Train-position Indication Patents (Class 246/122R)
  • Patent number: 6145792
    Abstract: A warning system and method for warning a train operator that the train is approaching personnel at a railroad station includes a transmitter disposed at the railroad station for transmitting a radio frequency (RF) warning signal with a given power output. A receiver is disposed on the train for receiving the RF warning signal. The receiver generates an alarm to notify the train operator of the presence of the personnel at the railroad station upon receiving the RF warning signal. A transmitter is disposed on the train for transmitting an RF confirmation signal upon receipt of the RF warning signal by the receiver disposed on the train. A receiver disposed at the railroad station receives the RF confirmation signal. The receiver disposed at the railroad station generates an alarm to notify the personnel that the train operator is aware of the presence of the personnel at the railroad station upon receiving the RF confirmation signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Inventors: George Gregory Penza, George Robert Penza
  • Patent number: 6144900
    Abstract: A linking process allows a head-end unit (HEU) of a railroad train to determine the sequence of cars in the train using wireless links between nodes on the cars, and requires no physical connection between the nodes or cars. Each car in the train is equipped with a wireless communication device which models an oscillator i. Each oscillator is phase-variable, the phase .theta..sub.i linearly increasing from 0 to 1 such that, when the i.sup.th oscillator "fires", transmitting a packet, and phase .theta..sub.i then jumps back to zero. When a car receives the transmission of another car, it changes the phase of its oscillator according to a phase-response curve function, setting up a wave pattern of transmission from nodes, from one end of the train to the other end. The wave pattern, along with protocol logic, enables each car to determine the sequence in which cars are arranged in its vicinity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Irfan Ali, Michael Paul Weir, Kenneth Brakeley Welles, II
  • Patent number: 6114974
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining railcar order in an ECP equipped train involving the inherent propagation delay of a pneumatic signal propagation in a brake air line as measured by each car and used to determine the car order in the train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: WABTEC Railway Electronics
    Inventor: David H. Halvorson
  • Patent number: 6102340
    Abstract: This invention relates to a system and method of detecting a broken rail in a railway system. The track sensing circuitry of the present invention applies a voltage source at each end of a block of rails and senses the current flowing through the circuitry. The present invention will detect broken rails continuously in a block, even with a train present (except for a break directly beneath the train). Since the rail is continuously checked, the only restriction imposed on train spacing by this track circuit configuration is that only one train can be present in a block at a time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: GE-Harris Railway Electronics, LLC
    Inventors: Ernest Peek, Wayne Basta
  • Patent number: 6081769
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the length of a train utilizing received signal such as a reference signal from a global positioning system or the like is disclosed. A first receiver receives a signal, such as a reference signal from a global positioning system or the like, from which a first position on a train may be determined. Similarly, a second receiver receives a signal from which a second position on the train may be determined. A processor, operatively coupled to the first and second receivers, determines the length of the train based on the first and second positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: WABTEC Corporation
    Inventor: Dwight D. Curtis
  • Patent number: 6049296
    Abstract: A method of serialization including establishing a parameter along a length of the train between a node on one of the cars and one end of the train. The presence of the parameter at each node is determined and the parameter is removed. The sequence is repeated for each node on the train. Finally, serialization of the cars is determined as a function of the number of determined presences of the parameter for each node. The parameter can be established by providing at the individual node, one at a time, an electric load across an electric line running through the length of the train and measuring an electrical property, either current or voltage, at each node. To determine the orientation of a car, each node include two subnodes. The operability of each node is determined by counting the presence and then the absence of a parameter along the whole train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: New York Air Brake Corporation
    Inventors: Anthony W. Lumbis, Dale R. Stevens, Arnold W. Knight, Douglas G. Knight, Bryan M. McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 6011508
    Abstract: The invention provides guideway-based methods, apparatus and systems for tracking, sensing and communicating with objects, such as track and roadway vehicles, as well as waystations therefore. Such a system comprises a winding, a transmitter and a receiver. The winding is made up of two or more phased conductors connected to form one or more closed current paths. The phased conductors are conductive elements (such as wires) shaped or configured in periodically repeating patterns, such as saw tooths, sinusoids or square waves. The transmitter applies to at least one of the phased conductors a position-sensing signal which has an envelope that varies as a periodic function of a first position along (or relative to) the winding. The sensor, which is disposed at a second position along the winding, detects the position-sensing signals on the winding and generates a signal indicating the distance between the first and second positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: MagneMotion, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian M. Perreault, Tracy M. Clark
  • Patent number: 5986577
