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States (for it is there only that railways have ish railways, and those of other countries, made any progress) will have completed, are as follows :within the period of less than a quarter of a century, 26,485 miles of railway ; that is to
£40,000 say, a greater length than would completely
United States, .
8,000 surround the globe, at a cost of above five France,
26,800 hundred millions sterling !
18,000 To accomplish this stupendous work, hu- German States,
11,000 man industry must have appropriated, out of its annual savings, twenty millions sterling for twenty-five successive years!
Few, who have not actually traveled of this prodigious investment, the small through the United States, have any adespot of the globe which we inhabit has had quate notion of the prodigious apparatus, a share, which will form not the least strik- natural and artificial, of internal transport ing fact in her history.
which that wonderful country possesses. Dr. Of the total length of railways in actual Lardner, who personally witnessed it in more operation in all parts of the globe, twenty of the Union, has supplie
than one extended tour through every part seven miles in every hundred, and of the to
of the Union, has supplied a detailed report tal length in progress, fifty-seven miles in
on that subject in one of the chapters of the every hundred, are in the United Kingdom! work already, quoted. After showing that But the proportion of the entire amount of with a population which, according to the railway capital contributed by British indus- millions, a system of canal navigation had
census of 1840, scarcely exceeded seventeen try is even more remarkable.
It appears that, of the entire amount of capital ex
then been completed on the most efficient pended on the railways of the world, fifty- scale, amounting to nearly 4,400 miles, at a four pounds in every hundred; and of the cost of twenty-eight millions sterling. The capital to be expended on those in progress, author proceeds to give an interesting acsixty-eight pounds in every hundred, are ap
count of the steam-navigation on the Ameripropriated to British railways !
can rivers, over all of which he had passed The vast resources arising from the eco
more than once, and witnessed personally
what he states :nomical enterprise and industry of this country cannot fail to be regarded with astonishment and admiration, when we consider, in
“ The steamers which navigate the Hudson are addition to these results, the fact that, while
vessels of great magnitude, splendidly fitted up for
the accommodation of passengers; and this maga large amount of British capital has been applied to the construction of foreign rail
. continually augmented from year to year to the
nitude and splendor of accommodation have been ways, no amount of foreign capital worth
present time. mentioning has been, on the other hand, in- " It is not only in dimensions that these vessels vested in British railways.
have undergone improvements. The exhibition From what we have stated above, it ap
of the beautifully-finished machinery of the Eng. pears that the length of railway constructed lish Atlantic steamers plying to New York, did in the United Kingdom is proportionately less engineers and steam-boat proprietors, who ceased
not fail to excite the emulation of the American than the relative amount of capital expended.
to be content with the comparatively rude though This arises from the greater efficiency of con- efficient structure of the mechanism of their struction, and consequently, greater cost per steam-boats. All the vessels more recently conmile, of the British railways. These are structed, are accordingly finished and even decogenerally double lines, provided with numer
rated in the most luxurious manner. In respect ous stations, many of which are of vast di
of the accommodations which they afford to pasmensions, and splendid construction and dec. in the world can compare with them. Nothing
sengers, no water communication in any country oration. The rolling stock (which is, of can exceed the splendor and luxury of the furnicourse, included in the capital) is upon a ture. Silk, velvet, and the most expensive car- : scale commensurate with the traffic. In peting, mirrors of immense magnitude, gilding, other countries, as, for example, the German and carving, are profusely supplied to decorate States and America, the lines are mostly sin
these vessels. Even the engine-room in some
of them is lined with mirrors. In the Alida, for gle, the stations are less numerous, and constructed with much less cost.
example, the end of the room containing the ma
chinery is composed of one large mirror, in which The average sums per mile expended on the movements of the highly-finished mechanism the construction and equipment of the Brit- are reflected."
