Skip over navigation
GUIDING RAILWAY TRAFFIC; ENSURING THE SAFETY OF RAILWAY TRAFFIC (power supply lines for electrically-propelled vehicles B60M; vehicle signalling in general B60Q; brakes or auxiliary equipment B61H, B61K; point or crossing construction E01B; insulated rail joints E01B 11/54 ; optical devices in general G02; controlling in general G05; electric communication technique H04)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

All means for guiding railway vehicles through the railway network in a safe and efficient manner.

In particular it relates to:

  • Railway signalling in general, which includes for example traditional light and form signals, cab signalling, communication based train control and special train control systems as e.g. the European Train Control System [ETCS] or the German continuous inductive train control "Linienzugbeeinflussung [LZB]". This section includes intermitted or continuous control of vehicles and means on the trackside along the rails or in control location or onboard railway vehicles.
  • Means on vehicles or on the railway track to control the speed and braking according to the signalling rules or information, e.g. braking curve calculation or supervision.
  • Optimization of the train running on the vehicle or in track side control centers
  • Railway guidance in regard to safe setting and release of routes through the network, e.g. interlocking devices, switch drives and control and all related field elements, also including train stops and means to control the speed of the train. This includes not only electrical elements, but also all mechanical or hydraulic parts to control the switch movements, position or locking.
  • Railway form or light signals along the track, also e.g. with details on optical systems or monitoring functions.
  • Communication means in the above mentioned context, when it relates to railway safety and guidance, like e.g. radio transmission systems between track and train, structure of radio communication networks if used in the railway signalling and guidance, traditional voice train radio to operators, wifi or bluetooth technologies.
  • Communication means onboard a train also for other purposes, like passenger information, e.g. train bus systems, radio, wifi.
  • Train and track diagnostics, also including the supervision of the track from the train or trackside with sensors being placed onboard the train on along the track, when related to the safety of railway traffic, e.g. broken rail detection, vibration sensors, brake pipe pressure detection.
  • Train data handling onboard a railway vehicle or in track side control centers
  • Control and supervision of yards or maintenance areas including hump controls, switching system for wagon classification yards etc.
  • Warning devices for warnings about train approach, e.g. at platforms or crossings
  • Railway traffic separation, including all blocking means, including fixed block or moving block techniques. It also comprises non-safe procedures like token systems or voice radio control procedures of trains
  • Train positioning systems, both on the track or on the train, e.g. GPS navigation used for this purpose, track circuits or axle counters.
  • Railway guidance in general, which includes disposition or regulation means, time tables and their generation, supervision or optimization together with all means on the trackside or onboard the vehicles to implement guidance information, also for train crews.
  • Driverless train or people mover control or safety, also for maglev and mono-rail vehicles
  • Railway crossing safety means, like barriers, warning lights or bells and their control or supervision.
References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:
Signal transmission in general, not related to railway signalling
G08
Model railways
Power supply lines for electrically propelled vehicles
Arrangement, mounting or supporting of signalling devices for vehicles in general
Brakes or auxiliary equipment
Derailing or re-railing blocks on the track, and for railway stops, scotch-blocks, track brakes or retarders fixed to the permanent way in general, when not related to the control
Conveyers
Elevators, lifts
Point or crossing constructions in general
Rail joints in general
Electrically insulated rail joints
Cattle guards fixed to the permanent way
General alarm systems not linked with the railway signalling system
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Control of drive units
Control of multiple-unit electrically-propelled vehicles
Vehicle lighting or signalling
Railway vehicle brakes
Control or regulation of multiple propelled vehicles within a train
Track and train monitoring, hot box detection
Railway switches in general
Mechanical securing means
Non-portable lighting in general
Lighting devices specially adapted for vehicles
Details of lighting devices or systems
Measuring mechanical vibrations
Mechanical force measurements
Testing in railway vehicles
Speed measurements
Radio navigation
Error detection or correction by redundancy in hardware
Digital computing or data processing
Electric signal transmission systems in general
Indicating arrangements for variable information
Control of indicating devices
Semi-conductor light sources
Power supply
Data transmission
Digital data transmission
Telephone systems
Communication switching systems
Electroluminescent light sources, e.g. LEDs
Combination of different illumination sources
Circuit arrangements for electric light sources in general
Special rules of classification within this subclass

CLASSIFICATION OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

In many cases the classification of additional information is very useful for retrieving the document, and therefore very desirable in this subclass.

