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Publication numberUS3085238 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1963
Filing dateNov 17, 1961
Priority dateNov 17, 1961
Publication numberUS 3085238 A, US 3085238A, US-A-3085238, US3085238 A, US3085238A
InventorsLewis James F
Original AssigneeLewis James F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railroad safety light
US 3085238 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 9, 1963 J. F. LEWIS RAILROAD SAFETY LIGHT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 1'7, 1961 INVENIOR James F Lewis April 9, 1963 J. F. LEWIS RAILROAD SAFETY LIGHT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 17, 1961 llllllllllll I a 1 V T I11. .I l llL I I..IIII|HIAV WI: 8

3 m H F m fi/J my 1 L .....m-l L fi 2 F- IL W FIG. 4.

INVENTOR James F. Lewis- United States Patent 3,085,238 RAILROAD SAFETY LHGHT James F. Lewis, 4911 Rowan Road, Knoxville 18, Tenn. Filed Nov. 17, 1961, Ser. No. 153,121 1 (Ilairn. (Cl. 340--366) This invention relates to railroad safety lights and more particularly to that one type of light known in the railroading profession as a Safety Blue Light which is placed at both ends of a train before men are allowed to perform any work on the same.

The need and use of the safety blue light is clearly set forth in Rule 26 of the Standard Code of Operating Rules of the Association of American Railroads. The rule is generally spoken of as the Blue Flag Rule and it is, of course, well known in its entirety to every trainman in the United States.

Since all but emergency repair work is normally done in train yards, it is desirable to have a fixed location, namely, a given track for the train on which the repair work is to be done. It is, therefore, desirable to have a fixed pair of blue lights that will meet all of the requirements of the above stated Rule 26 and yet not require the personal attention of men who can best be employed in actual repair work on this track.

It is clearly an object of this invention to provide a railroad safety light that can permanently be secured to a section of railroad track and meet all the requirements of the said Rule 26 of the Standard Operating Code.

Another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety light that can readily be controlled from either end of the railroad yard in which it is located or at the actual light itself if so desired.

Another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety light that is provided with a separate indicator light that will not only serve to indicate when the power is on but will also keep the mechanism inside the safety light box from freezing the motor.

Another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety light that has its mechanism totally inclosed and is thus not damaged by the Weather.

Another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety blue light that can be swingably controlled to warn and or signal men working on the train and or coming down the track from either direction if so desired.

Another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety light that operates off the yards 110 volts electric supply line and thus does not have to depend on batteries for its operating power and light.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a railroad safety light that is located between the rails and is thus out of the way of workmen as they go about their repairing task on the train being worked on.

Other objects and advantages reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout the different views of the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a pictorial view of a section of a typical railroad track with the center portion removed and the safety lights mounted between the rails.

FIGURE 2 is a top view of one of the safety lights with a portion of its box broken away to more clearly show certain detailed construction therein.

FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic wiring view of this invention.

FIGURE 4 is a side view of the box as noted by the arrow and numeral 4 in FIGURE 2.


FIGURE 5 is a sectional view of the box and contents therein taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIGURE 2 as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein for the purpose of illustration, I have disclosed a preferred embodiment of my invention wherein the reference character 10 indicates a waterproof box in which is mounted a rotary solenoid 11 on an upright 12. One side 13 of the box 10 has an opening therein for the inward extension of the blue lamp supporting shaft 14 which is rotably supported by an arm 15. A spur gear 16 is secured on the inward end of the said shaft 14 and is engaged with the gear 17 on the end of shaft 18 of the foresaid rotary solenoid 11 as is clearly shown in FIG- URE 2 of the appended drawings. A blue light 19 in its cone-shaped housing has a convex lens 20 protected by a wire protector 21. The entire light assembly is, of course, secured as previously indicated, to the outer end of the said supporting shaft 14. A power indicator light 22 is removably mounted within the said box 10 which has an opening 23 in its top 24 in order to permit the said indicator light to be seen. On the opposite side of the box 10 from that of the said blue light 19 there is mounted three-way switches 25 and 26 as Well as a waterproof connector 27 Looking now at FIGURE 1 of the appended drawings one will see that there are two of the above described boxes 11} and associated parts including the foresaid blue light 19. Each of the two units which are identical to one another and include all of the above described parts are each indicated on the appended drawing (the said FIGURE 1) by a reference character 28. The said units are firmly secured to the cross-ties 29 of the railroad track by means of lag screws 30 passing downward through a flange 31 located on each end of the said box 10 and on down into the said cross-ties 29. The units 28 are spaced according to the predetermined requirements of the particular railroad train yard in which they are used.

