US 2756520 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1, 1956 G. c. SOULE 2,756,520
FLANGE-WAY CLEANER Filed March 5, 1953 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR.
I IZVLMWW MM I July 31, 1956 G. c. SOULE FLANGE-WAY CLEANER 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 5, 1953 IN VEN TOR.
y 31, 1956 G. c. SOULE 2,756,520
FLANGE-WAY CLEANER Filed March 5, 1953 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 IN V EN TOR.
. ML BYM mm MQVMY 242M arr/ United States Patent FLANGE-WAY CLEANER George C. Soule, South Freeport, Maine; National Bank of Commerce of Portland, Porfland, Mame, guardian of said George C. Soule, assignor to Maine Steel Corp., South Portland, Maine, a corporation of Mame Application March 1953, Serial No. 340,612
1 Claims. (CI. 37-36) This invention relates to apparatus for cleaning the flange-ways of railroad tracks, and more particularly to a flange-way cleaner adapted for attachment to a vehicle such as a tractor or the like.
Railroad flange-ways are provided along the inner edge of the railroad tracks at crossings, freight yards and the like where it is necessary to build up the ground level adjacent to the tracks to the height of the tracks to permit other vehicles to cross the tracks without interference. The flange-ways are narrow grooves running along the inner edge of the track and provide a space for the flanges of the railroad car wheels. Over extended periods, these flangeways fill up with gravel, dirt and the like and particularly during freezing weather when ice combines with such dirt, the flange-ways must be cleaned out to keep from derailing the trains.
In the past, flange-ways have been cleaned out largely by hand at a relatively large expense of time and money. It has not been practical to attach flange-way cleaners to railroad engines because, when obstructions are encountered in the flange-way, the heavy momentum of the engine will cause the cleaner to break or otherwise bend out of alignment.
A principal object of my invention is to provide a flange- Way cleaner which can operate under its own power along the track, which will be durable and effective to clean out the flange-way without bending and breaking.
A further object of my invention is to provide a flange- Way cleaner which will automatically take the proper posi tion to clean the flange-ways, and the depth of which may be regulated as desired.
In the accomplishment of these and other objects of my invention, I employ in a preferred embodiment thereof a conventional rear-wheel drive tractor having a vertically movable frame, which may be a bulldozer blade, mounted on the front thereof for up and down vertical motion. On the lower edge of the frame I mount a pair of vertically protruding plow members spaced apart a distance equal to the distance between the flange-ways of a railroad track. Adjacent to the plow members on the outside I mount a pair of runners which are adapted to slide along the track when the plow members are in the flange-ways. In the preferred embodiment I employ hydraulic mechanism for lowering the frame, and adapted so that during flange-way cleaning operations, the frame is depressed to a point at which the forward end of the tractor is lifted clear of the ground.
It is a feature of my invention that when the plows are in the flange-ways and the tractor is moving forward, there is no necessity for steering because the tractor automatically aligns itself in the railroad tracks and the plows continue in the flange-ways in the desired direction.
It is a further feature of my invention that the plow members are vertically adjustable with respect to the runners, and I also provide forwardly extending flanges and rearwardly and outwardly extending baffles for the purpose of deflecting to one side or the other dirt or other debris issuing from the plow.
Further objects and features of my invention will be best understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of my invention, selected for purposes of illustration, and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a view in perspective of the flange-way cleaner combination of my invention;
Fig. 2 is a view in side elevation of the plow member and associated elements;
Fig. 3 is a plan view of the plow member and associated elements; and
Fig. 4 is a view in front elevation of the plow member and associated elements in position for cleaning a flangeway.
The preferred embodiment of my invention is shown in combination in Fig. l and includes in its general organization a rear-wheel drive tractor indicated generally at 10, a vertically movable frame indicated at 12 mounted on the forward end of the tractor, and flange-way cleaning members indicated at 14 mounted on the frame 12.
While other types of vertically movable frames may be readily employed in this invention, I use, for convenience, a vertically movable bulldozer blade 16 mounted on a linkage system 18, and being controlled in its vertical motion by a double-acting hydraulic jack 20. The flangeway cleaning elements 14 are mounted on the lower edge of the bulldozer blade 16. I provide a right-hand flangeway cleaner and a left-hand flange-way cleaner, but, for convenience, I have shown only a right-hand flange-way cleaner in Figs. 2, 3 and 4. The only difference between the two forms is that theright-hand flange-way cleaner throws the dirt out to the right, and the left-hand flangeway cleaner throws the dirt out to the left.
Turning now to Figs. 2, 3, and 4, the flange-way cleaner consists in a plow member 22 mounted for vertical motion within a heavy steel plate casing 24 which is welded to a base plate 26. The base plate 26 is in turn bolted to the lower edge of the bulldozer blade 16. A rearwardly extending buttress element 28 is welded to the rear side of the casing 24 and abuts the underneath side of the bulldozer blade 16 for purposes of limiting any backward motion caused by pressure against the plow member 22. A runner 30 is welded to the lower end of the casing 24, and the lower extension of the buttress 28. A forward extending flange 32 is welded to the front of the casing 24 on the inner side thereof, and a rearwardly and outwardly extending baffle 34 is welded to the outer side of the easing 24. The plow member consists in a hard steel bar extending downwardly through the casing 24, and is secured therein by a bolt 36 adapted to provide vertical adjustability for the plow member 22 by means of threaded engagement.
When the flange-way cleaner is ready for operation, the frame 12 is elevated so that the cleaning elements 14 are clear of the ground and the tractor It is driven to assume the proper position in rough alignment with the tracks. Therenpon the frame 12 is lowered with the plow members 22 fitting into the flange-ways, and the jack 26 then further depresses the frame 12 so as to lift the forward end of the tractor clear of the ground. When in this position, the runners 30 lie on top of the railroad tracks, and the plows 22 project downwardly into the flange-way. Thereafter driving the tractor forward causes the plow members to advance through the flange-way, cleaning the same, and as the dirt therein is pushed upward it is swept to the side and the rear by the baffle 34. As the tractor advances, the rear wheels automatically align themselves adjacent to the railroad tracks, and the tractor operator is not required to steer.
Since numerous minor adaptations of the preferred embodiment herein described will now be obvious to those skilled in the art, it is not intended to confine the inven- Pa tented July 31, 1956 I tion to the precise forrn herein shown, but rather to limit itfthe appended Claifii.
Having thus disclosed and 'described a preferred embodiment of-my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by 'LettersPatent'f the, UnifedStates is:
V A railroad flan eway cleaner for a tfaetdi l'i'aVing'in combination, air earth-moving attachment moiinted on'thc front of said tractor, hydraulic means for raising and lowering said attachment, a pair of flange-Way cleaners attached to said attachment each including a runner adapted to slide on the railroad track, a plow member mounted for vertical adjustment, a forwardly extending flange, and a rearwardly and outwardly'extending bafile whereby a flange-Way may be cleaned by placing the plows in the flange-ways, and means for depressing the attachment to a point where it snpports the front end of the tractor clearof the ground.
UNITED STATES PATENTS Cafierty Jan. 10, 1911 Tripp Dec. 7, 1880 Priest Jan. 19, 1892 Gustafson "1-; May 27, 1941 Tackett "Apr. 24, Jarrnin a July 27, 1948 A1X3indeI July '10,: 1951 Dangerfield Feb; 5, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS? Great Britain' a of 1887