US 2748720 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. W. KLING TRACK CLEANER June 5, 1956 4 Sheets-Sheet. l
Filed Dec. 6, 1952 IN V EN TOR.
2Q MW June 5, 1956 R. w. KLING TRACK CLEANER Filed Dec. 6, 1952 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 June 5, 1956 Filed Dec 6, 1952 R. w. KLING 2,748,720
TRACK CLEANER IN V EN TOR.
I June 5, 1956 R. w. KLING 2,748,720
TRACK CLEANER Filed DBC. 6, 1952 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR.
United States Patent Ofi ice 2,748,720 Patented June 5, 1956 TRACK CLEANER Robert W. Kling, Chicago, Ill., assignor to Athey Products Corporation, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Application December 6, 1952, Serial No. 324,503 6 Claims. (Cl. 104--279) This invention relates to track cleaners adapted for use in cleaning the areas along and between the rails of railway tracks and the like, and more particularly to track cleaners of a self-motivated type which have material gathering and moving parts for loading or disposing of the material gathered.
A general object of my invention is to provide a selfmotivated and power operated track cleaner which can be utilized for general material loading operations, and which has special features of structure and ararngement adapting it particularly to the gathering and loading of material along and between the rails of railway tracks.
My track cleaner, as herein disclosed, has power operated material gathering parts, and comprehends the provision therein and therewith of parts adapting the track cleaner, in the gathering of material, to move such material laterally across the rails of railway track without packing the material against the sides of the rails.
As another object, this invention has within its purview the provision of a track cleaner adapted to be run on or off of the rails of a railway track and which embodies parts that serve as guides for the operation of the track cleaner and its material gathering elements.
More specifically, my disclosed track cleaner incorporates parts adapted to move along the rails of a railway track to locate and guide the track cleaner as it moves, as well as to control the level from which material is gathered.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a track cleaner which, when run along the rails of a railway track will gather material from the full span of the ties.
This invention also comprehends the provision of a track cleaner which, in addition to being adapted to the gathering of material along and between the rails of a single track, can also be utilized for cleaning areas between adjacent tracks.
The track cleaner of this invention further contemplates the provision of structure for cleaning the sides of rails of any of the various standard sizes commonly used.
Furthermore, and in addition to having guide parts for movement along track rails in use, my track cleaner incorporates mechanism for elevating the material gathering parts during movements of the track cleaner between operations and for getting it in position on a track.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings in which similar characters of reference indicate similar parts throughout the several views.
Referring to the four sheets of drawings,
Fig. l is a general perspective view taken from in front and to one side of a power operated track cleaner embodying a preferred form of my invention, and depicts the track cleaner in one position of use for cleaning along and between the rails of a railway track;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary side sectional view of the front portion of the track cleaner depicted in Fig. 1, wherein the section is taken substantially on a line 2--2 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary front elevational view of a portion of the front end of my illustrated track cleaner;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a portion of my preferred track cleaner structure and illustrates the use therewith of an accessory adapted for cleaning of off-track areas;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary top view showing a detail of my preferred track cleaner structure and wherein the section is taken substantially as indicated by a line 5 5 in Fig. 2 and accompanying arrows; and
Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic view illustrating two positions of use of my disclosed track cleaner in relationship to the rails of a double track.
The general structure of the loader depicted in this application is like that disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 289,470 for Power Operated Conveyor Type Loading Machine, tiled May 23, 1952, which application was issued on February 16, 1954, as Patent No. 2,669,338.
Having reference to the more general aspects of the structure of my track cleaner which is disclosed in the accompanying drawings for illustrative purposes, the track cleaner, as shown in Fig. 1, is a self-propelled unitary structure adapted to cleaning along and between the rails of a railway track or, by modification, to the cleaning of relatively flat oit-track areas, as well as to the loading or windrowing of material picked up from the area being cleaned. The disclosed track cleaner has a main chassis or frame l0 supported at the rear by driven wheels 12 and at the front by steerable wheels 13. A prime mover, such as an internal combustion engine, is mounted within a housing 14 at the rear of the main frame 10. In the disclosed structure, an operators station 15 is provided at one side and near the front of the track cleaner, from which position an operator may control the movements and operations of various parts and may observe the progress and operations of the track cleaner as it is used.
