Prince William County Virginia Clerk’s Loose Papers


The Court: 22 cars to 30 minutes would be a matter of mathematics. By Mr. Hall



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The Court: 22 cars to 30 minutes would be a matter of mathematics.

By Mr. Hall:

Q. How many safety appliances are on each car, do you know? Answer – Give me that question again.

Q. How many safety appliances, all of which I assume you have to inspect? Answer – We have to look after the grab irons and steps and train line which the air works, and look after the journal boxes, and the balance of the running gear on the trucks.

Q. And the arch-bars? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. And tie-straps – Answer – Yes, sir, they are on the sides.

Q. And draw heads? Answer – Yes, sir

Q. And draught timbers? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q.. Do you pay any attention to the frames? Answer – Yes, sir, to the frames.

Q. Did you go all the way around that car in a minute? Answer – I went down on one side and up on the other.

Q. Did you go underneath those cars? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Do you think you could go around those cars, and look at all those things you told me about in one minute? Answer – Yes, sir, I can go down one side and back the other. I didn’t time myself, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes.

Q. You didn’t notice the box-bolts on that particular car, did you. Answer – No; I didn’t see any broken box-bolts on that train when it left. I didn’t see any.

RE DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Mr. Browning:

Q. Mr. Hughes, you make no record of a car unless there is an exception to it? Answer – Some defect, no, sir.

Q. What do you mean by an exception? Answer – Anything I find wrong with the car, any part of the car that is not safe to run.
R. L. Brown, another witness called on behalf of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By Mr. Browning:

Q. Mr. Brown, what company are you working for now, and what company were you working for on the 10th of February, 1915, and in what capacity were you working? Answer – I was working for the C & O. I was working in the car department as car inspector.

Q. Where abouts? Answer – At Gladstone.

Q. Where is Gladstone, Mr. Brown? Answer – Gladstone is 120 miles west of Richmond.

Q. On what division of the C & O system is it? Answer – It is on the Richmond

Q. How far is it from Strathmore? Answer – 52 miles.



Mr. Mackey: East or west? Answer – West.

Mr. Browning: Mr. Brown, did you inspect car 25,227, a gondola coal car loaded with coal, on

the 10th of February, 1915, at Gladstone? Answer – Yes, sir.



Mr. Mackey: This is thirteen days before the accident.

By Mr. Browning:

Q. We want to show the line of inspection. It was the same load. Q. Did you inspect that car? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you inspect that car? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. How do you know that you inspected that particular car, Mr. Brown? (Pause) Where did that car come from? Answer – It came from the west, from Clifton Forge.

Q. Do you know what train it was a part of – what train brought it there? Answer – It arrived there on extra 555

Q. Do you know what train it left Gladstone on? Answer – It left Gladstone on third 78.

Q. For what point did it leave? Answer – Strathmore.

Q. On what date? Answer – On February 23rd.

And what time did you inspect it? Answer – I inspected it on the 10th of February.

Q. Is there any other inspector at Gladstone besides yourself? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Who is he? Answer – Mr. Booker. He is the man who was working with me that night.

Q. Were you night inspector or day inspector? Answer – Night inspector.

Q. Did you inspect this car in the night or day? Answer – Night.

Q. You inspected it the night of the 10th. Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Why did you inspect it that night? Answer – It arrived there, and we inspect all trains on arrival.

Q. What is the result of your inspection?(pause) What did you find as to the car? Answer – The car was all right, OK; there was no defect in the car.

Q. How do you know that it was all right and OK and no defect? Answer – Because we did not mark any car in the train at all. We have no record of marking any car in the train at all.

Q. What do you mean by marking? Answer – We have them switched out. We put our shop marks on them, and have them switched out.

Q. You put your shop marks on them, and have them switched out? Answer – Yes, sir.

CROSS EXAMINATION



By Mr. Mackey:

You don’t know what became of that car, or what it was subjected to during the thirteen days following your inspection, until this accident took place? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You don’t know how many choppy tracks of the C&O it ran over during those thirteen days, do you? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You don’t know what effect those thirteen days had in making these arch-bars rub together and sheer off the bolts, do you? (pause). You don’t know anything about that? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Was it on the move the thirteen days following your inspection? Was it standing still when you inspected it? Answer – Yes, sir.

