Single turntable apparatus for positioning railroad ties

Abstract

A tie delivering system for use in an apparatus for constructing railroad tracks and the like comprising a support structure including a conveying path, means for conveying a plurality of longitudinally spaced ties along said path, means for delivering a pair of laterally spaced rails above said ties such that the rails are initially vertically spaced above the ties and come to rest on the ties and means for delivering an assembled track section from the path. The ties delivery system includes a ties storage structure mounted on said support structure at an elevation higher than the conveying means and arranged to hold ties in a position parallel to the rails, an elongated tie receiving chute extending downwardly from said tie support structure between and parallel to said rails, means associated with said chute for releasably holding a tie therein and a vertically movable tie receiving turntable positioned below said chute for receiving a tie released from the chute, lowering the tie to a position below said rails and above said conveying path, rotating the tie through 90* and depositing the tie on the conveyor path at right angles to the rails.

Claims

1. In an apparatus for constructing railroad tracks and the like comprising a support structure including a conveying path, means for conveying a plurality of longitudinally spaced ties along said path, means for delivering a pair of laterially spaced rails above said ties such that the rails are initially vertically spaced above the ties and come to rest on said ties and means for delivering an assembled track assembly from said path, the combination which includes a tie storage structure mounted on said support structure at an elevation higher than the conveying means and arranged to hold ties in a position parallel to the rails, an elongated tie receiving chute extending vertically downwardly from said tie support structure between and parallel to said rails, means associated with said chute for releasably holding a tie therein and a vertically movable, horizontally rotatable tie receiving turntable positioned below said chute for receiving a tie released from the chute, lowering the tie to a position below said rails and above said conveying path, rotating the tie through 90* and depositing the tie on the conveyor path at right angles to the rails. 1. In an apparatus for constructing railroad tracks and the like comprising a support structure including a conveying path, means for conveying a plurality of longitudinally spaced ties along said path, means for delivering a pair of laterially spaced rails above said ties such that the rails are initially vertically spaced above the ties and come to rest on said ties and means for delivering an assembled track assembly from said path, the combination which includes a tie storage structure mounted on said support structure at an elevation higher than the conveying means and arranged to hold ties in a position parallel to the rails, an elongated tie receiving chute extending vertically downwardly from said tie support structure between and parallel to said rails, means associated with said chute for releasably holding a tie therein and a vertically movable, horizontally rotatable tie receiving turntable positioned below said chute for receiving a tie released from the chute, lowering the tie to a position below said rails and above said conveying path, rotating the tie through 90* and depositing the tie on the conveyor path at right angles to the rails. 2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the tie storage structure includes crowder walls for urging stacked ties into a position above said tie receiving chute. 3. An apparatus according to cLaim 1, wherein the tie receiving chute includes pneumatically actuated pressure plates for holding the lowermost tie in the chute.
United States Patent. 1191 Colius 1 Jan.30,1973 [S4] SINGLE TURNTABLE APPARATUS FOR POSITIONING RAILROAD TIES Helmut Gustav Colius, Calgary, Alberta, Canada [73] Assignee: Mannix Co., Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada 22 Filed: Oct.2,l970 21 Appl.No.:77,555 [75] Inventor: Primary Examiner-Drayton E. Hoffman Assistant Examiner- Richard A. B ertsch Xt to7ney Peter Kirby, Charles P. Curphey and Norris M. Eades ABSTRACT A tie delivering system for use in an apparatus for constructing railroad tracks and the like comprising a support structure including a conveying path, means for conveying a plurality of longitudinally spaced ties along said path, means for delivering a pair of laterally spaced rails above said ties such that the rails are initially vertically spaced above the ties and come to rest on the ties and means for delivering an assembled track section from the path. The ties delivery system includes a ties storage structure mounted on said support structure at an elevation higher than the conveying means and arranged to hold ties in a position parallel to the rails, an elongated tie receiving chute extending downwardly from said tie support structure between and parallel to said rails, means associated with said chute for releasably holding a tie therein and a vertically movable tie receiving turntable positioned below said chute for receiving a tie released from the chute, lowering the tie to a position below said rails and above said conveying path, rotating the tie through 90 and depositing the tie on the conveyor path at right angles to the rails. 