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COMPARATIVE CLASSIFIED TABLE OF DEFECTIVE SAFETY APPLIANCES ON FREIGHT CARS,

AS REPORTED BY THE INSPECTORS FOR THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, FOR THE YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 1905, 1904, 1903, AND 1902.

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AIR BRAKES.
Triple valve defective

9
3
1

5 Triple valve missing..

3

3 Reservoir defective

4
98

2 Reservoir loose

359 193 Cylinder defective.

1

97 Cylinder loose

366 590 Cylinder and triple valve not cleaned within twelve months. 11,885 13,458 | 10, 081 7,670 Cylinder and triple valve not stenciled with date of cleaning

2, 100 1,865 2, 652

3,428 Cut-out cock defective.

178 190 189

117 Cut-out cock missing

1

3 Release cock defective

58 88 64

36 Release cock missing

24

50 Release rod broken

145 141 150

69 Release rod missing

3,836 3, 793

2, 418 1,188 Angle cock defective

810 693 430 214 Angle cock missing.

59 112 100

16 Train pipe broken

65 110 75 121 Train pipe loose

1,312 1,495 912

559 Train-pipe clamp missing.

19

4 Cross-over pipe defective.

182
257 134

72 Cross-over pipe missing.

2

2 1 Includes, also, uncoupling chains parted by reason of defective clevises, etc., which were in previous tables shown separately.

COMPARATIVE CLASSIFIED TABLE OF DEFECTIVE SAFETY APPLIANCES ON FREIGHT

CARS, ETC.-Continued.

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Classes

1905.

1904.

1903.

1902.

Couplers and parts .
Uncoupling mechanism
Air brake
Hand holds.
Ladders.
Sill steps.
Height of couplers..

23.06
95.07
131.22
42.89

3.87 12. 14 1. 66

31.96 169. 60 175. 79 45.95 5. 32 6. 12 1.82

29.97 161. 12 138. 43 34. 44 5.61 5.14 1.53

26.72 140.05 145.29 23. 81

2. 23 2. 90

All classes

309. 56

436. 56

376. 24

341.00

1905.

1904.

1903.

252, 361 208,177 220, 140 57, 112 65, 183 60, 083

22.59 31. 31 27.29 78,121 90, 899 82, 832 60 76 357

2, 319 118 42 1.77 1.81 11, 880 1, 904 3, 379 1, 017 28. 44

6,653

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SUMMARY.

1902.

161, 371 42, 718

26. 47 55, 032 1, 293

Freight cars inspected
Freight cars defective
Per cent defective
Defects reported
Equipped with link-and-pin couplers.
Passenger cars inspected.
Passenger cars defective.
Per cent defective.
Locomotives inspected (since March 1, 1904)
Locomotives defective..
Per cent defective

53. 41

SAFETY APPLIANCES AND ACCIDENT REPORTS.

The following table shows casualties to passengers and employees as reported by the railroad companies under the accident law of 1901:

CASUALTIES TO PASSENGERS AND EMPLOYEES, YEARS ENDING JUNE 30.

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Killed. Injured. Killed. Injured. Killed. Injured. Killed. Injured.

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1 Not comparable with figures in annual report of statistician, because of difference in data required by law.

During the year 1905 several interesting features have been developed in connection with safety appliances and accidents, and these matters seem to require fuller treatment than was possible to give them in the text of the Commission's annual report.

