US 3508503 A
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H. A. DALY 3,508,503
SELF-BLOCKING RAILWAY CAR FOR HEAVY COIL LOADS A ril 28, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 23, 1968 IN V EN TOR.
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April 23, 1970 H. A. DALY 3,5 8,50
SELF-BLOCKING RAILWAY CAR FOR HEAVY COIL LOADS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 25, 1968 To OTHER UNITS FIG. 3.
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(iwmm Aim/um z United States Patent Office 3,508,503 Patented Apr. 28, 1970 3,508,503 SELF-BLOCKING RAILWAY CAR FOR HEAVY COIL LOADS Hugh A. Daly, 12009 Indiana, Detroit, Mich. 48204 Filed Feb. 23, 1968, Ser. No. 707,675 Int. Cl. B61d 3/16 U.S. Cl. 105-367 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention provides a self-blocking railway car of the fiat, or gondola type, for transporting heavy steel coils, and the like, comprising a plurality of wedge-shaped members mounted longitudinally on the bed of the car, each pair of adjacent members defining a coil-receiving trough extending transversely of the car, a pair of blocking arms extending longitudinally between said adjacent wedge-shaped members at the sides thereof, means biasing said pair of blocking arms apart for receiving a load coil, and fiuid pressure means adapted to move said blocking arms toward one another to clamp a coil in said trough.
This invention relates to an improved self-blocking railway car for transporting heavy steel coils, and the like.
Because of their cylindrical shape and great weight, the transport of heavy steel coils by railroad has always presented problems. In the 1950s, the railroads became concerned over the high incidence of carrier damage to the coil steel loads, and as a result, converted many fiat cars, especially gondolas, into coil-carrying cars, commonly known as hooded gondolas. The conversion involved special troughs, hoods, and braces. These cars were adequate for coils weighing thirty thousand pounds or less, utilized longitudinal troughs and accordingly, required excessive bracing.
In the recent past the shipping of larger sized coils has become commonplace, and the incidence of damage claims has again become excessive. Steel mills have complained that longitudinal trough cars cost them many thousands of dollars in man-hours spent blocking each coil after it is placed in the car. As a result, a number of railroads have experimented with transverse loaded cars which do not utilize blocking. Because the coils are not blocked in any manner, they tend to jiggle from side-to-side when the car is moving and, in fact, some wrecks have been caused by all of the coils in the car jiggling to one side of the car to unbalance the same and subsequently cause its derailing.
It is a primary object of the present invention to pro vide a self-blocking railway car which will obviate the above briefly outlined disadvantages of conventional equipment.
-It is a further important object of the invention to provide a transversely loaded railway car having selfblocking apparatus as distinguished from conventional transversely loaded cars where blocking of the coils transversely is omitted.
It is another important object of the invention to provide loading troughs with self-blocking apparatus for steel coils which can be mounted on an existing flat car, or car of the gondola type, at minimum expense and much more cheaply than a new car would cost when constructed to transport very heavy steel coils.
Still another important object of the invention is to provide an improved self-blocking car for transporting steel coils, having the above described characteristics, and in which a seal can be applied to the car when the car is loaded, the presence of the seal at the destination proving that the car was initially properly loaded and secured, or blocked, and that the load has not been tampered with during transit.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a car, for transportation of coils transversely disposed in troughs, which requires a minimum of blocking apparatus and supporting structure and in which loading and unloading operations can be accomplished quickly, efiiciently, and economically.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved self-blocking car for transporting steel coils which is adapted, without change, for seating coils of different sizes and lengths and which avoids the need for specific and differing frame structures.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a self-blocking, load-supporting structure which is adapted to receive coils of various materials such as steel strip, sheet metal, screen, wire, paper, cable rope, and the like, and which is adapted to protect the fiat ends of the coils against damage.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a new and improved self-blocking apparatus adapted to transport a substantial range of sizes of coils, the coils being supported transversely of a rail car to reduce longitudinal shocks thereto, and means being provided to eliminate lateral shifting movements of the coils during transport.
A further object of the invention is to provide apparatus which enables loading without the necessity for workmen installing means to restrain the lading, thus reducing the time of loading and eliminating the safety hazard.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a coil support having a simple construction, requiring few parts, and which is economical to fabricate and easy to maintain.
The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, itself, however, both as to its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several FIGURES and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of one-half of a flat car provided with improved self-blocking apparatus according to the invention,
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the portion of the flat car shown in FIGURE 1,
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing a portion of the fluid pressure circuit connected to the blocking apparatus,
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken through the main control valve, and
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken through one of the air cylinders for operating the blockin'g arms.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated as being applied to a conventional railway flat car 10 only one-half of which is shown, it being understood that the other half of the car may be similarly equipped. The loading and blocking apparatus comprises a plurality of wedge-shaped supports 12, 14, 16 and 18 which are firmly secured by any suitable means to the bed 20 of the car. The two end support members 12 and 18 are half-wedges having a vertical outer surface 22, an inclined surface 24, and upper and lower horizontal surfaces 26 and 28 respectively. The intermediate support members 14, 16 are full-wedges having inclined surfaces 30-, 3-2, and 30', 32' respectively and substantially horizontal upper and lower surfaces 26' and 28'. The support members are so spaced and arranged, on the bed of the car as to define six transverse troughs, only three of which are shown, 34, 36 and 38. Preferably, the end troughs 38 are adapted to receive the largest steel coils and thus, are wider longitudinally of the car than the intermediate troughs 34, 36 which are adapted to receive smaller coils. To this end the slopes of surfaces 24, 30, 32, etc., may be varied to accommodate a range of coil sizes, two different coils 40 and 42 being illustrated. Preferably, the heights of the support members are such as to extend above the centers of even the largest coil 42.
