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Publication numberUS3643503 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 22, 1972
Filing dateApr 7, 1969
Priority dateApr 9, 1968
Also published asDE1916729A1, DE1916729B2
Publication numberUS 3643503 A, US 3643503A, US-A-3643503, US3643503 A, US3643503A
InventorsPlasser Franz, Schubert Egon, Theurer Josef
Original AssigneeSchubert Egon, Plasser Bahnbaumasch Franz, Theurer Josef
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Track surveying method
US 3643503 A
Abstract
A surveying vehicle is continuously moved on and along a track, the track is subjected to mechanical forces from the continuously moving vehicle, and the change in the track produced by the mechanical forces is measured. Signals corresponding to the measured changes indicate track conditions at successive track points where the mechanical forces have been exerted.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Plasser et al. Feb. 22, 1972 [54] TRACK SURVEYING METHOD [56] References Cited [72] Inventors: Franz Plasser; Josef Theurer, both of UNITED STATES PATENTS Mannesgasse 1010 Vienna; 3,481,183 12/1969 Swift ..73/146 Schubert, Lainzerstrasse Vienna 2,966,123 12/1960 Talboys ..104/s -1 OfAusma 3,240,161 3/1966 Beleau et al. ...104/8 22 Filed: Apr. 7 1969 3,334,592 8/1967 Plasser Cl al 104/8 [21 Appl. No.: 813,854 Primary Examiner-Arthur L. La Point Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Bertsch Attorney-Kurt Kelman [30] Foreign Application Priority Data Apr. 9, 1968 Austria ..A3507/68 [571 ABSTRACT A surveying vehicle is continuously moved on and along a [52] U.S.C|i ..73/l46, 104/8 track, the track is subjected to mechanical forces from the [S1] lnt.Cl ..E0lb 35/00 continuously moving vehicle, and the change in the track [58] Field of Search ..33/60, 146; 104/7, 7 B, 8, produced by the mechanical forces is measured. Signals corresponding to the measured changes indicate track conditions at successive track points where the mechanical forces have been exerted.

12 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures TRACK SURVEYING METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method for determining physical conditions of a railroad track by means of a vehicle continuously moving on and along the track in the direction of track elongation.

Surveying cars are known to determine the grade, lining, gage, superelevation and skew of a track, as well as the condition of the rails and rail fastenings, by means of sensors contacting the track rails and indicating the position in relation to an elongated vehicle frame serving as reference. However, it is not possible with known systems to determine a characteristic value of the track condition.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a method for determining physical conditions of a railroad track by means of a vehicle continuously moving on and along the track in the direction of track elongation.

Surveying cars are known to determine the grade, lining, gage, superelevation and skew of a track, as well as the condition of the rails and rail fastenings, by means of sensors contacting the track rails and indicating the position in relation to an elongated vehicle frame sewing as reference. However, it is not possible with known systems to determine a characteristic value of the track condition.

It it the primary object of this invention to produce a surveying system which makes it possible to determine all essential characteristic values indicative of the physical condition of a track while continuously moving along the track without stopping at track points whose conditions are to be determined.

This and other objects are accomplished in accordance with the invention by continuously moving a surveying vehicle on and along the track in the direction of track elongation, and subjecting the track to preferably a plurality of mechanical forces, loads or pressures from the continuously moving vehicle. The magnitudes of the changes in the track, such as changes in the shape or position of the track, are measured, and the measured values are used to indicate condition of the track. One or more measuring devices are used for measuring such changes in any suitable manner.

The condition of a track or track part can be determined by the effect a test load or force applied to the track or track part has thereon. For instance, the stifi'ness of a track rail or the resilience or yield of a ballast bed, as well as other characteristics of the track, may be determined by obtaining a value characteristic of the changes in the shape or position of the track under a controlled mechanical force applied thereto. This fact is used in the present invention in a continuously advancing surveying operation along a track.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING The above and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will be better understood by reference to the following detailed description of certain now preferred embodiments of apparatus capable of carrying out the method of this invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying schematic drawing wherein.

