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Publication numberUS2170467 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 22, 1939
Filing dateAug 25, 1938
Priority dateAug 25, 1938
Publication numberUS 2170467 A, US 2170467A, US-A-2170467, US2170467 A, US2170467A
InventorsAnderson Edward R
Original AssigneeAnderson Edward R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railroad grade crossing signal
US 2170467 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

AAllg. 22, 1939. E, R, ANDERSON 2,170,467

RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING-SIGNAL Filed Aug. 25, 1938 2 Sheets-Sheet l.

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,1^ @iwfl, Q? EZJnde/rson/ INVENTOR 3 v ATTO RNEYS ug- 22, 1939- E. R. ANDERSON RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING SIGNAL Filed Aug. 25, 1938 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ralf ullllmlnc R O T N E v m V\| 7 1.a 3 yE16 fm, 2| 7 a L ATTRNEYS Patented Aug. 22, 1939 UNITED STATES naar PATENT OFFHCE Claims.

present invention to provide a new and improved 1'11 grade crossing signaling means which although type comprising relatively few parts, is nevertheless rugged in structure and dependable in service and which is actuable by railroad trains for indicating approach of said trains toward the grade crossing.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a simple but dependable grade crossing signaling means of the type referred to including a plurality of pendulum actuated flags, positioned within housings located adjacent the rade intersection, said flags being actuable by a train approaching said crossing'.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a grade crossing signaling device of the referred to, characterized by including means for retracting the signaling flags thereof Within the housing subsequent to passage of the train beyond the grade intersection.

One of the important advantages of the novel 1 signaling device` according to the present invention, is that it is actuated, in a majo-r part at least, by gravity and accordingly does not necessitate expensive electrical ror pneumatic equipment for its operation, `which would necessitate increasing initial costs as well as cost of npr-keep.

Another advantage in the novel grade crossing signaling device according to the present invention, is that the elements thereof are of relatively simple but rugged-construction, thereby suiting the device4 to the requirements of mass production, with accompanying economiesl of manufacture. f

Among the more important features of the f novel signaling device according to the instant invention areY its dependability during use resultant from its simplicity of constructionand arrangement lof structural elements, whereby jamming oi' the mechanism is at least largely I precluded; its adaptability for use with signaling flags of various types, particularly those formed of relatively exible material, such as sheet rubber or the like; and its efcacy as a grade signaling device,V that is to say, its inherent advantageousness resultant from location of the device directly in the line of vision of persons crossing the grade intersection. c

ther objects, advantages and features of the device according to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art during the course of the following description.

`Regarded in certain of its broader aspects, the present invention comprises a freely rotatable shaft mounted beneath a railroad road-bed at a grade intersection, flags carried on ends of said shaft, a pendulum associated with said shaft for, upon occasion, imparting swinging motion or rotation in alternate directions thereto, a housing for said ags, means for holding said flags Within said housings and said pendulum in other than equilibrium position, means actuable by a train approaching said grade crossing for causing release of said ags, whereby said pendulum causes. said nags to move from within said housing to a position exterior thereof with reciprocation of the flags While exposed, and means actuable by passage of said train over said crossing whereby said flags are returned within said housings and retained therein subject to subsequent operation as aforesaid.

In order to facilitate a fuller and more complete understanding of the present invention, a specific embodiment thereof will be hereinafter described, it being clearly understood, however, that the illustrated embodiment is given solely by Way of example and is non-limitative upon the scope of the present invention except as expressed in the subjoined claims.

Referring then to the drawings:

Figure 1 is substantially a top plan view of a railroad grade intersection showing the novel signaling means according to the present invention in position of use, together with switch controlling means therefor, parts being broken away for clearness of illustration.

Figure 2 is substantially a vertical sectional view of VFigure 1, taken along the line 2-2 thereof with the signals or flags shown in raised position.

Figure 3 is substantially a vertical sectional, view of Figure 2 with the signal shown in retractedrposition Within the housing.

Figure 4 is a vertical sectional view of Figure 2, taken alongthe line 3 3 thereof, showing the signal in extended position.

Figure 5 is a fragmentary detail sectional view illustrating a portion of the shaft bearing, and

Figure 6 is essentially aschematio circuit diagram of the presently preferred embodiment of the instant invention.

Referring now especially to Figures 1 and 2, a grade crossing generally designated by the numeral lll, comprising a trac lane II, and railroad tracks l2, intersecting said traiilc lane, is provided at the place of intersection with signaling means, generally designated by the numeral I3. The signaling means i3 comprises a shaft I4, extending transversely beneath said railroad tracks I2, positioned within a hollow substantially tubular casing member I5 and essentially freely rotatably mounted in bearings I6 and Il mounted on walls of casings I8 and I S, respectively. The casings I8 and i9 are es,-

sentially box-like and are provided with openings 20 and 2| formed in the top sides thereof and extending longitudinally along said casing tops substantially perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the shaft I4.

