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Publication numberUS3847088 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 12, 1974
Filing dateSep 7, 1973
Priority dateMay 3, 1971
Publication numberUS 3847088 A, US 3847088A, US-A-3847088, US3847088 A, US3847088A
InventorsKarch L
Original AssigneeMesserschmitt Boelkow Blohm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetically suspended railway system
US 3847088 A
Abstract
In the magnetically suspended railway system disclosed, magnetizable carriers suspended from under each side of a railroad car, support lift and traction magnets and side-to-side guide magnets which are electrically controlled to move along the underside and upright of an inverse-T shaped magnetizable rail mounted from the tops of stationary C-shaped rail supports. Slide surfaces on the rail supports, which are more closely spaced to the carriers than to the car bottom, hold up the train at the carriers in the absence of magnetic force. At switch areas where the rails diverge into two pairs, stationary lift magnets engage the carrier and guide the car along the desired directed. Interlaced non-touching fingers magnetically couple the carriers from one car to the other.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Karch Nov. 12, 1974 1 1 MAGNETICALLY SUSPENDED RAILWAY SYSTEM [75] Inventor: Tjiidwig iiarchflvliinich,"

Germany [73] Assignee: Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm GmbH, Munich, Germany [22] Filed: Sept. 7, 1973 21 App1.No.:39,5 ,131

Related U.S. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 139,355, May 3, 1971.

[52] U.S. CI. 104/148 MS, 104/130, 104/134, 104/119 [51] Int. Cl B61b 13/00 [58] Field of Search 104/148 MS, 148 SS, 134, 104/118, 119,120, 130, 22 PS 707,032 5/1941 Germany 104/148 MS i I I. I I I, I I g 4 Primary ExaminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner D. W. Keen Attorney, Agent, or FirmToren and McGeady [57] ABSTRACT In the magnetically suspended railway system disclosed, magnetizable carriers suspended from under each side of a railroad car, support lift and traction magnets and sideto-side guide magnets which are electrically controlled to move along the underside and upright of an inverse-T shaped magnetizable rail mounted from the tops of stationary C-shaped rail supports. Slide surfaces on the rail supports, which are more closely spaced to the carriers than to the car bottom, hold up the train at the carriers in the absence of magnetic force. At switch areas where the'rails diverge into two pairs, stationary lift'm agnets engage the carrier and guide the car along the desired directed. Interlaced non-touching fingers magnetically couple the carriers from one car to the other.

14 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 12 SHEH 1 (IF 3 PAIENTEDxuv 12 1914 3.8471088 SHEET 2 BF 3 MAGNETICALLY SUSPENDED RAILWAY SYSTEM This is a division of application Ser. No. 139,355 filed May 3, 1971.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to suspension railways, and particularly to railways wherein railway cars are suspended above the ground by strong magnetic fields.

In suspension railways supported by traction magnets, carrying magnets are generally mounted above the railway cars in order to keep them floating without other devices to be attached to the vehicle itself. Such a system requires head masts carrying supports for the rail-like armatures that serve as magnetic keepers or short circuits. I

Omitting the masts so as to install the rail-like armatures at ground level, requires disposing the carrying magnets on the side of or below the car or vehicle. However, such a system is costly because separate pairs of rails are required to serve as carriers and guides. Such a system also fails to solve the problem of traversing switches where a pair of rails forks into two pairs of rails going in different directions or where two pairs of rails merge. At switch areas this is particularly a problem because there parts of the vehicle may not be magnetically floating. Moreover, such a system fails to take into account a power failure that disables the carrying magnets. Under such circumstances the vehicles can no longer be kept floating. Both the car and the rail may then be destroyed. This is a particular likelihood when the car is traveling at high speed.

It is an object of this invention to improve suspension railways. Another object of the invention is to improve railways where cars are supported against the force of gravity above a rail arrangement by means of carrying magnets disposed below the cars.

Another object of the invention is to eliminate the beforementioned disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to a feature of the invention these objects are obtained and the disadvantages of the prior art are obviated, by disposing carrying magnets below the vehicle so they are coupled to rail means and suspend the vehicle and move it forward, by securing guide magnets under the vehicle and coupling them to the rail means for transversely guiding the vehicle relative to the rail means, and by securing a carrier to the bottom of the vehicle and mounting the carrying magnet on the carrier. A plurality of running surfaces are then formed on the rail means opposite to the carrier.

According to another feature of the invention the guide magnets are also mounted on the carrier.

