THE following examination code is partly made up from the manuals in use for the examination of firemen on several of our most progressive railroads and partly by the author of this book. Any fireman who can give an intelligent answer to the greater part of these questions is likely to pass for promotion. The wording of the answers is not generally considered of any consequence so long as the candidate for promotion shows that he understands the subject properly. The form of questions is seldom closely adhered to, and the examiner usually makes sure that the candidate has not merely committed the answers to memory without understanding the matters they relate to. A candidate studying these questions would do well, to read carefully what is said in the body of this book about the different subjects. The Table-of-Contents may be used as a reference-table to direct where information can be found.



Ques. 1.—What are the principal duties of an engineer before attaching his engine to the train?
Ans.—Report on duty in good season; examine the bulletin-board where one is kept; try the water-gauge cocks, and see that the water-glass gauge level agrees with that of the try-cocks. Examine the fire-box and the boiler for leaks, and see to the condition of the grates. See that the tank is filled with water, loaded with coal, and that the sand-boxes are filled with sand; that the necessary tools and signals are provided, and that the supplies necessary for the trip are on the engine. Ascertain that the injectors and air-pump are in good working order, that the rod-connections, guides, cross-heads, eccentrics, links and other parts of the machinery are in proper working order, that no bolts or nuts are missing, and that all set-screws are secure. It is also the duty of the engineer to know that all oil-cellars are properly packed, and that all the rubbing surfaces are oiled, and that the-engine and tender are securely coupled.

Q. 2.—What are his duties before leaving with train?
A.—Compare time with conductor or any authorized time-piece, ask for orders, and if there are airbrakes on the train try them.



Q. 1.—How should an injector be started?
A.—Open overflow and water-valve, see that water passes through overflow freely; open steam-valve gradually until the water ceases to flow through overflow, but passes through check into boiler.

Q. 2.—How should an injector be stopped?
A.—Close the steam-valve gradually and shut the feed-pipe cock.

Q. 3.—How should an injector be converted into a heater?
A.—Open the feed-pipe cock, shut overflow, and permit a little steam to enter the injector through starting-valve.

Q. 4.—What is the proper height of water to carry in the boiler?
A.—Carry water and steam in the top gauge-cock when working steam.

Q. 5.—What should be the condition of the water supply in the boiler when the locomotive ascends a grade?
A.—It should be sufficiently high to prevent the front ends of the tubes from being uncovered and exposed to the fire.

Q. 6.—What should be the condition of the water supply in the boiler when the locomotive descends a grade?
A.—It should be sufficiently high to cover the back end of the crown-sheet.

Q. 7.—What do you consider the best and most economical method of supplying water to the boiler?
A.—To regulate the feed so that the amount of water delivered is in proportion to the work which the engine is doing. On approaching a steep grade, as much water should be fed into the boiler as it is safe to carry without danger of priming. The condition of the fire should be such also as to heat the water as hot as possible before reaching the grade. The reason for this is, that as the boiler is often taxed to its utmost capacity to generate the steam required to haul a train up a grade, its work will be materially assisted if any portion of the water to be evaporated during the ascent has been previously heated.

Q. 8.—Should it be necessary after pitching over a summit to add water to the boiler, what should be the condition of the fire?
A.—It should be bright and burn freely

Q. 9.—Why is this important?
A.—To prevent chilling the flues, which would cause them to leak.

Q. 10.—Should you have ample water when descending a grade, what should be the condition of the fire?
A.—If the grade is very long the fire should be leveled over and covered over sufficiently with fresh fuel to prevent unnecessary waste of fuel and steam. The dampers should also be closed.

Q. 11.—If the injectors and pumps fail to work, what should be done?
A.—Smother down the fire, see that there is water in the tank, examine the tank-valve and strainer in the hose and look for leaks in the feed-pipe between the tank and injectors; and if these parts are found all right, take the injector apart to see that there are no obstructions. Failing to get the injectors to work, would endeavor to get the train on the side-track. If necessary draw the fire, and notify the superintendent.

Q. 12.—If the water in the boiler is too low to admit of this examination, what is necessary?
A.—Draw the fire and send for assistance.

