Pictured in the accompanying engraving is an im proved coupler arranged to automatically connect the air-brake pipes of railroad cars while in the act of coupling the cars, to form a continuous passage for the flow of compressed air from one car to another without danger of leakage. The apparatus also com prises means for closing the air-brake pipes whenever desired, as when making up a train. The couplers A on each car are of light construction and are yieldingly connected to the train pipes B, which are attached to the under side of the cars G. Each coupler is sup ported by a bracket D, attached to the spring plank of the car. Each coupler is provided with air-pipe sec tions ? and F, of which the pipe section F has an airtight joint with and telescopes in the pipe section E. The latter terminates in an upwardly-extending tubular pivot E' on the end of the train pipe B. The forward end of each section F terminates in a coupling head G, formed with prongs and adapted to engage a similar coupling head on the opposite pipe-coupler. A rubber packing is arranged in the mouth of each pipe F, and is adapted to form an air-tight joint when the couplers come together. The joint between pipes ? and F is inclosed in a casing H. which is formed with ? spring serving to press the pipe F out to its fullest extent, and thus hold the head G in engagement with the head of the opposite coupler. Near the rear end of each pipe section ? is a plug valve I, which is best shown in Figs. 2 and 3. This plug valve is formed with a hollow lever J, containing a rod K. One end of the rod ? is bent upward, and projects through a slot in the side of the lever J. To this projecting end a link L is attached, which connects with a pin on the coupler head. When the cars come together the coupling heads are forced backward, and this motion is communicated by means of the link L and lever J to the plug valve I. The plug valve is so arranged that it is open when the cars come together, to permit free flow of compressed air through the brake pipes, and it is also opened when the cars sep arate, so that in case of a train breaking in two, the air will escape from the pipes and set the brakes. In order to prevent the brakes from operating when the train is being made up, a catch is provided, which will hold the plug in an intermediate position when the cars are uncoupled, thus closing the brake pipes and preventing the air from flowing out. This latch is shown at ? pivoted to a bracket 0, secured on the pipe section E. The latch ? engages the lever J, pre venting it from turning past the central position when the cars are uncoupled. The latch is controlled by a pair of hand levers R on each side of the car, and may be readily thrown into or out of operative posi tion. Mr. Charles Albert Marshall, box 1173, Tulsa, Ind. Ty., has just secured a patent on this improved brake-pipe coupling.
This article was originally published with the title "Automatic Coupling for Brake Pipes" in Scientific American 97, 21, 383 (November 1907)