This entry provides a suspended track cargo train system, more specifically, an H.O. scale suspended R/C cargo train system. In its preferred embodiment, the system includes a plurality of straight and curved track sections; floor stands to suspend the track sections, a train, which comprises at least one drive vehicle and at least one cargo car, and a handheld R/C controller. Prior art reveals attempts at creating toy suspended monorail systems, but they were either too complex to be feasibly manufactured, or lacked the commercial appeal to compete with the conventional model electric train systems.
The model’s primary purposes are to eliminate some of the drawbacks of traditional electric train sets and to display the benefits of a suspended train system.
This model solves problems typical with electric model trains like dead zones in the track from bad electrical connections, or not being able to go full speed for fear of derailment. Both of these problems are eliminated with the tubular hollow track design. As the illustration shows, the train’s drive unit and carriages operate inside the tubular track since the track is a hollow extrusion. Thanks to an on board solar rechargeable battery in each drive unit, the use of electrical contacts in the track is eliminated.
The design positions the drive unit and carriages on the top of the vehicles versus underneath the vehicles.
In operation, a drive wheel geared to the motor frictionally engages the interior of the track surface causing the vehicles move as if they were rapidly sliding along beneath the track. Spring resistance holds drive wheel engaged. Typically, the vehicles are each slideably placed into position inside the track before closing the track layout. Power to cargo cars is transferred through the coupling latch to each cargo car connected. Cargo cars have operating functions of their own which can be controlled from the hand controller.
The vehicles outer shells are manufactured from durable lightweight expanded polypropylene (EPP), which is durable enough for outdoor use. All non rubber or metal components are injection molded polypropylene (PP), which is recyclable.
Sustainability is a primary focus of this design and each component was designed to be injection molded with EPP or PP. In its preferred embodiment, the system provides a mobile portable solar charger which plugs directly into the side of each drive vehicle to recharge the battery after use. This has the potential benefit of creating more innovations in this sector using commercial solar applications. Other benefits that are readily apparent would be; not having to buy batteries or use household electricity. This would also provide significant savings to parents who purchase toys which will create additional appeal, which can provide a solid market.
The production cost compared to a similar product like a basic electric train set would be less for this system. The material used is typically more costly compared to non-sustainable alternatives, but the simple design of each component and the use of inmold technology would increase production numbers per run.