Discussion on “some facts and problems bearing on electric trunk-line operation,” at New York, May 21, 1907

Author(s): W. J. Wilgus
Publisher: IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Publication Date: 1 August 1907
Volume: 26
Page(s): 1,293 - 1,332
ISSN (Paper): 0097-2444
DOI: 10.1109/PAIEE.1907.6741805



There are so many points on which I fully agree with Mr. Sprague that it is perhaps well at the outset to dwell on one matter where we appear to disagree, and that is the relation of those engaged in the conducting of trunk-line railroad operation to the electrical engineering profession which is now gazing with hungry eyes on that enticing field of new endeavor - the electrification of trunk-line railroads. Without intending to indulge in the sarcasm and pessimism ascribed to our friend, the editor of the Railroad Gazette, I do believe with him that the cause of electrical engineering would be much more rapidly advanced if an effort could be made to bring the steam railroad official more closely in touch with the practical side of the application of electricity to the art of transportation. It is true that in the past the majority of steam railroad men have rather looked upon electric railroads as beneath their notice, but recent important developments in the change of motive power on some of the more prominent railroads of the country have dispelled this idea; and I feel certain that all steam railroad officials are now looking upon the future possibilities of the electrification of steam railroad traffic with keen interest and with a full appreciation of the magnitude and dignity of the problem.