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Publication numberUS206416 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1878
Filing dateJan 14, 1878
Publication numberUS 206416 A, US 206416A, US-A-206416, US206416 A, US206416A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Improvement in railway-tracks
US 206416 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A. BOWMAN. Railway-Tracks.

No. 206,416. Patented July 30,1878.

Fja. 1




Specification forming part of LettersPatent No. 206,416, dated July 30, 1878; application filed January 14, 1878. I

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, AMOS BOWMAN, of the city and county of San Francisco, and State of California, have invented Improvements in the Construction of Railways; and I do hereby declare the't'ollowing to be a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings.

My invention relates to improvements in the construction of that description of railways in which longitudinal wooden rails or stringers are employed, resting either on cross-ties, in the usual manner, or supported upon trestles or pillars, according to the nature of the ground over which it is carried, and in which the car moving upon the rails is kept in its place either by flanges on the bearing-wheels or, in lieu thereof, by side wheels bearing against the outside of the rails or stringers.

My invention consists in certain improvements and combinations of devices, as hereinafter more fully described and claimed.

I11 order to explain my invention so that every one will understand its construction and operation, reference is bad to the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this specification, in which Figure l is a perspective view of my device. Fig. 2 is a transverse section.

A A represent the two parallel lines of stringers, which are so spliced as to form one continuous compound stringer, constituting the track upon which the bearing and driv-. in g wheels are supported. This compound stringer is constructed of suitable timbers, placed edgewise, and bound together by wooden or other suitable splice-blocks B at intervals, to which they are secured by strong iron bolts, screws, or spikes C. These bolts, screws, or spikes pass into or through the timbers and splice-blocks, so as to bolt the timbers upon the sides of the blocks, as represented.

In securing the timbers in place I am careful to break their joints so that the joints of either line will come opposite the middle of the timbers of the opposite line. The spliceblocks B are then applied so that one of their sides will come opposite the joint while the other side bears against the middle of the opposite timber. I then pass two or more bolts through the block 13, one of which passes lllIOllgll each of the abutting ends of the stringers on each side of the joint, thus firmly uniting to each splicing-block the three rails or timbers adjacent to it by means of the iron bolts at the top, as represented, and the notched tie and wedge at the bottom, so as to make one solid piece.

It will be noticed that these timbers serve themselves as the bearing-rails of the railwaysuperstructure, and that they serve a different purpose from that of the compound stringers in bridges and trestle-works, where they are made use of as the foundation for the railwaysuperstructure, or any other superstructure requiring a strong support.

The lower edge of the timbers rest upon crossties D at proper intervals, towhich they are secured in the usual manner, or, where greater strength is desirable, as in curves, in

the following manner: The cross-ties have each a notch, 0, cut in them, which is somewhat longer than the desired width of the track. The timbers A having been secured together, with the blocks B between them, are

set down inside of the notch, so that the lower outside edge of one of the timbers will bear against the shoulder at one end of the notch.

A taper key, f, is then driven in the space between the opposite shoulder and the lower outside edge of the opposite timber, thus firml y binding the combined track in the notches ot' the cross-ties.

The keys f may be prevented from moving by being nailed or screwed to the timbers after they are driven into place.

In crossing ravines and watercourses I preserve the level of the track by employing another form of the splice-block B--namely, upright posts Gr, ofthe proper length to have their lower ends secured in the ground, while their upper ends sustain the track in its place on the grade'line, being applied at the joints in the same manner that I apply my splice blocks. The width of the top of the posts is equal to the width of the splice-blocks B. They may be single or double, and their length is according to the distance from the grade-line to the surface of the ground in the depression which is to be crossed. The stringers may be of any desired height, according to the desired strength or purpose of the road, but usually should be from ten to sixteen inches above the cross-ties, and the width of their upper or bearing edges should be from three to five inches.

In some cases 1 shall secure awooden or an iron rail along the upper edges of the timbers.

I thus provide a narrow-gage two-rail track, which is firmly bound together, so that the two timbers form a unit of strength, and which can be very cheaply constructed, easily repaired, and removed and replaced.

H is the platform of the car which is to move upon this track. The bearing-wheels I may be made plain, without flanges, and mounted upon the upper side of the platform, so that their lower rims will extend below the cars through an opening in the platform, while horizontal or other guide-wheels J serve to keep the wheels in place on the track instead of flanges; or the wheels can be provided with flanges without using the guide-wheels.

I am aware that sin gle-rail elevated railways have been constructed heretofore in which the car was steadied by guide-wheels, or rather tip wheels; and also single -rail ground railways with similar guide-wheels. In both instances, however, the guide-wheels were used and served solely as a substitute to regain the element of stability which existed in the ordinary two-rail railway, and which was sacrificed in dispensing with one of the bearing-rails.

In my device this stability has Lecn retained by making use of a compound or double rail, having in that respect the effect of a tworail railway; and if guide-wheels are used at all, or are desirable in any case, they are not essential for stability, as is the case with the single-rail railways, their object being simply to serve as a substitute for the flange of the ordinary railroad-wheel, in order to prevent the destruction of the wooden rail -from the grinding friction of the flanges in cases where the purposes of the railroad will not justify the expense of interposing an iron rail for the protection and perfection of the track.

I am aware, also, that a two-rail narrowgage railway has been constructed as an elevated railway, and also as a ground railway, on which guide-wheels have been used; but no narrow-gage road of this description has ever been constructed where advantage was taken of the unity of the compound stringer, whereby the timbers on each side derive the benefit of the strength residing in the timber on the opposite side, in the same manner as in bridge construction, where neither side can give way without the other; nor has any road been constructed in which the perfection of a single compound rail has been combined with the stability of a double rail, as has been done in my invention. The only road known which, in respect to gage and guide-wheels, resembles this to a degree differs further in being a permanent structure in all the arrangements of its superstructure, as well as being constructed at a much greater cost, not admitting of easy removal or replacement without waste or destruction of material, much labor, and considerable expense, while this is essentially and entirely a portable railway, removable without any waste or destruction of material, every rail, splice-block, key, and bolt fitting every other corresponding part, even on curves, where the angle of the curve is the same.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Iatout, is-

1. In combination with the double line of timbers A A, having their joints broken, as

described, the splicing-block B, applied between the joints and middles of the opposite bearing-rails, the three rails and blocks being keyed rigidly together, substantially as and for the purposes described.

2. In combination with the compound stringer or double rail A A, united by splicing-blocks B and bound together by the bolts 0, the notched sleepers or cross-ties D, having the combined track secured in the notch c by the taper wedges or keys f, substantially as and for the purpose above described.

3. The compound stringer or double rail A A, in combination with the vertical posts 0, the upper ends of said vertical posts serving as splice-blocks for connecting the joints and binding the ends of the rails together, substantially as above specified;

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal.



FRANK A. BRooKs, JNo. L. BooNE.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3427085 *Apr 26, 1967Feb 11, 1969Staller Cabinets IncMobile shelving carriage
US3450059 *Jan 9, 1967Jun 17, 1969Fishburne Equipment Co IncCable haulage systems
US3850111 *Oct 23, 1973Nov 26, 1974Clark Equipment CoVehicle mounted plate having guide rollers
US4048924 *Jan 12, 1976Sep 20, 1977Wibben Warren GRoofing system
Cooperative ClassificationB61B13/04