    Abstract: A system and method for determining the position of each railroad vehicle within a train consist. The train consist includes a locomotive, at least one trainline and at least one railroad vehicle. The locomotive has a computer. The at least one trainline has a power line for supplying power to the computer and to each railroad vehicle. The system includes the computer as programmed, a vehicle computing device incorporated into each railroad vehicle, and the at least one trainline interconnecting the computer with each vehicle computing device. Each vehicle computing device contains a unique identification code. Each vehicle computing device can apply to and sense from the power line an electrical signal. The computer via the program commands sequentially each vehicle computing device, via the identification codes, to so apply the electrical signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventor: Angel P. Bezos
  • Patent number: 5986579
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining railcar order in an ECP equipped train involving the inherent propagation delay of a pneumatic signal propagation in a brake air line as measured by each car and used to determine the car order in the train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventor: David H. Halvorson
  • Patent number: 5986547
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for improving the safety of railroad systems of the present invention includes a system for navigating a railroad vehicle over railroad tracks. An attitude sensor is used to dynamically sense the attitude of the railroad vehicle as it travels over a set of railroad tracks. By sensing the attitude of the railroad vehicle, a determination of the condition of the railroad tracks can be made. The apparatus also sensed the position of the railroad vehicle in real time to correlate the sensed attitude with a precise position along the railroad tracks. The navigation system is capable of determining a highly accurate position of the vehicle in real time. The position of the vehicle is also used to navigate the railroad vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Inventors: Kelvin Korver, Wesley Hawkinson, Donovan Boedigheimer
  • Patent number: 5966084
    Abstract: A method of serialization including establishing a parameter along a length of the train between a node on one of the cars and one end of the train. The presence of the parameter at each node is determined and the parameter is removed. The sequence is repeated for each node on the train. Finally, serialization of the cars is determined as a function of the number of determined presences of the parameter for each node. The parameter can be established by providing at the individual node, one at a time, an electric load across an electric line running through the length of the train and measuring an electrical property, either current or voltage, at each node. To determine the orientation of a car, each node include two subnodes. The operability of each node is determined by counting the presence and then the absence of a parameter along the whole train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: New York Air Brake Corporation
    Inventors: Anthony W. Lumbis, Dale R. Stevens, Arnold W. Knight, Douglas G. Knight, Bryan M. McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 5950967
    Abstract: A train throttle and brake control apparatus is provided for use in a train having a master locomotive and one or more slave locomotives remotely located in the train. In a first embodiment, the apparatus includes a train force calculator which approximates train coupler forces based on computations as a function of the track topography. In a second embodiment, a coupler sensor is provided which senses the forces transmitted by the couplers on the slave locomotives. In either embodiment, a position determining device is included which provides a position signal based on the position of the train. A storage device stores a track database containing track topography information. A controller uses the coupler force computations or measurements, the position information, the track topography information, train consist information, and locomotive control settings to generate slave control signals which are provided to the slave locomotives through a communication device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventor: Stephen R. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 5936517
    Abstract: Each train detects its location, velocity, and the time it will spend to pass the next bifurcation, joint, and intersection, respectively, and sends the information periodically to the trains that are or will be behind the train. The controller of each bifurcation, joint, and intersection, respectively, having mechanical movement sends the connection status of the track to the trains about to pass it. Then, receiving a message, a train can determine if it may hit its front train if its front train stops abruptly and if it may pass the bifurcation, the joint, and the intersection, respectively, before the track there has been connected for it. If yes, the train decelerates to stop to avoid possible disasters. So that the distance between every two consecutive trains can be minimized and different kinds of trains may share the same railroad. Hence, some railroads may be saved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Inventor: Show-Way Yeh
  • Patent number: 5902341
    Abstract: A system located in a region to determine information about an unknown car relative to a moving train includes first and second satellite navigation receivers, first and second transceivers and first and second controllers. The moving train includes a first car, and the region includes the moving train and the unknown car. The region is defined by points at which radio communication with the first car is possible. The first satellite navigation receiver, located in the first car, provides first location data, and the second satellite navigation receiver, located in the unknown car, provides second location data. The first transceiver is located in the first car, and the second transceiver is located in the unknown car. The first controller, located in the first car, reads the first location data from the first satellite receiver at a first time and sends via the first transceiver a first request to the second transceiver at the first time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.
