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Ulster and Delaware. August 23, 1886. — Engine No. 3 exploded while standing at the water-tank in the Rondout yard. John Bowes and Thomas Dugan were both severely scalded. Inquiry developed these facts, that the engine was given a thorough overhauling in the latter part of 1882, her lower sides made new, new flue sheets put in, and was considered iu first-class condition. She was then tested by hot water pressure, 180 pounds to the square inch. Every two months she had been regularly tested. The authorities of the company were unable to give a reilson for the explosion ; the engine had been in the round-house from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning.
West Shore. October 19, 1885. – Mrs. Stable attempted to cross the track in front of a moving engine,' at the north yard, Kingston, and was instantly killed. Inquiry elicited the fact that Mrs. Stable was not on a crossing but walking on track. A dense fog was present, obscuring objects twenty-five feet away.
January 15, 1886.- At Byron Centre, Einanuel Peatten attempted to drive across the track directly in front of a moving engine and was instantly killed. Inquiry showed that there were neither gutes nor a flagman, but the view was unobstructed.
February 22, 1886.- At the William Street crossing, Newburgh, Robert Davidson, while driving across the track, was struck by an engine and so badly injured that he died next morning. There were both a gate and a flagman at the crossing, but inquiry developed the fact that the gate was frozen up.
February 26, 1886.-- At Wampsville, James Carson, brakeman, was on the tank of an engine going in on a switch, and was caught by a shed standing close to the tracks and was slightly injured. Inquiry was made, and the reply was that the shed, which had been built on private property, was promptly moved far enough back to prevent a repetition of the accident.
July 14, 1886.-- Three hundred and fifty feet north of West Park station, Jacob Merkle, walking across the track, was struck by a moving engine and killed. Inquiry showed that he was not on a crossing. He was driving his cows across the track two hundred feet north of the regular tarm crossing.
September 4, 1886. -- Samuel Cook attempted to drive across the track in front of engine at St. Johnsville crossing. The wagon was struck near the front end and Mr. Cook was thrown out and instantly killed. Inquiry showed that there were neither gates nor a flagman, and the view was unobstructed.
September 27, 1886. -- Patrick Ryan, riding on the rear step of an engine, on the coal track at the engine house, Syracuse, was crushed between the engine and cars on a siding and killed. Inquiry showed that five loaded cars that had been shunted on to a coal track, and on which the brakes were supposed to be set, ran down and collided with
bumper-beam of engine and the sill of the gondola next attached.
CROSSINGS AT GRADE,
IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST OF Miss C. W. VAN RENSSELAER
TO RECOMMEND THE NEW YORK CENTRAL AND HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY TO STATION A FLAGMAN AT THE CROSSING OF THE HIGHWAY BETWEEN GREENBUSH AND CASTLETON, IN RENSSELAER COUNTY, AT THE POINT KNOWN AS THE FOOT OF TELLER'S HILL.
November 27, 1885. This request was received on September 21st, and immediately transmitted to the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company in the usual course of business.
No answer was received until the 11th November, and then only on a second summons from the Board.
The railroad stated that after an examination, made by the authori. ties of the road, the conclusion was reached that the travel on the highway did not justify the call for or the expense of a flagman or gate.
A personal examination of the premises was made by a Commissioner and the Secretary of the Board on the 20th November.
To a traveler going south, the view of the track is unobstructed for a long distance in both directions. To a traveler going north, however, more care must be exercised before crossing, as the highway runs parallel to the track for five or six hundred feet before crossing it.
If the traveler, however, will keep a look-out to the left and rear he has an unobstructed view of the track for i long distance.
While all grade crossings are to a certain extent dangerous, the Board does not deem this to be one requiring a flagman, so long as any are allowed to remain without such protection.
By the Board.
U. G. PARIS v. THE DELAWARE AND HUDSON CANAL COMPANY.
February 11, 1886. The defendant leases and operates the road of the Glens Falls Railroad Company. The track for a distance of several hundred feet is upon River street in the village of Sandy Hill. The dangers to the public traveling upon River street are very great, as the complainant on behalf of himself and the public alleges. Persons driving over this necessary and much used thoroughfare are liable to be placed in great peril by passing trains, which no vigilance can anticipate or avoid. The railroad, as experience shows, never ought to have been allowed to occupy the street. But herein lies the difficulty to be now met.
Upon July 21, 1868, the Supreme Court, under sub-division 5 of section 28 of the General Railroad Act, granted the following order:
At a Special Term of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, held at the
office of Hon. A. Bockes, in the village of Saratoga Springs, on the 21st day of July, 1868.
Present - Hon. A. BOCKES, Justice.
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF
THE GLENS FALLS RAILROAD COMPANY
Upon reading and filing the petition of the Glens Falls Railroad Company, duly verified, and notice of motion for an order that said Glens Falls Railroad Company may construct their railroad upon and along River street in the village of Sandy Hill, and proof of the due service of said petition and notice upon the trustees of the village of Sandy Hill, on motion of L. H. Northup, attorney for the Glens Falls Railroad Company, it is ordered that the Glens Falls Railroad Company have leave of this court to construct their railroad upon and along River street in the village of Sandy Hill, from the land of Peter Cota to and along the lands of Orson Richards.
