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Publication numberUS3710727 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 16, 1973
Filing dateFeb 16, 1970
Priority dateFeb 16, 1970
Also published asDE2107152A1, DE2107152C2
Publication numberUS 3710727 A, US 3710727A, US-A-3710727, US3710727 A, US3710727A
InventorsE Svensson
Original AssigneeE Svensson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Air beam way and switching system
US 3710727 A
Abstract
An air beam structure for a passenger train is described which provides a train support beam having an inverted U-shaped cross section to minimize torsional effects, columnar supports for said beam diverging from an integral base and a stabilizer track centrally mounted on the top surface of the train support beam. The stabilizer track includes a head having stabilizer wheel running surfaces on its undersides, and portions of the stabilizer track are flexible and may be bent between diverging train support beams to allow switching.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Svensson 51 Jan. 16,1973

[54] AIR BEAM WAY AND SWITCHING SYSTEM [76] Inventor: Einar Svensson, 19237 Aurora Ave.

North, Seattle, Wash. 98133 [22] Filed: Feb. 16, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 11,557

[52] US. Cl. ..104/120, 104/124, 104/130 [51] Int. Cl. ..E01b 25/08 [58] Field of Search ..104/1l8l26, 130;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1967 Bingham ..104/120 12/1961 Bingham ..104/119 2,997,004 8/1961 Rosenbaum ..104/118 3,477,080 1 l/l969 Finsterwalder.... ..l4/l 1,305,415 6/1919 Steffens ..104/123 781,988 2/1905 Baker ..104/130 690,787 l/l902 Spangler ..246/489 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 976,685 12/1964 Great Britain ..104/ 124 Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-D. W. Keen Attorney-Graybeal, Cole and Bernard, Uhlir & Hughes [5 7] ABSTRACT An air beam structure for a passenger train is described which provides a train support beam having an inverted U-shaped cross section to minimize torsional effects, columnar supports for said beam diverging from an integral base and a stabilizer track centrally mounted on the top surface of the train support beam. The stabilizer track includes a head having stabilizer wheel running surfaces on its undersides, and portions of the stabilizer track are flexible and may be bent between diverging train support beams to allow switching.

17 Emmi," 1 4 braving Fi ures- PATENTEDJAH 16 I975 SHEET 2 [IF 3 x )1 0 ArraPMf/S' AIR BEAM WAY AND SWITCHING SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention This invention relates to high speed passenger railways, and particularly to an aerial beam way which allows switching of a train running thereon at high speeds, and which may be constructed quickly and easily by preforming large segments thereof.

2. Description of the Prior Art Air beam transportation systems have 'in the past been plagued by the problem of the need for 'a train support beam of sufficient mass and strength to support a train traveling thereon at high speeds and the consequent requirement, during switching of a train between beam ways, of moving this massive support beam. Rosenbaum, U.S. Pat. No. 3,093,090 and Rosenbaum et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,997,004 disclose two early switches. In both of these patents the entire train support and integral guide track is rolled between alternate train paths. Movement of the entire train support and guide track, which is of steel or concrete construction strong enough to support a train, requires heavy-duty equipment which is quite costly. Further, this problem is compounded by the fact that for reasons of safety and passenger comfort at high speeds, the radius of curvature of air beam switches must be relatively slight, therefore necessitating relatively long switches and the concomitant need to move a large portion of the massive support and guide track. Trent, U.S. Pat. No. 3,472,176 illustrates another switching. mechanism which requires the use of a plurality of heavy-duty support pillars and associated hydraulic cylinders to support the switching beam. Additional prior art attempts to solve this problem may be found in Morris, U.S. Pat. No. 3,426,703 where, at FIG. 5, an entire section of a support beam having both a straight and curved guide thereon is moved transversely from the switching to nonswitching positions. FIG. 6 of this patent illustrates a switch which rotates about a central pivot point to bring various guide tracks into register with the main beam ways. Both of these embodiments are necessarily rather short and therefore require a significant reduction in train speed during switching.

