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PREVIOUS to the issuance of this volume there has been a general similarity in all air-brake instruction books, and the E-T Air-Brake Pocket-Book is the first departure to a wholly original field of air-brake instruction.
Since its inception, and until quite recently, there has been practically but one style of air brake for all classes and branches of railroad service, both passenger and freight, and its application to the locomotive has been heretofore the simplest modification of the plain, automatic principle. With the great increase in weight and motive power of the locomotives in general service at the present day, the importance of their braking power has increased enormously, and it is common to hear a locomotive engineer declare that he would rather have one-half of the car brakes of a long freight train out of operation than to have to cut his locomotive brake out of action. The different classes of train service now require different methods of brake operation. The running time of passenger trains has been increased, also, at such a rate that the comparatively modern evolution of the quick-action brake for HighSpeed Service has been short-lived, and the demand heeded for a further increase in the stopping power of the brakes of the cars and the locomotives in general passenger service.
Under the circumstances, and to provide for certain other present-day air-brake requirements, it has been found necessary to produce a locomotive brake with an individuality of its own, but perfectly adapted to every requirement of each branch of railroad service; and as the result of much invention, experiment and redesigning, the improved E-T Locomotive-Brake Equipment has been brought forth by the Westinghouse Air-Brake Company, and is now the one standard type of engine- and tender-brake for each and every locomotive, regardless of the service in which it may be placed.
In the E-T equipment the entire apparatus included in the engine- and tender-brake has been reconstructed, and although the principle of the common triple valve is used to govern the graduation of the locomotive braking power in like proportion to the calculated power of the car brakes of the train, the general construction of this new equipment is so different from the old that it is practically impossible for a person otherwise skilled in knowledge of the common quick-action and locomotive brakes, to understand the E-T equipment without helpful instruction.
It should be borne in mind, too, that when any person thoroughly understands the E-T brake equipment, he has competent knowledge of the Westinghouse air brake as it is applied to any locomotive in this country, for, while a knowledge of the common automatic air brake is helpful in the study of the E-T equipment, a thorough understanding of the latter embraces all that
has gone before, in addition to the improvements that make this the accepted air-brake standard for all locomotives of the future. It is therefore of the greatest importance that locomotive engineers in particular, but all those as well who have anything to do with the maintenance of locomotive equipment, or the supervision of enginemen or air-brake repair men, shall become well informed concerning the improved E-T locomotive-brake equipment.
Constant attendance at an air-brake instruction car, until the new type of brake can be perfectly understood, is a privilege not within the reach of the many who desire the knowledge; and for those who may receive such direct instruction, good literature on the subject is as helpful as the text-book is to the college student. With the object in view of aiding all those who desire to become proficiently acquainted with the E-T locomotive-brake equipment, this book has been written. Its production was delayed until the equipment had reached practical perfection in the No. 6, its latest, improved style, upon which the text and illustrations are mainly based, although the preceding, No. 5, style of the equipment is fully described, in so far as it differs from the perfected type.
While the main portion of this book is designed for the assistance of those who will not be satisfied with anything short of a complete and thorough understanding of the whole E-T locomotive-brake equipment, a series of Questions and Answers has been appended for the benefit of those who wish to become posted in
the material details, only, of this equipment, in order to qualify for an examination thereon; and this section is so complete in itself, that it is recommended to Travelling Engineers and Air-Brake Inspectors and Instructors as a standard form of Examination Questions on the No. 5 and No. 6 E-T equipments.
The illustrations are wholly original, the scheme of giving each zone of air pressure its distinctive color causing the plates to appear self-explanatory to a great extent. The text is also original, except that the descriptive language used by the air-brake company in its literature is occasionally employed in reference to certain parts of the apparatus, as examples of brevity that can not be improved upon.
This book is, as the name implies, a text-book and reference work on the E-T LOCOMOTIVE-BRAKE EQUIPMENT; and the accessories that are the same as were used in connection with the common automatic engineand tender-brake, such as the air pump, the train air-signalling equipment, and the foundation-brake gear, are not touched upon, although in a later edition a full description of those parts is contemplated.
THE AUTHOR. June, 1909.