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Патент USA US3054905

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Sept. 18, 1962
N. A. BOLTON
3,054,891
CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RAILWAY CAR CLASSIFICATION YARD
' Filed May 1a, 1956
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
FIG. I.
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CLASSIFICATION
TRACKS
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NABOLTON
HIS ATTORNEY
Sept. 18, 1962
N. A. BOLTON
3,054,891
CONTROL SYSTEM FOR RAILWAY CAR CLASSIFICATION, YARD
Filed May 18, 1956
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
CLASSIFICATION
[TRACKS
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SPEED MEASURING
MEANS
(TRACKS I AND 2)
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Patented Sept. 18, 1962
.221
3,054,891
complished by measuring the speed of each car as it enters
its classi?cation track. It is believed to be su?icient in
CLAESIFICATEUN YARD
Norman A. Bolton, Rochester, N.Y., assignor to General
Railway Signai Company, Rochester, N35.
Filed May 18, 1956, Ser. No. 585,734
ll Claim. (M. 246-182)
practice merely to determine whether car speed is within
CBNTRGL SYSTEM FOR RAILWAY CAR
the normal range of values or is above or below this nor
mal range of values. For each car detected as entering
its classi?cation track with a speed above the normal range,
of speeds, the speeds of following cars leaving the particu
lar group retarder associated with that classi?cation track
This invention relates to a railway car classi?cation
are decreased by a small amount. For each car detected
yard, and more particularly pertains to an organization for 10 as entering its classi?cation track with a speed less than
controlling the speeds of railway cars in accordance with
the normal speed range, the speed of following cars leaving
the performance of preceding cars travelling to their re
that group retarder is increased slightly.
spective classi?cation tracks.
The system may thus be considered as providing an inte~
In a classi?cation yard, a train of railway freight cars is
grating feedback organization. An occasional car can be
pushed over the crest of the hump, and each car is then 15 expected to reach its classi?cation track with a speed out
allowed to roll by gravity down the hump and over a num
side of the normal range but since the cars which deviate
ber of route-selecting switches to a particular one of a
thus from the norm can be expected to deviate at random
number of destination tracks. In this way, the cars of a
with as many having speeds above as below the normal
train can be classi?ed according to their intended destina
range, the integrating effect results in substantially no
tions.
The grade of the hump is made su?icient so that the car
with the hardest rolling characteristics can travel over
track providing relatively high rolling resistance and yet
20 change of release speed from the group retarder.
How
ever, upon any change in general conditions, such that
many cars tend to arrive at the classi?cation track with a
speed below normal and only a very occasional car or
reach a remote destination in the classi?cation yard,
none at all arriving at speeds above the predetermined
despite other adverse factors such as strong headwinds, 25 range, then the overall effect is to increase the release
with suflicient speed to couple onto other cars already in
speed from‘ the group retarder. Under these circum‘
that destination track. Easier rolling cars must, conse
stances,
successive increments of release speed from the
quently, be decelerated so that they too may reach their
group retarder can be expected until normal conditions
destination tracks with a suitable coupling speed. This
have been restored, i.e. with most of the cars arriving
deceleration is accomplished by providing car retarders
with speeds in the normal range and with the occasional
along the track rails whose brake shoe beams apply con
deviations from the normal range occurring substantially
trollable braking pressure to the rims of the car wheels.
in equal numbers above and below the normal range.
In rolling from the crest of the hump, the cars are
More speci?cally, the system provides a timing track
switched by an automatic switching system from the main
circuit at the entrance of each classi?cation track. Two
track to a plurality of branch tracks and then over addi 35 timing relays are associated with this track circuit. For a
tional switches to their ?nal destination tracks. One or
car travelling at a lower speed, neither of the relays will be
more car retarders are located along the main track, and
range of speeds, one of the two timing relays will be actu
these are called “hump retarders.” Additional car re~
ated but not the other in the interval required for each car
tarders are included in some of the branch tracks as well
or cut of cars to traverse the timing track circuit. For a
so that the speed of each car or out can be controlled
car travelling at a lower speed, neither of the relays will be
for the particular conditions relating to the group of tracks
actuated as it traverses the timing track circuit, but for a
it will travel over, and these retarders are called “group
fast car, both timing relays will be actuated in this interval.
retarders.”
