Control Circuits Patents (Class 246/219)
  • Patent number: 9321469
    Abstract: A system and method provides for expanded monitoring and control of a railroad wayside interlocking system that monitors a plurality of track side and train systems and controls a plurality of train and track control devices with a primary control panel system communicating with the interlocking system over a first communication interface and with a remote control panel over a second communication interface, receiving interlocking status messages for visually displaying a current status state of the monitored systems, replicating the received interlocking status messages, determining a current status state for the control devices, communicating replicated interlocking status messages or the determined current status state over the second communication interface to one or more remote control panel systems, and receiving requests from the one or more remote control panel systems, which are then transmitted to the wayside interlocking system by the primary control panel system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: QuEST Rail LLC
    Inventor: Gregory K. Hann
  • Patent number: 9090269
    Abstract: A key lock which can be used particularly flexibly and cost-effectively has a communication device for wire-free linking of the key lock to an actuating mechanism. The key lock further has a cable-independent power supply device for autonomously providing the electrical power required for extended operation of the key lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Olaf Vogt, Wolfgang Windolf, Peter Ziegler
  • Publication number: 20150102178
    Abstract: A model train control system providing a more realistic modeling of the movement, sound, smoke, and lighting effects of a model train is disclosed. A number of dynamic inputs are used to control such effects. Novel features include providing a dynamic variable speed compensator, a dynamic engine load calculator, automatic dynamic momentum, an adjustable train brake, spectrum control, a velocity controller, pressure sensitive effects, a voice activated dispatcher system, a train location and information reporter network, two digit addressing, a traffic control system, accessory control, a model train Central Control Module, and removable memory modules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Applicant: Lionel LLC
    Inventors: Louis G. Kovach, II, Neil Young, John T. Ricks, Mark E. Ricks
  • Publication number: 20140138495
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of controlling a load in a railway signaling system, the method comprising providing a first autonomous controller connectable to the load and a second autonomous controller which is redundant with the first controller such that there is no single point of failure; operating the first and second controllers in one of two modes. There is an on-line mode wherein both controllers provide power to the load to control the load such that current through the load is shared between the first and second controllers. There is an off-line mode wherein a single controller does not provide power to the load and the other controller continues to operate on-line to control the load, whereby control of the load is uninterrupted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2014
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Thales Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Virgil Lostun, Abe Kanner, Sergio Mammoliti, Cameron Fraser
  • Patent number: 8706328
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to ground transportation systems, and more particularly to a fixed guideway transportation system that achieves a superior ratio of benefits per cost, is lower in net present cost and thus more easily justified for lower density corridors, and can provide passenger carrying capacities appropriate for higher density corridors serviced by mass rapid transit systems today. According to certain aspects, the present invention increases traffic densities by removing fixed obstacles such as track switches. In embodiments, this is achieved by providing vehicle-based switching mechanisms that interoperate with corresponding track structures to allow vehicles to switch tracks without any moving components on the track itself. According to further aspects, the invention provides a method of operating vehicle-based switching mechanisms that comply with safety requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Cybertrain International, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene Iwao Nishinaga, Kevin Kohei Nishinaga, Mark Lee
  • Patent number: 8668170
    Abstract: Disclosed is a railway signaling system for controlling a load. In accordance with the teachings of this invention, the system comprises a first autonomous controller and a second autonomous controller which is redundant with the first controller, each controller connectable to the load such that there is no single point of failure. The first and second controllers operable in either an on-line mode wherein both power outputs provide power to the load or an off-line mode wherein a single power output does not provide power to the load. On-line controllers monitor current therethrough. When both controllers are on-line, the current between the two controller is imbalanced up to a threshold limit, if the threshold limit is exceeded by one controller, that controller will go off line, and if the first controller is off-line and the second controller is on-line, the second controller monitors output voltages of the off-line controller to ascertain that the output voltages are zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Thales Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Virgil Lostun, Abe Kanner, Sergio Mammoliti, Cameron Fraser
  • Publication number: 20130206924
    Abstract: A key lock which can be used particularly flexibly and cost-effectively has a communication device for wire-free linking of the key lock to an actuating mechanism. The key lock further has a cable-independent power supply device for autonomously providing the electrical power required for extended operation of the key lock.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2011
    Publication date: August 15, 2013
    Applicant: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Olaf Vogt, Wolfgang Windolf, Peter Ziegler
  • 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: 20120325981
    Abstract: Disclosed is a railway signaling system for controlling a load. In accordance with the teachings of this invention, the system comprises a first autonomous controller and a second autonomous controller which is redundant with the first controller, each controller connectable to the load such that there is no single point of failure. The first and second controllers operable in either an on-line mode wherein both power outputs provide power to the load or an off-line mode wherein a single power output does not provide power to the load. On-line controllers monitor current therethrough. When both controllers are on-line, the current between the two controller is imbalanced up to a threshold limit, if the threshold limit is exceeded by one controller, that controller will go off line, and if the first controller is off-line and the second controller is on-line, the second controller monitors output voltages of the off-line controller to ascertain that the output voltages are zero.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: THALES RAIL SIGNALLING SOLUTIONS INC.