    Inventor: John Bryan Wilson
  • Patent number: 5890682
    Abstract: With the vehicle anti-collision system of the present invention, road vehicles in the vicinity of a railway crossing are alerted as a train approaches the crossing. A signalling device operating in conjunction with a GPS receiver located in the train emits a signal to a receiver located at the railway crossing to provide an indication of the rail vehicle's location with respect to the railway crossing. The signal is sent continuously at predetermined intervals to provide the railway crossing with sufficient data to estimate the velocity and time of arrival of the train or railway vehicle at the crossing. The railway crossing processes the information and transmits an alarm signal to approaching road vehicles as the rail vehicle approaches the crossing. The signal emitted by the crossing is received at the road vehicle which provides various levels of alarms depending on how close the rail vehicle is to the crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 6, 1999
    Assignee: Alternative Safety Technologies
    Inventor: James E. Welk
  • Patent number: 5864304
    Abstract: A railroad-crossing warning system for protecting pedestrians and motorists from an oncoming train. The warning system has a vehicle detector system for determining whether a vehicle is stuck in an area of the railroad crossing, a train detector system for determining vital train information including the speed and direction of the oncoming train, a display unit for displaying warning messages to the pedestrians and motorists approaching the railroad crossing, and a communication system for communicating the vital train information and the distressed vehicle information to the oncoming train and the display system. The system provides early warning to the operator of the oncoming train to provide more reliable protection for distressed vehicles in the railroad crossing and for motorists and pedestrians approaching the railroad crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1999
    Assignee: AT&T Corp
    Inventors: Irwin Gerszberg, Thomas T. Shen
  • Patent number: 5836529
    Abstract: The system of the present invention preferably comprises a set of wayside occupancy detectors, an output device, a memory and a processing unit. Each wayside occupancy detector preferably generates a set of transport detection signals in response to detecting a set of mobile transports. The output device is used for displaying information. The memory, has a transport object comprising program instructions for automatically retrieving the set of transport detection signals and for automatically collecting a set of information related to operation of the transportation network. The memory also has a service object comprising program instructions for generating graphical representations of transport locations, transport status statistics, and transport performance statistics upon the output device corresponding to both the set of mobile transports and a set of fixed transports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: CSX Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Marshall A. Gibbs
  • Patent number: 5825177
    Abstract: A rail mounted vehicle speed measuring device includes a first magnetic field generating member and a first magnetic field sensing member positioned at a first measuring location on the vehicle; a second magnetic field generating member and a second magnetic field sensing member positioned at a second measuring location on the vehicle, spaced a fixed distance from the first location in the direction of vehicle movement; wherein the magnetic fields generated by the first and second magnetic field generating member are influenced by the rail to produce first and second signal patterns sensed by the first and second sensing member and varying with movement of the vehicle along the rail; and device is provided for correlating the first and second sensed signal patterns to determine the time displacement between the two sensed signal patterns and the velocity of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation Signal AB
    Inventors: Askell Finnestad, Hakan Lind
  • Patent number: 5809448
    Abstract: The position detector system for guided vehicles has a memory block which stores each journey, divided into sections identified by their theoretical parameters and in which the correction curves are stored; at least one recording unit sensitive to travel in a curve and a relative position recording unit, signals from which are sent to a control unit which using the signals, establishes the profile of variations of the actual parameters of the correction curves and carried out an adjustment based upon achievement of the minimum error in the profiles of coordinates obtained from the theoretical parameters and the actual parameters, determining the absolute real position of the vehicle. The system is especially suited for the railway rolling stock industry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.