By Mr. Hall:

Q. Mr. Brown, you have not any record of any inspection of this car, have you, 25,227? Answer – Have I a record of it?

Q. Yes. Answer – No, sir.

Q. How do you have any independent recollection of having inspected that car? Answer – Well, the record at the yard office shows that this car arrived there in this train, in extra 555 from the west.

Q. How many other cars arrived in that train from the west? Answer – I don’t know.

Q. You have not any record of that train arriving from the west? Answer – Only by the record from the yard office.

Q. When did you consult the record at the yard office before you came here? Answer – Just before we came up here.

Q. Had you consulted it between that time and February 10th? Answer – No, sir.

Q. If you had not consulted the record, you would not know anything about it, would you? Answer – No, sir.

RE DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. Where was that car from the tenth, the day you inspected if, up to the 23rd, the day it left Gladstone for Strathmore? Answer – Where had it been in that time?

Q. Yes. Answer – It was on Gladstone yard.

Q. It had gone out then? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Until it went out on the 23rd? Answer – No, sir.

RE CROSS EXAMINATION

By Mr. Hall:

Q. Do you know whether it had been switched around or bumped around the yards during that time? Answer – No.

Q. You don’t know how many times it was switched? Answer – No, sir. They don’t switch cars around the yard much – that is Strathmore cars; they generally put them in a storage yard.

Q. Do you know why it laid there so long? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Is it not unusual? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You generally keep the cars there thirteen days? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Under load? Answer – Yes, sir.
J. R. Booker, another witness called on behalf of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By Mr. Browning:

Q. Mr. Booker, in whose employ are you now? Answer – Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company

Q. In whose employ were yo on 10 February 1915? Answer – Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company.

Q. How long have you been employed by that company? Answer – Fifteen years.

Q. What were you doing February 10, 1915? Answer – Car inspector.

Q. How long have you been car inspector? Answer – Fifteen years.

Q. Where were you inspecting them? Answer – At Gladstone, Nelson County, in the Gladstone yard, 119 miles from Richmond, on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

Q. How far from Strathmore is that? Answer – 52 miles.

Q. Do you remember car 25,227? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What sort of car was that? Answer – A 50 ton steel car – coal car.

Q. When did it come to Gladstone? Answer – It arrived at Gladstone February 10, 1915

Q. When – in the day or night? Answer – At night in extra 555 at 2:45 A.M.

Q. Extra, did you say? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. As a part of extra 555? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. How long did it stay in Gladstone? Answer – Thirteen days.

Q. Did you inspect it? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What was the result of your inspection? Answer – The car was in good & safe condition.

Q. When did it leave Gladstone? Answer – It left on February 23rd

Q. As a part of what train? Answer – As a part of extra 555. It arrived there on February 10th.

Q. And when it left there, it was a part of what train? Answer – It left there as a part of train third 72. It left there on the 23rd.

Q. For what place? Answer – Strathmore.

Q. You say it stayed at Strathmore thirteen days? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What was done while it was at Gladstone those thirteen days? Answer – Standing on the storage track.

Q. Was it switched about? Answer – No, sir. It was set out of the train on the same day on account of too much tonnage ; five cars were set off.

Q. Too much tonnage? Answer – It was too heavy a train, and it remained there until the 23rd.

Q. How do you inspect a car Mr. Booker? Answer – I inspect all running gear, such as wheels and arch-bars and brakes, drawheads, rigging, safety valves and general parts of the car.

CROSS EXAMINATION

By Mr. Hall:

Q. Mr. Booker, how far is it from Strathmore to Bristow, do you know? Answer – No, sir, I am not acquainted with this part of the road. This is my first trip in this part of the country.

Q. It is a pretty good road you came over? Answer – A part of it was.

Q. You say you remember C & O car 25,227? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Have you any record of it? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Where is your record? Answer – It arrived in this train, and we keep a record of the full train, and when any question arises we go to the record.

Q. You say you have the record? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. The original record? Answer – I have it on the book.

Q. That little book there? What does it show? Answer – The time the car arrived.

Q. What time did the train arrive? Answer – It arrived in extra 555 at 2:10

Q. How many cars were there in that train? Answer – I don’t know. I did not keep record of the number of cars, but cut out such cars as are not fit to go.

Q. Do you know how long it took to inspect that train? Answer – It averaged from 35 to 40 minutes.

Q. What is the tonnage of the trains ordinarily? Answer – We don’t keep account of the tonnage. That is out of our line of business.

