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E-Type coupler securement inspection

Trimble® CouplerView®-CrossKey is an automatic coupler cross key (draft key) inspection system that inspects E-Type coupler securement components using high-speed and high-definition imaging at mainline operational speeds.

Inspection and measurement of E-Type coupler securement components, at mainline speeds, even in tough environments, day or night

Automated inspection of coupler securements to minimize derailments

CouplerView-CrossKey uses a high-speed strobe digital imaging system to acquire multiple images of every cross key (draft key) and the surrounding area for inspection. It is used to inspect the cross key and its securement mechanism. Failure of such securement parts is a source of delay and derailments in freight operations. It operates on passing trains at mainline operational speeds up to 85 mph (140 km/h). All cross keys are imaged from both front and back—including the area under the center sill for proper E/F coupler classification.

Sophisticated image processing with alarms that alert to issues

The system’s processing algorithm classifies couplers into E and F types before the plate processing and only E-Type couplers are inspected.

CouplerView-CrossKey systems are installed on steel ties (sleepers) supplied by Trimble. Cameras and illumination component are enclosed in sealed boxes mounted on the gauge side of the steel tie (sleeper). Images are analyzed for the existence of the cross key and its securement components.

Dramatic time and cost savings, versus manual inspections

Automate and complete E-Type coupler securement (cross key/draft key) component inspections quicker, minimizing time taken, costs, and issues that disrupt service.

Rolling stock stays in service for longer

With accurate measurements at mainline operational speeds there is minimal disruption to rolling stock schedules.

Limits risk to personnel, works 24/7, even in tough environments

CouplerView works in even the toughest environments and at night so field workers are not in unpleasant or unsafe working conditions thereby reducing the risk to their safety.

Digital accurate records, with automated alerts of issues

Providing digital records that are usable across operations and maintenance CouplerView reduces manual and paper-based workflows saving time and money. Critical issues are flagged and reported automatically so that corrective actions can be taken with less impact on service.

Easy to install system minimizes disruption and cost

CouplerView requires no track structure modification for ease of installation.


Trimble CouplerView-CrossKey system inspections and measurements include:

  • Classification of E-type and F-type couplers.
  • Missing cross key (draft key) detection.
  • Missing retainer-pin (T-Pin) detection.
  • Missing cross key (draft key) retainer washer detection.
  • Missing cotter key detection.

Depending on the rolling stock types and requirements, the system’s inspection and measurement outputs may require optimization or customization.

System Features

  • Bi-directional system.
  • Inspection and measurement at mainline operational speeds.
  • Operates in extreme environments.
  • Installed in track using a steel sleeper (tie).
  • Easy maintenance.
  • Air puge unit for system cleaning.
  • Automatic defect reporting.

Software Features

  • Digital image acquisition/processing.
  • AEI (RFID) integration.
  • Automated reporting.
  • Web-based interface and database for data visualization and analysis (with Trimble CMMS™ (Condition Monitoring Management System) or TrainWatch™ software).
  • Remote monitoring/control.


  • Freight & heavy haul

Installation Location

  • Mainline
  • Depot
  • Yard

Power Requirements

  • 110V AC or 220V AC
  • 9kW

Periodic Maintenance

  • Annual inspection & service.
  • Quarterly inspections.

Installation Position

  • In track/steel sleeper (tie).

Remote Diagnosis

  • Yes

Automated Health Reporting

  • Yes

AEI/RFID Integration

  • Yes

Air Purge Unit

  • Yes
Specifications subject to change without notice.


  • Datasheets


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