US3556313A - Coupler centering device - Google Patents

Coupler centering device Download PDF

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Publication number
US3556313A
US3556313A US3556313DA US3556313A US 3556313 A US3556313 A US 3556313A US 3556313D A US3556313D A US 3556313DA US 3556313 A US3556313 A US 3556313A
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Prior art keywords
coupler
arm
member
shank
underframe
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Expired - Lifetime
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Damiano J Albanese
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NATIONAL CASTINGS Inc A CORP OF
Midland-Ross Corp
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Midland-Ross Corp
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B61RAILWAYS
    • B61GCOUPLINGS; DRAUGHT AND BUFFING APPLIANCES
    • B61G7/00Details or accessories
    • B61G7/10Mounting of the couplings on the vehicle

Abstract

A railway car coupler centering device for railway cars comprising a pivotally mounted spring loaded arm supported in cantilever fashion to the car body underframe underneath the shank of a railway car coupler. The device includes a channel element at its free end that interlocks the arm to the shank of the coupler for cooperative movement with the coupler shank laterally from its central or neutral position within the center sill structure of the car body underframe. A lever release system is provided to deflect the arm downwardly to position the channel element out of interlocking relation with the coupler shank to permit lateral movement of the car coupler independently of the centering device.

Description

United States Patent [72] Inventor Damiano J. Albanese 3,108,697 10/1963 Metzger 213/21 South Euclid, Ohio 1 3,438,512 4/1969 Metzger et al .1 213/20 N0. fig i9 3 P imary Examiner Drayton E. Hoffman a l e a [45] Pmemed J 1971 Attorneys Henry Kozak and Woodrow Portz [73] Assignee Midland-Ross Corporation Cleveland, Ohio a corporation ofohlo ABSTRACT: A railway car coupler centering device for railway cars comprising a pivotally mounted spring loaded arm supported in cantilever fashion to the car body underframe [54] DEvl'CE underneath the shank of a railway car coupler. The device inalms g g v eludes a'channel element at its free end that interlocks the arm U-S. to the shank of the couple for cooperative movement with the [51] lnt.Cl 8 7/ l2 coupler shank laterally from its central or neutral position [50] Fidd of Search 6, 19, within the center ill truetu 'e of the car body underframe, A lever release system is provided to deflect the arm downwardly to position the channel element out of inter- [56] References cued locking relation with the coupler shank to permit lateral UNITED STA E PATENTS movement of the car coupler independently of the centering 1,585,948 5/1926 Tomlinson 213/21 device. i

PATENTEDJAMQIQ 3556313 sum i u? 2 INVENTOR DA/W/l/Vfl J 4154/1 54 ATTQRNEY PATENIFU AN I I 3.556313 SHEET 2 0F 2 ATTORNEY l COUPLER CENTERING DEVICE I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The demand for longer cars by the shippers on railway freight equipment has required that the overhang of the car established to avoid structures along the right-of-way, or a meet of another train of cars moving on horizontal curves.

The extension of the overhang of the car body requires that the shanks of the, couplers be longer, thus necessitating a greater range of lateral movement of the shanks relative to the associated coupler carrier-iron. h

The preponderance of prior art :devices concentrates these mechanisms adjacent the. striker casting v or coupler carrier iron portion of the underframe structure and when so located at or near the end sill of the car body these devices must be of suff cient length, in the transverse direction of the car to ac-.

commodateithe greater range of lateral movement of the i shanks of the coupler. The initial installation cost, design and maintenance problems involved are such that they are materiaIIy objectionable. Moreover, the long-shanked couplers are substantially heavier and together with a springloaded-centering device makes it impractical to move the coupler toward engaging position with another car coupler when the cars are on a curve. Therefore, it is desirable and usually necessary to releae the coupling device from its spring loaded condition in order to effect the coupling operation. Free from the spring loaded condition the coupler may then be manually moved to its proper position for engagement with the coupler of another car on a CUI'YB."

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A principal object of the invention is to provide a mechanism for centering automatically a railway car coupler,

especially acoupler having an extra long-shank, which'is of rugged, simplified. trouble free design, and-which may be manufactured at comparable or less cost than other designs now commercially available. 7

Another object of the invention is to provide a mechanism that is convenient to operate from either side of the railway car and which maybe operated to a coupler release condition to permit manual movement. of the car coupler in either lateral direction from its neutral or central position.

A further object of the invention is to provide a mechanism to selectively disassociate the coupler-centering device from the coupler shank without modifying the design of the railway carcoupler. I u

A. still further object of the invention is to provide a mechanism which may be easily appliedto existing couplers without modifying the shank of the coupler and which may be placed in practical use with a minimum of modification to the underframe structure of a railway car body.