Q. 13.—In case of shortness of water in tank what would you do?
A.—Try to reach the nearest siding to leave train and run to water-tank, unless it were practicable to obtain supply from stream near by.

Q. 14.—If tank-valves become disconnected what should be done?
A.—Change the injector into heater, apply steam suddenly and try to blow valve out.

Q. 15.—Should the water in the boiler become disturbed and foam, what would you do, and how would you ascertain whether it was foaming or being over-pumped?
A.—As soon as the water is discovered discharging from the stack, would at once shut off and ascertain the height of the water solid. Should the water drop below the second or third gauge, would conclude there was foaming, and would again gently open the throttle. Should the water again rise and discharge from the stack, would put on both injectors, open the surface blow when one is provided, and run carefully: allowing the bad water to be worked off through the surface blow, being very careful not to work the water in sufficient quantities through the cylinders as to endanger knocking out the heads, and would occasionally shut off to see that the water was not being thrown off faster than the pumps or injectors were supplying it. By this means the bad water would in most cases be worked out, and with gentle usage would again settle.

Q. 16.—What is the cause of foaming or priming?
A.—It may result from various causes, the principal of which is the mixing of the water with alkali, oil, grease, mud, or other impurity. Priming often results from the supply of water in the boiler being too great.

Q. 17.—What effect has foaming or working very wet steam on the coal consumption?
A.—It causes great waste of fuel by carrying into the cylinder hot water which does no work, and which tends to condense the steam it touches. Super-saturated steam also causes excessive back pressure in the cylinders, as it escapes with difficulty through the exhaust.



Q. 1.—How should a locomotive be started?
A.—The reverse lever should be put in full gear, and steam applied gently. As the speed increases, the reverse lever should be notched back gradually.

Q. 2.—After starting, how can an engine be worked most economically?
A .—With throttle wide open and reverse lever hooked back as near the center of quadrant as can be done while maintaining the required speed, thereby using the steam expansively.

Q. 3.—What is meant by using steam expansively?
A.—Cutting off the admission to the cylinder when part of the stroke is completed, and permitting the steam admitted to, do work by expanding itself.

Q. 4—Why is working the steam expansively considered desirable?
A.—Because by that means a given quantity of steam does more work and therefore is used more economically. The higher the pressure of steam on admission to the cylinder, and the lower the pressure at the instant of release, the greater will be the economy.

Q. 5.—How does hooking up the reverse lever increase the expansive working of steam?
A.—Because hooking towards the center reduces the travel of the valves, and causes them to cut off steam admission earlier in the stroke.

Q. 6.—What is the valve-gear of a locomotive?
A.—The eccentrics, eccentric straps, rods, links, rockers, and other parts used in moving the slide-valves.

Q. 7.—What is the use of the valve-gear?
A.—It regulates the admission and exit of steam to and from the cylinders so that the required supply will push the piston one way and escape before the piston begins moving in the opposite direction. The valve-gear also enables the engineer to reverse the motion of the engine, and permits him to reduce the travel of the valve so that cut-off will happen early in the stroke when that is desired.

Q. 8.—By what means is the change of motion effected?
A.—By means of four eccentrics secured to the main driving-axle, two of which are used for forward and two for backward motion.

Q. 9.—What is an eccentric?
A.—It is a circular plate secured out of center, on an axle, making it act like a crank, giving its connections a "reciprocating" or to-and-fro motion.

Q. 10.—How is the motion of the eccentrics made to operate the valves?
A.—By means of eccentric straps and rods connecting with the link and through that to the rocker-arm which moves the valve-stem rod.

Q. 11.—What is a link?
A.—It is a slotted bar provided with means for attaching the ends of the eccentric-rods, the forward gear-rod generally connecting with the top, and the back gear-rod with the bottom. The slot is the segment of a circle with a radius about the same as the length of the eccentric-rods. In the slot of the link is secured a sliding block to which the lower rocker-arm is connected. The eccentric-rod whose end is set nearest to the link-block controls the valve for moving the engine.