The timing relays are effective to selectively energize a
In modern classi?cation yards, apparatus is provided for
direct current motor for a brief interval as each car leaves
automatically controlling the various retarders with the 45 the timing track circuit. For cars having speeds within the
objective of causing each car to reach its intended destina
tion with a preselected coupling speed. The control sys
predetermined range, the motor is not not. energized.
For cars travelling with speeds above the predetermined
tem determines the car’s weight, its rolling characteristics,
range, the motor receives one polarity of energization
destination, and various other factors, and from this data
causing it to drive in one direction, while a car travelling
determines the desired releasing speed for each car from 50 with a speed below the predetermined range will cause the
the group retarder. Speed measuring apparatus is also
opposite polarity of energization to be applied to the motor
causing it to drive in the opposite direction. The motor
drives, through a reduction gear train, a potentiometer and
thus affects the amplitude of a reference voltage provided
from the group retarder in order that it will arrive at its
for a computing circuit organization known as a modi?er.
destination track with the proper coupling speed, rolla— 55 The result of a change in this reference voltage is a change
bility conditions must be taken into account, along with
in the release speeds of cars from the associated group
the route the car must traverse to reach its classi?cation
retarder with the release speed increasing as the reference
track. Frequently, however, the actual conditions are
voltage is increased and vice versa.
found to vary considerably from the assumed values with 60 Thus, an object of this invention is to provide a control
the result that a car may reach its classi?cation track with
system for a railway car classi?cation yard operating as
a speed considerably above or below the desired value.
an integrating feedback organization whereby the speeds
The change in conditions may be brought about in various
of cars are controlled in accordance with the integrated
Ways, such as by a rainstorm ‘which abruptly decreases the
performance of previous cars passing through the classi?
frictional effect of the rails upon the wheels of moving 65 cation yard.
cars. On the other hand, it has been found that after a
Another object of this invention is to provide a car
rainstorm, a coating of rust quickly appears upon the
retarder control system wherein a deviation in car speed
track rails and markedly increases the frictional effect
entering a classi?cation track is effective to modify release
provided that is effective to release each retarder as soon
as it has reduced the car speed to the desired value.
To compute for each car the release speed it should have
for a time until a number of cars have passed over the
track and removed the rust ?lm.
speeds from the car retarders in a direction to correct for
to overcome these deleterious effects. Brie?y, this is ac
control system for a railway car classi?cation yard where
the deviation.
The system of the present invention has been organized 70 An ‘additional object of this invention is to provide a
(.1
in the speed of each car entering a classi?cation track is
determined as falling with, above, or below a normal
range of speed values and with the deviations from the
normal range being provided as a feedback to correct the
group retarder releasing speed to overcome such devia
When no cars are occupying any of these circuits, the
track relays ST, TR2, ‘and TRI are all picked up so that
their back contacts 14, 15, and 16, respectively, are all
open with the result that no energy can be applied to the
two timing relays T1 and T2 which are provided with
slow release characteristics as indicated by the heavy base
tions.
Other objects, purposes, and ‘characteristic features of
line of the symbol representing each relay. However, as
this invention will in part be obvious from the accompany
soon as a car enters the switch track circuit so that relay
ence characters designate corresponding parts in the sev
eral views and in which:
FIG. 1 diagrammatically illustrates ‘a portion of the
circuit so that track relay TRl drops away, a circuit is
established through front contact 17 of relay TRZ, and
ST drops away, the closure of back contact 14 of this
ing drawings, and in part pointed out as the description
of the invention progresses.