    Inventors: Jose Gernan Gimenez, Juan Felix Garcia
  • Patent number: 5791603
    Abstract: A device for the precise determination of the position of a moving railroad vehicle on a track in a transloader measurement stretch has a multiplicity of switch elements arrayed along one of the rails and actuators positioned to be engaged either by the felly portion of the wheel or the flange portion of the wheel regardless of where the wheel and the track are and in all positions of the wheel on the rail in its sinusoidal movement back and forth as the wheel travels along the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Krupp Fordertechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Manfred Lucking, Ulrich P. Vogt, Roland Borner
  • Patent number: 5764162
    Abstract: A wheel detector for indicating the presence of a rail vehicle on a set of spaced rails is disclosed. The wheel detector transmits a radar pulse signal and samples a portion of the signal corresponding to a target area on one of the rails. The wheel detector will generate an indication signal if a change in the reflectivity of the received signal corresponding to the target area is detected. The wheel detector may additionally include multiple transmitters and receivers to provide redundancy, and be configured to determine the linear velocity and direction of a wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth P. Ehrlich
  • Patent number: 5757291
    Abstract: Proximity warning system (PWS) functions are integrated into the locomotive control unit (LCU) of an end of train (EOT) communication system. The PWS operation provides increased information to train crews relating to the location and movement of other trains in the area. The PWS functions are supported with the addition of a separate high speed modem which can access the LCU transmitter. A second radio receiver, the same frequency as the existing LCU transmitter, allows reception of transmissions from other PWS equipped locomotives. A location determination device, such as a GPS receiver, establishes current location and direction. The PWS operation is controlled by a microcontroller which, together with the existing LCU microcontroller, manages the control of the integrated system operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Pulse Electornics, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert C. Kull
  • Patent number: 5746399
    Abstract: A car space measurement apparatus for tracking a rail vehicle position on a track is provided, which includes a wayside sensor and a supervisory processor. The wayside sensor senses multiple track parameters that are representative of the rail vehicle position. The supervisory processor receives selected track parameters and determines the rail vehicle position therefrom. Also the supervisory processor asynchronously displays a track position indication representative of the rail vehicle position. The apparatus can have an operational mode, a calibration mode, and a self -test mode. The selected track parameters are analog track phase signals. The supervisory processor can include an analog signal processor, a phase processor for determining the track position indication and a control processor for asynchronously receiving and displaying the track position indication. The asynchronous interface can be a asynchronous computer bus interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth P. Ehrlich, David Kutz, Edmund C. Nowakowski
  • Patent number: 5740992
    Abstract: A measuring stretch along a railway track of a transloading system has an array of switches with respective sensors positioned for engagement by a wheel of a railway carriage. The lateral displacement of the railway carriage wheel is prevented by a guide disposed along the rail at the level of the head at a distance of 30 to 50 mm from the head of the rail. The row of switches can be provided on the opposite side of this rail. The switches synchronize a transloader with the rail vehicle via a computer to which the switches are operatively connected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1998
    Assignee: Krupp Fordertechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Ulrich P. Vogt
  • Patent number: 5740547
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for a railway navigation system which provides information defining the position of a railway vehicle on a track system. The system uses an on-board computer with a track database representing the locations of the rail lines, including locations of curves and switches. The system uses a turn rate indicator and a speedometer means to obtain a value for the curvature of the track on which the railway vehicle moves. Curvature data so obtained is compared with data in the track database to determine the position of the railway vehicle in relation to curves and switches of the track system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventors: Robert C. Kull, Roger P. Woodward
  • Patent number: 5729213
    Abstract: A compact railroad/highway crossing motorist warning device comprising; a rail track mounted pressure sensor switch assembly which timely activates and deactivates a radio frequency transmitter beacon located upon the crossbuck at the rail crossing, the beacon transmits recordable audio and video signals and: a series of mobile sympathetic radio signal receiver units, for highway motor in vehicle and in locomotive application, the in motor vehicle receiver is hardwired to the motor vehicle and the in locomotive receiver has an event recording means attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Inventors: John S. Ferrari, David S. McFarland
  • Patent number: 5720454
    Abstract: A track circuit is used in a railway plant or the like, and comprises a track segment which is isolated electrically from the adjacent segments by electrical splices which consist of a conductor connecting the rails in the shape of an "S" laid flat in the direction of the axis of the track. Stationary ground transmission and reception units we provided for each track segment, and on-board mobile reception units we provided on the trains in transit. The data or the information transmitted by the ground units to the on-board units being conveyed through the rails of each isolated track segment when the train is travelling thereon. According to the invention, with each track segment there is associated a compensation network consisting of capacitors connected to the rails of the track segment and suitably spaced apart. Particular embodiments are provided of the electrical splice and of the transmission/reception units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Sasib Railway S.p.A.
