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Publication numberUS3850251 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 26, 1974
Filing dateAug 13, 1973
Priority dateSep 14, 1972
Also published asCA990142A1, DE2322518A1, DE2322518C2
Publication numberUS 3850251 A, US 3850251A, US-A-3850251, US3850251 A, US3850251A
InventorsPlasser E, Schubert E, Theurer J
Original AssigneePlasser E, Schubert E, Theurer J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mobile ballast cleaning machine
US 3850251 A
Abstract
A mobile ballast cleaning machine comprises an endless bucket chain and a pair of guide arms mounted laterally of the machine frame and guiding the bucket chain between a first position wherein the bucket chain is immersed in the ballast underneath the track ties and extends widthwise transversely of the track, and a ballast discharge position above the track. The width of the bucket chain in the first position transversely of the track is adjustable.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Plasser et al.

[4 1 Nov. 26, 1974 MOBILE BALLAST CLEANING MACHINE [76] Inventors: Erna Plasser; Josef Theurer, both of Johannesgasse 3, Vienna, Austria A-1010; Egon Schubert, Lainzerstr 24b/8, Vienna, Austria 22 Filed: Aug.13, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 387,723

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Sept. 14, 1972 Austria 7910/72 [52] U.S. Cl. 171/16, 37/104 [51] Int. Cl E01b 27/00 [58] Field of Search 171/16; 37/104; 104/102 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,004,051 Lemaire 171/16 2,778,128 1/1957 Drouard et al. 37/104 2,914,867 12/1959 Scheuchzer et al 37/104 3,339,493 9/1967 Bryan 37/104 3,436,848 4/1969 Peppin et al 37/104 Primary ExaminerAntonio F. Guida Attorney, Agent, or FirmKurt Kelman [5 7 ABSTRACT A mobile ballast cleaning machine comprises an endless bucket chain and a pair of guide arms mounted laterally of the machine frame and guiding the bucket chain between a first position wherein the bucket chain is immersed in the ballast underneath the track ties and extends widthwise transversely of the track, and a ballast discharge position above the track. The width of the bucket chain in the first position transversely of the track is adjustable.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEL, H0312 6 I974 SHEEI 10F 3 IIIIIIIH IIIIIIIH PATE T-momma M sum 3 or a MOBILE BALLAST CLEANING MACHINE The present invention relates to improvements in a mobile ballast cleaning machine comprising a frame movable on a track including rails mounted on ties supported by ballast.

ln machines of this type, an endless ballast excavating conveyor or bucket chain is mounted on the frame. Guide means carry the bucket conveyor, and the guide means includes a pair of guide arms mounted laterally of the frame and guiding the bucket conveyor between a first position wherein the bucket conveyor is immersed in the ballast underneath the track ties and extends widthwise transversely of the track, and a ballast discharge position above the track. A ballast cleaning screen is arranged to receive ballast discharged at the discharge position whereto it is moved by the conveyor from the first position where it excavates the ballast. If desired, such machines may also include track lifting and/or lining mechanisms.

In machines of this known type, the endless bucket chain is guided downwardly along one of the guide arms into the ballast laterally adjacent the track, moves in a course extending transversely of the track through the ballast to excavate the same, and is then guided upwardly along the other guide arm with the excavated ballast to discharge the same onto a ballast cleaning screen. The screened, clean ballast is then usually returned directly to the track bed.

Since the transverse course of the bucket chain underneath the ties must be wide enough to extend be- I yond the tie ends, machines of the described type have a considerable width. This width, however, had-to be held down sufficiently to enable the mobile machine to be used on one track without hindering traffic on an adjacent track and also to pass through tunnels or like relatively narrow track sections. If the track bed to be cleaned is wider than this permissible width of the transverse bucket chain course, the machine cleaning operation must be terminated, the bucket conveyor is disassembled, the lateral bucket conveyor guide arms are lifted, and the machine passes over the track section without cleaning its ballast. This is the case, for instance, at switch points or track intersections. At such points, the ballast must be cleaned manually.

