(19)
(11)EP 3 375 687 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/45

(21)Application number: 17168753.6

(22)Date of filing:  28.04.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B61B 13/04  (2006.01)
B61D 33/00  (2006.01)
B61D 1/04  (2006.01)

(54)

SEATING ARRANGEMENT FOR A FRONT END OF A MONORAIL CAR

SITZANORDNUNG FÜR EIN VORDERES ENDE EINES EINSCHIENENBAHNWAGENS

AGENCEMENT DE SIÈGE POUR UNE EXTRÉMITÉ AVANT D'UNE VOITURE MONORAIL


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 17.03.2017 US 201715461828

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.09.2018 Bulletin 2018/38

(73)Proprietor: Bombardier Transportation GmbH
10785 Berlin (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • TIMAN, Peter
    Sydenham, Ontario K0H 2T0 (CA)
  • FINLAYSON, Scott
    Belleville, Ontario K8R 1B3 (CA)

(74)Representative: Alatis 
109 Bd Haussmann
75008 Paris
75008 Paris (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 642 964
US-A- 3 216 371
US-A- 3 132 599
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention generally relates to the field of monorails. More specifically, the invention relates to a head monorail car having a novel seating arrangement at its front end.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Once considered only worthy of being an attraction in an amusement park, monorails have recently gained a lot of credibility as legitimate means of urban transportation. Indeed, monorails now compete in terms of hourly passenger capacity with other types of transportation such as small capacity metros. Hourly passenger capacity define the capacity of a vehicle to move people. Increasing the hourly capacity of a vehicle therefore means that the same vehicle moves more people at once, increasing profitability for the vehicle operator.

    [0003] Monorails are often perceived as more luxurious, more appealing means of mass transit than metros. However, this perception on its own is often not sufficient to convince a transit authority of opting for that means of transportation. Increasing the passenger capacity of monorails therefore further increases the desirability of such vehicles. Particularly for monorails, increasing the seating capacity is important as it meets the passengers' expectations of travelling comfortably while meeting the transit authority's objective of moving more travelers at once with its equipment.

    [0004] A monorail car having a front end and a read end is illustrated in US3216371, said monorail car comprising: a body, said body having a shell and a floor defining a passenger area there in between; a front load wheel, said front load wheel being installed proximate said front end and laterally centered with said body, said front load wheel having a spinning axis, said front load wheel at least partially protruding through said floor; a rear load wheel, said rear load wheel being installed proximate said rear end and laterally centered with said body; a first row of seats comprising at least a first seat, said first seat being installed within said passenger area and facing said front end, said first seat being further installed at least partially between said front end and said spinning axis of said front load wheel; a second row of seats, said second row of seats being installed back to the first row of seats and facing the rear end. The first row of seats is installed in front of a front wheel cover, whereas the second row of seats is installed above the front wheel cover, higher than the first row of seats. The floor of the passenger area is level over the whole length of the passenger area.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0005] The invention is defined by the technical features set forth in claim 1. It is an object of the present invention to provide a front end seating arrangement for a head monorail car that overcomes or mitigates one or more disadvantages of known seating arrangements, or at least provides a useful alternative.

    [0006] The invention provides the advantages of permitting more passengers to sit comfortably in a passenger area of a head monorail car.

    [0007] The invention also provides the advantage of allowing some passengers to sit facing forward and to enjoy a rare view through a front windshield of the head monorail car.

    [0008] In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a head monorail car with the features of dependent claim 13.

    [0009] Advantageously, the monorail car may further comprise a front wheel cover covering the front load wheel. The first seat is then installed at least partially above the wheel cover.

    [0010] According to one embodiment, mechanical equipment takes up place between the front end and the front load wheel, below the upper floor portion and at least partially at a higher level than that of said lower floor portion.

    [0011] According to one embodiment, the rear load wheel at least partially protrudes through said floor. Preferably, the monorail car further comprises a rear wheel cover, said rear wheel cover covering said rear load wheel. Advantageously, the lower floor portion may extend at least from the front wheel cover to the rear wheel cover.

    [0012] Preferably, a second seat may be installed adjacent the first seat in the first row of seats. Room permitting, a third seat may also be installed adjacent the second seat.

    [0013] The second row of seats may be installed at least partially above the wheel cover, although typically at a lower level than the first row of seats.