All the Hudson steam-boats of the larger | room, and is more spacious than the room in class, such, for example, as the Isaac New-packet-ships similarly designated. ton,* the Hendrik Hudson, the New World,
“ To obtain an adequate notion of the form and the Oregon, and the Alida, are capable of the Hudson, let it be supposed that a boat is con
structure of one of the first-class steamboats on running from twenty to twenty-two miles an structed similar in form to a Thames wherry, but hour, and make on an average eighteen miles, above three hundred feet long, and twenty-five or stoppages included. The author observes thirty feet wide. Upon this, let a platform of that these Eastern steamers are free from the carpentry be laid, projecting several feet upon danger so notoriously incidental to the West- either side of the boat, and at stem and stern. ern boats, and which we shall presently no
The appearance to the eye will then be that of an tice. During the last ten years not a single hundred and fifty long, and some thirty or forty
immense raft, from two hundred and fifty to three catastrophe has occurred to them arising feet wide. Upon this flooring let us imagine an from explosion, although cylindrical boilers, oblong rectangular wooden erection, two stories ten feet in diameter, are used, composed of high, io be raised. In the lower part of the boat, plating five-sixteenths of an inch thick, with and under the flooring just mentioned, a long narsteam of 50 lbs. pressure per inch.
røw room is constructed, having a series of herths Nothing, in the history of transport by
at either side, three or four tiers high. In the land or water, affords any parallel for the centre of this flooring is usually, but not always
, combination of cheapness, luxury, and splen- which the steam machinery is placed, and this in
inclosed an oblong, rectangular space, within dor presented by the steam navigation of the closed space is continued upward through the Hudson :
structure raised on the platform, and is intersect
ed at a certain height above the platform by the “ Previously to 1844, the lowest fare between shaft or axle of the paddle-wheels. New York and Albany, one hundred and forty- “ These wheels are propelled, generally, by a five miles, was four shillings and foarpence (one single engine, but occasionally, as in the Eurodollar). At present the fare is two shillings and pean vessels, by two. The paddle-wheels are twopence, and for an additional sum of the same usually of great diameter, varying from thirty to amount, the passenger can command the luxury forty feet, according to the magnitude of the boat. of a separate state-room. When the splendor In the wooden building raised upon the platform and magnitude of the accommodation is con- already mentioned, is contained a magnificent sasidered, the magnificence of the furniture and ac- loon devoted to ladies, and to those gentlemen cessories, the cheapness and luxuriousness of the who accompany them. Over this, in the upper table (each meal, supplied on the most liberal story, is constructed a row of small bed-rooms, scale, costing only two shillings and two pence), each handsomely furnished, which those passenit will be admitted that no similar example of gers can have who desire seclusion, by paying a cheap locomotion can be found in any part of the small additional fare. world. Passengers may there be transported “ The lower apartment is commonly used as a in a floating palace, surrounded with all the con- dining or breakfast-room.” veniences and luxuries of the most splendid hotel, at the rate of twenty miles an hour, for less than The busy appearance presented by the one-sixth of a penny per head per mile. " It is not an uncommon occurrence, during the adroit management of these monstrous ves
spacious bosom of the Hudson, and the summer, to meet individuals on board these boats; sels, running at twenty miles and more, who have lodged themselves there permanently during a certain part of the season, instead of through crowds of vessels of every sort, is establishing themselves, as is customary, at some described:of the hotels in the towns on the banks of the river. Their daily expenses in the boat are us “ No spectacle can be more remarkable than follows:
that which the Hudson presents for several miles above New York. The skill with which these
enormous vessels, measuring from three to four Fare, Exclusive use of state-room, &c.,
hundred feet in length, are made to thrid their Breakfast, dinner, and sopper,
way through the crowd of shipping, of every Total daily expense for board, lodging, at
description, moving over the face of these spatendance, and traveling 150 miles at
cious rivers, and the rare occurrence of accidents from eighteen to twenty miles an hour,
from collision, are truly admirable. In a dark
night these boats run at the top of their speed “ Such accommodation is, on the whole, more
through fleets of sailing vessels. The bells economical than any hotel. The state-room is as
through which the steersman speaks to the en
Of these bells there luxuriously furnished as the most handsome bed-gineer scarcely ever cease.
