Portable Track Patents (Class 238/10R)
  • Patent number: 6164555
    Abstract: A structure is provided for creating an elevated subroadbed for an artificial landscape. The structure includes a flexible riser section of a given length that has a generally planar bottom. The riser section also has a generally planar top extending and supported parallel to the bottom so that the height of the section is consistent along its entire length. The riser is provided with first and second side walls, which each have a series of channels that extend into the riser in spaced apart relation. The channels allow the riser to be positioned in a radius. The top forms an elevated surface that enables low-lying areas to be more easily created on the artificial landscape below the elevated surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Osment Models, Inc.
    Inventors: C. Dwayne Fulton, David L. Osment
  • Patent number: 6158666
    Abstract: The present invention relates to vacuum fastened guide that supports and facilitates movements of a machining device along at least one component to be operated upon. The guide includes a primary rail that is vacuum coupled to the component. The primary rail includes a primary tube portion for slideable engagement with the machining device, and a primary contact platform coupled to the primary tube portion for forming a vacuum between the primary rail and the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Inventors: David P. Banks, James N. Buttrick, Jr., Charles H. Glaisyer, Darrell D. Jones, Russell C. McCrum, Philip M. Wright
  • Patent number: 6155177
    Abstract: A model railway system with improved banking characteristics 10 comprising a series of track sections 16, 18 joined end-to-end to form a continuous track assembly 12 and a modular trestle assembly 32 to elevate the track assembly 12. The trestle assembly 32 includes a biaxially inclined coupling module 28 that allows the track 12 to be built at a greater incline within a tighter radius than would otherwise be possible. The model railway system 10 includes a battery 114 powered locomotive 110 with a portable hand-held remote control device 84 that uses infrared signals 102 to send commands to the locomotive 110. The locomotive 110 pulls modular train cars 53,54 that have coupling protrusions 30 and beam support brackets 64 to support accesories to build different types of cars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Inventor: Peter Backfisch
  • Patent number: 6123298
    Abstract: A model railroad track assembly having a substantially rigid, one-piece molded plastic body with an upper surface molded to generally replicate at least a portion of a railroad track bed is provided. The track assembly has depending side walls extending generally downwardly from the upper surface to define a lower side having a hollow cavity. The body has at least two ends, with each end including a male latching member and a matingly complementary female engagement structure. The upper surface includes a molded-in guiding structure to receive and locate a preassembled piece of model railroad track, including at least two metal rails molded in place on a ladder-shaped member simulating a plurality of spaced-apart ties. The ends of the molded body are adapted for mating engagement with the ends of similar track assemblies having a similar piece of preassembled model railroad track with the rails on the engaged track ends being aligned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: Bachmann Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: H. Lee Riley
  • Patent number: 6089466
    Abstract: A structure is provided for creating a roadbed for a model railroad. The structure includes an elongated and flexible section which has a top surface, a bottom surface and a pair of inwardly angled side surfaces. The side surfaces are angled such that the bottom surface is wider that the top surface. The section is made from a foam material which deadens the sound of model trains passing thereover and which cushions vibrations of model trains passing thereover. The top surface is a closed cell surface that allows model train track to be adhesively secured thereto and the bottom surface is a closed cell surface that allows the roadbed to be adhesively secured to a supporting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Osment Models, Inc.
    Inventors: C. Dwayne Fulton, David L. Osment
  • Patent number: 6074269
    Abstract: A kinetic toy in which a ball rolls down a trackway from an upper location to a lower location and is automatically returned to the upper location for recycling, the toy including an accessory, such as a ball-operated switch, adapted for quick-connection on the trackway, and a collector trackway arrangement for collecting the ball at a lower level, the accessary per se, and tracks per se for the collector trackway arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Choas, L.L.C.
