|February 1924, Vol. 76, No. 5||Railway Age (New York)||Page 329|
Canadian National High Power Motor Coach
Seats 55 Passengers—Driven by 225-Hp. Sterling Motor—Built by National Steel Car Corporation
The Canadian National probably has made a longer and more thorough study of the possibilities of the self-propelled rail motor car than any other railroad. In the endeavor to find out which types were the best suited to the various peculiar traffic conditions existing in different places, a number of cars have been built and tested out. Some have been small and others relatively heavy. The list has included those driven by gasoline passenger car engines, gasoline truck engines, steam engines and electric storage battery motors.
The latest addition to the list is a steel-body combined passenger and baggage car built by the National Steel Car Corporation, Hamilton, Ontario, and driven by a 225-hp. Sterling gasoline engine. This car was delivered to the Canadian National in November, 1923, and after thorough tests was placed in regular service between Toronto and Hamilton, a distance of 35.7 miles, where it is at present in operation. The car leaves Hamilton at 6:30 a.m. and arrives at Toronto at 7:35 a.m., and on the return trip, it leaves Toronto at 9:30 p.m., reaching Hamilton at 10:45 p.m. It is reported that even when running at high speed—with the governor set for 50 miles an hour—no noticeable vibration is experienced, oscillation and side sway are slight and that for smooth and silent running it compares well with standard passenger cars in steam service.
The car is of steel construction with a single arch type roof. The steel underframe includes fish belly type center sills, spaced to provide room for engine and transmission. The length of the car over all is 55 ft. 9-1/2 in.; the length over end sills, 54 ft. 1-1/2 in.; the width over side sheathing, 8 ft. 9 in. ; the height from top of rail to floor, 3 ft. 9-5/8 in., and the height from the top of rail to roof, 12 ft. 9 in. The weight of the car is between 40,000 lb. and 45,000 lb.
The interior is divided into two compartments. The rear or passenger compartment is 31 ft. 2 in. long and is provided with seats for 44 passengers. The front or baggage compartment is 15 ft. 2 in. long and, while intended primarily for carrying baggage and express, is fitted with collapsible wooden slat seats, which accommodate 11 passengers when occasion requires. On a basis of 55 seated passengers, the dead weight per passenger is between 75 and 80 lb.
The interior of the passenger compartment is finished in cherry with Agasote ceiling, and presents a pleasing appearance. The partition between the two compartments matches the interior finish and is provided with a double-swing door having a plate glass panel. The double, non-reversible transverse seats are upholstered in green plush with polished brass comer grabs on the seat backs. All windows are arranged to raise and are fitted with removable storm sash, The curtains are of silk-faced Pantasote with Rex rollers and Forsythe ring fixtures. A drinking water tank and cup vendor are provided. There is one saloon in the passenger compartment fitted with hopper, folding wash basin, mirror and paper towel holder.
The rear platform has two vestibule side doors and O. M. Edwards steel trap doors, covering the step openings. A vestibule end door is provided for use in case a trailer is carried. The rear body end door is of cherry with glazed panel and swings inward. The vestibule end windows are provided with storm sash and all doors are provided with weather strippings to make the platform weather proof.
The baggage compartment is sheathed with poplar, with open-carline finish. There is a sliding baggage door with 4 ft. opening on each side. A11 windows are arranged to raise except the two at the driver's seat, which are arranged to drop.
The trucks are of the four-wheel pedestal type and have a 5-ft. 8-in. wheel base. The wheels are 36 in. in diameter and are steel tired. The journal bearings are of the Stafford roller type with roller end thrust. Each truck has two triple elliptic bolster springs and four helical equalizer springs.
Each end of the car is fitted with a Type D coupler. The front one is supported by a steel casting attached to the end sill in such a manner that it can be taken down easily should occasion arise to remove the engine from the car. The rear coupler is fitted with a spring draft gear.
The car is driven by a Sterling six-cylinder gasoline engine, with cylinder of 5-3/4-in. bore and 6-3/4-in. stroke. The power rating of the engine is 225 hp. at 1,600 r.p.m. The engine and clutch are carried on a sub-frame, which is supported from the car center sills by a three-point suspension and so arranged that the entire unit of frame, engine and clutch can be removed through the end of the car by sliding the frame brackets along the center sill bottom angles after the front coupler and radiator have been removed.
The engine is fitted with two Stromberg carburetors and triple ignition. The lighting batteries are also used for the starting motor and for ignition. There are two gasoline tanks having a combined capacity of 75 gallons, which are carried below the car body. The gasoline is pumped from the main tanks to an auxiliary tank from which it feeds by gravity to the carburetors.
The clutch is of the multiple disk type and runs in oil. The transmission is of special design and provides four speeds forward and three speeds in reverse. The drive is through the trailing axle of the forward truck and the leading axle of the trailing truck, the power being carried from the transmission to the axles by flexible shafts and bevel gearing. The bevel gears are enclosed in a steel housing with a torque arm suspended from equalizer bars mounted on the inside axle. Provision is made for disengaging the front truck drive shaft by an operating lever near the driver's seat, thus permitting driving from the rear truck only in cases where the required tractive force is small.
When the interior view of the front compartment was taken, the sides of the steel casing enclosing the engine were removed. The large asbestos covered sheet metal pipe leading from the top of the engine casing carries the escaping gases of combustion to a short stack extending through the car roof. The emergency passenger seats are folded back against the side walls to provide maximum space for baggage.
A Peter Smith hot water heater is installed in a separate heater room in the passenger compartment, which also contains the coal box. Hot water pipes are led along both sides of the car under the seats. Change of air is obtained by five ventilators in the car roof, which may be opened and closed from the interior.
Current for lighting is furnished by a U.S.L. Type F generator, with chain drive from the engine and 32-volt batteries underneath the car near the center. The lighting fixtures include seven center-ceiling, 50-watt lamps in the passenger compartment, two in the front compartment and two rear vestibule lamps. An electric headlight and marker lights are also provided.
The brake is of the Westinghouse combined automatic and straight air type, with provision for trailer operation. Air is furnished by a compressor connected to the transmission by a noiseless chain drive. The brake rigging on the truck is of the clasp type.