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Патент USA US2135497

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NOV. 8, 1938.
Q_ s. HELD
2,135,497
TRACK CIRCUIT FOR RAILWAY SIGNALING SYSTEMS
Filed April 28, 1934
3 Sheets-Sheet l
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K
INVEN
ATTORNEY
Nov. 8, 1938.
Q_ s HELD
2,135,497
'TRACK CIRCUIT FOR RAILWAY SIGNALING SYSTEMS
Filed April 28, 1934
3 Sheets-Sheet 2"l
572
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BY
2X4/ 44 ‘m
ATTORNEY
NOV., 8, 1938.
y o, sA HELD
2,135,497
TRACK CIRCUIT FOR RAILWAY SIGNALIING SYSTEMS
File@ April 28, 1934
_ _?
5 Sheeìs-Sheet 3
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68
FIGÄ.
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72
76
AP
AC
ATTORNEY
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Patented Nov. 8, y1938
2,135,497
.UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
TRACK CIRCUIT
Foa-RAILWAY SIGNALING
sYs
TEMs
’
-
Oscars. Field, Rochester, Ñ, Y., assigner to
General Railway Signal Company, Rochester
'
N. Y.
v Application' April 2s, uns,l serial No. '122,934
3o clama (ol. zkt-_41)
This invention relates in general to railway
signaling track circuits, and more particularly
to means for maintaining a constant energiza
tion of a track relay associated with such a track
throughout the time in which a train is occupy
ing the associated track section.
,
Other objects, purposes and characteristic fea
tures of the invention will be obvious as the de
circuit regardless of changes in leakage cur
scription thereof progresses, during which ref
rent between the track rails. This application erences will be made to the accompanying draw
is a continuation in part of my prior applica
ings, which diagrammatically show the inven
tion Ser. No. 703,775 .mod December 23, 1933,- tion ina manner to make it easily understood,
now abandoned in favor ot lthis application.
rather’than with the view of showing the par
A normally energilod track circuit includes ticular ,construction preferably employed in prac
10
a relay energized when the track section is un
tice, and in which:--`
~
~
occupied by current flowing >through the track
Fig. 1 shows in a diagrammatic and conven
rails in series, and it is necessary to adjustthis tional> manner a preferred form of the present
normal energizing current in the track relay to invention as applied to a conventional track
a comparatively low value in order to permit a circuit.
_
l
15
train occupying the track section to divert suili
Fig. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of a por
cient current through the wheels and axles tion of the device shown in Fig. 1..
shunting the track rails to reduce this energiz
Fig. 3 shows a modified form of the present
ing current in the track relay to a degree so as invention and also as applied in another man
~
'
to release its armature. The ballast used be 4 ner to a track circuit.
20
tween the rails of such a track circuit permits
a certain amount of leakage current which af
fects the track circuit in the same. manner as a
train shunt, but to a lesser f‘degree. . This leak
„ agecurrent however is notA cfa constant. vvalue
Fig. 4 shows _in~.a diagrammatic manner an
other modified form o1’ the present invention
and also applied in still another manner to a
track circuit.
, Referring to Fig. 1 of the drawings, a section 25
but varies in accordance with the -amount of ' of railway track rails l is shown divided from the
adjacent track by insulated joints 6 to form a
the track circuit current must at times be regu I conventioxial insulatedI track section. A vtrack
lated to compensate for natural changes inbal
relay TR. of the type usually employed to con
last condition' in order to maintain a current trol’block signals (such as signal S) is `iihown 30
value in the track relay which permits reliable connected across the left hand end of this track
operation.
"
section to be normally energized from a suitable
In'view ci the above and other considerations, source. of energy, such as a storage battery B pro
it is proposed in accordance with the present in
vided at the right hand‘end of this track section.
moisture `present in the ballast, and consequently
vention to provide means automatically oper
able to' maintain a constant current in a track‘
relay regardless of changes in values of leakage
current through the ballast from one rail to the
other, but to permit a change in current in the
track .relay which is effected by the entrance of
a train into the associated track section. In
other words, it is proposed to provide a means
which automatically distinguishes between the
changes in current resulting from diiferent
45 causes in a manner to maintain a predetermined
current in a track relay regardless of various
changes in ballast leakage current, but to allow
-55
l A means for automatically varying the amount
of resistance included in series with the battery
B is shown in Fig. 1 as an electro-magnetic actu
5
ating means which may be of substantially the
same construction as shown and described in
Patent No. 1,835,150 granted to O. S. Field, 40
' `
yThis electro-magnetic operating means is
December 8,1931.
shown -in perspective in Fig. 1 as comprising two
pole pieces l and 9 constructed of suitable mag
netic material and shaped as shown to provide
two vertical pole surfaces.y The lower ends of
these pole> pieces I and 9 are suitably ñxed to
oppositeends of a permanent bar magnet Ill to
the current in the track relay to change in re
form a magnetic ileld structurein which the two
sponse to the application or removal of a train vertical pole surfacesl of the pole piece 8 arey of
shunt upon the track section. It is further pro ' one polarity and the two verticalpole‘faces of so
posed to supplement this means for distinguish
the pole piece 9 are of the opposite polarity. It
ing between different current changes by a lock
is of course obvious that. a constantly energized
ing means operable to prevent a change in the electro-magnet may be used in place of the per
condition of such a current regulating means marient magnet I0 shown.
55
2
8,185,407
An amature coacting with this held structure
is provided by a cylindrical core II of magnetic
end of the glass tube 22, and these ends may be
provided with suitable flexible leads for connect
material which is rotatably mounted between the ing to an external circuit, while the other or left
two pole pieces l and 9 by suitable bearings not hand ends of the resistance wire 24 are Joined to
shown. Two sectors I2 and Il of magnetic ma l form a closed circuit. or preferably the winding
terial are attached to opposite ends of the body on each strip 2t may be of a single continuous re
portion of core II by clamping nuts I4, and are sistance wire. A thin strip of insulating material
2l is provided to separate the windings of the two
oppositely positioned on the core II so that vari
ous portions of one sector registers with a ver
tical surface of one pole piece according to the
degree of rotation of the core II, while at the
same time a corresponding portion of the other
sector registers with the opposite vertical surface
of the other pole piece.
