Car-actuated Controller Patents (Class 246/126)
  • Patent number: 11468766
    Abstract: A system includes one or more processors. The one or more processors are configured to receive crossing obstruction information from an optical sensor disposed proximate a crossing of a route traversed by a vehicle, with the crossing obstruction information indicating a presence of an obstruction to the crossing; obtain position information indicating a position of the vehicle traversing the route; determine proximity information of the vehicle indicating proximity of the vehicle to the crossing using the position information; determine a presence or absence of an alert state indicating a potential of the crossing being obstructed using the crossing obstruction information and the proximity information; and perform a responsive activity based responsive to a determination of the presence of the alert state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: Xorail, Inc.
    Inventors: James Lucas, Brad Von Tersch, Mike Kirchner
  • Patent number: 11420659
    Abstract: A traffic control system (100) includes a railroad crossing control system (10) with a constant warning time device (40), a wheel sensing system (120) with a sensor (122) connected to a rail (20a, 20b) of a railroad track (20) at a predetermined position (P), and a communication network (140) interfacing with the railroad crossing control system (10) and the wheel sensing system (120) and adapted to transmit data. The wheel sensing system (120) provides speed values of a rail vehicle travelling on the railroad track (20), wherein the speed values are transmitted to the railroad crossing control system (10) via the communication network (140) for producing a preemption signal for the traffic signal control system (110). Further, a method for providing a preemption signal for a traffic signal control system (110) is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: Siemens Mobility, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Harp, Holger Schmidt
  • Patent number: 10449983
    Abstract: A method for commanding a railway level crossing protection system comprising: a) activating a railway signal preventing a train from driving beyond a level crossing; b) detecting an incoming train approaching the level crossing and measuring a speed of said incoming train; c) calculating a waiting time, as a function of the train's measured speed; d) waiting until expiration of the calculated waiting time and, once said waiting time expires, sending an order to commute the protection system into the protected state; and e) querying the state of the protection system and if said protection system is found to have commuted into the protected state, deactivating said railway signal, and maintaining said railway signal in the activated state otherwise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: Alstom Transport Technologies
    Inventors: Alfonso Matias Lozano-Ovejero, Oscar Martin-Blasco
  • Patent number: 9630635
    Abstract: Systems and methods for detecting train direction and route along a railroad track. The systems and methods use wireless train presence detection sensors such as e.g., magnetometer sensors to detect the presence of the train, and its direction and route along the track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: SIEMENS CANADA LIMITED
    Inventor: Frederick Toshack
  • Patent number: 9550505
    Abstract: A system includes at least one application device, a control unit, at least one detection device, and at least one processor configured to be disposed on-board a vehicle system. The at least one application device is configured to be at least one of conductively or inductively coupled with at least one conductive track of a route traveled by the vehicle system. The control unit is configured to control the at least one application device to electrically inject at least one examination signal into the conductive tracks. The at least one detection device is configured to detect the examination signal passing through a test loop. The at least one processor is configured to identify a failure of the vehicle to adequately shunt electrical signals between the conductive tracks based upon the examination signal detected by the at least one detection device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Joseph Forrest Noffsinger, Jeffrey Michael Fries
  • Patent number: 9026360
    Abstract: A system includes a determination module and a communication module. The determination module is configured to be located onboard a first vehicle configured to travel 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. The determination module is configured to determine, based on a speed of the first vehicle, timing information corresponding to a time at which the first vehicle will travel proximate to the crossing on the first route. The communication module is configured to transmit the timing information to the remote crossing module. The timing information includes a reference time configured as an absolute time corresponding to a time for impeding travel of a second vehicle along the second route through the crossing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey Michael Fries, Jeffrey Baker, Aric Albert Weingartner, Michael Steffen, II, Jesse Lee Herlocker, William Shields
  • Publication number: 20140367526
    Abstract: A system includes a timing determination module configured to be disposed onboard an approaching vehicle system during travel of the approaching vehicle system along a first route toward a crossing between the first route and a second route. The timing determination module is configured to determine one or more arrival times of the approaching vehicle system to reach the crossing and to repeatedly communicate notification messages having the one or more arrival times to a remote crossing system that is configured to activate one or more warning devices disposed at or near the crossing to notify other vehicles on the second route that the approaching vehicle system is approaching the crossing along the first route. The timing determination module is configured to determine the one or more arrival times at different respective locations along the first route as the approaching vehicle system travels toward the crossing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Applicant: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Michael STEFFEN, II, Jeffrey Michael FRIES, Aric Albert WEINGARTNER, William SHIELDS, Sherri BOYD
