US 3843051 A
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United States Patent [191 [451 out. 22, 1974 Whitloclt HIGHWAY RAILWAY CROSSING  lnventor: Jacob Oscar Whitlock, 301
Cartwright Dr., Springfield, Ill. 62704  Filed: June 15, 1973  Appl. No.: 370,300
 US. Cl. 238/8  Int. Cl E01b 2/00  Field of Search 238/8, 9, 6, 7
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,828,080 3/1958 Rennels 238/8 3,087,678 4/1963 Dyck 238/8 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Bertsch Attorney, Agent, or FirmNeuman, Williams, Anderson & Olson  ABSTRACT A highway railway crossing is provided which utilizes one or more elongated composite members disposed between a pair of rails and overlying a plurality of ties subtending and supporting the rails. The number of composite members to be used will depend upon the width of the highway or road intersecting the railway track. The composite member includes a unitary upper lamina formed of resilient moisture-proof material which spans the distance between the rails. The
elongated side edges of the lamina are recessed from the upper exposed surface thereof and are'adapted to resiliently and sealingly engage the web portions of the rails. A plurality of elongated, laterally spaced, reenforcing elements are affixed to the underside of the lamina. Resilient pads are affixed to the underside of the reenforcing elements and are sandwiched between the element and the ties. The lower portions of the elements with the pads affixed thereto are separated from one another so that the composite member may be flexed when it is being initially positioned between the rails.
11 Claims, 8 Drawing; Figures 1 HIGHWAY RAILWAY CROSSING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various railway crossings have heretofore been provided; however, because of certain design characteristics, they have been beset with one or more of the following shortcomings: (a) the crossing is extremely difficult to maintain because the exposed surface thereof accepts and transmits to the subgrade all forms of precipitation and then restrains evaporation thereof; such a condition is an inducement to subgrade saturation and subsequent pumping of the rail-supporting ties; (b) it is difficult to maintain the crossing so that the exposed surface thereof presents an even roadway over which the highway vehicles pass; (c) the crossing is dangerous to highway vehicles because the exposed surface thereof is slippery and uneven causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and/or resulting in the vehicle steering mechanism becoming misaligned or damaged; (d) repeated shocks and impacts on the crossing components caused by the passing trains and highway vehicles result in said components becoming loose or disassembled and thereby creating a potentially dangerous condition; (e) the areas adjacent the rails inner surfaces for accommodating the wheel flanges of the passing train are susceptible to collecting ice, snow or other debris and, thus, creating a potential derailment hazard; (f) an inordinate amount of time and effort is required to initially construct and properly maintain the crossing; (g) because of the numerous components required to construct and maintain the crossing, problems arise as to maintaining an adequate inventory of such components and transporting same to designated crossing locations when required; and (h) the crossing is not elastic to the pressures and strains caused by the passing trains and highway vehicles and, thus, an undesirable noise level is produced.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved railway crossing which is not beset withany of the aforenoted shortcomings.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide an improved railway crossing which is capable of being installed in highways or roads of any width.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide an improved railway crossing which is capable of effec tively withstanding repeated shocks and impacts caused by highway vehicles and railroad rolling stock passing thereover at varying rates of speed.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a railway crossing wherein the exposed surface thereof is selfdraining.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide a railway crossing wherein a plurality of composite components may be readily positioned in interlocked abutting end-to-end relation.
Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings and appended claims.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, an improved highway railway crossing is provided which includes an elongated composite member adapted to be positioned between a pair of parallel rails subtended and supported by a plurality of laterally spaced ties extending transversely of the rails. The
composite member includes an elongated one piece upper lamina formed of resilient, moisture-proof material. The lamina has elongated compressible side edges which are recessed from the exposed surface of the lamina and are adapted to sealingly engage the web portions of the rails. Affixed to the undersideof the lamina are a plurality of elongated reenforcing ele ments which are arranged in spaced, parallel relation to each other as well as to the rails. The reenforcing elements and lamina overlie a plurality of rail-supporting ties. Affixed to the underside of each reenforcing element are resilient cushion pads which are inserted between the ties and each element. The exposed surface of the lamina intermediate the recessed sides thereof is provided with a plurality of elongated draining grooves. At least one end of each groove terminates at the periphery of the lamina. The lamina, reenforcing elements and pad means are secured to the ties by suitable fastening means.
