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CHAPTER VI.

SERVICE DEPARTMENT-RAILROAD, STAGE, AND

AUTO TRUCK OPERATION-SAFETY. The Railroad Commission maintains a service department whose duty it is, among other things, to investigate and report upon the safety of railroad operation and the accidents caused by such operation, and to report and make recommendations for the betterment of all other conditions which it finds to be unsafe or deficient. Since the acquisition by the Railroad Commission of jurisdiction over automobile stage and freight truck transportation, field inspection of condition of automobiles and trucks and compliance with the safety rules and operating regulations prescribed by the Commission, are cared for by the inspectors of the service department and during the year 1245 automobile inspections were made by such department and violations of the general orders of the Commission, when found, were required to be immediately corrected.

Among the more important things undertaken by the service department may be mentioned the inspection of dispatching methods, establishment of standard and uniform methods of operation and requiring carriers properly to examine the qualifications and physical fitness of employees in train and engine service.

UNSAFE PRACTICES CORRECTED. As a result of such inspections, which have continued over a series of years, many unsafe practices have been corrected and standard and uniform methods of operation have been prescribed for the smaller roads, thereby placing their general operation on a parity with the standard rules and methods which have been found to be safe by the larger systems, and the dispatching methods and operating practices of the smaller railroad carriers in the State of California are now on a satisfactory basis. The work of the department also includes inspection as required by the statutes and rules of the Railroad Commission as to compliance by carriers with such laws and regulations.

INDUSTRIAL CLEARANCES IMPROVED. The matter of industrial clearances continues to receive attention and each year results in an added number of clearances being corrected to the standards as prescribed by the Commission under its General Order No. 26; new construction is required to be done in accordance with the standards prescribed and as repair and renewal of old structures are undertaken, any inadequate clearances existing are adjusted to standard, resulting in elimination of hazard of accident to trainmen and others.

ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION. Every train accident resulting in the loss of life or of serious injury to passengers or employees is investigated by the Railroad Commission. When a fatal accident occurs, the company's investigation and coroner's inquest are attended and an independent investigation made at the

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information may be available regarding the accident. Upon the receipt of these reports such orders or recommendations are issued by the Commission as appear to be necessary in the circumstances. Inspectors cover not only accidents due to conditions which may indicate unsafe operation, but also grade crossing accidents. As a result of the latter investigations, railroads have been required to afford additional protection at grade crossings which have been found to be unsafe or where it is evident that additional protection should be afforded.

INSPECTION OF SERVICE. The Commission is constantly engaged in the inspection of the service of common carriers. This inspection covers such matters as:

(1) Sufficiency of railroad equipment, number of trains, number of cars and proper seating facilities in cars;

(2) Sufficiency and adequacy of depot facilities;

(3) Location of new or abandonment of existing stations and requests for stopping trains;

(4) Adequate number of trains or schedules on steam, electric interurban and street car lines.

Investigation is also made by the Railroad Commission as to compliance by carriers with the provisions of the "Full Crew Law," the “Headlight Law," the "Train Dispatching Law" and other safety regulations as imposed by statute or by Railroad Commission general orders.

Deficiencies or irregularities in railroad service are brought to the attention of the Railroad Commission either by its own inspectors or by informal complaint from the public. After investigation, the Railroad Commission directs such improvements or extensions in service as to it seems proper. Much is constantly being done in this way to maintain adequate service by common carriers.

TIME-TABLES MUST BE FILED. Under General Order No. 31 of the Railroad Commission, all changes in steam and electric interurban railroad time-tables are required to be filed with the Railroad Commission and to be posted for the information of the public five days in advance of the effective date of the proposed changes. A supplement to this general order requires that in all instances where a reduction of passenger train service is contemplated, or where the abandonment of any stop is desired by the railroad, an outline of the proposed time-table must be submitted to the Railroad Commission thirty days prior to the proposed effective date of the change and that the permission of the Railroad Commission must be obtained prior to making any reduction in service or abandoning any stop. Similar requirements are imposed upon automobile stage and truck lines operating under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission.

