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Патент USA US2135498

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Nov. 8, 1938.
Original Fviled June '7, ~1955
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Nov. 8, 1938.
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Original Filed June 7, 1935
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Track BailasT
d, 5,
Patented Nov. 8, 1938
Oscar S. Field, Rochester, N. Y., assignor to
General Railway Signal Company, Rochester,
N. Y.
Application June 7, 1935, Serial No. 25,472
Renewed March 2, 1938
14 Claims. (Cl. 248-41)
This invention relates to railway track circuits of rugged and simple design providing greater
and more particularly to means for maintaining eiliciency,
sensitivity and reliability of operation
a substantially constant energization of a. track
and which are arranged for convenient manual
relay associated with a track circuit regardless adjustment
to permit a greater ?exibility of ap
5 of changes in inter-rail leakage current due to plication.
changes in track ballast resistance and also re
gardless of changes in potential of the source. of
energy for the track circuit. This application is features of thepresent invention will appear as
an improvement over my prior application Ser. the description thereof progresses, during which
10 No. 722,934 ?led April 28, 1934, and the common
invention between these applications is claimed
in said prior application.
In a normally energized track circuit, a track
relay is maintained energized when the track sec
15 tion is unoccupied by current ?owing from a
track battery through the track rails in series,
and it is desirable to adjust this track circuit cur-y
rent to a value which reliably attracts the arma
ture of the track relay, and yet which is sum-V
2O ciently low to permit a train offering a maximum
oi’ rail shunting resistance to reduce the energiza
tion of the track relay to a degree which reliably
releases its armature. However it is found that
when the track circuit current is adjusted to a
value permitting proper operation under average
condition of track ballast, the increased inter
rail leakage current caused by wet ballast may
prevent attraction of the relay armaturevor the
decreased leakage current caused by dry ballast
30 may prevent the release of the relay armature in
response to a train shunt. It is also found that
abnormal loads, improper charging or the like
references will be made, to the accompanying
drawings, in which:-
- 10
Fig. 1 shows in a diagrammatic and conven
tional manner ‘a preferred form of the present
invention as applied to a conventional railway
track circuit with certain parts of the apparatus ‘ ~
shown in section and other parts illustrated in 15
an exploded relation to their structural supports.
Fig. 2 is a sectional elevational view of a por- ‘
tion of a device shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 shows in a wholly diagrammatic manner
a modi?ediform of the present invention also
applied to the conventional railway track circuit.
Fig. 4 shows in a diagrammatic manner a mod
i?cation which may be made in either the track
circuit of Fig. 1 or Fig. 3.
. .
Fig. 5 is a graphic illustration of the operating 25
characteristics of typical track circuits employ
ing the present invention and compared to the
usual characteristics of conventional track cir
Referring to Fig. 1 of the drawings, a section or 30
track rails 4 is shown divided from the adjacent
may cause variations in the voltage of the track trackby insulating joints 5 to form aconven
battery which act in a like manner to prevent‘ tional insulated track section. A track relay TB
of the type usually employed to control block sig
35 proper track circuit operation.
shown connected across ‘one end, of this 5
In view of the above and other considerations, trackissection
and is normally energized from a
it is proposed in accordance‘ with the present in
suitable source of energy such as a storage bate
vention to provide means which operates auto
matically to maintain a substantially constant tery B provided at the other end of the track sec
4 track relay energization regardless 01' changes in tion. ‘A manually adjustable resistor 6 is, em- ,
ployed in series with the battery B in accordance ‘40
inter-rail leakage current while the track section with
the usual practice, and in the present ar
is unoccupied. It is further proposed to auto
matically distinguish the increments or decre~ rangement, a resistor R’ is also included in series
ments of inter-rail potential obtaining during an with battery B, which resistance R is provided
45 unoccupied condition of the track section from with a movablearm 1 arranged to shunt out var'i- '
ous portions thereof as will later be described in 45
the more intense or abrupt changes in track relay detail.
energization, whereby to allow changes in ener
gization oi’ the track relay in response to the ap
plication and removal of a train shunt and to
prevent operation of the automatic regulating
means throughout the time in which a train
shunt exists on the track section.
Other objects of the present invention include
the provision of apparatus in a track circuit reg
55 ulating means having novel structural features
In the present system, the resistance inserted
intothe track circuit by the resistorR is auto
matically varied by an electro-magnetic means,
under the control of a relay which is diagram
matically illustrated as comprising a magnetic
core l0 actuating a pivoted armature II, the core
Ill carrying windings I! connected across the
track rails I as shown.
A movable contact I4
is attached to the armature II by an insulating 55
arm 44 which may be integral with the hanger
member 42.
Two armatures 44 and 44 are arranged as
shown in Pig. 1 to magnetically coact with the
cylinder 4| and the pole faces of cores 2‘! and 2|
biasing force on the armature ii in opposition to - respectively. These armatures are each shaped
the biasing force of spring i4, and the force of .to present a ?at upper horizontal surface co
spring i4 is likewise manually adjustable by a acting with their respective pole faces while a
downwardly extending portion is shaped to con
screw IS.
The track circuit is adjusted by positioning the form with the curvature of opposite sides oi‘ the 10
cylinder 44, and the extreme lower ends of the
manually variable resistor 4 so that a desired en
ergization of track relay TR is produced which armature 54 and 54 are pivotably attached to side
obviously causes a de?nite upward attraction of members 4| and 42 by pivot pins 44. The side
armature H which has a substantially constant members 4| and 42 are rotatably carried on the
relation to the degree of energization of the track shaft 4| at opposite ends of the cylinder 4|, and
relay inasmuch as the windings i2 are virtually horizontal extending ends thereof (one end being
broken away in Fig. l) carryv cross rods 4| ex
in multiple with the track relay TR. The bias
ing forces of springs i4 and i4 are then adjusted tending beneath the horizontal portion of each
of the arrnatures 54 and 5|, which cross rod 44
so that the contact I4 is positioned mid-way be
tween an upper adjustable ?xed contact 24 and a carries an upwardly extending screw 44 thread 20
ed therethrough whereby to adjustably limit the
lower ?xed contact 2|. In other words, the con
trol relay is adjusted so that the force exerted downward travel of armature 44 and 54.
