US20130239841A1 - Trolley Transport System - Google Patents

Trolley Transport System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130239841A1
US20130239841A1 US13/832,182 US201313832182A US2013239841A1 US 20130239841 A1 US20130239841 A1 US 20130239841A1 US 201313832182 A US201313832182 A US 201313832182A US 2013239841 A1 US2013239841 A1 US 2013239841A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
cable
line
transport
trolley
transport block
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US13/832,182
Inventor
Daniel Blair Boren
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Adventure Holdings LLC
Original Assignee
Adventure Holdings LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US13/419,239 priority Critical patent/US8783190B2/en
Application filed by Adventure Holdings LLC filed Critical Adventure Holdings LLC
Priority to US13/832,182 priority patent/US20130239841A1/en
Publication of US20130239841A1 publication Critical patent/US20130239841A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61BRAILWAY SYSTEMS; EQUIPMENT THEREFOR NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B61B7/00Rope railway systems with suspended flexible tracks
    • B61B7/06Rope railway systems with suspended flexible tracks with self-propelled vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61DBODY DETAILS OR KINDS OF RAILWAY VEHICLES
    • B61D17/00Construction details of vehicle bodies
    • B61D17/02Construction details of vehicle bodies reducing air resistance by modifying contour ; Constructional features for fast vehicles sustaining sudden variations of atmospheric pressure, e.g. when crossing in tunnels
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T30/00Transportation of goods or passengers via railways, e.g. energy recovery or reducing air resistance

