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Publication numberUS3821932 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 2, 1974
Filing dateSep 28, 1972
Priority dateOct 8, 1971
Also published asCA975950A1, DE2241366A1, DE2241366B2, DE2241366C3
Publication numberUS 3821932 A, US 3821932A, US-A-3821932, US3821932 A, US3821932A
InventorsOllerer F, Theurer J
Original AssigneePlasser Bahnbaumasch Franz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for indicating and correcting a track position deviation
US 3821932 A
Abstract
Apparatus for indicating a deviation of the position of a track from a desired position and for correcting the track position comprises an emitter of a reference beam, a target for the emitted beam, and a lens for deflecting the beam intermediate the emitter and target, the track position deviation being indicated at the intermediate point. The target indicates a normal path of the emitted beam corresponding to the desired track position, and the lens deflects the beam from the normal path when it is at a track point whose position deviates from the desired position. Track correction is controlled by the deflected beam.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Theurer et al.

Filed: Sept. 28, 1972 App]. No.: 292,880

Assignee:

Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 8, I971 Austria 874l/7-l' U.S. CI. 104/7 B, 356/154 Int. Cl E0lb 33/06 Field of Search 356/154, 138; 104/7, 8,

[1 1 3,821,932 [451 July '2, 1974 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,381,626 5/[968 Fagan et al 104/7 B Primary Examiner-Lloyd L. King Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Bertsch Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kurt Kelman 57 ABSTRACT Apparatus for indicating a deviation of the position of a track from a desired position and for correcting the track position comprises an emitter of a reference beam, a target for the emitted beam, and a lens for defleeting the beam intermediate the emitter and target, the track position deviation being indicated at the intermediate point. The target indicates a normal path of the emitted beam corresponding to the desired track position, and the lens deflects the beam from the normal path when it is at a track point whose position deviates from the desired position. Track correction is controlled by the deflected beam.

16 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUL 2 :914 3821932 sum 2 0r 3.

PATENTEHJUL 21974 SHEET 3 [IF 3 APPARATUS FOR INDICATING AND CORRECTING A TRACK POSITION DEVIATION The present invention relates to an apparatus for indicating a deviation of the position of a track from a desired position, and for correcting such deviation.

Apparatus of this type comprises an emitter of a beam of radiation, which may advantageously be a laser beam, a target for the emitted beam of radiation, which may be a beam receiver or a spotboard, for example, and a track point intermediate of the emitter and target. The beam of radiation constitutes a reference defined by the emitter as one end point thereof, the target as another end point thereof, and the intermediate point at which the deviation from the desired track position is to be indicated.

In known apparatus of this type for indicating as well as correcting track position deviations, a stop is supported on the track at the intermediate point to mask the emitted beam from the target when the track is in the desired position. When the track is at a low point, it is lifted until the stop enters into the path of the beam. When the track is misaligned, it is laterally moved until the stop enters intothe path of a reference beam extending parallel to the desired alignment of the track. One example of such apparatus has been dislcosed in US. Pat. No. 3,500,762, dated March 17, 1970.

This invention has the primary object to provide an apparatus of the first described type which is not only simple in construction but also universally useful not only for track leveling and lining but also for indicating and correcting track position deviations in arcuate track curves.

The above and other objects are accomplished in accordance with the invention by arranging a means for deflecting the beam of radiation, such as an optical lens or an electron lens, at the intermediate point. The target has means indicating a normal path of the emitted beam of radiation corresponding to the desired track position, and the beam deflecting means is arranged to deflect the beam from the normal path when the beam deflecting means is at a track point .whose position deviates from the desired position.

Depending on the structure and arrangement of the beam deflecting means, the apparatus may be used for indicating grade and/or alignment deviations. Combined with track position correction means, the apparatus may be used for simultaneously indicating and correcting such deviations.

A laser beam constituting a coherent beam of light, which may be emitted as a planar beam in a single plane or two perpendicularly intersecting planes, is particularly advantageous. If a convex optical lens with a horizontal axis is used for beam deflection, it maybe used for track leveling, while a cylindrical lens with a vertical axis is used for track lining. A spherical lens will serve for leveling and lining since it can be used for deviations in grade and alignment, i.e. perpendicularly and transversely of the track.

