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Publication numberUS349624 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 21, 1886
Publication numberUS 349624 A, US 349624A, US-A-349624, US349624 A, US349624A
InventorsRoman Abt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rack rail foe railways
US 349624 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.) 4 Sheets-Sheet 1.



Patented Sept. 2 1, 1886.

(No Model.) 4 sheets-sheet 2. R. ABT. RACK RAIL POR RAILWAYS. No. 349,624. Patented Sept. 21, 1886.

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EPHSIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 349,624, dated September 21, 1886.

Application filed Apri] 13, 1896.

To all whom it 17m/y concern.: y

Beit known thatl, ROMAN ABT, of Bnzen,l

in the Republic of Switzerland, have inventedA a new and useful Improvement in RaclcR-ails 5 for Railways, of which the following is a specification. I

My invention relates toa rack-rail which is to besecured upon a road-bed of a railway between ordinary supporting-rails, and with which engages a pinion or pinions upon the locomotive, for thepurpose of propelling trains along steep gradients, which could not be propelled with the ordinary adhesion-locomotives.

Such a system of driving might be employed in connection with the ordinary adhesion-driv ers, the locomotive being propelled along level ground or slight gradients by adhesion only, and the rack-rail and pinion or pinions being` employed upon the steeper gradients. In or der to enable such compound system to be successfully used, it is necessary that the pinion or pinons of the locomotive or cars should pass into engagement with the rack-rail while the locomotive is running; and the principal 5 object of myinvention is to provide an entering rack-rail section with which the pinion or pinions on the locomotive or cars will come easily and without injurious shock orjar into engagement, and from which the pinion or pinions may pass easily and without shock or jar into engagement with the main rack-rail, which will be ordinarily rigidly supported.

To accomplish the desired results I employ,

in connection with a locomotive or Vehicle comprising a pinion which is preferably arranged to turn independently ofthe adhesion or supporting wheels,vaud also in connection with the ordinary supporting-rails, an entering rack-rail section which hasa yielding support, so that it may yield to the action of the pinion as the pinion comes into engagement with it, the pinion being meanwhile capable of turning independently of the supporting wheels, so that the latter will not be compelled to slip or slide on the supporting-rails to permit the proper engagement of the pinion with the rack-rail. The turning of the pinion independently of the supporting-wheels and the yielding of the entering rail both contribute rack-rail, and such engagement of the pinion -Serial No. 198,677.

to the easy engagement of the pinion with the (No mod l.l

entering rack-rail section, I make the teeth of the entering rail-section of gradually-diminishing depth and vanishing toward the enter ing en d thereof, and I also make the teeth where they are of diminishing depth more rounded in form, so that they finally disappear at the entering end of the rail-section in a wavy or undulated line. I also mayV make the teeth in the` entering railsection and throughout the whole or part of its length, of abnormal pitch relatively to the teeth of the fixed rail-section, such abnormal pitch being preferably greater than the normal pitch for a purpose hereinafter described. The entering -end of the rail-section I bow or curve downward, so that chains or other articles depending from the passing trains will not catch thereon. The springs for supporting the rack-rail section may be applied in any suitable way. I may, for example, provide supports for the rack-rail section which extend through and are guided in the sleepers supporting the adhesion-rails, and the springs may be applied below the sleepers to bear at i one end against such supports, which are guided in' the sleepers, and at the other end upon base-plates below the sleepers.

The invention consists in novel combinations of parts and features of construction, which are hereinafter described, and pointed out in the claims. s

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a side elevation of an entering rack-rail section embodying my invention, and a portion of the main rack-rail section, including, also, a transverse section of sleepers, which support adhesion-rails and extend under the rackrail. Fig. 2 is a plan of the parts shown in Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a transverse section of the rack-rail and adhesionerails, and showing more clearly ICO the sleepers which support the adhesioir'rails and the spring-support for the rack-rail; and Fig. 4 is a longitudinal section of a portion of a locomotive such as is shown in my Letters Patent No. 339,831, dated April 13, 1886, and having two pinions, which are in engagement with the entering rack-rail section.

In order to avoid making the drawings upon a greatly-reduced scale, I have represented Figs. 1 and 2 upon two sheets, each sheet showing half of the length of each figure, and lettered 1 and 2 on Sheet 2.

Similar letters of reference designate corresponding parts in the several gures.

My invention is applicable to rack-rails of the ordinary or other suitable construction; but I now prefer to employ a rack-rail such as is shown in my United States Letters Iatent No. 284,790, and which is composed of two or more toothed bars arranged parallel with each other, and having their teeth stepped or in st-aggered relation to each other. By thus arranging the rack-bars, and by making the pinion or pinions of-a number of toothed disks arranged side by side with their teeth stepped or staggered in a like manner, as shown in my said Patent No. 339,831, the working of the pinion in therack-rail will be unich smoother and a stronger and steadier hold will be afforded.