10 relay establishes a circuit to energize both the timing re
lays T1 and T2.
|In describing the invention in detail, reference will be
Assuming that the car is routed to classi?cation track
made to the accompanying drawings in which like refer
track layout of a typical classi?cation yard;
FIG. 2 illustrates the circuit organization whereby a
direct current motor may be selectively operated in ac
cordance with detected deviations in car speed from the
normal at the entrance to each classi?cation track; and
FIG. 3 illustrates how the selective control of a motor
in accordance with car speed at entrance to the classi?ca~
tion tracks may be effective to modify releasing speeds
from the group retarders.
To simplify the illustration and facilitate in the explana
tion of this invention, various parts and circuits constitut
ing the embodiment of this invention are shown diagram~
matically and certain conventional illustrations are used.
The drawings have been made to make it easy to under
stand the principles and manner of operation rather than
to illustrate the speci?c construction and arrangement of
parts that would be used in practice. The various relays
and their contacts are shown in a conventional manner and
symbols are used to indicate connections to the terminals
of batteries or other sources of electric current.
FIG. 1 illustrates a portion of the track layout in a
typical car classi?cation yard. A train of cars is pushed
up the hump, and then the cars are allowed to roll singly
No. l, as soon as its front truck enters the timing track
back contact 18 of relay TRl, and the winding of relay
STK so that this relay is picked up. At this time, the
closed back contact 16 of relay TRl places the (-1-)
energy on wire 19 but the now open back contact 20 of
relay STK prevents the energization of the timing relays
T1 ‘and T2 through this circuit although these relays are
both still energized through back contact 14 of relay ST.
When the car advances so that it is fully within the
timing track circuit, and with the rear truck of the car
removed from the switch track circuit, relay ST is restored
to its normal picked-up condition. The opening of back
contact 14 of this relay then deenergizes both the timing
relays T1 and T2. The drop-away time of relay T1 is
adjusted relative to the length of the timing track circuit
and to the speed of a car so that a car travelling with a
speed falling within the normal range of speeds for a
‘car at this point will traverse the timing track circuit in
a time somewhat longer than that required for relay T1
to drop ‘away. A car travelling with a speed above the
normal range will traverse the timing track circuit in a
time less than that required for relay T1 to drop away.
On the other hand, the dropping away time of relay T2
is adjusted so that it will drop away only when a car
takes more than the normal length of time to traverse the
branching tracks to their ?nal destination tracks. A hump 40 timing track circuit indicating that such car is travelling at
a speed below the normal range of speeds. Therefore,
retarder is located ahead of the ?rst switch, and additional
at the instant a car leaves the timing track circuit, the
retardation is provided by one or more group retarders
conditions of the two timing relays T1 and T2 together
located in each of the several branching tracks. The
determine the speed range of the car. That is, if at that
gradient of the yard is also shown in FIG. 1 to illustrate
moment, relay T1 is dropped away but relay T2 has not
that the cars roll by gravity from the hump crest to their
yet dropped away, it is then established that the car
intended destination tracks. Only two ‘groups, each in
travelled over the timing track circuit in the normal time
cluding eight classi?cation tracks, are shown, each group
and thus was travelling at a speed falling within the normal
being associated with a respective group retarder such as
range of speeds. If both relays T1 and T2 are dropped
the retarders A and B.
away at that moment, it indicates that the car took a more
FIG. 2 shows the manner in which the measurement
than normal length of time to travel over the track circuit,
of car speed at the entrance to each classi?cation track of
thereby giving relay T2 as well as relay T1 an opportunity
a group is effective to provide a feedback type of input
or in cuts of several cars over the various switches and
to a DC. motor. This motor operates a variable poten
tiometer in such a manner that the leaving speed of cars
to drop away. This indicates that such a car was travel
ling at a speed ‘falling below the normal speed range.
from the associated group retarded is affected. Means 55 The third condition is represented by both relays T1 and
similar to that shown in FIG. 2 is provided for each
T2 being picked up at the moment the car leaves the
group of classi?cation track to control the associated re
timing track circuit. This condition indicates that the car
tarder.
passed through the timing circuit so quickly that not even
Only two of the classi?cation tracks of a group are
relay T1 had an opportunity to drop away, and this indi
shown in FIG. 2, and only the speed measuring means 60 cates that the car was travelling at a speed above the
10 ‘associated with these two tracks is shown in detail.
normal speed range.