Q. How do you know that these four cars, including C&O 25,227 were cut out at Gladstone on February 10, 1915 – how do you know that? Answer – I know it by the book, the book that they are in and out by.

Q. A book kept by someone else? Answer – Yes, sir, by the clerk in the yard office.

Q. Have you got any independent recollection – I mean do you recollect this car aside from those records? Answer – I remember inspecting that train.

Q. But you don’t remember inspecting how many cars were in that train? Answer – No, sir, I don’t have to do that.

Q. You don’t remember seeing this particular car? Answer – I inspected the train thoroughly, and there were no cars in there that were not fit to run.

Q. You don’t remember seeing this particular car? Answer – Yes, sir, we went over that particular car. We are bound to inspect it.

Q. You remember now seeing this particular car? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Although you kept no record of it? Answer – We kept the record of the train, and the train was ok, and there was not any car in it shopped.

Q. You don’t know what position this car was in? Answer – It was headed east and west.

Q. I mean what position in the train the car was in? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You run these trains from 50 to 60 cars? Answer – Anywhere from 40 to 50 to 60, on account of the weather; we have to get tonnage according to the weather.

Q. It is safe to say there were over 50 cars in that train? Answer – I couldn’t tell you in cold weather. In some weather you can pull it, and in some you can’t.

Q. It took you between 35 and 40 minutes to inspect that train? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. How many safety appliances were on this train? Answer – All the law requires.

Q. About how many? Answer – It is all the law requires.

Q. Do you know what they are? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What are they? Answer – Grab irons, brake shaft, steps, lift rods, brake hangers, and all such as that come under safety appliances.

Q. air hose? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Arch-bars – Yes, sir.

Q. Tie-straps? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Springs, bolsters and running gear, and all those things? Answer – Yes, sir; grab irons and brake shafts are mostly called safety appliances.

Q. Ratchets; do you go up on top of the car and look at it? Answer – We go up there if we see anything to call our attention.

Q. Can you see the running board from the ground? Answer – We can see the end.

Q. You can’t tell whether it is all right in the middle? Answer – You can tell from the end whether it is straight. If you take notice, a coal car hasn’t nay runningboard on it.

Q. But all the other things are on it? Answer – yes, sir.

Q. The runningboard is the only thing that the coal car hasn’t got? Answer – It hasn’t any top, the same as a box car. There are several other things it hasn’t got like a box car.

Q. We all know it hasn’t any top, and hasn’t any runningboard. All the rest are about the same; the safety appliances are the same? Answer – Supposed to be.

Q. When did you look at the record of the car before you came? Answer – I keep the book with me.

Q. Have you kept it with you since February 10th. Answer – No, sir. I have another one.

Q. Where did you get that? Answer – We had it put away, keeping it for such an occasion.

Q. When did you get it from the place? Answer – What place?

Q. Where you were keeping it? Answer – I got it when I needed it.

Q. When did you need it? Answer – Pretty soon after I found we were called to this trial.

Q. When was that? Answer – A few days ago.

Q. You did not look at that from that time to the time you inspected the car? Answer – I didn’t have occasion to.


H. A. Brightwell, another witness called on behalf of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, being duly sworn, testified as follows:
By Mr. Browning:

Q. Mr. Brightwell, what position do you occupy with the C & O if any? Answer – Tool car foreman.

Q. What are your duties as such? Answer – Cleaning up wrecks.

Q. How long have you been with the C & O? Answer – Thirteen years.

Q. What positions have you occupied during that time? Answer – Only two – derrick engineer and tool car foreman, - derrick engineer ten years and three years tool car foreman.

Q. What are your duties as tool car foreman? Answer – Clearing up wrecks.

Q. And as derrick engineer what? Answer – Running the derrick.

Q. At what? Answer – At wrecks.

Q. Where were you February 23, 1915? Answer – We were in Richmond, but left Richmond at 7:50 P. M. to come to Bristow, and got to Bristow on the 24th at 3:15 A. M.

Q. You arrived at 3:15 A. M. at the scene of the wreck? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What did you do when you got there? Answer – The first thing we did we commenced clearing the stuff around the track, and getting the cars out of the way, trying to get the track clear. After we got the southbound track clear, we went back and started to work on the northbound track, and put on a car with some few wheels off.

