US 3096730 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,096,730 CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Filed 061'.- lO, 1958 14 Sheets-Sheet l July 9, 1963 J GUTRIDGE 3,096,730
CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Filed Oct. 10, 1958 14 Sheets-Sheet 2 k'glrutengor a Jet a ri e flitorney July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR l4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 y 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,096,730
CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Filed Oct. 10, 1958 14 Sheets-Sheet 4 EE E FIG. 12
July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR 14 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 J k glnufngor 12C ll I'l yq Attorney July 9, 1963 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,096,730
CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR 14 Sheets-Sheet 6 FIG. 15
Invent Jack 5, gutrid ge July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR l4 Sheets-Sheet 7 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 CNN 1 F L t Yr; 1% i r ow Gs g IH I 7 0 r n Q0 l 0 I I 0 t 0 q u 4 I l 3 E E 3 mm +0 as k A r 7 mim .r 0 Ma a h A July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR 14 Sheets-Sheet 8 Filed 001;. 10, 1958 Inventor Jack 6. utridye a y d 46 444 Am y- July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR 14 Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 Inventar Jack 6. utrltcly din/m 62 Attorney;
J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,096,730
14 Sheets-Sheet 10 i O O CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR July 9, 1963 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,09
CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Filed Oct. 10, 1958 14 Sheets-Sheet 11 FIG. 22
, Immztbr Attorneys J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR July' 9, 1963 14 Sheets-Sheet 12 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 idge ttorney 5 July 9, 1963 J. E. GUTRIDGE 3,096,730
CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Filed Oct. 10, 1958 14 Sheets-Sheet 13 Fl G 24 Inventor July 9, 1963 Filed Oct. 10, 1958 J. E. GUTRIDGE CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR FIG.26
14 Sheets-Sheet 14 Inventor Jr 6. uirid e r giwu fiitorneys United States Patent C) 3,096,730 CENTER LOAD CONTAINER CAR Jack E..Gutridge, Dyer, Ind., assignor to Pullman-Standaid Car Manufacturing Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 10, 1958, Ser. No. 766,532 6 Claims. (Cl. 105-368) In niy United States patent application Serial No.
699,759, filed November 29, 1957, now Patent No. 3,070,041, granted December 25, 1962, for improvements in Highway-Railway Transportation System and Apparatus, of which this application is a continuation-in-part, there is disclosed a system for handling freight in such mariner that many economies are effected in transporting thefreight in marine, railway and highway travel and various combinations thereof. Many important aspects of the present invention are disclosed in said application Serial No. 699,759, and for that reason, the entire disclosure of that application is hereby incorporated by reference to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the present disclosure.
In the prior application referred to, one of the important concepts disclosed concerns the use of a truck or semi-trailer chassis which can readily be detached from the container carrying the freight load; and in one use of the system the truck or semi-trailer is backed onto a railway car provided with lateral supports at approxirn'at'ely the height of the container bottom and engagesue therewith, and separation of the container from the truck or semi-trailer is effected through the use of an air spring rear suspension, which includes controls for collapsing the air spring to allow the weight of the containe'r to rest upon the railway car supports, whereupon the truck or semi-trailer can be pulled from beneath the container.
The railway car is equipped with a fifth wheel stand engageaibl'e with the kingpin on the semi-trailer to lift the front end of the semi-trailer from the front supports of the railway car and to carry the front end of the container load.
One of the outstanding advantages of the freight transportation system disclosed in said prior application is its compatibility with various freight transportation systems now in use in this country or being offered for use as a solution to obtaining greater economies in freight transportation.
In this connection, the compatibility extends not only to what is comrnonly known as piggyback operation, in which a semi-trailer is backed onto a fiat car with the front end of the trailer supported on :a fifth wheel stand provided at the front of the car, but also to various types of crane and lift truck loading of containers from trucks onto railway cars.
The present invention relates to a center load container car, which is not only compatible with the freight transportation system disclosed in said prior application, but has great utility apart from that system.
Experience has taught that the shipment of freight in containers which may readily be transferred from a on a flatcar and loaded and unloaded as a boxcar would be handled. This means that the containers must have -wide side doorson both sides of the container, which not only' are costly but also take up a certain amount of space. i
In the present invention, a special type of railway car provided having a centrally positioned weather shed frame on opposite sides of which l.c.l. containers having 'ice end loading doors are positioned, so that these containers may be loaded while on the special car through the weather shed frame; and after they have been completely loaded, freight may also be placed within the weather shed. After loading is completed, roll screens or other suitable closures seal the weather shed against the elements, and in that manner the entire freight carrying capacity of the car is utilized.