are several of different tones, indicating the dif
ferent operations which the engineer is command* Not called after the great philosopher, but ed to make, such as stopping, starting, reversing, after a great American mercbant of that pame. slackening, accelerating, &c. At the slightest
tap of one of these bells, these enormous engines the vessel, causes the upper flues to be uncovered, are stopped, or started, or reversed by the en- and the intense action of the furnace, in this case, gineer, as though they were the plaything of a soon renders them red hot, when a frightful colchild. These vessels, proceeding at sixteen or lapse is almost inevitable. The red hot iron, no eighteen miles an hour, are propelled among the longer able to resist the intense pressure, gives crowded shipping with so much skill as almost to way, the boiler explodes, and the scalding water graze the sides, bows, or sterns of the vessels is scattered in all directions, often producing more among which they pass.
terrible effects than even the fragments of the “ The difficulty aitending these evolutions by a boiler, which are projected around with destrucvessel such as the New World, for example, one tive force. hundred and twenty-five yards long and twelve “ Another frequent cause of explosion in these yards wide, may be easily imagined; and the boilers is, the quantity of mud held in suspension promptitude and certainty with which an engine in the waters of the Mississippi below the mouth whose pistons are seventy-six inches in diameter, of the Missouri. As the water in the boiter is and whose stroke is five yards in length, is evaporated, the earthy matter which it held in susgoverned, must be truly surprising."
pension remains behind, and accumulates in the
boiler, in the bottom of which it is at length colThe navigation of the Mississippi, and the lected in a thick stratum. This earthy stratum other western rivers, is conducted, however, collected within the boiler being a non-conductor, in a manner wholly different. Every one is ted, and, instead of being absorbed by the water,
the heat proceeding from the furnace is intercepfamiliar with the deplorable accidents which is accumulated in the boiler-plates, which it ultioccur, from time to time, on these vast mately renders red hot. Being thus softened, they streams, and the terrible loss of life which so give way, and the boiler bursts.” often attends them. These, accidents, instead of diminishing with the improvements of The only remedy for this evil is to blow art, appear rather to have increased. En- out the mud, from time to time, and introgineers, disregarding the heart-rending nar- duce fresh water, but the engine drivers and ratives continually published, have done captains do not like this, and almost systeliterally nothing to check the evil, and it may matically neglect it. They are too intent on be justly said to be a disgrace to humanity, obtaining speed—and, to use their own that the legislature of the Union has not, ere phrase, “ going a-head”—and they have litthis, interposed its authority to check abuses tle hesitation in risking their own lives and which are productive of such national ca- those of the passengers, rather than ‘allow lamities.
themselves to be outrun by a rival boat. In a Mississippi steamer the cabins and The magnitude of these boats is little, if at saloons, although less magnificently appoint- all, inferior to those of the Hudson; they are, ed than in the Hudson boats, are equally however, constructed more with a view to the spacious. They are erected on a flooring or accommodation of freight, carrying down the platform six or eight feet above the deck of river large quantities of cotton and other prothe vessel. Upon this deck, and in the duce, as well as passengers, to New Orleans. space under the flooring which supports the Many of these vessels are 300 feet and upcabins and saloons occupied by the passen- ward in length, and are capable of carrying gers, are placed the engines, which are of the a thousand tons of freight, besides affording coarsest structure. They are invariably luxurious accommodation to a large number worked with high pressure steam, without of cabin passengers, and three or four huncondensation. In order to obtain the effect dred deck passengers. which, in the Hudson boats, is due to a good The progress of the United States, in the vacuum, the steam is used under an extraor- construction of railways, is scarcely less surdinary pressure :
prising than the results of their river steam
navigation. The actual extent of railways ." I have myself," says Dr. Lardner, “ frequently now under traffic, in the several States comwitnessed boilers of the most inartificial construc- posing the union, is not much short of 7,000 tion worked with steam of the full pressure of miles! Of this length, more than 4,000 miles 120 lbs. per square inch ; but more recently this were open as early as 1843, before England, pressure has been increased, the ordinary working or any other country of Europe, possessed pressure being now 150 lbs., and I am assured, railway communication at all approaching to on good authority, that it is not unfrequently raised the same extent. to even 200 lbs. The boilers are cylindrical, of large diameter, and of the rudest kind. When re
