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The most common coupler designs are Listed\Described\Depicted below, as typically used worldwide on Historic\Modern railways. Couplers of Compatible\Like design often are known by different Make\Brand\Regional\Nick names. Compromise Couplers\Wagons transition between otherwise incompatible Couplers.

Click any Image\Video below for a larger view. DeadLinks can sometimes be revived via the InternetArchive.

AARx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.AARx 0000RailCarCoupler.AARx 0001RailCarCoupler.AARx 0002
Dimensions+Materials Standardized By AmericanAssociatedRailways(AAR)
AlsoKnownAs Janney\American\BuckEye\DropHead\Knuckle\Sharon\SwingHead\MCB\ARA\APTA Couplers
1873 Patent By Eli Janney (Alexandria USVA), 1893 Legislated By US Congress
Wide Use In North+SouthAmerica\Africa\Asia\Austrialia\India\Japan\MidEast...
Limited Use On FreightUnits+PassengerUnits+PassengerCoaches In Britain+NewZeaLand
SubType AARC\MCB5 Used 1893~1903, 9"High SlottedKnuckle For Transition From LINK+MILL Couplers
SubType AARD Used 1904~1931, 9"High SolidKnuckle, For All Freight & Passenger Locos+Wagons
SubType AARE Used 1932+Later, 11"High HeavyKnuckle, For Freight Locos+Wagons
SubType AARF Used 1954+Later, InterLock Design, For Freight HazMat+Rotary Wagons
SubType AARH Used 1947+Later, TightLock Design, For Passenger Locos+Wagons
All AARx SubTypes Have Compatible Knuckles\Contours & Mate To Any Other AARx Coupler
Scale 0.500\0.750 Versions Used On Amusement+Industrial+NarrowGage Railways
Compromise AARx~UICx Couplers (Drop\SwingHeads) Used In Britain+Australia+NewZeaLand
Compromise AARx~RUSx Couplers Used For Interchange In North+West China
Compromise AARx~WABx\SCHA Couplers Used For Loco~Unit Rescue In NorthAmerica
SemiAuto Coupling; SemiAuto Release; AARH Couplers May Have FullAuto Pneu+Elec Connections
Maximum Ratings: Draft 650kLb 2891kN, Tonnage 36376ShortTon 33000MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft 230kLb 1067kN, Tonnage 13227ShortTon 12000MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

ABCx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.ABCx 0000RailCarCoupler.ABCx 0001
AlsoKnownAs AutoBuffingContact Couplers
1906 Patent By J.T.Jepson (Wolverhampton Britain)
Simular But Incompatible With NCDA Couplers
Replaced Outlawed LINK Couplers On NarrowGage Stock In BritishColonial Africa+Honduras+India+Pakistan
SemiAuto Coupling, SemiAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 35kLb 156kN, Tonnage 1959ShortTon 1777MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink

ALBE Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Albe 0000RailCarCoupler.Albe 0001
1920s Patent By Karl Albert (Krefeld Germany)
Limited Use On PassengerUnits As SemiPermanent DrawBars In Europe
Manual Coupling; Manual Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink

BSIx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.BSIx 0000RailCarCoupler.BSIx 0001
1950s Patent By BergischeStahlIndustries(Germany)
Limited Use On PassengerUnits in Germany+Britain+China
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink

CBBB Couplers

RailCarCoupler.CBxx 0002RailCarCoupler.CBxx 0003
AlsoKnownAs CenterBufferBalanceBeam Couplers
Various Designs\Configurations
Limited Use On NarrowGage Stock In Africa+Europe
Manual Coupling, Manual Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink

GFAG Couplers

RailCarCoupler.GFxx 0000RailCarCoupler.GFxx 0001
Patent By GeorgFischerAG(Swiz)
SubTypes Include GFNeben(GFN), GFTram(GFT), GFVorort(GFV)
Simular But Incompatible With SCHA\SHIB\SHIN\WABx Couplers
Limited Use On NarrowGage Stock In BeNeLux+CzechRepublic+SwitzerLand
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 225kLb 1000kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink

LINK Couplers

RailCarCoupler.LINK 0004RailCarCoupler.Link 0000RailCarCoupler.Link 0001RailCarCoupler.Link 0002RailCarCoupler.Link 0003
AlsoKnownAs Link+Pin\Cone\Mayo\Trichter\Trumpet\VanDorn Couplers
Limited Use On Historic+Industrial Stock World Wide
1831~1900 Wide Use In America+Europe Then Outlawed Due To Injuries
1893~1900 Compromise LINK~AARx Couplers Were MCB SlottedKnuckle Couplers
Manual Coupling; Manual Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 69kLb 307kN, Tonnage 3858ShortTon 3500MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

MILL Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Mill 0000RailCarCoupler.Mill 0001RailCarCoupler.Mill 0002RailCarCoupler.Mill 0003
AlsoKnownAs MillerHook&Platform Couplers
1863~1866 Patent By Ezra Miller (Brooklyn USNY)
1863~1900 Used On PassengerWagons In NorthAmerica; Replaced By AARH\TightLock Couplers
Slotted For Transition To LINK+AARx Couplers On Locos & FreightWagons
SemiAuto Coupling; SemiAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

NCDA Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Norw 0000RailCarCoupler.Norw 0001RailCarCoupler.Norw 0002RailCarCoupler.Norw 0003
AlsoKnownAs NorwegianConversionDoubleArticulat\Chopper\Jones\Yoke Couplers
Simular But Incompatible With ABCx Couplers
Wide Use On NarrowGage Stock In Europe+Africa+Asia+Australia+Britain+India+NewZealand
SemiAuto Coupling; Manual Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 55kLb 245kN, Tonnage 885ShortTon 803MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink

RUSx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Russ 0000RailCarCoupler.Russ 0001RailCarCoupler.Russ 0003RailCarCoupler.Russ 0002
AlsoKnownAs RUSsian\Willison\AutoKuppler\SovietAuto Couplers
SubType RUS1\SA1 Patented 1913 By John Willison (Derby Britain)
SubType RUS2\SA2 Developed 1930 By NationalCastingCo(USIL) For RussianRailways
SubType RUS3\SA3 Developed 1945 By RussianRailways For Heavier\Longer Trains
SubType RUS4\SA4\AK69 Developed 1969 By Knorr For Russ~Euro Interchange
SubType RUS5\SA5\CAKv\ZAKv Developed 2002 By WABCo For Russ~Euro Interchange, FullAuto
All RUSx SubTypes Mate To Any Other RUSx Coupler
Wide Use On BroadGage Lines In Russia+East\NorthEurope+MidEast
Limited Use On Industrial+Mining Stock In America+Europe
Compromise RUSx~AARx Couplers For Russ~China Interchange
Compromise RUSx~UICx RUS4\SA4\AK69 & RUS5\SA5\CAKv\ZAKv Couplers For Russ~Euro Interchange
SemiAuto Coupling; SemiAuto Release; RUS5\SA5\CAKv\ZAKv Has FullAuto Pneu+Elec Connections
Maximum Ratings: Draft 661kLb 2940kN, Tonnage 9149ShortTon 8300MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft 430kLb 1912kN, Tonnage 5952ShortTon 5400MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

SCHA Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Scha 0000RailCarCoupler.Scha 0001RailCarCoupler.Scha 0002
AlsoKnownAs ScharfenbergKupplong\SchaKu\Dellner\Voith Couplers
1903 Patent By Karl Scharfenberg (Kaliningrad Russia)
Includes SubTypes 10\35\55\140\330\430\5301
Simular But Incompatible With GFAG\SHIB\SHIN\WABx Couplers
Global Use On Modern PassengerUnits, Limited Use On FoundryWagons For FullAutoRemoteOperation
Compromise SCHA~UICx & SCHA~AARx Couplers For Unit~Loco Rescue+Maintenance
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 338kLb 1500kN, Tonnage 1102ShortTon 1000MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

SHIB Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Shib 0000
1930s Patent By MamoruShibata(JapanRail)
Simular But Incompatible With GFAG\SCHA\SHIN\WABx Couplers
Limited Use On PassengerUnits In Japan+Venezuela
Compromise SHIB~AARx Couplers Used For Unit~Loco Rescue+Maintenance
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink

