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Class Loco

Do British railways (post privatization) still use the "hook and chain" or screw couplings, and if so why?

It's something I've always kinda wondered. Being a Yank, I don't know too much about British railways (meaning EWS, Virgin, etc) coupling practices. I know that for some time, screw and hook couplings (also called screw) and chain couplings were used; but I wondered if they're still in use or not?

If they are phased out, when did this occur and what took their place.

If not, what is the effectiveness of them?

There are many different types of coupler on the UK mainline network depending on the type of train.

The 3-link coupler went out ages ago (not sure when), but the screw coupler remains in use and is probably still the standard coupler. The advantage of the screw over the 3-link is that you can take out a lot of the slack between the vehicles which reduces the severity of a "snatch" (the jolt experienced as a train starts away and takes up the slack in the couplers) and the likelihood of a broken coupler. There are quite a lot of freight vehicles that use the screw coupler. Although some of the newer types of freight wagons now use a buckeye (knuckle...?) coupler, the standard way of coupling the loco will be using the screw coupler as that is the standard drawgear fitted to UK loco classes.

Loco-hauled passenger stock has, for some considerable time, used a version of the buckeye coupler known as a drophead. Where a coach is coupled to another coach the buckeye coupler will be in the raised position and in use. However, at the outer ends where the loco will be attached, the buckeye is dropped to reveal a coupling hook to which the loco's screw coupler can be attached in order to draw the train. Modern passenger locos, such as the Class 90 and 91 electric locos, have themselves been fitted with drophead buckeyes so that they can couple to passenger trains this way. However, at the outer ends of the train there is still the need to fit standard drawgear so that the train can be rescued by a conventional loco in the event that it fails.

Where things get complicated is with modern multiple-unit (MU) trains. Back in the 1950's and 60's these were generally constructed with either standard drawgear or a buckeye coupler. However, these types have all since been withdrawn and replaced with modern types that use one of three different types of autocoupler that provides both the physical connection between MU's together with the air and electrical connections that are needed for MU's to operate in multiple with each other. While these can be a bit temperamental from time to time, they are much quicker and easier to use and remove the need to get down between the MU's to hook up the air hoses and multiple-working jumper cables. Where they are not so good is if an MU needs rescuing by a loco (e.g. an electric MU "off the juice"), as you will need an adapter in order that the loco can be attached.

The other major type of coupler used in the UK is the bar coupler. These are generally found between vehicles formed into a permanent or semi-permanent set. This could be between the vehicles of an MU or certain types of freight wagon. These are not uncoupled in service but may require to be split for maintenance purposes.

I hope this helps. If you need more detail or clarification, just let me know.

Find Class Loco On eBay Below:

