Title:
Assistance system in loading/unloading passengers in cars
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An assistance system for loading and/or unloading passengers on board cars of a transport installation where the cars move along a closed circuit comprises a rope in a closed loop having a first section arranged tangentially to a section of the closed circuit and a second section arranged along a loading and/or unloading area of the passengers on board vehicles coupled to the rope at regular intervals equal to a multiple of the interval between the cars. The drive means of the rope are associated with means for servo-control of the running speed of the rope according to the speed of movement of the cars able to continuously ensure that each vehicle running along the first section occupies a position adjacent to a car.



Inventors:
Mollet, Alain (Annecy le vieux, FR)
Application Number:
12/320814
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
02/05/2009
Assignee:
POMAGALSKI (Voreppe, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61K1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KOONTZ, TAMMY J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. An assistance system in loading and/or unloading passengers on board cars of a transport installation in which the cars move at substantially constant speed at regular intervals along a closed circuit, a system comprising: a rope in a closed loop running by means of drive means and having a first section arranged tangentially to a section of the closed circuit and a second section arranged along a loading and/or unloading area of the passengers on board vehicles coupled to the rope at least on the first section, with a stagger equal to a multiple of the interval between the cars, and means for servo-controlling the speed of running of the rope according to the speed of movement of the cars to continuously position each vehicle running over the first section so that it is facing a car.

2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the means for coupling the vehicles to the rope are formed by fixed attachment grips supported by the vehicles, and the loading and/or unloading area comprises a transfer walkway having a path coinciding with the path of the vehicles in the second section.

3. The system according to claim 2, wherein at least one of the vehicles comprises means for adjusting the perimeter of the closed loop formed by the rope.

4. The system according to claim 1, wherein a running track is arranged parallel to the rope to guide the vehicles during movement of the latter.

5. The system according to claim 4, wherein each vehicle comprises a carriage running in the running track and a platform securedly affixed to the corresponding carriage by securing means.

6. The system according to claim 5, wherein the securing means comprise means for orienting the platform with respect to the carriage according to at least one axis of rotation and means for automatic maintaining of the trim of the platform by pivoting around said axis of rotation.

7. The system according to claim 5, wherein each carriage is equipped with a first wheel and a second wheel offset in the direction of movement of the carriage, the running track comprising two independent guide rails respectively receiving one of the first and second wheels and occupying a relative position in the vertical plane suitable for keeping the carriage horizontal whatever its position along the running track.

8. The system according to claim 1, wherein each vehicle is equipped with a retractable sill varying by actuating means between an extended position salient from the vehicle, occupied on the first section to fill the gap between the vehicle and the adjacent car, and a retracted position housed in the vehicle.

9. The system according to claim 1, wherein each vehicle comprises a salient ramp inclinable around a pivoting axis coinciding with the direction of movement of the vehicle, and means for varying the angle between the ramp and the vehicle.

10. The system according to claim 9, wherein the means for varying the angle between the ramp and the vehicle comprise a support system with a deformable parallelogram comprising: two pivoting arms parallel to one another, articulated on the vehicle at a proximal end, at least one of which arms supports said ramp, a joining element with fixed spatial orientation with respect to the vehicle, articulated on the distal ends of said pivoting arms, and an actuating jack equipped with a sliding rod, translation of which rod controls the variation of the angle between the pivoting arms and the joining element.

11. The system according to claim 1, wherein the closed circuit presents a circular shape comprised in a vertical plane, and the part of running track bordering the first section presents the shape of an arc of a circle comprised in a parallel vertical plane.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to an assistance system in loading and/or unloading passengers on board cars of a transport installation in which the cars move at substantially constant speed at regular intervals along a closed circuit.

STATE OF THE ART

A large number of transport installations of the type referred to above are used in towns or in ski resorts to constitute people movers, or on public premises to constitute amusement rides, for example of vertical Ferris wheel type with suspended cars. The cars used in these installations, defined by what supports the passengers, can take different forms according to the applications, gondola cars, telpher cars or open cabins, or even capsules in the case of an amusement ride of Ferris wheel type. In all cases, the cars move at substantially constant speed at regular intervals along a closed circuit by means of a hauling rope which may also be a carrying rope, or by the fact that the capsules are engaged on a rotating structure for the case of an amusement ride of Ferris wheel type.