DESCRIPTION For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of one form of the improved railway crossing, and having portions of the lamina of the center and side composite members thereof removed so as to expose the reenforcing ele ments and the rail-supporting ties;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 3 but showing the center composite member in a flexed position for insertion between the rails;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the joint formed between a pair of abutting center composite members and with one of said composite mem- V bers removed;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG, 1; and
FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7 but showing a modified center composite member in sealing engagement with the'web portion of a rail.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 1, one form of the improved highway railway crossing 10 is shown which includes at least one pair of conventional railway rails 11a and 11b arranged in uniformly spaced substantially parallel relation. The rails are supported by a plurality of laterally spaced conventional wooden ties 12 which are disposed transversely of the rails. The ties normally rest upon suitable ballast or subgrade 13. The portions of the underside of each rail aligned with the ties rest upon metal plates 14 of conventional design, which are located on adzed surfaces of the ties (see FIGS. 3 and 8). The plates and rails are secured to the ties by spikes 15 driven into the ties.
In the illustrated embodiment, the crossing 10 also includes a plurality of center composite members 16A, 16B, 16C and 16D arranged in abutting end-to-end relation. Each of the center composite members is of like construction and is positioned between the rails 11a and 11b and overlies and is supported by a plurality of the ties 12. The number of composite members to be used in a given crossing will depend upon the width of the highway or. road which intersects the tracks or rails forming the crossing. Besides the center composite members l6A-D .disposed between the rails, there is also a like number of side composite members 17A-D disposed outwardly of, but in contact with each rail of the pair of rails, see FIG. 1.
Each composite member 16A-D comprises a unitary upper lamina 18 formed, preferably by molding, of resilient moisture-proof material (e.g., elastomers, such as natural rubber, neoprene, urethane or other selected polymers). The elongated sides 20a and 20b of the lamina are recessed from the exposed surface of the lamina and are adapted to sealingly engage the web portions W of the adjacent rails 11a and b, see FIG. 3. The outer extremity of each side 20a or 20b is contoured so as to conform substantially to the surface configuration of the adjacent web portion W.
Affixed or bonded to the concealed underside of the lamina 18 are a plurality of elongated reenforcing elements 21. In the illustrated embodiment, the elements 21 are of like configuration and substantially coextensive with the length of the lamina. Each element is preferably of a tubular metal construction. The elements are arranged in laterally spaced substantially parallel relation to each other as well as to the rails. To the bottom or underside of each element is affixed a pad 22 of resilient cushion material, similar to the material of lamina 18. When the center composite member is in place between the rails, the pads 22 are sandwiched between the elements and the ties, see FIG. 3. It will be noted in FIG. 3 that the lower portions of adjacent elements 21 are in spaced relation to one another. By reason of this relationship, upward flexing or bowing of the composite member can be readily accomplished when the member is being initially positioned between the rails, as seen in FIG. 4. The overall width of the center composite member, when it is in a relaxed, flat condition, is slightly greater than the width between the web portions of the rails 11a and 11b. Thus, by reason of this dimensional differential, a resilient, sealing engagement will be produced when the composite member is in place between the rails, as seen in FIG. 3. I
The upper portions of the reenforcing elements 21 are maintained in proper spaced relation by a plurality of depending ribs 18a formed on the underside of the lamina l8 and disposed between adjacent elements 21.
The exposed upper surface of the lamina located between the recessed sides 20a and b is disposed in substantially coplanar relation with the tops of the rails. Thus, the tops of the rails and the exposed upper surface of the lamina provide a flat even surface over which the wheels of the highway vehicle may swiftly and safely pass.
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the exposed upper surface of the center composite members are provided with a plurality of elongated draining grooves 18b, in which the illustrated embodiment, are in parallel relation and extend the entirelength of the lamina. The grooves permit ready draining of any precipation or liquid towards the ends of the composite member and away from the crossing. Thus, the formation of puddles of liquid on the exposed surface of the lamina is avoided. The grooves 18b also serve an additional function in that they provide a surface having a highly desirable traction characteristic for the highway vehicles passing thereover. In the illustrated embodiment, the grooves 18b are vertically aligned with the ribs 18a.
The reenforcing elements 21 must be possessed of sufficient strength to effectively withstand flexure when vehicles are passing over the crossing. By having the elements 21 of tubular construction, the weight of the composite member is significantly reduced without sacrificing the structural strength thereof. A rectangular or square cross-sectional shape of each element is desirable because it affords greater surface areas for bond ing the lamina and pads thereto. It will be noted in FIG. 3 that each of the outermost elements 21a has three sides thereof bonded or affixed to the lamina and the pad. The pads 22a affixed to the outermost elements 21a may be integral with the lamina, as shown in FIG. 3.
