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Title: Rambles on Railways
Author: Roney, Cusack Patrick
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rambles on Railways" ***

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                         RAMBLES ON RAILWAYS.

                  With Maps, Diagrams, and Appendices


                         SIR CUSACK P. RONEY,

                   B.A. TRIN. COLL. DUB., L.R.C.S.I.

[Illustration: LOGO]

                       LONDON: EFFINGHAM WILSON.


                        _All Rights Reserved._


JUST as the Author was completing the last of the following pages, he
was seized with very serious illness. It has delayed their production
two months beyond the time originally advertised. Meanwhile, several
changes have taken place, which, though not of much importance, may be
briefly referred to. Thus, Mr. Anthony Trollope, mentioned at page 104
as amongst the literary men connected with the Post Office, has, since
that page was printed off, ceased to be an officer of the department.

Some trifling errors must also be mentioned; thus, at note of page 211,
the length of Australian railways is stated at 480 miles, whereas it
should have been 669, as set forth at page 307. Page 212; it is stated
that the Euston portico is not used by anybody, whereas empty cabs,
having set down their fares, go through it. Page 359; the name of the
Secretary of the Palestine Fund is “Grove” not “Groves.” Page 390, line
27; the St. John’s Wood Railway terminates at 1 mile and 1,320 yards
from Baker Street, and then the Hampstead Extension will commence with
a gradient of 1 in 27. Page 423, line 11; for “Lowe” read “Love.”

The most important correction to be made has reference to pages 149
and 150, relating to the railway capital raised, traffic receipts, and
net earnings for 1865. When the words in the text were written the
complete returns of the Board of Trade had not been published, and the
Author assumed that the debenture and preferential capital was greater
in amount than it really is. The reader is, therefore, requested
to take the subjoined analysis of the railway capital of the United
Kingdom, extracted from the City article of the _Times_, of October
29th, 1867, as containing an exact statement of the several portions
into which that capital was divided on the 31st of December, 1865, and
to substitute it for the statements in the text as given in the before
mentioned pages. If the traffic accounts, as published by the railway
companies, be really correct, and that capital has not been improperly
charged with items that should, in reality, be attributable to revenue,
the dividends on unguaranteed capital are better, as a whole, than the
Author assumed them to be.

“The complete railway returns of the Board of Trade for the year
ended the 31st of December, 1865, have just been printed. They are
full and elaborate, and would furnish excellent means for estimating
the prospects of the enormous property involved, were it not for the
drawback of their being issued so long after the period to which
they refer. The leading features of the tables now presented may be
summarised as follows:—At the end of 1865 the total _ordinary_ capital
of the railways of the United Kingdom was £219,598,196. Of this total
£183,450,460 was represented by companies paying dividends, and
£36,147,736, by companies (chiefly the Great Eastern and London and
Chatham) not paying dividends, the latter including £12,849,590 for
lines not yet opened. Setting aside the unopened lines, and reckoning
only the capital of those at work—namely, £206,748,606—the average
rate of distribution was £4. 11s. 5d. per cent., a satisfactory return
could an assumption be safely made that it had not been in any degree
paid out of capital. The result would have been still better but for
the extent to which the average rate is reduced by the circumstance of
the profits of the Scotch and Irish being below those of the English
lines. The English rate was £4. 14s. 10d. per cent., while the Scotch
was £4. 9s. 5d., and the Irish only £2. 16s. 8d. The lowest dividend
disbursed by any of the English dividend-paying companies (57 in
number) was by the Cromford and High Peak, which on an ordinary capital
of £127,700 distributed 8s. per cent. for the year, while the highest
was £11. 2s. 6d., by the Lancaster and Carlisle on an ordinary capital
of £2,420,300. The main cause of the respectable average of the English
dividends is found, however, in the payment of £6. 12s. 6d. per cent.
by the London and North-Western on an ordinary capital of £23,378,987;
of £6. 15s. per cent. by the Midland, on £10,862,067; and of £7. 2s.
6d. per cent. by the Great Northern, on £6,455,584. At the same time
there is an item which must now be regarded as fictitious, of £5. 15s.
per cent., by the Brighton line, on an ordinary capital of £5,342,933.
Of 19 dividend-paying lines in Scotland, the lowest was the Carlisle
and Silloth Bay, 10s. per cent., and the highest was the Kilmarnock
and Troon, £9. 5s. per cent., the ordinary capital of the latter being
only £40,000. In this list the Caledonian figures for £7. 2s. 6d. on
an ordinary capital of £4,141,254. Of 11 dividend-paying lines in
Ireland, the lowest was the Waterford and Limerick, 15s. per cent., and
the highest the Dublin and Kingstown, 9 per cent. The _preferential_
capital of the railways of the United Kingdom was £124,263,475, and
upon this the average rate paid (reckoning a sum of £8,455,279, on
which the companies were unable to distribute anything) was £4. 7s.
9d. per cent. The total of the _debenture stock_, or funded debt of
the railways in the United Kingdom, was only £13,795,375, and on this
the average rate paid was £4. 2s. per cent., while the _debenture
loans_, subject to renewal, and which in times of pressure must always
be a cause of danger, amounted to £97,821,097, at an average rate of
£4. 8s. 5d. per cent. The total paid-up capital of all kinds stood at

The Author had thought, that in tracing tunnels to the time of the
erection of Babylon, he had gone as far backward as it was possible
to extend research on this subject. It appears, however, that he was
mistaken, for, during a visit that he paid to Paris just before his
illness, he lighted, in _Galignani_, upon the following extraordinary
paragraph, which is given in _extenso_, exactly as he found it.

“ANTIQUITY OF MAN.—A most singular and unexpected discovery has just
occurred at Chaguay, Department of the Soane et Loire, by some workmen.
Engrossed in digging the foundations of a railway shed, at the depth
of about ten yards, in a stratum of muddy clay and ferruginous oxides,
remains of _proboscians_ (elephants, rhinoceroses, &c.), were brought
to light, comprising several back teeth and a formidable tusk, in large
fragments, which, on being put together, constituted a length of seven
feet. The depth at which this was found was more than six yards, higher
than the level of the most considerable inundations of the Dheune,
and in an undisturbed stratum. So far, there is nothing absolutely
extraordinary, but who would have thought of finding, underneath the
bed containing these fossils of the tertiary period, an aqueduct of
the most primitive kind of human workmanship? Yet such is the case,
and it is the only case of the kind on record. It is explained by M.
Tremaux, who relates the circumstance, by the supposition—what seems
indeed to have been the fact—that the tertiary fragments above alluded
to had been pushed into the trench by a violent inundation, and thus
filled up the aqueduct. The discovery of this aqueduct does not by any
means authorise us to carry the antiquity of man as far back as the
tertiary period, for, although the aqueduct lies under a stratum of
tertiary formation, this stratum does not belong to the place, but was
transported thither at a later period.”

One step from that period, whatever it was, to _Anno Christi_ 1867.
During the visit above referred to, the Author was afforded the
opportunity, by M. Mouton, the eminent French contractor, of an
inspection of the plans of the proposed Paris Underground Railway,
which it is hoped will be commenced before the expiration of 1868.
The course of the line is from Long Champs Race-course, beside the
Seine, near Paris, underneath the Bois de Boulogne, thence to Arc
de l’Etóile, from there almost in a straight line along the Champs
Elysées, the Rue de Rivoli, the Rue St. Antoine, to the Chemins de
Fer de Vincennes, thence to the Mazas Station of the Paris, Lyons,
and Mediterranean Railway. Branches are given off from the main line
just described, right and left, so as to form a complete underground
connection between all the Railway Termini of Paris. There will be one
bridge over the Seine, and one tunnel under it. The total length of the
railway and branches will be 23 kilometres, of which about 18 will be
in tunnel or covered way.

It only remains for the Author to express the sense of deep obligation
which he feels to his numerous railway friends for the kindness and
promptitude with which they have afforded him information upon every
point upon which he sought it from them. It had been his wish to
enumerate specially the names of all these gentlemen, and it is a
source of much regret to him that the limited space allowed for the
Preface prevents his performing this act of grateful recognition. To
Mr. William Haywood, the Engineer of the Corporation of London; to
Mr. John Fowler, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers;
and to other members of the profession, he is also much indebted. He
ventures likewise to tender his respectful thanks to George Graham,
Esq., the Registrar-General, for the great kindness and courtesy with
which he replied to several questions relating to populations; and
the expression of the same feeling is due to Mr. Juland Danvers, the
Government Director of Indian Railways, from whom information was
sought on several occasions.

The Author has by him materials for another volume of “Rambles on
Railways,” (relating principally to the railway networks of Foreign
countries), which may probably be published in the course of the
present year.

  _January 1868_.




  Travelling Two Hundred and One Hundred Years ago—The Liverpool
  and Manchester Railway—The First Locomotive, “Rocket”—The
  Grand Junction, London and Birmingham, and Birmingham and
  Manchester Railways—The Midland Railway—Early Gradients,
  Increase in their Steepness and in the Power of the Locomotive—
  The Carriage Road-way Passes of the Alps—Mountains of the
  World—The Sœmmering and Brenner Railways—The Route between
  London and Paris                                                     1


  Union Pacific Railroad—South Austrian and Alta Italia—Paris,
  Lyons,  and Mediterranean—Orleans—Mileage, Cost, and Receipts
  of French Railways—London Traffic—London and North-Western
  Railway                                                             17


  Railways of the United Kingdom—Coal and Iron                        40


  Railways and the Post Office—Speed on Railways                      73


  Railways and the Post Office—_continued_                           115


  Railway Receipts, Working Expenses, and Profits in the United
  Kingdom—Delays and Accidents                                       147


  Horses and Engines—Crewe                                           186


  A Journey on the Locomotive                                        210


  Indian Railways                                                    245


  Canadian and Australian Railways—The Railways of other British
  Colonies                                                           301


  Paris to St. Michel—“Above Sea-Level”—The Holborn Viaduct—The
  Mont Cenis Railway                                                 316


  Tunnels, Ancient and Modern                                        358


  The Great Tunnel of the Alps—Tunnel Ventilation—Ventilation in
  the  Metropolitan Railway                                          401


  Italy—The Eastern Mails—Sicily                                     427




  Report by Mr. Edward Page, Inspector-General of Mails, on some
  points  connected with the relations between the Post Office
  Department and  Railway Companies                                  439


  Reply of Robert Stephenson, Esq., M.P., President of the
  Institution of Civil Engineers, to Observations in the Second
  Report of the Postmaster-General. Delivered at the Meeting of
  May 20th, 1856                                                     454


  Copy of Letter Addressed to a Member of the Italian Parliament
  upon the Importance of the Eastern Mails, now despatched _viâ_
  Marseilles and _viâ_ Southampton, being transmitted _viâ_
  Brindisi                                                           482

 INDEX                                                               501

                          MAPS AND DIAGRAMS.



  PLAN OF THE HARBOUR AND TOWN OF BRINDISI                            15


  MAP OF INDIA AND OF INDIAN RAILWAYS                                245


    GOING ROUND A SHARP CURVE                                        334

  PATENT CENTRE-RAIL ENGINE—FRONT ELEVATION                          337


  SECTION OF THE METROPOLITAN LINE                                   388

    AND ENGLAND                                                      399

  THE GREAT TUNNEL OF THE ALPS                                       401

  SECTION OF THE MONT CENIS RAILWAY                                  401

                         RAMBLES ON RAILWAYS.



WHEN, in 1672, Madame de Sevigny wrote of a journey she had just made
from Paris to Marseilles, she was able to inform her correspondent that
she had completed it, with great satisfaction to herself, in a month.
She travelled over 530 miles of ground; she was therefore able to get
over some seventeen to eighteen miles a day. The courier that brought
Madame de Sevigny’s letter from Marseilles to Paris travelled twice
as fast as she had done. He was only a fortnight on the road. In that
year the course of post between London and Edinburgh—130 miles less
distance than between Paris and Marseilles—was two months: one month
going with a letter, and one month coming back with the answer. Ninety
years afterwards the one stage-coach between London and Edinburgh
started once a month from each city. But in nine-tenths of a century,
speed had been accelerated. It only took a fortnight on the road in
each direction. Seventy-five years afterwards—that is, in 1837—the year
before any portion of railway between the two capitals was opened for
traffic, the mail-coach completed its 400 miles in forty-two hours,
or one day eighteen hours. Now-a-days, our limited mail (one of the
few “limited” associations of very modern date that has not come to
grief) is 7½ hours less time over the road than eighteen hours; and by
the time the one day in addition has expired, a course of post from
Edinburgh to London, and back again from London to Edinburgh, will have
been nearly completed.

On the 14th of September, 1830, we opened our first passenger railway
in England worked by the locomotive. The line, thirty-one miles long,
was then called the Liverpool and Manchester, but it has long since
become part and parcel of the London and North-Western Company.
Although the railway between Birmingham and Liverpool was first
projected so far back as 1824, its construction was not sanctioned by
Parliament until 1833, and it was not completed for traffic until the
6th of July, 1837. The then London and Birmingham Company also got its
act of incorporation in 1833, but, owing to the difficult nature of
many of its works, and the time required for their construction, it was
only on the 20th of September, 1838, that Liverpool, Manchester and
Birmingham were completely connected with London by railway.

Several of the railways now constituting portions of the Midland
Railway Company obtained their acts of incorporation in 1836. These
lines, when amalgamated in 1844, comprised 181 miles. On the 1st of
September, 1867, the mileage of the Midland Company was 695; and since
the 1st of that month the important section between London and Bedford
(forty-two miles long) was opened for goods traffic, thus making its
present total working length, 737 miles.

By degrees, and notwithstanding the severe blow given to railway
enterprise by the over-speculation of 1844-5, the net-work of British
railways increased. On the 1st of January, 1843, there were 1,857 miles
open for traffic; at the same date of 1849 they had increased to 5,007
miles; on the 1st of January, 1855, they were 8,054 miles; eight years
afterwards, that is, on the 1st of January, 1863, they were 11,551;
that day twelve months they were 12,322; on the 1st of January, 1865,
they were 12,780; 1st January, 1866, 13,289; 1st of January, 1867,

We shall refer to the progress of the railway system on the continent
of Europe and elsewhere hereafter.

Part of the heavy cost of the earlier railways was no doubt due to the
apprehension of engineers on the subject of gradients. And in the then
state of our knowledge as regards the powers of the locomotive, this is
not to be wondered at. Our first constructed lines had most favourable
gradients. The rise from Camden Town to Tring, 1 in 200, or 26 feet in
the mile for 31 miles, was considered by the late Mr. Robert Stephenson
as the maximum gradient that ought to be ventured upon. Joseph Locke,
more daring and venturous, and perhaps more prescient, ventured upon
1 in 100, or 52 feet in the mile for 10 miles; this is on what is
known as the Whitmore incline, between Stafford and Crewe. Bucke, the
engineer of the line from Crewe to Manchester, originally known as the
Manchester and Birmingham, which obtained its act of incorporation in
the same year as the Grand Junction, although it was five years later
in its opening, determined upon a course the opposite of that which
Locke had taken. Bucke therefore made his thirty-one miles nearly
level, and no doubt (if we except the exceptional Great Western)
there is not a line in England that comprises works better laid out
as regards gradient, or more solidly finished than those we are now
referring to.

There is a capital run of railway between York and Darlington,
forty-four miles, almost level, and nearly straight. It was on this
line that, just twenty years ago, most of the experiments and trials
were made, instituted to vindicate the narrow gauge as the best for
carrying on the traffic of the country. These trials formed one of the
many phases of the great battle of the gauges, fought so vigorously by
its champions on each side; yet, in the short space of the fifth of a
century, how many of these then active and doughty men have passed away
from us for ever.

By degrees, as the railway system progressed, we made less flat
gradients, and we made larger and more powerful locomotives. The result
from the action of these two elements has been, that in present times
we have got here and there to gradients of 1 in 45, 112 feet in the
mile, more than four times as steep as Stephenson’s incline between
Tring and Camden. It was on the 6th of October, 1829, that George
Stephenson’s engine, “Rocket,” was first tried on a short length of the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway, in the presence of thousands, poured
in from the adjacent country. Since then the weight of the engine has
risen tenfold, from six tons to sixty; its speed not quite three-fold,
from twenty miles an hour to something under sixty. Additional weight
has been essentially used for overcoming stiff gradients. The stiffest,
as has just been said, 1 in 45, with a moderate load; a Titanic
locomotive, unfettered with any weights behind her, can go up 1 in 25,
or 211 feet in the mile; no steeper.[2]

But this rate of inclination, of 1 in 45, acquired on some few
elevated ridges, as will be seen presently, at an enormous cost, was
incapable of general application. Nevertheless, railways had hardly
been established on low lands before men’s minds ran upon constructing
them over mountains. It is now fully twenty years since the first idea
of placing an iron road upon the bed of one or more of the carriage
roadway passes of the Alps was promulgated. Of course it found favour,
and created interest. Nor can this be matter of wonder when we
remember that communication across them has, for centuries, been of
world-wide importance. Even if we study the traces that still exist of
man’s earliest history in mid and southern Europe, we find that the
passage of the great barrier which for more than 500 miles separates
north from south, had occupied men’s thoughts and actions from the
remotest period. Etruscan tools, coins, and sacred images, have, as we
learn from Dr. Ferdinand Keller’s recent work on the _Lake Dwellings
of Switzerland_, been found frequently and in abundance, not only on
the northern slopes of the actual Alps, but far northward beyond them.
We know too, that the ancient Helvites and Gauls were ever seeking
the traverse of the snow-capped mountains, that they might exchange
their own cold and sterile plains for those on the sunny side, which
gave them warmth and luxurious cultivation. By degrees, the early
few, savage, daring, and intrepid, increased in numbers; they became
masses,—they became colonies. They obtained possession of, and held
the districts which in modern times we knew as Venetia, Lombardy, and
Savoy; but now they form the northern boundaries of undivided Italy.

In the early Roman period, the northern limit of Roman territory
extended to the Po, and no farther. Beyond was Cisalpeà, and so it
continued until Augustus Cæsar Imperator finally subdued, some thirty
years before the birth of Christ, the whole of the warlike tribes, and
brought them under Roman subjection. History records but one solitary
instance of the vanquished erecting a monument to do honour to their
conqueror. This was at Susa, and the inscription on the PORTA CÆSARIS
AUGUSTI tells us why it was erected, and what deed it was intended to

Hannibal’s was the first army that made a passage across the Alps,
but the exact part at which he effected it is still matter of historic
doubt. The balance of worthful opinion is however strongly in favour
of its being by what we now call the Pass of the Little St. Bernard.
The army would appear not to have been subjected to great difficulties
in reaching its summit, notwithstanding that the 19th of October is
believed to be the day on which the ascent was commenced, but the
horrors to which his hourly thinned ranks were exposed, all occurred
after they had attained the summit, and were within sight of the
plains in which the autumnal foliage still spread a rich and glowing
landscape before them. That some few of the army of ninety elephants
with which Hannibal started from Spain completed the Alpine traverse
is more than probable, but that one accomplished it is undoubted, for
we have it on record that the Carthaginian General crossed the marshes
of Clusium (which will be traversed by the railway train of the new
and comparatively shorter line between Florence and Rome, to be opened
for traffic a few months hence) upon the only elephant that was still
spared to him.

Brockedon, whose illustrated work on Alpine Passes was published in
1828, states that there were ten passes traversable as carriage roads.
The actual number has not been added to since then, but the trackway
along many of the other passes has been greatly improved, and many,
that at that period were only dangerous and very narrow mule paths,
have now become available for _chars_, and possess other facilities and
accommodation for traversing them that were quite unknown forty years
ago. A very brief recapitulation of them may not be inappropriate.
More full details of them can be obtained in _The Alps and the Eastern
Mails_, a little work which we published a few months ago.

Commencing at the extreme west, we find the Col di Tenda, an easy pass
for three-fourths of its ascent, when the mountain abruptly assumes a
cone-like shape, and in a space of some two miles and a-half, rises
on one side 1,200 feet. The descent on the other is of nearly equal
length, and is nearly equally precipitous. Next comes Mont Genevre,
the lowest of the Alpine passes that verge upon the Mediterranean. It
is but a short giant’s step from Mont Genevre to the Mont Cenis. Next
after, comes the Little St. Bernard, perhaps the easiest of all the
passes over the Alps that connect important places together, for the
construction of a carriage roadway. Napoleon, however, did not view it
in this light, his great roads, being the Mont Cenis and the Simplon.
Before we reach this last-named pass, we have that of the Great St.
Bernard, one of the loftiest in the whole range, being in immediate
proximity to the three highest mountains in Europe, Mont Blanc, 15,732
feet above the level of the sea, Mont Rosa, 15,130 feet, and Mont
Cezvin, 14,835 feet.[3] It was by the Great St. Bernard that Napoleon
crossed with an army from Switzerland into Italy, in the winter of
1800, and, by a fall from his mule, narrowly escaped being hurled from
the precipice of St. Pierre into the abyss beneath it.

Next after the Simplon comes the St. Gothard, and then the Lukmanier,
although this last can hardly be called a carriage roadway pass.
Further east is the Bernardino. The easternmost pass between
Switzerland and Italy, is the Splugen. There are as many as twenty
passes available for mules and pedestrians between the Splugen and the
next carriage road across the Alps, but they are only to be traversed
by the knapsack tourist, who combines within himself vigorous health,
activity, and endurance.

The Stelvio, the highest carriage road in Europe, 9,272 feet at its
summit above the level of the sea, is, at that point, nearly 400 feet
higher than the line of perpetual snow. It was constructed by the
Austrians to give them direct access from Austria proper to Lombardy.
The object in making it was political and military, not commercial;
and now that not only Lombardy, but Venetia have become Italian, it
is probable that a road, which in magnificence of conception and in
grandeur of construction, exceeds even the Simplon, and which could
only be maintained at great annual cost, will fall into decay.[4] For
all the practical purposes of commerce it is useless, as within a short
distance from it is the Brenner, the oldest, and at the same time the
lowest carriage road across any of the Alpine passes. It has, in fact,
been for centuries the trackway that has connected eastern and southern
Germany with Lombardy and Venetia. It likewise can lay claim to the
distinction of being the first pass that was made fit for the transport
of carriages and of other vehicles, for it was certainly available for
them, and was a good carriage road in the early part of the eighteenth
century. It was just one hundred years later, that is in 1809, that
those deeds of daring and devotion were achieved in the defiles of the
Brenner, which have rendered undying the name and fame of Andreas Hofer.

With all Austria’s _arrierreism_ in politics, she is in the foremost
rank of continental nations, as regards the world’s modern civiliser,
the Railway. She was next after Belgium in determining upon their
construction, and although Prussia anticipated her as regards actual
opening, railway works have been accomplished within the Austrian
dominions, the like of which cannot be seen within those of her great
rival, no matter whether these dominions belong to her _de jure
divino_, or by that of conquest.

To Austria, undoubtedly, belongs the honour of having constructed the
first, which until the 18th of August, 1867, was the only iron road
traversed by the locomotive through an Alpine pass. At a heavy expense
it is true, for the cost of the double line over the Sœmmering was at
the rate of £98,000 an English mile. The great line of railway which
connects Vienna with its sea port Trieste, now more important and
valuable to Austria than ever, is 362 miles long; and at Glognitz,
exactly forty-seven miles from Vienna, the pass commences. Although
the actual distance from one foot of the pass to the other is not more
than sixteen miles, the length of the railway, owing to the numerous
twists and zig-zags it was necessary to make to overcome the elevation
with gradients that the engine could climb up, is twenty-six miles.
Yet, in this short distance, there are no less than twelve tunnels
and eleven vaulted galleries, the aggregate length of which is 14,867
feet, or nearly three miles. The longest tunnel—4,695 feet—is at the
summit, which is 2,893 feet above the level of the sea. The gradients
vary from 1 in 40 for two miles and a-half to 1 in 54 for three miles
and a-half. The average gradient is 1 in 47 on the north side, and 1 in
50 on the south. The foot of the mountain is 1,562 feet above the sea.
The elevation to overcome was, therefore, only an average of 112 feet
to the mile; nevertheless the difficulties in working the traffic have
been very great. It was a considerable time before the present form of
engine was adopted by M. Engerth, the locomotive engineer of the line.
Its total heating surface is 1,660 square feet, its total weight, when
filled with water and loaded with fuel, is fifty-five tons and a-half.
This unfortunately is a weight most destructive both to rail and to
roadway. The cost per train mile run averages 6s. 2d. the English
mile _down_ the pass as well as up it, whilst the average cost on the
ordinary portions of the line is under 3s. per English mile. The time
allowed for passenger trains is one hour and fifty minutes, being an
average of fourteen miles an hour; for goods trains, two hours thirty
minutes, or at the average rate of about ten miles an hour.

There was until just recently, a race running between the engineers at
the Brenner and at the Mont Cenis, and it was, until the beginning of
August, 1867, uncertain which of them would have the honour of being
the second railway upon which the locomotive had crossed the Alps. But
the Brenner has won by a length of eight days. The two lines differ in
several respects, both as regard construction and working. The Brenner
does not take a portion of the existing road for its road-bed. This is
formed in the ordinary mode of construction; the company has made its
own bridges, culverts, and viaducts, its own embankments and cuttings,
its own tunnels and galleries, and in this way it has succeeded in
constructing a railway of much less elevation at its summit than the
adjacent carriage roadway. It has done so, however, at great cost, but
it is anticipated that the saving in working charges will more than
compensate for the additional outlay which this species, as it were,
of independent construction has rendered unavoidable. The line will be
worked on the ordinary system, that is, with engines and other rolling
stock similar to those on the plain, with the exception that the
engines must and will be of great additional weight, to give them the
power and adhesion required to overcome the very severe gradients they
will have to contend against. “The opening of the Brenner Railway,”
says the _Times_, “places not only Austria, but Bavaria and all
Southern Germany, almost in contact with Lombardy, Venetia, and all
Northern Italy. It recovers all the importance that the Brenner Pass
possessed from the remotest Roman and Germanic ages, as the most direct
and easy route across the main Alpine chain, as the natural highway
from the Valley of the Inn, to that of the Adige, and which constituted
it the key to the strong position of the March of Verona, which the
Germans, from its erection into an imperial fief, under Otho I, in the
10th century, denominated ‘the Gate of Italy.’”[5]


[Illustration: Plan

Previous to describing the Mont Cenis Railway, we will ask the reader
to place himself mentally with us in the train belonging to one or
other of the two railway companies which, leaving the great British
metropolis at four different points, Charing Cross or Cannon Street
(South Eastern), Victoria or Ludgate Hill (London, Chatham and Dover),
arrives by either route at a point common to both—the Admiralty Pier,
Dover, in two hours and five minutes from the time of its departure.
The South Eastern Company carries the land mails, both ordinary and
extraordinary, as well as the bulk of the passengers; on the other
hand, its rival carrying fewer passengers, and the distance being ten
miles less, almost invariably arrives first at the Admiralty Pier, and
thus enables those whom _she_ (ships, trains, and locomotives are of
the feminine gender) conveys, to secure some of the sofas, reclined
upon which, the ceremony of seasickness can (as we know well, by great
and varied experience) be performed with far greater ease, grace,
precision, and satisfaction, than by him or her who is destined to
perform it sitting or standing. At the time that the traveller touches
_terra firma_ at Calais, he has completed 110 miles of journeying, if
he have travelled by the South Eastern Line, ten miles less, if he
have committed himself to the London, Chatham and Dover. The original
railway distance from Calais to Paris was 236 English miles, but
thanks to two shortenings, the first between Creil and Paris, the
second between Hazebrouch and Arras, by which latter the detour to
the neighbourhood of Lille was avoided, the length was diminished to
203 miles; and now, since the opening of the line between Calais and
Boulogne, in April of the present year, the mail trains take this
route to and from Paris, by which a further saving of seventeen miles
is obtained, making the present distance between Calais and Paris 186

Our mental traveller having arrived at Paris, will need a pause, and
whilst he is supposed to be refreshing himself, with a good dinner,
at one of the innumerable restaurants to be met with at every corner,
we will ask permission to occupy the time by giving, in the first
instance, an epitome of the story of four great giants of modern
times—the four longest and most important railways that science,
practical skill, and money have as yet created on the European side of
the Atlantic; and then we propose to show, by a general reference, how
wonderfully and rapidly the railway system has already extended, and
still continues to extend, in various parts of the globe. Eventually,
most railways will have to yield the palm—at all events, as regards
wonderful accomplishment—to the Great Pacific Railway, to which,
therefore, we beg leave to accord precedence in our descriptions.




From the day that the Americans became masters of California, they had
always had it in their heads to join it by the best possible roadway
to the old states of the Union; and it was a grand conception, for the
distance between the railways of the valleys of the Mississippi and
the Missouri, that here had stretched their arms outwards towards the
West, were still separated from the Pacific by fully 2,000 miles—as
near as can be the distance which intervenes between St. Petersburg
and Lisbon. Fremont—then captain, now general—a few years back nearly
President of the Republic—son-in-law of Benton, one of America’s most
worthy sons—traversed, with a few companions, in 1847, the desert
that led to the Rocky Mountains, found out the passes through them,
as well as those of the Sierra Nevada (the Snowy Mountain), and
arrived in California just as his countrymen were taking possession of
its territory. It was at the same time that the first golden nugget
was discovered. The news spread, and a party of emigrants followed
Fremont’s footmarks. Those who arrived in California left the bones of
many of their comrades to whiten and then to moulder in the desert,
and it was nearly six months before the survivors reached the _El
dorado_. Similar casualties beset the parties that followed the first
gold-seeking pioneers, for the same spirit which makes every American
believe that he _may_ be President of the United States (therefore no
American ever commits suicide), made each survivor of each party, as
its ranks were thinned by famine, fever, and the attacks of the Red
Indians, believe that he, at all events, would be spared and arrive at
last at his destination.

But some _did_ arrive, and by degrees the perils of the route
diminished, although they have never, even at this day, altogether
ceased. In less than ten years from the date that Fremont first set
out on his expedition, a regular Overland Mail had been established,
which completed its journey between San Francisco and St. Joseph, both
for passengers and despatches, in three weeks. A grand total distance
of fully 2,000 miles, on the average 100 miles in each twenty-four
hours, of course some days more some days less, for independent of
nature’s road on the desert, no less than two mountain passes had to be
surmounted, and on these there was not, in the first instance, even a
bridle-way. This pace, however, was considered too slow, at all events
as regards correspondence. The “Pony Express” was thereupon inaugurated
in 1860, by which time the system of eastern railways had extended 400
miles more towards the west than what they were in 1858, consequently
diminishing roadway distance to 1,600 miles. This ground was got over
in the marvellously brief time of six days, or at the go-a-head, we
might almost add “helter skelter,” rate of 265 miles a-day! The rider
performed no greater journey each day than his horse. The latter set
off on a gallop and never ceased his fifteen to twenty miles, except
when, as occasionally, although not frequently, happened, Red Skin
stopped the way, sent the rider to his long account, and then quietly
rode off on the dead man’s horse, which he claimed as his trophy.
On the 12th of November, 1860, the courier rode into San Francisco
with news from Europe of no longer date than the previous 21st of
October. Even this speed did not satisfy; the telegraph was therefore
laid the whole way across the American continent; and now, thanks to
the Atlantic Cable, and to difference of longitude, the merchant of
London can tell his correspondent at San Francisco, events that have
happened twelve hours before the same hour has arrived in California.
Unfortunately, however, for California, notwithstanding that the normal
speed of electro-telegraphy is 280,000 miles a _second_, she is unable
to let us know her news here in less than some twenty-four hours after
its occurrence.

In 1862 President Lincoln signed the Act of Congress for “The Union
Pacific Railroad Company.” Forthwith its works were commenced. Where?
At two points:—The eastern, at Omaha, near the confluence of the
Missouri River, with that of the Platte, or Nebraska, in the state of
Nebraska, latitude 41° north, longitude 19° west, of Washington. The
line follows the course of the river to the Rocky Mountains, which it
climbs up until not far from the summit of the Bridger Pass, due west
of Omaha. A tunnel not more than 500 yards in length carries the line
into Utah. In this territory it passes by Salt Lake and Salt Lake City,
head-quarters of Brigham Young and his Mormons; thence to the state
of Nevada, as rich in silver-yielding mines as those in California
are in supplying gold. No wonder, then, that its capital—Carson
City—should now have a population of 15,000, although, seven years
ago, there was not even one inhabitant to boast of. At the passage of
the Sierra Nevada there will also be a tunnel 500 yards long. Thence
to Sacramento, and from there, it will wend its way close to the river
of the same name, and find itself at San Francisco. This is not only
its extreme western, but it is also its extreme southern point, for,
in coming west from the Bridger Pass, the latitude changes from 41° to
38° 20″; and it is from San Francisco that the western works commence
and proceed easterly to meet, at some point as yet uncertain, those
advancing in the opposite direction. They are already at the eastern
foot of the Rocky Mountains, 500 miles from Omaha; and on the Pacific
side, they have reached the western slopes of the Sierra. Therefore,
already more than a third of the whole line is accomplished. On the
plain, progress is made at a rate that would astonish the European
engineer, for the Americans are satisfied with the road bed such as
nature has made it; and thus it is no uncommon thing to lay 2½ miles of
the railway in a single day! As the road advances, so do the locomotive
and the train, but not always with the most perfect safety, for the
Indians have now learned to do wholesale what they only did isolately
upon the riders of the Pony Expresses,—witness the following paragraph
from the _Times_ of no later date than August 31 of the present year:—

 “A correspondent of the _New York Tribune_ says that the Indians are
 out in strong force, and have begun the war in earnest. A strong force
 of savages laid ties on the track of the Union Pacific Railroad, six
 miles west of Plum Creek, and a valuable freight train was ambushed
 and upset. The engineer, fireman, two breakman, and three telegraph
 repairers were killed. The Indians burned eight cars, and completely
 destroyed a great deal of valuable merchandise, valued at 30,000
 dollars. The savages burned the train, killed and scalped seven
 persons, and threw the slaughtered bodies into the flames of the
 burning cars. The conductor of the train narrowly escaped, and rushing
 back along the track, met another freight train, which he signalled.
 The train was stopped, and he was taken on board, after which the
 train returned to Plum Creek. The affair has created great excitement,
 and there is a general alarm along the line of the railroad, now that
 the Indians have discovered the means of arresting its traffic.”

No doubt the alarm is general along the line, but it will die out, for
as a writer in the _Revue des deux Mondes_, to whom we are indebted for
many of the facts we have just stated, says:—“En beaucoup d’endroits,
le terrain a êté si bien nivelé par la nature, qu’ ou ne voit de quel
coté il penche, et que les rails se posent sans aucune fouille sur
le sol. Pas de grandes riviers a franchir, pas de torrens impetueux
a dompter. Le seul enemi de la voie, est que sur quelques points,
heureusement isolés, du desert, ou manquent l’eau et le bois, domine le
peau-rouge, vagabond, et chasseur, adversaire-né du colon stable: mais
le bois et l’eau, on les apporte, et quant a l’enfant des Prairies, il
disparaitra et s’eteindra, bientot, devant l’homme civilisé. C’est la,
une des lois fatales du progres; elle se verifie partout ou se presente
l’Europeen.” Too true.

And who are making the railway? On the East they are all Irishmen. As
each half-mile of it, or so, is made, they march along with it towards
the West, with their wives, their children, their wooden houses rolled
along on wheels, and their domestic animals—cats, dogs, goats—the
more ambitious, have occasionally a cow, the richest of all can sport
a little pony. When the day comes for the meeting of the two railway
ends, the Irishmen will find that the fellow-labourers who have come to
greet them are to a man “John Chinaman,” for none others work on the
Pacific side of the railway.

Its total cost is to be £30,000,000 sterling—£16,000 a mile. Of the
gross sum, one-third is guaranteed by the United States Government
in money, in addition to the concession of immense tracts of land on
each side of the railway. The state of Utah, or rather the individual
Mormons, are good for £4,000,000, and private speculation furnishes
the remainder. Of the mighty company which carries out these works,
General John A. Dix (now United States Minister in Paris) is president;
and in Colonel Heine (an _attaché_ of the Embassy) the Company has a
warm, zealous, and active friend. We have said already that a third
of the railway is already accomplished. By 1870, probably—by 1871,
certainly—it will be finished in its entire length. New York will then
certainly associate itself with Jeddo and Canton by this route; but not
so London, Paris, and other parts of Europe. The writer in the _Revue
des Deux Mondes_ says, that, on the completion of the railway, Europe
will only be one month from Canton. Let us see:—London to New York,
ten days; New York to San Francisco, 3,000 miles, at 20 miles an hour
(all stops and delays included), 150 hours—six days and a quarter; San
Francisco is from Canton, even by great circle sailing, exactly 6,900
nautical miles. No paddle-wheel steamer could take coals for such a
voyage; a screw vessel of very large size, but depending mainly upon
her sails for her speed, might make twelve, but very probably would
not average more than ten, knots an hour, yet, at the former rate, her
passage would be twenty-five days—total, forty-one days and a quarter;
at ten knots an hour, the passage would be nearly twenty-nine days, or
a total of forty-five days. The Mail now goes from London to Canton in
fifty-two days; in 1871 the journey will be six or seven days shorter.
The route to Jeddo _viâ_ San Francisco will be quicker than that
_viâ_ Suez by seven or eight days, even under circumstances the most
favourable for the latter route. By great circle sailing, San Francisco
is distant from Jeddo 5,600 knots, and it is also eleven degrees
farther to the north than Canton. These eleven degrees of north add 600
miles more in favour of San Francisco.

The longest of all European railways is nearly half Italian, and a
little more than half “South Austrian.” It is called in France “_Sud,
Autrichienne et Haute Italie_.” In Italy the two last words are
converted into “_Alta Italia_.” The total length is now 2,565 English
miles, of which the South Austrian portion measures 1,349, and the
Italian 1,216. The two next longest railways of Europe are French.
The Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean Company has a length of railway,
_in France_, of 2,234 miles, and in 1864, it adopted a translitoral
little son, which is known by the name of the “Algerian Railways.” At
present the gentle youth is of modest proportions, only thirty-one
miles open for traffic, eighty-one to be opened in the present year;
and of the remaining 264 which are to constitute its full grown mileage
(376 miles), little more work than “_etudes preliminaries_” has been
bestowed upon them. At the period of the greatest growth of the
Algerian railway, it will never be more than a pigmy as compared with
its adopting parent.

The railway that in mileage comes next in succession, is the Orleans
Company. Its length is 2,052 miles. The last of the four railway
giants, is our own English giant, the London and North-Western. Now,
although the length of our countryman is the least of all—only 1,320
miles—it will nevertheless be seen hereafter, that in its other
dimensions it is in most respects superior, in none inferior, to its
continental brethren, just as the late Mr. Thomas Sayers was less in
height and length of arm than Heenan, nevertheless, in the long run, he
managed to beat him.

The two extreme western points of the mighty system of the South
Austrian and Alta Italia are at Susa, at the foot of the Mont Cenis
Pass of the Alps, and Cuneo at the foot of that of the Col di Tenda.
Its two eastern are Vienna, and still farther (by means of its
Hungarian net-work to the southward of Vienna), Pesth. Its northern
is Kutzen, about a hundred miles to the south-east of Munich. Its
southern, Pistoja, is twenty-two miles to the north-east of Florence.
It possesses railways across two of the passes of the Alps, the
Sœmmering and the Brenner. Its stations are at Genoa, Turin, Milan,
Innspruch, capital of the Tyrol, Verona and Venice, Trieste, Vienna,
and Pesth. It is equally fitted (as it has proved itself to be) for a
great military railway, and for one to be devoted only to commercial
and industrial development, but it has its skeleton in its closet,—it
is _not_ at Florence, capital of United Italy, nor is there prospect of
its being there, except by a combination which shall unite with it the
whole of the _Strade Ferrate Romane_, of which some particulars will be
given hereafter.

The course and direction of the Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean, of
the Orleans, and of the London and North-Western Companies, are, as
there can be no doubt, sufficiently known to our readers to render
description of them unnecessary. The great port of the Paris, Lyons,
and Mediterranean is Marseilles, the Liverpool of the Mediterranean,
537 miles from Paris, and 833 from London. The chief port of the
Orleans Company is Bordeaux, 366 miles from Paris, 662 from London.

Before proceeding farther, let us refer, very briefly, to the early
history of railways in France.

Neither the French Government nor the French people seemed to feel much
interest about their construction until long subsequent to the opening
of several hundred miles of them, both in Belgium and in Germany. The
nation, was not, however, altogether ignorant of their existence,
for tramways had been used in the Mineral Districts of St. Etienne,
and near to the Banks of the Loire, for many years previously. They
were, for the most part, worked by horses, but in some few cases by
locomotives of the rudest construction, just as happened in our own
coal districts in the North of England, previous to the epoch of the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Dr. Lardner, in his Railway Economy,
says that “to M. Emile Pereire is due the honour of having first
impressed upon his countrymen the advantages which must arise from the
adoption of this mode of transport.” With much difficulty he succeeded
in forming a Company for making the short line between Paris and St.
Germain. The Act for its construction was obtained in July 1835, and
it was opened for traffic in December 1837. It was originally, in
part, worked as a locomotive line, and partly on what was known as the
atmospheric system, but for the last five or six years the traffic is
carried exclusively by means of the locomotive. Its length is thirteen
miles, and it now forms one of the “_Lignes de Banlieue_,” of the
Western of France Railway Company. (_Chemin de Fer de l’Ouest._)

But it was not until 1837 that the importance of France having a
net-work throughout the Kingdom was appreciated. In that year a Royal
Commission Avas appointed, which made its report in 1838, but owing to
internal jealousies and other causes, the recommendations of the report
were not adopted, and the Government of the day had to submit to defeat
upon them.

In 1838, what is now the Great Orleans Company obtained its first
concession, which was for a Railway to extend from Paris to Orleans.
Powerful and elongated as the Company now is, it had, in its early
career, to undergo much financial difficulty and embarrassment, and it
was only owing to the Government coming to its aid, by guaranteeing
four per cent. on its capital, that the Company was able to complete
and to open the railway for traffic.

A concession was given to the Paris and Rouen Company in 1841. The line
was opened for traffic on the 9th of May, 1843.

The Fundamental Law for the construction of French Railways, and for
the subsequent administrative surveillance of them by the Government,
was passed on the 11th of June, 1842.