Q. 12.—What was the link first used for?
A.—As a simple form of reversing motion.

Q. 13.—What other functions does it perform?
A.—It puts in the hands of the engineer an easy means of regulating the cut-off of the steam.

Q. 14.—How does it provide the means of changing the point of cut-off ?
A.—When the engine is in full gear and the end of the eccentric-rod opposite the link-block, the valve will have full travel and the steam will follow the piston the greater part of the stroke. When the links are notched up, so that the link-block is drawn away from the end of the link, the oscillating, or fore-and-aft, motion imparted to the block is reduced and in like degree the travel of the valve is reduced. This causes the valve to cut off steam earlier. Chapters XVII and XVIII give detailed information about this subject.

Q. 15.—What is valve-lap?
A.—The extensions of the valve beyond what are necessary to cover the two steam-ports when the valve is on the middle of the seat.

Q. 16.—What is outside lap?
A.—The extension of the valve on the outside of the steam-ports when the valve is on the middle of the seat.

Q. 17.—What is inside lap?
A.—The extension of the valve inside beyond the steam-ports when the valve is on the middle of the seat.

Q. 18.—What is valve clearance?
A.—The distance which the inside edge of the valve comes short of covering the steam-port when the valve is set on the middle of the seat.

Q. 19.—What is outside lap used for?
A.—It provides the means of cutting off steam at different points of the piston-stroke.

Q. 20.—What is inside lap used for?
A.—To protract the period of valve-opening for the release of the steam, therefore to give the steam longer time to act on the piston.

Q. 21.—What is the effect of inside clearance?
A.—To accelerate the time of release, and to delay the valve-closure for compression.

Q. 22.—What is lead?
A.—The amount of port-opening made by the valve when the piston is at the beginning of the stroke.

Q. 23.—Explain the distribution of steam in a locomotive.
A.—Steam enters through the throttle, dry-pipe and steam-pipe into the steam-chest, and through the admission port into one end of the cylinder, forcing the piston to the other or opposite end. When the piston has nearly completed its stroke the valve is in a position to permit the escape of the steam through the exhaust passages to the atmosphere. For every stroke of the piston four distinct events occur: the admission, the cut-off, the release, and the compression.

Q. 24.—What is back pressure?
A.—Back pressure is the resistance of the steam to be exhausted to the movement of the piston, and may be due to the exhaust passages, or exhaust nozzles, being too small. The area, or size, of the nozzle is often reduced by accumulation of dirt and grease which, when ejected from the cylinders, adhere to the inner surfaces of the nozzle.

Q. 25.—How may back pressure, due to contraction of the nozzles, be detected?
A.—Mainly from a very sharp exhaust, the effect of which is to act strongly upon the fire, tearing it and carrying the fuel through the flues. This condition involves a waste of fuel, and when it exists it should be reported to the round-house foreman.

Q. 26.—What is compression?
A.—The vapor compressed in the contracting space in the cylinder by the piston after the valve closes before the beginning of the stroke.

Q. 27.—What is important to observe in setting up or adjusting wedges?
A.—To have them so neatly adjusted that there will be no thump of the boxes, and, at the same time, not so tight as to cramp and not allow them full and free play on the pedestals.

Q. 28.—How would you go about setting them up?
A.—Would place the engine at half-stroke on the right side, block the left wheels, admit a little steam, and thump the boxes hard away from the wedges. Would then get under and put the wedges up solid with a short wrench, and make a side mark on the pedestals at top of wedge, then draw them down equally a scant one-eighth of an inch. Go over the left side in the same manner.

Q. 29.—How would you keep up or adjust the side rods of a ten-wheel or a consolidation engine?
A.—Would place the engine on a level and straight track, and on a dead center, then slack off all keys on that line of rods , would then key the main connection first, leaving it sufficiently free on the pin to be moved laterally by hand, then adjust the front and back ends in the same manner; before starting to key up rods, would see that wedges were properly set up.

Q. 30.—Why would you place the engine on exact dead center, and begin by keying the main connection first?
A.—In order to insure keying the rods of proper length to allow them to pass the dead or rigid points without strain.

