Report of the chief of the Division of Safety covering the investigation of an accident which occurred on the Baltimore ...

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Title:
Report of the chief of the Division of Safety covering the investigation of an accident which occurred on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad near Woodlyn, Pa., on September 19, 1914
Physical Description:
19 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
United States -- Interstate Commerce Commission
Belnap, H. W ( Hiram W )
Publisher:
Gov't. Printing Off.
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Railroad accidents -- Pennsylvania   ( lcsh )
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
Dated December 23, 1914.
General Note:
At head of title: Interstate Commerce Commission.
General Note:
Submitted by H. W. Belnap Chief Division of Safety.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004952849
oclc - 78906348
System ID:
AA00012208:00001


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UNIV. OF FL Lit.


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U.S. DEPO)CMTORY

INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF SAFETY, COVER-
ING THE INVESTIGATION OF AN ACCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED
ON THE BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD NEAR WOODLYN, PA.,
ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1914.
DIr-. u:m is:I: 23, 1914.
To the Commin. ion:
On September 19, 1914, there was a derailment of a passenger
train on the Baltinmre & Ohio Railroad near Woodlyn, Pa., which
resulted in the injury of 34 passengers, 3 Pullman employees, and 1
employee of the railroad. After investigation of this accident the
Chief of the Division of Safety reports as follows:
Westbound passenger train No. 3 consisted of 2 mail cars, 1 com-
bination baggage and express car, 1 smoking car, 1 cacll, 2 Pull-
man sleeping cars, and 1 parlor car. The coach and the parlor
car had steel underframes, the other cars being of all-steel con-
struction. This train was hauled by locomotive No. 5103, and was
in charge of Conductor Anderson and Engineman Way. It left
Philadelphia at 9.25 p. m., four minutes late, and at 9.40 p. m. was
derailed at a point about 1,600 feet west of the station at Woodlyn,
Pa., which is 10.4 miles from Philadelphia, on account of the break-
ing of the forward axle of the locomotive tender. The speed at the
time of derailment was 57 miles per hour.
After derailment the tender wheels ran along on the ties until they
reached the western end of the north passing track. At this point
the frog was torn out and the entire train derailed. About 150 feet
beyond this point is a double-track, single-span, trussed bridge 167
feet 4 inches in length. The locomotive and first five cars passed over
the bridge in safety, the locomotive coming to a stop 710 feet beyond
the western end of the bridge with the derailed tender coupled to it.
About 25 feet north of the locomotive were the first four cars of the
train, upright on the ties. The fifth car turned over to the right im-
mediately after crossing the bridge and came to rest with its roof
against a telegraph pole, at the top of a 25-foot embankment. The
sixth car, the all-steel Pullman sleeping car Rachita. swerved to
747tS -15--1








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ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


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No. 2.-View of wrecked bridge looking north, showing steel car on its side at foot of
embankment.





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the right enough to strike the end post of the right-hand truss
of the bridge, after which it plunged to the track below, a dis-
tance of about 25 feet. The secoir, Pullman sleeping car stopped
with its forward end projecting over the bridge ablutl ent and was
also leaning to the right agailnt a telegraph pole. The last car in
the ti i in, a parlor car, was also derailed, but remained upright at the
top of the embank iment, immediately behind the second sleeping car.
The damage caused to the bridge by the sleeping car Rachita caused
its collapse. Illustration No. 1 is a geneIral view of the accident,
looking in the direction in which the train was moving. Illustra-
tion No. 2 is a view looking in the opposite direction and shows in
particular the condition of the bridge after the accident.
This division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is a double-track
line, train movemeniits being protected by the automatic block signal
system. The track is straight, with a descending grade for west-
bound trains of 0.8 per cent. It is laid with 100-pound rails 33 feet
in length, with about 18 pine and oak ties under each rail. The bal-
last consists of 12 inches of crushed stone, and tlh general condition
of the track was excellent. The weather was clear.
Examination of the track show ie that the first mark of derailment
was about 400 feet east of the station, at which point a tie, slightly
higher than the rest, had a small groove cut in it. One hundred and
tw-elve feet beyond there was another tie with a deeper groove in it.
At the eastern end of the station platform a plank on the right side
of the track was torn up, while at a highway crossing 150 feet beyond
were the first indications that the tender wheels had left the rails, a
crossing plank on the outside of the right-hand rail having been torn
up, while a plank on the inside of the opposite rail was split and
showed marks of a wheel flange having caused it. From this point
to the switch at the western end of the north passing track, a dis-
tance of 735 feet, the tender wheels ran along on the ties. After
tearing out the frog at this switch the entire train was derailed with
the exception of the engine.
The trucks under the tender of locomotive No. 5103 were of 100
tons capacity, built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in July, 1913,
and placed in service the following month. The axles were of forged
steel, with a 6 by 11 journal bearing, and a wheel fit measuring 7k
by 81. It was within this wheel fit that the break occurred, nearly
square across the axle, varying from three-sixteenths to seven-six-
teenths inch in from the outside face of the hub of the wheel. The
break was a detailed or progressive type of fracture, which extended
in from one side of the axle, leaving only about 26 per cent of the
metal intact. It was the breaking of this last portion which was the
im n ied iate precursor of this accident.





ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


The investigation to determine the reason for the failure of this
axle \;is condtlited by IMr. Jamnies E. Howard, engineer physicist,
whose report nin edliately follows.
The fractured axle reprel-'rts one of the large-v. in common use
for tender trucks. It was furni.sli.d under the lpeifications of the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co., which call for the ldi!mensions, given
on the following sketch.
The specifications state that axles shall be made of steel, the desired
composition of which is-
Per cent.
Carbon ----------------------------- 0.45
Mania;ii,-,. not above ------------------------------- 50
Silii i -, ---------. --.--- ------- --- ---------- .05
l'h,,lIIrii<. not above-------------------------------- .04
Siuliliur. not above---------------- ---------- ------ .04
Axles will be considered as having failed chemically and will be
rejected if the analy-i.- shows the constituents to be outside the fol-
lowing limits:
Per cent.
Carbon --------------------- below 0.35 or above 0. 55
Manganese---------------------------- above .50
Phosphorus --------------------- above .06
Sulphur ---- --------- ----------------- above .05
Axles of this size are required to stand a drop test of 7 blows of a
1.640-pound tup, dropped from a height of 52 feet, the deflection
under the first blow not to exceed 41 inches. During the test they
are to rest upon supports 3 feet apart, the tup striking the axle mid-
way its length. The axle to be turned, (that is, rotated 180) after
the first and third blows and when required after the fifth.
This axle bore the brand mark Pollak," of the Pollak Steel Co.,
at the middle of its length. It was finished and assembled by the
Baldwin Locomotive Works. The ends of the journi'al were stamped
"7 13 100 B L W," and "7 13 80 B L W." on the fractured and
intact ends, respectively. These marks indicate that the wheels were
pres----l on the axle at the Baldwin Lorominotive Works in the month
of July, 1913, and that a pressure of 100 tons was u-ed for the wheel
at tlhn fracturedl end and 80 tons for the opposite wheel.
Rolled steel wheels were uiied, made by the Standard Steel Works
Co. The wheel on the fractured end of the axle was branded
" S S 6 28 13 673 15542," that on the other end, "6 29 13 428."
The total weihlit of the tender under which this axle was used was
165.000 pounds, an average load of 20,625 pounds per wheel. The
bearing surf;ce- of the journals were in good condition, showing no
wear of con-eqnence, the wheels also being in good order. The wheel
at the intact end shows a little more flange wear than its mate, but
each weNe in a satisfatory condition.







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ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


An (xmSiiinatioI \\a-s made of the fractured axle for concentricity
in running, with wheels still in place. For this purpose it was
centered in a lathe and tlher rotated. It w;is found to be substan-
tially in nornial condition, not \itlh-h:ding the vicissitudes through
which it had p;sS'd at the time of drllniieiit. No contributory
cnii;e leaing to its failure was revealed at this time.
The whlc.l, were next pr.-:-cd off the axle. The one at the fri1i-
tured endl rq'li' ,l a force of 375 tons to remove it; that on the
intact end 145 tons pre-lniie. The surfaces of the axle at the wheel
fits \vwere now exposed to view. That on the intact end w;a-; in good
condition and presented a normal appearance. The surface at the
fractured end; however, was characterized by the presence of a con-
siderable number of marks or serrations made by some blunt-edged
tool, which, as a group, covered about two-thirds of the circum-
ference. They were located on the side of the axle which first rup-
















No. 4.-Brand mark Pollak on axle at middle of length.

tured and symmetrical with that side. The significance of these
serrations in respect to their indicating a cause for the failure of the
axle and their probable origin will be referred to in a later part of
this report.
The dismantled axle was subjected to a drop test. It endured the
seven prescribed blows without fracture. The deflection caused by
the first blow was 1.8 inches. An eighth blow was struck to
straighten the axle. Two longitudinal seams were developed along
the length of the axle, one near the middle and one near the intact
end. No particular significance is attached to the development of
these seams in ree-,lort to influencing the failure of the axle at the
time of derailment. They represented the development of seams
which were in the forging but of a kind which service conditions
would not be expected to develop.







