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Патент USA US3069872

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Dec. 25, 1962
Filed Dec. 5, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
Dec. 25, 1962
Filed Dec. 5, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 2
Dec. 25, 1962
Filed Dec. 5, 1960
3 Sheets-Sheet 3
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United States
Patented Dec. 25, l§62
ably, only a single set of rail tracks but one which can
Joseph B. _Ward, 869 (Ientral Bldg, Seattle 4, Wash.
Filed pee. 5, 1960, Ser. No. 73,862
be adjusted accurately and quickly to unload or load
from any one of a plurality of rail car tracks on the
?oating vessel.
Further objects, advantages and capabilities will be
5 Claims. (Cl. 61-48)
apparent from the description and disclosure in the draw
This present invention relates to transfer bridge con
ings or may be comprehended or are inherent in the de
struction wherein one end of the bridge is pivotably
secured on the shore end and pivotably mounted upon
FIGURE 1 is a top plan view showing my transfer
a ?oating pontoon at its seaward end. More speci?cally, 10 bridge and the pontoon which provides buoyancy for the
this invention relates to transfer means for loading and
outer or seaward end of the bridge section, illustrating
unloading wheeled vehicles from a ?oating car-barge,
the two extreme positions of a barge having a plurality
ferry, train-ship, or other ?oating vessel. Means are
of rail tracks and showing how it can be conveniently
further provided so that the transfer means will provide
aligned with the track of the transfer bridge.
a suitable passageway from the vessel to shore which may
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the structure of FIG
URE 1.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG
be adjusted to compensate for tidal action or varying
levels of the vessel as it is being loaded or unloaded.
There is an increasing demand for the transfer of
loaded vehicles from one port to another. In the larger
ports this transfer problem is met by permanent installa
URE 2 showing in greater detail the structure employed
at the seaward end of the bridge section and the pontoon
means used to give it buoyancy.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged top plan view showing a
tions of suitable dockage and mechanical adjusting
means so that wheeled vehicles vof various types, including
unloading loaded wheeled vehicles presents a very dif
ficult problem. Particularly for railroad cars the trans
barge and the seaward end of my unloading transfer
bridge and illustrating a modi?ed form thereof.
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view illustrating a form of
barge maneuvering means used with my equipment and
showing the seaward end of my transfer bridge member
in fragmentary form.
FIGURE 6 is a vertical diagrammatic view showing
the means for moving ‘and securing a barge in its ad
fer is a very difficult ‘one due to the fact that the cars “
justed transverse position.
themselves as well as their loads are heavy and the grades
up which they can be handled is usually only a fraction
of that which can be negotiated by motor vehicles. In
the small ports it is necessary to have means that will
trating the location of the position sensing and electrical
switching devices.
compensate, first, for change in level between the shore
switching devices.
railroad cars, may be loaded aboard ship at any time
without undue difficulty.
In the outlying small ports,
however, such as are common along the undeveloped
coast of British Columbia ‘and Alaska and other like
areas throughout the world the problem of loading and
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view in elevation illus
FIGURE 8 is a face view of one of the sensing and
Referring to the drawings, throughout which like ref
end of the railroad and the deck of the boat as it is
affected by tidal conditions and, ‘secondly, for the changing
buoyancy of the vessel in loading or unloading. My
present equipment is believed to provide a very acceptable
erence characters indicate like parts, 1t) designates the
bridge section. This unit is preferably for-med of pre
stressed concrete which is cellular in form and is pro
solution of this problem permitting rapid loading or un- 4
vided with an upper closured web or deck 12 and a lower
closure web or bottom 14. The deck and bottom are
loading of a vessel and providing this at a reasonable
cost, thus keeping the whole venture within economic
A principal object of this present invention, therefore
is to provide a transfer bridge, one end of which is ?oat
ing, and to maintain the ?oating end at substantially a
constant level with respect to the water level to facilitate
the loading or unloading to or from the deck of a barge
or other ?oating vessel.
A further object of this invention is to provide a trans- U
fer bridge in which its shore end is pivotably secured for
movement in a vertical plane and which has its seaward
concrete slabs which make the bridge section ?oatable.
The enclosing slabs are of su?icient thickness to give
strength intermediate the transverse ribs 16 and the
longitudinal partition ribs 13. It is not intended that the
bridge section will be buoyant because of this compart
mentation while actually in use. However, the compart
mentation does give a very strong lightweight concrete
structure making it possible to construct the bridge sec
tion in relatively long lengths and to then ?oat the same
into position where it can be easily secured to the shore
by pivots 2%. Normally, a plurality of pivots 20 are
end supported by a pontoon ?oat which raises and low
employed which are axially aligned and properly sup
ers the seaward end of the bridge section as the tides
ported as by piers 22. These pivots are to take care of
the vertical movement of the bridge section but, because
of the length of the bridge section and the fact that it is
normally subject to wave action, additional means must
change the water level.
A further object of this invention is to provide addi
tional pivoted means, pivoted to the main bridge at one
be provided to insure working positioning of the bridge
end and supported from the pontoon at its other end
section. - This is usually provided by a plurality of piling
to maintain the seaward end of the combined transfer
bridge at a suitable unloading level with respect to 60 as at 24 and 26 which is usually bound together to form
the deck of a barge or other ?oating vessel.