As might have been expected, the chief turning flues are constructed in them, the space theatre of railway enterprise has been the Jeft is so small, that the slightest variation in the Atlantic States. The Mississippi and its imquantity of water they contain, or in the trim of I mense tributaries serve the purposes of the Western States so efficiently, and the popu- | ticable to transship the merchandise from the lation is comparatively so thin, that many railway wagons to the canal boats, or vice years will probably elapse before any con- versa, and such a change would be highly siderable extent of railway communication inconvenient even to passengers having much will be established in that vast territory. luggage. The device by which this diffiNevertheless, there are various detached rail- culty is surmounted is curious and interestways, intersecting the most remote regions ing :of the Mississippi valley. Dr. Lardner, who traveiled over all of them repeatedly, says :
6 The merchandise is loaded, and the passen
gers accommodated in the boats adapted to the " To the traveler in these wilds, the aspect of canals, at the depot in Market street, Philasuch artificial lines of transport in the midst of a delphia. These boats, which are of considerable country, a great portion of which is still in the magnitude and length, are divided into segments, state of native forest, is most remarkable, and by partitions made transversely and at right an. strongly characteristic of the irrepressible spirit gles to their length, so that each boat can be, as of enterprise of its population. Traveling in the it were, broken into three or inore pieces. These backwoods of Mississippi, through native forests several pieces are placed each on two railway where, till within a few years, human foot never trucks, which support it at its ends, a proper body trod, through solitudes the stillness of which was being provided for the trucks adapted to ihe form never broken even by the red man, I have been of the bottom and keel of the boat. In this manfilled with wonder to find myself drawn on a rail
ner the boat is carried
pieces, with its load, way by an engine driven by an artisan from Liv. along the railways. On arriving at the canal, the erpool, and whirled at the rate of twenty miles an pieces are united so as to form a continuous boat, hour by the highest refinements of the art of loco- which, being launched, the transport is continued motion. It is not easy to describe the impression on the water. produced as one sees the frightened deer start
“On arriving again at the railway, the boat is from its lair at the snorting of the ponderous ma
once more resolved into its segments, which, as chipe, and the appearance of the snake-like train before, are transferred to the railway trucks, and which follows it, and when one reflects on all that transported to the next canal station by locomotive man has accomplished within half a century in engines, this region.”
* Between the depot in Market street and the
locomotive station, which is situate in the suburbs In the mode of conducting the business of drawn by horses, on railways conducted through
of Philadelphia, the segments of the boats are the railways, there are many peculiarities the streets. At the locomotive slation the trucks which will create surprise to Europeans. are formed into a continuous train, and delivered Thus, instead of terminating in the suburbs over to the locomotive engine. of great towns, the railways are,
“ As the body of the truck rests upon a pivot, cases, actually carried through the streets :
under which it is supported by the wheels, it is
capable of revolving, and no difficulty is found in “In several of the principal American cities, turning the shortest curves; and these enormous the railways are continued to the very centre of vehicles, with their contents of merchandise and the town, following the windings of the streets, passengers, are seen daily issuing from the gates and turning without difficulty the sharpest corners.
of the depot in Market-street, and turning without The locomotive station is, however, always in the difficulty the corners at the entrance of each sucsuburbs. Having arrived there, the engine is de
cessive street." tached from the train, and horses are yoked to the carriages, by which they are drawn to the passen
Where the line of route of a railway is inger depot, usually established at some central tersected by wide rivers or arms of the sea, situation. Four horses are attached to each of which happens not unfrequently, a steam these oblong carriages. The sharp curves at the ferry is used instead of a bridge: corners of the streets are turned, by causing the outer wheels of the trucks to run upon their flanges, so tha: they become (while passing round
“ The management of these steam ferries is dethe curve) virtually larger wheels than the inner serving of notice. It is generally so arranged, ones. I have seen, by this means, the longest that the time of crossing them corresponds with a railway carriages enter the depots in Philadelphia, meal of the passengers. A platform is constructed, Baltimore, and New York, with as much precision level with the line of rails
, and carried to the and facility as was exhibited by the coaches that water's edge. Upon this platform rails are laid, used to enter the gateway of the Golden Cross or
on which the wagons which bear the passengers? the Saracen's Head.”
