Trainz/refs/ACS Coupling information

ACS compatible couplers in general


ACS compatible couplers[1] in Trainz milieus are traincar knuckle couplers with fixed alignment links. Prime movers in Trains are Locomotives. Couplers allow multiple cars to be pulled by the same traction engine.

Many other heavy and construction industries make use of forms of ACS couplers which are not limited to knuckle variations as used on rolling stock, but might also be rotary couplers, trailers for bulldozers and similar heavy load needs which might benefit from the ability to quickly, easily and safely disconnect a coupled load and prime mover.

About ACS compatible couplers


The first known use of a railway traction engine occurred 21 February 1804 in the mines and mills around Coalbrookdale in England. As the senior Train technology developer, the United Kingdom developed quite different standards and needs from the new world's and that of Australia.

In the United States, the new colonies in Australia and Canada, labor was scarce and expensive, so technological developments were undertaken to minimize the use of labor in operations. This lead to the use of quick-disconnect, auto-connecting knuckle couplers so common in railroads today. In the UK and it's crown jewel colonies of India, the spice islands, Malaya, China and etcetera, the opposite was true for the British Empire experience, adding an extra man or three was cheap and capitalizing a railway was difficult enough without overtaxing a limited investor pool in a small nation (All the UK can fit into New England in the USA! And that impacts investment as the population base is far lower.) with the need to capitalize up front equipments and rail beds.

ACS couplers use in Trainz


ACS couplers in railroad rolling stock are not found in North America, so the information here is mostly applicable only in Europe and especially in British railways prototype rolling stock modeling.

ACS System in Trainz


The ACS System is the name given to an extension of the BlueStar coupling standard for Trainz.

This is much more aimed at UK modellers in the UK. There were many different coupling systems used starting with a three link chain in 1850, screwlink, instanter, also there was some knuckle couplers. When two wagons or carriages are coupled together there are consequently a variety of questions that the simulator needs to address:

  • which should couple,
  • what type of coupling should be used,
  • should a vacuum brake pipe or air brake pipe be coupled,
  • is that high vacuum, low vacuum, etc.
  • Steam heating pipes can also be specified.
  • For coaches are they corridor types or center-ailse style cars, and regardless does the corridor or ailse want to extend weather protection between two adjacent coaches. These are all handled by scripting using ACS. Scripts that use ACS can be problematical with different versions of Trainz and ideally all the wagons locos etc will use the same version of ACS.

List of ACS compatible couplers


List of ACS compatible couplers, more maybe available.

Vac Pipe High uncoupled 44090:79

Vac Pipe High coupled high 44090:80

Vac pipe low uncoupled 2512:12

Vac pipe low coupled low 2512:13

Vac pipe low coupled high 2512:14

Longfit Vac High coupled high 101839:55

Longfit Vac high coupled high 101839:56

Longfit Vac high uncoupled 101839:57

coupled air 2512:16

airbrake coupled cross 60850:90019 TC3

airbrake coupled straight 60850:90020 TC3

mainres coupled cross 60850:90021 TC3

mainres coupled straight 60850:90022 TC3

airbrake uncoupled 60850:90023 TC3

mainres uncoupled 60850:90024 TC3

instanter uncoupled with buffers 2512:10

instanter coupled with buffers 2512:11

screwlink uncoupled with buffers 2512:20

screwlink coupled with buffers 2512:21

3link chain no buffers uncoupled 2512:22

3link chain no buffers coupled 2512:23

instanter uncoupled no buffers 2512:24

instanter coupled no buffers 2512:25

screwlink uncoupled no buffers 2512:26

screwlink coupled no buffers 2512:27

steam heat coupled 101839:39

steam heat uncoupled 101839:40

bluestar multiple working master 101839:47

bluestar multiple working slave 101839:48

bluestar multiple working uncoupled 101839:49

Additionally meshes can be used.