This site uses cookies which allow us to give you the best browsing experience possible. To find out more, please see our Privacy Policy.


Scharfenberg Couplers for Metros


Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA
Gottfried-Linke-Straße 205
38239 Salzgitter, Germany

Tel. +49 5341 21-02


Typ 35

The Type 35 is especially well-suited for vehicles without a compressed-air system. On these fully electrified vehicles, the coupler can transmit a buff load of 1,300 kN and a draft load of up to 850 kN. The Type 35 is used primarily in light rail and tram, metro and regional transportation applications.

Type 330

The Type 330 is used primarily in light rail and tram applications. It is small yet strong. Locating the electrical coupling underneath at the head is also possible. The coupler can transmit a buff load of 800 kN and a draft load of up to 600 kN.

Semi-Permanent Couplers

Semi-permanent coupler with air couplings, electrical coupling, impact absorber and support for transition


Semi-Permanent Coupler Principle

Scharfenberg semi-permanent couplers provide secure and safe connections within a trainset. Since coupling and uncoupling do not take place during normal operation, automatic operation is not necessary. Semi-permanent couplers can be equipped with impact-absorbing elements as well as with electrical and pneumatic couplings.

Semi-permanent coupler with anti-climbing feature

For the first time, a semi-permanent coupler for metro vehicles assumes anti-climbing function. Contrary to conventional systems, this coupler has a stabilising effect even before any overriding occurs. The dimensions of the coupler remain unaffected by this new technology.

Anti-climbing feature: working principle

During a train crash or heavy impact, the longitudinal forces are converted into vertical swerving movements leading to an overriding of the cars once a critical momentum has been exceeded. This may cause the wagon to disconnect from its Jacobs bogie and damage softer structures.

The anti-climbing feature has been designed to prevent this overriding right from the start. To do so, it uses a simple, yet highly efficient principle: The rear end of the coupler shank features a special geometry. As soon as the reversible stroke of the coupler has been utilised, this geometry interlocks with the bearing bracket, building a counter-momentum that holds the wagons down.

Additional energy absorbing components of the semi-permanent coupler, e.g. deformation tubes or hydrostatic dampers, convert kinetic energy and help to keep the load on a controllable level.

Transitional couplers

Modular transitional coupler

Transitional couplers are used when vehicles have different types of couplers or coupling heights, e.g. when shunting and towing. Until now, this frequently required special designs. The new, modular transitional coupler separates the different components into two separate heads and an adapter that forms the step. The two separate heads can also be connected to one another directly. This makes it possible to combine coupler heads of any kind and at different heights easily into an transitional coupler.

CFP transitional coupler

When towing is necessary or when shunting, transitional couplers are often mounted on the train for a short period of time by the operating personnel. For this reason, they should be light yet still withstand the high operating loads encountered when towing entire trains. In order to reduce weight even further, coupler bodies can be constructed from CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer) today. Until now, this high-performance material has been used primarily in aviation. Load tests have provided results that demonstrate its performance capabilities. These can be optimized even further through refinement.

Additional Couplers

Wedgelock coupler

The operating principle of the automatic Wedgelock coupler is based on mechanical wedging of the coupler locks. During mechanical coupling, the coupler hooks engage automatically. They are then locked in position upon pneumatic actuation of the wedges by the vehicle operator. Safe and full coupling is maintained even in the event of air failure. Coupling of air and electrical lines takes place simultaneously with mechanical coupling. The simple and proven design ensures a compact, reliable product.

Tomlinson coupler

The operating principle of the automatic Tomlinson coupler is similar to that of the Wedgelock coupler. During coupling, the hooks on the two coupler heads engage one another and are held in position by springs. Different hook sizes are used, depending on the application. Because of the small amount of play between the coupler heads, the Tomlinson coupler can also be provided with electrical and air couplings. Couplers of this type are common on metro rail cars in the USA.