These installations comprise at least one platform arranged along the closed circuit to allow the passengers to embark on board the cars and/or to alight from the latter. The loading and unloading operations remain the most delicate in the sense that the passenger or group of passengers presents a speed differential that has to be compensated almost instantaneously.

To ensure safety of the loading and unloading operations on board the cars, the speed differential has to be limited to a threshold value of 0.3 m/s. Such a constraint means that the speed of running of the set of cars along the closed circuit is limited to this threshold value. The result of this functional requirement of the installation is however that the hourly carrying capacity in terms of passengers is considerably limited and may not correspond to the expectations of the installation operators and of the passengers.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the invention consists in providing an assistance system for loading and/or unloading passengers on board cars of an installation that enhances the passengers' safety and comfort during the loading and unloading operations without constituting a limitation of the carrying capacity of the installation.

The system according to the invention is remarkable in that it comprises:

    • a rope in a closed loop running by means of drive means and having a first section arranged tangentially to a section of the closed circuit and a second section arranged along a loading and/or unloading area of the passengers on board vehicles coupled to the rope at least on the first section, with a stagger equal to a multiple of the interval between the cars,
    • and means for servo-controlling the speed of running of the rope according to the speed of movement of the cars to continuously position each vehicle running over the first section so that it is facing a car.

Such a loading and/or unloading assistance system enables each of the loading and unloading operations on board the cars of the installation to be performed in two steps: a first type of transfer enables the passengers to go to and fro between the loading and/or unloading area of the system and the vehicles of the system, and a second type of transfer enables the passengers to go to and fro between the vehicles of the system and the cars of the installation. The two types of transfer can be performed in a variable order, according to the operation to be performed at the level of the cars (loading or unloading). Splitting the loading and unloading operations into two successive transfers enables a first speed differential to be associated with the first type of transfer and a second speed differential to be associated with the second type of transfer. On account of the assistance system according to the invention, the second transfer between the cars of the installation and the vehicles of the assistance system is performed maintaining a speed differential that is substantially equal to zero, whatever the speed of movement of the cars along the closed circuit. In this way, whatever the hourly passenger carrying capacity scheduled for the installation, safety of the passengers during the second type of transfer is total. Possible risks for the passengers are therefore transferred to the first type of transfer between the vehicles of the system and the loading and/or unloading area of the system. But in order to limit these risks, a value lower than or equal to 0.3 m/s, ideally equal to zero, simply has to be assigned to the first transfer, by suitable design of the assistance system.

The assistance system according to the invention therefore guarantees optimal safety for the loading and unloading operations on board the cars independently from the speed of movement of the cars. The assistance system in this way enables the transport installation to be operated with a high hourly throughput with a substantially faster speed of movement of the cars than the prior art, for example greater than or equal to 0.5 m/s, while at the same time providing enhanced safety for the loading and unloading operations on board the cars. For this, the assistance system enables each operation to be split into a first transfer (vehicle-loading and/or unloading area) where the speed differential is for example lower than or equal to 0.3 m/s, and a second transfer (vehicle-car) where the speed differential is substantially zero.

According to a preferred embodiment, the means for coupling the vehicles to the rope are formed by fixed attachment grips supported by the vehicles, and the loading and/or unloading area comprises a transfer walkway having a path that coincides with the path of the vehicles in the second section. By suitable adjustment of the speed of the transfer walkway, such a variant enables a speed differential substantially equal to zero to be maintained during transfer between the loading and/or unloading area of the system and the vehicles of the system, thereby resulting in improved safety.