    Inventors: Vittorio Bachetti, Maurizio Carpanelli, Andrea Giovannucci, Alberto Regazzi
  • Patent number: 5699986
    Abstract: With the vehicle anti-collision system of the present invention, road vehicles in the vicinity of a railway crossing are alerted as a train approaches the crossing. A signalling device operating in conjunction with a GPS receiver located in the train emits a signal to a receiver located at the railway crossing to provide an indication of the rail vehicle's location with respect to the railway crossing. The signal is sent continuously at predetermined intervals to provide the railway crossing with sufficient data to estimate the velocity and time of arrival of the train or railway vehicle at the crossing. The railway crossing processes the information and transmits an alarm signal to approaching road vehicles as the rail vehicle approaches the crossing. The signal emitted by the crossing is received at the road vehicle which provides various levels of alarms depending on how close the rail vehicle is to the crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1997
    Assignee: Alternative Safety Technologies
    Inventor: James E. Welk
  • Patent number: 5678789
    Abstract: A model railroad car position indicator includes a sensor receptive to the presence of a model railroad car on a track. Control circuitry determines the location of the car relative to a predetermined position on the track and approves initiation of a model train process if the car is within a range of acceptable positions for initiating the process. A preferred embodiment includes circuitry for determining whether the car velocity is less than a predetermined threshold velocity. In this embodiment, approval of initiation of the model train process is conditioned on both the car position being acceptable and the car velocity being acceptable. An indicator provides feedback to the model train operator for manual initiation of the model train process. Alternatively, the control circuit may automatically initiate the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1997
    Inventor: Robert B. Pipich
  • Patent number: 5651517
    Abstract: A method of serialization including providing a parameter which varies along the length of the train and transmitting a synchronization signal along the length of the train to the local nodes at each car. The parameter is measured at each node with respect to the occurrence of the synchronization signal at the node. Serialization of the cars is then performed as a function of the measured parameters. One method is to provide the parameters by transmitting a serial signal which propagates through the train at a slower rate than the synchronization signal and then measuring the difference in time between the receipt of the synchronization and the serial signal at each node. A second method of implementation is to create a pressure gradient in the brake pipe along the length of the train. The brake pipe pressure or flow rate is read at each node upon receipt of the synchronization signal. As a third alternative, an electric load is provided at each node in parallel to a trainline running through the train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: New York Air Brake Corporation
    Inventors: Dale R. Stevens, Anthony W. Lumbis, Clifford G. Smyrl, Douglas G. Knight
  • Patent number: 5628479
    Abstract: A vital wheel detector for railways injects an oscillating electrical current into a short rail segment and produces a monitor signal in response the magnetic field around the rail. A high Q pickup coil is employed which, when a car wheel is present on the rail segment, sharply decreases in Q and significantly reduces the level of the monitor signal. Any failure of the detector apparatus is in a safe mode, as a loss of rail current results in a loss of the monitor signal whether through an electrical or a mechanical failure. Also, internal mechanical or electrical failures either interrupt the current to the rail or interrupt transmission of the monitor signal to the processing logic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Assignee: Harmon Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Forrest H. Ballinger
  • Patent number: 5620155
    Abstract: The present invention provides a signalling system for a railroad locomotive, providing the locomotive with the capability to signal its approach to upcoming railroad crossing signals in order for the crossing signals to activate lights, bells or similar warning devices. The present invention includes a global positioning system receiver mounted within the locomotive for the purpose of determining the train location and, therefore, its proximity to the known locations of railroad crossings. The present invention also includes a self-diagnostic mechanism within the crossing signal device capable of performing certain internal checks for proper functioning of the warning devices. Such information, along with a digitally encoded identification of the particular crossing, is relayed to the locomotive as it passes the crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Inventor: Jan K. Michalek
