THE ENGINEER - Dec. 9. 1898


The Metropolitan Railway Company have recently put on their line a series of new and specially-designed trains that have been built for them by the Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Company, Limited, of Manchester, and are examples of what can be done in the way of making travelling on city or suburban lines, or over short distances, comfortable. The drawings we give today as a supplement show the general and detailed arrangements, which have been carried out by Mr. Thomas S. Raney, the company's carriage superintendent. The general dimensions are as follows:- Total length over buffers, 244ft. 1in.; length of bodies, 39ft. 6in.; width of bodies, 8ft. 3in.; centres of buffers from rails, 3ft. 5in.; centres of bogies, 25ft.; wheel base of bogies, 7ft.; and height inside from floor to roof at centre, 7ft. 2in.

The trains are fitted with the automatic vacuum brake, and consist each of six carriages, mounted on four-wheeled bogies, a van being at either end. They are close coupled, and will run as block trains, the vans only being provided with the usual couplings. The bogies and underframes are built entirely of steel, the former of patent flanged plates and the latter of channels. The weight is transmitted from the bolster through a set of helical springs to the swing beam and hence to the bogie frame. The side bearing springs are of the laminated type, with india-rubber auxiliaries. The bodies of the vehicles are of varnished teak-wood picked out on the mouldings, with gold bands and vermilion lines, the whole train presenting an elegant, well-finished appearance as it stands on the rails.

Two special features of these trains are the heating apparatus and the electric lighting, the former being on the storage principle. A pipe connected to the engine runs underneath the carriages the entire length of the train, having couplings between the vehicles. From this pipe, branches run to the storage heaters, one of which is placed in each compartment. The heater consists of a cylinder containing a non-freezing mixture, and has a steam jacket surrounding it; steam from the engine raises the temperature of the mixture, which afterwards gradually radiates the heat into the compartment. The electric lighting is on the Stone's system, by which each carriage is lighted independently, two sets of accumulators and a dynamo being suspended beneath each carriage, the latter being driven from one of the axles in such a way that, no matter what the speed of the train may be, after a certain determined point has been reached, the amount of current passing to the lamps is constant, whilst a regulator placed outside at one end of each carriage switches on the whole or half of the lights as may be desired. The lighting of all the carriages, whether first, second, or third class, is of equal efficiency, each compartment being provided with a couple of 8-candle power lamps.

In their general arrangements and fitting these trains are also quite up to date in meeting modern requirements. The third-class compartments are upholstered in rep, with lace and cord to match, whilst the roof is covered with papier maché decorated with floral and line design, and polished teak fittings, oak-grained woodwork, with fibre mat on the floors are also noteworthy features. The second-class compartments are upholstered in crimson velvet, with buttoned backs and seats and elbow rests under the windows; the doors are padded, and the floor is covered with linoleum, a rug being placed between the seats bearing the company's monogram. The roof and sides are of papier maché, finished in gold, with a gilt cornice running round the compartment, and the woodwork fittings are of polished mahogany. The upholstering of the first-class is of figured rose-coloured Baghdad moquette finished with silk lace and cord; elbow rests, which when not required may be pushed flush into the back, divide the seats, and all the metallic fittings of the first-class are nickel-plated. The woodwork is polished walnut and sycamore with gilt edging, and the roof is decorated lincrusta, with polished walnut and gilt mouldings. Balanced spring blinds are fitted to all the windows throughout the train, and each compartment is ventilated by means of two "torpedo" air extractors. The sides and floors of the carriages are packed with hair felt to deaden the noise of travelling.

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Valid HTML 3.2! From "The Engineer", 9 December 1898.
Page created 14 January 1996 by Richard Salmon.
Updated 29 July 2007.
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