Title:
SYSTEM FOR RAIL-BOUND TRANSPORT OF OBJECTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a system for rail-bound transport of objects, the system comprising a plurality of railway cars (11) that can be coupled together, each having at least one transport track (26, 27) provided on a support structure (20), on which the objects can be moved along the railway cars (11). The system is designed such that the transport tracks (26, 27) of coupled railway cars (11) adjoin one another, wherein transport bodies (28) for the objects are provided, which are designed for moveability along adjoining transport tracks (26, 27) from railway car to railway car, or wherein the objects are piece goods and themselves constitute such transport bodies. The support structures (20) are each a loadable unit (15) or are housed in a loadable unit (15), wherein each of the loadable units(15) can be detachably fixed to the associated railway car (11).



Inventors:
Knape, Christian (Munchen, DE)
Knape, Steffen (Lunne, DE)
Application Number:
14/442990
Publication Date:
10/15/2015
Filing Date:
11/06/2013
Assignee:
K & K Maschinenentwicklungs GmbH & Co. KG (München, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B61D3/02; B61D3/18; B61D45/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080014041Side mounted truck tie-down railJanuary, 2008Randazzo et al.
20060216126Magnetic wheelchair seating belt storage systemSeptember, 2006Mechling
20090067946CARGO RESTRAINING APPARATUSMarch, 2009Thompson
20080124184Self-gripping rack for cantilevered tanksMay, 2008Sheckells
20030206782Flexible cargo restraintsNovember, 2003Toglia
20050214088Wheelchair occupant restraint systemSeptember, 2005Acton
20060016808Composite support rack and associated methodJanuary, 2006Stoughton et al.
20100047032UNITARY VOID FILLING APPARATUS FOR USE WITH VARIOUS PALLET SIZES AND LOADS, AND METHOD OF USING THE SAMEFebruary, 2010Funk et al.
20090274531Universal Cargo Rail ClampNovember, 2009Townson
20050244241Cooling system, cooling method, and electronic apparatusNovember, 2005Miyazaki et al.
20030035695Portable decking system for use in standard van trailersFebruary, 2003Blackmon



Primary Examiner:
GORDON, STEPHEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vivacqua Crane (Ann Arbor, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A system for a rail-bound transport of articles, having a plurality of railroad cars which can be coupled together and which each have a transport track which is provided at a support structure and on which the articles can be traveled along the railroad car and which is configured such that the transport tracks of railroad cars coupled together adjoin one another, wherein transport bodies for the articles are provided which are configured for a travelability along mutually adjoining transport tracks from railroad car to railroad car, or wherein the articles are piece goods and themselves form such transport bodies, wherein the support structures each form a loadable unit or are accommodated in a loadable unit, with the loadable units each being releasably fastenable to the associated railroad car.

2. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the support structures are each accommodated in a standard container.

3. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the support structures are each themselves configured as standard containers.

4. The system in accordance with claim 3, wherein the support structures are each configured as parallelepiped-shaped frame racks at which container corner castings are provided.

5. A system in accordance with claim 4, wherein the dimensions of the frame rack correspond to standard container dimensions or are increased in size with respect to standard container dimensions while utilizing the available minimum clearance outline.

6. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least some of the support structures and/or of the transport tracks can be adjusted between a loading position and a work position.

7. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the railroad cars are configured as standard freight cars.

8. The system in accordance with claim 7, wherein the railroad cars are not modified or are only modified within the framework of their certification regulations with respect to a normal container car.

9. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the loadable units are fastenable to railroad cars of different gauges.

10. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least one of the loadable units has fastening apparatus for fastening at least one rail to an outer side of the loadable unit.

11. The system in accordance with claim 10, wherein the fastening apparatus are arranged at a lower side of the loadable unit at both sides of a support section configured for placing on the railroad car.

12. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the loadable unit is parallelepiped-shaped, with the width of the loadable unit exceeding the width of a standard container and the height of the loadable unit corresponding to the width of a standard container or being smaller than the width of a standard container.

13. The system in accordance with claim 12, wherein a whole-number multiple of the width of the loadable unit corresponds to a whole-number multiple of the height of a standard container.

14. An apparatus for transporting articles on rail vehicles, comprising a support structure at which at least one transport track is provided which is configured for traveling articles along one or more railroad cars wherein the support structure forms a loadable unit or is accommodated in a loadable unit which is releasably fastenable to a railroad car.

