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tained between trains and no depend
placed on the maintenance of time intervals at stations.
The block signal cures faults due to mistakes in reading time, failures of time pieces, miscalculations of speed, neglect or laziness of employés, and numberless other faults familiar with those who read collision records. In addition to the cost, a final ohjection has been mentioned that unless a large number of new stations are established trains may be delayed at stations waiting for preceding trains to clear the block section ahead. The only adequate remedy, if traffic is active, is to divide the long section in two. In some cases permissive signaling is often resorted to for delayed trains, but the general answer to this, and to all objections, is the experience of roads of all classes, doing all kinds of business, on which the block system has been intelligently applied and been in use for years past.
The great increase in the number of train accidents during the year has led to widespread discussion, and the causes assigned for various accidents have been numerous and conflicting. Among those mentioned are laxity of discipline, long hours of labor, employment of inexperienced men, overtaxing the facilities of handling business, influence of labor unions, and many others. The fact that there exists so wide a diversity of opinion on this important subject and a careful examination of the reports sent in by the railway companies covering the more serious accidents suggests that if the public is to be supplied with full and accurate information concerning the causes of such accidents the facts ought to be made the subject of impartial investigation on behalf of the Gov. ernment, and various reasons for such investigation of railway accidents by the Government are set forth in the report.
SUPREME COURT DECISION IN THE JOHNSON CASE. It was very gratifying for us to read ney coupler and the dining car had a the decision of the Supreme Court of Miller coupler, and these two would not the United States in the Johnson case, couple automatically by impact with each which was handed down on the 19th of other, although they would with other December, 1904. It appeared to us that Janney or Miller couplers. Johnson the very essence and virtue of the safety who was the brakeman, attempted to appliance act was involved in this deci- couple the engine and the diner with sion.
a link and pins, and in doing so got his It will be remembered that the facts hand caught and it had to be ampuin the case are that on August 5, 1900, tated. an east-bound Southern Pacific train was Suit was brought by Johnson in the so late that it was not possible to get the
United States District Court of Utah dining car into Ogden in time to place it against the Southern Pacific Co, and the in the next west-bound train, as was the court decided against him, basing its usual custom, and it was therefore left conclusions on three points-First, that on the siding at Promontory, in the State the act of Congress of March 2, 1893, of Utah, to be attached to the west- does not require locomotive engines to bound train when it arrived. While be equipped with automatic couplers; this dining car was standing on the side second, that the dining car was not at track, a conductor of a freight train was the time the accident occurred engaged directed to take the diner to a turntable, in or being used in moving interstate turn it and place it back on the side traffic; third, that both engine and car track, ready for the return trip to San were properly equipped with automatic Francisco, it being desirable to have the couplers within the meaning or provikitchen of the car in the rear. The sions of the act of Congress. freight engine was equipped with a Jan- The United States Circuit Court of Ap
peals, on August 28th, 1902, affirmed lar vehicle which moves on wheels. The the decision of the District Court, with decision that both engine and car in this Judge Thayer not concurring in the first instance were equipped with automatic two counts.
couplers, and therefore conformed to The railway employés, represented by the provisions of the law, even though the executive officers of the different neither coupler would couple automaticBrotherhoods contended that this deci ally with any other except one of its own sion was wrong and virtually nullified kind is absurd and a general growth the automatic coupler law. This conten throughout the country of similar condition in this cause was formally brought tions would render
than void to the attention of the government in a the good contemplated by the law, beletter written to Attorney General Knox cause every railroad man knows that it by our Grand Chief Conductor and which is much safer to couple two old-fashioned was supplemented by letter from Grand skeleton drawbars with link and pins Master Morrissey of the B. of R. T. than to couple two automatic couplerswith With the assistance of Mr. E. A. Mosely, link and pins. The law requires that the case was finally brought before the cars shall be equiped with couplers that V. S. Supreme Court, and in all these will couple by impact. That connections the appeal to the Supreme plainly, as recognized by the Supreme Court and prosecution thereof have had Court, that they shall so couple with the most cordial and earnest assistance other cars with which they come in conand encouragement at the hands of the tact, and a coupler that will not so President, Attorney General Moody, and couple with others with which it may be Solicitor General Hoyt. The Supreme associated does not satisfy the law just Court reversed the decision of the lower because there is, somewhere else on the courts on each of the three points men
of commerce, another car equiptioned and orderd a new trial.
