Electric Automatic Highway Signals, Mine Doors, And Gates Patents (Class 246/125)
  • Patent number: 11383742
    Abstract: A crossing gate mechanism includes a swingable gate arm, a rotatable gate arm shaft fixed to the gate arm, and an electronic sensor assembly coupled to the gate arm shaft. Rotation of the gate arm shaft corresponds with swinging of the gate arm. The electronic sensor assembly senses an angular position of the gate arm shaft and transmits a position signal corresponding thereto. The electronic sensor assembly includes a driving element that is attached to the gate arm shaft to rotate therewith. the electronic sensor assembly also includes a driven element that is driven by the driving element such that rotation of the gate arm shaft causes the driven element to rotate. The electronic sensor assembly is configured to generate the position signal based on a position of the gate arm shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: C.D.L. Electric Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Marco Antonio Ibarra, Devin Steven Sage, Michael Carmen Lawson
  • Patent number: 11208131
    Abstract: A railroad crossing warning circuit includes a lamp and a signal generator for generating a first signal of a selected frequency. Divider circuitry divides the frequency of the signal to generate second signal at a flashing frequency. A switch responsive to the second signal controls current flow through the lamp and cause the lamp to flash at the flashing frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2021
    Assignee: BNSF Railway Company
    Inventor: Ralph Young
  • Patent number: 10946878
    Abstract: A Wireless Slide Fence utilizing signal reflection technology to detect rockslides and can determine the size and location of fallen rocks/objects impeding travel along a train track is presented. The present disclosure solves the technological problem of determining rock size and location to validate rockslide/fall alarms to reduce false alarms, while minimizing repairs required by conventional systems through the use of obstacle detection units and vital logic controllers. The present disclosure improves the performance of the system by, generating validated alarms when fallen rocks/objects satisfy the size criteria and are located in an area hazardous to train operations. In one exemplary embodiment, a loitering time can be implemented to validate object detections to reduce false positives due to transient objects such as migrating animals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: BNSF Railway Company
    Inventors: Mitchell Beard, Paul Chiyang Shih, Paul Aaron Weidle, Jerry Wade Specht, Kent Robert Shue
  • Patent number: 10887817
    Abstract: A location-based network system is provided. The location-based network system includes a plurality of communication nodes to transmit a data packet based on the location of each node and a distance between each node and a destination node. A location-based communication method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2021
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL MOBILE IOT CORP.
    Inventor: Jung-Tang Huang
  • Patent number: 10850756
    Abstract: Railroad object detection systems and methods include radar sensors detecting object presence, speed and heading in a different manner. A controller compares signal outputs from the different sensors to make real time health assessments and self-diagnose sensor problems in a railroad application. The sensor devices may include an ultra-wideband (UWB) impulse radar device and at least one reflective device providing failsafe object presence detection and object non-presence detection in redundant fashion with at least a second sensor device such as a side-fired radar device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: THE ISLAND RADAR COMPANY
    Inventor: Thomas N. Hilleary
  • Patent number: 10778271
    Abstract: System, method and portable device for analyzing signals travelling along track circuits of railway lines, wherein at least one antenna captures, in a contactless manner, a plurality of signals travelling along a track circuit, and a demodulator is adapted to separate into individual signals the plurality of signals captured by the antenna and selectively demodulate one or more of the captured signals. An interface is adapted for transferring, to a user interface, data indicative of the demodulated signals. Each demodulated signal is displayed on a screen for a user to trigger any needed corrective action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: ALSTOM Transport Technologies
    Inventor: Giuseppe Casulli
  • Patent number: 10643464
    Abstract: With the aim of contributing to the optimization of commuting systems, roadways, and other motion systems, Pace Delineation jibe iota (PD) addresses the issue of crossing paths of travel. PD is the process of gathering and analyzing velocities, positions, and other parameters and properties of traversing units to determine the velocities of each such that they do not arrive at the intersections at the same time. Such coordination can help avoid the stoppage of vehicles at an intersection, and collisions obviously. The process also accommodates an overtaking condition which may be used to prioritize emergency responders or other traversals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Inventor: Rami B. Houssami
  • Patent number: 10607094