CURTAILMENT OF SERVICE. All requests for the reduction of passenger service or the abandonment of stops are carefully investigated by the Railroad Commission. In many instances, due to an increase in train schedules during certain seasons to care for tourist or vacation travel, it is customary to reduce passenger train service when the particular travel for which the service was inaugurated no longer exists. In other cases, however, permission to withdraw passenger trains from service has been denied carriers if

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the Railroad Commission's investigation has shown that the public convenience required the retention of the service. In still other instances a rearrangement of schedules has been made, satisfactorily adjusting the extra service of which a carrier desired relief and also meeting the public demand for service. Practically all these matters are handled informally by correspondence, but occasionally are the subject of formal proceedings and the subsequent order of the Railroad Commission.

ELIMINATION OF PASSENGER TRAINS. Following the return of the railroads to local operation, a number of time-table changes have been made, resulting in material reductions of train service and the elimination of a considerable number of passenger trains. These reductions have been made primarily for the reason that the expense of operating many local trains have greatly exceeded the revenue earned and, where the Railroad, Commission has received a satisfactory showing that the trains, proposed to be discontinued were not earning the direct operating cost, informal permission has been given for the discontinuance of such apparently unnecessary train service. The inroads made upon the passenger traffic heretofore enjoyed by the steam and electric interurban railroads by the advent of privately owned automobiles has been in a large measure responsible for the discontinuance of local passenger train service in many localities, supplemented also in some degree, by the business which has been diverted to automobile stage lines which have, in many cases, operated service of more frequency than that offered by the steam or electric interurban lines and which service has therefore attracted and held the patronage of the traveling public. The Railroad Commission, in every instance, requires a full and satisfactory showing before consenting to the elimination of passenger train service when such curtailment or diminution of service has been requested by the carriers.

ABANDONMENT OF STATIONS, TRACKS, AND FACILITIES. Under General Order No. 36 of the Railroad Commission, no station, sidetrack, spur, stop, facility for handling freight, platform or other like facilities of common carriers can be abandoned without the consent of the Railroad Commission. The applications of the carriers for such abandonments are carefully investigated before the permission to discontinue the use of any facilities is granted. In many instances such investigation shows that the retention of the facilities is desirable and necessary properly to accommodate the needs of shippers and receivers of freight, and in such instances the applications are denied.

Following the return of railroads from federal control and due to unsettled business conditions during the period of reconstruction following the war, the Commission has been called upon to pass on a number of applications for changes in the status of agencies, stations, the entire abandonment of stations heretofore existing and other matters for which authority was requested by the carriers in their endeavor to curtail operating expense when traffic conditions, in the opinion of the carriers, did not appear to justify the continuance of agencies and other station facilities. Complete analysis of conditions existing are always required by the Railroad Commission in support of the request made by carriers for any change which will result in a discontinuance of any facility heretofore accorded the traveling or shipping public by a carrier, and the

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Railroad Commission has not authorized any reduction in such facilities until it has fully satisfied itself that the conditions represented by the applicant carriers were fully justified and that the patronage necessary to continue the facilities was not present.

AMENDMENT TO AUTO STATE RULES AND REGULATIONS. To minimize the hazard of accident at railroad grade crossings the Railroad Commission issued, under date of December 8, 1921, its General Order No. 63, effective December 15, 1921, requiring all stages, operated under the Commission's jurisdiction, to stop at all steam or electric interurban crossings as follows:

It is hereby ordered that all transportation companies as defined by section 1, paragraph (C) of chapter 213, Statutes of 1917, and amendments thereto, be and they are hereby required to stop each and every stage engaged in the transportation of passengers before crossing the tracks of any steam or electric interurban railroad, such stop to be made not less than fifty (50) feet nor more than seventy-five (75) feet from the nearest rail of the railroad over which the highway crosses. After making the stop hereby required, the driver or operator of the stage shall carefully look in each direction for approaching cars or trains and shall not start his stage until it has been ascertained that there are no cars or trains approaching the crossing in either direction.

The foregoing rule shall not apply in connection with the operation of passenger stages within municipalities as regards operation over the tracks of electric or other street railroads.

Checks as to the observance of this order have been made by the Commission's inspectors and other complaints as to violations of the order, which are brought to the attention of the Commission, are investigated and the necessary corrective action taken in each case.

LIST OF ACCIDENTS. Following is a partial list of the accidents investigated by the Railroad Commission's inspectors during the year ending June 30, 1923: 1. July 1, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Western Division, Redondo

Line-Crossing accident at Playa Del Rey, resulting in death of automobile

driver. 2. July 3, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company-Crossing accident at Newton.

