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Publication numberUS20030029353 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/991,236
Publication dateFeb 13, 2003
Filing dateOct 22, 2001
Priority dateOct 23, 2000
Publication number09991236, 991236, US 2003/0029353 A1, US 2003/029353 A1, US 20030029353 A1, US 20030029353A1, US 2003029353 A1, US 2003029353A1, US-A1-20030029353, US-A1-2003029353, US2003/0029353A1, US2003/029353A1, US20030029353 A1, US20030029353A1, US2003029353 A1, US2003029353A1
InventorsJohn Coulborn, Daryl Collings, Donat St. Laurent
Original AssigneeTrn Business Trust, A Delaware Business Trust
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor support connection casting
US 20030029353 A1
Abstract
A floor connection casting for use in construction of railcar floor assemblies as well as a floor assembly and railcar using the same are provided. The floor connection casting preferably includes a plurality of stringer connectors coupled along one or more sides as well as at least one crossbearer connector on one end. By coupling a pair of floor connection castings to opposing side sills in a railcar, lateral support can be provided for one or more floor plates. Floor stringers may then be coupled between adjacent floor connections using the stringer connectors such that longitudinal support for a flooring is provided. The floor assembly may then be coupled to a railcar using a sill connector included on the end of the floor connection casting opposite the crossbearer connector to couple to a side sill of the railcar.
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Claims(27)
What is claimed is:
1. In a railway car having an underframe including a pair of side sills, a pair of end structures cooperating with the side sills to form a generally rectangular configuration, a plurality of crossbearers extending between the side sills, a plurality of stringers extending between the end structures and spaced laterally from each other between the side sills, each stringer coupled to the one or more crossbearers using a floor connection, the floor connection comprising:
a body having respective first and second surfaces, respective first and second ends and first and second sides;
a sill connector attached to the first end of the body and operable to couple the body to a side sill;
at least one stringer connector attached to and extending from the first side of the body and operable to couple a respective end of one of the stringers with the body; and
at least one weldment boss attached to the second end of the body and operable to couple a respective end of one of the crossbearers with the body.
2. The floor connection of claim 1 wherein the sill connector further comprises:
a first segment and a second segment having a generally L-shaped configuration;
the first segment operable to engage a generally horizontal flange of the side sill; and
the second segment operable to engage a generally vertical flange of the side sill.
3. The floor connection of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of ribs operable to reinforce the floor connection and define a plurality of cavities.
4. The floor connection of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one tiered connector operably coupled to the first side; and
the tiered connector operable to engage a stringer such that a top surface of the stringer is generally aligned with the first surface of the body.
5. The floor connection of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one tiered weldment boss operably coupled to the first end of the body; and
the tiered weldment boss operable to engage a load bearing crossbearer such that a top surface of the crossbearer is generally aligned with the first surface of the body.
6. The floor connection of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one connector attached to and extending from the second side; and
the connector operable to couple a respective end of one of the stringers with the body.
7. The floor connection of claim 1 wherein the sill connector further comprises:
respective first and second surfaces;
the first surface generally aligned with the first surface of the floor connection; and
the second surface operable to engage a respective generally horizontal flange of one of the side sills.
8. The floor connection of claim 1 further comprising at least one filler operably coupled to the second surface of the floor connection and operable to reinforce the floor connection.
9. The floor support connection of claim 1 further comprising the floor connection formed from a casting.
10. The floor connection of claim 1 wherein the body further comprises a generally flat first surface operable to engage at least one floor plate.
11. The floor connection of claim 1 wherein the body further comprises the second side operable to engage the end structure.
12. In a railway car having first and second trucks, a railway car underframe mounted on the trucks at opposite ends thereof, the underframe having a pair of side sills and a floor assembly attached to the side sills, the floor assembly comprising:
a plurality of connection assemblies defined in part by:
respective first and second surfaces, respective first and second ends and respective first and second sides, the first surface having a generally flat configuration;
a respective sill connector operably coupled to the first end of each connection assembly and operable to couple to a side sill;
at least one crossbearer connector attached to and extending from the second end of each connection assembly and operable to engage one end of a respective crossbearer;
at least one stringer connector attached to and extending from the first side and operable to couple to one end of a respective floor stringer;