    Abstract: A vision system for a vehicle includes a camera and a control. The control determines information on traffic signs and determines whether an indicated speed limit is for the lane being traveled by the vehicle. The vision system determines whether the indicated speed limit is for the lane being traveled by the vehicle responsive to a determination that the sign is at the left side of the lane and has an indicator representative of the right side of the lane and leaves the field of view at its left side, determination that the sign is at the right side of the lane and has an indicator representative of the left side of the lane and leaves the field of view at its right side, or determination of a speed limit sign at both sides of the road being traveled by the vehicle with both signs indicating the same speed limit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: MAGNA ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Norbert Kunze, Harjeet Singh
  • Patent number: 10562552
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a grade crossing is provided. The system may include a sensor co-located with a signage apparatus. The sensor may include a sensing area covering a portion of the grade crossing and a processor communicatively coupled to the sensor. The processor may be configured to receive data originating from the sensor and transmit said data to an analytics module communicatively coupled to the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: CURRENT LIGHTING SOLUTIONS, LLC
    Inventor: Bruno D'Amico
  • Patent number: 10479381
    Abstract: A system for controlling a level crossing comprising one or more transceivers located in proximity of a level crossing area on a first side of a railway track; one or more corresponding passive reflective targets located in proximity of the level crossing area on a second side opposite to the first side where each transceiver is located; a control unit connected to each transceiver; wherein each target receives RF signals coming from each transceiver and sends back corresponding reflected signals; each transceiver is arranged to elaborate said reflected signals so as to calculate predetermined parameters values; the control unit acquires said parameters values from each transceiver and elaborates them so as to detect the presence of a train in an area around the level crossing area and, in case of presence of said train, to send a warning message and/or close bars of the level crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: ALSTOM TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES
    Inventors: Jeffrey Fries, William Shields
  • Patent number: 10471978
    Abstract: Controlling a level crossing includes one or more transceivers located in proximity of a level crossing area on a first side of a railway track; corresponding passive reflective targets located in proximity of the level crossing area on a second side of the railway track opposite to the first side where each transceiver is located and a control unit connected to each transceiver. Each target is arranged to receive RF signals coming from each transceiver and to send back corresponding reflected signals. Each transceiver is arranged to elaborate said reflected signals to calculate predetermined parameters values. Also, the control unit is arranged to acquire said parameters values from each transceiver and to elaborate them to detect the presence of a train in an area around the level crossing area and, in case of presence of said train, to send a warning message and/or close bars of the level crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: ALSTOM TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES
    Inventors: Jeffrey Fries, William Shields
  • Patent number: 10382348
    Abstract: A system and method for processing a plurality of vehicle messages, wherein the method comprises: receiving a plurality of vehicle messages from a plurality of vehicles; generating a key n-tuple including a key and a time indicator for each of the vehicle messages; storing each of the vehicle messages in a data structure that comprises a priority queue for each key; storing each of the key n-tuples in a timer queue; obtaining a key n-tuple from the timer queue; recalling a vehicle message from a corresponding priority queue; and sending the vehicle message to at least one of a plurality of compute nodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: General Motors LLC
    Inventors: Primo Mark Pettovello, Charles A. Wiley, Kenan G. Dalley
  • Patent number: 10292230
    Abstract: A system includes at least one signal light having at least one lamp. The system further includes a control device electrically connected to the at least one lamp by a conductive cable. The at least one lamp is configured to flash in response to the loss of an audio signal generated by the control device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: ALSTOM TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES
    Inventors: William David Shields, Forrest Henry Ballinger, Jeffrey Michael Fries, Larry John Anderson, Wayne Nelson Wheeler
  • Patent number: 10249204
    Abstract: A connected vehicle train-vehicle collision detection system comprises a roadside unit (RSU) located at a railroad grade crossing near a roadway lane for avoiding TRAIN crashes with Onboard Unit (OBU)-equipped vehicles by issuing advance warnings for a potential vehicle-train crash. The roadside unit (RSU) is configured to act as a proxy Onboard Unit (OBU) for a non-OBU-equipped TRAIN and transmit a train location to a first Onboard Unit (OBU)-equipped vehicle having an Onboard Unit (OBU). The Onboard Unit (OBU) of the first OBU-equipped vehicle is configured to calculate a train-vehicle crash based on the train location of the TRAIN relative to the railroad grade crossing and a vehicle location of the first OBU-equipped vehicle relative to the railroad grade crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