In the Commission's accident bulletins covering the year ending June 30, 1905, will be found reports of 13 notable train accidents, as compared with 10 such accidents for the previous year. The casualties in these accidents were:

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Of the 13 accidents in 1905, 9 were collisions and 4 derailments. Of the 9 collisions, 2, causing the death of 23 persons, occurred on block-signaled roads; 6, causing 155 deaths, occurred on roads not block signaled, and by reason of errors which do not occur in block signaling; and 1 was occasioned by a misplaced switch, which was unprovided with a distant signal. Of the derailments, 1 was due to a bridge failure, the bridge having been dislodged by a great flood; 1 to an accidental obstruction caused by a freight train “buckling" when air brakes were applied to half of its cars but not to the other half; 1 to a misplaced switch having no distant signal, and of 1 the cause was not discovered. These 13 accidents are tabulated below:

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1 No. 13, p. 6 2 No. 13, p. 6

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3 No. 13, p. 6

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4 No. 13, p. 6

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5 No. 13, p. 7 6 No. 13, p. 7 7 No. 14, p.5

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8 No.14, p. 5

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5 Rear collision. Signalman gave false clear signal...
11 Rear collision. Freight train occupied main track

without authority.
23 Butting collision. Conductor and engineman of

passender train forgot meeting order.
24 Collision of passenger train with freight cars on side-

track. Switch misplaced by some person un

known. No distant signal.
2 Derailment of fast passenger train. Cause not dis-

covered.
10 Bridge gave way under passenger train, moving

slowly. Unprecedented flood.
17 Butting collision. Men in charge of freight train

had neglected to observe signal lights on engine

of preceding passenger train.
22 Butting collision. Operator made mistake in copy-

ing telegram.
23 Butting collision. Operator failed to deliver meet-

ing order.
Rear collision Engineman of fast passenger train

disregarded two or more block signals.
16 Butting collision. Five or six men on freight train

(all killed) evidently overlooked or neglected

schedule of passenger train.
6 Derailment at misplaced switch. Investigation

failed to settle question of who turned the switch.
14 Passenger train derailed by wreck of cars in freight

train on adjacent track; freight wreck caused by
too sudden stopping of front part of long train (by
air-brakes) and consequent crowding of cars of
rear part (not air-braked). Many casualties
caused by explosion of powder in freight car.

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10 No.15, p. 6

24

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11 No.16, p. 5

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12 No.16, p. 6 13 No.16, p. 6

23

110

Total

340

878

Collisions, rear and butting, are the most numerous class of train accidents, as well as the most fatal. The records of the Commission under the operation of the accident law show this in a striking manner, confirming impressions gained from unofficial reports for many years back. Of the 9 collisions noted above 1 was caused by a misplaced switch, 1 by the negligence of an engineman, and 1 by the negligence of a signalman, the last two being under the block system. That collisions occur under the block system is well known, but it is also perfectly clear that the arguments concerning the relative merits of the block system and the time-interval system bear no relation to this fact.

To accurately indicate the causes of accidents and suggest adequate remedies for their prevention the law should provide for proper investigation by Federal authority. The investigation of accidents by the inspecting officers of the board of trade in Great Britain, with the publication of their findings, has for many years been looked upon in that country as an important factor in the formation of a correct public opinion, as well as the application of that opinion to the evils to be remedied. While the Government can not by statute deal with all the problems of accident prevention, publicity and discussion serve to keep alert those persons who can best apply the remedies indicated, namely, the executive, engineering, and operating officials of the railroads. In this connection the following memorandum showing the methods of investigation in vogue in Great Britain will be of interest:

“The regulation of railways act of 1871 renders it obligatory on all railway companies to give notice to the department of any accident which may occur in or about the railway or any works or buildings connected therewith-that is to say, any accident attended with loss of life or personal injury to any person whatsoever, any collision in which one of the trains is a passenger train, any passenger train or part of such train leaving the rails, or any other accident likely to have caused loss of life or personal injury, specified on that behalf by any order made from time to time by the board of trade. On receipt of such report the department is authorized to cause an inquiry to be made into the cause of any accident so reported, and the officer appointed to hold the inquiry has power to enter upon any railway premises for the purpose of his inquiry, to summon any person engaged upon the railway to attend the inquiry as a witness, and to require the production of all books and documents which he considers necessary for the purpose. There is no statutory procedure laid down for such inquiries, which are conducted in the manner that seems to the officer

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