The side armature carrying members 4| and
by spring it plus the gravitational bias of arma
ture || counter-balances the upward force of 42 are biased to a center position by two oppo
spring || plus the upward magnetic attraction sitely disposed spring strips ‘I4 carried by the
of armature II when a predetermined current hanger member 42 and shaped to normally en
gage opposite sides of a centering pin 12 ?xed to
?ows in windings i2.
The lower ?xed contact 2| cooperating with‘ the hanger member 42, to extend downwardly to
also engage opposite sides of an operating pin
the movable contact i4 is illustrated as a piv
oted arm biased upwardly by a compression 12 attached to the armature carrying member 30
block I! and a compression spring I4 is pro
vided to exert an upward biasing force opposing
the normal gravitational bias on the armature II,
which force is manually adjustable by a'screw ii.
A spring i4 is also provided to exert a downward
spring 22 to engage a ?xed contact 24, the com
pression spring 22 being adjustable by a screw 23.
4| and extending through a clearance slot in the
hanger member 42. Two downwardly extending
This arrangement permits the upward biasing
contact ?ngers ‘I4 and 14 are clamped to the
force of spring 22 to be so adjusted that a slight
hanger member 42 by screws ‘H which also hold
35 decrease in the energization of windings
causes a slight downward movement of armature
II which engages contact l4 with-the pivoted
contact arm 2|, but the force of this downward
movement of contact I4 is not suf?cient to dis
40 engage the arm 2| from the contact 24. However
when the energization of the windings i2 is
abruptly decreased, such as is effected by a train
shunt, the downward force of armature H is
su?icient to move the _pivoted contact 2| out
of engagement with the ?xed contact 24.
The electro-magnetic means employed in the
present system to actuate the arm ‘I of vthe vari
able resistor R comprises three vertical parallel
magnetic cores 21, 2| and 24 which extend
through an insulating top plate 44 with their
lower ends terminating in enlarged pole faces
and having respective nuts 4| threaded there
on, whereby they are clamped on the top plate
20. The upper ends of the cores 21, 24 and 24
are jointed by a magnetic strip 22 clamped there
to by bolts 44, and the two outer cores 2'! and 2|
are provided with windings I4 and 44 respective
ly which are selectively energized in accordance
with the position of contact i4 01’ the control
'00 relay as will be fully described hereinafter.
The pole race at the end of the center core 24
is shaped to present a concave lower surface
which is separated by a small air-gap from a sol
id magnetic cyiinder 4| removably attached to a
shaft 4| by means not shown herein.
e shaft
4| is rotatably carried by a non-magnetic anger
member 42 which is suitably attached to the top
plate 3|, which member 42 is shown in Pig. 2
but has been omitted from Fig. 1. One end of
the shaft 4| carries a pinion gear 44 suitably at~
tached thereto as shown in Fig. 2 and indicated
by dotted lines in Fig. 1, which pinion operates a
sector 44 riveted to a shaft 41, the shaft 41 being
75 rotatably carried by a downwardly extending
the centering springs 14, the ?ngers 15 and 14 35
being insulated therefrom by insulating spacers
‘l1 and 14. The contact ?nger 14 is provided
with a contact || which is engaged by the end
of a contact screw || threaded through the con
tact ?nger 15 when the armature carrying mem 40
ber 4| is in its center position. The lower ends
of the centering springs ‘I4 carry insulating
blocks ‘I9 suitably attached thereto which engage
contact ?ngers ‘I4 or 14 to separate contacts
44 and 4| when either of the springs ‘N are 45
moved away from the centering pin 12 by a
clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation of the
armature carrying member 4| about shaft 4|.
The armatures 44 and II are each provided
with an inwardly extending metal strip 44-held 50
thereto by screws 44, the strip 4| of armature 44
being arranged to coact with notches in a periph
eral- ring "held in an annular groove in one
end of the cylinder 4|, while the strip 44 of ar
mature 54 is arranged to coact with a second
ring 44 similarly held on the other end of the
cylinder 44 and having teeth oppositely arranged
It may now be seen that energization of the
winding 24 around the core 21 produces a ?ux
therein which ?ows through the center 'core 2|,
through the magnetic cylinder 44 and through
armature 54, thereby ?rst attracting the lower
portion of armature 44 toward the cylinder 4!]
to engage the strip 44 with the teeth or the as
sociated ring 44 and then attracting the outer
end of armature 5| upwardly toward the pole face
of core 21 which rotates the cylinder 40 in a
clockwise direction. It 'will also be clear that
the energization of winding 44 will in a similar 70
manner ?rst attract armature 4| toward the cyl
inder 4| thereby engaging its strip 44 with the
teeth of the ring on ‘the other side of the cylin
der 44 and the following upward travel of the
outer end of armature II causes a rotation of
the cylinder 45 in a counter-clockwise direction.
During the return travel 01 armatures l5 and
55, the initial movement is away irom the cylin
der 45 thereby withdrawing the strip 55 from the
teeth of the associated ring 55 so that the fol
lowing downward movement does not rotate the
cylinder 45.
oval cross section as illustrated. The ends or the
resistance wire it are anchored to terminal screws
55, and the insulating strip 55 is mounted beneath
the top plate 55 by suitable brackets 54. lI'he
lower end of the arm 1 is suitably attached to an
insulating member 45 which is in turn mounted
upon the sector 45 by screws 55 and spacers II.