  • Publication number: 20140191090
    Abstract: A method operates a railway safety system having at least one trackside device while taking into account a measured velocity value recorded when the rail vehicle drives into a switch-on section of the railway safety system. In order to minimize the closing times for a level crossing by such a method, the measured velocity value is used as the basis for checking whether a correction time for forwarding a signal from the one trackside device to an associated railway safety assembly is to be set according to the measured velocity value when the rail vehicle drives into the switch-on section. Thereafter, a set correction time is checked to determine if the set correction time should remain effective according to at least one further influencing variable of the rail vehicle that determines the travel time. A railway safety system for carrying out the method is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2012
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Robert Busse, Thomas Kohlmeyer, Christoph Kutschera, Dominik Lüthe, Jens-Harro Oechsner, Thomas Schmidt, Michael Schulze, Wolfgang Windolf
  • Patent number: 8600591
    Abstract: A control apparatus has a control lever, in particular for controlling a locomotive or a traction vehicle, and a sensor device for detecting an operating position of the control lever. The sensor device has an angle measurement device which is suitable for measuring an adjustment angle of the control lever, forming a digitalized angle value. A measurement range of the angle measurement device is greater than an adjustment angle range of the control lever and an evaluation device is connected to the angle measurement device which determines the operating position of the control lever based on the digitalized angle value of the angle measurement apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Matthias Alexander Weber
  • Publication number: 20130248659
    Abstract: A train detection security system and method include sensor units arranged for being fixed to at least one rail. The sensor units are arranged for detecting a first signal induced by a moving train. Each sensor unit is divided in at least a first chamber and a second chamber, where the first and second chambers are separated by an electromagnetic shield. The first chamber includes a piezoelectric element fixed to an outer wall of said first chamber, and an amplifier. A warning signal is generated in a control system based on the approaching train.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: WAVETRAIN SYSTEMS AS
    Inventors: Fredrik Lingvall, Tron Danielsen
  • Patent number: 8509964
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a remote control system for controlling a railway vehicle. The remote control system including a remote control device for transmitting signals to a first controller module. The first controller is mounted to the railway vehicle and controls and monitors the functions of the railway vehicle. The first controller module also relays information to the remote control device. The remote control system can also include a portable safety switch allowing any individual in proximity to the railway vehicle to send a stop signal to the first controller module to stop the railway vehicle if any unsafe conditions exist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Hetronic International, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Ecton, Torsten Rempe, Max Heckl
  • 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: 8483887
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a remote control system for controlling a railway vehicle. The remote control system including a remote control device for transmitting signals to a first controller module. The first controller is mounted to the railway vehicle and controls and monitors the functions of the railway vehicle. The first controller module also relays information to the remote control device. The remote control system can also include a portable safety switch allowing any individual in proximity to the railway vehicle to send a stop signal to the first controller module to stop the railway vehicle if any unsafe conditions exist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Hetronic International, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Ecton, Torsten Rempe, Max Heckl
  • 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: 8380363
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a remote control system for controlling a railway vehicle. The remote control system including a remote control device for transmitting signals to a first controller module. The first controller is mounted to the railway vehicle and controls and monitors the functions of the railway vehicle. The first controller module also relays information to the remote control device. The remote control system can also include a portable safety switch allowing any individual in proximity to the railway vehicle to send a stop signal to the first controller module to stop the railway vehicle if any unsafe conditions exist.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Hetronic International, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Ecton, Torsten Rempe, Max Heckl
  • Patent number: 8297558
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling a grade crossing warning system employs a track occupancy circuit or other device to detect the presence of a train in the approach to a grade crossing and an indirect indication of a maximum authorized speed of the train in order to determine an amount of time to delay activation of the grade crossing warning system after the train has been detected. The indirect indication is preferably encoded onto a signal associated with the track occupancy circuit, preferably using a frequency shift technique. The indirect indication may be supplied by a wayside signal device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Safetran Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Randy M. O'Dell, Patrick J. Venneman
