(19)
(11)EP 3 450 280 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
06.03.2019 Bulletin 2019/10

(21)Application number: 17189430.6

(22)Date of filing:  05.09.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B61F 5/04  (2006.01)
B61F 5/10  (2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD

(71)Applicant: Bombardier Transportation GmbH
10785 Berlin (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • Wallet, Dominique
    59990 Rombies et Marchipont (FR)

(74)Representative: Cohausz & Florack 
Patent- & Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB Bleichstraße 14
40211 Düsseldorf
40211 Düsseldorf (DE)

  


(54)EMERGENCY SPRING DEVICE FOR A RAIL VEHICLE


(57) The present invention relates to an emergency spring device, in particular for rail vehicles, comprising an emergency spring unit (107). The emergency spring unit (107) is configured to provide resilient emergency support of a wagon body unit (102.1) of a wagon body (102) of the vehicle (101) on a running gear unit (103) of the vehicle (101) at least in a direction of a height axis of the wagon body (102) in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device (104) of the rail vehicle (101). The emergency spring device (105) further comprises a decoupling unit (110). The decoupling unit (110) and the emergency spring unit (107) are configured to be arranged kinematically in series between the wagon body unit (102.1) and the running gear unit (103). The decoupling unit (110) is configured to mechanically decouple the wagon body unit (102.1) from the running gear unit (103) about a decoupling axis of rotation (105.1) extending along a longitudinal axis of the wagon body (102).




Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates to an emergency spring device, in particular for rail vehicles, comprising an emergency spring unit. The emergency spring unit is configured to provide resilient emergency support of a wagon body unit of the vehicle on a running gear unit of the vehicle at least in a direction of a height axis of the wagon body in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of the rail vehicle. The present invention further relates to a rail vehicle comprising such an emergency spring device.

[0002] In order to ensure safety against derailment of such a rail vehicle in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of the rail vehicle, the emergency spring unit has to provide the suspension and allow the rolling movement of the running gear unit with respect to the vehicle.

[0003] In many known rail vehicles, the emergency spring is integrated within components of the secondary suspension (e.g. within lateral air spring elements of the secondary suspension), such as it is known, for example, from US 4,841,874 (the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference). In an emergency operation, i.e. in case of a failure of the secondary suspension, support force transmission between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit is primarily provided via the emergency spring(s). These designs have the disadvantage that their stiffness of the emergency springs in the height direction of the vehicle typically is considerably higher than the corresponding stiffness of the (failed) air springs. This increased stiffness adds to the stiffness of the antiroll bar, and considerably increases the rolling stiffness of the vehicle arrangement and, consequently, considerably increases the risk of derailment.

[0004] Attempts to solve this problem are known from the EP 0 301 304 B1 (the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference), where a safety device for pneumatic suspensions is integrated into the secondary suspension of a rail vehicle. The safety device is mounted between the wagon body and the running gear. A tronco-conically shaped supporting element is integrated into the secondary suspension and supported by elastic rings inside a base element at the bottom of the secondary suspension connected to the running gear.

[0005] During regular, inflated operation of the air spring a gap exists between the a mechanical spring element inside the air spring and the support element. In case of an air loss of the secondary suspension this gap is closed and the wagon body is supported on the running gear by the mechanical spring element and the support element.

[0006] However, such solutions increase the rolling stiffness thereby causing an increased risk of derailment and consequently a reduced allowable speed and a loss of comfort. It further increases the building space, which is typically strongly limited in modern rail vehicles. Moreover the design of the railway vehicle determines the location and the design of the secondary suspension and thereby also the location and the design of the emergency spring, making it rather inflexible for design changes of the rail vehicle or the emergency spring. Furthermore, it is impossible to retrofit existing vehicles with such an emergency spring. The increasing demand for increased allowable speed and comfort even in case of a failure of a secondary suspension increases the complexity of the design of the rail vehicle, and thereby increases the cost tremendously.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0007] Thus, it is the object of the present invention to provide an emergency spring device which does not show the disadvantages described above, or at least shows them to a lesser extent, and which, in particular, facilitates an improved rolling movement of the wagon body and the running gear. The invention further aims for an emergency spring device which facilitates a more flexible design and configuration relaxing the building space constraints.

