US 3672308 A
A switching arrangement for a transportation system employing flexible-tired self-propelled vehicles riding on roadways having laterally spaced tracks and a guide beam (guide rail) therebetween which is engaged by guide wheels carried by supports depending from the undercarriage of the vehicle.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0 United States Patent [151 3,672,308 Segar [4 1 June 27, 1972 541 ROADWAY SWITCHING 3,095,827 7/1963 Chadenson ..104/247 ARRANGEMENT FOR 3,098,454 7/1963 Maestrelli ..104/247 TRANSPORTATONSYSTEM HAVING 3'13??? 13/1323 ififii'lg'e'; "132/135 CENTER GUIDERAIL BELOW TRACK 3,223,048 12/ 1965 Gorjanc 104/ 130 LEVEL 3,308,766 3/1967 Urbinati 104/1 30  Inventor: William R. Segar, Monroeville, Pa. 12, 4/1967 Mueller 104/246 v 3,593,668 7/1971 Adams ..104/130  Asslgneez Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pm-
r Primary Examiner-Drayton E. Hoffman I 22] Filed: Nov. 6, 1970 Attorney-F. H. Henson, R. G. Brodahl and C. 'J. Paznokas [211 App]. No.: 87,428
.  ABSTRACT  US. Cl ..104/246, 104/ 130, 104/247 A i hi angement for a transportation system employ- 1 1 "E01b7/l2, l3/04F01b23/o6 ing flexible-tired self-propelled vehicles riding on roadways  Field of Search ..104/ 130, 246, 247; 105/144; having laterally spaced tracks and a guide beam (guide rail) 246M151 435 therebetween which is engaged by guide wheels carried by supports depending from the undercarriage of the vehicle.  References Clted UNITED STATES PATENTS 9 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures 2,718,194 9/1955 Ruhlmann ..104/247 PATETEDJUM r972 SHEET 1 OF 5 Ill FIG.5.
INVENTOR WITNESSES R. Segor BY T) W TTORNEY PMENTEUJUNN 1912 SHEET 3 0F 5 w 0E vom H531.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the Transit Expressway Report of the MPC Corporation,
4400 th Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213, dated Feb. 20, 1967, and in the US. Pat. No. 3,312,180 to E. O. Mueller, there is described a transportation system employing self-propelled cars with rubber tires riding on aroadway having a pair of laterally spaced tracks and an I-shaped guide beam between and below thetracks. For steering, the car is equipped with pairs of laterally spaced resilient-tired guide wheels, each wheel of a pair being carried by an individual support depend ing from the under carriage of the car for rotation in a horizontal plane below the track surface. The guide wheels of each pair engage opposite sides of the guide beam, whereby the car is constrained to follow" the guide beam, that is its line of travel is dictated by the guide beams. The guide wheels have a normal operating diameter (running radius) and a limiting predetermined minimum diameter, whereby under abnormal conditions the wheels cannot reduce to less than the predetermined minimum diameter. The arrangement is such that the laterally flanged top of the guide beam overhangs not only the normal operating diameter of a guide wheel but also the minimum diameter to prevent upset of the car under abnormal conditions such as excessive car sway, or excessive flexingor collapse of the resilient-tired guide wheels. As described in the Transit Expressway Report, electric power is supplied to the car through current collectors from power rails supported by one of the tracks.