    Inventors: James N. Rothbarth, Alex Kinming Lee
  • Patent number: 6044767
    Abstract: An improved track and vehicle system are provided for model electric vehicles. The track system includes a number of interconnectable panels having alternate portions of negative and positive polarity conductor strips defined on a top surface thereof. The conductive strips are separated by non-conductive portions. Each of the panels includes electrical and mechanical interlocking devices carried on each side thereof so that any one panel can have additional panels connected on each of its sides. The vehicles include a unique arrangement of contacts carried on a linkage underneath of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle remains at all times in contact with the conductors, regardless of the direction of movement of the vehicle from the surface of the panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2000
    Inventors: David Allan Myus, Charles Weaver Weisel, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6019289
    Abstract: A modular track segment for a model railroad track includes a plurality of conductive strip members secured to the lower surface of the segment and in electrical connection with respective rails on the upper surface of the track segment. Respective forward portions of the conductive strip members are formed to provide accurate leaf springs for mutually-compressive electrical contact with corresponding strip members of an adjacent track segment. Mechanical features of the track segment provide engagement of adjacent track segments and reinforce the compressive contact between adjacent conductive strip members. A breakaway access member is provided along a side wall of the track segment to form an opening for electrical and mechanical connection of an electrical accessory to the track segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Mike's Train House, Inc.
    Inventor: Kiho Sung
  • Patent number: 6009812
    Abstract: A children's play apparatus which includes a specially designed play table that can be used with commercially available toys including toy trains and train tracks, and one that can also be used with specifically designed modules for supporting sections of wooden train track in the unique configurations. More particularly, in using the play apparatus, the specially designed modules of the invention can be used to extend the track beyond the boundaries of the play table and which, due to the stackability of the modules can also be used to attain virtually unlimited track heights above the surface of the table and outwardly from the surface of the table top.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Nilo Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: Nile Ernst
  • Patent number: 5887787
    Abstract: An improved track assembly for TV, video and motion picture camera dollys. The inventive assembly includes first and second rail sections. The rail sections are connected by first and second spreaders. Each spreader is pivotally connected to the rails at each end of the spreader. The spreaders retain the first and second rails in a parallel offset relation in a first, deployed, position at which the first and second spreaders are disposed at a ninety degree angle relative to the first and second rails. In a particular embodiment, the first spreaders are coupled to one another by a set of fasteners which are connected to one spreader at one end and hooked onto another spreader at the other end. In the illustrative embodiment, the first and second rails include a male connector at a first end and a female connector at a second end, whereby each female connector on each rail is adapted to receive and retain a male connector from an abutting rail. Each of the rails has a uniform circular cross-sectional area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Inventor: Charles Saldana, III
  • Patent number: 5868396
    Abstract: A movable target for shooting practice, comprising a multiplicity of railtrack sections, which can be joined together, and a carriage which can be displaced along the assembled rail-track sections by means of a carriage drive and receives a target arrangement, whose target-retaining means, which receives at least one target such that it can be exchanged, can be moved between a neutral position and a target position by means of a target drive. The rail-track sections exhibit feet, which can be stacked one inside the other, and complementary connecting parts at the ends, and provision is made for end-side buffer stops with corresponding connecting parts, the carriage exhibiting, at one end, transporting wheels which are connected releasably to said carriage and of which the diameter is greater than that of the carriage wheels, and, at the opposite end, a handle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: TTS Theissen Training Systems GmbH
    Inventor: Peter-Paul Theissen
  • Patent number: 5868076
    Abstract: An improved track and vehicle system are provided for model electric vehicles. The track system includes a number of interconnectable panels having alternate portions of negative and positive polarity conductor strips defined on a top surface thereof. The conductive strips are separated by non-conductive portions. Each of the panels includes electrical and mechanical interlocking devices carried on each side thereof so that any one panel can have additional panels connected on each of its sides. The vehicles include a unique arrangement of contacts carried on a linkage underneath of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle remains at all times in contact with the conductors, regardless of the direction of movement of the vehicle from the surface of the panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Inventors: David Allan Myus, Charles Weaver Weisel, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5863087
