Title:
Articulated train rake and car for making up such a rake
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An articulated train rake includes a plurality of longitudinally aligned cars, each having leading and trailing longitudinal ends, for each car a ball joint between the leading end of said car and the trailing end of the preceding car in the row, each car including a body, at least a bogie on which the body rests, and pivot joint means for connecting the body to the bogie. The ball joints are disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to the pivot joint means relative to the rolling plane of the rake.



Inventors:
Jeunehomme, Sylvie (Salles Sur Mer, FR)
Courcimeaux, Eric (Dompierre Sur Mer, FR)
Guinot, Alain (Schweighouse/Moder, FR)
Application Number:
11/430678
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/09/2006
Assignee:
ALSTOM Transport SA (Levallois-Perret, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Davidson, Davidson & Kappel, LLC (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. Articulated train rake, comprising: a plurality of longitudinally aligned cars, each having leading and trailing longitudinal ends, for each car a ball joint between the leading end of said car and the trailing end of the preceding car in the row, each car comprising a body, at least a bogie on which the body rests, and pivot joint means for connecting the body to the bogie, characterised in that the ball joints are disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to the pivot joint means relative to the rolling plane of the rake.

2. A rake according to claim 1, wherein the pivot joins means are such that the body is pivotally mounted on the bogie about an axis perpendicular to the rolling plane of the rake.

3. A rake according to claim 1, wherein each car comprises a single bogie supporting the leading end of said car, the trailing end of the car being supported by the leading end of the following car in the row via the ball joint.

4. A rake according to claim 3, and comprising, for each car, a walkway which causes an internal volume of the body of said car to communicate with an internal volume of the body of the preceding car, the ball joint between the two cars being disposed below the walkway.

5. A rake according to claim 4, wherein each body has a stepped bottom comprising leading and trailing bottoms located vertically relatively higher, relative to the rolling plane of the rake, and a relatively lower central bottom.

6. A rake according to claim 5, wherein the pivot joint means are disposed below the leading bottom.

7. A rake according to claim 5, wherein the bogie extends partially below the leading bottom and partially below the walkway, the ball joint being interposed vertically between the bogie and the walkway.

8. A rake according to claim 7, wherein the bogie of each car extends partially below the trailing bottom of the body of the preceding car.

9. A rake according to claim 4, wherein the internal volume of each body and the walkway causing this internal volume to communicate with the internal volume of the preceding body are delimited on one lower side by respective floors extending substantially at the same level vertically relative to the rake rolling plane.

10. A rake according to claim 1, wherein each bogie comprises two longitudinally spaced parallel transverse axles, the ball joint being disposed longitudinally between the two axles.

11. A rake according to claim 1, wherein the ball joint for connecting each car to the preceding car is disposed longitudinally at a distance of less than 2 metres from the pivot joint means between the body and the bogie of the car.

12. A rake according to claim. 1, wherein it comprises a pantograph capable of sliding along a catenary and disposed above one of the cars, vertically in line with the pivot joint means of this car.

13. Train car capable of forming part of an articulated rake comprising a plurality of longitudinally aligned cars, the car comprising a body, at least a bogie on which the body rests, pivot joint means for connecting the body to the bogie and ball joint means capable of co-operating with complementary ball joint means of the preceding car in the row in such a way that the cars are joined by a ball joint, characterised in that the ball joint means are disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to the pivot joint means relative to the car rolling plane.

14. Car according to claim 13, and comprising, at a leading end, a walkway portion capable of co-operating with a complementary passage portion of the preceding car so as to create a passage which causes the respective internal volumes of the bodies of the two cars to communicate, the ball joint means of the car being disposed below the walkway.

15. Car according to claim 14, wherein the body has a stepped bottom comprising leading and trailing bottoms located vertically relatively higher, relative to the rolling plane of the rake, and a relatively lower central bottom, the pivot joint means being disposed below the leading bottom.

16. Car according to claim 15, wherein the internal volume of the body and the walkway portion are delimited on a lower side by respective floors extending substantially at the same level.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention generally relates to an articulated train rake and to a car for making up such a rake.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

More specifically, according to a first aspect, the invention relates to an articulated train rake, comprising:

    • a plurality of longitudinally aligned cars, each having leading and trailing longitudinal ends,
    • for each car a ball joint between the leading end of said car and the trailing end of the preceding car in the row,
      each car comprising a body, at least a bogie on which the body rests, and pivot joint means for connecting the body to the bogie.

Rakes of this type are known from the prior art. FIG. 1 shows a portion of such a rake, this portion comprising a plurality of cars V connected by passages C by means of which the passengers can walk from one car V to another. The floor P in the rake is relatively higher in the region of the walkway than in the centre of the cars, i.e. in the compartment where the passengers sit. The difference in level is approximately 125 mm.