    [0014] Conveniently, a passageway may be provided beside the wheel cover and connecting said lower floor portion to said upper floor portion, allowing a passenger to reach the upper floor portion from the lower floor portion.

    [0015] Optionally, the first seat may be installed substantially, or even completely, between the front end of the monorail car and the spinning axis of the front load wheel.

    [0016] Typically, the monorail car is provided with a windshield at its front end. The windshield may be inclined at an angle of more than 20 degrees from vertical, at more than 40 degrees from vertical, at more than 45 degrees from vertical, or even at more than 50 degrees from vertical.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



    [0017] These and other features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:

    Figure 1 is a side view of a monorail travelling on a monorail beam in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

    Figure 2 is a cross-sectional side view of a head monorail car of the monorail of Figure 1;

    Figure 3 is a partial cut-away isometric view of the head monorail car of Figure 2;

    Figure 4 is a view of an interior of a head monorail car looking towards its front end in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0018] The present invention relates to a monorail car having additional passenger seats installed in a front portion of a passenger area.

    [0019] Figure 1 is now referred to. A monorail 10, made of two head monorail cars 12 located at each extremity and of two intermediate monorail cars 14 in between, is shown traveling on a beam 16. Each head monorail car 12 has a front end 18 and a rear end 20. Note that a train consist may be made of either no intermediate monorail cars 14 (two head monorail cars 12 are connected back-to-back), or any other number of intermediate monorail cars 14. Typically, between 1 and 6 intermediate monorail cars 14 are used in a monorail consist.

    [0020] Figure 2 is now concurrently referred to. The head monorail car 12 comprises a body 22, a front load wheel 24 proximate the front end 18, a rear load wheel 26 proximate the rear end 20 and a first seat 28. Both the front and the rear load wheels 24, 26 partially protrude through the floor 30, allowing to position the body 22 closer to the beam 16 and consequently to lower a center of gravity of the head monorail car 12. Both the front and the rear load wheels 24, 26 are laterally centered with the body 22, as best shown in Figure 3, now concurrently referred to. The front load wheel 24 has a spinning axis 36.

    [0021] The body 22 has a passenger area 32 defined in the empty space surrounded by a shell 34 and the floor 30. To isolate the passenger area 32 from the load wheels 24, 26, a front and a rear wheel covers 44, 46 act as wheel wells and respectively cover the front and the read load wheels 24, 26. These wheel covers 44, 46 are typically made of composite materials capable of withstanding an accidental explosion of a load tire 48.

    [0022] Figure 4 is now concurrently referred to. At the front end 18, a large windshield 62 provides a rare forward view, this view being usually reserved to a train driver seated in his driver's cab. The windshield 62 may be inclined at different angles. For example, the windshield 62 could be inclined at more than 20 degrees from vertical or even more than 40 degrees from vertical. As shown, the windshield 62 is inclined close to 45 degrees and could even be inclined at a larger angle than 45 degrees. Conveniently, control equipment 38 has been miniaturized and located in a locked compartment on a side of the body 22, providing an uncluttered front portion of the passenger compartment 32

    [0023] A first seat 28 is installed within the passenger area 32 facing the front end 18 and the windshield 62. The first seat 28 is longitudinally located at least partially between the front end 18 and the spinning axis 36. Optionally, the first seat 28 may be located substantially or even completely between the front end 18 and the spinning axis 36. The first seat 28 is installed at least partially above the front wheel cover 44, conveniently exploiting that space above the front wheel cover 44 that would otherwise be wasted. A second seat 50 and, room permitting, a third seats 52 may also be installed adjacent the first seat 28, making for a first row of seats 54 as best shown in Figure 4.

    [0024] To further use the space above the front wheel cover 44, a second row of seats 56 may be installed back to the first row of seats 54 and facing the rear end 20. This second row of seats 56 may be installed at least partially above the front wheel well 44, although typically at a lower level than the first row of seats 56 as the passengers seated in this second row of seats would have their feet rest on a lower floor portion 57 of the floor 30.