Q INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.

The axle was next cut up for metallographic examination, chemical
analy.-i., and physical tests. This work was done in the shops and
laboratory of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co., which company
cooperated with the Division of Safety in the acquisition of these
data in a very efficient and satisfactory manner. Chips for chem-
ical analysis were taken from different parts of the cross section,
near the finished surface or circumference of the axle, one quarter
below the surface diametrically, and at the center of the section.
Two sets of chips were taken, one representing the metal in the
vicinity of the place of rupture, the other the opposite end of the
axle.


No. 5.- Marks stamped on end of fractured journal 7 13 100 B L W, indicating
date wheel was pressed on axle and pressure, in tons, used.

The results of the chemical a:inlyses were as follows:


Location.


F r.i-r,-j.i end of axle:
Near circumference ............. ......................
One-quarter below surface.................................
Center of section ..................... .....................
Intact end of axle:
Near circumference........ ...............................
One-quarter below surface.... ............. ....
Center of section ...................................


( .,1-j I Sulphur. phorus.


Per cent.
0.39
.37
.38
.40
.37
.39


Per cent.
0.039
.038
.039
.037
.040
.039


Per cent.
0.026
.023
.025
.025
.025
.024


Manga-
nese.

Per cent.
0.45
.47
.46
.44
.45
.46





ACCIDENT NEAR WOOI)IN, I'A


Hardness tests by means of the wsc scoeere made l on lie sur-
face of the wheel fit. near the place of fracture, and oin two cross -,e-
tions in the same vicinity. On the -ir'f;ic, of the wheel fit. near the
place of frattuiire, the hardness rani ':ed from 31 to 44. The harder
metal was on the side of the axle first to ruipt lre. On tle two cross
sections the hardness raInge'd frimi 23 to 28. The higher values at
the surface of the wheel fit are attributed to mechanical work hav-
ing been done on that surface in lpreo-irng on the wheel, or incidental
treatment, rather than to any material difference in the composition
of the steel. The imicrostructure of the steel did not indicate a dif-
ference in hardness due to composition at the surface of the axle.





















No. 6.-Truck wheels, showing fractured surface of axle just below face of hub.

The metallogra;phic examination, taken at four places on the circum-
ference. 900 apart. showed ident ical structure throughout.
Tensile tests were made on the metal of the section covered by the
wheel fit near the place of fracture. The tests represented the netal,
in a longitudinal direction, near the cii cuiference, one-quarter below
the surface. and at the center of the axle. Specimens were taken out
in duplicate, one set being tested in the natural state of the metal
in the forging and one set after the metal was annealed. Three ad-
ditional specimens were taken frl'rii the axle near the middle of its
length, in a crosswise direction.
74718-15--2






INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


The results of the tensile tests were as follows (specimens 0.50
diaiiiter by 2 inches long):


Tensile
strength, Elona- Contrac-
Location, per tiona tion of
square area.
inch.

L.-,nitiiilinil s".-' irmeln-, natural state of forging: Pounds. Percent. Per cent.
N i r rn rnie...................... ......... .............. 75,800 29.0 42.3
One quarter below surface............. ........................ 75,000 29.0 44.3
Center of section.......... ................ .................. 71,200 28.0 40.2
T.iidihj u.lirjal 4'l in n-ii annealed:
Netir irinurnu fereri .. .... .... .. ..... .. 72,800 31.5 49.2
One quarter below surface................... ................ .... 69,500 33.0 51.8
Center of section ......................... ..... ....... 68,700 30.0 1 47.6
Crosswise specimens, natural state of forging:
69,300 18.0 18.4
Diametrical and on chords............. ..... ........ ..... 67,130 15.0 14.8
S70,900 20.0 21.4


