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Mr. Hall, of Peoria: The people in our city, so far as our line is concerned, can speak very decidedly in favor of electricity. I circulated a petition personally for twelve days along my line, and after interviewing three hundred and sixty-eight property holders, in running over the petition I found that I had three hundred and sixty-one names to the petition in favor of erecting the necessary poles and wires for the electrical propulsion.
Mr. Wason: I would state that in Cleveland before we accepted or made the proposition to put in electricity, we got the consent of over three-fourths of the property owners, who signed a petition granting us permission to erect the necessary poles in front of their property, although our Council did not think it was absolutely necessary; but to avoid any possible question or contingency that might arise hereafter, we thought it best to get their signatures.
Mr. Eppley: In attempting to get the right to erect the poles in Orange, I went into the Common Council meeting, and I thought they would put me out; but I got out none too soon. I did not get the consent. (Laughter.]
Mr. Maxon, of St. Louis : In the State of Missouri it has been adjudicated that a telephone pole placed in the sidewalk on a man's property is not unlawful, which I think would also cover poles for railway purposes - it was the case of the Bell Telephone Company vs. the Julia Building Company of St. Louis. Our Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the State decided in favor of the Telephone Company, and held that a street dedicated for the public use was for the purpose of supplying public wants not only at the time the street was dedicated, but for all appropriate purposes thereafter, and if it became necessary to put the street to a public use, then it was not private property. So far as the State of Missouri is concerned, we have the right to erect poles, provided we have permission of the proper authority, and property owners cannot interfere.
Mr. Winfield Smith : I do not think that I can throw any light upon this suject, for the simple reason that the decisions of Supreme Courts of the several States are based generally upon the clauses of their own constitutions and upon their own statutes, and these vary so much, that a rule or decision in one State is of very little service, ordinarily, upon such topics in another State. A number of years ago it was decided in Wisconsin that the Common Council of the city had the right to authorize street-railroads to be laid in the streets without compensation to property owners upon the sides of the streets; but at the same time decisions were cited from other States and from highly respectable Courts, requiring that compensation should be made, thus showing an entirely contrary state of the law. In the State of Wisconsin, the same Court which decided this in respect to street-railroads decided that the Common Council could not authorize a steam-railroad to be laid in the street without compensation to the property owners, drawing that distinction between the two methods of using the streets. I think, therefore, that while these discussions are interesting and in the main the facts are pleasant to know, yet we cannot draw from any number of such decisions any uniform rule or principle.
DISCUSSION ON MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS. The President: The Chair takes the liberty of stating that it has been his feeling for some time that opportunity should be given for the answering of any question any gentleman feels like making in connection with our business.
INQUIRY RELATIVE TO CAR-BRAKES. Mr. Kerper, of Cincinnati : As Mr. Sage asked the question this morning in regard to brakes on steep grades, I would like to ask the question what is the best brake, for an auxiliary brake, in addition to the Johnson brake, on grades of six to ten per cent., under the worst possible conditions.
The President: If Mr. Britton, of San Francisco, is here, I wish he would answer that question. Mr. Britton has been con nected for a number of years with a line that runs up tremendously steep grades; one foot in five, twenty in a hundred. Mr. Britton was not present. REMARKS OF MR. EDWARD J. LAWLESS RELATIVE TO
SANDING RAILS. Mr. Lawless, of Kansas City : We use on the rails the best and the only reliable thing we have found to put on a slippery rail; and that is sand. Some people have advocated track brakes, brakes with a wooden shoe ; but from my own experience, and from observation, I have found that the very time that you want
these track brakes, that is the very time they won't work. They are all right on a dry rail and in dry weather ; but when it comes to an icy track, they act just like a toboggan for the car to run down the hill on. In braking a train the most effective plan that we have found is to use an automatic brake for braking the coach, and an independent brake for braking the grip-car ; that is, we do not brake the grip-car and the coach combined. The automatic brake, for braking the grip-car and the coach together, is very powerful ; and unless handled very carefully will subject the train to very sudden stops. Now, for ordinary purposes--and it is of material benefit to the coach also-we have found that to use the brake on the grip-car alone will stop the train very effectively, and the automatic brake is used only when it is absolutely necessary I think it would be very desirable for gentlemen running cable lines, especially with grades, to have a sand-box that would be reliable. There are any number of sand-boxes in use, but they are very unreliable; the only reliable one that I have found so far is a man with a bucket in his hand sprinkling the sand on the track.
The President: If Mr. Longstreet is in the room, he will excuse me for calling upon him. I think he can give the Convention some information in regard to a contrivance of which he knows.
Mr. Longstreet was not present.