    Abstract: A live steam locomotive carrier/portable steaming bay for a miniature train which would include a flat base portion of sufficient width and length to accommodate a standard miniature sized steam locomotive; a pair of parallel slots formed in the base portion from one end to the second end, for allowing the wheels of the locomotive to be placed into the slots so that the locomotive may be rolled along the length of the base portion; a peg member insertable into ports on both the first and second ends of the slot so that after the locomotive is in place the locomotive cannot inadvertently roll off of the first or second ends of the base portion; a pair of handle members extending upward from the base portion and each pair of handle members including a transverse portion for grasping by a person to carry the base portion in a substantial horizontal position with the steam locomotive thereupon; an indexing groove on at least one end of the base portion so that when the base portion is placed at the end of a track
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Inventor: Walter Swartz
  • Patent number: 5791253
    Abstract: A toy vehicle track includes a riding surface that has one or more intersections. The direction the vehicle travels through an intersection is controlled by recessed channels and raised guideways. The track includes hinged portions that enable the track to be folded and carried.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Hasbro, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Schultheis, Lee Spielberger
  • Patent number: 5788056
    Abstract: A conveyor frame supports a chain which rides on small rollers, with a large roller projecting upwardly from the frame. The frame includes rails on which the small rollers roll. The rails are retained in the frame by spring pins, which fit into slots in the frame. The rails can be inserted into the frame from the top and can readily be installed and replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Tekno, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert T. Clopton
  • Patent number: 5711227
    Abstract: A portable and collapsible dolly and track system is movably supporting a tripod which retains a camera or the like thereon. Once the dolly and the track have been assembled, the dolly is positioned on top of the track. A tripod is positioned on the dolly, and thereby the dolly with the tripod will roll along the track in a horizontal plane with the camera thereon for filming a scene or taking photographs. The track comprises a pair of opposite longitudinal parallel rails arranged in a space apart relationship by three pivotable transverse bars. The pair of rails are comprised of a plurality of cylindrical tubes. The plurality of cylindrical tubes are held together with a unique BUNGEE cord type joining member in order to enable them to be very quickly and efficiently assembled and set into place and then disassembled for storage. The track can be folded for storage by withdrawing the ends of the plurality of cylindrical tubes from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1998
    Inventor: Jerome K. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5626504
    Abstract: A toy vehicle and track assembly includes an electrically operable vehicle for movement along an elongate flexible track of a predetermined length having flexible electrical conductors along the longitudinal extent thereof. The vehicle is configured for an actual direction of travel and an apparent direction of travel and includes an arrangement for maintaining the actual direction of travel coincident with the apparent direction of travel. Power is supplied to the vehicle through a hand-held controller wired to a power application device which clamps on the track. The track may be formed with one of several cross-sectional configurations providing additional surfaces for the placement of conductive electric strips which apply power to the vehicle and to optional auxiliary systems within the vehicle. A plurality of mounting tunnels are provided to allow the track to be erected in a number of predetermined circuit designs and, optionally, power may be applied to the track through one of the mounting tunnels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1997
    Inventor: Ting Liu
  • Patent number: 5617996
    Abstract: A track for electric cars with a novel mechanism to connect successive track segments. On one side of each connecting edge and centered on the corresponding guideway is a male attachment element formed by two rectangular projections ending in a small ramp, located on either side of the guideway. There is a rectangular recess with a centering rib on each sidewall between the ramp and the connecting edge. The opposite connecting edge of each track segment contains a female attachment mechanism designed to accept the male attachment mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Assignee: Ninco Desarrollos, S.L.
