Patent application title: DEVICE FOR SECURING RAILWAY LINES
Jan Erik Dahlhaug (Melhus, NO)
IPC8 Class: AE01B1700FI
Class name: Fences track guard
Publication date: 2012-08-23
Patent application number: 20120211711
The device (20, 30) for securing railway tracks, which is formed by
railway sleepers (11) to which parallel rails (12) are placed, on which
track running vehicles such as trains, city light rails, trams, etc.,
traffic. The device (20, 30) is designed to prevent animals or humans
from loitering on the tracks. The device (20, 30) includes elevations
(21) which stretch between the rails (12). The elevations (21) are placed
permanently on or integrated into the railway sleepers (11, 20), or the
elevations (21) are placed between the conductor rails (22) that are
attached to the sleepers (11, 20). The elevations (21) are placed at
reciprocal distances and form elevations on the tracks which make it
uncomfortable for humans and animals to walk on them.
14. An arrangement for securing railway tracks, the track being formed by a number of concrete railway sleepers onto which parallel rails are mounted, wherein the arrangement includes concrete elevations mounted on or integrated into the sleepers in a middle part thereof and having a horizontal extension smaller than the distance between the rails, the elevations being shaped with an edge pointing upward, the spaces between the sleepers being left uncovered.
15. An arrangement according to claim 14, wherein the elevations include end blocks adapted for fastening conductor rails thereon.
16. An arrangement to claim 15, further including a termination point, the distance between the conductor rails becoming narrower until the conductor rails are meeting in said termination point.
17. An arrangement according to claim 15, wherein the conductor rails have a hollow profile design or U-shaped design forming channels for holding cables.
18. An arrangement as claimed in claim 17, wherein the conductor rails have cut outs or openings providing access to said channels.
19. An arrangement according to claim 15, wherein each elevation has a horizontal extension less than the distance between the conductor rails, each conductor rail admitting a train wheel between itself and the rail.
 This invention contains a device to secure tracks. The device can
be used between the tracks on which track running vehicles such as
trains, city light rails, tidins, etc., traffic, which is in compliance
with the introduction of patent claim 1. In particular, the device has
been developed to prevent animals or humans from loitering on the tracks,
as well as the additional purpose of preventing serious derailment of
vehicles if they come off the tracks.
 Every year, a great number of animals are either killed or severely injured as a result of them being run over by track running vehicles, in particular trains. in the summer months there is a tendency for sheep and other farms animals to loiter on the tracks, while in the winter it is often reindeer and moose, etc., that go on the tracks. This is because it is much easier to walk on tracks than in the heavy snow beside the track.
 Today's track designs involve the placement of railway sleepers, wood or concrete, on the ground, to which the rails are fastened with suitable gadgets. Then gravel is put around the sleepers. The reason why animals walk on the tracks is because it is easy as the railway sleepers usually have a flat surface. In addition, the tracks are snow ploughed in the winter hence they are easy for animals to walk on.
 Animal owners encounter huge expenses when their animals get run over by trains, and large compensation costs are incurred to companies who operate vehicles on the tracks.
 In addition, animals that have been run over often cause long delays on the railways as the driver must stop the vehicle once he has run over an animal and then notify the correct authority for assistance with putting the hurt animal down and cleaning up. In many instances the driver of the vehicle must also kill the animal.
 Occasionally, problems are caused by people walking on the tracks. This sometimes results in extremely dangerous situations arising and the loss of lives.
 Because of these occurrences, it is very dear that there is a need for a device that will keep people and animals off the tracks.
 The main purpose of this invention is to create a device that will make railways safer and prevent people and animals from loitering on the tracks.
 Moreover, the device is to prevent serious derailment if the railway vehicle comes off its tracks.
 THE INVENTION
 A device for securing railway tracks in compliance with the invention has been stated in patent claim 1.
 The beneficial features of this device are stated in the other patent requirements.
 The device in compliance with the invention is based on the principles of cattle guards.
 The fact that animals do not cross cattle guards, and that people find them uncomfortable to walk on demonstrates that they are an effective way of stopping animals from crossing them, as well as people from loitering on them.
 Therefore, in compliance with the invention, a device that can be placed between the existing railway tracks has been created. The device, in compliance with the invention, includes artificial elevations designed to make people and animals feel uncomfortable when they walk on tracks that have the device.