According to one feature of the present invention, the emitter, the beam deflecting means and the target are carried respectively on three carriages mounted for mobility on the track and spaced from each other. To obtain an accurate reference, as is known, at least the carriages carrying the reference beam emitter and the target are laterally pressed against a selected rail of the track. By way of example, means for laterally pressing track carriages against a grade rail have been disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,334,592,'dated Aug. 8, 1967, and No. 3,557,459, dated Jan. 26, 1971.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention, the carriage carrying the emitter is mounted for mobility on the track on at least two axles, which enables the emitter to emit the beam at least approximately parallel or tangentially to the desired position of the track, and the central axis of the beam deflecting means is arranged pivotal in relation to the carriage carrying the emitter so that the central axis passes through the emitter in every pivotal position of the beam deflecting means.

The apparatus comprises track position correction means, such as track lifting and/or lining means, and the beam deflecting means is arranged in the region thereof so that it may be used not only for indicating track deviations but also for correcting them. The target is advantageously a receiver for the emitted beam of radiation and the means indicating the normal path of the emitted beam of radiation comprises control means responsive to the deflection of the beam from the normal path for actuating the track position correction means.

The use of cross shaped laser beams in such apparatus is very useful, since it enables indication and correction in leveling and lining operations, and the automatic control of the track correction in such an apparatus has been more fully described and claimed in copending US. Pat. No. 3,706,284, filed Jan. 19, 1970, of which one of the joint inventors, Josef Theurer, is a joint inventor.

In combination with a mobile track position correction machine, such as a track tamper and/or liner, the carriages carrying the emitter and the beam deflecting means may be coupled to the machine for mobility therewith. The carriage carrying the target may be selfpropelled and preferably remote controlled, or it may also be coupled to the track position correction machine.

The above and other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become more apparent from the following detaileddescription of certain now preferred embodiments thereof, taken in conjunction with V the accompanying, generally diagrammatic drawing embodiment, showing an apparatus for indicating deviations in the alignment of the track;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the apparatus of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front view of a receiver for a laser beam emitted in two perpendicularly intersecting planes;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 4, showing this apparatus in use in an arcuate track curve;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged topview of a portion of the arrangement of FIG. 6, also showing the calculation of the measuring parameters;

FIG. 8 is a side view of a track leveling and lining machine incorporating the apparatus of this invention; and

FIG. 9 schematically shows the reference beam paths of the apparatus of FIG. 8.

Referring now to the drawing, wherein like reference numerals designate like parts functioning in a like manner in all figures to obviate prolixity in the description, there are shown three carriages 2, 3 and 4 mounted for mobility on track 1 and spaced from each other. Carriage 2, which carries the emitter of a beam of radiation, has two axles. As schematically indicated by the double-headed arrows 5 extending transversely of track 1, means is provided for laterally pressing the carriages 2 and 4 against a selected grade rail of the track. Since such means is known per se, as indicated hereinabove, and forms no part of the present invention, except in the disclosed combination, it has not been illustrated in detail to avoid encumbering the drawing with prolix details.

Referring now specifically to FIGS. 1 and 2, carriage 2 is shown carrying emitter 6 emitting a planar beam of radiation 7 which is at least substantially parallel to the desired plane of the track. A coupling linkage 8 connects the carriage 3 to the carriage 2, carriage 3 being a bogie running on a single axle.

Bogie 3 carries cylindrical optical lens 9 whose axis extends substantially horizontally transversely to the track. As best shown in FIG. 2, one end of the coupling linkage 8 is pivotally journal'ed on a support rod for emitter 6, which extends through the center of the emitter. In this manner, the bogie 3 is pivotal in relation to carriage 2 so that the central axis 12 (shown in chain-dotted line) passes at least approximately through the center point of emitter 6 in every pivotal position of the beam reflecting lens 9.

Carriage 4, which carries a pair of spotboards 11, 11

respectively associated with the rails of the track,- is

movable independently of the two other carriages, the carriage being self-propelled, as indicated by drive 10. It will be advantageous to use a remote control for propelling carriage 4.

The apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 operates as follows:

When the track has the desired level, as shown in FIG. 1, the planar beam 7 emitted from emitter 6 passes through the horizontal axis of lens 9 and, therefore, is not deflected thereby on its way to targets 11. Thus, the beam is aligned with the horizontal center marker on the spotboards which indicates the normal, straight path of the emitted beam corresponding to the desired track position, i.e. the vertical distances of the beam from the track plane are identical at the emitter 6, lens 9 and spotboards 11.