a plurality of crossbearers having respective first and second ends operably coupled to crossbearer connectors on respective connection assemblies such that lateral support for a floor plate is provided;
a plurality of floor stringers having respective first and second ends operably coupled to respective stringer connectors on respective connection assemblies such that longitudinal support for a floor plate is provided; and
at least one floor plate positioned generally parallel to the first surface of the connection assemblies and supported, at least in part, by the floor stringers and the crossbearers.
13. The floor assembly of claim 12 further comprising:
the respective connection assemblies disposed at each of four corners generally defined by a first end structure laterally disposed between the side sills and adjacent the first truck and by a second structure laterally disposed between the side sills and adjacent the second truck; and
the second side of the connection assemblies operable to engage an end structure.
14. The floor assembly of claim 12 further comprising:
at least one stringer connector operably coupled to the second side of one or more of the plurality of connection assemblies; and
the at least one stringer connector operable to engage one end of the one or more respective floor stringers such that longitudinal support for the floor plate is provided.
15. The floor assembly of claim 14 further comprising:
the sill connector generally arcuate and formed from a first portion and a second portion;
the first portion operable to engage a generally vertical flange of the side sill; and
the second portion operable to engage a generally horizontal flange of the side sill.
16. The floor assembly of claim 14 further comprising the sill connector operable to engage a generally horizontal flange of the side sill.
17. The floor assembly of claim 12 further comprising at least one floor reinforcement operably coupled to the floor plate.
18. The floor assembly of claim 12 further comprising:
one or more of the plurality of stringer connectors having a tiered end;
the tiered end operable to engage one end of a respective floor stringer such that a top surface of the respective floor stringer aligns with the first surface of the connection assembly.
19. The floor assembly of claim 12 further comprising the second surface of the connection assemblies having a plurality of ribs thereon.
20. A well car comprising:
first and second end structures;
first and second side sills operably coupled to the end structures at opposite ends of the side sills;
first and second side walls operably coupled to the end structures at opposite ends of the side walls and to the side sills along a lower length of the side walls;
a floor assembly extending between the side sills, the floor assembly including;
a plurality of stringers;
a plurality of crossbearers;
a plurality of floor connection castings
operable to engage the stringers and the crossbearers, the floor connection castings including;
a sill connector attached to and extending from a first end of the floor connection casting;
the sill connector operable to engage a horizontal flange of a side sill;
a crossbearer connector attached to and extending from a second end of the floor connection casting;
the crossbearer connector operable to engage a respective end of a crossbearer;
a plurality of connectors attached to and extending from a first side of the floor connection casting; and
the connectors operable to engage a respective end of a stringer.
21. The well car of claim 20 further comprising:
the floor connection castings having respective first and second surfaces;
the first surface operable to engage one or more floor plates; and
the second surface having a plurality of ribs forming cavities therein.
22. The well car of claim 21 further comprising:
at least one filler disposed in at least one cavity on the second surface; and
the filler operable to strengthen the floor connection casting.
23. The well car of claim 20 further comprising:
a plurality of connectors attached to and extending from the second side of the floor connection casting; and
the plurality of connectors operable to engage a respective end of a stringer.
24. The well car of claim 20 further comprising:
the sill connector formed from a first portion and a second portion;
the first portion and the second portion forming a general L-shape;
the first portion operable to engage the horizontal flange of the side sill; and
the second portion operable to engage a vertical flange on the side sill.
25. The well car of claim 20 further comprising the second side of the floor connection casting operable to couple to an end structure coupled at opposite ends between respective side sills proximate an end structure.
26. The well car of claim 20 further comprising:
a graduated crossbearer connector attached to and extending from the second end of the floor connection casting; and
the graduated crossbearer connector operable to engage one end of a crossbearer such that a surface of the crossbearer engages a floor plate disposed on a first surface of the floor connection casting.
27. The well car of claim 20 further comprising:
a plurality of graduated connectors attached to and extending from the first side of the floor connection casting; and
the graduated connectors operable to engage one end of a stringer such that a surface of the stringer engages a floor plate disposed on a first surface of the floor connection casting.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates generally to railroad cars. More particularly, the present invention relates to a floor support connection casting for use in railroad well cars and a well car using the same.