It is the primary object of this invention to provide a mobile ballast cleaning machine which may be used also for cleaning the ballast at switch points and track intersections while still enabling the machine to be used without hindrance to traffic on adjacent tracks and to be passed through tunnels.

The above and other objects of the invention are accomplished with means for adjusting the width of the bucket conveyor in the first position transversely of the track, i.e., by making the length of the transverse bucket conveyor course adjustable.

According to one feature of the present invention, the guide arms are mounted for horizontal and vertical pivoting on the frame, horizontal pivoting of the arms selectively changing the angle enclosed between the arms whereby the width of the bucket conveyor or chain may be adjusted in the first position thereof. This mounting makes it possible to adjust the guide arms asymmetrically so that the machine will operate at a switch point where a branch track branches off to one side of the track. Such an arrangement will also adapt the excavating conveyor particularly closely to the ballast configuration.

Since the bucket chain is endless, its length is constant. Since the width of the chain in the first position, i.e., the length of the transverse chain course, is adjustable, means must be provided for maintaining the chain at this position under tension when this width is reduced. This may be accomplished in a number of ways but, according to a preferred embodiment of this invention, the adjusting means includes a multi-part carrier for the bucket chain at the first position thereof. The carrier extends transversely of the track between the guide arms and has two or more parts. Respective ones of the carrier parts are pivotally connected to a respective one of the guide arms at one end thereof and to each other whereby the distance between the guide arms may be adjusted by pivotal adjustment of the carrier parts at their linking points. Such an arrangement is very simple in structure and additionally provides for effective ballast cleaning.

The carrier may, for instance, consist of two carrier parts of equal length and thus forming an equilateral triangle. Where larger widths are required, stability necessitates the use of more than two carrier parts, for instance three, which are linked together and to the guide arm ends, for instance in the shape of a trapezoid. A symmetrical arrangement of the carrier parts is desirable to enable the machine to be used for branch tracks departing from the switch point towards the right or towards the left.

The operating width of the bucket chain or conveyor in the ballast is simply adjusted according to one feature of the invention by an adjustable spacing device for adjusting the distance between the carrier part ends linked to the guide arms. According to a preferred embodiment, this spacing device is a cable line or tackle which enables the distance to be continuously adjusted during the cleaning operation. A tackle is a very simple device which is light in weight and makes it possible to exert considerable adjusting force with relatively little power input.

The pivotal connections between the guide arms and the bucket chain carrier parts may be of particularly simple structure when the portions of the guide arms to which the carrier part ends are linked extend substantially parallel to the plane of the track.

The width of the machine will be held to a minimum when the portions of the guide arms adjacent the first position of the bracket chain are inwardly directed towards the track rails.

As mentioned hereinabove, the width of the transverse bucket chain course is usually extended asymmetrically, i.e., only in one direction in which a branch track runs from a switch point, which could cause the machine to tip over sideways if the bucket chain course is too lop-sided. This is avoided where particularly wide track beds are to be cleaned by running two machine frames on adjacent tracks. In this embodiment of the present invention, one of the guide arms for the bucket chain is mounted on one of the frames and the other guide arm is mounted on the other frame. One frame may constitute merely an auxiliary frame mounting the guide arm and the associated guide rollers for the bucket chain while the other frame s that of the ballast cleaning machine proper whereon all ballast cleaning mechanisms are mounted, except that one of the lateral guide arms is not in use and the bucket chain is, in-

stead, guided over the guide arm on the auxiliary frame. However, it is also possible to use two like ballast cleaning machines side by side, interconnecting their bucket chains and guiding them over the respective outer guide arms of the machines while keeping the inner guide arms of each machine out of use.

The above and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of certain now preferred embodiments thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of one embodiment of a mobile ballast cleaning machine according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic top view of the machine of FIG.

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the principle of the bucket chain operation in two operating positions according to the invention; and

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate schematically embodiments of the bucket chain guides for cleaning wide ballast beds.

