Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/160

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

gurated a special campaign of education among its engineers and firemen. A general order has been issued to the effect that "smoke means waste and must be avoided."

Five assistant road foremen of engines are now at work instructing firemen how to reduce the quantity of smoke emitted by engines. It is estimated that ten pounds of coal were required last year to generate steam necessary to haul one freight car one mile. The safety valve of an engine, if left open one minute, will lose an equal amount of steam. The Pennsylvania Railroad last year hauled 1,248,300 freight cars one mile and its coal bill was $10,000,000. Therefore, the savings of one per cent, by more efficient handling of coal will result in a saving to the company of $100,000 annually.

Under eighteen separate heads, thorough and minute instructions in the general order issued, the company has gone into the elementals of locomotive firing. Coal no larger than three inches thick may be used; tenders must not be overloaded so that coal is dropped along the track; grates and ash pans must be watched closely, in order to decrease the number of repairs on engines.

The example thus set by the Pennsylvania Railroad is bound to be of far reaching influence. As the Chicago Record Herald puts the case

The argument should appeal to every smoke producer, for it would seem now that it had time to penetrate the smokiest kind of a brain. At any rate, its soundness has been demonstrated beyond question many times, and examples such as that of this great railroad corporation should add greatly to its force. But it is curious how long it has taken to convince smokers that the smoke actually meant waste, and how stubborn some of them are still in spite of all the teaching by precept and example. Conditions prove that they would never learn except under compulsion, under the determined attempts of the public authorities to abate a nuisance and to protect the thousands against the stupid selfishness and indifference of the law.

Another view of the attitude of the corporation was taken at the Providence meeting of the American Civic Association by the superintendent of motive power on the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, Mr. George W. Welden, declaring that

As a general proposition, railroad companies are assumed, by the rank and file, to take only such interest in the question of smoke elimination on locomotives as they are actually compelled to through the clamor of the public and the penalties imposed or prescribed by ordinances and enforced by the courts. If the above assumption were really true, then railroad operation in general could be properly classed as the most miserably managed business in the world. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, while constituting but a small percentage of the railroad mileage of the United States, and necessarily consuming but a small proportion of the total fuel burned on all railroads, could save annually for its treasury approximately $600,000 if some good Samaritan would suggest a method or device by means of which the black smoke and unconsumed gases which now escape from the smoke stacks of our locomotives could be completely burned and used as effective fuel. Second to