    Inventor: Eduardo N. Julve
  • Patent number: 5608937
    Abstract: A portable ramp for providing a bridge between a ground level surface and a raised surface. The ramp includes a support plate having a substantially horizontal first portion adapted to rest along an edge of the raised surface. A second portion of the plate extends vertically downward from the first portion and a third portion extends generally outwardly from the second portion in a direction generally toward the ground level surface. The third portion of the plate member supports one end of an angled beam which extends at a generally predetermined angle from the plate to the ground level surface. The opposite end of the beam is supported with respect to the ground level surface by a resilient foot member which provides stability. A traction plate having upwardly projecting portions is attached to a top surface of the beam intermediate the support plate and foot member in order to increase friction and provide traction along the inclined beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1997
    Assignee: Universal Industrial Products Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Seigneur, Richard W. Frankel
  • Patent number: 5579997
    Abstract: A track section for pivotally interconnecting sections of toy vehicle track comprising at least two pivotally attached segments, each segment having a top surface, a bottom surface, and spaced apart ends. The track section further comprises cooperating rails that form a substantially continuous path for guiding the movement of a toy vehicle when one segment is positioned at an angle relative to another of the at least two segments. The rails partially define a pair of spaced apart parallel channels along with a median on the top surfaces of the segments. The track section includes a coupling device comprising a prong protruding from one end of one of the segments along a central longitudinal axis, and a socket formed in one end of the other segment along a central longitudinal. The other ends of the segments include a connecting device comprising a cooperating flange and recess for pivotally connecting the segments wherein the flange of each segment is received within the recess of the other segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1996
    Inventors: Jennifer K. Jackson, Terry L. Jackson
  • Patent number: 5577448
    Abstract: A toy monorail system supports a shuttle craft chassis with a figurine attached. An electric motor picks up power from wire contacts for propelling the chassis along the monorail track. The shuttle craft is readily placed on and lifted from the monorail track. Stable positioning of the shuttle craft chassis is assured by a pair of guidebars and guide wheels extended from the body of the chassis against the rear side of the monorail. The track is supported by four one-piece bracing arms. The bracing arms slide into positioning recesses of a two-piece central mounting clamp which is supported alternately by a base or other support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: Roxca Industries, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yuk T. G. Leung
  • Patent number: 5537933
    Abstract: A safety system for restraining and preventing a person from falling off an elevated structure such as a locomotive. The safety system includes a segmented rail structure comprising a plurality of releasable and/or removable rail sections that are supported by a series of rail posts. The rail sections can be released and/or removed in order to provide access to an adjacent locomotive compartment to be serviced. A pair of spring biased support members are attached to each of the rail posts and automatically extend when corresponding section is removed. A moveable trolley apparatus engages the rail sections with a plurality of wheels, and has an extendable arm that can be connected to a lanyard worn by a maintenance person. When extended, the raised support members prevent the trolley from coming off the end of a rail section adjacent to a rail section that has been removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Inventor: Bjorn Ablad
  • Patent number: 5501156
    Abstract: A curved guide rail for passenger and material transportation systems in which sheet-metal plates (3), wedged against one another, are arranged in a row on a prestressed rope (2) and the spaces in-between are bridged by an overlapping tooth construction (5), so that the guide rail can be curved as desired prior to being braced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1996
    Inventor: Hans Richter
  • Patent number: 5495809
    Abstract: A movable platform or dolly for supporting heavy equipment in which the dolly rolls on tracks. Track sections are located under the dolly and additional sections can be attached to extend the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1996
    Inventor: Paul L. Carbo
  • Patent number: 5457837
    Abstract: A portable track device for a wheelchair includes at least two track sections which can be coupled removably to each other, and each track section has a bottom channel between a right sidewall and a left sidewall, with a reinforcement rod in each sidewall and with transverse supports located in the bottom channel. Each track section is equal to, or greater than, the length of the wheelchair. The occupant of the wheelchair can travel safely across difficult terrain, such as a sandy beach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Inventor: Pamelia Zuckerbrod
  • Patent number: 5456410
    Abstract: An assembly for supporting trackway sections along which a toy vehicle is driven, includes multiple track support members for supporting single tracks and/or twin tracks, height adaptors for adjusting the height of the trackway sections relative to a support surface, and tilt adaptors for adjusting the angular orientation of the trackway sections relative to the support surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: Echo Toys Ltd.