REMARKS OF MR, F. E. KING RELATIVE TO SANDING RAILS.
Mr. King, of Springfield, Mass : I might say, as it is a matter of interest, particularly to gentlemen representing small roads and heavy grades, that I am one of the representatives of a road of eighteen miles of track, six different lines, and on no line have we a grade less than five feet to the hundred, and extending for fifteen hundred or two thousand feet ; and we have a grade of one thousand feet, nine feet to the hundred, with a curve at both the top and bottom of the hill. You may have seen a report of an accident in Springfield. I am the Superintendent of the road there. I appreciate the remarks of Mr. Lawless in regard to sand boxes. It is better to have a man to put on the sand. But, as we all know, sand under certain conditions of weather is almost useless, unless you put some salt with it. It is necessary to use salt to cut the ice ; you have got to use the salt in conjunction with the sand to get the benefit of the sand. The conditions under which the accident occurred were these : As many of you know at this season of the year we are not safe without the use of sand.
We have to depend very much on sand on the grades at this season of the year; for just now large numbers of leaves fall upon the rails. For the last few weeks leaves have been falling upon the rails, and the car wheels pass over and smash these leaves; and they thus form a sort of vegetable lubricant, which, on a drizzly day, makes a slime which is almost as bad as oil. It was under such a condition of things that this accident occurred. A car on the thousand foot grade, with a curve at the top and bottom, had reached nearly the centre of the hill and passed under an oak tree, from which a number of leaves had fallen. The driver had complied with his instructions and had brought the car to a dead stop at the top of the hill. This we insist on ; that the driver before descending the hill shall bring the car to a dead stop. Having reached nearly the center of the hill on the down grade, walking every step-also in compliance with the instructions—he reached the oak tree and the car immediately shot ahead, and evidently was beyond the control of the driver. In accordance with his instructions he kept the horses before the car with the view, if absolutely necessary, of throwing them and stopping the car and thus saving the passengers. The car went clear to the foot of the hill and around the curve and remained on the track. One of the horses fell down, and he fell outside of the track, instead of falling in front of the car; and, of course, that pulled the other horse around and the car in passing by was pulled from the track and turned on its side. Several passengers were injured. It is our policy to settle upon some basis which we may agree upon, and have succeeded in doing so in all but two cases. The point is this, that as a precautionary measure, in the month of September, before the leaves begin to fall, we supply all our cars with sand in pails placed in the car. I appreciate the remarks of Mr. Lawless, because while the sand box may be in perfect condition in dry weather, yet when the weather is damp, just as under these circumstances when you cannot dry your sand, you cannot depend upon it. It is all right for a few weeks, before you get really cold weather ; but when the weather is cold and the rails are covered with ice you need salt in your sand; and the minute you have cold weather and put salt in your sand, which acts in producing a moisture in the sand, your sand won't
We have to depend on our men; the judgment of the driver. If the track needs sand he is supposed to see that it is put on before he attempts to descend.
REMARKS OF MR. JAMES H. SMALL CONCERNING DEVICES
FOR STOPPING CARS ON GRADES. Mr. Small, of Jersey City: I have had some experience in regard to hill work, and am occupied upon the same at the present time; and perhaps I can make some suggestions that may be of use. A number of years ago I was connected with a road in Glasgow, Scotland, where they have very steep grades and very slippery tracks at certain seasons of the year. We made it a rule that every car should be supplied with a sand box at the face end of the car, hung to the dashboard, and that each one of these boxes should be filled with sand every morning before the car went out. It was the duty of the foreman of the yard to see that they were filled, and no car allowed to go out without having its box full of sand. If the sand was used up during the day, the driver was required to have the box filled again, there being a pile of sand in the depot yard all the time ; good, sharp sand for this purpose ; and the result was that the cars were comparatively safe going down hill, so long as nothing gave way connected with the brakes, a nut come off, chain or rod break; or something of that kind. In that case, we were entirely lost.
I find now that there is no trouble at all coming down grades of six and seven per cent. We have a grade on my road of about one hundred feet rise in probably twelve hundred feet distance; and for a number of years we have had a man go out every morning, before the first car went over the road, a man specially detailed for that purpose, to salt and sand the track; and then we keep boys on the hill, who continually sand these tracks as occasion may require. We find little difficulty in checking the speed of the cars on that grade, so long as the tracks are properly sanded and salted; but the trouble is very frequently that something gives way about the brake. There have been a number of accidents of this character ; sometimes a nut comes off or a chain or rod breaks. I have had a car that was taken into the shop and completely overhauled, and on the first trip it made after coming out of the shop it ran away on the hill. When half way down a nut came off, and the car went down to the foot of the hill. This accident