During the above operation 0! either arma
It will then be clear that a clockwise rotation of
ture 58 or 59, the' pin 18 is operated either to the cylinder 45 as effected by energization of wind
left or to the right which disengages contact ing 35 rotates the sector 45 in a counter-clockwise
85 from contact 8| as previously described which direction through pinion gear 43, thereby moving
opens a common portion of the energizing cir
the arm 1 nearer to the left-hand end of re
cult for both coil 35.and coil 35 as will be obvi
sistance-wire R, and conversely a counter-clock
ous from the circuit arrangement shown in Fig. wise rotation of cylinder 45 as e?ected by the
1. In order to permit the armatures 58 and 59 energization of winding 35 rotates the sector 45
to complete their travel after the energization in a clockwise direction to move the arm 1 nearer
of their associated coils is thus interrupted, a. to the right-hand end of the resistance wire R.
sleeve 14 of non-magnetic current conducting
It is found expedient for reasons later to be
material is provided around the center core 28 brought out to adjust the variable components of
which acts in the usual manner to retard any the present track circuit to provide proper opera
change in ?ux value therethrough. It will then tion under the wettest condition of the track
be clear that after the energizing circuit for coils . ballast which is expected to obtain on the particu
85 or 35 is interrupted by the initial movement lar track circuit. In other words, when the inter
of armature 58 or 59, the ?ux value in the mag
rail leakage current is at substantially its maxi
netic structure decreases slowly and continues to mum value, these adjustments may be made by
attract the armature which, together with the positioning the arm ‘I' of the present resistance
momentum imparted to the armature during adjusting means near the right-hand end of re
the energization of its associated coil, is effective
to complete its upward‘ travel.
30. When the attracted armature has completed
its upward travel, the flux in the magnetic cir
cuit has decreased to a value permitting the as
sociated biasing spring 15 toreturn the armature
assembly to its center position. It is of course
35 obvious that the energizing circuit for coil 85 or
85 is again completed through contacts 55 and II
before the armature assembly reaches its center
position, but the sleeve 14 is again effective to re
tard the building up of, a flux in the magnetic
40 structure to a value which is su?lcient to over
come the biasing force of springs 15 until the
armature assembly has reached~a center pomtion.
It may now be seen ‘that the energization of
the energizing circuit for both coils is interrupted
allowing the‘ attracted armature to return to its
original position [after which it is again attracted
and released as before, and this operation of one
oi’ the armatures 58 or 55 continues as long as coil
55 or 56 is selected and energized by its external
control circuit. In other words, the energization
of coil 35 causes an oscillating motion of armature
sistance wire R, such as the position shown in
Fig. 1, thereby shunting the major part of re
sistance R from the track circuit, and adjusting 30
the‘ manually variable resistor 5 so that a proper
voltage is obtained across the track rails 4.
The proper inter-rail voltage must of course be
a predetermined value which reliably picks up
and retains the armature oi‘ the track relay TR 35
when the track section is unoccupied and yet
which permits a train offering a maximum rail
shunting resistance to e?ect the release of the re
lay armature. The previously described adjust
ment of the control relay is now made so that v40
with this proper inter-rail voltage across wind
ings I2, the armature'li assumes an intermediate
position wherein contact i4 is midway between
either coil 35 or “attracts the associated arma- - contacts 25 and ii.
45 ture upwardly whereupon a common portion of
In order to describe the operation of the auto 45
matic regulating means, it will'?rst be considered
that the ballast resistance increases due for ex
ample to the drying of the ballast between the
track rails 4 so that the inter-rail leakage cur
rent decreases. This decreases the current ?ow 50
ing through resistances 5 and R and slightly re- .
duces the voltage drop therethrough which raises
the inter-rail voltage oi’ the track circuit and like
wise the energization of windings i2. This de-'
58 which imparts intermittent rotation to cylin
der 45 in a clockwise direction, while the ener
gization of coil 35 causes an oscillation of arma
ture 55 which imparts intermittent rotation to
cylinder 45 in a counter-clockwise direction.
The speci?c contact arrangement illustrated for
crease in inter-rail leakage current occurs of 55
course rather slowly but the increase in energiza
tion of windings I! caused thereby soon reaches a
su?lcient value to upset the rather delicate ad
60 the purpose of causing oscillatory motion of the
in the magnetic attraction of armature il plus 60
armature assembly has been selected merely be
cause of its simplicity, and it is desired to be un
derstood that other contact arrangements may be
employed. For example, a contact arrangement
65 having an asymemtric operation may be provided
justment of armature ii, that is a slight increase "
the biasing' force of spring i5 is su?lcient to over
come the force of spring i8 thereby operating
contact i4 into engagement with fixed contact 25.
The winding 35 of the resistance actuating means
is nowenergized over a circuit from the lower
to maintain the coil energizing circuit closed dur
terminal of a suitable battery i5, through con
ing the major part of the upward armature travel ‘(tact l4 ‘engaging contact 25, through the winding. but to hold the circuit open during the major 55, through contacts 85 and 8i and back to the
part of the return travel.
upper terminal of battery is.
