US 3776581 A
A cam activated mechanism which permits a railroad car door to be sealed only when the door is in a fully closed position. The mechanism is activated by the final rotation of a car door operating lever or handle. An aperture is provided in the handle to allow the insertion of a car seal when the handle is rotated to the proper final position between spaced opposed arms of a sealing fork. Turning the handle imparts rotational movement to a shaft which drives a pinion in meshed engagement with a segmental gear rotatably mounted between the base and cover plates on the car door. The rotational movement of the pinion thus turns the segmental gear. A cam slot is located in the segmental gear and is adapted to admit one end of a cam crank pivotally mounted on the base plate to provide a rocking motion such that the other end of the cam crank which is attached to a bar provides rectilinear motion to the bar. The cam slot is so situated on the segmental gear that it will accept the one end of the cam crank only when the door is closed. Spaced below the segmental gear adjacent the handle is a sealing fork, the housing for which is essentially a U-shaped bracket having two legs and an intermediate portion therebetween which is secured to the base plate. The bracket lies within the periphery of the circumference projected by the handle. A rod having a locking surface thereon is journalled in the legs of the U-shaped bracket and the handle interfering sealing fork arms are fixedly mounted on said rod. The arms are apertured to allow the insertion of a car seal therethrough when said apertures are aligned with the corresponding aperture in the handle. The rectilinearily moving bar has a lateral projection adapted to contact the rod having the locking surface when the one end of the cam crank is dislodged from the cam slot in the segmental gear. The cam crank is in a dislodged position whenever the door is not closed and the sealing apertures are thus prevented from being aligned since the arms are prevented from being positioned on either side of the handle to lock it in place. When contact is effected between the bar and rod, the sealing fork arms are positively held in a position out of the path of the handle so that the handle may be rotated. A seal may be passed through the apertures in the handle and the arms of the sealing fork to seal the railroad car only when the cam crank end is in the cam slot and the door is fully closed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Ross, Jr.
[ SEALING CAM INTERLOCK  Inventor: Irving D. Ross, Jr., Barrington, Ill.
[7 3] Assignee: The Youngstown Steel Door Company, Cleveland, Ohio  Filed: July 26, 1971  Appl. No.: 165,897
 US. Cl 292/39, 292/40, 292/148,
292/DIG. 32  Int. Cl. EOSc 1/12, E050 9/12  Field of Search 292/66, 113, 39,
292/65, 51, 142, 112, DIG. 32, 148, 7, DIG. 69, 34, 35, 36, 40
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,014,359 12/1961 Huehnel 70/212 3,476,424 1 1 1969 Erickson 292/66 3,410,591 11/1968 Fowler 292/113 3,642,313 2/1972 Anderson 292/66 3,125,365 3/1964 Eigelbach 292/7 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Robert J. Fay et a1.
[5 7] ABSTRACT between the base and cover plates on the car door. The rotational movement of the pinion thus turns the segmental gear. A cam slot is located in the segmental gear and is adapted to admit one end of a cam crank pivotally mounted on the base plate to provide a rocking motion such that the other end of the cam crank which is attached to a bar provides rectilinear motion to the bar. The cam slot is so situated on the segmental gear that it will accept the one end of the cam crank only when the door is closed. Spaced below the segmental gear adjacent the handle is a sealing fork, the housing for which is essentially a U-shaped bracket having two legs and an intermediate portion therebetween which is secured to the base plate. The bracket lies within the periphery of the circumference projected by the handle. A rod having a locking surface thereon is joumalled in the legs of the U-shaped bracket and the handle interfering sealing fork arms are fixedly mounted on said rod. The arms are apertured to allow the insertion of a car seal therethrough when said apertures are aligned with the corresponding aperture in the handle. The rectilinearily moving bar has a lateral projection adapted to contact the rod having the locking surface when the one end of the cam crank is dislodged from the cam slot in the segmental gear. The cam crank is in a dislodged position whenever the door is not closed and the sealing apertures are thus prevented from being aligned since the arms are prevented from being positioned on either side of the handle to lock it in place. When contact is effected between the bar and rod, the sealing fork arms are positively held in a position out of the path of the handle so that the handle may be rotated. A seal maybe passed through the apertures in the handle and the arms of the sealing fork to seal the railroad car only when the cam crank end is in thecam slot and the door is fully closed.
