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Publication numberUS3838649 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 1, 1974
Filing dateJan 9, 1973
Priority dateJan 9, 1973
Publication numberUS 3838649 A, US 3838649A, US-A-3838649, US3838649 A, US3838649A
InventorsBarnard B
Original AssigneeMaxson Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Motor actuated railway hopper car doors
US 3838649 A
Abstract
A railroad hopper car having air cylinder operated sliding gates mounted directly on the main hopper doors so as to permit the car to be used to lay ballast on the tracks in a controllable fashion and also to be used as a conventional hopper car. Three variations of the invention are shown wherein the sliding gates are activated by air cylinders connected directly thereto, air cylinders connected to the gates through a bell crank arrangement, and cylinders connected to a channel member welded to the top of the gate.
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United States Patent 1 Barnard 154] MOTOR ACTUATED RAILWAY HOPPER CAR DOORS [75] Inventor: Benjamin R. Barnard, Minnetonka,

Minn.

[73] Assignee: The Maxson Corporation, Ramsey County, Minn.

22 Filed: Jan.9, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 322,175

[52] US. Cl 105/240, 105/253, 105/280, 105/282 R, 222/505 {51] int. C1. 361d 7/06, B6ld 7/20, B6ld 7/28 [58] Field of Search 105/240, 250, 251, 253, 105/280, 282 R, 283, 284; 110/169; 222/505 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 944,506 12/1909 Ryan 110/169 1,384,175

7/l92l Allen et al. 222/505 X 1,813,928 7/1931 Hosceit.... 105/282 R X 3,396,675 8/1968 Stevens 105/280 3,511,188 5/1970 Danielson 105/280 Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Howard Beltran Attorney, Agent, or FirmNeil B. Schulte [5 7 ABSTRACT A railroad hopper car having air cylinder operated sliding gates mounted directly on the main hopper doors so as to permit the car to be used to lay ballast on the tracks in a controllable fashion and also to be used as a conventional hopper car. Three variations of the invention are shown wherein the sliding gates are activated by air cylinders connected directly thereto, air cylinders connected to the gates through a bell crank arrangement, and cylinders connected to a channel member welded to the'top of the gate.

10 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures MOTOR ACTUATED RAILWAY HOPPER CAR DOORS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION At certain times of the year it becomes desirable to add ballast to railroad track roadbeds. This is preferably done by rolling a car slowly along the tracks and dumping ballast through carefully controlled openings directly into position on the tracks. Usually a man walks alongside the car controlling the size of the opening in the bottom of the car so as to feed the ballast material onto the roadbed at an appropriate rate. One of the problems with this system lies in the fact that the car stands idle the rest of the year when the ballast operation is not required. It would be desirable, therefore, to provide a car which would be suitable for conventional hopper car use during the rest of the year. Such an objective is achieved by my invention by providing air cylinder operated sliding gates on each main door utilized on a conventional hopper car. The main door can be opened to allow material to be dumped from the car in a fashion well known to those skilled in the art. To use the car for depositing ballast the main door is closed and only the sliding gates in the main door are operated to provide small variably sized openings in the correct position above the tracks so as to feed ballast at an appropriate rate. To insure that the ballast flows at the proper rate and in the proper position it is necessary that the sliding gates be accurately controllable with a minimum of mechanical effort on the part of the man walking alongside the car. My invention provides apparatus to achieve such an end as explained below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to avoid the excessive effort necessary to operate mechanical gates and ballast feed devices the man walking alongside the car is provided with control levers to activate two way air cylinders. These air cylinders are in turn connected to the sliding gates so as to position them accurately and quickly in the desired positions. My invention contemplates three different connections for the air cylinders. The air cylinders may be connected directly to the sliding gates in a position at the top of the main doors and used to directly open and close the gates with a minimum of complexity. In such an arrangement the closed position of the gate involves having the piston of the hydraulic cylinder extended. Accordingly, the hydraulic cylinder piston rod is protected with a rubber boot in order to provide a sufficient seal so that the car may be utilized the rest of the year as a hopper car without weather damage to the extended piston rod.

