Scientific American Supplement, No. 388, June 9, 1883 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 147 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 388, June 9, 1883.

L s. d. 
Wages of stoker of stationary engine. 1 0 0
Coke, 52 cwt. at 25s. per ton. 2 15 0
Oil, 1 gallon at 3s. 1d. 0 3 1
Waste, 4 lb. at 2d. 0 0 8
Depreciation on stationary engine, 10 per cent. }
on L300 11s. 6d. }
Depreciation of electrical apparatus, 15 per cent. } 2 0 4
on L500, L1 8s. 10d. }
Total.  L5 19 1

A saving of over 25 per cent.

The total mileage run is very small, on account of the light traffic early in the year.  Heavier traffic will tell very much in favor of the electric car, as the loss due to leakage will be a much smaller proportion of the total power developed.

It will be observed that the cost of the tramway engines is very much in excess of what is usual on other lines, but this is entirely accounted for by the high price of coke, and the exceedingly difficult nature of the line to work, on account of the curves and gradients.  These causes send up the cost of electrical working in the same ratio, hence the comparison is valid as between the steam and electricity, but it would be unsafe to compare the cost of either with horse-traction or wire-rope traction on other lines.  The same fuel was burnt in the stationary steam-engine and in the tramway engines, and the same rolling stock used in both cases; but, otherwise, the comparison was made under circumstances in favor of the tramway engine, as the stationary steam-engine is by no means economical, consuming at least 5 lb. of coke per horse-power hour, and the experiments were made, in the case of the electrical car, over a length of line three miles long, which included the worst hills and curves, and one-half of the conductor was not provided with the insulite caps, the leakage consequently being considerably larger than it will be eventually.

Finally, as regards the speed of the electrical car, it is capable of running on the level at the rate of 12 miles per hour, but as the line is technically a tramway, the Board of Trade Regulations do not allow the speed to exceed 10 miles an hour.

Taking these data as to cost, and remembering how this will be reduced when the water power is made available, and remembering such considerations as the freedom from smoke and steam, the diminished wear and tear of the permanent way, and the advantage of having each car independent, it may be said that there is a future for electrical railways.

We must not conclude without expressing our best thanks to Messrs. Siemens Bros. for having kindly placed all this apparatus at our disposal to-night, and allowing us to publish the results of experiments made at their works.

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Scientific American Supplement, No. 388, June 9, 1883 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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