    Inventor: Walter Rankin Townsend
  • Patent number: 9950723
    Abstract: In a method for identifying a danger zone to be monitored at a grade crossing, the following are performed: at least one radar sensor is situated at the danger zone; object trajectories from sequences over time of object positions of respective objects moving through the danger zone are ascertained by the radar sensor; the position of at least one traffic path is identified with the aid of an accumulation of object trajectories; the positions of barrier straight lines are ascertained with the aid of radar reflections of the closed barriers; and the danger zone is determined by linking information on the identified position of the at least one traffic path with information on the ascertained position of the barrier straight lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
    Inventor: Benedikt Lehnertz
  • Patent number: 9925995
    Abstract: A system for selectively disabling highway crossing equipment includes a timer for controlling a maximum out of service time for the highway crossing equipment, a switch for controlling disablement of the highway crossing equipment, and control circuitry responsive to the timer and the switch. The control circuitry disables the highway crossing equipment in response to an input received from the switch before the maximum out of service time has been reached and re-enables the highway crossing equipment in response to a subsequent input from the switch received before the maximum out of service time has been reached. The control circuitry places the highway crossing equipment in a failsafe condition when the maximum out of service time has been reached without receiving the subsequent input from the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: BNSF Railway Company
    Inventor: Joseph Daniel Schnell
  • Patent number: 9866159
    Abstract: Electric motors may include one or more sensors usable to determine rotor alignment and/or speed. A method and apparatus for rotor alignment and/or speed error detection and/or correction are proposed, such as using signals from one or more sensors. A method and apparatus for controlling stator tooth activation based, at least in part, on corrections and offsets is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: ARM Ltd.
    Inventor: David Victor Pietromonaco
  • Patent number: 9845023
    Abstract: A system includes at least one application device, a control unit, and at least one processor. The at least one application device is conductively or inductively coupled with at least one of a first conductive track or a second conductive track. The control unit is configured to control supply of electric current from a power source to the at least one application device to electrically inject at least one examination signal into the conductive tracks. The at least one processor is configured to monitor the one or more electrical characteristics of at least one of the first or second conductive tracks, and to identify a construction feature of the route based on the one or more electrical characteristics, wherein the construction feature corresponds to a man-made aspect of the route.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Joseph Forrest Noffsinger, Jeffrey Michael Fries
  • Patent number: 9847689
    Abstract: In a motor, a magnet is configured so that four pairs of S-poles and N-poles are formed at equal angular intervals, and a stator core has six salient poles formed thereon. Of the plurality of salient poles, when the first salient pole or the second salient pole faces a position between an S-pole and an N-pole, the other salient pole faces the center of an S-pole or the center of an N-pole. The radial-direction lengths of the first salient pole and the second salient pole among the plurality of salient poles are longer than the other salient poles, and the radial-direction length of the portion of the first coil wound around the first salient pole and the radial-direction length of the portion of the second coil wound around the second salient pole are longer than the radial-direction lengths of the other salient poles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: NIDEC SANKYO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tetsuo Hoshina, Shigeru Kasai
  • Patent number: 9809237
    Abstract: A detection and warning system is provided for a railroad crossing. The system comprises a sensor configured to be mounted on an underside of a gate arm of a railroad crossing gate to detect a presence of a vehicle or other object that is obstructing the railroad crossing. The system further comprises a communication interface coupled to the sensor. In response to a detection of the vehicle or the other object, the communication interface to relay a warning signal indicative of a possible collision on the railroad crossing with the vehicle or the other object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
    Inventors: Barton DeJarnatt, Travis Pless
  • Patent number: 9805596