70 The arm ‘I which coacts with the resistance wire
The energization oi! winding 35 causes oscilla 70
R is shown in Fig. 2 as made up of two spring
strips having the upper ends thereof separated to
form a bifurcation contacting with opposite sides
of the resistance wire R which may be wound
tion of armature 58 in the manner previously de-.
scribed which rotates cylinder 45 in a clockwise
direction, thereby moving arm 1 farther to the left.
to insert a greater portion of the resistance wire R
75 around a suitable insulating strip 58 having an - into the track circuit. ' This oscillating operation 75
of armature ill continues until the resistance
inserted into the track circuit by the variable re
sistor R is increased to a value which reduces the
inter-rail potential to its originally adjusted prop
it seems that the waves caused thereby in the
otherwise constant voltage are not detrimental
as long as their magnitude does not approach the
degree 0! change necessary to cause operation
er value. This proper value oi’ energization of or the track relay.
windings I! obviously restores the balance of the - The system shown'in Fig. 1 also maintains the
forces acting on armature ll so that contact ll inter-rail voltage at the proper adjusted value
again assumes its center position which de-ener
regardless of gradual changes in the terminal
gizes winding 35 to stop the operation of arm I
voltage of the track battery B such as may be
Now considering that the conductance of the caused by improper charging, abnormal loads
comparatively dry ballast is increased by rain or or the like. In other words, the adjustment of
the like, it will be clear that an increased ballast the biasing force of springs It and II on the
leakage current occurs which ?ows through the
increased resistance inserted into the track cir
15 cuit by variable resistor R. A slight reduction
in the inter-rail potential then occurs which re
duces the energization of windings I2 to a degree
allowing the biasing spring is to overcome the
reduced magnetic attraction of armature ll plus
20 the force of spring It and thereby cause a move
ment of the contact ll into engagement with con
tact 2|. In this case, the armature II is re
sponding to a rather small decrement in the
energization of windings l2 and the downward
force of contact H is not su?iclent to disengage
the pivoted back contact II from the ?xed con
tact 24, and an energizing circuit for winding II
is completed from the lower terminal of battery
It through contacts ll, 2| and 2‘, through the
30 winding 36, through contacts "I and BI to the
upper terminal of battery It.
This energization of winding II now‘ causes
armature 59 to oscillate as previously described
which rotates the cylinder 40 in a counter-clock
35 wise direction, thereby moving the arm ‘I back
toward the right hand end of resistance R
to decrease the resistance inserted thereby into
the track circuit. This oscillation of armature
58 also continues until the resistance has been
40 su?lciently lowered to raise the inter-rail poten
tial to its originally adjusted value thereby re
armature Ii provides a de?nite standard unat
i’ected by variable conditions of the track circuit,
to which standard the inter-rail voltage or the
energization of windings I2 is related thereby
permitting any gradual change in inter-rail volt
age regardless of its cause to effect operation of
the regulating means. It is further obvious that
this de?nite standard to which the inter-rail 20
voltage is related also determines a ?xed point
at which the action of the regulating means is
stopped thereby preventing the "hunting" or
overrunning operation which is inherent to most
regulator operation.
It is of course understood that a regulating
means of the present type should not operate
when a train is occupying the associated track
section as such operation might compensate for
the reduction in inter-rail voltage ei'l’ected by the
train shunt and hold the armature oi’ the track
relay in its energized position thereby defeating
the purpose of the track circuit. In the present
arrangement, the entrance of a train into the
associated track section shunts the track rails
l to cause an abnormal increase in voltage drop
through resistances l and R and a consequent
decrease in voltage drop through windings it,
which reduces the energization of windings I!
to a much greater degree than the rather slight
reduction in energization permitted by the regu
storing the balance of forces acting on armature
l I so that contact I4 is returned to its center
lator in response to an increase in ballast leakage
position to de-energize winding I8 and stop the
ergization of windings I! caused by the train
shunt greatly reduces the normal attraction of
armature H thus allowing the force of spring I.
45 operation of arm ‘I.
In the present system, the value of the resist
ance inserted into the track circuit by the vari
able resistor R may be changed much more
rapidly than changes in ballast leakage current
can possibly occur, and consequently the regulat
ing means will not operate continuously during
any very de?nite change in ballast leakage cur
rent, but rather the regulation will occur in short
cycles during the total continuous change in
55 ballast resistance. In other words, the time re
quired for a degree of ballast change to occur
which is su?lcient to move the control‘ relay
armature H out of its center position is con
siderably longer than the time required there
after to actuate the resistance arm ‘I to a new
position which compensates for this change, and
consequently the regulating means never allows
ballast changes to cause an increase or a decrease
in the energization of windings I! which exceeds
that required to Just engage contact I‘ with
either contact 20 or II.
It may now be seen that the present track cir
cuit regulating means maintains a constant in
ter-rail voltage, aside from the small waves of
70 voltage change necessary to e?ect the control
of the regulator, regardless of changes in inter
rail leakage current. The degree of voltage
change necessary to initiate operation of the
means compensating for such change is deter
76 mined by the sensitivity of the control relay, and
current. This greater degree of reduction in en
to exert a downward force on the pivoted con
tact 2| through contact II which overcomes the
force of spring 2! thereby disengaging contact II
from contact 24.
