Title:
Footplate of gangway and railway car
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a thin footplate of superior quality while suppressing noise caused by the footplate. A footplate 10 is formed by connecting extruded shape members 110 arranged in parallel along the width direction of a railway car by a pipe 80, with the upper surface of the extruded shape members 110 used as the walking surface. Adjacent extruded shape members 110 contact each other via bushings 90. Both ends of the pipe 80 are pulled via draft springs 50 and 50 disposed in V-shape onto the underframe. A slip stopper 120 is adhered to the upper surface of the extruded shape members 110. Bottom surfaces of the extruded shape members contact the upper surface of the underframe via sliding members 70. When the railway car passes a curve or the like that causes relative displacement of the cars, the footplate 10 is slid easily. When one of the railway cars is subjected to rolling, each extruded shape member gradually rotates (rolls) along the width direction of the railway car so that crews and the like can easily walk on the footplate.



Inventors:
Kobayashi, Kenji (Kudamatsu-shi, JP)
Todori, Seijiro (Hikari-shi, JP)
Nakamoto, Hidekazu (Kudamatsu-shi, JP)
Application Number:
11/209738
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
08/24/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MCCARRY JR, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANTONELLI, TERRY, STOUT & KRAUS, LLP (Upper Marlboro, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A footplate provided on a floor of a gangway at a connecting portion between railway cars to enable passengers and the like to move from one car to another, the footplate comprising: a plurality of flat panels disposed in parallel along a longitudinal direction of the railway car that are connected by a connecting member disposed along a width direction of the railway car; wherein the plurality of flat panels are capable of rotating around the connecting member.

2. The footplate according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of flat panels has a member with lubricating property at a portion coming into contact with an end portion of the railway car.

3. The footplate according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of flat panels has a member with lubricating property at a portion coming into contact with an end portion of the railway car; and the member with lubricating property has an arced surface that comes into contact with the end portion of the railway car.

4. The footplate according to claim 1, wherein the footplate is connected between a width-direction end of the connecting member and the width-direction end of the railway car via a stretchable coil spring.

5. A railway car comprising: a footplate provided on a floor of a gangway at a connecting portion between railway cars to enable passengers and the like to move from one car to another, the footplate comprising: a plurality of flat panels disposed in parallel along a longitudinal direction of the railway car that are connected by a connecting member disposed along a width direction of the railway car; wherein the plurality of flat panels are capable of rotating around the connecting member.

6. The railway car according to claim 5, wherein the plurality of flat panels has a member with lubricating property at a portion coming into contact with an end portion of the railway car; and the member with lubricating property has an arced surface that comes into contact with the end portion of the railway car.

7. The railway car according to claim 5, wherein a width-direction end of the connecting member and the width-direction end of the railway car are connected via a coil spring.

Description:

The present application is based on and claims priority of Japanese patent application No. 2004-337333 filed on Nov. 22, 2004, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a footplate of a gangway provided at a connecting portion of railway cars connected to form a train formation.

2. Description of the Related Art

A gangway is provided at ends of respective cars of a train formation in which railway cars are connected to form a train, so as to enable easy and safe movement of passengers from one car to another.

Generally, as disclosed in Japanese Utility Model Publication No. 50-43848 (patent document 1), the gangway is composed of a footplate connected at a longitudinal end of a railway car and overlapped with another footplate, and a bellows connected to the longitudinal end of the railway car to cover the gangway at the longitudinal end of the railway car.

Such conventional gangway is not especially appropriate for application to the latest railway cars that are required to have superior outer appearance.

Japanese Patent No. 3060367 (patent document 2) discloses an art that is aimed at solving the problem and to provide improvement of the appearance. The footplate is placed on an end of the adjacent railway car. Rollers are provided at the bottom surface of the footplate that enable the footplate to move in the width direction when one railway car is displaced in the width direction with respect to another railway car.

The document, however, does not refer to the bellows.

According to the footplate disclosed in patent document 2, a wide gangway in the width direction can be formed.

Generally, in most commuter trains in Japan, there is no particular consideration provided to the design and structure of the gangway. Therefore, in comparison to the passenger cabin with improved interior and exterior design, the design of the gangway has not been improved for a long time.

Especially, according to the gangway disclosed in patent document 1 in which the plates provided at ends of railway cars are overlapped with one another, the vibration and the displacement of railway cars during movement of the train causes noise to be generated from the footplates.

