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Publication numberUS3608237 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateOct 9, 1968
Priority dateOct 13, 1967
Also published asDE1603422A1
Publication numberUS 3608237 A, US 3608237A, US-A-3608237, US3608237 A, US3608237A
InventorsRichter Wolfgang
Original AssigneeLehmann E P Patentwerk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy railroad car with coupling mounted on a swivelly mounted truck
US 3608237 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept 28, 1971 w. RICHTER 3,608,237


TOY RAILROAD CAR WITH COUPLING MOUNTED ON A SWIVELLY MOUNTED TRUCK Filed Oct. 9, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 7% INVENTOR WOLFGRUG R26. HTI'R Mr 10 mvtx United States Patent 3,608,237 TOY RAILROAD CAR WITH COUPLING MOUNTED ON A SWIVELLY MOUNTED TRUCK Wolfgang Richter, Nuremberg, Germany, assignor to Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk, Nuremberg, German y Filed Oct. 9, 1968, Ser. No. 766,075 Claims priority, application Germany, Oct. 13, 1967, P 16 03 422.3 Int. Cl. A63h 19/18 US. Cl. 46-216 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A coupling for the vehicles of toy and model railways comprising a hook at one end of a vehicle for engaging a stirrup of another vehicle at the opposite end thereof in which said hook is pivotally mounted and deflectable downwardly against the force of a counter-weight, spring and such like tending to restore it to its normal undeflected position; the hook preferably being associated with a stirrup having a curved extremity as a butter bar co-operating with a like curved extremity of the engaged stirrup and the said parts conveniently being made of plastics material. The coupling is mounted on a wheel truck swivelly connected to the vehicle so that, on impact, it can automatically couple cars on curved as well as straight track sections.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION This invention relates to couplings for the vehicles of toy and model railways, comprising two complementary couplings one of which consists of a stirrup and a hook mounted for deflection in a vertical plane and provided with an uncoupling member, and the other of which comprises a stirrup adapted to be engaged by said hook.

Disregarding conventional claw-type couplings, the usual couplings for vehicles of toy and model railways comprise either a fixed upwardly projecting hook for co-operation with an upwardly deflectable stirrup, or they have a fixed stirrup for co-operation with a downwardly projecting and upwardly deflectable hook. The upwardly defiectable member of the coupling is gravity controlled, inasmuch as gravity urges it into coupling position.

The object of the present invention is to provide a particularly simple coupling of which all the major parts may be made of plastics material.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention one coupling member comprises a hook which is downwardly defiectable roughly out of the plane containing its stirrup to engage a co-operating stirrup coupling from underneath, and which is acted upon by a restoring force which seeks to deflect it upwards into coupling position. Such a coupling is principally suitable-though not exclusivelyfor toy and model railways running on tracks exceeding the HO gauge. When a hook rides under the stirrup of the cooperating stirrup of another vehicle, the hook is deflected downwards until the two stirrups of the two couplings meet when the hook automatically rises into engaging position. In view of its construction such a coupling cannot accidentally release when the vehicles ride over a hump or through a valley in the track.

The hook may have the form of a two-armed lever and the arm thereof extending towards the vehicle body carries a counter-weight. This simple arrangement ensures that the hook is continuously urged into engaging position.

An arrangement which has proved particularly useful consists in providing the lever arm carrying the counterweight with a downwardly facing cam for co-operation with a decoupling ramp provided between the rails on which the toy vehicles run. This cam is particularly suitable for accommodating the counter-weight. The cam itself may constitute the counter-weight. Provided the surface configuration of the cam is suitably chosen it will satisfactorily deflect the hook when riding over a decoupling ramp.

The coupling may be so contrived that the hook and the stirrup are provided on a connecting member rigidly aflixed to the bogie of the vehicle. This facilitates production particularly when, as preferred, the hook and stirrup as well as the connecting member are made of plastics material, and provides a favorable method of transmitting the coupling forces.

The centre of the stirrup may form a buffer rail in the form of an are having as its centre the pivot of the bogie. This ensures that the buffer rails of coupled vehicles, which will frequently be in contact during running, can satisfactorily roll the one on the other, even when the vehicles are travelling through small radius curves.

The buffer rail of the stirrup may have in the middle of its underside a recess which is wider than the width of the hook.

Since the above mentioned restoring force is the greater the heavier the counter-weight, an advantageous further development consists in providing a spring to generate a supplementary restoring force acting on the hook. One end of such spring may embrace a projection of the lever arm of the hook while its other end is received in a socket in the connecting member. This arrangement securely locates the resilient compensating spring and also permits the spring to be easily replaced. The projection may be integrally mounted in the plastics material forming the hook, and the socket may be formed into the connecting member as a cylindrical recess. Both arrangements can therefore be provided in a hook and a coupling member in a single operation for producing the same.

Furthermore, the arrangement may be such that the socket is vertically above the pin when the hook is in horizontal position. This provides a favourable distribution of forces when the coupling is in position of rest and also prevents the spring from suffering unnecessary wear, besides facilitating location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view from below a part of a vehicle, showing the bogie and coupling,

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section taken on the line II-II in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a perspective representation of the bogie and coupling in another embodiment,

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section taken on the line IV-IV in FIG. 3, and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the coupling hook in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a bogie or swiveling wheel truck 1 having a connecting member 2 extending underneath the floor of a vehicle of which only part is shown in the drawing. An oifset portion 3 of the member 2 carries a coupling stirrup 4 formed with a bufler rail 5 as a curved extremity which is arched about the pivot axis of the bogie 1.