FIG. I is a top view of the running gears of one embodiment of an apparatus useful for the invention;

FIGS. 2 to 9 are side views of vehicles incorporating different embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 10 is a top view of the running gears of the vehicle of F IG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION The vehicle of FIG. 1 has three running gears I, 2 and II with wheels running on rails G of a railroad track. An axle l0 interconnects the two main running gears 1, ll and the intermediate running gear 2 is connected to the axle by means of hydraulic motors 2' which, upon operation, exert a predetermined, variable, horizontal force or pressure upon a selected one of the track rails, i.e., laterally move the track and thus change its shape or position. A suitable measuring device of any desired type (not shown) measures the thus produced track changes to produce a signal characteristic of local physical conditions of the track, such as the ballast bed condition, the condition of the track ties, the condition of the rail fastening, etc. I

In this and all other embodiments of the invention, th means on the vehicle for subjecting the track to mechanical forces has the purpose of changing the track, particularly to change the shape or position thereof, and signals indicating measured values of these changes are used to determine physical conditions of the track or track parts. More particularly, different changes in the track produced by mechanical forces of different magnitudes may be used to produce signals characteristic of certain track conditions and derived from a comparison of the different forces.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate track surveying vehicles with means for subjecting the track G to mechanical forces of predetermined and different sizes at points of the track spaced from each other in the direction of track elongation. The vehicles are mounted on pairs of swivel trucks.

In the embodiments of FIG. 2, loads 3' and 4' of different sizes exert different vertical forces upon swivel trucks 3 and 4 of the vehicle, each truck having the :same number of axles, i.e., three. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, the swivel trucks 3a and 4la have different numbers of axles, i.e., the truck 3a has three axles and the truck 4a has two axles. The loads 5 and 6 may be of the same size or of different sizes, the vertical forces exerted thereby on the trucks being distributed over a different number of axles, thus producing a different downward pressure on the axles of the front and rear trucks.

In this manner, the track is simultaneously subjected to mechanical forces at points spaced from each other in the direction of track elongation, and as the vehicle shown in FIG. 3 moves continuously along and on the track, it is subjected to successive mechanical forces of different size at the same point, the resultant characteristic signals being measured and compared to determine physical conditions of the track.

The embodiment of FIG. 4 is substantially identical with that of FIG. 2, except that each swivel truck 3b, 4b has four axles so that the loads 5, 6' are distributed thereover at successive track points simultaneously.

The embodiments of FIGS. 5 to 8 assure more accurate control of the mechanical forces to which the track is subjected, thus producing more reliable signals characteristic of the measured changes and corresponding conditions of the track. In these embodiments, a surveying vehicle runs on track G on front and rear axles or running gears, and a satellite carriage is mounted on the vehicle and moves on the track with the vehicle. Means is provided for exerting a predetermined force or pressure on the satellite carriage.

In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the vehicle A runs on axles 8 and carries satellite carriage B intermediate the axles. The satellite carriage, in turn, has two axles 7 also running on Track G intermediate axles 8 of vehicle A. A hydraulic motor 9 is mounted on the vehicle and connected to the satellite carriage to exert thereon (and on its axles 7) a carefully controllable vertical pressure. Obviously, the hydraulic motor may be mounted for exerting a horizontal pressure on the satellite carriage.

In the embodiment of FIG. 6, two satellite carriages B B are mounted on the surveying vehicle A, each at the axles 8, 8 of the vehicle, with the axles 7', 7' of the satellite carriages on either side of the vehicle axles. This produces four successive track points at which a controlled and measurable mechanical force is exerted upon the track by the satellite carriage axles.

The embodiment of FIG. 7 differs from that of FIG. 5 only in that the axles 7", 7 of the satellite carriage B are arranged outside the vehicle axles 8, 8, instead of therebetween, so that the satellite carriage axles exert a force on the track at or near the two ends of the vehicle.

Further variation of the applied mechanical forces is possible with the embodiment of FIG. 8 wherein the downward force exerted by the axles 8', 8' of the surveying vehicle A also differs. In the illustrated embodiment, this is accomplished by making the surveying vehicle asymmetric so that the one axle 8' carries a heavier load than the other axle 8. Of course, the same result would be accomplished by placing different loads upon the respective axles, such as shown in FIG. 2, for example. Additional, relatively small downward pressure is exerted upon the track by satellite carriages B,, B mounted in the same manner as shown in FIG. 6.

The embodiment of FIGS. 9 and 10 differs from that of FIG. 6 in the special mounting of the satellite carriages B and B on the surveying vehicle A, enabling the apparatus not only to subject the track to mechanical forces in a vertical and/or horizontal direction but also to determine, measure and compare changes of position of the satellite carriages in relation to each other and to the surveying vehicle, using the corresponding signals to measure the changes in the track shape or position caused by the mechanical forces to which the track has been subjected.

For instance, these signals may be produced by measuring angle in a vertical plane and/or angle in a horizontal plane between lines extending in the direction of track elongation and constituted, for instance, by rods on the satellite carriages, the angles being defined between associated lines of the two carriages, one line extending in a direction determined by the position of the one carriage B and the other line extending in a direction determined by the position of the other carriage B FIG. also shows that axles 7", 7" of the satellite carriages may be subjected to lateral forces K while the carriages themselves serve as a reference or datum line in relation to which characteristic values may be measured. As shown in this figure, when the surveying vehicle moves in a track curve, one of the wheels of the front axles 7', 7 of the satellite carriages automatically is pressed with its rim against the head of the grade rail while the rear carriage axles 7", 7 has an indeterminate position. Therefore, it is sufficient to limit the lateral force to the rear axles.