A further object of this invention is to provide a pen
toon ?oat for the seaward end of a transfer bridge, the
level of which can be adjusted to a required level by
water ballast means.
A further object of this invention is to provide power
operated lift means which will maintain a precise rela
tionship between the seaward end of the transfer bridge
a ‘dolphin of suf?cient strength to resist any wave or
current action in moving the bridge section transversely
but which will still give a slight degree of resiliency. To
this end pivots 20 should be arranged to accept this
C) 01 limited movement of the bridge section.
At its seaward end bridge section 10 is pivotably se
cured at ‘3% to a compartmentized pontoon ?oat 32. Nor
mally a plurality of pivots 30 are used in axial alignment
transversely of the bridge section and these should be
changes trim due to the shifting of weight by the load 70 disposed equally with respect to the center of buoyancy
of pontoon 32 so there will be no tendency on the part
ing and unloading of the wheeled vehicles.
A further object of this invention is to provide, prefer ‘i of the pontoon to overturn in either direction. Normally
and a barge or deck of a ship as the ?oating vessel
' 4
pivots 20, on the shore end of the bridge section, are
power operated positioning means which are preferably
under the surface of the deck are employed. These may
be hydraulic jacks 53 or mechanically operated means
which must, in any event, be quickly responsive to an
operator’s manual operation, or to an operation that is
selected at an elevation most suitable for connection to
the rail tracks 34 and once installed the bridge section is
permanently anchored at pivots 20. The purpose of the
pontoon is to raise or lower the seaward end of the
bridge section in order to compensate for tidal di?ierenee
preferably triggered by sensing means disposed to register
in elevation of the water surface. It is to be understood
‘that several factors aifect the level of the tracks on the
the difference in level between the jumper section track
age and the trackage of the vessel being served.
transfer bridge as well as on the ship being served,
A suitable sensing and electrical switching device is
namely, the normal level of the deck of the various sea 10 illustrated in FIGURE 8. A base 56 is pivoted at 57
borne vessels to be accommodated, the displacement of
and yieldably positioned by springs 56a and 5612. A
the vessel due to its loading, and ?nally the varying dif
probe 59 is pivoted to base 56 and con?ned to a limited
ferences in level of the deck as the vessel is loading or
transverse movement by stops 59a and 5912. Spring 61
being unloaded.
biases the probe away from the micro-switch 63. The
In order that the trackage on the bridge section will be 15 electrical current controlled by the switch is preferably
substantially at the same elevation as that of the vessel,
it has been ‘found necessary to employ a plurality of
valves or seacocks 38, which are normally provided with
motorized control means, usually on about the level of
the trackage. Seacocks should be provided for all the 20
lead to a relay, not shown, to operate a reversible motor
suitably arranged to move the barge transversely with re
spect to jumper 50 or to move the jumper vertically with
respect to the barge B. Normally a minimum of four of
the sensing devices are required and a minimum of two
various compartments so that they can control the ver
electric motors. This mechanism only supplements the
tical height of the pivot point 30 and also can be em
hydraulic positioning of pontoon 32. It is quickly re
ployed to change the trim of the pontoon itself to main
sponsive while the pontoon is necessarily slow in its move
tain it in a substantially level floating condition at all
ments as pointed out previously.
times. In normal use the opening of the seacocks allows
Reference is now made to the plan view made in FIG
water to flow into the pontoon compartments 40 and
URES l, 4 and 5, where it will be noted that the top deck
lower the pontoon. To make it possible to raise the
58 of jumper section 54} has its seaward end beveled off
pontoon, a plurality of discharge pumps 42 are provided,
both ways from the track axis as is indicated at 60V and 62.
preferably, one for each separate compartment which
These beveled portions join a short central face portion
normally should have about the same water handling 30 64 which is normal to the longitudinal axis of the rail
capacity as the seacocks in order that the changes of
tracks. Any of the various types of vessels which will be
elevation can be made within the time limits indicated
employed to transport rail cars must, as an economic con
as desirable.
sideration, carry a plurality of tracks so that the carrier
Pontoon 32 is positioned by two agencies. The ‘bridge
can be adequately loaded and balanced for its water
section 10, through the pivoted connections at 30 deter 35 borne trip. It has been ‘found that the structure of this
mines the distance of the pontoon from pivots 20. The
transverse positioning is assured by the pile dolphins 24
and 26 which ?rst, de?nitely position the pontoon and
transfer bridge becomes large, heavy and somewhat costly
even when a single set of tracks 66 is employed. It is
therefore not practical to employ a plurality of tracks
then insure that the bridge section will not swing in a
which would involve transverse balancing, enlarged pon
horizontal plane about pivots 20 in excess of the amount 40 toons, and many other considerations, all of which would
that can be properly taken care of by the mounting of
increase bulk as well as cost of the transfer bridge struc
pivots 20.
