Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3140783 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 14, 1964
Filing dateOct 4, 1960
Priority dateOct 4, 1960
Publication numberUS 3140783 A, US 3140783A, US-A-3140783, US3140783 A, US3140783A
InventorsDavis Jr Robert E, Gross Wyane B, Kretzmer Jr Minor G
Original AssigneeGilbert Co A C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Truck and releasable coupler for miniature trains
US 3140783 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 14, 1964 M. G. KRETZMER, JR.. ETAL 3,140,733

TRUCK AND RELEASABLE COUPLER FOR MINIATURE TRAINS Filed Oct. 4, 1960 2 SheetsSheet l INVENIORj 306021: 9m, 64.. "IW' 5 6 wag rte 3. 84.064

BY ATTORNEY July 14, 1964 M. G. KRETZMER, JR., ETAL TRUCK AND RELEASABLE COUPLER FOR MINIATURE TRAINS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed 00*0.

INVENTORS ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,140,783 TRUCK AND RELEASABLE COUPLER FOR MINIATURE TRAINS Minor G. Kretzmer, In, Middle Haddarn, Robert E. Davis, Jr., Wallingford, and Wayne B. Gross, Cheshire, Conn, assignors to The A. C. Gilbert Company, New

Haven, Conn., a corporation of Maryland Filed Oct. 4, 1960, Ser. No. 60,515

20 Claims. (Cl. 21375) This invention relates to Wheeled railway trucks and couplers especially suited to flexible hauling connection between units of rolling stock in toy or model railroads and particularly trucks and couplers of a kind adapted to become uncoupled mechanically and automatically as the rolling stock arrives at or passes some predetermined point along the track.

In this art as heretofore developed the tendency has been in toy and model railroading to construct miniature car couplings with a view to their having an appearance resembling as closely as possible the appearance of knuckle couplers familiar in real railroading practice. Such couplers perform uncoupling by means of a separating swing of interlocking knuckles each turning about a hinge axis that is usually located at the meeting ends of elongate drawbars extending respectively from the wheeled trucks of two cars that are to be coupled together. This heretofore has necessitated the provision of very tiny parts made to imitate in miniature a conventional coupler knuckle and its associated parts, usually including one or more extraneous springs.

It is an object of the present invention to do away with the complexity and multiplicity of relatively movable mechanical parts which characterize the conventional knuckle coupler Without substantial departure from the desirable preservation of its characteristic appearance in miniature size.

A further object is to provide a coupler with a longitudinally split drawbar whose shank includes laterally spreadable arms and a laterally spreadable head comprising relatively movable head sections, at least one of which head sections carries a hook formation to interlock with a like coupler head as to the knuckles in conventional knuckle couplers, and the other of which head sections carries a tongue formation that assists in guiding the hook formations of the mating coupler heads into automatic interlocking engagement and at least one of which head sections is laterally recedable from the other.

A further object is to simplify the construction of coupler drawbars by molding the coupler head and the spread able arms of the drawbar shank as a single body of a resilient plastic material that is integral with the framework of the truck of the car.

A further object is to provide means to limit positively the extent of lateral separating movement of the hook formation and guide tongue formation of a single coupler head preferably by means of stops interengagingly carried respectively by the shank arms.

A further object is to form all portions of the truck framework, including its side bars which afford bearings for the wheel axles, as an integral, one-piece body of molded plastic having a shape and degree of resilience that enables the terminals of the side bars to be sprung apart to admit thereat the ends of the wheel axle into their bearings, and then automatically restore themselves to their original spacing for holding the wheels assembled to the truck.

A further object is to avail of the resilient property of the molded plastic resilient truck body to simplify pivotal connection of the truck to the car body whereby the truck can be snapped into and out of pivotal con- 3,140,783 Patented July 14, 1964 nection to the car without the usual employment of screws, eyelets or other separate fastening parts.