[0008] The above objects are achieved with an emergency spring device according to claim 1 and a rail vehicle according to claim 13.

[0009] The present invention is based on the technical teaching that an improved rolling movement of the wagon body unit and the running gear unit can be accomplished, if the emergency spring device is configured such that is does not or almost not restrict the rolling movement of the wagon body on the running gear. In such a case, the rolling stiffness of the vehicle is essentially defined by the rolling support and essentially similar to normal operation (i.e. with properly operating secondary suspension, e.g. inflated air springs).

[0010] This may be achieved by configuring the emergency spring device with a decoupling section that essentially mechanically decouples the wagon body unit and the running gear unit about a rolling axis (parallel to the longitudinal direction of the vehicle). In other words, the support in height direction of the vehicle and the rolling movement of the vehicle are functionally separated and are carried out by separate elements of the emergency spring device, such that, in an emergency operation after failure of the secondary suspension, the wagon body can carry out the rolling movement about this rolling axis.

[0011] It will be appreciated that the invention also has beneficial effects in cases where the normal suspension is intentionally deactivated, e.g. where air springs of a secondary suspension are intentionally deflated, in order to lower the height level of the wagon body (for meeting restricted track envelope constraints in tunnels or under bridges, etc.).

[0012] Hence, according to one aspect, the present invention relates to an emergency spring device, in particular for rail vehicles, comprising an emergency spring unit. The emergency spring unit is configured to provide resilient emergency support of a wagon body unit of the vehicle on a running gear unit of the vehicle at least in a direction of a height axis of the wagon body in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of the rail vehicle. The emergency spring device further comprises a decoupling unit. Preferably, the decoupling unit and the emergency spring unit are configured to be arranged kinematically in series between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit. The decoupling unit is configured to mechanically decouple the wagon body unit from the running gear unit about a decoupling axis of rotation extending along a longitudinal axis of the wagon body.

[0013] As mentioned above, the decoupling unit mechanically decouples the wagon body unit from the running gear unit about a decoupling axis of rotation. Preferably, to do so, the decoupling unit comprises a first contact surface and a second contact surface. The first contact surface is configured to contact the second contact surface at at least one contact location to define the decoupling axis. The decoupling axis of rotation is extending along a longitudinal axis of the wagon body. By this means, the rolling capacity in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of the rail vehicle is improved.

[0014] Preferably, at least one of the first contact surface and the second contact surface of the decoupling unit is a curved surface having at least one main axis of curvature to define the decoupling axis of rotation. By this means, a smooth rotational movement about the decoupling axis can be achieved. This main axis of curvature preferably extends parallel to the decoupling axis of rotation to define the decoupling axis of rotation in a very simple manner. In addition or as an alternative one of the first contact surface and the second contact surface is a planar surface. This embodiment may provide a simple design with a counterpart for the respectively second contact surface and first contact surface having a different shape in order to provide at least one contact location to define the decoupling axis. In addition or as an alternative at least one of the first contact surface and the second contact surface is a cylindrical surface. By this means, in a very simple manner, defined rotation about the decoupling axis may be obtained. In addition or as an alternative, to define the decoupling axis, at least one of the first contact surface and the second contact surface defines a contact edge contacting the other one of the first contact surface and the second contact surface. The contact edge preferably extends parallel to the decoupling axis of rotation to define the decoupling axis of rotation in a very simple manner.

[0015] It will be appreciated that any of the above mentioned embodiments can be combined to configure the contact location between the first contact surface and the second contact surface and thereby define the decoupling axis.

[0016] Hence, with certain embodiments of the invention, the decoupling unit is configured such that, in the emergency operation upon failure of the secondary suspension device, contact made between the first contact surface and the second contact surface at the contact location is substantially in the form of a point contact or of a line contact or of an area contact.

[0017] Moreover, particularly advantageous solutions yielding particularly space-saving configurations may be obtained, if at least a part of the emergency spring unit is integrated into a connecting device. Preferably, the connecting device is configured to provide a connection between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit. It will be appreciated that the connecting device may be a pivot device configured to define a pivot between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit about the height axis. In addition or as an alternative the connecting device, the connecting device may be a traction link device configured to provide transmission of traction forces between the wagon body unit and the running gear along said longitudinal axis.