A winding I5 is placed around the core II and
may be supported by an insulating shell I4 which
is provided with extending lugs I1 on each end
entering notches Il in each of the pole pieces l
and 9. This supporting means holds the winding
20 I5 out of physical contact with the core II in
strips 22.
A small globule of mercury 24, or other suitable 10
current conducting liquid, is placed within the
glass tube 22. which globule 24 is of a sumcient sise
to electrically interconnect at one place only the
windings on the two triangular strips 2l. The
mercury globule 2l will obviously flow to the low
est point within the glass tube 22, which point
will always be directly beneath the center of the _
core II, and consequently at various positions of
the sector I2, the mercury globule 2l will move
within the glass tube 22 to electrically connect or
order to permit free rotation of the core I I there
in. A means for biasing the amature to a defi
shunt out various left-hand portions of the re
sistance wire 24. In other words, in Fig. l, as the
nite position is necessary in the present applica
tion of this electro-magnetic operating means,
energization of winding Il is increased to actuate
the sector I2 in a counter-clockwise direction.
25 and such a means has for convenience been
shown as a counter-weight Il attached to the
the mercury globule 2l is shifted to a point nearer
the left-hand end of the glass tube 22 thereby
right hand side of the sector I2. It is contem
plated that a spiral spring may be used advan
tageously in biasing this amature arrangement
30 in the place of the counter-weight Il.
The winding Ii is connected directly across the
right hand end of the track rails i as is obvious
shunting the resistance wire 24 of the two strips
22 at a point farther from the extending ends to
in Fig. l, and is energized in accordance with the
interrail potential at that point. This winding
35 I5 is arranged so that the flux produced by ener~
gization thereof is of a polarity forming a pole at
the sector I2 which is opposite to the magnetic
pole produced in the pole piece 9 by the perma
nent magnet I0, thus tending to produce a coun
40 ter-clockwise rotation of the core Il when the
winding I5 is energized. The counter-weight I l
biases the sector I2 toward a position register
ing with the pole piece I, and in Fig. l, the sector
I2 is shown as operated against the biasing eflect
45 of the counter-weight Il to a position approxi
mately midway between its extreme biased and
its extreme operated position in accordance with
an intermediate’ degree of energization of the
winding IB.
The response of the amature arrangement to
an abrupt change in current value in the winding
II is retarded in the present application by a
`short-circuited metallic sleeve 2l. which effects
such retardation in the usual manner by retard
55 ing a rapid change in flux within the core I I. It is
50
obvious that various other means may be em
ployed in the present device in order to allow the
response of the'armature to a gradual change in
current in winding I5, but to prevent an immedi
ate response to an abrupt change.
,
insert more resistance into the external electrical
circuit.
It is contemplated that it will be advantageous
to evacuate the glass tube 22. or to provide a
reduced pressure of an inert gas therdn before
sealingtheglalateachendofthetube 22inthe
usual manner.
The variable resistor thus formed by the re
sistance wire 24 and the mercury globule 20 is
shown in Fig. 1 as inserted in series with the bat
tery B employed to energize the track circuit
shown. A resistor R which is usually employed in
track circuits is also shown in series with the
battery B, which then forma a normally energized
track circuit wherein current supplied by battery
B flows through the dxed resistor R., through the
variable resistor Just described and through the
track rails l in series to normally maintain the
track relay TR. energized.
The winding Il, as previously stated, is con
nected directly across the battery end of the rails
l to thereby actuate the variable resistor in ac
cordance with the interrail potential at this
point. This interrail potential will obviously be
the potential of the battery B minus the sum o1'
the potential drops through the fixed resistor R
and through a portion of the resistance wire 24
which is not shtmted out of the circuit by the mer
cury globule 20. Obviously then if the voltage of
the battery B is substantially constant, the cur
rent in the winding Il will be inversely propor
tional to the current through the resistor R and
The electro-magnetic operating means just de
the resistance wire 24, which current as may be
scribed is herein employed to actuate a means for
seen above causes the difference between the po
varying the resistance of an electrical circuit, and
tential across the winding Il and the potential of
such a. means is shown in Fig. 1 as a substantially
the battery B.
square glass tube 22 having a regular longi
1f the leakage current between the rails l of
Pig. 1 now gradually increases due for example
to increased moisture in the track ballast, the
voltage drop between the source B and the relay
TR tends to exceed a value permitting reliable
operation of the relay TR. but this increased leak 70
tudìnal curvature which is shown as being the
same as the shape of the outward edge of the
sector I2, and is suitably attached to the outer
surface thereof by means not shown in a manner
70 to be rotated by the sector I2. Two triangular
strips 23 of insulating material are fitted within
the glass tube 22, and each strip is space-wound
with a suitable resistance wire 24 as is more
clearly shown in Fig. 2. The ends of the resis
tance wire 24 are brought out at the right-hand
`
age current also reduces the voltage across wind
ing Ii due to the increased voltage drop through
resistor R and the resistance wire 24, thereby
reducing the force tending to rotate the sector I2
in a counter-clockwise direction which allows the 75
` 2,135,497
counter-weight I9 to proportionally actuate thev ‘ 3| and 32 with suitable bearings, Shown diagram
sector I2 in a clockwise direction. ` This rotation
matically as fixed members 23 arranged to permit
of the sector I2 in a clockwise direction shifts the
globule of mercury 26 to a position within the
glass tube 22 which shunts out a greater portion
of the resistance wire 24 and results in an in
vertical movement oi’ the plunger 3U. The ex
treme upper end of the upper rod 3i is provided
with a brake shoe 84 engageable with the lower -5
edge of the sector I2 when the plunger 30 is op
creasedvoltage being applied to the trackrails erated upwardly. The plunger 30 has herein been
' shown as biased toits lower position by gravity,
and obviously to .the track relay TR. It is con
templated that the characteristics of the presentl
10 regulator can be so chosen that this increased
potential is of a value which is effective at the re
/15
lay TR to substantially compensate i'or the grad
ually increased potential drop fromthe source B
to the relay TR, and thereby maintain a substan
tially constant energization of the relay TR re
gardless of gradual» increase inballast leakage
although it is obvious that a spring biasing means
may be found more desirable in practice.