4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Pmmnman I915 SHEET 1 [IF 4 PATENTEUJAN 30 I975 SHEET 2 OF 4 SINGLE TURNTABLE APPARATUS FOR POSITIONING RAILROAD TIES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to the construction of railroad tracks and the like and, more particularly, to a new and improved method and apparatus for inserting ties on a device for continuously pre-constructing railroad tracks and the like. 2. Description of the Prior Art In the construction of railroad tracks and the like, the essential physical components are rails, tie plates, spikes, ties, bars, rivets and/or bolts, nuts and washers, etc. used in various arrangements depending on the specifications of the particular track system. It is a common practice to pre-prepare a roadbed on which a track assembly is to be laid and final ballast is introduced to bring the track system to its designated grade.'The ties are usually made from a non-ferrous material, such as wood, and they form the bed in which the, rails are placed, with the rails and ties being joined by means of tie plates and spikes in a ladder configuration. It is, therefore, a requirement of all railroad track construction that the ties must be placed beneath the rails. In early construction days, the ties were placed in a generally haphazard alignment along the previously prepared road-bed and were finally aligned and joined to the rails by large groups, or gangs, of men. This type of construction had, as is generally recognized in the art, a very high manhour requirement. As this high manhour requirement has become a more serious 'economic factor, many and varied devices have been developed to reduce the manhour requirement, including devices for distributing ties in a more uniform manner. All of these prior devices have, in effect, used a head end or pioneer car or tram with suitable devices mounted thereon. The devices mounted on the pioneer car or tram are primarily for alignment and distribution, and include, for example, cranes, jib booms and the like to convey ties and related material in front of the head end car on the previously prepared roadbed. The pioneer car or tram is also used as a general transportation vehicle to carry ties, tie plates, spikes, etc. It is important to realize that all of these developments utilizing a head end or pioneer car use the railroad track that had been previously laid on the roadbed for travel. In other words, the head end car was pushed along the immediately previously laid track by means of a locomotive or such similar device. The head end or pioneer car has also been used to lay pre-assembled sections of railroad track. An example of such a head end car for laying pre-assembled sections of railroad track can be found in Boulard, U.S. Pat. No. 2,696,791, issued Dec. 14, 1954. A system for forming these pre-assembled sections of track that can be transported to the site and laid on the roadbed is described in Kerns, U.S. Pat. No. 3,420,186, issued Jan.'7, 1969. It has been well recognized in the art that considerable limitations are imposed when the head end or pioneer car with suitable equipment mounted thereon is used for construction of a continuing railroad track assembly. Accordingly, a new technique is now gaining quite wide popularity which utilizes an independent and separate mobile machine operating on the prepared roadbed in advance of the track assembly. in this system, track systems are pre-fabricated and can be continuously dispersed at the rear of the mobile tracklayer machine so that the mobile machine continuously moves away from the track systems as they are being deposited on the roadbed. There are very obvious advantages to this type of construction, not the least of. which is the reduction in manhour requirements. This type of construction can be utilized in open areas and it provides a greater degree of flexibility in various track specifications while at the same time being capable of laying a track in a more efficient manner than was previously possible with the head end 0 pioneer car construction system. The mobile machine for assembling and laying a track on a pre-prepared roadbed normally includes an elongated conveyor adapted to have a plurality of railroad ties sequentially disposed laterally on one end thereof and thereafter have a pair of spaced parallel railroad rails deposited on top of the ties. The conveyor includes means for uniformly longitudinally spacing the ties and means adjacent the conveyor for laterally aligning the ties. The apparatus also includes gauging means for ensuring that the railroad rails are spaced a predetermined uniform distance apart. A plurality of powered spike driving hammers can be provided adjacent'each of the railroad rails of the track system. These hammers can be longitudinally slidably mounted on overhead support structures and means can be provided for releasably connecting the hammers to the rails so that the hammers may move longitudinally with the rails as the track sections are moved along the conveyor. Thus, the spikes utilized in fastening the railroad rails and ties together can be driven into the ties while the same are being conveyed and so obviating the necessity for momentarily stopping the conveyor as each of the spikes is being driven. With such a continuous system, in order to minimize manpower requirements, it is important to carry a large supply of ties on the mobile machine in a prepared storage area and these are usually arranged at right angles to the rails. In this manner the ties are introduced one at a