The above and other objects which may become apparent herein are achieved in a coupler-centering mechanism having a cantilever arm that is affixed to the underframe of a railway vehicle immediately under the shank of a railway ear coupler disposed in common alignment with the longitudinal vertical plane containing the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. The arm is pivotally attached to the underframe and is resiliently yieldable in both horizontal directions from its neutral position. The am has a forward portion comprising an integral channel element which interlocks the arm to the coupler shank. for cooperative movement with the coupler laterally .from its central position. The arm is also yieldable downwardly from its neutral position to disengage the arm a further downward deflection of the cantilever arm. This feature permits proper positioning of the channel element. for a return interlocking engagement with the coupler shank when the coupler returns to its normal central position.

FIGURE DESCRIPTION FIG. I is a fragmentary plan view of the centering mechanism showing the associated underframe car parts with the top portion of the center sill removed. The coupler shank is shown in phantom to clearly illustrate the centering mechanism including the spring loaded arm and integral channel element. in neutral position;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal elevation of a railway car underframe. coupler. and centering mechanism. with certain parts in section along a longitudinal vertical plane; v

FIG. 3 is a reduced fragmentary plan view of the centering mechanism of FIG. 1. except thatthe centering mechanism is shown in a laterally deflected position; g

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the spring loaded arm shown in FIG. 2 an illustrates the position of the lever release system when the arm is in a downwardly deflected position;

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view ofthe structure shown in FIG. 1 and illustrates the position of the lever release system when the channel element of the arm is in interlocking relation with the coupler shank; 7

FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5, but modified to show the channel element substantially released from the coupler shank and the position of the lever release system when the arm is in the deflected position shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 6, but modified to show the coupler shank engaging one of the arms of the channel element as the coupler moves to the right;

FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7, but modified to show the position of the channel element relative to the coupler shank when the v coupler is moved further to the right and not under the restraint of the spring loaded arm.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION cross element 16 below the coupler shank 18 is a wear plate 17. The coupler head is shown as at C.

The couplercentering mechanism 10 comprises a cantilever arm 19 that is pivotally mounted under coupler shank 18 to a base element 20 by pin 21. A spring 22 is mounted in compression on spring seat 23, as defined by rear web 24 of arm 19, by a tie bolt 25, spring retaining plate 26 and nut 27.

Cantilever arm 19 is adapted to move transversely about fulcrum points 28, 29 and is anchored by spring compression acting through rocker arm sockets 30, 31 which form a part of the rearward wall of spring seat 23. While it is possible for arm 19 to move vertically about the upper and lower extremities of fulcrum points 28, 29, the vertical movement depends on the clearance within the pivot mounting.

Cantilever arm l9has a cam follower portion 32 at its forward end positioned below the general plane of the arm. Cam follower portion 32 is associated with a cam element 33 of a .crank member 34. Cam element 33 has handles disposed subare shown as 'at 35 and 36. Fixedly mounted on flanges of A- frame portions 14 and 15 are bearings 37 and 38 for rotatably supporting crank 34.

At the forwardmost portion of cantilever arm 19 and positioned above the cam follower 32 is an integral channel element 39 having a base portion 40 and upwardly extending arms 41, 42.

A paramount requirement is that the centering mechanism be disengageable from the coupler to permit manual shifting of the coupler to angled positions required when a trainman finds it necessary to align opposed couplers in positions assuring the coupling of cars on horizontallycurved track. The position and condition of the centering mechanism which permits movement of the coupler out of vertical registry with the arm 19 is shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. In FIG. 6, crank 33 has been rotated approximately 90 from the position shown in FIG. 2 to depress arm 19 to a level wherein the upper extremities of arms 41 and 42 are slightly above the lower extremities of the sides of coupler shank 18.

The upper extremities of arms 41 and 42 are provided with beveled surfaces 43 and 44.

FIG. 7 illustrates that the coupler shank 18 has been moved toward the right to the extent that beveled surface 44 has reached a condition of engagement with the lower portion of coupler shank 18. Obviously, further movement of the coupler to the right will produce camming action of arm 42 and channel element 39 will thereby be depressed from the position shown in FIG. 7 to the position shown in FIG. 8. It is further obvious from FIGS. 4 and 7 that any further slight depression of the arm 19 will cause a loss of contact of the cam follower 32 with the cam 33 whereupon the weight of the handles 35 and 36 will cause rotation of the crank 34 away from the cam follower.

The coupler 18 may be returned from a position of FIG. 8 to FIGS. 1, 2 and 5 manually. However, if the coupler is assumed to be in the position of FIG. 8 and coupled with the coupler of an adjacent railway car, confining relationship of the centering mechanism by the channel element is readily restored as the cars pass onto straight track.

