Page images

zontal position and show a red light at night.

Distant signals are used in connection with interlocking home signals in the usual way. All signal blades, distant, home and block, are painted yellow on the face and white on the back. It is claimed for this that it avoids the inconsistency of a train passing a red signal even though the position may be such as to indicate "proceed." This opinion, however, is not shared by all officials, as there are a great many systems where the home semaphore arms are painted red.

As interlocking signals show but two positions, horizontal and vertical, each is provided with a metal shield as shown in Fig. 2, which obscures the light while the blade is traveling between the two positions, thus preventing the display of any signal at night unless the blade is in the corresponding position. This subject was fully treated in the Magazine for September, 1902, page 365.

[ocr errors]

In Case of Accident.

Accident reports were the subject of an interesting discussion at a recent meeting of one of our prominent railway clubs.

It can easily be seen that in case of accident on the road, the first report is by far the most important and the facility with which the matter is handled or the track cleared, if such be necessary, depends largely on the information received at the dispatcher's office in this first report. That the report be as near what is wanted as possible, therefore, is a matter of no small importance. Much time is often consumed in asking questions which could be saved if the men on the train were properly instructed in this regard.

In case of engine failure we can not, of course, advise enginemen as to the manner of reporting mechanical trouble, but there are certain things which the dispatcher would like to know and in many cases the engineer can tell him. The first thing is about how long it will take to make the necessary repairs and get started, then whether the engine can run itself or not, how much tonnage can be handled, if any, and the probability with regard to speed. In the case of hot boxes, hot pins, lack of steam, etc., while we know they are very uncertain, yet if the engineer can give an idea as to whether the trouble will likely continue all the way to the terminal or whether he has remedied it so that he thinks he can make

the usual time, it will be thankfully received. Men on the train should remember that the man in the office is guided solely by the probable time that will be made, and train movements are arranged accordingly. This is in accord with the principle, which we always advocate, of telling the dispatcher all you know. There are times when he would make better moves and consequently would be less blamed if he were in possession of all the facts which might be given him.

In case of derailment, of course it is impossible to construct a formula which will apply to all cases, and the exercise of some judgment is necessary on the part of those making the report. In general, it was brought out in the meeting to which we refer, that the most important facts are the location of the accident, number of cars involved and whether loaded or empty, the condition and position of the engine, how many cars on each side of the trouble, together with the amount of material and the number of men needed to clear the track and to repair the latter if necessary. To give an idea of what is needed in the way of information a message reporting an imaginary accident was read by one of the members. It was as follows:

"Train No. 74 has 5 loads and 3 empties derailed on fill two and one-half miles east of Scotland. Two cars lumber crosswise of track, three cars brick turned over, fouling main track. Three empties clear of main track down embankment.

16 cars east and 7 cars west of derailed cars. Want wrecker to clear track which will take about three hours. Need 50 ties and 4 rails. Brakeman Jones, in jumping from train, was caught by a derailed car and has left leg crushed. Left in charge

of Dr. Brown.

"Accident caused by broken flange. Conductor."



We believe it is the rule on almost every road that in case of personal injury the conductor obtain the names of witnesses, if possible, also note all the facts in connection with the accident, stating what was done with the injured person, etc.

It was the opinion of nearly every one present that the printed form of accident report did not answer the purpose for the first report as well as a message, but should be made later and filed for reference. Some favored a blank form containing a few questions of the most importance to be used as a first report, but others considered that a message, if carefully prepared, served the purpose better.

That in which the dispatcher is most directly concerned is keeping trains mov

ing. He sometimes meets with difficulty in case a train is delayed at a point distant from the telegraph office. The conductor comes to the office, leaves a message stating the nature of the trouble, and when the dispatcher is made acquainted with the facts he often finds it necessary to move other trains against the one which is delayed, but when he attempts to put out an order finds that the conductor has left the telegraph office, and some time may be consumed in getting him to sign the order, with a consequent delay to other trains. To avoid delay of this kind the following rule appears in a certain code:

"Whenever an accident occurs to a train between stations or away from a telegraph office, so that the assistance of a wrecking train or engine is required, a message, signed by both the conductor and engineman, must be sent from the nearest telegraph office to the superintendent, giving the location of the train as nearly as possible and saying that the train or engine will not be moved until the required assistance has arrived."