  • Patent number: 8244456
    Abstract: Methods for validating track databases based on the contents of a geological database. The track database stores a piecewise-polynomial spline as a geometric representation of the track, along with offsets from spline points to represent the geo-locations of features on the track. After the computations associated with the geometric representation are completed and the track database is populated, the geo-locations of features in the track database are checked for consistency with the geo-locations of monuments in the geological database. If the geo-location of a feature in the track database is found to differ by more than a threshold distance from its projected geo-location, as computed from offsets from a monument in the geological database, then corrective action is taken. The illustrative embodiment also enables the validation of data values in the track database and relationships among track features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventor: Charles W. Morris
  • Publication number: 20120138752
    Abstract: A rail line sensing and safety system adapted to reliably sense the presence, and optionally the direction and speed, of vehicles traveling on a rail line, and when a vehicle is sensed, to indicate whether a safety device, such as crossing gates, lights, bells, etc., should be activated. The system comprises at least one detection module typically mounted on a rail, at least one remote module typically located near a detection module, and at least one control module typically located near a safety device. In operation, a detection module senses a vehicle traveling on a rail line and sends signals to a remote module. The remote module then processes signals received from the detection module and transmits signals to the control module. The control module then directs, either directly or indirectly as a backup or supplement to an existing sensing and safety system, whether a safety device should be activated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Publication date: June 7, 2012
    Inventors: Richard C. Carlson, Peter Strezev, Kurt A. Gunther, Marc W. Cygnus
  • Publication number: 20110226909
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling a grade crossing warning system employs a track occupancy circuit or other device to detect the presence of a train in the approach to a grade crossing and an indirect indication of a maximum authorized speed of the train in order to determine an amount of time to delay activation of the grade crossing warning system after the train has been detected. The indirect indication is preferably encoded onto a signal associated with the track occupancy circuit, preferably using a frequency shift technique. The indirect indication may be supplied by a wayside signal device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 17, 2010
    Publication date: September 22, 2011
    Applicant: SAFETRAN SYSTEMS CORPORATION
    Inventors: RANDY M. O'DELL, PATRICK J. VENNEMAN
  • Publication number: 20110133038
    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: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2010
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Inventors: James Michael KISS, JR., Eric Bruce Moore, Dirk Uebe
  • Patent number: 7832691
    Abstract: A system and method that enables trains to rapidly accelerate through grade crossings from station stops or civil speed restrictions is disclosed. In some embodiments, equipped trains and grade-crossing controllers communicate wirelessly to address operational limitations pertaining to the grade crossings. In conjunction with the train's equipment, conventional crossing controllers are augmented with a communications capability and logic to accept commands to operate in a “Prediction” mode or a “Motion-Sensing” mode. The Prediction mode is the default operating mode for conventional constant-warning grade-crossing prediction controllers. The Motion-Sensing mode is an operating mode whereby the crossing is actuated as soon as an approach circuit detects train motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Charles A. Reibeling, Gerhard F. Meyer
  • Patent number: 7575202
    Abstract: Apparatus, methods and a communication system for providing relatively constant warning time at a rail grade crossing for trains with prediction of the approach of a train from a remote controller via rail-based communications to a crossing controller. A first communication signal is generated when a prediction occurs and a second communication signal is generated for slower moving trains, with the second signal temporarily overriding the first signal to provide relatively constant warning time at the crossing. Cancellation timers with timing intervals are used to resolve situations where the train does not enter the approach or where the train leaves by way of a switch or backs out. Directional logic is used to determine the direction of movement of the train and, in conjunction with cancellation timers, causes the warning devices to be activated when the timers expire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: Safetran Systems Corporation
    Inventors: John T. Sharkey, Richard Bamfield, Martin Paget
  • Patent number: 7075427
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a train detection system for detecting the velocity, presence, and direction of a railroad car which may be utilized in existing railroad crossing installations. The train detection system is suitable for self-testing of its components and if an anomaly has been detected, the train detection system is capable of placing the system in a fail-safe state. The train detection system of the present invention is also capable of constant communication between the sensor of said system and the implementing device of the train detection system via a wireless link.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: EVA Signal Corporation