10
The actuating coil 28 of the present locking
means is connected in multiple with the variable
resistor provided by the resistance wire 24 on the
sector I2 in Fig. 1, and is thereby energized at
all times in accordance with the potential drop 15
across this resistance wire 24. When the track
section is unoccupied the resistance inserted into
current.
It is also'obvious that a converse operation ofl
the regulator in Fig. 1 will be produced for ex
20I ample by reduced moisture in the track ballast
causing a gradual reduction in ballast leakage
current, or that is, a reduced ballast leakage cur
rent will increase the voltage across the winding
I5 due to the reduced drop between the battery B
25 and the trackrails. This gradually increased
voltage across the Winding I5 produces a coun
ter-clockwise rotation of the section I2 to move
the mercury- globule~26 to a new position _Within
the tube 22, which newY position `shunts out less
30 of the resistance wire 24 thereby reducing thek
potential applied to the track rails and to the re
layfTR. Likewise, it is contemplated thatwhen
the regulator is arranged as stated above, this re
duction in potential will effect a substantial com
35 pensation for the decrease in potential drop between the source B and the relay TR caused by
the gradual reduction in ballast leakage current.
However, upon entrance of a train into the
track section in Fig. 1, the current supplied by
the battery B is quickly increased to a value
greatly in excess of normal, which results in an
increased voltage drop between the battery B
and the relay TR, thereby reducing the voltage
the track circuits by various amounts of the wire
24 varies inversely in proportion to the current
flowing through the resistance wire 24, which 20
thereby maintains the potential drop thereacross
and the current in coil 28 substantially constant,
but the locking mechanism is so arranged that
this amount of current in coil`28 does not sum
ciently attract the plunger 30 to overcome the 25
force of gravity and engage the brake shoe 34
with ‘the edge oi’ the sector I2.
`
'Upon entrance of a train into the track sec
tion in Fig. 1, the current through the resistance
wirev 24 quickly increases as previously stated,
30
and in as much as the regulator ìdoes not imme
diately respond to this rapid increase in cur
rent, the sector I2 is not immediately actuated
to proportionally decrease the resistance inserted
into the track circuit by the resistance wire 24, 35
and the potential drop across the resistance wire
24 and the current in the lock coil 28 is conse
quently greatly increased.l This increased current
in the coil 28 is now eñective to operate the
plunger 30 upward and engage the brake shoe l40
34 with the lower edge of the sector thus pre
venting any further movement thereof, aswell
as maintaining this increased energization of its
across the relay TR to a point effective to release ‘ own coil 28 until the track section becomes un
occupied.
45 its armature.` The voltage drop between the bat- ‘
It will now be obvious that the regulator shown 45
tery B and the winding I 5 ofthe regulator in
creases at the same time thus reducing the volt
age across the winding I5, but the effectiveness
in Fig. 1 operates to maintain a substantially
constant current in ak track relay regardless of
of this quickly vreduced energlzation of the wind ' gradual'changes in current in the track section
with which the relay is associated, and only op
50 ing I5 to allow a counter-,clockwise rotation of erates to so regulate the current in the track re 50
the armature and decreases the resistance in
` the track circuit is delayed by the short-circuited lay when such changes in track circuit current
are oi’ a gradual nature such as produced by the
sleeve 2| until after the track relay TR has re
leased its armature.
55
l
'
This short-circuited sleeve 2| however can act
to retard the effect of the decrease in voltage
across the winding I5 upon the armature of the
regulator for a short period of time only, which
time is found to be less than »the time in >which
the train may occupy the track section. In or
der to prevent variation of the resistance in the
track circuit throughout the time in which the
track section is occupied, a locking means has
been provided which is effective to maintain a
65 previous position Iof the sector vI2 as long as a
train causes the track rails of the associated sec
tion to be shunted.
'
A rather simple electro-magnetic locking
means has diagrammatically been shown in Fig.
70 l and Fig. 2 as an actuating coil 28 which may
be enclosed in an iron casing 29, as shown in
Fig. 2, with a solenoid plunger 30 positioned in
the center ofthe coil 28 and operable upward
by energization thereof. The plunger 30 may
75 be provided with upper and lower extending rods
effect of changes in weather conditions’vupon the
bal‘ast resistance between the track rails.
l
This distinction between the-rate of change of sa,
current allows a train shunt, which results in a
very rapid change in current ln the track sec- _«
tion, to act in the usual manner to drop the
track relay.> In as much as the present means 80
for distinguishing between the rate of changew in
track circuit current'can be effective for a short- ».
period of time onlyto at times retard a current
regulation which would defeat the lpurpose of
the track circuit, such a distinguishing means' is
herein supplemented by a locking means which,l
is operated during the period of time in_whichf
the regulator is delayed in responding> to rapid
current changes, and is thereafter >effective to
prevent any change in the condition of the regu
lator as long as a train'shunt is effecting the
track circuit.