 The device, in compliance with the first design, is a concrete railway sleeper. This concrete sleeper has an elevation that extends between two parallel tracks on a railway.
 The elevation can be formed in two ways, either by casting an elevation as one unit which can be adapted to existing and new sleepers with the aid of a suitable fastening agent, such as glue, or that an integrated elevation is placed on new sleepers when they are cast. It should be noted that the elevation may take on any shape or form that ends up pointed.
 In addition to preventing animals and humans from loitering on the railway tracks, the device, in compliance with the invention will improve the lifetime of the sleeper significantly. Today's sleepers are mainly flat on their top surfaces, which allows moisture, rainwater and dirt to collect on top of them and thus the sleeper disintegrates.
 This will not be an issue with this invention. Moisture, rainwater and dirt will run off the sleeper because of the elevation.
 Further, the requirements concerning conductor rails along railway tracks are getting stricter all the time. In particular, the most recent demand was that conductor rails shall be mounted in connection with bridges and tunnels. The conductor rails are safety rails that lie parallel to the rails of the tracks that railway vehicles run on, only they are on the inside. It is a known problem that today's mounting of conductor rails involves drilling four holes in each of the sleepers to secure the conductor rail. This causes water and dirt to penetrate into the sleeper and its lifetime becomes drastically reduced. The purpose of the conductor rails is to prevent the railway vehicle from ending up outside the track if derailment occurs, as the wheels of the vehicle will be trapped between the conductor rail and track.
 The invention will solve this problem as the elevation is adapted to fasten conductor rails at each end of the device, for example through specially designed end blocks and adapted fastening methods. Therefore, where sleepers already exist, it should be possible to glue the elevation to the existing sleepers and then attach the conductor rails to the elevation. Thus, a solution to prolong the life of railway sleepers while at the same time satisfy new demands on safety has been found. With new sleepers, the elevations with blocks at both ends and fastening gadgets for the conductor rails are, of course, integrated during the casting process so that the conductor rails can be mounted directly onto the new sleeper that has an elevation.
 In places where conductor rails shall not be used, the elevation will preferably be cast with a hollow cavity, or in a material that will become misshapen if the wheel ends up on top of the elevation after derailing and comes out of its track.
 In compliance with the invention, the conductor rail is adapted to contain cables, which normally buried along the tracks, for example in a U-shape, where the opening of the U-shape faces the tracks or, for example they are a rectangular shape with a hollow cavity.
 If the conductor rails are hollow inside, it is preferred that they have openings at regular intervals, preferably on the side facing the tracks to provide access to the hollow cavity for the insertion and removal of cables, as well as access to cables that are already inside the conductor rails. In this way, cables that are usually buried along the tracks or put in culverts along the tracks are placed inside conductor rails instead. In this way, the cost of laying cables and their maintenance will be reduced. The benefits will also be seen when localising errors, as the tracks tend to be free of snow and ice.
 The device, in compliance with a second design, is preferably formed by parallel conductor rails that have elevations that stretch at reciprocal fixed distances between the leading rails. Preferably, the distance between the conductor rails is somewhat shorter than the distance between the rails of the track. The elevations are also shaped in a way that makes it uncomfortable to walk on the tracks. The distance between the elevations is adapted to make it very uncomfortable to walk there.
 The device is further supplied with suitable connection gadgets which allows for several devices to be placed after one another in succession.
 Further, the conductor rails do not necessarily have to be rectilinear for either of the designs. They can be curved shaped so they can adapt to the bends on the tracks.
 Moreover, in compliance with the second design, the device has a fastening gadget that makes it possible to secure the device onto an already existing sleeper. For example, this operation can be done the same way as rails are fastened to sleepers, which is by using special type of fastening gadget that attaches the bottom of the rails to the sleepers. For this, the conducting rails preferably have one or more pronounced edges which stretch longitudinally along the conductor rails.
 Furthermore, it is important that the device will not be an obstacle for railway vehicles travelling on the tracks, so the overall height of the device is adapted to cater for this. The device further includes beneficial termination points in places where conductor rails have been utilised. It is crucial that railway vehicles do not hook on to the device when they enter an area where, in compliance with the invention, the device is used.
