Page images

Lansingburgh and Cohoes Road. Road-bed, superstructure and track...

$18,802 66 Real estate ....

7,750 01 Buildings

28,435 17

$54,987 84

Total cost of construction to June 1, 1886.....

$455,406 77

As this account in early days was kept as an operating account,

and does not show cost, the Board has taken the inventory of the
company as of June 1st, and averaged the cost, running through

the several years. *Forty-seven box cars, at $1,050

$49,350 *Forty-eight open cars, at $500..


$73,350 00 Horses, 464, at $165

76,560 00 Stable equipment...;

7,558 60 Blacksmith shop and track tools...

3,525 81 Office furniture

2,700 15

163,694 56

Total cost of road and equipment June 1, 1886

$619,101 33

Troy and Lansingburgh Railroad Comyany, 5,000 shares at $50....
Troy and Cohoes Railroad Company, 1,000 shares at $50...
Lansingburgh and Cohoes Railroad Company, 300 shares..

Total outstanding paid in full..

$250,000 00

50,000 00 15,000 00

$315,000 00

[blocks in formation]

The improvements now going on and not included in cost of road and equipment as shown heretofore, are estimated by the president of the company at about $25,000. In addition to this the grades of streets and moving of tracks as required, have been charged to operating expenses. It will thus be seen that the company has expended in construction the entire par value of its stock and bonds issued, and the sum of $40,546.33 from its earnings in addition. It is likewise making improvements estimated to cost $25,000, besides changing tracks, etc., necessary to be done. The request for the approval of this Board to the proposed increase is therefore granted.

By the Board.


* Including stoves and scrapers.



November 24, 1885, The facts and circumstances attending the above accident, as developed by testimony taken before Commissioners Kernan and Rogers, were as follows:

The grade from Erin station to Park station on the above-named road is from seventy to eighty-five feet per mile up.

At Park station the summit is reached. The grade thence descends very rapidly to Swartwood, a distance of about lour miles, at the rate of 125.7 feet per mile. At Park station there are two side tracks, capable of holding about fourteen cars each, The railroad is here on a curve and in a cut. From the east or north end of the switch to the point where the grade begins to descend is a distance of about ten car lengths. On the day of the accident a train consisting of engine 96, with twenty-three cars loaded with coal and a cabboose, were being pulled and pushed up the grade from Erin to Park station. Passenger engine No. 6, manned by William Brown, engineer, and Robert Ran, fireman, had been coupled to engine 96 to help the train up the ascent. Upon reaching the summit it had been uncoupled and was going on alone to Cortland. Engine 96 proceeded to draw the train far enough ahead to clear the east or north end of the siding, with the intention of backing into it. So much of the train, however, got on the steep down grade, without brakes being set, that the engineer and train men lost control of it, and were unable to prevent its rushing down the decent at a frightful rate of speed. It overtook engine No. 6, collided with it and threw it from the track. The engineer, William Brown, was killed, and fireman, Robert Ran, seriously injured. Engine 96 remained on the track, and the engineer and fireman escaped uphurt. Nineteen of the cars were derailed and thrown down an embankment. A brakeman, C. G. Judd, was killed, and the conductor, M. L. Rogers, had his leg broken and was otherwise injured. The only other brakeman, George Allen, was not hurt. The engineer of engine 96, L. Knight, stated that he blew his whistle continuously for two miles, put that Brown, of engine 6, did not appear to hear it until engine 96 was within a few feet of him. The surviving fireman is reported 80 seriously injured about the liead as to be unable to testify.


It appears that it was ordinarily the custom, when coal trains took the side track at Park station, to pull in at the west or south end, instead of passing the siding to back in, as had been the intention in the

The reason for not following the ordinary rule was that there were already some cars on both sidings near the west or south end.

The testimony showed that there were only two brakomen on this train of twenty-four cars—one of whom was a boy of but nineteen, and that this was his first trip upon this end of the line.

As events proved, and as must have been well known to those experienced in running trains on this road, it was a very dangerous thing to permit the train, or any part of it, to pass over the summit on to the down grade without the brakes being set.

No particular caution seems to have been given the young man on the subject. He did not remember just when he began to set them, but thinks not until about the time he heard the engineer whistle for brakes

The engineer and conductor seem to have both shown bad judgment in getting on to the down grade without knowing the train was under control

The Board is of the opinion, also, that the management of the road was to blame in manning such heavy trains with but two brakemen.

The acting superintendent, Mr. Theodore Sears, testified that up to February last the trains had been manned by three. For the reduction to two at that time and since, he and the general manager, according to the evidence, are responsible. It further appeared that this train was lighter than usual, the ordinary number of cars being twenty-five. The cars are very heavy, the capacity being from twenty to twenty-five tons.

The Board has already recommended, in two specific cases, the necessity of manning coal trains with at least three brakemen, where grades not so steep as on this road have obtained, and calls the attention of the Elmira, Cortland and Northern road to the fact that the Long Island road has six brakemen to ordinary freight trains, although the grades are very light.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. The Board finds that general manager, McLeod, and acting superintendent, Sears, of the Elmira, Cortland and Northern railroad, were to blame in not manning the coal trains with at least three brakemen and conductor, considering the steep grades existing on said road, and recommends that hereafter, at least that number be detailed for every such train ; also, that the conductors be instructed to caution the men when to set brakes.