The foregoing and related objectives of the present improvements will be clear in greater detail from the following description of a successful embodiment of the principles of the invention, such description having reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of fragments of miniature railroad rolling stock riding on a toy or model railroad track with haulage connection between the cars in the form of coupling means releasable by means of an uncoupling ramp stationed on the track bed.

FIG. 2 is an elevation of the parts shown in FIG. 1 taken partially in section on the planes 2--2 in FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view showing the couplers in process of being engaged or disengaged.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of the engaging hook formations on the couplers.

FIG. 5 is a view taken in section on the plane 5-5 in FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 6 is a view taken in section on the plane 6--6 in FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of one car truck and coupler.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view looking downward on the integral truck and coupler detached from associated parts.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of the truck unit inverted and with the truck wheels assembled in place.

In FIGS. 1, 2 and 6, parts of the body of a miniature railroad vehicle, such as a car or locomotive of a toy or model train, are designated 12 and pivotally supported on truck 13 whose wheels 14 ride on track rails 15 that are connected by the usual ties or sleepers 15. Two such trucks are shown with draft connection whereby either car can haul the other. For this purpose the draft connection includes couplers comprising a spreadable coupler head 20 at the free end of a drawbar shank that is split longitudinally to provide the separate side-by-side arms 22 and 23 which characterize the present improvements.

The arms 22 and 23, as is the entire framework of the truck shown in FIG. 8, are parts of an integral body of molded plastic material having such resilient properties that the lateral thinness of each arm makes each arm so limber or flexible that the sections of the spreadable coupler head 20 are easily separable laterally so that each can recede from the other to an extent that is positively limited by engagement of a stop lug 24 on the arm 22 with a like stop lug 25 on the arm 23. The stop lugs 24 and 25 herein illustrated are L-shaped so as to interengage at their respective terminals and further of such disposition that such terminals are slightly spaced when the arms 22 and 23 are normally flexed to a head closing position as shown in FIGS. 1, 7 and 8.

Arm 22 carries and is integral with a terminal hook formation 30 laterally spaced from a terminal guide tongue formation 31 that is carried by and integral with the free end of arm 23. Each of arms 22 and 23 stems from and is integral with a horizontal bolster plate 32 connected by cross beam sections 33 to the side bars 34, all of which are integral portions of the single-piece framework of the truck.

The bolster plate 32 and cross beam sections 22 are completely split through at 35 in a manner to afford ability of the thus divided halves of the bolster plate and cross beam to spring apart sufficiently within their elastic limit to enable the bolster plate to snap over the head 36 of a pivotal stud that fixedly depends from the vehicle body 13. The bearing hole 38 in bolster plate 32 is normally a little smaller than the maximum girth of stud head 36. Stud 37 is long enough to provide free rotary movement between a circular bead 39 on the vehicle body v.3 12 and a mating circular bead 40 on the bolster plate 32. Thus the wheeled truck as a whole can easily swivel about the vertical axis of stud 37 relatively to the vehicle body.

The side bars 34 of the truck contain bearing holes 46 in the form of dead-ended sockets in which the ends of the wheel axles 47 are journaled. Each side bar is willciently thin in cross section to make it so limber that the corresponding ends of opposite side bars which contain bearing holes 46 can spring apart far enough to admit the wheel axle 47 to the bearing holes without exceeding the elastic limit of the resilient plastic material of the side arm. After the axle is assembled in place the side arms automatically restore themselves to their original nonnal spacing and thus hold the axle 47 which has the wheels 14 fixed thereon in their bearings.