An A-frame 16 is secured to and extends upwardly from the rear portion of the main frame 10 and has side portions in opposed relationship on opposite sides of the main frame, each of which side portions includes a rear upright 17, a diagonal brace 18 and a horizontal brace 19. The rear uprights 17 and diagonal braces 1S on each side of the track cleaner structure are secured together at their upper ends, and each has its lower end secured to the main frame. The opposite ends of the horizontal braces 19, on each side, are secured to the mid-portions of the rear uprights and the diagonal braces to strengthen the side frame structure. This A-frame structure provides an elevated rear support, relative to which the rear end of an elevating conveyor 20 is supported for limited swinging movement in a vertical plane relative to an axis near the rear or upper end of the conveyor. As disclosed, the elevating conveyor 20 is of the endless belt type having a longitudinally extending conveyor belt 22 carried between opposed stationary side panels 23. The front end of the elevating conveyor 20 is supported for vertical movement relative to the main frame through an adjustable lifting mechanism (not shown), which may be controlled from the operators station 15. At the extreme forward end of the track cleaner, there is a material gathering and feeding mechanism which is designated generally by the reference numeral 25.
For the purpose of moving material onto the forward or material receiving end of the belt type elevating conveyor 20, l have provided an endless chain and scraper type of feeding conveyor 26. This conveyor, in order to compensate for varying operating conditions, such as the amount of material being moved by the feeding conveyor and the type of material being encountered, as well as to prevent damage to the feeding conveyor when rocks or large pieces of material are encountered, is supported for vertical swinging movement by side arms 27; the side arms being hingedly supported relative to the main frame at their rear ends and extending forwardly to positions ahead of the elevating conveyor. In the illustrated track cleaner, the forward ends of the side arms 27 are supported for vertical movements relative to the forward end of the elevating conveyor by hydraulically actuated adjustable supporting elements 28.
In order to define a relatively wide path within which material is gathered by the disclosed track cleaner, a plate 29 extends laterally of the forward end of the elevating conveyor and projects well beyond the opposite sides of that conveyor. For the disclosed track cleaning purposes, I prefer to have the span of the plate 29 comparable to the length of ties generally in use for supporting the rails or railway tracks. As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the upper portions of the plate 29 at its opposite ends are substantially at, while the lower portion thereof curves forwardly, with the lower edge thereof adjoined by a blade 30 which provides a front cutting edge across which material is moved, and which cutting edge defines the level from which material is gathered. At the opposite ends of the plate 29 and blade 39, I utilize forwardly projecting plates 32 which are secured to the plate 29 and project forwardly therefrom to prevent material from owing around the opposite ends of the plate 29.
In the track cleaner depicted in Fig. 1, an auxiliary conveyor 33 is mounted on the rear end of the frame structure to receive material from the upper or discharge end of the elevating conveyor 20. This auxiliary conveyor includes side frame parts such as 34, side panels 35 and braces 36, and is supported for both lateral and vertical swinging movement to adjusted positions for selecting the level and position at which material is discharged after being picked up from a given area.
Referring in greater detail to certain portions of the structure which have thus far been generally discussed, the elevating conveyor includes opposed and substantially parallel side channels 37 between which the conveyor belt 22 is supported for longitudinal movement, Cleats, such as 38, may, when desired for the handling of many types of materials, be secured to the upper surface of the belt in longitudinally spaced relationship. Also, to prevent the escape of relatively small particles of material along the sides of the elevating conveyor, exible webs 39 are secured to the lower portions of the side panels 23, as shown in Fig. l, and overlap the opposite upper margins of the conveyor belt 22, so as to remain in contact therewith.
In the disclosed loader structure, the operation of the elevating conveyor 20 is controlled from the operators station and is driven from the prime mover through mechanism including a drive chain carried within housings 40 and 41 which extend along the diagonal brace 18 at one side of the loader, as shown in Fig. l. With this structural arrangement, driving force is transmitted to the conveyor belt 22 through a shaft 42 which is journalled at the apexes of the A-frames. This shaft 42 also serves as a fulcrum about which the elevating conveyor is raised and lowered to determine the level at which the blade operates relative to the surface being cleaned, it being understood that the plate 29 and blade 30 are secured to the forward ends of the conveyor channels 37.
The side arms 27 which carry the feeding conveyor 26 are supported for vertical swinging movement relative to the main frame 10 at their rear ends. As shown in Figs. l and 3, bearings 43 at the front ends of the side arms 27 rotatably support a cross shaft 44, which is preferably tubular in section and which not only extends between the side arms, but also projects a substantial distance on the outsides of the arms. Between the side arms 27, sprockets 45 are drivingly secured to the cross shaft 44; the sprockets 45 being separated a distance which is somewhat less than the width of the elevating conveyor Cit and spaced inwardly of the side arms, as shown in Fig. l. Additional sprockets, aligned with the sprockets 45, are supported relative to the side arms 27 at positions rearwardly of the sprockets 45 on a feeding conveyor drive shaft 47. The aligned sprockets carry endless conveyor chains, which conveyor chains have scraper blades secured to their outer surfaces so as to project outwardly from the chains and extend across those chains in a direction generally parallel to the axes of the shafts 44 and 47.
