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say offhand that once a month is too often. Indeed, as the majority of superintendents appear to have anything but settled views as to the frequency with which they should examine their men; and if examination is necessary at all after a man is once accepted for a given position, it would seem highly desirable to find out whether a more definite theory can not be formulated for use as a working basis. From the persistent way in which electric railroad men have tried to believe that they can run miles as fast as the steam railroads run them, but without adopting the expensive methods and safeguards of high speed lines, and in view of the known methods of managing the personnel of electric roads, one may surmise that frequent catechising is deemed necessary in the electric service, because new men are taken on more frequently, and because the old men are not so good at studying and comprehending rules as are conductors and enginemen of the old school. This, however, raises the question whether reiteration is the right remedy for a lack of proficiency; whether the true need is not a better grade of men. In some things much better results may be obtained from teaching a hundred-dollar man once in two years than a fiftydollar man once a month.

"The circular issued by the American Railway Association on examinations of railroad employes, the replies to which were published last April, seems to have studiously avoided the. question of examination on knowledge of the rules, though full attention was given to the question of how many different methods are employed to test a man's "muscle." It is a matter of common knowledge, however, that practice varies widely. In the early days of the standard code some roads started out bravely to examine all the men on all the rules. But this was a tedious process, and with well-qualified men it often seemed a waste of time. Men who in the first half of the rules showed sufficient knowledge and a high degree of intelligence were not compelled to go through the last half. This idea was carried farther in some cases than in others, but it had its effect everywhere. The frequency of examinations was modified in the same way. Plans for holding "schools" semiannually or quarterly were modified to annual or biennial intervals, if the superintendent had some reason for thinking that his men were not in special need of particular instruction. As a result of this tendency-a tendency

often strengthened by changes in administration, or when a superintendent found himself burdened with new cares in some other direction-we now hear of superintendents who, according to their own statements call their men in whenever it is thought proper to do so, but without any fixed plan; and who do not thoroughly test the men's knowledge of the rules; they only question on a few rules here and there, with a view to seeing whether the man has a good general intelligence and experience. By the answers given

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NEW RAILWAY SAFETY DEVICE Telephone, alarm bell and red light in engine cab concerning one rule the questioner judges the man's ability to deal with other equally difficult precepts. This is good as far as it goes, but is it enough? * Why should we re-examine men who have both experience and good records? The argument for so doing is based largely on the fact that a two-line rule, coming up to be acted on only once in a month or a year, may be the vital link in a safety-chain that protects lives by preventing collisions. The good men-whose records are perfect-are the ones who reexamine themselves on such rules. The question is as to what, if anything, can be done to induce all the men to form this habit; to form the habits of caution, study and reflection which every old and competent railroader recognizes as necessary."

The "Staff" system, which was described in the October, 1901, Magazine, has found favor where installed. The Santa Fe has operated this system over

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NEW RAILWAY SAFETY DEVICE Third rail and contact shoe

hung the working instrument, an electrical apparatus inclosed in a square case or jacket occupying a cubic foot of space. The instrument is connected with a contact shoe, which slides along the third rail, and by wires with a telephone and electric alarm bell in the cab of the engine driver, and a red incandescent lamp which is lighted by the same impulse that rouses the alarm bell into action. A further improvement of the device sets the electric brakes on the engine or entire train simultaneously with the alarm signal which sounds the bell and lights the lamp. The apparatus is so adjusted and arranged that the engineer can at any moment, by touching a lever, satisfy himself that it is in full working condition.

"The tests on November 12th were conducted on the main line from Frankfort

to Hanau, between the stations Sachsenhausen and Goldstein, and a translation of the official report will illustrate concisely the working of the apparatus. Two locomotives, numbered respectively 290 and 1420, had been equipped with the new device and the experiments proceeded as follows: Engine 290, drawing a special train and approaching Sachsenhausen at full speed, received the danger signal and came to a full stop; the driver of 290 then asked by telephone the cause of the signal and received from the keeper of a grade crossing, half a mile in front, word that a wagon had broken down in crossing the track and obstructed the line.

