Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/163

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159
TEE SMOKE NUISANCE

wants the railroads to experiment with. The head of the Illinois Central however, J. T. Harahan, seems to think otherwise and in a long letter urges first that the art of electrification is in its infancy, and, secondly, that the experiments in the east have developed many difficulties.

Possibly if Illinois had a public utilities commission, like that of New York, President Harahan might take a somewhat different view of the situation, one more like that of the New York Central, although the economic argument ought to appeal to President Harahan and he ought not to allow the Pennsylvania Railroad to outdo him in the race for dividends or compliance with reasonable public demands. As one commentator on his position put it, "The financial question has two sides to it. The cost of electrification will be heavy. The cost of the smoke and noise nuisance to the community is a hundred fold heavier," and it could have pointed out that whatever makes for the prosperity and uplift of a community eventually makes for the benefit of the railroad.

According to Smoke Inspector Krause, of Cleveland, the smoke from railroads in that city has, within the past few years, been greatly reduced through the care that has been taken by the railroad officials. The inspector has one man who gives his entire time to this side of the work. Their records are sent to the offices of the officials and the crews are called in and reprimanded if the records show that they have been at fault. Some of the men have been discharged for not exercising proper care in this respect. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad assumes a similar attitude. Recently it caused to be published this discipline bulletin:

An engineman and fireman have been disciplined for permitting their engine to emit black smoke while standing in a passenger terminal some thirty minutes before leaving time, in violation of the rules of ordinary intelligence as well as those of the railroad company, and in disobedience of chapter 983 of the public laws of the state of Rhode Island,—J. A. Dodge, Superintendent.

Z. A. Willard, already several times quoted, declares as a result of his investigation that the use of coke will entirely eliminate the smoke evil, as it is free of smoke, soot and dust, and can be used on locomotives as at present constituted. The Boston and Maine Railroad is daily using seven hundred tons of Otto coke (produced by the gas works at Everett, Massachusetts) on all their short lines, and pronounces it perfectly satisfactory both to patrons of the road and residents along the lines, in avoiding smoke.

Some of the western roads use petroleum. For instance, the Mexican Central burns 4,000 barrels a day, at a cost of $1.10 a barrel. The Southern Pacific is also introducing oil-burning engines, especially for the switch engines. Hard coal is also used on the roads, which have