 Termination points are also vital elements that prevent railway vehicles from ending up on top of the device, in compliance with the invention, should they derail just before the termination point. They will however be led into the area between the track and the conductor rail instead. The termination points are preferably formed by two conductor rails, which through the extension of the parallel conductor rails stretch in a longitudinal direction and becomes narrower and narrow so that it ends up as a pointed formation.
 Also, the termination points, to their advantage, have elevations like those described above between the conductor rails, or placed on or integrated into the sleepers. In connection with elevations that are placed on or integrated into the sleepers, the width of the elevations will be smaller in areas where the termination point has been made to adapt to the mounted termination point Alternatively, the elevation may in such instances be adapted to stretch to both sides of the termination point's conductor rails.
 In addition to its purpose of preventing people and animals from loitering on the tracks, this will also reinforce the termination points to stop them from bending away if the railway vehicle should derail.
 In addition to having an effect on people and animals, this design also has other advantages. If a railway vehicle should derail where a device, in compliance with the invention, has been placed the wheels of the train will be `caught` between the device's rails and conductor rails. The device will thus lead to the derailment being less serious than it would otherwise have been. Another advantage of the invention is that it reduces the work of rail improvement staff. At certain times, new gravel is laid on the tracks and because of the design of the invention, the gravel will not lay on the sleepers due to the shape of the elevations.
 Details of the advantages of the invention will be described in the following example.
 More details about the invention will be given below through reference to the enclosed drawing:
 FIG. 1a-b shows a traditional sleeper with and without rails
 FIG. 2a-c shows the device in compliance with the first design in compliance with the device, and
 FIG. 3a-c shows the device in compliance with the second design placed on tracks.
 I will now refer to FIG. 1a-b that shows a traditional concrete sleeper 11 for tracks usually formed by two parallel rails 12. A traditional concrete sleeper 11 is formed, for example, by outer ends 13 that slant upwards to a joint flat area 14. Wooden sleepers are also in existence, but often they do not have slanted outer edges and they are mainly rectangular in shape. The tracks 12 have rather pronounced edges 15 where suitable fastening gadgets 16 can be used to fasten the tracks 12 to the sleepers 11.
 I will now refer to FIG. 2a-c that shows a device 20 that is in compliance with the first design of the invention. In compliance with the first design of the invention, a new sleeper 20 has been created for railway tracks which primarily has a centrally placed elevation 21. The elevation 21 can be formed in two ways. It can be casted 21 as one unit which can be adapted to the existing sleepers and new traditional sleepers 11 by fastening them with appropriate fastening gadgets so they become permanently fixed to each railway sleeper, or with new sleepers 11, the elevation is preferably integrated during the casting process for the sleeper 20. It should be noted that the elevation 21 may take on any shape that ends up pointed, which makes it uncomfortable to walk on.
 In addition to preventing animals and humans from loitering on the railway track, the sleeper 20 will have a prolonged lifetime with this design. As mentioned above, sleepers today are design mainly with flat top surfaces, which allows for moisture, rainwater and dirt to collect on top of the sleeper leaving the sleeper disintegrates. This will not be an issue with the invention, since moisture, rainwater and dirt will run off the railway sleeper because of the elevation 21.
 Because of stricter requirements regarding conductor rails along the tracks, particularly in connection with bridges and tunnels, the device in compliance with the first design of the invention is ready for the fastening of conductor rails 22. The advantage of this design is that the device primarily includes rectangular end blocks 23 on each side of the elevation 21, which will form a fastening surface for the conductor rails 22. In addition it is adapted to fastening gadgets 24 for the fastening of conductor rails 22 to the end blocks. After the conductor rails 22 have been placed on the device 20 they will stretch parallel to the tracks 12 that the railway vehicles run on, but on the inside. Since the device can be suited to existing railway sleepers, which are made as new sleepers, the device will increase the lifetime of new and old sleepers, as well as increase safety since the conductor rails can be fastened to the device and concurrently prevent animals and humans from walking on the tracks. On new railway sleepers the elevation 21 has end blocks 23 and any fastening gadget 24 for the conductor rails 22 is integrated in the casting process.
 In places where conductor rails 23 shall not be used, the elevation 21 will preferably have a hollow cavity or made with suitable materials that will become misshapen if the railway vehicle's wheel touches on the elevation 21 after derailing.