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After ten minutes' wait, the engineer of 290 received word by telephone that the obstruction had been cleared away and thereupon resumed his trip.

"A mile farther on, the signal on 290 again sounded, and the driver was informed, by telephone as before, that the semaphore round a curve and more than half a mile distant was set at 'halt.' Thereupon engine 290 slowed down and proceeded cautiously, sounding its whistle at short intervals, the telephone bell in the driver's cab ringing continuously until the curve was rounded, when the ringing ceased, notifying the engineer that the semaphore had changed to 'track clear.' Thereupon 290 resumed full speed.

"In the tests to prevent collision, engine 1420 came up rapidly from behind and on the same track as 290, which had

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mand is based upon the supposition that
railway employes would enjoy greater
privileges and better wages than when
working for private corporations
"trusts." This demand is less pronounced
among railway employes, however, than
among others; in fact, railway employes
are in doubt as to the desirability of
working for "Uncle Sam."

two

An

slowed down and was proceeding cau-
tiously in consequence of reported danger
in front. The moment that 1420 came
within 1,000 meters (1,093 yards) of 290,
the signal on both engines began to ring
Thereupon
and their red lights glow.
1420 halted, the driver inquired of 290 in
front the cause of the alarm, and a com-
plete understanding between the
trains was immediately established.
important point in this connection is that
in practice the same warning signal is
sounded upon every engine equipped with
the apparatus which is on the same track
and within the prescribed radius-a kilo-
meter or a mile, as the case may be
from the engine and train which cause
the obstruction. If a semaphore be false-
ly set at safety, the train may run past
it into a block in which another engine
is halted or moving with perfect security
that warning will be given in ample time
to prevent a collision under any and all
conditions of darkness, fog, storm, or
mistaken instructions."

When we consider the fallibility of the
human mind it seems almost incredible
that the American system of train dis-
patching could have been operated as ex-
tensively as it has been without a far
A single
greater number of accidents.
mistake or lapse of memory of the dis-
patcher, or of the operator, or of the en-
gineer, usually results in damage to prop-
erty or death to persons, and often to
both. As long as the conductor's post of
duty is elsewhere than on the engine he
is an unimportant factor. The fireman,
if he were vested with the responsibility
and paid for that increased service, is the
only man on the train that can be of
much service when the engineer fails in
his duty. Of course, after an engineer
has run by a meeting point the conductor
can stop the train, but the damage is
usually done before it can be averted.
That the time is ripe for some improve-
ments in methods of moving trains is
plainly evident. Just as the old hand
brakes and link-and-pin couplers had to
go so will antiquated methods of dispatch-
ing trains have to give way before public
opinion, but just what will be substituted
for the frailties of human mind remains
to be seen.

The "black list" is the most hated of all the schemes invented by railway officials to injure railway workers, but no corporation is as persistent in the enforcement of a "black list" as the Government of the United States. As narrow as are the limitations, discharged railroad men do have a chance to secure employment on other roads, but once the railthe Government that ways belong to chance is gone forever.

The "spotter" is detested by all railway employes, and railway officials are being convinced that evidence secured against their employes through the agency of spotters is very unreliable. A man who will betray his fellow-workers for "a piece of silver" is no longer countenanced by most reputable railway officials. The Government prides itself upon its perfected spotter system.

Not so many years ago "favoritism" governed preferment in railway promotions and assignments of work. A profitable patron of a railway could secure desirable positions for his friends simply by making the request. Department officials were accustomed to favor their personal friends in the assignment of preferred runs and in promotions, and when they assumed a new position it was often that they "made room" for their favorites who had remained on the road from The influwhence these officials came. ence of the railway labor organizations has eliminated favoritism from railway train service. Every man now has the same chance for advancement; but with Government ownership the railway employe without "political pull" would find himself handicapped.

Government Ownership of Rail-
ways.