As shown in FIG. 2, when the bogie 3 reaches a low point of the track below the desired level thereof, beam 7 passes through the convex lens 9 at a point above the axis of the lens so that the beam is deflected from its normal path (indicated by the broken line) downwardly to form a beam portion 13 out of focus with the spotboards. When the lens is moved vertically upwardly until the beam again passes through its horizontal axis, the normal path will be restored, the magnitude of the deviation from the desired track level being a function of the magnitude of the deflection of the beam 7 from the normal path thereof. Thus, the track may simply be lifted at the intermediate point until the lens reaches the position wherein it does not deflect the beam.

ln substance, the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 4 operates in the identical manner, the direction of operation being lateral or transversely of the track instead of vertical so that the apparatus .works in track lining rather than leveling. To adapt tothis, the emitter 15 is arranged to produce a beam 16 extending in a plane substantially perpendicular to the plane of the track. The lens 17 is also turned by so that its axis entends vertically. A spotboard 18 is positioned intermediate the track rails and has a vertical marker indicating a normal path of emitted beam 16 when the latter passes from the emitter through the vertical axis of lens 17, i.e. when it is not deflected thereby. This condition prevails as long as the track remains straight, i.e. the beam plane is substantially parallel to the track. However, at a point of misalignment, as shown in FIG. 4, the planar beam 16 passes through the lens at a point other than the vertical lens axis so that the beam is deflected to form a beam portion 19 out of focus with spotboard 18. Whenthe lens is moved laterally until the beam again passes through its vertical axis, the normal path will be restored and the beam will be focused on the vertical marker of the spotboard.

As shown in FIG. 5, the target may be a beam receiver 20 for a laser beam, instead of a spotboard. If the laser beam is emitted in two perpendicularly intersecting planes 21, 22, as shown in FIG. 5, the apparatus may be used for indicating lateral as well as vertical deviations of the track position. As more fully disclosed and claimed in the above-identified copending patent, the receiver has an array of light and/or temperature sensitive elements 23 responsive to the deflection of the beam from its normal path, when it is centered on the receiver, for controlling the actuation of track position correction means, such as the track lifting and/or lining means shown in the track leveling and lining machine of FIG. 8.

The method for indicating a track deviation is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7. This method uses the apparatus of FIGS. 3 and 4, the beam 16 being emitted in the direction of a tangent to the arcuate track curve at the track point at which emitter 15 is positioned. The term direction of a tangent means a direction substantially along the tangent of the curve at this point or a direction substantially parallel thereto. The lens 17 is so arranged in the normal path of the beam 16 that it deflects the beam to the target, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 6, which indicates the normal beam path corresponding to the desired position of the track curve. Dependent on the radius of the track curve and the spacing between carriages 2, 3 and 4, i.e. the two end points and the intermediate point defining the reference beam, a marker on the spotboard 18 indicates when the beam takes its normal path, i.e. when the track has the desired curve. At a track point which is out of alignment, the lens will deflect the beam, as shown in full lines, so that it no longer focuses on the spotboard. Latand B m, the above equations show an error of 0.55 percent in the value off. Such a margin of error is equalized by the natural spherical aberrations of normal lenses.

FIG. 8 shows a conventional track tamping, leveling and lining machine combined with an apparatus according to this invention. The illustrated machine is of known design and comprises a tie tamper unit 24, and a leveling and lining unit with pairs of track gripping rollers 26, 26 for lifting the track and pairs of track engaging rollers 27, 27 for lining the track. Such track position correction means are conventional and their specific structure forms no part of the invention. Accordingly, any such suitable means may be used in combination with the apparatus of the present invention.

The carriage 2 of the latter apparatus is coupled to the rear end of the machine by coupling linkage 28, the reference beam emitter 29 being mounted on carriage 2 for emitting a beam of radiation in two perpendicularly intersecting planes. A coupling linkage 8 connects the carriage 2 to carriage 3, a spherical lens 30 being mounted on carriage 3. The carriage 4, whereon the beam receiver 20 is mounted, is connected to the front end of the machine by coupling linkage 28a. As can be seen from FIG. 9, bogie 3 with deflecting lens 30 is mounted at the tamper unit and adjacent the track leveling and lining unit, i.e. in the region of the track position correction means.

