Patent Number: 10,029,706

Title: Method for actuating discharge doors of railroad hopper cars

Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for a door-actuating assembly that utilizes a pick-up shoe and a rechargeable battery to minimize the occurrence of rail sparks inside dump sites. The door-actuating assembly includes a pick-up shoe, a battery electrically connected to the pick-up shoe, a hermetically sealed switch electrically connected to the battery, and an electro-pneumatic valve electrically connected to the hermetically sealed switch. The battery is rechargeable via the pick-up shoe when the pick-up shoe is biased into an active position having physical contact with a wayside conductor rail; the electro-pneumatic valve actuates the bottom discharge door between an open position and a closed position, after the battery is charged beyond a pre-determined state of charge, and after the pick-up shoe is biased into an inactive position not having physical contact with the wayside conductor rail. Railroad hopper cars comprising such door-actuating assemblies, and methods of operation are also provided.

Inventors: Taylor; Fred Joseph (Independence, KY)

Assignee: Vertex Railcar Corporation

International Classification: B61D 7/24 (20060101); B61D 7/32 (20060101); B61D 7/22 (20060101); B60L 5/39 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2022-07-24 0:00:00