Transportation systems employinga plurality of roadways and vehicles that are steered by engagement with guidance elements of the roadway require switching arrangements to permit selective transfer of a vehicle between one roadway and either one of second and third roadways. In the conventional rail system the guidance element is also the riding track whose side is engaged by the flange of a railway car wheel for guidance. The switching art for conventional rail systems is an old and highly developed art. The prior art relating to switching arrangements for roadways employing flexible-tired vehicles is meager and generally represented by US. Pat. Nos. 2,718,194, 3,095,827, 3,098,454, 3,152,559 and 3,308,766, and the aforementioned Transit Expressway Report, pages 153 to 2170. The switching system of the prior art has any one or more of the following characteristics: expensive; complex; cumbersome; massive; and inappropriateness to thetype of equipment and use to which the present invention is directed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is directed to a switching arrangement for a transportation system of the type discussed, in which arrangement: the guide wheels function through the switch without discontinuity, the same as along the roadway; the ride quality is not impaired while passing through the switch at rated speeds, and power is continuously maintained on the car while passing through the switch.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the switching arrangement includes: a movable guide beam arrangement operable in first and second mutually exclusive positions, for selectively connecting the guide beam of a first roadway to the guide beam of either a second or a third roadway; and a frog providing running surfaces for car riding wheels along the lines of travel of the wheels in car movement between the first roadway and the second roadway and between the first roadway and the third roadway as dictated by the guide beams for the respective courses, the running surfaces being coplanar with the tracks. Included in the running surfaces are surfaces supported by the guide beams of the second and third roadways, while others of the running surfaces are located on opposite sides of each of the guide beam supported surfaces and laterally spaced therefrom to provide slots for the supports of the guide wheels to thread through. The arrangement is such that the slide slots are wide enough to provide clearance for the guide wheels supports for both operating diameter and predetermined minimum diameters of the guide wheels, but narrow enough to provide substantial interface between the car riding wheels and the running surfaces at any point of travel over the slots for riding comfort and minimum noise.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a section through a roadway and car, which with the exception of the current collection systems therein, illustrates the type of transportation system described in the aforementioned MPC publication and US. Pat. No. 3,312,180, for
which the present invention is especially applicable:
FIG. 2 illustrates the current collection systems described in the MPC publication;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are plan views of a switch embodying the invention, and showing the two operative positions of the mova- -ble guide beam arrangement;
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF INVENTION In FIG. 1, there is shown a roadway R including a pair of laterally spaced concrete topped tracks 18 and 20 supported from a roadbed 22, and a flanged guide rail (guide beam) 24 between the tracks and supported'along its length from the roadbed 22 by a continuous or discontinuous support element or elements 25. Shown running on the tracks is a selfpropelled vehicle 26, for example for carrying passengers. The vehicle is provided with at least two pairs of resilient-tired laterally spaced riding wheels, anyor all of which may also be driving wheels. The wheel pairs are spaced longitudinally of the vehicle, one pair being shown in FIG. 1 as including wheels 28 and 30 connected by an axle in an axle housing 32 fixed to a frame 34. The vehicle 26 is further provided with a body 36 on a frame 37 resiliently supported by frame 34. For comfort and safety each wheel has two sections and dual resilient tires, for example pneumatic rubber or rubber like tires. The dual tires for wheel 28 and indicated at 38 and 39, while those of wheel 30 are indicated at 40 and 42. To accommodate the broad composite tread of each of the wheels 28 and 30, rails l8 and 20 are provided with wide running surfaces 44 and 46 respectively.
The vehicle 26 is steered by the engagement of sets of opposing guide wheels with opposite sides 52 and 54 of the guide rail 24. One such set is shown in FIG. 1 and includes pneumatic resilient-tired wheels 56 and 58 carried for rotation around vertical axes by supports 60 and 62 mounted to the frame 34. Supports 60 and 62 are shown as vertical axles whose upper ends are affixed to the frame 34. The upper ends of axles 60 and 62 may be eccentric shaped and clamped in split bushings 64 and 66 attached to the frame 34. The pneumatic tires on the guide wheels 56 and 58 are pressed against the guide rail web to produce preloading forces by clamping the eccentric shaft endings in a position to produce the desired preloading, thus providing to each of the guide wheels a normal operating diameter under normal load, which because of tire resiliency, is a little less than the wheel would have if it were not in engagement with the web on the guide rail. Normal operating diameter" corresponds to the rolling radius" which is the radial dimension from the centerline of the guide wheel shaft to the interface of the guide wheel tire and the guide rail under preloaded condition.
Excessive tire deflections due to abnormal lateral forces, or due to under-inflation, are limited by steel safety discs 68 and 70 attached to the guide wheels 56 and 58 respectively. The diameter of each safety disc is slightly less than the diameter of its associated guide wheel tire, and also less than the normal operating diameter of the wheel. In a particular operating example the diameter of the safety disc is about 1 inch less than the normal operating diameter of the associated guide wheel. Thus if a guide wheel tire becomes deflated its corresponding safety disc will engage the web of the guide beam 24 to take over the steering of the vehicle.
The web of the guide rail transmits lateral wind forces, as well as the centrifugal and steering forces, to the roadway structure. The guide rail flange prevents the vehicle from derailing or upsetting, since the flange will be engaged by the safety discs 68 or 70 as the case may be in case the vehicle attempts to upset or become derailed. Thus, the safety discs perform dual functions in the operation of the vehicle.
The vehicle 26 may be driven by any suitable motor such'as internal combustion engine, electric motors or other. By way of example the vehicle is shown as powered by an electric motor 72 coupled to the axle connecting the drive wheels 28 and 30. Electric power is supplied to the vehicle by an arrangement including conductors (current rails) 74 insulatively supported by brackets 76 attached at longitudinal intervals to the guide rails 24, and contacted by wiping brushes 78 carried by a bracket 80 fixed to the frame 34 behind the axle 62. Conductors 82 and 84 connected to the motor 76 and the control circuits of the vehicle, pass through or along the bracket 80 for connection to the brushes 78.