For example:

If a document discloses an ETCS train control system (covered by B61L 27/0038) as invention information, where trains may use GPS information for localization, in a way which is per se not inventive (but nevertheless interesting for a search) classify:

  • the train control system with central control in general (i.e. B61L 27/0038)
  • the ETCS as special train control system with breakdown Indexing Code (i.e. B61L 2027/0044).
  • the localization of a train in absolute position (i.e. B61L 25/025)
  • the GPS being a satellite navigation system as special localization means with orthogonal Indexing Code (i.e. L61L201/08).

SUBGROUPS AND HEAD GROUP.

If a document concerns embodiments which are covered by several subgroups (e.g. B61L 23/044 - B61L 23/048) dependent on a higher hierarchy group (in this case B61L 23/042), the following rules apply:

  • if the specific technical information relevant for some of the subgroups is disclosed explicitly, then classify in all said relevant subgroups;
  • analogously, if generic technical information common to all of the subgroups is disclosed and only schematic embodiments of the specific subgroup embodiments are represented, then the document is classified in the head group.

RADIO COMMUNICATION IN RAILWAYS.

Radio communication is only classified in B61L, when related to the application for railway use.

Radio communication in B61L is classified in different subgroups as follows:

Short range radio transmissions used for train control is classified in B61L 3/125 for intermittent control, when RFID tags, balise transmissions or the like is used.

Long range radio transmission for train control using conductor cables on the track, like wave guides or leaky feeders, can be found under B61L 3/227.

Long range radio transmission between a train and control center, is classified only under B61L 15/0027 for both, speech and continuous train control transmissions, as for example using GSM-R cell communication, when related to onboard systems.

However, long range radio transmission systems between a train and control center, when related to details of the trackside implementation, are covered under B61L 27/0005.

This selection of special Indexing Codes are used in the subclass B61L in order to specify special railway signalling equipment with high occurrence and incorporating intrinsic features as well as orthogonal used features, which can occur in many different subclasses within B61L.

The following special equipment is classified using the additional Indexing Code symbols ("Indexing Code subdivisions"):

The following features are classified using the "orthogonal" Indexing Code symbols:

Control methods
Fuzzy control
Communication or navigation systems for railway traffic
global system for mobile communication - railways [GSM-R]
satellite navigation system[N: e.g. GPS]
Communication or navigation systems for railway traffic
using light emission diodes [LEDs]
Vehicle systems
single autonomous vehicles [N: e.g. SST]
magnetic elevation vehicles
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

In this subclass, the following terms are used with the meaning indicated:

Axle counter
devices at single locations along the railway track which use the presence of vehicle wheels as detection means, e.g. by inductive influence
Balise
transponder
Cold movement detector
detectors for indicating that a movement of the vehicle occurred during shut-down mode
Hot box detector
detectors for indicating the overheating of axle bearings and the like
Railway switch, railway point
mechanical track construction allowing a change of track for running railway vehicles
Track circuit
devices in the railway track with different types of electric current applied to the rails in defined sections of railway track which use the short-circuit by vehicle axles between both rails as detection means
Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following abbreviations are often used:

CBTC
Communication based train control
ERTMS
European railway traffic management system
ESTW
"Elektronisches Stellwerk"; electronic interlocking
ETCS
European train control system
FFB
"Funkfahrbetrieb"; radio based operation, field elements are controlled directly by the train via radio
GPS
Global positioning system
GSM-R
Global system for mobile communication - Railway
INDUSI
"Induktive Zugsicherung"; inductive train protection, using permanent magnets with switchable electric coils connected to light signals.
LED
Light emitting diode
LZB
"Linienzugbeeinflussung"; continuous inductive train control, applying double cable with cross-overs as track antenna
PTC
Positive train control
RFID
Radio-frequency identification
SST
"Selbsttätig signalgeführtes Triebfahrzeug"; driver-less signal controlled vehicle
Devices along the route controlled by interaction with the vehicle or vehicle train, [N: e.g. pedals] (detonators B61L 5/20; operation of points or signals by passage of the vehicle B61L 11/00, B61L 13/00; central traffic control systems controlled by train B61L 27/04; operation of gates, or gates and signals, by approaching vehicle B61L 29/18)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Devices along the track which are influenced by a rail vehicle e.g. to detect the passage or presence and where an action is then performed on the ground equipment.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Devices along the track which influence equipment on the rail vehicle.
Operation of signals by passage of the vehicle
Operation of gates, or gates and signals, by approaching vehicle
Operation of points by passage of the vehicle
Detonators
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Track circuits used for train separation with track blocks
Track circuits with data transmission to trains in general
Special rules of classification within this group

Hot box detectors are not only classified in this group B61L 1/20, but also in B61K 9/04.