Q. 31.—If the side rods are keyed too long or too short what will be the effect?
A.—They will strain the pins when passing the centers and cause heating.

Q. 32.—How can it be discovered when a rod is out of tram?
A.—If the rod cannot be moved by the hands on the pin when the engine is on the center, the probability is that the rod is too long or too short.

Q. 33.—How would you detect a blow in the piston-packing?
A.—Place the engine on quarter, admit steam in front or back end of cylinder, open the cylinder-cocks, and if the steam blows through both cylinder-cocks then the packing blows.

Q. 34.—How would you detect a blow in the main valve?
A.—Block the wheels, place the valve centrally on the seat, admit steam to the steam-chest, and if the steam escapes through the exhaust or cylinder cock, the indications are that the valve leaks.

Q. 35.—What is important to secure the proper lubrication of an engine?
A.—To see that the holes in the cups or other oil-vessels are not obstructed by dirt or cinders, and to see that the oil-feeders are regulated to supply the requisite oil without wasting any unnecessarily.

Q. 36.—What are the engineer's duties before leaving his engine after finishing a trip?
A.—The boiler should be left well filled with water and the fire as low as circumstances will permit. The dampers should be left closed, the cylinder-cocks open, the lubricator-feeders closed, the reverse lever in the center notch, and the tender-brakes set. The fire-box, flues, and boiler should be examined and any leaks found reported. The running-gear and machinery of the engine should be minutely inspected and any defects reported.



Q. 1.—What are the principal points to be observed in firing a locomotive?
A.—To regulate the supply of fuel to suit the work to be done, and to apply it in such a way that the greatest possible volume of steam will be generated from the fuel used.

Q. 2.—What kind of a fire will make steam most freely?
A.—A clear white (incandescent) fire.

Q. 3.—How is a fire of this kind best maintained?
A.—By supplying the quantity of fuel to suit the quantity of air passing into it, thereby maintaining the most valuable form of combustion.

Q. 4.—What thickness of fire is most economical?
A.—The thickness that the engine will steam with most freely.

Q. 5.—What is the advantage of running with a thin fire?
A.—It will permit the air to reach all parts of the fuel and tend to burn up all the gases in the coal. There is little smoke with a thin fire.

Q. 6.—Why is it sometimes impracticable to use a thin fire?
A.—If the exhaust nozzles are small and the grate area contracted, the rush of air through the grates is so violent that holes are torn in a thin fire and sparks sent out with the currents of gas. Cold air also passes to the flues, preventing the engine from steaming.

Q. 7.—What are the advantages and drawbacks to carrying a heavy fire?
A.—When the engine causes a violent rush of air through the grates, a heavy fire prevents the suction from making holes in the fire, and the large body of coal acts as an obstacle to the free passage of air and prevents the supply from being sufficient to chill the fire-box. The drawbacks to this kind of a fire are that the gas escaping from the upper layers of the fuel does not receive the air necessary for combustion, and it passes through the flues in the form of smoke and uncombined gas. The smoke makes the fire cloudy, and that obstructs the heat-rays so that they do not strike the fire-box sheets, part of the heat force being thereby lost.

Q. 8.—What are essential conditions for causing perfect combustion in the fire-box?
A.—That the fuel be kept up to the igniting temperature, and that the air necessary for supporting combustion be supplied.

Q. 9.—What is the igniting temperature of fuel?
A.—It is a little higher than that of red-hot iron.

Q. 10.—If part of the fire-box falls below the igniting temperature, what happens?
A.—The fuel-gases and air that pass through such a part do not unite, and consequently they do not produce any heat. If a thin part of the fire gets below the igniting temperature, cold air passes through and chills the flues, causing leaks to start.

Q. 11.—How can part of a fire-box be reduced below the igniting temperature?
A.—By throwing in a large quantity of fresh coal, or by letting clinkers and incombustible refuse accumulate, or by permitting the fire to burn too thin.

Q. 12.—How should fuel be fed to a fire-box?
A.—In small quantities, not to exceed three or four shovelfuls at each firing.

Q. 13.—What should be the condition of the fire when at a station?
A.—The fuel should be burned sufficiently to prevent the raising of smoke, and there ought to be enough coal on the grates to last while the engine is starting the train, so that the fire-door need not be opened till the links are hooked up.


