US926687A - Electric railway signal system. - Google Patents

Electric railway signal system. Download PDF


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US926687A US46117408A US1908461174A US926687A US 926687 A US926687 A US 926687A US 46117408 A US46117408 A US 46117408A US 1908461174 A US1908461174 A US 1908461174A US 926687 A US926687 A US 926687A
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Yorke Burgess
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    • B61L3/00Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal
    • B61L3/16Continuous control along the route
    • B61L3/22Continuous control along the route using magnetic or electrostatic induction; using electromagnetic radiation
    • B61L3/221Continuous control along the route using magnetic or electrostatic induction; using electromagnetic radiation using track circuits


APPLICATION FILED NOV. 5. 1908. 926,687. Patented June 29, 1909.
"7/95 b1 use:
attoznwgo Y. BURGESS.-
- Patented June 29, 1909.
B A g 3 nvmlfot Y. BURGESS.
926,687. Patented June 29, 1909.
Patented June 29, 190 9.
. Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented June 29, 1909.
Application filed November 5, 1908. Serial No. 461,174.
Be it known that I, YoRKii BURGESS, a citizen of the United States, residing at Washington, in the District of Columbia, have invented a new and useful Electric Railway. Signal System, of which the following is a specification.
This invention has reference to improve-' ments in electric railway signaling systems on the main track, or the lapping of a side tracked train or car into dangerous relation to the main track, or in fact any conditions of danger to the train under consideration while the train is still far enough remote from the dangerous point to give ample time for bringing the train to a standstil In accordance with the present invention the system under normal conditions works on closed circuit in which case th'cre. is disilayed in each engine cab of the trains working under the system a white light, andalong the line of way in each section, the system operating on .an electric sectional system,f
there are electric circuits normally main-v tamodinthe closed condition so long as there r is no train or car within the section and other normal working conditions are maintained.
The system is so constituted that should conditions dangerous to a train arise within dangerous proximity to such train then there will be displayed a characteristic signal,
usually a red light, and the brakes will be applied automatically. Sincegthe system operates under normal conditions on closed circuit then any break in any one of the circuits will cause the display of the danger signal and theapplication of the brakes u on a train entering the zone where the bre has occurred.
The present invention contemplates the use of'normally closed circuits upon an engine of a train which circuits are constantly closed except for accidental breaks in the circuits, and the arrangement is such that under normal working conditions and in the absence of dangerous conditions there is displayed a safety signal, usually a white light, and the brake system is electro-magnetically held in the released osition without however affecting the norma operation of the brakes under the control of the engine man. Should dangerous conditions arise .within such. distance of the-train under consideration as to become dangerous to such train, then the r current within the closed circuit upon the train is so diverted as to operate the danger signal and to so weaken the electro-magnetic brake-controlling devices as to cause the application of the rakes.
The invention will'be best understood from a consideration of the following detail description taken in connection with the accomanying drawings forming a part of this specication, in which drawings, 3 Figure 1 is a diagram of a number of successive sections of a system equipped with thepresent invention and showing the operation of the invention when a train is upon each of three successive sections. Fig. 2 is a diagram showing the arrangement of the invention for a turnout or side track. Fig. 3 is a diagram illustrating the operation of the invention in the case of a broken rail. I Fig. 4
is a diagram showing the opleration of the in tracked car has moved upon or so close to't hc I main track as to be dangerous to a train up on said main track.
Referring to the drawings there are sho wn the two tracks 1 and 2 of a single track rail- Way, the invention being shown in the drawings as applied only to a single track railway, but it wi be understood that a double track railway may be equipped with the inyention as well as a single track railway'. {One of the tracks, say the track 1 or rail 1 is shown as a continuous rail, this being understood as an electrically continuous rail, though not of course necessarily mechanically continuone. The rail 2 is brokenup into electrically discontinuous sections, the rail being electrically continuous throughout the section and insulated as indicated at 3 from the electrically continuous rail section of the next succeeding or preceding electric section.
Extending along the line of wayare two conductors 4 and 5 distinct from the rails and. either of the ovrhcad type of suitably supclosed rail 1 and back to the battery 28. "these conditions the magnets 15, 16, 25 and 12 are all energizedand their respective icative'oi any signal visual or audible for indicating safety but preferably this signal in the form of a clear glass or white glass incande cent lamp.
Leading from the conductor 84 is a conductor 51 including a solenoid 52 and 'ultimately terminating ata switcharm 53 which latter constitutes or is attached to the armature of the magnet 36. In the path of the switch arm 53 is a terminal or contact 54 connected by a conductor 55 to the conductor 41. Branched oil from the conductor 41 is another conductor 56 connected to the conductor 51 adjacent to the switch arm 53 and including a lamp 57 similar to the lamp 48 before referred to, that is it is preferably a lamp with a-red bulb, but like the lamp 48 may be taken as indicative of any danger signal whether-visual or audible but preferably in the form of a red lamp. Branched,
in the conductor 51 around the solenoid 52 is another conductor 58 including a lamp 59 which in this case has a white or clear glass bulb and is-to be-taken as indicative of any type of signal visible or audible which will indicate safety, but is like the lamp 50 preferablyan incandescent lamp with a clear.