    Inventor: Wai H. Chow
  • Patent number: 5385102
    Abstract: Vehicle able to lay a specially designed track formed from elements (5, 6, 7) joined end to end. The vehicle (8) advances along the track and carries a track element on the carriage. When it reaches the end of the track, the carriage is lowered so that the element can be fitted into the preceding element. The elements are of different types so as to permit track height and direction changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1995
    Assignee: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique
    Inventors: Eric Villedieu, Daniel Francois
  • Patent number: 5377595
    Abstract: A spring-supported electric contact device including a track mounting sapce in a lower part of a vehicle body for a flexible track passing through, a seesaw plastic frame pivotably fastened in an open chamber in the vehicle body beneath the track mounting space and having one end supported on a conical spring, an electric contact assembly consisted of two spaced pairs of contact nails electrical connected to the motor drive by an electric wire and fastened to the seesaw plastic frame and constantly disposed in contact with respective metallic electrical conductor strips on the flexible track to connect DC electricity supplied by a DC adapted from city power to the motor drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1995
    Inventor: Ting Liu
  • Patent number: 5370308
    Abstract: A modular support structure for scale-model railroad tracks utilizes a plurality of planks, a plurality of suspension members for suspending at least some of said planks from an architectural structure, and a plurality of rails interconnecting said planks. The rails and planks define a modular support structure suitable for supporting a scale-model railroad track. The modular support structure is easily installed with a minimum of labor. The modular support structure optionally utilizes a plurality of support members for supporting at least some of said planks above a surface, such as soil, stone, concrete, floors, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Inventor: Joseph E. Black
  • Patent number: 5323962
    Abstract: A flexible guide-track system, including a guide track constituted by a leaf spring formed of a plurality of stacked, elastically resilient leaves joined to one another along their longitudinal extent and slidable relative to one another for some distance at other points of the extent. Due to the slidability, the leaf spring is elastically deformable to conform to a non-planar surface. The system further includes a plurality of attachments to fixedly attach the leaf spring to the surface after having been elastically deformed, to make it conform to the non-planar surface, a plurality of clamps to maintain the leaf spring in the elastically deformed state, a plurality of spacers mounted on the leaf spring for maintaining the leaf spring, when so deformed, at a predetermined, substantially uniform distance from the non-planar surface, and a carriage riding on, and guided by, the flexible guide track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: IRT Inspection Research and Technologies Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenneth Jassby, Amir Ziv-Av, Binyamin Naor
  • Patent number: 5299969
    Abstract: A loop feature for propelled toy vehicles includes a generally vertically oriented single loop having a movable ingress portion and a movable egress portion. A propelled toy vehicle enters the loop upon engaging one surface of the ingress portion. Player-operable controls effect movement of the egress portion to permit the propelled toy vehicle to exit the loop. Both movable portions have a free end and a connected end. The connected end of each movable portion is hingedly connected to each end of a fixed arcuate portion. Within the loop there is provision for propelling the toy vehicle as it continues to go around the loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 5, 1994
    Assignee: Breslow, Morrison, Terzian & Associates, Inc.
    Inventor: John V. Zaruba
  • Patent number: 5211366
    Abstract: An improved, ornamental, decorative structure such as a Christmas tree or the like in which the structure has a decorative device mounted above a floor in cantilever fashion. Thus, the decorative device, is, in effect, cantilevered above the floor and uses a center portion of the structure as the main support, thus avoiding the need for additional support beneath the device and on a floor therebelow. The device itself can be a ring which can support another object, such as a continuous track over which a train can be movable, either under manual power or by electrical power supplied to the track by an electrical transformer on the floor adjacent to the ornamental structure. The train will have an engine provided with an electrical motor which will drive the train along at an elevated position. Thus, the device will provide a display which will provide enjoyment and amusement for young and old alike.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1993
    Inventor: John W. Cummings
  • Patent number: 5203733
    Abstract: Die-cut corrugated paperboard blanks define a closed looped oval race track. The blanks form a flat roadway surface which is supported on paperboard wedges at an angle to provide banked straightaways and curves for the travel thereon of radio controlled battery powered cars. A paperboard barrier formed of a plurality of folded corrugated blanks is engaged against the elevated edges of the roadway to prevent the escape of the cars from the race track. The blanks which form the banked curves of the roadway have a plurality of radial slit scores which facilitate the bending of the corrugated paperboard blanks to approximate a frustroconical shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Inventors: Bryce L. Patch, Francis W. Patch
  • Patent number: 5183369