Track circuits for influencing devices on the train are classified under B61L 3/24, when related to transmission of data to trains. If otherwise related to braking or train separation techniques for track blocks, then B61L 23/16 takes precedence. Track circuit details and underlying principles have to be classified under B61L 1/18.

Devices along the route for controlling devices on the vehicle or vehicle train, e.g. to release brake, to operate a warning signal
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Devices along the track which influence equipment present on the rail vehicle. As devices along the track are also understood remote control devices of locomotives with portable equipment, e.g. portable control devices for yard locomotives. Relationship between large subject matter areas

Optimization of train running is classified under B61L 3/006 only if links to signalling system, actual position of the train, braking curves, grades of the track, time tables or the like are present in the disclosure. Otherwise, without said links, general optimization of multi-drive trains are found in B60L 15/32.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Devices along the track influenced by the passage of the rail vehicle which do not influence equipment on the rail vehicle.
Optimisation where the calculations are not performed on board the train
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Track circuits used for train separation with track blocks
Remote control of locomotives within a train consist from another locomotive in general
B61C17/20B60L 15/32 (for electric vehicles)
Track circuits details
Signals along the track giving instruction to the driver
Special rules of classification within this group

The subgroups B61L 3/002, B61L 3/004, B61L 3/006 and B61L 3/008 comprise also devices located only on board despite the group title.

Intermittent control (B61L 3/02 to B61L 3/14) comprises not only beacons or the like, but also short loops at dedicated locations, whereas continuous control (B61L 3/16) comprises long loops along the whole track.

Radio used for train control, is only classified in B61L 3/125, if short range transmission for a single track using RFID tags, balise transmissions or the like is applied. Long range radio transmission for train control using conductor cables on the track, like wave guides or leaky feeders, can be found under B61L 3/227.

Track circuits for influencing devices on the train are classified under B61L 3/24, when related to transmission of data to trains. If otherwise related to braking or train separation techniques for track blocks, then B61L 23/16 takes precedence. Track circuit details and underlying principles have to be classified under B61L 1/18.

Local operating mechanisms for points or track-mounted scotch-blocks (track-mounted scotch-blocks per se B61K); Visible or audible signals; Local operating mechanisms for visible or audible signals (B61L 11/00 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The equipment adjacent to the track which is actuating track equipment, especially railway switches, derailers or scotch blocks. In particular it covers all parts in order to move or control rails or scotch blocks, as well as detect their proper positions. In this regard, B61L 5/10 "Means for indicating the setting of points" has to be understood as means for the detection of the setting of the points.

This group further covers signals adjacent to the track giving indications for the driver of the rail vehicle, e.g. day light signals.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Signals along the railway track are classified in this group under B61L 5/18 only, but traffic lights for road traffic are found in G08G 1/095.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Derailers and scotch blocks in general
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Points/switches in general without reference to operation or control
Light signals in general (non railroad)
F21S8/00Q
Road traffic lights
Light Emitting Diodes (LED) as such
Control of light sources in general
Special rules of classification within this group

For all control of switches and signals, which are actuated from the vehicle, B61L 11/00 takes precedence.

The indication of the actual switch positions to the train operator should be classified in B61L 9/00.

B61L 5/02 should be used for all documents exclusively related to mechanical details of switch machines, even if they do not explicitly stated a manual operation and said switch machines could theoretically operated electrically or hydraulically.

Remote control of local operating means for points, signals, or trackmounted scotch-blocks (B61L 11/00 takes precedence; interlocking arrangements B61L 19/00 ; transmission per se, see the relevant classes)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The transmission of control commands from the signal box or the like to the field equipment on the track to be operated.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Interlocking arrangements
Special rules of classification within this group

For all operation of local operating means from the vehicle or by the passage of the vehicle, B61L5/11 takes precedence.

For all railway point locks drives, control and monitoring, B61L 5/10 takes precedence.

