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success on trolley lines—is an arrangement whereby a danger signal cannot possibly fail, if over-run, to strike and smash a small glass tube rising from the top of the motorman's box. In case he does not see, or neglects to obey, the warning, the breaking of the tube nine hundred and thirty-seven devices of opens the air-brake valve and sets the various kinds, to promote the safety of brakes.
railway operation, have been submitted Up to the present date, no fewer than to the board, and a majority of these
have been examined and reported upon. In all, one hundred and forty-nine automatic train-stop inventions have been inspected, and of this number sixteen have appeared to possess sufficient merit to warrant formal tests. Two of these sixteen have already undergone such tests, and having been found to work
THE OLD AND DANGEROUS METHOD OF GOING BETWEEN
CARS TO UNCOUPLE THEM.
THIS COUPLER RENDERS IT UNNECESSARY TO GO
BETWEEN THE CARS.
satisfactorily have received the final approval of the board.
These two, which have been tested under actual traffic conditions, are both of the mechanical trip type. One of them, known as the Rowell-Potter trainstop, is an arrangement by which a bar lying parallel and close to one of the rails of the track is lifted a short distance above the rail whenever the visual signal is set for danger. Under such circumstances, the bar, coming into contact with
THES, H. HARRINGTON MECHANICAL
of passing trains on levers fixed close to the rails, these levers serving to wind up a coil spring.
The other automatic stop approved by the board is the invention of S. H. Harrington, and has been in experimental and successful use for over two years on the Northern Railroad of New Jersey. It works
“overhead”—that is to say, MECHANICAL TRIP STOP Which OPERATES FROM THE GROUND.
the device fixed at the road
side is suspended, fifteen an air-brake valve, suspended from one feet above the track, in such a way as to of the trucks of the tender, opens the come into contact with a projecting arm valve and applies the brake.
of an air-brake valve on the top of the Bars at the side of the track are pro- cab in the locomotive, the opening of vided in duplicate at each signal point, which valve applies the brake. The one of them 180 feet in advance of the roadside contrivance consists of a weight other, so that, if the first one should by suspended on the end of a chain, which, any accident fail to operate, the second hanging free, operates the engine valve would bring the train to a halt. Power by its mere inertia, when it strikes. At to operate the stop, as well as to work the same time, it has the great advantage the semaphore signals of the system, is of failing to work when a train is going derived from the pressure of the wheels very slowly—say, five miles an hour or less. Under such circumstances—when on a number of occasions they have been a precaution of the kind is not wanted the means of preventing collisions. the weight simply drags over the operat- The board has likewise offered to ing rod on the locomotive, producing no make practical tests of two kinds of cab effect.
signals, to which an automatic train-stop It will be observed that the automatic can be attached if desired. One of these stop does not in any way insure the cor- is the invention of E. F. Clement, of rectness of signals. Its only function is Philadelphia. The other is owned by the to correct the error of the engineman Railway Audible Signal Company, of who runs past a danger warning. This, London, and is now in use on the Great however, is of utmost importance, inas- Western Railroad in England. Its essenmuch as many bad accidents are caused tial feature is a short contact rail in the by the failure of locomotive engineers to middle of the track at the signal point. observe, understand, and obey signals. This rail engages with a device beneath Failure to observe them may be due to the engine, showing a danger signal in fog, snow, extinction of signal lights, or the cab and blowing the whistle of the smoke from other trains. The engineman locomotive. may fail to understand signals because The board has found itself called upon of their complexity, or for the reason to give a good deal of consideration to that his attention is distracted. Inten- the question of locomotive headlights. tional failure to obey them is rare. The In seven States of the Union, Arkansas, automatic stop, however, eliminates al- Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, most entirely the element of human fallibility. Furthermore, experience has shown that engineers are much more careful to heed danger signals when it is certain that disobedience of such signals will be detected.
