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suits upon duly verified information being lodged with him of such violation having occurred; and it shall also be the duty of the Interstate Commerce Commission to lodge with the proper district attorneys information of any such violations as may come to its knowledge: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall apply to trains composed of four-wheel cars or to trains composed of eight-wheel standard logging cars where the height of such car from top of rail to center of coupling does not exceed twenty-five inches, or to locomotives used in hauling such trains when such cars or locomotives are exclusively used for the transportation of logs.
Sec. 7. That the Interstate Commerce Commission may from time to time, upon full hearing and for good cause, extend the period within which any common carrier shall comply with the provisions of this act.
SEC. 8. That any employee of any such common carrier who may be injured by any locomotive, car, or train in use contrary to the provision of this act shall not be deemed thereby to have assumed the risk thereby occasioned, although continuing in the employment of such carrier after the unlawful use of such locomotive, car, or train had been brought to his knowledge.
NOTE. -Prescribed standard height of drawbars: Standard-gauge roads, 34} inches; narrow-gauge roads, 26 inches; maximum variation between loaded and empty cars, 3 inches.
AN ACT to amend an act entitled “ An act to promote the safety of employees and travelers upon
railroads by compelling common carriers engaged in interstate commerce to equip their cars with automatic couplers and continuous brakes and their locomotives with driving-wheel brakes, and for other purposes," approved March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, and amended April first, eighteen hundred and ninety-six. (Public No. 133, approved March 2, 1903.) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the provisions and requirements of the act entitled “An act to promote the safety of employees and travelers upon railroads by compelling common carriers engaged in interstate commerce to equip their cars with automatic couplers and continuous brakes and their locomotives with driving-wheel brakes, and for other purposes,” approved March second, eighteen hundred and ninetythree, and amended April first, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, shall be held to apply to common carriers by railroads in the Territories and the District of Columbia and shall apply in all cases, whether or not the couplers brought together are of the same kind, make, or type, and the provisions and requirements hereof and of said acts relating to train brakes, automatic couplers, grab irons, and the height of drawbars shall be held to apply to all trains, locomotives, tenders, cars, and similar vehicles used on any railroad engaged in interstate commerce, and in the Territories and the District of Columbia, and to all other locomotives, tenders, cars, and similar vehicles used in connection therewith, excepting those trains, cars, and locomotives exempted by the provisions of section six of said act of March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, as amended by the act of April first, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, or which are used upon street railways.
SEC. 2. That whenever, as provided in said act, any train is operated with power or train brakes, not less than fifty per centum of the cars in such train shall have their brakes used and operated by the engineer of the locomotive drawing such train; and all power-braked cars in such train which are associated together with said fifty per centum shall have their brakes so used and operated; and, to more fully carry into effect the objects of said act, the Interstate Commerce Commission may, from time to time, after full hearing, increase the minimum percentage of cars in any train required to be operated with power or train brakes which must have their brakes used and operated as aforesaid; and failure to comply with any such requirement of the said Interstate Commerce Commission shall be subject to the like penalty as failure to comply with any requirement of this section.
Sec. 3. That the provisions of this act shall not take effect until September first, nineteen hundred and three. Nothing in this act shall be held or construed to relieve any common carrier, the Interstate Commerce Commission, or any United States district attorney from any of the provisions, powers, duties, liabilities, or requirements of said act of March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, as amended by the act of April first, eighteen hundred and ninety-six; and all of the provisions, powers, duties, requirements, and liabilities of said act of March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, as amended by the act of April first, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, shall, except as specifically amended by this act, apply to this act.
REPORT OF THE CHIEF INSPECTOR TO THE SECRETARY.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION,
Washington, January 4, 1904. Hon. EDWARD A. MOSELEY,
Secretary Interstate Commerce Commission. DEAR SIR: Herewith is submitted a table showing defects of safety-appliance equipment on freight cars reported during the year ending June 30, 1903, by the inspectors for the Commission.
That part which in previous tables showed the number of defects fcund each month is omitted and a new feature, the separation of defects on home and foreign cars, is included. The segregation indicates in what items foreign cars are neglected.
The method adopted of separating home from foreign equipment is based on the practice of issuance and acceptance of the Master Car Builders' defect card, and is as nearly correct as changing ownership and consolidation of railway companies will permit.
The logical method of determining the weak points of any device, or method of application of any appliance, must be based on facts. With this understanding our inspectors report evident defects which they observe. The same course has been followed in tabulating the defects reported.