BACKGROUND

[0002] During the past several years, railway cars have been developed for use in transporting various types of containers associated with intermodal transportation systems. Such railway cars often have a depressed floor section disposed between a pair of longitudinally extending side structures and transverse end structures. Such railway cars may sometimes be referred to as well cars. Multiple transverse members are typically disposed between the longitudinal side structures and spaced from each other intermediate the associated end structures. Some of the transverse members often referred to as “loadbearing cross members or crossbearers” may be used to support containers or other types of lading carried within such well cars. Other transverse members, may be used to provide structural support for the associated longitudinal side structures and more particularly the associated side sills.

[0003] Well cars may sometimes be described as flatcars with a depression or opening in the center to allow the load to extend below the normal floor level so that the load will not exceed applicable overhead clearance limits. The configuration of typical well car floor designs require a tremendous amount of time and other resources to construct. Conventional well car floor implementations involve individually welding each intersecting floor connection. To enable these conventional well car floor implementations to be structurally qualified, a plurality of longitudinal and lateral support members are required. At each of these connections throughout the car floor, a weld must be made for the floor to maintain its structural integrity.

SUMMARY

[0004] In accordance with teachings of the present disclosure, a railway car is provided having a floor connection for use with an underframe including a pair of side sills, a pair of end structures cooperating with the side sills to form a generally rectangular configuration, a plurality of crossbearers extending between the side sills, a plurality of stringers extending between the end structures and spaced laterally from each other between the side sills, each stringer being operably coupled to the one or more crossbearers using the floor connection. The floor connection preferably includes a body having respective first and second surfaces, respective first and second ends and first and second sides. A sill connector is preferably coupled to the first end of the body and is preferably operable to couple the body to a side sill. At least one connector is preferably coupled to the first side of the body and is operable to couple to one end of the one or more stringers. At least one weldment boss is preferably coupled to the second end of the floor connection body to couple with one end of the one or more crossbearers.

[0005] Similarly, a floor assembly for use in a railway car having first and second trucks, side sills operably coupled to the trucks at opposite ends of the side sills and wherein the floor assembly is preferably coupled to the side sills is provided. The floor assembly may include a plurality of connection assemblies, the connection assemblies preferably including respective first and second surfaces, the first surface generally flat, respective first and second ends, a sill connector operably coupled to the first end, the sill connector operable to couple to a side sill, at least one crossbearer connector on a second end, the crossbearer connector operable to engage one end of a crossbearer, respective first and second sides, at least one stringer connector operably coupled to the first side, the stringer connector operable to couple to one end of a floor stringer. The floor assembly preferably further includes a plurality of crossbearers having respective first and second ends, the first and second ends operably coupled to crossbearer connectors on respective connection assemblies such that lateral support for a floor plate is provided and a plurality of floor stringers having respective first and second ends, the first and second ends operably coupled to stringer connectors on respective connection assemblies such that longitudinal support for a floor plate is provided.

[0006] In a further embodiment, a well car comprising first and second end structures, first and second side sills operably coupled to the end structures at opposite ends of the side sills, first and second side walls operably coupled to the end structures at opposite ends of the side walls and to the side sills along a lower length of the side walls and a floor assembly extending between the side sills is provided. The floor assembly preferably includes a plurality of stringers, a plurality of crossbearers and a plurality of floor connection castings operable to engage the stringers and the crossbearers. The floor connection castings preferably include a sill connector which is preferably operable to engage a horizontal flange of a side sill operably coupled to a first end. The floor connection casting also preferably includes a crossbearer connector, operably coupled to a second end of the floor connection casting, which is operable to engage one end of a crossbearer and a plurality of connectors operably coupled to a first side of the floor connection casting which are operable to engage one end of a stringer.