Referring now to the drawing and first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the mobile ballast cleaning machine is shown to comprise machine frame 12 movable on a track including rails 7 mounted on ties 3 supported by ballast 1. An endless bucket conveyor or chain 2 is mounted on the frame for excavating the ballast underneath the track ties in a first position of the bucket chain wherein it is is immersed in the ballast and extends widthwise transversely of the track. The bucket chain is guided by a pair of guide arms 4, 4 laterally of the frame between this first position and a ballast discharge position 5 above the track. A ballast cleaning screen 6 is arranged on the frame to receive excavated ballast discharge at the discharge position 5. Suitable guide rollers on the guide arms guide the endless bucket chain which is carried by the guide arms and trained about the guide rollers.

The illustrated machine is self-propelled flat-bed car carrying its own power plant 13 to move the machine along the track slowly while the endless excavator conveyor moves about its guide rollers to excavate ballast continuously as the machine advances. A series of conveyors, not further described and forming no part of the present invention, transports the cleaned ballast from the screen to a storage'car or directly back to the ballast bed.

Means for mounting the upper ends of guide arms 4, 4 for horizontal and vertical pivoting are provided on braced bridge 14 on machine frame 12. Winch 15 is connected to each of the arms intermediate their ends to enable the same to be lifted into selected vertical positions, as indicated by the full and broken lines in FIG. 1. A drive 17 operatively associated with the horizontal pivoting means enables the guide arms to be horizontally pivoted. When it is desired to assemble and/or disassemble the bucket chain 2, the ends of the lifted guide arms'may be held in position by crane 16.

As will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4, a carrier for the bucket chain extends transversely of the track between the guide arms 4, 4 at the first position or transverse course of the chain. This carrier has two parts 8, 8. Each carrier part 8 has one end pivotally connected at 9 to a respective guide arm 4 at one end thereof for pivoting relatively to each other about a vertical axis. The other ends of the carrier parts 8 are also pivotally connected at 10 for pivoting relatively to each other about a vertical axis. In this manner, the distance between the one carrier part ends may be adjusted transversely of the track, the carrier forming an equilateral triangle whose apex angle is variable. The size of this angle determines the extent of the spread between the guide arms 4, 4, i.e., the width of the bucket chain in the first position transversely of the track or the length of this bucket chain course.

In the illustrated embodiment, the carrier parts 8, 8 are of equal length, i.e., the carrier is symmetrically arranged so that the machine may be operated equally towards a branch track on the right or on the left. However, it may also be useful, under special operating conditions, to arrange the intermediate link 10 off-center.

In operation, as the machine advances along the track towards the left, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the ballast wherein the transverse course of the excavating conveyor is immersed will exert force P against the advancing conveyor. This force will tend to press against the apex joint 10 of carrier 8, 8 so as to spread the guide arms 4, 4 apart. To adjust and control this spread, a spacing device is arranged between the joints 9, 9 on the ends of the guide arms, the preferred spacing device being a cable line or tackle. The spacing device may be constituted, of course, by any suitable linear motor, for instance a hydraulic motor whose piston is linked to one guide arm and whose cylinder is linked to the other guide arm. Controlled supply of hydraulic fluid to the motor will thus adjust the spacing between the arms. However, a tackle has the advantage that its adjustability is substantially infinite.

FIG. 3 illustrates the machine in operation on a straight track section when the width of the transverse bucket chain course is relatively narrow to permit traffic on an adjacent track to pass unhindered and/or to permit the machine to pass through tunnels while still making it possible to clean the entire ballast bed under the track.

As shown in FIG. 4, when the machine reaches a switch point, the width of the ballast bed to be cleaned increases, requiring the guide arms 4, 4 to be spread farther apart to increase the width of the transverse bucket chain course immersed in the ballast. This is accomplished simply by relaxing the tackle ll slowly so that the force P, exerted upon the bucket chain carrier 8, 8 by the ballast as the machine advances, will slowly cause triangular carrier 8, 8 to flatten out and the guide arms 4, 4 to spread farther apart. FIG. 4 shows the outer limit of the spread to one side of the machine, this limit being reached when the two carrier parts 8, 8 come to lie almost in a straight line and while the machine is still stable. In the illustrated position, the machine can clean a bed having a width of about 6 meters.