ROCO 4151B DB BLUE CREAM CLASS BR V 215 069 6 DIESEL LOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
ROCO 4151B DB BLUE CREAM CLASS BR V 215 069 6 DIESEL LOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
$80.03
MARKLIN MRKLIN 37370 DB CLASS BR 101 E LOK LOCO FUSSBALL DCC MINT BOXED ml
MARKLIN MRKLIN 37370 DB CLASS BR 101 E LOK LOCO FUSSBALL DCC MINT BOXED ml
$203.54
RIVAROSSI 1345 DB 2 8 2 CLASS BR 39 127 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
RIVAROSSI 1345 DB 2 8 2 CLASS BR 39 127 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$123.29
FLEISCHMANN 4179 DB 2 10 0 CLASS BR 50 662 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4179 DB 2 10 0 CLASS BR 50 662 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$146.12
HO SCALE HORNBY 4 6 2 CLASS 7 Britannia LOCO  TENDER
HO SCALE HORNBY 4 6 2 CLASS 7 Britannia LOCO TENDER
$80.00
ROCO 43314 DR BLACK 4 6 0 CLASS BR 17 DAMPFLOK LOCO 17 1132 MINT BOXED ng
ROCO 43314 DR BLACK 4 6 0 CLASS BR 17 DAMPFLOK LOCO 17 1132 MINT BOXED ng
$130.59
HO BRASS PACIFIC FAST MAIL Soo Line H 23 Class 4 6 2 Steam Loco
HO BRASS PACIFIC FAST MAIL Soo Line H 23 Class 4 6 2 Steam Loco
$320.00
HO BRASS CHALLENGER IMPORTS DMIR E7 Class 2 10 4 Steam Loco  Tender
HO BRASS CHALLENGER IMPORTS DMIR E7 Class 2 10 4 Steam Loco Tender
$1,175.00
HAG 280 DIGITAL AC SBB CFF CLASS Re 4 4 460 E LOK LOCO 038 3 HAUENSTEIN MIB nc
HAG 280 DIGITAL AC SBB CFF CLASS Re 4 4 460 E LOK LOCO 038 3 HAUENSTEIN MIB nc
$364.61
PIKO 57212 MARKLIN DIGITAL AC DB CLASS BR 182 E LOK LOCO 001 8 MINT BOXED nc
PIKO 57212 MARKLIN DIGITAL AC DB CLASS BR 182 E LOK LOCO 001 8 MINT BOXED nc
$94.72
ROCO 62310 DIGITAL SOUND SNCF 4 6 2 CLASS 231 E 30 DAMPFLOK LOCO BOXED ps
ROCO 62310 DIGITAL SOUND SNCF 4 6 2 CLASS 231 E 30 DAMPFLOK LOCO BOXED ps
$801.77
ROCO 43244 DB BLACK 2 8 2 CLASS BR 042 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
ROCO 43244 DB BLACK 2 8 2 CLASS BR 042 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
$181.66
FLEISCHMANN 4235 DB MAROON CLASS BR 221 131 6 DIESEL LOCO MINT BOXED nj
FLEISCHMANN 4235 DB MAROON CLASS BR 221 131 6 DIESEL LOCO MINT BOXED nj
$124.09
ROCO 436441 SBB DIESELLOK AIROLO AG CLASS V100 LOCO mc
ROCO 436441 SBB DIESELLOK AIROLO AG CLASS V100 LOCO mc
$146.12
ROCO 4155 NS BROWN CLASS SERIE BR 2200 2300 DIESEL LOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
ROCO 4155 NS BROWN CLASS SERIE BR 2200 2300 DIESEL LOK LOCO MINT BOXED ni
$94.11
ROCO 43840 DB CLASS BR V160 LOCO V160 003 MUSEUM EDITION MINT BOXED mv
ROCO 43840 DB CLASS BR V160 LOCO V160 003 MUSEUM EDITION MINT BOXED mv
$146.12
FLEISCHMANN 4141 DB 2 6 0 CLASS BR 24 067 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4141 DB 2 6 0 CLASS BR 24 067 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$109.41
FLEISCHMANN 4162 DB 4 6 0 CLASS BR 38 547 6 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4162 DB 4 6 0 CLASS BR 38 547 6 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$175.49
Liliput 9191 2 6 0 Tank Loco Class 74 MIB New old stock 2 rail DCHO Boxed
Liliput 9191 2 6 0 Tank Loco Class 74 MIB New old stock 2 rail DCHO Boxed
$93.88
Liliput 7500 2 6 2 DR Tank LocoClass 75MIB New old stock 2 rail DCHO Boxed
Liliput 7500 2 6 2 DR Tank LocoClass 75MIB New old stock 2 rail DCHO Boxed
$109.52
Liliput 9503 DB Class 95 2 10 0 Tank LocoMIB New old stock2 rail DC HO Boxed
Liliput 9503 DB Class 95 2 10 0 Tank LocoMIB New old stock2 rail DC HO Boxed
$117.35
NW CLASS J 4 8 4 STEAM LOCO W PARAGON3 SOUND IN SERV VERSION BY BROADWAY LTD
NW CLASS J 4 8 4 STEAM LOCO W PARAGON3 SOUND IN SERV VERSION BY BROADWAY LTD
$369.49
HALLMARK MODELS BRASS MISSOURI KANSAS TEXAS MKT 2 6 0 CLASS J5 MOGUL LOCO np
HALLMARK MODELS BRASS MISSOURI KANSAS TEXAS MKT 2 6 0 CLASS J5 MOGUL LOCO np
$403.12
HALLMARK MODELS BRASS MISSOURI KANSAS TEXAS MKT 0 8 0 CLASS C 2 A SWITCHER LOCO
HALLMARK MODELS BRASS MISSOURI KANSAS TEXAS MKT 0 8 0 CLASS C 2 A SWITCHER LOCO
$337.03
FLEISCHMANN 4145 DB 0 8 0 CLASS BR 55 2781 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4145 DB 0 8 0 CLASS BR 55 2781 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$116.75
FLEISCHMANN 4156 DR DRG 2 8 0 CLASS BR 58 2048 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4156 DR DRG 2 8 0 CLASS BR 58 2048 DAMPFLOK LOCO MINT BOXED nn
$124.09
HALLMARK MODELS HO BRASS SLSF Class 1306 2 8 0 Steam Loco Tender Unpainted Box
HALLMARK MODELS HO BRASS SLSF Class 1306 2 8 0 Steam Loco Tender Unpainted Box
$299.99
HAG 280 DIGITAL AC SBB CFF CLASS Re 4 4 460 E LOK LOCO 079 7 CHEMOIL AG MIB nc
HAG 280 DIGITAL AC SBB CFF CLASS Re 4 4 460 E LOK LOCO 079 7 CHEMOIL AG MIB nc
$547.29
Tenshodo 161 HO Scale Brass Great Northern 2 8 8 0 Class N 3 Steam Loco
Tenshodo 161 HO Scale Brass Great Northern 2 8 8 0 Class N 3 Steam Loco
$514.00
SUNSET MODELS SAMHONGSA BRASS SANTA FE ATSF 2 8 0 CLASS 789 LOCO WEATHERED np
SUNSET MODELS SAMHONGSA BRASS SANTA FE ATSF 2 8 0 CLASS 789 LOCO WEATHERED np
$364.05
FULGUREX DR DRG BLACK 0 8 0 CLASS BR 92 289 TANK LOCO MINT BOXED ne
FULGUREX DR DRG BLACK 0 8 0 CLASS BR 92 289 TANK LOCO MINT BOXED ne
$620.36
FLEISCHMANN 4800 KPEV 4 6 0 CLASS BR P8 DAMPFLOK LOCO 2412 MINT BOXED nn
FLEISCHMANN 4800 KPEV 4 6 0 CLASS BR P8 DAMPFLOK LOCO 2412 MINT BOXED nn
$145.18
FLEISCHMANN 4320 LENZ DIGITAL SPARES REPAIR DB CARGO CLASS BR 145 002 2 LOCO ng
FLEISCHMANN 4320 LENZ DIGITAL SPARES REPAIR DB CARGO CLASS BR 145 002 2 LOCO ng
$94.26
Fujiyama PFM Brass CO 2 6 6 6 Class H 8 Allegheny 1648 Steam Loco and Tender
Fujiyama PFM Brass CO 2 6 6 6 Class H 8 Allegheny 1648 Steam Loco and Tender
$1,980.00
Key Imports Brass NYC Class L 3b 4 8 2 Mohawk Steam Loco and Tender 1983 run
Key Imports Brass NYC Class L 3b 4 8 2 Mohawk Steam Loco and Tender 1983 run
$850.00
Trix 22268 HO Deutsche Bundesbahn Class E 41 German Electric Loco E41012 Blue
Trix 22268 HO Deutsche Bundesbahn Class E 41 German Electric Loco E41012 Blue
$300.99
Microscale Decal HO 87 75 Southern Pacific Steam Heavy Class Locos Steam Lo
Microscale Decal HO 87 75 Southern Pacific Steam Heavy Class Locos Steam Lo
$7.50
MARKLIN 37127 NEW MIB Era IV Dutch NS Class 1200 Electric Loco FREE SHIP USA
MARKLIN 37127 NEW MIB Era IV Dutch NS Class 1200 Electric Loco FREE SHIP USA
$295.99
ROCO 4131B DB E lok 144 Class Electric loco
ROCO 4131B DB E lok 144 Class Electric loco
$74.32
ROCO 4136B DB E lok Class 140 Electric loco
ROCO 4136B DB E lok Class 140 Electric loco
$70.41