ped with couplers with which it would The primary idea of the law couple automatically by impact, if it the saving of human life, and while the should chance to ever meet it. railway managements of the country The Congress which enacted the coupler seemed to have been impressed with the
law and those who urged its passage, necessity in that direction, nevertheless
confronted with the fact that it must be admitted that they have lost there were several different makes of no opportunity, nor neglected a single couplers in use and it was therefore necchance to assail its validity with all the essary for them not to specify any parforce of every technical interpretation ticular kind. The vertical plane type of the provisions of the act that astute was chosen by the railway companies and lawyers and learned judges could bring the representatives of the railways agreed to bear. Indeed, it seems as if the rea upon certain contour lines to be used by soning by which some of the conclusions all coupler manufacturers so that the are arrived at are altogether too refined several makes would couple by impact and rarified to be of any possible prac with all others with which they might be tical value. In fact, Judge Thayer of used. the Court of Appeals says the same thing The rulings by both the District and in dissenting from the majority decision. Appellate Courts in the Johnson case For any one to contend that the auto
not logical deductions from the matic coupler act did or does not con central principle of the safety appliance template equipping engines with auto law. Since the decision of the Appellate matic coupiers, seems to us positively Court additional legislation has been ensilly, because as a matter of fact there acted in exact line with the Supreme is greater need of engines being thus Court decision so that differences of opinequipped with automatic couplers than ion on two of the vital points involved for ordinary cars, since engines are in the Johnson case are no longer poscoupled more frequently than individual sible. The third point, that of whether cars. The word
as used in the act or not the car in question was employed is generic and may easily and well be in inter-state commerce is decided afheld to mean a locomotive or any simi firmatively by the Supreme Court.
PENDING LEGISLATION BEFORE CONGRESS.
A BILL-Relating to liability of com
mon carriers by railroads in the District of Columbia and Territories and common carriers by railroads engaged in
between the States and between the States and foreign nations to their employes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every common carrier by railroad engaged in trade or commerce in the District of Columbia, or in tory of the United States, or between the several States, or between any Territory and another, or between any Territory or Territories and any State or States, or the District of Columbia, or with foreign nations, or between the District of Columbia and any State or States or foreign nations, shall be liable to any of its employes, or, in the case of his death, to his heirs at law, for all damages which may result from the negligence or mismanagement of any of its officers, agents, or employes, or by reason of any defect or insufficiency in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, ways, or work.
Sec. 2. That in all actions hereafter brought against any
such carriers by railroad to recover damages for personal injuries to employe, or wher
such injuries ha resulted in his death, the fact that the employe may have been guilty of contributory negligence shall not bar
recovery where his contributory negligence was slight in comparison to that of the emplover
Sec. 3. That no contract of employment, insurance, relief benefit, or indemnity forinjury or death entered into by or on behalf of any employe, nor the acceptance of any such insurance, relief benefit, or indemnity by the person entitled thereto shall constitute any bar or defense to any action brought to recover damages for personal injuries to death of such employe: Provided, however, That upon the trial of such action against any such common carrier by
railroad the defendant may
off therein. any
sum it has contributed toward any such insurance, relief, benefit, or indemnity that may have been paid to the injured employe, or, in case of his death, to his heirs at law.
Sec. 4. That nothing in this act shall he held to limit the duty of common carriers by railroads or impair the rights of their employes under the safetyappliance Act of March second, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, as amended April first, eighteen hundred and ninetysix, and March second, nineteen hundred and three."
We call attention to the above bill, in the hope that members and Divisions will use their influence with their Senators and Representatives in having them assist in passing it. The good to be accomplished by the passage of the bill will appeal to railroad men at a glance.
Section two seeks to rectify conditions which have become too common and wherein the employing companies escape liability for personal injuries to their employes, by pleading fellow servant liability, or contributory negligence. It has mattered not how slight the contributory negligence of the employe was, in comparison to that of the employing company, the employe has had to stand the entire loss.
As for instance, an operator sends an order to a train many miles away, and through some error in it, and during its execution, the fireman of the train is injured. The company pleads that the operator is a fellow servant of the fireman and gets a verdict in its favor, no account being taken of the fact that the occupation of the operator and fireman are as distinct as two occupations could well be and that in the performance of their duties neither comes in contact with the other; nor do orders pass directly from one of them to the other. Instances of this character are not rare and the manifest injustice of them calls for remedial legislation.
Section three of the bill seeks to
remedy evils which have grown up in death ensues, all efforts to the operation of insurance or relief damages from the company are frusbenefit schemes in vogue on
trated by the company pleading the the roads, membership in which, acts contract which the employe signed as a bar to recovery of damages for when becoming a member of the relief personal injuries.
department. If membership in these relief depart Instances of this kind have not been ments carried with it nothing more than rare and a sufficient number of them, the requirement that certain
accompanied by distressing conditions able sums be paid periodically as a con and surrounded by facts which clearly dition of being entitled to certain demonstrated the injustices involved, specified sick, disability or death bene-, occurred in the state of Iowa to lead the fits, there would be no reasonable ob legislature to place upon the statute jection to them. If the relief depart books of that state a law which specifiment simply undertook to require men, cally provides that such contract is, and through mutual or co-operative means, shall be, null and void. to provide some financial assistance for The fact that the company insists themselves and their families in the upon such a contract is sufficient evidhour of sickness, injury or death, and dence that the relief from legal liability did not attach conditions to the thus afford to it is one of the strongest acceptance of the benefit, for which reasons for its interest in the relief dethe employe has, in fact, paid practically partment.