The downward flexibility of the centering arm 19 is adequate to avoid overstressing of the arm beyond its elastic limit during downward movement of the channel element due to unusual vertical movements of the coupler mechanism. Dis engagement under these unusual vertical movements of the arms 41 and 42 are not probable due to the length of the arms which is greater than operating clearance between the coupler and the confining associated car underframe structure.

Returning now to the car underframe elements and structure, element 47 is the coupler yoke, while the coupler unit is pivotally mounted as at 48 by pin 49. Placed in the path of radial movement of channellike element 39 are apertures 50 and 51 in the divergent center sill members 14 and 15. Apertures 50, 51 permit full lateral movement of the shank 18 within the A-frame structure without the arms 41 and 42 of member 39 fouling the A-frame structure at full lateral movement of the coupler shank 18. This condition is shown in FIG. 3. FIGS. 1 and 5 illustrate the position of arms 41, 42 relative to the sides of coupler shank 18 when the centering mechanism is in its neutral position. It is to be noted that arm 42 is in close proximity to the sidewall of coupler shank 18, while arm 41 is offset from the centerline of cantilever arm 19 a greater amount than arm 42. This difference in offset relationship between the two arms serves the following three purposes:

1. When channel element 39 is in an interlocking relationship with the shank of a car coupler that is angularly displaced relative to the centerline of the car, such as shown in FIG. 3, sufficient clearance must be provided between arms 41, 42 and the adjacent sides ofthe coupler shank so as to avoid any possible binding engagement between the shank and the centering mechanism as the railway car travels over a horizontally curved track.

2. If channel element 39 is in its central deflected position with one ofthe vertical arms engaging the bottom portion of an angularly displaced coupler shank, such as shown in FIG. 8, sufficient clearance must be provided between the arms to permit the centering mechanism to spring back into an interlocking relationship with the"coupler shank to avoid an override or bypass condition. That is, if the shank moves past its central position from the position illustrated in FIG. 8 before an iriterlocking"relationship is achieved between the channel element and the shank, the bottom portion of the shank willfengage the other arm to maintain the cantilever arm 19 inits deflected position.

3. The paramount reason for onefar'm being positioned closer to the coupler shank than'the other arm, and in particular arm 42, is to assist in the alignment of the centerlines of two opposed couplers approaching eachother during an attempted coupling operation when only one of the knuckles of the opposed couplers is in the open position and both couplers are each laterally displaced in the opposite direction from each other and to the right of their respective car centerlincs; that is, lateral displacement of each coupler towards its guard arm side. It is well known in the railway art that the total coupler gathering range between two opposed couplers approaching each other as mentioned above is only 1% inches, and is the most critical gathering condition when compared to the other three well-known gathering conditions involving coupler lateral displacement, with either one or both of the opposed knuckles in the open position. These three other conditions have coupler gathering ranges varying from 3 to 4% inches, depending upon the type of couplers approaching each other during the attempted coupling operation. In the critical coupling condition mentioned, the coupler shank is angularly displaced toward the right (see FIG. 5) to urge cantilever arm 19, via arm 42, to the right. This movement compresses the centering mechanism spring 22 sufficiently to exert an external reaction force upon the side of the coupler shank, via arm 42, to urge the coupler towards its central position during the car coupling operation.

Iclaim:

1. In combination with a car underframe, draft rigging, and car coupler of a railway car, said coupler having a shank member in general proximity to the car underframe and a head disposed forwardly in the longitudinal direction of the car from a pivotal connection of the shank member with the underframe', a device for providing resilient lateral support of the coupler within the underframe comprising;

an elongate arm member having a depending rearportion adapted to bear against a fixed portion of the underframe underneath said shank member in common alignment with a longitudinal vertical plane of the vehicle passing through said pivotal connection, pivotal means connected to the fixed portion of the underframe extending forwardly of said rear portion and in alignment with said vertical plane, resilient means carried by said pivotal means for biasing said rear portion into bearing relation against said fixed portion and urging said arm member to a neutral position in general horizontal alignment with said vertical plane, said arm member extending forwardly in cantilever relation to said fixed portion of the underframe and adapted to be angularly displaced in opposite horizontal directions from said neutral position upon movement of said shank member in either lateral direction, said arm member being also resiliently deflectable downward from its horizontal neutral position to permit movement of said shank member independently of said arm member in either lateral direction;

said arm member having at its forward end an integral channel element comprising a base portion having laterally.

