HC Deb 19 October 1943 vol 392 cc1244-5W
Lord Fermoy

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether, in view of the large number of fires caused to crops by railway engines this summer, he will see that all railway companies place tin hoods over the stacks, as is done in America with such good results?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The height of railway over bridges and tunnels in this country makes it impracticable to fit our locomotives with the type of tin hood which is fitted in the United States. The British load gauge also makes it inadvisable to adopt other devices which have been successfully used abroad because their adoption would reduce the steaming capacity of the engines and would thus seriously affect the operating efficiency of the railway system. I would like to assure my Noble Friend, however, that the railway companies are taking all practicable measures to reduce the risk that crops will be destroyed by fires caused by sparks from locomotives and that the matter is receiving my close attention.