In an operating example, the diameter of axles 60 and 62 was about 2 inches, guide wheel tire diameter inflated and unloaded about 16.5 inches, normal operating diameter of guide wheels (tires engaging guide beam and preloaded) about 16 inches (rolling radius 8 inches), safety discs about inches in diameter, and riding wheel dual pneumatic tires each 7.50 X 20.
Ground rail and collector brush are shown at 86 and 88 respectively, the brush being carried by a bracket 90 (behind axle 60) secured to the frame 34, while the rail 86 is supported by brackets 76 attached to the guide rail 24. The current collection system disclosed in the aforementioned MPC publication is illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein the power conductors 92 are supported by brackets 94 attached to the track 18. In this figure, the collector brushes 96 are supported by a bracket 98 attached to the under carriage of the vehicle.
In FIG. 3, there are shown three roadways, R1, R2 and R3. Each of which in cross section is like the roadway R in FIG. 1, and includes laterally spaced parallel tracks with a parallel guide rail therebetween. Road R1 includes tracks 100 and 102, a flanged guide rail 104 intermediate of and parallel through the tracks, and current and ground rails 106 and 108 supported at intervals from the guide rail by brackets 110. Roadway R2 includes rails 112 and 114, guide rail 116, and current and ground rails 118 and 120, respectively. Roadway R3 includes tracks 122 and 124, guide rail 126, and current and ground rails 128 and 130.
It will be noted that roadways R1 and R2 are straight roadways and in line with each other, that is their longitudinal axes are in line with each other. On the other hand, roadway R3 is a curved roadway whose longitudinal axis or axis projection merges with the longitudinal axis line of roads R1 and R2 at the line or point P. Although only small sections of roadways R2 and R3 are shown, it should be noted that at least initially roadways R2 and R3 diverge from each other looking toward the right in FIG. 3. The term longitudinal axis as used herein covers both the straight line projection of roadways R1 and R2 and the curved line projection of roadway R3.
In FIG. 3, there is shown a switching arrangement 132 for selectively and operatively connecting roadway R1 to either of roadways R2 and R3. Switch 132 includes a guide rail transfer section 134 and a frog section 136. Transfer section 134 operates to selectively effect guide rail continuity between the guide rail of roadway R1 and the guide rail of either roadway R2 or roadway R3 as desired. The frog section 136 provided running surfaces for the vehicle riding wheels along the lines of travel of the wheels in vehicle movement between the roadway RI and roadway R2, and between roadway R1 and roadway R3, ad dictated by the guide beam arrangement for the respective courses.
Frog section 136 is provided with a track section 138 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) having a part 140 with a normal width running surface in line with tracks 100 and 1 12, and a part 142 which longitudinally extends the normal width running surface of part 140, but additionally is provided with a lateral inward extension 144 which laterally broadens the running surface 145 for the length of the extending portion 144. Track section 138 is made for example from a 1 inch thick steel plate supported by suitable steel beams 146 and other structural elements such as webs 148, the beams 146 being secured to transverse roadbed members 150. Frog section 136 also includes a track section 152 having a part 154 with a normal width running surface in line with track 124 and along the projected curved longitudinal axis thereof. Track section 152 also has a part 155 having a running surface not only in line with track part 154, but also having a lateral inward extension 156 which provides a broadened running surface 157 along the length of the extension. In the same manner as track section 138, track section 152 also is made from a structural plate and similarly supported by structural elements 158 and 159 based on the road bed and attached to cross members 150.
The frog 136 includes a fixed section of flanged guide rail 160 in end-to-end relation with guide rail 116 so that effectively it becomes an extension thereof. Guide rail 160 is structurally supported by and secured to elements 161 fixed to the road bed and terminates in a free end 162.
As viewed in FIG. 1, the left end ofswitch 132 is the facing end of the switch because the point of the switch is at that end. The opposite end (right end) of the switch is referred to as the trailing end" because it trails the point of the switch. From these reference points the following reference directions are established. The point direction is the direction looking" from the trailing end toward the point or facing end, while the opposite direction is the trailing direction."
A bridging plate 164 secured to the flange top of guide rail 160 extends from the free end 162 of guide rail 160 in the trailing direction to provide a running surface 166. A set of current rails 168 in line with and connected to current rails 118, and a ground rail 170 in line with ground rail 120 are supported by brackets 172 attached to the guide rail 160.