The disclosure of patent document 2 solves the above-mentioned problem of the footplates. However, the footplates disclosed here is arranged so that the footplates deform into a parallelogram when the adjacent car bodies are displaced in the width direction, and requires rollers for supporting the footplate structure, so the thickness of the whole footplate structure is relatively large. Therefore, it is applicable to railway cars in European countries having a relatively large distance between the upper surface of the floor of the railway car and the upper surface of the coupler, but since the railway cars in Japan have couplers that have a height higher by approximately 200 mm than the railway cars in Europe, so the distance between the upper surface of the floor of the railway car and the upper surface of the coupler is not large enough to adopt the disclosed footplate structure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide a footplate that has a relatively small thickness and generates only a small noise, to improve the overall quality of the gangway including the footplate.

The above object is realized by a footplate provided on a floor of a gangway at a connecting portion between railway cars to enable passengers and the like to move from one car to another, the footplate comprising: a plurality of flat panels disposed in parallel along a longitudinal direction of the railway car that are connected by a connecting member disposed along a width direction of the railway car; wherein the plurality of flat panels are capable of rotating around the connecting member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the joint portion between cars;

FIG. 2 is a II-II cross-section of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the footplate 10;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a connection between extruded shape members 110 and 110 of the footplate 10;

FIG. 5 is an exploded plan view of a pipe 80 connecting the extruded shape members 110;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the extruded shape members 110 of the footplate 10 seen from the bottom side;

FIG. 7 is a right side view of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a completed perspective view of the footplate 10; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the behavior of footplate 10 when adjacent cars are subjected to rolling pitch.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

We will now describe a preferred embodiment for carrying out the present invention with reference to FIGS. 1 through 9.

FIG. 1 illustrates a state in which a gangway footplate 10 is disposed on a railway car. The footplate 10 is positioned to cross over respective underframes 20 of adjacent railway cars. An end portion (end frame side) of the underframe 20 has a gain 21 (FIGS. 2 and 9) with a depth and size capable of housing the footplate 10 formed to extend from the underframe (upper surface of the floor) to the footplate 10 so as to minimize height difference. The width of the gain 21 (the width in the width direction of the car body) is greater than the width of the footplate 10. The depth of the gain 21 is somewhat greater than the height of the footplate 10. After placing the footplate 10 on the underframe 20, a cover 30 for covering the gain 21 is placed on and fixed to the underframe 20. Thus, a continuous plane (upper surface of the floor) is formed from one underframe 20 to the other underframe. A space S is formed between the bottom surface of the cover 30 and the upper surface of the footplate 10. The footplate 10 has a flat upper surface with respect to the longitudinal direction of the car body (direction X) and the width direction of the car body (direction Y).

In FIG. 1, the underframe 20 is covered by side frames 22, a roof frame 23 and end frames 24. The end frame 24 has a port 25 for a gangway. The adjacent cars are covered with bellows, but they are omitted from the drawing. X denotes the longitudinal direction of the car, and Y denotes the width direction of the car.

FIG. 2 illustrates the relationship between the underframe 20, the footplate 10, the gain 21 and the cover 30. When the width direction of the underframe is horizontal, a space S is formed between the upper surface of the footplate 10 and the lower surface of the cover 30. The space S is approximately 25 mm. Then, a slope 32 for smoothly connecting the leading end of the cover 30 and the plane of the footplate 10 is disposed on the leading end of the cover 30.

In FIGS. 1 through 9, the footplate 10 is formed of a plurality of extruded shape members (also referred to as flat panels) 110 that are disposed with their longitudinal directions corresponding to the longitudinal direction of the car body, a pipe (connecting member) 80 for connecting them in the width direction, a draft spring 50, and so on. The extruded shape members 110 are formed of aluminum alloy. The extruded shape members 110 are extruded along direction X, with flat upper and lower surfaces. The shape members 110 are hollow. The pipe 80 is hollow so as to have light weight, but a solid cylinder can be used instead. The pipe 80 passes through the longitudinal center area of the extruded shape members 110. The plurality of extruded shape members 110 form a floor surface on which crews and the like can walk easily. The length of the extruded shape member 110 is greater than the space between the adjacent cars. The length of the shape member 110 is approximately 700 mm.

In FIG. 3 and other figures, holes 111 are formed to both side surfaces of the extruded shape member, and the cylindrical portions of bushings 90, 90 are passed through each of the holes 111, 111. A pipe is passed through the bushings 90. The bushings 90 are formed of resin. A coil spring 100 is placed between a flange portion of the bushing 90 passed through the extruded shape member 110 at the width-direction end thereof and an end plate 85 positioned at an axial end portion of the pipe 80. The coil springs 100 are disposed at both ends of the pipe.