This difference in level is inconvenient for passengers wishing to pass from one car to another, particularly if these passengers are pulling a bag or suitcase on wheels.

In this context, the object of the present invention is to propose an articulated train rake inside which walking between cars is easier than in prior art rakes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

For this purpose, the articulated train rake according to the invention, of the type described above, is basically characterised in that the ball joints are disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to the pivot joint means relative to the rolling plane of the rake.

The articulated train rake can also have one or more of the following characteristics, in any technically feasible combination:

    • The pivot joint means are such that the body is pivotally mounted on the bogie about an axis perpendicular to the rolling plane of the rake;
    • Each car comprises a single bogie supporting the leading end of said car, the trailing end of the car being supported by the leading end of the following car in the row via the ball joint;
    • The rake comprises, for each car, a walkway which causes an internal volume of the body of said car to communicate with an internal volume of the body of the preceding car, the ball joint between the two cars being disposed below the walkway;
    • Each body has a stepped bottom comprising leading and trailing bottoms located vertically relatively higher, relative to the rake rolling plane, and a relatively lower central bottom;
    • The pivot joint means are disposed below the leading bottom;
    • The bogie extends partially below the leading bottom and partially below the walkway, the ball joint being interposed vertically between the bogie and the walkway;
    • The bogie of each car extends partially below the trailing bottom of the body of the preceding car;
    • The internal volume of each body and the walkway causing this internal volume to communicate with the internal volume of the preceding body are delimited on one lower side by respective floors extending substantially at the same level vertically relative to the rolling plane of the rake;
    • Each bogie comprises two longitudinally spaced parallel transverse axles, the ball joint being disposed longitudinally between the two axles;
    • The ball joint for connecting each car to the preceding car is disposed longitudinally at a distance of less than 2 metres from the pivot joint means between the body and the bogie of the car; and
    • The rake comprises a pantograph capable of sliding along a catenary and disposed above one of the cars, vertically in line with the pivot joint means of this car.

According to a second aspect the invention relates to a train car capable of forming part of an articulated rake comprising a plurality of longitudinally aligned cars, the car comprising a body, at least a bogie on which the body rests, pivot joint means for connecting the body to the bogie and ball joint means capable of co-operating with complementary ball joint means of the preceding car in the row in such a way that the cars are joined by a ball joint, characterised in that the ball joint means are disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to the pivot joint means relative to the car rolling plane.

The car can also have one or more of the following characteristics, in any technically feasible combinations:

    • The car comprises, at a leading end, a walkway portion capable of co-operating with a complementary passage portion of the preceding car so as to create a passage which causes the respective internal volumes of the bodies of the two cars to communicate, the ball joint means of the car being disposed below the walkway;
    • The body has a stepped bottom comprising leading and trailing bottoms located vertically relatively higher, relative to the rolling plane of the rake, and a relatively lower central bottom, the pivot joint means being disposed below the leading bottom; and
    • The internal volume of the body and the walkway portion are delimited on a lower side by respective floors extending substantially at the same level.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will emerge from the following description given as a non-limiting example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a portion of articulated train rake according to the prior art;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to that in FIG. 1 of a train rake according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a detail III from FIG. 2 illustrating a bogie, its pivot joint with respect to a car body and the ball joint between this car and the preceding car, the walkway between the two cars not being shown for the sake of clarity.

FIG. 4 is a plan view along the arrow IV in FIG. 3, the walkway and a right-hand lateral half of the cars not being shown in order to reveal the bogie and the ball joint; and

FIG. 5 is a partial section in a horizontal plane of the ball joint in FIGS. 3 and 4.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The articulated train rake of which a portion is shown in FIG. 2 comprises a leading power car, a trailing power car and a plurality of cars aligned longitudinally between the two power cars. The cars 2 are connected to one another and are connected to the leading and trailing power cars. The leading power car is capable of driving the rake in a forward longitudinal direction, symbolised by the arrow F in FIG. 2. The trailing power car is capable of driving the rake in the opposite direction.

In the remainder of the text, reference will be made to leading, trailing, right and left directions or sides, which are defined with reference to the direction of travel of the rake when it is driven by the leading power car.

Each car 2 comprises a body 4, a bogie 6 on which the body 4 rests by a leading end, pivot joint means 8 for connecting the body 4 to the bogie 6 and ball joint means 10 co-operating with complementary ball joint means 12 of the preceding car 4 in the row.