Frog 136 includes a fixed section of guide rail 174 in end-toend relation with guide rail 126, effectively continuing the guide rail 126 along the curved projection of its longitudinal axis. Guide rail section 174 is structurally supported on the road bed and terminates in a free end 176. A bridging plate 178 secured to the flange top of the guide rail 170 extends from the free end of the guide rail 176 in the trailing direction to provide a running surface 180. A set of current rails 182 in line with and connected to current rails 128, and a ground rail 184 in line with ground rail 130 are attached by brackets to guide rail 174 to follow along the course thereof.
The frog 136 includes a track section 186 made for example from 1 inch steel plate and supported at a height from the road bed by structural elements 188 and 190 secured to the road bed, for example by attachment to road bed members 150. The trailing end of track section 186 abuts the converging ends of tracks 114 and 122 whereby the upper surface 200 of the track section 186 provides a continuation of a merger place for tracks 114 and 122.
The upper surfaces of tracks 112, 114, 122, 124, track sections 138, 152, 186 and bridging members 164 and 178, are all coplanar to provide running surfaces for the vehicle riding wheels. The running surfaces of track sections 138, 152, 186 and bridging members 164 and 178 may be coated with a bonded friction coating, for example polyester and grit to prevent loss of adhesion on the tires of the riding wheels.
Generally only the sectioned cuts of the frog components are shown in FIG. 5 to avoid complicating the drawing. For example, the curve of guide rail 174 to the right is not shown. However, the converging ends of beams 188 and 190 are shown, although they are back of the section line VV of FIG. 3.
It will be noted that the bridging member 164 is spaced from the plate 138 extension 144, and from the track section 186 to provide slots 94 and 96, respectively, to allow supports 60 and 62 of the guide wheels of a vehicle to thread therethrough when the vehicle is negotiating one course through the switch. Also bridging member 178 is spaced from the track section 186 and from the extension 158 of track section 152 to provide the slots 198 and 200 respectively through which the support elements 60 and 62 of the guide wheels of a vehicle will thread while the vehicle is negotiating the curved course of the switch.
The transfer section 134 of the switch 132 is provided with fixed track sections 202 and 204 having running surfaces 206 and 208 respectively coplanar with and affording continuity of the running surfaces of tracks 100 and 102, and track sections 138 and 152. Effectively, tracks 100 and 112, and track sections 202 and 138 form a continuous track except for gaps provided to compensate for expansion due to temperature change. In like manner, tracks 102 and 124, and track sections 204 and 152 form a continuous track except for gaps provided to compensate for expansion due to heat.
Track section 202 at its point end is the normal track width, but it gradually widens to an enlarged portion 210 at the trailing end of the section. In somewhat similar manner track section 204 is of normal track width at its point end, but gradually widens toward an enlarged trailing end 212. Track sections 202 and 204 are for example made from I inch steel plates secured to structural support elements 213 and 214 secured to and supported by the road bed.
The guide rail transfer section 134 is provided with a guide rail transfer mechanism 216 having two mutually exclusive positions. In one position the transfer mechanism provides a connection between the free ends of guide rail 104 and guide rail 160 toeffect guide rail continuation between guide rails 104 and 160. In the. other position, the transfer mechanism provides a connection between the free ends of guide rail 104 and 174 to effect guide rail continuity between guide rails 104 and 174.
Although other transfer mechanisms for effecting these connections may be employed in connection with the disclosed frog section 136, the specific one illustrated in FIG. 3 is a preferred form.
The preferred form of transfer mechanism at 216 includes guide rails 218 and 220 rigidly connected in fixed laterally spaced relation by transverse members shown symbolically by dashed lines 222 and 224 in FIGS. 3 and 4, and more specifically illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 10. The joined guide rail sections 218 and 220 are movable in concert transversely from one to the other of the two mutually exclusive different positions shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The transverse movement of the guide rail sections 218 and 220 is on transverse ways and by mechanisms not shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 but illustrated in detail in FIGS. 6 to 10. Also means for locking the transfer mechanism in either of the positions is shown specifically in FIGS. 6 to 9.
It should be noted at this point that FIG. 4 is generally a duplicate of FIG. 3 with a little less detail shown but with the transfer mechanism 216 shown in a different alternative position,
Attached by suitable brackets 226 to the guide rail 218 are a set of current rails 228 and a ground rail 230. In like manner, attached to the guide rail 220 by suitable brackets 231 are a set of current rails 232 (better seen in FIG. 4) and a ground rail 234. The current and ground rails attached to the respective guide rails 218 and 220 are parallel to their associated guide rails and being attached to them move with them when the transfer mechanism 216 is moved laterally.