  • Patent number: 5592158
    Abstract: An initialization beacon for initializing a stationary vehicle, particularly for assisting the driving, operation, and maintenance of the stationary vehicle, comprises superposing cross-over structures Si, whereby each cross-over structure is made from a first electrical cable Ci1 and a second electrical cable Ci2. The first electrical cable Ci1, which mutually parallels with the second electrical cable over most of its length, crosses over the second electrical cable Ci2 to form a succession of magnetic nodes N. The magnetic nodes of each of the superposed cross-over structure form magnetic nodes Nij in the superposed cross-over structures. The magnetic nodes NiJ are staggered in a non-overlapping fashion according to a space period in each of the superposed cross-over structures. Pairs Pmn of the superposed cross-over structure Si can be successively powered at a clock frequency FH and a data frequency FD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: GEC Alsthom Transport SA
    Inventor: Didier Riffaud
  • Patent number: 5590855
    Abstract: A train detection device for use in railroad models is provided with a capacitance type sensor which detects the close approach or passage of a train by responding to capacitance of the train. By using the capacitance type sensor, the train detection device becomes a non-contact type detection device, which avoids the kind of damage that can occur with contact type detectors. The train detection device is applied to a train crossing control apparatus for use in railroad models equipped with a crossing gate, a warning signal, and a controlling device for controlling the operations of the crossing gate and the warning signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Inventors: Ryochi Kato, Umeko Kato, Tomohiko Kato, Hideto Kato, Teruko Ichizuka
  • Patent number: 5554982
    Abstract: A wireless train proximity alert system provides a constant warning signal to warn vehicles approaching a train crossing when a train is also approaching the crossing. The system includes a transceiver, positioned on the train itself or at the side of the track, for transmitting a train proximity signal, which preferably includes the train's speed and position. A crossing-based transceiver receives the train's proximity signal and transmits the boundary coordinates of a warning zone when the train's estimated time-to-arrival at the crossing is within a predetermined range. A vehicle-based receiver receives the warning zone signal and the crossing's position, compares them to the vehicle's position and speed, and produces an alarm to the vehicle's operator when a potential accident is indicated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Co.
    Inventors: Keith L. Shirkey, Bruce A. Casella
  • Patent number: 5533695
    Abstract: A train control system employs a series of wayside control units spaced along the track, each of which has responsibility for the control of trains in a corresponding local area and monitors track availability and signal status in its local area. Each wayside unit has a data base in memory that comprises fixed data defining an operational profile of the associated local area, and is provided with a data radio for transmitting profile messages containing the fixed data for that area and authority messages containing the dynamic data bearing track availability and signal status information. A data radio in a receive mode on a train receives the data transmissions from the wayside unit or units responsible for its control, and an on-board computer determines the proper train control instructions from the received data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Harmon Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Heggestad, Donald B. Schaefer, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5470034
    Abstract: This invention relates to railway track circuits. An active track circuit termination unit (4) is connected to the rails and, via a transmitter unit (4a), transmits signals into the rails to terminate track circuits (A,B). The transmitter unit also transmit data signals, for example track circuit signals, into the track circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 28, 1995
    Assignee: Westinghouse Brake & Signal Holding Ltd.