    Abstract: An access and support apparatus for loading and unloading gondola railroad cars using a crane-type crawler, which system includes a trailer-mounted ramp for disposition in close proximity to a gondola railroad car and multiple pallets adapted for spanning the top width of the gondola railroad car and supporting the crane-type crawler. The crane-type crawler is unloaded from the trailer and traverses the ramp to the pallets. In a first preferred embodiment the pallets are characterized by fixed pallets having no adjustable feature. In a second preferred embodiment the pallets are adjustable to accommodate a characteristic bulge in the center of the gondola railroad cars for a higher degree of safety. The pallets are typically sequentially moved from the rear to the front of the crane-type crawler as the crawler loads or unloads the gondola railroad cars and traverses the length of the cars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1993
    Inventors: Bobby G. Warren, Jr., James D. Davis
  • Patent number: 5131618
    Abstract: My invention provides the user with a new and innovative way to display a working model railroad train set traveling around a Christmas tree. My invention enables the user to elevate the train to a varying height to prevent any interference with the placements of gifts at the base of the tree, and also provides the means to place the model train out of the reach of small children and pets. The model train is supported on my invention by a track (FIG. 1) which is attached to supports (FIG. 1) connecting the track to the Christmas tree by an adjustable collar (FIG. 1) and by the use of support legs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1992
    Inventor: Michael J. Chapin
  • Patent number: 5105741
    Abstract: A portable equipment handling apparatus comprises a track assembly that can be laid out in any desired configuration throughout a manufacturing plant, on a construction site or other desired facility. A movable platform is mounted on the track assembly and receives the equipment or supplies that are to be moved through the facility from an old location to a new location. The tugger puller is secured at the new location and the movable platform is loaded with the equipment or supplies at the old location. The activation of the tugger puller pulls the movable platform from the old location, along the track assembly, to the new location at which the equipment or supplies can be offloaded from the movable platform, if desired. The track assembly can include straight and curved segments to allow the track to be laid out in the desired path. The track can be disposed along floors, up and down stairs, along vertical walls and across ceilings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1992
    Inventor: Duane Leary
  • Patent number: 5094019
    Abstract: An apparatus for positioning a vehicle relative to an implement to be mounted upon the vehicle consists of a stop member defining a stop surface for engagement by tread surfaces of the vehicle to be positioned, and guide arms adjustably mounted upon the stop member and defining arcuate guide surfaces for engagement by the side surfaces of the vehicle wheels. A method for positioning a vehicle relative to an implement to be mounted thereupon is also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1992
    Assignee: Paul DeVincenzo
    Inventor: Paul DeVincenzo
  • Patent number: 5043052
    Abstract: A flexible rail according to one preferred embodiment of the invention comprises (a) hollow rail pieces each having a generally inverted U-shaped vertical cross section, opposed open ends, a pair of laterally opposed bottom portions for supporting rollers of a roller chain, and a bottom space located between the opposed bottom portions from which hangers may be hung from the roller chain, (b) a pair of laterally opposed side plates fixed to the respective side walls of each rail piece such that the side plates overlap the side walls, (c) a pair of laterally opposed connecting plates each associated with adjacent side plates on one of opposed sides, each of the connecting plates overlapping both of the adjacent side plates, but being fixed to only a rear one thereof, and (d) a pair of pivotal means provided in conjunction with the opposed side plates, respectively, and each connecting a front one of adjacent side plates on one of the opposed sides and a connecting plate on the same side for pivotal movements a
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1991
    Assignees: Nichidai Industrial Co. Ltd., Daiwa Paint Trading Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hideyuki Sakai
  • Patent number: 5024380
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for replacing old trackwork rail with new continuous welded rail including a temporary bridge for transferring rolling stock from the oil rail onto the new rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1991
    Assignee: Bethlehem Steel Corporation
    Inventor: H. Anthony Newman
  • Patent number: 4989782
    Abstract: A rail for a track for a wheeled vehicle is generally elongated and has a substantially "I" transverse cross section providing an upper rail head and a lower rail foot joined by a web. The rail head is provided with at least one and preferably two laterally spaced apart longitudinally extending apertures, which are adapted to receive alignment pins so that when the rails are coupled to each other substantially end on end, the pins extend between abutting ends of the rails to maintain the rails in an abutting and substantially aligned relationship. A track is also provided including spaced apart rails with a plurality of spacers extending between the spaced apart rails to maintain the rails in a predetermined spaced apart relationship. The spacers can be pivotally mounted on the rails, so that the rails are able to move and pivot relative to each other such as for the adjustment of gauge, packaging, and transport.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 5, 1991
    Inventor: Peter S. McKie
  • Patent number: 4971246