By this law France was to possess seven main arterial lines of railway,
all of which were to start from Paris as the concentric point. The
first was to take the direction towards Belgium, so as to meet the
railways then opened in that kingdom, approaching the French frontier.
The second, part of which was to be in common with the first, was
to proceed towards Calais or Dunkirk; Calais was selected as the
most convenient for traffic with England, and the line to Dunkirk,
twenty-five miles long, which branches off at Hazebrouck, was not
constructed for several years after the main line had been completed.
We remember Hazebrouck, a mere road-side stopping place, but it has
of late become a first-class junction station, for in addition to the
Dunkirk line diverging here, it is also the junction (_bifurcation_)
at which the line leading to Lille, and to Brussels separates from
those that run to Amiens, one _viâ_ Douai (the old road), and the
other, _viâ_ Bethune, constructed to shorten the distance between Paris
and Calais by twenty miles, and also to give railway access to the
recently-opened collieries in the vicinity of Bethune, Nœux, Chocques,

The third arterial line was to run towards the ports on the Bay of
Biscay, from the Loire to the Gironde. The fourth was to extend to
Bayonne and thence, eventually, to the Spanish frontier. The fifth
was to be common to the fourth, and then to follow a course tending
towards the Mediterranean, passing through Toulouse and finally
arriving at Perpignan, close to the Spanish frontier, and at the foot
of the Pyrenees, not much farther removed from the Mediterranean than
Bayonne is from the Bay of Biscay. It is but within the last few months
that this line has been completed in its entire extent; the line to
Perpignan having only been opened for traffic in September last.

The sixth was the great and important arterial line from Paris through
Dijon, Chalons, Macon, Lyons, and Avignon, to Marseilles. The seventh,
or last, was the important strategic and commercial line that was to
connect Paris with Strasburg and the Rhine.

Of course, since the first conception of these seven arterial lines,
modifications in the exact direction of several of them have taken
place, but in the main they follow the courses originally proposed
and afterwards decided upon. It will be unnecessary to record the
various difficulties, financial and administrative, which attended
the construction of the first net-work of French railways. Suffice
it, therefore, to say, that by the end of 1847, 1,750 miles had been
completed, and that by 1853, the essential parts of the whole system
were finished. These have been followed by the “new” net-work, and the
total mileage of French railways at present is 14,382 kilometres, or,
8,989 English miles.

This digression finished, we proceed to state the cost at which
each of the four European leviathans of the railway world have been
constructed. The capital expenditure of the South Austrian and Alta
Italia, up to the 31st December, 1866, was £41,763,301, or at the
rate of £18,200 a mile. Capital expenditure on the Paris, Lyons, and
Mediterranean Company is nearly double that of the South Austrian
and Alta Italia, being £80,922,000, which brings the cost per mile to
£36,218. This expenditure is exclusive of £1,740,202, upon the Algerian
lines, making the company’s total capital expenditure to the 31st
December, 1866, £82,662,202.

As the total length of French railways was, on the 31st December, 1866,
14,382 kilometres, or 8,989 miles, and the total capital expenditure
upon them to that date was £306,089,000, it follows that the Paris,
Lyons, and Mediterranean Company is one-fourth in length, all but
twenty-eight miles, of the total railway mileage of France, but its
gross cost has exceeded one-fourth of the total cost of French railways
by £4,399,500, and its cost per mile, being £36,218, it has exceeded
their average cost per mile (£34,051) by £2,167.

The capital expenditure of the Orleans Company has been £42,944,862, or
at the rate of £20,928 a mile, which is £13,123 per mile _below_ the
average cost per mile of French railways. In addition, the company is
proprietor of the coal and iron mines, and the Iron Works of Aubin, at
a cost of £671,216. 194,694 tons of coal were raised there in 1866, of
which 43,200 were used by the company’s locomotives, 16,000 were sold
to the public, and the balance was consumed in the iron works, which
manufactured 22,021 of rails during the year.

The total expenditure on capital account of all the railways of the
United Kingdom up to the 1st January, 1866, was £455,478,143.

On the London and North-Western the expenditure on capital account has
been £45,576,361, but a subdivision of this capital by the mileage
worked by the company would not represent the cost per mile of the
railway as the company is subscriber to the capital of other companies
(some of which are worked by it and some are not) for £3,556,969, but
this amount hardly represents a tenth of the capital expended by those
companies. There is no doubt however that the cost per mile of those
lines for which the capital was exclusively provided by the London and
North-Western Company exceeds £50,000 a mile.

The gross receipts from traffic for the year were, South Austrian,
£2,957,713, Alta Italia, £1,738,202, total of the Company, £4,695,915;
average weekly receipts, £90,306; per mile per annum £1,932. Paris,
Lyons, and Mediterranean, total traffic £8,105,776; average weekly
receipts, £155,691; per mile per annum, £3,640. As the total traffic
receipts of French railways was, approximately (but the figures are
very nearly exact) £24,140,000, it follows that the receipts of this
company exceeded one-third of the total railway receipts of the empire
by £101,110, and that its average weekly receipts per mile exceed the
average weekly receipts per mile of all France (£2,865) by £955.

The traffic receipts of the Orleans Company, for 1866, were £4,401,894;
average weekly receipts, £94,267; per mile per annum, £2,189, or £496
per mile per week _below_ the receipts per mile per week of the total
French railway system. London and North-Western, £6,312,056; average
weekly receipts, £120,400; per mile per annum, £4,782.

Owing to the war in Italy in 1866, the tables connected with the
passenger traffic of the Alta Italia are defective, but of the
7,858,893 passengers carried on the South Austrian in 1866, 1 per cent.
only were first class, but they yielded 5 per cent. of the passenger
receipts; 12 per cent. in number were of the second class, they yielded
19 per cent. of the receipts; the third class were 87 per cent. in
number and 76 per cent. in receipts.

The number of passengers carried on the Paris, Lyons, and
Mediterranean was 18,443,597, of which about 6 per cent. in number were
first class, 13½ second, and 80½ third.

This total number represents between a fourth and a fifth of the gross
number carried in France during 1866—about eighty-four millions—and
is in no way in accordance with its proportion, either as regards
its gross receipts or its gross mileage, the former being, as just
stated, more than a third, and the latter one-fourth of the total
railway receipts and mileage of the empire; thus showing that the
principal traffic of the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean Company
is _long_ traffic; in this respect very strikingly resembling the
traffic of the London and North-Western Railway Company. According
to the testimony of M. Charles La Vollée, furnished in his very
interesting work, “_Les Chemins de Fer en France_,” _Paris_, 1866,
the average distance travelled by each passenger on French railways
in 1865, was 40 kilometres (25 miles); average distance of a ton of
merchandise, 140 kilometres (87½ miles); but as the average price of
passenger travelling of all classes in France is only 5½ centimes
per kilometre, equal to 9½ centimes per mile: of goods per ton, 6½
centimes per kilometre, equal to 10½ centimes per mile, it follows that
each passenger and each ton of goods travels on the Paris, Lyons and
Mediterranean Railway nearly double the average distance on all French
railways. According to the investigations of M. La Vollée, the average
cost of all three classes of passengers in England is 14½ centimes,
or 1⅜d. per mile; goods precisely the same per ton. This gentleman
makes the following calculation with regard to the saving effected
in consequence of the substitution of railways for diligences in
travelling. The latter, he says, sped their way at the rate of 6¼ miles
an hour. Railways go at the rate of 25. For each of the 80,000,000
who were carried on French railways in 1865, there is a saving of 10
sous an hour, equal to 112,500,000 francs, or £4,500,000, and upon the
transport of goods there would he a saving of ten millions sterling,
supposing that all goods now carried by railway were to be carried by

The construction of railways cheaply in France is now occupying
attention. A railway on this system was opened on the 25th of August
last—the line from Fougères to Vitré, on the Chemin de Fer de l’Ouest.
Its length is 23 miles, and it has been constructed for £100,000, or at
the rate of £4,348 a mile, notwithstanding the fact that it is carried
through a difficult country, necessitating numerous heavy works, the
greatest of which is a viaduct constructed of granite 120 yards long,
and 22 yards high. The rails are Vignoles pattern, 60 lbs. to the yard.
The above price includes rolling stock, shops, and their equipment,
&c. But everybody received “_argent sonnant_” as the works progressed,
and the line was not opened until everything had been settled up and
paid for. This is one of the secrets appertaining to the economic
construction of railways.

On the Orleans Railway, 9,630,460 passengers were conveyed in 1866: of
which 7½ per cent. in number were first class, 14½ per cent. second,
and 78 third.

Before quitting the subject of French traffic receipts, a word must
be said about a little railway which appertains to the most stately
city in France—Lyons—until a few years ago, when Marseilles superseded
it,[6] the second in commercial importance, the second also, not
long back, in revolutionary susceptibility, yielding only in this
respect to the once great head quarters of rebellion, barricades, and
insurrection, Paris. As it is some years since our last visit to Lyons,
an accident alone put us upon the track of this railway. We looked
for some account of it in that great compendium of hotel-keepers’
advertisements, _Bradshaw’s Continental Guide_, (_lucus, &c._), but,
of course, not a word is said about it, and we are bound to record the
same omission in the (with this exception) admirable “_Indicateur des
Chemins de Fer, et de la Navigation_”, published weekly by Messrs.
Chaix & Co., of Paris. Thanks, however, to “my Murray,” we discover
the “Lyons-Croix Rousse” runs from the heart of the city to the Croix
Rousse, the former hotbed of insurrection, and “inhabited principally
by silk-weavers who live in densely crowded narrow streets, where
twelve to twenty families are piled, one above the other, in the
lofty houses.” But these revolutionary silk-weavers must be a grand
moving population, for although the line is stated in the _Moniteur
des Interets Materiels_, a weekly journal which treats, according to
the words of its title, upon “_tout ce qui a rapport au bien-être
general, hormis la politique_,” to be only 587 yards long, it had a
daily traffic in 1866 of 666 francs, equal to 243,093 francs, or £9,723
per annum! The company has paid off all its debenture debt, and its
modest share capital receives the benefit of all profits. What they
are, however, is a mystery, for the directors have, in their wisdom and
discretion, never thought fit to publish them.

Our Gallic neighbours lodge their Sovereign, his Empress, and his
suite, in palaces replete with magnificence and luxury, and when he
travels, they are equally mindful of his dignity and of his comfort.
Witness the following description of the imperial train in which the
Emperor and the Empress went from Paris to Salzburg to visit the
Emperor and Empress of Austria, in August last. It may well he said
that it exceeds in comfort and elegance any previous equipment of a
similar nature. It consists of nine carriages, communicating with each
other by tastefully decorated bridges. In the middle is a handsome
sitting-room, furnished with chairs, ottomans, pictures, clocks, and
chandeliers. On one side of this room is the dining-room, and on the
other the Emperor’s study. In the middle of the dining-room there is a
table capable of being extended or contracted at pleasure, with easy
chairs placed parallel to the sides of the carriage. The Emperor’s
study contains an elegant writing-table, a clock in the style of the
_renaissance_, a thermometer, a barometer, and a telegraphic apparatus,
by means of which telegraphic communication is established with the
several apartments of the various court officials travelling with His
Majesty. Next to the study is the bed-room of the Emperor and Empress,
with two beds placed transversely against the sides of the carriage.
Two dressing-rooms are attached to the bed-room. The remaining
carriages consist of a kitchen, wine cellar, and the apartments of the
imperial suite. There is also a conservatory for the choicest flowers.

Our own gracious Sovereign travels in her journeys to and from Scotland
with great comfort, but without the extent of magnificence above

Proportioned to the passenger traffic of other English railways, the
London and North-Western Company is deficient as regards numbers, for
although it has on its system Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester,
Liverpool, Leeds, and almost all the leading manufacturing bee-hives
in the north of England, it is the sole railway having its terminus
in London, that does not encourage short local and _Sunday_ traffic.
Nevertheless the number of passengers carried on the London and
North-Western in 1866 was 20,811,173, which however is less than a
tenth (excluding the holders of 97,147 periodical tickets) of the
total number (251,862,715) conveyed on all the railways of the United
Kingdom in 1865. The returns before us do not enable us to state the
relative proportions of classes of passengers carried by the London and
North-Western, but, at all events, we know that they exceed two-thirds
of the population of Great Britain and Ireland, which, according to
the estimate of the Registrar-General, published a few days ago, was
30,157,239 in June, 1867. The estimated population of London and of its
suburbs, comprised within a circle of twelve miles from the General
Post Office, St. Martin’s-le-Grand, is, at present, 3,521,267, which is
more than the population of half-a-dozen German Principalities;[7] more
than half that of Ireland,[8] and equal to that of all Scotland. Those
desirous of knowing the component parts of the metropolitan population,
and how it is distributed over its area of 687 square miles, are
referred to the recently published vigorous and able statistical
vindication of the City of London,[9] by its distinguished and learned
Chamberlain, Mr. Benjamin Scott.

Here let us indicate a few facts illustrating the motive habits of
the immense London population. In the twelve months ending the 30th
of June, 1867, the number of passengers conveyed on the Metropolitan
Railway—4½ miles in length—were 22,458,067, or 1,646,894 more than
on the whole system of the London and North-Western Railway in 1866.
In the same twelve months, the London General Omnibus Company, which
owns about seven-eighths of those vehicles that ply in the metropolis,
carried 42,995,910. These, independent of steam-boat passengers, the
number of which we are not able to state, our application to the
secretary of one of the companies for information not having been
replied to; independent also of the persons who travelled in the 6,000
cabs that are licensed for London, and independent, finally, of the
persons conveyed in the innumerable vehicles which are unceasingly
circulating during about sixteen hours every day through every portion
of the great metropolis.[10]

Mr. Watkin, M.P., the chairman of the South-Eastern Railway, gave,
at the recent meeting of the shareholders of that company, a very
striking illustration of the motive habits of the metropolitan
population. During the half-year ending the 30th June, 1867, the
total number of passengers conveyed on the South-Eastern Railway was
9,700,000, but of these 7,200,000 came into or went out of its three
London stations (Charing Cross, Cannon Street, and London Bridge—the
traffic of the last immensely diminished since the opening of the two
first), yet the total length of the South-Eastern is 330 miles, and in
the usual proportion of stations to mileage on English railways (one
for each 3¼ miles) the number of stations is 101. Although we have
not the exact figures before us, we believe the same proportions, as
regards passenger traffic, holds good on the London, Brighton and South
Coast, the South-Western and the Great Western Railways, and nearly so
on the Great Eastern and the Great Northern.

The rolling stock of the South Austrian and Alta Italia consists of 963
locomotives, 2,663 passenger carriages, in which are included 11 for
the exclusive use of royal personages, 19,182 waggons, in which are
included 57 for the service of the Post. Its total mileage of train
engines 10,451,870. The amount of rolling stock of the Paris, Lyons,
and of the Orleans Companies is not stated in their reports, but the
total engine mileage of the former company in 1866 was 17,271,502
miles, of which 9,656,690 were for passenger trains, and 7,614,812 were
for goods, cattle, and coal trains; of the Orleans Company 10,715,458,
of which 5,878,010 miles were for passenger trains, and 4,837,448 for
goods, cattle, and coal trains.

We are not able to state the total mileage of the trains of French
railways, but it will be seen by reference to the _Annuaire des
Postes de l’Empire Francais_, published on the 1st of January, 1867,
a work analagous in its character to the Annual Reports of the
Postmaster-General of England, that the postal service of France upon
railways was, in 1865, 27,730,000 kilometres, equal to 17,331,250
miles. The British Post Office does not avail itself of all the
railways of the United Kingdom for the transmission of mails. Thus the
total mileage of British railways on the 1st of January, 1866, was
13,289 miles, but the Post Office only sent mail bags over about 12,000
of them. The Post Office Railway Service is 60,000 miles a day, equal
(deducting for Sundays) to 18,780,000 per annum, or about 1,450,000 per
annum more than the postal mileage on French railways.

Before proceeding to describe the present position of the London and
North-Western Company as regards locomotive and rolling stock, a short
epitome of what it was twenty years ago, may not prove uninteresting.

On the 30th June, 1847, the total length of railway worked by the
company was 670 miles. The number of its locomotive engines was 504,
or an engine for about each three-quarters of a mile of railway. The
engine mileage was—

  For passenger trains    4,649,556
  For goods trains        2,882,674
          Total           7,532,230

On the 30th of June, 1847, there were 1,018 passenger carriages, and
so little encouragement was given by the company at that time to
travellers of the humbler classes, that out of the 1,018 only 75 were
third class. The Company had also 8 travelling post offices, and 13
post office tenders, 210 horse boxes, 183 guards’ break and parcels
vans, 4,874 goods waggons, 612 cattle and sheep trucks, 653 coal and
coke waggons. The total number of passengers conveyed in the year 1848,
was 6,001,576. Tons of goods conveyed (estimated) 1,811,000. At that
period the conveyance of coal by railway was in its infancy.

On the 31st December, 1866, the London and North-Western Company
possessed 1,347 locomotive engines, which is rather more than an engine
a mile, the average for the whole kingdom being just over one-half of
one per mile. It had 2,237 passenger carriages, 46 travelling post
offices and post office tenders, 408 horse boxes, 418 guards’ break and
parcel vans, 22,483 goods waggons, 1,703 cattle and sheep trucks, 2,069
coal and coke waggons, and for shunting carriages and waggons, and
other work at stations, no less than 619 horses, all of good breeds,
well-fed, intelligent, and _well-tutored_.

Its engines ran, in 1866, 21,637,163 miles, of which 10,613,324 were
for passenger trains, and 11,023,839 for goods and minerals: average
mileage of each engine for the year, 16,063; per day, of 365 to the
year, 44, but, as the average number of working days of an engine in
a year is about 250, the average mileage of the year, so divided,
is 64. This seems an extremely low average. Besides the passengers
already referred to, the company conveyed 15,425,119 tons of goods
and minerals. These exceed the amount carried on the Paris, Lyons and
Mediterranean by 1,803,405 tons, and they are very nearly three times
as much as those conveyed by the Orleans Company (5,216,879 tons).
Although the length of the London and North-Western system is not at
present more than a tenth of the total mileage length of the United
Kingdom, its receipts are a little more than a sixth of those earned
by all British and Irish railways. Its income, in fact, is just three
times what Lord Macaulay tells us, in the fourth volume of his History
of England, was the total national revenue at the time that William
III. ascended the English throne.



Thanks to the very valuable tables of railway statistics prepared by
Mr. John Cleghorn, the secretary of the North-Eastern Railway, and
compiled from the returns of the Board of Trade for the years from 1859
to 1865, both inclusive, we are able to present to our readers, in an
abbreviated shape, a number of details respecting the railways of the
United Kingdom, of a very interesting and instructive character.

Prefacing them with the remark that on the 31st December, 1852, the
capital invested in British railways was £264,165,672, yielding a
gross revenue of £15,710,554, we proceed to state that on the 31st
of December, 1859, the amount of capital paid up was £334,362,928,
and that there were then 10,002 miles opened for traffic. The number
of passengers carried in 1859, exclusive of journeys made by 49,856
holders of periodical tickets, were 149,757,294, of whom 19,204,151
were first class, 44,351,903 were second, and 86,201,240 were third.
The receipts from passengers, luggage, parcels, horses, carriages,
dogs, and mails, were £12,537,493. Merchandise, 22,005,737 tons;
minerals, 51,756,782 tons; live stock, 12,805,613 head. Receipts from
these sources, £13,206,009. Total receipts, £25,743,502. The number
of miles run by passenger trains was 49,753,344; by those for goods,
minerals, and cattle, 43,762,452; total, 93,516,796. The Board of Trade
did not furnish returns of working expenses for 1863, but we know that
their proportions to receipts were about 45 per cent.

On the 31st of December, 1860, the capital paid up was £348,130,327.
Miles opened for traffic, 10,433. Passengers conveyed in 1860
(exclusive of 47,894 holders of periodical tickets), 163,435,678,
of whom 20,625,851 were first class, 49,041,814 were second, and
93,768,013 were third. Receipts from passenger traffic, &c.,
£13,085,756. Merchandise, 29,470,931 tons; minerals, 60,386,788 tons;
live stock, 12,083,503 head. Receipts from these sources, £14,680,966.
Total receipts, £27,766,622. The miles run by passenger trains were
52,816,579; by those for goods, minerals, and cattle, 49,427,113;
total, 102,243,692. The total working expenses were £13,196,368; their
proportion to receipts, 47 per cent.

On the 31st December, 1861, the capital paid up was £362,327,338. Miles
opened for traffic, 10,869. Passengers conveyed in 1861 (exclusive of
52,079 holders of periodical tickets), 173,721,139, of whom 21,917,936
were first class, 51,146,672 second, and 100,656,531 third. Receipts
from passenger traffic, &c., £13,326,475. Merchandise, 30,638,893 tons;
minerals, 63,604,434 tons; live stock, 12,870,683 head. Receipts from
these sources, £15,238,880. Total receipts, £28,565,355. The miles run
by passenger trains were 54,055,476; by those for goods, minerals,
and cattle, 51,085,964; total, 105,141,440. Total working expenses,
£13,843,337; their proportion to receipts, 48½ per cent.

On the 31st December, 1862, the capital paid up was £385,218,438. Miles
opened for traffic, 11,551. Passengers conveyed in 1862 (exclusive of
56,656 holders of periodical tickets), 180,429,071, of whom 23,105,351
were first class, 51,869,239 second, and 105,454,481 third. Receipts
from passenger traffic, &c., £13,911,985. Merchandise, 30,256,913 tons;
minerals, 63,405,864 tons; live stock, 12,885,003 head. Receipts from
these sources, £15,216,573. Total receipts, £29,128,558. The miles
run by passenger trains were 57,542,831; by those for goods, minerals
and cattle, 50,518,966; total, 108,061,797. Total working expenses,
£14,268,409; their proportion to receipts 49 per cent.

On the 31st December, 1863, the capital paid up was £404,215,802. Miles
opened for traffic, 12,322. Passengers conveyed in 1863 (exclusive of
64,391 holders of periodical tickets), 204,635,075, of whom 26,086,008
were first class, 57,476,669 second, and 121,072,398 third. Receipts
from passenger traffic, &c., £14,521,528. Merchandise, 32,517,247 tons;
minerals, 68,043,154 tons; live stock, 13,029,675 head. Receipts from
these sources, £16,663,869. Total receipts, £31,156,397. The miles run
by passenger trains were 61,032,143; by those for goods, minerals and
cattle, &c., 55,560,018; total, 116,592,161. Total working expenses,
£15,027,234; their proportion to receipts 48·23 per cent.

On the 31st December, 1864, the capital paid up was £425,719,613. Miles
opened for traffic, 12,789. Passengers in 1864 (exclusive of 76,499
holders of periodical tickets), 229,272,165, of whom 27,701,415 were
first class, 65,269,169 second, and 136,301,581 third. Receipts from
passenger traffic, &c., £15,684,040. Merchandise, 34,914,913 tons;
minerals, 75,445,781 tons; live stock, 13,673,786 head. Receipts from
these sources, £18,331,524. Total receipts, £34,015,564. The miles
run by passenger trains were 66,555,219; by those for goods, minerals
and cattle, 62,575,724; total, 129,130,943. Total working expenses,
£16,000,308; their proportion to receipts, 47·03 per cent.

On the 31st December, 1865, the capital paid up was £455,478,143.
Miles opened for traffic, 13,289. Passengers conveyed in 1865
(exclusive of 97,147 holders of periodical tickets), 251,862,715, of
whom 29,663,205 were first class, 70,783,241 second, and 151,416,269
third. Receipts from passenger traffic, &c., £16,572,051. Merchandise,
36,787,638 tons; minerals, 77,805,786 tons; live stock, 14,530,937
head. Receipts from these sources, £19,317,475. Total receipts,
£35,890,073. The miles run by passenger trains were 71,206,818; by
those for goods, minerals and cattle, 68,320,309; total, 139,527,127.
Total working expenses, £17,149,073; their proportion to receipts, 48
per cent.

The length of the railways in Ireland is 1,948 miles. In Scotland it
is about 2,350 miles, with gross traffic receipts of about £4,200,000,
whilst the income derived from Irish railways did not exceed £1,800,000
in 1866. Thus the mileage of the Scotch railways is about a sixth of
the total mileage of the United Kingdom; its receipts about a ninth,
the total amount of British railway receipts for 1866, being about
£37,800,000.[11] The proportions for Ireland are about a seventh of the
total mileage—less than a twentieth of the total receipts. There are 35
separate Boards of Railway Directors in the sister kingdom, an average
of 55½ miles of railway for each Board to attend to, but, inasmuch
as the aggregate length of the nine longest Irish railways is 1,354
miles, it follows that the average length of each of the remaining 26
companies’ lines is not quite 23 miles. Each company has, besides its
separate Board of Directors, its separate Secretary, separate Traffic
Manager, separate Engineer, separate Locomotive Superintendent, and
separate Accountant. Could the London and North-Western manage to
sub-divide itself after the fashion of Irish Railway Companies, it
would require a staff of 73 of every one of these officers. It is to
be deplored that railway animosity[12] is, in its sphere, as intense
in Ireland as that which has so-called religion, for its basis. Both
inflict a fearful amount of injury upon the material interests and
development of the country.

One of the most objectionable features in Irish railway management is
the high rates of fares charged to passengers, but especially to those
of the third class; in fact rendering third class carriages in a great
measure unavailable for the persons for whose use they were specially
intended by the Legislature. We are happy, however, to perceive a
better, a larger, and a more liberal view is beginning to be taken in
Ireland on this subject, for at the meeting of the shareholders of the
Midland Great Western Railway—the second of Irish railways in extent
and importance, the Chairman made lengthened reference to the subject.
“It was,” said Mr. Ralph Cusack, “a bold policy to adopt a scale of
fares unusually low, to establish a system of excursion trains every
week to and from distant points, and to hold out special inducements
to the very humblest classes to avail themselves of the facilities
of railway travelling.” This policy, nevertheless, was adopted, but
it will not be matter of surprise that it did not find favour at the
Boards of Direction of other Companies, it being alleged to be totally
unsuited to the circumstances of Ireland, even where the population is
numerous and tolerably prosperous. The result, however, has been that,
notwithstanding peculiar difficulties arising from the embarrassed
circumstances of the railway previous to the present directors coming
into office, the experiment has already been successful, and will be
more so. As the chairman truly said, “people require to be educated
in travelling, and that could only be done by holding out inducements
that would draw the masses to the railways.” It is to be hoped that
the thirty-four other boards of directors will adopt this liberal and
enlightened policy. It will, we are convinced, prove alike beneficial
to shareholders, and to the material interests of the country.

The Board of Trade did not obtain returns of rolling stock from the
companies until the year 1860. On the 31st December of that year they
possessed 5,801 locomotive engines. By the 31st December, 1865, they
had gradually increased to 7,414. The proportions have invariably been
a little more than one engine for each two miles of railway open. On
the London and North-Western, as already stated, the proportion is
a little more than one engine a mile. The passenger carriages on the
31st December, 1860, were 15,076; but there must have been a great
demolition of them in 1861, for on the 31st of December of that year
they were only 14,609. However, they speedily recovered their numbers,
for at the end of 1862 there were 15,366, and on the 31st December,
1865, 17,997, just a shade over a carriage and a third for each mile
of railway open. “Other vehicles attached to passenger trains,”—these
comprise break and luggage vans, travelling post offices and post
office tenders, horse boxes, and carriage trucks. Their number at the
end of 1861 was 5,737; on the 31st December, 1865, 6,853, a little
less than one for every two miles. The use of carriage trucks has
greatly diminished upon railways, but the use of horse boxes has not
diminished, partly because in recent years all over England, wherever
there is hunting, a “horse and his rider” can go to the field, each
with his return ticket, thirty, forty, and even fifty miles, making
an early start in the morning, and returning in the evening in time,
at all events, for the rider’s dinner. The other “partly” is, that
horse boxes have for some years been employed in a traffic for which
they were not originally intended; for the Time books of many of the
railways contain notices that they are available for the conveyance of
the remains of persons to their last homes and resting places; and they
are frequently used for this purpose.

Waggons, which comprise vehicles for the conveyance of every
description of goods and minerals, timber waggons, cattle waggons,
gunpowder waggons, bullion waggons, salt waggons, milk waggons, covered
waggons, high-sided waggons, low-sided waggons, in short the _genus_
waggon of every possible shape and conformity, were 188,623 on the 31st
December, 1860, and on the 31st of December, 1865, they had increased
to 226,407, or nearly 16¾ for each mile of railway.

The foregoing figures furnish matter for much consideration. They
show, incontestably, how unceasingly the railway system of the United
Kingdom, taken as a whole, continues its development. As new miles
of railway are opened, and notwithstanding that they are situated
principally in districts where both population and traffic are light,
as compared with the population and traffic of the districts in
which railways were first constructed, the total average of receipts
throughout the United Kingdom, only receded three times. Thus, the
average receipts per mile in 1852 were £2,141. In 1853, £2,346. In
1854, £2,510. In 1855, £2,597. In 1856, £2,659. In 1857, £2,660. There
was a considerable fall in 1858 to £2,516. In 1859, they advanced to
£2,574. In 1860, they were £2,661. In 1861, £2,628. In 1862, they fell
to £2,523. They increased slightly in 1863, to £2,528. In 1864, they
rose to £2,651; and, in 1865, they were the highest during the fifteen
years, £2,691, or £550 a mile higher than in 1852.

Although the number of passengers has increased very greatly in
the seven years, the principal increase has been, as will be seen
presently, in those of the third class. As the average distance which
each third-class passenger travels is much less than the average of
one of the second class, and still less comparatively than one of the
first class, it cannot be a matter of surprise, that the average money
value of each railway passenger should have fallen from 1s. 6d. in
1859, to 1s. 2d. in 1865, and that of the total increase of receipts
between 1859 and 1865 (£10,146,611), the receipts from passengers
_only_ has not increased more than £3,606,223, whilst the increase from
goods, minerals, and cattle, has been £6,111,466. Minerals come in
for the larger share of this augmentation. In the shape of quantity,
the advance has been 26,049,004 tons, or 50 per cent. In cash earned
the advance has also been about 50 per cent. The amount in 1859, was
£4,223,002; in 1865, £6,496,402. No doubt conveyance of coals by
railway is gaining rapidly upon conveyance by water. This is every
day becoming more evident, especially as regards London. In fact,
we have by us a return showing that during the first six months of
the present year, the sea-borne coal to the Metropolis has decreased
32,480 tons, as compared with the same period of 1866; whilst coal
carried by railway has increased 154,453 tons. In the last few years
the quantity of coal carried by railway to London, has been gradually
creeping up. Last year it was equal to that borne by water, at present
it exceeds it; and henceforward, a large increase may be looked for, as
the Midland Railway being now completed to London, that Company will
be able to carry very fine qualities of coal from collieries which are
at the shortest distance from the Metropolis of all the coal-fields of
England. This will, no doubt, diminish to some considerable extent the
metropolitan coal traffic of the London and North-Western Company. It
now carries about two-fifths (about one million tons) of all the coal
brought by railway into London.

And here, as so much has recently been said about the enormous strides
that have been made in the coal extraction from our collieries in
the United Kingdom, a few words on the subject may not be deemed
inappropriate. It is true that, as will be seen from the subjoined
summary, extracted from the _Times_ of the 13th of September last,
its production has increased with very great rapidity during the last
twelve years. In 1855 it was 64,453,679 tons; in 1856, 66,645,450
tons; in 1857, 65,394,707 tons; in 1858, 65,008,649 tons; in 1859,
71,979,765 tons; in 1860, 80,042,698 tons; in 1861, 83,635,214 tons; in
1862, 81,638,338 tons; in 1863, 86,292,515 tons; in 1864, 92,787,873
tons; in 1865, 98,150,587 tons; and in 1866, 101,630,544 tons. But is
there any real reason for the uneasiness that has been created about
failure of supply in a century or so? We believe not, and our reasons
are explained in the foot note.[13]

And now it will not be uninteresting to see what has become of all
these coals. In the first place our export of them to all parts of
the world was not very large, 8,733,327 tons in 1865, and 9,622,324
tons in 1866.[14] Secondly, they warmed (with the addition of some turf
and a little wood), cooked, and made gas for the 30,157,239 persons
who, according to the most recent returns, constitute the present
population of the United Kingdom. Thirdly, we supplied with fuel, in
1865, some few foreign, and 2,718 British steam vessels, of which 1,745
were over fifty tons register, and 973 were fifty tons each and under;
united, they represent a gross burden of 825,533 tons.[15] Fourthly,
we furnished the principal consumption of coals for the engines of our
iron-clads and our wooden-clads. Fifthly, our railway locomotives ran,
as we have seen (in 1865), 139,527,127 miles, and taking the average
consumption at about 35 lbs. a mile, which includes lighting up[16]
and time that engines are standing in steam, waiting for duty, or
acting as “pilots” (reserve and station engines), the total amount is
2,625,000 tons; and to this amount may be added the consumption in the
locomotive and carriage shops, stores, and stations, 1,375,000, making
the direct railway consumption 4,000,000 tons. Sixthly, independent
of the coal used in the reduction of our other minerals to the state
of metal, we produced, by means of 613 blast furnaces, in 1866, from
9,665,012 tons of iron ore, raised during the year, 2,576,928 tons of
pig iron in England, 952,123 in Wales, and 994,000 tons in Scotland;
total, 4,223,051 tons, which consumed at least 6,000,000 tons of coal;
and, by means of some 6,000,000 more tons, we kept at work, in 1866,
256 iron works, in which there were 6,239 puddling furnaces, and 826
rolling mills.[17] Seventhly, our agricultural steam cultivation is
beginning to count for something. And lastly, our coal assisted in the
manufacture of most of the articles of our dress, and of most of the
articles we require in our domestic economy. It is by means of the coal
that we raise that we are able to manufacture the greater portion of
the articles we export to every part of the civilised or uncivilised
world. Thanks mainly to disembowelled coal, and to its noble adjunct,
iron,[18] combined with the unceasing and undying energy of
Englishmen, the money value of our exports has risen from £115,821,092
in 1854, to £188,827,785 in 1866. The returns for the first half of
1867 show a slight falling off as compared with those for the first
half of 1856. Nevertheless, they were £88,000,000. Our colonies take
between a third and one quarter, and of that proportion India alone
takes a quantity approaching to one-half. To be sure, India has a gross
area of 1,553,282 square miles, with a population of 193,100,963,
of whom 144,674,615 belong to British India, 47,909,199 to native
and independent states, 203,887 to France, and 313,262 to Portugal.
Australia took from us £13,662,650 in 1866, being an increase of
£323,409 over 1865, when her population was 1,599,580, an increase from
1861 of 333,148. In short,—let us say it again,—thanks to coal, energy,
and iron, we deal with forty-eight independent states, and twenty-two
of our colonies.[19] These seventy countries constitute, with our own
little islands, practically every portion of the inhabited globe.[20]

The percentage of the working expenses of railways to the receipts
was, for 1865, according to the returns of the Board of Trade, 48 per
cent.; in 1862 it was the highest of the seven years, 49 per cent.
But we fear that these returns are not very strictly accurate; recent
inquiries and investigations have tended to show that some of the
items charged to capital in the half-yearly accounts should have been
debited to revenue. No doubt there has been exaggeration in several
of the statements, which professional accountants have submitted to
the committee of investigation by whom they have been employed. But
whether this be so or not, the time has come when all charges must
either be made against revenue or remain unpaid. Capital can no longer
lend its friendly aid and assistance; therefore, in a year or so it
will be seen how far the percentages hitherto published have been
based on fact or on the fictions that have been alleged against them.
The subject of working expenses is an important one, as affecting
materially the question of dividend to shareholders. We therefore will
give more detailed information respecting them when we connect them, in
subsequent pages, with receipts and profits. In the meantime, we give,
on the over-leaf, a return that has just been prepared from the three
last half-yearly reports and statements of accounts published by the
twelve following companies. We are aware that as regards one company,
the London, Brighton and South Coast, the working expenses have been
stated by the present board of directors at 10 per cent. higher than
those we now publish, but we believe that these latter approach the
nearer to correctness of the two.

_Statement of Working Expenses on Receipts, for the eighteen months
ending 30th June, 1867._

      NAME OF COMPANY.             Rate per cent.

  London and North-Western             46·63
  North-Eastern                        48·05
  Great Western                        48·65
  Midland                              47·26
  Lancashire and Yorkshire             44·87
  Great Northern                       52·68
  Great Eastern                        53·96
  Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln    45·24
  London and South-Western             53·63
  South-Eastern                        52·68
  London and Brighton                  58·86
  Bristol and Exeter                   49·76

We need not, at the present day, discuss the abstract question of the
value of railways to the community, but it will be well to record some
of the advantages which the population of Great Britain has obtained
by their establishment. Let us begin with passenger traffic. Previous
to 1837, the year of the opening of the line between Birmingham,
Manchester and Liverpool, the speed of stage coaches did not average
eight miles an hour. The speed of mail coaches was a little under ten.
It is true that in former times we were proud, as we ought still to
be, of the roads which the skill and ingenuity of our engineers had,
by means of what were then considered vast excavations, extensive
embankments, bridges, viaducts, and other works, carried through
the country. In one grand respect British roads differ from those
magnificent constructions of a similar nature which Imperial Rome had
accomplished when in the zenith of her splendour. Those were made
without the slightest view to commercial objects. The power which it
gave her to transport her legions from one extremity of her dominions
to another was the sole consideration with her in inducing the
formation of those great causeways, the remains of which have excited
the admiration of succeeding generations, even to the present day.

In 1837, there were fifty-two mail coaches, and about 500 stage
coaches. If we allow to each of them the full complement of passengers
that it was authorised to carry, we shall probably arrive at a
tolerably correct estimate of the number of persons who then used to
travel daily in the United Kingdom. It is true that the average loads
of mail and stage coaches was not considered to exceed two-thirds of
their number when complete, but they should be considered as carrying
full loads, to allow for passengers travelling only short stages.
Thus viewed, the number of persons travelling by these conveyances
throughout the Kingdom was (mail coaches seven, stage coaches
fourteen, exclusive of guard and coachman) 7,364, or at the rate per
annum (of 365 days) 2,687,860. If to these be added 25 per cent., as
representing aristocracy with post horses, and plebiscity in waggons,
and a few in canal boats, we arrive at a gross total of 3,359,825. To
this number may be joined, say over a million who were passengers in
river and coasting steamboats.[21] Every other traveller went by the
means of locomotion beneficently granted to us by the all-wise and
ever-provident Creator of all things human and divine.

In 1837 the population of the United Kingdom was 25,650,426 persons,
so that, assuming our calculation to be correct, the number of
travellers journeying only by road was little more than an eighth
of its population. As already stated, seven years previous to 1837,
the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (31 miles long) had been opened
for traffic. But during all that period it was simply a local line
unconnected with any places except its two termini, and its then
comparatively unimportant intermediate stations. Nevertheless, by the
substitution of steam for horse power, the number of passengers (about
21,600 per annum), previous to the opening of the railway, at once
quadrupled, notwithstanding that the speed had only increased in the
ratio from nine to seventeen miles an hour, the number of trains being
six a day in each direction.

By 1837, when the average speed had increased to 25 miles an hour,
this quadrupling had increased seven-fold: at the present time the
maximum running speed on this portion of the London and North-Western
Railway is forty miles an hour—the average speed of trains is about
twenty-seven miles, and on week-days there are sixteen trains in each
direction, on Sundays six. Yet there are now three competing lines to
that of the London and North-Western between Liverpool and Manchester.

Adding the 604,000 passengers of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway,
the proportion of land travellers to the whole population of the
kingdom, in 1837, was not quite a sixth. The passengers who travelled
on only thirty-one miles of railway were nearly one-sixth of all that
travelled by all the mail coaches, stage coaches, post cars, post
chaises, private carriages with post horses, waggons, and canal boats,
over all the high roads, post roads, and the canals of the United

Observe the onward progress of land passenger development. No railways
of the slightest importance were finished between 1830 and 1837, but
by the year 1843—two years and a-half after the Great Western line
had been completed between London and Bristol—1,902 miles of railway
had been opened for traffic, and in the year terminating at that
date, 23,466,896 passengers were carried by railway. These were, of
course, exclusive of those conveyed by mail and stage coaches, and
other conveyances. Their numbers could not have diminished, on the
contrary, they must have increased, seeing that these conveyances then
began to be used in subordination, as it were, to railways, and not as
the arterial and leading means of passenger communication. Travellers
went shorter distances by them—nevertheless what used to be called the
“post horse duty,” that is the tax levied upon public conveyances and
horses employed in passenger traffic, never diminished—on the contrary,
it increased slightly during several years. For some time past it has
been modified in many of its features, so that a comparison between its
amount, and what it was in 1837, cannot be instituted. But the fact is
notorious, that even now, with upwards of 14,000 miles of railway open
throughout the kingdom, many more horses are employed in connection
with passenger traffic than there were in 1837.

The number of persons who travelled by railway in the year ending 30th
June, 1843, was 23,466,896: the number estimated by road, 3,359,825,
total 26,826,721.

As the estimated population of the United Kingdom in June, 1843, was
27,033,692, it follows that it and the number of persons who had
travelled in the previous twelve months, both by rail and by road, were
not far from equal. In fact the number of persons who travelled by
railway may be considered to represent the _excess_ of travelling in
1843 over that in 1837. Let it here be noted, that in 1843, the third
class passengers formed not more than a fourth of the total number
carried, they being 6,891,844. We shall see presently how marvellously
these numbers have progressed, not only absolutely, but in comparison
with the travellers of the two other classes.

Twelve months more, on the 30th of June, 1844, with 2,050 miles open,
the railway passengers exceeded the total population of the kingdom by
407,799; the numbers being respectively 27,763,602, and 27,355,803,
and third class passengers had risen to be almost exactly one-third
of the whole. We exclude travellers by road, not because they were
less numerous than previously, but because their numbers become every
year less important in comparison with the total passenger movement
of the empire. For any purposes of computation that may result from
these statements, they may fairly be taken for what they were in 1837,

It was in 1848 that the greatest number of miles in any one year were
opened for traffic,—1,191; the nearest approach to it was in the
previous year,—780. In 1863, the number was 771. The smallest number
was in 1843,—91 miles. The following year, 196; and in 1855, 236. The
average from 1837 to 1866, both included, has been 690.

In the twelve months ending the 30th June, 1848, with an estimated
population of 28,015,685, the number of persons travelling by railway
had increased to double that of the population, 57,965,071, of whom
29,083,782 were third class,—1,068,097 more than the population, and a
few more than one-half of the whole number carried.