In this manner, it will be obvious that the
present system differentiates between a reduc
tion in inter-rail voltage due to increased ballast
leakage current from a reduction due to a train
shunt in a manner to prevent the energization 55
of winding ll oi’ the regulating means as long as
the train shunt exists on the track circuit. In
other words, the downward force of armature II
is determined by the degree of reduction in the
energization of windings I 2, and as previously
described, the reduction in energization of wind
ings I 2 due to increased ballast leakage current
occurs so slowly that the regulator is able to
prevent a reduction in excess of that required to
just engage contact I4 with contact 2|, but the
abrupt reduction in energization of windings l2
due to a train shunt distinguishes therefrom by
causing an excessive downward force of arms
ture II which is effective to move contact 2|
downwardly and open the energizing circuit for 70
winding 80 before the regulator can effectively
In the modi?ed form or the present invention
shown in Fig. 3, the track circuit is illustrated in
substantially the same form as in Fig. 1, that is,
a track battery 3 normally supplies current
and moving arm ‘I toward the leit hand end 0!
through the manually variable resistor 0 and the ‘ resistance wire it in the same general manner as
automatically variable resistor R to the track described in connection with Fig. 1. This oscil
rails 4 and energizes the same track relay TR. lation of armature ll continues until the resist
connected across the other end of rails 4. The ance inserted into thetrack circuit by resistance
arm 1 oi the variable resistor R is likewise actu
ated by the same magnetic means as is illustrated
more in detail in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, this magnetic
actuating meansv being illustrated in a rather
diagrammatic manner in Fig. 3 in order to simpli
i’y the disclosure.
The means for controlling the operation of the
_ magnetic resistance changing means in Fig. 3,
however, comprises a control relay including a
polarizing magnetic structure illustrated as a
general U-shaped permanent magnet 83, or oi’
course a continuously energized electro-magnet
could be used as well. The lower end of a soft
R has been increased to a value which reduces
the inter-rail voltage to its normally adjusted
value, thereby restoring the balance between the
energization of windings 85 and 86 which returns
contact 9! to its center position and stops move— 10
ment of arm ‘I.
An increase in ballast leakage current how- .
ever causes an increased voltage drop through
resistances 8 and R which increases the ener
gization of winding 84 but decreases the ener 15'
glzation of winding 85, due to a decrease in the
inter-rail voltage of the track circuit. This un
balances the energizationof windings 85 and 86
and the predominance of winding 86 now-pro
duces a ?ux in the opposite direction than the 20
iron armature I4 is coupled magnetically and
pivotably attached to the center of the perma
nently magnetized structure 80, while the upper flux previously considered during the predomi—
end of armature 44 extends between inwardly, ex .nance of winding 85, so that in this case, arma
tending poles N and S at the upper end of the ture i4 is attracted toward pole S of the magnetic
structure 83. A winding 85 is arranged around structure". The contact 0| now engages con
the armature 84 and connected across the track tact 04 which completes an obvious energizing.
rails 4 while a second winding l6 also around the circuit for winding" which causes oscillation of 25
armature I4 is connected in multiple with the armature I! and moves the arm ‘I back toward
manually variable resistor 6 and the automati~ the right hand end oi’ resistance wire R. Like
cally variable resistor R through a second man
wise this oscillation of armature II continues
ually adjustable series resistor 81 as shown.
until'the resistance inserted into the track cir
,The track circuit is adjusted in Fig. 3 in the cuit by resistor R has been decreased to a value 30
same general manner as in Fig. i, that is, under which increases the inter-rail voltage to its nor
the wettest ballast condition, the resistance arm mal adjusted value, thereby restoring the balance
‘I is positioned to the righthand end or resistance , between the energization of windings l5 and l! '
wire R to insert a minimum resistance into the to return ‘armature 44 to its center position and
track circuit, and the manually variable resistor
I is adjusted to provide the proper inter-rail volt
, stop the movement of arm ‘I.
-- The action of the regulating means in response
age which is found to provide reliable track cir- . to a train shunt on rails 4 in Fig. 3 is very simi
cuit operation.
The windings 85 and 88 are op
positely wound around the armature 44, and with
‘this proper inter-rail voltage ‘across winding ll,
the manually variable resistor 81 is adjusted so
that the energization of winding it produces a
flux which neutralizes the flux produced by wind
ing ll.
Two- compression springs 88 and I! are pro
vided on opposite sides of the upper end of arma
ture 04, which springs are individually adjusted
lar to that described in connection with Fig. 1,
that is, the present regulating means prevents
the occurrence of a decrease in inter-rail volt
age in response to ballast changes which exceeds
that required to produce the rather small un
' balance in the energization otfwindings N and
I8 necessary to just move contact Oi into engage
mentwith contact 04, but theabrupt increase
in’ voltage drop through" resistances I and R
caused by a train shunt produces an abnormally
by respective screws u so that when the ener ‘ high degree ‘of energisatio'n of winding 08 and
gization oi windings II and I. are balanced to an abnormally low degree of energiaation of wind
provide. equal and opposite ?ux values, the arma
ture I4 is‘ positioned midway between the poles
N and S or the permanently magnetized struc
ture It. With the armature 84 in this position,
a contact 9| attached to the upper end.thereoi
by insulating connectors 92 is positioned midway
between a ?xed contact 03 and a pivoted contact
!4, the contact 84 being arranged in a similar
manner to contact 2| in Fig. 1, that is, a compres
sion spring ll adjustable by screw 80 biases con
tact 94 against a ?xed contact 91.
Considering now that the ballast leakagecur
rent decreases in Fig. 3, it will be clear that the
voltage drop through resistances 8 and R de
creases thereby slightly decreasing the energiza
ing 85. This produces'such an unbalance in the
energization of windings ‘I and ‘I! that contact
9| forces contact M away from contact I‘! and
prevents operation oi’ the resistance changing
means as long as the train shunt exists onthe 55
track circuit.
