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Economics v. Comfort

9th May 1952, Page 46
9th May 1952
Page 46
Page 49
Page 50
Page 46, 9th May 1952 — Economics v. Comfort
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Delegates to P.T.A. ConferenceDiscussOperating Conditions, Vehicle Design, Heating and Ventilation

THE. 10th annual conference of the Public Transport Association was the first to be held at Torquay. At the annual general meeting the president, Mr. W. T. James, 0.B.E., mentioned that the membership at the end of the financial year was 415. Ile made a strong attack on the continually increasing tax on fuel, as a harsh and illogical imposition on the poor man's motorcar. The Exchequer had been told that the industry must pass this on, and it was an extraordinary burden at a time when the Government had expressed great concern at the raising of fares. Workmen's fares were a form

of cha:rity at the expense of the ordinary fare payer.

Later, at the banquet, Mr. James said this " liquid gold" produced nearly £300m. for the Exchequer, and the Treasury let its generosity run riot when it was induced to spend the princely sum of £30m. per annum on our roads.

The two papers, of which we gave precis last week, were followed by lively discussions. Mr. D. M. Sinclair, C.B.E., opened that on the paper by Mr. G. W. Hayter, 0.11.E. He referred to the concern that had been caused by Government interference with fares, it would have been wiser to have left these to experience and local knowledge.

Some operators used double-deckers both as coaches and buses for routes of over 60 miles with satisfaction to the passengers, but double-deckers should be allowed the same length of 30 ft. as the others: He thought tii author had been unkind to the underfloor engine, Midland " Red " had 70,1 vehicles so fitted in operation with over 80m. miles of experience. The engines were easily maintained and mechanics preferred them; two men could replace an engine in 2+ hours.

It was possible to do without leaf springs and he had such a coach which had run 50,000 miles and the equivalent of 30,000 miles on the Nuneaton test track, with complete satisfaction and excellent riding qualities. It was of chassisless construction, with an under-floor engine. Considerable progress had been made with disc brakes and the experiments were satis

factory. The Ministry could help greatly by allowing transmission brakes on passenger vehicles.

As regards weights, the average single-decker of 1934 had an unladen weight of 3.02 cwt. per seat, the figure for the modern vehicle with many more amenities was 3.24 cwt., representing an increase of 25 lb. per passenger in 18 years. In fact, no lighter buses were built anyWhere else in the world. He suggested that double-deckers should have bigger engines and single-deckers the same sizes as at present. There were lighter buses on the way but they had to be chassisless and there was a need for improved springing to remove high-frequency vibrations.

Ald. J. H. Whitaker suggested that it would be uneconomic to run all-singledeckers, which would mean five vehicles for every four double-deckers.

Mr. E. L. Taylor said the pressure of economics would always compel the maximum number of seats; by attention to interior design and colour, vehicles could be made to look more spacious and thus obviate complaints. He appealed for attention to exhaust (obturator) brakes, he had heard complaints from British drivers abroad that Continental coaches constantly overtook them down hills at speeds which they dared not emulate.

Mr. G. P. Roberts said that makers had to deal with a large range of requirements and were inclined to build " universal tools " which might not be so highly efficient for individual jobs. This was where an operator whit made his own vehicles gained the advantage: He asked whether the Association could arrange for organized operational research which could reduce differences and make vehicles more efficient and economic.

Mr. N. H. Dean complained of the bad roads in Northumberland and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Early. single-deckers weighing under four tons had lasted four or five years, more modern vehicles had a life of 12 years and were necessarily heavier: ' Mr. F. G. Parnell claimed that the fluid-resistance type of brake 'could be satisfactory on long hills but not on

services with 10 stops per mile. Eddycurrent brakes were heavy but used no friction material. The solution was to provide more brake facing, but double-deckers with wide spring centres did not lend themselves to this.