SHIN Couplers

RailCarCoupler.SHIN 0000RailCarCoupler.SHIN 0001
1964 Patent By Shinkansen(JapanRail)
Simular But Incompatible With GFAG\SCHA\SHIB\WABx Couplers
Limited Use On Express\HiSpeed PassengerUnits In Japan
Compromise SHIN~AARx Couplers For Unit~Loco Rescue+Maintenance
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

UICx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Engl 0000RailCarCoupler.Engl 0001RailCarCoupler.Engl 0002
Dimensions+Materials Standardized By UnionInternacionalChem(UIC)
AlsoKnownAs British\Buffer\English\Euro\Instanter\Screw Couplers
1830 Development\Evolution From Simple Chains By LiverpoolManchesterRailway
Wide Use In Britain+Africa+Europe+India+IreLand+MidEast+NewZeaLand
Limited Use In Asia+Australia+SouthAmerica
Historic Use In Japan Before 1925 Then Replaced By AARx Couplers
Compromise UICx~AARx Couplers AreKnownAs DropHead\SwingHead Couplers
Compromise UICx~RUSx Couplers AreKnownAs AK69\SA4 Or CAKv\SA5 Couplers
Compromise UICx~SCHA Couplers AreKnownAs Dellner Couplers
Manual Coupling; Manual Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft 303kLb 1350kN, Tonnage 4409ShortTon 4000MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft 191kLb 850kN, Tonnage 2755ShortTon 2500MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

UICx Couplers Require Left & Right Buffers With These Typical Mounting Dimensions:

On 4f708 1m435 Railways: HeightOverRail=3f458 1m054, Center~Center=5f741 1m750 to 6f000 1m829
On 5f000 1m524 Railways: HeightOverRail=3f543 1m080, Center~Center=6f000 1m829
On 5f250 1m600 Railways: HeightOverRail=3f281 1m000, Center~Center=6f250 1m905
On 3f281 1m000 Railways: HeightOverRail=2f461 0m750, Center~Center=?

WABx Couplers

RailCarCoupler.H2Ax~Pic0RailCarCoupler.H2Ax~Pic1RailCarCoupler.H2Ax~Pic2 WABA Couplers
RailCarCoupler.H2Cx~Pic0RailCarCoupler.H2Cx~Pic1RailCarCoupler.H2Cx~Pic2 WABC Couplers
RailCarCoupler.PinC 0000RailCarCoupler.PinC 0001RailCarCoupler.PinC 0002 WABN Couplers
RailCarCoupler.Tomlinson 0000RailCarCoupler.Tomlinson 0001RailCarCoupler.Tomlinson 0002 WABT Couplers
AlsoKnownAs Westinghouse\Budd Couplers
Various Incompatible SubTypes & Sizes: WABA\WABC\WABN\WABT
Simular But Incompatible With GFAG\SCHA\SHIB\SHIN Couplers
Limited Use On PassengerUnits In NorthAmerica+Australia
Compromise WABx~AARx Couplers\Cars Used For Unit~Loco Rescue+Maintenance
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

WARD Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Ward 0000RailCarCoupler.Ward 0001
1903 Patent By Frank Ward (USIL)
Limited Use On 1905~1935 British LondonUnderGround+GlasgowSubway+IsleOfWight Stock
Requires Problematic SafetyChains That Drag & Often Short The 3rdRail
Replaced By WEDG Couplers On 1936+Later Transit Stock; Still Used On Legacy Maintenance Stock
SemiAuto Coupling; SemiAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink InfoLink InfoLink

WEDG Couplers

RailCarCoupler.Wedg 0000RailCarCoupler.Wedg 0001RailCarCoupler.Wedg 0002RailCarCoupler.Wedg 0003RailCarCoupler.Wedg 0004
AlsoKnownAs Wedgelock\London Couplers
Limited Use On 1936+Later British LondonUnderground+GlasgowSubway+IsleOfWight Stock
FullAuto Coupling; FullAuto Release
Maximum Ratings: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
Typical Service: Draft ?kLb ?kN, Tonnage ?ShortTon ?MetricTon
InfoLink

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