Abstract

A trolley transport system comprising at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable, a pulley rotatably mounted to each support, a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys, a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys, an attachment device secured to the line, a connecting line secured to the attachment device; and a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. The Field of the Invention
  • The present invention is directed to a method and system for transporting a trolley and a payload or rider along a suspended cable or rope system.
  • 2. The Background Art
  • Many systems, such as zipline rides, employ a trolley for traveling on a suspended cable or rope system to transport a rider or other type of load across distances by force of gravity. However, in circumstances when the force of gravity is insufficient to overcome the frictional forces on the trolley and/or the loss of momentum of a rider who has come to rest on the cable, a supplemental means of propelling the trolley is necessary to transport the rider to the desired landing point.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In view of the foregoing, in accordance with the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, a method and apparatus are disclosed for providing propulsive force to a trolley used to support a zipline rider. Also, the system operates without the need for any action by the rider.
  • In selected embodiments, the transport system in accordance with the present invention may provide a motivating force to a trolley to propel it along a cable. In one embodiment, the present invention comprises a continuous loop drive line suspended between two vertical supports positioned over a portion of substantially level terrain. The drive line is suspended by at least one pulley at each support, with a drive motor in proximity to at least one of the supports to rotate the pulley. The drive line is fitted at appropriate intervals with an attachment device, such as ring or hook to receive a connecting line. The connecting line may be secured to the trolley or to a transport block or carabineer which may be slidably attached to the zipline aft of the trolley to be driven, such that the trolley can be propelled along the zipline when the transport block is placed into motion by the drive line and connecting line.
  • In one embodiment, the present invention provides a system and method for transporting a rider along a zipline when the differential elevation or slope of the zipline is insufficient to transport the rider by the force of gravity alone. In such circumstances, when the trolley supporting the rider comes to rest in a static position, a connecting line can be secured by an operator or the rider from an attachment device on the drive line to the trolley or to a transport block on the zipline aft of the trolley. The operator may then engage the drive motor to move the driveline and transport block to a position in contact with the aft end of the trolley. Once the transport block contacts the trolley, it provides the force to propel the trolley forward along the zipline until the rider reaches the landing platform. At this point, the connecting line may be disconnected from the transport block, and the transport block maybe disconnected from the zipline.
  • The drive motor may be controlled by an operator located at the landing platform or other locations by a wired connection, or by a wireless control system using a radio or infrared signal. The speed of the drive motor may also be controlled by the operator to provide a higher speed as desired to move the transport block into position in contact with the trolley, and a lower speed, such as in the approximate range of 5 ft./sec for driving the trolley and rider safely to the landing platform.
  • The drive line may be positioned laterally between two or more ziplines, so that a single drive line may provide the capability to drive trolleys on multiple ziplines, simultaneously if required.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are, therefore, not to be considered limiting of its scope, the invention will be described with additional specificity and detail through use of the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a side view of a typical e of a trolley on a suspended cable.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of one embodiment of a trolley transport system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of one embodiment of a trolley transport system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a side view of a transport block of one embodiment of a trolley transport system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a side perspective cross-sectional view of a transport block of one embodiment of a trolley transport system in accordance with the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a drive line positioned laterally between two ziplines of one embodiment of a trolley transport system in accordance with the present invention,
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • It will be readily understood that the components of the present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the drawings herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the system and method of the present invention, as represented in the drawings, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention, as claimed, but is merely representative of various embodiments of the invention. The illustrated embodiments of the invention will be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals throughout.
  • While a suspended cable or rope may provide the basis for an amusement ride, other uses are also contemplated, including ski lifts, gondolas, aerial trams, and suspended cable evacuation systems, such as oil derrick evacuation systems.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, in a typical zipline configuration, a trolley 10 is used for travel along a stranded steel wire cable or fiber rope 12 held in suspension by two or more supports 14 and 16, e.g., trees, towers, or platforms. A first support 14 may secure one end of the cable 12 at a higher elevation than a second support 16 which secures the other end of the cable 12. Accordingly, the trolley 10 is secured to roll along the cable 12 to travel by force of gravity from the first, upper support 14 toward the second, lower support 16. However, as the rider approaches the landing platform 18, the slope of the cable decreases and it may become necessary to provide additional force to transport the rider safely for arrival at the landing platform 18.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the system comprises at least two supports 20 aligned in proximity to the cable 12, each of which supports a drive line pulley 26 over which the continuous loop drive line 24 is routed and suspended. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the drive line 24 has one or more attachment devices 30 to which a connecting line 32 may be attached for connection to a trolley 10 or a transport block 22 to drive the trolley 10 on the intended direction on cable 12. The connecting line 32 may be made of stranded steel wire cable or fiber rope or other suitable material.
  • A transport block 22 may be mounted on the same zipline cable 12 as the trolley 10 carrying the zipline rider. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the transport block preferably includes one or more pulleys 38 to roll along the zipline cable 12, but any device capable of rolling or sliding along the cable while restraining the trolley 10 can be used, such as a block of PVC, ABS, nylon, wood, or other suitable material configured with an opening or other mechanism such as a carabineer to receive and slide along the cable 12. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the transport block preferably comprises an elastomeric bumper 36 made of urethane or other resilient material suitable to withstand and reduce the impact of the moving transport block 22 as it contacts the trolley 10 in the static position on the zipline cable 12.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the drive line pulley 26 can be driven with a drive motor 28 at either or both of the support poles 20. The drive motor 28 may be controlled by an operator located at the landing platform 18 using a manual motor control 34 located proximate the landing platform 18. The manual motor control 34 is connected to the drive motor 28 by motor control line 40. Alternatively, the drive motor 28 may be controlled by an operator or rider at other locations by a wired connection, or by a wireless control system using a radio or infrared signal. The speed of the drive motor 28 may also be controlled to provide a higher speed as desired to move the transport block 22 into position in contact with the trolley 10, and a lower speed, such as in the approximate range of 5 ft./sec., for driving the trolley 10 and rider safely to the landing platform 18.
  • As shown in FIG. 6, the drive line 24 may be positioned laterally between two or more ziplines, so that a single drive line 24 may provide the capability to drive trolleys 10 on multiple zipline cables 12, simultaneously if required.
  • In summary, a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a transport system including at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable, a pulley rotatably mounted to each support, a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys, a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys, an attachment device secured to the line, a connecting line secured to the attachment device; and a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the present invention comprises an apparatus for transporting a rider between a point and a landing platform which includes a cable; a plurality of supports configured to suspend the cable between the point and the landing platform; a trolley for suspending and transporting the rider supported by a harness on the cable; and a transport system comprising at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable, a pulley rotatably mounted to each support, a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys, a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys, an attachment device secured to the line, a connecting line secured to the attachment device; and a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the present invention comprises a method for transporting a rider between a point and a landing platform including the steps of method for transporting a rider between a point and a landing platform comprising the steps of providing a cable, and a plurality of supports configured to suspend the cable between the point and the landing platform; suspending the rider by a harness attached to a trolley on the cable; providing a transport system comprising at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable, a pulley rotatably mounted to each support, a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys, a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys, an attachment device secured to the line, a connecting line cured to the attachment device; and a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line; positioning the transport block on the cable in contact with the end of the trolley oriented away from the landing platform; and operating the motor until the rider is transported to the landing platform.
  • These examples are provided for the purposes of illustration and the present invention is not limited to them.

Claims (12)