time beneath the rails and are carried along by the conveyor as mentioned above. It has been found that this type of tie storage and insertion procedure has a number of disadvantages which reduce the flexibility of the mobile tracklayer. With the ties stacked at right angles to the rails, in order to slide the ties under the rails it is necessary for the tie storage stack to protrude a considerable distance out to one side of the tracklaying machine. This large protrusion seriously interferes with the use of the system in many areas where tracks are laid, such as past platforms, in tunnels, over bridges and in general areas where the track or right of way has physical confining limitations. It is, therefore, the object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for inserting ties beneath the rails on a mobile tracklaying machine which will avoid the above disadvantages. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, the ties are stored in a tie storage bank on the mobile tracklaying machine in a manner parallel to the rails. This storage bank is carried on the machine at a location above the conveyor where the ties and rails are being assembled and can be centered on the machine without any interfering lateral projections. The floor of the tie storage bank includes a rectangular opening slightly larger than the dimensions of a tie and associated with this opening is a downwardly extending chute. The rectangular opening and chute are in alignment with the ties being carried in the storage bank. The chute also includes a device for releasably holding a tie therein so that when a vertical stack of ties is positioned in the chute, the tie holding device will sequentially release ties from the chute upon command. Directly below the chute is positioned a tie receiving turntable mounted for rotation on a vertical axis. This turntable is also vertically movable so that it can move up to receive a tie from the chute, lower part way so that the tie enters an open area below the rails being delivered onto the assembled ties but above the ties which are assembled on the conveyor. In this vertical location the turntable is rotated through 90 so that the tie carried thereon assumes a position at right angles to the rails and the turntable then continues its lowering motion until the tie comes to rest on the conveyor. The tie is then carried along by the conveyor and the turntable turns back through 90 to come into alignment with the chute and moves upwardly to receive the next tie being released from the chute. DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The turntable is conveniently mounted on a vertically' arranged pneumatic cylinder .with the turntable being fixed to the piston rod thereof. The tie holding device in the chute can conveniently be in the form of pneumatically actuated presser plates which engage the lowermost tie in the chute. When the empty turntable is in its uppermost position, the presser plates are released allowing the tie therebetween to drop onto the turntable. The other ties in the chute also move down and come to rest on the tie now seated on the turntable. At this stage the presser plates again close gripping the tie immediately above the tie on the turntable and leave the tie on the turntable free to be lowered and rotated. It will, of course, be appreciated that there are many other possibilities as to suitable tie holding and releasing mechanisms. The tie storage bank is preferably provided with a crowder system which urges a stack of ties towards the rectangular opening. Thus, when the last tie in a vertical stack has disappeared into the opening in the floor, the crowder mechanism is actuated to push the next vertical stack of ties into position over the opening and provide a continuous feed to the chute. This system of a vertical chute in the bottom of the tie storage bank and the cooperating tie receiving turntable provides a very simple and trouble-free arrangement for delivering ties sequentially from the tie storage bank to the track assembling conveyor and it will be appreciated that this system can be actuated manually or it can be completely. automatically controlled. Moreover, it will be understood that although the system of this invention is particularly useful in combination with a mobile tracklaying machine it can also be used with a stationary continuous track assembling machine such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,420,186. It is also to be understood that the system of this invention works equally well with either plain ties or with preplated ties. There are situations where pre-plated ties are mandatory and the ability to handle either plain or pre-plated ties is thus another important advantage of the invention. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more complete understanding of the present invention and the various features thereof can be obtained from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein: FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a typical mobile tracklaying machine; FIG. 2 is a plan view of the tracklaying machine of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is an end elevation in partial section showing the tie delivery system of the present invention; FIG. 4 is the same view as FIG. 3 with the turntable partially lowered and rotated FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the tie delivery system as shown in FIG. 3; FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the tie delivery system shown in FIG. 4; and FIG. 7 is the same view as FIG. 3 with the turntable in fully retracted position. The mobile tracklaying machine as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a tractor unit 1 and a trailer unit 2 attached thereto. The tractor unit has a heavy steel frame 3 and is supported by large pneumatic tires 4. A platform 5 is mounted on the frame 3 and this platform includes walkways 6 for workmen and safety handrails 7. A pair of rail support structures 8 are mounted on unit land these project at the forward end as shown. Rails 9 travel on rollers 10 mounted on the support frame 8 and are held against lateral movement by the upwardly projecting brackets 11. v The unit 1 is self-propelled and is powered by engine l2 and also includes a crane unit 13. This crane unit 13 includes a main body portion 14, a main boom 15 and a telescoping boom 16 as well as an operator station 17. This crane unit 13 serves as a general purpose lifting device for the tracklaying machine and, for instance, is used to lift bundles of ties in position as well as for positioning new jointed rails on the tracklaying machine and for any other required lifting purpose. Looking now at the trailer unit 2, it will be seen that it also has a main heavy frame structure 20 and travels along the roadbed 18 supported on pneumatic tires 21. The trailer unit 2 is connected to the forward unit 1 by means of a fifth wheel an assembly 22 or equivalent. On each side of trailer unit 2 is mounted a walkway 23 with guardrails 24. These walkways are for workmen who may for instance hand place tie plates on the ties, place and set spikes and inspect the operation. At a higher elevation is positioned a support platform for arranging ties in longitudinally spaced relationship to receive rails and this includes a horizontal portion 25 and a downwardly and rearwardly inclined portion 26. Travelling in this platform are a pair of endless conveyor chains 29 with upwardly projecting tie engaging lugs 29A. A stack of ties 50 is positioned on the trailer unit 2 parallel to the rails and these are delivered sequentially to platform 25 by means of the device of this invention as described in detail hereinafter. On the platform 25 the tie 32 is picked up by the projecting lugs 29A of conveyor chain 29 and is carried along towards the rear of the trailer unit 2. As the tie 32 moves along, it assumes an aligned position adjacent guide wall 31. In this position the ties are carried along at equally spaced and properly aligned positions. If plain ties are being used, tie plates are at this point set in position on each tie 32 either manually by workmen standing on platform 23 or by means of an automatic machine not shown. As the ties 32 with tie plates 33 in position start down the incline sections 26, they come into engageMent with rails 9. In this relationship the rails, ties and tie plates pass a power driven spike driving device 34 which spikes the rails 9 onto the ties 32 through the tie plates 33. This spike driving unit is shown with an operator seat 35 and a control panel 36 for manual operation but it can equally well be converted to an automatic device. The usual lengths of rails can be distributed along the right of way and picked up as needed by crane l3 and positioned on rollers 10. These rails are then bolted to the rails already travelling through the machine so that the rail sections continue through the machine and are assembled with the ties without interuption. The rails 9 are held in close contact with the ties 32 by means of spring loaded pressure rollers 41 mounted on posts 37 and rollers 42 mounted on spike driving device 34. This machine is also readily adaptable for use with welded lengths of rails. When welded lengths of rails are used, these are distributed along the right-of-way in, for instance, quarter mile lengths. As the vehicle approaches the end of one of these lengths, the crane 13 picks up the lead end of welded rail and feeds it through a system of threaders so that it passes through the same approximate position as the above mentioned jointed rail when it reaches the tie inserter mechanism. A welded length of rail is shown by the numeral 9a in FIG. 1. As the entire vehicle moves forward, the completely assembled track assembly 43 cases off the back end and settles onto the right of way 18. This track assembly in position on the road-bed is then supplied with ballast and tamped in the usual manner. The tie inserter mechanism of the present invention is particularly useful with an assembling machine of the above type and is illustrated by the FIGS. 3 to 7. As can be seen from FIG. 3, a tie storage bank 50 includes a pair of storage areas 51A and 51B and a pair of crowder walls 52A and 528. The floor of the tie storage bank includes beam members 53 and also has in the central area thereof a rectangular opening 56 which is slightly larger than the dimensions of a tie. Extending downwardly from this opening 56 is a rectangular chute 54 for receiving ties 55. I In the view shown in FIG. 3, the left-hand bank of ties is being fed into the system so that the crowder wall 52A has moved inwardly the distance of one single vertical stack of ties. In having moved this distance it has pushed a single vertical stack of ties 55 over the opening 56 so that they have dropped down into the chute 54. They are held from continuing down this chute by a releasable holding device 67 which isshown holding the lowermost tie in the chute. The holding device 67 can conveniently be in the form of a