4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures United States Patent 1 [111 3,776,581
Ross, Jr. 51 Dec. 4, 1973 PATENTEU 41916 SHEET 1 IF 4 INVENTOR. IRVING D. ROSS, JR.
ATTORNEYS PATENTEUBEC Mm 3.776.581
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INVENTOR. IRVING D. ROSS, JR.
ATTORNEYS PATENTEDBEB 41915 3,776,581
sum nr Q ATTORNEYS SEALING CAM INTERLOCK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to railroad cars and, more particularly, to a sealing, locking and door closure indicating mechanism for railroad car plug doors. Conventionally, after a car has been loaded and the door closed, a seal is passed through an aperture in the car door handle in such a fashion that the handle may not be rotated without breaking the seal. The seal is designed to facilitate detection of whether or not the car has been broken into during transit and it is an insurance to the consignee that the car lading has not been tampered with since it left the shipping point. One of the problems encountered with the typical railroad car door sealing mechanisms is that, occasionally, a car handle is not turned all the way up and the door is not completely closed when the car seal is placed through the openings provided therefor. This has occurred because it was difficult to positively ascertain whether the door was completely closed when the seal was inserted. The safety hazards alone of incomplete car door closure are, of course, obvious.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION To remedy the above situation, the invention herein has three functions: one is to provide a mechanism which prevents a car from being sealed unless the car door is completely closed; another is to provide a mechanism which positively interfers with and locks the handle against further rotation after it has been completely turned up to firmly close the railroad car door; and the third is to provide an indicator to indicate whether or not the door is fully closed. As aforestated, the incomplete closure problem occasionally resulted in serious safety hazards in addition to facilitating the loss of lading through pilferage.
In overcoming these shortcomings, the invention is directed toward providing a U-shaped bracket or sealing fork housing within the circumference described by the handle end during handle rotation. This bracket is mounted on the base plate so that it does not interfere with the rotation of the handle. The U-shaped bracket has a hole in each of its'legs through which a rod is journalled. On the rod is located one or two sealing fork arms which, when the car door is open, lie substantially flat against the base plate and do not interfere with the rotation of the handle. However, the rod on which the arms are mounted is also supplied with a fiat cam surface. This surface may be contacted by a projection on a bar to prevent the rod from rotating. The bar is capable of having rectilinear motion supplied to it by one leg of a pivotal, base plate mounted, cam crank which acts in response to rotational movement of the car door handle. The other leg of the cam crank is designed to rock into a cam recess on a handle driven segmental gear when the apertured portion of the handle is within 180 of fully closing the door. It will be appreciated that the handle may have any number of spokes and as the number of spokes increases the cam slot will be so located as to activate the L-shaped cam crank at a point closer to the entry of the seal accepting portion of the handle into the locking region. A visual indication that the car is ready for sealing occurs when the rod flat is released by the removal of the bar projection or stop which had formerly blocked the rotation of the rod. All
that is then necessary is to align the handle aperture with the sealing fork apertures when the sealing fork arms are flipped down around the handle spoke.
The objects of the invention are thus to provide an interfering means and a locking means and a handle position indicating means, which purposes are achieved by the activation of a cam crank by a cam slot in the gear segment which is normally rotated by the pinion secured to the handle shaft. It will be understood, that in addition, the rotation of the gear segment operates suitable bell cranks, locking fingers and imparts rotation to suitable parallel pipes to open and close the door in normal fashion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a plug door positioned in the door opening of a railroad car;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of the invention of FIG. 1 when the car door is in the fully closed position;
FIG. 2A is a view taken along line 2A--2A of FIG. ,2;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view of the invention of FIG. 1 when the car door is in the open position;
FIG. 5 is a view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary front elevational view of an alternative embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6.
