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Publication numberUS3605332 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateJan 16, 1970
Priority dateJan 16, 1970
Publication numberUS 3605332 A, US 3605332A, US-A-3605332, US3605332 A, US3605332A
InventorsStepek Thaddeus
Original AssigneeAtlas Tool Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Draft gear arrangement for miniature railway rolling stock
US 3605332 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1971 i STEPEK 3,605,332


,4 O C 0 man INVENTOR THA DDEUS STE PE K A 7' TORNE Y T. STEPEK Sept. 20, 1971 DRAFT GEAR ARRANGEMENT FOR MINIATURE RAILWAY ROLLING STOCK Filed Jan. 16. 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 vw Po mm mm wm vm United States Patent US. Cl. 46-216 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A draft gear box or coupler pocket arrangement is provided for permanent attachment at the lower ends of miniature railway rolling stock, such as boxcars, to receive couplers whose well known purpose it is to enable the coupling of cars into trains. A spring is provided to maintain the coupler in a centered position. This is a requisite when automatic coupling devices are employed. The coupler pocket or draft gear box arrangement is so arranged as to allow the rapid removal of its coverplate, for purposes of replacing broken couplers, without need for the removal of the entire draft gear system or any screws or other fastening devices.

This invention relates generally to draft gear systems for miniature or toy railway rolling stock, and more particularly it pertains to a draft gear box or coupler pocket arrangement for containing the coupling device and its associated elements.

Previous draft gear boxes or coupler pockets for toy railway rolling stock suffered from the disadvantage of having to be fully assembled with their cover plates and associated coupling devices before being installed on the rolling stock. It could be diflicult, due to the small size of the various parts, to hold the draft gear boxes in an assembled relationship, and, at the same time, properly locate and then secure the box to the rolling stock.

In addition, whenever replacing a broken coupler, it was necessary to remove the entire draft gear and disassemble the pocket which entailed the removal of several screws or, worse still, a number of escutcheon pins. Those draft gear boxes which employed escutcheon pins, or brads, for attachment were particularly inconvenient in that the withdrawal of the pins was difficult and then replacement required that the pin holes be plugged or larger diameter pins be used to insure a tight grip.

The earlier boxes suffered from the further disadvantage that their screws or other fastening devices were, of necessity, located at the sides of the box thereby increasing the overall width of the box to reduce substan tially the amount of truck swing available before the truck wheels struck the protruding fastener bosses. Attempts to alleviate the problem of excess width required the use of small diameter fasteners or pins with their previously discussed disadvantages.

Another attempted solution was the use of small apertured tabs at the upper side corners of the gear box which permitted the use of screws. However, these tabs had to be kept quite thin to assure that the heads of the screws, which secured the gear box to the car underfloor, would not limit the swing of the trucks by interfering with the flange of the endmost wheels when the car was negotiating a curve. However, frequent breakage, from severe coupling forces, was experienced at the tabs due to their inadequate cross-section.

Another disadvantage of earlier gear boxes was the additional effort required, on the part of a model-builder, to insure that the gear box was accurately centered which, as mentioned earlier, is a requisite when using automatic couplers. Laterally disposed holes for the fasteners had to be located with some accuracy to each side of the 3,605,332 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 model-makers centerline which was, of course, obscured by the box itself.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an improved draft gear box or coupler pocket which can be easily secured to a carbody in advance of the installation of the remaining draft gear elements.

Another object of this invention is to provide a draft gear box or coupler pocket arrangement in which damaged couplers can be very quickly replaced without need for any tool or the removal of fasteners or the box itself.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a draft gear box or coupler pocket arrangement which can easily be located on the centerline of the car and permanently secured with substantial fasteners while maintaining a minimum box width to allow for a maximum swing angle for the car truck.

Other objects and attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent and understood from the following detailed specification and accompanying sheets of drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a bottom plan-view of a draft gear assembly embodying a coupler pocket or gear box of the present invention but with its coverplate omitted;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 but showing the coverplate in place;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an inverted exploded perspective of the coupler pocket and its coverplate with a portion of the pocket broken away;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are diagrammatic longitudinal sections, to a smaller scale, illustrating in sequence the procedure for installing a coupler and then closing the coupler pocket;

FIGS. 6A and 6B are views similar to FIGS. 5A through 50 but showing the method for removing the coupler from its coupler pocket; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary bottom plan, similar to the right side of FIG. 1, illustrating a modification.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a miniature draft gear syster 10 as applied at a lower end corner 11 to the underfloor 12 of a model railroad car. A coupler pocket, or draft gear box 24 comprising an upper wall 26, sidewalls 28, endwall 30 and a bridging member 32, is secured to the underfloor 12 of the car with fasteners 38 which pass through holes 3 6 in the upper wall 26. A flange 34 on the upper wall 26 assists in locating the draft gear assembly a correct distance from the end of the car.

