US 3841222 A
The specification discloses a mobile rail vehicle movable on the rails of a rail-tie panel assembly and carrying a pair of swingable arms at one end for supporting and positioning a C-frame to which a hydraulic press cylinder is attached for effecting installation of spikes in a tie by the combined forces of the press cylinder and the reactive force of the C-frame on the tie. A swiveling ram head on the cylinder rod holds a spike erect while pressing it into the tie and disengages itelf from the spike, when installed, by simple pulling action.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Richeson 1 51 Oct. 15, 1974 APPARATUS FOR ASSEMBLING RAIL-TIE PANELS ON ASSEMBLY TABLE  lnventor: Harold E. Richeson, Downers Grove, Ill.
 Assignee: L. B. Foster Company, Pittsburgh,
I22] Filed: Nov. 24, 1972 [21 Appl. No.: 309,233
 US. Cl 104/17 R  Int. Cl E01b 29/26  Field of Search 104/6, 17, 17 R  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 721,856 3/1903 Bender 104/17 R 2,799,230 7/1957 Jensch 104/17 R 3,426,698 2/1969 Foxx et a1. 104/17 R 3,753,404 8/1973 Bryan, Jr 104/17 R Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.
Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Bertsch Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Buell, Blenko &
Ziesenheim 5 7 1 ABSTRACT The specification discloses a mobile rail vehicle movable on the rails of a rail-tie panel assembly and carrying a pair of swingable anns at one end for supporting and positioning a C-frame to which a hydraulic press cylinder is attached for effecting installation of spikes in a tie by the combined forces of the press cylinder and the reactive force of the C-frame on the tie. A swiveling ram head on the cylinder rod holds a spike erect while pressing it into the tie and disengages itelf from the spike, when installed, by simple pulling action.
6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR ASSEMBLING RAIL-TIE PANELS ON ASSEMBLY TABLE This invention relates to a mobile rail vehicle, movable on the rails of a rail-tie panel and equipped with hydraulic pressure cylinder means, whereby to pressure set rail spikes in wood ties in the panel.
The rails of railroad tracks rest on bearing plates interposed between the rails and wooden ties and are secured to the wooden ties by iron spikes, driven into the ties by hand or mechanical means so that the head of the spike overlaps the flange of the rail. In recent years, mobile rail vehicles have been employed, equipped with pneumatic or hydraulic pressure operated hammers for driving the spikes into the wooden ties. In order to secure a tight connection between the rails and the ties, it has been proposed to provide the mobile rail vehicle with grappling means which is operated to exert a pulling force on the wooden ties to hold the ties close up under the rails when driving the spikes home. An example of such equipment is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 993,869, issued May 30, 1911.
More sophisticated and complex equipment has been provided on mobile rail cars for general repair and servicing of railroad tracks including driving of spikes, also employing the grappling principle, whereby the wooden ties are pulled up toward the rails while the hammering of the spike occurs. U.S. Pat. No. 2,596,823, issued May 13, 1952, is typical of the highly developed and complex type equipment employed in this connection.
Where the pneumatic hammers for driving spikes are designed to be hand-held and operated manually by pneumatic or hydraulic medium supplied from a service rail vehicle, the weight of the hammers becomes a problem. US. Pat. No. 1,980,299 shows an arrangement for supporting a pneumatic hand-operated hammer by suspension means carried on the vehicle.
Within recent years, the practice has been adopted of pre-fabricating rail-tie panels, consisting of predetermined rail lengths and wood ties assembled, and then transporting the panels to the field for rapid laying in place on a prepared ballast road-bed.
In order to provide apparatus of relative simplicity and low cost for the purpose of assembling rail-tie panels, I provide equipment comprising a pressure cylinder mounted on a portable C-frame, for pressing home into the wooden ties of rail-tie panels the securing spikes for the rails, by the combined force on the spike and the reaction force of the C-frame on the ties. l have found that the application of a constant force to the head of a spike together with an equal and opposite force applied on the under side of the wooden tie causes the spike to be forced into the tie while the tie is forced or impaled on the spike, the two opposing forces being smooth and constant in effect. The spike is accordingly set more firmly with less shock than with hammers of any sort and the chance of fracture or splitting of the wood tie is' greatly decreased.
I further provide a mobile rail car, travelable on the rails of a rail-tie panel in the process of assembly, for carrying the equipment comprising several of the C- frames, on swiveling-support arms conveniently fixed on the rail car, thereby relieving the operator of the effort required to support the C-frame in place for installation of the spikes.