    Abstract: A toy assembles to provide a variably inclined trackway for rolling a ball or marble. The course of the trackway in both horizontal and vertical planes being variable by increments of fixed distances. A base has many vertical holes with modular spacing. Vertical members with lengths varying by a vertical length module fit in holes in the base. The horizontal path is chosen by selecting holes in the base. Horizontal elements with a right angle trackway segment on the upper surface fit on the vertical members. Elongate straight sloping elements with a straight trackway segment on the upper surface connect horizontal members on different levels to form a continuous trackway. Sloping elements are provided in different lengths for connecting horizontal elements that are different distances apart. The pathway can be configured for different slopes and crossing over and under itself without adjustment, special skills or tools and packs away in a small space. It may easily be made entirely of wood.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 20, 1990
    Inventor: Albert A. Goudis
  • Patent number: 4920890
    Abstract: A portable amusement ride incorporates a multi-functional trailer which can serve for hauling the amusement ride, when disassembled, and serve as an elevated track portion of the ride, when assembled. Electrically powered vehicles are guided and powered over an electrified track having a main enclosed path, and an alternate loading area for discharge and pick up of passengers. Automatic launch and vehicle exit features between the main path and loading area prevent vehicle collisions, with minimum requisite operator activity. A pick-up assembly carried on the vehicle both guides and electrically powers the vehicle as it moves over the track. The track has an electrified pair of members also forming a guidance channel in which the pick-up assembly from the vehicle is received. The configuration of the pick-up assembly and its interaction with the electrified guidance channel causes proper electrical pick-up substantially regardless of the terrain formed by the track over which the vehicle travels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1990
    Inventor: Gerald L. Barber
  • Patent number: 4919052
    Abstract: A track apparatus for a toy racing car includes a car-entry track portion, a car-exit track portion, and a pivotal arm pivotally mounted between the two track portions to carry a car from one portion to the other. The pivotal arm has a stand connected to a distal end thereof which has a retractable stop. When a car travelling with sufficient momentum hits the stop, the pivotal arm is caused to pivot from one position to another, whereby the car is delivered from the car-entry track portion to the car-exit track portion. Upon reaching the second position, the stop is automatically retracted to release the car.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 24, 1990
    Assignee: Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Yousuke Yoneda, Masami Furukawa
  • Patent number: 4912796
    Abstract: This invention discloses a new, novel and unique adjustable height wheelchair ramp with supporting legs comprised of a pair of ramps, each end of each ramp containing a ramp end section and attached to each ramp is a height adjustment and supporting mechanism to support the ramps when in use. This height adjustment and supporting mechanism is comprised of a first and second leg and a foot which supports the ramps when they are in use.In conventional wheelchair ramps, especially where long distances are being spanned by the ramps, conventional ramps will tend to deflect resulting in a dangerous condition for the individual using the ramp and also limiting the life and utility of the ramp. By use of the height adjustment ramp support of the adjustable height, wheelchair ramp with supporting legs the ramp can be used for a large range of heights while still providing a stable, secure, relatively light wheelchair ramp system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1990
    Inventor: Robert Crump
  • Patent number: 4826076
    Abstract: A device for the support of driving tracks for toy vehicles, in particular driving tracks consisting of track segments which are plugged together and which have a center section laterally bounded by guiding elements. The center section of each track segment is designed to be a road surface forming driving lanes which are spaced above set-up surfaces. Provision is made for the support of track segments on any desired level by an arrangement comprising an upright column designed for connection with a base plate by use of a male and female plug system and consisting of upright column segments. Such segments are axially and detachably plugged into each other one on top of the other and have support arms. These arms are suspendable on such segments of the upright column in prepared holes or are symmetrically supportable on the free end of the upright column by means of a sleeve part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1989
    Inventor: Kurt Hesse
  • Patent number: 4802622
    Abstract: A compact mobile storage system structure and method. The structure includes a sigle track having rail and guide portions for each row of separate storage units and structure for compensating for drift of the individual storage units including adjusting screws for effecting leveling of the single track or varying the slope of the single track. The structure of the invention further includes annular lubricating members in recesses on each side of rotatably mounted wheels on the individual storage units. The method of the invention includes guiding the individual units of a compact mobile storage system along a single track at one edge of the storage units and compensating for drift of the individual units by adjusting the slope of the single track so that it is opposite the slope of the floor at the opposite edge of the individual storage units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1989
    Assignee: Homan Company, Inc.