Considered as a unit, the feeding conveyor 26 is centered laterally of the material gathering and feeding mechanism at the front end of the track cleaner and is aligned with the elevating conveyor 20. When the quantity of material which is being picked up by the track cleaner is relatively small, and when the sizes of the pieces are generally small, it is desirable to operate the mechanism with the feeding conveyor blades moving in relatively close proximity to the blade 30. When the sizes of the pieces of material are larger or when the quantity of material is larger, improved operation is effected by having the feeding conveyor elevated to some extent above the blade 30. ln any instance, there is a possibility of occasionally encountering some large piece of material, such as a piece of coal or other obstacle which has fallen from a railway car along the track during otherwise normal loading operations. Furthermore, resilience in the support of the feeding conveyor is desirable in a power operated and self-propelled track cleaner of the type disclosed, in order to limit the shock forces on the cleaner structure which result from movements over ties or the encountering of large pieces of material as aforementioned. The desirable variations in the normal elevation of the feeding conveyor and the preferred resilience in the support thereof are provided in the disclosed track cleaner structure by the adjustable supporting element 28.
In my disclosed track cleaner, the adjustable supporting elements 28 include telescopically engaging cylinders having flanges 52 and 53 at their opposite ends, which cylinders are fitted together for sliding movement relative to one another and have a compression spring 54 encompassing their outer surfaces and engaged at their opposite ends by the anges 52 and 53. Thus, the cylinders and their respective flanges S2 and 53 are movable axially relative to one another, subject to the action and control of the compression spring 54. To provide controllable extensibility in the supporting structure for the side arms 27, thereby to provide for the raising and lowering of the feeding conveyor, the inner cylinder has a piston S5 mounted therein to form a hydraulically op erated jack. At the lower end of each of the adjustable supporting elements 28, at opposite sides of the feeding conveyor mechanism, the piston 55 is supported by a bracket from the main frame l0, while the upper end of the outer cylinder is connected to a bracket 57 which projects outwardly from each of the side arms 27. With this arrangement, the weight of the hingedly supported and vertically movable feeding conveyor is resilientl,l carried through the compression springs 54, which springs balance that weight in partially extended positions, and the elevation of the feeding conveyor relative to the blade 30 is determined by the hydraulic jacks, of which the pistons 55 form parts. Guide rollers 58 are carried between supporting plates 59 on the opposite sides of the top of the plate 29 and engage the outer surfaces of the side arms 27, thereby to provide lateral stabilization of the feeding conveyor without interfering with thc vertical swinging movements thereof. The feeding conveyor 26, like the elevating conveyor 20, is driven from the prime mover through chains and sprockets enclosed within housings 60 and 62, as depicted in Fig. l. The housings 60 and 62 extend along the side arm 27 on the same side of the loader as the housings 40 and 4l. Thus, the feeding conveyor is chain driven from the prime mover' and is subject to control from the operators station. As shown in Figs. l and 3 of the drawings, the plate 29 has an opening 63 at the mid-portion thereof which is aligned with the elevating conveyor and through which the feeding conveyor 26 extends to a position ahead of the forward or cutting edge of the blade 30. This opening provides a passage for the movement of gathered material to the elevating conveyor. Additionally, and in order to adapt the disclosed structure to track cleaning operations wherein material is gathered from between and along the outsides of track rails as the track cleaner is moved along those rails, the lower portion of the plate 29 and the blade 30 are cut away to provide recesses 64, through which recesses track rails 65 extend during operation, as depicted in Fig. l. The recesses, of course, are each of a width to provide clearance for the heaviest rail sections in use, as well as the usual tie plates, bolts and other accessory equipment ordinarily used therewith in conventional track construction. Purthermore, the recesses are of a depth to provide ample clearance for the heaviest rail sections in common use when the rails extend therethrough and the cutting edge of the blade 30 is at the height of the tops of the rail supporting ties. ln the United States and many foreign countries, the standard rail spacing is 4 feet, 81/2 inches. The ties ordinarily used are from eight to nine feet in length. My preferred track cleaner preferably embodies a plate 29 having a span of sufcient width to clean track to the ends of the ties, as well as between the rails of a track.