The elastic limits of the longitudinal, unannealed specimens were
in the vicinity.of 45,000 pounds per square inch, which dropped to
37,000 pounds per squllare inch in the annealed metal. In a crosswise
direction the elastic limits were about 30,000 pounds per square inch.
The fractures of the longitudinal specimens were fine silky, those of
the crosswise specimens lamellar.
The results of the examination of the metal showed a grade of
steel had been used which under normal conditions should have en-
abled the axle to sustain the loads of the tender, which under static
coalitions were not high. Assuming a load of 20,000 pounds carried
by each journal, with center of effort at the middle of the length of
the jolurn;il, then the bending stress at the inner end would be only
5,186 pounds per square inch. At the inner end of the dust guard
section the computed stress would be 4,142 pounds per square inch,
while in the vicinity of the actual place of rupture, at the wheel
seat, the static stress would be somewhat less than 4,000 pounds per
square inch. These are recognized as moderate bending stresses
which if not exceeded the axle should carry with safety. The frac-
ture of this and other axles indicates, however, that occasional loads
are received greatly in excess of the static loads, the severity of
which is accountable for the ultimate failure of axles.
This axle was used with 36-inch wheels. It would, therefore, make
about 560 rotations per mile, and the total number of rotations for
its mileage of 84,649 miles would be, in round numbers, 47,400,000.
Under a constant bending stress as low as 5,186 pounds per square
inch the effect of this number of repetitions should not affect the
integrity of the axle. In fact the life of the axle under a load of
this magnitude should be practically of unlimited duration.





ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


This axle fractlhaed at a place where the belning stresses w ere not
at their maximum, a circiiumstance which calls for special inquiry.
T'Il fractiur did not occlr at the face of the hub of the wheel, but at
a distance within, ranging f romt theC,-.sixteentihs of an inch to .c\rln-
sixteenithl. From its lpoition it w;s effectually ic',c.:ll;d by the
iietal of the hub, its presence not admitting of di ,\cvery prior to the
comVplete separation of the metal and the failure of the axle. The
type of fracture, howve\er, was a c(oiiiin i one'. and known as a de-
tailed or progressive franctue. A type of fracture which r'esullts from
a nuilnller of repetitions of load. Fractures of this kind are unac-
c<,inpa:liied by the development of ductility which is displayed in the
1i11ual tests of. the metal.
The fracture of this axle started on one side of its cross section,
thence extending toward the center. At the time of final rupture
only about one-quarter of the cross section remained intact. The
final portion was an eccentric section some 3 inches in diameter. The
frnl'atuired surface presented the usual characteristics witnessed in re-
peated stress fractures. The earlier fractured portions were ham-
mered smooth by the longitudinal co(impressive component, which
acted on the axle up to the time of final fracture. The portion which
failed last had a silky appearance, but was somewhat battered by
blows received at the time of the derailment. The fiber stresses in
this part of the axle certainly were greatly augmented before final
rupture was reached. They must have been increased several fold at
the time the axle was reduced to an effective diameter of 3 inches.
Failures of this kind have furnished evidence upon the wide fluc-
tuations of stresses which are received in the track, since there have
been instances in which axles, partially ruptured, have been discov-
ered carrying normal loads on diameters of -sond metal very much
reduced over their primitive dimensions. Such evidence, resting
upon a number of examples, leads to the (ledlcti(on that wide fluc-
tuations of loads are generally encountered in the track and must be
provided for in establishing the dimensions of axles. Practi,'ally this
is a matter not easily fixed.
There are places in which, by reason of the difficulties which sur-
round the determination of the actual working stresses, the prob-
lem of providing a proper section, is one of peculiar obscurity.
Axles are examples in which it is essential to provide adequate
strength to resist loads which in a strict sense are inleterminuate.
For this reason the failure of an axle of this kind is matter of deep
concern, unless some unusual and specific cause for its fracture can
be found.
It is believed that an exceptional condition existed in the case of
this axle which affected its durability and led to its premature fail-





INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


ure, and which was found in a well-defined circumferential mark
scored upon the surface of the wheel fit, and which the plane of
rupture followed over a considerable portion of its course. This
scored line appeared to have located the incipient place of rupture.
In appearance it resembled the effect of the cutting edge of some
hard body rather than the mark of an ordinary lathe tool used
in the finishing cut on the axle. If not made by a lathe tool, it
must have been made by some hard body having substantially the


No. 7.-End view of fractured axle, showing character of surface of progressive
fracture. Diameter of metal which remained intact up to the time of final
fracture, 3 inches.