A message thus signed is equivalent to a hold order, and other trains may be moved if necessary, without delay.

Changing Time Tables.

Questions 84 and 85 this month bring up the vexed question of change of time tables. These are the most perplexing of all train rule questions. They have caused more argument than all others combined and a large part of this argument has never been settled.

Rule 4 (B) of the Standard Code is in almost universal use throughout this country, because it seems to be, all things considered, the most efficient. According to this rule a train of the preceding time table assumes the schedule of the corresponding number on the new time table. When the new time can be easily assumed and no complications arise this seems to be the best rule by which to work. But there are many situations for which the language of the rule does not provide and to which it is even difficult to apply the principle. Again, there are cases which the rule may seem to cover, but different persons will make different applications, so that experience has shown that the rule is by no means automatic and that it will not stand the test of all possible situations. We will again refer to question 32 in the Magazine for May 1902, which we answered to the best of our understanding, also to Question 71 in the No

vember number, in which an exception was taken to our reply. We were not surprised at the criticism, in view of the amount of controversy which has been occasioned by the rule.

Doubt has arisen in cases where a train has been run "Daily" on the old time table and "Daily except Sunday" on the new, it being on the road when the new time table took effect; cases of the terminus being changed, the run being made longer or shorter; an instance where the run is completed on the last day of the old time table and the new one, on taking effect, shows the same train only an hour or two late at its initial point; and in Question 85 of this issue where the train on the last night of the old time table is annulled, the question arises whether the

same train on the new time table is annulled. And in regard to most of these questions we are free to confess we do not know.

The American Railway Association was once asked this question :

"Train No. 1 under the old time table The new time table leaves B at 10 a. m. On takes effect at 10 a. m., June 1st. the new time table No. 1 leaves B at 9 a. m. and C at 10 a. m. Does the new time table provide for No. 1 between B and C on June 1st, or is the train annulled? If annulled, is it annulled only between B and C, or is it annulled from B to the end of the division? If not annulled, should No. 1 consider itself one hour late at B and govern itself accordingly?"

Their reply was as follows:

"In such an instance, the plain duty of the superintendent is to conform to Rule 302, and issue special instructions to provide for such a contingency, as it can only affect the train for one day."

(Rule 302, here referred to, was in the Standard Code at that time and was as follows: "Special instructions, given by proper authority, must be observed while in force.")

Had the question been put to us we should have thought we understood the rule well enough to say that No. 1 could leave B at 10 a. m. on the new time table, being then one hour late, but when those who formed the rule decline to authorize that understanding we do not feel warranted in expressing an opinion. We simply speak of this to show that there are some unanswerable questions in connection with the rule.

Numerous attempts have been made to modify the rule or make additions which

will cover certain contingencies, but we do not know of any which will satisfactorily answer all the questions which have been raised. The rule seems to be a good one for "fair weather," and we favor its use, but we should take no chances on any one's understanding at the time of change if there were anything in view more than a simple transferring of trains on the road from their schedules to those of corresponding numbers on the new time table. We should fall back on the assertion

of the American Railway Association that the proper officer should make provision for any possible questions which might


The Standard Code provides another optional form of this rule, and this is the only one of which we know that acts positively and leaves no loop-hole for doubt or misunderstanding. Under this rule,


The Westinghouse Air Brake.
Answers by F. B. Farmer.

146. Equalizing Discharge Port Fitting.-"In the November issue of 1902 I notice article 129 under the heading of 'About Westinghouse Brakes,' where X. Y. refers to the absence of the thread in the train line exhaust fitting of brake valve. Mr. Farmer claims this is to prevent piping the noise out of hearing. Now, I would like to know, in case we lost the equalizing reservoir or little drum, which would necessarily involve the plugging of this exhaust fitting in order to use the brake valve in emergency position, how a plug could be made to stay unless there is a thread of some description, as I positively believe a wooden plug would blow out at once.

