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The Motor Omnibus World.

5th March 1908, Page 9
5th March 1908
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 9, 5th March 1908 — The Motor Omnibus World.
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G.W.R. Road Motors.

As evidence of the popularity of the motor passenger road vehicles of the Great Western Railway, it may be recorded that, during the half-year ended December last, the total number of passengers conveyed by the company's motorbuses was 867,104.

Consternation at Ilford.

The successful running of the Great Eastern London Motor Omnibus Company's Arrol-Johnston and StrakerSquire vehicles has caused positive con. sternation amongst urban district coun cillors at Ilford. Extensions of the tramways are deferred, notwithstandingthe fact that tenders for new construction are in hand, the reason given being : " in view of the present severe competition to which the trams are subjected by motor omnibuses."

The Pending Amalgamation.

The decision of the Boards of the London 'General and the Vanguard Motor Omnibus Companies to amalgamate has been taken, and we are in a position to state this as a fact. A tringent writing down of capital will be the outstanding feature of the fusion, and we believe that the issued capital of approximately 21millions sterling will be reduced by more than -1:600,000. It is expected that the several notices to the shareholders in both the companies will be ready for dispatch to-morrow (Friday), and it is understood that the documents will include a brief statement of the Vanguard Company's results to the end of last year. The terms of the amalgamation provide for the voluntary liquidation of the Vanguard Company, whilst the name of that company's chairman, Mr. Samuel Wheeler, will be submitted for approval as chairman of the combined undertaking, a recommendation which certainly merits a cordial reception at the hands of the shareholders. We are also enabled to say that the new company will probably be sub-divided into horse and motor departments, the latter being under the charge of Mr. Clarence H. Freeland as managing director.

The amalgamation will necessitate the retirement of a certain number of directors, and it is understood that the opportunity will be taken to pay high -testimony to the services which have been rendered by Sir John PounA, Bart., to the London General undertaking, a course which we heartily en. dorse as a gracious, proper, and welldeserved act of recognition. The names of not less than six members of the two Boards will not be found upon the Board of the combined company, the exact title for which has yet to be settled. We hope that neither the word " General " nor the word "Vanguard" will be allowed to disappear, as both are assets of great commercial value.

Our readers will appreciate the neces-sity for reticence in respect of -detail, especially when we point out that the terms -of the preliminary agreement are subject to revision by the respective

shareholders. The essential facts, however, are as we state them, and there is no question that the effects of the amalgamation will be of a far-reaching and beneficial character. We make other references to the matter on page 569.

A London-Maidstone Service.

After many attempts to establish a service of fast motor wagons over the hilly road which lies between London and Maidstone, a serious attempt is to be made to connect up the capital with the Kentish town by means .of a motorbus service. The scheme, which is to he put into operation on Monday, the gth instant, am-aunts to starting a bus from Maidstone each morning at 8.3o a.m., to arrive in London at it a.m., and to leave, on the return .jour

ney, at four in the afternoon ; for Wednesdays, a special half-day trip is contemplated. The return fare is advertised at four shillings, with half that amount as single fare, which, in comparison with the return railway fare of 6s. 9d., is remarkably low. The vehicles to be used are to be DarracqSerpollet steamers; the identical bus illustrated on this page, will actually start the service. The decision to use this make of vehicle has been arrived at owing to the very successful results obtained from the lorries of the same make which were on trial over the route carrying goods.

The omnibus itself, carrying a party of interested gentlemen, made a trial

journey, under the direction of Mr. F. A. Bonsor, to,Maidstorte.and back, last Thursday, the average runninc, time each way figuring out at two hours, twenty-six minutes2 and the behaviour of the machine during the seventy-mile trip once more demonstrated the .effi-ciency of the Darracq-Serpollet chassis for this. class of hilly-country work. Even the cold head wind, together with the sheets of rain encountered on the return journey, did not prevent the vehicle from spurting over the steepest portionsof the famous hill at Wrotham, at a good speed.

The Alliance Action.

At the last hearing before the Lord Chief Justice became indisposed, Mr. Rufus Isaacs, K.C., on .behalf of the plaintiff in this action, the Rev. Arthur Westcott, intimated that he was instructed to withdraw all charges against Mr. Frederick W. Kerr, one -of the defendants, and not to proceed further against him. Mr. Simon,' KC., ott behalf of Mr. Kerr, stated that he was glad to hear this declaration. As regrards the continuation of the action against the other directors; which is in respect of alleged misrepresentation in the prospectus, we are, glad to see that this only occupied the Court and a special jury on one further occasion. Mr. Clutterbuck and the other directors were fully exonerated from any intent to defraud; by Mr. -Rufus Isaacs, K.C. counsel for the plaintiff, who admitted that. there was a great difference between want of care and fraudulent intent. The Lord Chief Justice, in assenting to the settlement which had been arranged between the parties, Temarked that the Act of igoo was passed for the purpose of preotecting the pulmc, arkt.reminded gentlemen who put their names to prospectuses that the public relied on their position when subscribing. He thought, therefore, that more care should he taken to make full enquiry by such ,gentlemen before they allowed their name to be so used.

