The improvement herewith illustrated is the invention of C. R. Morris, master mechanic of the Housatonic Railroad, and H. W. Franklin, superintendent of the same road, and is intended to obviate, so far as can be done by mechanical means, the principal cause o destruction and disaster consequent upon the breaking of a rail during the passage of a train, or the throwing off of the cars from the track by any other cause. The inventor justly reasons that if the road-bed were perfectly smooth and hard, and lateral motion of a train could %e prevented, there could no serious damage result to a train running off the track even at high speed. The sinking of the wheels into the earth, the bumping caused by the opposing ties, and the running down embankments, are the principal causes of the terrible consequences often resulting from accidents of this kind. As making the road-bed hard and smooth is of course impracticable, the inventor has attempted to approximate the effect of such a way by attaching to the truck frame two stout runners, made either of heavy plank shod with metal, or entirely of metal, or of any material or combination of materials, which experiment may prove best for the purpose. These runners are firmly fixed to the truck frame, and descend as nearly as practicable to a level with the face of the car wheels, having clearance, however, for passing over frogs, etc. The brakes act independently of the runners and are in no way connected with them. It is obvious that, in case of the breaking of a rail in running off the track, these runners will receive at once the weight of the car and prevent all but a slight sinking of the wheels. At the same time they will, in conjunction with the ties, act as brakes to rapidly check the advance of * the train, and also prevent lateral motion of the car, as they will more or less indent the ties and thus prevent the cramping of the truck. In case an axle should break while passing over a bridge, the inventors are confident a car would slide entirely across without serious damage, and without any accident to passengers. I An application for a patent on this improvement is now pending through this oflSce. One of these brakes may be seen in operation at Bridgeport, on the Housatonic Railroad. Address C. R. Morris, M. M., Housatonic Railroad, Bridgeport, Conn.
This article was originally published with the title "Improvement in Car Trucks"