"Please explain in March issue if possible."-D. P.

and Answers

reservoir), no leaks; about how many strokes per minute ought pump to make? Please answer through the columns of the Firemen's Magazine, and oblige."-0. N. B.

Answer. The writer shares your doubt as to a wooden plug being reliable if driven into the unthreaded outer end of the exhaust fitting, but will suggest two safe methods of plugging up this opening in the rare event of it being necessary. Remove the exhaust or angle fitting from the brake valve, plug its inner end with wood and then replace it; or, screw wooden plug into the opening from which the fitting was removed, leaving the latter out until repairs are made.


when a new time table takes effect, every regular train on the road is dead and there is no train due to run until it is due to leave its initial point after the time table takes effect. We like the principle of the rule but from the standpoint of the dispatcher we can vouch for the fact that it is the cause of a large amount of work which can be avoided by the use of Rule 4 (B). It necessitates running each train on the road as an extra, and the dis

patcher must, in many cases, begin his work of providing for trains that are to

die, several hours before the change takes


147. Reasonable Leakage.-"An engine is equipped with Westinghouse brake, 8-inch pump, is charged to standard pressures (70 pounds train line and 90 pounds main

We strongly favor Rule 4 (B), but stipulate that some one must be on hand to settle any possible questions until the change to the new time table is completely made.

Answer. The writer has tested many locomotive brakes to obtain information on this subject, deeming such a simple test one that along with other tests, all engineers should make. It is too often the case where pumps are overtaxed to supply the leakage that the worst of it is on the engine or tender.

With an 8-inch pump the best case observed required but eight single strokes or exhausts per minute to maintain the full pressure. This meant not only tight brake and signal piping, "parasite" (bell ringer, air sander, etc.) fittings and standard size of vent port in pump governor, but a pump air cylinder in first class condition. From twelve to fifteen strokes per minute with either the 8 or 91⁄2-inch pump is a fair and satisfactory number, but more should call for investigation and betterment.

As has been mentioned efore, the slower a pump is run the more oppor and forth past the piston in the air cylintunity there is for the air to leak back der instead of being driven into the main reservoir. Also, if the air cylinder has been overheated or has badly worn rings, particularly those which when new were rather small for the bore of the cylinder,

the air piston rings are liable to close in as soon as the pump speed becomes low, resulting in the pump compressing little or no air.

Thus it will be seen that the condition of the air cylinder of the pump has a bearing as important or more so than that of the other sources of excessive pump strokes.

When you have found the number of single strokes or exhausts required to supply the leakage from brake and signal, if latter is had, then try the air sander, etc., to see how many strokes each adds. A sander in good condition should not need over about 20 strokes per minute of a 92-inch pump to throw an ample quantity of sand.

The sander air pipes often get some very bad leaks and improperly adjusted nozzles take an excess amount of air to deliver the necessary quantity of sand.

Often the time when sand is needed to prevent slipping is the one when excess pressure is required to prevent brakes from leaking on and an excessive air drain through the air wasted by the sander is the cause of the sticking brakes which stall the train.

Don't forget to test the air sander along with the other possible causes for excessive pump labor.

148. Equalizing Discharge Action of Brake Valve. "Why is it necessary to have piston 18 in the G6 engineer's brake valve? Why couldn't the air pass from the train pipe through port e, groove h and port k to the atmosphere instead of passing through port m and passages n and n1 of exhaust fitting 22, to the atmosphere?"— J. P. H.