In the several views of the drawings, like parts are designated with like numerals. In FIG. 1, a railroad car door utilizing one embodiment of the invention is indicated generally by the numeral 2. Vertical pipes 4 and 6 are rotatably attached to the door 2 by a number of brackets 7 and at their extremities, are secured to upper cranks 8 and 10 and lower cranks l2 and 14. The lower cranks l2 and 14 are journalled in roller hangers 20 and 22, respectively, and the roller hangers are mounted on track 26 in known manner to facilitate longitudinal movement of the door. The upper cranks are pivotally attached to rollers 16 and 18 which lie behind retainer 24 and guide the top of the door during longitudinal movement along the track 26.
Crank operating rods 32 and 34 are pivotally attached to a segmental gear 40 at points 28 and 30. Gear segment 40 is rotatably attached to the door at point 42 and is housed between the base plate 41 and the cover plate 100. A peripheral portion of segmental gear 40 has gear teeth 44. Also situated on the periphery of member 40 is cam recess 54. The toothed portion 44 of segmental gear 40 is in meshed engagement with pinion 46 which is secured to and driven by a shaft, not shown, which is journalled in or otherwise rotatably mounted on the base plate 41 and through the cover plate 100. At the outer end of the shaft and lying outward of the pinion 46 is an operating lever or handle 48 for rotating the shaft and thereby actuating the above described drive train. In the embodiment shown, the handle is comprised of two radial arms or spokes, 50 and 52, although the handle could have any number of spokes.
It will be seen that mounted just below the gear segment 40 is a L-shaped cam crank 56, which is pivotally mounted on the car door by a pivot pin 58. One end of the L-shaped cam crank is attached to a vertically sliding bar by a pivot pin 62. In the embodiment shown, bar 60 has attached to it a projection or tab 64 which is adapted to contact or interfere with a sealing fork cam portion in the form of a rod 66 when the cam crank 56 is forced out of cam slot or cam recess 54.
The exact interaction of these elements will be appreciated upon examination of other figures; however, in order that an appreciation be gained of the general operation of the door and its securing members, further attention should be directed to FIG. 1. Locking fingers 68 and 70 are adapted to be received in keepers 72 and 74, respectively, and are horizontally, reciprocably actuated by bell cranks 76 and 78, respectively. Said bell cranks 76 and 78 are pivotally attached to the car door at points 80 and 82, respectively. The ends 84 and 86 of bell cranks 76 and 78 are attached to a vertically reciprocating actuating bar 88. A second cam crank 92 is pivotally attached to bar 88 at point 90 to provide the vertical reciprocatory motion in the bar as it is rocked about pivot pin 94. It will be seen that a cam recess 96 is provided on gear segment 40 into which cam leg 98 of cam crank 92 may be accepted. As gear segment 40 rotates in a clockwise direction, the cam recess 96 forces leg 98 in a counterclockwise direction about pin 94, thereby pulling member 88 down and extracting locking fingers 68 and 70 from keepers 72 and 74.
In FIG. 2, it should be noted that cover plate 100 has been omitted to illustrate that when the gear segment or member 40 is moved in a clockwise direction, cam follower 56 is forced out of cam recess 54 and imparts a vertical motion to bar 60. It will be appreciated that tab 64 on bar 60 is slightly bent and is adapted to mate with flat 102 of rod 66 and prevent its rotation after the rod has been rotated and the tab moved up to overlie the flat.
Referring now to FIG. 2A, rod 66 is provided with a flat 102 and is journalled through apertures 104 and 106 in the legs 108 and 110 of U-shaped member or sealing fork housing 112. U-shaped member 112 is attached by welding or otherwise to the car door 2. Sealing fork arms 116 and 118 are rigidly attached to the rod 66.