According to yet another feature of the invention the rail means includes a magnetizable structure forming an armature for both the carrying magnet and the guide magnet.

According to still another feature of the invention one carrier mounted on one side of the vehicle supports one carrying magnet so that it is magnetically coupled with one rail of the rail means and another carrier supports another carrying magnet so that it is coupled with another rail of said rail means.

According to still another feature of the invention the rails are interrupted at switch areas where the rail means diverge or converge, and slide rails for mechanically supporting the car are disposed in the switch area.

According to yet another feature of theinvention the slide rails are disposed so that the carrying magnets slide on the slide rails. Preferably the slide rails are equipped with a slide coating.

According to still another feature of the invention stationary carrying magnets are disposed in the switch area and the carriers include auxiliary armatures for coupling magnetically to the stationary carrying magnets.

According to yet another feature of the invention the stationary carrying magnets are controlled so as to be energized along the travel direction in which the vehicle is to pass.

According to yet another feature of the invention the guide magnets are energized in accordance with the direction of travel as a switch is passed, and thereby assume control of the vehicle.

According to yet another feature of the invention the carrying magnets are disposed to jut out latterally and under the rail. The rails are preferably supported on C- shaped carriers.

According to yet another feature of the invention the distance between the sliding surfaces of the rail means and the carriers is less than the distance between the carriers and the bottom of the cars. In this manner the bottoms of the cars are protected from frictional engagement with the rail means in the absence of magnetic lifting forces.

According to yet another feature of the invention one railroad car following another is magnetically coupled to the other by means of magnetic extensions having non-touching interlacing fingers.

These and other features of the invention are pointed out in the claims. Other objects and advantages of the invention will become obvious from the following detailed description when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sectional drawing of a part of a system embodying features of the invention, and showing in detail the essential parts of one side of a vehicle and the accompanying rail arrangement as the vehicle enters the switch area at the section I-I of FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the rail arrangement in the switch area where a vehicle is about to be switched.

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a rail arrangement in a switch area at the end of a diverging pair of rails.

FIG. 4 is a section at IIII of FIG. 3 of the system in FIG. 1, again showing the bottom of one side of the vehicle coupled to one rail as it comes out of the switching area;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view illustrating the vehicle of FIG. 1 as it comes out of the switching area at the section IIIIII of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a top view of two railroad cars forming a part of the system embodying features of the invention and the means for magnetically coupling the car in the system embodying features of this invention; and

FIG. 7 is a side elevation of the structure in FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1 a carrying magnet 1 projects from a carrier 2 at the bottom of an otherwise not disclosed vehicle. The latter is driven by a known linear motor arrange ment, also not shown. Another carrier 2 which is an identical mirror image of the carrier shown is located on the other side of the vehicle. The carrying magnet l which juts out laterally from the carrier 2 includes a pole plate 12 having electric windings 26 embedded therein. The magnet 1 extends over the entire length of the vehicle. It may be divided into various magnet sections if necessary or desired. Spaced above the magnet 1, across an air gap 27, a rail 4 serves as an armature for the carrying magnet 1. A rail carrier 19 located on a rail bed 35 supports the rail 4. The rail carrier 19 is C-shaped annd composed of a foot 9, a center portion 20, and a head 24.

When the carrying magnet 1 is energized electrically by means of the windings 26 a magnetic field develops between it and the rail 4. The magnetic field keeps the vehicle floating by means of the carrying magnet 1 and the carrier 2. In this process the air gap 27 decreases as the energizing current in the windings 26 increases.

To compensate for unevenness in the structure of the guide rail 4, as well as to balance out deflections of the vehicle such as may be caused by wind gusts, a guide magnet 6, fastened to the carrier2 and separated from a longitudinal rib 7 of the rail 4 by another air gap 28, serves as the carriers armature.

Depending upon the electrical energization of the guide magnet 6 and another guide magnet which forms a mirror image of the guide magnet 6 on the other side of the vehicle, the unevenness or the deflections or other disturbances can be qualized. Thus the moving parts of the vehicle can be prevented from striking the fixed rail arrangement. Known control and regulating equipment, such as that used for many other control and regulating applications, are used for this purpose.