,
'
In the modified form of the present invention
shown in Fig. 3, the regulating and locking mech
anism is placed at the relay end ofjjthe track'
4
2,135,497
circuit instead of the battery end as in Pig. 1,
and a modified means is shown for energizing
the electro-magnetic lock. The specific means for
regulating the current in the track relay as well
as the electro-magnetic lock is of a considerable
the portion of the resistance rod 4I which is not
shunted by the mercury 44, through the mercury
44 to the base 45, and back to the battery B
through the upper rail of the track circuit and
the usual fixed resistor R1. The left hand ad
different construction in Fig. 3 than in Fig. 1 al- ' jacent track section T1 has a similar circuit en
though the general operation is the same, and
it is desired to be understood that this specific
construction is equally applicable to the track
10 circuit arrangement in Fig. 1, and vice versa.
The regulator shown in Fig. 3 comprising an
actuating coil 35 enclosed by a magnetic casing
36, and actuating a solenoid plunger 31 upward
against a biased spring 35. The lower end of the
plunger 31 is connected by a rod 55 to a rigid
disc 40 which is in turn fixed to the center por
tion of a flexible diaphragm 4i. The outer edges
of the flexible diaphragm 4| are tightly sealed
to a base member 4l by a ring 42 suitably clamped
ergizedby battery 1?»J through resistor R.2 and
series relay SR1, which relay SR1 closes the en
ergizing circuit for signal S1, as indicated dia
grammatically by its front contact 55, when track
section T:1 is occupied. The wires leading from
the regulating and locking means to the track
relay and approach relay have been designated
a. b, c, d and e, respectively.
'I'he actuating coil 55 of the regulator mecha
nisrn is connected in multiple with the track re
lay TR1 as is obvious from the drawings, and
thereto; the base member 43 being hollowed hav
consequently the‘i'orce acting to raise the plunger
31 against the biasing spring Il is in direct
proportion to the degree of energization of the
ing a small space between the lower surface of
the diaphragm 4i and the upper surface of the
increased amount of moisture in the track bal
track relay TR1.
1f for some reason, such as an
base 43.À 'I‘his space beneath the diaphragm 4| is~ last, the potential across the relay TR1 falls be
filled with mercury or other suitable current con
low its normal value, the voltage across the coil
ducting liquid 44, and a small duct 45 in the base
member 43 allows the passage of the mercury 44
35 also decreases a proportional amount, thereby
allowing the biasing spring Il to force the dia
phragm 4I downward which results in raising the
level of the mercury 44 in the glass tube 41 to
from the space beneath the diaphragm 4I
through a small hollow in the base 43 which is
covered by a smaller diaphragm 5l ilxed at its shunt out a greater portion of the carbon re~
30 outer edges to the base member 43 by a suitable sistance rod 4l.
ring 5I; which hollow communicates -with a
This decrease in the length of the carbon rod
second duct 45 leading to the lower end of an .4I which is above the mercury 44 obviously de
upright insulating-tube 41.
creases the resistance inserted thereby into the
It will now be obvious that the relation of the track circuit, and if the characteristics of the
present regulator are properly chosen, this de35 force exerted on plunger 51 by coil 35 to the corn
pression of spring 38 determines the position of creased resistance will be effective to again raise
the diaphragm 4i which in turn determines the the voltage across the track relay TR1 to its nor
amount of the mercury 44 which is forced through mal value. The converse operation of the regu
the ducts 45 and 46 to raise the level of the mer
lator in Fig. 3, or that is, its operation to again
40 cury within the insulating tube 41. A carbon increase the resistance inserted into the track cir
resistance rod 48 is sealed within the insulating cuit by the resistance rod 4l in response to an
. tube 41 by a suitable cap 49 so that the lower increased voltage at the relay end, is now obvious
end of the carbon rod 4l will be submersed in and will not be described in detail.
the mercury filling the lower end of this tube,
However, when a train, in approaching section
45 and obviously as the level of the mercury within T1, enters section T1, the current in the series
the tube 41 changes due to a change in the relay SR1 is suillciently increased to attract its
30
'
40
45
position of the diaphragm 4I, various portions
amature, and thereby energize the locking wind
of this carbon resistance rod 4I will be sub
mersed, or shorted out, to vary the electrical
ing 55 from the battery Bz over an obvious cir
cuit completed by front contact 51 oi' relay SR1.
The energization of winding 35 operates the valve 50
5I downward closing the end of the duct 45 thus
preventing a change in the level of the mercury
44 in the glass tube 41 and consequently pre
venting a change in resistance inserted in the
track circuit by the carbon rod 4I upon the en 55
trance of the train into the track section T’.
50 resistance between the upper cap 4I of the car
bon rod~and the mercury within the tube 41.
The locking mechanism in Fig. 3 comprises a
rod 52 extending through the center and sealed
to the diaphragm 55 with its lower end shaped to
55 form a valve 53, which when operated down
wardly closes the end of the duct 45 to -thereby
prevent the flow of mercury from the duct 45
into the duct 46. An electro-magnetic means for
operating the rod 52 is shown by a coil 55 enclosed
within an iron casing 5i and coacting with an
armature 51 to operate the rod 52 downward
against abiaslng spring 55.
The track circuit shown in Fig. 3 is of the well
known type in which a series relay SR is employed
65 at the battery end for the purpose of lighting
the signals associated with the next track sec
tion in advance only when a train enters the track
section to increase the current flowing in the
series relay SR sufficiently to attract its arma
70 ture, which is again released by the departure of
the train. This track circuit in section T3 may
be traced from the battery B1, through the series
approach lighting relay SR, through the lower
track rail, through the track relay TR1 to the
75 upper terminal of the resistance rod 45, through
As soon as the train enters section 'P the track
relay TR1 drops, and the energizing circuit for
winding 55 is maintained closed through a back
contact 5I of relay TR1 which is in multiple with
the front contact 51 of relay SR1.
It will now be seen that the regulator in Fig. 3
is enective to maintain a substantially constant
current in the associated track relay regardless
of changes in ballast conditions as long as both
its associated track section and the section im
mediately in the rear thereof are unoccupied.