    Inventors: Joseph R. Pace, Joseph A. Pace
  • Patent number: 6218961
    Abstract: A system and method for preventing collisions between vehicles, such as railway vehicles, by exchanging data regarding track position of the vehicles. By use of an on-board track database, the system provides an indication of the distance between vehicles based not on line-of-sight but on track distance. Additionally, a system and method for accurately determining location of railway vehicles without the use of a network of trackside indicators. The disclosed system uses a gyro, position indicator, and a satellite position determination along with a track database to maintain highly accurate estimates of measurement errors and track position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: G.E. Harris Railway Electronics, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Eric Gross, Anthony J. Guarino, Scott Easterling, Ernest Peek, Charles L. Zahm, Leonard R. Reinhart, Michael S. Gottfried
  • Patent number: 6195020
    Abstract: A system and method which can detect the presence of a vehicle within the protected area of a four gate railroad crossing, determine its location and direction it is moving in, and open an appropriate exit gate to allow the vehicle to escape prior to the arrival of a train at the crossing. The system has a series of magnetometer sensors suitably placed in the crossing to detect the presence of a vehicle. The sensors are connected to a controller which analyzes readings from the sensors. Upon the approach of a train, the controller, based on analysis of readings from the sensor, determines if a vehicle has become entrapped and determines which exit gate must be opened or should remain open to allow the entrapped vehicle to escape. The system also has self test capabilities as well as the ability to continuously update, when no vehicles are present, a baseline reading of the ambient magnetic condition of the crossing area, which baseline the controller uses in analyzing data from the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: 3461513 Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Ronald E. Brodeur, Sr., Clifford J. Bader, Charles S. DeRenzi, Eugene Mullin
  • Patent number: 5924652
    Abstract: A reliable and consistent electrical contact path between the rails of a section of railroad track established by the shunting effect of the wheels and axles of a train is ensured by applying time-spaced, short duration electrical pulses to the rails at a voltage level sufficient to overcome poor wheel/rail contact. Each of the pulses is produced by a generator that discharges a capacitor across the rails. The narrow pulse width inductively isolates the pulse generator and associated track section from adjacent stretches of track, and the spacing between pulses further avoids interference with other types of electrical track equipment. A detector responsive to the voltage on the rails disables the pulse generator when the received voltage exceeds a threshold and thus indicates that no train wheels are present in the track section. In a grade crossing warning system, once activated the pulse generator and detector assume the role of the island detection circuit and maintain the crossing warning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Harmon Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Forrest H. Ballinger
  • 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: 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: 5464176
    Abstract: A shunting device used on railroad maintenance vehicles, such as pickup trucks and other maintenance vehicles, for transmitting electrical signal through railroad tracks for operating signalling devices and notification to the dispatcher. The shunting device consists of a backing plate for attaching the device to the vehicle, an insulator block to electrically isolate the shunting device from the vehicle, a mounting plate for attaching the shunting device to the insulator block and providing height adjustment, a shock tube attached to the mounting plate, a brush support slidable within the shock tube, a biasing mechanism to provide an outward bias to the brush support, a clamping device attached to the brush support, a brush make with a plurality of wire cable secured and held in position within the clamping device, and an electrical connection on the brush support for electrically connecting the shunting device to a signal generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Inventor: Michael J. Kruse
  • Patent number: 5429329
    Abstract: A robotic vehicle (10) is shown with conventional train flanged wheels (11) riding upon common railroad tracks (12). The body (13) of the vehicle encloses a conventional diesel electric power unit (14) with speed characteristics comparable to the train it precedes. The power unit (14) is controlled by a computer program, but has remote control override provisions in the software as directed by the engineer in the locomotive cab following the robotic vehicle (RV). The RV (10) has a television camera (15) viewing the track ahead and a transmitter (16) for sending the video signal to the locomotive cab's TV monitor (17)/video cassette recorder (18). The range and power of the electromagnetic wave exchange directly between the RV and cab will be low power broadcasts and signal frequencies as assigned by the FCC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Inventors: Charles C. Wallace, Charles P. Swanson
  • Patent number: 5178349
    Abstract: An improved railroad signal system is described in which a train is allowed to approach a block even if a red light is activated for the block. A white numbered light is activated indicating the maximum permissible speed of the train. The system includes a home clearing relay and a station timing relay which are activated by two separate circuits thereby eliminating a wire loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: Comstock Group, Inc.
