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HEATING AND LIGHTING PASSENGER, JAIL AND BAGGAGE
CARS. Chapter 275, Public Laws of 1889, provides as follows: "Sec. 1. No Passenger, Mail or Baggage Car on any railroad in this State shall be heated by any method of heating or by any furnace or heater, unless such methods or the use of such furnace or heater shall first have been approved in writing by the board of Railroad Commissioners ; provided, however, that in no event, shall a common stove be allowed in any such car; provided also, that any railroad corporation may, with the permission of said board, make such experiments in heating their passenger cars, as said board may deem proper."
“Sec. 2. No passenger car on a railroad, shall be lighted by naphtha, nor by an illuminating oil or fluid made in part of naphtha, or which will ignite at a temperature of less than three hundred degrees Fahrenheit.”
“Sec. 3. Any railroad corporation violating any of the provisions of this act, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars."
Prior to the enactment of the above statute, the Board of Railroad Commissioners had, by order of the legislature of 1887, made an investigation of the methods in use in this State, of heating passenger cars; and also, as instructed in said order, had visited other states where improved safety appliances were in use for heating same, and had made a report to the Legislature of that year, in which report the Board stated as follows:
“While great improvements have been made in passenger cars in other respects, no material change has been made in the mode of heating them. The wood and coal stoves of a quarter of a century or more ago are still to be found on trains in this State, though some of the wealthier corporations use the Baker and Johnson heaters. The use of them is intended to contribute more to the comfort than the safety of passengers.”
“From the careful examinations made as above mentioned, from proved statements of interested parties having experimental knowledge of these various devices, and from the testimony of all who have given the subject consideration, the members of the Maine Board of Railroad Commissioners feel constrained to say, with the utmost confidence, that the use of inside stoves or furnaces should be universally discarded for heating railroad cars while in motion, although they may be properly retained a while longer for temporary use in cases of accidental delay or obstruction to the operation of whatever may be selected to replace them.”
6. While the best minds among railroad men all over this country and Europe are earnestly striving to develop the best and safest, any premature decision might seriously prejudice the most promising efforts in it right course. It is therefore respectfully submitted, as the opinion of this Board, that the several railroad companies of this State should be by law required to discard the stoves and adopt some one of the new processes for providing heat from outside, within a reasonable time.”
No further action having been taken by the legislature of 1887, and there appearing to be no material change being made in the methods of heating by railroad companies in this State, the Board, feeling it to be their duty to again call the attention of the Legislature to the subject, in their report of 1888, quoted a portion of their report of the previous year on said subject, and recommended such legislation as would compel all railroad corporations, operating railroads in this State, in a reasonable time, to adopt some of the safer methods of heating.” Meanwhile, before the enactment of the statute herein quoted, the accident at Kingman on the Maine Central railroad (a full report of which is hereinafter given) occurred, in which the lives of three individuals were lost by reason of fire consuming the wrecked cars in which they were confined. That the fire originated from the stoves therein is by no means clear, because it appeared that the locomotive ran into cars, standing on the spur track, that were loaded with hay, and that the bay was set on fire by the locomotive, and, so far as known, the fire from these hay cars may have enveloped and consumed the wrecked mail cars in which these men were confined. We can not, however, believe that the fire, which spread so rapidly over these wrecked cars, was wholly communicated from the source above mentioned, for the reason that one or more of the cars burned, fell over the opposite enbankment, away from the locomotive and bay cars aforesaid.
In justice to the corporation operating this railroad, it is proper, in this connection, to state that all of the passenger cars on this train owned by the company, had been fitted so that the same could be heated by steam from the locomotive; but the Pullman car, not owned by said railroad corporation, and the mail and baggage cars running over the several roads, on the through route from Boston to St. John, were not so fitted.
Immediately, following said accident, which occurred on the 23d diy of February, the statute above mentioned was enacted, and as appears, was approved by the Governor March 8th 1889. Whereas, by operation of law, said statute was not to take effect till thirty days after the adjournment of the Legislature, which did not take place till the 13th day of March, the Board did not deem it wise or necessary at that season of the year to take action relative to the methods of heating. During the month of June, the Board desiring to be informed as to the methods in use for heating passenger, mail and baggage cars in this State, caused to be sent to the several railroad corporations operating railroads in the State, a circular of which the following is a copy :
AUGUSTA, June, 1889. TO........ General Manager..
Railroads. Dear Sir:
The Board of Railroad Commissioners desire to be informed as to the methods now in use, for heating passenger, mail and baggage cars on the above named Railroad in this State. Will you kindly answer the following questions, and return the same to the Board, Augusta, Me.
D. N. MORTLAND, Chairman.
Passenger Cars, Total number
heated by steam
" hot air.
66 wood stoves
16 bot air.
66 hot air
66 wood stoves 66 Mail and Baggage Cars, Total number
beated by steam
16 hot air
" wood stoves.
In answer to said circular, returns were received from all said railroad corporations. From a summary of returns received, the following facts appeared: That out of 659 passenger cars reported in use in this State, 164 were heated hy steam from the locomotive; that of 187 mail and baggage
cars, 42 were heated in like manner, 75 by what is known as the Baker and Johnson (hot water) heaters and four by the Spear (hot air) Heater. All other cars in use were heated by what might be termed "common wood and coal stoves.”
. The Board upon investigation, found that a statute, similar to the one enacted in this State, had been in force in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and that the Railroad Commissioners of these states had approved all methods of heating cars, other than by what might be called “common stoves." As the railroad system of this State is so connected with those of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and as passenger, mail and baggage cars are daily being exchanged, it did not seem to this Board to be wise or expedient to adopt a rule or regulation, as to approvals, differing from that adopted in those other states, acting under like or similar statutes. The Board, therefore, feeling that, as the method
. of heating cars was necessarily in a transitional and experimental state, and that the best methods of heating may not yet have been devised, determined to temporarily approve all methods which had been approved by the Commissioners of the above named states, and such other heaters as railroad corporations might desire to use, other than common stoves. Accordingly notice of a meeting of the Board, to be held at their office in Augusta, on the 28th and 29th of August, was given to railroad managers and all other persons interested in said subject, as follows:
STATE OF MAINE.
AUGUSTA, Aug. 10th 1889.
You attention is hereby respectfully called to Chapter 275 Public Laws of 1889, relating to heating and lighting passenger, mail and baggage cars on railroads, and notice is hereby given that the Board of Railroad Commissioners will be in session at their office in Augusta, on Wednesday and