Signaling flags 22 and 23, to be hereinafter described, are xedly mounts-d, by means including collars 24 and 25, upon end portions of the shaft I5, whereby said flags, upon occasion, can be moved through the slot-like openings 20 and 2I in the casings I8 and I9 and disposed in position essentially perpendicular to the surface of the traillc lane I I.

Referring now especially to Figures 2 and 3, it will be noted that the flag 23 comprises an essentially rectangular paddle-like member, generally designated by the numeral 3Q mounted at a place intermediate the length but near an end thereof, on the shaft I4 by means including a collar 25 substantially as hereinbefore described. A notch 3I is formed in the distal free end of said member 30, substantially as shown in Figure 4. The end of the flag 23 nearest the shaft I4 carries a weight 32 essentially ilxedly attached thereto and adapted to act, under the influence of gravity and momentum, as a pendulum, whereby said flag, upon occasion, can be moved into essentially vertical position and rocked into other positions substantially4 as shown in phantom in Figure 4.

It is to be understood that the flag 22 is substantially the same as the flag 23, being provided with a. weighted end portion 33 similar to and functioning in an analgous manner to the weighted end portion 32 of the flag 23, and that the flags 22 and 23 are disposed in a common plane together with the shaft I4. It is to be noted however, that the flag 22 is not provided with a notch in the free end thereof as is the flag 32 hereinbefore described.

In the presently preferred embodiment of the instant invention, essentially free rotation ofthe shaft I4 is facilitated by the bearings E6 and ll, one of which is illustrated in Figurey 5 and each of which comprises a U-shaped trough-like member adapte-d to, receive the end portion of the shaft I4 when positioned therein, substantially as shown.

The novel flag retention means for holding the flags within the housing and the pendulum in position other than equilibrium position, will now be described, reference being had particularly to Figures 3 and 4. A first-class lever 42, pivotally mounted and fulcrumed on the standard 4I attached to a wall of the casing I9, is pivotally connected to the cross member 42, attached to a third-class lever 43 pivotally mounted on the standard 44 attached to the bottom of the casing I9 substantially as shown. A resilient spring-like member 45 attached to a casing wall and to the member 43 normally presses the member 43 against the stop 45 and the member 40 against the stop 47, whereby said members and 43 are disposed in essentially vertical position. Projecting latch elements 43 and 49, mounted in the distal end portions of the members 40 and 43 respectively, are adapted to engage with the notch 3l formed in the distal end portion of the flag 23, when said flag is disposed in horizontal position whereby, through engagement of one of said latch elements with said notch, said flag can be retained in essentially horizontal position whereby it is substantially completely within the casing I9 and the weight 32 is in a non-equilibruim position. It will be understood of course, that when the flag 23 is retracted within the casing i9, the flag 22 is retracted within the casingv 43.

When the device isV in use, the flags are normally in retracted position within the` casing: the manner in which the latch elements are disengaged from the flags whereby the pendulums are permitted to move said flags into essentially vertical position will now be described. A vertically positioned third-class lever member 50, pivotally mounted in the standard 5I attached to the casing I9, is Vconnected to an end portion of the member 40 whereby movement of said member 5@ can result in movement of the member 4B, with concomitant movement of the member 43, whereby the latch elements 48 and 49 are disengaged from end portions of the flag, the positions of the various levers being shown in phantom in Figure 4.

It will be noted that although the member 50 is directly connected only to the member 40, nevertheless, a flag engaged with either of the latch elements 48 or 49 would be disengaged therefrom by clockwise movement of said member 5@ about its pivot point. Accordingly, the flag can be disengaged and permitted to move from either one of its positions of rest. The release lever 50 is actuated by means including a relatively stationary solenoid 52 acting upon a keeper 53 mounted on the lever member 50 whereby current passing through said solenoid causes clockwise rotative movement of the member 59 about its pivotal point thereby releasing the flag 23 as aforesaid. The solenoid 52 is controlled by a train approaching the grade intersection, as will be hereinafter described.

