Hydraulic buffers at Waterloo

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Waddon

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Was looking at the big old hydraulic buffers at Waterloo when I was there on the weekend, and thinking about that recent accident in Argentina... I realised that the Waterloo buffers with their two cylinder design they were designed for older trains that actually had the traditional 2 buffers at the end, however modern rolling stock just has a central coupling connector.

I wonder, how efficient will these hydraulic cylinders be at stopping a train now? They have had a heavy beam welded between them, but surely, in the event of an impact, the beam would distort in the middle, as that is where the impact would occur, at the very least the hydraulic would possibly not be as effective as it is not receiving a direct impact along the line of the piston, but instead receiving an off-centre force... or am I wrong?

Would they be better replaced with a single, central cylinder, as you see often on stations elsewhere in the world?

p.s excuse my non technical vocabulary, I'm not an engineer (in case you couldn't guess!)
 
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jopsuk

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I doin't have a picture, but the new buffer stop a platform 5 at Cambridge is of the fixed (I guess it might slide a bit?) type on the rails. It has a cut out in the middle of the beam that appears to be shaped to take most auto-couplers.
 

swt_passenger

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I doin't have a picture, but the new buffer stop a platform 5 at Cambridge is of the fixed (I guess it might slide a bit?) type on the rails. It has a cut out in the middle of the beam that appears to be shaped to take most auto-couplers.
Known as 'friction arrestors' rather than buffers nowadays, and they are the reason for the increased length of unused space between the arrestor and the platorm end wherever you see them fitted.

If you look behind the new type of 'buffers', you'll often see various additional clamps on the rails, as the whole thing is pushed back along the tracks they can pick up more resistance in stages. I expect the clamps have an accurate torque setting on the bolts and are a highly accurate fit to the rail profile.
 

Yew

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The turning moment from the 'off centre force' on one of the cylinders is counteracted by the equal and opposite force on the other cylinder.
 

jopsuk

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I noticed today that the buffers on the other bay road at the north end of Cambridge (Platform 6):
A- are made out of old bullhead rail
B- have quite a bend in the middle of the crossbeam- presumably at some point in the past something has "nudged" them with a coupler!
 

ChampsRacing

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I think 2009 driver was doing a 12 car ECS to clapham yard at about ten at night had the reverser in reverse not forward took power slammed into the buffers pushing the buffers right back, cracking the platform behind the buffers and damaging 450545.
 
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