15. The apparatus in accordance with claim 14, wherein the apparatus is for use in a system having a plurality of railroad cars which can be coupled together and which each have a transport track which is provided at a support structure and on which the articles can be traveled along the railroad car and which is configured such that the transport tracks of railroad cars coupled together adjoin one another, wherein transport bodies for the articles are provided which are configured for a travelability along mutually adjoining transport tracks from railroad car to railroad car, or wherein the articles are piece goods and themselves form such transport bodies, wherein the support structures each form a loadable unit or are accommodated in a loadable unit, with the loadable units each being releasably fastenable to the associated railroad car.

16. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the rail-bound transport of articles is effected for the transporting in and away of material to or from railroad work vehicles.

17. The system in accordance with claim 7, wherein the freight cars are configured as container cars.

Description:

The present invention relates to a system for a rail-bound transport of articles, for example for the transporting in and away of material to or from railroad work vehicles, having a plurality of railroad cars which can be coupled together and which each have at least one transport track which is provided at a support structure and on which the articles can be traveled along the railroad car and which are configured such that the transport tracks of railroad cars coupled together adjoin one another, wherein transport bodies for the articles are provided which are configured for a travelability along mutually adjoining transport tracks from railroad car to railroad car, or wherein the articles are piece goods and themselves form such transport bodies.

Work on railroad tracks is carried out in a rail-bound manner as much as possible since the disruption of the rail traffic and the burden on the environment can thereby be kept small. Rail-going work vehicles such as ballast cleaning machines, foundation rehabilitation machines and the like, but also machines for the removal or for the new production of rail carriageways are used for this purpose. In practically all cases, material has to be transported to the work vehicles and/or has to be transported away from them. For example, with ballast cleaning machines, the waste of old ballast and foundation material thus has to be transported off.

The conveying of the materials to and from the construction site can take place particularly efficiently and with low contamination by the use of transport bodies. In addition, there is as good as no demixing of the materials. A further advantage comprises the fact that all types of materials, that is in particular also water, ironware, sleepers and fuel, in addition to carriageway material and ballast, can be transported. A system of the named kind can, however, not only be used for the transporting in and away of materials to and from railroad work vehicles, but also very generally for the transportation of articles on railroad routes.

The provision of railroad cars which are provided with corresponding supports structures, transport tracks and transport bodies, is however, complex and expensive. It is a particular problem that the certification of an especially produced railroad car under railroad law is not only a very time-intensive process, but also causes high costs. In addition there are some relevant regulations in every country which have to be observed. A further problem is the complex and/or expensive transport of especially produced railroad cars outside an existing rail carriageway. Furthermore, especially produced railroad vehicles are typically restricted to one gauge and can only be converted to different gauges with a great effort and/or expense.

It is the underlying object of the invention to improve a transport system of the initially named kind. The transporting in and out of the system to its deployment site and the use on rail networks of different gauges should in particular be facilitated.

The object is satisfied by a system having the features of claim 1 and in particular in that the support structures each form a loadable unit or are accommodated in a loadable unit, wherein the loadable units can each be releasably fastened to the associated railroad car. The support structures, including the transport tracks, are therefore not designed as an integral component of the associated railroad car, but rather as freight for a railroad car of in principle any design.

The transport tracks for the transport bodies can thus be transported in and out via the track like customary work apparatus. In addition, the transport tracks can, however, also advantageously be transported in a different manner, for example on a low platform trailer or on a ship. The transport system in accordance with the invention can therefore also be moved to worksites in a favorable manner which cannot be reached by track or can only be reached with difficulty by track.

In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the support structures are each accommodated in a standard container, in particular in a standard container standardized according to ISO 668. This facilitates the transport and in particular reduces the transport costs since transport vehicles for standard containers are available in a variety of manners.

Alternatively, the support structures can each themselves be configured as standard containers, in particular as a standard container standardized in accordance with ISO 668. The costs for the transport can also thereby be kept correspondingly low.

The support structures can each be configured as parallelepiped frame racks at which container corner fittings are provided. A frame rack is simple to manufacture and only has a comparatively low weight. Due to the corner fittings, which are also called “corner castings”, such a frame rack can be attached in a fast and simple manner to a railroad car having corresponding locking mechanisms.