Q. Who worked on freight car 25,227? Answer – Southern tool car foreman.

Q. Did you see that car? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see the trucks of it? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What did you see? Answer – Well, I saw on the south wheel – I mean on the south truck, at the south end, east side, the tie-bar was broken. It was broken at the column-bolt hole.

Q. Did you examine the tie-bar, Mr. Brightwell? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What was the character of that break, you say it was broken? Answer – It was all new break.

Q. Now, you were speaking then of the piece that was left attached to the truck, were you? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see the other piece? Answer – Yes, sir. I found it. Mr. Flanagan and myself found it. We were together when we found it.

Q. You and Mr. Flanagan were together when that was found? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you find it, Mr. Brightwell ? Answer – I could not give you the actual distance, but I suppose 50 or 70 yards from the wreck, south of the wreck.

Q. Did you examine that? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What was the character of that break? Answer – That was new.

Q. What was the shape of that when you found it? Answer – Well, it was something like a U shape; it stuck out, and was bent back.

Q. Did you see the nuts – did you see any other portions of the truck? Answer – Yes, sir; Mr. Flanagan and myself together, we picked up the column nut and the box nut.

Q. The box nut? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Where was the column nut, I will ask you first? Answer – The column nut was at the depot siding, I suppose you will call it. We found it right in the frog, and the box nut we found it along about where we found the part of the tie-bar that was broken off.

Q. What part of the track did you find the tie-bar on. I mean by that, was it the center of the track, or outside? Answer – It was outside, to the east, down on the side of the bank.

Q. How far from the edge of the rail, if you can form an opinion? Answer – I could not just exactly call it; I don’t know whether it was six feet. It was laying alongside of the bank. We were walking along together, and I noticed it, and I said “I believe that is a piece of the tie-bar,” and I went there and picked it up, and Mr. Flanagan and I looked at it together.

Q. Did you make an examination of the track we will say for half a mile south of Bristow Station? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What was the result of your examination? Answer – I found low joints, found sloppy joints.

Q. All right, sir. Answer – That is about all.

Q. What would be the effect of that condition of track on the running gear of a freight car, if you know?

The Court: His thoughts would not be more than the jury’s

Mr. Browning: He said he had been tool foreman ten years and derrick foreman three years.

The Court: If he knows.

Witness: We have accidents, and we have to look at the track to find out the cause of the

accidents.



The Court: Did you ever do that as a carpenter? Answer – Yes, sir.

Mr. Browning: Q. For how long have you had to do that? Answer – Always, ever since I have

been foreman to find the cause.. Q, That is for ten years? Answer – Yes, sir. Q. You are not a carpenter, are you? Answer – No, sir.



The Court: I thought he said he was a carpenter.

Mr. Browning: No, sir; tool foreman. He is a tool car foreman.

Note: The question previously asked is read as follows: “What would be the effect of that

condition of track on the running gear of a freight car, if you know?” Answer – I think it would get the car to jumping and get a greater strain on the running gear.



By Mr. Browning:

Q. At wrecks have you any duty relative to ascertaining the cause of the wreck, or does that come in your line? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you investigate to ascertain the cause of this particular wreck? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you reach a conclusion as to what was its cause? Answer – The first we decided – well, the preliminary examination we went around and saw the tie-bar was broken that morning, Mr. Flanagan and myself, and then we went to look at the track.

Q. Did you reach a conclusion as to what caused the tie-bar to break? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You did not? Answer – No, sir, we did not, not there we did not.

CROSS EXAMINATION

By Mr. Hall:

Q. Mr. Brightwell, if I understood you correctly, you said that you and Mr. Flanagan found a broken piece of tie-bar 50 or 75 years south of the wreck? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Are you sure that it was 50 or 75 yards? Answer – I said I was not sure. I don’t know how far it was, but it was south of the wreck.

Q. Can you say whether it was 50 or 75 yards, or 50 or 75 feet? Answer – I said I was not sure. I don’t know how far it was, but it was south of the wreck.

Q. Can you say whether it was 50 or 75 yards, or 50 or 75 feet? Answer – I could not say because I don’t know the distance.