In order to avoid the necessity of weather protecting seal or boot around the air cylinder piston rod my invention contemplates two other alternate embodiments. The second arrangement reverses the air cylinhopper car. It may therefore be seen that it is an object of my invention to provide an improved hopper car which may be used for depositing ballast in a controlled manner. It may also be seen that it is a further object of my invention to provide a ballast car which is more accurately controllable due to the use of air cylinders operating the sliding gate doors. Further objects and advantages will become apparent upon consideration of the following description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of the underside of a typical hopper car showing how in the present invention sliding gate doors are added to the doors normally used to open and close the chutes at the bottom of the car.

FIG. 2 is a detail side view showing schematically the working arrangement for a second embodiment of my invention wherein the air cylinders are mounted on the car body remote from the sliding gates.

FIG. 3 is another view of the apparatus of FIG. 2 to provide a clearer understanding of the second embodiment.

FIG. 4 through FIG. 8 show different views of the third embodiment of my invention.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show plan views of the main doors with FIG. 4 showing-the air cylinders installed and FIG. 5 omitting the air cylinders in favor of other structural detail.

FIG. 6 is a sectional side view showing the mounting position of the air cylinders of the third embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a bottom detail view showing how the sliding gate is retained in place on the main door.

FIG. 8 is a top detail view showing the guide bracket for the channel extending from the sliding gates.

FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram showing how the air is valved to the air cylinders by the man walking beside the car.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 the underside of a hopper car is shown. the car being designated by the number 10. Hopper cars come in many different configurations but they usually involve a slanted chute extending down from the underside of the car. Any number of chutes may be found in the different cars of the prior art but for the purposes of describing my invention two chutes 12 and 14 are shown. These chutes are closed by large main doors 14 and 16 which are hinged to chutes 12 and 14 by means of hinges 17, 18, 19 and 20. Doors 14 and 16 cover the entire ends of chutes 12 and 14 and pivot on hinges 17 through 20 so as to allow the entire contents of the car to be quickly dumped. In order to use the hopper car as a ballast car four sliding gates 21, 22, 23 and 24 are installed directly onto the faces of doors l4 and 16. In FIG. 1 only gate 24 is shown in an open position, leaving an opening 25 through which ballast can be deposited alongside rail 26. Gates 21 through 24 slide behind a series of angle iron guide members numbered 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32. Guide members 27 through 32 are spaced out from doors l4 and 16 by means of small spacers 34 which are narrower than the guide members 27 through 32 so as to leave slots thereunder within which gates 21 through 24 can slide. Guide members 28 and 31 are additionally provided with divider structures 40 and 42 suspended therefrom which help spread the ballast to one side or the other of the rails 26 and 41.

It is evident that the four air cylinders 44, 45, 46, and 47 in FIG. 1 are connected directly between the sliding gates 21 through 24 and clevis pin mounts 5.0, 51, 52 and 53 on doors l4 and 16. Thus. when the air cylinders 44 through 47 are extended, the doors are closed. When air cylinders 44 through 47 are caused to retract the doors are slid upward opening passageways through which the ballast can be deposited onto the roadbed. The opening and closing of the doors of FIG. 1 is accomplished by means of a man walking alongside the car and operating suitable valves as shown in FIG. 9.

In FIG. 9 it may be seen that the railroad car is shown schematically by the outline 55.'The air supply connections are also shown schematically. The pressurized air may be obtained from the air brake supply 57 through a line 59. This air is supplied to a pair of valves 60 and 61 positioned on the side of the car and operable by means of handles 62 and 63. As the man walks alongside the car he controls the valves 60 and 61 with handles 62 and 63 so as to direct air to cylinders 46 and 47. Two lines connect each valve to its respective air cylinder so that the air cylinder may be caused to extend and close the sliding gate or retract and open the sliding gate in a manner well known to those skilled in the art.

