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Publication numberUS3613600 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1971
Filing dateMar 3, 1969
Priority dateMar 3, 1969
Publication numberUS 3613600 A, US 3613600A, US-A-3613600, US3613600 A, US3613600A
InventorsPettit Frank P
Original AssigneeProjects General Of America
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rail expansion joint
US 3613600 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Lemcke Toutoudjis Knox Hunlock. Heber.....

Ellixson Bagby..... Szarek Kruckenberg et al. Polgar Guest et al Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant ExaminerRichard A. Bertsch Attorney-John E. Reilly ABSTRACT: In a rail-type carrier system, the ends of the vehicle-carrying rail sections are supported by towers, and an expansion joint cooperates with the towers to support adjacent ends of the rail sections in a way so as to resist compres sion loading in the upper portion of each rail section resulting from the downward bending of the rail section under the {weight of a vehicle while permitting normal expansion and contraction. The expansion joint is also constructed and arranged to prevent misalignment of the ends of the rail sections n h 9 i 2 sith95s2! %4 [72] Inventor Frank P. Pettit f 3,225,703 Arvada,Colo. i, 3,533,356 21 Appl. N0. 803,636 5 40,567 [22] Filed Mar. 3, 1969 429,628 Patented Oct. 19, 1971 896,727 [73] Assignee' Projects General of America i 1,134,321 Denver, Colo. 1,181,720 7 5 1,342,006

[54] RAIL EXPANSION JOINT 10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S.Cl 104/91, 238/151, 238/229 [51] 1nt.Cl B61b3/00, EOlb 1 H00 Ifield of Search 104/91, 118,119,120,124-135, 89-95;238/173, 171, 228,151, 259, 20; 287/189, 36; 14/16; 52/573 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,069,970 8/1913 MeGinniess 238/260 1,649,316 11/1927 Masters..... 238/260 2,819,686 1/1958 Hadfield /360 2,993,647 7/1961 Dena 104/118 PATENTEDUBT 19 1911 3,613 600 SHEET 1 OF 2 32 49 35 1520 2 firw/sz INVENTOR.

FRANK P PETT/T ATTORNEY PATENTEBUCT 19 l87| SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTOR.

FRANK P PETT/T ATTORNEY RAIL EXPANSION JOINT This invention relates to transportation systems and more particularly to novel and improved rail joint structures for overhead monorail carrier systems and the like.

The usual overhead monorail carrier system includes rail sections supported in end-to-end relation on a series of spaced towers with a limited gap between the ends of the rails to allow for thermal expansion and contraction. The compression load on the rails which is produced by wheeled vehicles traveling thereover limits the length of the rail section and requires closer spacing between the towers. In addition, the gap or space between the rail sections produces some impact and wear problems with the wheels moving thereover.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved joint for rails in an elevated transportation system and the like.

Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved expansion joint for tower-supported rail sections which reduces compression loading in the upper portion of the rail whereby to permit greater rail spans without lateral misalignment between the ends of the rail.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a novel and improved expansion joint which permits thermal expansion and contraction and bridges the gap between the rail sections over which the wheels of the vehicle travel.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a rail expansion joint characterized by connector portions carried by upper portions of adjacent ends of tower-supported rail sections and spring means held under tension by these connector portions in such a way as to minimize compression loading forces in the upper portions of the rail sections produced by a vehicle traveling on the rail sections. These connector portions are also arranged and connected with the ends of the rail sections in such a way to prevent misalignment thcrebetween. A rail gap bridge spans the gap between the wheel-contacting surfaces of the rail sections to avoid excessive wear.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a monorail carrier system showing atypical Y-shaped tower arranged for supporting carrier rails on each side thereof having an expansion joint embodying features of the present invention connected to adjacent ends of the rail section located between the tower legs.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another form of monorail carrier system employing a typical T-shaped tower for supporting the rails having a rail expansion joint for the rail sections.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a rail expansion joint embodying features of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the rail expansion joint shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary top plan view of a rail gap bridge embodying features of the present invention shown on opposite sides of the lower flanges with the upper flanges broken away.

FIG. 7 is a side elevation viewof one of the rail gap bridges shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along lines 88 of FIG. 7 showing the rail gap bridge for an I-shaped rail.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a low-level monorail carrier system with a passenger vehicle including the rail expansion joint and stabilizer rail.