“The cause of this augmentation of third class passengers is,” says
the late Dr. Lardner, in his treatise upon Railway Economy, edition
of 1850, “easily explained. Previous to 1846, the carriages provided
for third class passengers were frequently without roofs or windows.
The third class trains were started at inconvenient hours, and were
transported at a comparatively slow rate. In fact, the companies
appeared to study the means which were most likely to discourage the
use of these cheap trains, prompted, apparently, by the apprehension
that the more affluent classes[22] resorting to them, the revenue and
profits from the other trains would be diminished.” By these means
the humbler classes were, no doubt, deprived in a great measure of
the benefit of railway transport. An Act, however, was passed in 1845
for the establishment of at least one third class train a day in each
direction, in accordance with a time bill to be previously approved
by the Board of Trade, the speed to be not less than twelve miles an
hour, and the fare for conveyance—in carriages, the dimensions, seating
accommodation, and size of windows of which must be sanctioned by the
Board of Trade—not to exceed a penny a mile. Without such approval
and sanction, a train is not considered, what is known in railway
language, as a “parliamentary train” within the meaning of the Act.
The company offending, therefore, is not allowed a remission of the
duty on the passengers conveyed by such train, to which it would be
otherwise entitled under the certificate of the Board of Trade, and it
is liable to penalties for non-fulfilment of the terms of the Act. In
two or three cases these penalties have been enforced and recovered by
decisions obtained in the courts of law.

The very great development of third class traffic, by means of cheap
parliamentary trains, has produced a marked change in the feelings of
railway managers upon this subject in the last few years. Now, almost
all the time tables show, specifically, the trains by which they can be
conveyed, and by reference, among others, to the most recent monthly
guide book of the London and North-Western Company, it will be seen
that third class passengers are now conveyed from London to Liverpool
by one particular train in six hours and a-half; to Manchester in five
hours and twenty minutes. At the institution of parliamentary trains
the time by them from London to both those cities was fifteen hours.
But this was just half the time that the coaches took in the olden time
between London and Liverpool, and it was also at just half the cost as
regards fare, irrespective of the fees to guard and coachman.

In the three last years, both the Metropolitan and the London, Chatham
and Dover Companies have carried the principle of cheap fares for
the labouring classes much beyond the penny-a-mile system. These
companies issue what are called “workman’s tickets.” It will be seen
by the subjoined notice[23] contained in the monthly time books of
the London, Chatham and Dover Company, that there are two classes of
workman’s tickets. The distance from Victoria Station to Penge is 7¼

With such facilities it cannot he a matter of surprise, that whilst
in the seven years, between 1859 and 1865, both inclusive, the first
class passengers increased 10,459,054, an average yearly increase
of 1,494,122; the second 26,431,338, an average yearly increase of
3,775,905; those of the third class rose 65,215,029, an average yearly
increase of 9,316,432. But this is not altogether the way to look at
it, for whilst the increase of third class passengers, in the four
years 1859-60-61-62, was 19,253,241—a yearly average of 4,893,310, the
increase of 1863 over 1862 was 15,617,917; 1864 over 1863, 15,229,183;
and 1865 over 1864, 15,114,688.

In 1865 the total number of passengers carried (exclusive of 97,147
residential ticket holders) was 251,862,715, thus composed—first class,
29,663,205; second class, 70,783,241; third class, 151,416,269. But to
the total number have to he added the journeys taken by the periodical
ticket holders. If 100 journeys be allowed for each such holder (a
number much below reality), it adds 9,717,400 to the gross amount, of
which two-thirds should be attributed to first class, and one-third
to second. _Per contra_, a deduction of about 5,000,000 must be made
for passengers “booked through”—that is, passengers conveyed in a
single journey over the lines of two or more companies. For instance,
a passenger booked from London to Limerick, is carried, independent of
his water conveyance, over the lines of four railway companies, and
in the returns to the Board of Trade he is included as a passenger
upon each of those lines as if he had taken a ticket upon it, yet,
in reality, he takes but one journey, although it is a long one, 464
miles. Deducting say 5,000,000 on this account, it makes the total
number of paying railway passengers about 256,500,000. In twenty-eight
years, population and land-conveyed passengers have completely reversed
their positions. In 1837 population was eight times as many as
passengers, and in 1865 passengers were more than eight times as many
as population.

As to the speed at which railway passengers are conveyed, we shall
speak when referring to what our railways have done for postal service.

“Forty shillings a ton for goods between Liverpool and Manchester.”
Yes; that was the price paid just a hundred years ago, and nobody
could reckon upon having them in less than a week from the time of
consignment. But the opening of the Duke of Bridgewater’s Canal
diminished the price to six shillings a ton, and the time to three
days. Now-a-days, the cotton spinner of Manchester would “spin a yarn”
of formidable dimensions to a goods manager of a railway that dared to
keep his goods more than a couple of hours on the road, with four or
five hours more added for loading, unloading, and delivery. Not forty
years ago, the charge was 1s. 1d. a ton a mile for goods, no matter of
what kind or quality, conveyed by waggon. Thus, if any were weak enough
to send a ton of goods from London to Manchester, the tariff rate would
be £5. 1s. 4d., although probably the carrier, as an act of amiable
condescension towards his customer, and in hopes of future favours,
might take off the odd shilling and the level fourpence, and be content
to carry for an even “fiver.” He would proceed at the top-gallant speed
of fifteen knots a day, and he would reach his port, if all were well,
in eighteen to twenty days from the time of his heaving anchor.

In process of time, the canal owners and lessees managed to more than
double the charge for the conveyance of cotton between Liverpool and
Manchester, and also to more than double the time for its delivery.
They did more; if any of their customers happened to displease or
offend them, their goods were put under ban. Canal managers were the
trade unionists of those days. Nevertheless, the quantity of cotton
carried was six times as much in 1824 as it had been in 1795.

The goods traffic of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway commenced on
the 4th December, 1830, with a train of eighteen waggons, the weight of
each of which was a little over 1¼ tons. The eighteen waggons carried a
paying weight of 51½ tons of goods, the tender, water, and fuel weighed
4 tons, and, with the fifteen persons in the train, there was a total
weight of 80 tons, which was drawn by an engine weighing 7½ tons, in
two hours and fifty-four minutes, just 10½ miles an hour.

The development of goods traffic of our first-born English railway,
although it was rapid and important, was not so striking as that of
passengers; nevertheless, it increased from 1,432 tons in the first
month to 5,104 tons in the fourth month. The coal traffic, from
which much was expected, was practically _nil_; it did not become an
important item of receipts until years afterwards. In fact, the Goods
and Mineral Traffic of railways scarcely developed itself in the
early period of their history, and, until about the year 1840, the
relative proportions of passengers to goods was as 85 to 15. A striking
illustration of this fact is afforded by the London and Birmingham
Company; in its estimates of traffic submitted to Parliament in 1833,
it was calculated that the goods traffic would produce £340,000 in the
first year after opening. It barely realised £90,000, and it was twelve
years before it had attained the sum of £340,000. But since 1840 the
change has been gradually working. In 1847, with an average length of
3,426 miles open for traffic, 16,460,599 tons of goods of all kinds
(in which are included minerals) were carried, and 3,709,030 head of
cattle. All this traffic may he considered a _new traffic_, created
solely through the influence of railways, precisely as the passenger
traffic of railways, enormous as it is, is the _excess_ of traffic over
that conveyed by roadway. Between 1830 and 1837 it was often predicted
that the canals of the kingdom would be ruined by the competition of
railways, yet in 1846, seven to eight years after the main lines of
railway which would come into competition with canals were opened, the
latter were paying the following percentages on their capital:—Grand
Junction 6, Oxford 26, Coventry 25, Old Birmingham 16, Trent and
Mersey 30! Have canals suffered since then? Certainly not; they carry
millions more tons of goods per annum than they did thirty years ago,
and if they have to carry at a cheaper rate than formerly, competition
has sharpened speed in transit, as well as despatch in collection and
delivery; and not only is more business than ever done on the canals,
but there is much more money made for distribution among shareholders.

In order to show the present state and estimation of canal property
in England, we have extracted from the _Investor’s Manual_ for August
last, a publication issued monthly in connection with the _Economist_
newspaper, a statement of the dividends that canals now pay to their
shareholders. Commencing with the least profitable, and gradually
ascending, we find that the Gloucester and Berkeley pays 2 per cent.
in addition to paying 5 per cent. on its preferential stock; the
Sheffield 2½; the Warwick and Birmingham 3; the Lancaster is leased to
the London and North-Western Railway, at 3⅝; the Barnsley Canal pays
4; the Macclesfield Canal is leased by the Manchester, Sheffield, and
Lincolnshire Railway Company, at 4¼; the North Staffordshire Railway
Company leases 116 miles of canal, which under the terms of the
lease have recently paid 4¼ per cent., it has been as high as 4½. By
comparing the canal receipts of the first half of 1865 with those for
the corresponding period of 1866, it will be seen that the former were
£45,414, the latter £52,488. The Grand Junction pays 4½, in addition
to a 6 per cent. preferential capital, on exactly the same amount as
the ordinary capital; the Rochdale pays 4¾; the Stratford and Avon is
guaranteed 5 per cent. by the Great Western Railway Company; the Peak
Forest pays 5; the Regents Canal, with its very large capital, pays
5¼; the Kennet and Avon, 6; the Forth and Clyde, 6½; the Oxford, 8¼;
the London and North-Western guarantees the Birmingham Canal 10; the
Coventry pays 13; the Stourbridge paid 14½ in 1864, but since then its
profits have diminished, nevertheless it pays 11½; the Staffordshire
and Worcestershire’s dividend was 21½ per cent. in 1864, but it has
now fallen to 15½,—strange to say, the only canal in the whole list of
canals that does not pay any dividend is close at hand, the Worcester
and Birmingham; its capital is £450,000, the sum per share paid up is
£78. 8s., yet the shares must have intrinsic value, as their price is
quoted 12 in share lists. The last and the highest is the Liverpool and
Leeds, notwithstanding that for about a third of its length it runs
parallel to three railways, and for about two-thirds to two; its goods
traffic is leased to the London and North-Western, the Lancashire,
and the Midland, until 1871 at the rate of 28 per cent. per annum.
Of course the profits of the Bridgewater and Elsemere Canals, being
private property, cannot be stated, but they are known to be very large.

If we step from 1847 to 1859, we find that goods of all descriptions
have in railway accounts become separated from minerals. Of the former,
the 10,002 miles of railway that were open for traffic at the end of
1859, had carried 27,005,737 tons, and they had yielded a receipt to
the companies of £8,373,283, so that each ton of goods carried was
worth 6s. 2¼d. to them. We shall not stop to tell the particulars of
intermediate years up to 1865; suffice it to say, that every year not
only has the gross tonnage increased, but also the amount realised upon
each ton of goods carried. This item which, as we have just stated, was
6s. 2¼d. in 1859, had risen steadily up to 6s. 7¼d. in 1865, and at the
same time the number of tons carried had increased 9,781,901 tons, the
number in 1865 being 36,787,638. In like manner the money received for
goods increased £3,784,956, the amount in 1865 being £12,158,239; but,
just as with third class passengers, the main increase has been in the
years 1863, 1864 and 1865. It was at the rate of about 2,000,000 tons a
year, and nearly one million sterling.

We have already referred so fully to coals and other subterranean
products, at pages 48 _et seq._, that we only add here, that the
average value to the companies of a ton of minerals was 1s. 7½d. in
1859, and that, with occasional fluctuations, it had increased to 1s.
8d. in 1865. This is a low average, and it looks as if the profits to
the railway companies from mineral traffic must be very slight indeed.

The carriage of cattle of all kinds increased from 3,709,030 head in
1847, to 12,805,613 in 1859, when each head was worth 11¼d. There was
hardly any change or fluctuation until 1863, when the number increased
to 13,029,675 head. In 1865 they were 14,530,937 head, but their value
had risen to 11½d. a head.

The conveyance of cattle by railway reminds us how enormously all
the great centres and bee-hives of our population are indebted to
the iron road and the iron horse for their daily consumption and
sustenance. “Give us this day our daily bread,” is in the prayer
that all Christians should offer up, morning and evening, and the
railways do give it in a way the stoppage of which for two or three
days would cause a famine in the land. Dr. Wynter, in the article
“London Commissariat” of his _Curiosities of Civilization_, gives the
marvellous statistics relating the daily supplies of food which come to
London. But since Dr. Wynter wrote, the population of the Metropolis
and of its outskirts has increased a fifth. Yet the great London mouth
is fed, and the great London stomach is replenished with the same
regularity as ever. As it is with London, so it is with every other
concentration of souls in the land. Demand is always increasing, yet
supply keeps pace, and never fails to be hand and hand with it. For
we have the consolation of knowing that what we are unable to produce
at home we have not the slightest difficulty in finding abroad. In
addition to the 14,000,000 of cattle of all kinds that are conveyed,
last year, from our green pastures to our slaughter-houses, we imported
237,739 oxen, cows, and calves; and as each of these animals, as he or
she steps on shore, is, according to Board of Trade computation, worth
£18. 14s. 5d., it follows that John Bull has paid for them, in meal or
malt, in money or money’s worth, £4,092,941. 790,880 was the number of
foreign sheep and lambs that came among us last year; and, as the Board
of Trade put a value upon each of them of £2. 10s. in 1865, which value
has not been diminished in 1866, the score against us on this account
would be, according to arithmetic as practised in the Statistical
Department of that branch of public service, £1,504,312; but according
to the arithmetic as known elsewhere, it is £1,977,200. The former sum
could only be correct if the value were £1. 18s.½d. per head.[24]

But we must not continue the subject in anything approaching detail;
suffice it is to say, that among other articles from abroad, we had
meat in the shape of bacon, beef, and pork, to the extent of about
1,000,000 cwt. in quantity, and £3,000,000 in value. Of butter and
cheese we had 2,000,000 cwt., of the value of £9,000,000. The use of
coffee among us is diminishing. In 1852 it was 42,000,000 lbs., in
1866, it was 10,000,000 lbs. less; but the home consumption of Tea has
risen in the same period from 54,713,000 lbs. to 102,265,000 lbs.,[25]
nearly double; but on the other hand the duty we paid for the lesser
quantity was more than double what we paid for the larger, £5,900,625
in 1852, but happily only £2,658,716 in 1866. Of foreign corn we
received, for home consumption, 23,000,000 cwt. of wheat, 8,000,000
cwt. of barley, 9,000,000 cwt. of oats, 14,000,000 cwt. of maize, and
5,000,000 cwt. of wheat flour, the aggregate value of corn amounting to
£30,000,000. Of the important article of sugar, we received 10,500,000
cwt. The strong beverages came to us to the value of 2¼ millions for
spirits, and not far short of five millions for wine. We are fond of
spices and seasonings also, 130,000 cwt. of pepper, and 24,000 cwt.
of cinnamon, cloves and nutmegs, and 1,100,000 cwt. of raisins and
currants. But the article of all others in the list, the importation of
which, in 1866, seems the most marvellous is that of eggs, 438,878,880!
14½ per annum for each inhabitant of the kingdom, ranging from “the
infant mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms” to “the last scene of
all that ends this strange eventful history, second childishness and
mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything,”
and all these, independent and exclusive of all the eggs that all
the true born English, Irish, Scotch and Welsh hens lay all over the
kingdom. Truly we must be the most egg-eating nation in the world.
Housekeepers of Great Britain! we wish you to know that the President
of the Board of Trade assesses the value of each egg, when brought into
the country, at a little less than 2⅖ farthings, or about 7¼d. a dozen.
The difference between this price and the minimum of “16 a shilling
warranted” constitute the charges and profits upon them between the
time of their landing and their arrival in your kitchens. Fifteen years
ago (1852) our importation of eggs was not a fourth of its present
amount—it was 108,281,233.



Passengers, luggage, horses, carriages, dogs, merchandise, minerals and
live stock constitute the whole of the traffic, as well as the whole
of the receipts of railway companies, with one only exception. That
exception is an important one: it is the conveyance of mails by railway.

From the day that railways were opened in England, the Post Office has
resorted to them for the conveyance of its mails. The Liverpool and
Manchester railway was opened for traffic, as already stated, on the
14th of September, 1830; on the same day the Post Office commenced
using it, and mails were conveyed on it four times a day in each
direction. The same happened at the opening of the Grand Junction
between Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham on the 6th July, 1837;
upon the completion of the line between London and Birmingham, on the
20th September, 1838, and so in succession with every leading railway
throughout the kingdom.

The Post Office soon became jealous of the power and position of
railway companies, and the expression of its jealousy culminated in the
introduction, at its instance, of a bill into Parliament, in 1838, “for
the conveyance of mails by railway.” The bill proposed to give power
to the Post Office to run its own trains upon any line of railway open
for traffic, without payment of toll. It was further to be authorised
to remove all obstacles in the shape of passenger or other carriages
out of the way of its trains; pains and penalties were to be amerced
on the servants of companies if the “lawful commands” of the postal
officials were disobeyed. The aid of the railway plant and of railway
officials was commanded, and the remuneration to the companies for
these services was to be this much, and no more—_the cost of the wear,
tear and deterioration that Post Office trains inflicted upon the

Mr. Labouchere, now Lord Taunton, introduced the bill, and in doing
so said that the country was at the mercy of railway companies which
had bound the land in bonds of iron—bonds from which it was necessary
that the land should be freed by the action of Parliament. Mr. Rice,
afterwards Lord Monteagle, prince of jobbers, and for many years
enjoying the sinecure and emoluments of Comptroller of the Exchequer,
an office abolished at his death, warned all railway directors to
beware of opposing the bill, threatening them, on the part of the
Government, of which he was then a member, with more stringent
measures, if they were so ill-advised.

The bill, nevertheless, met with vigorous opposition; at its head was
Mr. George Carr Glyn, chairman of the London and Birmingham Company,
and then, as now, the honoured member for the Borough of Kendal, whom
Mr. John Francis truthfully describes in the dedication of his History
of the English Railway[26], as “one of the earliest, as well as one of
the most efficient allies of the system;”

The effect of the opposition was that an act was passed which differed
essentially in character and conditions from the bill that had been
presented to Parliament. The chief power given to the Post Office was
that the railway companies were bound to convey mails at such hours as
the Postmaster-General should direct; if required, they were to apply
separate carriages exclusively to their conveyance, and remuneration
was to be according to agreement between the Postmaster-General and
the Directors, but in case of difference recourse was to be had to

The era of postal reform commenced on the 10th of January, 1840. In the
year previous to it, the number of letters circulating through the post
was 82,471,000. In these were included 6,563,000 franks. The estimated
number of newspapers conveyed by the post in 1839 was 44,500,000. In
1840 there were about 1,300 miles of railway open. What had before been
an advantage to the Post Office, and to the letter-writing public, by
the gain of speed which railways afforded, at once became a necessity
to the department, in consequence of the sudden increase in the weight
and the bulk of the mails. The number of letters delivered in the
United Kingdom, in 1840, was more than double that of 1839. They were
168,768,000, and there was every indication that they would increase,
if not in the gigantic ratio of the first year, at all events very
rapidly; such was the case, for the number carried in 1841 showed an
increase of nearly 28,000,000. Newspapers increased about 500,000 in
1840. It would have been supposed that the Post Office would have
entered into negotiations, in a friendly spirit, with the officials
of the railway companies; this, however, was not the case: on the
contrary, from the earliest period of postal reform until recent years,
the railway has experienced nothing but hostility and reproach from
the department. Personal and friendly communication with its heads
became out of the question, for the demeanour of one high official
(whose name, without being mentioned, can easily be surmised) to many
of the leading railway officials was such, that several declined to
meet him; recourse was then had to arbitration, in accordance with
the powers conferred on the Post Office by the provisions of the Act
of Parliament. The result of references, many of which were very
protracted, and in the course of which very minute and elaborate
evidence was adduced on both sides, was that decisions were given much
more favourable to the railways than the Post Office had expected.
The proof that the demands of railway companies did not justify the
appellations which the Post Office attributed to them was, that they
were not much above the amounts awarded. But as regards the Post
Office, the payments proposed by it, and those awarded differed very
widely. This, however, did not make any difference in the crusading
energy of the department. Long before the issue of Postmaster-General’s
reports,[27] whenever an opportunity offered, either in giving
evidence before a Committee of Parliament, or in furnishing
information, there was sure to be an insinuation, an innuendo, or a
more open attack upon the railway authorities who had succeeded in not
allowing the Post Office to have it all its own way.

The Postmaster-General’s First Report partakes more of the character
of an historic document than of a record of the transactions of an
official year. There are, therefore, only some few unimportant remarks
in it upon the subject of railways. It was otherwise in the second, as
will appear by the following somewhat lengthy extract:—

 “Undoubtedly great advantage has arisen from the employment of
 railways in respect of rapid conveyance. Between districts which, even
 in the best days of the mail coach system, were, postally speaking,
 two days apart, the letters now pass in a single night.

 “The facilities thus afforded to commerce, and to the business of
 life in general, can hardly be exaggerated, nor is there any doubt
 that they have tended largely to increase the amount of postal
 correspondence, while in return cheap postage has equally tended to
 increase railway traffic.

 “Again, the service has been most materially promoted by the
 introduction of travelling Post Offices,[28] _i. e._, carriages
 in which the mail bags are opened and made up, the letters being
 assorted while the train is in progress; an arrangement which not
 only obviates the necessity of the stoppages which would otherwise
 be required at certain ‘forward’ offices, but has greatly tended to
 reduce the number of mail bags and accounts, and to simplify the whole

 “Against these great advantages, however, there is an important
 set-off in increased expense; for, strange as it may seem, that
 change, which to the public at large has so much reduced the charge
 for the conveyance, whether of persons or of goods, has had precisely
 the reverse effect as respects the conveyance of mails.

 “No doubt this result is attributable partly to the necessity for
 running certain mail trains at hours unsuitable for passenger traffic;
 but even when the Post Office uses the ordinary trains established by
 the companies for their own purposes, the rate of charge, especially
 considering the regularity and extent of custom, is almost always
 higher than that made to the public for like services.

 “It is important that these facts should be correctly understood,
 especially by those who may have to arbitrate between the Post Office
 and the Railway Companies, because from time to time great efforts
 have been made to represent the service as underpaid.

 “The total payments to the companies for the year 1854 were £392,600,
 which it may be observed, exceeds by £83,000 the five per cent.
 passenger tax for the same period. The above points are fully
 discussed in an able report by Mr. Edward Page (Inspector General of
 Mails), which will be found at page 45 of the appendix.

 “To this report I would also refer for an investigation of the claims
 frequently made by the railway companies for compensation on the
 ground of

 alleged injury by the book post. The report clearly shows: first,
 that the service which is alleged to be an injury, is, in reality, a
 benefit; second, that even if it were otherwise, the law relieving
 newspapers from the compulsory stamp, must have had the effect of
 transferring from the mail bags to the companies’ vans a weight
 of newspapers many times exceeding that which the book post is
 erroneously alleged to have withdrawn from the companies’ vans to the
 mail bags.”

The foregoing is in the body of the report, what follows appears as a

 “As nearly as it can be estimated it appears that, while the whole
 number of book packets conveyed annually by the Post Office is
 probably over stated at three millions, the number of newspapers[29]
 passing through the post has decreased by about twenty-five millions,
 or by more than eight times the number of all the book packets.
 Besides this reduction in number, there has been a decrease in the
 average weight of the newspapers sent through the post; and the
 combined effect of these changes has been to reduce the total weight
 of the newspapers by an amount more than nine times as great as the
 total weight of all the book packets.”

There never has been anything to show, either at the time those
paragraphs were written, or subsequently, that cheap postage has tended
to increase railway traffic. We are therefore at a loss to understand
why such an assertion should be adduced as an argument. The same remark
applies to the connection attempted to be set up between the amount
paid by the Post Office for the transmission of mails through the
country, and the tax which railway companies pay to the Government as
their contribution to the fiscal burdens, unavoidably and of necessity
imposed upon industry by the State: and it must also be considered
strange that the Post Office should make a Postmaster-General’s Report
the medium of conveying to arbitrators its opinion as to the mode in
which they should arbitrate between it and the companies.

However, we pass over these minor and insignificant points, to come
to the very serious misrepresentation which is embodied in the
foot-note. If the reader will be so good as to read it again, he will
see words, which, if they mean anything, mean that the number of
newspapers circulating through the post was 25,000,000 less in 1855,
than it was in 1854, the object being to show that although 3,000,000
of book packets were carried through the post in 1855, railways were
not sufferers thereby, as these packets only formed one-eighth of the
number of newspapers that had been withdrawn from postal circulation,
owing to the abolition of the compulsory stamp duty. Now we know
that in consequence of the reduction in 1836 of the Stamp Duty upon
newspapers,[30] from nominal 4d. and real 3¼d. each, to 1d., the
number posted had steadily increased each year. Therefore, if the
assertion of the foot-note were correct, newspapers posted would have
suddenly fallen, in 1855, to 46,000,000, that is to only 1,500,000 more
than they were in 1839; yet at page 19 of the identical Second Report,
it is stated that 71,000,000 of newspapers were posted in 1855. Thus at
page 15, to serve one purpose, figures are given which would show that
only 46,000,000 were posted, but four pages farther, to serve another
purpose, that of showing how postal business has increased, they are
stated at 71,000,000.

Let us now turn to the Third Report. At page 10, the number of
newspapers transmitted through the post in 1856, is stated to be
71,000,000. If this statement be correct, it would show, either that
the number transmitted in 1855 had in reality been about 71,000,000,
or that, on the mechanical principle of action and reaction being
equal and contrary, there had been a fall of 25,000,000 in 1855,
and that precisely the same rise had taken place in 1856. This rise
in one year would have to be considered all the more remarkable,
inasmuch as the total number, not only of newspapers, but of _book
post packets_ transmitted in 1865, was 97,250,000 according to one
statement, 2,766 more according to another. Owing to the unceasing
changes in the mode of imparting information to the public by means of
the Postmaster-General’s reports, the number of newspapers, exclusive
of book post packets, cannot be given, but, including these latter,
there was, according to the Postmaster-General’s Twelfth Report, an
increase of only 26,250,000 in ten years, as against an alleged fall of
25,000,000 in one year, and a recovery to the same amount in the next.

We come now to deal with the Report, dated the 29th February, 1856, by
Mr. Edward Page, an excellent officer within the limits of his duties
as Inspector-General of Mails, as well as a courteous and agreeable
gentleman. He is consequently much esteemed and respected.

But before going farther, let us premise that the late Mr. Robert
Stephenson, in the course of the inaugural address which, as President
of the Institution of Civil Engineers, he delivered on the 8th of
January, 1856, made the following observations upon the connection
between the Post Office and the railways:—

 “The facilities afforded by railways to the Post Office are, no doubt,
 of the highest public consequence. The speed which is attained in
 the transmission would appear, at first, to be the greatest item in
 the catalogue of those facilities; but it may be doubted if it is
 the most important. What is really of the greatest value to the Post
 Office, is the facility afforded for conveying bulk. It is not too
 much to say that without railway facilities, the excellent plans of
 Mr. Rowland Hill, for the reduction of the rates of postage, could not
 have been carried out to their full extent. The first essential to the
 success of those plans would have been wanting; for there would have
 been no sufficient means of conveying the greatly-increased mass of
 correspondence necessary to be carried in order to render the reduced
 rates of postage profitable. The old mail coaches were never planned
 for bulk, which would, indeed, have been fatal to that regularity
 and speed, upon which the Post Office could alone rely as the means
 of securing to the Government the monopoly of the letter carriage of
 the nation. The aggregate weight of the evening mails despatched from
 London in 1838, in twenty-eight mail coaches, amounted, as was shown
 by the Report of the Select Committee on Postage, to only 4 tons 6
 cwt. or an average of about 3¼ cwt. per coach. But now on a Friday
 night, when so many thousands of weekly papers are sent into the
 country, the Post Office requires, on the London and North-Western
 Railway, not only the use of the travelling post-office which is
 provided for its convenience, but it occupies also six or eight
 additional vans. It is obvious, therefore, that if the existing system
 of the Post Office had been in operation, with the present results,
 in the days of mail-coach communication, not one mail alone, but
 fourteen or fifteen mails, such as were used in those days, would have
 been needed to carry on, with regularity, the Post Office traffic
 between (say) London and Birmingham. Nearly every coach that ran in
 1830, between Birmingham and London, would now have been needed for
 Post Office purposes, if the London and North-Western Railway had not
 been brought into existence. The expenses would, consequently have
 been so large, that a universal penny postage would have entailed a
 certain loss. For the great blessing, therefore, derived from cheap
 postal communication, the nation is, in a great degree, indebted to
 the facilities offered by railways. It must be borne in mind here,
 that the boon conferred upon the public is not limited to written
 correspondence. Viewed in reference to the postal facilities they
 afford, the railways are the great public instructors and educators
 of the day. Contrast the size of the _Times_, in 1830, and in 1856.
 Do you suppose that the huge mass of paper, which you are permitted
 to forward by to-night’s post, would have been conveyed upon the
 same terms, if the means of conveyance had remained limited to the
 mails and its four horses? Look at the immense mass of parliamentary
 reports and documents, now distributed, every session, amongst all the
 constituencies of the Empire, at almost a nominal charge. To what do
 the public owe the valuable information embodied in those documents,
 but to railways? except as parcels, by waggons or by canal boats,
 they never could have been conveyed prior to the existence of the
 railway system; and if they never could have been distributed, we may
 rely upon it they never would have been printed. The reasoning which
 applies to the _Times_ and to State Papers, applies to newspapers
 generally, and to the distribution of the prices current of merchants,
 and of magazines, monthly publications, and bulky parcels of every
 description. Without railway facilities they would probably never
 have been circulated at all. Certainly they never could have been
 circulated to the extent necessary to make them profitable. Hence, the
 railway, as before observed, is the greatest engine for the diffusion
 of knowledge.”

These words called forth Mr. Page’s Report, and, as the public usually
feels interested in matters relating to the Post Office, we have given
it in full as an Appendix. We also have done very nearly the same with
the Reply to Mr. Page, which Mr. Stephenson read to the Institution
on the 20th of May, 1856. Combinedly these documents are long;
nevertheless, we think they will repay perusal; at all events, our
readers, if they choose to read, will get both views of the question,
about which we also wish to say something.

Mr. Page, as it will be seen, passes by “bulk,” and deals, in all his
arguments, with weight only. Yet the difference between them, even in
the case of mails, the most favourable for the Post Office is very
great indeed. Let us, for illustration, take the case of our Eastern
mails; being all conveyed in parallel-sided boxes,[31] filled to the
uttermost their inner dimensions will permit, they pack closely, and
there is no loss of space, as must be in the case of bags, which, even
when full, do not lay compactly together. Thus, the weight of one
mail conveyed from Southampton to the East, in 1864, was 46 tons; its
measurement was 99 tons, and the weight of the heaviest Eastern mail
conveyed _viâ_ Southampton, in 1865, was 49½ tons; its measurement
106½ tons. Weight to bulk in mail _bags_ is nearer to 1 to 4 than to
any other quantity. Had the weight (or bulk) of chargeable letters only
increased about eight-fold between 1839 and 1855, no doubt the addition
to the mails would not have been considerable. But Mr. Page, “no doubt
without any intention whatever to mislead,” omits from his calculations
matters which it is surprising that an officer of his intelligence and
experience should have allowed to escape him. In the first place, he
omits the fact that “chargeable letters” were very different in their
character in 1855 from what they were in 1839. Then chargeable letters
were, as has been stated by Mr. Page, about 7 per cent. of the total
weight of the mails, but in 1855 letters quite equal in weight to the
weight of those chargeable, viz., parliamentary and official franks,
are excluded from Mr. Page’s calculation. It is well known that the
correspondence of all the public departments has largely increased in
the last thirty years, because, owing to the increased magnitude of the
business of the nation, the number of clerks in the old offices has
been greatly added to, and because several new branches of the public
service have been created. To take a few examples at random. The Steam
branch of the Admiralty consisted in 1838 of five or six persons; now,
owing to rapid and frequent additions, an immense staff is necessarily
connected with it. The Railway and the Navigation, the Education and
the Scientific Departments of the Board of Trade, “Science and Art”
and South Kensington, the Civil Service Commissioners, &c., have
either been created or the staff of each has been added to. So that
the substitutes for franks should be included among the letters of the
general public, and it is quite certain that the weight and bulk of
official letters has kept pace with the weight and bulk of ordinary
letters. Between 1839 and 1855, notwithstanding the foot-note about
newspapers at page 15, of the Postmaster-General’s Second Report, the
number circulating through the post had increased from 44,500,000
to 71,000,000, and although the weight per newspaper had slightly
diminished in the interval, still the increased weight of newspapers to
be carried by the mails was nearly 50 per cent. over that of 1839.

So far as regards the long established articles of conveyance by the
Post Office. Let us now come to those of more modern date. The year
before the commencement of the penny postal system, the number of money
orders issued was 188,921. In 1855 they had risen to 5,807,412. Now,
taking the advices that must be sent to each office upon which an order
is issued, the returns that are forwarded daily to the accountant’s
office in the metropolis of each part of the United Kingdom in which
each Post Office Order has been issued, the remittances unceasingly
sent from the provincial offices to the metropolis, and from the
metropolis to the provincial offices, the receipts for these
remittances and the correspondence which they entail, the weekly
advices that are sent to London, and the correspondence connected with
them, there were at least twelve millions more of letters or documents
from this source in 1855 than there were in 1839. None of these letters
or documents does Mr. Page bring into calculation, although, each being
official, the certainty is that they are heavier in weight and greater
in bulk than a like amount of chargeable letters; all these are carried
free in the letter bags. And it is a question that it is not necessary
to discuss at present, whether they and the letters and documents (we
shall see presently that these are enormous in number, and very great
as regards weight) connected with the new services and functions which
the Post Office performs, should not be brought into account as a
postal charge against the department. The other revenue departments,
such, for instance, as the Customs, Inland Revenue, &c., transmit large
masses of documents necessary in the transaction of their business with
their sub-offices all over the kingdom; but these documents are each
subjected to postal charges which are regularly debited in the account
of the transmitting department.

In 1839 all expenditure was made by the postmasters throughout the
kingdom, and the voucher for each item was retained in their offices.

In 1855 the expenditure was made as heretofore, and as it now continues
to be, but instead of the vouchers being retained, every tradesman’s
bill and every other item of expenditure that is incurred at a
provincial office, no matter how small the item may be, is, with the
voucher, sent up to its metropolitan office. To specify the number of
these documents would be impossible, but there must be tons weight of
them through the post every year.

In 1839 there were no postage stamps. In 1855 the gross revenue of
the Post Office was £2,716,420. Taking about a fourth of this amount,
or, say £700,000 as the value of those sent through the post for
distribution in every post town in the kingdom, their number (in penny
stamps) 168,000,000; their dead weight (packed) would be about ten
tons, not including the weight of materials in which they were packed,
and excluding from the calculation the very considerable number of
post office envelopes sent all over the empire, one of which envelopes
would weigh as much as two dozen stamps[32].

At the commencement of the new postal system, the number of post
offices throughout the United Kingdom was 4,028, of which about a
fourteenth, or 300, were head post offices, that is offices sending
bags to and receiving bags from London. In 1855 there were 10,498
post offices in the United Kingdom, of which “920[33] were head post
offices and 9,578 sub post offices or receiving offices.” Therefore
not only had the number of bags going from or coming to London from
this one cause been trebled in number, but for the reasons just stated
the weight in them had also trebled. In 1839 there were four or five
day mails to and from London. In 1855 upwards of fifty, all of which
required bags for working them, and their tributary cross posts in
every part of the kingdom, but as Mr. Page’s arguments have reference
principally to night mails, let them be excluded.

As London is the depôt from which the immense and unceasing supply of
new bags for the whole postal system of England and Wales (as Dublin
is for Ireland, and Edinburgh for Scotland) is furnished, every one of
the bags for the night mails, the day mails, the railway mails, the
mail coach mails, the mail cart mails, the horse mails, the foot mails,
and the private bag mails, required, in no matter what part of the
Kingdom, are considered by the Post Office as postal matters, and are
sent post-free accordingly, and when bags are dilapidated or injured
they find their way to London, just in the same inexpensive manner as
new bags find their way from it. “The supply and repair of mail bags”
in England and Wales involve an annual cost of nearly £6,000, exclusive
of the cost of supplying and painting the 22,000 to 25,000 mail boxes
per annum required for the despatch of our Eastern mails; and one man
is borne on the books of the establishment for no other purpose than,
as the estimates tell us, to label mail bags. In Ireland there is an
annual outlay of £800, in Scotland of £900, for new bags and mendings.
In short, empty mail bag transit must have been in 1855 a quarter of
all that, whether filled or empty, of 1839.

In 1839 there was one departure a month of the East India mail _viâ_
Marseilles and one _viâ_ Southampton, yet the weight of the mails by
the two routes was under five tons, in bulk about twelve tons. In
1855, with two departures a month _viâ_ Marseilles, and two _viâ_
Southampton, the Eastern mails were about twenty tons weight. In 1839
the West India and Brazilian mails were despatched once a month, in
the notorious ten-gun “coffins”; yet although the letters were then
always sent in triplicate, because the certainty then was that one
in three would be lost, and the chances were it might be one in two,
nevertheless the letters were only about 200,000 a year; in 1855 they
had risen to 700,000. In 1839 letters between Great Britain, the United
States, and Canada were conveyed by the American “Liners,” they were
under a million per annum; in 1855 they had risen to about 2,500,000,
besides letters “in transit” between the United States, Europe, India,
China, and Australia.

In 1839 the community had not the benefit of a “British Postal
Guide,[34] containing the Chief Public Regulations of the Post
Office, with other information, published Quarterly by command of
the Postmaster-General.” The first number was issued on the 1st of
July, 1855, seven months before Mr. Page wrote his Report. The cost
of each number for two or three years was Sixpence. As we learn by
the cover that they are “Printed, Published, and Sold by George E.
Eyre and William Spottiswoode, Printers to the Queen’s Most Excellent
Majesty,” and that they are “to be had also of all Booksellers and
the Principal Postmasters in the United Kingdom.” It therefore
follows that these Postal Guides were, from the date of their first
appearance, transmitted by the Railways in the Post Office bags all
over the Kingdom. We have seen them, from the earliest period of
their publication, exhibited and advertised at the post offices in
Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Cork, and
other places, and almost every postmaster receives one or more copies
for the use of his office. Each number contains 234 pages at present,
besides the pages devoted to advertisements, and they cost 2d. each
for transmission if sent by book post. In 1858, the price per copy was
raised to 1s.; but in 1864 it was reduced to 6d., and the sale has
become very great.

But whatever their number or weight was in 1855, it escaped Mr. Page’s
recollection to mention them in his comparison between the weights
transmitted in that year, and those of 1839.

The foregoing items supply some of the omissions made by Mr. Page
in his calculations, and furnish reasons for dissenting from his
assertion, that whilst “in 1838 the gross weight of the night mails
despatched from London was 4 tons 6 cwt. 1 qr., the total weight of the
night mails despatched in a single evening at the present time, _may be
stated_ (the italics are ours) at about 12 tons 4 cwt. 3 qrs.”

Mr. Page estimates the gross weight of mails per annum for the entire
Kingdom, including guards, clerks, &c., as being considerably under
20,000 tons, “a large portion of which was not conveyed by railway at
all.” Mr. Page adds, “Assuming, however, that the whole of it had gone
by the railways, it would appear that the Post Office paid 1/23 part
of the total earnings for the conveyance of less than a 1/400 part of
the total weight.” Mr. Page must excuse us for asserting that the total
_weight_ of mails in 1855 was nearer to 80,000 tons than to 20,000,
and that by bulk it was nearly 200,000 tons, of which more than half
was carried by railway.

Until September 1838, fifty-two horses started every evening from
London, with thirteen mail coaches behind them, to convey the mails
that are now carried by the Scotch Limited Mail. The weight of mails
carried by the coaches was about four tons, their bulk about ten tons
measurement. The horses travelled gallantly up hill and down dale
over first-class roads at the rate of more than ten miles an hour,
and at the end of six or seven miles they were replaced by others of
the same mettle. They were guided by thirteen first-class “whips” of
the olden time, and no matter what the weather was, or how rough any
portion of the road might be temporarily, the great ambition was, not
to be a second after time at appointed places. In charge of these four
or ten tons, as the case may be, were thirteen guards, to whom the
custody of the mails was entrusted. They were responsible for their
safe and faithful transmission between St. Martin’s-le-Grand and their

Each mail coach was considered to require a horse a double mile, to
maintain its contract time. As Stafford is 133 miles from London,
133 multiplied by 13 gives the number of horses required, 1,729. The
average weight which each mail coach carried was 4 cwt., taken as
bulk it was half a ton. The maximum weight that, by the terms of the
contract, could be imposed upon it was 15 cwt., a total, for thirteen
mails, of 195 cwt.—five less than five tons.

In 1867 _one_ horse—of the railway the iron-clad—invented, not
conceived, not created—a living, but lifeless thing—yet withal of
terrible power, draws, in addition to the same number of passengers
that the fifty-two horses could draw, the mails which are to be
carried to Stafford and beyond it. Instead of the weight being four
tons, it is often nearly _twenty_, and instead of bulk being ten, it
is seldom less than forty, often fifty, and sometimes it mounts up to
even four or five tons further. But no matter, the iron horse is ready
to take its load, and does take it at speed four times as great as the
speed of thirty years ago.

If we had to go back to mail coaches, and each were only to carry the
average of 1837, we should require 100 mail coaches and 13,300 horses;
but if each were loaded to its Post Office maximum of former times,
then _only_ 27 coaches and 3,591 horses would be requisite. At what
cost for 27 coaches? Certainly, the former average of 2½d. a mile would
no longer be attainable. More than double would be demanded. 13s. 6d.
a mile per diem for 133 miles, multiplied by 365 days, is £32,785. Yet
the highest price that the London and North-Western ever had for its
night mail service was 4s. the double mile, £9,709.

This is one answer to the assertion of Mr. Page in his report, “Not
only, therefore, would penny postage without railways have been
both practicable and remunerative, but it would have been even more
profitable[35] (assuming the increase of letters) than it is now.”

We learn from Mr. Howell, the Secretary of the Peninsular and Oriental
Steam Company, that on Australian mail mornings the weight of mails
is 46 tons; to carry these at the rate of 15 cwt. per mail coach
from London to Southampton, 78 miles, it would he necessary to have
61 coaches and 4,758 horses, besides guards and coachmen. As mails,
although not near so heavy as the Australian, are continually arriving
at and departing from Southampton, it would be necessary to keep up at
least the above stock both of bi-and quadru-peds for these 78 miles,
at a cost of about £30,000 a year; but reference to the Post Office
estimates will show that the annual payment made by the department
to the London and South-Western Company is £21,950, and for that sum
the Post Office has the right not only to receive and despatch its
sea-going mails, but to use every one of the Company’s trains over the
503 miles which constitute its system, for Post Office inland business.
How, it may be asked again, can any officer of the department assert
in a report (designated by the Postmaster-General “an able report”)
that the penny postage “would have been even more profitable without
railways than it now is”?