The elongated sides 20a and 20b of the lamina 18 must be recessed from the top of theadjacent rail to provide a sufficient space to accommodate the inside peripheral flange formed on the conventional railroad wheel. Furthermore, the sides must be sufficiently resilient and compressible that when the flange of the railroad wheel passes thereover any ice, snow or debris which might have formed or accumulated in the space S will be readily broken up, thereby avoiding any potential derailment hazard. The sides 20a and 20b, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, are of solid material; however, if the compressibility thereof is to be increased, a plurality of longitudinally extending holes 23 may be formed therein, see FIG. 8.
The side composite members 17A-D are preferably of like construction and each, as seen inFlG. 7, includes an upper lamina 24 which is of unitary construction and preferably is formed of the same material as lamina 18 of the central composite member. Affixed or bonded to the underside of lamina 24 are a plurality of elongated reenforcing elements 25a, 1;, c and d. The number and size of the elements may vary from that shown. The elements are arranged in side-by-side relation and adjacent elements may engage one another or be spaced from one another a small amount by a thin web 26 of resilient cushioning material being positioned therebetween, see FIG. 8. The innermost element 25a is of lesser height than the remaining elements 25bd so as not to be obstructed by the enlarged head of the spike 15.
The outermost element 25d may be provided with keyhole slots 27 formed in the underside thereof. The function of the slots will be described more fully hereinafter. As in the case of the elements 21 of the center composite member, pads of resilient cushioning material 28 are positioned between the underside of the elements 25b-d and the portions of the ties aligned therewith (see FIG. 7). Because there is no peripheral flange formed on the outer side of a conventional railroad wheel, it is not necessary that a space be formed between the side composite member and the rail. Thus when the side composite member is in place, it is desirable that the upper lamina 24 resiliently engage the side of the rail. It will be noted in FIGS. 7 and 8 that the exposed upper surface of the side composite member is substantially coplanar with the tops of the rails.
In order to assure that the side or secondary composite member 17A, B, C or D remains in sealing contact with the outwardly facing surface of the rail 11a or 11b, one or more anchor assemblies 30, see FIG. 7, are pro vided. Each of the assemblies is of like construction and is adapted to be positioned between a pair of adjoining ties 12. The assembly 30 includes an elongated rod 31 which subtends the rail and extends transversely thereof. The inner end 310 of the rod is threaded and the opposite or outer end 31b has affixed thereto by welding, or the like, a flat plate 32. The plate is horizontally disposed and is adapted to engage the underside of the outermost reenforcing element 25d. Affixed to and extending upwardly from plate 32 are rivetshaped studs 33. Each stud has an enlarged head 33a and shank 33b of reduced diameter. The head is of such a size that it will pass through an enlarged end of the key-hole slot 27 formed in the underside of element 25d. The shank 33b is dimensioned so that it will fit into the narrow portion of the slot. The underside of the head 33a is spaced from the upper surface of the plate 32 a distance slightly greater than the thickness of the bottom portion of element 25d. Once the side composite member has been placed against the rail, the rod 31 is placed beneath the rail, as shown in FIG. 7, and adjusted relative to the rail and the underside of element 25d until the studs 33 are registered with the key-hole slots 27 and extend therethrough, and then the plate 32 is shifted relative to the element 25d until the studs are in interlocking engagement with the keyhole slots 27. Once this has occurred, a clamp piece 34 is slidably mounted on the threaded end 31a of the rod. The clamp 34 is provided with a bore, not shown,
- through which the end of thr rod extends. In addition,
one side of the clamp piece is provided with a wedgelike notch 34a which is shaped to receive an edge portion of the bottom of therail. Once the rail bottom edge is accommodated in the notch 34a, a nut 35 is threaded onto the rod end 31a and drawn up tight against the clamp piece 34. Thus, the side composite members 17A, B, C or D is held fast against the rail by the anchor assembly 30.
The inner side of the side composite member is provided with a flange 24a which is integral with lamina 24. The flange 24a, as seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, is adapted to resiliently engage the web portion W of the rail. Preferably the flange 24a is reenforced by an elongated rod 36.
Once the side composite member has been drawn up tight against the rail, suitable fasteners 37, similar to those shown in FIG. 6, may be used to secure the composite members 17A,'B, C or D directly to the underlying tie portions.
As aforementioned, a plurality of center and side composite members may be utilized in forming the improved crossing so that the latter will span the full width of the intersecting highway or road. In order to keep the abutting center composite members ltiA, B, C and D and the aubtting side composite members in properly aligned relation, a plurality of elongated splicer pieces 38 are utilized.