It will now be clear that each of the illustrated
forms of the present invention operates to com
pensate for small increments or decrements in‘
inter-rail voltage which are due to changes in so
ballast resistance. but distinguishes therefrom the
abrupt decrease in inter-rail voltage caused by a
train shunt in a manner to prevent compensa- >
tion for the voltage decrease across the track
rails caused by a train shunt. In this manner, a
tion of winding 88 while the inter-rail voltage substantially constant energization of the track
and the energization of winding 45 slightly in
relay is maintained when the track section is un
creases. thereby upsetting the ?ux balance in . occupied so that the decrease in inter-rail volt
armature 44 and allowing the predominating en
age caused by a train shunt, which is prevented
ergization of winding ll to produce a ?ux from causing operation oi‘ the voltage regulating
attracting the armature l4 toward pole N of the means, can reliably effect the release of the arma 70
nagnetic structure II. This operation of arma
ture of the track relay regardless oi’ ballast con
ure '4 engages contact Ii with contact I; which ditions; ' "
:ompletes an obvious energizing circuit for wind
In making the manual adjustments oi’ the track
ng 44 thereby causing oscillation oi. armature II circuit, it was previously stated that these ad
through a front contact II which substitutes a
substantially equivalent resistance Ill tor a por
iustments should
ballast conditions
ance inserted into
matically variable resistor
ments areproperiymsdeundertheabove
tions so that reliable track drcuit
regulating means, a great tactor oi’ safety in
10 provided as the ballast dries out. In other words,
when the track rails are shimted by a train, the
voltage drop from rail to rail acrou
beiore-break contact OI. thereby supplying a re
.retain the armature of relayP'I‘in its attracted
‘ibis track relay combination shown in Hg. 4
maybe arrangcdtodropawayatnearlythesame
energizing voltage that is suiiicient to pick up 10
its armature and consequently, it will be clear
that when the normal inter-rail voltage is prop
erly adjusted. a rather slight reduction in inter
Consequently when the arrange
ment shown in Hg. 4 is employed in combination
with the present voltage regulating means shown
in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, the shunting sensitivity is
still further improved so that the relation oi the
Proportional increase in resistance of a track
shuntandstillprovidethelowvoltagedroptherc-. trackballastreaistance valuesisrepresentedby
across whichisrecmiredinordertoreleasethe_v curveBinl'igt. Theadvantageoiemploying.
the voltage regulating means of the present in
armature of the track relay. Therefore, it reli
vention in combination with the track relay ar
25 able response oi the track relay is obtained dur
ing the wettest ballast condition, an even greater rangement oi Pig. 4 is graphically illustrated in
assurance of reliable response is provided by the Fig.5bytheoomparisonotthiscurve8witha
dotted curve B1 which represents the shunting
sensitivity of a primary-secondary track relay
combination in a conventional track circuit with
out the present automatic voltage regulating
In describing the praent invention, attention
has only been directed to the illustrated embodi
ments thereof, without attempting to point out
' the various alternate or optional features of con
sents the rela?on oi the maximum
éri alg e
struction, or the diiierent organizations or com
binations that may be employed. For example,
the specinc oscillating armature meam illus
trated for moving the resistance arm in either
Intheusualtypeottrackoiru?tacomtanI. ‘oitwodirectionsisonlyonetypeolmotormeans
value of resistanceisinchldedin-seriu-with
track betteryregardlessotballastcondi
increases, thus increasing the ahimt curren
track relay voltage. thereby
(lower reslstanceltrack-shuntundm-
toavalue su?identlylowtoeiiect
the track relay armamethanunderwet
shows that themost reliable detection
wet ballast conditions and is substantially
which may be used to'advantagein the present‘
control the operation and the direction oi rota-i
I the present invention have been selected to la
limit the number of iorms which it may assume.
What I claim is:
l. In combination; a track circuit including a
section of railway track, a track relay, asonrce
series; a control relay energised in constant pro
same conditlohl, but the reliaulity o! the
to the energinatlon oi the tract relay;
trackcircuittodetectatrainshimtdecreasesas, portion
theballastdrieaoutascomparedtotheincreased biasing means adjusted to hold the armature o!
the control relay in a definite center position at
reliability provided by the present system.
a predetermined degree or inter-rail voltage; an '
actuating means for the variable resistor dis
tinctively controlled by relatively small move
, ments 0! the control relay armature in each di
_ rection from said center position; and means
[operated by a greater movement 0! the control
relay armature in one direction from said center
' Fig. 4, the
trectthe armatureotaprimaryrelayPl‘trom
‘ "attracted. a secondary relay 8'!‘
positim [or preventing operation of the variable
:. ni's track circuit having a section of track
rails, a track relay, a source of energy and a
variable resistor all connected in series; the com
& ‘v bination oi; a reversible electric actuating means 1|
for the variable resistor; a control relay con
nected across the track rails; biasing means cen
tearing the armature or the control relay when
a predetermined voltage exists across the track
5 rails: control contact means arranged to selec
tively control the direction of operation of the
electric actuating means in accordance with the
direction 0! a relatively slight movement of the
control relay armature irorn said center position;
cordance with smaller changes in energization oi
the tracktrack
cana cause
contact means"?
oi the;
on th'él- ‘control ,zreiayw-lyiorpreventing?operation or v s
the electro-mam?aamstins
‘?aia‘rtsb iwé; ii.
to a cnangeinrenersizatlon 0M1}. track‘ sect “ ,j'ii
which=-can:causc~'operation ,th rimar tr 1:" Q
10 and a contact means arranged to prevent opera
tion oi’ the electric actuating means by the move
ment of the armature of the control relay a rela
6. In
rack-:ciscuitgto r
tion Wlth‘i‘.-‘8.!l'2‘:i1h5li1?t¢i1__
tively larger distance from said center position.
ling the electro-magn'etic operating means in ac
said. source
3. In a track circuit having an insulated track
15 section, a‘ track battery and a variable resistor
trically operableiineansiior actua
tor to varyqiits gresistance, a out 1 vare
I all connected in series; the combination of; an
electro-magnetic actuating means for the vari
able resistor; a polarized control relay having'an
_ nected across‘sthe?tracklmilt
turev moved
by a gradual
from; decrease in inter
armature biased to a center position: a ?rst wind
20 ing connected across the rails of the track section
oi the track‘ circuitibelovnafilpnadet,
and arranged to actuate the armature oi the
as caused byvvariationarin ballast
> polarized relay in one direction; a second winding
connected across the variable resistor and ar
_, ,.