[0018] Basically, any desired and suitable setup may be used for the connecting device, which guarantees that the connection between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit is provided. With certain preferred embodiments, the connecting device comprises a connecting arm unit extending along said height axis. With further variants, the connecting arm unit is configured to be connected, at one end, to a first component formed by one of the wagon body unit and the running gear unit and, at a location spaced along said height axis from the one end, to a second component formed by the other one of the wagon body unit and the running gear unit.

[0019] Preferably, the decoupling unit comprises a first decoupling element and a second decoupling element. In a preferred embodiment, the first decoupling element extends, in a plane perpendicular to the height axis, through a recess in the connecting arm unit. By this means, a more compact and space-saving design may be achieved. It will be appreciated that the first decoupling element, in particular, extends along the longitudinal axis through the recess in the connecting arm unit. In addition or as an alternative the first decoupling element, in particular, is connected to the emergency spring unit.

[0020] In certain preferred embodiments, the first decoupling element comprises a decoupling beam element extending through the recess in the connecting arm unit. The variant yields a particular space-saving configuration. In addition or as an alternative, the first decoupling element, in particular at both ends, has a first contact surface contacting a second contact surface of the second decoupling element of the decoupling unit to define the decoupling axis. By this means, the decoupling unit may be supported in an emergency operation and the rolling about the decoupling axis may be well-balanced.

[0021] With certain embodiments, the second decoupling element, in particular at both ends, has a first sliding contact surface and the first sliding contact surface is configured to form sliding contact with a second sliding contact surface in the emergency operation. Here, preferably, the decoupling unit is formed such that, along the height axis, a gap is formed between the first sliding contact surface and the second sliding contact surface during normal operation of the vehicle, while in the emergency operation the first sliding contact surface makes sliding contact with the second sliding contact surface. In addition or as an alternative, the second sliding contact surface may be formed by a component of one of the wagon body unit and the running gear unit. By this means, a good support of the decoupling element during an emergency operation may be provided. This may provide a fixed position of the decoupling axis along the longitudinal direction of the wagon body, providing an improved rolling capacity about the decoupling axis.

[0022] With further embodiments, the decoupling unit comprises a first decoupling element forming a first contact surface and a second decoupling element forming a second contact surface. Preferably the decoupling unit is formed such that, along the height axis, a gap is formed between the first contact surface and the second contact surface during normal operation of the vehicle. Additionally, the decoupling unit is formed such that, in the emergency operation, the first contact surface contacts the second contact surface at at least one contact location to define said decoupling axis. By this means, in a very simple, space saving and efficient way, reliable emergency operation may be achieved.

[0023] With certain preferred embodiments, the first decoupling element is formed by the emergency spring unit, in particular, by a spring element, preferably a leaf spring element, of the emergency spring unit. In addition or as an alternative, the second decoupling element is formed by a component of one of said wagon body unit and said running gear unit. By this means, a very simple configuration with reduced complexity, in particular, a reduced number of components may achieved for the emergency spring device, since the emergency spring device integrates the decoupling unit. This, overall, may lead to considerably reduced costs and required building space.

[0024] Preferably, the emergency spring unit comprises a laminated spring element, in particular, a laminated metal-rubber spring element. This ensures simple and reliable suspension of the wagon body unit of the vehicle on the running gear unit of the vehicle in an emergency operation. In addition or as an alternative, the emergency spring unit may be configured to be mounted to a component of one of the wagon body unit and the running gear unit. Any of these variants yields particularly space-saving configurations.

[0025] It will be appreciated that the advantage of the above mentioned embodiments is that it is possible to use them as an add-on solution for already existing vehicles. Since almost no modification of the vehicle is required, the above mentioned embodiments may lead to a space- and cost-saving solution to provide any vehicle, in particular rail vehicles, with a resilient emergency support of the wagon body unit of the vehicle on the running gear unit of the vehicle at least in a direction of a height axis of the wagon body in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of the rail vehicle.

[0026] The present invention further relates to a rail vehicle with a wagon body, in particular, a bolster, supported on a running gear unit via a secondary suspension arrangement comprising a secondary suspension device and an emergency spring device according to the above mentioned embodiments.