The ball joint means 10 are provided at the leading end of the car 2 and the complementary ball joint means 12 at a trailing end of the preceding car 2. The ball joint means 10 and the complementary ball joint means 12 create a ball joint 14 between the two cars by means of which the leading end of the car 2 supports the trailing end of the preceding car 2.

Thus, each car is supported at its leading end by the bogie 6 and at its trailing end by the following car 4 in the row, via the ball joint 14.

In addition, the rake comprises, for each pair of successive cars 2, a walkway 16 causing the respective internal volumes 18 of the bodies 4 of the two cars 2 to communicate. For this purpose, each car 2 comprises, on a leading side, a passage portion 20 capable of cooperating with a complementary passage portion 22 provided on a trailing side of the preceding car 2, the two passage portions being longitudinally attached and thus creating the walkway 16.

The internal volume 18 of each body 4 is subdivided into a leading portion 24 communicating with the passage 16 leading to the preceding car 2, a central portion 26 accommodating the passengers and a trailing portion 28 communicating with the passage 16 connecting the car 2 to the following car 2 in the row.

The leading, central and trailing portions 24, 26, 28 of the internal volume 18 and the walkways 16 of the two opposing longitudinal sides of the car 4 are delimited, on a lower side, by a floor 29, this floor extending substantially at the same level relative to the rolling plane of the rake throughout the internal volume 18 and the walkways 16.

Referring to FIG. 2, each body 4 has a stepped bottom 30 with a leading bottom 32 and a trailing bottom 34 located vertically at a relatively higher level, relative to the rolling plane of the rake, and a central bottom 35 located vertically at a level relatively lower level, relative to the rolling plane of the rake.

The leading, trailing and central bottoms 32, 34, 35 are located below the respective leading portion 24, trailing portion 28, and central portion 26 of the internal volume 18.

In FIG. 3, the bogie 6 comprises a frame 36, two axles 38 mounted on the frame 36, four wheels 40 mounted in pairs on the axles 38 and two shock absorbers 42 interposed between the leading bottom 32 of the body 4 and the frame 36.

More specifically, FIG. 4 shows that the frame 36 comprises two mutually parallel longitudinal sole bars 44 and two mutually parallel transverse crossbars 46 connecting the two sole bars 44. The axles 38 are mounted at the two opposing longitudinal ends of the sole bars 44. The crossbars 46 are disposed symmetrically about the median transverse vertical plane of the two axles 38, each extending between this plane and one of the axles 38. The bogie 6 further comprises brake discs 48 mounted on the axles 38 and co-operating with brake actuators 50 mounted on the crossbars 46.

The shock absorbers 42 each rest on a sole bar 44 and are disposed in the median transverse vertical plane of the two axles 38.

The pivot joint means 8 are disposed below the leading bottom 32 and are such that the leading bottom 32 of the body 4 is pivotally mounted on the bogie 6 about a pivot axis A perpendicular to the rolling plane of the rake. The pivot joint means 8 are disposed in the median transverse vertical plane of the two axles 38 and also in the median longitudinal vertical plane of the two crossbars 46. These means are of a known type and will not be described in detail here.

The ball joint means 10 comprise a front arm 52 extending from the leading bottom 32 below the connecting passage 16 and a stirrup 54 integral with the leading arm 52.

FIGS. 3 and 4 show that the leading arm 52 comprises a first portion which extends downwards and forwards from the leading bottom 32 and a second portion extending the first portion horizontally forwards. The stirrup 54 extends from the second portion of the leading arm 52 and comprises two parallel bent arms 56, each arm 56 comprises a first portion 58 extending transversely to the right from the leading arm 52 and a second portion 60 vertically extending the first portion 58.

The complementary ball joint means 12 comprise a trailing arm 62 which extends longitudinally backwards substantially horizontally from the trailing bottom 34. This trailing arm 62 is located vertically immediately above the first portions 58 of the bent arms 56. The complementary means 12 further comprise a central plate 64 extending transversely to the right from the trailing arm 62. The central plate 64 engages between the second portions 60 of the stirrup 54. A space G remains on each side of the plate 64 between this plate 64 and the second portions 60 of the bent arms 56, as shown in FIG. 5.

The second portions 60 and the plate 64 are perforated by respective cylindrical bores 66, 68 which are coaxial and have a longitudinal axis.

Referring to FIG. 5, the bore 68 receives a ball 70, a sleeve of resilient material 72 being interposed between this ball 70 and the internal surface of the bore 68. The ball 70 is typically made of rubber.

The ball joint means 10 further comprise a shaft 74 extending through the bores 66 of the two bent arms 56 and also passing through the ball 70 via an orifice provided for this purpose in the ball 70.