It should be noted that since the containers are provided with end loading doors they may easily be transferred to semi-trailers or trucks and loaded and unloaded therefrom in conventional manner through the end of the containers. 7
Preferably, the containers are provided with the special features that are required for complete compatibility with the freight transportation systems disclosed in the heretofore identified prior patent application to take advantage of the versatility which that system offers, but any container of appropriate size having end loading doors or gates may be used in conjuction with the railway car of this invention.
Among other objects and advantages are the followmg:
The weather shed, being open on both sides, enables loading and unloading to be accomplished laterally through the car to cars on adjoining tracks in the same manner as boxcars are now loaded and unloaded; the car may be loaded and unloaded as a conventional box car in less than carload lot instances, but, where the freight in a single container all goes to a single destination, the containers may be handled by cranes or lift trucks to transfer them to trucks and semiatrailers either of conventional design or of the type disclosed in said application Serial No. 699,759, and the economies inherent therein are achieved; the total freight carrying capacity of a railway car of this invention is somewhat greater than either a fiatcar, or gondola car with containers of equivalent overall dimension, thereby increasing the freight earnings for the car; the car is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and maintain; and the center loading of the containers provides wider access to the container interiors than is common with conventional containers with side doors, and permits the expeditious shipment of small loads.
Further and other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as the disclosure proceeds and the description is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is similar to FIGURE 1 of the above identified application and illustrates a plurality of railway cars of different types suitable for use with the system disclosed in said application together with a truck tractor and semi-trailer shown backing into loading position; I
FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view of a railway flatcar and the separable semi-trailer chassis and freight container of the invention described in said co-' pending application;
FIGURES 3 through 6 inclusive illustrate the ap plicability of the system as described in said copending application to lift truck operations, particularly where multiple freight containers are mounted on a single railway car;
FIGURE 7 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the application of the system of said copending application to crane loading of a freight container onto a railway car provided with the container carrying equipment disclosed in said copending application;
FIGURE 8 broadly illustrates a partial approach to my present invention, illustrating two 24 foot containers secured in spaced apart relation on a standard flatcar;
FIGURE 9 illustrates the arrangement of FIGURE 8 together with a center loading weather shed structure 1n accordance with the present invention that houses the space between the spaced apart containers and provides a compartment for receiving small shipments;
FIGURE 10 illustrates an arrangement similar to that of FIGURE 9, but employing somewhat larger containers on a longer flatcar;
FIGURE 11 illustrates the railway car of FIGURE 8 rearranged for standard flatcar use;
FIGURE 12 is a fragmental diagrammatic side elevational view of the lower portion of one of the container bodies shown in FIGURES 8-10, on an enlarged scale;
FIGURE 13 is a diagrammatic perspective View better illustrating the principal components of my center load container car as well as the manner of securing the container bodies thereof in position on the railroad car;
FIGURE 13a is a diagrammatic representation of a kingpin locking device that may be employed on the railway car of FIGURE 13, shown partially in section;
FIGURE 14 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating a method by which my center load container car may be loaded by hand in a manner that makes it compatible with the loading operations for standard boxcars;
FIGURE 15 is a perspective view illustrating diagrammatically suggested yard facilities for use in practicin my present invention;
FIGURE 15a is a diagrammatic front elevational view of the fork lift truck shown in FIGURE 15, illustrating the principal lifting components thereof;
FIGURE 15b is a side elevational view of the structure shown in FIGURE 15a;
FIGURE 16 is a diagrammatic plan view of a freight forwarding house as modified in accordance with my invention and as associated with yard facilities similar to those shown in FIGURE 15;
FIGURE 17 is a fragmental perspective view on an enlarged scale illustrating a modified form of weather shed assembly for use on my center load container car;
FIGURE 17a is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view approximately along line 17a17a of FIGURE 17;
FIGURE 18 is a fragmental cross-sectional view along line 1818 of FIGURE 17;
FIGURE 19 is a fragmental cross-sectional view along line 19-19 of FIGURE 17;
FIGURE 20 is a sectional view through a corner post of one weather shed structure in accordance with my invention together with an adjacent corner of a container mounted adjacent the weather shed structure;
FIGURE 21 is similar to FIGURE 20 but illustrating a modified arrangement;
FIGURE 22 is an end elevational view of the railway car shown in FIGURE 13 without the containers applied thereto, illustrating the relationship of the car to the clearance line specified by AAR for, for instance, a 75 foot fiatcar;
FIGURE 23 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the application of my invention to mail service;
FIGURE 24 is a diagrammatic perspective view illustrating the application of my invention to the transportation of perishable goods;
FIGURE 25 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view along line 25-25 of FIGURE 24; and
FIGURE 26 is a diagrammatic perspective view, illustrating the application of the principles of my invention to passenger transportation.
It should be understood that the specific disclosure which follows is for the purpose of complying with Section 112 of Title 35 of the US. Code, and that the appended claims should be construed as broadly as the prior art will permit consistent with the disclosure herein made.