The end plate 85 on one axial end of the pipe 80 is welded onto the pipe 80. The end plate 85 on the other end and the pipe 80 are formed separately. The coil spring 100 is passed through the pipe 80 onto which the end plate 85 is welded, and the bushing 90 is passed through from the other side of the pipe 80 at one end side of the plural extruded shape members 110. After the extruded shape member 110 (bushing 90) on the other end side is passed through, another coil spring 110 is placed and another end plate 85 is attached to the end of the pipe 80. Then, a screw portion of the end plate 85 is screw-engaged with the screw 81 at the end of the pipe 80 so as to fix the members together.

As shown in FIG. 4, adjacent extruded shape members 110 contact each other via the flange portion of bushings 90, 90.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the extruded shape members 110 are pressed by coil springs 100. In other words, the extruded shape members are pressurized by coil springs 100.

As shown in FIG. 2, a slip stopper member 120 is adhered to the upper surface of the extruded shape member 110. The upper surface of the extruded shape member 110 is recessed to correspond to the thickness of the slip stopper member 120. A projection 115 (FIG. 7) is provided at each width-direction end of the recessed portion. The slip stopper member 120 is adhered along the projection 115, by which the adhering operation is facilitated.

FIG. 5 shows one example of the method for assembling the pipe 80 and the end plates 85. One end plate 85 is welded to one end of the pipe 80. An external thread is formed to the other end of the pipe 80, which is engaged with an internal thread provided to the other end plate 85. Thereafter, in order to prevent the end plate 85 from falling, a rotation stopper such as a split cotter pin is provided (in FIG. 5, reference number 87 denotes a bore for the split cotter pin).

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the above assembly.

As shown in FIG. 1, at last, a hole formed to the end plate 85 and hooks (not shown) formed to the gain 21 of the underframes 20 are connected by the draft spring 50. The positions of the hooks are greater in the width direction than the axial end of the pipe 80. The vertical heights of the hooks are substantially equal to the position of the pipe 80 when the underframes 20 are positioned horizontally in the width direction. Thus, the pipe 80 is pulled horizontally in the width direction by two draft springs 50 disposed in a V-shape. Therefore, even if one of the railway cars is displaced in the width direction with respect to the other railway car, the width-direction center of the footplate 10 can be maintained near the width-direction center 45 of the railway car.

Further, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, slide members 70 are adhered to the bottom surface (at portions that slide against the gains 21 at both ends of the car) of each shape member 110. The slide members 70 are formed of resin having lubricating property. The slide members 70 are fixed to the bottom surface of the shape member 110 via plural bolts (not shown). The slide members 70 facilitate the sliding of the footplate 10 when relative displacement of the cars occurs, such as when the cars pass through a curve.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the slide members 70 attached to the bottom surface of the extruded shape member 110 are arced, which protrude downward in the width direction. The slide members 70 are arced downward in the width direction in the present embodiment, but they can also be arced downward in the longitudinal direction of the extruded shape members.

FIG. 9 shows the state in which the footplate 10 follows the movement of the underframe 20 while deforming into a curved surface when the adjacent railway cars are subjected to rolling pitch. A rolling pitch is a movement in which the car body rotates (rolls) around the longitudinal center axis 45 of the car body. In FIG. 9, the right car (underframe 20) is not rolled and is horizontally positioned in the width direction, but the left car (underframe 20) is rolled. The left car (underframe 20) has its upper end side raised with respect to the right car (underframe 20). When a rolling angle occurs to one of the underframes 20 (left) with respect to the plane of the underframe 20 of the other (right) adjacent car, each shape members 110 constituting the footplate 10 are rotated (rolled) vertically around the pipe 80 connecting the members 110 together. As a result, minute angles are formed between adjacent shape members 110, which enable the footplate 10 to connect the left and right underframes 20, 20 via a curved surface, so that the passengers can walk on the footplate to move to adjacent cars easily.

As shown in FIG. 9, when yawing angles are formed between adjacent underframes 20, the line in which each slide member 70 contacts the underframe 20 is moved along with the tilting of the underframe 20. At this time, if the shape of the portion of the slide member 70 coming into contact with the underframe 20 is formed in an arc, the movement can be realized smoothly.

The technical scope of the present invention is not restricted to the language used in the claims, the embodiment and the summary of the invention, but is extended to the range in which a person skilled in the art could easily substitute based on the present disclosure.