A brief analysis of the items is here given:
Class A.-Couplers and parts. Attention is called to the fact that our inspection of couplers is restricted by reason of cars being generally coupled during the inspection, so that only the exposed portions of couplers can be examined.
Item No. 1, broken coupler body, is most noticeable on home cars, but a decrease of 3 per cent in the number of cars having this defect indicates closer inspection by the railroads and renewal of couplers which show signs of probable failure.
Item No. 2, broken knuckle, is most prominent on home cars, but shows an improvement of 1 per cent.
Item No. 3, broken knuckle pin, is found most frequently on foreign equipment. The decrease in the number broken indicates that the use of the inch and fiveeighths pin in place of the smaller size is giving excellent results.
Item No. 4, broken lock pin or block, it is regrettable to note, shows an increase. This defect exists most commonly on foreign equipment. The evident weakness of this part is significant in view of the tendency to employ parts of more or less complex design. There ought to be a thorough investigation of such parts. It would disclose the causes of conditions which are frequently responsible for the necessity of men having to go between the ends of cars to open or adjust couplers. Lack of knowledge of these parts by the average trainman, and in many instances by car repair men, is an added reason why their use should be carefully considered.
Item No. 5, bent lock pin or block. The figures here verify much that has been noted regarding item No. 4, and clearly indicate that a weakness exists. When the increased number is analyzed the defect appears evenly divided between home and foreign equipment.
Item No. 6, wrong lock pin or block, shows a decided improvement.
Item No. 7, wrong knuckle pin. The increase in this defect is to be regretted by reason of the serious results following the use of knuckle pins which are too small. In numerous cases breakage follows, first of the pin, and later of the upper lug of the coupler. This defect is found most frequently on home equipment.
Item No. 8, worn lock pin or block. The slightly decreased number reported is doubtless due to lack of opportunity for inspection.
Item No. 11, missing parts of coupler. Subitems Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 need no comment, but the increase in subitem No. 5, split key missing from lock pin or block pin, calls for serious consideration. The neglect to apply this part means one of two things, either that it is not necessary or that there is a general inclination to neglect the proper maintenance of couplers. The defect is nearly equally divided between home and foreign equipment.
Item No. 12, inoperative lock. The increase in this defect gives additional evidence of the tendency to weakness noted in items Nos. 4 and 5. Under this head are included locks which can not be raised and which, owing to couplers being united, can not be examined with a view to ascertaining the cause of the trouble.
Item No. 13, knuckle pin bent, is one not included in last year's table. There is a slight increase in defects to couplers and parts, with the larger per cent of defects or failures found on foreign equipment.
Comment by Inspectors Watson, Martin, Smith, Cullinane, and Wright on the condition of couplers and parts follows:
Inspector Watson says: “As for the couplers proper, I find that very little attention is given them. Many couplers having been in use a number of years begin to show considerable wear on friction parts." He suggests that conductors be provided with a suitable form for reporting cases of trains parting.
Inspector Martin observes that, owing to the use of the solid knuckle, the failure of this part is less frequent. He draws attention to failure of lock pins on account of being worn or bent, and by reason of neglect to renew the smaller parts, such as split keys, etc.
Inspector Smith notes many worn knuckles and knuckle pins.
Inspector Wright directs attention to the difficulties experienced in attempting to raise a defective lock pin or block at arm's length. This frequently can not be done, and the man has to go between the cars.
The necessity for examination of the internal parts when defects exist, attention to which is called in items Nos. 4, 5, and 12, requires men to go between the ends of the
When this is necessary it implies a defect which means a violation of the law, and a coupler which thus induces men to take dangerous risks is thereby condemned. It is difficult to measure in what degree the individual acts of the trainman contribute to casualties, but if the couplers were so made that defects could be discerned from a safe position the responsibility of the carriers using them would be reduced.
The lack of inspection of couplers and the failure to use the worn coupler gauge recommended by the Master Car uilders' Association, are responsible for many difficulties in the operation of trains.
In the proceedings of the Master Car Builders' convention in June, 1901, it is stated that it is impracticable to use this gauge at interchange points by reason of its requiring the separation of cars. The distance between the front wall of the coupler and the pulling face of the knuckle for new couplers, when the correct contour exists, is 3inches. If, when a train or string of cars is to be inspected, the brakes are set on the rear
nd the lost motion is taken up by the locomotive, it ould seem to be possible to ascertain the deviation from contour by measurement or by an adapted gauge, and those parts found exceeding a prescribed danger limit to be established, say, for illustration, a half inch, could then be given more particular attention, and if, as stated by the coupler committee, it is not suspected that coupler bodies are at fault the renewal of a knuckle, knuckle pin, or a lock would restore a safe contour.