General Description Referring first to FIGURES 1 and 2, and as described in said copending application, the shipping yard facilities Y 4 provided for placing the system of the said copending application in operation may include a single track upon which a number of flatcars or other special cars are positioned in coupled relation, these cars being generally designated 30 in FIGURE 1.
At the end of the track is a ramp 32; interconnecting the cars are retractable sills generally designated 34.
Each of the cars 36 is essentially a flatcar, so that a truck or semi-trailer may be moved across its deck; but the cars may be, in some instances, modified gondola cars, flatcars with a special type of side frame, or other special cars particularly suited for their intended usage. Every car which is to be used for piggyback service is provided with a fifth wheel stand generally designated 36, and this is used to support the fifth wheel pin of the semi-trailer.
Conventional practice is for the truck tractor with its semi-trailer to back up the ramp 32, and from car to car over the sills 34 to the last car in the series, whereupon the truck tractor is disconnected in the usual manner, allowing the front of the semi-trailer to rest upon its landing wheels 38, after which the truck tractor is driven off the cars, and the front of the semi-trailer is picked up by the fifth wheel stand 36 to support the front end of the trailer during travel of the railway car.
In order to make the cars 30 alternatively usable with the novel system of said copending application, retractable shelves or load supports are provided at the rear of each car on opposite sides thereof, these being generally designated 40. Similar retractable supports 42 are provided near the front end of the cars, and both front and rear supports 42 and 40, when in their retracted positions, permit piggyback operation in a conventional manner.
The preferred special type of semi-trailer used in the improved system of said application combines a freight or load container 46 mounted upon a special trailer chassis 44 (FIGURE 2). The container body 46 is a completely rigid structure, and does not require the trailer chassis 44 to enable it to be supported at opposite sides of its rear end and opposite sides of its front end, or at the center of the front end. The trailer chassis 44 is preferably supported on its wheeled axles by air springs 48, for reasons which will be later explained.
The truck tractor for the semi-trailer 44 and 46 just described is preferably provided with a conventional hydraulic mechanism or the like for changing the elevation of the fifth wheel with respect to the ground, as this is a considerable convenience in the use of the equipment in the system of said copending application.
When the special trailer of said system is to be transferred to a railway car, the trailer is backed onto the cars 30, using the motive power of the coupled truck tractor in exactly the same manner as in the piggyback system, with the front and rear supports 42 and 40 of the cars, through which the unit must pass in reaching the car for loading, being retracted to permit free transit. The car which is to be loaded has its rear supports in operative position; that is, in horizontal position (see FIGURE 2); and, as the trailer is backed onto this car, guide members or brackets 51 (see FIGURE 2) on opposite sides of the rear end of the trailer container coact with the near supports 40 to center the rear of the trailer over the car end and place the rear end of the trailer on these supports. The trailer is moved back on these supports a sufficient distance so that the front end of the trailer clears the front supports 42, after which the front supports are moved to their operative horizontal position, the lift mechanism for the fifth wheel plate of the tractor is raised, and the trailer is moved forward by the tractor until the front end of the trailer body or container is located above the front supports 42. The rear supports ane of sufficient length longitudinally of the car so that the forward movement of the trailer over the front supports 42 will not disengage the rear supports '40 from the rear end of the trailer. Thereupon, the fifth wheel plate of the tractor is lowered to permit the trailer body to rest upon the front supports 42, and simultaneously, or subsequently, the air is let out of the air springs 48 in order to have the rear support 40 support the load of the trailer body.
The lowering of the fifth wheel plate of the tractor and the removal of air from the air spring system enables the trailer chassis 44 after the release of suitable locking mechanism, to be pulled out from beneath the container 46, and the truck and trailer may be driven off the car and used for other service.
The container 46 is provided with a kingpin 53 that is properly located with respect to the fifth wheel stand 36 on the railway car, and the latter is raised into engagement with the kingpin and beyond, so that the front end of the trailer body is then supported on the fifth wheel stand 36 rather than upon the front supports 42.
For unloading, a reverse sequence of steps is followed.
Some railroads, because of their established practices and facilities, may prefer to employ lift truck side loading of the containers rather than end loading, and the system of said copending application adapts itself to this type of loading.
In the first place, a railway car 30 equipped with front and rear supports 42 and 40, or even with intermediate supports 52 (see FIGURE 2), may be used with conventional containers that may be transferred to the railway car from a highway vehicle by lift trucks, such as indicated at 54 in FIGURE 3, with the containers being placed on the floor of the car with the front and rear supports in their inoperative positions. In other words, equipping a railway car with the devices which We employ for end loading of semi-trailer and pick-up truck loads will not interfere in any way with presently used container systems.
