Patent: Safe Train Door.

TexasBusiness.com


Patent:  Safe Train Door. | sanant_txbz, patent, 8056485, Rail Car Door Closer, Bexar, Carl A. Register, Jason L. Register, Jeffrey C. Register,

U.S. Patent 8,056,485 for “Rail Car Door Closer.”

Texas Business Patent Of The Day: Even though the technology dates to century before last, it’s still dangerous to open and close a railroad cargo car door. 

Now, three Bexar county residents have devised a safe way to open and close train doors.  Carl A. Register, Jason L. Register and Jeffrey C. Register, all of San Antonio, received U.S. Patent 8,056,485 for “Rail Car Door Closer.”

The three filed for the patent on July 8, 2009.

The patent assignee is Gates Management LTD of San Antonio.

Railroad cars are used to carry bulk commodities with the most common bulk commodity being coal to provide energy and power, according to the patent document. Other bulk commodities may be grain, aggregate, phosphate or other similar type materials. The railroad car used to carry bulk commodities normally has hopper doors on the bottom thereof that swing downward when unloading. These hopper doors on the bottom of a railroad car typically weigh about 200-300 pounds each and are difficult to close manually even under ideal conditions. After a period of extended wear, the hopper doors may become bent or warped making the closing of the hopper doors manually even more difficult. 

Over the years, numerous injuries to railroad workers have been involving the closing of the heavy hopper doors. The manual closing of the hopper doors takes two people under even ideal conditions. A warped, bent or worn hopper door becomes even more difficult to close. 
 
It is an object of the present invention to provide a simple, safe, cost effective, but reliable, rail car door closure. 

It is another object of the present invention to provide a rail car door closure that has an axle with a cam mounted thereon so that rotating the axle forces the cam against the rail car door forcing the rail car door up to the closed and locked position. 

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a rail car door closure that is operated by a pneumatic or hydraulic cylinder. 

It is yet another object of the present invention to have a series of rail car door closures for simultaneously closing multiple hopper doors for a single railroad car simultaneously. 

It is still another object of the present invention to provide multiple door closures for simultaneously closing hopper doors by rotation in one direction and, sequentially thereafter, closing mating hopper doors by a rotation of door closures in the opposite direction. 

In the present invention, the actuated mechanisms of the rail car door closure is located between the railroad tracks at the place for dumping the bulk commodity. A tent type structure protects the actuating mechanism from falling bulk commodity. A pair of axles extend from the tent structure to either side thereof. On each end of the pair of axles are located closure arms. 

A hydraulic cylinder is used to rotate a first axle and a first pair of closure alms on each end thereof. Sequentially thereafter, a second hydraulic cylinder rotates a second axle with a second pair of closure arms thereon. In this manner, a first hopper door is closed and then the mating hopper door (if there is one) is subsequently closed. 

The actuation of the hydraulic cylinders is controlled by a control box. The hydraulic cylinders may be actuated in any manner desired depending upon the particular railroad car being unloaded and the hopper doors located thereon. This may vary from railroad car to railroad car. 

Also, additional pairs of axles and closure arms can be included with additional pairs of hydraulic cylinders if more than one set of hopper doors are to be closed at one time. This varies according to the preference of the particular operator or the type railroad cars being unloaded. 

The axles are supported by flange bearings attached to the tent type frame. The ends of the hydraulic cylinders are held in clevises. Keys and key ways are used to attach to the respective axles. A slotted connector arms provides for ease of connection of the cylinders to each axle to cause rotation movement thereof Also, the slotted converter arms may be quickly disconnected and removed for maintenance or repair.