From Our Berlin Correspondent.
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German Motor Corps.
The automobiles owned by the Transport Department have grown far too numerous to be managed by the present motor corps, which number 150, and the War Office has decided to strengthen this body with another too men. At the commencement of March, three extra officers were attached to it.
Searchlight Automobiles for the Dutch Army.
Holland is organising a military section for searchlight automobiles. The light adopted has 26,000 candlepower, a small petrol motor driving the electric machine which generates the current. Sufficient petrol is carried to work the light during ten hours, and a petrol engine of 45h.p. drives the vehicle.
The War Office Lets Out Lorries.
It may be within the recollection of your readers that the Prussian War Office recently formulated a scheme for letting out some of its lorries to industrial firms. I understand that the greatest dairy firm in Berlin, that of E. BoIle, is availing itself of the scheme, using two such vehicles to transport milk from the railway stations to the central yard in Alt-Moabit. Belle has hitherto made use of horsedrawn vehicles only.
Electric Postal Omnibuses for 'Bavaria.
Traffic Mirtist,aFrauenclorfer and his colleagues at the Post Office have decided to give a trial to an accumulator postal single-decker with seating accommodation for 16 persons. Its general outlines correspond to those of the petrol-driven vehicles which have been worked for some time past on a semi-State basis by the Bavarian authorities, but passengers enter from the front instead of the back, while the driver obtains better protection against wind and weather. The motor of 8h.p. was supplied by Messrs_ Siemens and Schuckert, and the battery by another Berlin firm.
The battery, which is carried in a trough in front of the driver's box, has a capacity of 244 amperes on a discharge of five hours and a half, or sufficient for a run of 30 miles.
The prophets who predicted that the attempt to work motorcabs at Zurich would result in financial disaster are now in a position to realise personally the wisdom of the advice : Never prophesy unless you know. So far from having worked at a loss, the Ziircher Motordroschken-GeselIschaft has just paid 7 per cent. Its 12 vehicles made 17,039 journeys, and carried 45,000 passengers. Three cabs belonging to the company are now running in Berne.
Berlin's All-motor Station Satisfactory.
Commander Reichei is wholly satisfied with the all-motor station in the SchOrlankerstrasse. Since the opening of the station last September, the electric-driven vehicles had answered 125 calls without a single breakdown, having invariably overhauled the horse-drawn engines on all sorts of roads. A year hence, Berlin will possess 16 electric-propelled fireengines. Officials of the Imperial Motor Club recently inspected the Schorlankerstrasse station.
Cologne's Steam Refuse Wagon Convertible into a Water Cart.
In a note recently I stated that the Cologne Corporation had a steamdriven vehicle as well as three petrol automobiles representing as many makes for carting away the city's refuse, and having already forwarded illustrations of two automobiles of the internal-combustion class, I now send a picture of the steam representative, which was supplied by the Hannoversche Maschinenhau-AktienGesellschaft. It is equipped with a 35h.p. engine, fed by a " Stoltz" tubular boiler. The arrangement of chimney, fire-box, condenser and other mechanical parts is on the old sys
tern observed for " Stoltz " vehicles; I described the new arrangement when referring to the omnibus worked in Paris by the Societe Anonyme des Generateurs Economiques a few weeks ago. The vehicle carries 6 tons, and can trail another 4. It is interesting to learn that it is so constructed that the refuse-body can quickly be exchanged for a watertank with a sprinkling contrivance operated by steam.
The German Commercial Vehicle Trials.
As was announced in "THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR" last week (see top of first column on page 33), no more than 24 entries were received up to the limit-date for the single fee. Compared with the entry-list of 1907, we are face to face with a decided setback. For the trials of 1907, there were 52 entries, and the organising club " shovelled out " 26 gold medals. The number of vehicles entered for the forthcoming trials falls short of that of the gold medallists in 1907.
For class I (firm-decked omnibuses for 8-14 passengers), entries have come from the following companies : Dainder-Marienfelde, South German Motor Works (Gaggenau), and Saurer (Switzerland); class II (firmdecked omnibuses for more than 14 passengers), has attracted entries from South German Motor Works, Saurer and Stoewer (Stettin); the Brennabor, Deutz, Hansa and Daimler-Marienfelde companies enter for class Ill (commercial vans for a useful load of 500-1,200 kilos.); class IV (vans for a useful load of 1,201-2,000 kilos.) is represented by the Adler, South German, 'Hansa and Saurer firms; only the Adler, South German and Saurer 'firms enter for class V (lorries for useful load of 2,001-3,500 kilos.); in class VI (lorries for useful load exceeding 3,500 kilos.), I note Messrs. Bussing, Saurer, DaimlerMarienfelde and Stoewer; and in class VII (trains with one trailer or more), Messrs, Missing, Saurer and the Eisenach Automobile Works. Hence, the' strong foreign participation," of which there was some talk, shrinks to a single firm, namely,. Messrs. Saurer.
It will be seen that the N.A.G., the Reinickendorf Automobile Works, Messrs. Opel, the Oryx Co., Messrs. Scheibler, the Erdmann firm, the Sun, Argus and Diirkoop companies do not figure on the list. Of the 24 vehicles entered, six belong to the Swiss company ; four to the Gaggenatt people ; three to the DaimlerMarienfelde works; two each to Messrs. Bussing, Stoewer, the Hansa and Adler companies ; and one each to the Eisenach, Deutz and Brettnabor companies. On the other hand, for the subvention trials, which to a certain extent coincide in tirrie and place with the contest organised by the Imperial Motor Club in co-operation with the German Automobile Makers' Association, io entries have been received : N.A.G., three; Diirkopp, two; Daimler-Marienfelde, two; Gaggenatt, one ; Argus, one ; and the Dusseldorf Maschinenfabrik Soost, one.