The means for moving the flags into retracted position within the housings and engaging same with the latch elements hereinbefore referred to, will now be described, reference being made particularly to Figures 3, and 4. Relatively stationary solenoids 55 and 56 mounted Within the casing ISand having cores 51 and` 58 respectively, are connected by means of cables 59 and 69 with the end portion of the shaft I 4 substantially as shown. The cables 5S and 5!! normally hang freely and do not interfere with rocking motion of the shaft I4, the cables being held in guide members 6l and 62 mounted within the casing,

and the cores 57 and 58 are normally pressed outwardly relative to the solenoids by springs 53 and E4 respectively. When current' is passed through one of the solenoids 55 or E5, itwill be evident that the core 5l or 58, as the case may be, will be drawn within the solenoid thereby tensioning the cable 59 or 653 and exerting torque action upon the shaft I4, whereby the flags are moved into retracted position within the housing and the notched end portion 3l of the flag 23 engaged with one of the latch elements 48 or 4S. 1t will be noted that current passing through the solenoid 55 will cause engagement with the flag end portion with the latch element 49: current passing through the solenoid 56 will cause engagement of the flag end portion with the latch element 48.

The manner in which current is supplied to the solenoids 52, 55 and 56 whereby the device is operated and controlled, will now be described, reference being made particularly to Figure 6 of the drawings.

It is to be understood that railroad vehicles traveling on the railroad line crossing the intersection are provided with a suitable switch, actuating means extending from the left side thereof and adapted to actuate coi-operating electical switch members disposed adjacent left-hand portions of the railroad road bed. Switches 16 and 1l, positioned adjacent left-hand portions of the railroad road bed generally designated by the numeral 12, are each connected in series with the solenoid 52 and a power source, such as batteries or the like, 13. It will be noted that the switches 10 and 1I are positioned on opposite sides of the road bed and accordingly, irrespective of which direction vehicles travel over the railroad bed, one of the switches 1li or 1| will be positioned on the left-hand side of the bed and in a location precedent to the intersection. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the distance between the railroad intersection and the switch is adjusted whereby adequate warning of the approaching trains is given to persons traversing the intersection. The solenoids 55 and 56, which function to return the signaling means to rest position, are actuated by the switches and 16 respectively, with which they are connected in series to the power source 13 substantially as shown in the schematic circuitdiagram, Figure 6. The switches 15 and 16 are preferably positioned at the intersection or slightly beyond same, whereby the signaling means are not returned to rest position until the train or the like has passed the intersection.

It will be noted that referring now to Figure 6, assuming a train is passing from left to right along the road bed 12, the switch 16 will be actuated as the train approaches the intersection thereby releasing the flags and permitting same to rise and rock in the field of vision of persons traversing the intersection whereby said persons will be notified of the trains approach. When the train passes the intersection, the switch 15 will be actuated thereby causing current to pass through the solenoid 55, whereby the notched end portion 2| of the ilag 23 is caused to engage with the latch elements 49. Similarly, assuming a train is moving on the road bed 12 from right toward the left thereof as illustrated in Figure 6, the switch 1I would be actuated prior to the trains arrival at the intersection and subsequently thereto, the switch 16 would be actuated whereby current passing into the solenoid 56 would move the flags into retracted position of rest.

It will be evident that current flows through the solenoids 52, 55 and 56 only when the device is in actual use. Accordingly, the current drained from the power source 13 is relatively small, thereby resulting in economy of operation From the foregoing it will be apparent that a train approaching the intersection irrespective of its direction of travel will actuate either the switch 10 or 1l whereby the latch elements 48 or 49, as the case may be, will be disengaged from the signal flag 36 thereby permitting said signal ilag to move into essentially vertical position by action of gravity upon the weighted end portion 32. Inasmuch as the flag is pivoted and the end portion 32 is weighted, the latter in effect becomes a pendulum and through forces including momentum and gravity, the exposed flag is waved or oscillated. When the train passes the intersection, one of the switches 15 or 16 is actuated whereby current is transmitted to one of thevsolenoids 55 or 5.6 as the case may be, thereby exerting a pull upon the connecting lines 59, causing rotation of a shaft I4 with resultant movement of the signal ilag into concealed position and engagement of a latch element with one of the flags as hereinabove described.

In the presently preferred embodiment of the instant invention, the flags y22 and 23 are made of relatively flexible but resilient material, such as heavy sheet rubber or the like, whereby a vehicle accidentally striking against extended flags will not damage same.

It is to be understood that this improvement is capable of extended application and is not confined to the exact showing of the drawings nor to the precise construction described and, therefore, such changes and modifications may be made therein as do not affect the spirit of the invention nor exceed the scope thereof as eX- pressed in the appended claims.

What is claimed` as new is:

l. A railroad grade-crossing signaling device of the type described comprising a casing positioned beneath and extending transversely relative to the railroad bed at the grade-crossing; `a shaft, freely rotatably mounted within said casing; paddle-shaped signal flags mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith; housings for at least largely concealing said flags except when in essentially vertical position; gravity and momentum controlled means for alternately rotating said shaft in opposite directions and swinging said signal flags while exposed; means comprising latch elements for holding said flags in concealed positions within said housings; means actuated by a train approaching said gradecrossing for releasing said flags from engagement with said latch elements, and means actuated by passage of a train. over said gradecrossing for returning said flags to substantially horizontal position within said housing and engaging same with said latch elements.