    Abstract: A wrong way vehicle detection system may include a warning station positioned along a roadway including a wrong way indication sign, a flashing beacon(s), a forward facing movement sensor facing away from the direction of oncoming traffic, and a rear facing movement sensor. A communications device and a controller may also be included, and the controller may be configured to operate the forward facing sensor to detect a wrong way vehicle on the roadway, and responsive to the detection activate the at least one flashing beacon and operate the rear facing movement sensor to detect movement of the wrong way vehicle beyond the at least one warning station. The controller may also be configured to, responsive to detection of the movement of the wrong way vehicle beyond the warning station, send a wrong way vehicle detection alert to an operations center via the communications device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignees: UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA RESEARCH FOUNDATION, INC., CENTRAL FLORIDA EXPRESSWAY AUTHORITY
    Inventors: Haitham Al-Deek, John Hill Rogers, Jr., Corey Quinn
  • Patent number: 9802634
    Abstract: In a method for traffic-dependent output of a control signal for at least one of a barrier and a traffic light signal at a grade crossing, a radar sensor device detects motions of traffic objects over a street traffic area of the grade crossing, a control signal is emitted to a control unit for the barrier and/or for the traffic light signal situated on the inflow side of the grade crossing, using a lead time before an expected time of arrival of a train at the grade crossing, and the lead time is determined with the aid of a curve over time of the detected motions of the traffic objects, the lead time for a slow-moving traffic being greater than for a more rapidly flowing, unimpeded traffic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
    Inventor: Benedikt Lehnertz
  • Patent number: 9671487
    Abstract: A track test load device includes an inductor assembly with simulated track inductors simulating a rail track, a connector assembly for connecting the inductor assembly to a constant warning time device, and a multi-way-switch-assembly with a multi-way-switch with multiple switch positions. The multi-way-switch assembly is operably coupled between the inductor assembly and the connector assembly, wherein a switch position of the multi-way-switch corresponds to an operating mode of the track test load device. Furthermore, a track test load system and a method for testing a constant warning time device are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
    Inventors: Brian Harp, Jay Yocum
  • Patent number: 9613532
    Abstract: A computer-implemented system and method for providing directions to available parking spaces via dynamic signs is provided. A plurality of available parking spaces is determined. Two or more parking signs in a proximate location are identified. One sign is located prior to the other sign. At least one of the available parking spaces is selected from the plurality of parking spaces for providing directions via the identified signs. A direction of the available parking space is determined for each of the parking signs in relation to that parking sign. The direction of the available parking space from each parking sign is displayed on that parking sign.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: CONDUENT BUSINESS SERVICES, LLC
    Inventors: Sylvia Smullin, Robert T. Krivacic
  • Patent number: 9481385
    Abstract: A method for predicting failure of a crossing warning system is disclosed. The method includes monitoring an electrical characteristic of a first route when an electric current is injected into the first route. The first route has a crossing intersection with a second route and a crossing signal at the crossing intersection. The electrical characteristic is monitored to detect when a vehicle is approaching the crossing intersection on the first route and to determine when to activate the crossing signal at the crossing intersection. The method also includes identifying one or more changes in the electrical characteristic of the first route, and, based on the one or more changes that are identified, predicting a failure mode of the first route that interferes with detection of the vehicle approaching the crossing intersection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Fries, Joseph Forrest Noffsinger, Richard Lee Lawson, Aric Albert Weingartner, Curtis Doyle Mechling, Aaron Richard Mitti, Martin Paget, William David Shields
  • Patent number: 9308925
    Abstract: An inspection system for use with a rail vehicle includes a sensor configured to be deployed onboard the rail vehicle for inspection of wayside rail equipment to determine operability or alignment of the equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jared Klineman Cooper, Nicholas David Nagrodsky, Joseph Forrest Noffsinger
  • Patent number: 9272721
    Abstract: A user configurable horizontal brake feature for a railroad crossing gate. The braking feature will maintain lowered crossing gate arms in the horizontal position when a train is approaching and until it is the proper time to raise the gate arms (e.g., after the passing of the approaching train).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
    Inventor: Richard C. Bohme
  • Publication number: 20150034773
