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US4391425: Railroad switch heater

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Keep, Jr.; Henry ·
Assignee(s) KEEP JR HENRY ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Albert C. Johnston ·
Primary Examiner Stoner, Jr.; Bruce H. ·
Assistant Examiner Donald Hajec ·
Application Number US6267791
Filing date 05/28/1981
Issue date 07/05/1983
Predicted expiration date 07/05/2000
U.S. Classifications 246/428  · 104/280  ·
International Classifications E01B 724  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 246428 ·
Related U.S. Application DataThis application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 107,398 filed Dec. 26, 1979, now abandoned, which was filed as a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 890,637 filed Mar. 20, 1978, now U.S. Pat. No. 4,195,805.
8 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A railroad switch heating system comprises lengths of a pliable insulated electrical resistance heating cable disposed against and along the outer sides of the fixed rails of the switch, with portions of these cable lengths between rail braces overlaid by thermally insulating mats and against the adjacent rail web surfaces, and supplemental heating to prevent ice formation in the crib space of, and excessive heat losses through, a rod interconnecting the displaceable rails near the switch points is provided by a crib heating unit having a sinuously bent length of the cable arranged over a pan-like support of sheet material that fits between and along the ties bordering the crib space beneath the rod therein. The pan-like support becomes heated by conduction and heats substantially the entire crib space by radiation and convection. Where the switch points move on a gauge plate extending between them on a track tie, the fixed rail heating is further supplemented by heating units that include rigid plate members which straddle and hold sinuously bent lengths of the cable against areas of the gauge plate near the switch points, with heat insulation. Each cable length has the ends of its heating wire fitted with connectors joining it with insulated conductors in a series heating circuit to be activated when weather conditions might cause freezing at the switch. Lengths of bendable metal tubing enclosing the cable lengths and special water-tight connectors render the heating system water-tight, thus enhancing its safety and reliability.

Independent Claims | See all claims (8)

  1. 1. A heating system for a railroad switch including fixed rails engaged by braces and fastened to track ties, switch rails having end portions displaceable laterally relative to the fixed rails, and at least one rod interconnecting and displaceable with said rail end portions, each said rod extending along a crib space between adjacent ties, said fixed rails being positioned on a gauge plate fastened onto a track tie and on which plate the displaceable rail end portions are slideable to and from the fixed rails, said system comprising:a length of electrical heating cable disposed against and along a side of each said fixed rail and braces thereof in heat conducting relation thereto through the region of said displaceable rail end portions and elongate mats of high temperature resistant thermal insulation confined against the portions of said cable lengths not engaged with rail braces, and against the rail surfaces adjacent to said cable portions, to prevent heat losses by convection and radiation; anda crib heating unit fitting into a said crib space beneath and along the rod therein, said crib heating unit comprising a unitary elongate, substantially flat pan-like support of thermally conductive, heat and weather resistant sheet material dimensioned to fit between and along the ties bordering the crib space and a sinuously bent length of electrical heating cable arranged over and held to a surface of said support so as to heat said support substantially uniformly by conduction and thus heat substantially the entire crib space by convection and radiation,said gauge plate having fitted over a surface thereof adjacent to each of said displaceable rail end portions a heating unit comprising a rigid plate member having a substantially flat base wall overlying said gauge plate surface and having depending side walls fastened to opposite sides of the track tie under the gauge plate, a layer of heat insulating material fixed beneath said base wall, and another sinuously bent length of a said heating cable arranged on and held to said insulating layer and held by said plate member directly against said gauge plate surface for heat conduction into the gauge plate, each end of the heating wire of said other bent cable length protruding from beneath said base wall into means for connecting the wire in said circuit.
  2. 5. A gauge plate unit for heating a rail positioning gauge plate fastened onto a tie of a railroad switch, said unit comprising a rigid plate member having a substantially flat base wall to overlie a surface of the gauge plate adjacent to a displaceable switch rail end portion and having depending side walls fastenable to opposite sides of said tie under the gauge plate, a layer of heat insulating material fixed beneath said base wall, and a sinuously bent length of an electrical heating cable arranged on and held to said insulating layer so as to be held by said plate member directly against said surface for heat conduction into the gauge plate.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US682768 Taylor Sep 1901
US1329007 JASON PAIGE Paige Jan 1920
US1524223 WELLS LOREN S Wells Jan 1925
US1664371 BRINARD SALES AND CONSTRUCTION Moffett et al. Mar 1928
US2091849 GEN ELECTRIC Finlayson Aug 1937
US2379942 BELL TELEPHONE LABOR INC Webber Jul 1945

Foreign Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
DE2129878LUCAS INDUSTRIES LTDDec 1972

Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
DE4325002 BUTZBACHER WEICHENBAU GMBH BENENOWSKI SEBASTIAN et al. Feb 1995
US5824997 Fastrax Industries, Inc. David L. Reichle et al. Oct 1998
US6305614 Portec Rail Products, Inc. Kevin R. Adkins et al. Oct 2001
US4671475 Stanley Widmer Associates Stanley W. Widmer Jun 1987
US4753173 JAMES STANLEY D Stanley D. James Jun 1988
US5004190 Bylin Heating Systems, Inc. Garry L. Montierth et al. Apr 1991
US5348257 OCAMPO SALVADOR C Salvador C. Ocampo Sep 1994
US5755160 Charles Nathaniel Blufordcraving May 1998
US6147308 Daniel A. Santagata Nov 2000
US5941482 Thermal-Flex Systems, Inc. Daniel A. Santagata Aug 1999
US6170756 Portec Rail Products, Inc. Kevin R. Adkins et al. Jan 2001
US6762395 Thermon Manufacturing Company Chandrakant M. Yagnik et al. Jul 2004
US6410893 Thermon Manufacturing Company Chandrakant M. Yagnik et al. Jun 2002
US7180040 MSX, Inc. Thaddeus M. Jones Feb 2007
US6997419 Cleveland Track Materials, Inc. James A. Remington et al. Feb 2006
US6422479 Portec Rail Products, Inc. Kevin R. Adkins et al. Jul 2002
US7693623 Railway Equipment Company, Inc. David K. Fox et al. Apr 2010
USD623508 Fastrax Industries, Inc. David L. Reichle et al. Sep 2010
US7321107 Thermon Manufacturing Company Chandrakant M. Yagnik et al. Jan 2008
US7979170 Railway Equipment Company, Inc. David K. Fox et al. Jul 2011
US7992797 Fastrax Industries, Inc. David L. Reichle Aug 2011
US8157186 Fastrax Industries, Inc. David L. Reichle et al. Apr 2012
US8157185 Fastrax Industries, Inc. David L. Reichle et al. Apr 2012
EP1123344 THERMON MANUFACTURING COMPANY Chandrakant M. YAGNIK et al. Jun 2006
EP0904460 Schwihag Gesellschaft fr Eisenbahnoberbau mbH Armin HEIM Mar 2000
EP2142704 WOLFGANG FELDMANN WOLFGANG FELDMANN Jan 2010
US8586896 --
US8598493 --

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