There is a popular demand among working people in general for the government ownership of railways, which de

Railway officials are selected from the ranks; from men who know their business. All positions that are "official" in their capacity in the service of the Government are filled by party henchmen. It is seldom that a postmaster of an important office is ever fitted for the actual work of his office. He is always a veteran partisan worker, and never does he ask for the position because of his ability as a postmaster, but because of his service for the political party in power. Congress having cognizance of this fact makes pro

visions for the technical ignorance of the postmaster by creating the position of "assistant postmaster," which is usually filled by a man who performs all of the duties of the postmaster, and at less than half the postmaster's salary. Imagine a division superintendent who had gained his position by "colonizing" voters in some close election district! What of a general manager whose contribution to the campaign fund had secured him his appointment! Brass buttons would shine with no less luster upon the coat of a passenger conductor whose father was a congressman!

In Australia the Government has installed a railway spotter system that is detested by officials and employes alike. Mr. Bent, the Railway Commissioner, believes in spotters as much as does the United States Postoffice Department. In speaking of them the Railway Standard, of Melbourne, says: "In the appointment of these gentlemen every officer of the department, from the highest to the lowest, seems to have just cause of complaint. Perhaps the leading officers of the railways have even more reason to complain than the men. The latter can not fairly object, and they are not likely to object, to the most thorough inspection of their work; and they are injured only in that they are made accountable to irresponsible individuals-the creatures of a man who is here today and gone tomorrow-and not to their permanent superiors in the department. Their appointment under the circumstances is in itself evidence of suspicion, and, though they may be fair-minded men, they can not but be influenced by the fact that Mr. Bent will be quite disappointed if they do not find out a few faults or abuses somewhere to justify their existence. If they report on anyone adversely, as Mr. Bent himself has said, there will be no appeal. The men would be scarcely human if they liked this method of doing things, and complaints are not to be wondered at."

Nor is this all. It is now proposed, and pressed with some chance of adoption, that all "civil servants" be disfranchised. In opposition to this degrading of railway employes the Railway Standard says: "If it were true that men in the service of the state threaten the best interests of the state by their political actions, and if it were true that their power for evil would be removed by Mr. Irvine's proposal, there would be some justification or excuse for it. But neither of these things is true. The civil servants and the railway men will sometimes, stirred

* * *

by injustice, or the feeling of injustice, use their political power to sweep a government out of office, or to resist attacks upon themselves. The fall of the Patterson ministry some years ago is pointed to by the apologists of Mr. Irvine's scheme as a shocking example of what may be effected by the civil servants' vote, and true it is that when the state servants said Patterson would go, at the very next election he went. If any unjust attack is made upon their privilege or pay, their tradesmen-and their creditors as well as their friends and relatives, will be up in arms to resent it. The removal of the public servant's own name from the electoral roll will have the smallest effect, except in a few special constituencies. If the public is with the service in any dispute with the government, the former will still carry the day; if the contrary happens, it will be defeated just as in the past. The only difference under the new regime will be a constant feeling of injury on the part of public servants, which will tend to the exaggeration of small quarrels, and the existence of special members whose presence will be a constant reminder of those quarrels, and who must necessarily in all of them be fierce partisans."

American River and Canal Commerce.

Statistical returns of domestic trade movements on rivers and canals in the United States have been made the subject of monthly reports in the Summary of Internal Commerce, issued by the Treasury Bureau of Statistics for the year 1902. A large proportion of this information was gathered from the engineers in charge of river and harbor improvements under the auspices of the War Department. In other cases State authorities and transportation companies have furnished data from which the results have been tabulated.

Among the streams of the United States the traffic on the Monongahela River is possibly the heaviest, OWing to the prominence of the coal trade. For the twelve months ending with December, 1902, the total coal traffic passing through Lock No. 3, in addition to the quantity mined in the first and second pools, was reported as amounting to 9,109,002 tons. This may be compared with the total amount of coal shipped from domestic ports in the Great Lakes to other domestic ports

during the year 1902, amounting to Muskingum River, Lock No. 1, 37,380 9,632,866 net tons. The total Mononga- tons in 1902. hela freight movement, in both directions, reached a grand total of 9,686,686 tons in 1902.