However, in order not to defeat the purpose of
the track circuit by allowing the regulator to
function in this manner when the section be~ 70
comes occupied, a locking means is energized by
the entrance of an approaching train into the
section immediately in the rear, which locking
means acts to prevent further regulation of the
current in the track relay and permitting normal 75
2,185,497
response of this track relay to the train shunt.
In order to maintain this locked up condition of
the regulator during the occupancy of the track
section associated therewith, the energizing cir
cuit for the locking means is maintained closed
by a back contact of the track relay.
In the modified form of the present invention
shown in Fig. 3, it is not essential that the regu
lator, in itself, distinguishes between a change in
accordance with the voltage across the relay TR3, I
as previously stated, which current in coil AC
10 voltage across the track relay which is due to a
operates to raise the actuating plunger AP against
train shunt from a change due to a change in
ballast leakage current, as the operation of the
regulator in response to a decrease in voltage
caused by a train shunt is precluded by the ener
the compression springs 12, or to relieve the com
pression of the carbon pile variable resistor VR.
In other words, the resistance between the top
11 and the bottom 18 oi the variable resistor will
be varied in raccordance with gradual variations 15
in the voltage across the track relay TR3. The
regulator shown in Fig. 4 then obviously operates
15 gization ot the locking means before the train
actually enters the section associated with such
track relay. However, inasmuch as it is in
tended for the regulator mechanism to respond
to gradual changes only in the energization oi’
to maintain ‘a substantially constant current in
the track relay TR3 regardless >oi’ gradual voltage
20 the track relay, a check on the initial energiza
tion of the locking means may be obtained by
changes thereacross in (the same manner as the 20
providing any conventional means which delays »f
the response of the regulator to abrupt changes
in energization. It is contemplated that the re
25 sponse of the regulator in Fig. 3 to abrupt current
changes may easily be delayed by reducing the
5
The effect oi.' a rapid change in the energiza
tion of the actuating coil AC upon the plunger
AP is retarded in the conventional manner by a
short-circuited metallic washer 19 on the lower
end of the coil AC, or any other well known retarding means may be employed. Current is sup
plied to the windings of the actuating coil AC in
other embodiments of vthe present invention pre
viously described.
-The locking means' for preventing actuation of
the regulator in Fig. 4 during the presence of a
train inthe associated track section comprises a 25
locking cpll LC which may be energized from a
size of the ducts 45 and 46 thereby preventing a local source of energy, such as the storage bat
rapid flow of mercury therethrough, or of course y tery B@ ordinarily employed to energize the right
a means for delaying flux changes may be pro
hand-adjacent track section. A solenoid plung
30 vided in coil 35 in the same manner as in Fig. 1. er LP carried on a non-metallic rod 89 is actu
30
The means for precluding the regulator oper
ated by the energization of the coil LC against a
ation in response to a train shunt in Fig. 3 takes biasing spring 80. The rod 39 may be supported
advantage of the conventional series relay em
in any suitable manner to permit longitudinal
ployed to approach light wayside signals.
movement, such as by the ilexible strips 3i and
35
In the form shown in Fig. 4, a usual insulated 32 held stationary at their lower ends with the
track section is provided with a track relay 'I'ii?i upper ends suitably fixed to opposite ends of the 35
~. normally energized by current flowing through rod 89. 'I'he extreme left hand end of the rod
the rails B8 of the track section in series, which 89 carries a frictional braking shoe 83 engage
current is supplied by the usual track battery B5 ' able with the side of the rod 89 when the actuat
40 with the conventional fixed series resistor R5. A
variable resistor VR is included in series with the
track relay TR3, and this variable resistor may
be of any suitable type but is herein represented
as being of the carbon pile type, which asis well
45 known is made up of carbon discs offering a re
ing plunger LP is attracted, but normally held
out ot engagement therewith by the spring 80.
It is contemplated that, if necessary, the rod
69 may be provided with peripheral serrations or
an abraded surface to offer a better gripping
surface to the frlctional braking member 83.
sistance to the flow of current therethrough which ,
This locking mechanism operates in somewhat 45
varies inversely in accordance with the compres
the same manner as that described in connection
sion of these discs.
with Fig. 1, but in Fig.k 4 the energizing circuit
The compression of the disc oi' the variable for the locking coil LC is controlled through a
50 'resistor VR is shown as automatically controlled back contact 8l of the track relay TR3, so that
by an actuating coil AC connected in multiple a train, in entering the track section associated
with the relay 'I'R3 to thereby be energized in with relay TR1i is effective to quickly decrease
accordance with then voltage thereacross. The the current in the track relay and also the coll
actuating coil AC affects a conventionally ar
AC, but inasmuch as the response of the plung
55 ranged magnetic solenoid plunger AP, which is er AP to this quickly decreased energization of
carried by a non-magnetic rod 69. The rod 89 coil AC is delayed by the washer 19, the track 55
may be supported in any suitable manner to relay TRE* releases its armature before the reg
permit free longitudinal movement, such as by ulator can reduce the resistance inserted into the
flexible strips 10 and 1|, which strips are held track circuit by the variable resistor VR, and
60 stationary at one end with the other end holding the dropping of the track relay then energizes
60
opposite extreme ends of the rod 69 as shown.
The rod 69 is forced downwardly by a com
pression spring 12, the tension o1' which spring
is adjustable by a. screw 13 threaded through a
65 stationary member 1I with the lower end oi' the
screw 13 engaging a washer 15 holding the upper
end of the spring 12. The downward force thus
supplied to the rod 69 is transmitted through a
compression spring 18 to the top 11 of the vari
70 able resistor VR, and inasmuch as the lower
member 18 of the variable resistor VR is station
ary it will be obvious that, disregarding the action
of the plunger AP, the tension of the spring 12
as adjusted by the screw 13 will determine the
75 resistance oi' the carbon pile variable resistor VR.
the locking coil LC to cause the braking mem
ber 83 to prevent further actuation of the rod
69 as long as the train is occupying the asso
ciated track section.