Illumination specially adapted for points, form signals, or gates (lighting in general F21)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The illumination of field elements on the track for the train operator.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Indication panels for route settings
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Lighting in general
Special rules of classification within this group

For all railway signals as such, B61L 5/18 takes precedence.

Operation of points from the vehicle or by the passage of the vehicle
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The local operation of switches by actuation from the vehicle or by the vehicle. It comprises systems like the radio based train operation (FFB), where field elements are controlled directly by the train via radio. It also comprises local operating mechanism like pedals and the like. It further covers trailable point locks for railway switches.

Relationship between large subject matter areas
Railway switches in general

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Railway switches in general
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Non-trailable point locks for railway switches
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Operation of signals from the vehicle or by the passage of the vehicle
Special rules of classification within this group

For all railway point locks drives, control and monitoring, B61L 5/10 takes precedence.

Operation of signals from the vehicle or by the passage of the vehicle
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The local operation of signals by actuation from the vehicle or by the vehicle. It comprises local operating mechanism like pedals and the like.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Operation of signals and gates at level crossings
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Operation of points from the vehicle or by the passage of the vehicle
Indicators provided on the vehicle or vehicle train for signalling purposes; [N: On-board control or communication systems]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

This group comprises systems onboard the train for indication, communication and data handling. In particular it comprises:

start- and stop signals provided in the cab for the driver, e.g. including forced emergency braking signals

communication links on the train from one vehicle to the other by cable, radio, optical or other links.

communication from the trackside control center to the train, when transmitted over long distances, including both, speech and control data.

Indicators in or on the train, which display further information for passengers, like e.g. train number and destination

End-of-Train (EOT) detection devices, which ensure the completeness and integrity of the train

multiple systems on board, which include redundant or fault tolerant systems or subsystems, e.g. 2-out-of-3 processors or multiple signalling equipment for migration or multi-national use.

train data handling and diagnosis onboard the train, which manage all necessary data on the train to operate the train properly. This includes also operator identification and log-in functionalities for security reasons on the locomotive or train

display devices onboard the train for e.g. giving the train operator in the cab information on safety and train routing issues, speed indications etc. on a screen or giving passengers further information about the actual position of the train, delays, etc. in passenger vehicles

head and end tail lights provided at the front or rear end of the train or vehicle for indicating the moving direction of the train or vehicle

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Dead man devices
Remote control of locomotives within a train consist from another locomotive in general
B60L 15/32 (for electric vehicles) B61C17/20
Warning concerning the opening and closing of doors
Horns and bells on board the vehicles
Multiple systems on track side implementations, which include redundant or fault tolerant systems or subsystems, e.g. 2-out-of-3 processors or multiple signalling equipment for migration or multi-national use
Remote control of locomotives from track-side devices
Indicators on platforms in stations for indicating departure times, destinations or the like
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Head and tail lights for vehicles other than railway vehicles
Recorders on the vehicle
Memory means reproducing during the running of the vehicle
On-board optimisation of vehicle operation
On board target speed calculation or supervision
Special rules of classification within this group

The devices for B61L 3/002, B, C and D are classified In B61L 3/00 although they comprise equipment purely mounted on board.

Radio communication in B61L is classified in different subgroups as follows:

Short range radio transmissions used for train control is classified in B61L 3/125 for intermittent control, when RFID tags, balise transmissions or the like is applied.

Long range radio transmission for train control using conductor cables on the track, like wave guides or leaky feeders, can be found under B61L 3/227.

Long range radio transmission between a train and control center, is classified only under B61L 15/0027 for both, speech and continuous train control transmissions, as for example using GSM-R cell communication, when related to onboard systems.

However, long range radio transmission systems between a train and control center, when related to details of the trackside implementation, is covered under B61L 27/0005.

Switching systems for classification yards (rail brakes B61K)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

The systems classified here are railway installations used for forming new trains in yards or maintenance areas, possibly also including at least one classification hump.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Indicating panels for route settings
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Marshalling systems
Details on track brakes
Special rules of classification within this group

Many different techniques are covered here. This classification has to be given, when ever the invention is related to activities in yards or maintenance areas. As a consequence, only in very rare cases a document will be given a single classification in the main group only. Typically, also other classifications regarding localisation, serialisation or data handling of trains have to be assigned to documents additionally.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following expressions/words "classification yard", and "marshalling yard" are often used as synonyms.