Returning again to FIG. 1 it may be seen that with this arrangement of air cylinders, when the gates are closed the piston rods of the air cylinders are in an extended position. This means that during the majority of the time, when the car is used simply as a hopper car, the sliding gates are left closed and the extended piston rod of the cylinders is exposed to the weather. To provide protection for these exposed piston rods, flexible weather sealing boots 70 are mounted over the extended pistons. These boots provide weather protection so that the extended rods will not rust nor become dirty when the sliding gates remain closed for a long period of time. In order to avoid the problems of having an extended actuating piston as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1 two other embodiments of the present invention are contemplated which are described below. The first of these embodiments may be seen with respect to FIGS. 2 and 3.

Referring simultaneously to FIGS. 2 and 3 an inclined chute 71 is shown with a sliding gate 72 moving up and down along and under guide tracks 73 as described with respectto FIG. 1. However, in FIG. 2 the air cylinders 74 are mounted directly to the car body rather than to the main door 16. This is done by providing gussets 75 between the bottom of the car 10 and a cross reinforcing member 76. The air cylinder 74 is mounted on the gusset 75 by means of a clevis pin attachment 77 at its upper end. At the lower end the extensible piston rod of the cylinder is connected by means of another clevis pin 78 to a bell crank 79 which pivots about a shaft 80. Shaft 80, as can be seen in FIG. 3, is supported between a pair of brackets 81 and 82 which extend downward from cross member 76. Brackets 81 and 82 are further supported by means of a pair ofangle members 83 and 84 which are welded to the side of brackets 81 and 82 and extend upwards to a point underneath car 10 and above main door 16 where they are welded in place as shown in FIG. 2. Bell crank 79 is connected by means of a connecting or actuating rod 85 which is pivoted to sliding gate 72 at pivot pin 86 and pivoted to bell crank 79 at pivot pin 87. The linkage comprising bell crank 79 and rod 85 insures that sliding gate 72 is raised when the piston rod of air cylinder 74 is extended. When the door is lowered and closed the piston rod is retracted. This of course is the opposite from the embodiment of FIG. 1 and assures that, during long storage periods when the sliding gate 72 is closed. the piston rod is not in an extended position. Thus, the necessity of utilizing a protective weather boot as in the embodiment of FIG. 1 is obviated. In addition, with the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3 the air cylinders are mounted up in a protected area underneath the car and therefore are less subject to damage. However, to utilize the main doors l6 and 14 in a conventional hopper car fashion it is necessary to remove connecting rod so that main doors 16 and 14 can swing freely. To eliminate this inconvenience and further retain the better weather protection advantages the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8 is also contemplated by the present invention.

Referring simultaneously to FIGS. 4 and 5 a full face view of one of the doors to the hopper car is shown. For the purpose of explanation this door is chosen to be door 16 although it should be understood that a similar arrangement is used on all the doors of the hopper car. In FIG. 4 the air cylinders are shown along with their mounting members while in FIG. 5 the same view is presented without the air cylinders but including other details so as to more clearly show the structure of the invention. It should be understood that the elements of both FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 would all be installed on the operating embodiment. As before, door 16 is provided with guide tracks 100, 101 and 102 which are spaced away from door 16 sufficiently to permit a pair of sliding gates 103 and 104 to be mounted therebehind. Welded to the top edge of the sliding gates 103 and 104 is an extension member 105 and 106. As can be seen in FIG. 5 extensions 105 and 106 extend upwards through a pair of guide brackets 107 and 108. Brackets 107 and 108 are welded to the doors 16 and extend out and slightly around extensions 105 and 106 so as to help locate them. Bracket 107 is shown in a detail drawing in FIG. 8. In FIG. 8 it may be seen that bracket 107 comprises a piece of curved rod stock welded to door 16 along line l09.-Bracket 107 curves around the front of channel shaped extension 105 so as to retain it in a proper position above the sliding gate 103. Bracket 107 extends out far enough on the right of channel extension 105toaccommodate a limit block 110 which is welded to the side of channel 105. In FIG. 5 it may be seen that block 110'stops against a stop 111. Stop 11 1 is welded securely to the face of door 16 and insures that extension 105 can go no lower so that gate 103 is located properly over the opening in door 16. When the extension member slides upward so as to lift gate 104 to an open position a second limit block 112 welded to the lower portion of extension 106 comes up against a stop 113 also welded to the face of door 16. This limits the upward movement of gate 104. Extensions 105 and 106 are both provided with small clevis pin attachments 114 and 115 therein. It may be more clearly seen in FIG. 4 that these clevis pin attachments form attachment points for a pair of air cylinders 116 and 117. The lower ends of cylinders 116 and 117 are attached to suitable mounting tabs 118. The mounting tabs 118 are in turn attached to a transverse member 119 which is shown most clearly in FIGS. 6 and 7. Transverse member 119 is welded to a pair of support brackets 120 which extend downward to be welded to the guide tracks 100 and 102. It should be noted in FIGS. 6 and 7 that the bottom portion of door 103, and all the other sliding gates as well, are curved outward slightly as shown at point 121 in FIG. 6. This outward curve facilitates in the closing of the sliding gate by pushing back any material which may be protruding slightly from the opening in door 16 as the gate is closed. This third embodiment of the invention is the most advantageous in that the air cylinders are mounted directly to the main door 16 rather than remotely as is with the case of the embodiment of FIG. I