FIG. I0 is a top plan view of the monorail carrier system which is shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a carrier system employing a Y-shaped tower with the rail expansion joint and stabilizer rails.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary end elevation view of the carrier system shown in FIG. 11 with a passenger vehicle indicated as supported in a depending manner from one rail; and

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary side elevation view of another form of monorail tower for a monorail carrier system.

Referring now to the drawings there is shown in FIG. I a portion of an overhead monorail carrier system which in general comprises a Y-shaped tower I] having spaced, identical crossbars 12 arranged to support a pair of rails or tracks'on each side thereof which form track systems. Each track system is formed of a plurality of rail sections disposed in an end-toend relationship with one another and relatively near end portions of each adjacent pair of rail sections being disposed and supported in a spaced relation to one another between the crossbars. Each rail section has a fixed connection or joint designated 17 to secure it to one end in underlying relation to one of the end portions of the crossbar and a slidable connection generally designated 18 to secure it at its other end in an underlying relation to an end portion of the adjacent crossbar to permit relative expansion and contraction of therail sections. The fixed connection 17 is shown as a flat plate 17:: on each end of the crossbar which is disposed over the top of the rail and is fixedly secured thereto as with bolts or like fasteners. The'slidable connection I8 is shown as a flat plate 18a on each end of the crossbars each of which are disposed on top of the rail and is slidably secured thereto by providing longitudinal slots in the plate and headed members on the rail which slide in the slots in a manner similar to that shown in the expansion joint particularly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 hereafter described. While only one tower has been shown for illustration purposes, it is understood that the rails are supported in a similar manner by a series of similar towers disposed along the entire railway course. The adjoining spaced end portions of the adjacent rail sections are yieldably coupled together by an expansion joint generally designated by numeral I6 which permits their normal thermal expansion and contraction and in general reduces compression loading produced by the downward bending of said rail span under the weight of a vehicle; In FIG. 2 there is shown an alternative supportfor a pair of rails 15 in the form of a T-shaped tower 19 having a T-bar 20 supporting a pair of crossbars 21 which are arranged to support a pair of oppositely disposed rails 15; each rail having a fixed connection at one end and a slidable connection at the other end in a manner similar to that described with reference to FIG. 1. I

As shown in FIGS. 3 through 5 the adjoining end portions of two rail sections designated 22 and 23 are held in a spacedapart relationship by tower supports in the same manner as shown in FIGS. I or 2 to form a gap 24 therebctween which allows for thermal expansion and contraction of the rail sections. In general this rail expansion joint includes'a connector portion assembly secured on or otherwise formed as a part of one rail section and a connector portion assembly secured on or otherwise secured to the other rail section and these connector portion assemblies are aligned with one another and coupled together by a resilient biasing arrangement held under tension in a manner to oppose the compression loading forces in the upper portions of the rail sections. More specifically, typical rail sections are of an I-shaped cross section having an upper flange F, a web and a lower flange F". Each connector portion assembly is formed of three similar connector portions and for rail section 22 are herein referred to as the top connector portion 28 and side connector portions SI and 32. In turn, the other rail section 23 has a top connector portion 33, side connector portions 34 and 35. The connector portions on rail section 23 are substantially longer than the connector portions on 24 and extend a substantial distance beyond the end of rail section 22 and extend in a close-fitting relation to the upper portion of rail section 23.

Each of the connector portions on rail 22 are of generally identical construction and may be generally characterized as shaped to conform to the cross section of the upper portion of the rail on which they are disposed. Each of these connector portions is generally U-shaped across its width and of generally right-angle shape across its length. Each comprises a bottom plate 37 which rests on the rail and is secured thereto as by welding and a projecting plate 38 which is disposed at right angles to the plate 37. In addition there is provided a pair of spaced sideplates 41 and 42 which are secured to the side edges of the bottom plate 37 and are secured to the ends of plate 38 to reinforce the support of the end plate 38. In a like manner, there is a top connector portion 33 on rail 23 and side connector portions 34 and 35 secured in a close-fitting conforming relation to the underside of the flange F and along an upper surface portion of the web W. One corner of the side connector portions are rounded at 43 to conform to the shape of the rail.