Since the recesses 64 must necessarily provide clearance for rails of the heaviest sections used, additional structural provision has been made in my track cleaner for the removal of material close to the rails and for including that material with the other material which is picked up and removed. Elongated and preformed metal members 66 which conform laterally to the contours of the recesses extend through the recesses and provide tunnels which overlic substantial longitudinal portions of the rails which are being cleaned. These tunnels are secured, as by welding, to the plate 29 and blade 30 and, in the form disclosed, are shaped laterally so that they are curved at the top and diverge toward the bottom; the bottoms of the tunnels being open, so that they can be placed over the rails from the top at the start of the cleaning operation and normally extend downwardly to a level only slightly above that of the cutting edge of the blade. In the disclosed structure, the tunnels 66 extend farther forward from the blade and plate than to the rear thereof. As a matter of fact, the tunnels extend forwardly to positions adjacent the front of the lower portion of the feeding conveyor 26, and thereby serve to prevent material which is gathered along the blade and cutting edge from being deposited along the rails during a cleaning operation and passing lthrough the recesses 64.
For cleaning the sides of rails and for moving material forwardly in the tunnels during forward movement of the track cleaner, so as thereby to effect the movement of material outwardly over the forward ends of the tunnels, I have provided brushes 67 along opposed interior side surfaces of the tunnels, which brushes are removably and replaceably secured in their operating positions by plates 68 held in place in the tunnels by fastening means, such as screws 69. T he brushes, in my disclosed structure, slope inwardly and downwardly, as shown in Fig. 3, and normally engage the side surfaces and flange of a rail which is being cleaned, and also have suicient flexibility to pass over tie plates, rail bolts and the like.
In order to adapt my track cleanerto the cleaning of relatively at off-rail areas or to the cleaning of areas between the rails of double tracks, i have provided removable caps 7l), as shown in Fig. 4, which can be placed over the forward end of one or both of the tunnels, as desired, to effectively close the front end opening of the tunnel to a level conforming to that of the bottom edges of the tunnel. The caps, in the form disclosed, are secured in position, when used, by fasteningmeans, such as screws 72. Also, the tunnels, in addition to being rounded in contour at their bottom edge, slope outwardly and downwardly to that bottom edge from the tunnel engaging margin.
In addition to the feeding conveyor which moves material directly across the blade 30 between the tunnels 66 and toward the elevating conveyor 20, my disclosed track cleaner embodies screw or auger type conveyers 73 at opposite sides `of the feeding conveyor for moving material inwardly along the blade 30 and plate 29 from the opposite sides and toward the feeding conveyor 26. The screw or auger type side conveyors of my track cleaner each include an edgewise curved metal strip having a variable outer diameter which constitutes a developed curve and provides a configuration such that during movements thereof the convolutions follow a path which is depicted in dot and dash lines at 75 in Fig. 3, starting with a relatively large diameter at the outer edge and following closely adjacent the top surface of each tunnel, so that material is moved inwardly from the outer ends of the plate 29 and blade 30 and is forced upwardly and over the projecting front end surfaces of the tunnels. Although varying in radius, the convolutions of the side conveyor strips 74 encompass and extend along end portions of the shaft 44, which project outwardly from the feeding conveyor and bearings 43 at the ends of the side arms 27. Each side conveyor strip is supported relative to the projecting end of the shaft 44 by a series of radial spokes 76, which spokes are secured to the shaft and to the strip. The shaft 44 is driven, as described, for oper ating the feeding conveyor, and the convolutions of the strips at each side of the track cleaner are so related to the normal direction of movement of the feeding conveyor that they move the material inwardly from the opposite sides of the blade and plate toward the feeding conveyor during forward movement of the track cleaner. From the description thus far, it will be readily understood that as the track cleaner moves forwardly along a railway track, the brushes within the tunnels 66 push material forwardly therein and force it out over the forward ends of the tunnels. The cutting edge of the blade 30 establishes the level from which material is gathered both between and outside of the rails, and the material is moved inwardly from the sides and over the tunnels by the side conveyors, whereupon the feeding conveyor moves the material across the blade and through the opening 63 in the plate 29 to the elevating conveyor, and the latter conveyor elevates the material to a position for loading, or from which it may be deposited in a windrow at the side of the track.