2. In addition, when the door is closed the extension rod is retracted into the cylinder as shown on the left of FIG. 4 so that in the stored or closed position the cylinder piston rod is not exposed to the weather and is not subject to rust of dirt. This arrangement is therefore most advantageous.

It will be evident that many changes can be made to my invention without departing from the spirit and scope. thereof. For example, the extension members 105 and 106 are shown as comprising channel shaped members with reinforcing raised edges on both sides. However, embodiments have been constructed utilizing simple angle members with reinforcing raised edges on one side only. In addition, the transverse member 119 used to support cylinders 116 and 117 is only one of many arrangements of equipment that could be used to support the base of the air cylinder. By the same token a number of different arrangements could be used in the linkage and construction of the embodiment of FIGS. 2 and 3 as well as the embodiment of FIG. 1. The schematic diagrams for the air hose connection shown in FIG. 9 are exemplary only and many variations will occur to those skilled in the art The specific design of the stops on the extension members 105 and 106 could be varied greatly including lugs designed to physically engage the sliding gates themselves rather than blocks on the sides of the extension members. Still further modifications would be possible in the design of the guide tracks or channels which locate the gates and provide a pathealong which sliding is permitted. All these variations would not materially change the basic subject matter of the invention and therefore the following claims are presented to cover only the novel aspects thereof.

I claim:

1. A railroad hopper car door system comprising in combination:

a hopper car having slanted chutes extending down from the. underside with main doors pivotally mounted atthe ends of the chutes in the more steeply inclined wall of the slanted chute for discharging material from the car, said main doors being hinged on the body of the car;

openings in said main doors positioned to discharge lading onto the'rail bed;

sliding gates on said doors disposed in guide tracks on said doors so as to be slidable across said openings to discharge lading therefrom;

said main pivoted doors having a divider baffle mounted thereon between the sliding gates to direct the flow of lading; and

air cylinder means connected to said hopper car and said sliding gates operable to move the gates along said guide tracks.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said air cylinder means comprise a plurality of air cylinders, each air cylinder mounted between a sliding gate and clevis bracket extending out from the main doors, said clevis pin mounted proximate the top of the gate.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 including flexible covers over the extensible piston portions of the air cylinders.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 including lever means on said car connected to direct air flow to said cylinders to open and close the sliding gates.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said air cylinder means comprise an air cylinder for each sliding gate each cylinder mounted on said hopper car and connected to its respective sliding gate by means of connecting linkage.

6. The apparatus of claim 4 in which said connecting linkage comprises a bell crank member pivoted on a shaft supported by said hopper car and further comprises a rod extending between the gate and one side of the bell crank member, the air cylinder connected to the other side of said bell crank member.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 including lever means on said car connected to direct air flow to said cylinders to open and close the sliding gates.