During the vehicles operation the asymmetries may become so great that the control and regulating process could be insufficient to prevent the moving parts of the vehicle from striking the fixed rail arrangement. The same can occur if the magnetic field in the carrying magnet collapses. For such eventualities the rail carrier 19 which supports the rail along its entire line at regular intervals. such as every two meters, supports running surfaces 29 and 30 in the foot 9 and the center portion 20. The corresponding parts of the vehicle, namely the magnet 1 can glide on the running surfaces 29 and 30 under these circumstances. If necessary the surfaces 29 and 30 can bring the vehicle to a standstill by converting the vehicles kinetic energy into frictional heat. In this regard contactbetween the bottom 5 of the vehicle and the uppermost part of the rail arrangement is prevented by keeping the distance 3 between the bottom of the vehicle and the rail arrangement greater than the distance 25 between the lower surface of the magnet 1 and the running surface 29. Thus sliding of the magnet 1 on the surface 29 prevents mutual contact between the vehicle and the rail.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the manner in which the vehicle of FIG. 1 switches over from the rails of one track to a side track or from a through rail-to a tongue rail. As shown in FIG. 2 an open section forms a gap 18 between a through rail 16 and a tongue 17. The gap 18 must be sufficiently wide so as not to interfere with the beforementioned lateral motions emanating from the vehicle so that the carriers 2 and their associated parts 1, 6 and 23 can travel through. As also shown in FIG. 2, a similar gap 31 is located on the side of the tongue rail opposite the gap 18. The gap 31 permits free passage of the corresponding parts when the vehicle is to travel on the curved track 32.

The magnetic circuit is interrupted by a very wide longitudinal air space when the carrying magnet l travels across the gap 18. This makes it possible for the vehicle to continue floating magnetically. The vehicle thus touches down on the running surfaces 29 of the feet 9 and slides along them. The sliding continues until the magnet is again cooperating with the corresponding portion of the rail 4 as it runs on the tongue 33 during straightaway travel or on the tongue 17 during travel around a bend.

This process of passing a switch can be improved by a through slide rail 21 attached to the feet 9 of the rail carriers 19. The spacings between the rail carriers 19 are shorter in the area of the switch and particularly at the location of the slide rail 21 than along the remaining portions of the line. This makes it possible more readily to absorb the great mechanical stresses which occur here more frequently. The slide rail 21 assures a more shock-free gliding action than the running surfaces 29. To reduce the friction against these parts the latter are, according to one embodiment of the invention, provided with special slip or glide coatings composed of materials such as polyamides, polyurethanes, and fluorhydrogen-polymers. According to another embodiment of the invention, the sliding surfaces are lubricated in the more conventional manner.

Such an arrangement is roughly comparable to the path of the flange of the usual flange wheel used in conventional railroads over a filler piece or fairing at the switch point in crossings and switches for the purpose of shock attenuation. Such an arrangement is simple but not free of wear. In the suspension railway described above this would be the only place during operation of the vehicle that the vehicle does not glide forward while it is being floated magnetically.

According to another embodiment of the invention considerable improvement results from replacing the glide guides or slide guides in the area of the switches by a magnetic floating guide which corresponds, in the regular case, to a reversal of the normal guide described above and used in straightaway travel. For this purpose a stationary carrying magnet 22 of appropriate length is fastened along the line in the switch area. A cooperating auxiliary iron armature 23 is attached to the vehicle. The coil of the stationary magnet 22 is electrically energized either continually or only when a vehicle approaches. In any event the vehicle is kept floating in the switch areas where the through rail 4 is interrupted. This is done by the the carrying magnet 22 and the auxiliary armature 23. This avoids the vehicles running over the surfaces 29 or the slide rail 21.

According to another embodiment of the invention the slide rails 21 are also provided witth the auxiliary armature 23 to take care of emergencies such as failure of the magnetic energization.

The vehicle may be guided through the switches either solely or only partly by the guide magnet 6 following through longitudinal rib 7 to the left for straightforward travel and to the right for a right turn. The direction is selected by increasing or decreasing the energization of the guide magnet 6 located on the left or on the right below the vehicle bottom 5. This means it is controlled from the train. This contrasts with the control heretofore practiced with switch mechanism located off the train on the ground. The guidance of the vehicle may even be programmed into the vehicle. This programming may cause the vehicle to turn off the through track on the basis of so-called target departure.

On the other hand it may be said to respond to an emergency in the vehicle as a so-called emergency departure.