The ball 70 is rigidly fixed in terms of translation along the shaft 74 by any suitable means. The resilient sleeve 72 is integral with both the ball 70 and the plate 64.

It will therefore be appreciated that an angular displacement between the trailing arm 62 and the stirrup 54, around the ball 70, is possible.

The portion of the bogie 6 located on a trailing side of the pivot axis A is located completely below the leading bottom 32 of the body 4. The portion of the bogie 6 extending to the front of the pivot axis A extends firstly below the leading bottom 32 then below the walkway 16 and finally extends partially below the trailing bottom 34 of the preceding car 2. The axle 38 located furthest forward extends substantially in the region of the trailing end of this preceding car 2.

FIG. 4 shows that the ball joint 14 is located longitudinally below the walkway 16. The ball joint 14 is also located between the two axles 38 of the bogie, more specifically between the leading axle 38 of the bogie and the pivot axis A, even more specifically between the leading crossbar 46 and the leading axle 38.

Vertically, the ball joint 14 is interposed between the bogie 6 and the floor of the connecting passage 16 and, more specifically, between the leading axle 38 and the floor of the connecting passage 16.

The ball joint 14 is disposed at a vertical level lower than or equal to that of the pivot joint means 8 relative to the rolling plane of the rake.

The ball 70 of the ball joint 14 is disposed longitudinally at a distance of less than 2 metres from the axis A of the pivot joint means 8 and is preferably located 1 metre from the axis A of the pivot joint 8.

The rake can comprise a car 2 provided with a pantograph arm 76 mounted on the roof of the body 4, this pantograph arm 76 advantageously being disposed at a leading end of this roof in line with the axis A of the pivot joint means 8.

The train rake described above has numerous advantages.

The ball joint 14 articulating one car 2 to the preceding car is offset forwards relative to the pivot joint means 8 of this car 2 on its bogie 6. In addition, the ball joint 14 is disposed at a level lower than or equal to that of the pivot joint means. It is thus possible to dispose the floor of the passage 16 vertically at the same level as the floor of the internal volume 18 of the car 2.

In the prior art, the floor of the walkway 16 was disposed higher than the floor of the central portion of the internal volume 18 of the car because the ball joint was disposed above the pivot joint means and below the walkway, as shown in FIG. 1.

This new arrangement of the ball joint 14 and the pivot joint means 8 allows the level of the floor of the walkway 16 to be lowered by approximately 125 mm relative to the prior art.

It is thus possible to create a floor having the same level along all the cars of the rake in such a way that a passenger passing from one car to another does not encounter differences in level.

It should be noted that the fact of dissociating the ball joint from the pivot joint reduces the overall lateral space occupied by the cars at bends. For a given transverse width of car, the car will project laterally relative to the rails over a shorter distance when it travels round a bend.

According to a further aspect, with a given maximum overall transverse size at bends, it is possible to increase the transverse width of the body. For a displacement of 1 metre between the ball joint and the pivot joint means, it is possible to gain approximately 35 mm over the width of the body.

In addition, since the pivot joint means 8 are disposed below the leading portion of the body 4, it is possible to install the pantograph arm 76 vertically in line with the pivot joint means 8. This disposition simplifies the displacement of the pantograph arm relative to the catenary 78.

Finally, the fact that the pivot joint means 8 are disposed below the leading portion of the body and not below the walkway 16 enables the shock absorbers 42 to rest directly on the leading bottom 32 of the body 4.

The train rake described above can have numerous variations without departing from the scope of the invention.

Alternatively, thus, a difference in levels is formed between the floor of the internal volume of the body and the floor of the walkway, by jointly lowering the levels of the two floors. This enables the height of the access steps to the interior of the body from the platform to be reduced.

In a variation, the ball joint 14 between a car and the car preceding it is disposed below the trailing bottom 34 of the leading car rather than below the floor of the walkway causing the two cars to communicate.

It is possible that the bogie 6 of a car 2 is connected not to the leading bottom 32 of the body 4 but to the trailing bottom 34 of this body. In this case, the leading end of the car 2 is supported by the trailing end of the car preceding it via the ball joint 14.

The invention also applies to articulated train rakes in which each car 2 is provided with two bogies 6, one bogie 6 being situated below the leading bottom 32 of the body 4 and one bogie 6 being situated below the trailing bottom 34 of the body 4. In this case, the sole function of the ball joint 14 is to articulate one end of a car 2 to the end of the preceding car 2; it does not have the function of supporting the end of one of the cars.

The train rake described above may be electrically or thermally powered.

The car provided with a ball joint 14 which is underslung relative to its pivot joint 8 may be motorised (a power car) or non-motorised. The power car may be disposed at the end of the rake or in an intermediate position between two non-motorised cars.