It will readily be seen that if the practice suggested is considered feasible and put into use sytematically, many of the troubles now existing would disappear.
Class B.- Uncoupling Mechanism. Item No. 21, broken uncoupling lever, shows an increase. This defect is most frequently found on foreign equipment.
Item No. 22, broken chain. The decrease of 24 per cent in this item is indicative of increased care of chains. This defect is one which has continued to attract notice, and is due largely to the difficulty of adjusting and maintaining chains at a correct length and to the use of such a substitute as wire. The apparent improvement is, perhaps, due to a closer analysis by the inspectors for the Commission to ascertain the causes of chains being disconnected, which formerly were all reported as "broken.' Such chains are now classified in item No. 33, subitems Nos. 5 and 6. The greater percentage of defects is found on foreign equipment.
Item No. 23, broken end lock. The increase in this item partially explains the increase in item No. 30, which will be alluded to in sequence.
Item No. 24, broken inner casting. The conditions reported will be found constant; the defect is often caused by overhanging loads and other features incident to transportation of long material.
Item No. 25, bent uncoupling lever. The conditions are approximately the same as last year, and it must be admitted that this defect is likely to continue. These levers are exposed in various ways to disarrangement. The facts should convince an impartial observer that many casualties which occur during coupling and uncoupling are caused by yard switchmen and trainmen having to exert unusual effort to operate a bent lever while running along beside cars in motion. Again, cars receive many severe shocks because of the inability of the men to give signals to the engineer on account of both hands being employed-one in the attempt to operate the lever and the other in holding to the grab iron. This condition is undoubtedly responsible for innumerable failures of parts of the car and damage to lading.
Item No. 26, chain too short. As illustrative of what was said regarding item No.
22, the increase here noted is significant. The existence of this defect undoubtedly accounts for many accidents occurring in yards, and for many trains parting.
Item No. 27, chain too long. An increase is observed. This so obviously calls for corrective measures that it is unnecessary to mention in detail the nature of the many. dangerous conditions which result in consequence.
Item No. 28, loose end lock. Material improvement is noted in this item, which is probably due to the use of bolts in place of lag screws,
Item No. 29, loose inner casting. "Decrease of this defect is doubtless due to additional attention, and in some cases to improved methods of application.
Item No. 30, wrong end lock. The large increase noted can be accounted for by the difficulty of procuring castings suitable for the various kinds of couplers and levers, and this is a forcible argument in favor of standard uncoupling mechanism.
The dangers incident to the use of wrong castings are similar in character to those due to other features of defective uncoupling mechanism. If the purpose of this fixture was limited to supporting the lever, a very simple design would suffice. It has often, however, to serve as a locking means; therefore its design and method of application become of importance.
Item No. 31, wrong inner casting is, by reason of a great range of adaptability of this part, one of lessened importance and shows material improvement.
Item No. 32, uncoupling lever incorrectly applied. Betterment has resulted by reason of greater attention to correct application of levers.
Item No. 32–a, uncoupling lever of wrong dimensions. Improvement in this item is seen.
Item No. 33, missing parts of uncoupling mechanism. The various subitems under this head show that for some reason home cars are frequently allowed to move in service without the necessary parts of the uncoupling attachments. In subitem No. 33–1, uncoupling lever missing, there is a large per cent on home cars. This is believed to be due to many caboose cars having no levers. The extraordinary increase in the number of clevises and clevis pins missing is evidence of weakness in these small parts and of the fact that a closer inspection is made as to the cause of chains becoming disconnected. The clevis pin is frequently missing, and this condition is often followed by the loss of the clevis, and it is then, of course, reported as clevis or clevis pin missing, or both.
Items Nos. 35 and 37 show decided increases incident to the use of unsuitable uncoupling means. The parts that are susceptible of improvement when attention is given them are showing good results, but the parts which are unsuitable for the work to be performed continue to be found defective in increasing numbers.
The total percentage of uncoupling mechanism defects shows an increase of about 14 per cent, and it is somewhat surprising to find the larger portion of this on home equipment.
Comment by inspectors Wright, Swasey, Jones, Coutts, Merrill, Belnap, Auchter, Starbird, and Lawson, on the condition of uncoupling mechanism, follows:
Inspector Wright says that if the uncoupling mechanism is not properly adjusted it is necessary for the men to go between the cars to uncouple them.