The passage of a vehicle through a switch area may be followed by studying FIGS. 1, 4 and 5 successively. In the position of the vehicle corresponding to FIG. 1, the stationary carrying magnet or lifting magnet 22 operates together with the carrying magnet 1. When the vehicle travels to the right the carrying magnet 22 assumes the responsibility for keeping the left side of the vehicle floating to the extent that the carrying magnet 1 is unable to or is not adequately able to be held in suspension by the parts of the rail 4 which serve as the armature for the magnet 1. In the position shown in FIG. 4, that is in the section lI-II FIG. 3, the vehicle is already in the process of leaving the switch area. On the left side it is carried only by a rail portion 36. A rail portion 37 which is provided for straightforward travel remains out of action. In the position shown in FIG. 5, which is a section III-III of FIG. 3, a rail portion 38 now carries the vehicle while a rail portion 39, provided for straightforward travel, remains out of action. At the same time the effect emanating from the fixed carrying magnet 40 also ends at this position. The other fixed carrying magnet would have become functional only during straight away travel. The arrangement accord ing to the invention obviates the switch setting time which would otherwise be required. Under these circumstances two vehicles traveling immediately behind one another can be separated. This can be done even if they have traveled up to the switch as a unit.

The system according to the invention does not require moving parts. Thus is is basically no longer necessary to limit the arc radius of the switch. As a'result the switch can be traversed at full traveling speed. This enables a train leaving a line to slow down after it has passed the switch. Thus a train leaving a line need not interfere with the flow of traffic in the line.

The above advantage also applies for vehicles entering a line. This can also be done at full speed. It is necessary therefore to take the flow of traffic into consideration only to the extent that vehicles are required to keep the necessary distance between each other.

When several vehicles or cars are coupled to form a single unit such as a train, then according to another embodiment of the invention, the through-carrying magnets are provided with interruptions as shown in FIG. 6. These interruptions are distributed over the length of the train at the ends of the vehicles 10. The vehicles are shown only in part to the left of a pivot point 34. The purpose of the interruptions is to allow the train to negotiate curves.

Such interruption might endanger continuous floating. This is so because in curves the interruptions 11 between the pole plates 12 of the carrying magnet would coincide with the feet 9. At larger curve radiuses and under some circumstances even during straightforward travel, the interruptions may produce hard shocks to the vehicles 10. As shown in FIG. 6, this is avoided by providing the ends of the pole plates 12 of the carrying magnets l with teeth 13 which resemble those of expansion joints on bridges and which mesh. Thus for all practical purposes a closed back surface for the neighboring pole plates 12 is created in the area of the 5 interruptions 11.

In order to avoid protruding edges the ends 15 of the teeth 14 are rounded off as shown in FIG. 7.

The teeth assure a virtually closed magnetic path even when the train negotiates curves and when the vehicles 10 are mutually pivoted about the pivot point 34. This results in a constant magnetic field. Therefore, the vehicles are floated in a quite and steady manner.

In FIG. 5, the other fixed magnet 41 which would have become functional for straight travel is substantially the mirror image of the magnet 40.

It should be noted that electrical control circuits are mounted on the vehicle or car, or cars 10 of FIGS. 1, 4, 5, and 6 for controlling the magnets 1 and 6. Similar control circuits for the magnets 22, 40 and 41 are mounted according to one embodiment of the invention, on the cars or vehicles. According to another embodiment of the invention the controls for magnets 22, 40 and 41 are mounted off the vehicle. Where vehicle mounted, these controls may be coupled from the train to a stationary energizing source.

While embodiments of the invention have been described in detail it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from its spirit and scope.

What is claimed is:

1. A suspension railway system, comprising a vehicle,

rail means located under the vehicle, carrying magnet means disposed below the vehicle and coupled to said rail means for suspending the vehicle and moving the vehicle forward, guide magnet means secured under said vehicle and coupled to said rail means for transversely guiding the vehicle relative to said rail means, carrier means secured to the bottom of said vehicle and mounting said carrying magnet means, said rail means including at least one magnetic structure forming an armature for both said carrying magnet and said guide magnet means, said carrier means projecting said carrying magnet means below the armature, said armature being disposed between said carrying magnet means and the bottom of the vehicle, and a plurality of running surfaces on said rail means and opposite said carrier means for mechanically supporting said vehicle during the absence of suspension.

2. A system as in claim 1, wherein said guide magnet means are mounted on said carrier means.

3. A system as in claim 1, wherein said carrying magnet means project laterally outward.

4. A system as in claim 1, wherein the distance between said carrier and said slide means is smaller than the distance between said rail means and the bottom of the vehicle.

I 5. A system as in claim 1, further comprising a second vehicle having a carrier means mounting carrying magnetic means and guide magnetic means on the vehicle, said vehicles each having forward and trailing ends, said vehicles being secured to each other at respective ends, said carrier means on each of said vehicles having magnetic extensions projecting towards the ends, said projections forming teeth, the teeth of the projection from one vehicle intermeshing with the teeth projecting from the other vehicle, said intermeshing teeth being spaced apart from each other so as not to touch but to be magnetically coupled.

