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The Motor Omnibus World.

11th April 1907, Page 9
11th April 1907
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 9, 11th April 1907 — The Motor Omnibus World.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Tramways Committee of the 3olton Town Council is about to test arious outlying routes by the introducion of a motorbus.

The adjourned discussion on the • aper by Mr. Worby Beaumont, before he Institution of Mechanical Engileers, will be resumed to-morrow (Fri. lay)the 12th instant.

Four new applications for election to nembership of the Society of Motor Dmnibus Engineers have been received luring the past few days from operatng engineers in different parts of the :ountry, and the Secretary, Mr. C. E. Esse, will submit these to the next -fleeting of the Council, at 1, Albemarle Street, W., one day next week.

We learn from our Berlin correipondent, as we go to Press, that addiional particulars are now available concerning the benzol test§ made by Engineer Funke, of Brunswick, at Messrs. Biissing's works. Compared with petroleum spirit, there is a saving of at least o.5d. per kilometre with a vehicle having a 25-3oh.p. engine. A week's trials were made, between kVendeburg and Brunswick, when soo miles were covered. The respective prices of benzol and petroleum spirit per hundred litres, in Germany, are 22.30 and 30.0 marks. Herr Funke considers that the tests prove benzol to cost g.o per cent. less per mile run than does petroleum spirit.

The Old Kent Road Accident.

Many students of the traffic problem have advocated the fitting of an automatic rear signal to all electric tramcars and motorbuses, in order that any sudden application of the brakes might be visually conveyed to the driver of a following vehicle. A few more accidents like the one which occurred in the Old Kent Road on the 4th instant will probably attract sufficient public attention to the matter to cause the Board of Trade and the Local Government Board to move in their respective spheres, and we may yet see this simple remedy laid down as a compulsory provision. The automatic signal would, of course, be made to fulfil its useful function at night-time by the uncovering of a red light. The accident to which we have referred appears to have been caused by the sudden nulling up of an electric tramcar, and the circumstance which caused the driver of the following "Vanguard" motorbus to run into the standing tramcar appears to have been the necessity for avoiding collision with a cart on his near side. There was too little mom, and the bus struck the tramcar, with serious results both to its own bodywork and a few of the passengers. We have no reason to believe that this particular occurrence was anything but a pure accident, though we have had serious reason to debate whether some London tramcar drivers do not deliberately apply their brakes at inopportune moments in order to discomfit the drivers of motorbuses which are behind them. It is a serious charge to make, but one which we are reluctantly corn pelled to assert is not without foundation, that, as the result of pure pique or spite arising from some road-side incident of passing or apparent obstruction, the tramcar driver tries " to get his own back" at the expense of the motorbus driver by, after overt glances over his shoulder, jamming on his brakes with malice prepense.

We regret that pressure on our space compels us to hold over publication of a photograph, supplied by Mr. Charles Challenger, Traffic Manager of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, Limited, whose new chars-abanes are attracting much attention in the Bristol district.

Chester's Order.

Dennis Brothers, Limited, of Guildford, has been successful in obtaining the order from the Chester Corporation for three motorbuses, in open competition with the principal makers of the world. This company has also recently received another order from the Metro. politan Asylums Board, this time for a 3oh.p. omnibus, the latter success being due to the great satisfaction given to the Board by two earlier Dennis vehicles.

Edinburgh Companies' Troubles.

The confirmatory extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of the Edinburgh and District Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, which was held in London last week, appears to have been dissolved in a state bordering on disorder. The chair was taken by Mr. C. E. Hogg, and Mr. H. S. SchuItess Young, a barrister, who stated that he represented a group of shareholders holding 7,000 shares, severely criticised various points, including the appointment of Mr. W. Fe T. Price as liquidator. An informal street meeting took place afterwards, and one of the directors, Mr. Norman D. Macdonald, has written to the " Scotsman " declaring

that Mr. Hogg's alleged statements as to the company's getting into difficulties through lack of management, tramway competition, or there being no field in Edinburgh, are incorrect. Another correspondent of this leading Scottish journal, Mr. J. Morris, denies Mr. Hogg's alleged statements to the effect that he had paid a number of the small creditors, as well as the company's workmen, out of his own pocket. The whole story makes amusing if sad reading, whilst our next paragraph indicates that Edinburgh is reaping quite a crop of troubles in the metor omnibus world just now.

We learn that an extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of the Scottish Motor Engineering Company, Limited, of Granton Motor Works, Edinburgh, took place in that city on the loth instant. The report of the proceedings is not available as we go to Press, but the resolutions of which notice was given to the shareholders are as follows :—(i) That it has been proved to the satisfaction of The Scottish Motor Engineering Company, Limited, that the company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue • its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same. (2) That The Scottish Motor Engineering Company, Limited, be wound up voluntarily. (3) That John Scott Tait, chartered accountant, Edinburgh, be appointed liquidator for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the company, and distributing the property thereof, with power to such liquidator to exercise every power which, by the Companies' Act, 1862, and Acts amending and extending the same, is conferred on liquidators. (4) That it be an instruction to the liquidator to apply or concur in applying to the Court of Session, if and When he may find it expedient, to have the voluntary liquidation of the said company continued subject to the supervision of the said Court.

Two 4oh.p. Dennis motorbuses began work for the Cardiff Tramways Company, Limited, of 32, Albert Chambers, Castle Arcade, Cardin, on Easter Monday, and four more similar vehicles will shortly be delivered to this company. Each vehicle carries 34 passengers, and the only complaint about their running has been lodged by some people who think that no service should be allowed on a Sunday.