    Abstract: Systems and/or methods for reducing problems associated with the train/railroad systems are provided. In certain example embodiments, a system and/or method is provided wherein a sensor monitors a particular area (e.g. a train/railroad crossing, a tunnel entrance or exit, etc.) and transmits data (e.g. an image and/or video) to a train as it approaches the monitored area (e.g. when it is within a predetermined distance of the monitored area). In certain example embodiments, the sensor may be enclosed within a housing to prevent damage thereto. A display within the train may indicate whether or not there is a problem at the particular monitored area (e.g. a blockage at a crossing, a cave-in at a tunnel, etc.). Multiple images corresponding to multiple areas may be displayed, and may be ordered, for example, to the train. The conductor of the train may take appropriate action to avoid accidents and/or to reduce the impact of inevitable accidents (e.g., by stopping the train or reducing speed).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Inventor: Aris MARDIROSSIAN
  • Patent number: 8924066
    Abstract: A system includes a communication module and a determination module. The communication module is configured to be located onboard a vehicle configured to travel along a route including plural sub-routes. The communication module is configured to receive route occupancy information from an off-board wayside module disposed along the route. The route occupancy information corresponds to a presence or absence of vehicular traffic on each sub-route within a range of a route detection system operably coupled to the wayside module. The determination module is configured to be located onboard the vehicle, and to obtain position information from one or more onboard detection units disposed onboard the vehicle. The determination module is configured to determine a particular sub-route on which the vehicle is disposed using a comparison of the position information obtained from the one or more onboard detection units and the occupancy information received from the off-board wayside module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Jeffrey Michael Fries
  • Publication number: 20140346284
    Abstract: A system includes a determination module and a communication module. The determination module is configured to be located onboard a first vehicle that travels along a first route including a crossing corresponding to an intersection of the first route with a second route. The determination module is configured to be communicatively coupled with a remote crossing module that is configured to impede travel of a second vehicle through the crossing, and to identify an upcoming stop at a station within a range of a track detection system associated with the remote crossing module. The communication module is configured to communicatively couple the determination module to the remote crossing module, and to transmit an inhibit request message to the remote crossing module. The inhibit request message is configured to prevent the remote crossing module from activating a warning when the first vehicle is stopped at the station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 23, 2013
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Fries, Steven Ray Murphy, Michael Steffen, II, Jesse Lee Herlocker, Nels Jorgensen, Anuka Sawh
  • Publication number: 20140319286
    Abstract: Track circuits and constant warning time devices that can make train direction determinations using multi-frequency track impedance measurements and combinations of frequency tuned shunts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2013
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Inventor: BRIAN HOGAN
  • Publication number: 20140319285
    Abstract: A method and device capable of reliable and accurate train prediction determinations that account for, and overcome the problems associated with, changing ballast conditions. The method and device will detect the presence of a train in an approach area based on a rail characteristic measured in relation to a first measurement frequency transmitted along the rails. If there is a condition such as a ballast condition that may affect the rail characteristic, the method and device will detect the distance and speed of the train based on a rail characteristic measured in relation to a second measurement frequency transmitted along the rails. Otherwise, the distance and speed of the train will be determined based on the rail characteristic measured in relation to the first measurement frequency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2013
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Inventor: BRIAN HOGAN
  • Publication number: 20140312178
    Abstract: A user configurable horizontal brake feature for a railroad crossing gate. The braking feature will maintain lowered crossing gate arms in the horizontal position when a train is approaching and until it is the proper time to raise the gate arms (e.g., after the passing of the approaching train).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 18, 2013
    Publication date: October 23, 2014
    Inventor: RICHARD C. BOHME
  • Publication number: 20140263858
    Abstract: A programmable frequency termination shunt suitable to terminate a portion of a railroad track circuit. The programmable frequency termination shunt includes a multi-frequency shunt circuit having a plurality of selectable shunt frequencies and a processor coupled to the multi-frequency shunt circuit. The processor is adapted to set the termination frequency of the shunt by selecting one of the shunt frequencies of the multi-frequency shunt circuit. The shunt is powered by signals transmitted along the rails of the railroad track and can be programmed in response to signals from a rail-based communication link or a wireless communication link.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: BRIAN HOGAN
  • Patent number: 8833703