A coil 42, when lowered into the trough 38, for example, engages the inclined opposed facing walls 32, 24, and the pressure of the weight of the coil is taken on the cylindrical coil surface 44. During travel, inertia forces arising from accelerations, decelerations, and the like, are thus passed to the coil through the inclinded surfaces of the wedge supports and damage to the coil, if any, is in the cylindrical surface rather than in the fiat end edges of the coil. Therefore, the coil is adapted to be unloaded after transport and used with a minimum of difficulty in unrolling the same.
Preferably a plurality of similar air pressure cylinders are mounted on the upper horizontal surfaces of the wedge support members and firmly afiixed thereto in any convenient manner, not shown. A pair of oppositely directed cylinders 46, 48 are mounted on one side, and a similar pair 50, 52 on the opposite side of each trough. Each cylinder, as is clearly evident from FIGS. 3 and 5, includes a slidable piston 54 connected to a piston rod 56 which slidably extends through an aperture 58 in the end of the cylinder. The outer end of rod 56 is connected to one end of a blocking arm 60. The correspondingly directed cylinder 52, for example, on the opposite side of the same trough has the outer end of its piston rod connected to the other end of said blocking arm. For each trough the oppositely directed pair of cylinders 46, 50, for example, have their piston rods 56 connected to a second blocking arm 62, as best seen in FIG. 3. Within each cylinder is mounted a coil spring 64 extending between the other end of the cylinder and the inner surface of the piston 54, and a conduit entry port 66 for compressed air leads into the cylinder at the other, or outer surface of the piston. As a result, the coil springs 64 bias the pistons 54 in one direction tending to spread, or separate, the two bracing, or blocking arms 60, 62, while the admission of compressed air to the four cylinders associated with each trough will move the pistons in the opposite direction so as to overcome the spring pressure and move the blocking arms toward each other into clamping engagement with the ends of a steel coil seated in the trough.
The pressure fluid circuit for operating the air cylinders and blocking arms is best shown in FIG. 3, wherein it can be seen that a conventional brake line 68 of the railway car carrying compressed air for operation of the car brakes is tapped by a conduit 70 containing a one-way valve 72 admitting air to an air reservoir 74. Valve 72 is a check valve which closes and prevents backward flow of air from the reservoir to the brake line 68. From the reservoir 74 an outlet conduit 76 leads to a control valve 78 having one outlet conduit 80 connected to a branch junction 82 to which conduits, such as 84, 86, leading from all of the inlet ports 66 of air cylinders 46, 48, 50 and 52 are connected. The main control valve 78 has two positions, as best seen in FIG. 4, in one of which the junction, or lead-in, conduit 80 is connected to a venting conduit 88 leading to atmosphere. In the actual position of the valve illustrated in FIG. 4, the air reservoir is connected to the air cylinders, as will be apparent from the position of the valve passage 90 connecting the two conduits 76, 80. The rotating valve member 92 is provided with an axially disposed, elongated lever 94 extending from one side of the car to the other and with down-turned handles 96, 98 at the ends to enable manual turning of the valve to either one of the two positions mentioned above. The first position, i.e., the one in which the valve provides communication between the conduits 76 and is illustrated by the downturned position of the handles 96, 98 in FIG. 3, and in this position the handles may be sealed to eyes 100, hooks, or like members, which may be conveniently mounted adjacent the handles on the side edges of the car bed 20. With the handles in the described load position, the coils loaded in the troughs of the car are braced against endwise movement by the clamping action of the cylinders operating on the blocking arms 60, 62, and the presence of unbroken seals between the handles 96, 98 and the eyes 100 is an indication at the end of the journey that the freight car has transported the coils properly loaded and blocked and without unauthorized tampering.
To load the car 10, the hoods 102, one of which is shown in broken lines in FIG. 2, are removed from the positioning abutments 104 to uncover the troughs on the car bed. The lever 94 is turned by handle 96 or 98 to the valve release position which Vents the air in the cylinders through ducts 80, 90, 88 to atmosphere and causes springs 64 in the cylinders to spread the blocking arms 60, 62. With the arms thus spread, a coil is lowered by conventional equipment into one of the troughs 34, 36, 38 and other coils are placed in other troughs as desired up to the roper load capacity of the car. The valve handle 96, 98 is then turned to the clamping position corresponding to the valve condition of FIG. 4, in which air is admitted to all of the cylinders through ducts 76, 90, 80, causing the blocking arms to move together and embrace the ends of the coils in all of the troughs simultaneously. The handles are sealed in this latter position, as described above. The hoods 102 are then replaced on the car and secured in conventional manner to cover the coils and protect them from weather during transport. The car is now ready to be coupled in a train for shipping the coils.