[0007] One technical advantage provided by the present invention is a reduction in the number of welds required to construct conventional well car floorings.

[0008] An additional technical advantage provided by the present invention is continuity for dynamic load transfer from end to end and from side to side of the rail car.

[0009] In addition to the above technical advantages, the present invention significantly reduces material and labor costs. With this reduction in materials comes a reduction in the gross weight of the well car resulting in an increased load carrying capacity for the railway car.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] A more complete understanding of the present embodiments and advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features, and wherein:

[0011]FIG. 1 illustrates an elevation view of a railroad car incorporating teachings of the present invention;

[0012]FIG. 2 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a railroad car incorporating teachings of the present invention;

[0013]FIG. 3 illustrates an isometric view of an intermediate floor connection casting according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0014]FIG. 4 illustrates an alternate isometric view of the intermediate floor connection casting of FIG. 3;

[0015]FIG. 5 illustrates an elevation view of one side of an intermediate floor connection casting according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 6 is a plan view with portions broken away of the intermediate floor connection casting of FIG. 5;

[0017]FIG. 7 is an elevation view of one end of the intermediate floor connection of FIG. 5;

[0018]FIG. 8 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a right-hand end floor connection casting according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0019]FIG. 9 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a left-hand end floor connection casting according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0020]FIG. 10 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a center floor connection casting according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0021]FIG. 11 is a schematic drawing in elevation showing a side view with portions broken away of the center floor connection of FIG. 10;

[0022]FIG. 12 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a crossbearer and center floor connection casting incorporating teachings of the present invention;

[0023]FIG. 13 is a schematic drawing in elevation showing a sideview with portions broken away of the crossbearer and center floor connection casting of FIG. 12;

[0024]FIG. 14 illustrates an elevation view with portions broken away of the engagement of a center floor connection casting with a side sill according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0025]FIG. 15 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a floor connection casting and a casting filler according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0026]FIG. 16 illustrates a plan view of the bottom of a floor assembly according to an aspect of the present invention;

[0027]FIG. 17 is a schematic drawing in elevation showing a side view of a floor assembly according to an aspect of a present invention; and

[0028]FIG. 18 is a schematic drawing showing a plan view with portions broken away of a portion of the floor assembly of FIG. 17.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0029] Preferred embodiments of the invention and its advantages are best understood by referring to FIGS. 1-18 of the drawings, like numerals being used for like and corresponding parts of the various drawings.

[0030] Railway car 100 incorporating teachings of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. Railway car 100 may be generally described as a “well car,” satisfactory for carrying cargo containers 117, 118 and 119, as shown in FIG. 1 as well as other suitable sizes and configurations of cargo containers used in intermodal transportation systems or other types of lading. For some applications, railway car 100 incorporating teachings of the present invention may represent one unit of a multiple unit articulated well car. For other applications, railway car 100 may represent a single unit well car. Therefore, railway car 100 may include coupling assemblies and railway car trucks appropriate for an articulated railway car or alternative coupling assemblies and trucks appropriate for a single unit well car. Railway car 100 may be designed to accommodate a single stack or a double stack of cargo containers 117, 118 and 119. Railway car 100 may also be designed to accommodate a draw bar connection.

[0031] For one application, railway car or well car 100 may represent one unit of a three unit articulated railway car (not expressly shown) having floor connection castings formed in accordance with teachings of the present invention to connect a plurality of crossbearers and floor stringers with selected portions of associated side sills. For this application, well car 100 may be designed to meet the requirements of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Clearance Plate H plus one inch and associated structural design specifications. Well car 100 may also be designed such that the lowest portion of well car 100 is no closer than two and three quarters of an inch above the top of the associated rails as determined by applicable AAR specifications.