    Inventors: Virgil Lostun, Abe Kanner, Sergio Mammoliti, Camerson Fraser
  • Publication number: 20120325980
    Abstract: A communication system includes an electronic component located at a wayside device positioned along a route of a rail vehicle and a router transceiver unit operably coupled to the electronic component. The router transceiver unit is conductively coupled to a power supply conductor that supplies electric current to power at least one of the electronic component of the wayside device or an electronic apparatus other than the electronic component. The router transceiver unit is configured to communicate network data with a remote location through the power supply conductor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2011
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Inventors: Joseph Forrest Noffsinger, Glenn Shaffer, Jeffrey Fries, Jared Cooper
  • Patent number: 8289734
    Abstract: An output apparatus includes a first source of a first signal having a first state or a different second state; a second source of a second signal having a first state or a different second state; and a circuit structured to output a vital output including a first state when the first state of the first signal corresponds to the first state of the second signal and, otherwise, including a different second state. At least one of the first signal and the second signal is a static signal. The other one of the first signal having the first state and the second signal having the first state is a dynamic signal. When at least one of the first signal has the different second state of the first signal and the second signal has the different second state of the second signal, the vital output includes the different second state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Ansaldo STS USA, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Brown, John E. Lemonovich, James C. Werner, William J. Moltz, Lawrence A. Weber, William A. Sharp
  • Patent number: 8051777
    Abstract: In one embodiment of the present disclosure, a switch for a powered pallet conveyor is provided. The switch comprising (a) a turntable and (b) rail portions which are arranged upon the turntable and define at least a first travel pathway and a second travel pathway, whereby the first travel pathway is defined by straight rail portions and a second travel pathway is defined by curved rail portions, so that the central line of the first travel pathway and the departure lines of the second travel pathway respectively pass through the fulcrum of the turntable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Rofa Rosenheimer Forderanlagen GmbH
    Inventor: Andreas Weissbrodt
  • Patent number: 8019497
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Publication number: 20110172856
    Abstract: A train control system, including: a communication device associated with at least one control unit located on a first train; and a communication device associated with at least one control unit located on a second train; wherein at least one of the control units of the first train and the second train is configured to: (i) receive, at the associated communication device, an authority signal including data sufficient to identify one of the first train and the second train as a lead train and the other of the first train and the second train as a follower train; (ii) establish at least one peer-to-peer communication link between the communication devices of the lead train and the follower train; and (iii) exchange train data between the lead train and the follower train via the at least one peer-to-peer communication link. An on-board control unit is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2010
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Applicant: Wabtec Holding Corp.