Q. 1.—Should your engine break down on the road, what are your first duties?
A.—To see that engine and train are properly protected by sending flagmen in both directions, if on a single track; and if close to a siding, to get on it as soon as possible if it can be done without disconnecting engine.

Q. 2.—Should the blow-off cock be blown out, or be broken off, or a hole be broken in the boiler in any way, what would you do?
A.—Quench out or draw the fire promptly and send a messenger to the nearest telegraph office for assistance. Would then disconnect and get the engine ready to be towed in when assistance arrived.

Q. 3.—How would you detect a broken valve-yoke?
A.—Place the engine on a quarter, open the cylinder-cocks, admit steam to the steam-chest, then reverse the engine two or three times, and if the steam flows alternately from each cock, then the valve-yoke is not broken; but if the steam flows only from one cock, then the yoke is broken.

Q. 4.—In case a valve-yoke breaks, what should be done?
A.—Cover the ports with the valve and fasten it in that position, disconnect the valve-stem and the main rod, block the cross-head, and proceed with one side working.

Q. 5.—Should a severe blow develop, to what would you attribute it?
A.—To a cocked or broken valve, or broken valve-seat. If after moving the valve or jarring the yoke, it cannot be remedied, the steam-chest lid should be taken off to determine the cause; first having determined that it was not caused by the packing blowing.

Q. 6.—In case of a main valve being broken, what course should be pursued?
A.—Remove the valve and place a block of wood over the ports, replace the steam-chest lid, disconnect the valve-stem and main rod, block the cross-head, and proceed with the engine working on one side.

Q. 7.—In case of a broken steam-pipe or steam-chest, what should be done?
A.—If the steam-chest and steam-pipe are badly broken, it will be necessary to disconnect the engine and have it towed to shop.

Q. 8.—If the forward-motion eccentric slips, what should be done?
A.—Place the engine on center, throw engine in full back gear and mark the valve-stem flush with the gland, then throw the reverse lever in full forward gear, and move forward-motion eccentric opposite to back-motion eccentric until the mark on the valve-stem appears flush with the gland.

Q. 9.—When an eccentric strap or rod breaks, what should be done?
A.—Take down eccentric straps and rods on broken side, cover the ports with the valve, disconnect the main rod, block the cross-head, and proceed with one side working.

Q. 10.—If a reverse-lever, reach-rod, link-hanger, saddle, or lift-shaft breaks, what should be done?
A.—Insert a block between the top of link and link-blocks.

Q. 11.—Should the cylinder-heads break, what should be done?
A.—Cover the ports with the valve, disconnect the valve-stem, main rod, and piston; block the cross-head, and proceed with the train.

Q. 12.—Should the piston-rod, rocker-arm, shaft, or valve-stem break, what should be done?
A.—Disconnect and proceed as in case of broken cylinder-head.

Q. 13.—In case of broken cross-head, what should be done?
A.—Disconnect and proceed as in case of broken cylinder-head.

Q. 14.—In case of broken gib, what should be done?
A.—If the cross-head is not broken, fit in a piece of wood of proper thickness and proceed.

Q. 15.—If a side rod or back crank-pin on an eight-wheel engine breaks, what should be done?
A.—Take down both side rods and proceed.

Q. 16.—If the back side rod or crank-pin breaks on a ten-wheel engine, what should be done?
A.—Take down the broken rod, also corresponding rod on the other side, and proceed.

Q. 17.—Should a front side rod or crank-pin on a ten-wheel engine break, what should be done?
A.—Take down all the side rods on both sides and proceed.

Q. 18.—Should a back or front section of a side rod on a consolidation engine break, how would you disconnect?
A.—Would take off both back or front connections, as the case may be, and run in with two-thirds of train.

Q. 19.—Should a middle connection on a consolidation engine break, how would you disconnect?
A. Would take off all side rods and run in with train engine could handle.

Q. 20.—If a main crank-pin breaks, what should be done?
A.—Take down the side rods on both sides and main rod on broken side, disconnect the valve-stem, cover the ports with valve, block the cross-head on disabled side, and proceed with one main rod working only.