In the position of the transfer mechanism 216 shown in FIG. 3, guide rail 218 is aligned with guide rails 104 and 160 to close the longitudinal gap therebetween, thereby effectively connecting guide beams 104 and 160 to provide guide beam continuity therebetween. It will be noted that in the position of FIG. 3 the power conductor sets 106, 228, 168 and 118, are lined up and connected to the same power source. Ground rails 108, 230, 170, and 120 are also aligned. In the position of FIG. 4 current rail sets 106, 232, 182 and 128 are lined up and are connected to the same source of power. Also the ground rails 108, 234, 184 and 130 are aligned.
In the position of FIG. 3, the course of travel of a vehicle through the switches dictated by the aligned guide rails is defined by the centerlines of travel 240 and 242 of the opposite side riding wheels 28 and 30, respectively of the vehicle, whereby the vehicle will transfer from one to the other of roadways R1 and R2.
The arrangement of slot 194 is such that its centerline is coincident with (intersects) the centerlines of guide wheel support 60 and ground brush bracket 90 under static load conditions of the vehicle. In like manner the arrangement of slot 196 is such that its centerline is coincident with the centerlines of guide wheel support 62 and current brush bracket under the same conditions. Slots 194 and 196 are wide enough to allow the axles 60 and 62 and brackets and 80 to pass through the slots as the vehicle passes through the switch. Preferably the slots should not be much wider than is necessary to allow free passage of the axles 60 and 62 under abnormal conditions when one or the other safety disks 68 and 70 engages the guide beam, that is, when one or the other guide wheels 56 and 58 is operating at the predetermined minimum diameter (the diameter of disks 68 and 70). In the operating example wherein the vehicle guide wheel elements have the hereinbefore mentioned dimensions and relations, the slots 194 and 196 were 4.5 inches wide. These slots will not affect the ride quality of the vehicle, even at high speeds. The vehicle passes over the slots at an angle such that for each set of dual tires passing over a slot, the minimum tread contact of the tire load area on the road surface for a ft. radius curve is 100 percent for one tire and 64 percent of the other tire. This is equivalent to about 80 percent of a single tire having a broad tread equal to the composite tread of dual tires. This is based on 7.50 X 20 pneumatic riding tires. Two laterally spaced sets of dual tires do not cross the slots at the same time. For abnormal transverse load conditions or for a flat guide wheel tire, the safety disk involved maintains positive guide wheel axle clearance in the slot and thus insures-that the guide wheel axles and the brackets for the current collectors will always thread the slots. The safety disks also functions in the vertical plane to thread the guide wheels in the event of an overturning force.
In the position of FIG. 4, the course of travel of a vehicle through the switch as dictated by the aligned guide rails is defined by the center lines of travel 244 and 246 of the op posite side riding wheels 28 and 30, respectively, of the vehicle, whereby the vehicle will transfer from one to the other of roadways R1 and R3 in either direction. In this course of travel the guide wheel axles 60 and 62 and the current and brush brackets will thread slots 198 and 200 which are dimensioned in the same manner as slots 194 and 196.
While slots 194, 196, 198 and 200 are wide enough to provide clearance for the guide wheel axles under normal and abnormal conditions such as engagement of the guide rail by the safety disks, they are made narrow enough to provide substantial interface between the vehicle riding wheels and the running surfaces on opposite sides of the slots at any point of travel over the slots to provide riding comfort and minimize noise.
It may be noted that while the structural plates from which track sections 138, 152 and 186 are made are strong enough to support the vehicle, at least the portions adjacent the slots 194, 196, 198 and 200 are thin enough to provide clearance for the vehicle guide wheels passing thereunder. This is also rue of the bridging plates 164 and 178.
Referring now to FIG. 6, which shows the transfer section 134 in more detail but with the current and ground rails omitted to simplify the illustration, guide rails 218 and 220 are connected together to fonn a rigid structure 216 by means of members 222 and 224 at opposite ends of the guide rails, and an intermediate U-shaped member 250. Although the current and ground rails are omitted in FIG. 6, they are shown in FIG. 7. Member 250 is secured as by welding to the guide rails 218 and 220. Members 222 and 224 ride on ways 252 and 254 in the form of heavy pipes disposed transversely across the load bed and secured at their opposite ends to the supporting structure of track sections 202 and 204, more specifically elements 213 and 214. Thus they function as ways and also as diaphragms for the roadway structure.
Except for their different lengths, cross-tie members 222 and 224 are similar in structure and only one, member 222 will be described in detail. Member 222 generally comprises a rigid assembly having similar reaction roller end frames 256 and 258 (FIG. 7) and (FIG. 10) connected together by a pipe 260 concentrically encircling pipe 252 for free relative movement therebetween. End frame 256 has a plate section 262 having an aperture 264 (FIG. 10) coincident with the inside diameter of pipe 260, through which aperture the pipe 252 freely passes.
