differ from person to person... but i can't recall ever seeing or reading about an electrostar coupling to a class 317 North of the thames, or to a class 465 south of the thames (for example).. thats not to say that it hasn't happened on a depot, out of public sight.

Correct me if I am wrong but the Class 171 couplers are different to the normal class 170 couplers? I believe the idea was that in theory that the class 171 could connect with the class 377's, if only for a short distance and a very slow speed?
 

WillPS

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171s have Dellners - that's the only difference between them and 170s (which have BSI couplers for Sprinter compatibility).
 
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