• QUESTION: Couplers ...

  • General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.
General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by Warren Thompson
I'm looking for photos or drawings of an "adaptor coupler" used to connect, e.g., a Tomlinson automatic to a standard knuckle coupler.

The South Shore used such a gizmo to move the Indiana Railroad highspeeds, built by Pullman in Chicago, to an interchange with the Northern Indiana so they could move under their own power, via the Winona, down to Indiana Railroad property; likewise, after abandonment, some of the CA&E cars destined for a future life in museums were moved from the Wheaton shops by means of an adaptor attached to a diesel switcher.

[For a different sort of adaptor coupler, see a photo on p. 81 of CERA Bulletin 101, Electric Railways of Indiana, to see how to mate a knuckle coupler to a Van Dorn (those slots in traction couplers did have a function).]

  by polybalt
You might get a response posting this question on the LIRR and Metro North Forums. I know the M2 MU's were delivered with adaptor couplers mounted so they are readily available in emergenies so they can be towed by a locomotive. I suspect other railroad MU cars have them as well.

Pete Schmidt

  by MikeF
You might try contacting the South Shore (NICTD) ... the cars they operate today use couplers very similar to Tomlinsons, and they do have adapter knuckles to mate them to AAR standard couplers. They may be able to provide you with drawings. NICTD can be reached by phone at (219) 874-4221. You'd probably want to speak to someone in the mechanical department. The address for the Michigan City shop is 601 N. Roeske Av., Michigan City, IN 46360.

It's a little difficult to see, but the Metra Electric car in this picture has an adapter knuckle in place: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jttjr/2339 ... otostream/
  by Stmtrolleyguy
I've seen one before, and its basically a single-piece with the coupling end of a tomlinson on one end and a knuckle on the other. They're about a foot long or so. Its not spring-loaded, and it doesn't open/close, requiring another working knuckle to close around it (you can't couple 2 adapters together.)
  by 3rdrail
Trolleyguy - Do you think that that would have been a home-made company shop piece, or were they commercially available ? I was hoping to find one in my 1911 Electric Railway Dictionary, but couldn't. (??)