A designates the main rack-rail section, which is rigidly supported upon the sleepers B, here represented as of metal; and A designates the entering rack-rail section, below which extends sleepers B, also represented as of metal. rIhe sleepers B B serve to support the adhesionrails C of the railway, as represented in Fig. 3, and they also support the main rack-rail section A. The rack-rail is composed of two or more parallel toothed bars, three bars being here shown. The bars c, which compose the main rail-secti`on, are held at proper distance apart and secured by rivets or bolts to chairs D, which rest upon the sleepers B. The toothed bars a', which are comprised in the entering rail-section A', have bars or pieces I interposed between them, as shown in Fig. 3, the rack-bars and the bars or pieces b being rigidly secured together by rivets c, or otherwise. The bars or pieces b have laterally-extending flanges b, and are secured by rivets c', or otherwise, to a sole-plate, d. The several parts a b b d, when secured together in the manner described, forni together a strong rail-section.

` As best shown in Fig. 2, the teeth of the several rack-bars a a are out of line or staggered in their relation to each other, and as shown in Fig. 1 the teeth of the entering rail-section A gradually diminish in depth toward the entering end thereof, and are also of more rounded forni than the remainder of the teeth, the teeth vanishing toward the entering end of the section A in a wavy undulated line. The entering ends ft2 of the rack-bars c are curved downward to the surface of the ground, so that chains or other articles depending from a train vwill not catch upon them, and the sole-plate and the anged spacing-bars I) and sole-plate d are or may not be continued clear to the entering end of the rack-bars.

ln order to aii'ord the entering rail-section A a yielding support, I have represented springs E, which are arranged in pairs below it, as shown in Fig. 3, but may be of any snitable character. The springs here shown are of volute form, and are supported at their lower ends on base-plates F, which maybe placed upon a suitablebcton or other Vfounda` tion, G.-

rlhe railsection A is supported directly by means of thimbles or sleeves c, which slide freely within sockets or holes b2, provided forthem in the sleepers B, and are guided .by such sleepers in their rise and fall. Bolts j' pass from the rail-section A downward through the thimbles or sleeves c, the sleepers, and through the base-plates F, and the springs E surround these bolts and bear at their upper ends against the lower ends of the thimbles or sleeves c, and at their lower ends upon the base-plates F. Y

In order to maintain the proper relation bctween the adjacent ends4 of the spring-snpported entering rail-section A and the main rail-scction A, which is rigidly supported, I hinge the entering railsection at its end, and as here represented this hinge-joint is formed by means of parallel links or bars II, arranged on opposite sides of the rack-rail and pivotally connected at their endsgg' with the main rail-section A and the entering rail-section A'.


As shown in Fig. 2, the break or gap S between the several toothed bars of the two railsections A A is made in the tooth-spaces et each bar, and is staggered or set out ot' line in the several bars.

As represented in Fig. 4, I designates two pinions of a locomotive which have just come into proper engagement with the entering rack-rail A. In this figure, .I designates the main axles, through -which and theadhesion- Wheels Japproximately all ot' the weight of the locomotive is supported upon the ordinary adhesion or supporting rails, C. rIhe pinionaxles Iare here shown asjournaled in a fram e, J 2, hung from the main aXles J, and these axles I are coupled together by cranks i and parallel rods fi. The pinions I are driven through rods K from rock-shafts K K2, arranged one within the other and provided with arms K3, to which the rods K are connected, and with other arms, K4, to which power is imparted by reds K5 from a pair of cylinders supported from the main cylinders, which impart motion to the adhesion-drivers A. All these features of construction may be as shown in my aforesaid Patent No. 339,831, and as the 'pinions I. can turn independently ofthe adhesion supporting-wheels .I the engagement of the pinions with the yielding rack-rail section A is greatly facilitated, pinions I into the entering rack-rail section A is also facilitated by the gradual diminishing depth of the teeth toward the entering The easy entrance of they ITO end. Vheu the pinion I strikes -the entering rack-rail section, the teeth of the pinion may, by chance, either at once interlock properly with the teeth of the rail, or, if not, they will place themselves directly upon the teeth of the rail, the latter yielding on account of its spring-support. It the pinion should now, without turning, slide over the teeth ot' the entering rail, which it may readily do if it does not turn in unison with the adhesionwheels I', then it could only slide a very short distance before its teeth would drop in be tween the teeth of the rail, and the rail being lit'ted instantly by its springs the proper interlocking ofthe pinion and rail would be assured. lf, on the contrary, the pinion, by reason of the friction between itself and the rail upon which it rests, should revolve as the locomotive moves ahead, then it would roll upon the teeth of the entering rail, and as its outside diameter is much larger than the pitch-line diameter the relative position between the teeth and those of the rail would change constantly in such a manner that the teeth of the pinion would come into engage,- ment with the teeth of the rail after the pinion had made a part of a revolution. It will be observed that the yielding railsection A is guided laterally. by the ties or'sleepers B', through which pass the sleeve supports e, and which guide the sleevesupports in their upward and downward movement.

In the use of a locomotive with the entering rack-rail section herein described the pinion will usually have no power transmitted to it unt-il it is in engagement withA the main railsection, and hence the pinion will be free to turn while coming into proper engagement with the yielding rail-section.