    Inventor: Robert C. Kull
  • Publication number: 20110155863
    Abstract: A method and a device operate a railroad security system having trackside devices for specific functions. In order to reduce the number of cable connections, control of a first trackside device is provided by a data message generated as required by a second trackside device, in particular a signal box, the data message being transmitted wirelessly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2009
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Applicant: SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
    Inventors: Klaus Basso, Christoph Kutschera, Thomas Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20110095138
    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: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Publication date: April 28, 2011
    Inventors: Anthony Schena, Michael Mason
  • Patent number: 7818101
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Patent number: 7810761
    Abstract: A method for controlling a model railroad stationary switch machine comprising sensing whether a train occupies a main track section near a track switch that connects between said main track section and at least two diverging track sections. An automatic switch control function for the track switch is inhibited in response to sensing that a train occupies the main track section near the track switch when a train is determined to be approaching the track switch on at least one of the diverging track sections. In addition, a method is provided for controlling a model railroad track switch comprising changing a position of the track switch, and automatically returning the track switch to a home position after expiration of a time interval following the changing of the track switch position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2010
    Inventors: Anthony R. Parisi, Larry Maier
  • Patent number: 7792616
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Patent number: 7751952
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency
  • Publication number: 20100163688
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an apparatus for switching a vehicle from a first track to a second track. The track-switching device may be rotated by a motor, and may have a drive axle and a primary axle. The drive axle may have a barrel located at one end of the drive axle, the barrel having a plurality of switch tracks located thereon and a braking assembly connected to the drive axle and spaced from the barrel. The primary axle may have a flywheel and a clutch assembly. The drive axle may then be driven by the primary axle upon engagement of the clutch assembly via the motor and the energy stored in the flywheel. A method for switching a vehicle from a first track to a second track is also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2008
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventor: Steven C. BLUM
  • Patent number: 7747362
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2010
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Patent number: 7657348
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Publication number: 20090308985
    Abstract: A switch machine that includes a first relay having first normally open contacts and first normally closed contacts provided in the normal motor connection path and a second relay having second normally open contacts and second normally closed contacts provided in the reverse motor connection path. The normally open and closed contacts of each relay are associated in pairs and the first relays are structured such that each normally closed contact and the corresponding normally open contact cannot be simultaneously closed. Also, a method of protecting a motor of a switch machine that includes integrating a current being drawn by the motor and opening a motor circuit that includes the motor if the integrated current exceeds a threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 18, 2008
    Publication date: December 17, 2009
    Applicant: Union Switch & Signal, Inc.
    Inventor: RAYMOND C. FRANKE
  • Patent number: 7596433
    Abstract: A system for computing car switching solutions in a railway switch yard. The system is computer based and has an input for receiving data conveying information about one or more arrival trains arriving at the switch yard and data conveying information about departure trains to depart the switch yard. A processing entity processes the data and computes car switching solutions for the railcars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2009
    Assignee: Canadian National Railway Company
    Inventors: Kari Muinonen, Anshu Pathak, Matthew Barker, Vincent Morency, Gordon Doyle
  • Patent number: 7577502
    Abstract: A vital proximity detection mechanism and method for reliably determining and communicating the position of a railroad switch point relative to a normal fixed track and a reverse fixed track, wherein the mechanism includes substantial component redundancy and fault-checking features and otherwise meets promulgated safety standards for vital componentry. The mechanism includes an RF transmitter and remote status indicator unit to allow for remote adjustments of proximity sensors while monitoring the effects of such adjustments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2009
    Assignee: J & A Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: William L. Henry, Stephen V. Kilgore
  • Publication number: 20080272247
    Abstract: The invention provides a railroad switch for use in un-signaled (dark) territory. It is emphasized that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2008
    Publication date: November 6, 2008
    Inventors: Donald Coy Beamon, John Calvin Posey
  • Patent number: 7441727
    Abstract: An electronic controller for a highway-railroad grade crossing warning system is coupled to an approach circuit and to an island circuit and activates a warning device when a train is present in either of the approach or the island circuits. The controller has a display with touch-sensitive fields for selectively taking the approach circuit or island circuit out of service. Additional touch-sensitive fields on the display may be used for selecting the amount of time that the approach or island circuits remain out of service and for confirming that the maintainer wishes to take the these circuits out of service. Service is automatically restored upon expiration of the selected amount of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Safetran Systems Corporation
    Inventors: John T. Sharkey, Richard Bamfield
  • Patent number: 7416159
    Abstract: A wirelessly controlled railroad switch designed for uses in a dark territory. The switch is configured to operate without the use of vital communications links to a central location, or requiring a central dispatching system or requiring a vital processor such that the wirelessly controlled railroad switch maintains its status as a railroad switch in a dark territory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Inventors: Donald Coy Beaman, John Calvin Posey, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7328872
    Abstract: An integrated controller system for use with existing railroad model accessories and operating cars comprises a miniaturized receiving device having a pulse recovery circuit, a micro-controller decoder circuit, an output driver circuit, and a specialized power distribution circuit. The integrated controller system is adapted for remote programming and control by an existing remote control. Features include remote assignment of programmable voltage and pulse duration, specialized power distribution to sustain brief power interruptions, an integrated antenna for ease of installation, remote programmability for ID and class assignment, Soft Set Technologyâ„¢, field upgradeable firmware, and very small size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2008
    Inventor: Jon F. Zahornacky
  • Patent number: 7212957
    Abstract: A software tool and an electronic interface facilitate model railroaders in initiating, monitoring and directing the path trains (i.e. engine and rail cars) will traverse on the model layout. The software tool and an electronic interface are connected to one of the I/O ports of a computer. The display presented on the computer monitor will mimic the model railroad layout depicting each track turnout with a red or green path. The green path depicts the selected path through the turnout while the red path is the deselected path. With all turnouts displayed simultaneously the condition of the layout relative to train movement can be seen at once by following the green paths. To change the path through a turnout, the user places the cursor on the representation of the turnout on the computer display and performs a left mouse button click. The software will recognize the particular turnout selected and cause a momentary actuating signal to be sent to the tracks turnout motor through the electronic interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Assignee: Ez Switch Corp.