    Abstract: Various methods and systems are provided for a crossing equipment controller. In one embodiment, a method comprises prior to a vehicle entering a diverging zone, calculating a travel time until the vehicle at a determined position would reach a crossing based on one or more vehicle conditions, and in response to the vehicle entering the diverging zone, updating the travel time with a time-based countdown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Michael W. Steffen, II, Steven Murphy, Brian Wesley Isaacson, William D. Shields, James B. Strecker
  • Publication number: 20140166820
    Abstract: A system includes a base station associated with a railroad crossing having a unique identifier and comprising at least one processor to wirelessly transmit a proximity alert, determine that a train is on approach, and wirelessly transmit a train-on-approach notification. The system further includes a receiver comprising at least one processor to wirelessly receive the proximity alert and the train-on-approach notification from the base station and to provide at least one of a visual and audible indication responsive to at least one of the proximity alert and the train-on-approach notification.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2013
    Publication date: June 19, 2014
    Inventor: Thomas N. Hilleary
  • Patent number: 8725405
    Abstract: Various methods and systems are provided for predicting crossing times. In one embodiment, a method comprises determining a vehicle position of a vehicle from sensed data, filtering the vehicle position, determining vehicle velocity based on the filtered vehicle position, filtering the vehicle velocity to a greater extent than vehicle position is filtered, at least above a threshold frequency, and determining a time-to-crossing based on the filtered vehicle position and filtered velocity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Michael W. Steffen, II, Brian Wesley Isaacson
  • Patent number: 8695276
    Abstract: The invention discloses a scissor-type gate blocking apparatus with an adjustable blocking width of a gate leaf. According to its technical solutions, the apparatus comprises a shaft 1 and an initiative swing arm 4. It also comprises an eccentric disk 21 connected with the shaft 1 and eccentrically provided with a plurality of mounted holes 211 of the eccentric disk 21, an eccentric amount adjusting piece 22 connected with the eccentric disk 21 through the mounted hole 211 of the eccentric disk 21, a small shaft 223 eccentrically fixed at the eccentric amount adjusting piece 22, and a connecting rod mechanism adjusting its length retractably and connected with the initiative swing arm 4. The blocking apparatus has the advantages that it has a simple and practical structure and can adjust the blocking width of the gate leaf within a certain range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Shanghai Huaming Intelligent Terminal Equipment Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Liang Zhang, Qiying Gu, Genfang Xie
  • Patent number: 8668169
    Abstract: A train equipped with an onboard system for determining its position and a track database for determining the positions of upcoming grade crossings sends activate after expiration messages to control wayside warning systems at the crossings to achieve a constant warning time while maintaining a safety margin that ensures the train can be stopped if the wayside systems do not respond correctly to the activate after expiration messages. The system may be used in place of existing track-based crossing warning system control circuits. Communications between the train may be radio-based, and may be direct between the train and wayside devices or may be routed through a central station, which may act as a relay or maintain a database. The train may control multiple crossings at one time, thereby eliminating the need for downstream adjacent crossing control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Siemens Rail Automation Corporation
    Inventor: Kevin Nichter
  • Publication number: 20140034785
    Abstract: A monitoring system and method is provided for monitoring the lighting and the gate arm position at a railroad crossing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 3, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: Railway Equipment Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Randall G. Honeck, Craig P. Gabel, David K. Fox, Greggory C. Phelps
  • Patent number: 8596587
    Abstract: A method for sensing objects within a rail grade crossing island is described. The method includes transmitting a radar signal into the island from each of a plurality of radar devices such that each portion of the island is monitored by at least two of the radar devices, detecting if an object is in the island based on received signals corresponding to the transmissions associated with at least one of the radar devices, and operating a gate control device associated with the rail grade crossing based on the detections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Bystep, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas N. Hilleary
  • Publication number: 20130270395
    Abstract: Various methods and systems are provided for predicting crossing times. In one embodiment, a method comprises determining a vehicle position of a vehicle from sensed data, filtering the vehicle position, determining vehicle velocity based on the filtered vehicle position, filtering the vehicle velocity to a greater extent than vehicle position is filtered, at least above a threshold frequency, and determining a time-to-crossing based on the filtered vehicle position and filtered velocity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Inventors: Michael W. Steffen, II, Brian Wesley Isaacson