, series, through the corresponding railsection 2 thence'by way of the-conductor 26 through the said rnagnets' 25 and and by the con- At the' ductors 17 and 18 back to the rail 1. same time the battery 28, will charge the magnet 12 of the particular station and the magnet 16 of the next adjacent station through the rail section 2 and conductor 27 by way of the switch 'arm 24 now held in the osition by the energized magnet thence y the conductor 22 to the magnet 12 and by way of the conductor 21 to the magnet 16 of the next adjacent station, themes by the respective conductors 17 and 18 to the Under switch levers are closed and consequently all the circuits named are closed as well as being closed on to the conductor 6 connected to the respective conductors 4 or 5 as the case may be.
in Fig. 2 the conditions at a station andupon a train when there are no danger conditions along the track with thetrain in a sec tion, are shown. The car axle and wheels 29 bridging the two tracks land 2 short circuit the battery 28. The short cir'cuiting of the battery 28 so weakens the current assmg through the magnets 25, wand 12 oft e articular station under consideration and the magnet 16 of the preceding station, considering the train as moving'toward the right as viewed in- Fig. 2, longer retain their armatures which are retracted by usual retracting means assumed to be present in the structure shown though not there illustrated, and the circuit controlled by these several armaturcs are opened. However the bridging of the particular battery 2S referred to does not allcct the mag net 16 of the particular station, this magnet being still energized by the next succeeding battery 28. The dynamos and 31 are assumed to be constantly running and generating current. Under-the conditions assumed thecircuit of the dynamo 30 is through the shoe '33 to the conductor 5 thence by the re- 'spective conductor 6 of the next preceding station, thence by way of the conductor 7 and terminal 9 to the switch arm 11 which under these conditions is closed upon the terminal 9 since the magnet-12 is energized, thence by the conductor 13 to the terminal 14 and by way of the switch arm 19 to the conductor 18 and rail 1, returning to the dynamo by way of the axle and wheels 2!) and the conductors 39 and 38 to the magnet 36 and back to the other brush of the dynamo by way ofthe conductor 40. Under these conditions the magnet 36 is energized and its armature lever.44 is held closed on to the contact 45. There is thus maintained acircuit from the dynamo 30 through the conductor 42, solenoid 43 and lamp in multiple" and thence by wayof the switch lever 44 and conductor 46 back to the other side of the dynamo, the said lever-44 and conductor 46 providing a low resistance 'braiiich about the lamp 48. The lamp 50 and solenoid 4.3 are soproportioned that the current from the dynamo 30 will flow through these two ele- At the same time the energization of that these magnets no engine man, the conditions being such that y when the solenoid'43 is dcenergizcd the emergency side of the air brake system is made active and the brakes are then automatically applied.
At the right hand end'of Fig: 2- thcre is I shown arturn-out or switch 60 which may be taken as "of the ordinary conventional form.
'An arm 61 leading from the switch target is provided with a' bridging contact 62 .ar-
ranged to open or close the circuit between two terminals 63 in branches 64 of the adj acent conductor 18 of the station toward' the approaching train.
hen the turn-out switch is in a position whereby thesiding is cut out from the main track and it is safe for trains-to travel on the main track without danger of being shunted -intot-he siding then the closure of the conductor18 throughits branches, 64 maintains the conditions of safety at the adjacentfstar But suppose the switch should be tion. turned into a position to connect the main track with the sidin'g then the bridging contact 62 is moved out of electrical connection with'the terminals 63 'and the conductor 18 has its continuity I broken through the branches 64. Now the magnet 16 has its circuit broken and 'is therefore no longer charged and its armature lever moves away from. the contact 10 and the electrical connections of the conductor6 to the track 1 are broken While theshunting switch 60 was in the position to maintain the main track intact the circuit ,between the conductor 6 and track 1 was closed and consequently the cur rent from the dynamo'31 energized the magnet. 37 and the solenoid 52 and lamp 59 re- 'mained in the charged position the same as the local controlled by the dynamo 30. N ow however, considering that. the. shunting switch 60'is closed on to the main track so that the track is connected to the siding then the circuit through the conductor 6vis broken and the magnet 37 ,is no longer energizedsothat its armature lever 53 will move away from the contact or terminal 54 thus breaking' the shunt'circuit about the lamp 557.-
the lamp 59 and-solenoid 152 in multiple are and back through theconductor including the'lamp 57 in series with the multiple are branches including-the solenoid 52 and lamp 59. Under these conditions enough current 'will pass through'the lamp '57 to cause the same to glow brightly, butthe current dividing between the lampv 59 and solenoid 52 will fail to energize either of these two-elements operatively and consequently the lamp 59 will dim down or actually cease to glow en tirely while the solenoid 52 will become' so weakened as to no longer be operative. The going out of the white lamp and the flashing up of the red lamp together with the application of the brakes'of course indicates the presence of a dangerous condition within the dangerous proximity and of course if such conditions prevail for any length of time a-proper one of the train crewwillmalge an investigation so that thedangerous condition may be remedied if possible or such measures of relief be taken as may be neces In.Fig there are shown three trains upon posed that the middle train (if the three has broken down or become otherwise stalled upon the section, thenranother train entering the section-immediately to the left will become affected by the stalled train and be brought-to a standstill while the signal device indicating trouble ahead of the train will be energized so that the red lamp will glow standstill while the engine man on the stalled train will. beapprised of the fact by the oper ation of his signal device on the-side toward the last named approaching train indicating a dangerous condition on that side oi the stalled train occupied by thelast named. ap-
proaching train.