[0032] Railroad car 100 of FIG. 1 is a well car constructed in accordance with standard practices and based upon teachings of the present invention. Railroad car 100 preferably includes a longitudinally extending railway car underframe formed by opposing side assemblies 106 and 107 including top chords 102, bottom chords 105, side walls 108, strengthened by side wall braces 115, and end structures 111. The frame structure is mounted at its ends on trucks 114 that are preferably operable to run on tracks. Side walls 108 and an interior bulkhead wall (such as shown in FIG. 2) define a well for receiving intermodal cargo containers 117, 118 and 119 or other cargo whether or not in containers. As such, a portion of cargo carrying space 112 is depressed or extends below the normal floor level typically associated with a railway car having trucks 114. The configuration and dimensions associated with end structures 111 and side assemblies 106 and 107 are preferably selected to provide cargo carrying area 112 which is compatible with applicable overhead clearance limits and the type of containers 117, 118 and 119 or other lading which will be transported by railway car 100.

[0033] Referring now to FIG. 2, a plan view of a portion of a railway car incorporating teachings of the present invention is illustrated. Specifically, a portion of an underframe of a railcar similar to railroad car 100 of FIG. 1 is illustrated. In this view, articulated connection 203 can be seen attached to end structure 111. With exception to the flooring, the railroad car employing the present invention may be any of a number of types with conventional designs and, therefore, aspects other than the flooring, the floor assembly and floor connection casting are not presented in detail herein.

[0034] Accordingly, FIG. 2 illustrates a plurality of crossbearers 206 having a generally U-shaped cross section which have been placed transverse to side sills 209 and 210. Crossbearers 206 often include one or more container supports and/or guides (not expressly shown) for securing one or more containers, such as containers 117, 118 and 119, at a desired location within cargo space 112. As mentioned above, side walls 108 cooperate with bulkhead wall 212 to form a well. Floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221, end, intermediate and center respectively, are utilized to connect load bearing crossbearers 206 to generally L-shaped side sills 209 and 210 as well as to connect generally U-shaped floor stringers 224 along the length of the railroad car. In part to add stability to the flooring, reinforcement 227 is preferably included proximate end structure 111.

[0035] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, alternate isometric views of intermediate floor connection casting 218 according to an aspect of the present invention are shown. Intermediate floor connection casting 218 is preferably configured with a plurality of appendages coupled to both ends as well as to both sides of generally rectangular body 304. Accordingly, crossbearer connector or weldment boss 303 is preferably coupled to one end of generally rectangular body 304 while sill connector 306 is preferably coupled to the opposite end of generally rectangular body 304. Similarly, stringer connectors 309 a-309 f are coupled to respective first and second sides of generally rectangular body 304.

[0036] Crossbearer connector or weldment boss 303 is provided to enable intermediate floor connection casting 218 to engage crossbearer 206 as illustrated in FIG. 2. As illustrated, weldment boss 303 is preferably graduated or tiered 312 such that generally U-shaped crossbearer 206 generally aligns with first 315 and second 318 surfaces of intermediate floor connection casting 218 when coupled. Stringer connector 309 a-309 f are similarly tiered 321 a-321 f such that generally U-shaped floor stringers 224 generally align in much the same manner.

[0037] In one embodiment, first surface 315 is generally flat. By making first surface 315 generally flat, a floor plate will be better able to engage floor connection castings 215, 218 or 221. In one embodiment, second surface 318 may preferably be configured in an entirely different manner such that second surface 318 is preferably honeycombed or ribbed. Ribs 320 cooperate to form cavities 322 which may serve a variety of purposes. For one such purpose, ribs 320 serve to reinforce or strengthen any or all of floor connection castings 215, 218, or 221. Additionally, instead of using a solid piece of material to form generally rectangular body 304, the use of cavities 322 and ribs 320 results in floor connection castings, 215, 218, and 221 as well as railway car 100 weighing less.

[0038] Sill connector 306, disposed opposite weldment boss 303 on generally rectangular body 304, is preferably operable to engage side sill 209 or 210 as shown in FIG. 2. When used in accordance with teachings of the present invention, sill connector 306 of intermediate floor connection casting 218 will preferably rest on a horizontal flange (such as shown in FIGS. 12-14) of side sill 209 or 210. Although a fastening means is not required for intermediate floor connection casting 218 to preferably engage the horizontal flange of side sill 209 or 210 according to the present disclosure, mechanical fasteners such as nuts and bolts, welds, rivets, etc., are considered within the scope of the present invention.