Other technical features can be used either alone or in combination:

    • at least one of the vehicles comprises means for adjusting the perimeter of the closed loop formed by the rope,
    • a running track is arranged in parallel manner to the rope to guide the vehicles during movement of the latter,
    • each vehicle comprises a carriage running on the running track and a platform securedly affixed to the corresponding carriage by securing means,
    • the securing means comprise means for orienting the platform with respect to the carriage according to at least one axis of rotation and means for automatic maintaining of the trim of the platform by pivoting around said axis of rotation,
    • each carriage is equipped with a first wheel and a second wheel offset in the direction of movement of the carriage, the running track comprising two independent guide rails respectively receiving one of the first and second wheels and occupying a relative position in the vertical plane suitable for keeping the carriage horizontal whatever its position along the running track,
    • each vehicle is equipped with a retractable sill varying by actuating means between an extended position salient from the vehicle, occupied on the first section to fill the gap between the vehicle and the adjacent car, and a retracted position housed in the vehicle,
    • each vehicle comprises a salient ramp inclinable around a pivoting axis coinciding with the direction of movement of the vehicle, by means for varying the angle between the ramp and the vehicle,
    • the means for varying the angle between the ramp and the vehicle comprise a support system with a deformable parallelogram comprising on the one hand two pivoting arms, parallel to one another, articulated on the vehicle at a proximal end, at least one of which arms supports said ramp, and on the other hand a joining element with fixed spatial orientation with respect to the vehicle, articulated on the distal ends of said pivoting arms, and finally an actuating jack equipped with a sliding rod, translation of which rod controls the variation of the angle between the pivoting arms and the joining element,
    • the closed circuit presents a circular shape comprised in a vertical plane, and the part of running track bordering the first section presents the shape of an arc of a circle comprised in a parallel vertical plane.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other advantages and features will become more clearly apparent from the following description of a particular embodiment of the invention, given for non-restrictive example purposes only and represented in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 represents a transport equipment in top view comprising an example of an assistance system according to the invention,

FIG. 2 represents a rear view of the bottom part of the equipment of FIG. 1, in a vertical cross-sectional plane A-A visible in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the bottom part of the equipment of FIG. 1, in the cross-sectional plane A-A,

FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the left part of FIG. 3,

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate an alternative embodiment in which the vehicles are modified.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 to 4 illustrate a transport equipment for passengers P composed mainly of a transport installation 10 conveying cars C in closed circuit, a loading assistance system 11 for loading on board cars C and an unloading assistance system 12.

In the particular example described in non-restrictive manner, transport installation 10 is formed by an amusement ride of Ferris wheel type where cars C, formed by capsules, are suspended. Installation 10 implements a circular central structure 13 rotating around a horizontal axis D fixedly maintained at a distance from the ground. Cars C are attached to the periphery of structure 13 by means of a link enabling cars C to keep their horizontality.

During operation, transport installation 10 ensures homogeneous movement of the whole set of cars C. More precisely, cars C move at substantially constant speed (equal to multiplication of the radius of structure 13 by the angular speed of rotation of structure 13) at regular intervals. During this movement, cars C exert a circular translational movement. This results in cars C all moving along one and the same fictitious closed circuit of circular shape, the closed circuit corresponding to the circular path of cars C during a complete rotation of structure 13.

Transport installation 10 is equipped at the bottom part thereof, i.e. near the ground on which structure 13 rests, with two independent systems 11, 12 respectively for assisting passengers P to embark on board cars C of installation 10 and for assisting them in alighting from cars C for previously embarked passengers P. Assistance systems 11 and 12 are arranged on each side of the vertical plane X of central structure 13 to maintain a one-way flow of passengers P within the transport installation. Due to the symmetry of design of systems 11 and 12, only the loading assistance system 11 will be described in detail.

Loading assistance system 11 comprises a rope 14 arranged in a closed loop passing at the ends in two bull-wheels 15a, 15b horizontally offset in a direction parallel to the vertical plane X. Bull-wheels 15a, 15b are respectively driving and loose. An electric motor M ensures continuous rotation of bull-wheel 15a in a single rotation direction by means of a countergear and a speed reducer. Electric motor M associated with reducer, countergear and low-speed and high-speed shafts constitute drive means of rope 14 moving rope 14 in a one-way running movement. Each strand of rope 14, a strand corresponding to the part of rope 14 stretched between bull-wheels 15a, 15b, constitutes a substantially straight track for one-way running of vehicles V continuously coupled to rope 14 at regular intervals. The spacing between two successive vehicles V is therefore constant, being chosen to constitute a stagger equal to a multiple of the interval between cars C of installation 10. In the particular example illustrated, the interval between two successive vehicles V is equal to the interval between two cars C.