Three pairs of tabs 266, 268 and 270 welded to the plate 262 and to the pipe 260 provide support for shafts 272, 274 and 276 carrying bearing mounted rollers 278, 280 and 282, respectively, spaced 120 apart and which project through slots 284, 286 and 288, respectively, cut in pipe 260, whereby the rollers will roll and guide on and along the pipe 252. Shafts 272, 274 and 276 are eccentrically mounted so that the roller wheels can be easily adjusted for proper alignment and bearing on the steel pipe 252 by means of a handle as at 290. Guide rail 220 is rigidly secured to plate 262 by welding the bottom flange of the guide rail through spacers 292 and 294 to tabs 296 and 298 that are integral with (as by welding) to plate 262.
End frame 258 is structurally the mirror image of end frame 256 and is secured to the opposite end of pipe 260 which end is also slotted to allow the three rollers on frame 258 to engage and ride on pipe 252. Guide rail 218 is secured to the frame 258 in the same manner that guide beam 220 is secured to the frame 256.
Guide rails 218 and 220 are rigidly secured to the movable cross tie 224 in the same way that they are secured to the movable cross-tie 222. As hereinbefore stated, the members 222 and 224 are alike except for length. Thus cross-tie 224 is also equipped with rollers which ride on and guide along pipe 254. The roller mounted assemblies at opposite ends of guide beams 218 and 220 effect longitudinal and vertical alignment, provide lateral stability to the guide beam structure to insure movement along the chosen course of the switch, and provide a highly mechanically efficient rolling motion for both powered and manual operation and positioning.
The tops of guide beams 218 and 220 are below the track sections 202 and 204 to allow guide rail 218 to tuck or pass under the cantilevered portion of the section 202 when moved to the position of FIG. 4, and to allow guide rail 220 to pass under the cantilevered portion of section 204 when moved to the position of FIG. 3.
As seen in FIG. 6, an electric cylinder motor 300 is trunnion-mounted on cross members 302 and 304 attached to the beams 213 and 214. A two degrees of movement (freedom) trunnion mounting is indicated at 306. An electric cylinder motor translates reversible rotary movement of a rotor member to reversible linear movement of an output rod, which for motor 300 is indicated at 308. It is the functional equivalent of a fluid cylinder and piston combination for providing linear motion. Motor 300 is supplied with electric power from a source not shown through input line 312 and a control 314 including on-off and reversing switches.
The end of rod 308 is secured to the yoke portion of the U- member 250, preferably through a firm but resilient connection 310 to avoid shock. The attachment of rod 308 to the U- shaped member 250 is such that the member 250 will be constrained to follow the linear movement of the rod in one or the opposite direction depending on the motor direction selected. Since the U-member 250 is rigidly fastened (as by welding) to guide beams 218 and 220, these beams will move with the U- member. The movement of guide rails 218 and 220 will of course be on and guided by the ways 252 and 254 as hereinbefore described. The motor rod 308 is capable of sufficient travel to move the guide rails to either of the two switching positions of FIGS. 3 and 4. The position of FIG. 3 is the same as the position of FIG. 6.
In either of the switching positions, the transfer mechanism is locked by locking pins 316 and 318 (FIGS. 6 and 9) driven into indexing apertures 321 and 320 in pipes 252 and 254 respectively. For the transfer position of FIG. 6, the index apertures 321 and 320 in pipes 252 and 254 are in line with and occupied by the pins 316 and 318, respectively, in their disposition shown in FIG. 6. These apertures are visible in FIG. 6 only in dotted, however the aperture aligned with pin 318 is clearly seen in FIG. 9 at 320 and is shown as a hardened pocket insert 323 in an aperture in pipe 254. For locking in the position of FIG. 4, the index apertures for pins 316 and 318 are shown at 322. and 324 in pipes 252 and 254, respectively. In FIG. 9, pipe 325 corresponds to pipe 260 at the other end of the guide rail assembly.
Although the locking pins 316 and 318 may be driven manually, motor driven operation is provided by connecting the pins through a releasable connection to the output rod of an electric cylinder motor. More specifically, pin 316 is connected through a releasable coupling 326 to the output rod 328 of a reversible electric cylinder motor 330, trunnionmounted between the horizontal plates 332 and 334 (FIGS. 6 and 7) of an integral frame 336 having side plates 338 and 340 welded to the pipe 260. While most of the details of the locking pin motor and mounting therefor are best seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the shape of the side plates 338 and 340 of the frame 336 is best seen in FIG. 8 where side plate 340 is shown in full and frame 258 in phantom. Power is supplied to the motor 330 from a source not shown through an electric line 342 and a control system 344 including on/off switches and reversing switches.