Finally, the cross-sectional shape of the train supports and guides used in the prior art has itself exacerbated the switching problem, by failing to minimize tor- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a passenger train beam way having uniform components which may be precast and thus installed rapidly with a minimum of expense. These components include support units and suspended units which are alternately connected end to end to form a continuous train support beam. The train support beam includes running surfaces spaced parallel on its top and an upwardly extending central stabilizer track having an upwardly and outwardly extending head which includes stabilizer wheel tracks on its undersides. The train support beams are of inverted U- shaped cross section to reduce torsional stresses within the beams. High speed switches are also disclosed ineluding a Y-shaped train support beam having a flexible stabilizer mounted on its top having one end fixed near the foot of the Y and its other end movable between the arms of the Y-shaped support beam. Pulleys and cables are provided to move the free end of the flexible stabilizer between switching positions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a sectional side elevation view of a typical air beam way constructed according to the present invention including a train running thereon.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of one embodiment of a switch made according to the present invention including the stabilizer track shown in dotted line in the switched position.

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view taken along line 3 3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an exploded side elevation view of an expandable connection joint between beam way sections, including a portion of the shelf of the suspended beam broken away to show the slot therein.

FIG. 6 is an exploded side elevation view of a typical fixed joint connection between beam way sections.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of another embodiment of a connection joint made according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a sectional side elevation view of the connection between a train support column and a train support beam.

FIG. 9 is a schematic sectional end view of a rubber wheeled vehicle running on a train support beam, including stabilizer wheels running on the tracks on the undersides of the stabilizer head.

FIG. 10 is a schematic sectional plan view of the train and beam way structure of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a schematic sectional side elevation view of the train and beam way structure of FIG. 9, including a driver.

FIG. 12 is a partial schematic sectional end view of a train and beam way structure made according to the present invention, including steel wheels on the train and steel tracks embedded in the beam way.

FIG. 13 is a partial schematic sectional end view of a ground level beam way showing a train moving on a cushion of air and stabilizer wheels running on the tracks on the stabilizer head.

FIG. 14 is a partial schematic sectional end view of a ground level beam way showing a train moving on a cushion of air and air cushion stabilizers associated with the stabilizer head.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIG. 1, an elevated beam way 20 made in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is illustrated. As shown, the beam way system comprises support sections 22 and intermediate suspended sections 24 connected endwise therebetween to 'form a continuous beam way on which atrain 26 may run at high speeds. The beam way structure includes'a train support beam 28, having a stabilizer track 30 mounted centrally on its top, and a base comprising poured in place portion 32 having upwardly extending foundation bolts 34 mounted therein and preformed portion 36 having upwardly and outwardly diverging columns 38 extending therefrom. In the disclosed embodiment the column supporting base 36 is connected to the poured in place portion of the base 32 by means of the foundation bolts and associated nuts 40, however it is understood that other conventional fastening means may be used to provide a solid foundation.

Referring now to FIG. 9, it will be seen that the train support beam has an inverted U-shaped cross section and includes a top portion 42 with downwardly depending side portions 44 mounted near its edges. Expanded foot portions 45 are provided near the bottom of sides 44 and include prestressed cables and anchors (not shown) to strengthen the beam. The height of the downwardly depending side portions may be varied depending on the length of the beam, a deeper side portion being needed to support a longer beam. This feature allows greater vertical clearance beneath the beam to be obtained where needed in crossing streets or conventional railroad beds, by shortening the length of the span. This support beam has an ideal torsional profile in that the shear center of a structure having an inverted U or inverted channel cross section lies above the structure itself and thus all forces which act through the shear center have no torsional effect on the support beam. The stress reducing design of this support beam, allows the beam itself to be of lighter weight than prior elevated air beam designs which were required to bear not only the weight of the train but also the additional torsional stresses generated by a train moving therealong. The lightweight construction of the support beam provides for savings in both construction materi als and installation costs, most importantly by allowing the use of prefabrication methods and rapid installation techniques.