As depicted in Figs. 2 and 5 of the drawings, my disclosed structure embodies guide rollers 77 which are mounted to run along the tops of railway rails and have flanges 78 on their inner surfaces which act to perform a guiding function for the track cleaner laterally of the track. The guide rollers are supported from spaced and substantially parallel plates 79 secured to the under side of a plate 80 which underlies the lower portion of the plate 29 and the rear portion of the blade 30. This latter plate 80 is at the forward end of the side channels 37 which carry the elevating conveyor. A bar 82 extends through and between the plates 79 and has collars 83 at its opposite ends which secure it in position relative to the plate 79. A bearing sleeve 84 is rotatably mounted on the bar 82 between the plates 79 and has spaced side arms 84 secured thereto and projecting rearwardly therefrom. The side arms 84 carry a shaft 85 which is held in place by collars 86 at its `opposite ends and which serves as a supporting shaft for the roller 77. A bolt 87 extends through the plate 80 and is threaded therein in a position aligned for engagement with a plate 88 secured to and extending between the side arms 84 adjacent the roller 77. The bolt 87 at each side of the track cleaner serves to effect adjustment of the height of the cutting edge of the blade 30 relative to the tops of the rails by effecting swinging movement of the arms 84 relative to the axis of the bar 82, thus raising or lowering the positions of the rollers relative to the lower side of the plate 80. When adjusted to a suitable position, each bolt is locked in position by means such as a lock nut 89. 'The tunnels 66 are, of course, raised and lowered with the blade 30, so that their clearances from the rails are eslablished by the adjusted positions of the rollers. The use of the flanges 78 on the rollers has a definite tendency to keep the track cleaner operating in perfect alignment with the rails along which it is moved.
Since the top Surfaces of all ties are not perfectly flat, and because it is desirable to set the adjustment of the guide rollers 77 so that the blade will come as close as practical to the tops of most of the ties, I have provided additional blade height controlling elements for preventing the blade from cutting or scraping the topsof uneven or upwardly projecting tie portions when set to closely approach the top surfaces of the ties generally. For this purpose, l have provided skid shoes 90 which are associated with the cutting edge of the blade 30. In my disclosed structure, plates 92 and 93 (Fig. 2) are secured together in acute angular relationship along adjacent edges and are secured to the lower rear surfaces of the plate 80 between and at opposite sides of the tunnels 66 for reinforcing purposes. The plates 93 carry the skid shoes 90, which skid shoes are relatively narrow and extend forwardly through notches 94 in the forward or cutting edges of the blade and have upwardly turned front end portions adapted to slide over the surfaces of any ties or tie portions which protrude above the level to which the blade cutting edge is set by the guide rollers. The skid shoes, in the present instance, are secured to the plate 93 by bolts 95 with a shim 96 between each plate and skid shoe for adjusting the level of the skid shoe to correspond to that of the cutting edge. It may be readily appreciated that as any skid shoe slides over a high tie portion, the level of the blade is raised to pass over that tie portion. On the other hand, during normal operation, the level of the cutting edge of the blade is determined by the guide rollers running on the tops of the rails.
As depicted in Fig. 6, the spacing of the wheels 12 and 13 of my disclosed track cleaner, as indicated by reference numerals 13a, is such that in cleaning along the rails of a single track, those wheels run along the outer ends of the track supporting ties and are outside of the rails when the tunnels 66a overlie the rails of that track. The usual spacing between the centers of adjacent tracks of a double track road bed is from twelve to fourteen feet and the standard gage spacing between the rail flanges of a track is four feet, eight and one-half inches. cleaning the area along one rail of one track and an intervening area between the tracks, the supporting wheels of my track cleaner assume positions substantially as depicted by reference numerals 13b In this instance, one tunnel 66b overlies one track rail 65a and a cap of the type shown in Fig. 4, and designated as 7Gb, is utilized over the other tunnel of the track cleaner. Utilized in this manner, one wheel is disposed between the rails of one track, and the other wheel runs along the ends of the ties and outside of the rails of the other track. It may be readily understood that by utilizing such arrangements, the areas along and between the tracks of either single or double track road beds may be conveniently cleaned. Furthermore, larger at or off-track areas can be cleaned by utilizing caps over both of the tunnels. In moving the track cleaner between places of use for track cleaning operations, the feeding and side conveyors may be raised well above the level of ordinary obstructions and the front of the elevating conveyor which carries the plate 29, blade For 30 and tunnels 66 may also be raised at the discretion of the operator by controls provided at the operators station and by the lifting mechanisms provided. This raising of the material gathering and moving parts also provides for relative ease in getting the track cleaner in position relative to track rails for starting the cleaning operation. The guide rollers 77 are used only during cleaning operations for determining the level at which the cutting edge of the blade operates with respect to the top surfaces of the track rails.