Driver of automobile truck killed. 3. July 4, 1922. Market Street Railway-San Mateo interurban line car derailed

at Millbrae by reason of broken axle. Eight passengers and two employees

injured. 4. July 7, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Stockton Division-Crossing acci

dent one mile west of Turlock. One person killed. 5. July 8, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Riverside-San Bernardino Line

-Highway crossing accident near Urbita. Driver of automobile killed. 6. July 12, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, East Bay Electric Lines—Crossing

accident at Parker and California streets, Berkeley. Two occupants of auto

mobile injured. 7. July 13, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, San Bernardino Line-Cross

ing accident at Magnolia avenue, Fontana. Driver of automobile killed. 8. July 13, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Coast Division-Crossing accident

at Mountain View. Two occupants of automobile injured. 9. July 15, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Stockton Division-Crossing acci

dent at Muscatel. Two occupants of automobile injured. 10. July 17, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Stockton Division-Crossing acci

dent at Borden's crossing, Modesto. Driver of two-horse team killed.
11. July 25, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Southern Division, San

Pedro-Gardena Line-Collision between line car and passenger train in yard
limits at San Pedro. No fatalities or injuries.

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12. July 29, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Western Division, Van Nuys

Line-Highway crossing accident at Fourth street, Lankershim. Driver of

automobile fatally injured. 13. August 1, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Southern Division, Santa

Ana Line-Highway crossing accident at Bellflower. One killed and one

seriously injured. 14. August 3, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Coast Division-Highway crossing

accident at Bayswater avenue, Burlingame. Driver of automobile truck

injured. 15. August 7, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Western Division-Highway cross

ing accident at Bay Point. One killed, two persons injured. 16. August 8, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, San Joaquin Division--Highway

crossing accident near Klink station. One killed, three injured, occupants of

automobile. 17. August 12, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, El Segundo Line--Collision

between two cuts of cars when making flying switch. One fatality. 18. August 15, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Coast Division-Highway cross

ing accident at Sheldon avenue near Mile Post 466. Automobile truck driver

seriously injured. 19. August 20, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Western Division-High

way crossing accident at intersection of Santa Monica boulevard and Perry

ville street, Sawtelle. Driver of horse-drawn wagon killed. 20. August 16, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Western Division-Crossing acci

dent at Eighth and Taylor streets, San Jose. One killed and two persons

injured, occupants of automobile. 21. August 20, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Western Division-Crossing acci

dent at Lucas avenue, Richmond. Occupant of automobile injured. 22. August 22, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Santa Monica Line--

Highway crossing accident at intersection of Sunset boulevard and Occidental

street, Los Angeles. Two killed, occupants of automobile. 23. August 28, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Southern Division-Derail

ment of passenger car resulting in serious injury to one passenger. 24. August 31, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Western Division- Highway

crossing accident at San Lorenzo. Four occupants of automobile killed. 25. September 5, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Los Angeles Division--Highway

crossing accident at Glendale. Fatal injuries to driver of automobile truck. 26. September 11, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, East Bay Electric Division

Collision between passenger train and freight switching train at Chevrolet

spur. 27. September 14, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Stockton Division--Highway

crossing accident at Irrigosa. Two occupants of automobile injured. 28. September 15, 1922. Pacific Electric Railway Company, Southern Division

Highway crossing accident at Thirty-eighth street and Long Beach boulevard.

Bicycle rider killed. 29. September 21, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Los Angeles Division--High

way crossing accident at Huntington drive on Duarte branch. Two persons

seriously injured, occupants of automobile. 30. September 22, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Los Angeles Division-Colli

sion between two passenger trains at Montalvo, resulting in death of two employees, injury to one person carried by contract, six employees and

twenty-nine passengers, 31. September 27, 1922. Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company-Cross

ing accident at Pacific boulevard, Los Angeles. Collision with car of Los

Angeles Railway Corporation. No serious injuries. 32. September 28, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, East Bay Electric Division

Highway crossing accident at Sixth and Powell streets, Emeryville. One

person injured, occupant of automobile. 33. September 29, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Stockton Division--Highway

crossing accident at Arena station. One person killed, occupant of auto

mobile. 34. October 3, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Los Angeles Division-Highway

crossing accident at Pierce avenue, Pacoima. Woman occupant of horse

drawn vehicle seriously injured. 35. October 4, 1922. Southern Pacific Company, Coast Division--Highway crossing

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