US 3851591 A
A vehicle transfer means comprising a station mounted over a transportation system whereby vehicles may be transferred into and out of the transportation system by movement of the transfer means without interrupting the flow of traffic in the transportation system.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,851,591 Hickman Dec 3, 1974  VEHICLE TRANSFER MEANS 3,433,176 3/1969 Fujita 1114/20 3,484,002 12/1969 Barry.... 104/20  lnvemor- Jack f 5766 Oaks 3,515,074 6/1970 Helbig 104/28 -1 Carmlchael Callf- 95603 3,605,935 9/1971 Gilbert 104/20 [22 i Oct 8 197 I 3,613,599 10/1971 Seidman 104/20 1211 Appl' No; l87796 Primary Examiner-Drayton E. Hoffman Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Bruce & McCoy  US. Cl 104/18, 104/20, 104/28,
104/29, 104/30 57 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl B611) 13/10, B61b 13/12 58 Field of Search 104/18, 20, 25, 27-30; A vehlcle transfer means comPnsmg 3 214/16 mounted over a transportation system whereby vehicles may be transferred into and out of the transporta-  References Cited tion system by movement of the transfer means with- UNITED STATES PATENTS out interrupting the flow of traffic in the transportation system. 1,198,605 9/1916 Trent 104/20 3,397,649 8/1968 Pfeffer 104/28 14 Claims, 19 Drawing Figures PATENIELBEB 3M4 SNEEI 02 Bf I0 INVENTOR JACK HICKMAN $wceZzQW ATfOR/VEYS PATENTELBEE 3,851,591
SHEET 05 UF 0 JACK HiCKMAN By ATTORNEYS PATENTEL Bic 31974 sum 01 M10 INVQVTOR JACK HICK MAN fi/awce $2796 7 ATTORNEYS PAIENTELUEBI 31914 3,851,553
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JACK HICKIVIAN flJ/Ww fwz a ATTORNEYS fljll/lii VEHICLE TRANSFER MEANS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION The present invention is related to applicants US.
Pat. No. 3,735,710, for Transportation System, issued May 29, 1973.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to transportation systems and more particularly to a transfer means for inserting vehicles into and removing vehicles from a continuously moving transportation system.
2. Description of the Prior Art It has been conventional in known prior art land transportation systems to feed vehicles into and remove vehicles from the transportation system by means of feeder lines, spur lines or the like. Thus, in railroad and rapid transit systems, switches, safety devices and appropriate signal means are required. Cars or trains traveling in known transportation systems must be halted or the entry of a further train or car into the system must be timed so as to prevent interference with passing vehicles. In rapid transit systems now being developed, the same problems found in the present transportation systems will be encountered. In particular, known systems require accurate scheduling and during peak hours of use are so constructed that passengers traveling between distance stations must usually stop and wait at all intermediate stations where other passengers board or disembark.
Therefore, there exists a need for a transportation system having a transfer means which will allow the automatic dispatching of vehicles with no fixed schedules, and wherein travel time between stations should be predictably constant regardless of load density conditions. This is obtained by eliminating the need for the stopping of all vehicles at intermediate points or stations along the way to load or unload passengers or to feed a vehicle into or out of different portions of the system.
The present invention meets all of the above requirements and has the additional advantage of offering unlimited opportunity for expansion and development of the same into a fully automated freight and passenger distribution system.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a transfer means for use with a continuously moving transportation system comprising a station mounted over a portion of the drive means of the transportation system and transfer means held within the station for transferring vehicles between the transportation system and the station without interrupting the flow of traffic in the transportation system.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an important object of the invention to provide a transfer means for injecting cars into or removing cars from a transportation system without interrupting the flow of traffic in the system.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a transfer means which utilizes a minimum amount of space.
It is a further object of the instant invention to provide a transfer means which is mounted above a transportation system.
It is still another object of the invention to provide a transfer means which is automatically or manually actuated for the injection of cars into or removal of cars from a transportation system.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a combination vehicle stopping and transfer means which is at least partially operated by the transfer of energy from a moving vehicle to the transfer means.