same diameter as the wheel fit, which feature directs attention to
the hub of the wheel as a probable object responsible for the cir-
cumferential scoring.
Upon dismantling the axle further evidence was disclosed which
directed attention to this part of the wheel fit, namely, the serrations
on the cylindrical surface, previously referred to, which were located
near the place of rupture. Efforts were directed toward ascertaining
why these serrations were present, which apparently attached to the
period of machining the rough-turned forging or when pressing on





ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


the wheels. The ruugl-t ilrned axles were finished at the Baldwin
Locomotive Works in lathes which were located in the ilimmedi:ate
vicinity of the hydraulic plres lsed for prsinig on the wheels. That
such marks could have been prese. t on the finislhdc surface of the
axle and not attract the attention of the lathe operlatr is improb-
able, while their character is unlike what might be expected to occur
in the lathe. There appeared no rcalil;,able opportunity for the axle
to receive the serratillons in transit from the lathe to the press.
Conjecturally the most probable explanation for the cause of their
presence, and when lmaiile, attaches to the time when the wheels were
pressed on the axle. If, by accident, the axle was started askew when
it first entered the hub of the wheel, the rapid action of the pump of
the hydraulic press might cause damage to the wheel fit before its
opelrti(on could be arrested. Provided this happened, the presence
















No. 8.-Portion of axle detached by plane of fracture at the wheel fit.

of the sharp circumferential scoring would be consistently accounted
for. Furthermore, the removal of the axle or its readjustment nor-
mal to the face of the hub would require unusual efforts, and hammer-
ing the axle to release it for readjustment is a plausible affair. The
choice of tools available to do this is not very great in the vicinity of
a wheel press, and siihc serrations might result from the use of some
chance tool found near by.
The records of the Baldwin Lcr'ollntive Works do not furnish any
information upon this feature of the case. In fact, their records
do not show that a Pollak axle was used, but on the other hand they
call for a Carnegie axle in its place. Carnlegie axles were inspected
and accepted by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. for this tender,
but the presence of the brand mark Pollak" and the initials of the
Baldwin Locomotive Works, with the date of pressing on the wheels







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4.
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No. 9.-Side view of axle at
wheel fit, showing serra-
tions on surface adjacent
to plane of fracture. Frac-
tured edge on the right of
the cut. Microscopic speci-
mens slotted off the left
edge of this section.







ACC'lI)ENT' NE.\H WOODLYN, PA.


No. 10.-bide view of axle at wheel fit and dust guard,
showing circumferential scoring on wheel fit, which the
plane of fracture followed over a part of its course.
Fractured edge on the left of the cut.






INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


and the pressures employed, agreeing with the records of the latter
company, show that some error was made in the records. Although
not important in this instance, cases may ari se in which the inspec-
tion of the material would involve vital features. On this occasion
greater importance attached to the workmanship and the assembling
of the wheels upon the axle, which the inspect ion provided for did
not cover.


No. 11.-Microstructure of fractured axle near circumference at wheel fit and near place
of fracture. Specimens taken out 90 degrees apart. .-,.nlir ion,. 50 diameters.

The cause of the failure of the axle appears associated with the
presence of the circumferential scoring which was on the surface
of the wheel fit, and that its endiullr;ine in service was impaired by
this groove. An illii-tr:tion bearing upon the behavior of this axle
was furnished by duplicate test shafts ri:te.iitly submitted to repeated
alternate stresses, similar in kind to the stresses which riuptui'red this
axle. One of the shafts was accidentally scored during the test by





ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


a loose set screw. The place of rupture was located by this scoring,
and the number of repetitions of stresses was redirled 664,700 times,
apparently by reason of this surface defect. The total nunlber of
repetit ins of loads sustained by the injurld* and uninjured shafts
weNre 262,000 and 926.7r00. re-lct ti ely. Sharp reentering ; lgles and
sudden changeb;-r in cross section are rec gnizel as undesirable in
material subjertedl to repeated alteriatle stresses. Slight surface de-
fects are also detrimental, ii w'-tireasg in grinavity with the magnitude
of the stre.Sses and with the use of higher or harder grades of steel.
It is problematical how long axles endure in service after rupture
actually begin-. Annular fractures are at times formed and are
probably of.slower development than fr';i-tures which develop on
one side of the axle only.
In conclusion it appears-
That the derailment of train No. 3 was due to the fracture of a
tender axle.
That the type of failure was a progressive or detailed fracture,
starting from one side of the axle and thence extending inward.
That final rupture orcnrred when there remained intact only about
one-quarter of the original cross section of metal.
That the fracture of the axle occurred on the wheel fit, at a place
some three--ixteenths to seven-sixteenths inch within the section
covered by the hub of the wheel.
That the location of the place of rupture was probably influenced
by circumferential scoring on the surface of the wheel fit, which the
plane of rupture followed over a part of its course.
That the scoring was a defect of workmanship incident to the
period of finishing the axle or when the wheel was being pressed on
the end which subsequently fractured.
The investigation by Mr. Howard showed that steel of good quality
was used in the axle which failed, the immediate cause of failure
appearing to be the presence of a surface defect on the wheel fit,
which place marked the location of rupture. The fracture of an
axle of this size is a very d(isqtiieting matter, provided no unusual
and specific cause is discovered. The influence which surface defects
have in limiting the endurance of shafts and axles is well known,
and the presence of such a defect on this axle is in a way reassuring,
since it removes a doubt which would attach to all axles of this
class if no local defect led to its failure.
The customary inspection in this instance did not guard against
defects of workmanship, nor in the case of this axle did it afford
assurance that the material inspected by representatives of the Balti-
more & Ohio Railroad would be used to the exclusion of other mate-
rial not inspected by them. However, the inspection of the material





INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION.


in the present case had only an indirect bearing; a more vital feature
pertained to the workmanship and assembling of the wheels on the
axle.
The axle failed prematurely, the only assignable cause for which
is found in the surface defect on the wheel fit, to guard against the
recurrence of which is a very obvious desideratum.
The behavior of steel cars is brought into prominence in this ac-
cident. In several of its annual reports to Congress the commission
has called particular attebntio:,t to the desirability of all cars used in
high-speed passenger-train service being constructed of steel, and
in connection with many serious accidents in vestiga ted attention has
been called to the damage sustained by cars of wooden construction
as compared with cars of steel construction.
The accident here under investigation affords another exceptionally
interesting opportunity for a study of the behavior of the all-steel
passenger car in a serious derailment. The train involved was run-
ning on straight track at the rate of 57 miles per hour. Although
the impact of the heavy all-steel sleeping car Rachita against the end
of the modern steel-truss bridge, while moving at high speed, dam-
aged the bridge to such an extent that it collapsed, throwing the
sleeping car to the track below, a distance of 20 or 25 feet, yet the
car was not seriously damaged, and none of its occupants killed or
seriously injured. While, of course, it is conjectural what would
have happened had this car been of wooden construction, yet it is
probable that had a wooden car been involved it would have been
seriously damaged, if not destroyed, with the majority of its occu-
pants killed or seriously injured.
In this connection attention is also called to the report covering the
investigation of the accident which occurred on the Alabama Great
Southern Railway near Livingston, Ala., on September 18, 1914.
The accident involved a passenger train, derailed while moving at a
speed estimated to have been 50 miles per hour. In that accident
two steel underframe coaches were very badly damaged, many of
the occupants being killed, while the wooden car immediately ahead
of these two cars was destroyed. In the report covering that acci-
dent it was stated that:
While none of the steel-underframe cars was entirely destroyed, as was the
wooden coach, nevertheless it appears questionable, when comparing the dam-
.,-r sustained by the different types of cars in this train, whether the steel
underframe type of car afforded a materially greater degree of safety to
lj; ~ing;ers than the wooden coach. Steel underframes will probably prevent
the buckling or breaking in two of a car, and in that respect cars so constructed
are undoubtedly an improvement as compared with cars built entirely of wood;
if pral-tia.illy everything above the steel underframe is to be destroyed in an
accident, however, it is apparent that but little increased protection to passen-






ACCIDENT NEAR WOODLYN, PA.


gers is afforded. The fifth car in the train, an all-steel Pullman sleeping car,
was prnicticilly uninjured, all the daimige sustaiined by it being confined to the
trucks and running genr.
The facts developed .in that investigation, as well as in the one
here under discussion, strengthen previous recommendations, made
in accident investigation reports, as well as in the annual reports of
the commission to Congress, that the greatest protection to passengers
in high-speed trains can be afforded only by the use of all-steel cars.
Respectfully submitted.
H. W. BELNAP,
Chief D;vision of Safety.


WASHINGTON : GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1915




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