There is a point in connection with this subject that may as well be
referred to here. The Isthmus of Suez Railway[36] was opened for
traffic in 1858, the same year that the Australian mail service by way
of Egypt was commenced. The India and China mails had increased very
rapidly during the few previous years, and the greatest trouble and
difficulty were experienced in getting them across the desert. The
addition of the Australian mails would have overwhelmed the service,
but for the opening of the railway. For let it be asked, What number of
camels would be required, or what time would they require to take some
fifty tons of mails (adding to the transmissions _viâ_ Southampton,
those from England and France _viâ_ Marseilles, and from Germany _viâ_
Trieste) across the desert? By means of the Suez Railway, the cost
to this country for the conveyance of the mails outwards and inwards
through Egypt is £8,000 a year, and eight Janissaries accompany the
mails in both directions, for which they are paid £750 per annum. The
cost of a combined _army_ of camels, camel drivers and Janissaries
would be at least £60,000 a year, and it would be simply impossible to
perform the service satisfactorily.

We think we have demonstrated that even in 1855 the Post Office
services of the country must have totally broken down, were it not for
railways. But between 1855 and 1865 the postal business has increased
enormously. The number of receptacles for letters[37] has risen from
10,498 to 16,246, the number of letters delivered from 456,276,176 to
720,467,007, of newspapers and book parcels,[38] from 71,000,000 to
97,252,766; samples and patterns, an item of Post Office transmission
introduced in 1863, 1,286,116. The amount, in money, of the Money
Orders issued has increased from £11,009,279[39] to £17,829,290. With
the increase comes the concomitant increase of transmissions through
the post. The weight of the Eastern mails has risen from 250 tons a
year to nearly 2,000.

In 1861, the operations of the Post Office Savings Banks commenced,
and by the 31st December, 1865, 3,321 banks had been established all
over the kingdom. The total number of persons who had become depositors
from the commencement was 857,701, of whom 245,882 had closed their
accounts, leaving 611,819 on the books. The total number of deposits
received had been 3,895,135. The total withdrawals 1,011,379. Without
railways, the operations of those banks could never have been
attempted. See what they have to carry? Every person on making his
first deposit receives gratis, a numbered book, in which all deposits
are to be entered. The weight of this book is about three quarters
of an ounce; advice of each deposit is to be sent on the day of its
receipt, by the Postmaster to the Post Office, London. The amount of
the deposit is to be acknowledged, and the acknowledgment is to be
transmitted by post to the receiver. Every depositor’s book must be
forwarded each year (even from the remotest part of the kingdom), on
the anniversary of the day on which the first deposit was made, to
London, in a cover to be obtained at any savings bank. This cover
exempts the book from postage charge, and it is also returned free from
the London office to the depositor. Every necessary letter of inquiry
respecting deposits in savings banks, and their replies are carried
by the railways, and travel free of postage. If a depositor want to
withdraw a part or the whole of the amount to his credit, he must make
application on a form a copy of which can be obtained at any savings
bank. It is sent free to London, as also the warrant from London
payable at the place named by the applicant. The warrant when paid and
receipted is returned by the Postmaster to London.

If the reader will be so good as to multiply the amount of
correspondence caused by one depositor, by the total number, viz.,
857,701, he will then be able to estimate what is the annual amount of
work that is involved in the carrying out of the Post Office Savings
Bank system, and also how completely it depends for its success
upon railways. It is pleasant—it is more than pleasant—it is deeply
gratifying and satisfactory, to know that the business increases, and
will continue to increase, for the reason that the humblest classes of
the community have now learned to appreciate the facilities which these
institutions offer for the safe and fructifying deposit of their little
earnings. To Mr. Gladstone is due the honour of their introduction. It
was on the 8th of February, 1861, that he presented to the House of
Commons the resolution that affirmed the principle upon which they are
based, and both Houses of Parliament responded so promptly, that by the
17th of May following, an Act, the title of which is, “An Act to grant
additional facilities for depositing small savings at interest with the
security of the Government[40] for the due repayment thereof,” received
the Royal assent. Mr. Gladstone, you have done many great and many
good acts in your time, but you have never done one greater or better
than this.[41]

The Government Insurance and Annuities Act, which received the Royal
assent on the 14th July, 1864, enables persons proposing to effect
insurances on their lives, or to purchase deferred monthly allowances,
to transmit their proposals, and to send and receive all correspondence
between themselves and the Post Office relating to their proposals free
of all postal charges. The Postmaster-General is compelled to admit,
in his Twelfth Report, that the proposals, from their bulk, “present
a somewhat formidable appearance.” But, thanks to railways, these
formidable-looking documents go free through the post. So do also their
acknowledgments from head quarters; the numerous and minute inquiries
made to friends and medical referees as to the proposer’s age, health,
habits, and occupation, likewise the replies to all these inquiries.
If these replies are deemed satisfactory, a letter is transmitted
to the proposer, post free, directing him to present himself for
examination to a medical man, and the report of the latter often leads
to much correspondence, all of which goes without postal charge. If the
proposer be rejected he is informed accordingly by a free letter, and
there is an end of the matter; but if he be accepted, the insurance
or annuity contract is sent to the Post Office at which the proposer
desires to receive it, and he is apprised to that effect by another
free letter. The system is in its infancy as yet, but the postal
transmissions which it will involve, even at its greatest, will never
be of the same extent as those connected with the Post Office Savings
Banks. Nevertheless, they will be considerable, for every payment to
an annuitant, and every receipt of money from a person assured, must
be transmitted either from or to London, as the case may be. So that,
in addition to the proposals of the “somewhat formidable appearance,”
thousands of documents per annum in connection with that business will
find their way into the mail bags.

Let us hark back to say that no rejoinder to Mr. Stephenson’s answer
was ever given. Nevertheless, the answer, complete and conclusive as it
was, had no effect on Post Office intentions, for during the session of
1857, the Duke of Argyll,[42] then Postmaster-General, was induced by
the permanent officers of the establishment to introduce a bill into
the House of Lords for making “further Provision for the Conveyance of
Mails by Railway.” Mr. William Lewins[43] tells us, in his book called
_Her Majesty’s Mail_, that His Grace deserves the gratitude of his
country for introducing it. But it was well known that His Grace, like
most of the Postmasters-General who have preceded him during the last
twenty years, took but little interest in the working of the department
over which he nominally presided, and knew little, probably nothing, of
the bill, the obnoxious contents of which he was called upon to father.

It was, however, justly viewed with great apprehension by all the
railway interests of the kingdom, and in consequence of the hostility
excited by its appearance, it was withdrawn before it reached a
second reading. In the very lame defence of it, given in the Fourth
Annual Report, we find it mildly stated, that “taken as a whole, the
bill certainly cannot fairly be represented as a measure opposed to
railway interests.” Whether this be correct or not, at all events
it can be stated that the department has never since proposed any
similar enactment. From 1858 it has also ceased to use language such
as “experience has satisfied me, that as the law now stands, it is
impossible either to secure regularity in the conveyance of the
mails, or to have that full use of the railways which the public
demand, which the department is anxious to afford, and which would be
beneficial to the companies themselves.”[44] The relations between the
companies and the department have been amicable during the last seven
or eight years, and there is now scarcely a railway in the kingdom
upon which mails are conveyed that has not adopted a system of general
contracts. The Post Office acquires, by means of them, the right,
for a fixed gross payment per annum, of using _all_ the trains of
the company for the transport of mail bags. There are certain trains
which of course must be run for the convenience of the Post Office,
such as the night mail trains to and from London, with their branch
trains and ramifications. The same as regards Dublin, and, in a lesser
degree, Edinburgh. But the expenses of these trains to the companies is
considered in coming to a decision as to the total price to be paid.
These arrangements are based altogether upon the voluntary principle,
but when agreed to, they are necessarily embodied in legal contracts.

We have no earlier return of postal railway mileage than 1855; that was
at the height of the antagonism with the Post Office. The miles run
were then 27,109 per diem, but so rapidly had friendly arrangements
been entered into, that in 1862 (the last year for which a mileage
return is published) it had risen to 49,782 miles per diem. Had these
returns been continued to the present time, they would have exhibited
an increase to 60,000 per diem, for in 1863, there were three hundred
and ninety-three towns having a night and day mail from London, fifty
having 3 mails daily from London, seven having 4, three having 3, and
three having 4. But in 1865, the number had increased as follows: four
hundred and ten having a night and day mail from London, fifty-seven
having 3 daily from London, nine having 4, and six having 5.

The gross sum paid by the Post Office to the railways of the United
Kingdom in 1866 was £570,500, only £170,500 more than, as Mr. Page
states, were paid to railways in 1855; but at that time the Post
Office, with only few exceptions, did not run more than one day and one
night mail train in each direction on the greater portion of the 8,280
miles which then constituted the railway system of the kingdom; but on
the first of January, 1866, the railway system was 13,289 miles, over
about 12,000 miles of which, the Post Office was able by its contracts,
to send mail bags by whatever trains, whether goods or passenger, they
chose to select from. At the present time (as already stated) the
railway service of the Post Office cannot be less than 60,000 miles a

The following statement exhibits the amount paid by the Post Office
to the Railway Companies of the United Kingdom in 1866, together with
the mileage length of most of them. Of the total sum of £570,500,
the London and North-Western, with its 1,320 miles of railway,
naturally earns the largest share, £132,997. The other railways come
as follows:—Great Western (1,311 miles), £50,789; North Eastern
(1,229), £41,397; North British (732), £8,696; Great Eastern (710),
£22,357; Midland (695), £44,600; Caledonian (574), £29,101; London and
South-Western (503), £21,950; Great Northern (441), £9,805; Lancashire
and Yorkshire (403), £6,500; South Eastern (330), £23,571; London,
Brighton and South Coast (320), £1,977; Manchester, Sheffield and
Lincolnshire (246), £2,618; North Staffordshire (144), £1,000; Bristol
and Exeter (134), £9,888; Cambrian (130), £2,413; South Devon (110),
£7,485; London, Chatham and Dover (94), £268; Brecon and Merthyr
(68), £50; Cornwall (66), £5,500; Taff Vale (63), £1,000; Shrewsbury
and Hereford (51), £2,030; Llanelly (46), £39; Monmouthshire (44),
£147; Birkenhead (43), £2,500; North Union (40), £4,878; Maryport and
Carlisle (28), £841; West Cornwall (27), £1,500; Isle of Wight (12),
£31; Whitehaven Junction (6½), £363. There were not any contracts in
1866 with the Furness Company (85), the Somerset and Dorset (66),
nor with the Metropolitan Underground (4¾), but the Post Office has
recently entered into contracts for the conveyance of mails on the
first and the third of the three.

The foregoing, with some payments to minor companies, make the
total which the English and Welsh Companies receive from the Post
Office, £407,512. Some of these minor companies, however, are not
over-handsomely paid; for instance, the Colne Valley, 6½ miles long,
receives the modest sum of £15 a year; the Tenbury, 5¼ miles long,
which nevertheless has a Board of Directors consisting of seven
members, and is presided over by a noble Baron, receives only £7.
Never having heard of the Pontop and Jarrow Railway, we looked in all
the usual sources of information without success, but we perceive by
the Post Office estimates that the company earns £5 a-year for the
services it renders to the department. If the amounts paid by the Post
Office to English Railways be divided by its total mileage, it makes
the average payment per mile per annum to them a little less than £58.

The Irish railways receive £84,508 per annum from the Post Office, of
which the Great Southern and Western (420 miles), obtains £29,500;
the Midland Great Western (261), £14,920; Irish North-Western (145),
£1,540; Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford (107), £4,700; Ulster (106),
£5,800; Belfast and Northern Counties (100), £2,950; Great Northern
and Western (83), £2,349; Waterford and Limerick (77), £3,150; Dublin
and Drogheda (75), £4,700; Dublin and Belfast Junction (63), £6,000;
Londonderry and Enniskillen (60), £3,150; Belfast and County Down
(44), £206; Londonderry and Coleraine (36), £1,300; Cork and Youghal
(34), £1,150; Waterford and Kilkenny (31), £486; Cork and Limerick
direct (25), £50; Cork and Bandon (20), £757. There are three companies
that only receive £30 each, and two have twice as much as the Pontop
and Jarrow. They have £10 each. The average Post Office payment per
mile (assuming that the Post Office sent mails by all the railways in
Ireland, which is not the case) is about £44. 10s.

The Scotch railways receive £78,482, of which the North British and
Edinburgh and Glasgow (748) has £8,696; Caledonian (573), £29,101;
Scottish Central and Scottish North-Eastern (459), £22,136; Great North
of Scotland; (257), £3,830; Glasgow and South-Western (249), £3,436;
the Highland Railway (245), £10,454. The average per mile per annum
paid to Scotch railways by the Post Office, assuming that it availed
itself of the whole of them, is £36.

There is no branch of the connection between the railways and the Post
Office in which the former has gained more conspicuously than in that
of speed;[46] and precisely the same may also be said with respect to
the general community.

As has already been stated, the average speed of mail coaches was a
little under ten miles an hour in 1837, that of stage coaches under
eight, that of waggons two; and that the latter were used in the middle
of the last century, at all events, we have pictorial evidence, through
the pencil of Hogarth, and written testimony from the writings of his
contemporaries, as well as from those of subsequent men of letters.

The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, substituted
between its two termini an average speed of 17 miles an hour. Speed
has increased steadily year by year, as we shall now endeavour to make

In 1842 the night mail train left Euston Station at 8·30 p.m., and
reached Lancaster (241 miles) at 7·0 a.m. Since the 1st of October,
1860, the Scotch Limited Mail leaves Euston Station every evening at
8·35 p.m., it arrives at Perth at 8·59 a.m. the next day; the distance
is 449 miles, and it is performed, including ten stoppages, at the
rate of 37½ miles an hour. There were more stoppages for mail trains
in 1840 than since 1860, but, apart from this fact, the time that the
mail train required to complete 449 miles is the same as that which it
required to complete only 15 miles more than half that distance, twenty
years previously.

The Irish express mail completes the journey from London to Holyhead
(263 miles), with three stoppages only, for passenger accommodation, in
6 hours 40 minutes, or at the rate of 38½ miles an hour.

For a short run, involving only one stoppage for the engine to take
water, the most rapid on the narrow gauge[47] in England is between
London and Dover, by the South-Eastern Railway, 88 miles in 2 hours and
5 minutes, 42 miles an hour. But on Australian mail nights (the 26th
of each month), the Post Office employs, in addition to the ordinary
“down” mail, a special one for the conveyance of such bags and boxes as
can be got ready by 7 p.m. This train travels between London and Dover
in 1 hour and 45 minutes. There is one stop for water. The rate of
speed, including the stop, is a little over 50 miles an hour, excluding
it, the rate is 54.

There is a train on the Great Western, which although not carrying
mails, is the fastest in England. It completes the distance from London
to Exeter, 194 miles, with 4 stops, amounting to 20 minutes, in 4½
hours; or at the rate of 43 miles an hour. A little more than a quarter
of the time occupied by the “Quicksilver” Mail in the olden days; but
the “Quicksilver” only went over 160 miles, the roadway distance
between London and Exeter, or 24 miles less than by the Great Western
and Bristol and Exeter Railways.

The grandest exceptional run ever made on railways was on the 5th
January, 1862, the occasion being, when answers were brought to the
despatches sent to Washington, requiring the surrender of Messrs. Mason
and Slidell, who had been taken out of the “Trent,” Royal West India
Mail Steamer, by orders of Commodore Wilks. The steamer arrived at
Queenstown at 10·5 p.m.: at 11·28 p.m., Irish time,[48] the special
train started from Cork, and accomplished the journey to Dublin (166
miles) in four hours and three minutes; or at the rate of 41 miles
an hour, including stoppages. The mail steamer “Ulster” arrived at
Holyhead at 8·15 a.m. The special train started at 8·28, and it is from
this point that the most remarkable part of the express journey was
accomplished. The run from Holyhead to Stafford, 130½ miles, occupied
only 145 minutes, being at the rate of 54 miles an hour, and although
so high a rate of speed was not attempted over the more crowded parts
of the line approaching London, the whole distance from Holyhead to
Euston was performed by the London and North-Western Company in exactly
five hours, or at a speed of 52¾ miles an hour—a speed unparalleled
for so long a distance on a line crowded with traffic. By means of
the invention for supplying the tender with water from a trough _in
transitu_, respecting which details will be given in a subsequent
page, the engine was enabled to run from Holyhead to Stafford without
pulling-up to take water. This is the longest run ever made by an
engine without stopping; but the engines of the Irish Limited Mail
Trains, owing to this trough, run twice a day in each direction without
stopping, between Holyhead and Chester, 84½ miles. The weight of these
trains, exclusive of the engine and tender, is fully 80 tons; but the
weight of the American special express, exclusive of engine and tender,
did not exceed 20.

A few words with respect to the fastest trains on the Continent.
Previous to the 1st of April of this year, the mail trains between
Calais and Paris completed 203 miles, with 15 minutes of stoppages for
passenger accommodation, in 5 hours and 50 minutes, about 33¼ miles an
hour. Since the opening of the railway between Calais and Boulogne,
the mail trains go to and come from Paris _viâ_ Boulogne. The distance
is shortened to 186 miles, and the journey is performed, 15 minutes of
stoppages for passenger accommodation being allowed, in 5½ hours, or at
the rate of 34 miles an hour.

The “Rapide,” the night mail train from Paris to Marseilles, completes
537 miles in 15 hours 45 minutes, or at the rate, for this long
journey, of 34 miles an hour. The day mail train from Paris to Bordeaux
takes 10½ hours, a distance of 366 miles, or at the rate of 34¼ miles
an hour. It is the fastest mail or express train in France that goes
over a large extent of railway mileage, but its pace is 3¼ miles an
hour less than the Scotch Limited Mail as far as Perth, 4¼ less than
that of the Irish Express Mail, and 8¾ less than the express train of
the Great Western from London to Exeter.

There is, however, one train in France that travels more rapidly for a
short distance,—the 1·0 p.m. express from Paris to Rouen. It completes
85 miles without a stoppage in 2 hours 22 minutes, or at the rate of
35½ miles an hour. Comparing this speed with that of the London and
Dover express mail trains, it is less by 6½ miles an hour.

There are two express mail trains in Belgium analagous to those between
London and Dover. They are the fastest in that kingdom. They complete
the 78 miles between Brussels and Ostend in 2 hours and 17 minutes,
with 3 short stoppages, or, at the rate of about 34¼ miles an hour.

There is a double daily postal service between Cologne and Berlin.
The distance, 391 miles, is accomplished in 12½ hours, or at the rate
of a little more than 31½ miles an hour, including stoppages for the
refreshment of the passengers, amounting to nearly an hour on the whole

It is a fact well known to railway officials of all grades, but not
appreciated by the public, that it is much more difficult to keep time
with trains stopping at many stations, than with express trains. Yet
the explanation is very easy. People who travel by stopping trains
are of totally different habits from those who travel by express. The
greater part of the passengers of the former belong to the agricultural
classes; and it is just this,—the farmer is not accustomed to be
hurried, and he won’t be hurried, neither are the farmer’s wife, the
farmer’s sons, the farmer’s daughters; the tradesman in farming towns
and villages is like the farmer, he won’t be hurried, and it is the
same with the tradesman’s wife, his sons and his daughters; neither
will the workman, nor the workman’s wife, nor his sons, nor his
daughters, be hurried and flurried. In fact, no one is ever in a hurry,
except in large towns and cities. The country was not made for people
who are always in a hurry, therefore it is impossible to get country
people in and out of trains with the same speed as railway servants
can manage with town and city people, and the effect of all this is,
a stopping train is, much more frequently than “fast” or express
trains, unpunctual, and it is especially so when it exceeds very much
its ordinary amount of traffic. It is then sure to be very late, solely
from circumstances beyond the control of the company, but of course the
company gets all the discredit of the delay. On the other hand, express
trains call only at a few first-class stations, and all the passengers’
business can be satisfactorily and comfortably accomplished in the time
that the train is compelled to stop while the engine is taking in fuel
and water. Let it not be imagined that in this respect “they manage
things better in France.” It has been occasionally our misfortune to
travel by stopping trains, not only in France, but in other parts of
Europe. There is one of two undeviating and unvarying rules with regard
to them. Either they are unpunctual, or they are timed for so slow a
speed, and with such delays at stations, that unpunctuality by them is
impossible. There are many passenger trains on the continent that do
not average a running speed of more than fourteen or fifteen miles an



We had written, in the previous chapter, all that relates to the Post
Office, in the belief that the relations between that department and
the railways had been, during recent years, of an amicable character.
We regret however to find that, in this respect, we have been mistaken.
The amicable relations exist, on the part of the Post Office, on the
surface only, no deeper. The same antagonistic spirit flourishes, at
all events in the minds of some of the officials, as resolutely as ever.

Our readers will perhaps remember that, on the 11th March, 1865, a
Royal Commission was issued, nominating the Duke of Devonshire, the
late Earl of Donoughmore, Lord Stanley, M.P., the Hon. E. F. Leverson
Gower, M.P., the Right Hon. Robert Lowe, M.P., Sir Rowland Hill,
Messrs. Roebuck, M.P., Dalglish, M.P., G. C. Glyn, M.P., Ayrton,
M.P., Colonel Douglas Dalton, R.E., Mr. E. T. Hamilton, and Mr. J. R.
McClean, C.E., to make various inquiries respecting railways.

On the 19th of December following, a new commission was issued in
substitution of the previous one, Mr. Monsell, M.P., being added to the
number of Commissioners. The Earl of Donoughmore died shortly after it
was issued; and, in consequence of Lord Stanley having become Secretary
of State for India, he did not act for more than a short time. The
report, dated the 7th of May, 1867, is therefore not signed by His

It will not be necessary to follow this report, or to refer to the
general recommendations contained in it. Some are very good, and would
no doubt be readily agreed to by most railway companies, if they were
to take the shape of legislative enactment. Others are impracticable
(such as that suggested for ensuring punctuality of trains), and like
impracticable notions and ideas at all times, they “fret their little
hour on the stage,” and then cease to be heard of afterwards.

The evidence taken is voluminous; some of it is of a very desultory
character, several of the witnesses having seized the occasion to vent
their own peculiar theories, and, _sicut eorum mos est_, to inculcate
the adoption of their specific or nostrum as the infallible remedy. The
appendices, notwithstanding the introduction of much matter that is
irrelevant for all large and practical purposes, contain a great deal
of useful information.

The great and main recommendation in the report is contained in the
74th clause; it is therefore given _in extenso_. “On the various
grounds we have mentioned, we cannot concur in the expediency of the
purchase of the railways by the State, and we are of opinion that it is
inexpedient at present to subvert the policy which has hitherto been
adopted, of leaving the construction and management of railways to the
free enterprise of the people, under such conditions as Parliament may
think fit to impose for the general welfare of the public.”

“As regards the purchase of Irish railways,” the Commissioners add, at
clause 80, “having come to the determination that it is inexpedient
that the railways should be purchased by the State, we consider there
is not sufficient reason for excepting Ireland from this general
conclusion; but, as it has been the established policy to assist Irish
railways and other public works in Ireland, we recommend that when
Parliament thinks fit to make advances to Irish railway companies, the
money should be lent for a fixed period of considerable length, so as
to enable the company to develop its resources before it is called on
for repayment.”

The Commissioners add, that these advances or loans should never be
made to Irish railway companies on condition that their rates and fares
should be reduced, that being a matter, the decision upon which should
rest exclusively with the executive of the company.

The two dissentients from the report were Mr. Monsell, M.P., and Sir
Rowland Hill. Mr. Monsell being of opinion that the Irish railways
should be purchased by the State, and to this extent agreeing with Sir
Rowland Hill, whose opinion is that the railways of the whole kingdom
should become, by purchase, the property of the nation.

Sir Rowland Hill gives various reasons in recommendation of this
suggestion, and summarises in his report, written, as we learn by its
first paragraph, “in a growing expectation of dissent,” his reasons
with the following language:—

 “In short, experience has now shown that railways are essentially
 monopolies; consequently they are, in my opinion, not suitable objects
 for ordinary commercial enterprise, in which each party, while
 striving for its own interests, generally contributes, perhaps in the
 best possible way, to the interest of all. It seems to follow that
 they cannot be advantageously left to independent companies, who, of
 course, manage them with exclusive reference to their own interests,
 but that they should be in the hands of those who will control the
 management of them with a view to the interest of the country at
 large, that is to say, in the hands of the Government.

 “Proposing this, however, I do not mean to recommend that any
 Government Board should take upon itself, in the gross, the duty now
 performed by railway directors. For the direct management of the
 lines, I propose to provide by leasing them out, in convenient groups,
 to companies, partnerships, or individuals, as the case may be. An
 opinion in favour of leasing the lines will be found in the evidence
 given by Mr. Bidder before this Commission.

 “What I recommend is, that either a department of Government should
 be created, or the superintendence of railways committed to one
 of the existing departments, and that the controlling power, thus
 established, should act as a lessor, not only in granting leases, but
 in fixing suitable terms and enforcing due observance of contract.”

As Sir Rowland Hill was the only person of the fifteen Commissioners
who subscribed to the doctrines advanced in the foregoing paragraph, it
will be an unnecessary occupation of time to comment upon them.

The two chief witnesses upon whom Sir Rowland Hill relies are, his
brother, Mr. Frederick Hill, an Assistant Secretary of the Post Office,
and Mr. Edward J. Page, the Inspector-General of Mails. A considerable
portion of Sir Rowland’s plan is quoted as forming part of the evidence
of Mr. Hill, and we shall only say of that gentleman just at present,
although we shall have much to say to him presently, that if he had
even a tyro’s knowledge of the working of railways he would not have
put forward the string of the assumed “benefits” which he asserts will
be realised by his views being adopted.

To us, however, it appears very clearly, that if we lay aside all
arguments, reasoning, plans, and suggestions but one, we will come
to the real reason for Sir Rowland Hill recommending the purchase of
railways by the State. It is that the Post Office may thereby acquire
that complete control, and that complete mastery in respect of railways
which the rights of property can alone give it over them. Mr. Page aids
him by his evidence and assertions, in a manner that has compelled us
to state in the opening paragraph of this chapter, that the friendly
relations existing between the Post Office and the Railway, are, as
regards the department, on the surface only. In its heart (if the Post
Office have a heart) its feelings of rancour are just as uncompromising
as ever they were.

But let us state, in the first instance, what are the opinions of
the Royal Commissioners on the relations between the Post Office and
the Railways. They are contained in the following extract from their

 “134. In connection with the passenger traffic we have to consider the
 question of postal communication.

 “On the continental railways, as we have observed, the Government has
 conceded the lines to the companies on the condition that the mails
 are to be carried free. On the railways of this country, Parliament
 has reserved to the Post Office the right of requiring the railway
 companies to carry the mails as the Postmaster-General may direct, but
 has reserved to the railway companies the right to be paid for such
 service at a rate to be fixed by arbitration. The Postmaster-General
 is also at liberty to send a Post Office guard with a weight of mails
 equal to the luggage of an ordinary passenger, at the fares charged
 for such ordinary passenger, any extra weight being paid for according
 to the ordinary rates of the company.

 “The Post Office authorities complain that the price they have to pay,
 under many of the arbitrations, for services rendered, is in excess of
 what individuals pay for such services, and that if guards are sent in
 charge of the mails as baggage, the railway companies insist that the
 guard can only carry the baggage from one end of his journey to the
 other, without intermediate receipt and delivery, and that, therefore,
 when they desire to use the trains by sending a guard with mail bags,
 without putting the trains under the statutory notice, the demands of
 the railway companies are exorbitant. They also state that they cannot
 require a company to run a train exclusively for their use, and that
 the law is defective as to the speed they are entitled to require,
 and as to the provision of apparatus for exchanging mail bags without

 “The railway companies, on the other hand, complain that whilst by law
 the award should bind both parties for three years, the Post Office
 practically possesses the power of at once putting an end to it, if
 they consider it too high, by requiring some alteration of service,
 which may be a mere nominal alteration, and thus the Post Office may
 go on asking for fresh arbitrations until they get an award to their
 liking. The Post Office authorities deny that there has been any
 abuse of this power. The railway companies further complain that, by
 means of the book and parcel post, the Post Office has entered into
 competition with the railway companies for an important branch of
 their traffic.

 “The Post Office is anxious that a fixed tariff for the conveyance of
 mails should be introduced into Acts of Parliament. The experience
 which has been already acquired must, by this time, suffice to enable
 a fair and remunerative tariff to be affixed to every service required
 to be rendered by the ordinary trains of the company, and the only
 reason why some fixed scale does not appear to have been adopted by
 some general Act is, that the Post Office has never urged it upon the
 consideration of Parliament on a satisfactory basis for legislation.

 “It is quite clear, however, that at the present time legislative
 interference in this question has either gone too far or not far
 enough. If the Post Office had originally been left free to make its
 bargains with railway companies, it would probably have obtained
 greater facilities at lower rates than it now possesses, for the
 railway companies largely benefit by postal communication, and the
 feeling of the directors would obviously be to assist it; but the fact
 of the service being compulsory, to some extent neutralises such a

 “We recommend, as the best course under existing circumstances, that
 a general Act of Parliament be passed to define all those points
 which have given rise to difficulties between the Postmaster-General
 and the railway companies; but we do not deem it expedient to enter
 into the details of the arrangements to be embodied in the Act. We
 merely point out that these services may be classed under two heads,
 viz.,—first, services analagous to services rendered to the public;
 secondly, services in trains to be run at special hours to be fixed by
 the Postmaster-General.

 “The first class, viz.: services by trains when railway companies fix
 the time of starting and stopping, may be grouped under the following
 heads, viz.,—first, mails in charge of railway companies without
 Post Office guards; second, mails in charge of guards on Post Office
 responsibility; third, compartments, or one or more carriages.

 “For this class of services a tariff might be fixed by a general Act.
 And if the Postmaster-General were to enter into communication with
 the railway companies, we see no reason to doubt that an equitable
 scale for these services would be agreed upon.

 “For the second class of services, viz.: where the Postmaster-General
 fixes the time of starting or stopping, or requires an exclusive or
 limited train, the question of the proper remuneration for the service
 performed should still be left to arbitration.

 “We have no evidence that the provisions of the Act which we have
 quoted in a former part of our report, allowing the Postmaster-General
 to override an award which is otherwise binding on a railway company,
 have ever been abused by him. We think such a power necessary for the
 public interests, and have not, therefore, suggested any alteration of
 the law in this respect.

 “Another branch of traffic carried on in passenger trains, is the
 conveyance of parcels. The railway companies complain that the
 Post Office abstracts from them a large portion of this class of
 traffic, by means of the parcel post. The Post Office contend that
 the necessity for extending the parcel post has arisen from the
 inefficient way in which the railway companies have performed the
 parcel service; and the services which the Post Office under its Acts
 of Parliament is entitled to perform, seem to be limited to printed
 and written matter, and patterns.

 “We think that there is a plain and obvious distinction between the
 service rendered by the Post Office in the conveyance of letters and
 printed matter, and that rendered by railway companies in conveyance
 of parcels. The Postmaster-General not only enjoys by law an exclusive
 monopoly of the conveyance of all letters, but he is also entirely
 protected from all responsibility for any default in the service which
 the Post Office undertakes to render to the public, and correspondents
 are left to rely, in the last resort, on the protection of the severe
 penal laws against the servants of the Post Office.

 “We do not think it would be possible to apply this principle to the
 conveyance of parcels throughout the country.

 “There is this further consideration, that the weight of letters
 received and delivered in each separate packet is exceedingly small,
 both in weight and bulk, as compared with the bulk and weight of
 railway parcels, which extend up to 112 lbs., and require, therefore a
 different organisation for receipt, delivery, and forwarding.

 “So long as a railway company is paid a reasonable rate for the
 transmission of mails, they have no reason to complain of the
 extension of Post Office service.

 “The expense lies in the collection and delivery, and it is quite
 competent to railway companies to organise a system of collection and
 delivery, and to compete with the Post Office by carrying parcels on
 the same terms.

 “It is, moreover, to be remarked, that railway companies are not bound
 to carry parcels, nor is there any tariff for parcels, fixing charges
 for collection and delivery, in Acts of Parliament. The public is,
 therefore, at their mercy. We consider that a separate tariff should
 be laid down and published to govern the conveyance as distinguished
 from the collection and delivery of parcels, so as to enable the rates
 of charge to be kept down by the free action of individuals acting as
 carriers by railway.

 “It is, however, apparent that the parcel service so far as
 interchange is concerned, can never be efficiently performed for the
 public until railway companies co-operate through the clearing house,
 to improve their arrangements for parcel traffic. Looking at the
 extent to which the railway system has now reached, we consider that
 the time has arrived when railway companies should combine to devise
 some rapid and efficient system for the delivery of parcels. We do
 not feel called upon to suggest the precise manner in which this may
 be carried into effect; but the employment of a uniform system of
 adhesive labels for parcels, somewhat similar to that now in use on
 some of the northern lines for the conveyance of newspapers, is one of
 the most obvious methods for facilitating payment and accounting. If
 the railway companies do not combine voluntarily, it may be necessary
 at some future time for Parliament to interfere to make the obligation
 to carry parcels compulsory, at a rate to be prescribed by law.

 “On the companies effecting such an arrangement, we recommend that a
 general Act should be passed limiting their liability for each parcel
 to a certain amount, unless a greater value be declared and paid for,
 according to a settled scale, at the time of transmission, and that
 such further provisions should be made as may be found necessary to
 enable the companies to carry out their arrangements.”

It will thus be seen that ten of the Royal Commissioners—the members
of the Commission who would not be likely to be influenced by what may
be called a departmental view of the subject—whilst stating the case
both for and against the railway companies, as well as for and against
the Post Office, limit their recommendation to the passing of a general
Act to define the points which have given rise to difficulties; to
which, at page 59 of their report, they add that “in cases where the
Postmaster-General fixes the time of starting or stopping, or requires
an exclusive or limited train, the question of the proper remuneration
for the service should still be left to arbitration.”

And the Commissioners, whilst very clearly denying the expediency of
the Post Office becoming carriers of railway parcels, some of which
“extend up to 112 lbs., and require therefore a different organisation
for receipt, delivery, and forwarding,” confine themselves to
recommending railways to “combine for devising some rapid and efficient
system for the delivery of parcels.”

A correct view certainly. We are now desirous of offering some remarks
upon the part of the recommendations of the Royal Commissioners which
refers to a tariff being fixed by a general Act for the various classes
of services required of railways by the Post Office. It would, we are
convinced, be impossible to pass an Act of this class that would be
of the slightest practical value, because the circumstances of every
railway company, certainly of every district of country through which
a railway passes, are of constant variance. We need not go farther
for evidence of this fact, than in the successive annual reports of
Postmasters-General. Until 1862 each of them contained statements of
the railway, horse, and foot mileage employed by the Post Office, and
each item was subdivided into maximum, average, and minimum, not only
for the United Kingdom, but for each component part of it. As may be
imagined, the difference between maximum price and minimum on railways,
were not only very striking, but they are also equally striking for
the two other means of locomotion, especially so for foot messengers;
these last varied—no doubt still continue to vary—from a farthing a
mile (not enough we should have thought to pay for sole, to say nothing
of upper-shoe-leather) to sixpence a mile. To this let be added what
any person who reads Post Office documents will see constantly quoted,
that before the opening of the railway from Carlisle to Glasgow, the
proprietors of the coach that carried the mail between these two
places, _paid_ £200 a year for the privilege. It was because there was
then a violent, and as it turned out to be, destructive competition on
the road, but at the time it lasted, the Post Office was paying as high
as, if we recollect correctly, 1s. 3d. a double mile for mail coach
conveyance in another part of the country.

The Commissioners recommend arbitration in case of difference, when the
Post Office requires an exclusive or limited train, and it seems that
the extension of the principle to all matters of negotiation, when the
parties cannot agree, affords the best means of arriving at a just and
equitable solution. Arbitration, however, with the railways has always
been the _bête noire_ of the department.

Mr. Frederick Hill, having informed the Commissioners that he
anticipates (“anticipations” to which Sir Rowland Hill says, “I
concur”) “greater securities against accidents, and _also_, against
assaults and robberies on railways (_query_, in railway trains?),
by the establishment of a uniform system of signals (!), and by
clauses in the leases imposing penalties for unpunctuality and other
irregularities (what?), and requiring that means should always be
provided for enabling passengers to communicate readily with the
guard,” winds up the list of “benefits” which the nation is to obtain
from purchase as follows:—“Additional facilities for the conveyance of
the mails, with a consequent increase in the number of posts, and in
the celerity of communication, and the removal of the chief difficulty
in the establishment of a parcels post.”

If the reader will please to refer _ante_ to page 106, he will see
the number of postal services there are daily only between London
and other post towns. Their name is legion, and we are indebted for
the information given upon this subject exclusively to Post Office
documents. In Liverpool,[49] there are either six or seven collections
a day for Manchester,[50] and a like, or very nearly a like number at
Manchester for Liverpool and intermediate towns, so that, for postal
purposes, Liverpool and Manchester are practically the same town. And
so it is with the great net-work of towns in the north of England, as
well as with towns in every other part of the country, north, south,
east, or west. We confess to the weakness that if we are in a country
town or village, we cannot pass the post office without having a look
at the notice in the window, telling for what places and at what hours
mails are made up and despatched, and from what places and at what
hours mails arrive for delivery: we are therefore in the position of
being able to state that despatches and deliveries are innumerable
in the vicinity of railways; away from them, the collections and
deliveries are at most twice a day, frequently not more than once.

“Celerity of communication.” If Mr. Hill will refer to page 58 of the
Royal Commissioners’ Report, he will see that the average speed of
the quickest trains in England (those by which the great mails are
conveyed) is 36½ miles an hour; the average for similar trains in
France is 31 miles, and in other states of Europe it varies from a
minimum of 20 to a maximum of 30. The speed of our fastest trains is
stated at page 109, _et seq._

We must also request Mr. Hill to refer to the whole series of
Postmaster-Generals’ Reports. Every one of them contains paragraphs
under the heading “Accelerations,” but in the tenth, eleventh, and
twelfth, there are no less than seven and a-half pages devoted
exclusively to this one subject. In the Tenth Report (undated, but
bearing internal evidence of its being intended for the year 1862),
it is stated, “a statement of all the accelerations which have been
effected within the last ten years, or even a list of all the places
in the United Kingdom which have now an earlier arrival, or a later
despatch of letters than were afforded to them in 1854, would show
conclusively that the Post Office has, during that period, laboured
strenuously and successfully to meet the demands of the public. But
such statements would be confusing from the multiplicity of their
details.” The Postmaster-General therefore confines himself to
alluding “to the acceleration of the Scotch mails, which took place
in 1859; to that of the Irish mails, which took place in 1860; and to
that of the French mails which also took place in the year 1860.”
These accelerations are so great, and bear so importantly upon the
correspondence of the whole kingdom, not only _inter se_, but with the
whole continent of Europe, that each is very completely and elaborately
described. In the report for 1864, the Postmaster-General, in addition
to mentioning several important accelerations, refers, in a triumphant
tone, to the advantages which have been gained to the public by the
adoption of railways for conveyance of mails in various districts both
of Scotland and Ireland; and in the report for 1865, equal satisfaction
is expressed, because most important accelerations were made in the
speed of all the main postal trains throughout Ireland. This part of
the report concludes as follows. “Contracts for the general use of all
ordinary trains were entered into with the Great Southern and Western,
the Dublin and Drogheda, and the Dublin and Belfast Railway Companies;
and the contract with the Ulster Railway Company was extended. It was
chiefly by means of these contracts that the improvements effected in
the mail service in Ireland during 1865, were greater than they had
been in any previous year for a considerable time past.”

The foregoing is the language used in the three latest annual reports
of the department, the last of which was written about the time that
Mr. Hill must have been submitting to the Royal Commissioners his
reasons why the nation would benefit by the purchase of the railways.
And here let us mention a belief which exists in the Office, that for
several years previous to the present year, the Postmaster-General’s
Reports have been drafted by Mr. Hill. This belief, however, cannot be
correct, as it is not to be supposed that Mr. Hill would blow hot and
cold, and write white and black at one and the same time.

“Celerity of communication” (to again quote Mr. Hill’s words), “can
only take place by increased celerity of trains.” We believe that in
the present state of our knowledge we have acquired on railways in
this country, the maximum that can be accomplished consistent with
safety; and we say in all seriousness, that if Mr. Hill be not content
with it, and that the Postal Department insist upon higher speed, he
ought, in order to be consistent, also to insist upon being placed on
the fore-buffer of the engine, and thus to substitute himself for the
director, about whom the late Sydney Smith wrote so pleasantly some
years ago. If a Postmaster-General were also required to travel in
mail trains, Mr. Darby Griffiths would, we should suppose, no longer
experience (at all events in the House of Lords) the fatal difficulties
which led to the rejection some four years back, of his Bill to revive
for Members of the House of Commons the right of holding the office
of Postmaster-General. Nay, it is very probable that the most serious
opposition would be found in the House, upon which, on the previous
occasion, he was so anxious to confer the privilege.

Before quoting in full the recommendations of Sir Rowland Hill, as
regards railways and the Post Office, it is desirable to draw attention
to the fact, somewhat remarkable, that the only persons upon whom Sir
Rowland Hill relies for proving his case as regards the Post Office,
are his Brother, Mr. Edward J. Page, and our esteemed friend Mr.
Charles Hutton Gregory, C.E., who is “the arbitrator (should not the
word be ‘referee’?) for the Post Office.” It certainly appears strange,
that official testimony of a somewhat more independent character
should not have been produced. Assuming that the Duke of Montrose had
not acquired sufficient knowledge of the working of the system, there
is Lord Stanley of Alderley. His Lordship was Post-master-General
for six years, and only retired upon the present Government coming
into office eighteen months ago. Mr. Tilley, the Chief Secretary, has
been connected with the department for a great many years, so has
Mr. Scudamore, admittedly the most distinguished man in the service.
The evidence of several of the district surveyors would have been
valuable; but not one of them was called to corroborate, or to add to
the testimony of Messrs. Hill, Page, and Gregory, the spirit of which
testimony is manifest, even in the Index of Evidence, as published in
the Appendix.

Sir Rowland Hill proceeds thus:—

 “On reference to the evidence of Mr. Frederic Hill,
 Assistant-Secretary to the Post Office, Mr. Edward Page, the
 Inspector-General of Mails, and Mr. Gregory, C.E., the Arbitrator
 for the Post Office, it will be seen that the laws regulating the
 relations between the railways and the Post Office are, at present in
 a state unsatisfactory to both parties; the dissonance necessarily
 producing inconvenience to the public, owing to the restrictions which
 it places on the use of trains for conveying mails, and the consequent
 impediments to the extension of postal facilities.