The board confidently expects that the automatic stop will be developed to a point where, like the block signal, the car-coupler, and the train-brake, it will be available to railroads generally, and will greatly contribute to the safety of train operation. Already such contrivances are in actual use to some extent-for example, on the Boston Elevated, the New York City Subway, the Philadelphia Subway, and the underground lines in London, England. Mechanical trip train-stops of similar design, worked by electric motors, are also in use in the tunnels under the Hudson River between New York and Hoboken. Officers of these roads are unanimous in testifying to their
ELECTRIC AUTOMATIC STOP ON TROLLEY LINE IN WASHINGTON STATE, satisfactory operation, and
relatively small Texas, and Wash
proportion of the ington, headlights
red and yellow. On of 1,500 candle
this account parpower or over are
ticularly the railrequired by law.
roads have made The State railroad
strenuous objection commission of In
to such headlights. diana compels the
On double-track use of equally pow
roads, and particuerful headlights,
larly on roads havand in Georgia the
ing three or four law demands elec
tracks and equiptric headlights of
ped with signals great luminous effi
placed at frequent ciency, with reflec
intervals, the pretors twenty - three
vailing opinion inches in diameter.
seems to be that The trouble with
electric headlights the ordinary oil
are not only unnecburning headlight,
essary, but are likecommonly em
ly to cause serious ployed on locomo
errors on the part tives is that it is
of engineers in seldom powerful
reading colored enough to make it
signal lights. more than a marker
An'incidental to indicate to per
problem which the sons at stations or
board is trying to railways crossings,
solve is that of the or to trains on
headlight which other tracks, that
shall continue to an engine is apTRAPPFD Thus, MANY A PERSON HAS BEEN KILLFD
throw its beam proaching. For dis
upon the track covering or identi
while the engine is fying distant ob
rounding a curve. jects on the track
Inasmuch as such ahead, it is of almost no use at all. Hence lights are usually fixed in position, their the argument in favor of the high-power rays are projected in the direction of the headlight, gas or electric, by which per- axis of the locomotive, and hence on sons or obstructions may be seen at a curves do not illuminate the track ahead. sufficient distance to enable the train to Various devices have been submitted for be stopped before reaching them. imparting to the headlight, while the en
On the other hand, there are some gine is rounding a curve, such motion as serious objections to the high-power, will turn the beam so as to make it fall headlight, chief among which is the fact on the track. Most of these contrivthat its rays are so intense as fairly to ances, however, are very crude, attemptblind, for the moment, persons who maying to use the slewing of the front truck look into the beam. This effect, when of the engine to rotate the headlight, experienced by enginemen of trains run- and not one of them has been found satning in an opposite direction on parallel isfactory. tracks, is likely to give rise to accidents. The board strongly recommends that Furthermore, it is often difficult to read railroads all over the country be comthe colors of signal lamps correctly in pelled by law to adopt and maintain the the beam of an electric headlight, the block system for running their trains. spectrum of the arc being very rich in At the present time only about sixty-six blue and green rays, and containing a thousand miles of railroads, out of a
total of approximately two hundred and the railroads very little money. Not forty thousand miles in this country, are much apparatus is required. In July of operated under this system, notwith- last year, the Baltimore & Ohio line from standing a superabundance of evidence Storr's, Ohio, west to Vincennes, Ind., that, wherever used, it has added im- and from North Vernon, Ind., to New measurably to safety of transportation. Albany, over one hundred and eighty "The situation is not unlike that which ex- miles, was equipped with all the necesisted at the time when the adoption of sary outfit for the operation of the simcar couplers and power brakes was com- ple manual block system in less than one pelled by Federal enactment, against a week. most determined opposition on the part It is the opinion of the board that the of the companies, desirous of avoiding compulsory introduction of the block systhe expense involved in the acquisition of tem on all railway lines will tend greatly such improvements.
to reduce the number of collisions and As a matter of fact, the adoption of the incidental mortality record that rethe block system everywhere would cost sults therefrom.