luggage, and other matters of light and rapid transport, are rolled directly upon the upper deck
of the ferry boat, the passengers meanwhile proIn some cases a long line of transport con- ceeding under a covered way to the lower deck. sists partly of railways and partly of canals. The whole operation is accomplished in five minIn such instances it would be almost imprac- utes. While the boat is crossing the spaciuos
river, the passengers are supplied with their The system of railways constructed in the breakfast, dinner, Tunch, or supper, as the case German States is very unequally distributed, may be. On arriving at the opposite bank the
a circumstance naturally produced by the upper deck comes in contact with a like platform, unequal distribution of population, commerce, bearing a railway on which the wagons are rolled. The passengers walk by a covered
and industry. A tract east of the frontier
way, and resume their places in the railway carriages, of the Netherlands, having a length of about and the train proceeds.”
400 miles east and west, and a width of
about 200 miles north and south, is covered We find a variety of other interesting de- with a close net-work of railways, to which tails respecting the internal communication in all the other systems of Germanic railways the United States, both by land and water, may be regarded as tributary. These other in the work before us; but our limits oblige lines consist of four main trunks, running us to pass them over, referring the reader to north and south, with numerous branches. the volume itself.
The first follows the course of the Rhine, Belgium was the first of the European by its right bank, and terminates at Bale. States to perceive the vast importance of the The second traverses the kingdom of Wirimprovement in land transport made in Eng. temberg, from Frankfort to the shores of land; and her first great measure, after the Lake Constance. The third traverses the acknowledgment of her independence, which kingdom of Bavaria, from the frontiers of followed the revolution of 1830, was the Saxony to Lindau, on Lake Constance; and adoption of a project for the construction of the third is the great Austrian line, coman extensive system of railway communica- mencing at Trieste, and passing through the tion, intersecting her territory east and west, entire territory of the empire to the northern and north and south; connecting Ostend with frontiers, where it unites with the SaxoCologne, and Valenciennes with Antwerp. Silesian system, already mentioned, throwing A few years since this project was realized, off numerous branches east and west to and the result justified its policy. In ten Pesth, Prague, and other places. years from the opening of the first section of By the last mentioned system, a continuous the State railways, the exports of the king line of railway communication is open* bedom were doubled, and the imports were tween the Adriatic and the ports of the Balaugmented fully five per cent. The Belgian tic, the Sound, the German Ocean, and the railways consist of 457 miles, of which 353 Channel. have been constructed, and are worked by If the ports of the German Ocean be dethe State. The total cost of their construc- sired to be reached, the branch diverging tion and equipment has amounted to eight eastward at Lundenburg will be adopted, by millions sterling.
which the traveler will pass through BoUp to the end of 1847, the gross receipts hemia, Saxony, and Western Prussia, touchproceeding from the traffic on the Belgian ing at Prague, Dresden, Leipsic, Magdeburg, State Railways never exceeded eight per and arriving ultimately at Hamburg. If it be cent. of the capital, and the nett profits desired to reach the ports of the Baltic or never amount to so much as four per cent., the Sound, he will pursue the Austrian except in the year 1846, when they amounted trunk line to Oderburg, on the frontiers of to four and one-tenth per cent.
Silesia, where he will enter on the PrussianConsidering the advanced place she claims Silesian system, and will pass by Breslau, among civilized countries, France has been | Frankfort-on-the-Oder, and Berlin, to Stettin. singularly backward in the adoption of rail- i Berlin is the common centre and point of ways. At the close of 1849, the total length departure of the extensive system of northof railways open to traffic in France, did not ern railways. From this capital, seven trunk amount to 1750 miles, the length of those in lines will ultimately diverge, five of which progress being about 1250 miles—making a are completed and in operation. total of 3000 miles. The cost of those com- In 1849, the total length of railways unpleted was forty-six millions sterling, ånd der traffic in the German States was 4,500 the estimated cost of those in progress was miles, about 800 miles being in progress of thirty-four millions, making a total of eighty construction. millions of railway capital.
According to the calculation of Dr. Lard- “Projected with a view to a traffic comparaner, the nett profits on the French railways,
* A short distance of the Austrian line, extending taken one with another, do not much exceed from Trieste to Laybach, is not yet open for traffic, 21 per cent. on the capital absorbed. but will be, no doubt, within a few months.