As is well known in track surveying, surfacing and lining operations, an additional an preferably longer reference line may be established and maintained independently of, and separately from, the satellite carriages, such reference systems usually including a plurality of measuring bogies at spaced points along the track elongation and a reference line, such as a beam of electromagnetic radiation or tensioned wire, established between the measuring bogies.

As shown in FIG. 10, the satellite carriages have frames constituted by linked rods which are freely movable in relation to each other so that all wheels may engage the rails with their rims and thus follow the course of the track rails G even when the same are skew, for instance in a superelevated track section, such as a curve. Such satellite carriages may then be used to measure the twist in the track rails by using the relative position of the axles of each carriage and of the axles of neighboring carriages. FIG. 10 shows the satellite carriages B, and B laterally pressed by forces K against the grade rail whose position is to be surveyed, these carriages or parts thereof serving as reference in relation to which, for instance by measuring angle B, the characteristic values are determined.

While not illustrated, the surveying vehicle may also carry means for producing vibrations in at least one track rail, an means for measuring the rail vibrations. Such measurements may be used to produce signals characteristic of certain track conditions. For instance, the vibration producing means may be an impact tool or a flattened wheel or pair of wheels to produce successive impacts on the track rails as the vehicle moves therealong. As is known, the vibrations may be measured by conventional electroacoustical vibration meters.

As will be appreciated, the schematically illustrated embodiments of surveying apparatus are merely illustrative of the concepts underlying the present invention and may be used to carry out the method according thereto in a great variety of ways. For instance, the mechanical forces, to which the track is subjected from the continuously moving surveying vehicle, may be so controlled from track point to track point as to vary as a function of the physical conditions at each point to produce a predetermined, constant value of measured changes of these conditions, for instance changes in the shape or position of the track or track part which has been subjected to the mechanical force. The varying sizes of the mechanical forces give a signal characteristic of the local conditions of the track. On the other hand, the size of the mechanical forces may be kept constant to produce varying values as a function of the measured changes of the track conditions, and the varying values of the measured changes give signals characteristic of the local condition of the track.

It is particularly advantageous if the track is subjected to mechanical forces of different sizes at points of the track spaced from each other in the direction of track elongation as the surveying vehicle continuously moves on and along the track. The resultant track changes, i.e., reshaping or repositioning of the track, are measured and compared to use the measured differences as a characteristic of a given track condition. Such continuously produced signals are particularly useful in an automated operation which permits the signals to be continuously received, recorded and evaluated, for instance in a computer.

Variations within this preferred method are possible. Thus, the mechanical forces of different sizes may be successively exerted upon the same track point. For instance, with the vehicle shown in FIG. 8, the different pressures of the front and rear vehicle axles will be exerted upon the same track point successively as the vehicle moves along the track, the differences in the track shape or position being measured at each axle, and then compared. In this case, the track is simultaneously subjected to mechanical forces of different sizes at spaced points. Thus, while the changed track condition produced by a relatively small mechanical force is measured at one point, the changed track condition produced by a larger mechanical force is simultaneously measured at a point spaced therefrom.

In the illustrated embodiments, the mechanical forces are loads or pressures in a horizontal and/or vertical direction exerted directly or indirectly upon one or both track rails.

The type and the direction of the mechanical forces will depend on the characteristic of the track which is to be determined. For instance, the condition of the rails and the ballast bed is determined by exerting vertical pressures on the track. The condition of the rail fastenings and the track tie positions, which are largely determined by the ballast density at the ends of the ties, can be determined on the basis of track shape or position changes produced by horizontal or lateral pressures on the track. For instance, if the two track rails are pressed in opposite lateral directions at the same or at least about the same track point, the resultant changes in the shape or position of the track rails can be used to generate signals characteristic of the condition of the tie position or the rail fastening at this point.

Similar results are produced if the mechanical force consists of rail vibration-producing means, rather than vertical and/or horizontal pressure means, the resultant vibrations in the rail or rails being preferably measured electroacoustically for obtaining signals characteristic of track conditions, such as the condition of the rails and rail fastenings but also the position of the track ties and the condition of the ballast bed.

The more types and/or sizes of mechanical forces are exerted upon the same track point, the more accurate and clear will be the determination of the track condition at this point obtained by the signals resulting from the measured changes in the track produced by these varying forces. A composite picture of the track condition may then the produced by feeding these varying signals to punch cards or directly to a computer for evaluation Each combination of signals produces a composite picture which tells the track maintenance expert the condition of the track and its parts at each track point, the accuracy of this picture depending primarily on the number of measured values at each point. This shows the importance and considerable advantage of subjecting each track point successively to different mechanical stresses, particularly stresses of different magnitudes.

