A lot of work has gone into the design of the inter-vehicle couplers.
Our aims with this component were to find a solution that was simple to use, unobtrusive and robust, but that also provided close-coupling while at the same time transferring power between vehicles.
We considered a magnetic solution but had some concerns about the effect of current on magnetised parts over time. We also wanted to avoid any large electrical power connectors, and anything that is too fiddly or awkward to easily couple up on the track. Some products require the model to be placed on its side, then rotated into place, and while this might be OK for a 4-car of 5-car train, for an 11-car Pendolino we felt it would be asking for trouble!
The solution the designer came up with looks, in CAD form, to be simple and elegant. However, a CAD design is one thing; an actual working model is something else, and once we receive samples we will test and re-test the couplers in all conditions to ensure they are suitably robust and functional.
Both the couplers are on self-centering expanding CAM mountings.
One other advantage of this system is that it ensures the cars can only be put together the right way round, and the vehicles will also be labelled to ensure assembling the train prototypically is a snap.