Answer. The ports e, h and k, being those which in service application dis charge the air from above the equalizing piston 18 so as to cause it to rise and discharge an equal number of pounds of train pipe pressure out through m, n and n', the train line service exhaust, are too small to alone cause a sufficiently rapid train pipe reduction to apply the brakes on even a fairly short passenger train. The size of the smallest one, port e, is 5-64-inch. These ports could be enlarged so as to make the train pipe reduction without the aid of any other part, as the piston 22, but to do this would lose the very important equalizing discharge action of the brake valve. It would be going back to the old style of brake valve, three-way cock or B-11 (small brass valve with screw handle) type where discharging the air fast enough to cover leakage grooves, not so rapid as to cause quick

action and stopping the discharge gradually enough to prevent head brakes from releasing and jerking or even separating the train, depended entirely on the engineer. With the equalizing discharge type of brake valve he can use full service position with no fear of quick action, but with ample assurance of covering all leakage grooves, if enough pounds are drawn off; then, when the gauge indicates the desired reduction, he can return the valve to lap position with the assurance that when the desired train pipe reduction has been completed by the brake valve, it will stop the discharge gradually enough to prevent the release of any head brakes.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

of the flues and the firebox the diaphragm
should be adjusted to burn the fire nearly
even on the grate surface and cause an
even draft through the flues. As water
always boils upward it is sometimes an
advantage to have the draft slightly
stronger through the lower flues. After
the diaphragm is adjusted to obtain the
above result it should be kept in that po-
sition. If the engine does not steam and
we desire to increase the draft through
the grates and all the flues it should be
done by the adjustment of the petticoat
pipe and sleeve. Although lowering the
diaphragm would contract the opening
and increase the velocity of the gases

Fig. 2.

through the lower flues and front end of
the box, it would be a detriment to the
steaming qualities of the engine as we
would loose the heating surface of the
upper flues. Raising the bottom part of
the pipe above the nozzle tip or lowering
the top part or sleeve from the base of
the stack will increase the draft; raising
the sleeve and lowering the pipe will de-
crease it. Observe Fig. 1 with a pipe and
sleeve that extends from the base of the
stack to the base of the exhaust pipe,
the dotted and broken lines representing
the steam passing to the stack. This is
not a very large opening for the exhaust
steam to expel the smoke and gases from
the front end; as they are not thrown out,
the vacuum is not formed and the air is
not drawn through the grates to fill the
vacuum in the front end. In Fig. 2 we
have the pipe raised above the nozzle tip
and the sleeve lowered from the base of
the stack so that the exhaust steam will
expel the gases from the front end and a
greater volume of air will flow through
the grates and fire, promoting combustion.
Consider that the nozzle, petticoat pipe,
sleeve, and stack should do business in
the front end the same as the tubes and
the nozzle of the injector, and adjust-
ments can be obtained that will be satis-

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Answer. If we were to ask how much surface of the tire of a driving wheel of a locomotive comes in contact with the rail, the answer from the various enginemen would vary. Some would claim that 2inch, and others 2 inches comes in contact with the rail. Occasionally we would be informed that there was only a fine line or point of contact, which is correct. In order to get more than a point it would be necessary to have a flat spot on the tire equal to the surface of the tire in contact with the rail. Therefore, when the tire is round we have only a small point of contact. Locomotive tires are turned slightly conical from the flange to the edge of the tire, usually 1/4-inch, that is, the small diameter of the tire would be 14-inch less than the large diameter. If the point of contact between the tires 02 a pair of wheels and the rails were the same distance from each flange the diameter would be the same, the wheels would roll in a straight line. Then when the wheels strike a curve the flanges of the outside wheels are brought close to or against the ball of the rail, making the point of contact at the largest diameter of the tread, and the point of contact of the tire and the rail is on the smallest diameter of the inside wheel and the flange is farther away from the rail. For an example we will take a pair of wheels with tires 60 inches in diameter on the larger diameter of the tread and 594 inches in the smaller diameter, and we have the wheel with the flange near the rail moving a distance of 188.496 inches each revolution and the wheel on the inside of the curve, or with the point of contact on its smaller diameter, with the flange away from the rail will move a distance of 187.7106 inches or .7854 of an inch less distance each revolution of the wheel, due to the difference in the diameters of the wheels at the points of contact with the rails. As there are 5,280 feet in a mile and the 60-inch wheel would make 336 revolutions per mile there would be a

« PreviousContinue »