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Publication numberUS3697746 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1972
Filing dateMay 26, 1971
Priority dateMay 26, 1971
Also published asCA935343A, CA935343A1
Publication numberUS 3697746 A, US 3697746A, US-A-3697746, US3697746 A, US3697746A
InventorsPatterson Gordon I, Telfer Dugald J
Original AssigneeVapor Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railroad switch heater
US 3697746 A
Abstract
A heater for a railroad track switch using forced hot air to heat the area between the moving and fixed rails to maintain the area free of ice and snow, and to heat the side plates and maintain them free of ice and snow, including duct work and distribution outlets for distributing hot air evenly over the entire switch length in the areas where the elimination of snow and ice will permit the movable rails to operate freely and easily.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Patterson et al.

[451 Oct. 10,1972

1541 RAILROAD SWITCH HEATER [72] Inventors: Gordon 1. Patterson, Dollard Des Ormeaux; Dugald J. Telfer,

Chomedy, Quebec, both of Canada [73] Assigneei Vapor Corporation, Chicago, 111.

[22] Filed: May 26, 1971 [2]] Appl. No.: 147,085 1 [52] US. Cl. ..246/428, 126/271.2 B [51] Int. Cl. ..E0lb 7/24 [58] Field of Search ..246/428, 444; 126/2712 B [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,325,977 12/1919 Boardman ..246/428 1,778,637 10/1930 Hollinger ..126/271.2 B X 1,803,358 5/1931 Schumann ..246/428 3,312,820 4/1967 Watkins ..246/428 Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Frank E. Werner Attorney-Julian Falk, Chester A. Williams, Jr., Marshall .1. Breen and Kinzer, Dom & Zickert [57] ABSTRACT A heater for a railroad track switch using forced hot air to heat the area between the moving and fixed rails to maintain the area free of ice and snow, and to heat the side plates and maintain them free of ice and snow, including duct work and distribution outlets for distributing hot air evenly over the entire switch length in the areas where the elimination of snow and ice will permit the movable rails to operate freely and easily.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 FUEL TANK SHEET 1 OF 2 PNENTEUUBT 10 m2 KZ/E. JwDm INVENTORS GORDON l. PATTERSON DUGALD J4 TELFER PATENTEDUBT 10 m2 3.697, 746

SHEET 2 BF 2 INVENTORS I GORDON I. PATTERSON DUGALD J. TELFER BY 1642.4 AMW AT RNEYS RAILROAD SWITCH HEATER This invention relates in general to a railroad switch heater, and more particularly to a switch heater capable of ,efficientlyi maintaining a switch free of ice and snow for easy operation.

Heretofore, many different types of railroad track switch heaters have been developed, such as the one disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,223,835. However, none has been completely satisfactory from the standpoint of efficiency and substantially faultless operation. For example, the switch heater in the aforesaid patent includes means for heating the outer surfaces of the fixed or stock rails which constitutes a wastage of energy inasmuch as the operable problems of a switch reside in the movability of the movable rails which are arranged inside of the fixed rails. It, therefore, becomes necessary when applying heat to the outer surfaces of the fixed rails to penetrate the fixed rails before melting ice and/or snow between the fixed and movable rails.

The present invention overcomesthe heretofore encountered inefficiencies in applying forced hot air directly between the fixed and movable rails and at the slide plates where the removal of ice and/or snow assures proper operation of the switch. Further, crib plates or baffles are provided between the ties vat the outer sides of the switch for preventing the escape of forced hot air, thereby utilizing to the fullest extent the entire energy of the heater for maintaining the switch free of ice and snow. The switch heater of the invention includes any suitable means for producing forced hot air, a duct system for carrying the forced hot air to the proper locations for distribution, and distribution outlets, including nozzles and openings, in the duct system for directing the forced air between the movable rails and the fixed rails, and at the slide plates. Further, distribution outlets are provided for directing forced hot air to the switch points. Deflectors are provided at the opposite ends of the distribution ducts in order to deflect snow and/or debris carried by a train away from the switch track to prevent damage of the switch and distribution ducts.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved railroad track switch heater for maintaining the switch free of ice and snow under all weather conditions.