In describing the present invention, attention
has been directed to one specific embodiment 65
thereof, without attempting to point out the var
ious alternate or optional features of construc
tion, or the different organizations or combina
tions that may be employed. For example, it is
contemplated that any one of the speciiic forms»
of regulators and locking means shown inthe
diiïerent modifications of the present invention
may be interchangeably used in any of the dif-ferent track circuit arrangements to form many 75
6
miauw
different combinations which have not herein
been shown or described. It is also contem
plated that a greater safety in track circuit op
eration may be provided in the circuits shown in
Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 by providing a locking means
which is normally energized to permit operation
of the current regulating means and from which
energy is removed upon the approach and/or
presence of a train to prevent operation of the
10 regulating means, and it is considered that the
manner in which the present invention could
be so modiñed would in view of the foregoing
specification be obvious to anyone skilled in the
art.
In other words, the particular embodiment o1'
15
the present invention has been selected to fa
cilitate in the disclosure thereof, rather than to
limit the number of forms which it may assume.
What I claim is:
l. In a track circuit, in combination with an
20
insulated section oi track, a source of electrical
energy connected across one end or the insu
lated section, and a track relay connected across
the other end of the insulated section; regulat
ing means arranged to vary the resistance of the
connections of said track relay to the track rails
and thereby maintain a substantially constant
current in the track relay regardless of gradual
voltage changes thereacross but to permit cur
30 rent changes in the track relay resulting from
relatively abrupt and greater voltage changes
thereacross, and means retaining any condition
of said regulating means while the track relay
is dropped.
35
2. In a track circuit, in combination with an
insulated section of track, a source of electrical
energy connected across one end of the insulated
section, and a track relay connected across the
other end of the insulated section; regulating
means maintaining a substantially constant cur
rent in the track relay regardless of gradual volt
age changes across the insulated section by
varying the resistance in the track relay con
nections, means delaying the response oi’ the
current regulating means to an abrupt and re1
atively large decrease in voltage across the in
sulated section, and means retaining any condi
tion of the current regulating means until the
condition causing said abrupt and relatively large
50
decrease in voltage is removed.
3. A railway signaling track circuit, having in
combination, an insulated track section, a source
of electrical energy connected across a iirst end
of the track section, a track relay and a com
pressible carbon pile resistor connected in series
across the second end of the track section, an
electro-magnetic actuator having slower .acting
characteristics than the track relay and con
nected in multiple with the track relay, means
60 connecting the actuator to the carbon pile re
sistor whereby the carbon pile resistor is var
iably compressed in direct proportion to varia
tions in voltage across the actuator, and an elec
tro-magnetic brake operable when energized
through a back contact of the track relay to pre
vent movement oi the means connecting the ac
tuator to the carbon pile resistor.
i. In a railway signaling track circuit oi' the
class wherein a source of electrical energy is
connected across one end of an insulated track
current regulating means for varying the resist
ance in the track relay connections and thereby
maintaining a substantially normal energizing
current in the track relay regardless of gradual
variations in inter-rail potential at the relay end
,of the track section during an unoccupied condi
tion of the track section, and a locking means
Preventing a change in condition of the current
regulating means when and throughout the time
10
in which the track section is occupied.
5. In'a railway signaling track circuit of the
class wherein a source of electrical energy sup
plies current through an insulated section of
track rails to energize a track relay, the combi
nation of a variable resistor and a iixed resistor
in series between the source of energy and the
rails, an electro-magnetic actuating means con
nected across the track rails at the energy end
of the track circuit and arranged to vary the
resistance of the variable resistor in inverse pro
portion to gradual voltage changes in the track
circuit, means for retarding the response of the
actuating means to an abrupt increase in current
in the track circuit, and means for preventing a
change in resistance of the variable resistor by 25
said actuating means after an abrupt and rela
tively large increase in current in the track cir
cuit and as long as said increased current con
tinues to flow therein.
6. In a railway signaling track circuit of the 30
class wherein a source of electrical energy supplies
current through an insulated section of track rails
to energize a track relay, the combination of a
variable resistor and a fixed resistor in series be
tween the source of energy and the rails, an elec 35
tro-magnetic actuating means arranged to vary
the resistance of the variable resistor in inverse
proportion to gradual increment changes in the
degree oi' the energization thereof, circuit means
whereby the actuating means is energized in pro 40
portion to the current through said variable and
iixed resistors, means for retarding the response
of the actuating means to an abrupt increase in
the energization thereoi', and means for prevent
ing a change in resistance of the variable resistor 45
after an abrupt increase in current of a predeter
mined value greater than any said increment
changes through said variable and fixed resistors
and as long as said abrupt increase in current con
tinues to flow therein.
7. In a railway signaling track circuit, in com
bination with an insulated section of track and a
source of energy energizing a track relay over a
circuit including the rails of the insulated section
of track; automatic regulating means adjacent 55
said track relay for maintaing a substantially con
stant current in the track relay regardless of grad
ual changes in the amount of current supplied by
the source of energy, and locking means for pre
venting any change in condition of the regulating
means when and as long as an abnormal current
is supplied by the source of energy providing such
abnormal current is obtained abruptly and the
amount of change is above a predetermined value.
8. In a railway signaling track circuit of the 65
class wherein a source of electrical energy supplies
current through an insulated section of track rails
to energize a track relay; the combination of an
electro-magnetic regulator arranged to maintain
a substantially constant current in the track relay 70
section and a relay is connected across the other
regardless of gradual changes in inter-rail leak
end thereof to eil’ect the picking up or the drop
ping of the relay in accordance with the respec
tive unoccupied or occupied condition of the
track section by a train, the combination of a
age current in the track circuit, and means actu
ated by the entrance of a train into an adjacent
track section for rendering said regulator ine!
fective.