The offset between the vertical plane X and the line passing via the centers of bull-wheels 15a, 15b, included in the plane A-A, is adjusted so that the strand of rope 14 nearer to structure 13 constitutes a first section T1 of rope 14 arranged tangentially to a section of the closed circuit along which cars C move. The direction of running of rope 14 is chosen such that vehicles V running on first section T1 move (arrow F1 of FIG. 1) in the same direction as cars C (arrow F2 of FIG. 1). First section T1 therefore constitutes a one-way running track tangent to the closed circuit of cars C along which vehicles V move in the same direction as cars C.

After they have run on first section T1, vehicles V return in the opposite direction on the parallel one-way running track constituted by the opposite strand of rope 14. A loading area 16 of passengers P on board vehicles V is arranged along the running track opposite to first section T1. The part of this track contiguous to loading area 16 constitutes a second section T2 of rope 14 characterized by its arrangement along area 16.

Vehicles V are constantly coupled to rope 14 by means of fixed attachment grips 17 (FIG. 4) supported by vehicles V. To ensure a constant tension of rope 14 in time despite an inevitable elongation of rope 14, loose bull-wheel 15b is associated with an adjustment mechanism 18 for adjusting the tension of rope 14 using for example a counterweight or actuation of a hydraulic jack. To guarantee the regular interval between vehicles V in spite of the elongation of rope 14 and actuation of adjustment mechanism 18, at least one of vehicles V comprises adjustment means (not shown) of the perimeter of the closed loop formed by rope 14. For example, one possibility to form rope 14 in a closed loop consists in fixing a head at each free end before shaping of rope 14 is performed, and in then fixing the two heads onto a joining part securedly affixed to one of the vehicles V. The adjustment means are then achieved by the fact that the joining part comprises means for adjusting the distance between the fixing areas of the heads.

The driving means of rope 14 are associated with means (not shown) for servo-controlling of the speed of running of rope 14 according to the speed of movement of cars C. The servo-control means are designed to continuously position each vehicle V running on first section T1 in a position adjacent to a car C. The adjacent position corresponds to a relative configuration of vehicle V with respect to car C such that vehicle V and car C are facing one another in a direction perpendicular to vertical plane X. Such servo-control means can be integrated in a control unit (not shown) controlling electric motor M according to signals received from first presence sensors performing detection of cars C and from second presence sensors detecting vehicles V.

To modulate or even eliminate the speed differential at the moment loading takes place on board vehicles V from loading area 16 bordering second section T2, area 16 comprises a transfer walkway 19 having a path coinciding with the path of vehicles V in second section T2. The notion of coinciding means a relative configuration of vehicle V with respect to transfer walkway 19 such that vehicle V and walkway 19 are side by side in a direction perpendicular to vertical plane X.

In the example of loading assistance system 11 illustrated, each vehicle V comprises a carriage 20 running on a running track 21 in a closed loop and a platform 22 securedly affixed to the corresponding carriage 20 by securing means. Running track 21 is arranged parallel to rope 14 over the whole length of rope 14 to guide vehicles V during movement of the latter. In addition to the function of guiding vehicles V, running track 21 serves the purpose of supporting the whole weight of each vehicle V, so that the only function assigned to running rope 14 is to perform driving of vehicles V.

Transport installation 10 being an amusement ride of Ferris wheel type with suspended cars C, the fictitious closed circuit along which cars C move presents a circular shape comprised in a vertical plane coinciding with the vertical mid-plane X of structure 13. The section of closed circuit along which first section T1 is tangentially arranged thus presents the shape of an arc of a circle comprised in the vertical plane X. To guarantee an adjacent position of vehicles V with respect to cars C over the whole length of first section T1, the part of running track 21 bordering first section T1 of rope 14 presents the shape of an arc of a circle comprised in a vertical plane Z parallel to vertical plane X.

