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loosens his hold sufficiently to allow the grip to slip along the cable it will be all right; but after he has got over that sudden check and the car is passing along with the cable, he ought to take a good strong hold, and allow no more slipping through the grip, which is wearing both to the cable and the grip, and in my judgment it is better to avoid any slipping and consequent wearing, when it can be done without any effect to car or passengers.
Mr. Wm. Richardson : If Mr Holmes will please explain what I have been puzzling my head about I shall be glad. He spoke of the sudden change of power required on the engine when he was speaking of the character of the construction of the engine. Will he please tell us all about that.
Mr. Holmes : That comes in this way: Suppose you are operating two hundred and sixty trains, and it should so happen that two hundred should come to a stop at the same time and start at the same time (that, perhaps, is rather an exaggerated case, and we have no means of knowing the exact number), but we do know that a very large number of trains will sometimes be started at the same instant. Now, where you have that large number, say two hundred trains of four cars each, eight hundred cars in all, take hold of the cable at once and go from a dead standstill to a speed of ten or eleven miles an hour, it is a putting out of force to a great degree instantaneously, and that is what produces the reaction, because the power required to start the cars is much greater than is required afterwards.
Mr. Wm. Richardson: If that can be assumed to take place all at once, it answers the question.
Mr. Holmes: That is an extreme case, but, of course, there is a great deal of that thing done-putting forth a tremendous energy all of a sudden, and from which action, the old-fashioned valve engine cannot recover itself quickly enough. The automatic valve engine, which is very sensitive, recovers itself quickly. We found it necessary to put in larger fly wheels when we introduced our larger engine than we were using before. We had a wheel that was only twelve feet in diameter, and it would not carry the engine over these dead places without a shock to the engine; but now we have put about one hundred and twenty thousand pounds into the fly wheel. There is now enough weight in it to keep its steady motion and carry the force evenly.
Mr. Scullin, of St. Louis : Do you take into consideration the difference in expense ?
Mr. Holmes : I am not taking into account the cost of construccion in either case, either the money invested in the horse line or in the cable line; but we consider only the difference in the saving. The saving in expense of operation is so enormous that it provides for the interest involved in the cable construction, and leaves a very handsome margin after that.
Mr. Scullin : But you do take into consideration the difference in drivers and conductors ?
Mr. Holmes : Everything connected with the operation, including the wages of the drivers and conductors, all matters except interest and dividends, are counted in the general aggregate of expense.
Mr. Harris : I would like to get an answer from Mr. Holmes in reference to the relative strain on the cable in Chicago on a level pulling five, or six, or seven cars in a train and of one car in Cincinnati going up Vine street hill, which has a grade of seven per cent. and over in some places.
Mr. Holmes: I am sorry not to be able to answer your question. I have had no personal experience in operating on grades.
Mr. Harris : I understand that the strain of one car on Vine street hill on the cable is equal to seven or eight cars in Chicago on the level.
Mr. Holmes : If you pull your cars up that grade with big loads, how many cars in a train make the ascent at a time?
Mr. Harris: We have pulled up two cars and had two hundred passengers on the cars at the time. Mr. Lawless, of Kansas City: Drawing a car on
a nine per cent. grade, I understand, would be equivalent to three or four cars on a level.
Mr. Holmes then took the chair and said : Are there any other gentlemen who wish to give us the benefit of their experience in opera ing cable roads?
REMARKS OF MR. EDWARD J. LAWLESS ON THE
CABLE POWER. Mr. Lawless : Mr. President and gentlemen : I regret to say that we have not the travel and have not the population that Mr. Holmes is favored with in Chicago. We have a number of miles of cable line in our town; fifty miles of cable for a population of one hundred and seventy-five thousand people, and consequently
we have to be economical in the operation of our lines; but notwithstanding the proportion of miles of cable to the number of population, all our cable roads pay. There is no question but that in Winter a cable line is most desirable for handling snow and hauling cars on a heavy track. I will give you an idea of what the cable can do. We experienced one Winter a very severe storm. When going up a grade of fifteen and one half feet to the hundred with a heavy snow-sweeper, weighing about 10,000 pounds, the snow so deep that it clogged the brushes and we never turned a wheel. The sweeper just slid all the way up the track, the snow being forced to one side.
