Publication: Street Railway Journal
New York, NY, United States
Third-Rail Insulators and Track Cleaners
The rapid development during the last few years of elevated and interurban electric railway systems has led to corresponding improvements in the design and construction of such devices as are required by them. In this work third-rail insulators play a very important part, and in the accompanying cuts (Figs. 1 and 2) we show two improved types of third-rail insulators manufactured by the Ohio Brass Company, of Mansfield. Ohio. In each of these insulators the means of attachment between the third rail and the insulator is such that, while the former is held in proper horizontal alignment, a means is provided for a certain amount of vertical play or motion. Experience has shown the desirability of providing for a slight movement of the rail, and in practice this has been found necessary. This arrangement obviates the trouble which has been experienced in the past of the insulators breaking on account of the rails being clamped too rigidly to them, and in the two types here shown this difficulty is entirely obviated.
In the "Type "A" insulator shown in Fig. 1, the insulating body is made of reconstructed granite or some similar material, and is of such size and design as to properly support the third rail with safety, and to also present sufficient surface to prevent leakage of the current over its exterior. In the "Type D" insulator, shown in Fig. 2, the insulating medium consists of a thoroughly seasoned hardwood block, which has been specially prepared by thoroughly impregnating with oil so as to exclude all moisture and increase its insulating properties, fn addition to the two types here shown, the Ohio Brass Company furnishes several other styles which, while similar to these in the method of attachment between the rail and the insulating body, differ in general construction, and are adapted to varying requirements and conditions.
The Monarch track cleaner, which is shown in Fig. 3, will be exhibited at the convention by the Ohio Brass Company. The principal features claimed for this device are simplicity of design, substantial construction and lightness in weight. The castings throughout are of malleable iron, the blades of steel, and the supporting cross-bar of thoroughly seasoned oak. When in use the blades are held to the track under tension by means of two flat steel springs, which, while adding to the efficiency of the device, also permits cither one of the blades to rise independently of the other in case unusually heavy obstructions are met with, and so prevent breakage and serious damage to the device.
At the scraping or wearing point of each blade a removable metal shoe is attached, which can be easily and quickly replaced at slight expense when worn out. This avoids the necessity of entirely new scraping blades, thus reducing to a minimum the expense for repairs or renewals. The scraping blades are pivoted near their center, and means are provided for securing them at any desired angle in respect to the track, so that they may be adjusted in this manner to varying track and pavement conditions in various localities.