As has been pointed out, spreading of one of the guide arms 4 is limited by the stability requirements of the machine. There are certain track beds, however, whose width exceeds this limit. The schematically illustrated embodiment of FIG. 5 shows how machine cleaning of the ballast may be effected according to the invention under such conditions.

In this embodiment, an auxiliary frame 18 moves on a track adjacent to the track on which frame 12 moves. The auxiliary frame carries an auxiliary guide arm 4'. The bucket chain 2 is guided over one guide arm 4 on the main frame 12 and the auxiliary guide arm 4 on the auxiliary frame 18, a bucket chain carrier being linked to the lower ends of the guide arms to span the entire width of the bed to be cleaned. 1

As shown in FIG. 6, a common bucket chain orconveyor 2' is trained over the guide rolls on the pair of guide arms mounted on the two adjacent frames and the multi-part carrier 8' has three carrier parts linked together in the form of a trapezoid, the one ends of the outer carrier parts being pivotally connected to the guide means at joints 9, 9' while their other ends are linked to an intermediate carrier part. Tackles 20 and 21 interconnect the diagonally opposite carrier links while tackle 19 interconnects links 9', 9 on the guide arms. This spacing device determines the spread of the arms and, thus, the width of the transverse bucket chain course immersed in the ballast which may reach about eight meters with this arrangement.

Since the adjacent frames 12 and 18 assume varying distances from each other, as the machine advances over the switch point, it is necessary to provide a balancing tensioning device 22 in the path of the endless bucket chain to compensate for the differences in the distance. This device may consist simply of spring loaded pivoting arms mounted on the respective frames and bearing against the endless bucket chain.

If desired, the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6 may be modified by using two like ballast cleaning machines wherein the inner guide arms are not used (as shown in light lines in FIG. 5), the two outer guide arms of each machine being used to guide a common bucket chain.

In the described and illustrated mode of operation, the machine has been advanced into the switch point from the narrow portion thereof so that the bed progressively widens as the machine advances, necessitating a spreading of the guide arms and a corresponding relaxation of the tackle controlling the spacing between the guide arms. However, it is also possible to advance into the switch point from its widest portion so that the bed progressively narrows as the machine advances. In this case, the two guide arms are first spread apart and the tackle is operated to pull the arms towards each other as the operation proceeds towards the narrow portion of the switch point.

While this has not been shown, track lifting and/or lining mechanisms may be mounted on the machine frame, if desired, the illustrated embodiments being generally no more than exemplary of the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A mobile ballast cleaning machine comprising 1. a frame movable on a track including rails mounted on ties supported by ballast,

2. an endless bucket chain mounted on the frame,

3. guide means carrying the bucket chain, the guide means including a. a pair of guide arms mounted laterally of the frame and guiding the bucket chain between a first position wherein the bucket chain is immersed in the ballast underneath the track ties and extends widthwise transversely of the track, and a ballast discharge position above the track,

4. means for adjusting the width of the bucket chain in the first position transversely of the track, and

5. a ballast cleaning screen arranged to receive ballast discharge at the discharge position.

2. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 1, further comprising means for mounting the guide arms for horizontal and vertical pivoting on the frame, horizontal pivoting of the arms selectively changing the angle enclosed between the arms whereby the width of the bucket chain may be adjusted in the first position thereof.

3. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 2, wherein the adjusting means includes a carrier for the bucket chain at the first position thereof, the carrier extending transversely of the track between the guide arms, the carrier having two parts, each carrier part being pivotally connected to a respective one of the guide arms at one end thereof and the other ends of the carrier parts being pivotally connected whereby the distance between the one carrier part ends may be adjusted transversely of the track.

4. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 3, wherein the two carrier parts are of substantially equal length.

5. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 3, further comprising an adjustable spacing device for adjusting the distance between the one carrier part ends.

6. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 5, wherein the spacing device is a tackle.

7. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 3, wherein the portions of the guide arms to which the one carrier part ends are pivotally connected extend substantially parallel to the plane of the track.

8. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 1, wherein the portions of the guide arms adjacent the first position of the bucket chain are inwardly directed towards the rails.

9. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 1, comprising two of said frames movable on adjacent ones of the tracks, one of the guide arms of the pair being mounted on one of the frames and the other guide arm of the pair being mounted on the other frame.

10. The mobile ballast cleaning machine of claim 9, wherein the adjusting means includes a multi-part carrier for the bucket chain at the first position thereof, the carrier extending transversely of the tracks between the guide arms, the carrier parts being linked to each other and to a respective one of the guide arms in four pivotal joints, and adjustable spacing devices extending diagonally between respective pairs of the pivotal joints as well as between one of the pairs of pivotal joints linking respective ones of the carrier parts to the guide arms.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT N0. 3,850,251

DATED Nov. 26, M74

|NVENTOR(S) Franz Plasser et al It' is certified thaterror appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the headinqs, at 67, before Z3rna" infiert --Fran2. Plasser, dec ease-r1, late of Jchannesr asse 3, Vienna, Austria, y-'and after Plasser insert --a heir-- Signed and Sealed this [SEAL] fourth of y1976 :UTII C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN "mung ()jjrver (ummissr'rmr'r ufPaLxnIs and Trademarks

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2004051 *Aug 5, 1933Jun 4, 1935Henri Lemaire MauriceApparatus for continuously cleaning railway ballast
US2778128 *Dec 15, 1952Jan 22, 1957Georges BoulardMachine for clearing away the ballast from railway tracks
US2914867 *Aug 4, 1954Dec 1, 1959Andre ScheuchzerTrack ballast machine
US3339493 *Aug 3, 1964Sep 5, 1967Bryan Jr John FRailroad ballast handling system
US3436848 *May 9, 1966Apr 8, 1969Mannix Intern IncApparatus for removing ballast from beneath a railroad track
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4043398 *Dec 18, 1975Aug 23, 1977Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industrie-Gesellschaft M.B.H.Mobile ballast cleaning machine
US4119154 *Feb 18, 1977Oct 10, 1978Southern Railway CompanyMethod and apparatus for treating ballast
US4178995 *May 13, 1977Dec 18, 1979Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Self-propelled ballast cleaning machine for on- and off-track work
US4186804 *Mar 2, 1978Feb 5, 1980Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.HBallast excavating chain arrangement
US4284009 *May 17, 1979Aug 18, 1981Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Motorized railway vehicle track working machine and method of operation
US4611541 *Nov 23, 1984Sep 16, 1986Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Ballast cleaning method and machine
US4614238 *Dec 28, 1983Sep 30, 1986Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Arrangement for excavating bulk material from a track bed
US4674208 *Mar 31, 1986Jun 23, 1987Kershaw Manufacturing Company, Inc.Ballast removing apparatus
US5172638 *Jan 16, 1992Dec 22, 1992Loram Maintenance Of Way, Inc.Dust suppression system for railroad track ballast cleaning apparatus
US5271166 *Oct 20, 1992Dec 21, 1993Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Conveyor chain arrangement for ballast cleaning machine
US6209462 *Mar 9, 1999Apr 3, 2001Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen-Industriegesellschaft M.B.H.Machine with ballast scarifying device
EP0538760A1 *Oct 19, 1992Apr 28, 1993Franz Plasser Bahnbaumaschinen- Industriegesellschaft m.b.H.Conveyor and endless chain assembly for railway track working machines
WO1984004342A1 *May 23, 1980Nov 8, 1984Appelen John TTrack skeletonizer
Classifications
U.S. Classification171/16, 104/7.2, 37/104
International ClassificationE01B27/10, E01B27/06, E01B27/00
Cooperative ClassificationE01B27/10
European ClassificationE01B27/10