US 3486467 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 30, 1969 QF. couLsoN FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT FOR RAILWP:r
Filed oct. 2o. 1967 Dec. SOY. 1969- D. F. couLsoN FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT IOR RAILWAY CARS Filed OCT.. 20, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 mm. Of Q //////////w L T i ff: n @wh f 1f Dec. 30, 1969 D, F. couLsoN FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT FOR RAILWAY CARS 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. DAVID F. COULSON ATTORNEY Filed OCT.. 204, 1967 United States Patent O 3,486,467 FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT FOR RAILWAY CARS David F. Coulson, 8090 SW. Birchwood Road, Portland, Oreg. 97225 Filed Oct. 20, 1967, Ser. No. 676,847 Int. Cl. B61d 3/16, 15/06 U.S. Cl. S-368 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates particularly, but not entirely to hitch devices on railway freight cars by means of which the front end of the road semi-trailer, through the intermediary of the fifth-wheel mechanism on the standard of the hitch device, is supported and retained in place during transportation. It is customary in such hitch devices on railway cars to have the standard for the front end of the semi-trailer provided with a pivotal or hinged mounting and to be so arranged that the standard will be in lowered, out-of-way position when not in use, but will be capable of being raised into operative supporting position whenever desired. It is also customary to have some resilient or shock-absorbing means provided in or for this standard when the standard is in raised position so as to cushion the shocks imparted to the standard and transmitted to the mounted semi-trailer, the shocks being caused by the sudden starting or stopping of the railway car or jerking while under way. A common way of providing such shock cushioning means is to include a resilient element in the strut by which the hinged standard is held in upright position, thus permitting a limited movement of the standard on its hinged mounting in partially absorbing the shock. A cushioning arrangement of this nature in such a hitch device is shown in U.S. Patent No. 3,003,434, issued Oct. l0, 1961, to Clejan.
The invention also relates to the mounting on railway freight cars of holsters or cross supports to which large bins or containers are secured. Since it is important also to have some means for cushioning the shocks imparted to such holsters, and therewith to the containers to which they are secured, it is customary to provide so-called rub rails extending along adjacent the longitudinal supporting sills on the car deck and attached to the sills by resilient means, the rub rails having top slots arranged for engagement by key plates secured to the bolsters. The employment of such rub rails is shown in U.S. Patent No. 3,272,150, issued Sept. 13, 1966, to Dempster et al. The resilient cushioning means for such rub rails heretofore has been entirely different from and independent of the cushioning means provided in hitch devices for the mounting of road semi-trailers. Consequently railway freight cars have not customarily been equipped to accommodate both semi-trailers and bolster-mounted freight containers optionally.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention a combined assembly, including not only an entire hitch device as required for mounting a road semi-trailer on the railway car, but also a pair of rub rails for the optional mounting of a bolster rice for a freight container, is arranged as a composite unit with a common base frame, which frame in turn is mounted on the railway car. The mounting for this base frame for the composite unit includes special shockcushioning means which functions to cushion both the shocks imparted to the hitch device, when the latter is erected into operative position, and the shocks imparted to the rub rails. Since the shock-cushioning means acts directly on the base frame, no further shock-cushioning means is required in the hitch device itself, and the hitch device, when erected into operative position, is rigidly postioned with respect to the base frame. Similarly, no further shock-cushioning means is required in the supports for the rub rails which also are rigidly attached to the base frame, and similarly no further shock-cushioning device is required in the railroad car under frame and/or center sill assembly.