Each of the connector portions on rail 23 is of similar construction to those on rail 22 and generally comprises a bottom plate 45, end plate 46 and triangular shaped sideplates 47 and 48. Each of these connector portions is substantially shorter than those of rail 22 and'are located inwardly a substantial distance from the end of rail 23. The opposing end plates 38 and 46 of each of the opposing connector portions are in a spaced parallel and aligned relationship. The fastening between the opposing plates is shown as a bolt 49 which extends through aligned apertures in these opposing end plates having a nut 51 threaded. thereon with a washer. A tension spring 52 is mounted on the threaded end portion of the bolt and is held under tension between the projecting plate 46 and the nut 51 with the head of .the bolt bearing against the other projecting plate 38. Thus when the rail sections are under compression loading which is produced by the vehicle wheels traveling along the lower flange F" this rail section will tend to bow downwardly along its upper portion. The three compression springs so located along the top and upper sides of the rail section and held under tension serve to'oppose and reduce the compression loading forces in the upper portions of the rail section. A pair of flat plates 52 and 53 are also secured on each side of the lower portion of web W of the rail section 22 and extend in overlying relation to the web section 23 to help maintain alignment of the lower portions of these adjacent rail sections.

The ends of the rail sections 22 and 23 are further connected together slidably by a slidable joint using the extensions of connector portions on rail section 22 which extend over the ends of rail portion 23. The bottom plate of the connector portions carried by rail section 22 have a plurality of elongated slots 55 herein shown as four through which headed or flanged members 56 extend which are secured on the adjacent rail. These flanged members 56 are arranged in a closefitting slidable relation with the outer surface of the plate so as to permit expansion and contraction lengthwise of the rails and at the same time will tend to resist lateral yielding or misalignment.

A rail-gap bridge for the wheel-contacting surfaces on the lower flange F" of rail sections 61 and 62, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, comprises similar bridges on opposite sides of web W. Each bridge is identical and comprises a thin, flat upper plate 63 which rests on the end portions of the upper surfaces of the lower flange F" to bridge or span the gap 24 between the rail sections 6] and 62 and a lower plate 64 under flange F" preferably identical in shape to the upper plate, the upper and lower plates being held together against the surface of the flange F" by an intermediate web 65. The sides of the upper plate are tapered outwardly in a lateral direction away from the web and are beveled or rounded along the upper edge surfaces, as at 66, to permit the wheel to smoothly roll over the upper plate and across the gap. This bridge arrangement prevents the drive wheel or lower bus wheel from striking the ends of the bottom flanges of the rail sections.

7 In the carrier system shown in FIGS. 9 and a pair of spaced V-shaped towers 71 are provided which carry spaced support overhead rails or track systems 72. The overhead rail sections of each system are slidably secured to the tower crossbars at one end by a joint 73 and fixedly secured to the crossbar of the next tower by a joint 74; the adjacent ends of two rail sections are interconnected by expansion joints 16 between the legs of the same tower in the same manner as above described. A passenger vehicle 75 is shown supported on one track system 72 for vehicular movement. This carrier system has a stabilizer assembly on each side of the tower which is associated with the vehicle to prevent lateral outward swinging of the vehicle. This stabilizer assembly includes a track 76 on each side of the tower which is supported from cross bracing 77 extending across the top of the rails disposed at spaced intervals along the rail sections between the crossbars of the tower and also between towers. A similar type of carrier system having a stabilizer assembly including a track 78 and rollers 79 carried by the vehicle is illustrated more fully on a Y-shaped tower 80 in FIGS. 11 and 12. A vehicle 8] dcpends from one of the rails on this carrier assembly. The vchicle 81 has the rollers 79 on its inner side which ride along this track 78, the track being flanged to prevent their lateral movement. A modified form of tower shown in FIG. 13 designated by numeral 82 is generally Y-shaped and includes an additional leg 83 depending from and formed as an extension as one of the upper legs of the Y which terminates in a footing at the bottom on the ground. This leg resists spring tension at the curve of the track system.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that changes in details of structure and system components may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. In a transportation system including suspended vehiclecarrying rail sections arranged in end-to-end relation to one another, said rail sections having a lower portion forming a support track for the vehicle, an expansion joint for adjacent end portions of said sections comprising means interconnecting adjacent ends of said rail sections including resilient biasing means mounted under tension arranged for applying forces along the top and both sides of the upper end portions of said rail sections in a-direction longitudinally thereof tending to pull the adjacent ends of said rail sections together so as to resist compression loading in the upper portion of the rail sections under the weight ofa vehicle while permitting expansion and contraction of the adjacent rail sections.