In the illustrated embodiment, see FIGS. and 6, each splicer piece 30 is formed of tubular material having a peripheral configuration closely approximating the hollow interior of the reenforcing elements lltiA-D and l7A-D. It is important that the joint I formed by the abutting composite members be aligned with a given tie l2a. The length of the splicer piece 38 should be such that it extends in opposite directions from the joint I an amount so that it will overlie the adjacent ties 12b disposed on either side of tie 12a, see FIG. 5. It is also important that a fairly snug fit exists between the splicer piece 38 and the reenforcing elements into which the piece is inserted. It will be noted in FIG. 5 that the upper lamina 18 at opposite ends thereof has a short depending lip which partially extends over the ends of the reenforcing elements 21. Thus, when adjacent composite members are abutting one another, lips We are in sealing contact.
The opposite ends of each splicer piece are provided with openings 38a which are aligned with corresponding openings 18d formed in lamina I8 and openings 2llb formed in the reenforcing elements 21. The aligned openings are adaptedto accommodate a suitable fastener 37. To prevent moisture from accumulating within the splicer piece, a resilient washer 40 is disposed within the piece, as seen in FIG. 5. The washer is oversize and extends beyond the perimeter of the opening 38a formed in the piece.
The leading end 37a of the fastener 37 is pointed and threaded into the aligned tie 12b. Resilient cushioning pads 22 are positioned between the ties and the aligned portions of the reenforcing elements adjacent the joint J. The openings in the opposite ends of the splicer piece are spaced from one another so that when the fasteners 37 are in place, the composite members will be cammed into resilient sealing contact.
Thus, it will be seen that a highway railway crossing has been provided which'utilizes complemental unitary composite members which have moisture-proof exposed surfaces capable of withstanding repeated shocks and impacts caused by trains and highway vehicles passing thereover. The improved crossing prevents the buildup of ice, snow, or other debris adjacent the inside surfaces of the rails and, thus, eliminates an otherwise potential derailment hazard. The exposed surfaces of the composite members remain substantially coplanar with the tops of the rails and, thus, provide a flat even surface with good traction characteristics over which the highway vehicles may safely pass even at high speed. Because of the elastic character of the lamina and pads, the noise caused by a train or vehicle passing is markedly reduced.
l. A highway railway crossing comprising a pair of spaced, substantially parallel rails; a plurality of elongated ties subtending and supporting said rails and being disposed transversely thereof; means for securing said rails to said ties; and an elongated unitary composite member overlying a plurality of said ties and spanning the distance between said rails and having a height substantially the same as that of said rails; said composite member including a one-piece upper lamina of resilient moisture-proof material having elongated compressible side edges recessed from the upper exposed surface of said lamina and in resilient sealing engagement with upright web portions of said rails, said lamina having the exposed upper surface thereof provided with a plurality of laterally spaced elongated drain grooves terminating at least at one edge of said lamina; a plurality of elongated reinforcing elements arranged in laterally spaced relation and affixed to the underside of said lamina, each element being disposed angularly of and overlying a plurality of said ties; resilient pad means affixed to the underside of each reinforcing element and in contact with a portion of a tie aligned therewith; and means securing said composite member to said ties.
2. The highway crossing of claim 1 wherein the exposed upper surface of said lamina intermediate the recessed elongated sides thereof is substantially coplanar with the upper surface of said rails; each elongated side edge of said upper lamina cooperating-with the surface of the adjacent rail and forming a space for freely accommodating a peripheral flange of a railway wheel.
3. The highway railway crossing of claim 1 wherein the bottom and lower side portions of each reinforcing element are spaced and separated from the corresponding portions of adjacent reinforcing elements whereby the corresponding bottoms and lower side portions of adjacent reinforcing elements are movable independently of each other upon said composite member being flexed upwardly for initial positioning between said rails.
4. The highway railway crossing of claim 1 including a side composite member overlying a plurality of ties, said side composite member being disposed adjacent one rail of said pair and extending outwardly therefrom and'comprising an elongated upper lamina of resilient moisture-proof material and having one elongated side thereof in resilient sealing engagement with the outwardly facingsurface of said one rail, at least one elongated reinforcing element secured to the underside of said upper lamina and disposed in substantially parallel relation with the said one rail and supported by a plurality ofrail-supporting ties, and adjustable means disposed intermediate a pair of adjacent ties and subtending' said one rail for retaining said side composite member in sealing engagement with the outwardly facing surface of said rail.