Q. 21.—Should one of the forward tires on a ten-wheel engine break, how would you manage?
A.—Would Jack the wheel up the thickness of the tire, take out the oil-cellar, and cut a block to fit the bottom of the box and journal sufficiently thick to hold the axle up in its place when resting on the pedestal brace; would then run in without disconnecting, provided the rod had not been bent or damaged by the broken tire.

Q. 22.—Should you break a main tire, how would you manage?
A.—Would block up the axle and wheel the thickness of the tire, slack off the side and keys, and run in carefully without train.

Q. 23.—Should the back tire break, how would you manage?
A.—Would take off the back section of rods, block up the axle, run very carefully, especially around curves, to nearest telegraph office, report and ask for orders.

Q. 24.—If the main driving-axle of an eight-wheel engine should break, what should be done?
A.—Disconnect side rods, block up wheels belonging to broken axle, and send for assistance.

Q. 25.—Should the back driving-axle of an eight-wheel engine break, what should be done?
A.—Disconnect side rods, block up wheels, transfer part of engine weight to tender by means of lever, and proceed slowly.

Q. 26.—If the main driving-axle on a mogul or consolidation engine is badly bent and cannot turn, what should be done?
A.—Take down the main and parallel rods, and block up under the boxes until drivers are clear of the rail, so that the engine can be towed to shop.

Q. 27.—If a main driving-axle is broken just inside of the wheel-fit, what should be done?
A.—Block between pedestal cap and driving-box, also between frame and spring saddle, take down all side rods on both sides and main rod on broken side, disconnect the valve-stem on broken side, and proceed cautiously with one main rod.

Q. 28.—If the main driving-axle is broken between the boxes, what should be done?
A.—Disconnect the same as when the axle is bent so that the wheels will not turn.

Q. 29.—If a front driving-axle on a mogul or consolidation engine is broken close to wheel, what should be done?
A.—Jack the engine up sufficiently to take the weight off the wheels, then block on top of the equalizer that passes through the slot in the cylinder casting, also block between the top of driving-box and the frame on second pair of wheels, then raise the forward wheel sufficiently to clear the rail and place a block between the bottom of driving-box and pedestal cap sufficiently thick to hold them in this position, and proceed slowly.

Q. 30.—If a front driving-axle is broken between the boxes, what should be done?
A.—Block up engine as in preceding case, and proceed slowly.

Q. 31.—In case the back driving-axle breaks, what should be done?
A.—Block up the driving-box on both sides, take down both back side rods, and proceed slowly.

Q. 32.—In case the axle of the second pair of drivers of a mogul or consolidation engine should break close to the wheel, what should be done?
A.—Block up the driving-box on both sides, take down all side rods, and proceed slowly.

Q. 33.—In case of broken tires, what should be done?
A.—Proceed as in case of broken axles.

Q. 34.—If a driving-spring, spring-hanger, or equalizing beam breaks, what should be done?
A.—Insert block between the top of driving-box and frame, and proceed.

Q. 35.—If the back axle of a four-wheel engine truck should break close to the wheel, what should be done?
A.—Chain the corner of the truck up to the main frame of the engine, and secure the disabled corner of the truck with a chain to the opposite engine frame, care being taken to allow enough slack to permit the truck to curve properly.

Q. 36.—Should the pony truck break on a consolidation or mogul engine, what should be done?
A.—Block up between top and front driving-boxes and frame, and chain broken truck to both main frames, and proceed with caution.

Q. 37.—If a driving axle-box were running hot and were not inclined to cool down by increased oiling, how would you proceed?
A.—Drive a wedge tightly between saddle and frame over hot box, relieving it of part of the load.

Q. 38—How would you proceed to stop your engine on her power at night, when working with one side?
A.—When the train was nearly stopped, would release the brakes and reverse the engine, giving her a little steam, then working the lever to-and-fro as when trying the boxes. This will stop the engine with the crank-pin near one of the quarters.