spaced-vertical extending arms adapted to overlap in confining relationship the sides of said coupler shank member, one of said vertical arms being in close proximity with one side of said shank member, and said other ver- 7 tical arm being spaced from the other side of said shank member an amount substantially greater than said first mentioned vertical arm; said channel element retaining said armmember and coupler shank member in approximate vertical registry at positions in either lateral direction from respective neutral position when said arms are'in said overlapping relationship with said coupler shank member; and a cam follower attached to said arm member and cam means'rotatably mounted on the' underframe member, said cam means being rotatable and engageable with the follower to depress said arm member to a position enabling passage of said channel element out of confining relationship with said coupler shank member upon movement of said coupler in either lateral direction. 2. The combination of claim I, wherein said fixed portion of the underframe for attaching said arm member comprises a center sill element of said underframe and a fixedly mounted component disposediforwa'rdly of and transversely within said I center sill element and within a widened portion forming the ends of the center sill; said widened portion of said center sill element having apertures for receiving saidspaced-apart vertical arms of said arm member when said arm member is moved in either lateral direction within said widened portion of said center sill element.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein, said head has a guard arm at one side and a pivotally mounted knuckle on the other side, and said vertical arm in close proximity with said shank member is on the guard arm side of said car coupler.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein, said head has a guard arm at one side and a pivotally mounted knuckle on the other side, and said other vertical arm is on the knuckle side of said car coupler.

Claims (4)

1. In combination with a car underframe, draft rigging, and car coupler of a railway car, said coupler having a shank member in general proximity to the car underframe and a head disposed forwardly in the longitudinal direction of the car from a pivotal connection of the shank member with the underframe; a device for providing resilient lateral support of the coupler within the underframe comprising; an elongate arm member having a depending rear portion adapted to bear Against a fixed portion of the underframe underneath said shank member in common alignment with a longitudinal vertical plane of the vehicle passing through said pivotal connection, pivotal means connected to the fixed portion of the underframe extending forwardly of said rear portion and in alignment with said vertical plane, resilient means carried by said pivotal means for biasing said rear portion into bearing relation against said fixed portion and urging said arm member to a neutral position in general horizontal alignment with said vertical plane, said arm member extending forwardly in cantilever relation to said fixed portion of the underframe and adapted to be angularly displaced in opposite horizontal directions from said neutral position upon movement of said shank member in either lateral direction, said arm member being also resiliently deflectable downward from its horizontal neutral position to permit movement of said shank member independently of said arm member in either lateral direction; said arm member having at its forward end an integral channel element comprising a base portion having laterally spacedvertical extending arms adapted to overlap in confining relationship the sides of said coupler shank member, one of said vertical arms being in close proximity with one side of said shank member, and said other vertical arm being spaced from the other side of said shank member an amount substantially greater than said first mentioned vertical arm; said channel element retaining said arm member and coupler shank member in approximate vertical registry at positions in either lateral direction from respective neutral position when said arms are in said overlapping relationship with said coupler shank member; and a cam follower attached to said arm member and cam means rotatably mounted on the underframe member, said cam means being rotatable and engageable with the follower to depress said arm member to a position enabling passage of said channel element out of confining relationship with said coupler shank member upon movement of said coupler in either lateral direction.
2. The combination of claim 1, wherein said fixed portion of the underframe for attaching said arm member comprises a center sill element of said underframe and a fixedly mounted component disposed forwardly of and transversely within said center sill element and within a widened portion forming the ends of the center sill; said widened portion of said center sill element having apertures for receiving said spaced-apart vertical arms of said arm member when said arm member is moved in either lateral direction within said widened portion of said center sill element.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein, said head has a guard arm at one side and a pivotally mounted knuckle on the other side, and said vertical arm in close proximity with said shank member is on the guard arm side of said car coupler.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein, said head has a guard arm at one side and a pivotally mounted knuckle on the other side, and said other vertical arm is on the knuckle side of said car coupler.
US3556313A 1968-10-07 1968-10-07 Coupler centering device Expired - Lifetime US3556313A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5890705A (en) * 1995-09-20 1999-04-06 Tayco Developments, Inc. Self-centering liquid spring assembly and constructions thereof
US6042094A (en) * 1995-09-20 2000-03-28 Tayco Developments, Inc. Self-centering column assembly employing liquid spring and structures containing such columns

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1585948A (en) * 1924-11-21 1926-05-25 Tomlinson Coupler Company Supporting and centering device for car couplers
US3108697A (en) * 1960-12-05 1963-10-29 Nat Castings Co Car coupler centering device
US3438512A (en) * 1967-06-22 1969-04-15 Midland Ross Corp Railway-car coupler centering device

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1585948A (en) * 1924-11-21 1926-05-25 Tomlinson Coupler Company Supporting and centering device for car couplers
US3108697A (en) * 1960-12-05 1963-10-29 Nat Castings Co Car coupler centering device
US3438512A (en) * 1967-06-22 1969-04-15 Midland Ross Corp Railway-car coupler centering device

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5890705A (en) * 1995-09-20 1999-04-06 Tayco Developments, Inc. Self-centering liquid spring assembly and constructions thereof
US6042094A (en) * 1995-09-20 2000-03-28 Tayco Developments, Inc. Self-centering column assembly employing liquid spring and structures containing such columns

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