As may be seen from the chain-dotted lines in FIG. 9, the beam 31 of cross-like cross section passes through lens 30 and is not deflected thereby on its way to receiver 20 when the track is in its desired position. In other words, in this position, the beam portion 31a, which is parallel to the plane of the track, as well as the beam portion 31b, which is perpendicular thereto, pass undeflected through the lens and thus remain centered on the receiver. Thus, the beam is not focused on the lightand/or heat sensitive control elements on the receiver. However, then the bogie 3 passes a misaligned track point to move lens 30 out of its centered position, the beam will be deflected by the lens so as to focus on at least some of the elements 22 arrayed on the receiver, causing these control elements to actuate the operation of the track position correction means selectively in a known manner to reposition the track until it has reached the desired position.

Obviously, it is possible to use any suitable beam deflecting means and to make use of all such arrangements with laser beams as are described in the aboveidentified copending patent application. Other modifications and variations may also occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. An apparatus for indicating a deviation of theposition of a track from a desired position and for correcting the track position, comprising i. an emitter of a beam of radiation,

2. a target for the emitted beam of radiation,

3. a means for deflecting the beam of radiation arranged intermediate the emitter and target,

a. the beam of radiation constituting a reference defined by the emitter as one end point thereof, the target as another end point thereof, and the beam deflecting means as an intermediate point at which the deviation from the desired track position is to be indicated,

b. the target having means indicating a normal path of the emitted beam of radiation corresponding to the desired track position, and

c. the beam deflecting means being arranged to deflect the beam from the normal path when the beam deflecting means is at a track point whose position deviates from the desired position,

4. a track position correction means, and

5. a control responsive to the deflected beam for actuating the track position correction means.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the target is a receiver for the emitted beam of radiation.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the target is a spotboard.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the beam deflecting means is a lens.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising three carriages mounted for mobility on the track and spaced from each other, respective ones of the carriages carrying the emitter, the beam deflecting means and the target.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the carriage carrying the target is self-propelled.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a mobile track position correction machine whereon the correction means is mounted, the carriages carrying the emitter and the beam deflecting means being coupled to the machine for mobility therewith on the track.

8. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising means for laterally pressing against a selected rail of the track at least the carriages carrying the emitter and the target.

9. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the carriage carrying the emitter is mounted for mobility on the track on at least two axles, the beam deflecting means has a central axis and is arranged pivotal in relation to the carriage carrying the emitter so that the central axis of the beam deflecting means passes through the emitter in every pivotal position of the beam deflecting means.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, whereon the beam deflecting means is arranged in the region of the track position correction means.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the track position correction means comprises track lifting means.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the track position correction means comprises track lining means.

13. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the target is a receiver for the emitted beam of radiation and the means indicating the normal path of the emitted beam of radiation comprises control means responsive to the deflection of the beam from the normal path and constituting the control for actuating the track position correction means.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the emitter is arranged to emit a beam of radiation extending in at least one plane.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the beam of radiation extends in two perpendicularly intersecting planes.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the beam of radiation is a laser beam.

t a r

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3381626 *Mar 25, 1966May 7, 1968Jackson VibratorsTrack working assembly and control system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4512560 *Sep 17, 1982Apr 23, 1985Krauss-Maffei AktiengesellschaftApparatus for mounting rails on a rigid rail beam
US4535699 *Sep 3, 1982Aug 20, 1985Les Fils D'auguste Scheuchzer S.A.Device for controlling a railroad track making or repairing machine
US4574704 *Mar 2, 1983Mar 11, 1986Matisa Materiel Industriel S.A.Apparatus for guiding a railroad track positioning device
US4724653 *Jun 20, 1986Feb 16, 1988Les Fils D'auguste Scheuchzer S.A.Process for repairing or laying a railroad track
US5090329 *Oct 3, 1990Feb 25, 1992Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Reference system for track working machine
US5255066 *Jun 8, 1992Oct 19, 1993Matisa Materiel Industriel, S.A.Measuring device for track building machines
US6647891 *Dec 13, 2001Nov 18, 2003Norfolk Southern CorporationRange-finding based image processing rail way servicing apparatus and method
US7469479Apr 21, 2004Dec 30, 2008J. Müller AGMethod for measuring tracks
WO2005103385A1 *Apr 21, 2004Nov 3, 2005Heinz JaegerMethod for measuring tracks
Classifications
U.S. Classification104/7.2, 356/154
International ClassificationG01B11/00, E01B35/00, G01B11/27, G01B21/20, G01B21/00, E01B33/02, E01B33/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01B33/02, E01B35/00, E01B2203/16, G01B11/272
European ClassificationE01B35/00, E01B33/02, G01B11/27B