[0027] It will be appreciated that the emergency spring device can be located at any suitable location within the vehicle that allows for proper decoupling about the decoupling axis. Particularly simple embodiments are achieved if the emergency spring device is located substantially centrally in the transverse direction.

[0028] Preferably, the secondary suspension arrangement comprises a rolling support device acting between the wagon body unit and the running gear unit. Hence, with preferred embodiments, the emergency spring device acts kinematically in parallel to the rolling support device. In further preferred embodiments, the decoupling unit, in particular, is configured to mechanically decouple the wagon body unit from the running gear unit such that a rolling resistance of the wagon body unit with respect to the running gear unit is substantially only defined by the rolling support device. By this means, the emergency spring device and the rolling support device are independent from each other. This simplifies the design phase of the vehicle, since the emergency spring device can be embedded into existing portions of the vehicle or can be an add-on solution.

[0029] With preferred embodiments, the wagon body unit comprises at least one of a bolster and a wagon body. In addition or as an alternative, the running gear unit comprises a running gear frame.

[0030] Further embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the dependent claims and the following description of preferred embodiments which refers to the appended figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0031] 
Figure 1
is a schematic side view of a rail vehicle with an emergency spring device according to the present invention;
Figure 2
is a schematic perspective sectional view of a first embodiment of the emergency spring device according to the invention.
Figure 3
is a schematic view of a second embodiment of the emergency spring device according to the invention.
Figure 4
is a schematic view of a third embodiment of the emergency spring device according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION


First Embodiment



[0032] With reference to Figures 1 and 2 a preferred embodiment of a rail vehicle 101 according to the present invention comprising a preferred embodiment of an emergency spring device 105 will now be described in greater detail.

[0033] In order to simplify the explanations given below, an xyz-coordinate system has been introduced into the Figures, wherein (on a straight, level track T) the x-axis designates the longitudinal direction of the rail vehicle 101, the y-axis designates the transverse direction of the rail vehicle 101, while the z-axis designates the height direction of the rail vehicle 101 (the same, of course, applies for the emergency spring device 105). It will be appreciated that all statements made in the following with respect to the position and orientation of components of the rail vehicle, unless otherwise stated, refer to a static situation with the rail vehicle 101 standing on a straight level track under nominal loading.

[0034] The vehicle 101 comprises a wagon body unit in the form of a bolster 102.1 of a wagon body 102 supported by a secondary suspension arrangement 104 on a running gear unit in the form of a bogie 103 with a bogie frame 103.1. It will be appreciated that, with other variants, the wagon body unit 102.1 may also be formed by a structural component of the wagon body 102. The secondary suspension arrangement 104 comprises a secondary suspension device (not shown) and emergency spring device 105.

[0035] The secondary suspension device is formed by two air springs located in a conventional manner at both lateral sides of the wagon body 102 and supporting the wagon body 102 on the bogie frame 103.1. In an emergency operation, i.e. in case of a failure the secondary suspension device (i.e. a deflation of the air springs), the wagon body 102 is supported on the bogie frame 103.1 by the emergency spring device 104, which is located centrally (in the transverse direction) between the air springs of the secondary suspension device.

[0036] As can be seen, in particular, from Figure 2, the emergency spring device 105 is integrated in a central recess area 106.1 of a connecting device which is configured as a pivot 106. The pivot 106, in a conventional manner, has a connecting arm unit 106.2 which, in the height direction (z axis), extends downward and reaches into a corresponding receptacle of the running gear 103 (not shown). The connecting arm unit 106.2 of the pivot 106 is mounted to the bolster 102.1 of the wagon body 102. At its lower end (not shown), the pivot 106 is connected to the bogie frame 103.1 to transmit traction and braking forces between the bogie 103 and the wagon body 102. Hence, in other words, the pivot 106 also forms a traction link device. It will be appreciated, however, that instead of a pivot any other desired and suitable traction link device 106 may be used to integrate the emergency spring device 105.