A coupling hook 7 is mounted on a pin 9 extending between two flanges 6 on underside of the connecting member 2 and journalled in a bracket 9 of the hook. The

forward arm of this coupling hook 7, which constitute a two-armed lever, rests loosely with lateral clearance III a centre recess in the underside of the buffer rail 5 when the hook is not in use. When two toy vehicles, each equipped with a coupling according to the invention, are pushed together the upwardly and rearwardly sloping edge 11 of the hook 7 of the one vehicle rides below the butter rail 5 of the co-operating coupling stirrup of the other vehicle and first causes the hook 7 to rock downwards into the position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2 and then to swing up for the hook to engage such co-operating coupling stirrup due to the restoring force acting thereon.

The rear lever arm of the coupling hook 7 may, as shown, be shaped to form a downwardly projecting cam 12. This cam is adapted to co-operate with an uncoupling ramp of a conventional kind provided between the rails on which the vehicles run but not shown in the drawing. When this occurs the hook is likewise deflected into the downward or uncoupling position indicated by dotdash lines.

The restoring force for returning the coupling hook 7 into its raised position may be provided by the weight of the cam 12. Since the weight of the cam may not be sufficient, an additional ballast weight 13 may be contained in a bore in the cam 12 as shown in FIG. 2.

In an alternative form of construction shown in FIGS. 3 to 5, the ballast weight 13 is dispensed with or supplemented by the thrust of a resilient element acting on the rear arm of the coupling hook 7. In the illustrated example the lever arm carrying the cam of the coupling hook 7 has an upwardly extending projection 14 embraced by a spring 15 of which the other end is received into a circular socket 16 in the connecting member 2. In the position of rest of the coupling hook 7, the circular socket 16 is roughly vertically above the pin 14.

I claim:

1. A coupling for effecting self-coupling of two toy railroad cars on straight or curved track sections upon pushing said cars against each other, said coupling comprising on each car:

a wheel truck for a wheel pair of each car horizontally and freely swiveling about a vertical axis of rotation relative to the respective car body;

an elongate connecting member fixedly secured at one end to each truck for horizontally swiveling in unison therewith, said connecting member protruding at the other end from the respective truck;

a stirrup member fixedly secured at one side to said other end of each connecting member in a substantially horizontal position, an opposite side of each stirrup member being circularly curved with reference to said axis of rotation of its associated truck;

an elongate coupling member hinged for pivotal movement in a vertical plane to a horizontal pivot at an intermediate point of one connecting member of each car and protruding across the bottom surface of the curved side of the respective stirrup member, said coupling member mounting at its protruding end an upwardly directed hook having a rearwardly slanted forward side, the crosswise width of the stirrup member being several times the cross sectional width of the coupling member, each coupling member being hinged to the respective connecting member at an intermediate point of the length of the coupling member whereby said coupling member constitutes 4 a two-arm lever, one arm of said lever mounting said hook; and

a directional force means for the coupling member of each car to bias the respective coupling member upwardly into engagement with the bottom surface of the respective stirrup member of each car, said position of engagement constituting the coupling position of the coupling member, said directional force means acting upon the other lever arm thereby biasing the respective coupling member into said coupling position,

whereby upon meeting of the two cars head-on or at a slant engagement of the slanted side of the hook on the coupling member on one of the cars with said curved side of the stirrup member on the other car causes downward pivoting of the coupling member of said one car and thus passage of the hook past the curved side into the opening of the stirrup member on the other car, said directional force means restoring the coupling member to its coupling position thus coupling the two cars.

2. The coupling according to claim 1 wherein said directional force means comprises a ballast weight attached to the other lever arm.

3. The coupling according to claim 1 wherein said directional force means comprises a compression spring interposed between the connecting member and the other lever arm.

4. The coupling according to claim 3 wherein said spring is guided by a pin extending into one end of the spring and a bore receiving the other end of the spring, said pin and bore being provided on the connecting member and the coupling member respectively.

5. The coupling according to claim 1 wherein said other lever arm has on its downwardly facing side a camming surface adapted to coact with an uncoupling rail for pivoting the respective coupling member out of said coupling position.

6. The coupling according to claim 1 wherein said curved side of the respective stirrup member includes in its bottom surface a recess of a length greater than the thickness of the coupling member to permit lateral movement of said member within the recess.

7. The coupling according to claim 1 wherein each coupling member, the hook mounted thereon and a hinge pin for hinging the coupling member to the respective connecting member are a one-piece structure made of plastic.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,397,483 8/1968 Lingard 46-216 1,897,362 2/1933 Daniels 213- FOREIGN PATENTS 621,012 4/1949 Great Britain 462l6 54,631 1949 France 46216 960,517 1950 France 46-216 896,473 1953 Germany 46216 721,334 6/1955 Great Britain 46--216 308,591 7/1955 Switzerland 46216 20,850 1956 Germany 46-216 1,198,442 6/1959 France 46-2l8 F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 21375TC

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4700855 *Jan 30, 1985Oct 20, 1987Georg Utz AgAutomatic coupling for model rail vehicles
US5620106 *Jan 16, 1996Apr 15, 1997Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US5816169 *Oct 21, 1996Oct 6, 1998Mackenzie; Kenneth J.Model monorail system
US5931322 *Apr 14, 1997Aug 3, 1999Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US6910424Aug 12, 2003Jun 28, 2005Albert C. Ruocchio & Associates, Inc.Movable model train car parts to aid model train maneuverability as it travels on model railroad track
US6994224Jan 8, 2004Feb 7, 2006Barger J PerryModel railroad coupler
US20050167386 *Jan 8, 2004Aug 4, 2005Barger J. P.Model railroad coupler
U.S. Classification213/75.0TC
International ClassificationA63H19/18, A63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/18
European ClassificationA63H19/18