We claim:

l. A method of determining the physical condition of a track, comprising the steps of l. continuously moving a vehicle on and along the track in the direction of the track elongation;

2. subjecting the track to substantially constant mechanical forces of difierent magnitude from the continuously moving vehicle at points of the track spaced from each other in the direction of track elongation, the mechanical forces being sufficient to change the physical condition of the track at the points of application only while the forces are applied thereto;

3. measuring the changes in the track condition produced at said points by the different mechanical forces; and

4. determining the differences in the values of the measured changes.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the track is simultaneously subjected to said mechanical forces at said points.

3. A method of determining the physical condition of a track, comprising the steps of l. continuously moving a vehicle on and along the track in the direction of the track elongation;

2. subjecting the track to successive substantially constant mechanical forces of different magnitudes at the same point from the continuously moving vehicle, the mechanical forces being sufficient to change the physical condition of the track at the points of application only while the forces are applied thereto; and

3. measuring the changes in the track condition produced at each of said points by said mechanical forces to indicate the condition of the track.

4. A method of determining the physical condition of a track, comprising the steps of l. continuously moving a vehicle on and along the track in the direction of the track elongation;

2. subjecting the two rails of the track to horizontal loads from the continuously moving vehicle to press the rails in opposite lateral directions and thus to produce a change in the shape or position of the rails at the same point of the track; and

3. measuring the change in the shape or position of the rails produced by the horizontal loads,

a. the measured changes indicating the condition of the track.

5. A method of determining the physical condition of a track, comprising the steps of l. continuously moving a vehicle on and along the track in the direction of the track elongation;

2. subjecting the track to mechanical forces from the continuously moving vehicle, said forces including causing at least one of the track rails to vibrate; and

3. electroacoustically measuring the vibrations produced by said mechanical forces,

a. the measured vibrations indicating the condition of the track.

6. A method of determining the physical condition of a track, comprising the steps of l. continuously moving a vehicle on. and along the track in the direction of track elongation;

2. applying substantially constant mechanical forces to the track from the continuously moving vehicle,

a. the mechanical forces being sufficient to change the physical condition of the track at the points of application only while the forces are applied thereto;

3. measuring the changes in the track condition produced by the applied mechanical forces at said points; and

4. producing signals corresponding to the measured changes to determine the condition of the track over which the vehicle moves. 7. The method of claim 6, wherein the mechanical forces Include pressure exerted upon a selected part of the track to produce a change in the shape or position of the selected track part.

d. The method of claim 6, wherein the mechanical forces include vertical loads imposed upon at least one of the track rails to produce a change in the shape or position of the rails.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the mechanical forces include horizontal loads imposed upon at least one of the track rails to produce a change in the shape or position of the rails.

lit). The method of claim 6, wherein successive mechanical forces of different magnitudes are applied at the same point of the track from the continuously moving vehicle, each applied force corresponding to a predetermined norm causing a given change in the physical track condition of a normal track, whereby the measured changes indicate deviations from the norm.

llll. The method of claim 6, wherein a constant mechanical force is applied to a succession of points along the track from the continuously moving vehicle, the applied force corresponding to a predetermined norm causing a given change in the physical track condition of a normal track, whereby the measured changes indicate deviations from the norm.

12 The method of claim 6, wherein mechanical forces of different magnitude are applied from the continuously moving vehicle at points of the track spaced from each other in the direction of track elongation, the changes in the track condition produced at said points by the different mechanical forces are measured, and the differences in the values of the mea sured changes are determined to indicate the condition of the track over which the vehicle moves.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2966123 *Feb 16, 1959Dec 27, 1960Nordberg Manufacturing CoTrack liner
US3240161 *Apr 22, 1963Mar 15, 1966Fairmont Railway Motors IncVibratory apparatus for movement of objects
US3334592 *Nov 19, 1964Aug 8, 1967Franz PlasserApparatus designed for track surveying
US3481183 *Sep 12, 1968Dec 2, 1969Dresser IndApparatus for determining deflections of a structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4691565 *May 16, 1986Sep 8, 1987Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Mobile machine for measuring track parameters
US7254896Mar 18, 2003Aug 14, 2007Ensco, Inc.Inner bearing split axle assembly
US20040020065 *Mar 18, 2003Feb 5, 2004Carr Gary A.Inner bearing split axle assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification73/146, 104/8
International ClassificationG01M5/00, E01B35/00, B61K9/08, B61K9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61K9/08
European ClassificationB61K9/08