Deutsche Bahn

Adaptor Coupler Stowage Device

Design of new adaptor coupler stowage device for HItachi Rail Europe


(22 September, 2015) A GBRf Class 66 locomotive was selected to move Hitachi Rail’s first pre-series Class 800/801 train for the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) when individual cars were unpowered. To enable this, an adaptor coupler had been designed with a Dellner coupler head and a pivot end, fitted onto the BR drawhook and installed onto the locomotive.

When the adaptor coupler was not in use, it needed to be rotated upwards and securely stowed against the locomotive. The solution designed by DB ESG included the incorporation of winch and locking mechanisms to allow the easy and safe hoisting of the adaptor coupler.




  • A site visit to view a GBR Class 66 locomotive was performed to survey and measure the front of the locomotive.
  • A bolt on frame was designed, which fitted onto the existing slinging lugs on the front of the locomotive.
  • The frame allowed a battery drill powered winch to be fitted, which could be used to hoist the adaptor coupler up, pivoting about the drawhook mounting, to the locomotive front.
  • An additional locking strap was also incorporated, which secured the adaptor coupler in a stowed position.
  • Detail drawings, assembly drawings, installation instructions and a FEA structural report were produced. 

Material Supply

  • Two stowage devices were manufactured and delivered to Network Rail’s Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC), this included the hand held winch power, and all installation materials.

Installation and Testing

  • The two stowage devices were fitted to both ends of a Class 66 locomotive at RIDC A trial was performed with the attachment of the winch cable eye to the adaptor coupler. The coupler was hoisted to a stowed position, by a single operative, using the hand held tool.
  • The restraint strap was connected to secure the adaptor coupler.