2. A railroad grade-crossing signaling device of the type described comprising a casing positioned beneath and extending transversely relative to the railroad bed at the grade-crossing; a shaft, freely rotatably mounted within said casing; paddle-shaped signal flags mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith; housings for at least largely concealing said flags when in essentially horizontal position but exposing same when in other positions; gravity and momentum controlled meansA for alternately rotating said shaft in opposite directions and swinging said signal flags while exposed; said means comprising a pendulum mounted on said shaft and having a rest position corresponding to essentially Vertical position of said flags; means for holding said flags in concealed positions within said housings; said means comprising spring pressed latch elements engaging, upon occasion, with part of said of the type described comprising a casing positioned beneath and extending transversely relative to the railroad bed at the grade-crossing; a shaft, freely rotatably mounted Within said casing; paddle-shaped signal ags mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith; housings for at least largely concealing said flags when in essentially horizontal position but exposing same when in other positions; gravity and momentum controlled means for alternately rotating said shaft in opposite directions and swinging said signal flags while] exposed; means. comprising latch elements for holding said flags in concealed positions within said housings; means actuated by a train approaching said grade-crossing for releasing said flags from engagement with said latch elements; said means comprising a switch operable by said train, a power source and a. solenoid operably connected by said switch', a magnetically sensitive member and a lever system connected to said latch elements and cooperating with said solenoid whereby operation of said switch causes releasing motion of said latch elements, permitting said gravity and momentum` controlled means to move said flags into exposed position and rock saine; and means actuated by passage of a train o-ver said grade-crossing for returning said flags to substantially horizontal position within said housing and engaging same with said latch elements.

4. A railroad grade-crossing signaling device ol the type described comprising a casing positioned beneath and extending transversely relative to the railroad bed at the grade-crossing; a shaft, freely rotatably mounted within said casing; paddle-shaped signal flags mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith; housings for at least largely concealing said flags when in essentially horizontal position but exposing same when in other positions; gravity and momentum controlled means for alternately rotating said shaft in opposite directions and swinging said signal ila-gs while exposed, said means comprising a pendulum mounted on said shaft and having a rest position corresponding toessentially vertical position of said flags; means for holding said flags in concealed positions within said housings; said means comprising spring pressed latch elements engaging, upon occasion, with parts of said ags; means actuated by a train approaching said grade-crossing for releasing said flags from engagement with said latch elements, said means comprising a first switch operable by said train, a source of energy and a first solenoid operably connected by said switch, a magnetically sensitive member and a lever system, connected to said latch elements and cooperating with said first solenoid whereby operation of said switch causes releasing motion of said latch elements, permitting said gravity and momentum controlled means to move said flags into exposed position and rock same; and means actuated by passage of a train over said grade crossing for returning said ags to substantially horizontal position Within said housing and engaging same With said latch elements, said means comprising a second switch operable by said train, a source of energy, a second solenoid, a spring pressed core for said solenoid normally held adjacent but exterior thereof, and a connector attached to said core and to parts of said shaft whereby operation of said switch causes movement of said core to a position interior of said second solenoid with application of torque force to and rotation of said shaft.

5. A railroad grade-crossing signal comprising a freely rotatably mounted shaft extending transversely relative to and beneath the railroad bed at the grade-crossing; signal flags mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith; housings for at least largely concealing said flags when in other than essentially vertical position; gravity and momentum controlled means for oscillating said shaft and swinging said ilags in exposed position; latches 'for holding said flags in concealed position within said housings; means actuated by an approaching train for releasing said latches; and means actuated by passage of a train over said grade crossing for returning said ags to concealed position and engaging same with said latch elements.

EDWARD R. ANDERSON.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4333268 *Mar 4, 1980Jun 8, 1982Dumbeck Robert FEnergy saving electrically actuated barrier gate control means operable from solar energy
US5871038 *Jun 14, 1995Feb 16, 1999Ijot Development, Inc.Remote controlled mechanical chain barrier
US6135190 *Sep 4, 1998Oct 24, 2000Ijot Development, Inc.Chain barrier
US6192627Nov 18, 1999Feb 27, 2001Ijot Development Inc.Lead screw barrier system
US6349503Nov 18, 1999Feb 26, 2002Ijot Development, Inc.Fluid powered barrier system
Classifications
U.S. Classification246/126, 49/372, 49/93, 246/473.1, 49/349
International ClassificationB61L29/00, B61L29/22
Cooperative ClassificationB61L29/224
European ClassificationB61L29/22B2