Railway and Locomotive Engineering, November, 1907
Hospital Car on the Erie.
Part of the rolling equipment of the Erie Railroad is a hospital
car. It is 60 ft. long over end sills and is 8 ft. 11¼
ins. wide. The car has platforms at both ends, similar to those
used on the observation ends of ordinary passenger cars. The step
covers can be put down and gates closed when it is desired to
prevent curious and not helpful individuals from gaining access
to the interior.
The car is
mounted on two six-wheel trucks, which make it ride as smoothly
as a Pullman. Underneath the car equipment boxes have been placed,
with doors opening outward, for the storage of apparatus which
it is not necessary to carry in the interior compartments. The
inside finish is of a composite board made for the purpose, without
beading, molding, carving or other projections which might serve
as places for the collection of dust or dirt, or where infectious
matter might lodge. White enamel paint is used as a finish, and
the floor is covered with white rubber tiling.
The car is divided into two compartments. One of them, 43 ft.
3 ins. in length, is known as the ward. It contains eleven brass
beds, or what may more properly be described as hospital cots.
The other compartment is 15 ft. 9 ins. long and is the operating
room. This contains the surgeon's lockers, operating table and
accessories, such as would be found in any good emergency hospital.
The compartments are separated from one another by a partition
in which there are two sliding doors with ground glass windows.
These doors are designed so as to give maximum opening when it
is necessary to bring a, patient from the ward to the operating
table. This compartment is provided with two sliding doors, 48
ins. wide, through which patients can be carried. Suitable steps,
usually carried under the car, can be placed in front of the sliding
doors when it is necessary to use them.
is provided in the ward by twenty-eight windows, of which there
are fourteen on each side. All of these are provided with ground
glass. There are also six side windows opening into the operating
room and two large windows in each of the side doors. In addition
to these windows there is a large ground glass window over the
operating table in the roof of the car. All these windows are
provided with roller curtains made of white rubber. This material
is also used for the curtains enclosing the cots. The rubber curtaining
is easily cleaned and insures freedom from infection.
The car is also well equipped with acetylene lamps, of which
there are four 4-flame lamps in the ward; two 4-flame lamps in
the operating room; one 1-flame lamp in the operating room, over
the wash basin, and one 1-flame lamp in the toilet room. There
is also a portable lamp which can be used by the surgeons if it
becomes necessary to perform any operation requiring the use of
The car is equipped with a gravity water system, supplying
the wash stand in the operating room, the sterilizer, the wash
stand in the ward and also the lavatory. The system is arranged
to furnish either hot or cold water, as may be required, and provision
has been made in the operating room so that the flow of water
can be regulated from a valve operated by treadle, thereby avoiding
the necessity for handling any of the water equipment. This is
the method employed in all modern hospital arrangements.
Both the operating
room and the ward have the Gold direct system of steam heat, which
is in general use on the Erie passenger equipment, and ample provision
has been made for keeping the car warm in the severest winter
weather. The beds in the ward are furnished complete with springs,
hair 'mattresses, rubber sheets linen and blankets and are very
similar to the regular hospital bed, the dimensions being such
as will best suit the length and width of the car. The operating
room has two lockers in which are stored the supplies required
by the surgeons in such work as they may be called upon to do
and the entire equipment is modern in every way. Medical supplies
of the latest make are used, and should it be necessary to call
the car into sudden requisition there is nothing lacking to insure
the highest efficiency in the work of saving human life or relieving
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