Arrangements for interlocking between points and signals by means of a single interlocking device, [N: e.g. central control (remote control B61L 7/00; station block arrangements B61L 21/00)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

All systems and field elements for setting the routes through the network, including local or central interlocking equipment.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Systems specially adapted for classification/marshalling yards
Blocking arrangements
Mechanical route setting and release
Electrical route setting and release
Transmission of train numbers
Indicating panels for route settings
Remote control of local operating means for points, signals or track mounted scotch-blocks
Railway switch operation and control
Railway light signal operation and control
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Blocking arrangements
Displaying of information in general
Special rules of classification within this group

While this main group deals more with the devices and systems of interlocking equipment, B61L 21/00 ralates more to the functional aspects like route setting or departure signal authorizations, etc.

For modern central interlockings, which comprise electronic interlocking equipment, additionally the Indexing Code-code L61L 1019/06A "electronic central interlocking" should be assigned to relevant documents.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following abbreviations are often used:

ESTW
"Elektronisches Stellwerk";electronic interlocking
PRCI
"Poste d'aiguillage à relais à commande informatique"; electronic interlocking
RSTW
"Relaisstellwerk"; relay interlocking

In patent documents the following expressions/words "central interlocking" and "signal box" are often used as synonyms.

Station blocking between signal boxes in one yard (interlocking between points and signals by means of a single interlocking device B61L 19/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Setting of routes within a signal box, communication between different signal boxes for route setting and release, departure order transmission and moving block systems.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Systems specially adapted for classification/marshalling yards
Interlocking systems and devices
Track block length adaption
Controlling the distance between trains
Transmission of train numbers
Indicating panels for route settings
Railway switch operation and control
Railway light signal operation and control
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Interlocking systems and devices
Displaying track settings
Displaying of information in general
Special rules of classification within this group

While this main group deals more with the functional aspects like route setting or departure signal authorizations, etc, B61L 19/00 relatesmore to the devices and systems of interlocking equipment.

Moving block systems shall be classified under B61L 21/10 and not in B61L 23/18 nor B61L 23/34. The latter subgroup shall only be used, when a train is following closely the preceding train by direct distance measurement, e.g. like a joined, virtually coupled train. B61L 23/18 is used, when fixed blocks are subdivided or shortened. Instead, when a kind of control center is controlling the follower train even in relative braking distance, B61L 21/10 shall be used.

Displays for indication track settings, routes, vehicle positions or numbers are likewise classified under B61L 21/06 and B61L 25/06, since the different information is usually displayed together and because the used techniques are normally the same. The latter shall take precedence for newer documents.

Control, warning, or like safety means along the route or between vehicles or vehicle trains
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Warning devices of different kinds related to safety as well as track blocking or train separation.

In particular it covers:

monitoring of the track, including broken rail detection, track movements or the like

detection of obstacles on or near the track, also on platforms or in tunnels

warning systems of working men on the track

track block techniques for separation train traffic, also with integration of track circuits

token systems for controlling railway traffic

systems for virtually coupled trains and train joining and splitting in relation to distance measurements between trains.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The monitoring of the track would preferably be classified in B61L 23/04, when it has a link to the railway signalling system or when mainly trackside elements are used. Otherwise, thus mainly onboard systems without a link to the railway signalling system, also B61K 9/08 can be given. In practice, often both groups B61L 23/04 and B61K 9/08 were given simultaneously to the same document.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Crossings of railway tracks with road traffic
Equipment mounted on board of vehicles for surveying the track
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Track circuits details
Track circuits with data transmission to trains in general
Arrangements for trains closely following each other
Special rules of classification within this group

B61L 23/007 relates only to crossings of two different railway tracks. For crossings with road traffic, B61L 29/00 takesprecedence.

B61L 23/041 comprises also the monitoring of platforms to detect whether there is a person or obstacle is too close to the track or even on the track.

B61L 23/24 comprises also systems with "electronic tokens".

Track circuits for influencing devices on the train are classified under B61L 3/24, when related to transmission of data to trains. If otherwise related to braking or train separation techniques for track blocks, then B61L 23/16 takes precedence. Track circuit details and underlying principles have to be classified under B61L 1/18.