    Inventor: Malcolm Reeves
  • Patent number: 5465926
    Abstract: A coded railway track circuit apparatus is disclosed having the capability of operating during periods of low vehicle activity in a reduced power standby mode. This is accomplished by switching circuitry which interrupts power to most of the components within the track circuit apparatus in response to the recognition by standby initiation circuitry of a preselected standby initiation signal. Power to fail-over indicators which would normally be activated due to a power failure is also interrupted by fail-over interrupt circuitry. During the standby mode, monitor circuitry remains active to recognize occurrence of a preselected wake-up signal. When the wake-up signal is received, full power is restored, thus resuming normal operation. Operation of the fail-over systems is also then re-established.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1995
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: James P. Brown
  • Patent number: 5462244
    Abstract: A system for detecting one or more vehicles, such as a train, on a rail track, includes at least one optical conductor extending near and parallel to the rail track with a light source and light detector coupled thereto. One or more sensors are coupled to the rail track and include the light conductor, which sensors affect the light attenuation in the light conductor locally upon the presence of the vehicle. The sensor includes a free elongated element, which is connected to the mass of the sensor housing via an elastic hinge connection. One end of the element lies against the light conductor running through the sensor housing, which one end subjects the conductor to a microbending in dependence on displacement of the rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Assignee: N.V. Nederlandse Spoorwegen
    Inventors: Marinus J. Van Der Hoek, Adolf H. K. Moor, Anastasius J. A. Bruinsma, Jaap Roos, Jacobus C. Buisman
  • Patent number: 5459663
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for supplying cab signal to a rail vehicle on a section of track composed of sequentially adjacent railway track circuit blocks. Respective receivers of each track circuit block are monitored for the presence of a vehicle within that block. The cab signal apparatus is controlled to transmit a signal to a block when the output from the respective receiver in that block indicates a different condition from the adjacent receiver of an adjacent block. Output voltages from adjacent receivers are compared to enable transmission of a cab signal. Comparison of adjacent receiver outputs is accomplished through use of a diode bridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Raymond C. Franke
  • Patent number: 5417388
    Abstract: A train detection circuit is provided to determine whether a particular section or block of railroad track is occupied by a train. In one embodiment, a bias current generator is used to provide a low current signal that flows through the rails and through the wheels and axles of a railroad engine or car, such bias current ultimately being directed into a train detection circuit which measures the magnitude of the received bias current. If the bias current is greater than a certain magnitude, that is indicative of the particular block being occupied by a train. In second embodiment, a continuous pulse signal is directed into one rail, through a resistance bond, and through the other rail into a train detection circuit. The magnitude of this received pulse at the detection circuit will be quite small unless a train occupies the block. The received magnitude of the pulse signal can be compared to a predetermined threshold to determine the presence of a train in the block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1995
    Inventor: William R. Stillwell
  • Patent number: 5398894
    Abstract: A virtual block system is provided in which a section of track is represented by a zone having a plurality of virtual track circuits. Communication between wayside and the vehicle is established within the zone, and may be used to provide the initial position of the vehicle to the carborne equipment. The carborne equipment can then calculate and up-date its position within the zone by using its initial position and sensor information relative to its movement within the zone. The actual position within the zone can be transmitted from the vehicle to the wayside equipment. The wayside equipment converts the actual position within the zone to a virtual track circuit occupancy. The wayside equipment may also use the train length to calculate one or more virtual blocks as being occupied. The wayside unit outputs the occupancy status, occupied or unoccupied, to the wayside interlocking equipment. The wayside equipment generates profile data which can be transmitted to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 21, 1995
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Robert D. Pascoe
  • Patent number: 5364047
    Abstract: A signaling and traffic control system which is capable of a vehicle determining its own absolute position along a guideway based on information received from the wayside using an inductive loop or beacon system in conjunction with the distance traveled according to the onboard tach generator(s), and report its position to a wayside control device, whereby the wayside control device reports to the vehicle, as part of its communications message, the location of the closest forward obstacle. Based upon this information, the vehicle controls itself safely based upon its characteristics as contained in a topographicla database and a vehicle database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: General Railway Signal Corporation
    Inventors: William A. Petit, George G. Maderer, Samuel J. Macano, James R. Hoelscher
  • Patent number: 5333820