From the foregoing description and accompanying drawings, it may be understood that l have provided a track cleaner which is adapted to move along the rails of a railway track for cleaning a substantial area between and outside of the tracks in a single movement along the tracks. My track cleaner' is constructed and arranged so that it cleans close to the rails and moves the material upwardly and to the rear for loading purposes. Power actuated material gathering parts are utilized to make the operations of the track cleaner both fast and effective. ln addition, the disclosed track cleaner may be readily moved between places of use and readily placed in position for use, as well as having auxiliary parts which aiford a versatility of the uses and operations to which the track cleaner may be adapted.
While I have illustrated a preferred embodiment of my invention, many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, and l do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of all changes within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described by invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patents of the United States is:
l. A power operated track cleaner for gathering and loading material from along and between the rails of a railway track and comprising, in combination, a wheeled vehicle having an elevating conveyor structure extending longitudinally thereof from front to rear, a backing plate provided at its bottom with a cutting edge and mounted at the front end of the elevating conveyor structure so that the cutting edge extends laterally of the elevating conveyor, said backing plate having an opening in the mid-portion thereof which is aligned with the elevating conveyor for the passage of material to the elevating conveyor, said backing plate also having portions cut away at the cutting edge on opposite sides of said opening to provide passages of a size and spacing to straddle the rails of a railway track, curved plate members secured to the backing plate and extending through said passages in substantially parallel relationship to provide tunnels extending forwardly and rearwardly from the backing plate for overlying substantial longitudinal portions of the railway rails, a feeding conveyor extending through the opening in the backing plate from a position ahead of the backing plate and between the tunnels for moving material onto the elevating conveyor, auger type conveyors on opposite sides of the forward end of the feeding conveyor and extending along opposite side portions of the backing plate and across the forward ends of the tuunels for moving material inwardly along opposite ends of the backing plate toward the feeding conveyor, said auger type conveyors having a developed outer curvature of varying radius such that during rotational movement portions thereof pass closely adjacent the surfaces of the upper portions of the forward ends of the tunnels to move material thercover.
2. A power operated track cleaner as defined in claim l, and further characterized by brushes internally of said tunnels and having relatively yieldable bristles for cleaning thc sides of track rails as they pass through the tunnels.
3. A power operated track cleaner as defined in claim l, and wherein the wheels of said Wheeled vehicle are laterally separated a distance greater than the spacing between said tunnels so that they normally run outside the rails of a railway track during track cleaning operation.
4. A power operated track cleaner as defined in claim 3, and wherein the lateral separation between said wheels is such that when only the inside rail of two adjacent tracks extends through one of the tunnels and the other tunnel is between the adjacent tracks, the wheels on the side of the vehicle nearest said one of the tunnels run between the rails of one of the tracks and the other wheels run outside of the rails of the adjacent track.
5. In a power operated track cleaner for removing material from along and between the rails of a railway track, the combination comprising a backing and material gathering plate having a cutting edge at the bottom which is divided into intermediate and end portions by recesses in the plate of a size and spacing to straddle the rails of a standard railway track, said plate having an opening in the mid-portion above the cutting edge for the passage of material, the portions of said plate on opposite sides of said opening being upright and the margin of the plate below the opening sloping upwardly from the cutting edge to the opening, metal members of substantial length and open at their bottoms and ends, said metal members fitting into said recesses and extending forwardly and rearwardly from opposite sides of said plate in substantially parallel relationship to provide tunnels for overlying track rails adjacent the plate, and means for moving material inwardly from opposite sides of said plate and across the forwardly extending ends of said metal members.
6. In a power operated track cleaner as defined in claim 5 and wherein said means for movin g material lnwardly from opposite sides of the plate comprises power 0pm ated material moving devices at opposite end portions of said plate for moving material inwardly along the plate from the opposite ends thereof across extending end portions of the tunnels and toward said opening in the plate.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 523,208 Kallauner July 17, 1894 1,469,464 Ursino Oct. 2, 1923 1,865,807 Ward July 5, 1932 2,208,128 Holbrook July 16, 1940 2,374,312 Tackett Apr. 24, 1945 2,408,555 Hart Oct. 1, 1946 2,467,619 Griffith Apr. 19, 1949 2,505,501 Miller Apr. 25, 1950 2,639,022 MacDonald May 19, 1953