As can be appreciated from viewing FIGS. 2 and 2A, the locking mechanism can only be actuated when the door is closed. Whenever the door is open, tab 64 on the bar lies over the flat 102 of rod 66 to hold the arms 116 and l 18 in a substantially vertical position allowing the handle to swing freely past the locking mechanism. This is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. However, when the handle is rotated to drive rotating gear segment 40 in a counterclockwise direction to close the door, the cam recess 54 and cam crank 56 will interact to allow the bar 60 to slide down, thus permitting the arms of the sealing fork to be pulled down around the handle so that a car seal may be inserted through apertures 120 and 122 in arms 118 and 116, respectively, and through apertures 124 in the handle (best seen in FIG. 5). In FIG. 3, it can readily be seen that bar 60 is shaped to permit it to slide behind gear segment 40 as it is vertically advanced by cam crank 56 when the door is opened.
FIGS. 4 and 5 are views of the indicating mechanism position when the door is not fully closed. The cover plate has been omitted for clarity. It can readily be seen in these FIGS. that tab 64 overlies the flat 102 of rod 66 and that the arms 116 and 118 are in a position substantially parallel with the car door and do not interfere with the rotation of the handle. Referring specifically to FIG. 5, which is taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4, it is easily seen that the prongs lie so as not to obscure the movement of the handle when the door is not closed.
In FIGS. 6 and 7, an embodiment of the invention is shown in which a locking finger extension is secured to the bar 60 so as to provide an additional door locking point. Locking finger or bolt 130, when the door is closed, fits into keeper 132 which is located on the railroad car. It will be appreciated, of course, that brackets 135 and 136 have been provided for keeping the bar and extension in proper alignment.
Thus, having fully described my invention, it should be understood that but two embodiments have been described and that the invention is capable of other variations. However, it is the intent of the inventor to be restricted only by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A selectively actuated mechanism for preventing the insertion of a car seal through the sealing aperture of a railroad car door operating lever and corresponding apertures in the arms of a sealing fork unless the car door has been completely closed, said mechanism comprising:
a partially arcuate member having teeth positioned about at least a portion of its periphery, said member being rotatably secured to the car door and said member further having a cam recess positioned on its periphery; rotatable shaft on which the operating lever is mounted; pinion fixedly mounted on the rotatable shaft in meshed engagement with the toothed portion of the partially arcuate member; cam crank pivotally secured to the car door being acfivatable by contact with the cam recess; rectilinearily movable bar attached to the end of the cam crank which does not engage the cam recess; U-shaped bracket having two legs and an intermediate portion secured to the car door within the periphery described by the operating lever and having rod accepting apertures in each leg thereof;
a sealing fork comprising a rod having a locking surface rotatably mounted through said rod accepting apertures and having radially extending therefrom at least one handle engaging arm, said locking surface being contacted by the bar when the nonattached end of the cam crank leaves the cam slot, said cam slot being positioned on the toothed member such that it accepts one end of the cam crank when the lever is within a predetermined distance from its desired degree of rotation, the activation of the crank being such that the bar attached thereto disengages the rod locking surface to permit the arm to establish engagement with the lever when the desired closure of the door is achieved.
2. A mechanism for ensuring positive closing of a crank operated railroad car plug door mounted for movement along a car side on a track before an elongated car seal may be placed in sealing position, said mechanism comprising:
a lock bolt selectively moveable between a locked and an unlocked position;
mechanical power transmission means for selectively moving the lock bolt; and
means responsive to the selective movement of said lock bolt to permit placement of said car seal into sealing position only when the car door is closed and the lock bolt is in locked position.
3. The mechanism of claim 2 wherein a handle is rotatably secured to the door for supplying power to the mechanical transmission means whereby said lock bolt is responsive to rotational movement of the handle.
4. A mechanism for ensuring positive closing of a crank operated railroad car plug door mounted for movement along a car side on a track before a car seal may be placed in sealing position, said mechanism comprising:
a lock bolt selectively movable between a locked and and the lock bolt is in locked position.