The perils of replacement buffers

How railways are run - real and model

The perils of replacement buffers

Postby Dave Millward » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:50 am

Mornin' all,

Whilst working on the ex-ironstone hoppers I've noticed some of the buffer/coupling combinations, especially where replacement buffers have been fitted. In situations where longer buffers than the originals have been used then consideration has to be given as to whether the original coupling is still long enough for the job. Coupling instructions for BR staff allowed for buffers to be touching but not compressed when vehicles were coupled together, the compression travel then provided for the vehicle negotiating curves and pointwork. The danger of tightly coupling wagons with already compressed buffers is obvious on sharp curves or demanding pointwork. The diagram 1/166 in the first picture has the longer style of OLEO hydraulic buffer but is only fitted with an ordinary instanter coupling, however, the drawbar pocket behind the drawhook compensates for this.

1/166 with long OLEOs ... #h109988c1

I've not noticed any drawbar pockets on the diagram 1/163s but the OLEOs which tended to be fitted are clearly shorter than those seen in the picture above. See ... #h37acc3b4 , however many of the 1/163s with OLEOs have had their instanter coupling replaced with a screw coupling which gives the guard/shunter a much greater degree of adjustment when coupling up. The perils of too much play between buffers can be just as bad for the guard of a partially fitted or unfitted train in terms of heavy buffer collisions and dramatic snatches.


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Dave Millward
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