FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application claims priority of Provisional Patent Application 60/874,644 filed Dec. 14, 2006 as the small entity application of James Siano.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to railroad track maintenance. In particular it relates to a device for removing old railroad ties as well as replacing them with new ones.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
No specific device exists for replacement of railroad ties that can be done by a single individual using a device that weighs less than 45 pounds. U.S. Pat. No 4,343,457 teaches a jack adaptor, while U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,594,90 & 6,793,201 teach a jacking system, both useful for railroad tie removal. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,948,185, 4,018,165, 4,392,433 & 5,119,723 teach more complex apparatus and methods for railroad tie replacement.
Using a special tool one or two workers can extract a tie to be replaced in about half the time required by prior arts methods without the need to put the rail line out of service. Spot maintenance can be done in inaccessible locations.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The assembled device consists of two drive units incorporating a pawl and ratchet mechanism to move a railroad tie via cables connected to a sling over the end of the railroad tie where the drive units are clamped to a rail and a handle is moved by at least one operator to remove the tie.
FIG. 1 A side angle view of the device is shown.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 2 A top view shows the device clamped to a rail before the cables are tightened to place a sling in place to remove a railroad tie.
Prior to the present invention the process of performing railroad track and bed maintenance had remained essentially the same as it had since the growth of railroading in the nineteenth century. Without specialized tools or methods it was mainly brute force. Instead of replacing individual railroad ties where required, it might be simpler to tear up a section and rebuild it using new ties and track.
There were efforts to mechanize this process with mechanical devices that moved along the railroad to where the work could be performed only by closing down the right of way until it was complete. At the present time there is no indication that any of these mechanical devices have ever found commercial use in the railroad industry.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention provides a method or railroad maintenance wherein a single worker can carry this device in a canvass bag and quickly assemble it and remove and replace railroad ties without disturbing the right of way. In the event a train comes the pawls are released and the handle tilted away from the rail. As a safety device the pins can be pulled and the handle removed, then reattached when the train has passed.
FIG. 1 The assembled device is shown with drive unit 1, handle 2, spacing bar 3, clamp 4, ratchet mechanism 5 and pin 6. Pins are inserted where shown to assemble the unit.
FIG. 2 The positioned device is shown with drive unit 1, handle 2, spacing bar 3, clamp 4, rail 7, railroad tie 8, sling 9 and cable 10.
A device of about 22″×12″×8″ and can be constructed of steel, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, reinforced plastic or other rugged material to weigh less than 45 pounds so that the disassembled drive units and a spacer bar and handle can conveniently fit in a canvass-carrying bag. A device of 35 pounds did not work. The device consists of two drive units which each have two pawls. One is on top and one is on the bottom. Opening all 4 pawls will allow the 4 cables to be pulled off drums.
With the device clamped to a rail as shown in FIG. 2 the cables are threaded under the rail and connected to the sling. The cables can then be evened by closing the top pawl of a drive unit. When the cables are even and the sling is secured over the end of the worn railroad tie, all 4 pawls are engaged and pumping the handle allows removing the worn railroad tie. The same ratcheting pumping action can be used to insert a replacement railroad tie with cable reversed.
The device of the present invention is ideal for spot maintenance and is particularly useful in limited accessibility areas The device is easy to use and maintain.
A 1 or 2 man crew can replace individual ties while the right of way remains open. In case of a train two possible actions can be taken:
- Release top pawls and pull handle back, or
- Pull safety side pins and remove handle from both drive units.
- EXAMPLE 1
The following examples illustrate the practice of the present invention.
- EXAMPLE 2
An apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 1 was manufactured and assembled with pins in the handle and spacer bar.
An apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 2 was set up and used by a single operator to first extract a worn railroad tie and insert a new railroad tie in half the time it previously took a crew working with hand tools to perform the same railroad maintenance.
The present invention has industrial application in the field of railroad maintenance.