Similar speed measuring means is provided for each of
It is desired that the conditions of the two timing relays
the remaining pairs of tracks of a group ‘as represented
T1 and T2 be maintained for a brief interval following
by the blocks 11, 12, and 13.
A track circuit is associated with the track switch over 65 the exit of the car from the timing track circuit in order
that the proper input can be applied to the DC. motor.
which cars must pass to reach either classi?cation tracks
Thus, it is necessary that the pick-up circuits for these two
1 or 2. This track circuit includes the track relay ST
relays not be immediately re-establi-shed since this would
immediately pick up either or both of the timing relays
in the event that they had dropped away during the time
tween the insulated joints establishing the limits of this
the car was passing through the timing track circuit. On
track circuit. Additional track circuits respectively in
the other hand, it is also required that either or both of
cluding the track relays TRl and TRZ are provided for
these relays which had not had sufficient time to drop
each of the classi?cation tracks, and these extend from
away during the interval the car was traversing the timing
the limits of the switch track circuit a predetermined dis
75 track circuit also not be allowed to drop away during this
tance.
which is normally energized but becomes dropped away
when a car is occupying the track circuit anywhere be—
5
3,054,891
brief interval occurring when the car ?rst leaves the tim
ing track circuit.
These conditions are met by controlling the separate
stick circuits of the timing relays T1 and T2 through con
tact 21 of the relay STK. As already explained, relay
STK is picked up while the car is in the timing track
circuit. As soon as the car leaves the timing track cir
cuit so that both relays TRZ and TRl are picked up, the
pick-up circuit for relay STK is immediately interrupted.
Relay STK does not immediately drop away, however,
because of its slow release characteristics as indicated by
the heavy base line for the symbol representing the relay.
As a result, energy is supplied from (-1-), through front
contact 17 of relay TR2, front contact 18 of relay TR1,
and front contact 21 of relay STK, to wire 22. If either
or both of the relays T1 and T2 is then picked up, a stick
circuit is completed through its respective front contact
23 or 24 and the lower winding of the respective relay to
maintain it momentarily energized. At this time also, the
6
range respectively. The inclusion of contact '34 in the
pick-up circuit of relay F and the similar inclusion of con
tact 36 in the pick-up circuit of realy S prevents the
simultaneous picking up of ‘both of these relays. It thus
becomes impossible for both of the relays S and -F to be
simultaneously picked up in response to different inputs
from different speed measuring means.
FIG. 3 illustrates the manner in which the DC. motor
25 of FIG. 2 is effective through a reduction gearing 41
to drive the movable tap 42 of a potentiometer 43. This
potentiometer 43 is included in a series of potentiometers
connected in series between (-1-) and ground. The mov
able taps on the two potentiometers 44 and ‘45 are con
nected to the top and bottom terminals, respectively, of a
resistor 46 having a number of ?xed taps. As is fully
disclosed in the co-pending application of J. H. Auer, Jr.,
Ser. No. 578,047, ?led April 13, 1956, the hump leaving
speed storage and transfer circuits 47 are selectively con
trolled -in accordance with the speed at which each car
picked-up conditions of the track relays ST, TR2, and 20 leaves the hump retarder. The effect is diagrammatically
TRl prevent the energization of the upper winding of
either relay T1 or T2. Both these timing relays are thus
maintained in the condition they had at the instant the
illustrated by a rotary contact 48 which is capable of
moving to any one of a number of ?xed positions entirely
in accordance with the speed at which a car leaves the
timing track circuit was vacated by the car. It is not
hump retarder. The voltage that then appears on wire 49
until the relay STK has dropped away that the stick cir 25 is a function of the position of the rotary contact and is
cuit described is opened at front contact 21 so that both
thus dependent upon the speed of the car as it left the
timing relays can then be dropped away.
hump retarder.