I further provide a ram head attachable to the swiveling pressure cylinder rod for supporting a spike in place while being pressed home into the tie, the ram head being separated from the spike after it is pressed home in the tie by simply exerting an upward pull on the cylinder rod. The ram head comprises a body removably attachable to the cylinder rod and having a pair of diametrically disposed fingers pivotally mounted in a vertical position thereon while being biased toward the central axis of the body by a surrounding helical spring. The fingers are adapted for engaging opposite sides of a spike head, while the head of the spike nests in a recess at the bottom of the body to receive the force of the cylinder and the reactive force exerted on the tie.
A preferred embodiment of the invention employing the above described features and others to be described later on is shown in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a wheeled rail car, on the rails of a rail-tie panel in process of assembly, together with auxiliary equipment including C-frame carried by a swiveling support arm on the rail car;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the wheeled rail car and auxiliary equipment shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view at substantially full scale and partially in section showing the detail of the ram head on the cylinder rod of FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is an end elevational view of the ram head shown in FIG. 3; and l FIG. 5 is a plan view of the ram head taken on the line V-V of FIG. 4.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawings, particularly FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a wheeled rail car 10 having a platform 11 supported by two pairs of flanged wheels 12. Each pair of wheels 12 is fixed at opposite ends of an axle 13 which is supported in journal bearings 14 attached inboard of the wheels at opposite sides of the supporting frame 15 of the platform of the rail car by brackets 16.
The rail car wheels 12 run on the spaced rails 17 of a rail-tie panel 18, in which predetermined lengths (50 to ft.) of rails 17 are arranged longitudinally on a series of wooden ties 19 in parallel spaced relation according to the standard or special gauge of railroad track. For a reason later made apparent, the wooden ties 19 are elevated above the ground on two or more longitudinally extending timbers 20 (FIG. 2), the elevation of the ties 19 being such as to permit the lower arm of a C-frame 21 to pass under the ties 19 with clearance.
As shown in FIG. 2, two C-frames 21 are provided, one for each rail 17 of the rail-tie panel 18. Each C- frame is suspended, by means of a coil spring 22 and a turnbuckle or ratchet wheel 23, from the outer end of a corresponding horizontal beam or arm 24 which is attached at its inner end to the upper end of a pipe or post 25 rotarily supported telescopically in a vertical pedestal 26 attached to the car platform 11. It will be noted that each C-frame has two eye-bolts 27 attached to edges of the C-frame at right angles to each other. Thus the C-frame may be supported as shown in the drawings or, using the other eye-bolt, supported with the opening in the C-frame facing downwardly for a reason hereafter made apparent.
At the outer end of the upper arm of each C-frame 21 is a double-acting pressing cylinder 29, secured in a vertical position with the piston rod 30 extending through an opening (not shown) in the arm. A ram head 31, more fully described later on, is removably attached to the lower or free end of each of the piston rods 30. In order to enable the operator to turn the C- frame more easily, a rod extends symmetrically through a hole in the upright portion of the C-frame to provide a pair of spaced handles 32.
As indicated in FIG. 1, the pressure chambers at opposite ends of the pressing cylinder 29 in each C-frame are connected by hoses 33 and 34 respectively to a control valve 35 adjacent the reservoir 36 on the rail car 10. Valve 35 is a solenoid-type valve and is controlledvia a cable 37 by a switch 38 fixed on each C-frame adjacent the handles 32. The operator is thus able to cause hydraulic pressure to be established selectively in the pressure chambers at opposite sides of the piston in double-acting cylinder 29. In one instance, the pressure is exerted on the cylinder piston to move the piston rod outwardly and in the other instance the pressure is exerted to withdraw the piston rod.
Additional apparatus rail car comprises a hydraulic pump 39 driven by an electric motor (not shown) supplied with electric power, (e.g., 220 volt, three phase, A.C.) via a long supply cable 40 from a stationary source of electric power removed from the rail-tie panel 18. The pump 39 serves to supply hydraulic fluid under pressure to the hydraulic ram 36. Solenoid valve 35 controls the supply of hydraulic fluid under pressure from the pump 39 to the pressure chambers of cylinder 29 and the release thereof from the pressure chambers.
Also provided on the rail car is a hydraulic'motor 41 which is activated under the control of switch 35 by hydraulic fluid under pressure from pump 39. Motor 41, when activated, serves to propel the rail car 10 along the rails 17 of panel 18 through a gear reduction unit 42 and a drive chain 43 between a sprocket on the unit 42 and a sprocket wheel 44 fixed on the outer end of one of the axles 13. It will be understood that motor 41 is activated to move the rail car 10 only at such time as it is necessary to enable the operator to move the C- frames 21 into position to progressively install spikes into each tie 19 along the length of the panel 18.