The employment of a common shock-cushioning means for the composite unit enables more efficient and more practical `shock--cushioning means to be used, and the employment of a particular means for this purpose is a feature of the invention. When the hitch device of the composite unit is required to be used for the mounting of a road semi-trailer on the railroad car the hitch device can quickly and easily be swung up from the lowered storage position within the base frame to be erected into operative and rigidly secured position by the tractor ernployed in the loading of the semi-trailer onto the railway car, and also subsequently can be quickly and easily returned to lowered storage position in the base frame by the tractor when the tractor is engaged in the unloading of the semi-trailer from the railway car. The extremely low prole or dimension of the assembly Vabove the car deck surface is another feature of the invention, as is also the fact that the standard in the hitch device, when in use, is always Vertical or perpendicular to the plane of the car deck regardless' of any longitudinal movement of the cushion assembly and thus the hitch head always remains parallel to the car deck as long as the standard is upright.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 (Sheet l) is a side elevational view of a portion of a railway car showing a road semi-trailer loaded in place of the same with the tractor employed in loading the semi-trailer completing its nal step in the loading operation;
FIG. 2 (Sheet 2) is a fragmentary transverse section through the deck of the railway car taken on line 2-2 of 1121. l and 2 2 of FIG. 3, drawn to the same scale as FIG. 3 (Sheet 3) is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view on line 3-3 of FIG. l, drawn to a larger scale;
FIG. 4 (Sheet 2) is a sectional elevation on line 4-4 of FIG. 3, drawn to a larger scale than FIG. 3, the hitch for the semi-trailer on the freight car being shown in storage position in broken lines and in erect operating position in full lines;
FIG. 5 (Sheet 2) is a fragmentary bottom plan view taken on line 5 5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 (Sheet 3) is a fragementary plan view of the semi-trailer hitch in retracted inactive position, with portions broken away for clarity;
FIG. 7 (Sheet l) is a fragmentary sectional elevation on line 7-7 of FIG. 3, `drawn to a larger scale;
FIG. 8 (Sheet 1) is a fragmentary transverse section on line 8-8 of FIG. 3, drawn to the same scale as FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 (Sheet l) is a fragmentary transverse section on line 9--9 of FIG. 6, but showing a bolster for a container for freight mounted on the railway car instead of the semi-trailer; and
FIG. l (Sheet 2) is a fragmentary section on line -10 of FIG. 9.
The invention will be rst described as employed in the transportation of road semi-trailers, referring to FIGS. l to 8.
AIn FIG. l a portion of a railway freight car of more or less standard construction is indicated in general by the reference 10. A road semi-trailer 11, also standard construction, is shown mounted in position on the deck of the railway car. The road semi-trailer comprises the usual chassis provided with rear end road sheels 12, a body 13 for containing the cargo being transported, a front king pin 14, and front landing gear 15, shown in lowered position. The road tractor for the semi-trailer is indicated at T, the tractor having the customary trailer support and fifth-wheel mechanism 16 adapted selectively for coupling and uncoupling the king pin 14 of the semi-trailer. In FIG. 1 the tractor is shown uncoupled from the semitrailer and completing the erecting of the hitch device on the railway car, and thus as completing the linal step of the loading of the semi-trailer on the railway car prior to the departure of the tractor therefrom.
Secured to the deck 18 of the railway car (FIGS. 2 and 3) are a pair of steel channel members 19 and 20 which extend longitudinally substantially the entire length of the railway car, forming a center sill between them, and which constitute guide rails, the spacing between them being such that they are freely straddled by the ground wheels of the tractor and semi-trailer. These rails, in addition to being secured to the railway car, are secured to each other by spaced cross bars, such as the cross bar 21 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, and also by top cross plates 22 and 23 (FIG. 3) to be referred to later, the ends of which plates are welded to the top flanges of the rails.
The hitch device 17, to be presently described, is carried in a rectangular base frame 24 (FIGS. 3 and 6), which base frame is mounted in the sill between the guide rails 19 and 20 and is slidable to a limited extent longitudinally with respect to the guide rails and railway car deck, as later explained. The base frame 24 has a pair of side walls 25 and 26, end walls 27 and 28, a bottom Wall 29, parts of which are cut away to reduce weight, and intermediate cross walls 30, 31 and 32.
The hitch device includes a standard composed of a pair of legs 33 and 34, joined by a connecting web 35. The fifth-wheel mechanism for engaging and holding the king pin 14 of the semi-trailer is mounted at the top end of the standard. The fth-wheel mechanism includes a top plate 37 supported on a shaft 36 extending through the top ends of the legs 33 and 34. The forward end of the semi-trailer rests on the plate 37 when the tractor with its fth-wheel mechanism is withdrawn from the semitrailer on the railway car and the semi-trailer has been mounted in place thereon, as illustrated in FIG. l. Details of the fifth-wheel mechanism on the hitch device are not shown or described since this mechanism in itself forms no part of the present invention.