The London Road Car Company has definitely decided not to put its Germain buses to work again, and has advertised the same as for sale.

Another Duerkopp at Work.

On Saturday, 29th February, another Diirkopp (A-8233), fitted with a Straker engine, was put to work on the London Road Car Company's Hammersmith and Shoreditch service.

London Changes.

Vanguard " Service No. 3 " has again been changed. It now runs from Camden Town to Clapham Junction, via Piccadilly, Sloane Square, and Battersea Bridge. the charge for the whole distance being 6d. The London Central Motor Omnibus Company, Limited, has started to run a service of its Leyland vehicles, on Sundays only, from Chalk Farm to Camberwell Green.

Leyton's Through Bookings.

As reported some little time ago "THE COMMERCIAL MotoR," the Ley• ton Urban District Council entered into an agreement with the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., for through booking in connection with the municipal trains and the company's motorbuses. At the last meeting of the Council, it was stated that the number ol passengers carried under this arrangement during the four weeks ended 25th January last, was as follows :-2I,864 at. id.; 4,326 at i.d.; 5,992 at 2d.; 1,611 at 21d.; 659 at 3d. : 278 at 31d.; 56 at 4d. ; 67 at 40.; 38 at 5d.; and x at 6d, Star Omnibus Company's Circular.

The secretary of the Star Omnibus Company, Limited, issued the following circular to the shareholders last week : " The business of the company has been so seriously affected by the tubes, London County Council trams, and motor omnibuses, that your directors are unwilling to take upon themselves the responsibility of continuing without a direct mandate from the shareholders so to do. They therefore have taken steps for the protection of the company's assets, pending a general meeting of the shareholders, of which notice is given herewith."

This company owns about 15o horse buses, but its motor vehicles were withdrawn from service last autumn. Excessive competition, both with other omnibus companies and the L.C.C. tramcars, appears to have brought about this company's present difficulties, from which we hope it will emerge successfully.

A Slough Service.

An old 21}h.p. Milnes-Daimler, which we understand was acquired from the Vangu.ard Motorbus Company, Limited, is maintaining an independent service between Beaconsfield, Slough, and Windsor, one of the old Great Western Railway drivers being in charge of the vehicle, in which he is understood to have a part share.

A Motorbus Advertising Tour.

An account of an interesting advertising trip will be found on page 389, and we are indebted to the chief mechanical inspector of the Great Western Railway Company's motorbus department, W. Charles Belton, who accompanied the vehicle throughout the tour, for the details which he has sent along with Mr. Coventry's permission.

A Sheet-Metal Body.

The use of sheet metal in the construction of motorbus bodies has a limited number of advocates, amongst whom we may quote the Brush Electrical Engineering Company. De DionHouton (1907), Limited, will be showing a six-seated omnibus with a body of this type, and of patented construction, at the forthcoming Olympia Show, and we have pleasure in illus--trating the vehicle on page 579. It is fitted with a single-cylinder engine of Slop., with the company's usual type of cardan drive from the differential to the road wheels, the latter carrying in. ternally.,-toothed rings, with which the pinions engage. This small omnibus is jreported to have covered some 25,000 miles on the road.

Dennis Omnibuses for Russia.

Further to our announcements of last week on the subject of Mr. Raymond Dennis's recent visit to Russia, we now learn that the omnibuses will be of the two-compartment pattern, the front portion being for first-class passengers, who will enter from the side, and the back portion for second-class passengers, who Will enter from a platform behind. The design provides that the floor will slope upwards, from the driver's seal, as in a char-a-banes. The seats in the back section will be upholstered in leather, and those in the front section in cloth. The company's 35-55h.p. engine, with magneto and battery ignition, will be fitted, together with a four-speed gearbox and gate control. Twin, 5-inch, solid, indiarubber tires will be fitted to the back wheels and single tires of the same size to the front wheels. The vehicles will be used in the Governments of Kieff, Tschernigoff, Walismen, Podolsen, Voltawa, and Odessa. The 3ist May, 1910, is the correct dale for the expiry of the existing concession of the Paris General Omnibus Corn pan y.

Better Results Wanted.

The financial results of the whole tramway undertaking at Brighton have not been as satisfactory as many of the ratepayers would have wished, and numerous proposals are being made for improvement of the services and the returns from them.

Night Motorbuses for Paris.

Mainly for the benefit of journalists and compositors, the Paris Municipal Council has decided to introduce an allnight service of motorbuses, but only a few vehicles will be run, and the fares will be slightly raised to meet the increased cost of carrying on the service. The night tramway cars which used to run in Paris have been suppressed, but it is argued that in the case of the motorbuses it will not be necessary to keep a night staff working at the depots as had been required for the tramway cars, and thus the expenses will be much lower.

Sleepy Ways on the Isis.