Referring now to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 of the drawings, the ram head 31 will now be described in detail. The body 45 of the ram head 31 is essentially cylindrical with a sector thereof cut off to form a flat face 46. A bore 47 and counterbore 48 are provided coaxially in the top of the body in which the end of the piston rod 30 of the cylinder 29 is telescopically fitted. A transverse bore 49 passing through counterbore 48 in the body 45 registers with a diametrical bore in the end of piston rod 30 and a dowel 50 is pressed therethrough. At the same time, a plurality of transverse bores 51, 52, 53 and 54 (FIGS. 4 and 5) are drilled through the body 45 at two levels of the bore 47 and intersecting it at right angles. The outer portion of opposite ends of the bores 51, 52, 53 and 54 are tapped to receive set screws (not shown) correspondingly threaded. It will thus be seen that when set screws are screwed into each of the eight openings thus provided, they engage the section of the piston rod 30 within the bore 47 to firmly and tightly hold the ram head 31 on the end of the piston rod 30.
On diametrically opposite sides of the body 45, inwardly sloping faces 55 and 56 are provided. Extending radially inward from the faces 55 and 56 are slots 57 and 58.'Pivotally mounted on dowel pins 59 extending respectively through holes 60 and 61 drilled transversely through the body 45 and intersecting the slots 57 and 58 are a pair of fingers 62 and 63, which are substantially identical in construction, but disposed reversely. Adjacent the upper end of each finger 62,63 is a hole 64 through which the dowel pins 59 respectively extend on which the fingers 62,63 are swingedly suspended.
Adjacent the bottom end of each finger 62 and 63 is secured a flat lug 64 the end of which is shaped to conform to the curvature below the head of a spike 65 (FIG. 3). The two lugs 64 are in registry so that they grasp the shank of the spike 65 between them just below the head when the fingers 62 and 63 are pressed inwardly toward each other.
The fingers 62 and 63 are biased inwardly toward each other by a length of coil spring 66 arranged circularly around the body 45 of the ram head 31 as shown particularly in FIG. 5. Short lugs 67 are secured to the outer edge of the fingers to provide an anchorage thereon for the circular coil spring 66.
Formed centrally in the bottom surface of the body 45 is a recess 68 slightly larger but conforming closely in contour to that of the head of spike 65. When the fingers 62 and 63 are biased inwardly to engage the opposite flat lugs 64 under the head of the spike 65 nesting in the recess 68, the spike is held firmly in a vertical position.
Drilled horizontally into the body 45 diametrically opposite the face 46 is a hole into which a short rod 69 of the order of 4 inches in length is inserted. Rod 69 serves as a handle to be grasped by the operator to turn the ram head 31 to a desired position in which the head of the spike is properly oriented so as to overlap the flange of the rail 17. It will be understood that the ram head 31 is turnable with the piston and piston rod 30 of the cylinder 29 since it is secured thereto by the dowel 50 and by the setv screws (not shown) in bores 51, 52, 53 and 54.
The manner in which the apparatus above-described is utilized and operated to assemble rail-tie panels should be readily understood from the foregoing description. Notwithstanding, a brief summary explanation is deemed desirable.
Assuming that a rail-tie panel has been assembled generally with a pair of rails 17 disposed in proper gauge spacing on bed plates resting on a series of wooden ties 19, the rail car 10 is lifted bodily into place with the wheels 12 resting on the rails. After suitably adjusting the turnbuckles 23 for each of the C-frames 21 so that the lower arm of the C-frame is underneath the end tie and the upper arm and cylinder 29 directly over the same tie, the operator inserts a spike into the ram head 31. At least one of the fingers 62, 63 must be pulled out to allow the head of the spike to be inserted between the lugs 64 and thereby held in an upright position.
The operator is now ready to install the spike. First he grasps the handles 32 on opposite sides of the C- frame and shifts the C-frame horizontally until the spike is in proper vertical registry with the hole in the bed plate through which the spike is to be driven into the wooden tie. Then, by pressing the appropriate button of switch 38, the cylinder 29 is activated by hydraulic fluid pressure supplied under control of solenoid valve 35. The hydraulic force exerted on the piston rod is transmitted via the body 45 of the ram head to the head of the spike 65. The force thus exerted axially of the spike causes it to be pressed into the wood tie 19. However, the reactive force on the cylinder 29 and the C-frame to which it is attached causes the lower arm of the C-frame to press up on the lower face of the wooden tie 19 with equal force. The wooden tie is thus pressed onto the spike with the same force as that by which the spike is being pressed into the wooden spike.
It will be observed that the operator can adjust the orientation of the ram head relative to the C-frame and/or the rail 17 by grasping handle 69 and turning the ram head to a position in which the flat face 46 of the ram head is parallel to the rail 17 as seen in FIG. 2. In this position of the ram head, the head of the spike is properly oriented (FIG. 4) to overlap the flange of the rail 17 when finally pressed home into the wooden tie.