76
2,135,497
9. In a track circuit regulator, an insulating
vertical tube, a carbon resistance rod within the
vertical tube and connected in the track circuit,
means emitting mercury into the lower end of the
vertical tube, and an electro-magnetic means en
ergized by the track: circuit for varying the
amount of mercury emitted into the vertical tube
to thereby vary the length of the resistance rod
carrying track circuit current, said mercury emit
10 ting means being arranged to retard the response
of the electro-magnetic means to an abrupt
change in track circuit current.
10. In a track circuit current regulator, an in
sulating vertical tube, a carbon resistance rod
15 within the vertical tube and connected in the track
circuit, means emitting mercury into the lower
end of the vertical tube, an»> electro-magnetic
means energized by the track circuit for varying
the amount of mercury emitted into the vertical
20 tube to thereby vary the length of the resistance
rod carrying track circuit current and an electro
magnetic means for at times preventing emission
of mercury into the vertical tube.
11. In a regulator for track circuits, two paral~
lel insulating strips, a continuous resistance wire
wound on each of the strips and included in the
track circuit, an evacuated tube enclosing the
strips and included in the track circuit, an evac
uated tube enclosing the strips, a globule of mer
30 cury placed within the evacuated tube so as to
electrically connect the resistance wire on one oi
the strips to the resistance wire on the other of
the strips at substantially one point only, and
electro-magnetic means energized by the track
35 circuit and moving the evacuated tube in a man
ner to shift the mercury globule within the tube
to thereby vary the length of resistance wire car
rying track circuit current, and to thereby retard
the response of the electro-magnetic means to an
40 abrupt change in track circuit energìzation.
12. In a regulator for track circuits, a track
circuit including rails, a battery source and a
track relay, a field structure having oppositely
disposed parallel plane pole faces, an armature
45 having a horizontal core with oscillable plane
vanes on the core parallel with and coasting with
said pole faces, a stationary winding surrounding
said core and energized by said battery source in
cluded in the track circuit, and a variable resistor
50 in series in the track circuit and actuated by said
armature.
‘
13. In combination, a track section, a battery
source for normally energizing the track section,
a track relay associated with the track section,
55 means maintaining a substantially normal cur
rent in the track relay regardless of gradual and
relatively small changes in interrail potential by
varying the resistance of the track relay connec
tions, and means precluding the operation of the
60 regulator in response to relatively large changes
in interrail potential.
14. In combination, a track circuit, a track re
lay included in said circuit, a regulator slower
acting than the track relay and arranged to main
65 tain a substantially constant current through the
track relay regardless of various weather changes,
and a locking means controlled by said track re
lay and arranged to prevent a change in condi
tion of the regulator whenever the track relay is
70
dropped.
.
15. In combination, a track section provided
with the usual closed track circuit including a
normally energized track relay at one end and a
track source of current at the other, a regulator
75 for maintaining a substantially constant current
7
in said track relay irrespective of gradual changes
in interrail resistance or track source voltage
changes by varying the resistance of the connec
tions between said track relay and the track rails,
and means actuated in response to a regular train
movement for preventing the operation of said
regulator in response to a train shunt on said
track circuit.
16. In a track circuit, in combination with an
insulated track section, a source of electrical en 10
ergy connected across one end of the track sec
tion, and a track relay connected across the other
end of the track section; a variable resistor- in
series with the track relay, an electro-magnetic
actuator controlling the variable resistor, means 15
energizing the actuator in accordance with the
voltage across the track relay, means retarding
the response of the actuator to abrupt voltage
changes across the track relay, and an electro
magnetic lock operating to prevent a change in 20
condition of the variable resistor when and al
ways when the track relay is dropped.
17. In a track circuit, in combination with an
insulated track section, a source of electrical en
ergy connected across one end of the track sec
25
tion, and a track relay connected across the other
end of the track section; a variable resistor in se
ries with the track relay, an electro-magnetic ac
tuator Icontrolling the variable resistor, means
energizing the actuator in accordance with the 30
voltage across the track section, means retarding
the response of the actuator to an abrupt decrease
in voltage across the track section, and means
preventing a change in condition of the variable
resistor after an abrupt decrease in voltage across 35
the track section and until said voltage returns
substantially to its original value.
18. A railway signaling track circuit, having
in combination, an insulated track section, a
source of electrical energy connected across a 40
ñrst end of the track section, a track relay and
a variable resistor connected in series across a
second end oi.' the track section, an electro-mag
netic actuator having slower acting characteris
tics than the track relay and connected in mul 45
tiple with the track relay, means connecting the
actuator to the variable resistor whereby the re
sistance of the variable resistor is varied in di
rect proportion to .variations in voltage across
the actuator, and an electro-magnetic brake op 50
erable when energized through a back contact of
the track relay to prevent movement of the
means connecting the actuator to the variable
resistor.
`
19. In combination, a railway track circuit of 55
the normally energized type, a track relay at
one end of said track circuit and arranged to
operate on a particular degree of energization, a
battery source at the other end of said track cir
cuit, a variable resistor included in series in said
track circuit at the battery end, means respon
sive to the potential across said track circuitat
the battery end to actuate said variable resistor
to gradually raise or lower the resistance in said
circuit so as to maintain said track relay ener
65
gized above said particular degree of energiza
tion and below another particular higher degree
of energization when gradual changes in poten
tial occur within limits of said particular de
70
gree and said higher degree of energization, and
means preventing actuation of said variable re
sistor when abrupt changes in inter-rail poten
tial are caused by the presence of a train in the
track circuit so as to -reduce the degree of en 75
8
2,135,497
ergization of said track relay below said particu
rails but not allowing opening of said contact due
lar degree.
to a slow decrease of resistance between said
`»
20. In combination; a track circuit including a rails; and locking means for maintaining said
section of railway track, a track relay, a battery detecting means in its open contact condition
source and a variable resistor all connected in until the resistance between said rails is again
series; regulating means responsive to gradual of substantially the same value as existed prior
changes in the potential across said track to i'to' said quick decrease of resistance.
actuate said variable resistor- in a manner to
26. In combination; a section of railway track,
maintain said potential within predetermined
limits while said regulating means is active; and
means responding to an abrupt change in the
inter-rail potential caused by the entrance of a
train into the track circuit for rendering said
regulating means inactive.