 “I concur with Mr. Frederic Hill, in recommending that, as fast as
 lines become national property, clauses be inserted in the respective
 leases, entitling the Post Office to such use of the lines as may be
 necessary for its purposes, and that at specified rates of charge;
 such rates being so arranged as to remunerate the lessees and afford
 them a moderate profit—say 25 per cent. on the bare additional cost of
 the service.

 “As regards lines remaining in the hands of the present companies,
 it appears advisable that whenever railway companies come before
 Parliament for fresh powers, advantage be taken of the opportunity
 thus offered, by requiring the companies to perform the postal service
 at specified rates regulated on fixed principles, and providing for
 all ordinary contingencies; any existing contracts which may have a
 fixed term to run being allowed to continue in force until they shall
 be terminated in the ordinary course, under the conditions for that
 purpose provided in each contract. The rates should be considerably
 higher than those recommended for insertion in the leases.

 “As regards the use of such trains as may be run by the companies for
 their own purposes, I concur with Mr. Page and Mr. Gregory in opinion,
 that the rate of charge to the Post Office should be based upon the
 rate of charge which the companies make to the public for similar
 services; due allowance being made to the Post Office for the extent
 and regularity of its custom, and for its performing the duties of
 collection and delivery.

 “As regards trains specially ordered and controlled by the Post
 Office, I am of opinion, that excepting a few very peculiar cases, the
 payment for the service should also be according to a fixed scale;
 and this I think should be so regulated, as at once to cover the
 additional expense to which the company may be put by the Post Office
 requirement (after fair deductions for any use of the train made by
 the Company itself), and to yield on the sums thus ascertained the
 ordinary 100 per cent. required for interest of capital, &c., and

 “This, I propose, not as a perfect plan, but as more convenient, and
 even more equitable, than the plan now in use.

 “The following tariff is based on the above principle, and is
 accordingly recommended for adoption, as regards railways _not_
 belonging to the State.

 “Tariff of rates to be paid for the conveyance of mails by trains
 under fixed notice:

 “First. Trains exclusively employed by the Post Office.

                                             On the            On the
                                          Narrow Gauge.     Broad Gauge.

                                            Per Mile.         Per Mile.

  “For a train (consisting of an engine
  and the usual break van) and one
  separate carriage for the mails            2s. 4d.           2s.  6d.

  “For every additional separate carriage
 (the number and distance to be run by each
 being varied from time to time according
 to the exigencies of the service), an
 additional rate of                          0s. 3d.           0s. 4½d.

 “In cases where the distance between the stations—between which the
 mail train is required by the Post Office to run—is less than fifty
 miles, the distance to be paid for shall be increased by one-fourth
 part of the difference between the actual distance and fifty miles.

 “In all cases where a mail train is required to run in only one
 direction, the mileage to be paid for shall be assumed to be greater
 by 50 per cent. than the distance actually ordered to be run; and,
 again, where the distance so augmented shall still be less than fifty
 miles, the payment shall be further increased in accordance with the
 rule laid down in the preceding paragraph.

 “When mail trains are run during the night (_i.e._, between 10 p.m.
 and 6 a.m.), an addition shall be made to the mileage charge payable
 by the Post Office for the distance actually required to be run, such
 addition being determined by dividing the sum of 6d. among all the
 trains run in the night, whether Post Office trains or not.

 “Second. Trains not exclusively employed by the Post Office.

 “From the rate which would be chargeable against the Post Office if
 the train consisted only of the carriage or carriages required by
 the Post Office as above, a deduction to be made for every carriage
 of whatever description ran in the train for other than Post Office
 purposes (the company having a right, as above, of varying the number
 of such carriages), at the rate of 4d. per mile on the narrow gauge,
 and 6d. per mile on the broad gauge; provided, however, that the rate
 remaining to be paid by the Post Office shall in no case be less than
 the rate which would be payable for the use of an ordinary train under
 the tariff hereinafter prescribed.

 “That in the event of any company satisfying the Board of Trade, or
 other Government Board yet to be appointed (as suggested in this
 report), that owing to circumstances not herein provided for, it has a
 claim to additional payment, the same shall be made.

 “Tariff of rates for the conveyance of mails by ordinary trains:

 “First. Where the Post Office requires a prescribed amount of space,
 and employs its own guard to exchange bags, &c.

                                             On the            On the
                                          Narrow Gauge.     Broad Gauge.

                                            Per Mile.         Per Mile.

  “For the exclusive use of one compartment
  of a carriage, second or any inferior
  class, at the option of the Post Office      2d.               2d.

  “For ditto of two compartments               4d.               4d.

  “For ditto of three compartments             6d.               6d.

  “For ditto of four compartments               —                8d.

  “For whole carriage                          8d.              10d.

 “And for any additional carriage or portion of a carriage, at the same

 “Second. When the Post Office does not require a prescribed amount of
 space and the mails are exchanged by the train guard.

 “For every 112 lbs. ordinary maximum aggregate weight of mails½d. per
 mile; any portion of 112 lbs. being considered as 112 lbs.

 “In the event of the Post Office requiring a carriage or carriages
 exceeding the ordinary dimensions (by which term “ordinary dimensions”
 is meant carriages whose interior horizontal sectional area does
 not exceed, in the case of the narrow gauge, 150 square feet, and
 in the ease of the broad gauge 225 square feet), the Company shall
 have a right to call upon the Board of Trade to increase the charge
 for such carriage or carriages by an addition to the tariff rates
 proportionate to the increased size of the carriage or carriages; and
 on the other hand, should the Company, for its own purpose, run one or
 more carriages exceeding the ordinary dimensions, as above, in any
 mail train, not devoted exclusively to the Post Office, then the Post
 Office shall have a right to call upon the Board of Trade to determine
 in like manner the increased amount of deduction in respect to such
 larger carriages.

 “The compensation for insufficient notice of the abandonment by the
 Post Office of a mail train under notice, shall be one-fourth part of
 the full payment for the difference between the actual notice and the
 required notice of six months.

 “The other difficulties pointed out in Mr. E. J. Page’s evidence, seem
 to indicate that the law with respect to the mail service on railways
 also requires alteration or extension in the following particulars,

 “First. The Post Office should have the power of _requiring_ railway
 companies, _by legal notice_, when necessary, to run mails to be
 employed exclusively in the conveyance of mails and officers of the
 Post Office.

 “Second. The right of a mail guard or other Post Office servant,
 when travelling and paying his fare as a passenger, to exchange bags
 at intermediate stations without additional charge, provided the
 aggregate weight of mail does not at any time exceed that allowed to a
 passenger of the same class, should be made clear.

 “Third. The right of the Post Office to require for a mail guard or
 other Post Office servant, a monthly, quarterly, or annual or other
 periodical ticket, at the same charge as is made to the public for the
 same distance and for the same period, should be made clear.

 “Fourth. The mode of calculating the rate of travelling of a mail
 train, making allowance for the difference between the stops of the
 company’s fastest train, and those of the mail train required by the
 Post Office, should be clearly defined.

 “Fifth. The right of the Post Office to insist upon the erection
 and use of the mail-bag exchanging apparatus at the cost of the
 department, should be made clear.

 “In another portion of his evidence, Mr. Edward J. Page dwells on
 the practicability and importance of establishing a small parcel
 post at an uniform rate of charge: pointing out, at the same time,
 the peculiar facilities and advantages for this purpose, which are
 afforded by the organisation and machinery of the Post Office; so
 superior in their operation and extent to any possessed by railway

 “It appears highly desirable that, as fast as railways become national
 property, provision should be made in the leases for giving effect to
 these views; and in the meantime, fully believing that the plan would
 prove beneficial to railway interests as well as to the public, it is
 hoped that arrangements for the purpose may be made (as suggested by
 Mr. Edward Page), for attaining the same end, with the concurrence of
 existing companies.”

The recommendations of Sir Rowland Hill, as regards the Post Office
and the railways, although drawn up with such elaborate and dogmatic
precision, have not the slightest chance of ever being adopted; but as
it is so unceasingly asserted and repeated, on Post Office authority,
that railways are more costly to the department than the old road
conveyances, and that it is a great hardship on the Post Office that it
cannot get mails conveyed by ordinary trains, except at unreasonable
rates, it is desirable to make an addition to what has been said in
previous pages, on both these questions.

We must ask permission to go as far back as the year 1838. In that
year, as we learn by a return laid before the Committee of the House
of Commons which sat on Postal Reform, and which was presided over by
the late Mr. Robert Wallis, M.P. for Glasgow, that the daily mileage
of mail coaches in 1838 was 24,613, and the payments for this mileage
were £84,103, being an average of 2¼d. per single mile. And we learn
also, by an article that appeared in _Fraser’s Magazine_ of September,
1862, written, as we understand, by Mr. M. D. Hill, Recorder of
Birmingham, from information evidently supplied from official sources,
that the weight of the letters carried throughout the kingdom in 1838,
was 750 tons. We find likewise, by returns furnished to Mr. Wallis’s
Committee, that letters formed 7 per cent. of the total weight of
mails, consequently the weight of mails for the whole year 1838, was
10,500 tons. The latest dated Postmaster-General’s Report, which
contains details of postal mileage is that of the 30th of April, 1863.
It specifies that the mails travelled daily 49,782 miles by railway in
1862, at an average charge for the whole kingdom of 6¾d. per mile. In
the same year “mails were conveyed by mail coaches, omnibuses, mail
carts, &c., exclusive of conveyance of mail bags from one part of a
town to another,” 33,371 miles each day, at an average cost of 2½d. a

In 1866, the railway postal mileage, according to the evidence and
statements furnished to the Royal Commissioners on Railways, was 60,000
miles a day, or, with deductions for greatly diminished mileage on
Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day, about 18,780,000 miles per
annum. The total amounts paid to railway companies by the Post Office
was £570,502, or about 7½d. per single mile. The total weight of mails
carried by railways is certainly not less than 110,000 tons, so that,
whilst the payments to railway companies in 1866 were about seven
times as much as they were to mail coaches in 1838, the weight of
mails carried is nearly ten and a-half times as great. But the rate of
speed has been _quadrupled_ in the course of a few years. In the olden
time, increase of speed of even _half a mile an hour_, always added
considerably to mileage cost, but by railways, the old ten miles an
hour are converted into forty, with much diminished cost,—weight for
weight carried.

And, again, as regards the constantly reiterated Post Office grievance,
that it is impossible to despatch mails by ordinary trains, except at a
higher rate than is charged for the conveyance of ordinary parcels of
similar weights, and that the department is in consequence deprived of
the opportunity of sending mails as frequently as they otherwise would
despatch them. This however, as has already been shown, is a grievance,
almost imaginary, inasmuch as successive Postmaster-General’s Reports
show (see _ante_ page 106) that contracts have been entered into with
almost every railway company—beyond all doubt with all the leading
companies—by which the right of sending mails by any train, whether
passenger or goods, it may choose to select from, has been acquired
by the Post Office. In fact, out of 12,000 miles of railway which
the department sends mails over, it has, as we believe, this right
or privilege over 11,000 of them. But all doubt on the matter can
be removed by a return on the subject being laid before either House
during the next session of Parliament.

But even supposing the Post Office had not the power it in reality
possesses, of sending mail bags by whatever trains it pleases, let
us consider for a moment upon what ground either of right or of
equity, the department can claim the privilege of sending its mail
bags at the same rates as the general public pays for its parcels,
for the same distances. This question must be dealt with in two
portions: transmission of mail bags with a Post Office mail guard,
and transmission in charge of the guard of the railway. As regards
the first. Why, in the first place, is the Post Office to have the
privilege of sending a passenger in the shako and red coat of a mail
guard, at a second-class fare, who is to have, free, the usual amount
of luggage (not personal luggage, be it remembered) allowed to a
passenger? This luggage, let it also be remembered, the mail guard is
to have the right of taking along with himself into the compartment in
which he is to travel, instead of its being deposited in the luggage
van. There would, probably, not be any objection offered to this
arrangement if the guard were to remain quietly and peaceably in the
compartment with his luggage beside him, until the end of his journey.
But this is not what is required or expected. As the train stops at
each station, the guard is to get out of his compartment and then to
hand certain portions of his mail bags to another servant of the Post
Office who is on the platform waiting the arrival of the train. This
person is to receive the bags handed to him by the mail guard, and
this latter is to receive fresh mail bags, and then to return to his
compartment. The same process is to be repeated on the platform of
every station at which the train may stop, and during the running
of the train between station and station, the mail bags are to be
continuously sorted and arranged, so as to ensure correct delivery
throughout the entire journey. It is not the space of one second class
passenger, but that of eight or ten, that would be required. Yet it is
persistently contended that the proper remuneration for this service,
conveyance, business, or whatever may be its appropriate name, is to be
the single fare of a second class passenger—and no doubt, if the mail
guard could travel within the limits of a return ticket, his employers
would consider that that is the amount he should pay for the double
journey—not a farthing beyond it.

But if the services of the mail guard are to be dispensed with, and
the duties just described are to be performed by a Company’s guard,
the Post Office considers that the ordinary parcels rate from end
to end is what should be paid—nothing for intermediate changes and
shiftings, for the coming in of new mail bags and the going out of old
ones. Yet the Post Office itself considers that all these parcels are
entitled to special attention and consideration, for before a railway
servant is entrusted with the charge of them he takes an oath or makes
a declaration—the same, we believe, as is taken by Post Office mail
guards; and in order that they may be considered Post Office servants
_pro hac vice_, they receive, if we recollect rightly, a gratuity of a
few shillings per annum. If this be not so, it does not, in reality,
affect the man’s responsibility: it is the oath or declaration that
binds, not the gratuity.

It is impossible for any reasonable, unblassed, or practical man of
business to assert that the railway companies would not be entitled
to a somewhat higher rate of remuneration than second class fare, if
bags are in charge of a mail guard, or that the rate for _one_ from
end-to-end parcel, is the proper figure for mail bags placed in charge
of a Company’s servant, to be worked by him as if he were a mail guard.

One more point on the subject of postal conveyance by railway. It shall
be the last.

The Post Office discharges three functions in connection with letters
and other postal documents. They are, collection, transmission, and
delivery. The first and last are performed by Post Office servants;
transmission, except for certain portions of foot rural transport, is
invariably by contract. It is transmission alone that makes a letter
of value as a means of intercommunication between persons residing,
or situated, more or less distantly from one another. If, as traders,
we purchased a ton of letter paper, its price would probably be about
£62, or say 7d. a pound; and supposing it came some 80 to 100 miles,
its cost would be increased by another twenty shillings, a sixty-second
of the first cost of the article. Convert this pound, or this ton of
paper into a ton of written letters, and, if we take each chargeable
letter at a third of an ounce (the Post Office considers each to weigh
a little more than a quarter of an ounce, but for the purposes of this
calculation they are taken at the higher figure), a pound of letters,
with a postage[51] stamp on each letter, becomes worth four shillings
to the Post Office, instead of sevenpence as a pound of paper; and, by
the same process, a ton becomes changed from £63 to £448.

The total cost of the Post Office service for 1865 was £2,941,086; the
net revenue, £1,482,522, a little over 50 per cent.; consequently, a
ton of letters, by no act of the Post Office, except by its monopoly,
which recent criminal proceedings show that it is determined to
interpret rigidly, is worth £225 net to it. According to the ideas of
Messrs. Hill (2), Page, and Gregory, the railway should carry the ton
of paper, converted into letters, at a high rate of speed, and with
numerous conditions of a penal character, at the same scale of payment,
or, if possible, at a lower, than the price which was charged for the
original ton of paper sent by ordinary goods train, at slow speed, and
without any special conditions attached to its conveyance.

The railway companies are willing to carry letters and other postal
matter at a rate not bearing any proportion or ratio whatever to the
profit which the monopoly gets the benefit of by their conveyance, but
at a fair and equitable scale of remuneration, which scale shall be
decided, in case of difference, by two impartial men (Mr. Gregory, do
you come _quite_ within that definition?), and if they disagree, by an
umpire who, at all events, is expected to be impartial.

But, before we conclude, we must again ask on what grounds, other
than the hollow ones of pretence, can the Post Office claim special
exemptions, as regards payments, as well as special rights and
privileges, without adequate remuneration for them? Neither the
Post Office nor any other department of the State assisted railways
during their inception, or during their construction; on the contrary,
whenever they had the chance of raising their hands against or
making exorbitant demands upon railways, they never failed to do so.
Innumerable instances in proof could be cited, but one only must
suffice “in this connection,” as our American cousins would say.
When, in 1855, the Bill for the improved “passenger and _postal_
communication between London and Dublin,” was in progress through
the House of Commons, the late Mr. Wilson, then Secretary of the
Treasury, gave notice of the introduction of clauses to exempt the
Post Office from payment for this improved service. It was only on
the strongly expressed determination of the promoters of the Bill,
that if these clauses were persevered in, it would be withdrawn, that
they were abandoned. Mr. Wilson excused himself—for he felt excuse
was necessary—on the plea that he was forced to give notice of their
proposed introduction, at the instance of the Post Office, and that he
remonstrated, in vain, against them.

It is quite right, it is absolutely necessary in the interests of
the community at large, that, inasmuch as railways are the public
highways of the land, the right of postal transmission upon them shall
be secured in the most complete, prompt, and absolute manner that law
can enforce. There must be no doubt or hesitation upon this point;
but that limit passed, the postal department is, notwithstanding
that its officials are of “Her Majesty’s service,” nothing more
than, as a whole, an extremely well-organised, efficient _trading_
establishment, protected, as a monopoly, by many Acts of Parliament.
The railways have never shown themselves otherwise than ready, it might
rather be said anxious, to serve the Post Office; but in this land
of trade and commerce, their managers look for proper remuneration
for services rendered. No more is asked, and no more is expected.
The law and practice have very wisely instituted a distinction
between the manner in which ocean and railway mail contracts shall
be entered into. Because the ocean highway is open to all, tenders
for conveyance upon it are invited from all; on the other hand, with
railways it has been very properly decided that they shall convey
the mails, whether they like to do so or not; but the same law that
has enacted this compulsion, has also prescribed the manner by which
a just and reasonable remuneration shall, in case of difference, be
obtained. Others than the lawfully-constituted monopolists of St.
Martin’s-le-Grand would long since have been satisfied. Unhappily,
however, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megæra[52] have lashed them into
_furor_. Cannot the _crème? de la crème_ of the gods, the uppermost
crust of society in Cælestia, invent or discover a Townsend’s
Sarsaparilla to purify their bloods; a Soothing Syrup—a Dalby’s
Carminative—a Balm of Gilead that can assuage their anguish? Or, if
the gods fail, might not a dose or two of Holloway’s Ointment, taken
internally, be tried? In former days, the Earl of Aldborough, then
in the flesh, but now, alas, only of “glorious, pious,” and pillular
memory, was wont to testify of it, as a wonderful remedy in _the cure
of ulcers_.



However vastly the United Kingdom has been benefited by railways, we
shall show presently that it is far otherwise with those who have
invested their money in their construction. Those first opened in
England were, no doubt, profitable to their shareholders, because they
were great arterial lines that connected the leading places of the
Kingdom together. Along such lines there always had been large traffic,
and it was no doubt greatly stimulated by the facilities which the new
mode of locomotion afforded for its expansion. But as fresh railways
were completed, and as the capital invested in them increased, the
profits receded. Even at the present time, with larger receipts per
mile than have ever been taken, the position of railway investment is
almost from every point of view, unsatisfactory.

The tide of the early prosperity of railways began to turn in 1840.

Proceeding at once to the middle of 1843, we learn that at that date
the amount of capital invested was £76,280,000, and the gross traffic
receipts were only £4,535,189. If 45 per cent. be deducted for working
expenses, the amount for division among investors was only £2,494,358.
If one-third of the capital invested be considered debenture capital
bearing an interest of not more than 4 per cent., it leaves only
£1,391,360 for dividend upon £51,000,000, or a little more than 2½ per

In 1848 the capital invested in British railways was £152,640,000,
the gross traffic receipts were £9,933,552. Deducting 45 per cent.
for working expenses—amount £4,660,097,—a balance of £5,273,455 is
available for division among investors. Taking one-third of the capital
paid up as debenture capital, bearing interest at only 4 per cent., it
leaves £3,021,455 for dividend upon £100,760,000 of share capital, or
at the rate of less than 3 per cent.

At the end of 1853, the capital paid up was £273,324,514 and the
traffic receipts had risen to £18,035,879. The working expenses, at
45 per cent. of the receipts, were £8,116,151, leaving £9,919,728
available for division, but between 1848 and 1853 the rate of interest
upon debentures rose to fully 5 per cent. Taking, as before, one-third
of the capital paid up, as debenture capital, it leaves £5,364,320 for
dividend upon £182,216,343 of share capital, or at the rate of a little
less than 3 per cent.

Five years later—at the end of 1858—the capital paid up was
£325,375,507; the traffic receipts were £23,956,749; the working
expenses, £11,668,225. Taking the debenture capital as one-third of
the whole, it leaves £6,245,310 for dividend upon £216,917,205 share
capital—or a very little less than 3 per cent. But as by 1858, fully 25
per cent. of the share capital was preferential, and bore a dividend on
the average of 5 per cent., there remains, after payment of a dividend
upon this capital of £2,711,450, only £3,533,860 for division upon the
£162,687,905 “ordinary” or unguaranteed share capital, that was then
invested in railways—not quite 2¼ per cent.

On the 31st December, 1863, the capital paid up was £404,215,802; the
traffic receipts were £31,156,397; the working expenses, £15,027,234.
The amount of debenture capital, taken as usual at a third of the
total capital, was £134,738,600, the interest upon it, at 5 per
cent., £6,736,930. Deducted from £16,129,163, the amount of the total
net receipts, £9,392,233 remains for dividend upon £269,477,202 share
capital, or nearly 3½ per cent. This would be satisfactory, as compared
with the amount divisible upon share capital in previous years; but,
unfortunately, the amount of preferential, in proportion to total share
capital, had not only increased considerably between 1853 and 1863, but
the rate of dividend had also advanced. The London and North-Western
issued some at 5, the Lancashire and Yorkshire at 6; so also the
London, Brighton and South Coast, then one of the most highly thought
of companies for investment; and the London and South-Western, a
company established, apparently, upon a very solid basis, had to issue
preference capital at as high as 7 per cent. Nevertheless, although for
present calculation, and for that of 1865, next to follow, one-third
of the share capital is considered as preference capital, the rate is
taken as not raised higher than 5½ per cent. £4,940,414 must therefore
be deducted as dividend on preference capital, leaving only £4,451,819
for division upon £179,651,468, or at the rate of just under 2½ per
cent. But as several of the companies—many of them large ones—paid
dividends of 4, 5, 5½, 6, 6½, and some few as high as 7 per cent., a
considerable portion of ordinary share capital received at the rate of
1 and 1½ per cent., and an equally large portion did not receive, as is
well known, any dividend at all.

We close our recapitulations with the year 1865, the latest to which
the published returns of the Board of Trade extend. On the 31st of
December of that year the total capital paid up was £455,478,143;
the traffic receipts[53] were £35,890,113; the working expenses,
£17,149,073; the amount of the debenture capital, taken, as before,
at a third of the whole, was £151,826,044, the interest upon it, at
five per cent. was £7,591,302. Deducted from £18,602,582 the amount
of the total net receipts, £11,011,280 remains for dividend upon the
total share capital, which amounted to £303,652,099, equal to £3.
13s. per hundred pounds.[54] But deducting £5,566,900, dividend upon
£101,218,000 as preference share capital, 5½ per cent., there remain
only £5,444,380 for dividend upon £192,434,000, or at the rate of £2.
16s. 10d. for each £100 invested. What was stated at the conclusion of
the calculations of 1863 applies with at least equal force to 1865,
very small dividends for a very considerable portion of railway share
capital, and none at all for at least an equal amount.

On the 31st of March, 1866, the National Debt of the United Kingdom
was composed as follows: funded, £773,313,219; the estimated capital
of terminable annuities £23,351,043; unfunded, £7,956,800; total,
£804,842,949,[55] or only £349,364,806 more than the total of railway
investments at that period. The “interest and management” of the
national debt in the year ending the 31st March, 1866, was £26,233,288;
but as the Banks of England, of Ireland, and of Scotland, are the chief
managers of the debt, in exchange for privileges accorded to them,
the item for management cannot be great—not sufficient to reduce the
average rate of interest below £3. 5s. per £100 invested. The case,
therefore, stands thus, if viewed as between the creditors of the
British nation and the investors (apart from debenture and preference
shareholders) in the railway capital of the United Kingdom: the former
receive interest guaranteed on the faith, credit, and honour of the
most powerful nation—at all events commercially—in the world, eight
shillings per cent. per annum more than those who have embarked their
money in commercial enterprises that, in our opinion at all events,
have been second only to Free Trade[56] in achieving the present
commercial grandeur of England.

There is not an article of commerce that the railway cannot move—does
not move; there is not an article of commerce that the railway does not
move at speed never less than eight and generally ten times as great as
it was by canal, until competition stimulated the pace of the latter.
To what extent? From the once normal rate of two to that of three miles
an hour—no more. But now, the merchant of London, who a few years ago
could not have what he required from the manufacturing towns of the
north in less than ten days, receives in the morning, goods that were
in the warehouses of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, or any other of
such-like towns in the north of England on the previous afternoon.
The important consumers of timber, 150 to 180 miles from London attend
sales there, in preference to places nearer home, and purchase largely,
with such advantage that the difference of price pays the difference
of railway carriage three and four times over. We once saw chests of
tea, that on a fluctuation of markets to the extent of a half-penny a
pound, passed twice from Liverpool to London and twice back again.
They were enabled to be moved about in this way because collection,
carriage and delivery cost £1. 10s. a ton, or at the rate of a fourth
of a half-penny a pound for 200 miles. Fish circulates through the
small as well as the great arterial systems of the kingdom with the
regularity and precision of the post, because it is unceasingly carried
from the fishing ports inland by the fastest trains and by those that
convey the mail bags. The Irish railways alone transported 1,092
tons of salmon last year—301 tons more than in 1865,—and now, with
our protected fisheries, this amount will be rapidly added to. Ice,
an article of modern commerce, is already beginning to find its way
south by means of the railway, and there is not the slightest reason
why elevated Northern Scotland should not _grow_ the commodity, just
as it has for many years been made to grow in Massachusetts, and more
recently in Norway.[57] It is unnecessary to pursue this subject, for
we each of us see, know, and feel that the railway is the great and
grand distributor of whatever we require for our wants, and of all that
energy and enterprise require for the development of national industry.

And, as regards personal locomotion, how grand and sublime are the
powers of the railway. We leave Edinburgh to-night. We travel warmly
in the cold season; luxuriously at all seasons, and with complete
unconsciousness of the fact that as each hour passes, we are nearly
forty miles farther from our starting point. The break at London in the
morning gives us the margin necessary for ablution and refreshment;
that evening we are in Paris, in ample time, and some to spare, for
starting by any of the rapid trains that convey passengers and mails
east, south, and west. If our destination be the Mediterranean, we are
at Marseilles at noon the next day, exactly 41 hours from the time
we had left Edinburgh; yet, Edinburgh, by railway, combined with a
short sea passage, and Marseilles, are exactly 1,239 miles apart. Our
pace, including breaks and stops, has been over thirty miles an hour,
whilst getting over the whole distance; excluding the breaks and stops,
five and thirty. We can commence the ascent of an Alpine pass, or one
across the Pyrenees, precisely at the same time as we should reach the
Mediterranean, had our destination been in that direction.

In 1834, when the late Duke of Wellington despatched Mr. Hudson,
belonging to one of the Government offices, to Rome, to inform Sir
Robert Peel that he had been called upon by King William IV. to form
a Ministry on the compulsive retirement of Lord Melbourne and his
colleagues,[58] it was thought a marvel that the messenger was able
to complete his journey on the twelfth day from that on which he left
London. Bound on an analagous mission, a Mr. Hudson of the present day,
would be a sluggard indeed, if he occupied even a quarter of twelve
days. Without the superscription, such as our ancestors (who could
write) put on their letters, “Haste! post haste!”[59] one put quietly
into a London post office “receptacle” on a Monday morning, would, as
the clock of St. Peter’s[60] was tolling 9·45 on Wednesday evening, be
found within the precincts of the Eternal City. The distance? 1,355

But why need we multiply instances. Let us then pass to say a word
or two about what railways have done for the humbler part of our
population. Have they not attained facilities for their pursuits as
well as for their enjoyments that were not dreamt of thirty,—twenty
years ago? How prosperous the working classes now are; their labour is
at a premium, and in demand such as it has never before experienced.
They have never been remunerated so handsomely, and they have earned
their pay with shorter hours, better ventilation, better food and more
of it, than they ever had before. Unions and combinations, however
deplorable in their course of action, at all events, are signs and
manifestations of power;[61] and, now-a-days, we find combinations
and strikes extended even to agricultural labourers. Why? Because
they know—stupid, heavy, unintelligent, and unenlightened though they
may be—that, thanks to the railway, they can get at least as good
employment elsewhere as in their own villages and hamlets. The farmer
knows—feels—and, farmer-like, grumbles at this, but he also knows,
that, thanks to free trade, and thanks to cheap railway conveyance,
he is enabled to obtain, in the first instance, the highest possible
fertilisation for his land, and, in the second, when his crops are
gathered, that he can dispose of them, notwithstanding immense cereal
and other eatable imports, in markets far distant, and at prices which
not only leave him nothing to complain of, but much to be satisfied
with. We no longer hear the old party cries, “Protection to native
industry,” and such like. The modern cultivator does not require the
protection which the old law gave him. He finds he can protect himself
in a far better manner without it.

Material prosperity is spread broad-cast over the land. It is true we
have recently had a financial crash, and a financial crisis; but we
have had no crush, nor are we going to have one. It is also true that
our exports for the first six months of this year are, as a consequence
of somewhat diminished trade, less than they were in the corresponding
period of 1866. But, how much are they less? Not 7 per cent. of their
gross aggregate. They are, however, 3 per cent. better than they were
for the like time one year previously; and, note also, that they
are in those six months, £2,000,000 more than they were in the whole
_twelve_ months of fifteen years ago.

The twin sisters of progress in our day, are free trade and the
railway. Both are universal as regards application; both are expansive
and ever expanding. They always advance, they never recede. Free Trade,
however, is, so to speak, national, or of the nation as an abstract. It
requires for its world-spread development no more than that trade shall
avail itself of the advantages which unfettered intercourse between
nations imparts. The railway is the commercial reality of everyday
life. Its existence cannot be started without aggregated capital. It
then becomes the earnest, visible, and ever-working bee in the hive,
and by the means which it places at the disposal of all, not only are
intercourse and interchange facilitated between nations, but among
ourselves movement is giant-like and unceasing, not only for ourselves
actually, but for everything that pertains to us in our wants and
necessities, no matter under what classification they may be placed.
A grand prosperity has been achieved for the nation, but the gold to
which much of its accomplishment is due has proved unfruitful. The
fact, undoubted, need only thus be recorded. Others can say of it what
they please as a grievance.

It may be said, and no doubt it is said, that want of success in
railway investments has arisen from extravagance and mismanagement.
Undoubtedly the assertion is in part correct as regards both the
origination and the construction of most of our railways, but the
incompetence of Parliament, its unfitness as a tribunal (notably so
in the case of Lord Libeller), and the false system it has fostered,
have contributed a much larger share than the other two elements to the
present ill-favoured and unsatisfactory position of railways.

“Ah! but the working of railways! There, at all events, we have you.”
“See how defective it is. See the innumerable complaints constantly
appearing in the papers about want of punctuality. See the frightful
accidents that are occurring.” “Yes; it is quite true that delays occur
to trains. Nay, more, let it be granted that they are frequent—but
frequent in proportion to what?—to the number of trains that are
running night and day throughout every part of the kingdom?” “Yes.”
But the answer to that is—in 1865 3,448,509 passenger trains ran in
the United Kingdom, which is at the rate of 10,387 trains each week
day, and half that number is assumed as the number on Sundays, and on
Christmas Day and Good Friday. Fewer long trains travel on Sundays
than on week days, but on short urban and suburban railways the trains
are, except during the hours of divine service, as numerous as on week
days. Besides the passenger trains there were, in 1865, 2,108,198 goods
trains, heavily laden with merchandise and minerals, or at the rate
of 6,060 trains on each week day, and half that number on Sundays,
Christmas Day and Good Friday, making a total each day of 16,447. At
the end of 1865 there were, as has been frequently stated in these
pages, 13,289 miles of railway open for traffic; at present (October,
1867) the number of miles is fully 14,300, and there cannot be less
than 13,000 passenger trains a day. The proportion of trains arriving
late to trains arriving to time is not three per cent. throughout the
whole kingdom, and of those, nine-tenths are not more than fifteen
minutes behind time. The average number of persons travelling each
week day throughout the year is nearly 800,000; of these the very
utmost that are detained beyond fifteen minutes is 3,000; so that for
every 300 persons who travel per diem one must expect, on the doctrine
of averages, to be over fifteen minutes late, and one out of every
thirty-four passengers may be a few minutes over time. Judging by
the tone and the language of many of the letters of complaint which
appear in newspapers, if we could suppose such a person as one utterly
ignorant of everything relating to railways, he would believe that the
officials experience a special pleasure and enjoyment when trains are
irregular. Let us, in reply, assure that excellent and ignorant person
that there is nothing more abhorrent (with only one exception, to which
we shall refer immediately) to railway nature than want of regularity
and precision. They are to him precisely as the _vacuum abhorendum_ of
Nature, Pan-Anglican and Pan-Mundal.[62] In everyday life, if things
go punctually and precisely with us, the whole of our machinery,
both corporeal and physical, works pleasantly, without trouble and
without difficulty. And so it is on the railways—as long as there
are punctuality and regularity all goes right. It is, therefore, the
fact that the unceasing efforts of the staff of every railway company
in the kingdom are unremittingly directed to ensuring punctuality to
trains, as far as human nature can ensure it. It is the interest of the
officials of every grade to have everything on the line working with
the precision and fidelity of clockwork. The slightest irregularity
at any part of a line at once brings an accession of labour and of
responsibility upon the shoulders of every official, be he high or
low, connected with it. But happily Englishmen, among whom, of course,
we include Scotchmen and Irishmen, placed in positions of trust and
responsibility have always acted, and always will act, as Englishmen
ought to act—from a consideration that influences them above all other
considerations, a sense of duty. Hence no effort that railway officials
can make is wanting when irregularities occur. But human means and
human appliances break down at the moment least expected; no ingenuity,
no foresight can prevent them. The weather, a slight shower of rain,
which renders rails slippery at starting; a heated axle, caused by a
few particles of grit getting into an axle box, notwithstanding the
minute precautions taken to prevent such an incident; the delays,
confusion, and blunders of passengers themselves,—an old lady insisting
vehemently that she gave her little box with “my best bonnet in it,”
to the guard, whilst she had taken it into the compartment, and in
her flurry, agitation, or absence of mind[63] at the prospect of
her coming to her station, had forgotten that she had at starting
placed it on the seat beside her; at ticket collecting and ticket
examining platform—for, alas! the prevalence of fraud and dishonesty
among—we regret to say, and the remark only applies to a very few as
compared with the general mass of travellers—all classes of ticket
holders—renders occasional examination of them necessary;[64] but,
of course, the most frequent cause of delay on railways proceeds
from—without which the railway would he nothing at all—the engines.
As is well known, all engines are made of the best materials of every
description; but it is not so generally known that—according to the
testimony of Sir Francis Head in 1849, and of the late Mr. Robert
Stephenson, M.P., in 1866—a locomotive consists of 5,416 pieces, all
of which, although indebted to machinery for a large portion of the
work of their construction, have, nevertheless, each and every one of
them, to pass through human hands, and they have to be fitted and put
together as carefully as the machinery of a first-class watch. From
the moment that a locomotive commences duty she is examined daily by
competent and skilled men, whose object is to detect, not only the
slightest flaw, but the slightest indication that may lead to one;
and if either be detected, to substitute another locomotive which
has successfully gone through the ordeal of rigid examination. The
engine-driver and firemen are also on the alert, for they know what the
consequences may be to them if a break down or accident take place.
Yet, in spite of unceasing watchfulness, portions of the machinery of
an engine will give way, at places, too, never expected. An engine may
apparently be doing her duty admirably, when all of a sudden a tube—a
great artery of her internal organisation—bursts. With us weak mortals
an internal artery bursting lays us low for ever; and, although so dire
a fate does not attend the engine, she is, for all the purposes that
she was engaged upon at the moment of her disaster, as practically dead
as if she had never been gifted with motive power. No human foresight
can prevent these and similar, although minor, accidents to engines, no
more than we can tell whether the apparently healthy and vigorous man
of the morning may not be the cold and lifeless corpse of the afternoon.

Yes, as long as we are human, and must depend upon human means (no
matter how apparently complete and perfect they may be) for the
fulfilment of our purposes, unrehearsed and unexpected incidents,
leading to disappointment, annoyance, and vexation, are alike
inevitable and unceasing. And so it is we have not, and never can have,
PERFECTION on railways; but we have the nearest possible approach to
it in all that relates to their working. This is a sentence that may
possibly—nay, more probably will—excite the terrible susceptibility
of the _genus_ which, without being “of the poets,” is, nevertheless,
vastly irritable—the great and magnificent British public. Why, the
very losses of temper we display whilst we exact perfection in others,
is proof that we are a long way from possessing it ourselves. Should
we not remember one of the earliest lessons taught us by our Saviour,
from whom nothing but goodness and wisdom could ever flow?—“He that
is without sin among you let him first cast a stone.” Cast the stone
when you yourselves are perfect; without sin of thought or sin of
action. But do we not witness daily, hourly, at each instant, that
perfection does not belong to any of us? But let all men be assured of
this—not on the testimony of quacks and nostrum-mongers, but on the
undoubted evidence of fact—fact which is truth, pure, consistent, and
unadulterated—that there does not exist in any one of the innumerable
organisations, ramifications, aggregations, or embodiments throughout
the empire a class of men that is more earnestly devoted to produce
that near approach to perfection just referred to than among the well,
yet often unjustly, abused humble servants of the railway community;
for it is upon these men, in its last resource, that the public must
depend for everything. At the stations of large towns and cities their
individuality is naturally not so much noticed—or it might perhaps
be more correctly stated, not so much known—as at smaller stations,
being more completely mixed up in the immense human leaven of great
populations. Still those of the public who frequent large stations know
some of the men—inspectors, guards, and porters. They respect them;
and if inquiry be made of the minister of the faith to which each man
belongs, he will be able to assert of more than nine-tenths of them,
that each carries the moral discipline which he has learned on the
railway into the transactions of his inner life. Besides attending at
his place of worship, his little home is clean and respectable; his
children are brought up—as they should be brought up—with respect for
religion, with steady attendance at the school; and when the hours of
play come round they are not the less ready, on occasion, to give or to
receive the pummelling which every real English boy is ready to give or
to receive, and is all the better therefor into the bargain.

Go to country stations; but before going there let one fact be stated,
that the process of “winnowing” on railways, or separating the grist of
the staff from the chaff, is always going on; that is, the men who do
not come up to the standard—not of height, for on many railways this
qualification is not regarded—but of moral and physical quality, are
unceasingly being got rid of, or leaving the railway by discharging

At the country station is there a man of the district, of his sphere
of life, that is more respected, or that enlists a larger amount of
sympathy among all classes, than the station master? Cordial good
feeling and considerate kindness are extended to every one of the
persons that are subordinate to him. Why? There is not a man or woman
of the land, high or low, rich or poor, “gentle or simple,” who has
either visited or who resides adjacent to a country station, that
cannot answer the question, in language of the heart, much warmer than
any that it would be right for us to make use of.

But accidents? Yes, and let it here be stated broadly that when they do
occur, they are, of course, harrowing to the minds of the public, but,
it must be added, they are infinitely more so to railway officials.
They are of a fearful character when they do happen, but, happily, they
are not very frequent.

We proceed to give an account of them for the years from 1861 to 1865,
both inclusive.

In the first-named year there were (including the estimation of 100
journeys as taken by each periodical ticket-holder, and they are
included in this proportion in the calculation for the subsequent
years) 178,929,039[65] passengers, of whom 46, or one in every three
and three-quarter millions carried, were killed, and 781, or one in
every quarter of a million, were injured from causes beyond their own
control; 33, or one for every five millions and a half carried, were
killed from their own misconduct or want of caution.

In 1862, 186,094,671 passengers were carried, of whom 26, or one in
every seven millions carried, were killed, and 536, or one in every
333,000 persons carried, were injured from causes beyond their own
control; and 9, or one in every twenty millions and a quarter carried,
from their own misconduct or want of caution.

In 1863, 211,074,175 passengers were carried, of whom 14, or one for
every fifteen millions carried, were killed, and 400, or one for every
550,000 carried, were injured, from causes beyond their own control;
and 21, or nearly one for every ten millions carried, from their own
misconduct or want of caution.

In 1864, 236,922,065 passengers were carried, of whom 15, or one for
every fifteen and three-quarter millions carried, were killed, and 698,
or one for every 350,000 carried, were injured from causes beyond
their own control; and 21, or one for a little more than every eleven
millions carried, from their own misconduct or want of caution.

In 1865, 261,577,415 passengers were carried, of whom 23, or 1 in every
eleven and a half millions carried, were killed, and 698, or 1 in every
380,000 carried, were injured from causes beyond their own control; and
13, or 1 in every twenty millions carried, from misconduct, or want of

If the several figures above stated be added together, it will be seen,
that whilst 1,094,597,385 passengers were carried on English railways
in five years, the number of persons killed from causes beyond their
own control, that is, through some accident, neglect, omission, or
commission on the part of the railway companies, was 124; and the
number injured, in consequence of one of the foregoing reasons, was
3,449. Of these persons, although many were serious sufferers, the
great bulk received injuries from the effects of which they were cured
in a few weeks,—several in a few days. In the same five years, 97
passengers were killed from misconduct or imprudence.

In addition to the numbers enumerated in the foregoing statement, a
great many persons, not passengers, are killed, either by trespassing
on the railway, walking on it at forbidden places, or _by suicide_.
In 1865, their numbers were—killed, 76; injured, 351. Many railway
servants are killed or injured each year, mainly, we regret to say,
through their own imprudence. In 1865, 122 were killed, and 83 injured.