In like manner, pin 318 is connected through a releasable coupling to the output rod of an electric cylinder motor 346 trunnion mounted on a frame 348 that is welded to the movable cross-tie 224. Electric power is supplied to the motor 346 through a line 350 and a control circuit 352 including on/off and reversing switches.
It may be noted at this point that the resilient coupling 310 between the motor drive rod 308 and the U-member 250, not only prevents impact loading of the basic structure but also permits the locking pins 316 and 318 to engage with minimum axial resistance. The locking of the guide rail transfer mechanism serves a dual purpose. It provides the support to the guide rails necessary because of the guiding of the vehicle as well as provides the absolute alignment necessary to execute a smooth transition of the equipment from the switching guide rail members to one or the other of roadways R2 and R3.
The unlocking, the moving of the transfer mechanism from one to the other position, and the locking may be accomplished entirely manually if desired. For example, starting with the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, the pins 316 and 318 may be retracted manually by disconnecting the pins from their respective motor drive rods and then simply retracting the pins by hand. After which the motor 300 may be manually cranked by a crank 354 which turns the motor rotor to drive the motor output rod 308 in the proper direction to move the guide rails 218 and 220 until they reach the position as in FIG. 4 where the locking pins 316 and 318 will be in alignment with the apertures 322 and 32A in the pipes 252 and 254. At this point the pins may be inserted manually into locking position. Of course, the pins 316 and 318 may be retracted and inserted by manually cranking the motors 330 and 346 by means of cranks 356 and 358. Certainly easier, the pins 316 and 318 may be inserted and retracted by applying electric power to the motors 330 and 346 for the desired direction of travel. Likewise, electric power for desired direction of travel may be applied to motor 300 to drive the guide rails 218 and 220 in the desired direction.
The system may be made automatic for example by use of controls as in FIG. 11. In this figure, the pins 316 and 318 are shown in the inserted or locked position. Associated with pin 316, are limit switches L1, L2, L3 and L4. Likewise, associated with locking pin 318 are limit switches L1, L2, L3 and L4. The system of FIG. 11 also includes limit switches L5, L6, L7 and L8 which are also shown in their actual fixed locations in FIG. 6, such that limit switches L5 and L6 are tripped by guide rail 218 when it reaches the position of FIG. 4, and limit switches L7 and L8 are tripped by guide rail 220 when it reaches the position of FIGS. 6 and 3. The system of FIG. 11 also includes a control and power circuit 360 tied in for example with automatic roadway control system.
To make a change in alignment from the alignment position of FIG. 6 to the position of FIG. 4, assuming locking pin 316 and 318 are locked in place, the switching operation begins with a command from the automatic train controls for the switching alignment to change. The control system 360 transmits an unlock command signal along the line 362 through limit switches L4 and L4 to motors 330 and 346. These motors withdraw the locking pins 316 and 318 until the pins engage and trip open limit switches L4 and L4 to shut off the power to motors 330 and 346 and also to send a verification signal along lines U to the control circuit 360. This full stroke of the actual withdrawal of the locking pins is verified by the limit switches L3 and L3 which are tripped closed when the locking pins are fully withdrawn.
The closing of limit switches L3 and L3 closes a power circuit to motor 300 along lines 364, 366, 368, and through the reversing switch '370 through limit switch L5 and into the motor 300. Motor 300 then drives the guide rails 218 and 220 to the position of FIG. 4 in which position guide rail 218 strike 40 limit switches L5 and L6 to open switch L5 and close switch L6. The motor circuit 300 is thus opened, and switch L6 transmits a signal along line X to the control circuit 360 notifying the control circuit that the guide beams have arrived in alignment with roadway R3. It should be noted that in the meantime the reversing switch 370 had been set to provide output through L5 by signals along line 372 from the control circuit 360. In response to the signal on line X, the control circuit 360 sends a lock signal along line 374 through limit switches L1 and L1 to the motors 330 and 346 which drive the locking pins 316 and 318 into the apertures 322 and 324 until the limit switches LI and L1 are tripped open to turn the motor power off.
In the meantime, the control circuit 360 has sent a selection signal along line 2 to a selector switch 376 to select current rails 232. When the locking pins 316 and 318 are in the locked position, they trip limit switches L2 and L2 closed to close the power circuit from a source of power 378 through the selector switch 376 to the current rails 232. It should be understood that the circuit FIG. 1 l is only for illustration and that where power circuits are involved, intervening relays would be used between the limit switches and power circuits.