Moving block systems shall be classified under B61L 21/10 and not in B61L 23/18 nor B61L 23/34. The latter subgroup shall only be used, when a train is following closely the preceding train by direct distance measurement, e.g. like a joined, virtually coupled train. B61L 23/18 is used, when fixed blocks are subdivided or shortened. Instead, when a kind of control center is controlling the follower train even in relative braking distance, B61L 21/10 shall be used.

Recording or indicating positions or identities of vehicles or vehicle trains or setting of track apparatus
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • vehicle localization systems which provide position information in absolute values, like geographic coordinates by GPS receivers
  • vehicle localization systems which provide position information in relative values, like distance from fixed points or distance travelled from odometer
  • vehicle speed and acceleration measurements
  • vehicle identification and numbering
  • display panels for indication of train routes, positions and track element status
Relationship between large subject matter areas

General measurement techniques are found in many different other classes, but all applications concerning railway technology should preferably classified under B61L.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Displaying vehicle positions or routes
General measurement techniques of e.g. position, distance, velocity, speed
Special rules of classification within this group

All cameras based systems for detecting of trains identities are classified under B61L 25/041 even when there is no special reflective tag on the train.

For absolute localization by satellite navigation systems, additionally the Indexing Code L61L201/08 shall be given.

Displays for indication track settings, routes, vehicle positions or numbers were likewise classified under B61L 21/06 and B61L 25/06, since the different information is usually displayed together and because the used techniques are normally the same. Thus, a search for these technologies should cover these subgroups. However, B61L 25/06 shall take precedence for classification from January 2011 on for classification.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following abbreviations are often used:

Gps
global positioning system

In patent documents the following expressions/words "wheel sensor", "wheel tachomete" and "odometer" are often used as synonyms.

Central traffic control systems; [N: Track-side control or specific communication systems]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • trackside details of communication systems used in railways, e.g. network arrangements, handover from radio block centers and the like
  • dispatching and regulation systems for generating, monitoring and optimizing train schedules and time tables, or supervising the railway traffic in areas
  • support systems for organizing crew changes
  • train control systems using a control center
  • test and simulation systems in the context of railway safety and guidance
  • multiple systems on trackside implementations, which include redundant or fault tolerant systems or subsystems, e.g. 2-out-of-3 processors or multiple signalling equipment for migration or multi-national use.
  • data handling and diagnosis of vehicles or trains, which manage all necessary data on the train to operate the train properly, when implemented on trackside. This includes also the collection of position reports if vehicles or trains
  • trackside implementations for diagnosis of vehicle or trains as well as field elements, interlockings or the like
  • automatic driverless systems for guiding trains or autonomous vehicles through the railway network.
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Optimisation where the calculations are performed only on board the train
Multiple systems on board, which include redundant or fault tolerant systems or subsystems, e.g. 2-out-of-3 processors or multiple signalling equipment for migration or multi-national use
Onboard equipment for collecting and managing vehicle data
Onboard equipment for diagnosis
Localization means for railway
Special rules of classification within this group

Test and simulation systems for railway signalling equipment or operation are also classified under B61L 27/0055 in addition to other groups of B61L, when local, portable devices or onboard systems are disclosed without necessarily using a control center.

"Automatic systems" in B61L 27/04 not only means driverless systems, but also where the operator purely monitors the system functioning and health as for example on maglev trains.

Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following abbreviations are often used:

Maglev
magnetic elevation trains

In patent documents the following expressions/words "dispatching" and "scheduling" are often used as synonyms.

In patent documents the following expressions/words "time table", "mission plan" and "schedule" are often used as synonyms.

Safety means for rail/road crossing traffic
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

All safety equipment for ensuring the safety of crossings between road or pedestrian and rail traffic.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Crossings between railway tracks
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Camera monitoring also of level crossings
Barriers as such not particularly for rail/road crossings
Special rules of classification within this group

B61L 29/08 to B61L 29/228 describe the operation of barriers whereas B61L 29/24 to B61L 29/32 describe the aspect for warning the road users.

The detection of trains independent of the activation of level crossing should be classified under B61L 1/16 or B61L 1/18 respectively.

Although gates (B61L 29/04) can be seen as guards (B61L 29/02) in a broader sense, the gates are classified exclusively under B61L 29/04.

Subject matter not provided for in other groups of this subclass
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

This group covers subject-matter containing additional information other than technical, e.g. management decisions, politics etc. in regard to railway signalling, control and guiding, which cannot be used for search.

This page is owned by Office of Patent Classification.
Last Modified: 10/11/2013