    Abstract: A differential magnetic wheel detector is disclosed which identifies the presence and direction of a railway vehicle. The wheel detector includes a primary winding, a secondary winding and signal processing circuitry. The primary winding is excited by a source of AC energy to produce a magnetic flux in the wheel of the railway vehicle. The secondary winding senses a change in voltage induced by the magnetic flux in the railway wheel. The secondary winding includes two coils in a differential bridge which prevents external factors from interfering with the sensing of the wheel. The signal processing device transforms the voltage change into a signal identifying the presence and direction of the railway vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Heinz Gilcher
  • Patent number: 5332180
    Abstract: A railway traffic control system in which accurate vehicle information is effectively available in real-time to facilitate control of traffic flow. Unlike prior art methods of precisely monitoring train location, the current invention is dependant only on equipment on-board the vehicle and position updates provided by external benchmarks located along the track route. The system's dynamic motion capabilities can also be used to sense and store track rail signatures, as a function of rail distance, which can be routinely analyzed to assist in determining rail and road-bed conditions for preventative maintenance purposes. In presently preferred embodiments, the on-board vehicle information detection equipment comprises an inertial measurement unit providing dynamic vehicle motion information to a position processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 26, 1994
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Peterson, Theo C. Giras, Larry C. Mackey, Daniel R. Disk, Robert G. Brown, Barry W. Johnson, Joseph A. Profeta
  • Patent number: 5330136
    Abstract: A railway track circuit system utilizing an optical sensor which emits a vehicle detection light signal when a railway vehicle is present in a track section. A reference light signal is also generated by a light emission source. A detector in optical communication with the optical sensor receives the vehicle detection light signal. Information contained in the vehicle detection light signal is interpreted by a processor to detect the railway vehicle. In presently preferred embodiments, the sensor may comprise an elongated optical fiber conductor extending along the track section or a plurality of cascaded localized sensors. The sensor may generally also be utilized as a communication medium to pass communication data between opposite ends of the track section. Depending on the exigencies of the particular application, the sensor may be located within the track section in a number of ways.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1994
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Michael E. Colbaugh
  • Patent number: 5330135
    Abstract: A railway track circuit system is described, in which there is a transmitter 15,16 and receiver 19,20 at each end of a track circuit section 4. Each receiver receives signals from the transmitter at the opposite end of the section and the received signals are analyzed to determine whether a vehicle is present in the track circuit section. Where adjacent track circuit sections are also provided with a transmitter and a receiver at each of their ends, the transmitters 14,17 and receivers 18,21 at adjacent ends of adjacent track sections 3,5 can be connected to a track circuit unit 8,9 to allow that unit to check, when a vehicle appears to have left one track circuit section, that it has entered an adjacent section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 19, 1994
    Assignee: Westinghouse Brake and Signal Holdings Ltd.
    Inventor: Richard J. Roberts
  • Patent number: 5236156
    Abstract: A conveyor system has a track network including a main track, a plurality of branch tracks, and respective intersections at which the main track joins the branch tracks. Respective stations at the branch tracks are each associated with a respective target code. A plurality of trucks displaceable along the track network are shuntable by switches at the intersections from the main track into the branch tracks. Each truck is provided with an array of elements settable to correspond to any of the target codes and respective target-code readers associated with the switches read the target codes of the trucks. Controllers connected between the readers and the respective switches direct the trucks to the stations corresponding to the target codes of the trucks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Buro Patent AG
    Inventor: Rolf Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 5145131
    Abstract: A railway track circuit for protection of an extended track block having a master unit at one end of the block and a satellite unit at the other. Each master and satellite unit having transmitting and receiving capabilities. The output impedance of the transmitters or of the receivers is of a low impedance as connected to the rails. Through an alternative transmit and receive sequence a link-up between the master and satellite units provides detection of broken rail and/or shunts from each end of the track circuit. The use of low impedance and detection at both ends of the section permit extended length track circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1992
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal Inc.
    Inventor: Raymond C. Franke
  • Patent number: 5141183
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for determining one or more operating characteristics of a vehicle mounted to and movable on a rail. A magnetic strip is mounted to the rail, and is provided with alternating regions of flux and no-flux. The vehicle is provided with a magnetic sensor, which senses the alternating flux regions of the magnetic strip as the vehicle move on the rail and outputs a signal in response thereto. The signals output by the sensor are processed by a micro-controller, to determine the vehicle speed, location and/or displacement from a predetermined point. The system is advantageously employed in any number of applications, such as in factory automation systems, automated material storage and retrieval systems, overhead crane control systems or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignee: Electromotive Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith O. Jurkowski, Joseph L. Neidinger