To change the switch alignment from the position of FIG. 4 back to the position of FIG. 3 (from roadway R3 to roadway R2), the above described procedure is generally repeated except that instead of limit switch L5, the selection signal 372 causes the reversing switch 370 to connect to switch L7, and a signal is applied along line Z to cause the selector 376 to select current rail 228.
When the position of FIG. 3 is reached, limit switches L7 is tripped to open the motor 300 circuit, and limit switch L8 is tripped closed to send a signal along Y to the control circuit 360 signifying that the move has been completed. In response, the control circuit 360 transmits a lock signal along line 374.
It should be'understood that vehicles may travel in either direction through the switch in each of the two selectable positions of the switch.
In the arrangement shown the straight section of the switch 5 may be negotiated by the vehicle at maximum speed, the maximum speed of the curved section being determined not by the switch, but by the radius of curvature of the roadway with the speed limited only to obtain the desired passenger comfort.
The switching apparatus disclosed herein may be adapted to a broad range of turnout radii extending at least as low as 25 feet; in a sense the real limitation is the turning radius of the vehicle.
It should be understood that the herein described arrangements are simply illustrative of the principles of the invention, and that other embodiments and applications are within the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. In a transportation system having at least first, second and third roadways, the second and third roadways diverging at least initially from each other, the longitudinal axis of each of the second and third roadways merging with the longitudinal axis of the first roadway at a common point, each roadway having a pair of laterally spaced tracks and a guide rail therebetween, the guide rail of the first roadway terminating in a free end at said point, each guide rail having oppositely facing vertical guide surfaces along the length of the rail, and wherein the laterally spaced, resilient-tired riding wheels of a vehicle are held substantially to fixed lines of travel on the spaced tracks of a roadway by cooperative engagement of first and second rotatable guide means of the vehicle with the opposite vertical guide surfaces of the guide rail of the roadway, said first and second rotatable guide means being respectively mounted on laterally spaced first and second supports depending from the under carriage of the vehicle on opposite sides of the guide rail, switching means for selectively routing a vehicle along predetermined courses between the first roadway and either of the second and third roadways, said switching means comprising:
A. first and second guide rail sections, the first in end-to-end relation with the guide rail of the second roadway and terminating in a free end short of said common point, and the second in end-to-end relation with the guide rail of the third roadway and terminating in a free end short of said common point, whereby there are longitudinal gaps between the free end of the guide rail of the first roadway on the one hand and the free ends of the first and second guide rail sections on the other hand,
B. guide rail transfer means selectively operable in mutually exclusive first and second positions, the first position providing guide rail continuity between the free end of the guide rail of the first roadway and the free end of the first guide rail section, the second position providing guide rail continuity between the free end of the guide rail of the first roadway and the free end of the second guide rail section; and
C. frog means comprising elements providing running surfaces for vehicle riding wheels along the lines of travel of said wheels in vehicle movement between the first roadway and the second roadway and between the first roadway and the third roadway as dictated by the guide rails for the respective courses, said running surfaces being coplanar with said tracks, first and second of said running surfaces being supported by said first and second guide rail sections, others of said running surfaces being disposed to provide surfaces on opposite sides of each of said first and second running surfaces and laterally spaced therefrom to provide slots for the supports of said rotatable guide means to thread through, said slots being wide enough to provide clearance for said supports but narrow enough to provide substantial interface between the vehicle riding wheels and said running surfaces at any point of travel over said slots.
2. The combination as in claim 1 wherein said frog means includes track sections in endto-end relation with tracks of the second and third roadways for providing said other running surfaces.
3. The combination as in claim 2 wherein said track sections have lateral extensions which provide running surfaces included in said other running surfaces.
4. The combination as in claim 3 wherein at least said lateral extensions are made of structural plate to allow room for said rotatable guide means to pass thereunder.
5. The combination as in claim 1 wherein said guide rail transfer means comprises rigidly connected third and fourth laterally spaced guide rail sections transversely movable between first and second mutually exclusive positions, in the first position the third guide rail section bridging the gap between the guide rail of the first roadway and the first guide rail section, in the second position the fourth guide rail section bridging the gap between the the guide rail of the first roadway and the second guide rail section.
6. The combination as in claim 5 wherein said third and fourth guide rail sections are lockable in said first and second positions.
7. The combination as in claim 5 wherein there is motor means for moving said third and fourth guide rail sections laterally.
8. The combination as in claim 6 which includes motor driven locking means for locking said third and fourth guide rail sections in said first and second positions.
9. The combination as in claim 5 wherein current rails are attached to said first, second, third and fourth guide rails for supplying electric power to vehicles passing through the switching means.
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