The Swiss Commercial Trials "Fizzle Out."
The Swiss trials for commercial and military automobiles, which were to be held this year under the xgis of the Federal authorities, have been postponed until " two." At a meeting in Berne, the principal firms producing lorries and omnibuses signed an agreement not to participate, being sceptical as to the possibility or likelihood of raising home sales by the projected competition. Some firms, indeed, frankly confessed that the wretched state of trade left them no option but to decline on the ground of expense. The organising bodies had made it a necessary condition that at fewest 15 vehicles should be entered, yet not even this minimum was reached, only throe entries having been received when the list was closed.
The Deutz Motor-plough: A "Mtid-o!-all-Work."
Your readers may be interested in a photograph of the Deutz motor
plough at work. Last fall, I forwarded a line-sketch of the machine, which is now on view in Berlin, where a company has been floated— the Deutzer Motorpflug-Gesellschaft —not only to sell such ploughs outright, but also to work them for farmers who cannot afford to purchase the complete machine.
A Deutz petrol-driven engine of 4oh.p. serves for propulsion, the vehicle being fitted with a couple of compound shares fore and aft, respectively, an arrangement that obviates the necessity of turning. It will be noticed that the plough carries an emergency cable for haulage over ground where the driving wheels fail to grip. Under normal conditions of working, the cable, laid across the field and passing over a drum on the plough, lies slack on the drum until the driving wheels slip, then becomes taut and assists them in propulsion. The whole machine weighs four tons. Its daily effectiveness varies, according to the nature of the soil and the depth the shares have to reach. When employed for surface work, it can do some 25 acres (40 Prussian acres); for beet-root ploughing, the maximum falls to nine acres (i5 Prussian acres). With shares removed and the requisite alterations made in body, the vehicle will carry a load of to tons at about six miles an hour. Then, again, it con be used as a locomobile for threshing, cutting, and grinding operations, or for other agricultural or general haulage and power transmission purposes.
The First Working Result of the Grosse Berliner Sub-Company.
lierr F.hert, of the "Grosse Berliner Strassenbahn-Gesellschaft," to whom I. applied for particulars of the daughter-company's operations in 1908, places at my disposal a few figures which, pending the issue of the circumstantial report, I reproduce. The " Grosse Berliner Metoromnibus Gesellschaft " carried 2,564,383 passengers during the year, the receipts amounting to 363,144.3o marks, or, roughly, .4:18,152 : the company failed to cover expenses.
The bulk of the tickets issued were for to-pfennig (1.25d.) fares
(1,8:6,899); 15-pfermig fares (1.875d.) came next (517,122); lo-pfennig fares (2.5(1.) third (35,719); 25-pfennigfares (3.125d.) fourth (3,329); 3o-pfennig fares (3.75d.) fifth (70,89o); 4o-pfennig fares (5d.) with 55,8 to ; so-pfennig fares (6.25d.) sixth (51,071); 7o-pfennig fares (8.5d.) seventh (6,283); and 8o-pfennig fares (rod.) last (7,268). The higher fares are to be explained by the fact that the company ran a large number of excursion trips on Sundays and other holidays; it also put on special buses for taking people to local race meetings. Taking the first two fares as metropolitan, we thus get a round 4:13,000 in metropolitan receipts, leaving some ,..:5,0430 for the extraordinary service worked at fares from 20 pfe. n n igs and upwards. The total distance covered was 755,000 kilometres (470,750 miles). Only 15 buses work the two lines, the total rolling stock being 55, including
a couple of electric omnibuses. I was irformed last December that "17 electric omnibuses " were working the lines; my informant, Chief Trattic-Inspector Stavenow, evidently meant 17 petrol and electric vehicles.'' The erroneous information appeared on January 7th, although I must disclaim responsibility for the slip.
It must be remembered that, on the tramcars, a to-pfennig fare exists for any distance, and one can travel for two hours at that cost! The buses largely serve cross routes.
Swedish Commercial Trials.
For the Swedish commercial trials, which are to take place under the aegis of the Royal Motor Club, Stockholm, from 7th to 12th June, vehicles will be classified as follow :—Class I, useful load up to 600 kilos.; Class II, from 700-5,200 kilos.; Class III, 1,500-2,500 kilos.; Class IV, 3,0004,000 kilos.; Class V, more than 4,000 kilos.; Class Via, omnibuses for not more than 12 passengers; Class VII), omnibuses for more than 12 passengers. Lorries and vans built for intermediate useful loads fall in the next higher classes.
Awards will be based on general reliability, special prizes being offered for fuel consumption according to this formula :—
where L. : F = total fuel consumed in kilos., with full load; f = ditto without load; D = distance in kilometres, with full load; d — distance in kilometres, without load, but including weight of observer (70 kilos.); L useful load in tons, including weight of observer; P = price of fuel per nett kilo. in oeres; p = working costs per kilometre-ton in oeres.
Entries to the Royal Motor Club, Hotel Continental, Stockholm, up to 1st April at single fee; from that date to 1st May, at double fee.