In addition, the freight containers which we employ may be provided with slots 55 (see FIGURES and 6) to receive the fork 56 of the lift truck, and these specially adapted freight containers 57 may then be lifted onto the front, intermediate, and rear supports, and carried in transit on these supports in the manner previously described.
The adjacent ends of the containers 57 are then secured together on each side thereof by a plate 58, or similar connecting member, whereupon the fifth wheel stand 36 is raised to engage the kingpin provided on the front container 57, so that the cushioning mechanism in the stand 36 provides the required cushioning against buff and draft forces while the adjacent ends of the containers 57 ride on the intermediate supports 52 and the rear of the rear container 57 rides on the rear supports 40. Of course, the cushioning mechanism may be provided in the rear supports, in which case the fifth wheel stand, some part thereof, or the kingpin itself, would be mounted in slots for full fore and aft movement.
The crane method of handling containers in accordance with the system of said copending application is illustrated in FIGURE 7. For such loading, the freight containers 59 must be built so that they will not collapse when lifted by a crane, such as that indicated at 61; and the freight container 59 is provided with lift hooks 65 at its four corners. The freight container is lifted onto the front and rear supports 42 and 40, respectively, and thereafter the fifth wheel stand 36 is raised to provide the desired fore and aft cushioning movement. The rear end of the freight container 59 is provided with a suitable bracket, such as that shown in FIGURE 48 of the said copending application, to engage the underside of the rear supports 40 and thereby lock the container against vertical movement.
Referring now to FIGURE 13, which illustrates freight containers comparable in design to those described immediately above, my center load container car 60 includes a cushion underframe flatcar 62 adapted to carry a pair of spaced apart containers 64 and 66;each of which is provided with door means 68 at its rear end. The containers 64 and 66 each rest on a kingpin latching device 70 that grasps the kingpin 72 of the cont-ainer and a pedestal structure 74 fixed to the weather shed structure 78 that is interposed between and edcloses the space separating the containers 64 and 66.
The weather shed structure is formed with door means 80 at each side of the railroad car and an opening 82 facing each end of the railway car.
The king-pin latching devices 70* and the weather shed structure to which the pedestal structure 74 may be fixed; are bolted to the railway car 62 so that they may be removed when it is desired to use the car 62 as a fl-atcar. The containers 64 and 66 may be brought to the yard facilities of the railroad, which :are diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE 15, and deposited on container rests 84 and 86. Container rests 84 are spaced apait pillars or stanchions of the type described in said co pending application and are adapted to receive a con tainer 64 when vertically separated from a chassis in the manner described in said copending application.
Container rests 86 may merely com-prise spaced railway ties 00 or similar structures positioned on the ground, onto which the container is lifted by an appro-' priate form of fork lift truck 92. The illustrated containers may be formed with perforations or slots 94 to receive the forks of the container where the container design requires this; they may also be provided with lift hooks 95 at their corners for crane lift operations.
The fork lift truck 92 is preferably of the side moving type (see FIGURES 15a and 15b) and lifts the containers from the rests 84 or 86 and moves them into engagement with the railway car in the manner illustrated in FIG URE 13. The truck 92 thus brings the containers up to the side of the railway car and over the kingpin latch ing device 70 and the pedestal structure 74; the truck then =lowers the container body sufficiently so that its kingpin 72 will be aligned with the latching mechanism of device 70. The sidewise movement of the fork lift truck 92 is then actuated to bring the kingpin 72 into engagement with the latching mechanism of the device 70 and to draw the rear end of the container into the opening of weather shed structure 78 to substantially the positions suggested by FIGURES 20 and 21. The guide members or brackets 51 are also positioned under lugs or blocks 49 fixed to the shed 78 to hold the con= tainer against vertical displacement. Both the containers 64 and 66 may be loaded in this manner either when fully loaded or empty.
The container bodies may also be loaded when resting on the railway car in the manner suggested in FIGURE 14 wherein conventional removable ramps are shown" positioned between loading dock 102 and the car 62 as well as several boxcars 104 on adjacent track; The worker with a loaded conventional hand truck 106 may push the material being loaded onto the bed of car 62 after which a man inside a container 66" may unload the hand truck 106 and move the material to the rear of the container in a conventional manner. The bed 63" of car 62 is preferably of the same elevation as the' bedsof standard boxcars 104 so that the hand truck 106 may be pushed through the weather shed' structure ofcar 62 into and through the side doors of the boxcars 104.
Specific Description The railway car 62 may be any conventionalty'pe fiatcar, but preferably is of the cushioned under-frame type. Preferably, bed 63 is formed to permit the formation of suitable holes for receiving bolts of the like that are provided to detachably secure the components; 70 and 78 in place on the car.