    Inventor: Clifton A. Rau
  • Patent number: 7140577
    Abstract: A system for remote control of an electrically operated railroad wayside equipment having a power supply for powering the wayside equipment. a central controller provides central control signals. A transmitter associated with the controller receives the control signals and transmits communications signals corresponding to the control signals. A remote equipment controller controls operation of the wayside equipment in response thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2006
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Samuel R. Mollet, Joseph Noffsinger, David M. Davenport, John E. Hershey
  • Patent number: 6597137
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for transmitting a control signal to a vehicle which is driven using an electrical drive current which is fed into a traction current conductor at a drive current feed point. In order to ensure that the transmission of the control signal is very largely unaffected by interference frequency components included in the drive current, according to the invention one current sensor, which is located outside the line section, is used to receive the control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Gerd Griepentrog, Reinhard Maier, Peter Priebe, Egid Schneider
  • Patent number: 6366041
    Abstract: A motor control apparatus for a reversible motor of a railway switch machine includes a conditional power source having an output voltage. A motor control circuit includes inputs for inputting the voltage from the power source, inputs for inputting a normal signal and a reverse signal, two output terminals for electrical connection to two input terminals of the reversible motor, and a relay logic circuit including a pair of double pole, double throw relays. The contacts of these relays: (a) output the voltage to the two output terminals in response to the normal signal, (b) output an inverted polarity of the voltage to the two output terminals in response to the reverse signal, and (c) short the two output terminals in response to absence of both of the normal and reverse signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert P. Bozio, Raymond C. Franke
  • Patent number: 6062514
    Abstract: A railway switch circuit controller has a housing enclosing a laterally movable platform with a first and second target affixed thereupon. A first and second proximity sensor within the housing is positioned to detect the first and second target, respectively, such that the proximity sensor upon detection of the respective target may provide a signal. The platform is connected to a point detector connecting rod of a railway switch, thereby to be movable relative to the movement of the point detector connecting rod. In a first preferred embodiment, the platform may be cooperatively engaged with a rotational drive shaft that is connected to the point detector connecting rod, thereby to move laterally when the drive shaft is rotated by lateral movement of the rod. In the first preferred embodiment, the first and second proximity sensor may be fixed within the housing and the first and second target may be adjustable laterally within the platform towards and away from the other target, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Union Switch & Signal, Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin M. McQuistian
  • Patent number: 6039291
    Abstract: A control system for use with a toy train system having a layout area including a track upon which a toy train runs includes a system component configured to operate within the toy train system and having a plurality of selective operative states. A control device remote from the system component is configured to emit a limited width visible light signal responsively to activation by an operator. A receiver mechanism is disposed in operative communication with the system component. The receiver mechanism is configured to receive the signal and to distinguish the signal from ambient light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Inventor: Robert A. Dobson, IV
  • Patent number: 5590856
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for directing the movement of a train around a model railroad track having one or more turn-outs activated by at least two separate arming signals. Each signal is linked to a specified direction of the turn-outs such as straight, curve right, or curve left. The arming signal is sent to all turn-outs on the railroad track but only the turn-out which the train is approaching is toggled to a position corresponding to the arming signal. All turn-outs over which the train is moving at the time the arming signal is sent are disarmed to prevent the train from derailing due to the toggling turn-out. Proximity-selection switches may also be used for slot-car operation or for city or highway vehicles which are part of a model or miniature diorama within the model railroad layout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Inventors: Patrick A. Quinn, Frederick E. Severson
  • Patent number: 5551653