The two legs 33 and 34 for the standard in the hitch device are hingedly mounted on a shaft 38 (FIGS. 4 and 6). The hinge shaft 38 is mounted in suitable bracket webs in the forward end of the base frame 24 and the bottom ends of the legs 33 and 34 are provided with suitable bearing :housings 33 and 34 (FIG. 6) and with reinforcing webs.
The standard for the hitch device is provided with a strut for holding the standard rmly in upright vertical position when the hitch device is swung into erected operating position. The strut is composed of a pair of upper members 39 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 6) and a pair of lower members 40 which are in telescoping relationship with the upper members 39 respectively. The upper ends of the members 39 are positioned on the `outside of the legs 33 and 34 respectively of the standard and are pivotally secured to the standard by means of a pivot shaft 41. The bottom ends of the lower members 40 are each mounted on a hinge pin 42 (FIGS. 4 and 6) which are supported in pairs of bracket webs 43 secured to the cross wall 30 and bottom wall 29 of the base frame 24. The two upper members 39 of the strut are connected by a housing 44 (FIGS. 3, 4, 5, and 6) containing the means for locking the strut in extended operating position.
The strut-locking means, mounted within the housing 44 (shown best in FIG. 6) includes a pair of companion spring-actuated members 45 and 46, which carry a pair of outwardly projecting locking pins 45 and 46 respectively, each extending through an aperture in the adjacent strut member 39 and adapted to enter an aperture on the corresponding inner, lower telescoping member 40 when the lower member reaches its fully extended position with reference to the companion upper member 39.
For moving the locking members 45 and 46 towards each other, against the force of their actuating spring, and thus withdrawing the locking pins 45' and 46 from engagement with the lower members 40, a member 47, secured on a stub shaft 48 and having oppositely extending arms, is so arranged that its arms are in engagement with pins mounted in slots provided in the members 45 and 46 respectively. The stub shaft 48 extends through the bottom wall of the housing 44 (FIG. 5) and carries a crank arm 49 which is connected to a link 50 (FIG. 4) having pivotal connection with a rod 51. Thus the movement of the crank arm 49 (counter clockwise as viewed in FIG. 5) and the corresponding clockwise movement', (as viewed in FIG. 6) of the member 47 secured on the shaft 48, -unlocks the strut-locking mechanism. The rod 51 has an enlarged head 52 which is slidably retained within a box channel or tubular member 53, arranged as shown in FIG. 4, the rod 51 being always in tension, and the member 53 in turn is pivotally connected to an operating lever 54 which is mounted on the central portion of the same pivot shaft 41 as the two upper members 39 of the strut. The operating lever 54 terminates in a pair of forwardly-extending arms 54.
Thus, when the standard of the hitch device 17 is swung up from its lowered inactive position (shown in broken lines in FIG. 4) to its upright active position (as shown in full lines) the pairs of members 39 and 40 forming the strut for the standard, will be moved into extended position and automatically locked in such position, resulting in the hitch device being rigidly set up in the base frame 24 on the railway car.
The web 35, joining the two legs 33 and 34 of the standard in the hitch device, carries a pair of brackets 55 which support a cross pin 56 (FIGS. 6 and 4) for use in the raising of the standard into set-up operative position. When the tractor has brought the semi-trailer into proper loading position on the railway car, a hook, secured to a cable mounted on the tractor, (indicated by the broken lines 57 in FIG. 4), is attached to the cross pin 56. Then a pull on the cable by the tractor pulls the standard from inactive horizontal position to vertical position, simultaneously pulling the strut for the standard into extended position (as illustrated also in FIG. 1). In this way the hitch device is quickly and easily set up into operative position within the base frame 24.