The fact that the departfull value, which conditions operate ment is thus made a shield against wholly in the interest of the employing liability which would otherwise attach company and against the injured em to the company leads one's thoughts ploye, there would not be such general away from the idea that the company's distrust of, nor opposition to, these un interest is purely philanthropic. dertakings. Neither would there be It will not do to plead in extenuation such broad and justifiable ground for or justification of the relief department criticism, and opposition to, the relief idea, that the man can either sign the department as now presents itself, and application or not just as he chooses, which this bill will rectify if passed. because we know that the one who does
The applicant for membership in a not sign the application does not get a relief department is required to execute position. And, also, there are men who a contract that, in the event of his being do sign the application who do not injured in the performance of his duties, realizė that such contract and the acand of his accepting the benefits pro ceptance of benefits under its provisvided in the department for such cases, ions . ,will act as a bar to the recovhe thereby releases the employing cor ery of damages in case of permanent poration from all liability under the injury while in the employ of such comstatutory or common law. This means
pany that if a member of such department is In recommending the passage of the injured through neglect of the company above bill we do not, therefore, feel or its agents and, believing that no that we are urging upon Congress legispermanent disability will ensue,
he lation which would injure or abridge accepts the first month's benefits pro the reasonable rights of the employing vided by the relief department and companies. It would define and make tendered by the company, and, later plain the liability of employers toward finds that he is disabled for life, or his employes.
This department is intended to serve the same purpose among the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of our members that the Fraternal Department serves among our members. The rules at head of Fraternal Department will also apply to this one.
Editor Railway Conductor:
I must not forget the duty I owe to my Division. I will endeavor to give all the news that will be of any interest, and complete my year with best wishes to my successor.
I hope the year of 1905 will not begin with the dreadful disasters that the past year did. This has been a year that will never be forgotten by people from all over the world. So, let us hope, as the new year comes in, clothed in nature's beauty, that it may be a year of peace, safety and contentment; that we may enter the new year with new thought and new life; that we may be charitable toward all, truthful in all we may think or say; that we may guard our thoughts. For in so doing we guard our lips.
us form a circle so strong that nothing but the hand of God can break the links that bind us together.
Our Division is still growing, but we have also had several of our good Sisters move away from the city. Sister Riley, who was always ready to do anything for the good of the order, left us last spring. Sister Riggs, our past Secretary for three years and who served us well, has gone to Missouri. And Sister Long, one of our old members, whose smiling face we all miss so much, has gone where it is cooler than Chicago. Sisters, I know you think of us on meeting day, and we certainly think of you and miss you.
Sister Krog invited the Division to her home for a social. There were about 35 or 40 who attended.
Our school of instruction opened October 27th at 10:30 a. m., with a very large attendance. Every Division in Sister Sewell's jurisdiction was well represented. Sister Moore, our Grand President, called the school to order and in her able way delivered a very beautiful address of welcome to each and every member, and hoped that each would take an active part and do everything to make the school a success, and I do not think there was a sister who did not do it. Officers of Division 66 of Bloomington, with Sister Partridge as President, opened the school in the afternoon. The work was well done, and as the Senior Sister approached the altar for prayer, the pianist played the beautiful old hymn, "Rock of Ages." Division 97 of Aurora took the chair, with Sister Johnston as President, and we received some very fine instructions in regard to balloting. Division
154 of Freeport then took charge, with Sister Greene as President, and initiation was taken up. They were assisted by Logansport Division, who did the link work. Every officer did well. Sister Riser, the Junior Sister, being the one who was on the floor and could be criticised most, certainly did her work well. Division 154 then vacated and Division 141 of Blue Island, with Sister Buckley as President, closed the school in a very able manner, making us all feel that our day had been well spent, and we had learned so much and had received so much good. Each one had tried to do what she could to make the day interesting. By 8:30 p. m. the drill hall in the Masonic Temple was full almost to overflowing. At 9 p. m. the drill was given by the team of White City Division 100, and we will leave that for some one else to say what we did. But I can tell you what our President would say. Can't you guess? Sister Krog and Eagy escorted Sister Forsythe to the east of hall where Sister Moore was inspecting the drill, and presented her with a cut glass water bottle from White City Division. Sister Moore, with a few well chosen remarks, thanked the Division. And then for a jolly good time dancing up to 12 o'clock.
Sisters accept thanks from White City Division for your presence and the interest each and every one took in making our school a success.
Some of our Sisters went out to West Chicago to Sister Gokey's home to see Sister Winebrener, one of our past vice-presidents, who has been ill for the past year.
We would be so glad to see her sweet, smiling face in our Division room again.
December 8th is our annual election of officers again, so we will say farewell to the old and welcome the new. I will lay down my pen to my successor and hope she will prove more interesting than your humble servant. MRS. L. N. TURPIN.
Editor Railway Conductor:
After a silence of many months, Division 4 will make its bow to the fraternal world and extend to the Sister Divisions for "Auld Lang Syue" the season's greetings.
Andrews Division has just closed a very suc. cessful year, having added to her number fourteen new members, and is still looking for more. This makes our membership a total of thirty-five