The kingpin latching device 70 maybe any coiiveri tional fifth wheel lower plate structure, and i's'prefeiably secured in place by appropriate bolts 110 received in 7 appropriately positioned holes 112. As indicated in FIGURE 13, several sets of holes 112 may be provided for accommodating containers 64 and 66 of different lengths.
The components of device 70 may be of any suitable type, FIGURE 13a being provided merely for completeness of disclosure. In the showing of FIGURE 13a, reference numeral 300 indicates a housing formed with the customary kingpin guiding notch 302 and carrying notched wheel 304, which is mounted for rotation about center 306 and is formed with a slot 308 proportioned to receive a slide pin 310 pivotally attached to handle 312 as at 313, handle 312 being pivoted to housing 302 as at 314. When the kingpin latch device is to be used, the wheel 304 is positioned so that the container kingpin will be received in its notch 316, further movement of the container toward the rear of the device 70 turning the wheel 304 to its locking position whereupon pin 310 may be inserted in wheel slot 308 to hold the kingpin against withdraw-a1. When release is desired, handle 312 is pivoted in the direction of the arrow of FIGURE 13:: to withdraw pin 310 from wheel slot 308, and truck 92 may be actuated to withdraw the kingpin from the latching device 70. Handle 312 may be secured against pivotal movement in any suitable manner, as by tension spring 317 or equivalent structures or by a positive latch. A suitable latch may also be employed to hold the handle 312 in the unlocked position. In the specific showing of FIGURE 13a, slide pin 310 is guided in its movement by being received through a guiding perforation 319 formed in housing 300.
The weather shed structure 78 in the embodiment of FIGURE 13 comprises four posts 114 joined together at the top of the shed by the roof structure 116 and across the bed of the fiatcar by suitable beams 118. The pedestal structures 74 may be fixed in any suitable manner to the respective beams 118, as may lugs or blocks 49.
Each post 114 has secured rat the lower end thereof in any suitable manner, as for instance by welding, a bracket 120 (see FIGURES 20 and 21) formed with appropriate bolt holes to receive bolts 122 that are received in appropriate holes formed in the bed 63 of car 62. Each post 114 is provided with a resilient tubular weather seal 124 secured thereto in any suitable manner, the weather seals on each side of the respective openings 80 being positioned to receive either a corner 126 of the container or a corner 128 of the container door structure (compare FIGURES 20 and 21). Suitable seals of a similar type may be applied to the beams 118 and the roof structure 116, where indicated at 125 in FIGURE 17.
The weather shed structure 78 of FIGURE 13 is prefera'bly floorless so that the car bed 63 in the area of the weather shed is exposed and may be used in the manner indicated in FIGURE 14.
The containers 64 and 66 may be formed in a conventional manner though preferably they are made adaptable for use in the system described in said copending application and include the structural features suggested by FIG- URE 12. Preferably, the containers include the king-pin 72 at their front ends and are of the rear loading type as indicated in FIGURE 13.
Door means 68 of the containers may be of the type suggested in FIGURES 20 and 21; FIGURE 20 illustrates a conventional hinge structure 130 supporting a door 132, which moves between the closed and opened positions indicated in FIGURE 20. In this embodiment of the invention, the container must be positioned Well within the openings 80 so that the doors 1 32 will clear the posts 114 when they are swung to the open position.
In the showing of FIGURE 21, the hinges 134 comprise a special leaf 136 that is formed as indicated in the drawing to accommodate the post 114. The spacing of posts 114 will depend on which type of hinge is used. The doors 132 may be provided with a conventional seal 138 for 8. sealing engagement with post 140 of the container structure.
The embodiment of FIGURE 21 may include a cargo shield 137 that is hinged to post 114 as at 139 to protect freight carried in the weather shed structure from being damaged during transit by the protruding hinges 134. The shield 137 may be swung to the dashed line position when the weather shed structure is being loaded or unloaded.
The weather shed 78 is preferably provided with a roller door 144 on each side thereof which may be of any conventional design and which slides in suitable channels 146 fixed to the posts 114 on each side of the doorways of the shed. The individual doors 144 are preferably biased in a conventional manner to roll up in compartments 148 formed in the roof structure 116 when access to the shed '78 is desired. The doors 144 when closed preferably extend all the way down to the bed 63 and are locked in place in any suitable manner, the arrangement of FIGURE 20 being provided only for completeness of disclosure. As shown in FIGURE 20, the floor engaging end of the door 144 may carry a perforated lug 330, the perforation of which is aligned with the perforation of lug 332 carried by the adjacent channel 146, when the door 144 is in its lowermost position to receive the longer length 333 of angle shaped pin 334. The shorter length 336 may be swung up into engagement with resilient arm 338, fixed, for instance, to the post 114 in any suitable manner, to hold the pin 334 in place during transit. When pin 334 is removed, the springs acting on doors 144 will raise it in the conventional manner. The latching arrangement on the other side of the door is the same so specific illustration thereof is believed unnecessary.