[0039]FIG. 5 illustrates an elevation view of one side of intermediate floor connection casting 218. The tiering of both weldment boss 303 at 312 and stringer connectors 309 a-309 f at 321 a-321 f is further illustrated in FIG. 5. Tiering 312 and 321 a-321 f enable crossbearers 206 and floor stringers 224 to align with first and second surfaces 315 and 318 of intermediate floor connection casting 218. Also shown in FIG. 5, is slope 503 on sill connector 306. Slope 503 dictates the distance surface 318 of floor connection casting 218 extends below side sill 209 or 210 when engaged. A series of depressions or cavities 506 are also preferably present on stringer connectors 309 a-309 f. One purpose of cavities 506 is to contribute to a reduction in weight of floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221.

[0040]FIG. 6 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of intermediate floor connection casting 218 according to an aspect of the present invention. The top view of intermediate floor connection casting 218 shown in FIG. 6 illustrates another view of cavities 322, 506, and ribs 320 as well as tiering 321 a-321 f and 312 included in one embodiment of the present invention. Also illustrated is cavity 603 in weldment boss 303 and cavity 606 in sill connector 306, both contributing to a reduction in weight of intermediate floor connection 218.

[0041]FIG. 7 illustrates an elevation view of one end of intermediate floor connection casting 218 according to an aspect of the present invention. Another perspective of cavity 603, tiers 312, 321 c and 321 f as well as connectors 303, 309 c and 309 f can be appreciated with respect to FIG. 7.

[0042]FIGS. 8 and 9 show plan views with portions broken away of end floor connection casting 215 according to an aspect of the present invention. When looking from center floor connection casting 221 towards end floor connection castings 215, FIG. 8 illustrates a right hand end floor connection casting 215 and FIG. 9 illustrates a left hand end floor connection casting 215. Other than one being oriented for placement in a right hand corner of a floor assembly and the other for placement in a left hand corner, end floor connection casting 215, has generally the same features whether left hand or right hand.

[0043] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, one side of end floor connection casting 215 preferably includes a plurality of stringer connectors 309 a-309 c, similar to those described and preferably included on intermediate floor connection casting 218, disposed thereon. Also preferably included on end floor connection casting 215 is crossbearer connector or weldment boss 303. Second side 803 of end floor connection casting 215 is preferably operable to engage a respective end sill (not expressly shown) which may be coupled between side sills 209 and 210 and adjacent bulkhead wall 212. Otherwise, second side 803 is preferably operable to provide support to one or more floor plates, lading, cargo containers 117, 118 and 119, etc.

[0044] Another difference between end floor connection casting 215 and intermediate floor connection casting 218 is sill connector 806. Sill connector 806 preferably has first portion or segment 809 and second portion or segment 812. Corner 815 is formed where first portion or segment 809 meets second portion or segment 812. In one aspect of the present invention, first portion or segment 809 preferably functions in much the same manner as sill connector 306 in that first portion or segment 809 engages a horizontal flange of side sill 209 or 210. Second portion or segment 812 is preferably operable to engage a vertical flange of side sill 209 or 210. Apertures 818 allow second portion or segment 812 to be preferably coupled to the vertical flange of side sill 209 or 210 with fasteners such as nuts and bolts, rivets, or other fastening means. A preferred coupling between sill connector 806 and side sill 209 or 210 will be described in further detail below.