2l. In combination; a track circuit including
15
a section of railway track, a track relay, a bat
tery source and a variable resistor all connected
in series; regulating means responsive to grad
ual changes in the potential across said track to
20 actuate said variable resistor in a manner to
maintain said potential within predetermined
limits while said regulating means is active; said
regulating means being relatively slow acting;
and means operable more quickly than said regu
25 lating means and responding to the presence of
a train in the track circuit for rendering said
regulating means inactive.
22. In combination; a track circuit including
a section of railway track, a track relay, a bat
30 tery source and a variable resistor all connected
in series; regulating means responsive to the po
detecting means for detecting the resistance be
tween the rails of said section including a source 10.
of current connected across the rails at one end
oi said section and an electro-responsive contact
controlling means connected in series with said
source and across the rails at the other end of
said section, said detecting means including means
for allowing operation of said contact due to
a quick decrease in the resistance between said
rails but not allowing operation of said contact
due to a slow decrease of resistance between said
rails; and means controlled by said contact for 20
maintaining said detecting means in its operated
condition until the resistance between said rails is
again of substantially the same value as existed
prior to said quick decrease of resistance.
2’7. In combination; a section of railway track; 25
tential across said track to actuate said vari
able resistor in a manner to maintain said po
a source of current connected across the rails of
said section at one end of said section; inter-rail
resistance detecting means including an electro
responsive means having normally closed con
tacts and connected across the rails of said sec 30
tion at the other end of said section, said electro
responsive means being connected in series with
said rails and said source, said detecting means
tential within predetermined limits above the
including means for causing opening of said con
35 operating potential required for said track relay
tacts upon a sudden decrease in said inter-rail 35
provided changes in potential are gradual within resistance but allowing said contacts to remain
said limits, and means responsive to an abrupt closed if a gradual decrease in inter-rail resist
potential change beyond said limits to render ance takes place; and locking means for main
said regulating means inactive.
. taining said detecting means in its open contact
23. In combination; a track circuit including condition after each sudden decrease of resist 40
40
Aa section of track, a track relay, a source oi
ance until the inter-rail resistance is again of
energy and a variable impedance all connected substantially the same value as it was prior to
in series; regulating means controlled in accord
said sudden decrease of inter-rail resistance,
ance with the degree of energization of said whereby said contacts are open during the pres
ence of a train in said section.
45 track relay; means rendering said regulating de
45
vice slower in response than said track relay to a
28. In combination; a section of railway track;
change in the degree of energization; and means a source of current connected across the rails of
allowing said regulating means to operate said said section at one end of said section; inter-rail
variable impedance only when said track relay shunt detecting means including an electro-re
is
picked up.
sponsive means having normally closed contacts
50
24. In combination, a track circuit for rail
and connected across the rails of said section at
roads, a track relay included in said track cir
the other end oi said section, said electro-respon
cuit, a current regulating device in multiple with sive means being connected in series with said
said track relay and slower in its operation than rails and said source, said detecting means in
55 the track relay, a variable resistor controlled by cluding means for causing opening of said con
said device for maintaining substantially con
tacts upon a sudden increase in inter-rail shunt
stant current through said relay of a predeter
but allowing said contacts to remain closed if a
mined value above the operating value of said gradual increase in inter-rail shunt takes place;
track relay, whereby small variations within said and locking means for maintaing said detecting
means in its open contact condition after each
60 predetermined value are compensated for but
larger variations outside of said predetermined sudden increase in inter-rail shunt until the
value deenergize said track relay, and means for inter-rail shunt is again oi substantially the same
maintaining said device in its then existing ad
value as it was prior to said sudden increase o!
justed condition while said track relay is de
inter-rail shunt, whereby said contacts are open
during the presence of a train in said section due 65
85 energized.
25. In combination; a section of railway track, to the suddenness of application of the train
detecting means for detecting the resistance be
shunt but are not opened due to a gradually ap
tween the rails of said section including a source
of current connected across the rails at one end
70 of said section and an electro-responsive con
tact controlling means connected in series with
said source and across the rails at the other end
of said section, said detecting means including
means for allowing opening of said contact due
75 to a quick decrease in the resistance between said
plied inter-rail shunt as may occur due to a
change of weather conditions.
29. In combination; a section oi railway track
having two spaced rails; means for supplying an
electric potential across said rails at one end of
said s_ection; electro-responsive means at the
other end of said section connected across said
rails and responsive to change its condition in 1l
»,ismov
accordance with the inter-rail potential at that
end; and holding means for preventing a change
in the condition or said electro-responsive means
when a relatively suddenk decrease in inter-rail
potential occurs. said holding means remaining
eil’ective until said inter-rail potential increases
to the value before such sudden decrease.
'
30. In a. track circuit for railroads. in combi
nation with a. source oi current and a limiting
10 resistance connected across the track rails of a
track section at one end thereof. circuit control
ling means connected acroaa the track rails at
the other end of said track section and including
a movable element automatically assuming di!
!erent positions in accordance with gradual
changes in the potential across said track rails,
and means responsive to a relatively sudden de
crease in the potential across the track rails for
maintaining said movable element in its then ex
isting position.
n
OSCAR B. FIEID.
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