For comfort of passengers P loaded on board vehicles V, more precisely on platform 22, platform 22 has to be kept in a horizontal position whatever the position of vehicle V along the part of running track 21 bordering first section T1. A first solution, not represented, results from securing means between carriage 20 and platform 22 that comprise means for orienting platform 22 with respect to carriage 20 according to at least one axis of rotation and means for automatically maintaining the trim of platform 22 by pivoting around said axis of rotation. The mechanism for automatically maintaining the trim of platform 22 ensures that the position of platform 22 is kept horizontal to the ground whatever the angular orientation of carriage 20 with respect to platform 22 around the axis of rotation.

A second solution is represented in FIG. 2. On one side of a vertical mid-plane including its direction of movement, each carriage 20 is equipped with a first wheel 23a and a second wheel 24a offset in the direction of movement of carriage 20. Running track 21 comprises two independent guide rails 25a, 26a. Guide rail 25a receives first wheel 23a to ensure running and guiding of the latter, and guide rail 26a receives second wheel 24a to ensure running and guiding of the latter. Rails 25a, 26a occupy a relative position, in the vertical plane, designed to keep carriage 20 horizontal whatever its position along running track 21. For example, the offset between rails 25a, 26a at a given point of the part of running track 21 bordering first section T1 being noted a and the angle formed by rails 25a, 26a at this point with respect to the horizontal being noted φ, then α=L.sin(φ) where L is the length separating wheels 23a and 24a. On the other side of the vertical mid-plane including its direction of movement, each carriage 20 is equipped with a second pair of first and second wheels 23b, 24b offset in the direction of movement of carriage 20 and running in two independent guide rails 25b, 26b belonging to running track 21 and presenting the same characteristics as rails 25a, 26a. Outside the part bordering first section T1 of rope 14, rails 25a, 25b, 26a, 26b are all coplanar and horizontal to ensure guiding of vehicle V in a horizontal plane.

Each vehicle V is equipped with a retractable sill 27 varying by means of actuating means (not shown) between an extended position salient from vehicle V, occupied at least on first section T1 so as to at least partly fill the gap between vehicle V and adjacent car C, and a retracted position housed in vehicle V. Actuation of retractable sill 27 can be scheduled during movement on second section T2, up to the extended position or an intermediate position between the extended and retracted positions, in order to partially or totally fill the gap between vehicle V and transfer walkway 19. Any suitable actuating means can be used, for example an electric motor or a solution by piston.

Loading a passenger P on board a car C of transport installation 10 takes place in the following manner: in a first stage, the passenger previously-on the platform of loading area 16 moves to place himself (arrow F3 of FIG. 1) on transfer walkway 19 of area 16. This operation in the course of which a speed differential exists between passenger P and transfer walkway 19 does not present any risk due to the fact that transfer walkway 19 is moving in the direction in which passenger P is moving. The speed of transfer walkway 19 is for example adjusted so as to be equal to the speed of movement of vehicles V along second section T2. Such a variant enables a speed differential equal to zero to be maintained during the first transfer of passenger P from loading area 16 to vehicle V, for enhanced safety. Vehicle V on board which passenger P has embarked is then driven at constant speed by rope 14 while at the same time being guided by running track 21. The servo-control means associated with the drive means of rope 14 guarantee that vehicle V automatically moves to occupy a position adjacent to a car C so as to be positioned facing car C over the whole length of first section T1. Transfer of passenger P on board car C from vehicle V can then take place with a speed differential equal to zero. By means of a safety mechanism of gate barrier or landing door type, transfer may if required only be authorized on a segment of first section T1. After transfer, vehicle V is then brought back by rope 14 in the direction of section T2 for a new loading.