Stabilizer track 30 is mounted centrally of top portion 42 of the train support beam, and includes upwardly and outwardly extending head 46 having stabilizer tracks 48 mounted on is undersides. The stabilizer track may be made of concrete, steel or a hard plastic. If the stabilizer track is constructed of concrete, metal cap 50 may be fitted on its head to reduce wear or cracking caused by the stabilizer wheels of the train running thereon as will be described hereafter. f

Beam way support sections 22 and suspended sections 24 may be constructed of prestressed concrete and may be entirely preformed prior to installation either at the site, or at a plant and transported to the installation site when needed. FIG. 8 illustrates one type of connection between the angular support column 38 and train support beam 28. Column 38 is shown extending into a solid core 52 which fills the channel of the train support beam. Upwardly diverging support columns 38 while not only providing a vertical support component to the train support beam, also provide a horizontal component which counters braking and acceleration forces acting along the track, thereby allowing the columns and ground supports to be of smaller cross section than would be necessary with vertical support columns. This extremely strong but relatively lightweight construction also effects savings in both material and construction costs and allows prefabrication and rapid installation techniques to be used with suspended beam portions 24 having lengths up to 150 feet.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5-7, simple step or shelf joints are provided at the connections between the support members 22 and the suspended members 24. In view of the length of the train support beams it is desirable to allow for longitudinal. expansion and contraction caused by temperature and weather changes. FIG. 5 illustrates an expansion joint comprising an upwardly extending pin 54 mounted on step portion 56 of beam 22. Pin 54 is adapted to be inserted in the upwardly extending slot 58 in shelf portion 60. Slot 58 is substantially larger in the longitudinal direction than pin 54 and thus the pin may move freely in the slot in the longitudinal direction when the interconnected beams expand or contract. FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a fixed joint comprising a pair of pins 62 upwardly extending from step 56 and adapted to be inserted in upwardly extending holes 64 in shelf portion 60. Holes 64 and pins 62 are of substantially the same size and shape and thus a firm, non-sliding connecting is obtained when the shelf of beam 24 is mated with the step of beam 22. It is contemplated that the fixed joint connections could also be formed by the use of prestressing bolts or cables disposed either vertically, as shown or horizontally or diagonally. In construction of an air beam way it is contemplated that expansion joints will be alternated with fixed joints such that every suspended beam 24 will be joined fixedly to a support member on one end and slidingly to a support member on its other'end.

FIG. 7 illustrates still another embodiment of a joint wherein the stabilizer track 30 of support beam 22 extends into a notch in shelf of beam 24 to further stabilize the connection between the beams in the transverse direction. A pair of slidingly connected pins and slots 54 and 58 are shown spaced outwardly from the stabilizer track. Various other arrangements and spacings of pins and associated slots might also be used and are considered to be within the teaching of the present invention.

The step joints disclosed herein allow suspended beam 24 to be simply dropped into place between support structures 22 during construction of the air beam system. Since support structures 22 need only be bolted to the poured in place foundations 32, construction of the beam way is both simple and rapid.

Referring now to FIG. 2, one embodiment of a switching system for the instant high speed passenger train beam way is disclosed. The system comprises a Y- shaped train support beam 66 which is joined at its foot to a single train support beam 24 and at its arms to a pair of train support beams 24. Flexible stabilizer track 68 has one end fixedly mounted near the foot of Y- shaped train support 66 by, for example, pins 70, while its opposite end is movable between the arms of the Y. FIG. 2 shows stabilizer track 68 in the switched" position in dotted line. Y-shaped support beam 66 includes portions of the standard stabilizer track 30 near each of its extremities and thus the flexible stabilizer track 68 is entirely inward of the Y-shaped train support beam. This construction allows joints 72 to be of standard construction rather than requiring flexible stabilizer track 68 to match with the stabilizer 30 of adjacent support'beams 24. Thus the entire switching section may befactory produced and tested prior to construction of the beam way'itself thereby eliminating the need for fine adjustment of the flexible stabilizer track and the stabilizer track of adjoining sections, and further allowing the standard expansion jointsto be used where required. I

Flexible stabilizer tracks 68 may be made of steel, aluminum or plastic reinforced fiber glass or other suitable material so long as the material is flexible in the transverse direction and has strength suffic'ient to withstand the forces exerted thereon by the stabilizer elements of a passing train.