  • Patent number: 8550409
    Abstract: A monitoring system and method is provided for monitoring the lighting and the gate arm position at a railroad crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Railway Equipment Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Randall G. Honek, Craig P. Gabel, David K. Fox, Greggory C. Phelps
  • Patent number: 8500071
    Abstract: First and second crossing predictors communicate with each other, and each predictor transmits signals to instruct downstream adjacent predictors to activate their warning devices at a constant warning time (referred to as DAXing) by using train detection information from the other predictor. The communications between the predictors may be rail based, wireless or wired using conductors other than rails. Multiple predictors may be present between the first and second crossing predictors, and each such predictor may be DAXed by one of the outer predictors based on the train's direction. The predictor also transmits a signal to inform the other predictor of the presence of the train so that the other predictor may determine whether to suppress DAXing. Detecting an incoming train direction at a predictor may also occur by utilizing a second receiver attached to the track rails at a location offset from the first receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Invensys Rail Corporation
    Inventor: Randy O'Dell
  • Patent number: 8469319
    Abstract: An approach annunciator for a railway includes at least one sensor for sensing a vehicle traveling along the railway, a control device adapted to receive a first message from the sensor and to create a second message, and a transmitting module adapted to send the second message created by the control device. The control device is adapted to operate the transmitting module in one of a plurality of modes including an energy saving mode and an operation mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: James Michael Kiss, Jr., Eric Bruce Moore, Dirk Uebe
  • Patent number: 8418969
    Abstract: A sector gear split into sections for secure engagement around a tripper shaft, allowing the gear to be replaced in less time, by a smaller crew, and with fewer tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Inventors: Anthony Schena, Michael Mason
  • Publication number: 20130015297
    Abstract: Various methods and systems are provided for a crossing equipment controller. In one embodiment, a method comprises prior to a vehicle entering a diverging zone, calculating a travel time until the vehicle at a determined position would reach a crossing based on one or more vehicle conditions, and in response to the vehicle entering the diverging zone, updating the travel time with a time-based countdown.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2012
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Inventors: Michael W. Steffen, II, Steven Murphy, Brian Wesley Isaacson, William D. Shields, James B. Strecker
  • Publication number: 20120286103
    Abstract: A method for sensing objects within a rail grade crossing island is described. The method includes transmitting a radar signal into the island from each of a plurality of radar devices such that each portion of the island is monitored by at least two of the radar devices, detecting if an object is in the island based on received signals corresponding to the transmissions associated with at least one of the radar devices, and operating a gate control device associated with the rail grade crossing based on the detections.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2011
    Publication date: November 15, 2012
    Inventor: Thomas N. Hilleary
  • Publication number: 20120248261
    Abstract: A train equipped with an onboard system for determining its position and a track database for determining the positions of upcoming grade crossings sends activate after expiration messages to control wayside warning systems at the crossings to achieve a constant warning time while maintaining a safety margin that ensures the train can be stopped if the wayside systems do not respond correctly to the activate after expiration messages. The system may be used in place of existing track-based crossing warning system control circuits. Communications between the train may be radio-based, and may be direct between the train and wayside devices or may be routed through a central station, which may act as a relay or maintain a database. The train may control multiple crossings at one time, thereby eliminating the need for downstream adjacent crossing control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 1, 2011
    Publication date: October 4, 2012
    Applicant: INVENSYS RAIL CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kevin NICHTER
  • Patent number: 8269654
    Abstract: A flashing beacon may include a signal unit, a control unit associated with the signal unit, a solar panel or collector, and an activation device that may all be mounted or otherwise positioned on a post of a roadway sign. Light units associated with the signal unit may be programmed to flash on and off in a unique wig-wag pattern. Further, a light bar may also be used with the beacon to generate an intense flash of light soon after activation of the beacon as an additional means of grabbing the attention of the operator of a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Inventor: Richard D. Jones