[0037] The emergency spring device 105 comprises an emergency spring unit 107, a first decoupling element in the form of a shaft 108 (forming a decoupling beam element) and two second decoupling elements in the form of two supporting elements 109 located at each end of the shaft 108. It will be appreciated that, with other variants, a single (preferably centrally located) second decoupling element 109 may be sufficient. The shaft 108 and the emergency spring 107 are arranged kinematically in series between the wagon body 102 and the bogie frame 103.1. The supporting elements 109 and the shaft 108 are configured such that the shaft 108 is rotatable in the supporting elements 109 about a decoupling axis 105.1. Hence, a decoupling unit 110 is provided at both sides of the shaft 108. The longitudinal axis of the shaft 108 (in the static situation) is located at the centerline height plane (xz plane) of the vehicle 101 and oriented along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle 101. Hence, the decoupling axis 105.1 is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle 101.

[0038] As indicated by the dashed contour 114, during normal operation (i.e. with properly functioning inflated air springs), a gap D exists in the height direction between a first sliding contact surface 109.1 of the respective supporting element 109 and a second sliding contact surface 103.3 of the running gear frame 103.1. In an emergency operation (i.e. upon failure and deflation of the air springs), the wagon body 102 moves down towards the running gear frame 103.1, thereby closing the gap D and activating the emergency spring device 105. The first sliding contact surfaces 109.1 and the second sliding contact surfaces 103.3 provide sliding lateral and rotational motion (about the height axis) during such emergency operation.

[0039] The emergency spring unit 107 is configured to support the wagon body 102 on the running gear frame 103.1 in the height direction of the vehicle 101. The decoupling unit 110 mechanically decouples rolling motion between the wagon body 102 and the bogie about the decoupling axis 105.1. Such rolling motion decoupling is provided by a rotational bearing arrangement with a first contact surface in the form of a cylindrical outer contact surface 111 of the shaft 108 and a mating second contact surface in the form an inner contact surface 112 of each supporting element 109. The respective first contact surface 111 and the associated second contact surface 112 contact each other at a contact location 113 (in an area contact). The main axis of curvature of the cylindrical outer contact surface 111 of the shaft 108 defines the decoupling axis of rotation 105.1 which extends along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle 101. The decoupling axis of rotation 105.1 of the decoupling unit 110 enables the rolling movement of the bolster 102.1 and the wagon body 102 with respect to the running gear 103, which is essentially not restricted by the emergency spring device 105.

[0040] Hence, during emergency operation, improved rolling movement between the wagon body 102 and the bogie 103 can be accomplished, since the emergency spring device 105 is configured such that it does not or almost not restrict the rolling movement of the wagon body 102 on the bogie 103. In such a case, the rolling stiffness of the vehicle 101 (i.e. the rolling resistance that acts against a rolling motion of the wagon body 102 with respect to the bogie 103 about the rolling axis) is essentially exclusively defined by the rolling support (not shown), which acts in a conventional manner between the wagon body 102 on the bogie 103 to define the rolling stiffness. Hence, rolling stiffness, in an advantageous manner, is not increased compared to normal operation (i.e. with properly operating inflated secondary suspension). Typically, depending on the (preferably adjustable) rotation resistance about the axis of rotation 105.1 of the decoupling unit 105, the emergency operation rolling stiffness is even lower or may essentially be similar to normal operation (i.e. with properly operating inflated secondary suspension).

[0041] In the present example, the emergency spring unit 107 is a laminated spring element, i.e. a metal-rubber spring, and provides the support of the wagon body 102 in the height direction. However, with other embodiments of the invention, any other type of spring element 107 (e.g. a conventional helical spring or one or more disc springs etc.) may be used in the emergency spring unit 107 to support the wagon body 102 on the running gear 103.

[0042] It will be appreciated that, with other embodiments, any other desired and suitable kinematically serial order or sequence in arranging the decoupling unit(s) 110 and the emergency spring unit 107 (between the wagon body 102 and the bogie 103) is possible.

[0043] It will be further appreciated that, apart from integrating the emergency spring unit 107 into an element of the wagon body 102, i.e. a beam (not shown) or a bolster (not shown), as described above, it is also possible to reverse the sequence and to integrate the emergency spring unit 107 into the running gear 103.