Second. It finds that Conductor M. L. Rogers was at fault in not having the brakes set before passing the east or south end of the switch. It is to be noted, however, that this man has paid the penalty of his carelessness by a broken leg and other injuries, and is given a good character by his employers as a competent and trusty man.

Third. It recommends the Elmira, Cortland and Northern road to carefully consider the propriety of equipping its coal and freight cars with a vacuum power brake, inasmuch as many of the locomotives are now equipped with a vacuum ejector, and also to carefully watch


the results of the trial of automatic freight car brakes now being made on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad, under the auspices of the Master Car Builders' Association, with the view of adopting one should any prove practically successful, and in the event of its not adopting a racuum brake.

By the Board.





December 1, 1885. The facts and circumstances attending the above disaster as developed by testimony taken before a coroner's jury and before Commissioner Rogers, and by an inspection of the premises by the inspector of the Board shortly after the accident, are as follows:

Train No. 57, known as the limited express, left Weehawken at 6:30 P. M. The train consisted of engine No. 42, Morris Finch, engineer, one baggage, two day and four Pullman sleeping cars. When the train reached a point about one mile west of Little Falls, while running at the rate of between thirty and thirty-five miles per hour, it was thrown from the track.

It appears that the south rail of the north or west bound track had sunk about eleven inches for a distance of some twelve feet, while its opposite rail and those of the south track remained in their normal position. The result was a derailment of the entire train, except the locomotive proper, which remained on the track and was stopped about 900 feet west of the depression. The tender broke loose from the engine and sheered northerly, while the baggage and both day passenger cars ran toward the south track, all passing the tender. The forward sleeping car followed the tender, came in contact with it, and both rolled down the north embankment to the bottom, some twelve feet below the surface of track. The second sleeping car followed and piled on top of the tender and first sleeper. In the wreck, Mrs. Charles R. Pratt, of Rochester, N. Y., died of shock and suffocation. Her husband, Mr. Pratt, Member of Congress; James W. Weston, New York city; Miss E. C. Vaugh, Worcester, Mass.; Judge Green, Springfield, Ill., and the car porter, A. A. Ceaser, were bruised and more or less hurt.

The cause of the settling of the rail has been clearly shown. South of the railroad there is a highway. The ground slopes from the highway toward the railroad. At a point about 240 feet east of the sunken rail a water-course formerly ran at right angles to the direction of the track from the highway. This water-course is confined in a channel two feet wide at bottom, three at top and three feet deep, covered with flagging from the highway to a point about fifteen feet from the south rail; thence the bed of the stream is uncovered to the railroad. Water does not run here except in the spring and during rainy weather. Instead of a sluice being constructed to carry this water across the track and thence down the slope into the canal, the stream was turned so as to run westerly alongside of the road-bed until it found a passage under it at the point where the derailment took place, about 240 feet from the turn. The road-bed was largely constructed of stone at this point.

It appears from a statement of Patrick Murphy, the section foreman who has been in charge of this portion of the road since the fall of 1882, to the present time, except from March 1 to September 1, 1884, that during ordinary rainy weather the stream found its way under the embankment at the point of derailment, but in spring and during heavy rains the water ran still further west before it found a vent.

It is shown that at times the water ran on to the track notwithstanding the attempts to turn the stream to the west, and the testimony of several passengers and others was that on the night of the accident the water was running ankle deep between the tracks.

Undoubtedly the crevices between the large stones forming the base of the embankment remained unfilled, and a stream of water running over the gravel on top washed the sand and gravel into the crevices below, allowing the top of the road-bed to settle down with the fatal results before described.

In his testimony before the coroner's jury Thomas Murphy, the section foreman above-mentioned, stated that he visited the place of the accident at about 9:15 P. .; that there was a good current of water running down side of track, but none over the track then.

[Passengers testify, however, that at the time of the accident the water was five or six inches decp.]

Murphy further testifies that he had advised Thomas Burns, the assistant roadmaster, two years ago, to put a culvert across the track at the point where the stream is turned.

Thomas Hastings, track walker, testified that he had seen water running across and on to the track at that point last April; that William Thomas and his son had turned water on the track, and that he had been stationed there to turn it back; that there had been trouble with Thomas about turning the water here, as he claimed it ran into his garden and injured him.

The Board deems it somewhat remarkable that, so far as the testimony sent to the Board shows, neither Thomas nor his son were examined by the coroner's jury.

The superintendent of the road, Mr. C. W. Bradley, testified that his personal attention had never been drawn to the fact that water occasionally ran on the track at this point; that the present roadmaster, Mr. Brock, had informed him that his (Brock’s) attention had never been drawn to it either.

It is quite possible that the roadmaster might pass the place very frequently and never think of it as dangerous, unless particular attention was drawn to it,

« EelmineJätka »