In addition to the loading assistance system 11 described above, the transport equipment comprises an unloading assistance system 12 similar to loading assistance system 11, arranged symmetrically with respect to the vertical plane X. In like manner to loading system 11, unloading assistance system 12 comprises a rope 28 in a closed loop running by means of drive means and having a first section T3 arranged tangentially to a section of the closed circuit and a second section T4 arranged along an unloading area 29 of passengers P from vehicles Y fixedly coupled to rope 28 with a regular stagger equal to a multiple of the interval between cars C. The drive means of rope 28 are also associated with servo-control means of the running speed of rope 28 according to the speed of movement of cars C to continuously position each vehicle Y running on first section T3 facing a car C while moving in the same direction (arrow F4). The section of closed circuit along which first section T1 of rope 14 is tangentially arranged is identical to that along which first section T3 of rope 28 is tangentially arranged. The only difference between systems 11 and 12 arises from the fact that unloading area 29 is positioned at the beginning of the outer running track comprising second section T4, whereas loading area 16 is placed at the end of the outer running track comprising second section T2.

Unloading of a passenger P loaded on board a car C of transport installation 10 takes place in the following manner: all the vehicles Y are fixedly coupled to rope 28 so as to be driven on first section T3 to a position adjacent to a car C facing the latter. Transfer of passenger P previously in car C to the adjacent vehicle Y is therefore possible with a speed differential substantially equal to zero. In advantageous manner, actuation of the safety mechanism of gate barrier or landing door type equipping the adjacent vehicle V of loading assistance system 11 may if required only be authorized after a preset time delay during which vehicle Y is in the position adjacent to car C. Such a variant enables transfer from car C to vehicle Y of unloading assistance system 12 to be performed earlier than transfer from vehicle V of loading assistance system 11 to car C. After transfer from car C to vehicle Y, vehicle Y is then moved by rope 28 in the direction of second section T4. Unloading platform 29 is equipped with a transfer walkway 30 whose path coincides with the path of vehicles Y in second section T4. The speed of transfer walkway 30 is for example adjusted so as to be substantially equal to the speed of movement of vehicles Y along second section T4. Such a variant enables a speed differential substantially equal to zero to be maintained during transfer of passenger P from vehicle Y to unloading area 29, for enhanced safety. Then passenger P on transfer walkway 30 moves onto the platform of unloading area 29 (arrow F5 in FIG. 1). This operation during which a speed differential exists between passenger P and the platform does not present any risk as the speed differential can be compensated in the direction in which passenger P is moving.

It can also be provided for the speeds of transfer walkways 19 and 30 to be able to both be modulated to limit or even eliminate the speed differential suffered by passenger P respectively when he steps onto the walkway 19 and when he steps off the latter onto the platform of unloading area 29.

Although, for the assistance systems 11 and 12 described above, ropes 14 and 28 are driven at constant speed, it can be provided for each of the ropes to be either slowed down or even stopped at the moment when a series of corresponding vehicles V, Y is positioned respectively along loading area 16 and unloading area 29. This variant advantageously eliminates the necessity of providing transfer walkways 19, 30.

In a variant, it can be provided for vehicles V, Y to be coupled to corresponding rope 14, 28 by means of attachment grips of disengageable type. Provided that disengagement systems of the grips are provided up-line from second sections T2 and T4 and engagement systems of the grips on rope 14, 28 are provided down-line from second sections T2, T4, such a variant enables transfer between loading area 16 or unloading area 29 and vehicles V, Y to be performed reducing or even eliminating the speed differential, while at the same time not requiring the presence of transfer walkways 19, 30. Vehicles V, Y in the disengaged state do on the other hand have to be set in motion by movement means independent from rope 14, 28.

However, whatever the variant implemented, it does remain that vehicles V, Y are coupled to corresponding rope 14, 28 at least on first section T1, T3 of said rope 14, 28 for synchronous driving of vehicles V, Y in the position adjacent to cars C.

Vehicles V, Y described above can be replaced by any equivalent vehicle, for example of the type suspended on rope 14, 28. In the latter case, rope 14, 28 then further has to perform the functions of support and guiding of the vehicles. Depending on the type of vehicle used, running track 21 may only border a part of the closed loop formed by corresponding rope 14, 28, or even be completely eliminated.

Although described as being independent from one another, assistance systems 11 and 12 could be combined in a single loading and unloading assistance system using a single closed loop of rope only, to which only a series of vehicles would be coupled at regular intervals. Such a variant requires appropriate synchronization between transfers from the vehicle to car C and from car C to the vehicle.