The above catalogue is, undoubtedly, a melancholy one; one that it
would, of course, have been all the better if it could have been
avoided. But this, we say with deep sorrow and regret, is impossible.
In the first place, as long as the working details of railways depend
upon human hands and human heads, we shall have accidents. Some of
the worst accidents that have taken place on railways have been
caused by the sudden failure, not of presence of mind, for there was
no circumstance of a peculiar nature to require it, but by an utter
failure, a total absence, as it were, of mind, just at the very
moment that, by no means a great, but still some, mental exertion or
exercise of mind was requisite. Signal-men, perhaps the most careful
and cautious persons in railway service—men selected for the position,
after much previous drill, in consequence of superior steadiness,
sobriety, and good conduct—find, too late, from some cause utterly
unexplainable, that the lever of “points,” or of a signal has been
turned to the left when it should have been turned to the right, or
_vice versâ_. Fearful accidents occur from the machinery of the engine
suddenly giving way, in consequence of which it leaves the rails, and
the carriages behind it follow, and pile themselves one above another
in a manner that is incredible to those who have not seen them. Other
accidents arise from a sudden failure of portions of the permanent
way; yet, possibly, the same permanent way has been carefully looked
at by completely competent men only half-an-hour previous to the
accident; for it may be mentioned, that there is no part of a railway
road-bed that is not thoroughly examined every morning. In a line
that is well signalled—and it may be taken for fact that there is no
railway in the kingdom upon which there are not at present efficient
signals—accidents are not the result of delays, although there is a
very general belief in the minds of the public that it is otherwise. In
two recent instances, accidents of a calamitous nature have been the
result of a rail being taken up and not replaced before a train has
come upon the spot; this description of accident having been chiefly
caused by permanent-way signal-men not going sufficiently far back
with the flag danger-signal to enable a train to be brought to a
stand-still before arriving at the spot where the line is interrupted,
other precautions have been added, which now render an accident from
this cause nearly impossible. But many of the fearful collisions,
the terrible accounts of which shock the public mind from time to
time, are caused by combinations of circumstances and incidents so
extraordinary and unusual, that it is hard to conceive, on the doctrine
of combinations, how they could occur. They do occur, nevertheless; and
all that can be said with respect of them is, that the circumstances
of every railway accident are carefully read and studied by every
traffic manager, and most station masters, in order that a lesson or a
caution may be obtained for future guidance. But these accidents will
continue to occur—there are, we fear, no real means yet discovered to
prevent them—and all that can be hoped for as regards the future is,
that as experience of what are in short almost impossible circumstances
is accumulating, we may perhaps arrive at an epoch where no further
incidents of this character can be combined together for human
destruction on railways.

What has been already said with reference to the earnestness of
railway officials to prevent delays, applies with tenfold additional
force to their never-ceasing anxiety to avoid accidents. There is no
possible precaution that can be taken, which is not taken to endeavour
to prevent them. In every way they are disastrous; they not only
create intense personal suffering and misery, they are not only a
risk to employés, because at any moment, from an act of imprudence or
forgetfulness, employés may be the cause of them, and thereby render
themselves liable to punishments that extend even to penal servitude;
but even _after_ their occurrence they become to them a source of
immediate and immense responsibility. The line must at once, quick
almost as the flash of lightning, be protected against trains coming
in either direction; the killed and wounded must be removed, and those
to whom life still belongs must be attended to with the most earnest
solicitude; arrangements must be made, and carried into execution
without a moment’s delay, so as to render the line fit for traffic
again in the shortest period that human hands, aided with hearty
good-will, can accomplish; all these duties must, nevertheless, be
executed in the midst of scenes of havoc and misery that are enough
to unnerve and prostrate most men, with as much coolness and _sang
froid_ as if the man’s services at the moment were not more important
than attaching an additional carriage to a train, in consequence of an
unusual accession of traffic at a station, or the performance of some
other such like formal piece of everyday duty.

But beyond all these considerations, there is one that cannot, when
referring to the subject of railway accidents, be overlooked, or
passed by without comment—their cost. In 1865, no less than £333,533
were paid in compensation by railway companies, in consequence of
railway accidents. If to this amount be added £200,000, for destruction
of rolling stock and road, the heavy expense involved in their
re-establishment or replacement, the enormous law costs to which the
companies are subjected in settling claims or in defending actions,
mounts up the total amount of actual expenditure, owing to these
fearful occurrences, to upwards of half-a-million sterling, or nearly
1¼ per cent. on the total capital expended on railways. To this amount
might also be added loss of receipts which always occur to a railway
immediately after the occurrence of a serious accident. From the one
cause of cost, without seeking to find any other reasons, railway
companies have good reasons to dread railway accidents.

Yet considering the immense amount of persons carried, the numbers
killed or wounded is small as compared with the numbers of those who
are sufferers from accidents to which we are all liable all over the
kingdom. Taking the metropolis only, there were 375 persons killed in
the year 1862, of whom 171 came to sudden death within city limits, the
remainder being the casualties of this description for all the other
parts of London.[66] If we refer to the Wreck Register of the Board
of Trade, for 1866, we will see that, whilst the number of wrecks and
casualties to ships[67] from all causes, on or near the coasts of the
United Kingdom was 1,860 (just 251 more than the average of shipwrecks
for the last five years, and 322 more than the average for ten years),
the number of the lives lost was 896.[68] It is estimated that 500,000
persons navigate the ships both foreign going and coasting, in which
these lives were lost. Their number would have, beyond all doubt, been
greatly added to, but for noble efforts that have been established,
as well as increased within very recent years, for saving life from
shipwreck. During the last year and the first-half of 1867, no less
than 1,600 lives have been saved by means of the 153 boats of the
National Life Boat Association. A large number of lives has also been
saved by the rocket apparatus which is furnished to the Coast Guard by
the Board of Trade, out of the Mercantile Marine Fund.

In 1864 there was one life lost for every 109,715 tons of coal raised
in British collieries. In that proportion there would have been 903
persons killed in collieries in 1866.

Accidents by fire are awfully numerous, and no class or rank of life
is exempt from them, but they are naturally more numerous among the
children of the humbler classes than in the superior stations of life.
From the nature of female dress, the sex is not only more exposed to
these accidents than men are, and the consequences are less fatal to
males than they are to females. Fire-escapes have been a means, under
Divine Providence, of saving many lives from destruction in houses on

Distressing and harassing as railway and other accidents are in this
country, their number and frequency in the United States are utterly
appalling. Of accidents to American railway trains in 1866, there were
82, by which 115 persons were killed and 607 were wounded. “This,”
says the writer from whom the foregoing information is derived, “is an
improvement over 1865, when there were 183 railroad accidents, killing
335 persons outright, and wounding 1,427 others.” It appears also that
1866 exhibits a better report in this respect than any year since 1861,
but it must not be forgotten that in American accidents “persons
wounded” means only those who were not “killed outright” at the time of
an accident. The great hulk of the wounded die subsequently, and should
in reality be included among the killed. Persons who only suffer from
minor wounds and injuries are not reported. It is only in England that
the slightest injuries are reported and are included in the general
account of persons injured. There were 23 steam-boat disasters on the
various rivers and inland waters of the United States during 1866, by
which 633 persons were killed and 156 wounded. In 1865, by 32 such
accidents, 1,788 persons were killed and 265 were injured; but in 1865
a larger number of persons were killed in this way than in any previous
year since 1854. What the numbers were in 1854 the writer who imparts
the foregoing information does not mention; but he adds:—“These figures
do not include any loss of life by disasters on the ocean.” As, until
the outbreak of the war of 1862, the mercantile marine of the United
States was equal to that of the United Kingdom, we may conclude, even
making allowance for its recent diminution, that there must have been
more lives lost on the sea than on the lakes, because American-built
ships have always been notoriously less solidly built than British,
and because the United States does not possess life-boats and other
means of saving life such as we happily have in such abundance in this

We conclude this chapter by repeating the painful admission that
railway accidents are inevitable. It must, however, be added, as an act
of justice to railway officials, that their efforts are never-ceasing
to prevent them. But, after all, how feeble and powerless is poor



The locomotive is like the horse. The latter, with long thin legs
and slight frame—at least made so by training—is the race horse. His
pace for a length of not more than a mile and a half is at the rate
of 25 to 31 miles an hour. The Derby race of 1867 was run by Hermit,
the winner, at the rate of 31·4 miles an hour. It was won in three
seconds less time, or at the rate of nearly thirty-two miles an hour,
in 1866. Since the Derby, Hermit has been “nowhere” in all his races.
A first-class hunter will go cross country occasionally at the rate of
about twenty miles an hour. A first-class “roadster,” with a weight
suitable for his strength, will do fifteen miles, and maintain the
pace for an hour. In the latter days of the old mail coach, the four
horses _galloped_ nearly the whole of seven miles in about thirty-two
minutes, but, as contractors used to say, ” the pace was killing.” On
one occasion there was a race between two coaches from Maidstone to
London; the distance—from Maidstone to the Bricklayers’ Arms, Dover
Road, thirty-six miles—was accomplished by the winner in two hours and
three-quarters. Perhaps there is no better road in all England to run
a _coach_ race upon—it is undulating slightly all the way; whereas a
completely level road is fatiguing to horses. A fast gig-horse, with
light weight behind him, will go twelve miles in an hour, and can
maintain that pace for at least an hour; but there are many horses in
England that, having only to draw “a sulky”—that is, a vehicle for but
one person—would easily accomplish fourteen and a half miles in an
hour, and some are able to go fifteen. The old posters of former days
could go eleven miles at the ordinary scale of pay for the post-boy.
Properly “tipped,” he would get over the ground at the rate of twelve,
or even thirteen, miles an hour. The Gretna Green pace was fifteen,
and sometimes, for the last mile or two, nearly twenty; the object
being to distance an enraged father, and to get within the toll-bar,
closed against the pursuer at the instant the pursued had passed it.
Put at this pace there was ever a risk of converting a marriage-feast
into what Mr. _Punch_ tells us all Scotchmen, with eye to main chance,
prefer to all other meals—“a gude, mautter-of-fact funeral brickfeast,
wie plenty of the whisky aut it.”

An ordinary gig horse will go at the rate of ten miles an hour, and
maintain the speed for an hour and a half. Butcher-boys’ horses are
wonderful at a spurt; but they could not maintain the pace for any
distance. The stately carriage-horses—too highly fed, dressed, and
cared for, to go at very high speed—can get over the ground at the rate
of ten miles an hour; but they could not continue for any time at that
speed. The ordinary carriage-horse, of less breed and mettle, will
draw a heavier load, and can get over his nine miles an hour without
distress. The large horses in the “unicorns”—the vans of Pickford’s
and the other great establishments of the same character—being a cross
between the cart and the carriage horse, can draw a less load than a
cart horse, but at a speed that averages fully five miles an hour;
whereas the cart horse, whilst easily drawing a load of upwards of a
ton in weight, could not go any distance, without breaking down, at a
higher rate than from three and a half to four miles an hour.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that there is a difference between
the ordinary pace of the cart horse and the pace that the race horse
can go for a short distance, of twenty-seven miles an hour—that is,
the latter can go nearly eight times as fast as the former; but the
difference of weight is more striking. A completely exact comparison
is not possible, because in one case it is weight carried, in the
other weight drawn—say eight stone against one ton and a quarter; one
to twenty-five. We believe that the highest speed at which an English
horse can draw a vehicle—but then it must be feather-weight and very
high wheels—is at the rate of about seventeen miles an hour. The late
Mr. Osbaldiston, of sporting memory, had a horse that slightly exceeded
it. The American trotting horses of greatest celebrity trot nearly
eighteen miles in an hour, and they never break into a gallop. “They
are,” said a sporting friend of ours, “taught only to trot; they don’t
know how to gallop.”

The difference between the extremes of engines in different classes is
not so great as it is with horses; it is, nevertheless, considerable.
The express engine, with its driving-wheel of diameter varying from
six feet and a half to eight feet, can carry a _light load_ of seventy
to ninety tons on a good—that is, a comparatively level—roadway, at
the rate of fully fifty miles an hour, and can maintain this pace with
perfect safety for a length of 90 to 100 miles, provided she can be
supplied with water, as can now be done by means of the trough. Were
she with a load behind her, not exceeding three or four carriages,
she could, as a matter of performance, and without reference to the
question of safety, maintain, without difficulty, a rate of sixty
miles an hour. A four-wheeled coupled engine, each of the four
wheels being of six feet diameter, and with appropriate dimensions
of heating-surface, draws easily 120 to 150 tons, at a running speed
of forty miles an hour. An engine, similar in other respects, but
with wheels of five and a half feet diameter, could run thirty-five
miles an hour with an increase of load of from thirty to fifty tons.
“Goods engines” of the most powerful class—that is, six wheels
coupled—diameter of wheel four feet, can draw from 300 to 350 tons.
This is also the diameter—in some instances it is even smaller—for the
heavy engines used to ascend severe gradients.

In England we have no heavier goods engines on the narrow gauge than
six-wheeled coupled. Their weight is about thirty-five tons. On the
London and North-Western they are only thirty-one tons. Abroad,
however, there are some few engines of much greater power. Thus, on
the Orleans Railway, there is a ten-wheeled coupled tank locomotive
with 19¾-inch cylinders, and 24 inches stroke. It is used principally
to overcome a long and heavy gradient near Auvergne. The diameter of
its wheels is three feet six inches. The “Steyerdorf,” an Austrian
tank engine, which has run about 20,000 miles in the last four years,
has ten wheels, six of which are coupled in one coupling, four others,
being “bogie” wheels, are coupled together separately. There is also
an extremely ingenious intermediate shaft by which the two separate
couplings are connected together. All the wheels are of the same
diameter—3 feet 3½ inches. The other principal dimensions are, cylinder
18¼ inches, length of stroke 25 inches. This locomotive is principally
employed upon a line with very stiff gradients and sharp curves. Its
maximum running speed does not exceed thirteen miles an hour.

The Northern of France Company has a few engines of immense power.
Passengers between Calais and Paris may have observed them occasionally
at stations. Their funnels lay horizontally on the upper surface of the
boilers until near their extremities, when they bend upwards; their
mouths are thus perpendicular, like the funnels of ordinary engines.
The weight of each of these locomotives is nearly forty-five tons,
and it is said that they can easily draw loads of 600 tons; but their
adoption is not likely to he general. They must be very injurious to
the road and very destructive of couplings, &c.

Not content with this weight, the Northern of France Company exhibited
in the Paris Exhibition a four-cylinder twelve-wheel tank engine, made
by Messrs. Gouin & Co., the weight of which, fully loaded with fuel and
water, is 58½ tons. It has 1,920 feet of heating surface.

In 1863, M. Thouvenot, a French engineer, proposed, in a pamphlet
published at Lausanne, the construction of a colossal locomotive, the
weight of which was to be 82 tons, horse power 582, heating surface
5,512 square feet, estimated consumption of fuel 250 lbs. per mile.
This engine was proposed principally with the view to the ascent of
mountains by railway; yet the weight of the train was to be less than
the weight of the engine—only seventy-four tons. The speed estimated
was twelve miles an hour. No such engine has as yet been, or is ever
likely to be, constructed.

The earliest passenger locomotive engines were all made with “inside
cylinders,” that is engines, the cylinders of which were within the
framework. The late Mr. Joseph Locke we believe first introduced
“outside” cylinder engines, that is, cylinders outside the framework,
and at once visible to the eye. The “Crampton” engines—a great
favourite in various parts of the continent, especially on the Northern
of France Railway, but never in England—all have outside cylinders.
The outside cylinder engine was very popular some twenty years ago,
but the tendency of engineers, especially since the introduction of
steel-cranks, is to revert to inside cylinders. Even at the Crewe
manufacturing shops, where formerly none but outside cylinder engines
were built, engines with inside cylinders are now constructed. The
same on the Great Eastern, and one or two other lines where outside
cylinders were at one time exclusively adopted.

As regards locomotive makers—thirty-six years ago the trade did not
exist in Great Britain. The following list comprises the names of
about thirty firms and establishments, all actively engaged in the
production of railway engines. Some can construct as many as 110 a
year (Messrs. Sharp, Brothers, and Messrs. R. Stephenson & Co.), and
there is none that cannot produce from twenty-five to thirty; their
total capacity is about 1,500 engines per annum. Messrs. Sharp,
Stewart & Co., and Beyer, Peacock & Co., of Manchester; Messrs. Robert
Stephenson & Co., and R. & W. Hawthorn, at Newcastle; Messrs. Kitson &
Co., Manning, Wardle & Co., Hudswell & Clarke, and the Hunslet Engine
Company, Leeds; the Avonside Engine Company, at Bristol; Messrs.
Hopkins, Gilkes & Co., Middlesboro’; the Canada Works, Birkenhead, now
the property of Mr. Thomas Brassey; the Vulcan Foundry, Warrington;
Messrs. George England & Co., New Cross, London; Messrs. James Cross
& Co., St. Helen’s; Mr. R. Brotherhood, Chippenham; Messrs. Fletcher,
Jennings & Co., Whitehaven; Messrs. Hughes & Co., Loughborough; the
Yorkshire Engine Company, near Sheffield; the Worcester Engine Company,
Worcester. The Steam-Plough Works at Leeds have recently commenced
locomotive building, and have already despatched engines for Mexico.
The Bridgewater Foundry, near Manchester, has resumed this class of
work, and is now making engines for the Brighton Railway. Messrs.
Ruston, Proctor & Co., of Lincoln, are now locomotive builders; also
the Lilleshall Company. Besides these makers, the railway companies
are themselves large constructors of locomotives. The Crewe Works
turns out 120 new engines yearly. The Great Western Company make large
numbers of engines, both at Swindon and at Wolverhampton; the Midland
Company produce many engines at Derby; the Brighton Company make
locomotives at Brighton, as do also the South-Eastern at Ashford, the
South-Western at Nine Elms, London, and the London, Chatham, and Dover
at the Longhedge Works, Battersea. So also do the Caledonian Company at
Glasgow, the North-London at Bow, and the Great Southern and Western
Company at Inchicore, near Dublin.

The largest locomotive works in Scotland are those of Messrs.
Neilson & Co., of Glasgow, and we know, from personal knowledge and
experience, that they produce excellent work. The Glasgow Locomotive
Works, Glasgow, is also a large establishment, with capacity for very
extensive business.

There are no locomotive building firms in Ireland.

The money value of the new locomotives only, turned out each year by
these establishments is close upon £4,000,000 sterling. Nearly a third
of the locomotives built are sent abroad.

In 1864, the number of locomotives on the German railways was 4,768,574
of which were manufactured abroad; Germany now not only builds her own
locomotives, but she sent 1,000 last year to other countries, such as
Switzerland, Italy, France, and Russia. The number of engines now used
on the railways of Germany is 5,250, of which 340 have to be replaced
every year, it being calculated that a locomotive seldom lasts longer
than fifteen or sixteen years. The largest of the German factories is
that of Borsig, of Berlin, which has built more than 2,000 engines
since it was first established in 1841; the two-thousandth engine
being the one that was sent to the Paris Exhibition of 1867. As the
one-thousandth locomotive of this establishment was completed in 1859,
it follows that its producing capacity is about 125 engines a year.
Of the others, the principal are that of Maffei, in Bavaria; that of
the Austrian railway companies at Vienna; Egerstorff’s, at Hanover;
Henschl’s, at Cassel; and the Carlsruhe Factory, which sent its four
hundred and fifty-ninth locomotive to the Paris Exhibition.

The great locomotive establishments of France are not more than six in
number; those of Messrs. Schneider & Co., at the Creusot Iron Works,
of Messrs. Cail & Co., Messrs. Gouin & Co., Messrs. Kœchlin & Co.,
of Mulhouse, the establishments at Five-Lilles, Graffenstadt, and
Commentry. Each of the great French railway companies make locomotives.
The capacity of construction of all the establishments in France does
not exceed 450 engines per annum. Although France is very proud of
having exported a dozen engines to England, she is herself a large
importer of them, principally from Belgium; and she requires an
expansion of at least 50 per cent. of her present locomotive production
before she can be independent, for them, of other nations.

The largest locomotive constructing and engineering factory in Belgium
is that of the “Societé, John Cockerill,” at Seraing, established
in 1834, by our countryman of that name. Mr. Cockerill did not live
to see the complete success of the establishment. The other leading
locomotive constructing firms in Belgium are those of Messrs. Nicaise
& Deleuwe, of Louvière; G. Raghens & Sons, of Malines; Messrs. Charles
L. Cavels, of Ghent; “Compagnie Belge du Materiel des Chemins de
Fer,” at Molenbeek Saint Jean; Thivenet, of Marchienne; Hanrez & Co.,
of Monceau-upon-Sambre; and A. Detombay & Co., of Marcinelle. The
locomotive producing capacity of Belgium is about 600 engines per
annum, and it can be easily extended.

Switzerland has one locomotive building factory, which was recently
opened at Zurich. Italy, Spain, Russia, and Holland are not locomotive
producing countries. About 4,500 engines per annum are now constructed
in Europe, but in case of demand at least 2,000 a year more could
be produced. Canada and Australia are the only British colonies in
which they are made; in the former their first manufacture dates
back about twelve years, but it is only in the present year that a
commencement has been made of building them in Australia. The first
Australian engine was made at Sydney, and others are now in process of
construction there.

There are, according to the last Post Office returns, 814 head
postal towns in Great Britain, besides at least 4,000 sub-postal
towns, boroughs, and villages, scattered all over the kingdom.
There are in France no less than 4,361 “Bureaux de Poste et de
Distribution,” both major and minor, and, as we have already said at
page 144, Monsieur Vandal, in his _Annuaire des Postes_ for 1866,
enumerates about 19,000 postal towns in Europe and North America,
exclusive of Schindermanderscheid, Oberschindermanderscheid, and
Nederschindermanderscheid, which he has omitted to mention. With all
these the French Post Office has correspondence more or less direct;
so also has that of England. What the number of cities, towns, and
villages, may be in the other parts of the world it is impossible
to say; but this, at all events, is certain, that there is only one
town, one great town, that has been conceived for the locomotive, born
for the locomotive, wet-nursed for the locomotive, weaned for the
locomotive, breeched for the locomotive, birched for the locomotive,
apprenticed for the locomotive; its _prima lanugo_ was for the
locomotive; and, finally, _prima lanugo_ has since grown to manhood,
and, by the usual metamorphosis, has been converted into bristles,
through the locomotive.

Just thirty-three years ago, at the original planning of the Grand
Junction Railway, CREWE, which otherwise might have never been more
than a road-side station, was fixed upon as the site for the company’s
locomotive and carriage establishments. Its locality was convenient,
being 42½ miles from Liverpool, and 54½ from Birmingham. Besides, it
was at a comparatively poor and unfrequented part of the railway,
where land could be—and actually, in the first purchases, was—obtained
cheaply. Well, the line was built, the station was opened, and the
repairing shops were erected. They were (in the plural number) “_parra
metu primo_,” for it was always the late Mr. Joseph Locke’s habit
to build with as much cheapness and economy as were consistent with
efficiency and good working. The locomotive and carriage requirements
for 97½ miles of railway, with six trains a day in each direction on
week days and four on Sundays, added to which were a couple or three
goods trains each way on week days, were not great. Therefore, the
first erections at Crewe were modest and unpretending.

In process of time Crewe grew, for not only was the Grand Junction
married with the London and Birmingham, neither bride nor bridegroom,
however, retaining its former name, but each becoming “London and
North-Western.” A year or so after celebration of the marriage,
Crewe became the junction point of the railway to Manchester; thence
afterwards extended in a mystifying net-work of lines over all the
manufacturing towns of Cheshire, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. On the
left there was the line to Chester, one of the railways constructed by
George Stephenson, which, in 1849, was extended, by his son Robert,
to Holyhead. The main arterial railway did not, in the first instance,
extend farther north from London, than the point where the Liverpool
and Manchester Railway bisected it at Newton Junction; but, by degrees,
it stretched out to Preston, then to Lancaster, then to Carlisle, and
therefrom all over western Scotland. So that the insignificant, almost
unknown, Crewe of 1837 had not only become, in 1849, a great centre of
traffic of every description, but it was also the workshop, the family
residence, when in health, of upwards of 220 engines and tenders, as
well as the hospital and place of receptacle for such of them as became
sick, halt, or maimed, while working the traffic of what became, at
the time of the amalgamation, the northern division of the London and
North-Western Railway. The extreme southern point of this division
was, and we believe still is, Stafford; at the commencement of the
railway—very much like Crewe—an insignificant and unimportant road-side
station. In the north, Crewe engines worked as far as Carlisle,
westward to Holyhead, and eastward along the mystifying net-work of
lines which fertilise Cheshire and its two adjacent manufacturing
counties. Upwards of one hundred engines were at work every day; and
besides keeping them all in perfect order, the establishment turned out
a new engine and tender every Monday morning, commencing on the 1st of
January, 1848.

In 1849 the number of men and boys employed in all the shops devoted
to engines was 1,600; the weekly wages of each averaged just a pound a
week—£1,600. “Close to the entrance of the locomotive department,” says
Sir Francis Head, in his “Stokers and Pokers,” “stands, as its _primum
mobile_, the tall chimney of a steam-pump, which, besides supplying the
engine that propels the machinery of the workshops, gives an abundance
of water to the locomotives, and also to the new railway town of Crewe,
containing at present about 8,000 inhabitants. This pump raises about
eighty or ninety thousand gallons of water per day from a brook below
into filtering-beds, whence it is again raised about forty feet into a
large cistern, where it is a second time filtered through charcoal for
the supply of the town.”

“After passing through a workshop,” continues Sir Francis, “containing
thirty-four planing and slotting machines, in busy but almost silent
operation, we entered a smiths’ shop, 260 feet long, containing forty
forges all at work. At several of the anvils there were three, and
sometimes four strikers, and the quantity of sparks that more or less
were exploding from each, the number of sledge-hammers revolving in
the air, with the sinewy frames, bare throats and arms of the fine
hale men who wielded them, formed altogether a scene well worthy of
a few moments’ contemplation. As the heavy work of the department is
principally executed in this shop, in which iron is first enlisted
and then rather roughly drilled into the service of the company, it
might be conceived that the music of the forty anvils at work would
altogether be rather noisy in concert. The grave itself, however,
could scarcely be more silent than this workshop, in comparison with
the one that adjoins it, in which the boilers of the locomotives are
constructed. As for asking questions of, or receiving explanations
from, the guide who, with motionless lips, conducts the stranger
through this chamber, such an effort would be utterly hopeless; for
the deafening noise proceeding from the riveting of the bolts and
plates of so many boilers is distracting beyond description. We almost
fancied that the workmen must be aware of this effect upon a stranger,
and that on seeing us enter they welcomed our visit by a special
charivari sufficient to awaken the dead. As we hurried through the
din, we could not, however, help pausing for a moment before a boiler
of copper inside and iron outside, within which there sat crouched up,
like a negro between the decks of a slave-ship, an intelligent-looking
workman, holding with both hands a hammer against a bolt, on the upper
end of which, within a few inches of his ears, two lusty comrades on
the outside were hammering with surprising strength and quickness.
The noise which reverberated within this boiler, in addition to that
which was resounding without, formed altogether a dose which it is
astonishing the tympanum of the human ear can receive uninjured; at
all events we could not help thinking that if there should happen to
exist on earth any man ungallant enough to complain of the occasional
admonition of a female tongue, if he will only go by rail to Crewe,
and sit in that boiler for half-an-hour, he will most surely never
again complain of the chirping of that ‘cricket on his hearth,’ the
whispering curtain lectures of his _dulce domum_.”

It is impossible to follow and narrate, in a work of this description,
all the details of manufacture by which the rough masses of iron,
steel, copper, and brass become converted into the perfect locomotive.
We therefore close these extracts from Sir Francis’ pleasant book, by
what he says of the erecting-shop at Crewe, it being remembered that
production being now more than double what it was in 1849, the delivery
of an engine every three days is its usual amount, and sixteen or
eighteen times a-year there is an interval of only two working days
between the births of two engines:—

“At the farther end of the line of rails close to the north wall,
there appeared a long, low, tortuous mass of black iron-work, without
superstructure or wheels, in which the form of an engine-bed in embryo
could but very faintly be traced. A little nearer was a similar mass,
in which the outline appeared, from some cause or other, to be more
distinctly marked; nearer still, the same outline appeared upon wheels.
To the next there had been added a boiler and a fire-box, without dome,
steam escape, or funnel-pipe. Nearer still, the locomotive engine, in
its naked state, appeared in point of form complete, and workmen were
here busily engaged in covering the boiler with a garment about half
an-inch thick of hair-felt, upon which others were affixing a covering
of inch deep plank, over which was to be tightly bound a tarpaulin, the
whole to be secured by iron hoops. In the next case the dome of the
engine was undergoing a similar toilette, excepting that, instead of a
wooden upper garment, it was receiving one of copper. Lastly (it was on
a Saturday that we chanced to visit the establishment), there stood,
at the head of this list of recruits, a splendid bran-new locomotive
engine, completely finished, painted bright green (the varnish was
scarcely dry), and in every respect perfectly ready to be delivered
over on Monday morning to run its gigantic course. On other rails
within the building were tenders in similar states of progress; and, as
the eye rapidly glanced down these iron rails, the finished engine and
tender immediately before it seemed gradually and almost imperceptibly
to dissolve in proportion to its distance, until nothing was left of
each but an indistinct and almost unintelligible dreamy vision of black

In 1849 the coach repairing business of the northern division of the
company, as well as the locomotive establishments, were at Crewe, but
by a recent arrangement all the locomotive staff and material which
existed at Wolverton (for it was, until the transfer, both the engine
and the carriage repairing establishment of the southern division of
the London and North-Western Company) have been removed to Crewe.
Wolverton has received the carriage repairing establishment of Crewe,
and henceforward its duties will be limited to this service. As regards
waggons and all the rolling stock relating to the goods department, a
separate establishment has been formed at Earlestown, near the junction
station of that name, 187 miles from London. By this arrangement Crewe
will shortly be able to turn out some thirty or forty more engines a
year, bringing the regular number of engines manufactured up to three a
week,—of the money value of fully £7,000.

Let us now give some details of the growth of Crewe in the last
nineteen years. In 1849, as has just been stated, 1,600 men and boys
were employed there, averaging £1 a week each in wages. At present
the number of workmen of all kinds employed, including the locomotive
works, the steel works (of which anon), rail making, and “the steam
shed,” is about 4,350. It is never at present under 4,300. The wages
due to “the hands” each week is £5,050, so that the average per person
employed has increased from £1 a week in 1849, to £1. 3s. 3d. at
present. In 1849 there were 360 miles “worked” by Crewe. Now the number
is 1,328. In 1849 there were about 100 “Crewe engines” in steam daily;
now there are from 800 to 850, varying according to the amount of work
that has to be gone through.

Among the additional buildings which have very recently been erected
is a new repairing shop, capable of accommodating thirty-two engines.
It is fitted up with travelling cranes, worked by cord, on the
principle invented and employed by Mr. Ramsbottom. Full and interesting
particulars of this, and the other machinery now adopted at Crewe, will
be found in the _Engineer_ newspaper of February 9th and 16th, 1866,
and in _Engineering_ of the 25th of October, 1867.

In addition to the cranes just referred to, one has recently been
supplied to the new iron foundry, in which are placed two very large
cupolas required for the heaviest castings. This crane is capable of
sustaining a weight of thirty tons; a smaller one lifts ten tons. There
are also two hydraulic cranes, similar to those invented by Bessemer,
for hoisting ingots out of the converting pit at the steel works; also
a hoist worked by hydraulic machinery for lifting metal, coke, &c.,
from the ground floor to the firing stage of the cupolas. In the same
range are a brass foundry, millwrights’ shop, carpenters’ shop and
saw-mill, the whole covering an area of about 112,000 superficial feet.

Before quitting the subject of locomotive repairs, it must be stated
that there are—what on other railways would be called large shops—minor
establishments at Carlisle, at Camden, at Edge Hill, near Liverpool,
at Longsight, near Manchester, and at Preston. The very heavy repairs,
however, which all engines require from time to time are done
exclusively at Crewe.

But, besides locomotive work at Crewe on the foregoing gigantic scale,
and in all its infinities, the London and North-Western Company decided
in 1863 to commence the manufacture not only of rails on the ordinary
system, but also upon the new and marvellous process known as the
“Bessemer Process,” so called after the name of the distinguished
gentleman who is its inventor. Thanks to this process, of which, owing
to the scope and character of our work, we can only say a few words,
a most important saving in the items of maintenance and renewals, is
about to be effected on railways. The Bessemer works at Crewe were
opened in September, 1864. The number of men exclusively employed at
them is 378, and their wages are £444 a week. In the article of steel
rails alone, the works turn out at the rate of 6,000 tons a year,
and this is exclusive of the number of steel tires, axles, &c., also
manufactured there. This number is increasing daily, owing to the
increased economy effected by their introduction.[70] The amount of
iron rails also manufactured is about 14,000 tons a year. As renewals
of rails are required on those parts of the system where the traffic
is heavy and the trains are frequent, iron will be superseded by steel
rails. It is probable that, eventually, the latter only will be found
on the London and North-Western system. This, however, is not likely
to be the case for some years to come. In the meantime, the iron rails
constructed at Crewe, being so much superior in quality to those
manufactured by the iron masters, will carry the traffic on the less
frequented portions of the line, and will cost less for maintenance and
renewal than steel rails at their present prices. The cost of their
production will, however, no doubt, he greatly diminished in the course
of the next three or four years. Mr. Bessemer’s royalties, unless he
obtain renewal of his patents, will cease about that period.

But how are the 14,000 men, women, and children, who now constitute the
population of modern Crewe, lodged and otherwise provided for? When,
in 1849, they numbered 8,000 they were lodged in 514 houses, a number
which we expect the Registrar-General would have put his finger upon
and objected to—nearly 16 persons in each small habitation. Now, the
number of houses is about 2,000, of which 720 belong to the company.
They are built along commodious and pleasant streets; well lighted with
gas; well Macadamised or paved. As signs of civilisation, there are
gay and lively shops, brightly lighted up on winter evenings, replete
with modern fashions for the ladies, and, for the rougher sex, there is
everything at hand for everyday work, and for Sundays. All the usual
signs of civilisation prevail within town boundaries. There are dancing
masters and dancing mistresses, music masters, and music teachers of
the gentler sex, barrel organs and German bands, occasional theatrical
performances by the _artistes_ of the “circuit,” balls, dances,
flirtations, marriages and their usual consequences, and, to wind up,
there are four lawyers, seven policemen, a weekly newspaper called
the _Crewe and Nantwich Guardian_, and two undertakers! The gentleman
who has so kindly furnished us with most of the information herein
given respecting modern Crewe, wishes it specially to be noted, that
“the undertakers do not make this their sole business, but are also
drapers,” a request that we have great pleasure in complying with,
adding thereto a hope on our own parts, that the worthy drapers may
long find it more profitable to wait upon Crewe living, than to follow
it, when dead, to its last resting-place.

In a work published at the commencement of this year by Messrs. Tinsley
Brothers, entitled “Some Habits and Customs of the Working Classes,
written by a Journeyman Engineer,” the writer alleges that working
men cannot write letters for the reason that “they were very good
scholars once, only they have forgotten all their education,”—hence
it is, continues the author, “they usually regard letter writing as
a soul-depressing business fit only for the gloom and involuntary
confinement of a wet Sunday.” But this is not the case at Crewe, for we
find, by a postal return presented to Parliament in August last, that
the Post Office distributes 6,350 letters every week. Of course this
number is exclusive of the legion beyond number that the locomotive
department receives and sends out “on company’s service.” The service
correspondence of the traffic and of the stores departments must also
be very considerable. All these letters are conveyed solely by the
company’s trains.

Crewe is now even better off, as regards its water supply, than it was
in 1849. The whole of it comes, at present, from Whitmore, close by the
station of that name, eleven miles from Crewe, where it is pumped out
of the red sand-stone into a reservoir. Now, it happens, fortunately,
that Whitmore is 580 feet higher than Crewe, so that the water
gravitates in pipes laid along the railway, and it is so pure at its
journey’s end that it requires no filtering whatever. The consequence
is, that not only is there an abundant supply for Crewe Works, but
every house in the town is also well furnished. Recently, considerable
additional demand has been made on the water supply of the town, owing
to the opening of some large and convenient modern baths. These
consist of a capacious swimming bath, the cost for which is 2d. each
bather. A first-class warm bath at these baths costs sixpence, a second
fourpence; but at the baths inferior in point of style and elegance,
the price is only 1½d.

Formerly a medical man was appointed to attend the workmen and their
families in sickness, or when accidents occurred. Of late years the
doctor is no longer provided by the company, as far as sickness is
concerned, as the system was found to cause much dissatisfaction, many
of the workmen being connected with societies which provided special
medical attendance for the members. For accidents, however, an hospital
has been erected, the expenses of which are partly defrayed by the
railway company, and the medical man appointed by the company still
attends to the surgical cases of the men themselves, for which each man
pays one half-penny a-week.

The town was governed in 1849 by a council of fifteen members,
two-thirds of whom were nominated by the workmen, and one-third by the
directors. Now the government is vested in a Local Board of Health
consisting, as in the previous arrangement, of fifteen members, who are
elected altogether by the ratepayers. The time has not yet arrived,
in the opinion of the leading persons in the town, for applying for a
Charter of Incorporation; at all events, nothing is thought about it at

We have left to the last a brief description of the arrangements which
have been made for Divine service, religious instruction, and for moral
cultivation and improvement. In 1849 there was only one church at
Crewe. It was capable of accommodating about 800 persons. In 1867 the
original church had been enlarged, and had become capable of receiving
1,200. In 1865 Mr. George Duncombe, of London, presented an iron church
for the use of the inhabitants—a noble act, for which God will for
ever bless him and his. But the Parish Church and the iron church
having proved inadequate for the number of members of the Established
Church who present themselves to hear God’s word, the site for the
construction of another church has been secured, and the work will be
commenced before the close of the present year.

Besides the Episcopalian churches, there are fourteen places of worship
for other denominations—equal to the accommodation of over 4,000
persons. The Town Hall and Mechanics’ Institution is supported by about
400 members. It contains a large reading room, a gymnasium, and a
library, which now numbers upwards of 3,000 volumes. In addition, there
are several commodious and well lighted class-rooms in which evening
classes are held for the higher education of those pupils who are
unable to attend the ordinary schools in the day time. The number of
such pupils exceeds 150. The drawing class is a branch of the Chester
School of Art. The pupils are examined annually by the Government
Examiners. There is also a science and art class, a tributary of the
South Kensington system.

The Mechanics’ Institution receives a free grant of patent
specifications from Government. These are greatly esteemed by the
pupils, who have made much use of them during the last few years.

The ordinary schools established by the company, and attached to the
Episcopalian Church, have recently been enlarged. The daily attendance
of children at them is about 700. The schools belonging to the other
denominations of worship are attended daily by over a thousand children.

Crewe boasts of a handsome and substantial market hall, which covers an
area of 14,000 superficial feet. Saturday is market day. There was no
private manufactory of any description in the town until 1865, when Mr.
Compton, of London, established a factory for making up the clothing
worn by the company’s servants. Upwards of 250 persons are now employed
in it.

At the head of the mighty establishments at Crewe—establishments in
which, including men and materials, there is a weekly expenditure of
about £20,000—over a million a year—is one man who, if he had been
in Egypt, with works not a quarter the size and not half so ably
carried out, would have been at least a Bey, more probably a Pacha, in
Austria a Count of the Holy Empire; in any other country in the world,
except England, with crosses and decorations, the ribbons of which
would easily make a charming bonnet of existing dimensions. But in
England the earnest, persevering, never-tiring JOHN RAMSBOTTOM is John
Ramsbottom—no more. It is true that he has European and Transatlantic
reputation, and that he is Fellow and Honorary Fellow of innumerable
societies, thus abnegating in his person the latter half of the
aphorism that says:—

  “Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow.”

For without the worth he never would have been the fellow. Probably had
Mr. Ramsbottom been a Member of Parliament, he might have hereditary
honours by this time. But ere long there will be fresh agitation for
distribution of seats, notwithstanding the anger of the _Quarterly
Review_ of October, 1867, at the “Conservative Surrender.” Then will
be the time for Crewe to put forward its claims to have its bone, its
sinew, its muscle, its manly vigour, and Titanic power represented. Who
more worthy to represent it than the present semi-sovereign prince who
sways, with nearly omnipotent power, 157½ miles from the supreme and
sovereign authority at Euston? Add Barrow-in-Furness, and then “King
Iron” would make his thunder heard in St. Stephens!

Crewe, although pre-eminently the great locomotive city of the
empire, is far from being the only one. Next in importance to it is
Swindon, at which are located all the great engineering works of the
Great Western Company; it is seventy-eight miles from London, on the
main line, which leads on the left to Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, and
the whole extreme South-Western parts of England; on the right to
Gloucester, and thence to South Wales. The Great Eastern locomotive
works are at Stratford, four miles from London; those of the Great
Northern at Doncaster, 157 miles. The Midland, the latest addition
to the number of railways having their termini in London, have their
shops at Derby, 120 miles from London. Crossing the Thames, we find
the South-Western locomotive shops at Nine Elms, within half-a-mile
of those of the London, Chatham and Dover, at Long Hedge, Battersea.
The London, Brighton and South Coast works are at Brighton, fifty-two
miles from London. Finally, those of the South-Eastern are at Ashford,
the junction point whence, besides the main line to Folkstone and
Dover, one branch runs to the left to accommodate Canterbury, Deal,
Margate, and Ramsgate, another to the right extends to St. Leonards and
Hastings; Ashford is sixty-seven miles from London. The largest railway
company in England, the terminus of which is not in London, is the
North-Eastern; in mileage it ranks third, being only exceeded by the
London and North-Western and the Great Western. Its locomotive shops
are at York; those of the Caledonian Company are near Glasgow. The two
railway companies of longest dimensions in Ireland, the Great Southern
and Western and the Midland Great Western, have their workshops
respectively at Inchicore and at Broadstone; both these places are
suburbs of Dublin. There are more than 20,000 skilled workmen and their
apprentices employed in the engine repairing and constructing factories
belonging to the railway companies of the United Kingdom.



READER! have you ever travelled on a locomotive? We believe not; at
least there have been very few of you of the male sex, none of you
of the gentler—for there is a law on railways like that of masonry,
railway engines are “tiled” against crinoline.[71] If one of you
should, peradventure, ever succeed in bounding the barrier, you will,
like Miss Aldworth[72] a hundred years ago, be sworn to keep the
secret for life,—and we are sure you will keep it.

We, however, have been permitted to travel on the engine from London
to Stafford and back again, and not having been sworn to secrecy, we
venture to give a brief account of the journey.

