Table of Contents; Page 176; Page 178; Index

Possible Causes. In the operation of a railroad it is of great importance that trains should be kept running on schedule as nearly as possible. It frequently happens, however, that accidents to the locomotive of greater or less consequence prevent trains from maintaining their schedules, which in many instances could be avoided by a little forethought on the part of the engineer. The efficient engineer who inspects his engine regularly for loose bolts, nuts, and keys, looks for defects, and carefully examines any cracks, flaws, etc., is seldom troubled with annoying and sometimes dangerous accidents while on the road. Breakdowns will, of course, occur at times even though all precautionary measures have been taken. Space will not permit of reference to the many different accidents which may occur. The following list contains those most commonly experienced:

  1. Collision of two approaching trains
  2. Collision of a moving with a standing train
  3. Collision of trains at the crossing of two tracks
  4. Running into an open drawbridge
  5. Engine running with no one on it to bring it under control
  6. Derailment of the front truck, drivers, or tender
  7. Explosion of the boiler
  8. Collapse of a flue
  9. Overheated crown sheet
  10. Running into an open switch at too great a speed
  11. Blowing out of a bolt or cock or any accident which leaves a hole in the boiler for the escape of steam or water
  12. Failure of the injectors or check valves
  13. Breaking or bursting of a cylinder, cylinder head, steam chest, or steam pipe
  14. Breaking or bending of a crank pin or connecting rod
  15. Breaking of a tire, wheel, or axle
  16. Breaking of a spring, spring hanger, or equalizer
  17. Breaking of a frame
  18. Failure of any part of the valve gear
  19. Failure of the throttle valve
  20. Breaking of the smoke-box front or door
  21. Failure of the connection between the engine and tender or between the tender and first car
  22. Failure of the air pump or braking apparatus

In case of an accident it is assumed that the engineer will first comply with his book of rules in regard to signals, flagman, etc., and will not overlook or neglect the boiler while working on a disabled engine. If the locomotive has left the track and is in such a position that the crown sheet is exposed, the fire should be killed at once if at all possible. This can be accomplished by throwing dirt, gravel, etc., into the fire-box. If water is convenient it can be used, but with great care.

Table of Contents; Page 176; Page 178; Index

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