Residents of Hastings and St. Leonards, although petitioning for a tram service down the ancient High Street, appear anything but pleased with the disfigurement of the famous front line. This portion of the route is laid on the Dolter system, and there appears to be a considerable amount of flashing from the studs. This will probably improve, but the convenience and smooth running of the Milnes-Daimler motorbuses which served Hastings so well during several years linger in the memory of those who now can establish comparisons. We learn, too, that parts of f-e circular route provide most exciting times for the passengers, both by reason of the short radii of some of the curves, and of the abrupt manner in which the cars turn on to the front at London Rood, St. Leonards-on-Sea.

An interesting custom was stated to exist, in the course of an enquiry before me Hanunersmith Coroner,about a fortnight ago, in the course of an enquiry into the death of a road sweeper in the employ of the Fulham Borough Council, who was accidentally killed by an "Arrow " motorbus, in Fulham High Street. The custom to which we refer is that a roadinan is expected to stand still in the middle of the road, for vehicles to pass round him, and not to dodge about. This appears to have been common ground in the course of the enquiry, which tended to show that the deceased lost his head and stepped against the front portion of the bus.

A 4oh.p. " Fiat " omnibus is being given work in the postal service between Schio and Trentino, in Italy, and this route embraces some of the most mountainous f-cads upon which any motor vehicles are at work. The latest type of " Fiat " chassis has a4oh.p. engine, the cylinders being cast in pairs, and the dimensions are 125m.rn. in the bore, with a piston-stroke of rsomm. After extensive experience and many tests, the " Fiat " Company is fitting its multiple-disc clutch to all its commercial vehicles, and this course has been followed to ensure the eliminatftm of jar at starting. The company's

arrangements in London for the stocking of a large number of spare parts is one of its special features in connection with the imminent wide development of the company's English business.

We observe that the Irish Motor Touring Company, Limited, has been registered with an authorised capital of Li,soo in Li shares, with a registered office at Haddington Road, Dublin. At the time of the last Irish motor show, in January last, the Motorbus and Traction Company, Limited, of ireland, was stated by the Dublin Press to be about to purchase iso omnibuses, and a great fuss was made about an alleged new omnibus then on exhibition, but which, as we pointed out at the time, was the old familiar Lacoste and Battmann chassis in a new guise (see our issue of Toth January, 1906, page 407). We do not know whether there is any connection.

An Unlikely Mishap.

Apropos the recent overturning of one of the South Metropolitan Tramway Company's electric cars at Carshalten, on Easter Monday, to which we made a brief reference in our last issue, this accident is no less extraordinary than the motorbus accident on Handcross Hill, qua the gradients. The hill down which the car had travelled prior to its overturning has a gradient of only I in 40 at its steepest part, whilst this lessens to i in 8o both before and at the corner. A correspondent of this journal was on the soene about 30 minutes after the disaster, and he reported to us that the road for over half the length of the hill was in a most dangerous condition from over-watering by the urban authorities. Werhink, however, that had the car in question been fitted with a track brake, the accident might not have oocurred, but it is unwise to volunteer any other criticism as to the cause of the mishap until after the Board of Trade enquiry.

Good reports reach us of the behaviour of the new 3oh.p. char-a-bancs manufactured by Argyll Motors, Limited, of Alexandria, an example of which is illustrated herewith. The flexibility of the engine, and the general easy control of this vehicle, which is driven by worm gears, have been most favourably commented upon by all who have had the opportunity of travelling in it over heavy roads.

Little grumbling is now heard about the motorbuses at Eastbourne, and the excellent condition in which they are maintained by the Corporation's engineer, Mr. Ellison, must be a source of gratification to the committee which is responsible for this undertaking. The four new De Dion omnibuses, which arrived shortly before the Easter holidays, have been carrying out the service to the foot of Beaehy Head, and have been very well supported.

We learn that several sets of the Dunlop sectional motorbus tires, which have been running in different parts of the country, have exceeded the most sanguine expectations of the makers. No flaw has asserted itself in the design, and the reduction of skidding has been most noticeable, for it has been found practically impossible to make the buses skid at all. It is pretty clear that there is a great future before this tire, especially as it promises to be both economical and convenient in working. A small number of parts are used, and it can be fitted up in a very short time, whilst the method for replacing the worn sections is not in any Way clumsy.

The conference of road makers and road users, which was announced in our last issue, possesses much of interest for motor-omnibus companies and engineers. Some nine brief papers are to be contributed, bearing on different aspects of the question, and the meeting, which is to be held at Olympia on Friday, the t9th instant, at three o'clock, in connection with " The Surveyor " section of the International Building Trades Exhibition should be well attended. Side-slip is among tile several subjects to be treated. Our opinion of the Hart-Durtnall system, the development of which we have closely observed for nearly a v car, is pretty well known. We bei:o.e it to possess the qualities of robustness and comparative permanency in an unequalled degree, and we regard its practical worth to have been thoroughly demonstrated.

Overcrowded Buses. •

The strict observance of police regulations in London, in regard to the overcrowding of stage carriages, is in pleasant contrast to the uncomfortable circumstances which obtain in many electric tramcars and omnibuses in provincial cities. If Londoners, through the action of the Underground Railway companies in building their carriages with plenty of floor space and relatively little seating accommodation, are learning the strap-hanging methods of New York and Paris, that reproach will not be allowed to extend to road vehicles. One of the few prosecutions against conductors of motorbuses took place at Bow Street, on Saturday last, when a conductor was summoned for carrying more than the proper number of passengers in the Strand, and one of the outside passengers was summoned for " aiding and abetting." The Magistrate, who reminded the conductor that it was his duty to see that the bus was not overcrowded, imposed a fine of los. and 28. costs, whilst the offending passenger was mulcted in a fine of half that amount.

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