FIGURE 17 illustrates the modified shed 150, that is generally similar to shed 7-8, which is provided with a floor 152 fixed in any suitable manner between beams 118. The floor 152 is made level with the floors of containers 64 and 66, and a ramp 154 of any suitable design is pivoted as by hinges 156 at the bottom of each doorway so that hand trucks and the like may be pushed up into the shed. In the specific embodiment of FIGURE 17, the ramps 154 are respectively hinged adjacent the floor level of the shed in the manner diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE 19 on top of beam 157 that is fixed across the lower portion of the doorway of shed 150 in which roller door 144a operated. The roller door 144a has a sealing element 160 secured to the lower end thereof which engages over the end 162 of the ramp in the manner suggested by FIGURE 19. The ramp and door 144a may be locked in any suitable manner in the positions shown in FIGURE 17 to close off the weather shed 50, latching components 330, 332 and 338 on each side of the door being illustrated as attached to the element 160 and the channel member 146, respectively, and pin 334 being swung downwardly into locking position (see FIGURE 19) instead of upwardly, as in the showing of FIGURE 20.
Roller door 144a may include sealing element 161 which slides in channel 146 of post 114 in the embodiment of FIGURE 17 (see FIGURE 18).
As indicated in FIGURES 20 and 21, the posts 114 are each preferably provided with wood strips 165 secured thereto where indicated to serve as nailing strips to permit the open ends of the weather shed to be closed with plywood nailed to these strips where it is known that one of the containers is to be dropped off of the car at some intermediate point along the route that the car is to take. Thus, either one or both sides of the shed structure may be sealed off from the containers where it is known that one or both of the containers are to be removed prior to tllfle time that access is required to the shed structure itse- Fork lift truck 92 may be of any type that accomplishes the objects of the invention, FIGURES 15a and 15b being provided only for completeness of disclosure. The truck 92 is shown as carrying at its front end a pair of spaced opposed channels 350 in which rides a beam 352 that carries the fork members 354 and is raised and lowered by hydraulic mechanism 356. The fork members 354 are fixed to separate member 358 which is slidably mounted on s'lide structure 359 of beam 352 in the manner suggested by FIGURE b, member 358 being moved longitudinally of beam 352 by hydraulic mechanism 360. Mechanisms 356 and 360 may be actuated in any suitable manner to provide the fork lifting and sidewise movement desired.
FIGURE 22 illustrates the relationship between the side configuration of car 62 with regard to the AAR standard clearance line for railroad cars of the type illustrated. It will be seen that the improved railway car adequately conforms to this AAR standard; it may be mentioned, however, that the shed structures for longer cars should be correspondingly narrower.
Studies have shown that the optimum arrangement for railway cars of the type shown in FIGURE 13 contemplates the use of two 24 foot containers on a 60 foot fiatcar. The shed structure measures approximately 10 feet in length and width and the containers are approximately 8 feet Wide. The approximate cost per cubic foot of storage space of providing our improved equipment in these dimensions is roughly five dollars.
Other arrangements that merit consideration are two 32 foot containers on a 75 foot flatcar and two 35 foot containers on an 80 foot flatcar, with 10 foot shed structures between the two.
Utility and Advantages of Invention In order to properly understand the utility of the present invention, it is necessary to appreciate some of the problems which arise in railway freight handling. It is easy enough to ship freight in carload lots from any one rail terminal to another, and, particularly, when done by using the transportation system and apparatus disclosed in said copending application, but problems do arise with less than carload lot (l.c.l.) shipments.
The difficulty arises from the fact that portions of the carload in moving from, say, New York to Chicago, may have to be dropped off at intermediate points and other freight picked up at these intermediate points; or, even if the entire carload goes to Chicago, it may be necessary to transfer at Chicago, at least portions of the freight from the car to other freight conveyances, such as another railway car or a motor truck. Obviously, this complex handling of freight in conventional boxcars is time-consuming and costly.
In the present invention, the problem is greatly simplified by aving the two l.c.l. containers removably mounted on the flatcar so that these containers may, if desired, be handled as units, shifting them from one railway car to another, or for pickup by a motor truck vehicle with the center weather shed area being used for l.c.l. shipments to and from intermediate points.
To illustrate, let us assume that a train comes into Chicago from New York with cars A, B and C of the type embodying the principles of my present invention. Car A has a container loaded with freight for Denver and a container loaded with freight for Los Angeles, car B has a container loaded with freight for Dallas and the other container is loaded with shipments to the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, and car C has the entire car made up of shipments to within a ZOO-mile radius of Chicago. When these cars get to Chicago, it is necessary to separate these various loads for transfer to their ultimate destinations, either by further rail shipment, piggyback shipment, container shipment, or truck delivery.