The tonnage moved through the New York State canals is reported by the State superintendent of public works as amounting to 3,179,362 tons in 1902. Of this amount 2,225,986 tons moved eastward and 953,376 tons westward, showing that the eastward tonnage is about two-and-a-half times the westward tonnage. For the year 1901 the total tonnage for an equal season ending with November was 3,111,444 tons, of which 2,876,909 tons moved eastward and 1,066,Coal shipments on 085 tons westward. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal were 192,535 tons in 1902, compared with 229,393 tons in 1901.

The point of largest recorded traffic on the Ohio, after leaving Pittsburg, is that of Davis Island Dam, a short distance below Pittsburg. This dam, both in construction and in operation, is one of the country's noteworthy achievements of engineering talent. It affords the coal and iron trade of this portion of the country deep-water navigation on which to accumulate the products of the mines and industries to be floated down the Ohio River whenever a sufficient depth of water is available. The total tonnage passing this point during 1902, as reported by the engineer in charge, was 3,873,952 tons. The month of the largest business was July, when 1,123,990 tons shipped.

were

Another point, at which traffic on the Ohio is gauged, is at Louisville, Ky. Here the Ohio River trade passes either through the locks of the Louisville and Portland Canal, or over the falls of the Ohio, in case that the water is of sufficient depth; so that the movement of these two channels gives the total traffic at this point for a given period. For the twelve months ending with December, 1902, the traffic through the canal amounted to 1,234,422 tons, and that over the falls of the Ohio to 763,551 tons, making a grand total of 1,997,973 tons.

Next in importance to the traffic of the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers is that of the Great Kanawha River, consisting primarily of coal and lumber. During the year 1902 the total tonnage moved through Lock No. 11 on this stream was 977,101 tons. Next in importance is Green River, Kentucky, through Lock No. 1 of which 392,847 tons passed. The Big Sandy River, in the same locality, is credited with 251,511 tons passing Lock No. 1. The Little Kanawha had a total freight tonnage of 69,706 tons for the same period. The Des Moines (Ia.) Rapids Canal carried 55,731 tons. The canal of the Cascades in Oregon reported 25,308 tons of traffic. The Barren River, Kentucky, 41,231 tons through Lock No. 1. The Black Warrior River, Alabama, through Lock No. 3, had a tonnage of 16,105 tons, and the Coosa River, of the same State, through Lock No. 3, 3,226 tons, mostly lumber in both cases. On the Kentucky River, Lock No 4, 48,665 tons of freight were shipped, and on the

The above traffic movements may be contrasted with those of the Sault Ste Marie canals, through which a freight tonnage of 35,961,146 net tons passed in the season of 1902, and also with the Portage Lake ship canals of Michigan, on which cargo of 2,636,189 net tons The tonnage passed in the same season. movement through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, as reported by the operating company, has been given for only the last four months of 1902, as 205,382 net tons, with a vessel movement of 1,382 vessels.

Electricity Encroaching Upon
Steam.

If we heed the words of a pamphlet recently published by Westinghouse, Kerr & Co., one is almost frightened at the encroachment of electric railways upon the steam railways of certain parts of the country. Of course, it will be a long time before electricity will be used successfully on trunk lines, but that local competition will deprive many a railroad man of employment when the present prosperity wave subsides seems now possible. It was only a few years ago that engineers and firemen on the Manhattan Elevated ridiculed the idea of electricity ever superseding steam on that road; but it did, and the illustration published in this issue graphically tells the story of how successfully the job was done. The following is what the pamphlet referred to says:

"In no part of the United States has the development of urban and interconnecting interurban railway systems taken place with such rapidity as in the district of southern Michigan, lying immediately between the extremities of Lake Huron and Lake Erie. These systems

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