An automatic coupler 14 of a style well known in the art is shown installed within the pocket 24. A shank 16 of the coupler 14 is provided at its widened inner end with a through slot 20 and with a centering buttress 18 on each of its sides.

A post 40 depends downwardly from the upper wall 26 of the pocket 24. At the point of attachment of the post 40 with the wall 26, there is provided a shallow boss 42 of substantially greater diameter than that of the post 40. The boss 42 serves to maintain the coupler 14 in a horizontal position against the tendency of the head of coupler 14 to tip the shank 16 upwardly due to the greater weight of the head of the coupler 14.

A coil spring 22 is positioned with the slot 20, and it biases the coupler shank 16 inwardly to maintain the buttresses 18 against generally similar buttresses 44 formed on the inner surface of sidewalls 28. The primary function of spring 20 and buttresses 18 and 44 is to keep the coupler 14 centered as the rail car approaches another car during a coupling movement. However, the spring 22 also serves to cushion pulling forces which it transmits through post 40 to the upper wall 26, which is firmly secured to the carbody.

Pushing forces from the coupler 14 are transmitted through the post 40 and both pairs of buttresses 18 and 44 while on tangent track, but through only one pair of facing butteresses when the coupler 14 is displaced to one side as when negotiating curved trackage. It should be noted that the sidewalls of buttresses 44 diverge toward the rear of box or pocket 24 to allow for an ample swing for the coupler shank 16. The inner corners of sidewalls 28,. at the front opening of the box or pocket 24, are beveled as at 46 for similar purposes.

The coupler shank 16 and spring 20 are contained within the box 24 by a bottom coverplate 58 which is secured, without need for fasteners, by a forward tongue 62 and a narrower rear tongue 64. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the forward tongue 62 is supported by a spanwise notch or shoulder 52 formed in the bridge 32. Similarly, rear tongue 64 is received by a groove 54 provided in the endwall 30.

The coverplate 58 is formed at its sides with flanges 60 which rest against the lower edges of the sidewalls 28, while the thicker central portion of the coverplate 58 resides between the sidewalls 28.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the bottom facing surface of the buttresses 44 is cut away as shown at 50 to accommodate the thicker portion of the coverplate 58.

Before proceeding with a description of the steps involved in the installation, or removal, of the coupler 14 and coverplate 58, it should be pointed out that the box 24 and coverplate 58 are molded from a plastic such as, though not necessarily, Delrin since it is a requirement that the material be sufliciently flexible to allow endwall 30 and coverplate 58 to flex slightly when assembling the two.

Referring now to FIGS. 5A through 5C of the drawings, in FIG. 5A, the coupler 14 is shown being inserted at an angle to allow the shank 16 to clear the post 40, with the chamfered edge 48 providing the necessary clearance for the angular insertion of the coupler 14.

FIG. 5B shows the shank 16 being properly positioned over the post 40. Although not shown here, it is to be understood, of course, that the spring 20 would be installed at this time as shown in FIG. 2. Next, as further shown in FIG. 5B, the tongue 62 of coverplate 58, is inserted and a chamfered camming face 66 on rear tongue 64 is brought to bear against a chamfered camming face 56 formed on endwall 30. Further pressure against the coverplate 58, in the direction of the arrow, will spring the endwall 30 to the right a distance suflicient to allow tongue 64 to enter slot 54 after which endwall 30 will return to its normal position to lock the coverplate 58 in place as shown in FIG. 5C and also in FIG. 1.

The procedure for removal of coverplate 58, in order to replace a defective coupler 14 is shown best in FIGS. 6A and 6B. As shown in FIG. 6A, the endwall 30 is sprung outward to release the tongue, 66 and the coupler 14 is used as a lever, as in FIG. 6B, to push the coverplate 58 away from the box or pocket 24 a sufficient distance to allow it to be grasped with the fingers and withdrawn.