It is in the brief interval following the vacating of the
As indicated in FIG. 3, this voltage upon wire v49 is the
track circuit resulting in the deenergization of relay STK
reference entering speed voltage that is applied to the
but before this relay has had time to release that the
modi?er associated with the A group retarder. This
DC. motor 25 receives its momentary input. Thus, a
reference entering speed voltage is a DC. voltage whose
circuit is established which supplies (+) energy through
level is proportional to the expected speed of a car of
front contact 26 of relay TR2, front contact 27 of relay
known rolling characteristics at the entrance to the group
TR1, and front contact 28 of relay STK, to wire 29. If
retarder. This expected speed is, of course, dependent
the car was travelling with a speed falling within the 35 upon the speed at which the car left the hump retarder,
normal speed range so that relay T1 is dropped away
and it is for this reason that the hump leaving speed stor
but relay T2 is still picked up, then obviously no circuit
age and transfer circuits 47 are provided so that they can
can be completed from the now energized wire 29 to
be effective to set the level of this reference entering
either wire 30 or wire 31.
Neither of the relays S nor
speed voltage in accordance with the hump leaving speed.
F, therefore, is picked up. On the other hand, for a car 40
As is disclosed in the previously mentioned application
travelling at a speed above the normal speed range so
of J. H. Auer, Jr., Ser. No. 578,047, ?led April 13, 1956,
that both relays T1 and T2 are picked up, the energy on
the speed of each car is again measured as it approaches
wire 29 can then be applied through front contact 32 of
the group retarder and this actual speed is compared with
relay T1, front contact 33 of relay T2, to wire 31, and
the expected speed, and the difference in these two speeds
then through back contact 34 of relay S and the winding 45 then establishes the rolling characteristics of the car. This
of relay F to (—-). However, for a car travelling with a
quantity is then used as a factor in determining the desired
speed below the normal speed range so that both relays
release speed of each car from the group retarder. It
T1 and T2 are dropped away, a similar circuit is provided
follows from this description, that the speed at which a car
through back contact 32 and 35 of relays T1 and T2,
leaves the group retarder can be affected by changing the
respectively, wire 30, the winding of relay S and back 50 reference entering speed Voltage. Thus, an increase in
contact 36 of relay F to energize the winding of relay S.
this reference entering speed voltage tends to increase the
This energization of either relay S or F is maintained
leaving speed from the group retarder.
only until relay STK drops away and opens its front con
The cut length detector 50 is effective in this way to
tact 28. The result is then that neither of the relays S nor
act on the value of the reference entering speed voltage.
F is energized for a car travelling at the normal speed; for
Cuts of several cars cannot roll freely between hump and
fast cars, the relay F is picked up, and for slow cars
group retarders for as long a time as can an individual car.
the relay S is picked up.
Such a cut therefore arrives at the group retarder at a
If relay S is picked up, a circuit is completed to energize
lower speed than would a single car having substantially
the DC. motor which includes the front contacts 37 and
the same rolling characteristics. As a result, the cut
38 of this relay S, and this circuit results in a flow of cur 60 length detector 50 is provided to arbitrarily decrease the
rent from left to right through the motor. Conversely,
reference entering speed voltage for cuts in excess of
the picking up of relay F establishes a circuit through its
one or two cars. More speci?cally, the detection of a cut
front contacts 39 and 40 that produces a ?ow of current
of several cars in length causes the cut length detector 50
from right ‘to left through the motor. This circuit organ
to close back contacts 51 and 52. This places a shunt
ization thus provides that the motor will rotate momen 65 between the tap on potentiometer 53 and the lower
tarily in one direction for fast travelling cars and in the
terminal of the potentiometer, thereby decreasing the
opposite direction for the same length of time for slow
resistance in the lower portion of this series of potentiom~
travelling cars, but will not be energized at all for cars
eters. The result is decrease in voltage between the two
travelling at a speed falling within the predetermined range
taps on the potentiometers 44 and 45, thereby decreasing
of speeds.