Let'it be supposed that from some cause or otherthere should be a broken rail in the; track as ind'icated'at 65 in Fig. 3, it being immaterial whether this broken rail be in the track 1 or track 2.. This has the same-effect as bridging a battery 28 by the presence of a train in the section where the break occurred and as' soon as the train enters the .next sue-f ceeding'section in a direction traveling toward the track break 65 then the danger side of the train carried mechanism is energized and the train is brought to a standstill; Of; course the engine man does not know what the dangercondition may be and after 'proper time interval investigation will be set up and the broken rail be found and'may be repaired after which the danger conditions being-relieved the magnet 36 or 37 of the traincarried apparatus will again become energized and the safety signal once .more displayed and the brakes released so that the train may proceed.
Suppose-that a hand car should be upona sectign or a car or train u equ pped with signal devices. should be Such a condition is shown in Fig. 4 where a hand car or other car unequipped with safety devices is indicated at 66, the showing in the figure being that of a pair of wheels and connecting axle as sufficiently indicative of such an une nipped car or cars and-the structure 66 has een shaded simply to distinguish it from the structure 29 which'latter is to be un- 'derstood as indicating locomotive equipped Since the car 66 with the safety devices. W111. bridge the rails 1 and -2 it will. same as though a train equipped with s devices was present in tlmsectiornandcon c.
' quently an approaching train indicated 7 grammatically in Fig.4, will on entering the pen a section.
danger conditions may be removed by the traveling of the car out of the section if it be going in the same direction as the train. If the hand car he going toward the train, of course it may be readily stopped before any accident has occurred.
Another condition is shown in Fig. 5. Sometimes cars which have been shunted on a. siding will move or be moved therefrom either wholly or partially onto the main track either through accident, or carelessness or maliciousness, and thereby become a menace to a train moving on the main track. 01' sometimes a car shunted on a siding may not be moved quite far enough thereon and be unintentionally left in a position where it may side swipe a train passing on the main track. In Fig. 5 there is shown a means for preventing such an accident by providing at such a turn-out two electro magnets 15" and 16' controlling armatures 19' and 20 re spectively arranged to either of them close the circuit of a conductor 6 leading to a sectional conductor 4 or 5 as the case may be. One side of the magnets 15 and 16 has a common connection to the track rail 1 by a conductor 18 and the armatures 19 and 20 have also a common connection to the track 1 by the common conductor 18. The magnet 16 is connected by the conductor 21 to the magnet 12 of a preceding or adjacent station, while the other side of the magnet 15 is connected by a conductor 27 to a section 2 of the main track and also of the siding while the other side of the siding is connected y a conductor 67 to the track 1. H new a car such as indicated at 68 which had been shunted on the siding should move on to a section 69 of the siding immediately adjacent to the shunting switch then there is established a circuit from the battery 28 beyond the shunting track switch through the wheels and axles of the car 68 and by the conductor 67 to the track 1 and back to the battery. Under ordinary circumstances the magnet 15 is charged by the battery 28 referred to and its armature 19 is attracted thus closing the circuit through the conductor 6 to the track rail .1 but when the car 68 short circuits the battery 28 then the n'iagnet 15 is deenergized a nd its armature 19 moves away therefrom and opens the circuit to the conductor 6 previously closed by said switch 19. When a train enters on the section next adjacent to the shunting switch. upon which the car 68 has moved to an extent to be a menace to a train moving on the main track then the magnet 16 is deencrgized in the same manner as the magnet 16 of an adjacent section is deenergized when a train enters a section. This completely breaks the circuit through the conductor 6' and consequently the danger signal is displayed in the cab of the approachingtrain and the brakes are applied in the manner already described, the danger signal being displayed on the side of the cab toward the danger point. In the case of an open draw-bridge the conditions would be similar to the switch shown in Fig.