The dimensions of the frame rack can correspond to standard container dimensions. Alternatively, the dimensions of the frame rack can be increased in size with respect to standard container dimensions while utilizing the available minimum clearance outline in order thus e.g. to accommodate wider transport tracks within the frame rack.

At least some of the support structures and/or of the transport tracks can be adjusted between a loading position and a work position. Specific extensions can thus be retracted to reduce the space requirements on the transport.

The railroad cars can be configured as standard freight cars, in particular as container cars. This is in particular advantageous since the above-mention complex certification procedure is dispensed with. The railroad cars can rather be hired and put together with the loadable units on site. There is a particular advantage in that standardized container cars are practically available in any desired country.

The railroad cars are preferably not modified, or are only modified within the framework of their certification regulations with respect to a normal container car. The support structures having the transport tracks can thereby be transported as a load by the rail vehicle without permits being necessary. A particularly fast transport between different deployment locations is thereby possible.

The loadable units can preferably be fastened to railroad cars of different gauges. Depending on the deployment site and on the gauge used there, a different set of railroad cars can thus be used for transporting the loadable units so that a transport system in accordance with the invention can be used without problem on different rail networks.

In accordance with a further development of the invention, at least one of the loadable units has fastening apparatus for fastening at least one rail to an outer side of the loadable unit. Optionally required rails can thereby also be provided in a rail-bound manner at the deployment site in addition to the transport tracks.

The fastening apparatus can in particular be arranged at a lower side of the loadable unit at both sides of a support section configured for placing on the railroad car. The usable minimum clearance outline is namely generally wider than a standard container car so that a free space is present to the left and to the right of the railroad car surface. This free space can advantageously be used to transport rails. The fastening apparatus can in particular be configured as simple mountings.

A further embodiment of the invention provides that the loadable unit is parallelepiped-shaped, with the width of the loadable unit exceeding the width of a standard container and the height of the loadable unit corresponding to the width of a standard container or being smaller than the width of a standard container. It is then possible, on the one hand, to utilize the available minimum clearance outline ideally during the rail-bound transport of articles by means of the loadable unit and, on the other hand, to improve the loadability by a simple rotation of the loadable unit about its longitudinal axis. It is namely in particular frequently absolutely necessary with a container transport on ships to observe a specific width due to existing guide rails. If the height of a loadable unit corresponds to this width, the loadable units can simply be stacked “on end” using the existing guide rails in the cargo space. If the height of a loadable unit is smaller than the width of a standard container, the required dimension can be established by attaching one or more attachment parts.

A whole-number multiple of the width of the loadable unit preferably corresponds to a whole-number multiple of the height of a standard container. Selectively, six standard containers or five loadable units can thus be stacked above one another e.g. in a specific section of a freight space provided with a guide rail arrangement. A particularly good utilization of the available freight space is this possible in this manner.

The invention also relates to an apparatus for transporting articles on rail vehicles having a support structure at which at least one transport track is provided which is configured for moving articles along one or more railroad cars, in particular for use in a system such as described above.

Provision is made in accordance with the invention in this respect that the support structure forms a loadable unit or is accommodated in a loadable unit which is releasably fastenable to a railroad car.

An embodiment of the invention is represented in the drawing and will be described in the following.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic side view of an apparatus in accordance with the invention for transporting articles on rail vehicles;

FIG. 2 shows a schematic side view of a system in accordance with the invention for a rail-bound transport of articles; and

FIG. 3 shows a rear view of a system for the rail-bound transport of articles in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the invention.

The apparatus 13 in accordance with the invention shown in FIG. 1 for transporting articles on rail vehicles comprises a support structure 20 which is configured as a parallelepiped-shaped frame rack. The support structure 20 is composed of a lower frame 22, a middle frame 23 and an upper frame 24 which are connected to one another via vertical struts 25. A respective transport track 26, 27 on which transport bodies 28 can be traveled is provided on the lower frame 22 and on the middle frame 23. The transport bodies 28 can be closed boxes, open transport bodies such as containers or pallets or machines. The transport bodies 28 are provided at their lower side with wheels 29 which roll off on the transport track 26 or on the transport track 27. The transport bodies 28 can be automatically travelable on the transport tracks 26, 27. The transport bodies 28 are provided with a machine-readable code 31 for this purpose. The travel can in this respect also take place by remote control.