It is yet another object of the instant invention to provide a vehicle stopping and transfer means whereby vehicles stop only at designated stations without interrupting the stream of traffic contained in a transportation system. 1
And it is yet a further object of the invention to provide a vehicle transfer means capable of transferring vehicles between at least two different transportation lines or systems without interrupting the flow of traffic in either transportation line.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art, from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly in cross-section, of a station utilizing the transfer means of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the station of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the same station as shown in FIG. 2, more clearly showing the operating machinery of the station;
FIG. 4 is an elevation of the system of rollersused to advance vehicles within the station of FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken along line 5-5 of FIG.
FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along line 6-6 of FIG.
FIGS. 7A-7F are side elevations more clearly showing the operation of the transfer machine for transferring vehicles between the station and the moving transportation line; I
FIG. 8 is an elevation of the vehicle lifting or supporting member of the transfer means;
FIGS. 9A and 9B illustrate the operation of the car lifting fingers contained in the cradle of FIG. 8;
FIGS. 10A-l0C are enlarged views of the ends of the members contained in the car lifting cradle of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 11 is a plan view of a further embodiment of the present invention showing a line or route transfer station wherein vehicles traveling in one transportation line may be transferred to a different transportation line.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a partial sectional view of a preferred embodiment of a transfer station (21 The transfer station is preferably mounted above a transportation system of the type set forth in applicants US. Pat. No. 3,735,7l0, and this reference thereto is intended to incorporate the construction and function set forth therein. The system utilizes a plurality of rotatable wheels (23) engaging the underside of drive rails (43) mounted on vehicles (25). The station is adaptable so as to be used with other transportation systems, which systems, as well as the transportation system shown, may be mounted within tunnels contained underneath the ground, at ground level, or raised above the ground, as long as station (21) is located thereabove.
The station includes a vehicle stopping and transfer means (27) whereby the vehicles (25) may be stopped and transferred from the transportation system into the station or from the station into the system. Transfer means (27) is pivotably secured between a pair of walls in the station. To transfer a car or vehicle from the transportation system to the station, the transfer means (27) predominantly uses the momentum of an approaching vehicle to propel the vehicle holding or pick up means (28) in which the vehicle is captured to a position of higher elevation. As the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle captured in the pick-up means is transferred into potential energy and eventually dissipated, a rotary actuator (29) is brought into play to finish the swing of the transfer means to its fully elevated position. The maneuver may be likened to that of a childs swing, and a passenger within a vehicle following the above set forth motion experiences a mildly thrilling and not uncomfortable sensation akin to that experienced during the riding of a swing. The process of lowering cars from a station to the transportation system is similar to that set forth above, with the vehicles resting in the station being captured or engaged by the pick-up means and inserted into the transportation system without requiring the rotating drive wheel (23) or vehicles travelling in the system to be slowed or stopped' A pair of holding means (31) is provided in each end of the station aligned with the swing transfer means (27) above the drive means of the transportation system. In this manner, a vehicle (25) traveling along the drive means in the direction of the arrow (35), will be captured by the swing transfer means (27) and rotated upwardly into the station (21), as described above, where it will be placed between a pair of pivoting arms (37). The pivoting arms (37) are automaticallly or manually closed by the actuation of hydraulic cylinder (39) whereby the outer ends (41) thereof may be brought under the drive rail or lip portion (43) formed around a vehicle. The transfer means (27) may then be pivoted away from the vehicle to its normal position above the drive means. When pivoted to the other side of the station, the transfer means may remove a vehicle (25) from the second holding means (31) for insertion into the transportation system, by the reverse process of that described above.
FIGS. 1 through 4 show the simplest embodiment of a station for use with a single transportation line having a single passageway (45) through which vehicles are normally driven in single file. As a vehicle (25) enters the area beneath the station, if the vehicle is actuated or programmed for entry into the station, the transfer means (27) will be activated to capture or engage the vehicle to transfer the kinetic energy or momentum of the moving vehicle into the movement of the transfer means together with its supporting arms (47). As the supporting arms are rotated upwardly through an are,
the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle will be dissipated, and the rotary actuator (29) will be automatically operated to swing the vehicle the remaining distance into position between the arms (37) of the holding means (31).
The Station (21) is preferably composed of three separate sections (49, 51, 53 Central section (51) supports the swing transfer means (27) between a pair of walls (55), and extends downwardly from the station into the passageway (45) of the transportation system. This area is referred to as a swing transfer machinery pit with the free end of the transfer means extending from the station into a position closely adjacent to the drive wheels (23). The central section (51) further includes an area for the receipt of arriving cars or vehicle at one end thereof, and a further area for the receipt and dispatch of departing cars or vehicles at the other end thereof.