2 and a similar arrangen'ient would be provided. by
From the foregoing 1t will be seen that all the several structures along the line of way are maintained on normally closed circuits and on the entrance of a train into a section certam ol these circuits are opened but not all. .On the train the circuits are of two characters one local to the train and the other through the sectional line conductors and the track. Under normal conditions the combined train and track and sectional line circuits remain intact so that the sources of current on the train cause the maintenance of safety conditions. In the circuits local to the train however, the current is always flowing whether the external conditions he safety or danger, but the amount of current flowing through thesafety or dangerelemcnt is so modific-zl by safety or danger conditions that these elements are operated accordingly.
Should a break occur in any of the line circuits from any cause a danger signal will be displayed and the train brought to a standstiL. Should the white light go out without the application of all of the brakes or the display of the red signal, then it would indi cate-a break in the signal imn'iediatcly local to the safety lam Since such a break in the circuit is usually due to the rupturing of the filament of the lamp the introduction of a new lamp will cure the trouble. Should the brakes be applied without the display ol the red signal then it is an indication that a danger zone has been entered but the filament ot the red lamp or the immediate circuit of said lamp has become broken and as this fault is usually in the filament of the lamp the introduction of a new red lamp will cure the trouble.
it is to be observed that in the present system the polar relation of the current sources on the train or along the line of way to the direction of travel of the train is immaterial.
What is claimed is 1. In an electricallyoperated railway sig- 7 trollingdevices at the said stations, a constantly closed tram-carried circuit including a train-carried source of current and signal means, and means on the-train including a circuit-controlling means for including the .normally closed charged circuits including circuit-controlling devices, alternately crossing sectional line conductors having circuit connections controlled by the circuit-controlling devices at the said stations, a constantly closed train-carried circuit including a train-carried source of current, signal means in said constantly closed circuit, and means on the train including a circuit-con trolling means for including the train-carried current source in those section station circuits the continuity of which are intact and for controlling the flow of current to the train-carried signal means in accordance with predetermined circuit conditions.
3. In an electric-section signal system, alternately crossing sectional line conductors, other sectional conductors and a continuous conductor along the line of way, a source of electric energy in each section bridging the continuous conductor and the section of the second named sectional conductor, two electro-magnets at each section station, the first connected to the continuous conductor and the second to the adjacent section of the second named sectional conductor, circuit crmtroll ers at each section station, one actuated by one of the magnets and another by the other of the magnets, a circuit leading from one of the circuit controllers to the next adjacent section station on one side, a third electro magnet at the section station, a circuit including the same coming from the next adjacent second named sectional conductor, two electro-magnets at each section station, the first connected to the continuous conductor and the second to the adjacent section of the second named sectional conductor, circuit controllers at each section station, one actuated by one of the magnets and another by the other of the magnets, a circuit leadin i one of the circuit controllers to the m tadjacent section station on one side, a third electro magnet at the section statio.--., a'circuit including the same'coming from the next adjacent section station on the other side, a circuit controlling means acted on by the last named electro magnet, and means including the circuit controlling means under the influence of the second and third electro magnets for coupling the respective one of the alternating crossing sectional conductors to the continuous conductor, and a traincarried means comprising two sources of electrical energy, current conducting means leading from each current source to the alternating crossing conductors, other current conductors each including a circuit controller and leading to the continuous conductor, and constantly closed signal circuits fed individually by the current sources on the train and containing differentiated signals, said constantly closed signal circuits receiving current from the current sources on the train in accordance with the circuit conditions along the line of way.
5. In an electric section signal system for railways, train carried signal means comprising a closed charged circuit having differentiated signal devices responsive to the current flowing in the circuit, said closed charged circuit being local to the train, and means for causing the operation of one only of the signal devices at a time without breaking the closed circuit.
6. In an electric section signal system for railways, train-carried signal means com-' prising a closed charged circuit, electrically operated safety and danger indicating signals both fed simultancously and 'continu ously from the current source in the closed circuit, and means for causing an operative flow of current through either but not both I signal means at one time.
7. In an electric section signal system for railways, train-carried signal means com prising a closed charged circuit, electrically operated safety signal and brake-controlling means in multiple arc relation in-said closed circuit, an electrically operated dangerisig nal means in said closed circuitinseries with the safety-signal and brakecontrolling means, and means for shunting the-dangersignal means without breaking said closed circuit.
In testimony that I claim the foregoing as my cum, I have hereto affixed my signature in the presence of two witnesses.
v IYoRKE BURGESS. Witnesses:
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