6. A system as in claim 5, wherein the most forward projections of said teeth are rounded.

7. A system as in claim 1, wherein said armature is longitudinal. I

8. A system as in claim 7, wherein said rail means includes a longitudinally extending armature structure and C-shaped support means having a foot portion, a central portion and a head portion, said armature being supported by said head structure and said running surfaces being formed at the foot portion.

9. A system as in claim 1, wherein said rail means includes rail supports and said running surfaces form part of said rail supports.

10. A system as in claim 9, wherein said running surfaces are also formed at the center portions of said carriers.

ll. A system as in claim 10, wherein said running surfaces are formed from materials having dome-shaped cross-sections.

12. A system as in claim 1, wherein said rail means includes a pair of rails, wherein said vehicle has respective sides and wherein said carrying magnet means includes a pair of carrying magnets disposed below the vehicle on opposite sides of the vehicle and coupled to respective ones of said rail means for suspending the vehicle and moving the vehicle forward, said guide means including a pair of guide magnets each secured under said vehicle and coupled to said respective rails for transversely guiding the vehicle relative to the rails, and wherein said carrier means includes a pair of carrier structures each secured to the bottom of the vehicle, each of said carrier structures mounting one of said carrier magnets.

13. A system as in claim 12, wherein said carrier structures each holds one of said guide magnets in th vicinity of said rails.

14. A system as in claim 13, wherein each of said rails includes an armature structure, said armature structures each being coupled operatively to one of said carrying magnets and one of said guide magnets.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,847 ,088 v Dated November 12, 1974 Inventor-(EX LUDWIG KARCH It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the heading of the patent, insert:

- [30] Foreign Application Priority Data May 5, 1970 GERMANY .P 20 21 834 2-- Signed and sealed this 7th day of January 1975.

1 (SEAL) Attest: v

. MCCOY H. GIBSON JR. I-IARSHAL-L- DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents FORM P0-1050 (10-69) uscoMM-oc Guava-Pea i 0.5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE I9! 0-368-3Sl,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3741613 *Jul 14, 1971Jun 26, 1973Siemens AgElectromagnetic levitation guide
US3750803 *Nov 11, 1971Aug 7, 1973Paxton LRapid transportation system
DE707032C *Aug 17, 1938Jun 11, 1941Hermann Kemper Dipl IngSchwebebahn
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4870906 *Mar 16, 1988Oct 3, 1989Thyssen Industrie AgDual switch system for common use by track guided rail vehicles and magnetic vehicles
US5845581 *May 7, 1996Dec 8, 1998Svensson; EinarMonorail system
US5904101 *Apr 22, 1997May 18, 1999Power Superconductor Applications Co., Inc.Auxiliary propulsion for magnetically levitated vehicle
US6182576Dec 7, 1998Feb 6, 2001Einar SvenssonMonorail system
US6450103Feb 2, 2001Sep 17, 2002Einar SvenssonMonorail system
US6983701 *Oct 1, 2003Jan 10, 2006Magnemotion, Inc.Suspending, guiding and propelling vehicles using magnetic forces
US7350467Aug 22, 2005Apr 1, 2008Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
US7448327Jan 9, 2006Nov 11, 2008Magnemotion, Inc.Suspending, guiding and propelling vehicles using magnetic forces
US7458454May 6, 2005Dec 2, 2008Magnemotion, Inc.Three-dimensional motion using single-pathway based actuators
US7895950Mar 24, 2008Mar 1, 2011Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Long rail pick-up and delivery system
US7926644Oct 28, 2008Apr 19, 2011Magnemotion, Inc.Three-dimensional motion using single-pathway based actuators
Classifications
U.S. Classification104/130.2, 213/75.00D, 104/119, 104/134
International ClassificationB61B13/08, B60L13/10, B60L13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60L13/10, B60L2200/26, B60L13/003, B61B13/08
European ClassificationB61B13/08, B60L13/00B, B60L13/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 12, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: AEG WESTINGHOUSE - TRANSPORT-SYSTEME GMBH, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOW-BLOHM GMBH;REEL/FRAME:005909/0691
Effective date: 19911015
Nov 12, 1991AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: AEG WESTINGHOUSE - TRANSPORT-SYSTEME GMBH NONNENDA
Owner name: MESSERSCHMITT-BOLKOW-BLOHM GMBH
Effective date: 19911015