Section (49) of the station is preferably used for the receipt and/or storage of freight vehicles (55 but, may also be used for the receipt and/or storage of passenger vehicles. In this manner, arriving or departing freight cars are received in the arriving car area and moved to the freight section (49) upon the opening of the sliding partition (57) formed between the sections (49) and (51). Departing freight cars are fed or taken from the section (49) via a further sliding partition (59) into the departing car area for insertion into the transportation system.
The third section (53), is also separated from the central section (51) by sliding partitions (61, 63). This section is preferably used for the insertion and withdrawal of passenger cars and includes further sliding partitions or entry ways (65) through which passengers may embark or disembark at the station.
Arriving or departing vehicles are inserted into or withdrawn from the station by means of the transfer means (27) described above, through openings (67, 69) formed when a series of retractable rollers (71, 73) located at each end of the station are withdrawn.
As shown more clearly in FIG. 3, the retractable rollers (71, 73) are normally aligned with a further series of rollers (75, 77) which allowed vehicles to be inserted into or taken from the respective arrival and departure areas from either side thereof. Further series of rollers (79, 81) are provided in each of the sections (49, 53) and may be driven in any desired manner to allow movement of vehicles along these rollers from the arrival point at one end of the station to the departure point at the other end thereof. The rollers (79, 81) are further provided with means whereby vehicles moving therealong may be stopped and held in any position to allow the loading and unloading of freight and/or passengers.
FIGS. 7A through 7F more clearly illustrate the operation of the swing transfer machinery (27 between the arrival and departure areas formed within the openings (67,, 69) at each end of the station. For insertion of a vehicle into a transportation system wherein vehicles move in the direction of the arrow (35), a vehicle is inserted from either of sections (49) or (53) into the departing car area in the central sections (51). The holding means (31) is operated by the action of cylinder (39) to engage the ends (41) of the arms (37) under the lip (43). The retractable rollers (73) upon which the vehicle rested when moved into position are then withdrawn, in any convenient manner, as by a hydraulic cylinder (83). Arms (47) of the transfer means (27) are then rotated by the cylinder (29) to enable the vehicle supporting means (28) to move into position under the lip (43) (see FIG. 7B). The rotatable arms (37) of the holding means (31) are then rotated to the release position, and the transfer means (27) swung downwardly by the cylinder (29) in the direction of the arrow (85) until the car is adjacent to the rotating drive wheels (23) of the transportation system. The supporting means (28) is then released and the vehicle is engaged by the rotating driving wheels for movement of the vehicle within the transportation system.
If a vehicle is to be taken from the transportation system, the vehicle supporting means (28) rests in the position shown in FIG. 7C, and upon arrival of a vehicle therein, a pick-up means (described more fully hereinafter) is automatically actuated to capture or engage the vehicle whereby the kinetic energy or momentum of the vehicle is imparted to the supporting means thereby causing arms (47) of the swing transfer means to commence movement of the vehicle in the direction of the arrow (87). After the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle is dissipated in the swinging movement of the transfer means, the hydraulic cylinder (29) is automatically operated to insert the vehicle through the opening (67) caused by withdrawal of the retractable rollers (71) and into the position shown in FIG. 7E. Arms (37) ofa further holding means (31) are then operated by a hydraulic cylinder (39) to hold the vehicle in position. The swing transfer means may then be withdrawn and the retractable rollers (71) moved outwardly under the vehicle, whereby the arms (37) of the holding means (31) may be released and the vehicle moved along rollers (75) into either side section of the station.
FIGS. 8 through more clearly illustrate the operation of the vehicle pick-up or support means (28). The support means includes a pair of parallel elongated arms or members (89). Each member supports a plurality of pivotable fingers or links (91). The fingers are simultaneously actuated between inoperative positions resting beneath each of the members and operative positions extending perpendicularly therefrom, for supporting a vehicle thereby (see FIGS. 9A and 93). Each of the members supports a hydraulic or linear actuator (93), such as a two-way piston, whereby rods extending from both ends thereof are simultaneously actuated through a series of levers (95, 97, 99) to provide simultaneous actuation of the fingers. The forward end of each arm may be provided with a further link (101) having a slot (103) formed in one of the perpendicular arms thereof. The link (101) is automatically operated by the extension and withdrawal of a rod (105) within a linear actuator (107).