What is claimed is:
1. A transport system for a trolley which suspends a rider on a cable to a landing platform comprising:
at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable;
a pulley rotatably mounted to each support;
a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys;
a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys;
an attachment device secured to the line; and
a connecting line secured to the attachment device and in driving communication with the trolley.
2. The transport system of claim 1 further comprising; a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.
3. The transport system of claim 2 wherein the transport block comprises a pulley configured to roll along the cable.
4. The transport system of claim 2 wherein the transport block comprises a carabineer closed around the cable.
5. An apparatus for transporting a rider between a point and a landing platform comprising:
a cable;
a plurality of supports configured to suspend the cable between the point and the landing platform;
a trolley for suspending and transporting the rider supported by a harness on the cable; and
a transport system comprising:
at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable;
a pulley rotatably mounted to each support;
a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys;
a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys;
an attachment device secured to the line; and
a connecting line secured to the attachment device and in driving communication with the trolley.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the transport system further comprises a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the transport block comprises a pulley configured to roll along the cable.
8. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the transport block comprises a carabineer closed around the cable.
9. A method for transporting a rider between a point and a landing platform comprising the steps of:
providing a cable, and a plurality of supports configured to suspend the cable between the point and the landing platform:
suspending the rider by a harness attached to a trolley on the cable;
providing a transport system comprising:
at least two supports aligned in proximity to the cable;
a pulley rotatably mounted to each support;
a drive motor in mechanical communication with one of the pulleys;
a continuous loop line suspended from the pulleys;
an attachment device secured to the line;
a connecting line secured to the attachment device; and
a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line;
positioning the transport block on the cable in contact with the end of the trolley oriented away from the landing platform; and
operating the motor until the rider is transported to the landing platform.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein the transport system further comprises a transport block slidably mounted on the cable and removably attached to the connecting line.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the transport block comprises a pulley configured to roll along the cable.
12. The method of claim 10 wherein the transport block comprises a carabineer closed around the cable.
US13/832,182 2012-03-13 2013-03-15 Trolley Transport System Abandoned US20130239841A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13/419,239 US8783190B2 (en) 2012-03-13 2012-03-13 Trolley braking system
US13/832,182 US20130239841A1 (en) 2012-03-13 2013-03-15 Trolley Transport System

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US13/832,182 US20130239841A1 (en) 2012-03-13 2013-03-15 Trolley Transport System

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US13/419,239 Continuation-In-Part US8783190B2 (en) 2012-03-13 2012-03-13 Trolley braking system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20130239841A1 true US20130239841A1 (en) 2013-09-19

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US13/832,182 Abandoned US20130239841A1 (en) 2012-03-13 2013-03-15 Trolley Transport System

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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20140150685A1 (en) * 2012-11-30 2014-06-05 Stanley J. Checketts Piston-mediated motion dampening system
US20150217783A1 (en) * 2014-02-03 2015-08-06 Sean Horihan Zip line rail system
CN104924260A (en) * 2015-06-02 2015-09-23 中冶建工集团有限公司 Steel wire pulling device for determining center in mounting process of steam turbine
US20150303663A1 (en) * 2014-04-08 2015-10-22 Wall Industries Inc. Apparatus for moving a line cart along a cable
US9579578B2 (en) * 2014-09-16 2017-02-28 Ronald Chasteen Zip line trolley retriever system
US9956734B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2018-05-01 Shimano Amercian Corp. Heated liquid tapered line production device and method
US10093328B2 (en) 2014-02-03 2018-10-09 Ropes Courses, Inc. In-line brake
US10105564B2 (en) 2015-12-18 2018-10-23 Ropes Courses, Inc. Challenge course with return track
US10213699B2 (en) 2011-04-18 2019-02-26 Ropes Courses, Inc. Zip track and system
US10746239B2 (en) * 2016-02-20 2020-08-18 Easton John Dreher Zip line brake

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2009000059A1 (en) * 2007-06-26 2008-12-31 Ziptrek Ecotours, Inc. Continuous assist zipline braking and control system
US20090266267A1 (en) * 2006-11-01 2009-10-29 Moss Alan D System for tower- and cable-based transportation structure

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090266267A1 (en) * 2006-11-01 2009-10-29 Moss Alan D System for tower- and cable-based transportation structure
WO2009000059A1 (en) * 2007-06-26 2008-12-31 Ziptrek Ecotours, Inc. Continuous assist zipline braking and control system
US8708109B2 (en) * 2007-06-26 2014-04-29 Ziptrek Ecotours Inc. Continuous assist zipline braking and control system

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10478737B2 (en) 2011-04-18 2019-11-19 Ropes Courses, Inc. Zip track and system
US10213699B2 (en) 2011-04-18 2019-02-26 Ropes Courses, Inc. Zip track and system
US20140150685A1 (en) * 2012-11-30 2014-06-05 Stanley J. Checketts Piston-mediated motion dampening system
US9956734B2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2018-05-01 Shimano Amercian Corp. Heated liquid tapered line production device and method
US20150217783A1 (en) * 2014-02-03 2015-08-06 Sean Horihan Zip line rail system
US9884633B2 (en) * 2014-02-03 2018-02-06 Ropes Courses, Inc Zip line rail system
US10093328B2 (en) 2014-02-03 2018-10-09 Ropes Courses, Inc. In-line brake
US10683018B2 (en) 2014-02-03 2020-06-16 Jimi Ip, Llc Zip line rail system
US20150303663A1 (en) * 2014-04-08 2015-10-22 Wall Industries Inc. Apparatus for moving a line cart along a cable
US9579578B2 (en) * 2014-09-16 2017-02-28 Ronald Chasteen Zip line trolley retriever system
CN104924260A (en) * 2015-06-02 2015-09-23 中冶建工集团有限公司 Steel wire pulling device for determining center in mounting process of steam turbine
US10105564B2 (en) 2015-12-18 2018-10-23 Ropes Courses, Inc. Challenge course with return track
US10746239B2 (en) * 2016-02-20 2020-08-18 Easton John Dreher Zip line brake

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