Once the spike is pressed home into the wooden tie, the operator presses a second button of switch 38 to cause the solenoid valve 35 to relieve the fluid pressure activating the cylinder 29 and supply fluid thereto to raise the ram head. As is evident in FIG. 3, the edge of the lugs 64 engaging the shank of the spike is simply pulled up around the head of the spike when the ram head is raised and thereby disengaged from the head of the spike automatically. In FIG. 3, the extent of outward movement of the fingers 62 and 63, when the ram head is raised, is shown by the broken line outline of finger 62.
The operator repeats the above spike pressing installation of successive ties until he can no longer reach the appropriate tie with the C-frame. He then activates switch 35 to supply hydraulic fluid pressure to activate motor 41, which then propels rail car to a new position on the rails suitable for access to the appropriate tie.
It is desirable that an operator be provided for each of the C-frames on opposite sides of the car 10. Thus the spikes may be installed simultaneously at both ends of a tie.
It will accordingly be seen that I have provided apparatus for readily and rapidly assembling a rail-tie panel in which spikes are pressed home into wooden ties. However, the C-frame 21 may be employed readily to force wedges between the rail and a clip attachment in a panel assembly of steel ties and steel rails. For such purpose, the C-frame 21 is suspended at right angles to the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 so that the open jaw of the C-frame faces downwardly. The eye-bolt 27 on the side of the C-frame is, in this case, attached to the end of the coil spring 22. The ram head 31 as shown is not adapted for use in pressing wedges but requires an adapter suited to fit the end of the wedge.
While a preferred embodiment of spike pressing equipment has been described above, it will be apparent that modifications thereof are possible within the terms of the following claims.
1. Apparatus for assembling rail-tie panels comprising support means for holding a plurality of ties in transverse parallel elevated position with a pair of longitudinally arranged rails on said ties, a wheeled vehicle travelable on said rails, a horizontal support member pivotally supported at one end on said vehicle and having its distal end shiftable in an are outside the confines of said vehicle, a C-frame having two spaced arms, counterbalancing means attached to the distal end of the support member for supporting said C-frame, a pressure operated cylinder supported on one arm of the C-frame and having a piston rod actuable to press a spike into a tie while the reactive force ofthe cylinder on the other arm of the C-frame exerts an upward force on the tie concurrently with pressure exerted through the piston rod, on the head of the spike.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a source of fluid pressure is carried on said vehicle, and control means attached to said C-frame is operative to control the supply of fluid pressure from said source to said cylinder and the release of fluid pressure therefrom.
3. Apparatus for pressing a member into a position securing a rail to a tie, said apparatus comprising a C- frame having two spaced substantially equal length arms, a cylinder fixed on one of said arms and having a piston rod actuable toward the other arm by fluid pressure, said C-frame being positionable in straddling relation to the rail and tie such that the cylinder on said one arm overlies the end of the other arm and exertion of a fluid pressure force by the piston rod on said member produces a reaction force by the said other arm on the tie directly opposed to the piston rod.
4. Apparatus for pressing a spike into a wooden tie to secure a rail thereto, said apparatus comprising a C- frame having two substantially equal length spaced arms, a cylinder fixed on one of said arms andhaving a piston rod actuable toward the other arm by fluid pressure, said C-frame being positionable in straddling relation to the rail and tie such that the cylinder on said one arm overlies the end of the other arm and exertion of a fluid pressure force by the piston rod on the head of the spike to press it into the tie produces a reactive force by the said other arm directly opposed to the piston rod pressing the tie onto the spike.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4, wherein a ram head is removably attached to the end of the piston rod of said'cylinder, said ram head having a recess conforming to the head of the spike, and resiliently biased means which holds the head of a spike in said recess and the spike oriented for exertion thereon of a pressing force by the piston rod.
6. Apparatus for pressing a spike into a wooden tie to secure a rail thereto, said apparatus comprising a C- frame having two spaced arms, a cylinder fixed on one of said arms and having a piston rod actuable toward the other arm by fluid pressure, said C-frame being positionable in straddling relation to the rail and tie such that the exertion of a fluid pressure force by the piston rod on the head of the spike to press it into the tie produces a reactive force by the said other arm pressing the tie onto the spike, a ram head removably attached to the end of the piston rod of said cylinder, said ram head having a recess conforming to the head of the spike, and resiliently biased means which holds the head of a spike in said recess and the spike oriented for exertion thereon of a pressing force by the piston rod, said resiliently biased means yielding to release its grasp on the head of a spike upon actuation of the piston rod of the said cylinder in a pulling direction.