    [0025] Indeed, the seats of the first row of seats 54 are typically placed higher, with respect to the floor 30, than those in the second row of seats 56. This is because mechanical equipment 58 in the front end 18 of the head monorail car 12 takes up space at the floor 30 level and therefore needs to be cleared. Such mechanical equipment 58 may include a crash structure and/or a coupler. Consequently, the head monorail car 12 is typically provided with an upper floor portion 60 that extends horizontally between the front end 18 and the first row of seats 54. This upper floor portion 60 is located at a higher level than that of the lower floor portion 57, making it necessary to install the first row of seats 54 higher than the second row of seats 56.

    [0026] Both the first row of seats 54 and the second row of seats 56 may be replaced by a wide seat, also known as a bench. In the present description, the term seat shall be interpreted as having any width, thereby being fit to accommodate one person or a plurality of persons. Seat or bench are therefore considered as synonyms in the present description.

    [0027] A passageway 64 is provided beside the front wheel covers 44 and besides both the first and the second rows of seats 54, 56. As can be seen in Figures 3 and 4, the passageway 64 allows connecting the lower floor portion 57 to the upper floor portion 60 with typically one or two steps, or even a ramp.

    [0028] The present invention has been described with regard to preferred embodiments. The description as much as the drawings were intended to help the understanding of the invention, rather than to limit its scope. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims, and such modifications are intended to be covered by the present description.


    Claims

    1. A monorail car (12, 14) having a front end (18) and a read end (20), said monorail car (12, 14) comprising:

    a body (22), said body (22) having a shell (34) and a floor (30) defining a passenger area (32) there in between;

    a front load wheel (24), said front load wheel (24) being installed proximate said front end (18) and laterally centered with said body (22), said front load wheel (24) having a spinning axis (36), said front load wheel (24) at least partially protruding through said floor (30);

    a rear load wheel (26), said rear load wheel (26) being installed proximate said rear end (20) and laterally centered with said body (22);

    a first row of seats (54) comprising at least a first seat (28), said first seat (28) being installed within said passenger area (32) and facing said front end (18), said first seat (28) being further installed at least partially between said front end (18) and said spinning axis (36) of said front load wheel (24);

    a second row of seats (56), said second row of seats (56) being installed back to the first row of seats (54) and facing the rear end (20),

    characterized in that said floor (30) comprises an upper floor portion (60) and a lower floor portion (57), said upper floor portion (60) extending horizontally between said front end (18) and said first row of seats (54), said upper floor portion (60) being located at a higher level than that of said lower floor portion (57),

    and said first row of seats (54) is installed higher than said second row of seats (56) with respect to the lower floor portion (57).


     
    2. The monorail car of claim 1 further comprising a front wheel cover, said front wheel cover (44) covering said front load wheel (24), said first seat (28) being installed at least partially above said front wheel cover (44).
     
    3. The monorail car of claim 2, further comprising a passageway (64) beside said front wheel cover (44) and connecting said lower floor portion (57) to said upper floor portion (60).
     
    4. The monorail car of claim 3, wherein mechanical equipment (58) takes up place between the front end (18) and the front load wheel (24), below the upper floor portion (60) and at least partially at a higher level than that of said lower floor portion (57).
     
    5. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the rear load wheel (26) at least partially protrudes through said floor (30).
     
    6. The monorail car of claim 5, further comprising a rear wheel cover (46), said rear wheel cover (46) covering said rear load wheel (26).
     
    7. The monorail car of claim 6, wherein the lower floor portion (57) extends at least from the front wheel cover (44) to the rear wheel cover (46).
     
    8. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first row of seats (54) further comprises a second seat (50) adjacent said first seat (28).
     
    9. The monorail car of claim 8, wherein the first row of seats (54) further comprises a third seat (52) adjacent said second seat (52).
     
    10. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said second row of seats (56) is installed at least partially above said front wheel cover (44).
     
    11. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said a first seat (28) is installed substantially between said front end (18) and said spinning axis (36).
     
    12. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a windshield (62) at said front end, said windshield (62) being inclined at an angle of more than 20 degrees from vertical, preferably at an angle of more than 40 degrees from vertical.
     