Inspector Swasey notes that the support which holds the lever when the locking pin is raised is often of wrong dimensions, therefore making it necessary for the men to run beside the car, holding the lever up.
Inspector Jones observes that a great deal of the trouble on some of the roads is caused not by any fault of the coupler itself or its parts, but by defective attachments, which allow the coupler to be pulled out far enough to break the chain or some other part. He notes instances where there were 6 inches, or more, slack in the attachments. This would be sure to break the chain unless it was too long to properly operate the lock. He attributes a large proportion of trains parting to defective attachments instead of to defective couplers.
Inspector Coutts remarks that the most common defects found are broken chains, broken and bent uncoupling levers, and inner and outer castings loose and broken, making the uncoupling mechanism inoperative, thereby necessitating switchmen going between the cars to unlock the knuckle and placing themselves in a position of great danger.
Inspector Merrill says that he has noticed that, in a great many yards, the habit has become general for switchmen to run along beside cars to hold up the levers.
Inspecter Belnap states that he has found by far the greatest number of defects on cars to be in couplers and their attachments, such as chains broken, too long, or too short; that there is room for much improvement in this particular direction.
Inspector Auchter observes that on most roads so far visited the unlocking devices are generally in a deplorable condition, and that it is the opinion of trainmen that they never feel sure that they can rely on the unlocking device working properly.
Inspector Starbird says that he finds that defects exist principally in the lever and its connecting parts.
Inspector Lawson finds that car repair men fail to apply uncoupling lever lock sets, and failure to do so compels train and yard men to hold the uncoupling lever up until the cars are parted.
With the purpose of making clear that the present condition of uncoupling mechanism is still unsatisfactory (as it has been for the past seven years), I quote briefly from reports of investigations and discussions of this subject:
In November, 1895, an experienced joint car inspector says regarding the rod and chain used for uncoupling: “There does not appear to have been enough allowance for such conditions as compression of draft springs, broken draft springs, draft sills, and draw timbers worn in bolt holes. There may be very little slack in any one of the above parts, but when the slack occurs in a combination of them it becomes serious and is often the cause of trains parting.”
In the summer of 1896 a prominent mechanical man said: “In reference to the large number of trains separating, the large majority of these are on account of improper adjustment and attachment of the uncoupling arrangements.”
In November of the same year a well-known mechanical and operating official called attention to the fact that on the road he was connected with they had 62 cases of trains separating during the months of August and September. The causes assigned were as follows: Short chains
4 Worn locking parts.
4 Locking parts raised.
7 Spread guard arm Wrong knuckle
62 The following year, 1897, a committee appointed by the Master Car Builders' Association to investigate the causes of trains parting, reported in part as follows: “On less than 40,000 miles of track an average of 55 trains separated each day for 105 days; these occurred on 31 different railroads. Of the total number of trains separating—5,775—2,155 were chargeable to couplers and their attachments. Of the latter the causes assigned are as follows: Worn knuckles...
195 Broken or defective locks.
886 Excessive slack in draft rigging.
672 Improper adjustment of uncoupling attachment.
234 Miscellaneous causes..
2, 155 The report continued: “We notice, in connection with M. C. B. couplers that have caused trains to part, that 906 cases, or 42 per cent, have occurred from excessive slack in the draft rigging or improper adjustment of the coupler attachments.”
A report of trains parting on the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad during the month of November, 1898, shows 58 cases, 14 of which were between cars equipped with the M. C. B. type of coupler, the cause of 7 being knuckle opened, and of the remaining 7 the cause was unknown.
During the month of July, 1898, the Rock Island system reported 40 cases of trains parting, 18 of which were assigned to two causes-knuckles opened 10, lock pins worked up 8.
In the month of November, 1898, the same system reported 54 cases of trains separated, 22 of which were due to two causes, namely, knuckle opened 13, lock pin worked up 9.
On the same system in the month of February, 1899, 46 cases of trains parting were reported, of which number 27 were stated to be caused by lock pins working up in some cases and breaking in others.
The Railroad Gazette of May 5, 1899, gives the answers to some questions asked eight yard masters by a general manager. Six replied that the following causes were responsible for injuries to yard trainmen-chain disconnected, chain broken, chain too long, lock out of order.
In June, 1899, at the Master Car Builders' convention, the following remarks were made during a topical discussion:
“In many cases of chains too long, it necessitates a brakeman or switchman running along-sometimes when cars are moving-holding the lever up higher than the bracket. Again, if the chain is too short, and there comes into the draft rigging some