It is not to be supposed that going through the air at the rate of
between forty and fifty miles an hour is disagreeable. It is not so,
unless the weather be severe and trying; but in fine, and especially
warm weather, the rapid movement creates a feeling of much pleasure and
enjoyment. It is only when amateurs do not travel on railway engines
that the real hardships of locomotive driving can be appreciated; of
late years, however, the little wooden fencing, with oval glass window
on each side, the whole technically called a “cab,” gives an amount of
protection which materially lessens hardship in inclement weather.

It may be considered, as a general rule, that there are on an average,
twelve men employed on each mile of railway in the United Kingdom.
Taking the present length of railways as 14,300 miles,[73] this would
make the number about 172,000. Of course on many of the railways,
especially on those opened in recent years, which are single lines, and
run through districts where the population is sparse and the trains
infrequent, there is nothing like that average number employed. But,
on the other hand, the unceasing increase of business, especially in
goods and mineral traffic, on all the leading railways that connect
important places together, necessitates continued increase of staff;
hence it is that the number of men directly employed is very nearly the
same per mile as it was seven or eight-and-twenty years ago.

The engine drivers and firemen constitute about a twelfth of the total
staff of railway companies.

One of the oldest railways guide books published, gives exact
directions how to arrive at Euston Station from other parts of the
town, and we are told to take special notice of the “Grand Facade at
Euston Grove.” The centre of it is the Doric portico built by Hardwich,
used by nobody, which, however, cost shareholders no less than £40,000.
No wonder, seeing that it contains not less than 75,000 cubic feet of
Yorkshire freestone, several of the blocks of which, weighed upwards of
thirteen tons each.

Passing _by_, but not through this massive portal, we arrive at the
actual station, and thence at the platform, whence, in the magnificent
language of penny-a-lining,[74] we are so shortly to be “hurled
along through the atmosphere at singularly rapid—it might almost be
said marvellously terrific speed of forty-five miles an hour.” Not
being historiographers for Mr. Frith, R.A., we do not intend to give
any account of the persons whom he truly, but not with such intense
artistic effect as in the “Derby Day,” depicts, as those who fill a
railway platform just before a train is starting. We must therefore
not say anything of the unconscious or indifferent old gentleman,
who so placidly reads his newspaper, within six inches of the two
broad-brimmed detectives, one of whom dangles the “bracelets” into
the view of the foiled and agonised culprit, compelled to convert an
intended migration into forced residence in Newgate. We must also
leave unrecorded about heaving porters, rushing guards, precipitous
newsboys, friends parting—some with lurking tears, some with tears more
open—some with scarce suppressed pleasure and fervent hope, as they
affectionately squeeze each other’s hands, that they may never meet
again, at all events on this side of Jordan; all these must we pass
by, that we may show to the engine driver and his “mate” the order,
which gives us the privilege of placing ourselves, with them, on the
footplate of the engine.

There she is—manacled with harness that Vulcan presided at the forging
of—smoke-vomiting, steam-emitting, snorting, bubbling inside, grunting,
growling—hissing too, with an intensity equal to the combined and
concentrated hissing of ten thousand offended and irritated cats,
additioned with the hissing of at least the like number of angry birds,
the hissing of one of which was enough to save from capture Roman
Capitol, ancient Rome’s strongest fortress, 365 years after Roman City
had been created.

Every passenger is seated, the door of every carriage has received its
last bang[75] at closing, even the inevitable last man has rushed in,
panting and breathless, and has been shoved with main force, by at
least a dozen sturdy porters, into a compartment. This last man is as
inevitable as the dog at Epsom Races on the Derby Day, or any other
incident of life, the absence of which is so impossible, that life
could not go on without it. There always is—there always _must_ be—a
last man; inexorable fate has so decided. Then it is that the gentleman
in the braided green coat, with—as a further mark of distinction from
other officials—a hat on, gracefully and graciously, with becoming
dignity, yet withal not pompously, in short, exactly as befits a
railway official of authority, weight, and consequence, waves a white
flag which he has just received from an official of humbler grade
standing beside him, once up, once down, and once more up again. He
waves no more; the before-mentioned humbler official receiving the flag
staff from his dignified chief, carefully folds it up, that it may be
in readiness for precisely the same ceremony at the departure of each
subsequent train; the chief (still dignified) gives a _vade-valeque_
motion of his right hand, the guard sounds his whistle, and all the
bustle, life, excitement, and animation of ten minutes by-gone have as
completely vanished, as if they had never existed.

The engine has no sooner, by the slight movement of the “regulator”
which the driver gently handles, received a first injection of steam
into her cylinders than she starts into motion as a thing of life, with
a weight behind her of not less than from 100 to 150 tons. The slow
pace at starting is gradually increased, but she has scarcely passed
the limit of the station when she is taught the lesson of life, which
even the most favoured learn—that it is with her as with man, it is
uphill work, at all events in its early stages, for in the first mile
and a quarter she has to ascend the stiffest hill in her whole journey,
“1 in 80,” Camden being just a hundred feet higher than Euston. Bury’s
“four-wheelers,” the _dii maximi_ of railway engine power in 1810,
were so weak that they could not bring a train, the weight of which
was not a quarter of one of a modern date, up the “Euston incline”
without the friendly aid of ropes worked by two fixed engines of high
power, and two very high chimneys, at Camden. But the chimneys have
long since disappeared, and the engines are doing good service in some
other place belonging to the Company’s gigantic establishments. The
engine and train emerge from the Primrose tunnel to hide themselves in
a minute or two afterwards in that of Kilburn, and as they pass the
station of that name, the reader may be reminded it was there that Dick
Turpin began his ride to York, on Black Bess, 130 years ago[76]. Had
it been mail horses of the olden time their run to Wimbledon (seven
miles from Euston) would have completed their present journey, and
they would have rested until they were harnessed to the “up mail,”
and having brought it to London, their work of twenty-four hours
would have been completed. But at seven miles from its starting point
the iron horse would not have been more than four or five minutes at
full running pace; three minutes in time and two miles in distance
bring time-honoured Harrow in sight, “on the hill,” for its church
is noticable from every point of the compass, and it was of it that
Charles II. said, during a theological discussion in his presence,
“the true visible church, as it could be seen everywhere.” Of its
school,[77] founded in 1571 by John of Lyon, but one momentary view is
obtained, and that is only as a day train darts along the valley that
leads to Watford. The three most distinguished men of modern times who
have received their education there have been Peel, Palmerston, and

The northern extremity of the long Watford tunnel, twenty miles from
London, is reached just thirty-three minutes from the time of starting;
yet it has been climbing work all the while, and the climbing work
continues still farther to Tring, eleven miles more distant from
London; but the hill is not so steep as it was at starting. Long it
is; but Tring is, nevertheless, only some 750 feet higher than Euston,
and some 350 feet higher than the top of the cross of the noblest
Protestant Church in the world—St. Paul’s. Has the engine felt it?
Not she. She has only shown that she knows the difference between a
gradient of 1 in 80 and 1 in 300, by the bound she made into higher
speed, as, escaping from the stiffer incline, she dashed on to more
level ground through the Points of Camden.

In the by-gone days of the early railway, the engine that could gain
the heights of Tring without baiting on the way was a wonder. In 1844,
when experiments were made preparatory to running express trains
between London and Birmingham in three hours, the exultation was great
when it was found that a tender could be constructed to hold water
enough to convey a light train as far as Wolverton without stopping.

Finality is an unknown element on the railway: Progress is its only
pass-word. The tender was no sooner found capable of carrying water
to Wolverton, than it was determined to extend the distance to
Blisworth. Not very long afterwards the run was increased to Rugby,
twenty miles farther. Engines and trains have for some years run these
eighty-two miles without stoppage; but of late the water-crane has been
supplemented by the water-trough, of which we shall take occasion to
speak presently.

From Tring to Leighton the ground is gone over in nearly as few minutes
as there are miles—one only conspicuous object being visible in the
intervening distance—the noble house built, not ten years ago, for the
great Rothschild, by the still greater Paxton.

As the train flies through Leighton Station, the engineman’s watch
tells that he has completed his forty miles in his appointed time,
fifty-six minutes from that at which he left London. Well that he is
quick of glance, for before the watch is replaced in its pocket, the
engine and train enter in the Linsdale Tunnel. It is the worst on
the line, for though short—only 284 yards in length—you are half-way
through it before the first gleam of daylight is caught streaming
in at its opposite entrance. “I have got the distant signal all
right, Jack, put some coal on”—says the engineman to his fireman, and
the furnace door has scarcely been opened for three shovels full,
before the iron-clad is dashing through Bletchley Station—46½ miles
from London,—twenty years ago, a small road-side station; now, a
first-class and intricate junction, whence a branch juts off to the
right to Bedford, and thence to Cambridge; another on the left to
Oxford. It is thus that the two Universities are brought into railway
connection, and the rival seats of learning and of boat racing are only
three-and-a-half hours apart from each other. Might not Cam do well by
an occasional training visit to the banks and stream of Isis?

Bletchley is also intricate, because it is here that the third line
of railway, ordered by the London and North-Western Company in 1858,
commences, and is continued except through the Watford Tunnel (at
either end of which it is very ingeniously connected with the original
up-line of railway) on to Camden Station. This third line is solely for
up goods, cattle, and mineral traffic, and the relative speed of such
trains and those for passengers can be seen and appreciated, as the
latter pass alongside the former for a minute or two, and then leave
them behind at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour—twenty _versus_

Time was when Wolverton was looked upon as the most dangerous part
of the whole line between London and Liverpool. It was, therefore, a
halting place not only for all passenger trains, but goods trains came
to a stand there also. At Wolverton likewise were the main locomotive
repairing shops of the original London and Birmingham Company; and
when the company was amalgamated with the Grand Junction and other
companies, the locomotive establishment became that for the southern
division of the London and North-Western Company, the two northern
points of which are, Birmingham, looking westward, and Stafford,
looking slightly to the eastward. In process of time the repairing
shops have been doubled, trebled, nearly quadrupled. In 1840 Wolverton
had a population of 2,000, all of whom were company’s servants or
their families. In 1849 it was double that number, and now, in 1867,
it is 6,000. But of this number about 1,700 are on the wing with
their families. These are the men who have hitherto been employed in
the locomotive works, which (as stated at page 199) have just been
transferred to Crewe. These men and their families, however, will not
leave a void in the population, as their places will be supplied from
the carriage portion of the Crewe establishment, and from the carriage
works of the company, until now located at Saltley, near Birmingham.

The chief owners of land at Wolverton are the trustees of the Radcliffe
Library Estate at Oxford; and, although they have erected upon the
property a church, to which is attached a churchyard (already beginning
to show a great many mounds), they have always been unwilling to
dispose of land for building purposes to the extent required by the
company. The consequence has been that part of the town or village of
Wolverton has had to be built nearly a mile away from it!—at a place
called Stantonbury, to the great inconvenience and discomfort of all
the men who have to take up their quarters in that locality.

Besides the Radcliffe Episcopalian Church, there is one built mainly by
subscriptions from the shareholders of the company. Conjointly they are
capable of seating about a thousand people, and the schools connected
with them have nearly 600 children in daily attendance. Besides
these two churches, there are other places of worship, equal to the
accommodation of about 1,100 people.

Of the Infant School Sir Francis Head gives a description, which is
as accurate for now as it was for eighteen years ago:—“At the western
extremity of the building, on entering the infant-school, which is
under the superintendence of an intelligent-looking young person of
about nineteen years of age, we were struck by the regular segments
in which the little creatures were standing in groups around a tiny
monitor occupying the centre of each chord. We soon, however, detected
that this regularity of their attitudes was caused by the insertion in
the floor of various chords of hoop iron, the outer rims of which they
all touched with their toes. A finer set of children we have seldom
beheld; but what particularly attracted our attention was three rows
of beautiful babies, sitting as solemn as judges on three steps one
above another, the lowest being a step higher than the floor of the
room. They were learning the first hard lesson of this world—namely,
to sit still; and certainly the occupation seemed to he particularly
well adapted to their outlines; indeed, their pinafores were so round,
and their cheeks so red, that altogether they resembled three rows
of white dumplings, with a rosy-faced apple on each. The picture was
most interesting; and we studied their cheerful features until we
almost fancied that we could analyse and distinguish which were little
fire-flies, which small stokers, which tiny pokers, infant artificers,

In the early days of Wolverton, a reading-room, and a library,
containing some 700 volumes, supplied the mental occupation and
recreation then afforded to its residents. Now there is a Science and
Art Institute, an off-shoot from South Kensington, which contributed
£500 towards the erection of the building. Its library possesses nearly
3,000 volumes, almost all of which are contributions. The chief person
in this work of kindness and goodness is Miss Burdett Coutts, that
pre-eminently good lady whose name has but to be mentioned to ensure
for it universal respect and admiration.

The institute has an enrolment of 350 members, a large number of whom
attend the evening class, and it is a pleasurable fact to state that
the pupils have been successful, more than on the average, in the
science examinations which are annually held there. As at Crewe, the
Government makes it free grants of patent specifications; many of these
are closely studied, and all are highly appreciated by the students.

The directors and principal officers of the company, always mindful of
the best interests of its staff, and ever keeping a paternal, but not
obtrusive eye upon it, have recently erected a model lodging-house,
solely for the convenience of single young men. Fifty of them are
now accommodated in it; each has a separate bed-room, and the whole
establishment is superintended by a very carefully selected manager,
who is responsible, not only for the good conduct of the lodgers whilst
under its roof, but also for their comfort. The system works well, and
it will be extended.

In 1840, and for some few years afterwards, passengers ran a risk
at Wolverton to which, happily, or, as we venture to think, very
unhappily, they are no longer exposed—that is passengers who travelled
chiefly in first-class carriages, and in the express trains of that
period were accustomed to alight for ten railway minutes (_anglice_
five) at the celebrated refreshment rooms, the fame of which was
world-wide. It was not only that the soup was hot, and the coffee
“super-heated,” but it was admitted by those who, by the process
of blowing the former, and pouring the latter into saucers, were
able to get a mouthful or two, it was admitted we say, that each of
these beverages was excellent. But there was an attraction at these
refreshment rooms that rose superior to all the hot soup, the hot
coffee, the hot tea, the buns, the Banbury cakes, the pork pies, the
brandy, whiskey, gin, and “rich compounds,” the ample statistics of
which will be found in our foot-note.[79] Need we say that we refer to
the charming young ladies, in whom were concentrated all the beauty
and grace that should be corporated in modern Hebes. Our excellent
friends, Messrs. Spiers & Pond, of well-earned and well-deserved
“Buffet” celebrity, have worthily followed in the footsteps of the
great inventress of the railway refreshment room, as it should be;
and happy we are to record the fact, that go where we may, we are
sure to see, under the magic words announcing that they are the
caterers, sweet faces, worthy types of English beauty, all the more
worthy because with them is combined the modest demeanour, emblem of
purity, without which all is absent that adorns woman and renders
her enchanting. Messrs. Spiers & Pond have—as the late Mrs. Hibbert
had—but one rule for “tainted angels”—their expulsion.

At moments, however—they were only moments—female grace was at fault
at the Wolverton refreshment rooms. The late Douglas Jerrold (father
of one of the workman’s most real and truest friends—Blanchard by
Christian name) had in his play of the “_Housekeeper_” one of the
characters, a drunken wine-porter, who appears on the scene for only
a few minutes, and all the language he gives utterance to is advice
to his daughter and her companion, never to go anywhere without a
cork-screw. No doubt this is good paternal advice, such as any good
father of a family might give, but it is the use only of the instrument
with which we are concerned. Wolverton had many stringent rules, and
one of them was that “draught bitter” should not be “drunk on the
premises”; pale ale, therefore, could only be furnished by means of the
cork-screw. Now, we appeal to any father, husband, brother, cousin,
or lover (the two latter often synonymous,—see all the dictionaries,
classical and vulgate); Did you ever see a young lady draw, with
grace, a cork out of a bottle in the old-fashioned way, that is, by
placing it within the ample folds of her dress (all the more ample
if crinoline were concealed behind it), and then tugging until the
cork is extracted; if the cork be an easy, obedient, willing cork,
the operation is not difficult, and woman’s want of grace is but
for the moment, but it became momentous, to say nothing of bursting
of tapes and wrenching of hooks and eyes, red face and perhaps
disappointment, if main force must be resorted to. At all events, the
late Mrs. Hibbert (known at Wolverton and elsewhere as Generalissima)
appreciated the difficulty, and with woman’s tact transferred, by a
wave of her sovereign sceptre, the beer bottle drawing department of
the establishment to the hands of the young gentlemen with all the
buttons, and thus released the young ladies from the duty. She never,
however, could, to the day of her death, make up her mind that the
young ladies ought to be relieved from ginger beer and soda water.

But before we quit for ever (scriptorially) the subject of bitter
beer—of Bass, Ind, and Allsopp; of immortal Burton, that squeezes quart
bottles into pints, pints into thimblefuls, of which three-fourths are
froth; and of tap-tub measurement that, by a talisman, converts an
imperial pint of the amber fluid into four half-pint _glasses_, let us
ask permission to philosophise for a moment—for a moment only. Woman!
You are never more charming, more feminine, more enchanting than when
you are domestic. A magic circle of fascination then surrounds you. You
are in your real mission, and being real, you are angelic. But, woman,
be true to yourself; be domestic to the fullest extent that brightest
imagination can picture or truth realise. But, sex most dear, most
loveable of all things human that can be loved, hear the advice of one
who believes you were sent on earth for the holy purpose of refining
man, and of purifying him—never, oh, never be seen using a cork-screw!

Sir Francis Head, in a passage which we purposely omit because we want
to have our own say, in our own way, on the subject, informs us that by
1849 four of the young ladies had managed to make excellent marriages.
Sir Francis has greatly understated the number. It is quite true that
the daily occupations of the young ladies, even without drawing the
corks of beer bottles, were arduous and unceasing. Nevertheless, as
with all busily occupied people, a time can be found for everything.
Not four, but four times four of them found sixteen eligible husbands,
and at the present time we know two of them, one not fat, but “fair and
forty,” the other with slight disadvantage in point of age—forty-four
(she confesses to forty[80])—but in every other respect at least as
eligible, who have had each to exhibit the sable signs of sorrow,
void, and bereavement, within the last eighteen months. Let us just
pause for a moment, to shed a “pensive tear” to the memory of the
two dear departed, just as in the days of our boyhood our sympathies
were requested in memory of the celebrated bonnie lassie of “Kelvin
Grove,” by the father of a lady of present times, who is worshipped
by millions, and has been possessed of only by four. (May he of the
strong shield endure for ever!) Our tear is shed; and now, like the
military bands that accompany the remains of a departed comrade to the
grave with the _Dead March in Saul_, and return to barracks with joyous
and festive music, do we proclaim, by sound of wedding trumpet and
cornet-à-piston, the probability that, ere long, each of the charming
widows will make a second matrimonial venture. We can, in fact, go one
step farther. One of the ladies has already purchased the grey silk
dress, absolutely necessary on such occasion; the second has not gone
so far as actual purchase, but she knows where to put her hand upon
one at a moment’s notice. The dress-maker has already been consulted
about the trimmings.[81]

It may probably be observed by any person who has been so venturous
as to read the first hundred or so of our pages, that we are given to
statistics. This is so, and it has also been alleged of us that we
readily detect errors in them when prepared by others. Without taking
to ourselves more than a decorous quantity of flattering unction,
we believe we shall be able to show, in a work preparing for early
publication, that, as regards Post Office statistics, at all events,
none have been issued by the department for the last fifteen years that
are not abounding in most egregious blunders, and that the logical
dogmas of “contrariety, sub-contrariety, and contradiction” were never
carried to greater extent than in these documents. Our statistics and
contradictions are, at the present moment, however, of a different
character. They refer to what, in the palmy days of Wolverton as a seat
of learning and refreshment, formed an important part of the population
of the colony; at least they are described as so being, both in an
article of the _Quarterly Review_ upon the London and North-Western
Railway of 1849, and in Sir Francis Head’s “Stokers and Pokers,”
published in the identical same year, and almost in the identical same
month. Nevertheless the former names seventy-five pigs and piglings
as members of the refreshment establishment; but Sir Francis disputes
the figures, raises it ten higher, and not only insists that they were
eighty-five in number, but that each was converted, in his or her turn
every year, into pork pies and sausage roly-polies. But whichever
amount be the correct one, let the pork pies and sausage roly-polies
rest in peace. The indigestions of which they were, in their day, the
_teterimæ causæ_, have long since passed away. Let no rude attempt be
made to re-produce them.

Thanks to increased lines of railway at Wolverton, both “main” and
“siding,” thanks also to signalling so improved in principle, and
so minute in action—signalling which embraces the visible “arm” by
day, the visible tri-coloured lamp at night, the audible “fog,” and
never-failing, ever truthful Electricity—express and other trains
can, and do dart past the fifty-two mile post placed at the eastern
extremity of the station with celerity and certainty, the same as at
any other part of the system.

Still the engine speeds onwards, untired, at undiminished pace. She and
her train are near to Blisworth, 62½ miles from London, and it is four
miles south of this station that she is allowed her first draught of
water. Of solid food she has still enough, for of the four to five tons
of coal with which she started on her journey, she has not consumed
more than a ton and a-half. Not far from Roade Station, on each side
of the railway, is a reservoir of pure water, and at this part of the
line the gradient is as nearly as possible level. Within the rails,
both “down” and “up” sides, are placed two narrow troughs, each about a
quarter of a mile long. By means of syphons the water is conveyed from
the reservoirs to the troughs, and just as the engine approaches, a
small inclined plane with wooden sides, such as the inclines by which
luggage is dashed from packet-piers to steamers, is lowered from the
front of the engine. The inclined plane brought in contact with the
water compels it, contrary to all hydraulic principles, to ascend along
it, until the water is deposited in the tank of the tender. As the
engine approaches the end of the trough, the inclined plane is, by the
simplest possible means, drawn up, and the engine has a fresh supply of
water that would enable her to go fully as long again as the distance
she has already completed.

These reservoirs are now found so useful that there is a pair of them
on the London side of Watford, another between Warrington and Newton
Junction, and a third on the London side of Conway, as near as can be
half-way between Holyhead and Chester.

Four miles from Blisworth, on the right, stands Northampton, famed for
its production of shoes, unequalled, as regards numbers, in any other
part of the kingdom, and for its obstinate persistence (in the blind
and unenlightened period of railway history) in refusing to allow the
London and Birmingham Line to come within a less distance than 25,000
yards between it and its shoddy-shoebility. Independently of the injury
which this obstinacy has ever since inflicted upon the town, it cost
the railway company a loss in money of more than a million sterling, a
lengthened and inferior section of railway, a tunnel 2,423 yards long
(only 217 less than a mile and a-half), which, during its construction,
ruined four contractors and caused the deaths of upwards of a hundred
working men. Finally, the obstinacy of Northampton delayed the opening
through of the railway from London to Birmingham for fully two years.
No wonder, then, that its present generation of men is ashamed of
the deed. Some go so far as to deny it altogether; others are more
scrupulous, and only palliate it with excuses of which quibbling and
petty ingenuity are the joint parents. “There is nothing like leather;”
the only question is—its application.

In the centre of circulate movement there is one mathematical point
which, although not absolutely still, approaches a state more akin
to quiescence than to motion. Such is Weedon, not absolutely dead,
but next door to it—“deadly lively”—sixty-nine miles from London. It
is considered the centre spot of England, and it was, apparently for
this reason, seriously suggested in the time of the great war, “when
George III. was king,” that His Majesty should take up his residence at
this tranquil spot, to be out of harm’s way, in case of invasion. The
intention, however, was not carried out, and Weedon has ever since been
lost to a fame and importance which even the passage of the London and
North-Western line has failed to give it. It is almost the only town
in the civilised world which the presence of the railway has failed
to render even lively. No need then, for our engine and train to stop
there, so they proceed on with undiminished speed through the rich
pastures and glowing corn-fields of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.

Arrived at Crick, seventy-five miles from London, they are within a
mile of the great Kilsby Tunnel just referred to; and its northern
extremity has not been left behind more than a mile and a-half, when
the elaborate system of signals necessary for the protection of the
next station comes in sight. The first of them is passed at speed; but
gradually, as the engine and train approach the second, the driver
slightly lowers his regulator, and the guards, both at the fore and
hinder parts of the train, take their breaks in hand; so does the
fireman, at his powerful break on the engine. The second signal is
passed; white takes the place of green at the third, if all be right;
but if not, and there be any sudden obstruction at or near the station,
vivid red lamps by night, bright red arms by day, appear from half a
dozen places almost with the electric flash and speed of lightning.
Two sharp, shrill, and sudden whistles from the engine tell the guards
that danger is a-head—that is, should they not themselves have seen
it; an unlikely circumstance, for they are as keenly alert in their
break-vans as driver and fireman are on their engine. In a moment three
powerful men are applying, with utmost energy, the immense break-power
at their command—so powerful that the passengers often feel a
concussion that awakes the dormant, and almost hurls them against their
opposite neighbours, and the train is pulled up within a space varying
from 200 to 400 yards.

But if “red upon green” be not the order, steam is gradually shut off
before the third signal is passed, the breaks are applied gradually and
steadily, the train comes to walking pace, and, as the engine glides
into the station, the driver looks at his watch, and sees by it that it
is exactly two hours, less one minute, since he quitted London. He is
correct to time to the moment; but if he were not so, he would, even
if he were blameless, hear of it from two sources certainly—his own
foreman and the railway guard; and if it were a postal train, through
the inspector of that department. To the first-named official, at all
events, he would have to give ample explanations.

At Rugby, driver and fireman are allowed four minutes to “water the
engine,” which means, giving her a fresh supply of that most precious
aliment, going carefully round and _under_ her to see and to feel that
no part is unusually heated, and to supply with oil, from cans with
the stork-like necks we see in the hands of all drivers and firemen,
those parts of the engine and machinery which cannot be supplied during
transit. In the course of these four minutes, if the train carry
the mails, a postal operation is manifested which suddenly converts
the platform, previously comparatively tranquil, into a scene of
intense animation. Piles of mail-bags are hurled out from the vans
and travelling post offices with indescribable celerity. The guards
and porters of the department perform this part of the business, but
from the moment the bags are on the platform post office drudgery in
respect of them ceases, and it then becomes the duty of the railway
porters to attend to their further manipulation. This duty, however,
is deferred until the bags awaiting on the platform the arrival of the
train are lodged, by post office mandate, in van or sorting office;
a sharp “All right” is heard to issue from the inside of the latter,
the railway passengers who have left their carriages have returned to
them, the porters have ceased crying, “Take your seats for north,” and
have replaced it by, “Any more passengers for the Scotch express?”
all doors are closed—banged,—“Are you all right behind?” The wave of
a white flag by day, a white lamp by night, is railway language for
“Yes,”—a sharp decisive whistle from the foremost guard,—whether the
sound be heard above the hissing of the escaping steam or the motion
only be perceived it matters not, the engine driver understands
it,—up goes his regulator, on goes his steam, the fireman (who has
freed his break as soon as the engine is ready for starting) looks to
the rear of the train as it begins to move from the station. If the
engine don’t “slip,” the regulator, further raised, admits more steam
to the cylinder; should it slip, steam is altogether shut off for a
moment, and then let on again. The engine has got over the slippery
point on the rails,—slippery either from the ordinary foulness of the
atmosphere, or more probably, from some of the oil which has fallen
from the engine to the rails. She is now getting to her speed; the
guards, who have not jumped from the platform until after the train
is in motion, shut themselves within their vans, they see that their
breaks are all right and begin arranging their parcels; the _sisyphi_
of the sorting post fall to again at their always-beginning and
never-ending labours; such passengers as can sleep, sleep, such as
can’t don’t. And so the engine and her train, leaving the railway
to Coventry, Birmingham, and the “Black Country” to the left, and
that to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and all the east coast cities
of northern England, to the right, pass onwards towards and through
Nuneaton, a junction station which sends a branch to the left towards
Coventry, and thence to Leamington, and one to the right to Leicester,
where it connects with the system of the Midland Railway Company;
a halt at Tamworth (necessary because it is a great postal centre,
although of comparative insignificance as regards the railway) takes
place thirty-three minutes after departure from Rugby, the intervening
distance being twenty-four miles,—thence to Stafford, 133½ miles from
London, accomplished in three hours fifteen minutes, entitles not only
the engine, but those who are placed to control her, to rest and repose
for a certain period.

A sister engine, which has been all ready-coaled and watered fully
half an hour before the time appointed for the train’s arrival, is
attached thereto, and she proceeds onwards, reaching (if it be the
Limited Mail) Crewe, 25 miles distant, in 30 minutes; Carlisle, 299
miles from London, in 9 hours; Edinburgh, 401 miles, in 10½ hours;
Perth, 449 miles, in 12 hours 20 minutes. Here begins the beautiful and
picturesque Highland railway[82], the most northern of all our railways
at the present time. Of it a few words. Its main line, extending
from Perth through Inverness to Bonar Bridge, is of the total length
of 204 miles. Thus London and the northern extremity of the Highland
Railway are 653 miles apart, and the whole distance is accomplished by
the Limited Mail in 22 hours and 20 minutes. Including branches, the
Highland Railway is 250 miles in extent. Between Inverness and Perth it
passes over several summits of considerable height, the highest, 1,500
feet above the level of the sea, being on the borders of Inverness and
Perthshire. The next highest is at Dana, where the level is 1,000 above
that of the sea, and about 40 miles to the south of this, and again
at Dunkeld, the elevations are 400 feet each. The summits are gained
by the line winding in and out amongst the hills, and by gradients of
1 in 70 (75 feet to the mile) and 1 in 80 (66 feet in the mile). At
Speyside, near Keith, there is a rise for three miles of 1 in 60 (88
feet in the mile). The cuttings and embankments are, of course, on a
large scale, and owing to the great elevation and exposed position of
the line, the strong winds in the winter time sweep the snow from the
hills and deposit it in the cuttings, thus making very heavy drifts.
The snow ploughs invented by Mr. William Strandley, the Locomotive
Superintendent of the company, are said to be very successful in
removing these drifts from off the railway.

But, although the Highland Railway is now the most northern[83] in the
United Kingdom, it will probably cease to be entitled to be so called
before the end of the present year, for it is expected that by that
time the “Sutherland Railway” will be opened for traffic. This line
is to extend from Bonar Bridge to Golspie, a distance of twenty-seven
miles; not all northwards, for, for the first three miles, it goes
westward, and enters the county of Sutherland by crossing the river
Oykel, which is spanned by an elegant iron-girder viaduct. It then
turns northward to Lairg, where it inclines to the east, and continues
in that direction until it reaches Golspie. The whole of the land
occupied by the line from the river Oykel to Golspie is owned by His
Grace the Duke of Sutherland, whose magnificent Highland residence,
Dunrobin Castle, stands on the sea-shore, within a short distance of
the latter place. The gradients are somewhat severe. From the Oykel
there is an ascent of 1 in 72 to 75 for about eight miles to the
summit, which is upwards of 500 feet above the sea-level. There are
several heavy rock-cuttings. The scenery at some parts of the line
is almost equal to the finest of the many picturesque views on the
Highland Railway, by which company its traffic is to be worked. When
completed, a passenger landing at Dover can go a distance of 768 miles
to Golspie without even leaving the railway; or if he come upon English
land, close to its end in Cornwall, he can go by rail from Penzance to
within fifty of John of Groat’s land. If he will insist upon coming
through London, his distance will be 1,007 miles; but if he leave the
line towards the Metropolis, at Bristol, and go from there through
Birmingham, he will shorten the journey by 130 miles. He will save some
money, but not much time, by changing.

M. Vandal, the _Directeur Général des Postes Françaises_, says, in his
_Annuaire_ for the current year, that there is not a railway run from
Dover to any part of the United Kingdom equal to the railway run from
Calais to Nice, 863 miles. That is true at the present time to the
extent of 122 miles. In a couple of months—that is when the Sutherland
line is opened—it will be true to the extent of ninety-five miles; and,
even if, as is expected, a railway be constructed which is to extend
both to Wick and to sleepy[84] Thurso[85], the tables will not be
turned. The route from Calais to Nice will still be sixty-five miles
longer than from Dover to John o’ Groat’s Land.

The engine of the down trains from London, having rested at Stafford
its appointed time, is again coaled and watered, and if she have
brought the Scotch Mail, she takes her place at the head of the
up-train, at 1·18 a.m., or an hour and twenty minutes after she had
finished her downward journey. In precisely eight hours from the time
she has left Euston she has completed her day’s work, and in doing
so she has gone over 267 miles of ground, and has conveyed some 120
tons dead weight of matter, besides her own weight, at a running
speed of nearly forty-five miles an hour. She will perform the same
double journey on the morrow, and then she will rest for a “shed-day;”
out again for duty on the following day. She will work that and the
succeeding day, then a rest as before, then work again for two days,
and so on, taking shed-days, and times required for slight repairs, and
occasionally for heavy ones and renewals. An engine is considered to
do good service that is actually running on 250 days in a year. Quite
enough, when it is remembered that she consists of 5,416 pieces, which
must be put together like watch-work.

The watch, however, is not exposed to rough usage, fly-away speed, and
exposure to weather the intensity of which may vary from 40 degrees
below freezing point to 120 degrees of heat in the sun. We have seen
the same engine at work in Canada at these identical temperatures
within an interval of four months only. No wonder then that when
her day’s work is done she requires repose, quite as much as it is
necessary for the horse of every day life. Her joints have become
relaxed with labour, her bolts have become loosened, her rubbing
surfaces, notwithstanding the oil the engine driver poured upon
them, have become heated and are often unequally expanded, strained,
and twisted; her grate bars and fire-box have become choked with
clinkers, and her tubes charged with coke. _Hey presto!_ the engine
cleaners—the groom and hostlers of the iron horse—take her in hand,
they clean out her fire-box, they scrape its grate bars; and, under the
superintendence of superior workmen, they tighten all bolts and rivets,
grease all moving parts, thoroughly cleanse her outside as well as
in,—and the engine, thus washed, cooled down, refreshed, and purified,
is, after an interval of five or six hours, again ready (if required)
for whatever giant duty it maybe necessary to employ her upon. But, let
it always be remembered and borne in mind, she must not be over worked;
she is infinitely more delicate and sensitive in this respect than the
horse is.

[Illustration: MAP OF



_IN THE YEAR 1867_.]



England is naturally in advance of all other countries as regards
railways in her possessions and colonies. There is not one of them in
which the system has not made some advance, but in two of them it has
become of magnificent proportions. First as regards India.

Although the question of Indian Railways was first agitated as far
back as 1840, it was not until 1846 that the British Parliament began
seriously to occupy itself about them. In February and March 1847, the
House of Commons ordered a vast amount of information, both official
and unofficial, that had been collected from various sources, to
be printed, and it may be said that the reports and documents then
circulated, have formed the basis upon which the legislation for Indian
railways has been framed. By the Act of the 12th and 13th Victoria,
cap. 93. (1849), the construction of a line from “Calcutta towards
the Northern Provinces,” by the East Indian Railway Company, was
authorised. The first divisions of the line, that is, from Howrah,
opposite Calcutta, to Pundoah, 37½ miles, was not opened for traffic
until September 1854; and by the 3rd of February, 1855, a further
length of 92 miles to Raneegunge was completed. At the present time,
the total length of the East Indian Railway is 1,354 miles. In mileage
therefore it exceeds the London and North-Western Company of England by
twenty-six miles, eight miles having been added to the latter company’s
lines since page 23 of this book was printed. The following is a
brief sketch of the Great Railway as it now exists. At Burdwan (about
ninety-two miles from Calcutta), the separation between what is called
the “Chord Line” (to be finished throughout in 1869) and the main line
takes place. The latter runs due north to Rajinabad, thus connecting
Calcutta with the Ganges, and enabling traders to avoid the navigation
of 250 miles of one of the most dangerous parts of the river. At
Rajinabad, the railway turns westward, and proceeds up the right bank
of the Ganges, past Monghyr, where it is carried through the only
tunnel in its course, 300 yards long, to Patna, Benares, and Allahabad.
Shortly beyond Patna, it is carried across the River Soane, by a
magnificent bridge, said to be the second longest in the world; it is
therefore next in length to the Victoria Bridge at Montreal, to which
reference is made hereafter. At Allahabad the line crosses the Jumna,
by a bridge nearly as great as that over the Soane. In the crossings
of these rivers, and of two others, the railway is carried at the top,
with a roadway underneath for the ordinary traffic, in a somewhat
similar way to the High-Level Bridge at Newcastle. These four bridges
are constructed upon the wrought-iron lattice principle. That over the
Soane consists of twenty-eight openings, with spans of 150 feet; that
over the Jumna of fifteen openings, of which each span is 205 feet. The
bridge over the Adjai consists of thirty-two openings, with spans of 50
feet; that over the Keeul, of nine openings, with spans of 150 feet; a
smaller bridge over the Touse consists of seven openings, each with a
span of 150 feet.

From Allahabad the East Indian Railway extends through Cawnpore to the
heart of the upper Provinces, and at Ghazecabad it meets the Punjaub
Railway, whence it is carried to the Great City of Delhi.

At Allahabad it branches off to Jubbulpore, where the line of the Great
Indian Peninsular Railway is to come from Bombay to meet it. The gap
to be filled up is 225 miles, and according to the interesting and
instructive report of Mr. Juland Danvers, the Government Director of
the Indian Railway Companies, issued in May last, it is fully expected
that this gap will be completed for traffic, notwithstanding the
difficult and costly character of several of the works upon it, by
October or November of next year. Then railway transit from Bombay to
Calcutta will be accomplished in forty-four hours;[86] and it is not
too much to hope that in two, at all events three years, the present
contract time of mails from London to Calcutta, _viâ_ Marseilles, will
be reduced from 34 days to 23½ days. If the speed of the steamers which
are to carry the Mails between Brindisi and Alexandria were to be
twelve knots an hour, and not ten as specified in the invitations for
tenders sent out by the Post Office, at the early part of the present
year, and the speed of the steamers between Suez and the port of Bombay
were increased from 9½ to 10½ knots an hour, a further acceleration of
nearly two days to Calcutta would be gained, thereby reducing the time
to 21½ days, or 2½ days less than the present contract time between
London and _Bombay_, _viâ_ Marseilles. Two to three hours would also be
gained by the construction of a great bridge over the Hooghly, thereby
extending the East Indian Railway, from its present terminus at Howrah,
into Calcutta. Such a work is stated by Mr. Juland Danvers to be, “in
the opinion of those best able to judge, imperatively required, in the
interests both of the railway company and of the public.” No decision,
however, has as yet been come to with reference to its construction
being commenced at an early period.

The average cost of the upper portion of the East Indian Railway has
been about £15,000 a mile. The lower, or Bengal portion, has been, at
least, half as much again. It is expected that the Jubbulpore extension
will come to £15,000 a mile, including rolling stock and maintenance
of the line and works for a year after opening. The gross traffic
earnings[87] during 1866 were £2,012,680, showing an increase of
£338,239 as compared with 1865. The receipts per train mile in 1865
were 7s. 9d., in 1866, 8s. The expenditure per train mile in 1865 was
3s. 8d., in 1866 a farthing a mile less. The train mileage in the year
ending 30th June, 1866, was 4,625,705 miles.[88]

The Great Indian Peninsular Railway Company was incorporated in 1849.
It is to be the great line which is to unite Bombay with Madras, and
also with Calcutta. From Bombay to Callian may be considered the parent
line, as it is at this point it becomes divided, one branch going
south-east in the direction towards Madras, and the other north-east
towards Calcutta. The south-eastern branch is carried over the Bhore
Ghaut by an incline nearly sixteen miles long, with a total elevation
of 1,381 feet. The foot of the mountain is 196 feet above high water
mark at Bombay. Its average gradient is 1 in 48. The steepest gradients
are 1 in 37 and 1 in 40, for a total length of 9 miles and 44 chains;
1 in 37 extends in one length for 1 mile 10 chains, and 1 in 40 for 5
miles 6 chains. Short lengths of level gradients and of 1 in 330 are
introduced into this incline to facilitate the ascent of the engine.
The radii of the curves upon it range from 15 chains to 80 chains; but
as much as 12 miles 45 chains have a radius of more than 30 chains, and
5 miles 33 chains are straight. It comprises twenty-five tunnels of a
total length of 3,585 yards. The longest is 437 yards; and the longest
without a shaft, which is carried through a mountain of basalt, is 346
yards. There are eight viaducts of a total length of 987 yards. The two
largest are 168 yards long, and respectively 163 and 160 feet above
the foundations. The total quantity of cutting, chiefly rock, amounts
to 1,263,102 cubic yards. The maximum depth of cutting is 70 feet, and
the greatest contents 75,000 cubic yards of trap rock. The embankments
amount to 1,849,934 cubic yards, the maximum height being 74 feet;
and the greatest contents are 209,000 and 263,000 cubic yards. The
slopes average about 1½ to 1. There are twenty-three bridges of various
spans, from 7 feet to 30 feet, and sixty culverts from 2 feet to 6 feet
wide. The rails weigh 85 lbs. per yard. The cost of the incline has
been nearly £800,000; at one time there were no less than 42,000 men
(natives of India) employed upon its construction.

At the eleventh mile the incline is divided into two banks by what is
called a reversing station. This subdivision, however, was not adopted
for the purpose of making two banks of the incline, but of increasing
the length of the base, in order to flatten the gradient and to
reach a higher level, where it encountered the great features of the
Ghaut margin, near Khandalla. Without the necessary expedient of the
reversing station, the practicability of changing the direction of the
line would have been confined to making curves of small radius; but
with the device of the reversing station the direction was altered at a
very acute angle, by means of points and crossings. In consequence of
its adoption, the length of the line has necessarily been considerably

The Bhore Ghaut is unquestionably a stupendous mass of works,
unsurpassed by any others in the world; and probably the nearest rivals
to them in magnitude and grandeur are those of the Thull Ghaut.

This incline extends from the village of Kussarah to Egutpoora. It is
9½ miles in length, and has a total ascent of 972 feet. At the end of
3¾ miles there is a reversing station, similar to that upon the Bhore
Ghaut Incline, by which the base is lengthened, the gradient flattened,
and the incline divided into two banks. The steepest gradient is 1 in
37, for a length of 4 miles 30 chains; and the same introduction of a
level portion is adopted here as on the Bhore Ghaut. The radius of the
curves ranges from 17 chains to 100 chains; but of 7 miles 12 chains
the radius exceeds 30 chains, and 3 miles 28 chains are straight. There
are thirteen tunnels of a total length of 2,652 yards. The longest
are, one of 474 yards in black basalt with two shafts, and another of
483 yards without a shaft, in green-stone. There are six viaducts, of
a total length of 741 yards, the largest of which are respectively 144
yards and 250 yards long and 83 feet and 182 feet high. The latter is
of three spans with triangular iron girders measuring 150 feet, with a
pair of semi-circular abutment arches measuring 40 feet at each end.
There are fifteen bridges of which the span varies from 7 feet to 30
feet, and sixty-two culverts. The cost of the incline is about £500,000.