armature beingtimovedrzfizonwruch; N , eutrai,
‘ticn in the other: direction yilmiincreasein in_
‘ranged to actuate the armature of the polarized‘
25 relay in another direction, said armature re
sponding to its bias and the energization of said
operating withtsaidrarmaturm
ation of saidat-vel'eetrioallyia/
windings to assume its center position it a pre
determined inter-rall voltage ,exists, contact
means distinctively operated by relatively slight
80‘ movements oi’ the armature of the polarized relay
in either direction from its center position in
response to variations in ballast resistance to
cause operation oi’ the variable resistor actuating
means to increase or decrease the resistance of
35 said resistor to restore said armature to said
center position: ‘and means operated by a rela-‘
tively large movement of the armature of the ,
polarized relay in response to shunting oi’ the
track circuit by a train for preventing the con
“),tact means from causing operation of the vari
able resistor actuating means.-
, '
4. In a track circuit, an insulated track sec
7. In a tracklfcircuitsior raumssinsvlneitne"
nected across the‘ tract‘: railsn‘a yariablerresiston ‘
in series with saidisouroeil'ois-currentlingthelconj
nections betweeni‘sachz-source landrthettracktrails; ,..
power means i’omactuating: said; tesistorjgtoginr l0
crease or decrease-fitssresistancet air-control relay
[responsive to variations ‘ w-theizintcrl-railizvoltage
tion, a track relay connected across one end of" ‘of said track circuit-f "d
the track section, a track battery connected
'45, across the other end of ,the track section, a vari
able resistor in series with the track battery‘to
the track section, a‘ polarized relay. having one
winding connected across the rails of thetrack
section and an oppositely arranged second wind- ,1‘
‘0- ing connected across the variable resistor, an
armature on the polarized relay biased to, a center
position and operable in either direction there
from by a predominance in the energization of
one or the other oi said windings, an electro-'
55, magnetic ‘actuating means for the variable resis-‘
tor distinctively controlled in accordance with a
relatively,‘ small movement of said armature in
either direction from said center position in re
sponse to changes in ballast resistance, and means
00 , operated by a larger movement of said armature
from said center position in response to shunt
ing of the track circuit by a train for preventing
operation of the actuating means.
5. In a track circuit, an insulated track sec
65 \than, a source 01' energy connected across one end
of the track section, a ‘primary track relay con
nected across the other ‘end of the track section,
a secondary track relay controlled by the primary
track relay, means operated by the secondary
7ovtrack relay for regulating the magnetomotive
force of the primary relay,-a rheostat connected
in series with the source of energy, electro-mag
netic operating means for the rheostat, a control
relay connected across the track section, a first
“contact means on the control relayior control
usual track relama'n?-asourne oi’.~:.;a‘current;.;_,coné;
ture, spring rneanitzi’or wi‘riasingérs‘aids‘armature ,
‘ toward its retracted "?ositi‘onxwith such-force that "it
said armature assumes a neutral position {or}; a
predetermined intererailfyoltageiwmeans rendered
elective upon movement -:oi:,:said1-~v armaturegqfrom
its neutral'positlon byiarr'increase ornecreasein ,
the inter-rail
r‘ahovefzia'ndwlb‘elowr-rt?ldw. ire’
said power means to causeseith'en‘anaincreaseiorwa
decrease in the resistancélioii'saidiresistortaszthe
case may be until said’armature is .restoredito the _, g,
neutral position, and means? responsive tosaxela-‘l‘sg
tively quick and large movementlotes'aid-aarmature
caused by the shuntingi‘iot,athe‘strackicircuitby;a
train‘ for preventing .operatiom Ofslf881d -;-,~;power
means and a change of’saldnra‘akton from til-1e”, _
condition existing at the?
shuntgis" so.
8. In a‘ track circuit for railroadsxhaving' the
. usual track relay and souroeoi". currentzav variable
and the in
the rails
for regulatinggitheyintersrailgs
voltage produced by said 'sourcelunderedl?eitnt
‘ballast conditions, a power y-idevicev‘operahle $.01!!
crease or decrease the resistance:of~saidwresistor
at a relatively slow rate, andr‘controlcmcanafor,
governing the operation oisaidapowerideviceicomi" v‘7o
prising, a winding connected across the, track rails,
a spring biased movable elementtmovahle in; one
direction or the other from a‘neutralspos'ltionrby
an increase or decrease in theér'currentrinqsaid.
winding above or below a predeterminedvalue in” I"
8.1 85,40.