Second Embodiment



[0044] In the following, a second preferred embodiment of an emergency spring device 205 will now be described in greater detail with reference to Figure 1 and 3. The emergency spring device 205, in its basic design and functionality, corresponds to the emergency spring device 105 and may replace the latter in the rail vehicle 101 of Figure 1. In particular, identical components have been given the identical reference numeral, while like components are given the same reference numeral increased by the value 100. Unless explicitly deviating statements are given in the following, explicit reference is made to be explanations given above in the context of the first embodiment with respect to these components.

[0045] As can be seen from Figure 3, the main differences with respect to the first embodiment lie in the design and location of the emergency spring device 205.

[0046] More precisely, the emergency spring unit 207 comprises a first decoupling element 208 in the form of an elongated leaf spring unit arranged along the transverse axis (y axis) of the wagon body unit 102.1. The emergency spring unit 207 is mounted on the running gear frame 103.1 in such a manner that it again provides, in an emergency operation with deflated air springs, a decoupling axis of rotation which extends along the longitudinal axis (x axis) of the vehicle 101. It will be appreciated that such a leaf spring unit 208 of the emergency spring unit 207 can be mounted forward and/or rearward (in the longitudinal direction) of a pivot 206. In another embodiment, in addition or as an alternative, a single leaf spring unit 208 of the emergency spring unit 207 may also extend through a (preferably central) recess of the pivot 206. Such a pivot 206 may have the same functions as the pivot 106 of Figure 2. In particular, it may be part of a traction link between the wagon body 102 and the bogie 103.

[0047] As indicated by the dashed contour 214, during normal operation (i.e. with properly functioning inflated air springs), a gap D exists between the leaf spring unit 208 of the emergency spring 207 and a second decoupling element 209 of the wagon body unit 102.1. In an emergency operation (i.e. upon failure and deflation of the air springs), the wagon body unit 102.1 moves down until the second decoupling element 209 of the wagon body unit 102.1 contacts the leaf spring unit 208 of the emergency spring 207 which is mounted to the running gear unit 103, thereby closing the gap D and activating the emergency spring device 205.

[0048] The emergency spring unit 207 is configured to support the wagon body 102 on the running gear 103 in the height direction of the vehicle 101. The decoupling unit 210 is formed by a curved upper contact surface 211 of the leaf spring unit 208 of the emergency spring unit 207 and a planar lower contact surface 212 of the second decoupling element 209 of the wagon body unit 102.1 contacting each other at a contact location 213 (ideally, i.e. with infinitely rigid components, in a line contact - but, in reality, also with a narrow, essentially rectangular area contact). The axis of main curvature of the curved upper contact surface 211, at the respective contact location 213, generates and defines the decoupling axis of rotation of the decoupling unit 210, wherein this axis of main curvature and, hence, the decoupling axis of rotation extends along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle 101. The decoupling axis of rotation 205.1 of the decoupling unit 205 again enables the rolling movement of the wagon body 102 with respect to the running gear 103, which is essentially unrestricted by the emergency spring unit 207.

[0049] In other embodiments it may be possible to reverse the sequence of the elements and to, e.g., mount the emergency spring unit 207 to the wagon body unit 102.1 instead.

Third Embodiment



[0050] In the following, a further preferred embodiment of an emergency spring device 305 will now be described in greater detail with reference to Figure 1 and 4. The emergency spring device 305, in its basic design and functionality, corresponds to the emergency spring device 205 and may replace the latter in the rail vehicle 101 of Figure 1. In particular, identical components have been given the identical reference numerals, while like components are given the same reference numeral increased by the value 100. Unless explicitly deviating statements are given in the following, explicit reference is made to be explanations given above in the context of the second embodiment with respect to these components.

[0051] As can be seen from Figure 4, the main differences with respect to the first embodiment lie in the design and location of the emergency spring device 305.

[0052] More precisely, the emergency spring unit 307 is mounted to the wagon body unit 102.1 and comprises a helical spring unit arranged and acting along the height axis (z axis) of the wagon body unit 102.1. The emergency spring unit 307 comprises a first decoupling element 308 in the form of a contact element with a triangular cross section that forms a contact edge at the first contact surface 311. The emergency spring unit 307 again provides, in an emergency operation with deflated air springs, a decoupling axis of rotation which extends along the longitudinal axis (x axis) of the vehicle 101. It will be appreciated that such a helical spring unit of the emergency spring unit 307 can be mounted forward and/or rearward (in the longitudinal direction) of a pivot 206. In another embodiment, in addition or as an alternative, a single spring unit of the emergency spring unit 307 may also extend in a (preferably central) recess of the pivot 206. Such a pivot 206 may have the same functions as the pivot 106 of Figure 2. In particular, it may be part of a traction link between the wagon body 102 and the bogie 103.