When the semi-trailer is to be removed from the railroad car by the tractor, and the hitch device is to be returned to lowered, inactive position within the base frame 24, the tractor backs up against the standard of the hitch device, after the king pin mechanism on the hitch device has been released, and a rearwardly projecting member (indicated in broken lines at 58 in FIG. 4) encounters the arms 54 of the lock-releasing lever 54 for the strut. Pressure against these lever arms, as apparent from FIG. 4, releases the lock for the strut and enables the standard to be swung dovsm, (in clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4) by the tractor as the tractor continues backing into position beneath the semi-trailer, until the fth-wheel mechanism on the tractor is brought into engagement with the king pin of the semi-trailer while the hitch device drops down to lowered inactive position within the base frame 24. A resilient bumper 59 (FIG. 6), mounted on the cross wall 30 in the base frame 24, is so arranged as to engage the end of the housing 44 on the upper members 39 of the strut, as the hitch device drops down into lowered position in the base frame 24, and to cushion the settling of the collapsed strut and standard.
The base frame 24, in which the entire hitch device is contained, and which rests on the deck 18 or sill of the railway car in between the guide rails 19 and 20, iS attached to the guide rails by the special shock-cushioning means now to be described with reference to FIGS. 3, 7 and 8. In brief, this shock-cushioning means comprises a pair of double cylinder assemblies each of which assemblies includes a smaller diameter cylinder 70 telescopically received within a larger diameter cylinder 71 (FIG. 3), the axes of the cylinders being horizontal or parallel to the deck of the railway car. 'Ihe portions of the bottom wall 29 of the base frame 24 beneath these double cylinder assemblies are cutout, as shown in FIG. 3.
Since both double cylinder assemblies are identical it will suflice to described one of them, the details of which are shown in FIGS. 7 and y8. The smaller diameter cylinder 70 has an integral base closure 72 (FIG. 7 the outer edges of which extend out beyond the cylindrical wall and form a rectangle, the height of which is slightly greater than the height of the top ilanges of the guide rails 19 and 20 above the car deck, and the width of which is slightly less than the width of the cut-out portion of the bottom wall 29 of the base frame 24 beneath the double cylinder assembly. The top edge of the base closure 72 has a horizontal ange 72 so arranged as to be capable of extending over the top edge of the cross plate 23 which joins the top flanges of the guide rails 19 and 20. Normally this base closure 72 bears against the cross wall 32 of the base frame 24, and the cross wall 32 carries a projecting lug 73 which is slidably received in a corresponding recess in the base closure 72. Also normally the base closure 72 bears against the edge of the cross plate 23, as shown in FIG. 7.
However, as later explained, under certain shocks the cross plate 23 may move a short distance (to the right as viewed in FIG. 7) away from the base closure 72 and away from the cross wall 32 of the base frame 24. On the other hand, under certain other shocks, the cross plate 23, and with it the base closure 72, may move slightly in the opposite direction (to the left as viewed in FIG. 7) away from the cross wall 32.
The opposite end of the cylinder 70 (FIG. 7) has a head member 74, the outer portion of which has an extended annular ange which constitutes a sliding piston within the large diameter cylinder 71. This head member 74 has a channel extending axially through it and passage of hydraulic fluid through this channel is controlled by a check valve 75 which allows hydraulic fluid to pass through this channel in only one direction, namely, from the small diameter cylinder 70 into the large diameter cylinder 71.
A suitable packing gland 78 is provided between the cylinders 70 and 71 at the entrance into the large cylinder. The opposite end of the cylinder 71 has a base closure 76, similar to the closure member 72 for the cylinder 70. Similarly the outer edges of the base closure 76 are eX- tended beyond the wall of the cylinder 71 and form a rectangle, and a top horizontal ange 76 on the outer edge of this closure extends normally over the edge of the cross plate 22. Also normally the closure member 76 bears against the cross wall 31 of the base frame 24, and the cross wall 31 carries a projecting lug 77 which is slidably received in a corresponding recess in the closure member 76.