5. A highway railway crossing comprising a pair of spaced, substantially parallel rails; a plurality of elongated ties subtending and supporting said rails and being disposed transversely thereof; means for securing said rails to said ties; and a pair of elongated unitary composite members overlying a plurality of said ties and spanning the distance therebetween, said composite members being arranged in abutting end-to-end relation, each composite member including a one-piece upper lamina of resilient moisture-proof material having elongated compressible side edges recessed from the upper exposed surface of said lamina and inresilient sealing engagement with upright web portions of the rails, said lamina having a plurality of laterally spaced elongated drain grooves formed in the exposed upper surface thereof and terminating at least at one end edge thereof, a plurality of elongated reinforcing elements arranged in laterally spaced relation between said rails and affixed to the underside of said lamina, each element overlying a plurality of said ties, resilient pad means affixed to the underside of each reinforcing element and interposed an element and a portion of a tie aligned therewith, corresponding reinforcing elements of said composite members being disposed in axially aligned relation, means securing said composite members to said ties, and splicer means interconnecting the adjacent ends of the correspodning axially aligned reinforcing elements of said abutting composite members.
6. Thehighway railway crossing of claim 5 wherein said reinforcing elements are of tubular configuration and said splicer means includes a plurality of elongated pieces, each piece being snugly disposed wihtin the open ends of the abutting tubular elements and extend- 7. The highway railway crossing of claim 6 wherein the joint formed between the abutting ends of the composite members is aligned with a given tie; the length of each elongated splicer piece spanning at least three ties with the center tie thereof being said given tie.
8. The highway railway crossing of claim 7 wherein each splicer piece is secured to the ties disposed adjacent said given tie by fastener means extending transversely through portions of said piece and said reenforcing element aligned with said adjacent tie; said fastener means when moving into securing position effecting camming of said adjacent composite members into abutting sealing engagement.
9. In a highway railway crossing having a pair of spaced substantially parallel rails secured to and supported by a plurality of transversely extending ties subtending said rails, a pair of elongated composite members arranged in abutting end-to-end relation and positionable between the rails and overlying a plurality of the rail-supporting ties, each composite member comprising a one-piece upper lamina of resilient moistureproof material having recessed, compressible elongated side edges for resilient sealing engagement with web portions of the rails, a plurality of elongated reenforcing elements arranged in laterally spaced substantially parallel relation and affixed to the underside of the 'upper lamina, corresponding reenforcing elements of the pair of composite members being arranged in axially aligned relation, a joint formed between the abutting composite members being aligned with a given tie, and splicer means interconnecting the corresponding reenforcing elements, the splicer means for each pair of aligned reenforcing elements extending longitudinally of the elements a substantial distance in opposite directions from the joint.
10. The composite members of claim 9 wherein the reenforcing elements of each composite member are of tubular configuration, and the splicer means for each pair ofcorresponding reenforcing elements is an elongated piece snugly inserted into the ends of the corresponding reenforcing means,each elongated piece extending in opposite directions from the joint so as to at least overlie the ties disposed adjacent opposite sides of the tie aligned with the joint.
11. In a highway railway crossing having a pair of spaced substantially parallel rails secured to and supported by a plurality of transversely extending ties subtending said rails, an elongated unitary composite member for overlying a plurality of the ties and spanning the distance between the rails, said composite member comprising a one-piece upper lamina of resilient moisture-proof material having elongated compressible side edges recessed from the upper exposed surface of said lamina for engaging in resilient sealing relation upright web portions of the rails, the exposed upper surface of said lamina being provided with a plurality of laterally spaced elongated drain grooves terminating at least at one end edge of said lamina; a plurality of elongated reinforcing elements affixed to the underside of said lamina and arranged in laterally spaced relation for disposition intermediate the rails, each element being adapted to overlie a plurality of ties; resilient pad means affixed to the underside of each element for contacting a portion of a tie aligned therewith; and means for securing said composite member to the ties.
' v UNITED STATES PERM oFFIcE QERTIFKCATE F CGRRECTKQN Patent No. i 5l Dated October 22; 1974 Inventofls) Jacob 0., Whitlock It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3, line 58 "in which" should be which in Column 5, line 29 "thr" should be the Column 5, line 54 "aubtting" should be abutting Column 5, line 58 "splicer piece should be splicer piece 38 Column 6, line 59 after "one" insert end Column 7, line 60 "correspodning should be corresponding Column 7, line 66 "wihtin" should be within Signed and sealed this 28th day of Ja uasy 1975.
MeCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Atteeting Dfficer Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-O (10-69) m I uscmlmwbc Goawwwg i um. aovunmm' nun'mc ojrnca: ma o-sw-am