At the same time, in Chicago there are incoming loads of freight some of which maybe destined for Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, etc., and these various loads must be shifted around for the most economical transportation, the least possible use of labor, and in the shortest period of time. By using the center load container car of this invention for cars A, B and C, the following can be accomplished:
A lift truck of the type herein disclosed can take 01f the Denver container from car A, put it on container rests 84 or 86, pick up another Los Angeles container and place it on car A in place of the Denver container, so that car A is now complete for shipment to Los Angeles. At the last minute, the weather shed area of car A can be loaded with additional 1.c.l. freight for shipment either to Los Angeles or to intermediate points. This is a very convenient way to get l.c.l. shipments to intermediate points, because the seals on the containers themselves do not have to be broken; and by keeping the two main Los Angeles containers intact for the entire distance, there is no danger of any of that load being dropped olf at the wrong point, nor is there any danger of pilferage.
As for car B, the container which has the Fort Wayne shipments may be taken off by lift truck or crane and placed on a highway chassis 44 for highway travel, or for piggyback transfer on another railway car. The Fort Wayne container originally on car B is then replaced by another container which has been loaded with Dallas freight at the Chicago terminal, or delivered there already loaded with Dallas freight, and, of course, it is possible that this container will also contain shipments to intermediate points. In any event, the original Dallas container coming from New York does not have to be opened and may be delivered with seal intact to Dallas.
As for car C, which is made up of shipments to within a IZOD-mile radius of Chicago, it could be moved to a freight forwarding house, for instance, of the type shown in FIGURE 16, where the car can be unloaded in the same manner as any conventional boxcar, with the freight being separated in the forwarding house to the various destinations for pickup by truckers in the conventional manner, and then again car C can be reloaded in the forwarding house as any boxcar would be reloaded.
The above merely illustrates some of the versatility of the center load container car disclosed in this application and its adaptability to present freight handling methods and equipment.
It should be apparent that one of the great economies of m system herein described is that it contemplates the use of containers having end doors. This makes the improved system fully compatible with trucking operations since trailers are customarily loaded through doors at the rear end thereof. The rear end doors of the illustrated containers with their wide access are utilized in the loading of the containers while they are on the improved center load container car, with the consequent ease of maneuver-ability, etc. Furthermore, the use of end doors and containers of the type illustrated eliminates the heavy reinforcement required in containers where side doors are used; side doors if employed in such containers would be located at the point where the lift truck must lift the container which means that the container structure must be suitably reinforced to make up for the design weaknesses implicit in the side door construction. Side doors are therefore kept to a minimum in size with consequent limited access to the container; all this is eliminated in practicing the principles of my invention.
Where conventional containers employing the side doors are used on standard flatcars the floor level of the containers is necessarily nine to fifteen inches above the level of the loading docks, which necessarily makes loading by hand operated or lift trucks very difiicult. By contrast, the floor of the weather shed area of the preferred embodiment of my improved car is level with the loading dock so that hand and lift trucks can be easily driven into the Weather shed area and the loads transferred into containers. It may be also pointed out that the use of side doors alone on containers such as those shown in FIG- URE 13 would prohibit loading other cars on adjacent track through the container car as suggested by the showing of FIGURE 14.
Where the embodiment of FIGURE 14 is employed, the loading of, for instance, boxcars on adjacent track, can all be done on a level run.
A further understanding of the utility of my present invention can be obtained from a consideration of FIG- URE 16, which illustrates a freight forwarding house 2% adapted for application of the principles of my invention. The freight forwarding house 200 may be arranged essentially in a conventional manner, and ordinarily includes a loading dock 202 surrounding a central area 264 into which several tracks 206 extend for the purpose of positioning the railroad cars generally indicated at 208 in readiness for loading and unloading. A conveyor of a conventional type (not shown) ordinarily operates around the area 204 to carry shipments about the freight house, and workmen standing adjacent the respective cars take the shipments oif the conveyor that are to go into a particular car. Each car is assigned a particular destination and the goods on the conveyor might come from one of the other cars which has been moved into the area 204 loaded or it might come from a plurality of trailers 210 parked adjacent the dock 202. It is assumed that the trailers 210 bring shipments to the freight house 200 from the surrounding area that are to be loaded .into cars 208 for shipment to distant points. Trailers 21% may also pick up shipments that are brought into the forwarding house by cars 20%.
The trailers 210 are assumed to be of the conventional semi-trailer type, one trailer 2110 being shown in the process of moving into unloading position under the guidance of a conventional truck tractor 212.