2. In a transportation system as set forth in claim I wherein said resilient biasing means includes a spring member between the upper edges of the adjoining ends of the rail sections.

3. In a transportation system as set forth in claim I wherein said. rail sections are l-shaped in cross section including a lower flange over which vehicle wheels travel and bridging means for spanning the gap between the ends of the lower flanges to prevent excessive wear.

4. In a transportation system including suspended vehiclecarrying rail sections in end-t0-end relation to one another, said rail sections having a lower portion forming a support track for the vehicle, and an expansion joint for adjacent end portions of said sections comprising tower means having spaced support portions to dispose the ends of adjacent rail sections in spaced relation to one another, means interconnecting adjacent ends of said rail sections including resilient biasing means mounted under tension arranged for applying forces along the top and sides of the upper end portions of said rail sections in a direction longitudinally thereof tending to pull the adjacent ends of said rail sections together so as to resist compression loading in the upper portion of the rail section under the weight of a vehicle while permitting expansion and contraction of the adjacent rail sections.

5. In a transportation system as set forth in claim 4 wherein said tower means has a slidable connection with one end portion of a rail section and a fixed connection with the other end of the same rail section to permit movement along the rail section.

6. In a transportation system including vehicle-carrying rail sections supported in end-to-end relation to one another. said rail sections having a lower portion forming a support track for the vehicle, tower means having spaced support portions connected inwardly of the ends of the adjacent rail sections to suspend the rail sections and dispose their ends in spaced relation with slidable lengthwise movement of one end connection of each rail section, and an expansion joint between adjacent end portions of said rail sections, said joint comprising means connecting said adjacent ends including a first connector portion on an upper portion of one rail section having projecting means extending outwardly therefrom, a second connector portion on an upper portion of the other rail section aligned with said first connector portion and having a second projecting means arranged opposite to and in alignment with said first projecting means, and resilient biasing means held under tension by said first and second projecting means arranged for applying forces along the top and both sides of the upper end portions of said rail sections in a direction longitudinally thereof tending to pull the adjacent ends of said rail sections together so as to resist compression loading in the upper portion of a rail section resulting from the downward bending of the rail section span under the weight of a vehicle while permitting normal expansion and contraction at the adjoining ends of the rail sections.

7. In a transportation system as set forth in claim 6 wherein said first and second connector portions are shaped to conform to the cross section of the upper portion of the associated rail section and fit in a mating relationship thereon.

8. In a transportation system as set forth in claim 7 wherein said rail sections are l-shaped in cross section and each said connector portion includes a top member which overlays the upper flange and side members which extend under the upper flange and along the upper portion of the web on the associated first and second rail sections.

9. In a transportation system as set forth in claim 6 including means slidably interconnecting first connector portion with the other of said second rail sections.

10. In a transportation system as set forth in claim 9 wherein said slidable interconnecting means between said first connector portion and said second rail section includes headed member means carried by said second rail section arranged to slidably move in slotted portions on said first connector portion and bear against said first connector portion to resist misalignment at the ends of said rail sections.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4746291 *Jul 28, 1987May 24, 1988Industrial Salva, S.A.Bakery and pastry oven
US7066094 *Jan 10, 2001Jun 27, 2006Gottwald Port Technology GmbhSupporting framework for a craneway
US7350467Aug 22, 2005Apr 1, 2008Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
US7895950Mar 1, 2011Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
US9029747 *Oct 7, 2010May 12, 2015Robert OrselloMethod and system for concentration of solar thermal energy
US20040182025 *Jan 10, 2001Sep 23, 2004Janis MoutsokapasSupporting framework for a craneway
US20120187276 *Oct 7, 2010Jul 26, 2012Robert OrselloMethod And System For Concentration Of Solar Thermal Energy
CN102667361BOct 7, 2010Jul 16, 2014罗伯特奥尔塞洛Method and system for concentration of solar thermal energy
WO2011044356A1 *Oct 7, 2010Apr 14, 2011Robert OrselloMethod and system for concentration of solar thermal energy
Classifications
U.S. Classification104/91, 238/151, 238/229
International ClassificationE01B25/22, E01B25/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01B25/22
European ClassificationE01B25/22