The wall of cylinder 71 is formedwith an enclosed outer chamber 79 which extends longitudinally along one side of the cylinder and terminates a short distance before reaching the location of the packing gland 78. A series of aligned ports 80 provide passageways from the cylinder [71 into the chamber 79. A larger port 80' (FIG. 8) in the wall of cylinder 71 near the end of the chamber 79 communicates with the annular space 81 (FIG. 8) between the cylinder 70 and the cylinder 71, and between the packing gland 78 and the member 74. A plurality of ports 82, positioned around the wall of cylinder 70 near the member 74, provide passageway between the interior of the cylinder 70 and the annular space 81 and chamber 7 9.
Within the cylinder 70 is a freely-moving piston 83. The area within the small cylinder 70 to the right of the piston 83 (as viewed in FIG. 7) is lled with air or other suitable gas. 'I'he area in cylinder 70 on the opposite side of piston 83, and the interior of cylinder 71, and chamber 79, and the annular space 81, are lled with hydraulic uid. The amount of air or gas confined within cylinder 70 to the right of freely-moving piston 83 (as viewed in FIG. 7), and the amount of hydraulic fluid in the rest of the assembly are such that when the assembly is in normal position, with the closure member 72 engaging the cross plate 23 and with the closure member 76 engaging the cross plate 22, the air or gas in cylinder 70 will be under slight pressure sufficient to cause the two closure members 72 and 76 to be urged against the respective cross plates 23 and 22, which cross plates, as previously described, are connected to the guide rails 19 and 20 of the railway car deck.
The manner in which each of the double cylinder assemblies functions to cushion the shocks transmitted from the railway car (and thus from the guide rails 19 and 20 and their cross plates 22 and 23) to the base frame 24 with the cross Walls 31 and 32, will now be apparent from FIG. 7. A substantial shock delivered to the railway car in either longitudinal direction will cause relative movement of the pair of telescoping cylinders in each assembly toward each other. For example, let it be assumed that the shock delivered to the railway car is from right to left as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 7. The impact of the shock will cause the cross plate 23 to move closure member 72 and cylinder 70 in the same direction but, due to the inertia of the base frame 24 and of the load connected to the base frame, the frame 24, and therewith the cross walls 31 and 32 will oder resistance to such movement. As a consequence the cross wall 31 and the head closure 76 of cylinder 71 (and also the cross wall 32) will not move to the same extent as the cross plates 22 and 23 (and the closure 72) The resulting movement of cylinder 70 into cylinder 71 will cause some of the hydraulic fluid in the cylinder 71, beyond the advancing piston member 74, to be forced out through the ports I into the side chamber 79 and thence through port 80'` and ports 82 into the end of cylinder 70, while the gas on the other side of the piston 83 in cylinder 70 is subjected to more compression. As the piston member 74 of cylinder 70 advances (toward the left) in the cylinder 71 the rate of flow of the hydraulic lluid from cylinder 71 into the side chamber 79 decreases due to the fact that the ports 80 are closed off one by one, and the resistance of the passage of the hydraulic fluid into the end of cylinder 70 through the ports 82 also increases with the increase in the compression of the gas on the other side of the piston 83. In this manner the movement of cylinder 70 into cylinder 71 is slowed down and the shock, which would otherwise be largely transmitted to the base frame 24, is cushioned and largely absorbed. The same result occurs when the external shock is delivered to the railway car in the opposite direction, in which case cylinder 71 is moved toward cylinder 70 under the thrust received by closure member 76 from cross plate 22. In this case, since the cross walls 31 and 32, with the base frame 24, oier resistance to being moved, the cross plate 23 moves slightly away (to the right) from the cross wall 32 and closure 72.
In the recovery from the shock the increased pressure of the gas in the cylinder 70 in each of the double assemblies causes hydraulic uid to ow back into the end portion of the larger cylinder 71 through the outlet passageway and check valve 75 and also through the ports 82 until the two cylinders in the assembly are again restored to normal and relative positions. Thus the cushioning and absorbing of the shocks transmitted from the railway car is accomplished by hydraulic resistance, accumulator resiliency and spring return to normal neutral position, all combined in one assembly, this composite means and manner of functioning being distinctly different from various other techniques employed on railway cars for the same purpose.