[0045]FIG. 10 illustrates a plan view of center floor connection casting 221 according to an aspect of the present invention. Center floor connection casting 221 is preferably constructed as a combination of components from end floor connection casting 215 and intermediate floor connection casting 218. Center floor connection casting 221 preferably replaces sill connector 306 of intermediate floor connection casting 218 with sill connector 806 of end floor connection casting 215. The remaining components of center floor connection casting 221, connectors 309 a-309 f, tiers 321 a-321 f and 312, cavities 506 and 603, etc., are configured generally the same as the respective components of intermediate floor connection casting 218. Sill connector 806 preferably couples to vertical and horizontal flanges of side sills 209 and 210 in much the same manner as that described with respect to end floor connection casting 215 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

[0046]FIG. 11 illustrates an elevation view with portions broken away of one side of center floor connection casting 221 according to an aspect of the present invention. As described above with respect to FIG. 5, various characteristics of center floor connection casting 221 can be appreciated with an elevation view. For example, corner 815 of sill connector 806 can be better appreciated. As mentioned above, first segment 809 of sill connector 806 preferably engages a horizontal flange of side sill 209 or 210. At the same time, corner 815 will preferably engage a corner formed at the connection of the horizontal flange and vertical flange on side sills 209 and 210. The graduated or tiered nature of connectors 309 a-309 f and 303 can also be appreciated in the view shown in FIG. 11.

[0047]FIG. 12 illustrates a plan view with portions broken away of a crossbearer 206 and center floor connection casting 221 construction according to an aspect of the present invention. To provide lateral support in a railcar flooring, a plurality of crossbearers 206, having edges 1212 and 1215, are preferably positioned between side sills 209 and 210 and connected to the assorted floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221 of the present invention depending on their position within the underframe of the railcar. In the construction illustrated in FIG. 12, crossbearer 206 is coupled between respective center floor connection castings 221. Sill connectors 806 of each center floor connection casting 221, are preferably coupled to side sills 209 and 210 in this construction. As such, the length of crossbearer 206 plus the length of the two center floor connection castings 221 is approximately equal to the lateral distance between side sills 209 and 210. As mentioned above, first segment 809 of sill connectors 806 preferably engages horizontal flange 1203 of side sills 209 and 210 while second segment 812 preferably engages vertical flange 1206 of side sills 209 and 210. As a result, corner 815 of sill connector 806 engages corner 1209 of side sills 209 and 210. Fastening apertures 818 on sill connectors 806 are preferably employed to couple sill connector 806 to side sills 209 and 210.

[0048]FIG. 13 illustrates an elevation view of one side of crossbearer 206 and center floor connection casting 221 construction of FIG. 12 according to an aspect of the present invention. According to teachings of the present invention, it is preferable that edges 1212 and 1215 of crossbearer 206 generally align with first surface 315 of center floor connection casting 221 when assembled. In addition, surface 1303 of crossbearer 206 preferably generally aligns with second surface 318 of center floor connection casting 221. The tiered 312 aspect of weldment boss 303 enables generally U-shaped crossbearer 206 to generally align with respective surfaces 315 and 318 of center floor connection casting 221.

[0049]FIG. 14 illustrates a plan view of the engagement of center floor connection casting 221 with side sill 209 according to an aspect of the present invention. Accordingly, FIG. 14 further illustrates many of the teachings of the present invention previously mentioned. For example, the coupling of sill connector 806 with side sill 209 i.e., with respect to the engagement of horizontal flange 1203 with first segment 809 of sill connector 806, is further illustrated. Similarly, the engagement of vertical flange 1206 of side sill 209 with second segment 812 of sill connector 806 via apertures 818 is also further illustrated in FIG. 14. The preferred alignment of edges 1212 and 1215 as well as surface 1303 of crossbearer 206 with first surface 315 and second surface 318 respectively can also be appreciated from the view presented in FIG. 14.

[0050] The weight of cargo carried by railway cars is commonly very excessive. Accordingly, in one embodiment of the present invention, floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221 are preferably made from a grade “C” steel casting with a 60,000 psi weight rating. Other materials with different weight ratings are considered within the scope of the present invention. Despite the strength of the floor connection casting itself, it may be necessary or preferred to reinforce the floor construction in a well car. FIG. 15 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a floor connection casting, such as intermediate floor connection casting 218, incorporating one such reinforcement implementation according to an aspect of the present invention. Casting filler 1503 is preferably disposed in one or more cavities 322 on second surface 318 such that reinforcement of both the floor connection casting and the flooring itself may be achieved.