    13. The monorail car of any one of the preceding claims, wherein said monorail car is a head monorail car (12).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Einschienen-Wagen (12, 14) mit einem vorderen Ende (18) und einem hinteren Ende (20), wobei der genannte Einschienen-Wagen (12, 14) umfasst:

    einen Körper (22), wobei der genannte Körper (22) ein Gehäuse (34) und einen Boden (30) aufweist, die einen Fahrgastbereich (32) dazwischen definieren;

    ein vorderes Lastrad (24), wobei das genannte vordere Lastrad (24) in der Nähe des genannten vorderen Endes (18) installiert und lateral zu dem genannten Körper (22) zentriert ist, wobei das genannte vordere Lastrad (24) eine Laufachse (36) aufweist, wobei das genannte vordere Lastrad (24) wenigstens teilweise durch den genannten Boden (30) hervorsteht;

    ein hinteres Lastrad (26), wobei das genannte hintere Lastrad (26) in der Nähe des genannten hinteren Endes (20) installiert und lateral zu dem genannten Körper (22) zentriert ist;

    eine erste Sitzreihe (54), umfassend wenigstens einen ersten Sitz (28), wobei der genannte erste Sitz (28) innerhalb des genannten Fahrgast-Bereichs (32) installiert und gegenüber dem genannten vorderen Ende (18) angeordnet ist, wobei der genannte erste Sitz (28) weiterhin wenigstens teilweise zwischen dem genannten vorderen Ende (18) und der genannte Laufachse (36) des genannten vorderen Lastrades (24) installiert ist;

    eine zweite Sitzreihe (56), wobei die genannte zweite Sitzreihe (56) hinter der ersten Sitzreihe (54) installiert und gegenüber dem hinteren Ende (20) angeordnet ist,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der genannte Boden (30) einen oberen Bodenabschnitt (60) und einen unteren Bodenabschnitt (57) umfasst, wobei der genannte obere Bodenabschnitt (60) sich horizontal zwischen dem genannten vorderen Ende (18) und der genannten ersten Sitzreihe (54) erstreckt, wobei der genannte obere Bodenabschnitt (60) an einer höheren Ebene angeordnet ist als der genannte untere Bodenabschnitt (57),

    und die genannte erste Sitzreihe (54) in Bezug auf den unteren Bodenabschnitt (57) höher installiert ist als die genannte zweite Sitzreihe (56).


     
    2. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 1, weiterhin umfassend eine Vorderrad-Abdeckung, wobei die genannte Vorderrad-Abdeckung (44) das genannte vordere Lastrad (24) abdeckt, wobei der genannte erste Sitz (28) wenigstens teilweise oberhalb der genannten Vorderrad-Abdeckung (44) installiert ist.
     
    3. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 2, weiterhin umfassend einen Gang (64) seitlich der genannten Vorderrad-Abdeckung (44) und die den genannten unteren Bodenabschnitt (57) mit dem genannten oberen Bodenabschnitt (60) verbindet.
     
    4. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 3, wobei eine mechanische Ausrüstung (58) einen Platz zwischen dem vorderen Ende (18) und dem vorderen Lastrad (24) unterhalb des oberen Bodenabschnitts (60) und wenigstens teilweise auf einer höheren Ebene als dem des genannten unteren Bodenabschnitts (57) einnimmt.
     
    5. Einschienen-Fahrzeug gemäß irgendeinem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das hintere Lastrad (26) wenigstens teilweise durch den genannten Boden (30) hervorsteht.
     
    6. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 5, weiterhin umfassend eine hintere Radabdeckung (46), wobei die genannte hintere Radabdeckung (46) das genannte hintere Lastrad (26) abdeckt.
     
    7. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 6, wobei der untere Bodenabschnitt (57) sich wenigstens von der vorderen Radabdeckung (44) zu der hinteren Radabdeckung (46) erstreckt.
     
    8. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste Sitzreihe (54) weiterhin einen zweiten Sitz (50) angrenzend zu dem genannten ersten Sitz (28) umfasst.
     
    9. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß Anspruch 9, wobei die erste Sitzreihe (54) weiterhin einen dritten Sitz (52) angrenzend zu dem genannten zweiten Sitz (52) umfasst.
     
    10. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß irgendeinem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die genannte zweite Sitzreihe (56) wenigstens teilweise oberhalb der genannten vorderen Radabdeckung (44) installiert ist.
     
    11. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß irgendeinem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der genannte erste Sitz (28) im Wesentlichen zwischen dem genannten vorderen Ende (18) und der genannten Laufachse (36) installiert ist.
     