ture. It therefore has been found that as the carrier is
Experience has shown that the pontoon, which nor
maneuvered from the three pile dolphins, 70, 72, and 74,
mally has considerable mass and depth, will not be as
that the unloading end of the barge or other carrier can
quickly responsive to the ?otation effect of the water
be brought into unloading position with respect to track
as are the various types of ?oating vessels. Because of
66 by the maneuvers indicated in FIGURES l, 4 and 5,
this fact, it has been found that the water ingress and
wherein suitably arranged cable portions 76 and 77 can
egress means for the pontoon must handle a consider
able amount of water in order to change the vertical
height of the pontoon. Further, it is di?‘icult to make
changes in the level of the pontoon fast enough to take
care of the relative vertical movement of ‘the pontoon
and the vessel. It has therefore been found desirable
to employ an equalizing jumper section 50‘ which is pivot
ably secured at 52 to the bridge section 10 at one end
which forms a continuation of the bridge section deck 12,
including the rail tracks as well as lateral extensions 54
and 55.
be operated to move the barge B so as to effect the opera
tional alignment.
Suitable manipulation of cable por
50 tions 76 and 77 by an operator normally mounted on one
of the platforms 54 or 55, will make it possible to quickly
move barge B, or any other type vessel being served, the
relatively small amount necessary to bring the desired
trackage of the vessel in operational alignment with the
single track 66 and its continuation on the equalizing
jumper section 50.
The transverse maneuvering of the shore end of barge
These lateral extensions are desirable as a
B is probably best shown in FIGURES 4, 5, 6 and 7. A
satisfactory arrangement is to provide, in effect, an end
and the essential personnel employed to operate the same.' 60 less cable 75 having the securing portions 76 and 77.
The jumper section is preferably also formed of pre
Loops 78 and 79 formed by cable clamps are provided to
stressed concrete construction and will therefore have
engage the bits 86 and 82 positioned on opposite sides of
considerable mass. The length of the jumper section
barge B. A bight of cable 84 connects the loops and in
along the axis of the bridge section 10 should be consider
sures the convenient positioning of the loops when barges
able and the design characteristics covering its length
B are being changed. The cable is reeved through sheaves
will be the expected elevation range of the seaward end
as and 87 to form the under-water bight 88. Powered
56 which must move in accordance with the difference
Winches are provided at 90 and 91 with a powered take-up
of the movements between the pontoon and the vessel
winch at 93 to which both ends of the cable are normally
being served.
secured. The motors of winches 9th and 91 are responsive
A second consideration is the frequency with which
to the sensing and switching of switch means 56 disposed
the changes in level must be effected. It follows that
to sense transverse movements.
to make a joining of rail tracks on the jumper and those
It is ‘believed that it will be clearly apparent from the
on the deck of the vessel an elevating means must be
above description and the disclosure in the drawings that
provided which is quick in operation as distinct from the
the invention comprehends a novel construction of trans
maneuvering space for the necessary handling equipment
buoyancy control of the pontoon, and for this purpose’ 75 fer bridge for transferring wheeled vehicles.
Having thus disclosed my invention,
1 claim:
1. A transfer bridge for unloading and loading wheeled
vehicles from a floating train-ship or other ?oating vessel
having a plurality of longitudinal rail tracks, comprising,
a longitudinally tracked transfer bridge section pivotally
including valve means disposed to admit water to said
pontoon and Water rejection means to discharge water from
said pontoon to change its ?oatation level and thus com
pensate for the changing level of the water craft as it is
loaded or unloaded.
4. The subject matter of claim 1 in which said trans
secured at its land end for pivotal movement thereof in a
fer bridge section is of cellular form to provide ?oatation
vertical plane, a ?oating pontoon having pivot means dis
posed at the axis of buoyancy thereof, said pivot means
by towing to the point of installation.
for said bridge section so the same may be transported
pivotally supporting the ?oating end of said transfer bridge 10 5. The subject matter of claim 1 in which the seaward
end of said jumper bridge is positioned vertically and
section, a jumper bridge pivotally supported at its shore
horizontally by motor driven means controlled by sensing
ward end by said transfer bridge section, means carried
means actuated by the relative movement of said jumper
by the seaward end of said pontoon for supporting the
bridge and the ?oating vessel being serviced.
seaward end of said jumper bridge in a vertically adjust
able manner, an equalizing section of trackage mounted 15
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
on said jumper bridge and disposed to coact with the track
age of said transfer bridge section, and vertical guide
means of piling driven into the sea bottom and positioned
French _____________ .... Oct. 14, 1930
to slidingly engage said jumper bridge section to con?ne
Helmers ______________ __ May 14, 1940
the same against lateral movement.
2. The subject matter of claim 1 in which the seaward
end of said jumper bridge is beveled in the horizontal
plane, shoreward on each side from the axially positioned
trackage, to adapt it for engagement with the end of a
water craft.
3. The subject matter of claim 1 in which water bal
last means is provided for said pontoon; said means
Turnbull ___________ __ Aug. 17,
Watson ______________ __ Aug. 9,
Harris _______________ __ Oct. 30,
Usab ________________ _._ Oct. 28,
Germany ____________ __ July 18, 1931
Germany _____________ __ Apr. 17, 1958
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