[0053] As indicated by the dashed contour 314, during normal operation (i.e. with properly functioning inflated air springs), a gap D exists between the first decoupling element 308 of the emergency spring unit 307 and a second decoupling element 309 of the bogie frame 103.1. In an emergency operation (i.e. upon failure and deflation of the air springs), the wagon body unit 102.1 moves down until the second decoupling element 209 of the wagon body unit 102.1 contacts the contact edge of the decoupling element 308 of the emergency spring 307, thereby closing the gap D and activating the emergency spring device 305.

[0054] The emergency spring unit 307 is configured to support the wagon body 102 on the running gear 103 in the height direction of the vehicle 101. The decoupling unit 310 is formed by the contact surface 311 of the contact edge of the decoupling element 308 of the emergency spring unit 307 and a planar upper contact surface 312 of the second decoupling element 309 of the running gear frame 103.1 contacting each other at a contact location 313 (ideally, i.e. with infinitely rigid components, in a line contact - but, in reality, also with a narrow, essentially rectangular area contact). The contact edge forming the contact surface 311, at the respective contact location 313, generates and defines the decoupling axis of rotation of the decoupling unit 310, wherein the contact edge and, hence, the decoupling axis of rotation extends along the longitudinal axis of the vehicle 101. The decoupling axis of rotation of the decoupling unit 305 again enables the rolling movement of the wagon body 102 with respect to the running gear 103, which is essentially unrestricted by the emergency spring unit 307.

[0055] In other embodiments it may be possible to reverse the sequence of the elements and to, e.g., mount the emergency spring unit 307 to the running gear 103 instead.

[0056] The present invention, in the foregoing, has only been described in the context of rail vehicles. It will be appreciated, however, that it may also be used in the context of any other vehicle requiring the function of emergency support.


Claims

1. An emergency spring device, in particular for rail vehicles, comprising

- an emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307) configured to provide resilient emergency support of a wagon body unit (102.1) of a wagon body (102) of said vehicle on a running gear unit (103) of said vehicle (101) at least in a direction of a height axis of said wagon body (102) in an emergency operation in case of a failure of a secondary suspension device of said rail vehicle (101);
characterized by

- a decoupling unit (110; 210; 310); wherein

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) and said emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307) are configured to be arranged kinematically in series between said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103);

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) is configured to mechanically decouple said wagon body unit (102.1) from said running gear unit (103) about a decoupling axis of rotation (105.1) extending along a longitudinal axis of said wagon body (102).


 
2. The emergency spring device (105; 205; 305) according to claim 1, wherein

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) comprises a first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and a second contact surface (112; 212; 312),

- said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) being configured to contact said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) at at least one contact location (113; 213; 313) to define said decoupling axis (105.1).


 
3. The emergency spring device according to claim 2, wherein

- at least one of said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) is a curved surface, said curved surface, to define said decoupling axis of rotation, having at least one main axis of curvature;
and/or

- one of said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) is a planar surface;
and/or

- at least one of said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) is a cylindrical surface;
and/or

- at least one of said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) defines a contact edge contacting the other one of said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) to define said decoupling axis of rotation.


 
4. The emergency spring device according to one of claims 2 or 3, wherein said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) is configured such that, in said emergency operation upon failure of said secondary suspension device, contact made between said first contact surface (111; 211; 311) and said second contact surface (112; 212; 312) at said contact location is substantially in the form of a point contact or of a line contact or of an area contact.
 
5. The emergency spring device according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein

- at least a part of said emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307) is integrated into a connecting device (106; 206; 306), said connecting device (106; 206; 306) being configured to provide a connection between said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103);
wherein

- said connecting device (106; 206; 306), in particular, is a pivot device configured to define a pivot between said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103) about said height axis;
and/or

- said connecting device (106; 206; 306), in particular, is a traction link device configured to provide transmission of traction forces between said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear along said longitudinal axis.