pair of pneumatically actuated presser plates which press against the sides of the tie holding it between them. The tie storage bank 50 is supported from the main frame members 20 of the tracklaying machine by means of outboard beam members 60 and vertical beammembers which are attached to floor beams 53 of the tie storage bank. A walkway 66 is also provided across the tie storage bank 50 for workmen who operate the device as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The endless conveyor chains 29 and upwardly extending tie engages lugs 29A described in FIGS. 1 and 2 are also shown in FIGS. 3 to 7 and it will be seen that the conveyor chains travel in channel 72 formed by angle members 65 and the faces of main support beams 20. A tail pulley 63 for one end of the conveyor system is shown in FIG. 6 while the powered forward drive pulley is not illustrated. As can be clearly seen from FIG. 5 the conveyor system carries along equally spaced ties 32 which are in a position to receive a pair of laterally spaced parallel rails 9. These rails 9 are gradually approaching the conveyor so that they eventually come to rest on the ties as seen from FIG. 1. However, at the position of the tie delivering system of the invention, as seen from FIGS. 4 and 6, the rails 9 are still vertically spaced from the conveyor 29 and the ties 32 travelling thereon. The tie receiving turntable is generally shown by the numeral 64 and includes a tie receiving plate 71 with upwardly extending side flanges 85. This plate 71 is fixed to the top end of piston rod 57 of vertically mounted cylinder 58. This cylinder 58, e.g., an air cylinder, is fixed to main support beams 20 by means of structural'members 59 and 69. With the piston rod 57 vertically extended, as shown in FIG. 3, the turntable is in a position to receive a single tie from the chute 54. In this position the tie holding mechanism 67 releases allowing the tie being held to drop onto the turntable 64. The ties stacked above this tie of course follow it down the chute and come to rest on the tie now resting on the turntable. When this tie 55 engages the turntable, the tie holding mechanism is again actuated so as to hold the tie now positioned lowermost in the chute and the air cylinder 58 is then actuated to lower the turntable 64 to the position shown in FIG. 4. This position corresponds with the position of the turntable 64 and tie 55 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 and it will be seen that the tie 55 is in the space above the ties 32 on the conveyor 29 but below the rails 9. In this position the turntable 64 is caused to rotate through 90 so that the tie 55 assumes the position 55' shown in broken lines. In this position the cylinder 58 is actuated once again to lower the turntable 64 so that the tie 55' comes to rest in position 32 on the conveyor 20, as shown in FIG. 7, and is engaged by moving lugs 29A. It is to be noted that cylinder 58 must lower to aposition so that side flanges must clear the turntable 64 to a tie receiving position and the tumtable is also rotated through bringing it back into proper alignment to receive another tie from the chute It can be readily seen that this system in operation can be repeated continuously and that the combination of the vertically ascending and. descending and 90 swinging motion of the tie receiving turntable can in effect accept a tie that is in an upper longitudinal position parallel to the direction of the tracklaying system and rotatably lower and place the tie at right angles to the direction of travel on the assembling conveyor beneath the rails. It will be seen that this system clearly stays within the narrow confines of the restrictive tracklaying areas such as tunnels, yard areas, platforms, etc. and thus greatly improves the flexibility of the tracklaying device. lclaim: 1. in an apparatus for constructing railroad tracks and the like comprising a support structure including a conveying path, means for conveying a plurality of iongitudinally spaced ties along said path, means for delivering a pair of laterially spaced rails above said ties such that the rails are initially vertically spaced above the ties and come to rest on said ties and means for delivering an assembled track assembly from said path, the combination which includes a tie storage structure mounted on said support structure at an elevation higher than the conveying means and arranged to hold ties in a position parallel to the rails, an elongated tie receiving chute extending vertically downwardly from said tie support structure between and parallel to said rails, means associated with said chute for releasably holding a tie therein and a vertically movable, horizontally rotatable tie receiving turntable positioned below said chute for receiving a tie released from the chute, lowering the tie to a position below said rails and above said conveying path, rotating the tie through 90 and depositing the tie on the conveyor path at right angles to the rails. 2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the tie storage structure includes crowder walls for urging stacked ties into a position above said tie receiving chute. 3. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the tie receiving chute includes pneumatically actuated pressure plates for holding the lowermost tie in the chute. 4. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the turntable is mounted on the piston rod of a vertically mounted cylinder.

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