’HOW COME nobody has invented that yet?’ is a question Voith Turbo Scharfenberg says it has been asked since launching its one4 coupler head, which is now undergoing field trials on ICE3 trainsets in Germany. The manufacturer says the coupler ’represents a radical simplification and standardisation’ of existing designs.

Instead of being formed of a single casting, the one4 coupler uses an exchangeable front plate attached to a standard body using screws which do not transmit the forces. Four types of front plate are currently available, and custom-made designs can also be provided to ensure compatibility with existing couplers.

The front plates can be replaced in 2h, cutting downtime in the event of accidental damage to the coupler. Piping connections are simplified, coupler face heaters can be retrofitted, and once the front plate is removed all components are easily accessible.

Voith Turbo, Germany