In accordance with my invention, the freight forwarding house 200 may be provided with a gantry crane 214, including bridge 216 riding on rails 218, said bridge carrying a suitable hoist mounted on a trolley 220 that moves back and forth on suitable rails carried by the bridge 216. The crane 214 may be employed to facilitate handling the improved center load container cars indicated at 62 that are positioned in the area 264, as by lifting the individual containers 64 or 66 to other cars 62 and thereby avoiding the necessity of having to unload and re-load the special containers in order to have the goods being shipped on a correct railroad car.
A indicated at the upper portion of FIGURE 16, an interchange track 230 is positioned adjacent yard area 232 whch is provided with a suitable number of container rest devices 84. The rest devices 84 are essentially the same as shown in FIGURE 15 and form a part of the system described in said copending application. In addition, an appropriate number of the container rest devices '84 may be applied along one side of the loading dock 202 as indicated in FIGURE 16.
Railroad cars 62 of the improved type are backed into track 230 of approximately the position shown in FIG- URE 16. The fork lift truck 92 moves the containers 66 and 64 between the respective railroad cars and sets of container rests 84. The cars 62 when brought onto the track 230 may all carry containers arriving at the freight forwarding house for distributing the freight therein to the neighboring locality. Such containers will be removed from the cars and placed on the respective sets of container rests 84 that are disposed along the track 2 30. These containers would then be positioned to receive a chassis 44 of the type described in said copending application, as diagrammatically indicated at 234, and the individual containers when once applied to such chassis would then be moved to their final destination.
Containers 64 and 66 that have been loaded in the neighboring locality may be brought to the container rest devices 84 for application to cars 62 by the truck 92 without having to move the shipment contained by the particular container through the freight forwarding house.
The container rests 84 along the side 236 of the load- 12 ing dock may be employed to hold containers 64 and 66' for loading and unloading freight through the freight forwarding house. As indicated in FIGURE 16, the brackets of the respective sets of the container rests 84 may be lifted to inoperative position to accommodate conventional trailers 210 where this is desirable.
It will thus be seen that I have provided a container system that takes care of freight shipments from the very practical standpoint of providing containers that may be used both for highway and railway transportation; the significance of this lies in the fact that l.c.l. containers are conventionally moved as containers only on the order of 25 percent of the time they are in use, they being kept on a flatcar or the like and loaded or unloaded as a boxcar the rest of the time, or stand unused an appreciable amount. Moreover, my containers greatly facilitate the handling of l.c.l. shipments regardless of the use to which the container is put.
It will also "be seen that the addition of the weather shed structure to my improved container car provides a freight handling system that is especially adapted for accommodating relatively small loads. Furthermore, smaller loads may be expedited from the standpoint of time since the shed structure of an individual car can be filled at the last minute with a rush shipment where it is desired to have the shipment go out at an early pull. Moreover, small shipments to intermediate points along the route that car 62 is to take may be carried in the weather shed area and unloaded at such intermediate points without having to break the seal on the containers themselves.
Further Applications of Invention My invention is capable of application to a wide range of activities in the railroad industry and is not limited to the specific freight handling functions shown in the drawings. For instance, one type of railroad car in accordance with my invention is one similar to mail car 66a of FIGURE 23 and employing containers 64a and 66a together with shed 78a, wherein the containers are arranged to handle mail while the shed structure houses the lavatory, heating and air conditioning facilities of the car; in such an arrangement, the shed structure is closed in at the sides of the car except for conventional swinging access doors '400 and any window structures 402 that may be necessary. The containers 64a and 66a include suitable end doors, for instance, of the overhead type, and are adapted for transportation on a chassis 44 in the same manner that containers 64 and 66 are.
In a second type of arrangement, structures similar to car 606, containers 646 and 666 and shed 786 of FIG- URE 24 are employed, with the containers being suitably insulated to serve as containers for perishable goods and the shed structure carrying the necessary refrigerating equipment, for instance, in space 410 of the weather shed structure, it likewise being appropriately insulated and closed off to facilitate refrigeration. Suitable insulated swinging doors 412 may be employed at the sides of the weather shed structure 786.
In yet a further type of arrangement, structures similar to car 602, containers 642 and 662, and shed 782 of FIGURE 26 are employed with the containers being arranged and furnished to accommodate passengers, and the shed 782 housing lavatory, heating and air conditioning facilities as vwell as providing suitable access doors 416 on both sides of the car in place of rolling doors 144 for entering and leaving the car. Containers 642 and 662 are adapted for removal, in the manner described above, to bus chassis 418 for highway use, passengers then entering and leaving the containers through doors 420 and 422 of the bus cab. The containers 642 and 662 may be made fast to the car bed 622 or the bus chassis 418 in the same manner as described above, or in any other suitable manner, perforations 94 adapting the containers for cooperation with a fork lift truck 92.
In all three types of arrangements mentioned immedi-