Instead of springs E, for raising the entering rail A', I may employ weights, which would' has a fixed positive motion together with the adhesion-drivers, it cannot either rotate freely or slide, and so find its correct contact in the entering rail having its teeth of the same pitch as the main rail-section, as has been described. lf the pinion, for instance, should happen to meet the entering rail in such a position that one of its teeth should come to' rest immediately on top of one of the teeth of the entering rail, depressing the latter on its springs,'

simply continue to roll ou top of: the teeth of the latter. To enable the pinion even in such a case to come into proper contact, I construct all or a portion. of the teeth of the entering rail with an abnormal pitch, which may be greater than the pitch in the main rail-section A. If the pitch or the distance measured on the pitclrline between the centers of two adjacent teeth on the entering rail is, for instance, one sixteenth (Tl ot' an inch larger than the normal pitch of the pinion and of the fixed portions of the rack-rail, it will be obvious that whilethe pinion continues to roll on top of the teeth ot' the entering rail its relative position to these teeth is changed by one-six teenth (l) of an inch for each abnormal-pitch division traveled over. After having traveled a certain distance, or having passed a certain number of cogs, the aggregate of all the relative changes in position will bring some tooth of the pinion directly between two teeth of the entering rail, which latter will then be forced upward by the springs. The pinion being thus engaged in the entering rail, though not yet.

necessarily in proper contact, will soon force the adhesion-drivers, on account of its rigid connection with them, to slip on their supportving-rails, and for each subsequent pair of cogs between which an abnormal pitch exists the slipping is repeated to the full extent of each individual abnormity until the normal pitch is reached, when a correct contact will con.- tinuef` The abnormity may either be uniform throughout the portion over which it extends, orit may be gradually increasing toward the entering end of the rail A until a certain yet admissible limit is reached. rlhe entering rack rail, and especially that portion of it over which the abnormal pitch extends, must be made ol",

sufficient length so that the aggregate amounts of the-abnormities will insure the interlocking of the pinion under the most unfavorable conditions under which the pinion may first meet the entering rail. In this case I prefer to make the teeth ot' the entering rail of a uniform height throughout, in order to eventually get an effective hold in the rack-rail. right from the start.

In Fig. l I have represented theteeth of abnormal pitch by dotted lines as of fulLheight, and the dotted lines o designate the centers ot' these teeth, and indicate their abnormity as increasing toward the entering end of the entering rail A.

That I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is



l. The combination, with a locomotive or vehicle comprising a pinion which is arranged supporting rails C, oi' a rack-rail comprising a'yiclding entering section arranged in such relation to the adhesion or supporting rails as to receive into engagement with it a pinion or pinions on the locomotive or vehicle, while approximately the whole weight of the locomotive or vehicle is sustained by the adhesion or supporting rails, substantially as herein described.

3. The combination, with. a main rack-rail section, of a spring-supported entering racky rail section and links H, pivotally connected with both rail-sections at their adjacent ends, substantiall y as herein described.

4L. An entering rack-rail section having its teeth gradually diminishing in depth and vanishing toward the entering end; substantially as herein described.

5. An entering rack-rail section having its teeth gradually diminishing in depth and vanishing in wavy undulations toward the entering end, substantially as herein described.

6. An entering rack-rail section having its teeth diminishing in depth and vanishing toward the entering end, and having its entering end curved downward to prevent any articles depending from a train from catching thereon, substantially as herein described,

7. The combination, with a fixed or main rack-rail having its teeth of normal and uniform pitch, of a yielding entering rail comprising teeth of abnormal pitch relatively to the teeth of the fixed or main rail, substan; tially as and for the purpose herein described.

8. An entering rack-rail section having its teeth of gradually-increasing pitch throughout a portion of its length at its entering end and in a direction rearward toward its entering end, substantially as herein described.

9. The combination, with an entering rackrail section having its teeth diminishing in depth toward the entering end, oi' springs whereby said rail-section is supported, substantially as herein described.

10. The combination, with adhesion-rails and sleepers supporting them, of an entering` rack-rail section, supports therefor movable vertically and guided in thesleepers, and springs applied to said supports below the sleepers, substantially as herein described.

11. The combination, with adhesion-rails and sleepers supporting them, of an entering rackrail section, base-plates arranged below the sleepers, bolts extending from the rail-section downward through the sleepers and hase plates, thimbles or sleeves surrounding the bolts guided in the. sleepers and supporting the rail-section, and springs surrounding the bolts between the kthimblcs or sleeves and base-plates and giving yielding support lo the rail-scction, substantially as herein described.

12. The entering rack-rail section composed of the rack-bars a', the spacingbars b, interposed between the rack-bars and having latorally-extending anges, and the sole-plate d, to which said anges are secured, substantially as herein described.


\Vitn ess es:


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3429280 *Apr 1, 1966Feb 25, 1969Dashaveyor CoRack and pinion vehicle propulsion system
US3589205 *Apr 9, 1969Jun 29, 1971Sybron CorpRack and pinion synchronizing mechanism
US5165348 *Apr 29, 1992Nov 24, 1992Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd.Conveyor having self-propelled carriers and track with pivotal ratchet pawl teeth to ensure smooth transition between friction drive and pinion drive
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/06