70 the reference entering voltage appearing on wire 49. The
Similar speed measuring means is provided for each
closure of back contact 52 similarly decreases the refer
pair of classi?cation tracks. Thus, a car routed for
ence voltage applied to the modi?er for the B group
either track 3 or track ‘4 will cause the speed measuring
retarder.
means 11 to selectively actuate the relays S and F for
In the same way, movement of the tap of potentiometer
a car travelling below or above the preselected speed 75 43 by the DC. motor 25 is effective to raise or lower the
3,054,
1
it
What I claim is:
voltage existing on the taps of the two potentiometers 44
and 45 and thus on wire 49 also. When the tap is moved
upward towards the upper terminal of the potentiometer
43, the e?ective resistance provided by the potentiometer
is increased With a resulting increase of reference entering
voltage on wire ‘49. Similarly, moving the tap lower on
this potentiometer 43 results in a decrease in reference
A speed measuring system for the control of a group
car retarder disposed in a group track from which cars
pass through a track switch selectively to either ‘of two
5, laterally disposed classi?cation tracks comprising:
(a) a detector track circuit for said track switch in
cluding a track relay for registering the presence of
entering speed voltage.
a car,
Each input that the DC. motor receives in response to
a single car results in only a very small movement of the 10
tap 42 on potentiometer 43 and a correspondingly small
([2) a track circuit including a track relay in each of
voltage change of the reference entering speed voltage.
pre-determined distance of trackway,
(0) two normally inactive timers operable when initiat
It is only when cars are consistently entering their classi
?cation tracks of a particular group of such tracks with a
speed above or below the normal speed range that the 15
reference entering speed voltage is appreciably affected.
The result of such change in the reference entering speed
voltage tends to correct the deviations so that the DC.
motor 25 then receives less inputs tending to drive it in
that direction. ‘If car speeds deviate from the normal in 20
the classi?cation tracks adjoining said detector track
circuit for registering the passage of a car along a
ed to time different time intervals,
(d) ‘circuit means including said track relay of said
detector track circuit and said track relay of either
one of said adjoining track circuits responsive to the
passage of a car from the detector track circuit to an
adjoining track circuit for initiating both of said
timers simultaneously, and
(e) circuit means responsive to the passage of a car out
the opposite direction, then the DC. motor receives inputs
of the opposite polarity tending to drive the potentiom
eter tap in the opposite direction with the result that the
reference entering speed voltage then also varies in the
opposite direction. The system is thus self-correcting and 25
tends to maintain the speeds of cars at the entrance to
of either of said adjoining track circuits for selective
ly registering any one of at least two speed classi
?cations in accordance with the condition of said
timers at that time.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
theclassi?cation tracks within the predetermined range of
such speed.
The preferred embodiment disclosed herein comprises
a single D.C. motor and potentiometer for each group of 30
classi?cation tracks and with the resulting control being
exercised only upon the control apparatus for the partic
ular retarder associated with that group of classi?cation
tracks. The principles of this invention apply equally
well, however, if all that various speed measuring means 35
associated with the various tracks provide inputs to a
single motor which then controls individual potentiom
1,586,989
Preston _______________ __ July 9, 1929
2,045,201
Rabourdin ___________ __ June 23, 1936
2,076,955
Livingston ___________ __ Apr. 13, 1937
2,669,489
2,770,775
2,814,996
Kuhn _______________ __ Feb. 16, 1954
Agnew ______________ __ Nov. 13, 1956
Albrighton ___________ __ Dec. 3, 1957
208,415
Australia ____________ __ Oct. 27', 1955
FOREIGN PATENTS
eters each relating to a respective control means for a
group retarder. Furthermore, although this system has
Haines _______________ __ June 1, 1926
1,720,635
been particularly disclosed with reference to a gravity type 40
OTHER REFERENCES
classi?cation yard having a plurality of car retarders, it
is apparent that the principles disclosed and claimed here
Ser. No. 320,937, Rabourdin (A.P.C.)', published May
in apply as well to yards which are ?at and wherein the
25, 1943, now abandoned.
cars are moved to their classi?cation tracks by other
means such as car accelerators.
45
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