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The Traveling Engineers' Association to Improve the Locomotive Engine Service of American Railroads Examination Questions and Answers for Firemen for Promotion and New Men for Employment   By:

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To Improve The Locomotive Engine Service of American Railroads


For Firemen for Promotion and New Men for Employment : :

Copyrighted by W. O. Thompson, March, 1911 Revised January, 1919


It is the policy of railroads to employ firemen who will in time become competent locomotive engineers. This requires that a man should have at least a common school education, good habits and be in good physical condition. He should be alert, with good reasoning faculties and a man of sound judgment. Having these qualifications, advancement will come to those who are conscientious in discharging their duties and who devote some of their leisure hours to study.

As an aid to this end, and that the railroad companies may derive the highest efficiency from the man employed as a locomotive engineman, a code of questions is given him, and it is expected that the preparation necessary to correctly answer the questions will indicate how well he has progressed.

The list of questions is also intended as a guide to the matters on which he should be correctly informed, both during his term of service as a fireman and for future promotion to engineer.

When a man is first employed as a fireman he will be given a list of questions on which he will be examined at the end of the first year; having passed this examination successfully he will then be given the examination questions for the following year; having passed this examination satisfactorily, he will be given a third and final set of examination questions on which he will be examined before being promoted to engineer. All these examinations will be both written and oral. The third year examination for promotion will be before the General Board of Examiners. At any of these examinations, if he fails to pass 80 per cent. of the questions asked, another trial, not less than two months and not more than six months later, will be given him to pass the same examination; if he fails to pass by a percentage of 80 per cent. he shall be dropped from the service.

Where the examinations consist of both air brake and machinery, the candidate must pass 80 per cent. in each to be successful.

Firemen passing the third and final series of questions will be promoted in the order of their seniority as firemen, except that those who pass on the first trials shall rank, when promoted, above those who passed on the second trials.

Engineers employed who have had service on other roads, will be required to pass the third series of questions before entering the service.

It is not expected that the man will pass these examinations without assistance, and in order that he will understand the use of locomotive and air brake appliances properly, he is expected to go to the Master Mechanic, General Foreman, Road Foreman or Traveling Engineer, also Air Brake Inspector or Instructor, or any other official, and ask them for such information as may be required on any of the questions or on any points in connection with the work. He is not only invited, but also urged to do this, as the more knowledge of his business a man possesses, the better will be the results obtained. He will have ample time to study each set of questions; there is no doubt that with a reasonable amount of study each week, supplemented with close observation of the working of the locomotive, the information necessary to answer satisfactorily the entire list of questions can be easily mastered in the time given. In regard to breakdowns, it is advised that he carefully inspect each breakdown or disabled engine that comes to his notice, see where the parts have given way and in what manner the work of blocking up it done. It is not expected that all the breakdowns which may happen to a locomotive will occur on the engine that he is with; therefore it is good practice to observe how other men care for these breakdowns... Continue reading book >>

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