Q. 39.—In case of getting stalled in a snow blockade and the fuel getting exhausted, what should be done?
A.—Empty boiler and tender, take out cylinder-cocks, and break all joints where water would be likely to accumulate and cause damage. Would start washout plugs to let water out of boiler-leg.



Q. 1.—What is your duty regarding air-brakes before coupling engine to a train?
A.—The air-pump is to be started and lubricated for the trip, maximum pressure pumped up with which to charge the brakes, and those which may be set should be released.

Q. 2.—What is your duty as soon as engine is attached to train?
A.—First, charge the brakes; second, apply brakes at full force and hold them on while brakemen or inspectors go over train to make sure that all brakes are set; upon their signal, brakes are released. Then wait for report regarding number and condition of brakes before starting out.

Q. 3.—How would you start your pump?
A.—Slowly and increase speed gradually, and thereby not force out the water of condensation, which would be injurious to the pump.

Q. 4.—How would you lubricate your air-pump?
A.—Lubricate steam-cylinder with cylinder-oil, and air-cylinder sparingly with a small quantity of engine oil; would not use tallow or lard oils in air-cylinder.

Q. 5.—What is meant by "automatic air"?
A.—The term "automatic air" is applied to the modern Westinghouse system in which the auxiliary reservoir (air storage on cars) and the triple valve come into operation. The brakes are applied by releasing the pressure of air in brake-pipe.

Q. 6.—What is meant by "straight air"?
A.—The term "straight air" is used to designate the original Westinghouse system, which operates the brakes by applying the air-pressure from the engine reservoir directly through the pipes to the brake-cylinders of cars.

Q. 7.—How should brakes be applied in making ordinary stops for stations?
A.—The brakes should be applied lightly, by opening engineer's valve and closing again slowly until the pressure has been reduced on the gauge from four to eight pounds.

Q. 8.—When are brakes fully applied?
A.—When pressure, as shown on the gauge, is reduced twenty pounds.

Q. 9.—Should brakes be held fully applied until train comes to a full stop?
A.—No, because it causes a reaction in the motion of the train which is very disagreeable to passengers.

Q. 10.—How can this be avoided?
A.—By releasing brakes gradually before a full stop, so that all the air will be off at the moment stop is made.

Q. 11.—If some brakes are sticking after the train has started, how may they be released?
A.—If all the excess pressure has been exhausted, or the amount is not sufficient to release brakes, the engineer's brake-valve is put at "lap" and speed of air-pump increased; as soon as 15 or 20 pounds additional pressure has accumulated in main reservoir, brake-valve is thrown into releasing position, and kept there from ten to twenty seconds. If this does not release brakes the proper signals (two short blasts of whistle given three times) are used, calling attention of trainmen, and they release brakes by hand.

Q. 12.—With a passenger train of from twelve to fifteen cars, what air-pressure would you keep the brake charged with, and how would you handle the brakes in making a stop?
A.—Would carry regulation pressure. In making a stop, would apply breaks gently, reducing the pressure from four to eight pounds, as might be found necessary, and then gradually increase the pressure on brakes until train is brought nearly to a stop, without releasing the brakes more than once. See questions 10, 11, and 12.

Q. 13.—How much pressure would you carry on a passenger train of two to four coaches, and why?
A.—Would carry same pressure for all passenger trains, regardless of the number of cars. Because, with the automatic air-brake, each car carries its own reservoir charged with a pressure to be used for a given stop, and is therefore subject to the same braking power, regardless of the number of cars on the train.

Q. 14.—Given a freight train of thirty to forty cars from five to fifteen of these in front end of train are equipped with air-brakes and can be used to aid in stopping the train; at what pressure would you keep the brakes charged, and how handle the brakes in making a stop?
A.—Would carry the regulation pressure. In making stop would apply the brakes gently by reducing pressure from four to five pounds; this will be sufficient to let the cars run together, with only a slight jar on any of them. As soon as all slack is taken up, would gradually increase the force of brakes as circumstances required, being careful to reduce the pressure on train pipe gradually, so as not to use full braking power until absolutely necessary. The object is to gently bring the slack against the air-brake cars, and to hold the brakes on until the train comes to a full stop.