[0051]FIG. 16 illustrates a plan view of a portion of the bottom of a floor assembly according to an aspect of the present invention. Similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2, floor assembly portion 1600 is preferably formed from end floor connection castings 215, center floor connection castings 221 and intermediate floor connection castings 218 spaced therebetween. The number, size and location of floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221 is dependent upon the load carrying capacity and applicable AAR specifications for the railway car being constructed. As illustrated, crossbearers 206 preferably engage with weldment bosses 303 on respective floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221 as described above to provide lateral support for one or more floor plates 1603. In another embodiment, crossties (not expressly shown) may be selectively placed in floor assembly 1600 in substitution for crossbearers 206. Longitudinal support for one or more floor plates 1603 is provided in part by floor stringers 224 coupled between stringer connectors 309 a-309 f on respective floor connection castings 215, 218, and 221 as described above. Floor reinforcement 227 is also preferably included at each end of floor assembly 1600 to aid in squaring floor assembly 1600 as well as to provide additional support to one or more floor plates 1603. Additional supports 1606 may also be included to additional support to one or more floor plates 1603 as well as to provide additional reinforcement to floor assembly 1600. Supports 1606 may be integrated into crossbearer 206 or, supports 1606 may be separate components.

[0052]FIG. 17 illustrates an elevation view of one side of floor assembly 1600 according to an aspect of a present invention. The elevation view of floor assembly 1600 shown in FIG. 17 further illustrates the preferred alignment of edges 1212 and 1215 of crossbearers 206 with first surface 315 of floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221 as well as the preferred alignment of side 1303 of crossbearer 206 with second face 318 of floor connection castings 215, 218 and 221. Floor stringers 224 preferably align in much the same manner as crossbearers 206 according to an aspect of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 17.

[0053]FIG. 18 illustrates an expanded plan view with portions broken away of a portion of the bottom of floor assembly 1600 according to an aspect of the present invention. Intermediate floor connection casting 218 is shown preferably coupled to a plurality of floor stringers 224 at stringer connectors 309 a-309 f. Also shown preferably coupled to intermediate floor connection casting 218 at weldment boss 303 is crossbearer 206. The tiered aspects of both stringer connectors 309 a-309 f and weldment boss 303 can be appreciated with reference to FIG. 18.

[0054] As previously noted, various manufacturing procedures and techniques associated with the railway car manufacturing industry may be satisfactorily used to form crossties, crossbearers 206, floor stringers 224, etc., for use with the present invention. The present invention is not limited to crossbearers 206 or floor stringers 224 as shown in FIGS. 2, 12, 13, 14, and 16-18.

[0055] The present invention has been described with respect to railway car 100. However, an apparatus and/or method incorporating teachings of the present invention may be used with a wide variety of railway cars used to carry freight and is not limited to well cars. Also, methods and apparatuses incorporating teachings of the present invention may be used to form flooring structures comprising a plurality of intersecting segments and requiring attachment at those intersections.

[0056] Although the present invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment thereof, various changes and modifications may be suggested to one skilled in the art and it is intended that the present invention encompass such changes and modifications fall within the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7334528 *Nov 16, 2004Feb 26, 2008National Steel Car LimitedWell car with cross member
US7497171 *Jun 18, 2007Mar 3, 2009National Steel Car LimitedWell car with cross member
US7866267Mar 3, 2009Jan 11, 2011National Steel Car LimitedWell car with cross member
US8230792Dec 28, 2010Jul 31, 2012National Steel Car LimitedWell car with cross member
Classifications
U.S. Classification105/422
International ClassificationB61D17/10
Cooperative ClassificationB61D17/10
European ClassificationB61D17/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 3, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: TRN BUSINESS TRUST, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:COULBORN, JOHN W.;COLLINGS, DARYL C.;REEL/FRAME:013094/0707;SIGNING DATES FROM 20020208 TO 20020216