Q. Why did you say 50 or 75 yards? Answer – About that.

Q. Do you want your answer to stand about 50 or 75 yards? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Notwithstanding Mr. Flanagan testified it was 50 to 75 feet. Now, which was it? Answer – It might have been feet, or yards, either one. I could not tell you now. I said it was about, but I don’t know.

Q. You don’t know, as a matter of fact, where you found it? Answer – No, I don’t know the distance.

Q. You could not tell whether it was 50 or 75 feet or 50 or 75 yards? Answer – No, sir not accurately.

Q. Then I understood you to say that you and Mr. Flanagan picked up a column-bolt and a box-bolt nut; is that right? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. That is all you picked up? Answer – After we picked up a nut lock, too, with the column-bolt.

Q. You picked up a nut lock? Answer – Yes, sir. I forgot to mention that before.

Q. Where was that? Answer – with the column bolt.

Q. And about where was that? Answer – That was at the switch leading to the depot track.

Q. What is your duty as derrick car foreman? Answer – As tool car foreman?

Q. Yes. Answer – Picking up wrecks, cleaning up wrecks.

Q. Were you pretty busy cleaning up the wreck that night? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. And the next day? Answer – Yes, sir. We left there next day, the next morning.

Q. You mean by picking up the wreck, picking up the broken cars; were you in charge of that? Answer – On our end of it I was, yes, sir.

Q. You had time to scout around, and walk up and down the track, and hunt for other things, too? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Where is the first mark you found on the track of anything having been struck? Answer – Right after we passed over the frog at the depot switch.

Q. After you passed over the frog of the depot switch? Answer – Yes, sir, just as we went over it, as I remember it.

Q. That is the first mark you found anywhere? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. Did you look for marks south of that point? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. You did not find any? Answer – No, sir, not that I remember.

Q. When did you look? Answer – I looked next morning, the morning of the 24th.

Q. Was Mr. Flanagan with you? Answer – Yes, sir, as well as I remember.

Q. If he says that he found marks south of the switch, just north of the station, would you say that he is correct, or not, and that you were with him at the time? Answer – How is that?

Q. I say if he says that he found marks on the track south of the switch, just north of the depot, and that you were with him at that time, would that be correct, or not? Answer – I don’t know. All I remember is from the switch on where the tie-bar was hitting the ties.

Q. Did you attempt to give on your direct examination any cause for this accident? You said you did not know the cause, didn’t you? Answer – I said the tie-bar broke.

Q. But you didn’t say what was the cause of it, or what you thought was the cause? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Who found the box-bolt? Answer – Mr. Flanagan and myself together. He picked it up.

Q. Who is that? Answer – Mr. Flanagan and myself.

Q. What did he do with it? Answer – Put it on the tool cars.

Q. Put it on the tool car? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What about the column-bolt, what did he do with that? Answer – Put that with it.

Q. He picked it up, and carried it right to the tool car? Answer – Not right then, but when we started in.

Q. How long was it after you found it before you went to the tool car with it? Answer – I don’t recall how long it was.

Q. You don’t know how long it was? Answer – No, sir.

Q. Can’t you guess? Answer – I don’t know how long it was.

Q. You don’t know whether it was put on the tool car before next morning? Answer – It was next morning when it was put there, day light.

Q. Were you out there with Mr. Briant? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You didn’t see him? Answer – Yes, sir, he went out on the car with us.

Q. What became of Mr. Bryant? Answer – He was around the wreck.

Q. He testified that he was in the tool car most of the time? Answer – He might have been. The tool car was around the wreck.

Q. You don’t remember seeing him? Answer – Yes, sir, I saw him. I don’t remember how many times; he was there off and on.

Q. Did you examine the arch-bar holes? Answer – No, sir.

Q. You did not examine anything but the tie-bar? Answer – I examined the truck, but I don’t remember the holes.

Q. You remember exactly how the nut on the tie-bar looked? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. What happened to direct your attention so particularly to the end of the tie-bar? Answer – I wanted to see if I could find the cause.

Q. You thought you would stop right there? Answer – Yes, sir.

Q. You did not look for anything else? Answer – That is all I saw.

Q. Didn’t you say you didn’t look at any other part of the truck? Answer – I looked all over the truck, which I always do.

Q. Did you examine the arch-bar holes? Answer – I couldn’t say positively whether I did, or not.

Q. Do you know, or not, whether you examined the truck? Answer – I know I examined the truck. I reported on it. I saw the wreck and all.



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