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Acetylene Generator Roads Improvement for Buses and Wagons. Association.

25th May 1905, Page 12
25th May 1905
Page 12
Page 12, 25th May 1905 — Acetylene Generator Roads Improvement for Buses and Wagons. Association.
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The introduction to our streets of modern methods of passenger transport has effected a long-needed reform in the lighting arrangements, both as to exterior and interior. The old-fashioned oil lamps are still retained on horsed buses, but such out-of-date contraptions would ill assort with the smart motor vehicles which are daily assuming larger proportions in the line of vehicles running on the streets of all our larger cities and towns. The brightness arid increased comfort which inside passeogers more particularly can derive from brilliant illumination has caused acetylene to take foremost position for this purpose, For bus work in the winter, when the vehicle may have to run for nine hours with lamps alight, the ordinary acetylene lamp with attached generator is useless, and makers of apparatus have had to design along novel lines to secure the desired end. The Helios generator, with its arrangement of pipes, condenser, lamps, etc., is illustrated herewith, and provides efficient means of lighting the pair of front lamps, rear lamp over footboard, and two interior lamps, The usual place for fixing the generator is beneath the conductor's platform, where the gas generated is led to a condenser, The generator itself acts automatically, but as the gas generates with considerable force, some water may pass over with it, and might thus be driven up to the lamp tubes. To obviate this difficulty, the condenser is placed below the level of the generator outlet pipe, and any water carried over can be drawn off by the tap at the base. It will be seen that gas enters at the base, and passes outwards at the top of the condenser. Gas is led to the various lamps by lead piping, as this has been found to be more easily passed around bends, etc., than other material. Where T joints occur for the various branches, the lead tube is soldered thereto. Flexible tubing is attached between the various portions of the mechanism, tubing, and lamps for enabling quicker detachment. The standard size generator (No. 4) holds 6113. of cal-bide, and will produce about goo litres of gas : this is sufficient for the supply of five lamps for at least 15 hours. At the present price of carbide the cost for five burners (three outside and two inside) would be under three-halfpence per hour. We understand that the cost of a complete installation for the three exterior lamps is about Zg los. Mr. Eugene Baedeker, of 17, Newcastle Street, Farringdon Street, E.C., is handling this excellent combination. The first annual dinner of the Roads Improvement Association (Incorporated) took place at the Trocadero Restaurant last week, when the chair was occupied by Earl Cadog-an, K.G. (President), who was supported by the Hon. Arthur Stanley, M.P. (Vice-President), Mr. Robert Todd (Chairman), and Mr, W. Worby Beaumont (Vice-Chairman). The guests included Mr. G. L. Gomme (Clerk of the L.C.C.), The Hon. Walter H. James, K.C. (Agent-General for Western Australia), Mr. Thomas Lough, M.P., Lt.-Col. R. E, B. Crompton, CE., Lt.-Col. H. C. L. Holden, R.A., F.R.S., Mr. Roger W. Wallace, K.C., Mr. Douglas Mackenzie, Mr. H. P. Maybury (County Surveyor of Kent), Mr. T. W. Staplee Firth, and the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Commission on London Traffic. In proposing the toast of " The Roads Improvement Association," Mr. Gornme pressed the view that the road problem was not a local one and that traffic changes now necessitated the recognition of that point by the Government, regardless of politics. He urged the necessity for all large cities to maintain a sufficient number of outlets from their populous centres to the surrounding districts, and that active steps should be taken in that direction before it became too late to secure any rights on reasonable terms. Unless this matter were closely watched, the developnient of building estates in the immediate vicinity of large towns would be carried on regardless of through communication with dire results in the near future. The Hon. Arthur Stanley, M.P. (Chairman of the Automobile Club), in proposing the toast of "Our Guests," commented on the fact that he was shortly to introduce a Bill in the House of Commons which had been framed by the Association. He trusted that wide support would be given to that measure, but there was no denying that much feeling existed on the part of some local authorities regarding any proposed interference with their existing rights, but the proposals were entirely to the advantage of local rates. The question of road control was by no means so simple as might be thought, and they were fortunate in having many promises of support, including that of their President, Earl Cadog-an. Mr. W. Rees Jeffreys-, the Honorary Secretary of the Association, made a telling speech during the course of the evening and was very warmly received by those present.

Bolton has a population of 265,000, and the Chairman of the Tramways Committee, Mr. Alderman Miles, in presenting the electric tramcar accounts at the last meeting of the Town Council, said that their surplus of revenue over working expenses would compare favourably with any borough of similar size. The gross profits for the year ending March 3 xst were £40,564, but the interest, depreciation, and sinking fund charges left a net profit of only Zgla, compared with ,Z.2,260 a year ago.

The Chief Surveyor of Main Roads to the Staffordshire County Council, Mr. J. Moneur, has just submitted his annual report to the members. Six hundred and five miles of main roads in the county are kept in order by a staff of about zoo men, Figures of cost are given for 15 years amounting to ,Z.664,945, a yearly average of -L44,329, or at the rate of 4-73 annually for each mile. Mr. Moncur's estimate for the coming 12 months is at the rate of .4'71 125. gd. per mile. In view of the position some county surveyors have assumed towards heavy vehicle traffic, it is interesting to note that ever since the passing of the 1896 Act Mr. Moncur has fully appreciated the position mechanical traction would assume on our roads, and has laid his plans accordingly. He says : " it is fortunate that so much has been done in ineyeasing the strength of the main roads by building them up from the foundation, but with such traffic as described, together with the growing importance of roads for all kinds of traffic, not forgetting cycles, it must he their constant endeavour to keep pace with the times by maintaining the roads in such condition and surface, as will meet the exigencies of the varying kinds of traffic. There is a revolution in the, nature, weight, and exterit-of traffic on roads since 1/370, and an increase of so per cent, in population."

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