    Inventor: John F. Homan
  • Patent number: 4790531
    Abstract: A structure is provided for indoor skiing on artificially made snow. The structure is thermally insulated and contains one or more support towers about which serpentine configured ski ramps are secured to provide relatively long ski run descents for relatively little lateral travel. For snow-making purposes, a small portion of the ski ramp is enclosed with a thermally insulated cubical module having a top and four sides but no floor. The module is track-mounted and self-propelled for movement along the ski ramp and means are provided to reduce the temperature within the module to snow-making temperature. Self-propelled snow-making machines are placed within the module to move down the ski ramp at the same rate of speed as the module. Skiing conditions encountered on outdoor ski slopes are simulated on the indoor ski ramps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1986
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1988
    Assignee: Kajima Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuyuki Matsui, Shinichi Yokota, Kazuo Otsuka, Shuhei Mizote, Tadashi Yoshida, Hachiro Nonaka, Tsutomu Okumura
  • Patent number: 4771943
    Abstract: A train track bed includes an elongated slot therein and a track rail includes a bottom flange that is supported by the track bed. A bendable locking tab is formed on the bottom flange of the rail. The locking tab is bent into the slot in the bed to restrain longitudinal movement of the rail on the bed while the bottom flange of the rail is received between opposing rail-holding flanges on the bed that restrain other movement of the track. Preferably, the track includes oppositely extending bottom flanges formed of sheet metal folded back upon itself with each flange having a depending side wall at the outermost lateral extremity of the flange to form a recess between the side walls. A pair of raised support ribs extends from the track bed into the recess to engage the underside of the flanges to support the rail on the track bed. The side walls hide the raised support ribs from view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1988
    Assignee: Lionel Trains, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Cooney, D. Michael Ledyard
  • Patent number: 4767053
    Abstract: A toy stunt set which can be used to form a loop and ramps for use during play with toy vehicles. Two tower members with engaging grooves are mounted on top of a base. A frame with flexible sheet pieces is positioned between the tower members. A rod at the end of a flexible member can be inserted into the grooves in order to form a loop and ramps. Toy vehicles may be rolled onto the loop and ramps and through the frame and flexible pieces. The flexible member can be used by itself to form individual ramps. A tumble member may be connected near the end of the flexible member so that the toy vehicles will flip after rolling onto the loop or ramps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Mattel, Inc.
    Inventors: John Cook, George Soulakis, Keith Hippely
  • Patent number: 4726515
    Abstract: A track system for toy vehicles contains straight and curved track pieces at the end of which are reference points that coincide with symmetry points of a track grid having a track module, M, which is a multiple of a building module, m, of a base plate for mounting the track pieces. The length of the straight track pieces which are disposed either parallel to or diagonally with respect to the track grid are a multiple of or .sqroot.2 times a multiple of the track module, M. The curved track pieces are composed of a longer arcuate segment and a shorter straight segment. The center of the arcuate segment is deplaced with respect to the center of an arc, whose center is a symmetry point of the track grid and whose two radii define an angular range of the curved track piece. The center of the arcuate segment is defined by the intersection of an angle bisector of the tangents (T) of the reference points on the ends of the curved track piece and one of the two radii.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Assignee: Interlego A.G.
    Inventors: Peter Bolli, Heinz Looser, Werner Tanner