 Further, it shall be mentioned that the device can be made with adaptations for conductor rails, as shown in FIGS. 2b and 2c, and without adaptations for conductor rails, as shown in FIG. 2a.
 As can be seen in FIG. 2c, the beneficial conductor rails 22 come to an end at the termination point 25. The design of the termination point 25 allows it to stretch in a longitudinal direction as its width becomes narrower, ending as a pointed shape, i.e., two conductor rails 22 that end up as a point. For this, the preferred device is in compliance with the invention that has sleepers 20 with elevations 21, which become narrower in width so they allow the conductor rails 22 to narrow into a pointed shape. Alternatively, the elevation 21 may have cut outs that allow the conductor rails 22 to narrow into a point.
 Thus, the device will have an reinforcing function that prevents the termination points 25 from bending easily should a train derail. The termination points 25 may also include a covering plate (not shown) that stretches over the narrowing area to the conductor rails 22 so that an even surface forms over the termination points 25. This may be in addition to/instead of elevations 21 on the sleepers 20. In this way, objects that are hanging off the moving train will not catch. It will also prevent a dangerous situation from arising if the train should derail tight in front of a device, in compliance with the invention, since the termination points 25 will direct the train between the conductor rails 25 and the tracks 12.
 I will now refer to FIG. 3a which shows the second design of the device 30 in compliance with the invention. The device 30 in compliance with a second design includes two longitudinal and parallel conductor rails 22, which primarily have a rather rectangular profile. Between the conductor rails 22 elevations are found 21 as described in the first design, arranged at a recicprocal distance along the conductor rails 22. The conductor rails 22 also have connection devices (not shown), as well as a groove and tongue solution or other suitable fastening gadgets so that several devices 30 can be fitted in succession. Further, the device 30 has suitable fastening gadgets (not shown), as well as a turnbuckle or similar, mainly for fastening to the railway sleepers 20 that lie under the rails 12 of the track. As an example, the conductor rails 22 may have a longitudinal pronounced edge 32 on the inside and/or the outside in the same way as the rails 12 have a pronounced longitudinal edges 15, up to where a suitable fastening gadget 16 can be used, as shown in FIG. 1b. In this way, an existing fastening gadget 16 can be used to fasten the device 30 in compliance with the invention, to sleepers 11. Even though only rectilinear devices have been shown 30, it is clear that the device can also be curved shaped so that it can be adapted to curved railway tracks.
 I will now refer to FIG. 3b-c which shows a device 30 in compliance with the invention that has a termination point 25. As described above, the design of the termination point 25 allows its width to become narrower in a longitudinal direction from the end of the device 30 to form a final point. Preferably, the termination point 25 in this design is all the elevations 21 as described above in FIG. 3a to prevent animals and humans from loitering on the tracks. The elevations 21 also have a reinforcing function that prevents the termination points 25 from bending easily should a train derail. The termination points 25 may as mentioned above have a covering plate (not shown) that stretches across the conductor rails 22 so that an even surface is formed over the termination point 25.
 As mentioned in the introduction, it is preferred that conductor rails 22 are adapted to house cables that are normally buried along the railway tracks or placed in culverts along the tracks. This is achieved, for example, by the conductor rails 22 being primarily rectangular in shape with a hollow cavity 33, e.g., as shown in FIG. 3a, which can be used to pull cables through. In places where elevations 31 have not been used directly on the conductor rails 22, as shown in FIG. 2c, the conductor rails 22 may have a U-shape, where the opening of the U-shape faces inwards to the track, so that cables can be arranged in the conductor rails 22. Mother solution would be to have conductor rails 22 with hollow cavities and cut outs in a longitudinal direction that provide access to the cavity. The advantage of the two aforementioned solutions versus the first solution is that there is full access to the cables; however they are more exposed to damage.
 In connection with the termination points, the conductor rails can have openings to pull cables through the bottom so they can be taken further into the ground or culverts along the railway tracks.
 It can be mentioned that the two designs may be combined and modified to other designs.
 Railway sleepers with elevations shall preferably be made of concrete when new ones are laid. The elevations may have different shapes that end up pointed, such as a triangle or similar shapes.
 The termination points may, in addition to slanting inwards to form a point, have a waning height.
Patent applications in all subclasses TRACK GUARD