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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3 (July 24, 1926)

Improvements on Passenger Trains — New Emergency Brake

page 43

Improvements on Passenger Trains
New Emergency Brake

There has been a considerable amount of discussion from time to time appearing in the press suggesting the introduction of communication cords on the trains of the New Zealand Railways, similar to those supplied on express service in Great Britain. The difference in construction and make up between the New Zealand and British types of passenger rolling stock has presented in the past a serious obstacle to the introduction of a safety measure of this nature. Now, however, the Chief Mechanical Engineer (Mr. G. S. Lynde) has introduced a simple and effective method whereby passengers may, in emergency, stop trains by means of an emergency application of the Westinghouse brake.

In each passenger car compartment there is being fitted up an emergency brake cock. This is enclosed in a box with a thin glass front. In emergency the glass may easily be broken by the passenger, and the turning of the cock applies the brake just as effectively as an application by the enginedriver could do.

Near the box is placed a notice reading as follows:-

To stop train in extreme emergency break glass and turn lever down. Penalty for improper use £10.

The emergency train stop cocks are connected to the train brake pipes, which extend from the engine to the last vehicle on the train. When the emergency cock lever is pulled down the compressed air in the train brake pipe escapes and this causes the Westinghouse brake to apply, instantaneously and with its full force, to the whole train. It is also intended to introduce a form of communication cord into sleeping cars of the transverse compartment type.

It is anticipated that the occasions upon which there will be any necessity for using the new facilities for applying the emergency brake will be extremely rare, but nevertheless it stands as a complete safeguard to meet just such occasions as those for which it is introduced.

Luck means rising at six o'clock in the morning, living on a dollar a day if you earn two, minding your own business and not meddling with other people's. Luck means appointments you have never failed to keep, the trains you have never failed to catch.- Max O'Rell.