To unload a car when it has reached its destination, the procedure mentioned above is reversed. In other words, the valve handles are unsealed and moved so as to turn the valve 78 to vent position. This vents the cylinders to atmosphere and enables the springs 64 in the cylinders to spread the blocking arms 60, 62 and release their engagement with the ends of the steel coils so that the latter may be lifted from the wedge-shaped troughs.
It should be noted that pressur in the reservoir 74 is restored by the brake line 68 each time the car is placed in a train. The reservoir cannot exhaust back into the brake line due to the one-way valve 72. The brake action of the car is not affected, in any way, by the presence of the coil blocking apparatus.
The described apparatus provides for a transversely loaded, self-blocking car, and can be applied to existing cars of the flat, or gondola type, allowing even the largest coils to be transported damage-free at less than half the cost of building a new car to perform this function. An important advantage of the construction is that a seal can be applied to the car to prove that the car was properly loaded and secured and has not been tampered with during transit.
While the invention has been described in connection with its preferred use in transporting heavy steel coils, it should be apparent that the structure is equally applicable to the transport of other materials in coil form as, for example, coils of screen, wire, rolls of paper, wire reels, cable rope, and the like.
Although a certain specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art.
What is claimed is:
1. In a. vehicle for transporting freight in the form of heavy cylindrical objects, the combination comprising a floor structure having a pair of longitudinally spaced wedge-shaped members defining with the floor a loadreceiving trough extending transversely of the floor to wedgingly receive the arcuate surface of a load cylinder, a pair of blocking arms extending longitudinally between said wedge-shaped members, a pair of fluid pressure devices each mounted on one of said adjacent wedge-shaped members and having a piston and a projecting piston rod, said rods being secured to opposite ends of one of said blocking arms, a second pair of fluid pressure devices similarly mounted on said pair of wedge-shaped members but oppositely directed and having their piston rods connected to the other of said blocking arms, means for admitting fluid under pressure to each of said devices for retracting said pistons and moving said rod connected blocking arms toward each other to clamp the ends of a load cylinder in said trough, and means associated with each of said devices for urging said pistons outwardly to spread said rod connected blocking arms apart to perm-it lowering or raising a load cylinder into or out of said trough.
2. In a vehicle for transporting freight, the combination set forth in claim 1, wherein said means associated with each of said devices comprises a coil spring engaging a face of the piston and biasing the piston outwardly.
3. A self-blocking railway car of the flat, or gondola, type for transporting heavy coil loads, comprising an elongated car having a substantially flat bed, a plurality of wedge-shaped members spaced longitudinally on said bed, each pair of adjacent members defining with the car bed a coil-receiving trough extending transversely of the carand having fore-and-aft walls which are inclined upwardly and away from one another to wedgingly receive the arcuate surface of a steel coil or the like to be transported, a pair of blocking arms extending longitudinally between said adjacent wedge-shaped members at the sides thereof, means biasing said pair of blocking arms apart to spread them laterally for receiving a load coil, and fluid pressure means adapted to move said blocking arms toward one another to clamp the ends of a coil in said trough, said fluid pressure means including a pair of air cylinders each mounted on one of said adjacent wedgeshaped members and having a piston and a projecting piston rod, said rods being secured to opposite ends of one of said blocking arms, a second pair of air cylinders similarly mounted on said pair of wedge-shaped members but oppositely directed and having their piston rods connected to the other of said blocking arms, inlet means for admitting air under pressure to each of said cylinders for retracting said pistons and moving said rod connected blocking arms toward each other, and a coil spring forming partof said biasing means in each of said cylinders urging said pistons outwardly and moving said rod connected' blocking arms away from each other.
4. A self-blocking railway car as set forth in claim 3, wherein said fluid pressure means further comprises an air reservoir connected to the brake pressure line of said car by a check valve which permits air feed only in the direction of said reservoir, and a feed line from said reservoir to each of said cylinders through a two-position valve in which the first position connects the reservoir to the cylinders to feed compressed air thereto, and the second position connects said cylinders to atmosphere.
5. A self-blocking railway car according to claim 4, wherein said two-position valve is provided with an operating lever, and means is provided for sealing said operatinglever in said first position to ensure against tampering with the blocked load during transit.
6. A self-blocking railway car according to claim 5, wherein said operating lever is extended to opposite sides of the car, a handle being provided on each end of the lever, and said sealing means includes a pair of eyes to which the handles may be sealed.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,745,562 5/1956 Vandemark et a1. 280-179 X 3,291,073 12/1966 James -367 3,392,682 7/1968 Francis 105-367 DRAYTON E. HOFFMAN, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.