Upon this commission would devolve the duty of outlining such legislative measures as, in its opinion, were neces- sary to secure the safety of the traveling public. It is our firm belief that before such a commission had been in active existence five years, the number of railroad accidents in this country would have been cut down 50 per cent, and that before a decade had passed the number would have been reduced to the more humane figures wbJch obtain on European railroads. COMPARATIVE ECONOMY OF PRODUCER GAS AND STEAM, It is known in a general way that a good produoer- gas engine plant will yield a horse-power upon about one-half the amount of fuel that is necessary to gen- erate one horse-power with a steam plant. The rela- tive efficiency of gas and steam has recently been made the subject of analysis by a well-known pioneer in the field of producer gas, J. M. Emerson Dowson, who bases his comparison upon a steam and gas power plant, each of a capacity of 250 horse-power. In the case of the steam plant, he finds that of 1,120 heat units contained in the fuel, 224 units are lost in radi- ation, flue gases, ashes, etc, and that 896 units appear in the steam that is generated. Of this amount, 112 units are lest by condensation in the pipes, etc, leaving 784 units that are supplied to the engine. Of these, 667 units are lost in the exhaust, leaving only 117 units to be converted into work in the engine. Of these, 17 units must be deducted for engine friction, leaving only 100 units, out cf 1,120 originally in the fuel, avail- able for useful work on the engine shaft. In other words, in order to obtain 100 heat units in useful work on the shaft of a steam engine, there must be 1,120 heat units in the fuel burnt up in the boiler. A simi- lar investigation of the producer-gas plant shows that there need be only 525 heat units in the fuel consumed in the producer to give 100 heat units of useful work on the engine shaft.
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