 
6. The emergency spring device according to claim 5, wherein

- said connecting device (106; 206; 306) comprises a connecting arm unit (106.2) extending along said height axis,

- said connecting arm unit (106.2) being configured to be connected, at one end, to a first component formed by one of said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103) and, at a location spaced along said height axis from said one end, to a second component formed by the other one of said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103).


 
7. The emergency spring device according to claim 6, wherein

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) comprises a first decoupling element (108; 208; 308) and a second decoupling element (109; 209; 309),

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308) extending, in a plane perpendicular to said height axis, through a recess (106.1) in said connecting arm unit (106.2);
wherein

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308), in particular, extends along said longitudinal axis through said recess (106.1) in said connecting arm unit (106.2);
and/or

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308), in particular, is connected to said emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307).


 
8. The emergency spring device according to claim 7, wherein

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308) comprises a decoupling beam element (108; 208; 308) extending through said recess (106.1) in said connecting arm unit (106.2);
and/or

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308), in particular at both ends, has a first contact surface (111; 211; 311) contacting a second contact surface (112; 212; 312) of said second decoupling element (109; 209; 309) of said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310) to define said decoupling axis (105.1).


 
9. The emergency spring device according to claim 7 or 8, wherein

- said second decoupling element (109; 209; 309), in particular at both ends, has a first sliding contact surface (109.1; 212; 312),

- said first sliding contact surface (109.1; 212; 312) is configured to form sliding contact with a second sliding contact surface (103.3; 211; 311) in said emergency operation,
wherein

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310), in particular, is formed such that, along said height axis, a gap is formed between said first sliding contact surface (109.1; 212; 312) and said second sliding contact surface (103.3; 211; 311) during normal operation of said vehicle
and/or

- said second sliding contact surface (103.3; 211; 311), in particular, is formed by a component of one of said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103).


 
10. The emergency spring device according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein

- said decoupling unit (210; 310) comprises a first decoupling element (108; 208; 308) forming a first contact surface (211; 311) and a second decoupling element (209; 309) forming a second contact surface (212; 312),

- said decoupling unit (210; 310) is formed such that, along said height axis, a gap D is formed between said first contact surface (211; 311) and said second contact surface (212; 312) during normal operation of said vehicle; and

- said decoupling unit (210; 310) is formed such that, in said emergency operation, said first contact surface (211; 311) contacts said second contact surface (212; 312) at at least one contact location (213; 313) to define said decoupling axis (105.1).


 
11. The emergency spring device according to claim 10, wherein

- said first decoupling element (108; 208; 308) is formed by said emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307), in particular, by a spring element, preferably a leaf spring element, of said emergency spring unit (207);
and/or

- said second decoupling element (109; 209; 309) is formed by a component of one of said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103).


 
12. The emergency spring device according to any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein

- said emergency spring unit (107; 307) comprises a laminated spring element, in particular, a laminated metal-rubber spring element;
and/or

- said emergency spring unit (107; 207; 307) is configured to be mounted to a component of one of said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103).


 
13. A rail vehicle with a wagon body unit (102.1), in particular, a bolster, supported on a running gear unit (103) via a secondary suspension arrangement (104) comprising a secondary suspension device and an emergency spring device (105; 205; 305) according to any one of claims 1 to 12, said emergency spring device (105; 205; 305), in particular, being located substantially centrally in said transverse direction.
 
14. The rail vehicle according to claim 13, wherein

- said secondary suspension arrangement (104) comprises a rolling support device acting between said wagon body unit (102.1) and said running gear unit (103);

- said emergency spring device (105; 205; 305)acting kinematically in parallel to said rolling support device,
wherein

- said decoupling unit (110; 210; 310), in particular, is configured to mechanically decouple said wagon body unit (102.1) from said running gear unit (103) said emergency spring device (105; 205; 305) such that a rolling resistance of said wagon body unit (102) with respect to said running gear unit (103) is substantially only defined by said rolling support device.


 
15. The rail vehicle according to claim 13 or 14, wherein

- said wagon body unit (102.1) comprises at least one of a bolster and a wagon body,
and/or

- said running gear unit (103) comprises a running gear frame (103.1).


 




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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