Scientific American—November 20, 1886

The purpose of this attachment is to prevent accidents and collisions by a more effective safeguard than has heretofore been devised. It not only gives warning of the impending danger to the engineer, but itself absolutely stops the train. If, for any reason, the engineer should fail to notice a signal, this invention puts it in the power of every trainman, switchman, or watchman at any point along the track to stop the train in time to prevent accident even if the engineer had for any reason left his engine.

Attached to one side of the cow-catcher of the locomotive is a three-way cock, the lever for operating which projects at one side, so that an obstruction placed alongside of the track will operate the cock as the locomotive moves past. The movement of this cock admits air, obtained from the usual compressed air reservoir supplying the brakes, to five small cylinders. The shifting of the piston of one of these cylinders admits air to a pipe for applying the brakes, the second piston operates the throttle valve, the third opens the sand valve for sanding the track, the fourth rings a gong bell placed within the cab, and the fifth opens the valve of the steam engine. The mechanism for accomplishing these operations is so simple as to obviate all danger of getting out of order and to render certain the working of the entire system. It will be understood that these devices may be so arranged as to all operate at the same time or singly, as may be desired.

The inventor of this attachment for locomotives, Mr. Norman F. Chase, of Montrose, N. Y., presents the following advantages and reasons why it should be extensively adopted: First, the absolute certainty of preventing accidents and loss of life; second, preventing destruction of property; and third, economy in first cost and in use, as all lights can be dispensed with if desired.

Related Page | Contents Page

Do you have any information you'd like to share on this subject? Please email me!
The Catskill Archive website and all contents, unless otherwise specified,
are 1996-2010 Timothy J. Mallery