FIGS. 3 and 4 disclose one embodiment of an apparatus for moving one end of stabilizer track 68 between the arms of the Y-shaped train support. Stabilizer track 68 includes flanged foot 74 depending therefrom, which foot is adapted to be movably inserted in slot 76 in the Y-shaped support beam. Slot 76 runs between the diverging arms of the Y on brace 78. Sliding surfaces 80 which may be either greased metal or plastic are provided along the top edges of channel 76 to allow easy passage of the upper portion of foot 74 therealong. Cable 82 is connected to the central portion of foot 74 at lugs 84 and is trained to run over pulleys 86 and 88. The driving of either or both of these pulleys causes track 68 to flex and move between the arms of the Y-shaped support beam.

Referring again to FIG. 2, the compartment 90 is provided within the support beam to hold the pulley drive motor along with the conventional electronic equipment needed to operate a switch automatically, including the signaling equipment therefor. Additional slots 92 and 94 are spaced along the length of stabilizer track 68 which are adapted to receive other feet similar to foot 74 depending from track 68 to guide the movement of the track during switching. Flexible stabilizer tracks 68 may be 75 feet long or longer, and thus the deflection thereof during switching is slight in proportion to the length of the switch and thus trains may operate over this switch at high speeds without undue swaying or jolting of passengers. It is also contemplated that other means such as driven rollers connected directly to the stabilizer track or a hydraulic cylinder and piston arrangement might also be used to deflect the end of this flexible track between the arms of the Y- shaped support beam.

Referring now to FIG. 9, the relationship of the drive and stabilizer wheels of a rubber tired passenger train and the air beam way of the present invention is shown. Top portion 42 of the train support beam is approximately 5 feet wide for a full scale system and is thus significantly narrower than the train body. The width of the train support beam will be smaller if the air beam system, including the trains, are constructed on a smaller side. Inner wheels 92 and outer wheels 94 are shown running on the top portion of the support beam. These wheels may all be air-filled, or the inner pair may be made of hard rubber and of smaller diameter than the adjacent air-filled wheels, in which case the hard rubber wheels would only contact the running surface in emergencies such as a blow-out or deflation of the air-filled tire.

Stabilizer wheels 96 are shown running on the upwardly and outwardly sloping sides 48 of the stabilizer head. For clarity, the conventional supports for these stabilizer wheels have not been shown. The inclined relationship of the stabilizer head and the stabilizer wheels makes overturning of the train impossible, notwithstanding the centrifugal forces and wind which act upwardly on the cars during motion. The inclined surfaces of the stabilizer track generates a vertical force component which biases the drive wheels 92 and 94 downward for improved traction between the wheels and top portion 42 of the train support beam. The upward angulation of the stabilizer prevents an empty train from lifting up a phenomenon which may occur at high speeds, and particularly on curves, causing the wheels to spin.

The upward angulation of the stabilizer wheels additionally allows a significant reduction in height of the stabilizer track 30. The instant stabilizer track does not protrude into the train floor itself as was often necessary in prior air beam structures. Protrusion of the track into the train necessitated a wide channel in the bottom of the train to allow for the curvature of the track during switching. Additionally, the low profile of stabilizer track 30 allows for maximization of the interior train space in that provision does not have to be made for the protrusion of the track into the car itself. In a small scale air beam system smaller rubber tires could be used which would not protrude into the car body.

As seen in FIG. 10, a pair of track gripping stabilizer wheels are located both immediately before and aft of the drive wheels 92 and 94. As shown in FIG. 11, this arrangement allows for a minimum of interference with the interior of the train car. Drive and stabilizer wheel systems are located at both ends of each car, but it is contemplated that for a short car only a single pair of stabilizer wheels need be associated with each set of drive wheels.

