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36   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

cover at least twice as much mileage as a velocipede patrolman. This would be about forty miles of track, where one round trip per day is to be made, or twenty miles, where two round trips are required.

Patrol by men with velocipedes is preferred by the Canadian Northern railway, on the basis of both efficiency and economy. It is argued that velocipede patrols are much more reliable, since the machines do not get out of order, as is frequently the case with power speeders. At the relatively low rate of wages paid patrolmen, it is often very difficult to secure men with sufficient mechanical ability to keep power speeders in running order, and the interruption of a patrol at a critical time in the dry season may result in a fire doing more dam-age than the total cost of all patrols for many years. It is argued, further, that without a gasolene engine on which to spend his time in making adjustments and repairs, the velocipede patrolman can put in about half of his time during the fire season in clearing up bad places along the right-of-way, thus reducing the actual cost of fire patrol to a lower figure than is practicable in the case of the power speeder patrolman. The fire inspector for the Canadian Northern railway maintains that, when the above points are fully considered, and the first cost and annual depreciation of velocipedes and power speeders compared, the velocipede patrol is cheaper in the long run, where the grades are not too heavy to make such action impracticable.

On the other hand, there has been a strong tendency toward the use of power speeders on the Great Northern, Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Pacific railways, and their use has in general been approved by the British Columbia Forest Branch, notwithstanding some individual instances of failure due to the engine getting out of order.

The following extracts from a report by W. C. Gladwin, Assistant Provincial Fire Inspector for British Columbia, are of interest in this connection :

The most essential points in favour of power speeder patrol are these : First, a patrolman on a power speeder can keep within fifteen to twenty minutes of the train he is following, whether the grades are heavy or easy. He can carry tools to extinguish a fire that would equip four men and can carry a chemical fire extinguisher on his machine.

Second, if he discovers a fire that is too large for him to extinguish he can get quickly to where he can get help, and can carry two or three men besides himself back to the fire. This done quickly means everything in fire-fighting.

Third, he can cover and patrol more efficiently a district two or three times larger than a hand speeder patrolman can, and not be nearly so fatigued.

The following extracts from other reports by Mr. Gladwin throw additional light upon both advantages and disadvantages of


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