Another object of this invention is in the provision of a railroad switch heater constructed to operate efficiently and to use forced hot air for melting snow and/or ice from the switch at the points where it is important to maintain the freedom of ice and/or snow so that the switch can operate easily and properly at all times.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a railroad switch heater capable of distributing forced hot air between the movable and fixed rails, and against the slide plates to maintain the freedom of movement of the movable rails under all weather conditions.

A further object of the invention is in the provision of a railroad switch heater that may be easily installed, which operates efficiently, and which requires little maintenance.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure, taken in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a-railroad track switch shown in phantom, and the switch heater according to the invention shown in solid, as applied to the switch;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1; i

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along line 3 3 of FIG. 1 and illustrating the hot air distribution nozzles;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view'taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 1, and illustrating the hot air openings in .the distribution ducts;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along line 5- 5 of FIG. 1 and illustrating the connections between the cross tract duct and the distribution duct; and I FIG. 6 is a fragmentary,perspec tiv e view of one side of a distribution duct showing the hot air distribution nozzles and hot air openings.

The switch heater of the invention is illustrated in the drawings in mounted relation with respect to arailroad track switch which includes outer fixed orstock rails 10, '11 and inner movable rails; 1-2,l'3., mounted on-a plurality of ties 14 in the usualmanner. Switch rod 15 extends between the movablerails '12, 13 adjacent the points 12a, 13a, and are suitably connected to a switch actuator (not shown) for moving the switch points. Slide plates l6, 17 .are mounted on the ties upon which the movable rails slide. r k I The switch heater of the invention includes generally a heater 20 capable of generating forced hot air and delivering same to a cross track duct 21 that extends beneath the switch at about the central area of its longitudinal dimension. Longitudirially extending distribution ducts 22, 23 arranged at the'inner sides of the movable rails 11, and extending substantially the entire length of the switch are connected to the cross tract duct 21 as seen in FIG. 5. Accordingly, forced hot air flows first through the cross duct 21 and then into the distribution ducts 22, 23. Fuel is delivered to the heater from fuel tank 24, and electric power together with controls is supplied through a control box 25.

Forced hot air is distributed evenly along the switch track, and hot air distribution nozzles.26, 27 are provided in spaced relation along ducts 22, ,23, between adjacent ties and below the top surfaces thereof to direct forced hot air from below upwardly into the area between the movable rails 12, .13 and the stock rails 10, 1 l to melt snow and ice there or prevent theaccumulation of same. The volume of heated air is such that it will evaporate the moisture in this area and keep the areaclear so that the switch is easily movable.

Further, hot air distribution outlets 30, 31 are provided in the distribution ducts at the upper surface of each tie for the purpose of directing forced hot air outward against the slide plates 16, 17 of the switch, thereby keeping these plates free of ice and snow to further assure easy movement of the movable rails, while point end nozzles 32, 33 are mounted at the ends of the ducts 22, 23 to direct forced hot air against the switch points. Further, the switch rod is maintained free of ice and snow.

In order to prevent the escape of heated air to the outside of the stock rails, crib plates or baffles 34, 35 are provided between the ties at .the outside of the fixed rails effectively blocking the forced air fromtravelling between the ties and outside of the fixed rails. These full utilization of the forced hot air.

Since trains often carry large deposits of snow and other debris, which ma fall upon the track switch, deflectors 38, 39 are provided at the opposite ends of the switch and the distribution ducts 22, 23 to reduce the possibility of snow and/or debris from being carried onto the switch which might damage the switch and/or the distribution ducts.

any suitable type, manually or automatically operable, and preferably mounted remotely or laterally of the switch, as illustrated. The heater maybe oil or gas fired and would utilize a blower to force hot air or combustion gases into the duct system. Should it be desired that the heater operate automatically, it may respond to a snow detector so that when moisture and a temperature below 35 is detected, the heater will automatically operate to maintain the areas between the movable and stock rails free of ice, snow and moisture to facilitate switch operation. If the heater be manually operable, the controls may be remotely located or mounted directly on the heater.