In FIG. 12 a train having steel drive wheels 98 is shown. In this embodiment, steel tracks 100 are embedded in the top surface of portion 42 to prevent crumbling of the concrete train support beam. As illustrated, the metal tracks 100 were placed in train support beam 28 during pouring. This is the preferred method of construction, although it is possible to mount these tracks, or tracks of different cross section, at a later date.

FIG. 13 shows the instant invention adapted for use at ground level with an air cushion train. Air cushions 102 prevent the train from settling onto train support beam 104 while stabilizer wheels 106 also act to drive the train along the track.

FIG. 14 discloses another embodiment of the instant invention adapted for use at ground level with an air cushioned vehicle. In this embodiment air cushion stabilizers 108 are also provided for gripping stabilizer head 46. Movement may be imparted to this train by either a conventional airplane propeller or jet engine mounted on the car, or electrical apparatus may be mounted within the hollow stabilizer head 46 or on its outside surface in a linear magnetic propulsion system. Although not disclosed in the drawings, an additional embodiment wherein rubber drive wheels are used in conjunction with an air cushion stabilizer is also contemplated.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the instant inverted U-shaped beam way readily lends itself to poured concrete construction techniques in that permanent forms, including an internal U-shaped form, two side forms and a base, may be made and re-used.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or central characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore to be embraced therein.

I claim:

1. A train beam way system including a plurality of longitudinal train support beams, each such beam comprising a train supporting portion having laterally spaced parallel train running surfaces, and a train stabilizing portion in the form of a track upstanding from said train supporting portion;

some of said longitudinal train support beams being interconnected end to end to form at least three continuous laterally spaced parallel train running surfaces;

at least one of said support beams being connected at one end to a first continuous train running surface and at its other end to said second and third continuous train running surfaces and including a longitudinal flexible stabilizer mounted thereon;

one end of said flexible stabilizer being fixedly connected to said support beam adjacent said first continuous train running surface and the other end of said flexible stabilizer movable between said second and third continuous train running surfaces to direct a train running on said first continuous train running surface to one or the other of said second or third continuous train running surfaces, the extent of movement of the movable end of said flexible stabilizer being substantially greater than the width of each parallel train running surface so that a train on either said running surface is sup ported wholly by the one running surface when over said stabilizer movable end.

2. The train beam way system of claim 1 wherein said train stabilizer comprises an upwardly extending rail with an upwardly and outwardly extending head thereon, said head having stabilizer wheel tracks mounted on its upwardly and outwardly diverging sides.

3. The train beam way system of claim 1 including means mounted in said support beam and connected to said flexible stabilizer near its movable end to move said flexible end between said second and third continuous train running surfaces.

4. The train beam way system of claim 1 wherein said support beam includes a cable connected to said flexible stabilizer near its movable end, said cable mounted on a pair of spaced pulleys and adapted to be moved thereon such that the end of said flexible stabilizer may be moved between said second or third continuous train running surfaces.

5. A beam way system for a train comprising a plurality of longitudinal support beams bearing the weight of said train and including longitudinally extending laterally spaced train running surfaces and a centrally disposed longitudinal train stabilizer track on the top surface of said support beams;

said longitudinal support beams being interconnected end to end to form continuous beam way sections having continuous train running surfaces and a continuous stabilizer track;

one of said support beams including a longitudinally flexible, non-weight bearing stabilizer track fixedly connected at one end of said beam to the continuous stabilizer track of a first beam way section adjacent said support beam, the distal end of said flexible stabilizer being movable completely across and alternately connectible with the continuous stabilizer track of second and third beam way sections adjacent said support beam.

6. The beam way system of claim 5 wherein said train stabilizer track viewed in lateral cross-section includes an upwardly extending neck member having an upwardly and laterally outwardly extending head thereon.

7. The beam way of claim 5 wherein said longitudinal support beam includes a pair of downwardly depending side portions.

8. The beam way of claim 7 wherein the shear center of said beam way and a train running thereon is above said longitudinal support beam.

9. The train beam way of claim 5 wherein said stabilizer comprises an upwardly extending rail with an upwardly and outwardly extending head thereon, said head having stabilizer wheel tracks mounted on its upwardly and outwardly diverging sides.

