Screw Couplings

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
Post Reply
Jim Summers
Posts: 888
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Screw Couplings

Post by Jim Summers »

In "Another Place", the question has arisen of when screw couplings began to appear on coaching stock. People in This Place might have chapter and verse.

In my own brief - very brief - researches into this I find examples in “Midland Railway Carriages” showing screw shackle couplings on vehicles built in 1840s. OK, they may have been retro-fitted, but a photo of a vehicle from 1858 seems likely to be showing the original coupling as a screw. There are other examples of similar date, which precede the experiments with continuous brakes.

Of course, there were side chains as well, and various railways got rid of them at different dates. In the case of the Midland, they were officially installed and used from 1851 till 1896.

However, at least as late as 1915, the Caledonian for example required the side chains to be connected on its corridor trains to the North, though on other trains the instruction by then was that the chains had to be hung up out of use, which is one thing less for the modeller to worry about.

Any comments on screw couplings or chains?

Jim S

Dave Lochrie
Posts: 449
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Screw Couplings

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Jim S,
Side chains almost to the end it seems (espcially unfortunate for those of us modelling in the smaller scales, especially the requirement to use them).
As for the screw couplings all the Metro-Cammell drawings from 1874 show screw-couplings, I only have a few earlier drawings (JB has most of them) but unhelpfully those earlier drawings 1871 and 1869 often show side chains only and no coupling, which has to be wrong (though why bother showing the side-chains) but I've found screw-links on a Caledonian 5 compartment, 4-wheel third, Metro Cammell drawing No2311, dated 27/09/1867, but I'm sure I've some SCR Carriage drawings, some of which show screw-links and some again showing none.

Dave L
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Re: Screw Couplings

Post by lindsay_g »

I can't comment on CR practice overall. However, the Pickering-built 4-wheel stock for the Balerno line in 1921 were delivered with safety chains (drats! All duly built and ready to be fitted after painting - except I'm now modelling an earlier period!) . A corridor coach (p256 of Livery book) seems to have been delivered to LMS St Rollox in 1923 so the existence of chains went beyond the Caley era. How and when they were used may have been another matter.

I've actually been pondering recently about safety chains - but those fitted to O/S-framed mineral stock (shown on drawings and remnants visible in period photos) - however, that's another thread which I won't start just yet.

A Good New Year to one and all,

Post Reply