From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the switch heater of the present invention is constructed to maintain a switch free from ice and snow so thatit can easily and properly function during all weather conditions, it being appreciated that the heater does not function to heat the stock or moving rails but only the areas where the collection of ice and snow would impair the operation of the switch.

it will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention, but it is 1:4 understood that this application is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

This invention is hereby claimed asfollows:

1. A heater for a railroad switch having a pair of fixed outer stock rails and a pair, of inner movable rails therebetween mounted on a series of ties and slide said heater comprising means mounted adjacent the switch for producing forced hot air, a cross track duct 7 l0 The heater for generating forced hot air may be of extending from said heater beneath said switch and between a pair of adjacent ties, longitudinally extending distribution ducts mounted on the ties between and adjacent to the movable rails, means connecting said distribution ducts to said cross track duct, and a plurality of hot air distribution nozzles extending outwardly from said distribution ducts between adjacent ties and below the upper surface thereof, distributing hot air under the movable rails and between the movable rails and the stock rails.

2. The combination as defined in claim 1, and a plurality of hot air distribution openings in said distribution ducts distributing hot air outwardly to the slide plates.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2, and point end nozzles extending outwardly from the ends in said distribution ducts atthe switch points distributing hot air to the points.

4. The combination as defined in claim 3, and deflectors at each of the ends of the distribution ducts for deflecting snow and/or debris carriedby a train away @Ti'iiifi ination as defined in claim 3, and crib plates between the ties at the outside of the fixed rails to prevent hot air from escaping.

' a n: a a s

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1325977 *Dec 13, 1918Dec 23, 1919 boardman
US1778637 *Nov 20, 1929Oct 14, 1930Lloyd M BasehoarHeating switch
US1803358 *Apr 5, 1930May 5, 1931Hauck Mfg CoRailway-switch-heating system
US3312820 *Feb 2, 1966Apr 4, 1967Ray WatkinsRailroad switch turnout heating apparatus and process of operation thereof
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3972497 *Dec 18, 1974Aug 3, 1976Canadian Patents And Development LimitedApparatus for producing snow deflecting air curtains for railway switches
US4081161 *Dec 3, 1976Mar 28, 1978Neil UprightHeater system for railroad switch
US4360949 *Jul 14, 1980Nov 30, 1982Wilson Daniel WPortable pneumatic railroad switch cleaning device
US4688839 *Mar 31, 1986Aug 25, 1987Hatley John FCargo container lift device
US4695017 *Dec 23, 1986Sep 22, 1987Canadian Patents And Development LimitedRailroad switch snow deflecting air nozzle apparatus
US5702074 *Sep 29, 1995Dec 30, 1997Hovey Industries, Ltd.Railway switch heating apparatus
US5824997 *Aug 5, 1996Oct 20, 1998Fastrax Industries, Inc.Railroad track switch heater
US7992797Sep 27, 2007Aug 9, 2011Fastrax Industries, Inc.Railroad signal line attachment clip
US8157185Jan 22, 2010Apr 17, 2012Fastrax Industries, Inc.Strike attachment railroad signal line connector
US8157186Apr 14, 2010Apr 17, 2012Fastrax Industries, Inc.Strike attachment railroad anchor
US8251320 *Oct 2, 2007Aug 28, 2012Railway Equipment Company, Inc.Railway snow melter duct assembly
US8540193 *Aug 28, 2012Sep 24, 2013Railway Equipment Company, Inc.Railway snow melter duct assembly
US8586896Dec 8, 2009Nov 19, 2013David L. ReichleNon-contact rail heater
US8872055Apr 11, 2012Oct 28, 2014Fastrax Industries, Inc.Non-contact rail heater with insulating skirt
US9033286 *Sep 24, 2013May 19, 2015Railway Equipment Company, Inc.Railway snow melter duct assembly
US9074327Aug 22, 2013Jul 7, 2015David L. ReichleRailroad attachment clamp
US20080084058 *Oct 2, 2007Apr 10, 2008Fox David KRailway snow melter duct assembly
US20080257973 *Sep 27, 2007Oct 23, 2008Reichle David LRailroad signal line attachment clip
US20100163543 *Dec 8, 2009Jul 1, 2010Fastrax Industries, Inc.Non-contact rail heater
US20100187322 *Jan 22, 2010Jul 29, 2010Fastrax Industries, Inc.Strike attachment railroad signal line connector
US20130056587 *Aug 28, 2012Mar 7, 2013Railway Equipment Company, Inc.Railway snow melter duct assembly
US20140239128 *Sep 24, 2013Aug 28, 2014Railway Equipment Company, Inc.Railway snow melter duct assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification246/428, 126/271.20B
International ClassificationE01B7/00, E01B7/24
Cooperative ClassificationE01B7/24
European ClassificationE01B7/24