The actual construction of this railroad safety light has now been described, and it only remains to wire each one of the two units 28 together in the manner clearly shown in the wiring diagram and noted on the first one of the two sheets of the drawing by FIGURE 1 where it is obvious to everyone experienced in either the art of railroad electric signal installation and operation and/ or the electric arts in general, that by proper operation of the three way switch 25 the rotary solenoid 11 will cause the blue light 19 to swing about the axis of its supporting shaft 14 until it is casting its rays down the center of the railroad track herein noted for the first time by the reference character 32. FIGURE 1 of the appended drawings clearly shows that each one of the two lighting units 28 are located as said with the longitudinal center of each blue light 19 being on the centerline of the said railroad track 28. The operation of the said three-way switch 25 can also, of course, cause each one of the blue lights 19 to shine directly upward or be swung inward toward each other if so desired. The three-way switch 26 actually turns the said blue lights 19 on and off as desired. The power indicator light 22 in each unit 28 is so wired intothe electric circuit of this novel invention that they immediately light up the second electricity enters the circuit from the main feed lines which enter each one of the box 10 of each one of the foresaid units 28 through cable 34- of the said waterproof connector 27. It can now be understood how this most useful invention is operated either remotely by electric control mechanism not shown in the appended drawings since it is not only obvious to those experienced in the arts but is also located at any desired place in the train yards.

The actual electric wiring has been omitted from FIG- URES 2, 4 and 5 for reasons of clarity since it is amply shown in the wiring diagram noted as FIGURE 3 and to some extent in the pictorial view noted as FIGURE 1 of the appended drawings. I

No reference is made to each individual wire of the invention since their purpose is self evident to ones experienced in the arts relating to this invention.

From the foregoing it'will now be seen that there is herein provided an improved railroad signal light Which accomplishes all of the objects of this invention as set forth in this specification, and others,- including many advantages of great practical utility and commercial importance.

As many embodiments may be made of this inventive concept, and as many modifications may be made in the embodiment hereinbefore shown and described, it will be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.

What I now claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

A railroad safety light of the character described, comprising a pair of waterproof rectangular boxes each having a rotary solenoid mounted on an upright therein, a cantilever arm mounted on one side of the said box and rotably supporting a shaft extending through the said arm and at right angle to the said box, a blue electric light in a cone-shaped housing mounted on the outer end of the said shaft which has its inward end extending into the said box and terminating in the center of a spur gear to which it is secured, a second and smaller gear being secured to a shaft extending from the said rotary solenoid, the said spur gear and the said second gear having their teeth mesh thereby providing swing to the said blue light when the said, rotary solenoid is operated, and a removable power indicator light secured in the said box and normally shining upward through an opening in the top of the said box and a three-way switch secured to that side of the said rectangular box that is opposite the said blue electric light, the said switch being so wired to the said rotary solenoid as to swingably control the said blue electric light at the will of the operator of. the said railroad safety light and a second three-way switch mounted on the same side of the said rectangular box as the first mentioned three-Way switch, the second three-way switch turning the said blue electric light on and off at the will of the operator and a removable waterproof connector having all electric wires from the said rectangular box passing therethrough to a source of electric current and each one of the rectangular boxes and contents being secured to'railroad cross ties so that the longitudinal center of each one of the said blue electric lights is in the longitudinal center of the railroad track on which'the blue electric lights are mounted in longitudinal spaced relation to each other.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,378,036 Krebs May 17, 1921 2,473,187 Zelk June 14, 1949 2,511,893 Alden June 20, 1950

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1378036 *Jun 12, 1920May 17, 1921George F KrebsAutomobile signal device
US2473187 *Feb 17, 1947Jun 14, 1949Zelk George SAutomobile disappearing warning signal
US2511893 *Feb 19, 1949Jun 20, 1950 Portable electric light eqr connec
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3544960 *Apr 25, 1968Dec 1, 1970Hayes Track Appliance CoRailway safety apparatus
US5791605 *Feb 11, 1997Aug 11, 1998Howie, Ii; Thomas D.Railroad signaling method and apparatus
US6435459 *Oct 28, 1999Aug 20, 2002Dialight CorporationLED wayside signal for a railway
US8529107Apr 21, 2010Sep 10, 2013Tripsplusone, Inc.System for use in illumination of railway feature
U.S. Classification246/473.00R
International ClassificationB61L23/06, B61L5/20, B61L23/00, B61L5/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61L5/206, B61L23/06
European ClassificationB61L23/06, B61L5/20B