In certain instances it may be deemed desirable in the manufacturing of the box or pocket 24, to use a plastic which lacks suflicient flexibility to permit endwall 30 to be sprung out far enough for the purposes described in the preceding paragraph. In such an instance, suflicient additional flexibility is gained by using a slightly modified box 124, as illustrated in FIG. 7 wherein full depth slots 132 are provided at the corners formed by sidewalls 28 and endwall 130. The box 124 is in no way weakened by these slots 132 in that no coupling loads are carried by the sidewalls 28 or endwalls 130.

Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A draft gear box arrangement for a coupling device and its associated elements for a miniature railway rolling stock, comprising, structure defining a box of substantially rectangular cross-section having an upper wall, sidewalls, a flexible closed endwall having a recess formed in the inner face thereof, the opposite end being open and having a bridging member, and a removable coverplate forming the bottom wall, said bridging member having a shoulder arranged parallel to said recess in said flexible endwall and extending toward said flexible endwall, said coverplate having a tongue formed at opposite ends thereof and flanges of less thickness than said coverplate formed along the opposite sides thereof and extending outwardly and parallel to said coverplate, with one of said tongues being arranged to be positioned and supported by said shoulder of said bridging member and said other tongue being received in said recess in said flexible endwall, with said outwardly extending flanges being positioned under the lower edges of the sidewalls of said box when the thicker portion of said coverplate is inserted between said sidewalls so as to close off the bottom of said box, and a coupling device for railway rolling stock passing through said opening formed by said bridging member at said opposite end into the interior of said box, and a post for pivotally mounting one end of said coupling device in the interior of said box, said post extending downwardly into said box, with said coupling device consisting of a coupler having a head and a shank attached thereto passing through said opening into said box, said shank having a widened end with a slot provided therein for receiving said post, buttress means formed on the inner surfaces of said sidewalls, centering buttress means formed on opposite sides of said shank for engagement with the buttress means on the inner surfaces of said sidewalls, and means positioned in said slot for biasing said shank inwardly to maintain the buttress means on said shank in engagement against the buttress means formed on the inner surfaces of said sidewalls.

2. A draft gear box arrangement as recited in claim 1, and additionally boss means of substantially greater diameter than that of said post positioned at the point of attachment of said post to the upper wall and engageable by the widened end of said shank to maintain said coupler in substantially a horizontal position against the tendency of said head of said coupler to tip the shank upwardly due to the greater weight of the head thereof.

3. A draft gear box arrangement as recited in claim 1, wherein said baising means consists of a coiled spring positioned between said post and the end of the slot opposite said post means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,023,938 3/1962 Johnson 22060 3,171,565 3/1965 Nozette 220-60 3,338,429 8/1967 Zetzsche 46-216 3,469,713 9/1969 Edwards et al 46-216 FOREIGN PATENTS 893,624 1953 Germany.

RUSSELL R. KINSEY, Primary Examiner A. HEINZ, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3678618 *Apr 13, 1971Jul 25, 1972Mattel IncToy coupling apparatus and method for uncoupling same
US4768663 *Jun 10, 1986Sep 6, 1988Wolfgang SchullerCoupling device for scale models of railway cars
US5048704 *Oct 20, 1988Sep 17, 1991Kawada Co., Ltd.Detachable interconnecting arrangement
US5316158 *Jan 26, 1993May 31, 1994Kadee Quality Products Co.Coupler structure for model trains with centering cavity and surfaces
US5620106 *Jan 16, 1996Apr 15, 1997Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US5746336 *Jul 11, 1996May 5, 1998Kadee Quality Products Co.Coupler adaptor for model railroad rolling stock
US5931322 *Apr 14, 1997Aug 3, 1999Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US6189713 *Jan 13, 1999Feb 20, 2001Taek Rim OhCoupler for linking a coach with another coach in a minature train
US7694834Jul 13, 2007Apr 13, 2010Mike's Train House Inc.Electro-mechanical coupler for use with model trains
US7810660 *Jun 29, 2009Oct 12, 2010Kadee Quality Products Co.Model railroad coupler
US20090014402 *Jul 13, 2007Jan 15, 2009Wolf Michael PElectro-mechanical coupler for use with model trains
U.S. Classification213/75.0TC
International ClassificationA63H19/00, A63H19/18
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/18
European ClassificationA63H19/18