Table of Contents; Page 177; Page 179; Index
Collisions. Duties of Engineer. When it is seen that a collision is about to occur the first move of the engineer should be to stop the train if possible by shutting off the steam and applying the brakes in emergency. If the brakes on the locomotive are known to be impaired in any way then the engine should be reversed, sand being used to give the maximum amount of resistance. When reversing the engine at high speeds, care must be used to prevent damage to the various parts. The most common form of collision is what is known as a rear-end collision, that is, a collision of trains running in the same direction. It usually happens when the train ahead stops and fails to send back a flagman or the flagman does not go back far enough. In all cases of collision it is the duty of the engineer to remain on the locomotive until after he has applied all possible means of checking the speed of the train. This is especially true if it is a passenger train where the lives of numerous passengers are in danger. On seeing danger ahead, the engineer should first close the throttle valve, then apply the brakes in emergency. It is important that the throttle be closed in case a collision is inevitable, because if it is left open and the collision does not happen to totally disable the engine, it will of its own power crush through the wreckage and do additional damage.

Runaway Locomotive. Sometimes a locomotive will run away while standing in a yard or on a siding, with no responsible person on it to keep it under control. The collisions which sometimes result in such cases prove very destructive. In order to prevent a locomotive running away in such a manner, the throttle valve should always be carefully closed, the cylinder cocks should be opened, and the reverse lever placed in its central position. Under such conditions if the throttle should be opened by accident, the engine would not start and any leakage of the throttle would not accumulate in the cylinder but would escape to the atmosphere through the cylinder cocks.

Table of Contents; Page 177; Page 179; Index

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