A. BOCKES, Justice of the Sup. Court. Filed, August 1, 1868.
On July 17th, preceding this order, the board of village trustees passed the following resolution:
FRIDAY MORNING, July 17, 1868. Trustees met at the office of Hughes & Northup, pursuant to call of chair. Members present — Joseph McFarland, Loren Allen, William A. Coleman. The following resolution was unanimously adopted, viz. :
Resolved, That the Glens Falls Railroad Company have leave to construct their said road and lay their track upon and along River street in this village from the lands of Peter Cota to and along the lands of Orson Richards, as said road is designated upon
the map thereof filed by said company in the office of the clerk of the county of Washington, and also to cross any streets in this village across which said railroad will run as designated upon said map.
I hereby certify that the foregoing minute of proceedings and resolution is a true and correct copy of the same from the records of the village of Sandy Hill, N. Y. Dated, SANDY HILL, N. Y., January 4, 1886.
GRENVILLE M. INGALSBE,
Clerk village of Sandy Hill.
While the complainant alleged that the order of the Supreme Court was collusive and a fraud since the attorneys moving for it were also attorneys for the village authorities and but one side was represented, the fact remains that the order stands, and the railroad is secure in its possession of the route. The company did not by denial defend itself against the charge of the crossing being dangerous, and the proposi. tion to take such measures as would lessen the dangers were entertained, as well as that of a change of route which would entirely remove them.
At the suggestion of the Board the company prepared a map of the proposed route through the village and made estimates as to the cost of the change. Pending the considoration of the estimates and maps, (which were sent by Mr. Paris), two flagmen were stationed at the point declared to be dangerous, and the speed of trains running thiogh the town was reduced to six miles an hour.
THE TRUSTEES OF THE VILLAGE OF BATH v. The NEW YORK, LAKE ERIE AND WESTERN RAILROAD COMPANY.
June 12, 1896. This complaint alleges that the railroad crossing at Belfast street, in Bath, N. Y., is a dangerous crossing, and ought to have a flagman.
On June 2, 1886, Commissioner Kernan inspected the locality in company with the complainants and their counsel, Reuben R. Lyon, Esg., the road being represented by Mr. Johnson.
The crossing is within the corporate limits and runs diagonally across the single track of the railroad. It is a principal avenue of communication between the village and an extensive farming country lying west of the town. The extensive Soldier's Home is so located that its numerous aged and decrepit inmates and its many visitors, including many strangers unfamiliar with the locality, are obliged to go to and from the institution by this street, and over this railroad crossing. Being thus within a village and a thoroughfare, the crossing fairly comes within those cases where the Board has adopted the rule of recommending flugmen, provided that the view of approaching trains is naturally or otherwise obstructed so as to make the crossing dangerous for those using the high way. Of this there can be no doubt in this case. As trains approach the village from a northerly direction, occasional glimpses of them may be caught by the keen-sighted and alert; but for a large portion of at least a half a mile of their approach, the trains are in a deep cut, and the view of them is seriously impeded by embankments as well as by trees, fences and buildings. At this point trains run at quite high speed, especially the fast train recently started by the road. It is, therefore, an eminently proper place to station a flagman for the safety and protection of the public, and this should be done by the road at once. Such flagman ought to be on daty during the time of the passage of trains.
RECOMMENDATION. The Board, therefore, recommends that a flagman be kept by the New York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad Company at the Belfast street crossing of its road in the village of Bath, N. Y., during the hours that trains are there operated.
By the Board.
A similar complaint touching the same street was simultaneonsly made against the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company. When transmitted, the company promptly replied that it had intended to place a flagman at the Belfast street crossing, and would do so at once, which it did.
TRUSTEES OF THE VILLAGE OF MOUNT MORRIS, N. Y., V. THE BUFFALO, NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA RAILROAD COMPANY.
· June 8, 1886. The trustees complain that the crossings of the railroad over Main and State streets in said village are so dangerous as to need that some additional protection be afforded to the public by the railroad. On June first, Commissioner Kernan inspected the crossings in company with the trustees, their counsel, Hon. Kidder M. Scott, and with the chief engineer of the road.' These crossings are both within the corporation ; they are thoroughfares exclusively used in going to and from the village; they are each upon a side hill, and the view of approaching trains is considerably obstructed from each high way. The situation and danger arising therefrom is quite accurately described in the complaint herein. The road has slowed its trains at these crossing3 down to not exceeding from four to six miles per hour, and flags the crossings when switching is done. In determining what further protection should be provided by the road it is proper to remember that the road is in the hands of a receiver, G. Clinton Gardner, Esq., and that its financial condition is such as to require cantious expenditure for only necessary purposes. Since the Commission Act is by its terms applicable to receivers, it is, however, proper that such recommendations as public safety demand should be made by the Board.
At the Main Street crossing the obstructions to a clear view of approaching trains are some trees, an embankment, and two warehouses or buildings, all of which stand on the railroad property as represented to the Board. By removing these the public will be much better enabled to see approaching trains, and the company can then largely improve the situation without incurring any very great expense.
At the State Street crossing the obstructions in the way of freight cars upon side and switch tracks, and lumber piles and buildings, are of such a character that there does not seem to be any other practical relief than to recommend the plac ng of a flagman.
The steep grade of the highway makes it a place of danger where warning of approaching trains should be given before persons drive close to the tracks.