Q. 15.—Given a full train of freight cars all connected with air-brakes, what air-pressure would you carry and how would you handle the brake in making a stop?
A.—Would carry the pressure prescribed for freight trains. In making stop would reduce pressure slightly, just enough to set brakes over entire train simultaneously, and gradually increase braking power until train is brought to a stop, releasing the brake, after once set, as seldom as possible. If the engineer's brake-valve be opened wide, allowing the pressure to escape quickly, the brakes on a long train will set on front end some time before those on rear end, causing the cars to jam together with destructive force; then, if the engineer's brake-valve be closed quickly, without giving time for the pressure to become equalized throughout the entire train, the forward brakes will become released, resulting in a severe jerk that will perhaps break the train in two. In any case, the use of brakes so released is lost. Failures to observe this rule have been a serious cause of accidents.

Q. 16.—Give essential points to be observed in holding a train of air-brake cars while descending heavy grades.

A.—1. Have train charged with maximum pressure before bringing brake into use.

2. Regulating the force of brakes so as to maintain a regular and steady speed of train; also make as long a distance as possible to each application of the brakes. By doing this the pressure is used economically, and the pump is given more time to accumulate the necessary pressure for recharging.

3. Always keeping brake-valve in releasing position while recharging, thereby giving the brakes the greatest advantage in recharging quickly.

4. Making no new application of brakes until the full amount of pressure consumed in previous application has been restored.

5. Reducing the pressure as shown on gauge not more than fifteen to twenty pounds from one recharging to another, as it would be difficult to replenish the full amount in so short a time. Moreover, when the pressure, as shown on gauge, has been reduced twenty pounds, the brakes have been fully applied, and any further reduction is a waste of pressure.

Q. 17.—What is the object of the pressure-retaining valve?
A.—To hold a portion of the pressure in brake-cylinder, while the brake is being recharged when descending heavy grades.

Q. 18.—What are the two positions for handle of the pressure-retaining valve, and what is action of valve in each?

A.—1. Perpendicular, handle of valve is turned down; this allows the entire pressure to escape from brake-cylinder when brake is released.

2. Horizontal, handle is turned up; this retains a pressure of ten pounds in brake-cylinder, but permits all pressure over that amount to escape when brake is released.

Q. 19.—When "double-headers" are run, by whom and how should air-brakes be used?

A.—(a) By head engineer alone; second engineer closes stop-cock in train-pipe under his valve, or, in absence of this stop-cock, he places engineer's valve in the "lap" position, in order to give forward engineer complete control of brakes.

(b) Second engineer also keeps his air-pump working, and thus has air-pressure ready for any emergency, such as failure of air-pump on forward engine, in which case forward engineer proceeds as second engineer would in (a) above.

Q. 20.—Would this apply in cases where "helpers" are used for a short distance only?

Q. 21.—The second engineer having assumed control of the brakes, how long should he retain charge of same?
A.—Until the end of the trip, except in a case of necessity, which may again reverse the operation.

Q. 22.—Is it proper to make any experiment with the brakes when on mountain grades?
A.—No; this must be done at other times.

Q. 23—What should always be borne in mind when on mountain grades?
A.—To keep train well under control.

Q. 24.—Should descending at high speeds be practiced?
A.—Descending at high speed must not be practiced with any train, for there may come a time when some part of the machinery may fail, and, while practicable to control speed by hand-brakes at eight to ten miles per hour, it may be impossible at twenty to thirty miles per hour to regain its control.

Q. 25.—How do you apply driver-brakes?
A.—I apply the brakes gradually in order not to bring a too sudden strain on the brake-rods and lever.

Q. 26.—What would be the probable result of reversing engine with driver-brakes set?
A.—The effect would be to lock and slide the wheels, resulting in flat tires.

Q. 27.—In case of failure to any part of air or driver-brakes during the trip, what would you do?
A.—Report it promptly to master-mechanic or foreman for inspection and repairs.

Q. 28.—What extra air-brake parts should you always carry on your engine?
A.—I should always have on engine one extra hose for connection between engine and tender, and one hose for between tender and car.

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