In FIGS. 5 and 6, vehicles V, Y are modified. For each of them, retractable sill 27 is replaced by an inclinable pedestrian ramp 31 arranged salient from vehicle X, Y, inclinable around a pivoting axis coinciding with the direction of movement of vehicle V, Y. Means for varying the angle between ramp 31 and vehicle V, Y are provided. For example in FIG. 5; inclinable ramp 31 presents an angle substantially equal to 7 degrees with respect to the horizontal to compensate the height difference between platform 22 and the floor of car C. In FIG. 6 on the other hand, inclinable ramp 31 is substantially horizontal as platform 22 and transfer walkway 19, 30 are substantially coplanar.

The means for varying the angle between inclinable ramp 31 and vehicle V, Y comprise a support system with a parallelogram deformable in a vertical plane, comprising:

    • two pivoting arms 32, 33 parallel to one another, articulated on vehicle V, Y at a proximal end 32a, 33a, and at least one 32 of which arms supports said inclinable ramp 31,
    • a joining element 34 with fixed spatial orientation with respect to vehicle V, Y, articulated on the distal ends 32b, 33b of said pivoting arms 32, 33,
    • and an actuating jack 35 equipped with a sliding rod 36, translation of which rod controls the variation of the angle between pivoting arms 32, 33 and joining element 34.

More precisely, proximal ends 32a, 33a of pivoting arms 32, 33 are fitted pivoting freely on platform 22 at two vertically superposed points. Distal ends 32b, 33b of pivoting arms 32, 33 are mounted articulated on the ends of a vertical branch 34a of joining element 34 (or vice-versa, vertical branch 34a of joining element 34 is articulated on distal ends 32b, 33b) which presents a bracket shape with a horizontal branch 34b facing away from vehicle V, Y. According to the principle of the deformable parallelogram, the vertical branch 34a and horizontal branch 34b remain respectively vertical and horizontal whatever the state of deformation of the parallelogram, i.e. whatever the angle formed between pivoting arms 32, 33 and vehicle V, Y.

In the example illustrated, inclinable ramp 31 is secured by any suitable means to the top pivoting arm 32, but could also be secured to pivoting arm 33. Sliding rod 36 is articulated at its distal end in a middle area of top pivoting arm 32. Rod 36 moves in straight translation in a tubular body 37 of actuating jack 35 due to the action of a fluid under pressure such as air or oil. On the opposite side from the outlet opening of sliding rod 36, body 37 is mounted articulated on vehicle V, Y, more precisely on platform 22, near the articulation of proximal end 33a of bottom pivoting arm 33.

With such an arrangement, extension movement of sliding rod 36 commands increase of the angle of incline of inclinable ramp 31 with respect to the horizontal. In the opposite manner, retraction movement of sliding rod 36 commands reduction of the angle of incline of inclinable ramp 31 with respect to the horizontal. The angle of incline of ramp 31, which is directly dependent on the state of extension of sliding rod 36, is adapted at all times along first sections T1 and T3 to compensate the height difference between platform 22 and the floor of car C, keeping horizontal branch 34b at the same level (pressing under the latter) as the floor of car C. In complementary manner, the angle of incline of ramp 31 is adapted at all times along second sections T2 and T4 to compensate the height difference between platform 22 and transfer walkways 19, 30, keeping horizontal branch 34b at the same level (pressing on the latter) as transfer walkways 19, 30.

Inclinable ramp 31 associated with the means for varying the angle between ramp 31 and vehicle V, Y thereby enable both the height differences between platform 22 and either the floor of car C or transfer walkways 19, 30 to be compensated, and also compensate the horizontal differences between these elements. This is why horizontal branch 34b of the joining element presses via the top or the bottom respectively against the floor of car C and against transfer walkways 19, 30.

The means for varying the angle between ramp 31 and vehicle V, Y described above are merely a particular example that is simple to implement, but they can however be replaced by any suitable similar solution.

Finally, the invention can be applied to any type of transport installation of cars in closed circuit, in particular to any type of people mover such as for example a gondola car with fixed grips using a hauling rope with a very high running speed (greater than 0.5 m/s).