    Inventor: Dominick Marengo
  • Patent number: 5170970
    Abstract: A reliable and consistent electrical contact path between the rails of a railroad track established by the shunting effect of the wheels and axles of a train is ensured by applying an alternating current signal to the rails at a voltage level sufficient to overcome poor wheel/rail contact and cause a wetting current to flow between the rails. This likewise provides a current path for railroad control and communication signals, such as the island circuit signal of a grade crossing warning system. The effective range of the wetting current signal is limited by providing the signal with a frequency of 10 KHz or higher to inductively isolate the signal source and associated stretch of track from any shunts beyond that stretch. To avoid interference with other types of electronic track equipment, the signal is applied only when required. In grade crossing warning systems, it is controlled in a fail-safe manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1992
    Assignee: Harmon Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Forrest H. Ballinger
  • Patent number: 5098044
    Abstract: Highway crossing protection equipment which operates warning lights or crossing gates is controlled from the train locomotive which enters into an interchange of messages via a radio link with the controller at the crossing. If communication is not established before the train reaches a safe braking distance, the brakes are applied and the train is not permitted to travel into the crossing. Communications between the train and the crossing controller is initiated by the locomotive when it passes a trackside beacon transponder located beyond a safe braking distance from the crossing. The crossing controller transmits a message addressed to the train acknowledging the receipt of the train signal. The message from the crossing controller causes the train to send a subsequent message within a minimum time which is used to update a timer (a minimum time) for the crossing to be actuated to its safe condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Assignee: General Railway Signal Corporation
    Inventors: William A. Petit, John W. Parker, Zalmai Shahbaz
  • Patent number: 5092544
    Abstract: Highwasy crossing protection equipment which operates warning lights or crossing gates is controlled from the train locomotive which enters into an interchange of messages via a radio link with the controller at the crossing. Communications between the train and the crossing controller is initiated when the locomotive passes a trackside beacon transponder located beyond a safe braking distance from the crossing. The crossing controller transmits a message addressed to the train acknowledging the receipt of the train signal. The interchange of messages can be repeated a plurality of times; each time the minimum time being updated so that traffic flow across the crossing is handled efficiently with minimum interference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1992
    Assignee: General Railway Signal Corp.
    Inventors: William A. Petit, John W. Parker, Zalmai Shahbaz
  • Patent number: 5054722
    Abstract: A device that attaches to a pneumatic tired convertible rail highway vehicle for the purpose of shunting electrical current of railroad tracks so that the current will actuate signaling devices. The shunt mechanism is actuated by raising and lowering the guide. No other actuation is needed. The shunt mechanism is located between the road wheel and the rail wheel. A wire or carbon brush makes electrical contact and closely follows the guide wheel. The shunt mechanism is mounted on shafts allowing adjustment for the gauge of the track. A reinforcing bar prevents radial twisting of the carbon or wire brush. A spring provides a light constant tension against the carbon or wire brush to insure electrical contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1991
    Assignee: Bartel Welding Shop
    Inventors: James R. Bartel, Dennis S. Lusk
  • Patent number: 4942395
    Abstract: A three-piece, compact wireless railroad grade crossing motorist warning device comprising: a locomotive mounted transceiver which simultaneously communicates (upon close proximity) with a similar transceiver mounted at railroad grade crossing, and motor vehicles equipped with sympathetic receivers. Upon signal receipt verification, the grade crossing transceiver emits a coded radio signal to local motoring public sympathetic receivers. Upon signal reception, an audio/visual alert is presented to the motor vehicle operator, alerting the motor vehicle operator to the locomotive-occupied railroad crossing. Additionally, a contact verification display is displayed to the operator of the locomotive, upon activation of the grade site transceiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 17, 1990
    Inventors: John S. Ferrari, Dale C. Sommers
  • Patent number: 4613103
    Abstract: A model railroad crossing bell and flasher employs spaced photocell detectors along the model railroad track. A comparator receives the photocell detector output signals and upon detecting a train shadow provides power to a first oscillator which actuates a pair of light emitting diodes in alternate sequence. Simultaneously, the first oscillator provides power to a second oscillator of a different frequency than the first oscillator. The second oscillator attenuates the first oscillator output signal to create a ringing sound through a loud speaker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1986
    Assignee: David B. Lellinger
    Inventor: Benjamin Waranowitz