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tsunami sound nib , bachmann nkp berkshire class 284 steam loco 765 w dcc amp; tsunami sound nib , jep moteur sncf class 2d2 9101 elok loco boxed compatible with marklin nl, ho brass challenger imports dmamp;ir e7 class 2104 steam loco amp; tender, ho brass pacific fast mail soo line h23 class 462 steam loco , trix 21218 kpev 040 class br t2 loco 6081 amp; goods wagon set boxed np, fleischmann 4175 db 2100 class br 50 058 dampflok loco boxed np, fulgurex sbb cff green class re 66 elok loco 11611 ruti zh mint boxed nl, marklin 3034 german eloco class e 41from 1969 obx manual, marklin mrklin 3026 f 800 db 460 class br 01 097 dampflok loco 1958 boxed nl, rivarossi 1336 sncf black 462 pacific class 231 e 13 dampflok loco mib ni, rivarossi 1096 dr drg blue class br 119 0123 elok loco ng, hag 280 digital ac sbb cff class re 44 460 elok loco 0359 wir verbinden df nc, nj international custom brass pennsylvania class c1 080 painted brass loco, brass pfm great northern class h5 462 steam loco unpainted hogauge, brass njcustom st204 bamp; o class v2 464 steam loco unpainted hogauge, marklin mrklin sk 800 db 462 class br 016 dampflok loco 1947 version nl, liliput l110501 ac db 464 class br 05 loco 05 001 digital mint boxed nc, roco 4136b db blue cream class br 140 3237 elok loco mint boxed ni, lima 208128 nsb maroon class br 13 2123 elok loco mint boxed ni, mrklin ho 3104 db class br89 steam tank loco 060 ex, marklin mrklin tt 800 db 282 class br 86 197 dampflok loco 1953 nl



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