As regards construction of new lines, one of the most important elements to consider is the slot; as the closing of this slot, of course, means a very serious impediment. observation, I have found that those slot rails laid with a rod fastened to the yoke have not given so much trouble as other designs For those gentlemen who wish to have any idea of the cost of construction of these lines, I think it would be well to provide for an outlay of about fifty-five or sixty thousand dollars a mile of single track, not including equipment and power house ; I think that would be pretty near the figures required for a first-class broad gauge road. In constructing the power house it is necessary to provide for future contingencies, and not simply calculate upon the travel that you expect the first year. I do not think there has been a cable line laid anywhere that the travel did not increase at least fifty per cent. the first year. It is very desirable, in order to give steady motion to the engines, to have a heavy flywheel, and in order to overcome any difficulty that may be experienced in stopping the cable, by having this heavy fly-wheel, it would be desirable to have a clutch by which the drums around which the cables wind could be disconnected, so that the cable might be stopped in a much shorter time than by shutting down the engines.
The splicing of the cable is very important. We have tried several devices. Having a good many grades to contend with, we had to be very particular, as the strain in starting our trains was very severe. The principal trouble with the cable is in the splice. That is the general experience, unless some unusual accident happens. When a train is starting on the line, should the spliced portion of the cable happen to pass through the grip at the time, danger of pulling the tucked strands loose is incurred, and more so on a grade, owing to the increased pressure of the grip. For these reasons we were obliged to make improvements in the methods of splicing our cables. We now double lock the strands, and have succeeded in making the cable at that point where the strands are tucked the same size as the regular cable. This suits us very well, and the loosening of a strand on
our line is very unusual.
As regards the operation of these roads, as the travel increases the operating expenses are very much less in proportion. For an equipment of twenty-five cars, with eight miles of cable, you might safely calculate upon an expenditure of four hundred dollars a day. This, however, will provide for the transportation of twenty-five thousand people a day, just as easily as it will for fifteen thousand.
REMARKS OF MR. AUGUSTINE W. WRIGHT ON THE
Mr. Augustine W. Wright, of St. Louis, was called for. Mr. Wright then said : Mr. President: The subject has been so fully discussed that I do not know that I can add anything to it. I would be very glad to answer any questions. The report is quite exhaustive, and with your own remarks and those of Mr. Lawless, I do not know that I can add anything. Regarding the cost of operation I know of a road of thirteen miles, which is now running at five hundred dollars a day, including all the operating expenses.
Mr. Sage, of Easton : How many cars ?
Mr. Wright : They are running thirty-three trains; two cars in a train. These are the operating expenses only, not including interest. As to the question of the slot, I attribute the motion of the slot to the action of the frost, and I think on the roads that have experienced trouble in this respect, it has been largely confined to the first winter. Your experience, Mr. President, in Chicago will verify this statement. It is due, in my opinion, to breaking up the pavement and rebuilding the road; the joints having been opened up, fill with water, which freezes and expands with immense force. After the first winter these openings are closed up, so that there is comparatively little trouble.
Mr. Sage: Will you inform us which road you speak of with thirteen miles and thirty-three trains ; are there heavy grades upon that road ?
Mr. Wright : No, sir ; the heaviest grade is about six per cent. Regarding the question that was asked, Mr. President, as to the extra resistance of grade, any gentleman here can readily calculate that for himself. The technical man speaks of a grade as a per cent.; you speak of a grade, as Mr. Harris said, of ten per cent.; then the resistance of the ten per cent. grade would be ten per cent of the weight of the train ; or in speaking of it in tons of two thousand pounds the extra resistance of the ten per cent. grade over and above the resistance of the straight and level track would be two hundred pounds.
The report of the Committee was, on motion, adopted.
INVITATION OF WASHINGTON COMPANIES TO INSPECT
The President: As the gentlemen of the Washington streetrailway companies have kindly invited the delegates to a trip to look at the various points of interest in this city, it is about time that we should adjourn, in order to get lunch, and be ready to accept that invitation at half-past one, or as near that time as possible.
I will say this on my own responsibility, that as the weather seems to be changing a little, if it should be raining or be so inclement as to be undesirable to take the trip after lunch, we, of course, will resume our session here at two o'clock. The question for the Association now to decide is whether on account of taking this trip to see these points of so much interest in this city, the Association desires to have an evening session, say, from half-past seven until nine o'clock, or whether we shall try to force into to-morrow all the rest of the business which is to come before the Association. I should be glad to hear from some of the delegates on this matter.
Mr. Littell, of Louisville : I move we adjourn till half-past seven o'clock this evening. Carried.