8. A railroad hopper car door system comprising in combination:

a hopper car having dump chute portions on the bottom;

inclined openings in said dump chute portions positioned to discharge material from the hopper car;

sliding gates over said openings disposed in guide tracks mounted on the dump chute portions so as to be slidable across said openings to effect the flow of material therefrom; and

air cylinder means mounted between the remote end of an extension member on each sliding gate and a transverse support member, said transverse member mounted across said guidetracks in a position generally over said sliding gates and each-of said extension members being fastened to the gate at the end opposite to said remote end.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 in which said extension member comprises an angle reinforced member welded to the top of each gate and extending upwards through guide brackets mounted on said dump chute portions.

10. A railroad hopper car door system comprising in combination:

a hopper car having dump chute portions on the bottom; inclined openings in said dump chute portions positioned to discharge material from the hopper car;

gate to be effected from a position near the gate.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US944506 *Sep 8, 1908Dec 28, 1909John J RyanGravity-slide ash-pan.
US1384175 *Jul 7, 1919Jul 12, 1921Baker Dunbar Allen CompanyTwin gate for hoppers
US1813928 *Aug 2, 1930Jul 14, 1931Rodger Ballast Car CoHopper car construction
US3396675 *Feb 17, 1966Aug 13, 1968Acf Ind IncDual hopper outlet closure structure
US3511188 *Sep 21, 1967May 12, 1970Railway Equipment Co EnterprisHopper outlet assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5063858 *Oct 30, 1989Nov 12, 1991Acf Industries, IncorporatedCovered hopper railway car with drop bottom doors and substantially vertical outlets to maximize discharge area
US5086709 *Jan 25, 1990Feb 11, 1992Miner Enterprises, Inc.Sliding gate structure with dual linkage per single actuator arrangement
US5199612 *May 23, 1991Apr 6, 1993Raque Food Systems, Inc.Traveling bucket with dispensing outlet closure mechanism
US5311822 *Dec 7, 1992May 17, 1994Herzog Contracting CorporationBallast hopper door control apparatus and method with independently and selectively actuated motors in response to uniquely coded signals
US5402731 *Aug 2, 1993Apr 4, 1995Difco, Inc.Actuator assembly
US5423268 *Nov 10, 1993Jun 13, 1995Herzog Contracting CorporationRailroad hopper car with ballast distributing blade and hopper door and blade control apparatus and method
US5657700 *Dec 14, 1995Aug 19, 1997Herzog Contracting CorporationRailroad hopper car with ballast distributing blades and remote control system
US6526339 *Sep 8, 2000Feb 25, 2003Herzog Contracting Corp.GPS controlled multiple source material application
US7437997Mar 20, 2008Oct 21, 2008Herzog Contracting Corp.Method for delivering replacement rail ties using GPS techniques
US8246019 *Jun 21, 2007Aug 21, 2012GM Global Technology Operations LLCAir spring for vehicle closure
US8371657 *Feb 4, 2011Feb 12, 2013Timpte, Inc.Storage hopper assembly
US20110198911 *Feb 4, 2011Aug 18, 2011Timpte, Inc.Storage hopper assembly
USRE36685 *Apr 20, 1998May 9, 2000Herzog Contracting CorporationRailroad hopper car with ballast distributing blades and remote control system
Classifications
U.S. Classification105/240, 105/253, 105/282.1, 222/505, 105/280
International ClassificationB61D7/28, B61D7/20, B61D7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB61D7/28, B61D7/20
European ClassificationB61D7/20, B61D7/28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 22, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: ELECTROCOM GARD LTD., A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP OF TX
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:THRALL CAR MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, A CORPORATION OF IL;REEL/FRAME:005829/0028
Effective date: 19910820
Aug 22, 1991AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: ELECTROCOM GARD LTD., A LIMITED PARTNERSHIP OF TX
Effective date: 19910820
Owner name: THRALL CAR MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, A CORPORATIO
Dec 30, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: THRALL CAR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, 26TH & STATE ST.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MAXSON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004499/0443
Effective date: 19851216
Dec 30, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: MAXSON CORPORATION
Effective date: 19851216
Owner name: THRALL CAR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, 26TH & STATE ST.