There are no signs, as yet, of the electrification of the Oxford Tramways,. and we trust, in the interests of that city, which has the greatest of historical associations, that this electrification will be long deferred. As it will be remembered, they were to use the overhead system for the suburban tramways, but a surface-contact system known as the " Dolter " was to be used in the central streets. The same system is in operation between Rotherham and Mexborough, and it is only necessary for the members of the Oxford Corporation to pay a visit to Rotherham to see how they like it. The cars are fitted with an apparatus to detect when a stud is left alive after the car has passed, and, if the bell rings and indicates one that is alive, the men have to go back and test till they find the stud that gave the ring, and lay a rubber mat over it. Sometimes the stud is merely slow in breaking its connection, and by the. time the men get back it is dead, but these stoppages considerably add to the length of time taken on, the journey between Rotherham and Mexborough. It also sometimes happens that a stud remains dead when the car is over it, and it is by no means unconurion to find a car stuck over a dead stud, and the men endeavouring to move it on by means of pinch-barsThe motorbus has its faults, but if an individual car breaks down it does not mean any delay to the rest of the service. Why doesn't Oxford get some motorbuses without further delay? Fa stnut Washers.

Further repeat orders have been received from the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited, for use upon White Star steamers, and also from the Cunard Steamship Company, Limited, by Fastnut, Limited, of 6o, Aldermanbury, E.C., whilst many of the large railway companies have adopted this lock-nut very widely.

Exemption from Taxation.

Acting upon the recommendation of its omnibus representatives, the Execu_ tive Committee of the Commercial Motor Users' Association naturally gave its strong support to special treatment for motorbuses in respect of any fresh 'taxation. Nobody can deny that the Great Western and other Railway Companies' services are helping to open up districts into which it would certainly not yet pay to run a light railway, and we hope that argument may be fully weighed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Alternatively, if the arguments for complete exemption may be considered unconvincing, or inapplicable to every case, a percentage rebate will commend itself as worthy a support. Public-service and other commercial motors cannot bear a tax, except as a matter of expediency, and certainly should not he regarded as revenue-yielding instruments, for which reason we hope many readers of these pages will bring all their influence to bear upon local members of Parliament in order to secure that special treatment to which we feel they are entitled. In any event, no case can be made for the taxation of business vehicles such as may be made for the taxation of private cars, unless it is specifically intended to spend the proceeds upon the roads.

While on this matter, we may mention the excellent pamphlet on the subject of "Highway Maintenance and Repair," in which the Gladwell system of road construction is fully explained; copies of this may be obtained from the Roads Improvement Association, r, Albemarle Street, W., price 6d. each.

Inventions in Hand.

We are informed that Mr. A. T. Collier, the inventor of the Collier-Reilloc and other tires, has succeeded in overcoming the objections of the Scotland Yard authorities to the employment of sectional tires for public service, at least so far as to obtain an official permit to run a trial set on a motorbus. Mr. Collier's latest type of tire does not differ very materially frorrt his earlier pattern, except in the method of attachment, and in the unbroken continuity of surface. Unless looked at very closely, the new tire has quite the appearance of an ordinary endless band tire. The immediate elfect of the alteration should go a long way towards the reduction of vibration and insecurity of attachment, which were the principal objections to most tires made up of separate sections. We do-not consider that any sectional tire can give better all-round results than the plain endless tire, but the inventor is very sanguine, and, if his views materialise, some economy in the tire bill will be the immediate result. We recently illustrated, in our resume of patent specifications, a very ingenious device oP Mr. Collier's to avoid the frictional losses in worm drives,, and since then were afforded an opportunity of inspecting a working model of his ,globoid worm and ball gear, which is under construction at the Coventry works of the Daimler Motor Co., Ltd.; the device looks very practical, and we understand that, under test conditions, the driving losses, compared with those of ordinary plain worm and wheel, were very satisfactory indeed, and we shall no doubt soon hear of the practical application of the principle.

Damage to Bacteria Beds.

The and Parliamentary Committee of the Willesden Urban District Council is to consider a report of the Engineer regarding the damage to bacteria beds caused by oil discharged into the main sewers from the garage of the London General Omnibus Company, Ltd., at Donis Hill. A similar complaint made to the East Ham Borough Council recently resulted in a notice being served upon the London Road Car Co. to desist immediately from polluting the sewers, and announcing that, in default, legal proceedings would be instituted against them.

A Second Thornycroft.

Mr. W. Rees, of Emlyn Arms, Newcastle Emlyn, took delivery of his second Thornycroft omnibus some two months back. The latest vehicle, which is to supplement one purchased a year ago, will accommodate only ten people and the driver, but provision is made for a considerable amount of luggage on the roof,whilst the back is closed to keep out dust, and the body is fitted with side curtains. There is a hinged glass screen in front of the driver, and a detachable luggage ladder. The chassis is of the company's standard 3oh.p. "type 40" pattern, and should be admirably suited for the hilly country in which it is operated. It is identical with the chassis which gained the gold medal and War Office diploma in the recent trials of the Royal Automobile Club, and has proved itself well adapted for country services where heavy roads and steep hills are encountered.

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