10. The train beam way of claim 5 wherein said train support beam is formed of prestressed concrete.

11. In combination with the train beam way of claim 5 wherein said train running surfaces are made of concrete, a train running on rubber wheels.

12. In combination with the train beam way of claim 5 wherein said train running surfaces include steel tracks, a train running on steel wheels.

13. A beam way system for a train comprising a plurality of support beams bearing the weight of said train connected end-to-end and including a non-weight bearing guide track mounted on top of said beams, base means, pairs of upwardly diverging columns supported by said base means and in turn supporting alternate train support beams, intermediate train support beams being suspended between said supported train support beams, said alternate train support beams being formed integrally with said diverging columns and projecting a substantial distance therebeyond in cantilever fashion, the said intermediate beams being supported solely on the ends of the adjacent train support beams. I 7

14. A beam way system for a train comprising support units and suspended units, said support units comprising a base, support columns connected to said base and upwardly diverging therefrom, a train support beam on said support columns and projecting a substantial distance therebeyond in cantilever fashion, laterally spaced train running surfaces and a centrally disposed upstanding stabilizer mounted on top of said train support beam; said suspended units each comprising a weight bearing train support beam having laterally spaced train running surfaces and a centrally disposed upstanding stabilizer mounted thereon, said suspended units being connected between and supported solely on the ends of adjacent support units.

15. A beam way system according to claim 14,.

wherein such upwardly diverging support columns are of substantially V-shape configuration.

16. The beam way system of claim 14 wherein said base includes a first portion cast in place and a second portion having said upwardly diverging support columns mounted thereon and adapted to be connected to said first portion.

17. The beam way system of claim 14 wherein said support units and said suspended units are composed of prestressed concrete and are cast as integral units.

Patent Citations
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US1305415 *Jan 8, 1918Jun 3, 1919 steffens
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3815513 *Oct 6, 1972Jun 11, 1974Westinghouse Air Brake CoVehicle retaining arrangement for a monobeam type of transportation system
US3855938 *Oct 1, 1973Dec 24, 1974Strada Guidata S R L Soc PerSwitches or points for tracks for vehicles
US3880084 *Mar 11, 1974Apr 29, 1975Denenburg RichardRemovable module train and trackway therefor
US5845581 *May 7, 1996Dec 8, 1998Svensson; EinarMonorail system
US6182576 *Dec 7, 1998Feb 6, 2001Einar SvenssonMonorail system
US6404836 *Feb 12, 1999Jun 11, 2002Westinghouse Electric Company LlcRemovable spent fuel handling machine rail
US6450103Feb 2, 2001Sep 17, 2002Einar SvenssonMonorail system
US6564516Apr 8, 1999May 20, 2003Einar SvenssonSupport structure for elevated railed-vehicle guideway
US6571717Aug 9, 2001Jun 3, 2003Einar SvenssonY-shaped support structure for elevated rail-vehicle guideway
US9180856 *Apr 9, 2012Nov 10, 2015Lta CorporationTransportation system including a hovering vehicle
US20030116692 *Sep 1, 2001Jun 26, 2003Dieter ReichelSupport for a travel-way of a track guided vehicle
US20060162609 *Jan 24, 2006Jul 27, 2006Lew Holdings, LlcInterstate highway train system
US20120265393 *Oct 18, 2012Lta CorporationTransportation system including a hovering vehicle
EP1726503A2Nov 5, 1999Nov 29, 2006Einar SvenssonMonorail system
WO1999051455A1 *Apr 8, 1999Oct 14, 1999Einar SvenssonSupport structure for elevated railed-vehicle guideway
WO2000027681A1Nov 5, 1999May 18, 2000Einar SvenssonMonorail system
Classifications
U.S. Classification104/120, 104/130.11, 104/124
International ClassificationB61B13/04, E01B25/08
Cooperative ClassificationE01B25/08, B61B13/04
European ClassificationB61B13/04, E01B25/08