To remove or swing a vehicle from a station, the links (101) at the end of each support member as well as the links (91) are actuated so as to project outwardly or perpendicularly from the support members. ln this manner, the links (91) support a vehicle therebetween while the links (101) restrain the departing vehicle in position and prevent it from sliding from the supporting links (91).
The further or outer end of each member (89) is provided with a straight link (109) pivotably secured thereto at point (111). This link may also be simultaneously actuated with the movement of the fingers (91) into the operative position by the withdrawal of a rod (113) into a linear actuator (115). In this manner, when the support arms are in the lowered position over the transportation system and the links (91 and 109) are operated to extend perpendicularly from the arms, a vehicle moving within the transportation system will contact the end link (109). The link (109) is so formed that upon impact by the moving vehicle, the forward movement, kinetic energy or momentum from the moving vehicle will transfered to the transfer means to initiate the upward swing thereof.
Links (91, 101, and 109) are'withdrawn under or into recesses in the support arms when the transfer means is at rest (waiting) at the bottom of its arc. Also, when the transfer means is being moved empty from one position to another, it is necessary to retract these links to avoid interference with ongoing cars.
As more clearly shown in FIG. 9, each of the support members (89) is pivotably secured at points (1 17, 119) to the ends of a pair of arms (47). These pivot points enable each of the support members to always rest in the horizontal position, as shown in FIGS. 7A through 7F.
FIG. 11 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention having a station (117) for mounting over a plurality of transportation lines or systems (A and B). Each of the transportation lines carries vehicular traffic travelling therealong in the same or in different directions. As shown, station (117) may be used to transfer vehicles between holding means (31) provided at each end of the station and one of the transportation lines by the swinging movement of a transfer means (27) mounted between the holding means over each of the transportation lines. The station is further constructed so as to enable vehicles contained in the station to be transferred from a position at one side of the station over one of the transportation lines to the other side thereof to a position over the other transportation line for insertion therein.
Station (117), in essence, comprises a single transfer station, such as station (21 having three separate sections including two car passageways and a transfer pit of the type previously described. The station is further provided with at least two additional sections, the first of which supports a further swing transfer means (27) and its aligned holding means (31) over the second transportation line, and the second of which is utilized as a passageway for vehicles.
Station (117) is further provided with a vehicle storage area (119) at one end thereof. Storage area (119) allows passenger or freight cars to be permanently stored therein and includes a plurality of openings (121, 123, whereby cars may be inserted into or withdrawn from the car storage area from any of the vehicle passageways contained in station (117 The present invention therefore has the advantage of providing a transfer means which enables a vehicle to be transferred between a station and a transportation system by the swinging movement of the transfer means. The station contains a pair of holding means on either end thereof aligned with the transfer means and the transfer of vehicles between the holding means and the system is easily accomplished without interrupting the flow of traffic in the transportation system.
Obviously many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise then as specifically described.
What is claimed is: i
1. A vehicle transfer means for use with a continuously moving transportation system comprising a station mounted over a portion of the drive means of said transportation system,
a vehicle transfer means disposed within said station for transferring vehicles between said transportation system and said station without interrupting the flowof traffic in said transportation system, said transfer means including a plurality of arms rotatablysupported at one end in saidstation and connected to engagement meansmounted at the other ends of said arms for engaging a vehicle, said I arms being rotatable into a first position proximate said transportation system in an arc tangential to said transportation system to permit said engagement means of said arms to release a vehicle into said transportation system or to engage a vehicle moving in said transportation system, said arms being rotatable out of said first position to a second position to transfer said vehicle engaged by said engagement means to said station or to engage a vehicle fortransfer from said station to said system, said arms utilizing the force of gravityto decelerate said vehicles when transferring them to said station or to accelerate said vehicles when inserting them into the flow of traffic in said transportation system, and I j v I I a roller network disposed in said station to permit movement of said vehicles in predetermined paths in and about said station.
2.'The vehicle transfer means'of claim 1 wherein a portion of said rollers ar retractable and include means to permitthen to be reciprocated as a unit with respect to an openingforme'd in said station through which said arms extend for transferring vehicles from said transportationis'ystem to said station and vice-versa, said rollers formed to receive a vehicle transferred from said transportation system to said station when said rollers are reciprocated as a unit to 'a position across said opening'or to deliver a vehicle from said station to a position to be transfe'rred'tosaid transportation system.