Depending from each hooked section 30 of each coupler head there is an uncoupling pin 59 spaced laterally from the longitudinal center line of the drawbar shank 21. On the track bed between rails 15 there is stationed a laterally convex ramp 51 preferably of insulative material whose tapering ends are centrally located and whose maximum width is greater than the space between the uncoupling pins when traveling with the toy train in their normal relative positions shown in FIG. 1. Thus as the couplers ride along the track into engagement with ramp 51 pins 56 are forced laterally apart as shown in FIG. 3 a sufiicient distance to bring about the uncoupling action of hook formations 30 as is shown to be taking place in that figure of the drawings. Upon being brought together again by the approach of two cars in the absence of ramp 51, the convex camming surfaces of the hook formations 30 will cause a sufiicient spreading of the coupling head sections, as permitted by the limberness of arms 22 and 23, to pass through their position shown in FIG. 3 and into the interlocking relationship shown in FIG. 1.

In the relationship of interengaging shapes shown in FIG. 1 it will be found that no angular diversity of lengthwise alignment of the two coupled together trucks, as occasioned for instance in merely traveling on curved track, can produce uncoupling of the hook formations because no force will be present to cause the coupling head sections to spread to the extent they are spread in FIG. 3. This is occasioned only by encountering the uncoupling ramp 51. At all other times the hook formations cling reliably together.

Attention is called to an additional feature of the uncoupling ramp wherein its top surface 52 is upwardly convex to act as does ramp designated 63 upon a different style of coupler designated 66 as disclosed in FIG. 1 of United States Patent No. 2,738,080.

Since the distinctive characteristics of the present improvements have now been pointed out, it is the intent of the following claims to cover all variations of the herein disclosed structural features which incorporate those characteristics within a broad interpretation of the language of the claims.

What is claimed is: V

l. A truck and releasable coupler for model railroad rolling stock comprising in combination with a wheeled truck frame adapted to underlie and pivotally support the rolling stock, a drawbar formed by separate extensions of the material of said truck frame respectively forming laterally divergible arms stemming from said frame and spaced apart laterally substantially throughout their lengths from said truck frame to the free ends of said arms, and a coupler head comprising wholly spaced apart portions of said arms at the free ends thereof spreadable by the divergence of said arms to permit coupling and uncoupling of the rolling stock.

2. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which one of the said spreadable portions of the said arms comprises a laterally divergent spur-like guide tongue.

3. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which one of the said spreadable portions of the said arms comprises a hook formation, and the other of said spreadable arm portions comprises a guide tongue shaped and laterally spaced from said hook formation in a maner to form an open mouth receptive to a like hook formation on a mating coupler head.

4. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which the said truck frame includes a bolster plate to which each of the said arms of the said drawbar is fixedly and individually attached.

5. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which the said truck frame, the said drawbar and the said coupling head constitute a single one-piece molded plastic structure having sufficient resilience to permit within its elastic limit relative movement between the said arms of said drawbar and said truck frame.

6. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which at least one of the said arms is flexible and resilient, together with stops carried respectively by each of said arms shaped and positioned to interengage when said one of said arms is sprung away from the other a predetermined extent in a manner to oppose further divergence of said arms.

7. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 6, in which each of the said stops is of reentrant L-shape having a terminal disposed between that said drawbar arm by which it is carried and the corresponding terminal of the cooperative stop carried by the other arm of said drawbar.

8. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which at least one of the said arms of the said drawbar is sufficiently resilient in its length between the said truck frame and its said free end to permit the said uncoupling divergence of said arms to occur within the elastic limit of said resilient arm.

9. A releasable coupler as defined in claim 8, in which both of the said shank arms are laterally flexible and resilient for permitting divergent movement of each arm relatively to the other arm.

10. A releasable coupler as defined in claim 9, together with stops carried respectively by the said arms shaped and positioned to interengage when one of said arms is sprung away from the other arm in a manner to oppose further divergence of said arms.

11. A releasable coupler as defined in claim 9, together with an uncoupling pin carried by and fixedly depending from one of the said divergeable sections of the said coupling head.

12. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 1, in which one of the said wholly spaced apart free end portions of the said arms comprises a hook formation.

13. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 12, together with an uncoupling pin carried by and fixedly depending from one of the said spreadable portions of the said arms.

14. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 12, together with an uncoupling pin carried by and fixedly depending from the said hook formation.

15. A tiuck for miniature railway cars having a bolster plate of resilient material containing a pivotal mounting hole and a split extending in a direction to intersect said mounting hole, said split being of sufiicient extent to permit opposite sides of said hole to be sprung apart within the elastic limit of said bolster plate.

16. A truck as defined in claim 15, together with the body of a miniature railroad vehicle having a pivotal stud fixedly depending therefrom into a journaled engagement with the said hole in the said bolster plate, said stud having a head larger than the normal girth of said hole but sufficiently small to be forced therethrough by springing apart the opposite sides of said hole whereby to retain said bolster plate on said stud without extraneous fastening means.

17. A truck as defined in claim 15, in which the said truck frame includes side bars containing bearing holes for a wheel axle of the truck, said side bars being sufficiently flexible and resilient to permit their being spread apart within their elastic limit sufficiently to admit to said bearing holes the ends of said wheel axle and to cause said bars to spring back automatically into retaining en gagement with said axle.

18. A truck as defined in claim 15, in which the said truck frame includes spaced apart side bars containing rotary bearings for a wheel axle, said side bars being bridged by cross beam sections of said structure containing a bearing hole for pivotal connection of the truck to a railway vehicle body and containing a split intersecting said hole and of sufiicient length to permit said hole to be enlarged within their elastic limit for assemblage with said vehicle.

19. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 18 in which the said cross beam sections include separate portions of a bolster plate divided by the said split.

20. A truck and releasable coupler as defined in claim 19, in which the said bolster plate has a circular bead upstanding at a higher level than the said side bars in the said truck frame.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 548,827 Clifi Oct. 29, 1895 1,079,318 Stevens Nov. 18, 1913 2,235,555 Koch Mar. 18, 1941 2,305,135 Case et al. Dec. 15, 1942 2,631,739 Bonanno Mar. 17, 1953 2,631,740 Watson Mar. 17, 1953 2,965,045 Shafer Dec. 20, 1960

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US548827 *Jun 22, 1895Oct 29, 1895F OneFreight-car truck
US1079318 *May 1, 1913Nov 18, 1913Evie StevensTruck connection.
US2235555 *Oct 28, 1938Mar 18, 1941Gilbert Co A CHorizontally floating car coupler
US2305135 *Jun 12, 1941Dec 15, 1942Marx & Co LouisUncoupling system for toy railways
US2631739 *Oct 4, 1949Mar 17, 1953Lionel CorpUncoupling mechanism for toy railroad cars
US2631740 *Mar 25, 1949Mar 17, 1953Watson Ralph LCoupler for model railroads
US2965045 *Apr 27, 1959Dec 20, 1960Nat Malleable & Steel CastingsCar body center plate
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3518790 *Mar 18, 1968Jul 7, 1970Zamarra Paul ATruck and coupler apparatus
US3662489 *Feb 23, 1971May 16, 1972Terrier PierreAutomatic coupling for rolling stock of miniature railways
US3831776 *Jan 22, 1973Aug 27, 1974Rossler HOne-piece coupling unit for model railroads
US4512483 *May 20, 1983Apr 23, 1985Mantua Metal Products Co., Inc.Model train coupler
US4573656 *Jul 23, 1984Mar 4, 1986Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaFluid-sealed engine mounting
US5620106 *Jan 16, 1996Apr 15, 1997Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US5931322 *Apr 14, 1997Aug 3, 1999Accurail, Inc.Model railroad car coupler
US7431167 *Nov 16, 2005Oct 7, 2008Atlas O, LlcAdjustable coupler assembly for model trains
US20060102579 *Nov 16, 2005May 18, 2006Atlas O, LlcAdjustable coupler assembly for model trains
Classifications
U.S. Classification213/75.0TC, 213/211
International ClassificationA63H19/18, A63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/18
European ClassificationA63H19/18