Mr. A. F. R. Carling suggested the retention of rear entrances on singledeckers used for pleasure rides. The front entrance required an extra partition and the conductor remained mostly at the front, where he obstructed the view. Operating fast double-deckers on long journeys brought few complaints concerning roll Major F. J. Chap*, O.B.E., said that, in general, a vehicle of 3-1tons was not satisfactory. Reasons for the extra weight were the 24-volt battery, wider-base rims and larger tyres. The tyre makers might find a method of increasing carrying capacity.

The double-decker was the money earner. It was curious, however, to find large fleets of low-bridge vehicles operating where bridges were not a big problem.

Mr. W. M. Drovers, on the other hand, called for only one type of double-decker which would also meet the low-bridge problem. Sometimes a high-bridge vehicle was accidently sent on a low-bridge route; with standardization this could not happen.

Mr. A. H. Gernaey said that not only were engines growing in size, but heavier materials were being used.

Mr. A. T. Priddle said, that modern 24-volt batteries need be no heavier than the old 12-volt.

' Mr. G. Mackenzie Junner referred to riding through Paris on a large coach with an electro-magnetic brake which Was used through congested traffic without employing the ordinary foot brake. This brake was heavy but could be used on long hills and it .did not matter if the rotor became almost redhot. As regards the author's suggestion for a four-cylinderecl V two-stroke engine, this was already being built in Vienna. Back axles sometimes used much power, as was shown by excessive oil temperatures.

Replying, Mr. Hayter said that he was not opposed to under-floor engines and was in favour of co-ordinated research, but much design was a matter of compromise. Big seating capacity made it difficult to collect fares, but it was sometimes cheaper to lose some than employ a second vehicle. The height of seat backs was important, if too high. they obstructed the view, but they must support the head.

On the heating and ventilation of public service vehicles, Mr. A. Twidle said that a 9.8-litre engine wasted, 500,000 R.Th.U. per hour. Heating and ventilating engineers should advise operators as the subjects were out of the operating sphere. Demisting should be attained with the least complication. With air " extractors" it was often found that air blew in instead of out.

Ventilating Trolleybuses Mr. F. H. Gates referred to the disadvantages of -row air inlets, as dust and insects entered. Trolleybuses were heated and ventilated by hot air from the motors, but this was not easy to control. Air could also be blown from the main resistances and additional heat supplied when necessary. Resistances could deal with 800 cubic ft. per minute and provide 10-15 kW.

Aid. T. C. Loftus referred to body damage by condensation, but passengers often grumbled at draughts. Air should come from the top of the vehicle and heating from the floor, as it was important to keep the feet warm.

Mr. A. H. Gernaey suggested double windows to avoid heat losses. With 44 passengers, breath moisture could amount to half a gallon per. hour.

• Mr. R. Goodfellow, B.E.M., referred to an operator who had dispensed with all fancy gadgets and used hot-water piping from the radiator. The bu§ so fitted had done two tours and heating was well distributed.

Gold-coated Screens

Mr. Junner referred to the possibility of using laminated glass coated with a fine film of gold which was perfectly transparent. This might be warmed electrically to prevent misting. One difficulty on the Continent was overheating, owing to the use of transparent roofs. This had been partly overcome by employing roller sunblinds. In the latest Saurer coacn, air entry was via a controlled front orifice, the ceiling was stepped and there was an exit at the rear of each step. Many Continental vehicles had hit-and-miss roof ventilators with electric fans for blowing or sucking.

in his reply, Mr. Edge mentioned that a designed system of heating had been upset because hollow rivets were used in the body construction panels. • He pleaded guilty to being led by operators as to the amount of fresh air required in vehicles. , Regulations did not. permit air to enter below the waist-line, he thought it best to make use of vehicle motion for ventilation purposes. As regards the warming of glass an American product [With wire inserts.— Eo ] required 75-100 watts per sq. ft. in ordinary circumstances and 125-200 watts under Arctic conditions.


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