3. The vehicle transfer means of claim 2 wherein said station includes vehicle holding'means disposed above the opening formed in said station across which the unit of rollers may be reciprocated whereby a vehicle transferred to or from said station may be supported within said station above said opening until the unit of rollers are moved to a position under the vehicle or said vehicle is transferred from said holding means to saidpivotable arms for transfer through said opening.
4. The vehicle transfer means of claim 3 wherein said holding means comprises a pair of rotatable arms suspended above atrack delineated by said unit of rollers and wherein said pair of arms is provided with activating means for controlled movement of said pair of arms.
5. The vehicle transfer means of claim 4 wherein a pair of holding means are suspended above the opening at opposite ends of the pivotable arms.
6. The vehicle transfer means of claim 1 including said station being mounted over portions of a plurality of transportation systems and a transfer means disposed over each of said systems whereby vehicles may be transferred between said systems via said station.
8. A transportation system comprising in combination a vehicle having two opposite side walls, each of said side walls being formed with two outwardlyprojecting drive rails having an underside adapted for frictional engagement by drive wheels for the advancement of said vehicle,
a drive means including a plurality of rotatable drive wheels adapted when rotated to provide frictional engagement of the undersides of both of said drive rails for the advancement of said vehicle,
electrically-operated means for rotating said drive wheels, and
a pivotable-transfer means capable of transferring .ve-
hicles between said drive means at a first level and a holding means suspended above said drive means at a second level while .said'drive wheels are rotating, said transfer means including at least one arm which swings in an arc tangential to the path of said drive means to permit engagement of a vehicle while it is traveling in said transportation system and removel of it to said second level, ortrans fer of a vehicle from said second level into said trans- I portation system at the same speed the other vehicles are moving, by the use of gravitational force.
9. A transportation system in accordance'with claim 8 wherein said vehicle is constructed of a base section and a superstructure, said drive rails are secured to said base section, and said transfer means includes a pair of members capable of engaging the drive rails of said vehicle for transferring said vehicle between said levels.
10. A transportation system in accordance with claim 8 wherein said drive rails are of a'substantially flat,
length thereof and said pair of spaced apart members indlude a plurality of pivotable members movable into operative position under said drive rails for picking up and supporting said vehicleabove said drive means.
12. A transportation system in accordance withclaim 8 including a series of pairs of said drive wheels forming the tracks for said system, the drive wheels of each pair having substantially co-axial positions at said first level, and said transfer pivotable means includes a pair of support members for engaging said vehicles pivotably supported above said drive wheels by at least one pivotable arm supported at said second level.
13. A transportation system in accordance with claim 8 including, a plurality of signal strips being cooperative with electrically-operated means for controlling advancement of said vehicle and operation of said transfer means for removing said vehicle, from said drive means and transferring it to said holding means at said second level.
14. A transportation system comprising in combination at least one vehicle constructed of a base section and a superstructure having a flange-like collar formed integral to the uppermost portion of said base section and extending substantially parallel to the floor of said vehicle providing two laterallyprojecting drive rails, the underside of each of said drive rails being provided with a covering adapted for frictional engagement by drive wheels for the advancement of said vehicle,
a series of pairs of rotatable drive wheels forming the tracks of said system, the drive wheels of each pair having substantially co-axial positions and being adapted to frictionally engage the respective undersides of said drive rails, a plurality of guide members of circular shape being mounted adjacent said drive wheels and adapted to guide the respective outermost edges of said drive rails for maintenance of said vehicle on said drive wheels, synchronously-operated drive motor being provided for rotating each of said drive wheels, plurality of signal strips being mounted on a side wall portion of said vehicle and being cooperative with electricallyoperated means for controlling advancement of said vehicle, and
a vehicle transfer means supported in and depending from an elevated first level into said predetermined level adjacent said drive wheels for transferring vehicles between said levels while said drive wheels are rotating, said transfer means including at least one arm which swings in an arc tangential to the path of said drive means to permit engagement of the vehicle while it is traveling in said transportation system and removal of it to said second level, or transfer of a vehicle from said second level into said transportation system at the same speed the other vehicles are moving, by the use of gravitational force.