December 1912, No. 178 Canadian Railway and Marine World (Toronto) Page 601, col. 1

Motor car under test on Schomberg and Aurora Railway.

A short description of a motor car under test on the Schomberg and Aurora Ry., a division of the Toronto and York Radial Ry., operated by steam, appeared in Canadian Railway and Marine World for SeptemberOctober. Since then, further information has been obtained.

The accompanying illustrations show the construction of the car. The truck is of a unique design, built up entirely of plate and structural shapes, a construction that is said to give the maximum strength for a given weight, lightening the construction materially. The wheel base is 120 ins., with 33 in. chilled cast wheels mounted on 4 in. axles. The journals operate in ball-bearing journal boxes, and are so arranged that the wheels and axles may readily be taken from the truck.

The motive power is a small gasoline engine, directly connected to a generator, the combined unit being supported from a frame supported from the truck on a spring suspension in such a manner that but little of the shock and impact of the truck is imparted to the motive power. The gasoline motor group contains a battery of four 4 cycle 5 1/2×6 1/2 in. cylinders, developing 36 h.p. at 600 r.p.m. This unit is directly connected to a 20 k.w. compound wound differential pole generator. This comprises the power station of the car. To each axle there is geared in the usual manner a 25 h.p. compound wound motor, provided with a heavy series winding. These motors have a direct flexible connection from the generator, dispensing with the resistances and controllers. The connection between the generator and motors is such that as soon as the engine is accelerated, the shunt fields of the motors are pre-energized before the armature circuits of the motors are closed, giving a cushioning effect to the motors without the use of resistance and at the same time providing against the operator's misuse. The control of the car is entirely through the engine speeding up the Iatter to increase the car speed, and cutting off gasoline for roasting, eliminating standby losses. The underframing of the car is also of steel of the same general construction as that of the car truck. It has a four point support on the frame. Nests of semi-elliptical springs at each end provide the main support for the car body, giving to the latter an easy movement, while at the same time lighter semi-elliptical springs at the centre of each side frame steady the car and keep it level. The general dimensions of the car body are 34 ft. 7 ins. overall length; 8 ft. 2 ins. and 7 ft. 9 ins., outside and inside widths; and total height above rail of 11 ft. 8 ins. The total weight is about 13 tons, with a seating capacity of 38, giving a small unit dead weight of car per passenger. Experience has demonstrated that it is possible to carry as many as 125.

The car is of the side entrance type, double ended with a symmetrical arrangement of the interior fittings. Inside the doors on each side are longitudinal seats, the balance being cross seats. The motorman's cabin is at the right hand side in the direction of operation. Here, the operation of the motors is controlled, cranking being performed electrically by means of batteries, which are also used for illumination. The interior of the car gives little evidence of the nature of the power utilized, only the tops of the engine cylinder projecting through car floor into a narrow wooden cage about 8 ins. high, arched by a longitudinal hand rail at a convenient height.

The heat of the hot jacket water from the engine is utilized for the heating of the car. Filling the balance of the car ends not occupied by the motorman's cabin, there is a radiator similar in construction to that found on automobiles, through which air from the outside is drawn in and heated. .A sliding curtain in the end regulates the amount of air to be drawn in, as determined by the weather conditions. In hot weather, provisions are made for defecting the current of hot air, and discharging it outside.

The braking consists of a rack and pinion, the rack operating a vertical plunger in an oil cylinder, the oil from the latter being forced into the brake cylinders, one of which is mounted on each side of the car frame, the plungers bearing directly on the wheel.

The consumption of gasoline is said to be a gallon for from four to six miles of operation under normal conditions.

The car was under test from Oct. 3 until on into November, making two round trips per day between Schomberg and Aurora, a distance of 15 miles, or a daily running of 60 miles. All the passenger traffic was handled by this one car. Daily observations have shown the economy of operation claimed for it, the fuel and oil averaging about 4 cents a mile. While giving satisfactory service, it was considered that better operation could be obtained on lines with less steep gradients. On this line, the maximum is 4 1/2%. The conclusions drawn were that the most satisfactory service could be produced on branch lines with grades not exceeding 2%, and for that service the car is well adapted.

In addition to the tests on the Schomberg and Aurora Ry., a trial trip under more satisfactory conditions was made as far north as Gamebridge on the Canadian Northern Ontario Ry., on which it was learned that, on the level, the car could produce a speed of from 40 to 42 miles per hour, and could generate as much as 32 k.w. from the 20 k.w. generator. On the run from Galt to Toronto over the Grand Trunk Ry., when being delivered for the test, the trip was said to have been made in 2 hours with the speed running up as high as 44 miles an hour.

This car was built in York, Pa., and was imported by the Preston Car and Coach Co., which has bought the manufacturing rights for Canada. The builders are truck manufacturers, not car builders, and it is probable that the body will have to be considerably changed in future construction, to meet Canadian conditions.

On the conclusion of the test on the Schomberg and Aurora Ry. and C.N.O.Ry. the car was taken back to Preston, Ont.

Railways: C.N.O.Ry., G.T.Ry., S. & A.Ry.

Stations: Gamebridge, Preston