    Abstract: If a vehicle fitted with a head station is to be mechanically and electrically coupled to other vehicles, attention must be paid to the alignment of the vehicles and the coupling condition of the high frequency plugs interconnecting the vehicles. In order to reduce the labor and time required in the high frequency coupling of the vehicles, each vehicle, except for the one with the head station, is fitted with a vehicle station which is connected to the ends of the vehicles via paired high frequency lines by plug-in components. Before the high frequency signals are switched through in a vehicle, the vehicle station checks whether there is a high frequency signal and whether or not the plugs are coupled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Eberhard Friebe, Matthias Moritz, Sepp Schoenbacher
  • Patent number: 5492290
    Abstract: An electronic control system for model railroads incorporates electronics which "arms" all railroad track switch turn-outs (here after referred to as "turn-outs") at once, selects and toggles the state of a specific turnout by the approach of a model train directly after arming, and "disarms" all the turnouts at once when the selected turnout has operated. A variation of this method is also applied to model railroad electric uncoupler track sections or automatic unloader track sections to arm, select, operate and then disarm any desired track section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: QS Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick A. Quinn, Frederick E. Severson
  • Patent number: 5226619
    Abstract: An electrically-controlled actuating mechanism comprises a length of shape memory wire. A source of electrical current passes electricity through the shape memory wire and a voltage regulator controls the voltage applied to the wire. The actuating mechanism is particularly advantageous as an actuator for a model railway track switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1993
    Inventor: Robert E. Alger
  • Patent number: 5050823
    Abstract: A switch machine operates a track switch under radio control via a switch controller. The switch controller may be given an identifying address unique to it which distinguishes the switch machine from other switch machines in the railway territory. In addressing or programming the switch machine, a portable terminal is used. The controller is enabled by a manually actuable switch to accept identifying addresses which is stored in electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM). Whenever a message is received over the radio link, the identifying address is read out of memory. In order that the identifying address is vital (fail-safe) and to guard against any errors which change the identifying address and which can cause the controller to effectuate operation of the track switch in front of an oncoming train or when the train is over the switch, the address is stored in the EEPROM by encoding the identfying address into unique multi-bit check words.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1991
    Assignee: General Signal Corporation
    Inventor: John W. Parker
  • Patent number: 4407072
    Abstract: A system for detecting a thin wheel flange and condition and a loose wheel condition of railroad wheels includes relatively movable contacts actuated by the passing wheels and triggering switches when the contacts move together into a spacing less than a predetermined flange thickness. Opposing contact arms bearing against back faces of the rims of the opposing wheels are interconnected for detecting a loose wheel condition upon the closing of an electrical circuit including microswitches and electrical contacts which close when the opposing wheels are spaced less than a predetermined distance apart.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1983
    Assignee: Southern Railway Company
    Inventor: Paul T. Hoskins, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4355776
    Abstract: A track switch assembly for toy electrically operated railroad trains comprising a plastic base having the usual main and branch lines and switch point arrangement therefor, in which the inside rails and the power rails of the main and branch lines are interrupted and have mounted in the interruptions a main line continuity rail structure and a branch line continuity rail structure that are electrically insulated for separate energizing and that are shaped for continuous electrical energy supply as the locomotive and cars one by one pass through the switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 1980
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1982
    Inventor: Carl N. Rydin
  • Patent number: 3963203
    Abstract: Trains approaching the junction switch for two converging rail lines are detected by separate approach relays which repeat one or more track sections along each approach line. Each approach relay is reset when the train from the corresponding branch, as designated by switch correspondence relays, occupies the switch detector track section. The approach relays control the position of a magnetic stick sequencing relay. The reset of each approach relay by switch section occupancy assures the alternate positioning of the sequencing relay when successive trains simultaneously approach on both branches. The sequencing relay position selects a corresponding interlocking route relay which prepares and initiates the establishment of the route over the junction switch for the next train. Since the sequencing relay alternately operates to each of its positions, the route relays are alternately selected and trains thus alternately move from each approach branch line into the single track.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1975
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1976
    Assignee: Westinghouse Air Brake Company
    Inventor: Frank T. Pascoe