    12. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, weiterhin umfassend eine Windschutzscheibe (62) an dem genannten vorderen Ende, wobei die genannte Windschutzscheibe (62) in einem Winkel von mehr als 20 Grad von der Vertikalen, bevorzugt in einem Winkel von mehr als 40 Grad von der Vertikalen geneigt ist.
     
    13. Einschienen-Wagen gemäß einem der voranstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der genannte Einschienen-Wagen ein Einschienen-Kopfwagen (12) ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Véhicule monorail (12, 14) comportant une extrémité avant (18) et une extrémité arrière (20), ledit véhicule monorail (12, 14) comprenant :

    un châssis (22), ledit châssis (22) ayant une enveloppe (34) et un plancher (30) définissant une zone passagers (32) entre eux ;

    une roue porteuse avant (24), ladite roue porteuse avant (24) étant installée à proximité de ladite extrémité avant (18) et centrée latéralement par rapport audit châssis (22), ladite roue porteuse avant (24) ayant un axe de rotation (36), ladite roue porteuse avant (24) faisant au moins partiellement saillie à travers ledit plancher (30) ;

    une roue porteuse arrière (26), ladite roue porteuse arrière (26) étant installée à proximité de ladite extrémité arrière (20) et centrée latéralement par rapport audit châssis (22) ;

    une première rangée de sièges (54) comprenant au moins un premier siège (28), ledit premier siège (28) étant installé à l'intérieur de ladite zone passagers (32) et faisant face vers ladite extrémité avant (18), ledit premier siège (28) étant installé, en outre, au moins partiellement entre ladite extrémité avant (18) et ledit axe de rotation (36) de ladite roue porteuse avant (24) ;

    une seconde rangée de sièges (56), ladite seconde rangée de sièges (56) étant installée derrière la première rangée de sièges (54) et faisant face à l'extrémité arrière (20),

    caractérisé en ce que ledit plancher (30) comprend une partie de plancher supérieure (60) et une partie de plancher inférieure (57), ladite partie de plancher supérieure (60) s'étendant horizontalement entre ladite extrémité avant (18) et ladite première rangée de sièges (54), ladite partie de plancher supérieure (60) étant placée à un niveau plus haut que celui de ladite partie de plancher inférieure (57),

    et ladite première rangée de sièges (54) est installée plus haut que ladite seconde rangée de sièges (56) par rapport à la partie de plancher inférieure (57).


     
    2. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 1, comprenant, en outre, un capot de roue avant, ledit capot de roue avant (44) recouvrant ladite roue porteuse avant (24), ledit premier siège (28) étant installé au moins partiellement au-dessus dudit capot de roue avant (44).
     
    3. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 2, comprenant, en outre, un passage (64) à côté dudit capot de roue avant (44) et reliant ladite partie de plancher inférieure (57) à ladite partie de plancher supérieure (60).
     
    4. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 3, dans lequel de l'équipement mécanique (58) prend place entre l'extrémité avant (18) et la roue porteuse avant (24), en dessous de la partie de plancher supérieure (60) et au moins partiellement à un niveau plus haut que celui de ladite partie de plancher inférieure (57).
     
    5. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la roue porteuse arrière (26) fait au moins partiellement saillie à travers ledit plancher (30).
     
    6. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 5, comprenant, en outre, un capot de roue arrière (46), ledit capot de roue arrière (46) recouvrant ladite roue porteuse arrière (26).
     
    7. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 6, dans lequel la partie de plancher inférieure (57) s'étend au moins du capot de roue avant (44) au capot de roue arrière (46).
     
    8. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la première rangée de sièges (54) comprend en outre un deuxième siège (50) adjacent audit premier siège (28).
     
    9. Véhicule monorail selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la première rangée de sièges (54) comprend en outre un troisième siège (52) adjacent audit deuxième siège (52).
     
    10. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite seconde rangée de sièges (56) est installée au moins partiellement au-dessus dudit capot de roue avant (44).
     
    11. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit premier siège (28) est installé sensiblement entre ladite extrémité avant (18) et ledit axe de rotation (36).
     
    12. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un pare-brise (62) à ladite extrémité avant, ledit pare-brise (62) étant incliné à un angle de plus de 20° par rapport à la verticale, de préférence, à un angle de plus de 40° par rapport à la verticale.
     
    13. Véhicule monorail selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit véhicule monorail est un véhicule monorail de tête (12).
     




    Drawing















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description