response to an increase or decrease in the particu
circuit for regu
source of current for the track
vlating the voltage impressed across the track
rails from said source, a control relay oi the
tractive armature type having its winding con
nected across the track rails at the feed end oi
cause operation oi said power device and increase . the track circuit, an adjustable spring acting to
or ‘decrease the resistance of said resistor as the move the armature oi said relay toward its re
tracted position, said armature in response to
case may be until said movable element is re
stored to its neutral position, and contact means the iorce exerted by said spring and an energizing 10
co-operating with said movable element and re _ current of a predetermined value in said wind
ing assuming a neutral position, front and back
sponsive to a relatively and sudden large move
10 ment thereof caused by theshunting of the track contacts closed by movement 01 said armature
circuit by a train for preventing operation of irom its neutral position in response to changes
said power device and a change in the condition’ in ballast resistance ior governing the operation 15
of said resistor existing when a train enters the of said variable resistance to increase or decrease
its resistance as required to bring the current
said predetermined
15 track
9. In a track circuit for railroads having the
value, yleldable biasing means opposing move
usual track relay and source of current, a power
operated variable resistance at the iced end of ment oi said armature irom its attracted posl~
the track circuit in series with said source for tion beyond the point at which said back contact
regulating the voltage impressed across the track is closed, and contact means operated by the
20 rails from said source, said variable resistance movement of said armature in opposition to said
lar inter-rail voltage which provides the proper
operating current ior the track relay. contact
means co-operating with said movable element to
having an operating circuit for an increase in
its resistance and another operating circuit for a
decrease, a control relay having its winding con
track rails at the feed end of
armature biased to a neutral position which it
assumes for a predetermined
biasing means and in response to a large decrease
of current in said winding as would be caused
by the shunting oi the track circuit by a train
for rendering the closing 01 said back contact
ineffective to govern said variable resistance.
12. In a track circuit for railroads having the
usual track relay and source of current, a power
said winding, front and back contacts associated
with said armature and respectively closed by
its movement from its neutral point in one direc
tion or the other for energizing one or the other
of said operating circuits to actuate said variable
resistance to increase or decrease its resistance as
the case may be to restore said armature to its
neutral point, and contact means opened by a
relatively quick and large movement of said arms
ture toward its retracted position such as would be
operated variable resistance device ior regulating
the voltage impressed across the track rails from
said source, a control relay oi the tractive arma
ture type having its winding connected across the
adjustable springs acting upon the
armature 0! said relay in opposite directions,
said armature in response to the forces exerted
by said springs and an energizing current of a
produced by the shunting oi the track circuit by a
train for breaking both of said operating circuits
and preventing operation of said resistance de
predetermined value in said winding assuming a
neutral position, a front contact closed by at
traction of said armature from its neutral posi
tion by an increase in said energizing current for
said predetermined
10. In a track circuit ior railroads, in com
bination with a source of current ior supplying
voltage to the track circuit, a variable resistor in
value, a spring biased movable back contact
closed by a small movement of said armature
cluded in series with said source for regulating
the voltage impressed across the track rails from
said source, said resistor having an element mov
position in response to a decrease in the energiz
irom its neutral position toward its retracted
able in opposite directions to increase or decrease
its resistance, a power device for actuating said
element of said resistor, operating circuits for
said power device one for each direction of move
ment of said element, and control means for said
power device comprising, a control relay of the
tractive armature type having its winding con
55 nected across the track rails at the feed end of
the track circuit, adjustable spring means tend
ing to move the armature or said relay in op
posite directions from the neutral point at which
said armature is positioned when a current of
a predetermined value ?ows in said winding, front
and back contacts actuated by the movement of
said armature from its neutral position for en
ergizing one or the other of said operating cir
cuits to cause a change in the resistance of said
resistor to restore the predetermined value of
current in said winding, and contact means oper
ated by a relatively, sudden ahd large movement
of said armature from its neutral position in
response to the shunting oi the track circuit by
a. train for opening both of said operating cir
ing current through said winding for causing
operation of said resistance device to decrease its
resistance until the current through said wind
ing is restored to said predetermined value, and
means associated with said back contact and re
sponsive to a movement thereof in response to a
sudden and large decrease in said energizing
current as would be caused by the shunting of
the track circuit by a train for rendering the
closing of said back contact ine?ective to govern
the operation 0! said resistance device.
13. In a track circuit for railroads, a regulating
device for maintaining substantially constant
inter-rail voltage at the feed end of the track
circuit irrespective of variations in ballast re
sistance comprising, a power-operated variable
resistance device having operating circuits act
ing when respectively energised to increase or
decrease the resistance of said device gradually,
as control relay connected across the track rails
at the feed end of the track circuit and including
an armature spring biased to a neutral position
when a predetermined inter-rail voltage exists,
cuits to prevent a change in said resistor when a
a contact finger carried by said armature for en
gaging a front contact to close one of said oper
train enters the track circuit.
ating circuits when said armature is attracted
beyond said neutral position in response to an II
11. In a track circuit (or railroads. a power
operated variable resistance in series with the
inter-rail voltage greater than said predeter
mined value. a pivoted back contact engaged by
said contact finger to close the other of said
operating circuits when said armature moves
beyond its neutral position in response to a de
crease in said inter-rail voltage, an adjustable
ilxed contact engaging and limiting the move
ment of said pivoted back contact to a position
out of engagement with said contact arm when
said armature is in its neutral position, a spring
pressing said pivoted back contact against said
?xed contact with a predetermined pressure, said
pivoted back contact being moved out of engage
ment with said ?xed contact by movement of
15 said armature in response to a sudden and large
decrease in inter-rail voltage as would be caused
by the shunting oi the track circuit for opening
said other operating circuit controlled by said
back contact.
14. In a track circuit. an insulated track sec
tion, a source of energy (or the track section, a
variable resistor connected in series with the
source of energy to the track section, a‘ mag
netic rotor operably connected to the variable
resistor, electro-magnetic‘ step-by-step means for
selectively imparting intermittent rotation 01' said 5
rotor in either direction, electro-responsive means
connected directly across the track rails and re
sponsive to gradual changes in the inter-rail po
tential for controlling said electro-magnetic
means to adjust said variable resistor to main 10
tain a substantially constant potential across the
track rails to compensate for gradual changes
in inter-rail resistance, and a contact operated
by said electro-responsive means and opened
upon a sudden drop in said inter-rail potential 15
due to the entrance of a train into said track
section for preventing operation of said electro
magnetic means and adjustment of said variable
resistor during the presence of a train in said
track section. ,
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