FIG. 2 shows a system for the rail-bound transport of articles which is based on the use of a plurality of apparatus 13 in accordance with FIG. 1. The system comprises a plurality of railroad cars 11 which are coupled together and of which two are shown by way of example. A respective apparatus 13 as described above is fastened to the railroad car 11. The apparatus 13 are in this respect configured as loadable units 15 and are each releasably connected to the associated railroad car 11.

The railroad cars 11 are container railroad cars of a standard construction which are not modified, or are only modified within the framework of their certification regulations, with respect to a normal container car used for freight conveying. The railroad cars 11 shown in FIG. 2 in detail respectively comprise a platform-like base frame 17 which rests on rail wheelsets 19. To secure standard containers, adjustable locking mechanisms 18 are provided at the base frame 17 and are preferably configured as so-called twistlocks.

As shown, the lower transport tracks 26 and the upper transport tracks 27 of the loadable units 15 each adjoin one another steplessly and extend horizontally. Transport track connections 33 are provided between the units 15 for this purpose. On use of transport tracks 26, 27 having rollers or the like and having transport bodies without wheels 29, such transport track connections 33 can also be dispensed with.

As is likewise shown in FIG. 2, at least one of the railroad cars 15 can be equipped with a change device 35 between the conveyor tracks 26, 27. The transport bodies 28 can thereby be bought from the one transport track 26 or 27 to the other transport track 27 or 26. This allows a resorting or an intermediate storage of transport bodies 28. The transport bodies 28 can preferably be traveled in both directions on both transport tracks 26, 27. A separate unit (not shown) can also be provided whose support structure supports an automatic loading and/or unloading device. Such a loading and/or unloading device allows a material exchange between the transport bodies 28 and a railroad work vehicle, not shown here, or an exchange of transport bodies 28 between a loadable unit 15 and a storage site, in particular on the travel track.

The loadable units 15 are adjustable between the loading position shown in FIG. 1 and the work position shown in FIG. 2. The transport track connections 33 are specifically extended in the work position, whereas they are withdrawn or retracted in the loading position. In addition, the transport bodies 28 are preferably secured in the loading position against an accidental movement on the transport tracks 26, 27. It is, however, also possible that the transport bodies 28 are remote from the transport tracks 26, 27 in the loading position of the unit 15.

As is illustrated by dashed lines in FIG. 1, each of the loadable units 15 is configured such that the permitted external dimensions of a typical load are not exceeded in the loading position. The length, width and height of the support structures 20 individually each correspond to standard container dimensions. Container corner castings 37 are furthermore provided at each carrier structure 20. The carrier structures 20 are each fixed to the base frame 17 of the respective railroad car 11 by means of the container corner castings 37 and by means of the adjustable locking mechanisms 18. The loadable units 15 can therefore be transported perfectly normally as a load with the railroad cars 11.

Provided that the application requires, the support structures 20 can be faced with walls so that the support structures 20 are therefore so-to-say themselves configured as standard containers. Alternatively, the support structures 20 can also be configured somewhat smaller than shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and can be completely accommodated in a standardized standard container.

FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of a loadable unit 15 in which fastening apparatus 39 for suspending rails 40 at a lower side of the loadable unit 15 are arranged at both sides of a support section configured for placing on the railroad car 11. This allows the simple transporting of rails 40 to or from the respective deployment site.

The system in accordance with the invention can advantageously be used for a variety of work at or for a rail carriageway, for example in the installing and removing of sleepers, in the treatment of rails, in format improvement work and much, much more. In every case, the individual apparatus 13 can selectively be brought to the deployment site in a rail-bound manner, in a road-bound manner or by ship and can there be used for transporting articles. The corresponding railroad cars 11 in this respect, in particular with long distances to the deployment site, do not necessarily have to be taken along, but can rather be provided, e.g. hired, locally. The loading and unloading of the units 15 on the railroad cars 11 can take place using standard devices used within the framework of freight conveying which are practically universally available in rail traffic.

REFERENCE NUMERAL LIST

11 railroad car

13 apparatus for transporting articles

15 loadable unit

17 base frame

18 adjustable locking mechanism

19 rail wheelset

20 support structure

22 lower frame

23 middle frame

24 upper frame

25 vertical strut

26 lower transport track

27 upper transport track

28 transport body

29 wheel

31 code

33 transport track connection

35 change device

37 container corner casting

39 fastening apparatus

40 rail

41 support section