Obviously other cushioning means could be used in place of the double cylinder assemblies to cushion and reduce the effect of the shocks transmitted from the railway car (and thus from the guide rails and cross plates 22 and 23) to the cross walls 31 and 32 (and thereby to the base frame 24 and the load secured thereto). Coil springs or a series of aligned cushioning pads in abutting relation or a combination of resilient media and friction devices, for example, might also be employed. However, the pair of double cylinder assemblies, in which gas and hydraulic pistons cooperate in the cushioning and absorbing of the effects of the transmitted shocks in the manner described, are regarded as the preferred means.
The manner in which the invention is employed for the mounting of the bolster or cross support on which an end of a large bin or freight container is secured will now be briefly described with reference to FIGS. 2, 3, 9 and l0.
A pair of rub rails 60 and 61 extend lengthwise along the outside of a portion of the guide rails 19 and 20 respectively. These rub rails are of the customary rectangular shape in cross section and are of such cross sectional size that they will be freely received in between the top and bottom horizontal anges of the guide rails 19 and 20 and will extend out beyond the edge of the top flange of each guide rail so as to expose the series of longitudinal slots 62 in the top walls of the rub rails, which slots, as is well known, are characteristic of rub rails.
The bottom walls of these special rub rails 60 and 61 are formed at spaced intervals with short, inwardlyextending iianges 60' and 61' respectively, which flanges extend through slots 63 in the vertical walls of the guide rails 19 and 20 and through slots 64 in the corresponding side walls or 26 of the base frame 24, and these inwardly-extending anges are Secured by suitable means, such as the bolts 65, to the bottom wall 29 of the base frame 24. The slots 63 in the vertical walls of the guide rails 19 and 20 are longer than the anges 60 and 61, so that short quick longitudinal movements or jerks imparted to the guide rails and railway car, resulting from shocks received by the latter, will not impart any corresponding movements to the rub rails beyond the cushioned shocks imparted to the base frame 24.
In FIGS. 9 and l() a bolster 66, constituting one of a pair of cross supports to which a container (indicated in part at 67 in FIG. 10) is secured, is shown. The bolster 66 is provided with a customary pair of key plates 8, 68 which are firmly secured to the bolster and which are positioned above the rub rails respectively so that the downwardly-extending tooth or lug 68 on each key plate will enter a top slot in lthe respective rub rail at the desired location for the bolster, thus preventing the bolster, and thereby the container secured to the bolster, from any movement longitudinally with respect to the guide rails and railway car beyond the cushioned movement imparted to the rub rails.
Thus, whether a semi-trailer is mounted on the railway car through the hitch device secured to the base frame 24, or whether a bolster-supported freight container is mounted on the railway car, with a bolster in proper engagement with the rub rails secured to the base frame, the shocks received by the semi-trailer or by the freight container from the sudden stopping or starting of the railway car will be limited to the cushioned shocks imparted to the base frame 24 and transmitted therefrom through the hitch device or through the mounted bolster.
1. Freight transportation equipment for a railway car comprising a pair Yof guide rails extending longitudinally along the deck of the railway car and rmly secured thereto, a base frame supported on the car deck between said guide rails and slidable to a limited extent longitudinally with respect to said car and guide rails, a hitch device entirely carried by said base frame and movable from lowered, stored position in said base frame into erected operating position, a pair of rub rails entirely supported by said base frame and positioned at the outer side of said guide rails respectively, inwardly-extending members on said rub rails secured to said base frame, said guide rails having longitudinally-extending slots providing passageway for said members through said guide rails, said `slots being of suflicient length to permit limited longitudinal movement of said rub rails and said base frame relatively with respect to said car and guide rails, shock-cushioning means carried by said base frame, and nieans connecting said shock cushioning means with said guide rails.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,168,878 2/1965 Clejan 10S-368 3,181,480 4/l965 Sherrie et al 10S-368 3,189,307 6/1965 Peterson 248-119 3,234,893 2/1966 Sweda 10S-368 3,347,506 10/1967 Rollins 248-119 3,358,954 12/1967 Smith et al. 248-119 3,224,384 12/1965 Borger 10S-368 3,261,306- 7/1966` Gutridge 10S-368 DRAYTON E. HOFFMAN, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.