The Thull overcome, a branch line, runs south-eastward through the
great cotton district of Oomrawattee to Nagpore, but the main line
continues its course eastward to Jubbulpore, where it meets the East
India Railway which comes to join it from Calcutta. From Bombay to
Jubbulpore the distance is 615 miles, and from Bombay to Raichore, the
point of junction with the Madras Railway, the distance is 441 miles.
As soon as the whole system of the East Indian Peninsular Railway is
completed it will consist of 1,267 miles.

Its train mileage in the year ending the 30th June, 1866, was 2,259,881
miles. The gross receipts for the year ending the 31st December were
£1,252,962, showing an increase of £77,872 over 1865. The receipts per
train mile in 1865, were 10s. 5d.; in 1866, 10s. 11d. The expenditure
per train mile in 1865, was 6s. 2d.; in 1866, 6s. 4½d. For the
half-year ending the 30th of June, 1867, the net receipts amounted to
£530,568, being at the rate of £6. 9s. per cent. per annum on the whole
of the paid-up capital of the company. As the guaranteed interest of
the half-year advanced by the Government amounted to £398,452, the
surplus profit was £132,116; but, in consequence of the accidents that
had occurred to the works, it has been decided by the shareholders that
no more than at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum, shall be divided
among them for the present. The Great Indian Peninsular Railway must
always be liable to heavy cost, and occasional interruptions to its
traffic, in consequence of several of the districts through which it
passes being subjected to severe and sudden floods. At Bombay, the
annual rainfall is about 85 inches (more than three and a-half times
the rainfall of London), and although at other places on the line
it is considerably less, it is nevertheless as high as 255 inches
at Matheran, and as high as 265 inches at Mohableshwar. It may be
that the works on the railway, as a whole, have not been constructed
sufficiently with a view to this fact, but, from whatever cause
proceeding, several serious disasters to viaducts and bridges have
recently taken place; and, we regret to perceive, by a minute of the
Governor-General in Council, that these disasters are attributed
to original defective construction. It also appears, by the latest
reports from India, that as many as seventeen bridges on the unopened
portions of the Nagpore Extension have been condemned by the company’s
engineers. But might not this fact have been avoided if they had done
their duty in the first instance?

It was not until the year 1852 that the Madras Railway was
incorporated. The object of the company was to construct a railway from
Madras to the western coast. The difficulties of construction of this
railway have not been great, the only ones that presented themselves
being the way in which several rivers should be crossed. By means of
this line, railway communication with the important military station
of Bangalore is obtained. It also passes through the cotton fields of
Combatoore, and it finds its way through a passage in the Ghauts to
the Port of Beypoor, on the coast of Malabar. From Madras to Beypoor,
the distance is 406 miles. The Bangalore Branch is 86 miles, and it
attains a height of 3,000 feet on the Mysore Table-land. The north-west
line, leaving the main line at Arconum, 42 miles from Madras, proceeds
through Cudapah, crosses the River Pennar to Gooty, to which place the
line is expected to be opened in January next. Near Gooty, a branch
is given off to Bellary. The main line crosses the Toongabruda, and
runs to Raichore, the point of union with the Great Indian Peninsular
Railway from Bombay. This portion of the railway, when completed, will
be 338 miles, thus making the distance from Bombay to Madras 821 miles,
160 miles more than by the ordinary road. The connection between the
Bombay and Madras Railways is expected to be complete in 1869. When the
whole main line and branches are completed, the length of the Madras
Railway will be 825 miles. Of these, 645 are at present open.

The traffic of the line has been injuriously affected in 1866 by the
failure of the Monsoon rains, the consequent scarcity and famine, and
the state of trade. But good service was rendered by it during the
famine, in conveying to the districts so lamentably affected by it
nearly 23,000 tons of food, an amount which Mr. Danvers says would have
employed 17,000 carts every day for three months. The gross traffic
receipts of 1866 were £438,787, showing an increase of £33,787 over
1865. The receipts per train mile in 1865 were 6s. 1d.; in 1866, 6s.
7¾d. The expenditure per train mile in 1865 was 2s. 10¾d.; in 1866,
3s. 2d. The train mileage for the year ending 30th June, 1866, was
1,306,998 miles.

Beypoor has for some time been felt as an unsuitable terminus, on the
western coast, for the Madras Railway. It provides the conveniences
neither of a harbour nor of a port, and the advantages of the railway
to the western side of India are, in consequence, greatly diminished.
Proposals have, accordingly, been made to extend it northwards to
Calicut, or southwards to Cochin, sixty miles from Beypoor. The former
would hardly be much better than Beypoor, but Cochin appears to offer
considerable advantages. Independently of possessing a fine harbour,
there is close by, the remarkable roadstead of Narrakal, accessible
to ships at all seasons. The only drawback is, that the line would
pass through a foreign territory; but this would be slight if the
Rajah of Cochin would support the project. The matter is now under the
consideration of both the Supreme and the Madras Governments.

It is expected that by means of the Madras Railway the French East
Indian settlement of Pondicherry,[89] situated not far from the
south-eastern extremity of the continent, will eventually be linked
by the railway system with all the chief cities of British India. The
French Government has just decided upon granting a subsidy for the
construction of a line that, in the first instance, is to be carried
between the City of Pondicherry and Conjeveram, and subsequently
to some point on the Anglo-Indian system. Such a connection will
materially improve postal and passenger communication between France
and its dependency. At present there is only direct intercourse
between them once a month, through the medium of the steamers of the
_Messageries Impériales_—a company that is largely subsidised by the
French Imperial Government.

The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway was formed to connect
Bombay with the Cotton districts of Guzzerat and Central India. The
works were commenced in 1856. Taking a northward direction along the
coast from Bombay, it passes Damaun and Surat. Here it crosses the
River Taptee by an iron bridge 2,000 feet long. But at the Nezbudda
River the bridge is nearly double that length, being 3,800 feet. This
has been the most formidable work of construction on this railway. The
line then continues its course to Ahmedabad, which is 310 miles distant
from Bombay.

This line, when completed, will prove to be the most expensive in
India. Its cost will be more than £20,000 a mile. To cover the interest
a large traffic will be required, and such may be reasonably expected.
But its capabilities are at present cramped by the want of a good
terminal station at the Port of Bombay,[90] and by the imperfect road
communications with the stations. This last is a complaint that can
truly be made by all the railway companies of India. The railway
sustained very serious damage by floods during the Monsoons of 1866.
Their destructive character is said to have been unprecedented, and
for upwards of a month the traffic was totally suspended on about
thirty miles of the line. Nevertheless the growth of the traffic is not
unsatisfactory. In 1866 the gross receipts were £407,688, being £85,872
more than in 1865. The gross receipts per train mile in 1865, were 12s.
6¾d. (the highest in India), but the working expenses were also the
highest—8s. 1¾d. a mile. The train mileage for the year ending the 30th
June, 1866, was 745,961 miles.

Very considerable desire exists in India to extend this railway from
Baroda, across central India to Delhi, nearly parallel (but at a
distance of from 350 to 500 miles during two-thirds of its course) to
the main line of the Great Indian Peninsula to Jubbulpore, and thence
to Allahabad. The length of this line would be about 570 miles, and
surveys are already being carried on with the view of ascertaining the
best route and making complete estimates of cost. At present it is
assumed that the line will cost about £12,000 a mile, or £6,850,000.
If the results of the surveys be satisfactory, arrangements will
probably be made for constructing this railway. A main difficulty is
that it will, for the most part, be carried through the territories
of native princes; negotiations must, therefore, before the works can
be commenced, be entered into for the abolition, at all events the
relaxation, of the existing onerous transit dues.

The tendency of the construction of this extension would be to still
further concentrate European traffic at Bombay, as by means of it not
only would Delhi and the north-western provinces be accommodated, but
there would be a second route from Bombay to Calcutta, a roundabout one
to be sure,—but a second route notwithstanding.

The next railway we have to refer to is the Scinde Railway, which was
incorporated in its present shape in 1857. “Although,” says the editor
of _Engineering_, “the affairs of this company are under a single
board, the operations of the company, in reality, embrace four separate
concerns.” The object of the combined undertaking is to establish
railway communication between the port of Kurrachee and the Punjaub,
and to connect the chief cities of that province with the East Indian
Railway, which has already been mentioned as extending to Delhi.

The first portion of this great connection is a most important section
of 109 miles in length, crossing the rivers Bahrun and Mulleer, and
through the Karatolla Hills to Kotree on the Indus, opposite Hyderabad.
It has since its opening in May, 1861, developed a considerable trade
in cotton, which had not been previously seen on the Indus, as well as
Indigo, grain, wool, and other products.

Usually, the violence of the monsoons does not extend on the western
side of India, so far to the north as Scinde, but, in August, 1866,
it was not less destructive to the works of the Scinde Railway than
to those of the Bombay and Baroda. In two days, forty inches of rain
fell, and the floods produced by this sudden down-pour were such that
they as completely swept away a viaduct as if it had never existed.
Iron girders, sixty tons in weight, were hurled along for a distance of
half-a-mile, and rails were carried away 300 feet from the line. The
traffic was, in consequence, interrupted for several weeks. As in the
case of the Bombay and Baroda Line, the cost of repairing the damage
will, in consideration of the exceptional circumstances which caused
it, be allowed as a charge against capital. In 1865, the gross receipts
of the Scinde Railway were £82,493, and the net, £3,507; in 1866,
although the gross receipts had fallen to £53,166, the net earnings
were £10,083. The train miles in 1866 were 283,062.

The second portion of the system connected with the Scinde Railway
as it now exists, is for the navigation of the Indus from Kootree to
Moultan, eventually to be superseded by what is designated the Indus
Valley Railway. The Indus Steam Flotilla consists of thirteen steamers,
three tugs, and twenty-six barges. The vessels which formed the early
portion of the company’s fleet did not turn out satisfactorily, but
now the service is efficiently carried on. The gross receipts of the
company for the year ending the 30th of June, 1865, were £73,958, and
the net, £16,400; for the year ending the 30th of June, 1866, they were
respectively, £80,640, and £22,283.

As regards the Indus Valley Railway, the object of its projection is
to unite by means of a line that would be about 500 miles long, the
existing Scinde and Punjaub Railways, and thus to provide a continuous
line of railway communication, about 2,200 miles long, from the Port
of Kurrachee to Calcutta, _viâ_ Hyderabad, Moultan, Lahore, Delhi, and

The project is indeed a grand one, and its effect would be (assuming
that the line be made between Baroda and Delhi) to give a _third_ line
of communication between the western coast of India and Calcutta,
and also three lines of communication between that coast and the
North-Western Provinces, of which two (one, however, circuitous) would
be from Bombay, and one from Kurrachee.

When we have, as we shall undoubtedly have, sooner or later, the
Euphrates Valley Railway,[91] it will, in the first instance, be
carried from the ancient Port of Seleucia, on the Mediterranean, to
Ja’bar-Castle, on the Euphrates, below which point there is water
communication by the Euphrates and Tigris to the Persian Gulf.[92]
Kurrachee[93] will then be the port of call between Europe and India.
At whatever time these eighty miles shall be constructed, and proper
lines of steamers established in connection with them, there will be a
gain of fully four, if not five days over the existing Red Sea Route.

But will progress in shortening time between England and India stop at
the construction of only eighty more miles of railway?[94] It would be
out of reason to suppose that such will be the fact. It may therefore
be taken for granted that continuation of the whole 800 miles of
Euphrates Valley line will be accomplished somehow or other. Whenever
that time comes,—and every day is accelerating its advent,—the gain
will be at least two days, possibly even a little more on the homeward
journey. Then, India—the India of England—will, at its nearest point,
be under fourteen days from England. Then the postal communication
between the two empires will not be as it is now, forty-eight times
a year; it will not be the two and fifty, so long proposed, so long
and so miserably resisted by Post Office narrow sight and want of
appreciation of imperial grandeur and importance.[95] No! It requires
no great foresight, or fore-reading of events to feel conviction that
the service will be daily, and that despatch will succeed despatch
on each of the working days of the year, as well from west to east,
as from east to westward. Even now, the postal service of England
with the east is the grandest combined land and ocean communication
of the world.[96] No other maritime service approaches it. It is five
times as great as that of the Cunard Company. It is more than double
that of the two great routes of the Royal West India Mail Company.
Notwithstanding that its ramifications extend thousands of miles, the
component parts of it fit in so harmoniously, and work together in such
complete and accurate accordance, the one with the other, that whether
we take the outward journeys with their divergent fragments, or the
homeward journeys, continuously aggregating and increasing as they
approach completion—the mails arrive almost with the rarely failing
fidelity of clockwork—punctuality the rule, absence of it the rare

But shall we always be satisfied, even when we have achieved
communication by railway from the Mediterranean to the head of the
Persian Gulf, and thence by water to English India? There can be but
one answer to the question—It would be contrary to all human progress
if we were to be so. Only in the summer of the present year, France
and England were each honoured with a visit from the Sultan, and it
is said there was nothing which struck His Majesty during his short
residence in Western Europe as of more importance to the well-being
of a state than the construction of railways. It is therefore not
surprising that he has already given the subject attention for his own
country, and that concessions have been granted for several important
lines. Even now the break which separates the railways that extend
continuously from Calais to Basiach, on the Danube, 419 miles to the
south-east of Vienna (accomplished by the express train in seventeen
hours), are only separated from Rustuch by less than 300 miles, and, as
the railway—138 miles long—from Rustuch to Varna is open, there is in
fact only the Basiach-Rustuch break in a complete railway communication
from Calais to the Black Sea. Before ten years from this time, not only
will this gap be filled up, but the City of the Golden Horn will be
equally put into connection with the whole of the European system of
railways. The Queen’s messenger, and the mails now go from London to
Constantinople,[97] _viâ_ Marseilles, in about eleven days. When the
Brindisi route is established, the time will be diminished some three
days, and on the completion of the railways to Constantinople, the
interval in time between it and London will not exceed five days.

So far with regard to a railway journey, the accomplishment of which,
within ten years, is certain. Nothing, except the coming of chaos, can
prevent it.

But when the railway has arrived as far east as the City of the Golden
Crescent, will it stop and end there? In one sense it must, unless
indeed some of the engineers who are now competing for the honour of
tunnelling under, or placing tubes upon the bed of the ocean between
Dover and Calais, shall suggest a scheme for tunnelling under the
Hellespont, and their proposals shall be accepted. At all events, even
if a railway were only to extend a hundred or so of miles eastward in
Asia Minor, one will certainly be made for that distance, and opened
for traffic by the time the line, coming from the far west to its
terminus at Constantinople, shall be completed. It will go through a
country rich and productive, as well as covered by a prosperous and
money-making population. Fact and reality ended, we approach a “dream
of the future.” A dream not new to us, for we have often dreamt of
it, and occasionally discussed it with others, whom the reader will
probably feel disposed to consider as dreamy as ourselves. And yet
the time will come—possibly even a few of those now grown to manhood
may see its fulfilment before they die; the LONG RAILWAY will first
traverse Turkey in Asia, anciently the seat of the kingdoms of Troy and
of Lydia; the birth-land, possibly of Homer and Herodotus, certainly
of Thales, Pythagoras, and others hardly less distinguished. From
classic land it will cross to Persia, and from Persia it will pass
to Afghanistan, the grandest in physical aspect, and perhaps for 600
miles, the most difficult country in the whole world for railway
construction. When it has gone beyond those kingdoms, it will be on
British soil. There it will attach itself to the then Great Indian
Railway, the unbroken course of which will be from the Persian Gulf to
the mouth of the Ganges.

When the now far distant day of accomplishment has arrived, how will
Calcutta and London be to one another in point of postal distance?
Possibly, fifteen; certainly, not more than seventeen days asunder!

The third portion of the Scinde connection is the Punjaub Railway,
253 miles long. Its present western terminus is at Moultan, where
eventually it will be united to the Indus Valley Railway. From
Moultan the line follows nearly a straight course up the left bank
of the Ravee to Lahore; whence it proceeds, taking a westerly course
until it reaches Umritser. But surely the statements recently made
respecting wholesale corruption, both in England and in India, on
the Punjaub Railway cannot be true. It can hardly be possible that,
but for the interference of the Governor-General, Sir John Lawrence,
the contract price for the construction of the line would have been
£5,000 a mile higher than it now is; neither is it to be believed,
although so broadly asserted, that the iron-masters have to pay “the
usual commission” of from five to ten per cent. for orders given to
them by the officials of Indian Railways. However, the Government of
India has very properly appointed a Commission to inquire into these
allegations, and the facts must shortly come to light in their reality.
It is evident, from a passage in Mr. Juland Danver’s Report, that he
has had, for some time, serious doubts as to the efficient character of
the traffic management of this railway.

In the year 1865 the gross earnings of the Punjaub Railway were
£25,250; and if the traffic accounts be correct, the net receipts
were £6,009. In 1866 the gross receipts were £90,269; the net £25,395.
The number of train miles for the year ending the 30th of June, 1866,
were 354,239. The Punjaub, while rich in agricultural produce, is a
comparatively new and uncivilised province of British India; and the
benefits which the railway is destined to confer upon it cannot be
shown until proper access is obtained by the construction of roads
leading to it from the neighbouring districts.

The Delhi Railway will, when completed, be 320 miles long, and it forms
a link in India pretty much as the Lancaster and Carlisle does in
England in connecting English and Scotch railways together. By means of
the Delhi Railway a junction will be effected with the Punjaub Railway,
the North-Western Provinces, the Indus Valley, and the Scinde Railways.
87 miles of line are now opened; 117 will be opened next year, leaving
116 to be finished in 1869. As the line crosses several important
rivers, the bridges at them constitute the measure of time for the
completion of the railway. It is, therefore, satisfactory to know that
the piers and abutments of all the large bridges have been successfully
got in.

The Eastern Bengal Railway Company was formed to give accommodation
to the densely populated and prolific districts lying north and east
of Calcutta. Its length is 114 miles; but in August, 1865, it was
determined to extend the line forty-five miles farther, to Goalundo,
at the confluence of the Bramapootra and the Ganges, with the view
of intercepting the traffic from Assam, Bhotan, and the more distant
north-eastern countries.

The Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway Company was established in
1857 for the construction of a line, twenty-nine miles long, in
a south-eastern direction, to a town and harbour which it was
determined to establish on the Mutlah estuary, the object being to
avoid the dangerous navigation of the Hooghly. The necessary wharves
and jetties required at “Canning Town” have been constructed; but
unfortunately, just as the traffic was beginning to make progress, the
bed of the river shifted, in consequence, it is supposed, of certain
operations on the shore close by, and it was partly carried away.
The “Port Canning Company,” which has already expended £600,000 at
the place, is re-establishing the jetty. A new town is now gradually
rising at the place; “so that,” says Mr. Juland Danvers, “when the
dangers and difficulties of its infancy are passed, the whole scheme
of establishing a port on the Mutlah will be in a more promising
condition. Upon the whole, we may look with hope, if not with
confidence, to the future.”[98] The Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway
exhibits a deficit in its revenue accounts.

The Great Southern of India Railway was constituted in 1857, its
objects being to construct railways in the southern provinces of India.
The line runs from the east coast of the Great Indian Continent, by
Tanjore to Trichinopoly, through a country extensively cultivated with
rice and cotton crops. Seventy-nine miles were opened in 1862. An
extension of eighty-seven miles has been since authorised, by which a
junction will be effected with the Madras Railway at Errode.

With the exception of the Indus Valley and the Rajpootana Railways,
all the lines above enumerated are entitled to the payment of
interest from the Government of India, at the rate of 5 per cent. per
annum, on all capital, the expenditure of which is duly sanctioned
by the Government. At the close of 1865, the number of miles thus
guaranteed was 4,944, and the amount of the guarantee would be about
£81,000,000, when all lines are completed. This year, the guarantee
has been extended to 700 more miles, making the total now sanctioned
for guarantee 5,644 miles, and the total capital £88,000,000. By means
of it, the Indian Branch Railway undertakes to construct a system of
railways through Oude and Rohilcund, with branches to various places
on the East Indian Railway. These districts are populous, and highly
productive, and have obtained the name of the Garden of India. There
are no engineering difficulties on the lines, and very few works of
great magnitude, except some bridges over the Ganges, which will have
to be made, if the full benefits of the lines are to be secured. The
form of guarantee to the Indian Branch Railways differs in some details
from the form originally adopted, but in the main the terms are the
same. In the old contracts, the guarantee is given for ninety-nine
years, and at the end of that period the railway lapses to the
Government; but these provisions are practically annulled by the power
which each company has of surrendering the railway to the Government
at any time before the expiration of the ninety-ninth year (at the
ninety-eight year for example), and receiving back from the Government
the capital expended. In the new arrangements, no period is fixed for
the termination of the guarantee, but the Government has the power
of taking possession of the line after the first twenty years, or at
the expiration of any ten years afterwards. If it exercise this power
within a hundred years, it will have to pay a sum equivalent to the
average value of the stock during the three preceding years. If the
power be not exercised until after a hundred years, it then has only to
pay back the capital expended. _Per contra_, the company has the power
of surrendering the railway to the Government any time after the line
has been opened six months. In this event, the Government is not to pay
back more than the capital actually expended.

The amount of guaranteed capital raised up to the 1st of April, 1867,
has been £67,254,802, of which £51,800,377 consists of share capital,
and £15,454,425 of debentures. It may here be observed, that it has
been determined, as a rule, henceforth to restrict, as far as possible,
the issue of debenture capital, especially such as is not convertible
into stock. Perpetual debenture stock has, however, been sanctioned, to
some extent, in the case of the Great Indian Peninsular Company, and
its issue will, probably, under certain circumstances, be permitted to
be made by other companies.

The Indian railway capital is well diffused all over Great Britain, as,
on the 31st December, 1866, there were 34,849 shareholders, and 8,170
debenture holders. In India, there were at that date 816 shareholders,
of which 396 were Europeans, and 420 natives. Neither Europeans in, nor
natives of India were debenture holders at that date.

The total amount of guaranteed interest on railways which has been paid
by the Government of India from the year 1849, to the 31st of December,
1866, has been £18,929,576; of course during the early period of the
Indian railways, it was all expenditure and no profit, for, although
guaranteed interest commenced in 1849, the first length of Indian
railways was not opened for traffic until 1853, and then the length was
only 22 miles. In 1854, the miles opened were 55; in 1855, 98; in 1856,
102; in 1857, 145; in 1858, 145; in 1859, 75; in 1860, 208. In 1861,
759, which is the largest number of miles opened in any one year;
the following year, 1862, was nearly as much, being 747. Since then,
the amount has been increased at the average annual rate of about 300
miles, and the total mileage now is 4,070.

The companies have repaid to the Government, out of net earnings, about
£7,000,000; making the present debt of the railways to the Government
nearly £12,000,000. Their net earnings for 1865 were £1,341,550, and
for 1866 they were about £2,170,000. The amount paid by the Government
for guaranteed interest during 1865 was £2,796,676, consequently the
net amount of money which the Government had to find, and to debit
against the companies was £1,455,126; but, in 1866, whilst the amount
paid in guaranteed interest was £2,964,073, as the net earnings were
£2,170,000, the Government had only to debit the companies with about
£800,000. It is expected that the sum deficient this year will not be
more than £600,000, notwithstanding that the amount of interest for
which the Government is responsible will be about £3,300,000.

In 1866, for the first time, the net receipts of the East Indian, and
of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway Companies exceeded the 5 per
cent. guarantee. The excess of the first named was £108,073; of the
second, £75,878. In accordance with agreement, half these amounts,
or £91,976, were retained by the Government towards repayment of
guaranteed interest which it has already advanced. Mr. Juland Danvers
notices, as a very satisfactory circumstance, that “the guaranteed
interest which was exceeded by the receipts, was paid on account of
capital greater than that which produced those receipts, a large
portion having been expended upon unfinished works or lines not opened
for traffic, and consequently unprofitable.” How long it will take to
extinguish the debt against the companies on this account is difficult
to say. Some no doubt will be able to do so in the course of the next
twenty to twenty-five years, some very probably never. It will be seen,
by referring to page 255, that the surplus profits of the Great Indian
Peninsular Company, for the first half-year of 1867, were £132,116;
half of this will go in diminution of its interest debt due to the

It is quite clear that the guarantee system—without which experience
has shown it is impossible to obtain the construction of railways
in India—is not to stop at 5,644 miles, involving an expenditure of
£88,000,000 sterling. We have already referred to the extension of
the line proposed from Baroda to Delhi, called the Rajpootana Line,
and that of the Indus Valley. Their lengths (jointly) are about 1,070
miles, and the capital required for their construction—the works
for them being, on the whole, not of a difficult character—would be
under £13,000,000, or about £12,000 a mile. The construction of these
lines, with the guarantee on the capital, will, no doubt, be commenced
before long; and there is a third, the capital for which, whenever
constructed, can only be raised on the same system—the line to connect
Lahore and Peshawer together. This railway has been the subject of
a great deal of discussion and debate, both within the walls of the
British Parliament, and outside them. Whenever made, it can hardly
be looked upon other than as a military and political line, for its
commercial importance is very trifling indeed. It will also be very
expensive in its construction. Besides the Indus,[99] there are three
rivers, the Ravee, the Chenab, and the Shelum, great hurling and
devastating torrents at the period when the rains set in, and when the
Himalayan snows are melting; but with almost dry beds for at least
six months every year. These three rivers must each be transversed by
a long and costly bridge. The length of the line would be about 250
miles, and the cost about £20,000 a mile, or a total of £5,000,000. It
has been decided that, at all events for the present, the construction
of this line shall not take place, and that the two other railways
seeking the guarantee shall have precedence over it. Mr. Ayrton, M.P.,
whose opinion is entitled to much consideration, from his knowledge of
India, is decidedly adverse to its construction at all; whilst, on the
other hand, Mr. Laing, M.P., laments that the Governor in Council has
come to the determination of not recommending the work to be proceeded
with at once. As these three railways progress, they will add to the
guaranteed capital about £18,000,000, making its total £106,000,000,
and the amount of interest for which the Government of India will be
annually responsible, £5,300,000, against which will be the net incomes
of the railway companies up to 5 per cent. on the capital invested in
each. We have just seen, that even with increased responsibility in
the shape of guaranteed interest for the present year, the net amount
will be less by £200,000 than it was last year. Nevertheless, on the
£88,000,000 guarantee, when it shall have all been expended, the
Government may, we think, look to being liable on balance for at least
a million per annum for some years to come, and to still more during
the construction, and subsequent to the opening of the lines likely
to obtain the guarantee that is to raise its total amount to about

We now come to speak of the very important subject of working expenses.
On these working expenses depends, in fact, the fate of the Indian
railway system, and in considering them we must bear in mind that there
are three elements of outlay of a character to which railways are,
at most, very partially subjected in England—terrific inundations,
destruction of materials, and cost of fuel. As regards the first, it
would almost seem as if scarcely any provision that the engineer may
make is sufficient to counteract their devastating effects upon the
railway. Nor can this be wondered at when we read of rivers rising
twenty—thirty—fifty feet in a few hours, as also that in places where
there was a dry river bed one afternoon there is an impetuous torrent,
hurling villages along in its devastating course next morning. On
the Indus at Attock, on the high road between Lahore and Peshawer,
the floods of 1858 appear to have risen 80 feet above the usual cold
weather level of the river. In 1841 they were 92 feet above it, and
from the nature of the river at this time it is possible that they may
rise even higher. It is the same, though not to the same degree, at
other places, and even if railway bridges and viaducts be not carried
away, the ordinary permanent road suffers to an extent such as we know
nothing of in this country.[100] No doubt experience will in process
of time suggest means of protection as regards both construction and
maintenance. Still, let man do what he may, there is no foe that
he has ever faced on earth, or that he is likely to face, equal to
the elements in anger. It is God’s will that they should be so, and
although He places in our hands means to resist them, He has never
given, and for His own wise purposes probably never will give us
complete power to control and subdue them.

No matter how highly timber used for sleepers on Indian railways may
be saturated with creosote, or any other analogous preparation, they
are all powerless to resist the ravages of the red ant. Iron “pot”
sleepers have therefore been generally adopted, and they have been
found very serviceable, especially on lines where the speed is not
high. Some of the engineers are in their favour, even where trains are
run at high velocities. Thus the District Engineer and the Locomotive
Superintendent of the Punjaub Railway report strongly in recommendation
of them. “I have never,” says the latter, “travelled over a finer piece
of road, than the seventy to eighty miles of pot sleepers road laid
between Montgomery and Mooltan. Our speed does not exceed thirty-five
miles per hour, and I have never heard of breakages to permanent way
resulting from this rate.” The agent to the Madras Railway Company
says, “I have all along strongly advocated the use of cast-iron pot
sleepers upon our lines of railway, believing that a road laid with
iron was more easily and economically maintained, insured greater
safety from accidents, and from its smoothness of surface, less
prejudicial in its effects upon our rolling stock than any other form
of roadway.”

In 1862 Mr. Henry Rouse, the Chief Resident Engineer to the Egyptian
Railway, in the course of a report upon the use of these sleepers,
says, “I may assert with unerring confidence, that after ten years’
use of them, had a system of permanent way to be again selected for
adoption on the fine alluvial soil of Egypt, no more fitting choice
could be made than was, in fact, made by Mr. Robert Stephenson in 1851,
when he determined on the adoption of Greaves’s cast-iron pot sleeper

Captain Sherard Osborn, R.N., the late agent to the Great Indian
Peninsular Railway, quotes the report of Mr. Rouse, and confirms it
with the recommendations of Mr. Hardcastle, Mr. Perry, and Abul Meyd
Effendi, Civil Engineers, each in charge of portions of the Egyptian
Railway. On the other hand, the Chief Engineer of the East India
Line says, “I do not consider these sleepers would be suitable for
the through roads of this railway, although they might be used with
advantage on sidings and in station yards. From general knowledge I am
of opinion that, with small ballast, iron pot sleepers would answer
well in countries where rainfall is not excessive, and is evenly
distributed over many months in every year, but that they are not
adapted to large ballast under any circumstances, more particularly
when the road is liable to much periodical injury from rain. They
might be used with advantage on long lengths of bank in dry districts
with very considerable economy in ballast. In rock cuttings, however,
where the jar is at all times great, iron pot sleepers would be liable
to much damage from trains at high speed.” It may here perhaps be
incidentally noticed that the use of cast-iron sleepers has not been
adopted in the construction of Peruvian railways. In Brazil, with one
exception, they have been used on all the railways in that country. The
running speed of the trains there is, however, not more than twenty
miles an hour. They have also been adopted in the construction of the
railways of the Argentine Republic.

Upon the whole, the balance of opinion seems decidedly in favour of the
general adoption of iron sleepers. They are certainly preferable to
stone blocks; and timber is impossible[101] upon Indian Railways.

Several miles of steel rails have been sent from England during 1866.
Their first cost is, of course, much greater than that of iron; but,
irrespective of any other advantages, if we take into consideration the
cost that is always incurred in sending materials from Great Britain—a
cost which, in some cases, where the inland carriage is of considerable
length, almost doubles the original price of the rails—it is certainly
worth while, within certain limits, to ship steel rails in the first

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the fuel
question.[102] Cheap or dear fuel may, in many instances, on Indian
railways, be translated into complete success or very nearly total
failure. Even at the commencement of the present year, before freights
had risen so much in consequence of the Abyssinian expedition, the
value of coal and coke before it was landed in India was about 50s.
a ton. When the landing charges and the cost of conveyance along the
lines are added, the average price of coal for the railways on the
western and southern sides of India becomes about 60s. a ton. It is a
fortunate circumstance for the East India Railway that its line runs
through the finest portion of the Raneegunge coal-field,[103] thereby
reducing its cost of fuel to 3¼d. per ton, and also affording it the
opportunity of having a large coal traffic. Nor will this be the only
source from which the railway can be supplied with coal, for the
chord line between Raneegunge and Luckieserai passes through another
coal bed, that of Kurhurbali. The coal of this field is described
as excellent, although it does not exist in as large quantity as at
Raneegunge. On the other hand, the Great Indian Peninsular Company, not
having entered into arrangements with the Nerbudda Coal Company, its
fuel cost was 1s. 6¼d. per train mile in 1866, the estimated average
cost of coal over the whole line being £3 per ton, of coke £3. 12s.,
and of “Patent Fuel” £3. 8s.

Mr. Oldham, Superintendent of the Geological Survey of India, does
not speak encouragingly as regards the prospect of coal being found
in parts of India where it would be of great value to the railways.
“Extensive coal-fields do occur,” says Mr. Oldham; “but they are not
distributed generally over the districts of the Indian empire, but are
almost entirely concentrated in one (a double) band of coal yielding
deposits which, with large interruptions, extends more than half across
India, from near Calcutta towards Bombay.” He, however, adds, that
much still remains to be surveyed, and, until careful mapping has been
carried out, of all the fields, any estimate of the coal resources of
British India must be defective.

In the meantime coal from Labuan and from Australia are in course of
being tried. Much must not be expected from the former; but there are
great hopes that the latter will be largely available for India. But
all persons who have written upon, or are interested in, the subject,
come to the same conclusion, which is that the railways must mainly
look to wood for their fuel. We are happy to perceive that the subject
is engaging the most serious attention of the Governments both at home
and in India; and there is no doubt but that an extensive system of
planting timber suitable for fuel purposes will be immediately carried
into operation, all the more necessary when it is borne in mind that a
plantation of twenty acres will be the average proportion necessary
for the requirements of every mile of railway.

The working expenses of the railways exhibit very great differences
both as respects actual amounts and their per centage proportions to
traffic. Thus, for instance, on the Great Southern of India Line they
were for the year 1865 2s. 7½d. a mile, and only 2s. 3d. a mile in
1866; yet the fuel cost was £2. 18s. a ton; exactly the same price as
on the Bombay and Baroda line, the working expenses of which were 8s.
1¾d. in 1865 per train mile. In 1866 they had fallen to 6s. 8d.; so
that the _difference_ between these two amounts is exactly two-thirds
of the _total_ working cost per train mile of the Great Southern
Company. The East Indian was 3s. 8d. per train mile in both 1865 and
1866. But the Madras cost was only 2s. 10¾d. per train mile in 1865. It
went up, however, 3¼d. in 1866, being 3s. 2d. Yet the average price it
pays for coal is the same as that paid by the Great Indian Peninsular,
the cost per train mile of which in 1865 was 6s. 2d., in 1866, 6s. 4½d.
No doubt the two Ghaut inclines add heavily both to locomotive and to
permanent way charges, but they do not explain why the working cost per
train mile should be double that on the Madras Line. It is a remarkable
fact also, and it is one which should be recorded to the honour of the
Madras management, that, although its traffic receipts per mile are
almost the lowest on the whole system of East Indian railways—£13 a
mile a week—its per centage of working expenses is actually the lowest,
43½.[104] The per centage of the East Indian, with a weekly mileage
receipt of £43, is 44½. The Great Indian Peninsular, the weekly receipt
per mile of which is £48, is 59¾; and on the Bombay and Baroda the
weekly receipt per mile is £29, the working expenses being 64½ per
cent. The Scinde working expenses were 85½ per cent. of the receipts;
but the unlucky Calcutta and South-Eastern spends £109. 10s. for every
£100 it earns.

Accidents have hitherto been rather numerous on Indian railways. The
returns for 1866 were not complete at the time of Mr. Juland Danvers’
last report. In 1864 there were 345 accidents on an average of 2,699
miles of railway open, and the number had fallen to 284 on an average
of 3,153 miles open in 1865. The Madras line, on the whole, has had
fewer accidents than any other company—only five in 1865. Accidents by
fire are rather numerous, especially in those districts where wood is
used as fuel. This is, perhaps, also to be expected, in consequence of
the conveyance of cotton forming so important a portion of the business
of the two companies having their termini at Bombay. Accidents from
fire, however, sensibly diminished in 1865, which is ascribed to the
extended introduction of covered waggons for carrying cotton, to the
greatly increased use of coke, which gives out less sparks, and to the
custom that prevails now of invariably placing several waggons (even
running empties for the purpose, if none others are available) between
the engine and cotton waggons.

But although the number of accidents was less in 1865 than in 1864,
they were more destructive in their character in the former year, 316
persons having been killed or injured in 1865, as against 256 in 1864.
But in these numbers are included the persons injured through their own
fault or imprudence. It deserves to be recorded that in eleven years
the Madras Railway has carried nearly twelve millions of passengers,
hitherto without a case of injury to any of them. But, on the other
hand, owing to two serious collisions on the line, a large number of
the company’s servants have been fatally or seriously injured. Native
passengers are reckless; but native servants are especially so, for
out of 49,398 employed on all lines in 1865, 96 were killed and 97
injured, or 193 in all, against 147 in 1864, with about the same
number of servants. Of these casualties, 136, or 1 in 363, occurred
in 1865 through incaution or misconduct; 42 were killed or injured in
attempting to get upon or off, or falling from, engines or carriages in
motion; and 52 were run over or struck whilst incautiously crossing,
standing, or walking upon the line.

Reference to page 176 will enable the reader to compare the number and
character of Indian railway accidents with those on the railways of the
United Kingdom.

There is one more subject connected with the working expenses of
railways in India to which reference must be made—the staff. It is
quite evident that on railways, as in every other department of
Anglo-Indian service, whether it be governmental or corporate,
all the persons in leading positions—not only those to direct and
command, but those in the scale some degrees subordinate to them—must
be European British subjects; not merely of European descent, but of
actual birth as such. Without them the great railway system of India
can never be efficiently worked. The returns of persons employed on
the lines in 1866 show this fact very clearly, for whilst “native”
servants were (excluding the Southern of India, which has not sent in
any return of its staff) 30,838, the Europeans and East Indians were
only 2,736. All the highest appointments were filled by Europeans.
East Indians could rise to the class of station-masters; so could the
natives, in an inferior degree, but these last constituted the whole
of the humblest classes of servants. On the East Indian Railway the
comparative estimation of the three nativities for the appointments
of station-masters was thus shown:—Out of 114, 35 are Europeans, who
receive salaries the lowest of which (irrespective of ample lodging
accommodation) is £180, and they range up to £420 a year. Five East
Indians, very choice and exceptionally superior men, have from £180 to
£300 a year; whilst the salaries of the 74 natives vary from a minimum
of £25 to a maximum of £250 a year.

It will always he necessary to recruit the upper ranks of railway
officials in India from amongst the railway officials of Great Britain;
and up to now, as far as our knowledge and acquaintance extend, no
gentleman has left this country to fill a railway appointment in India
at much less increase than three times his English emoluments. It
is possible that efficient gentlemen may henceforth be obtained at
smaller comparative salaries; but we doubt that such will be the fact.
The character of the climate of India, so telling, as a rule, upon
Europeans, but especially upon those who do not go to it when very
young, and who are liable to exposure out of doors in the broiling
hours of the day, and during the down-pours of the deluging rain
torrents every year, and the necessary separation of a man and his
wife from their children during the period of their education, must
naturally deter officials from leaving comfortable appointments in
England, except under the influence of strong pecuniary temptations.
The risk of health-failure is also accompanied by knowledge of the fact
that men cannot insure their lives, except upon payment of very high
annual premiums.

The manner in which the East Indian Railway Company proposes to meet
this last difficulty is by the establishment of a Provident Fund, the
principles of which are explained by the following extract from the
last Report of the Directors:—

 “One of the most difficult questions which has presented itself to the
 board in the organisation and management of their staff in India has
 been how to meet the claims that have been constantly urged for the
 payment of pensions, after a given period of service, founded upon the
 analogy of the Indian services. The company’s permanent European staff
 consists of gentlemen drawn chiefly from the best-managed English
 lines. It is felt that without some provision being made for them in
 case of sickness, involving their retirement from the service, or in
 cases where, after a certain period of time, they may wish to retire,
 or when it may be considered desirable that they should do so, the
 railway service in India does not present sufficient attractions.
 Various schemes, with a view to make the service more popular, have
 been suggested, both here and in India; but, until recently, every
 proposition which has been made has been found, from one cause or
 other, to be impracticable. After much anxious consideration—and
 being satisfied of the almost insuperable difficulty of applying the
 principle of pensions to a constantly-varying service such as this
 must necessarily be—it has been thought that the best mode of meeting
 the difficulty is to establish a Provident Fund, in the advantages of
 which all the servants of the company, European and native, receiving
 a monthly pay of Rs. 30 and upwards shall participate, the Fund being
 supported by contributions from the staff, assisted by the company.
 It is proposed—1st. That the present staff shall contribute to the
 fund only if they think fit; but that all persons joining the service
 on or from a given date, with a monthly pay of Rs. 30, and those who
 may be promoted to this pay shall be required to do so. 2nd. That the
 staff shall be divided into two classes,—class A consisting of all
 European servants of the company, and class B comprising all servants
 of the company not Europeans. 3rd. That those in class A shall
 contribute 5 per cent., and those in class B 2½ per cent. on their
 respective monthly salaries or wages. 4th. That the company shall
 contribute annually 1 per cent. on the surplus net earnings, after
 6 per cent. per annum has been appropriated to the company and the
 Government, in the terms of their contract, together with 1 per cent.
 on the 6 per cent. so appropriated, so far as the surplus will admit
 of the said contributions. 5th. That the moneys of the fund shall be
 invested, from time to time, either in Indian Government Securities or
 in the Railway Stock, and that, subject to rules and regulations to be
 prescribed by the board, the fund and all accruing interest shall be
 the property of the respective members of the staff in the ratio of
 their subscriptions.

 “It is estimated that when the line earns over 6 per cent., the
 contributions of the company and the staff will be about equal; as
 the profits increase, the company’s contribution will most probably
 be the larger of the two. The board are of opinion that the creation
 of such a fund will be most acceptable and beneficial to the staff
 in numerous ways; and so far as the company is concerned, the effect
 of it being to give every servant, who can influence its success, a
 direct personal interest in the economical working of the line, it can
 scarcely fail to be advantageous.”

Although the Secretary of State for India has sanctioned the
arrangement, and the shareholders of the company, at their meeting held
on the 2nd of July last, approved of, and agreed to its adoption, we
doubt whether it is one that is likely to prove satisfactory to the
officials, especially to those from Europe. The practical operation
of the scheme is this. Henceforth, the Europeans are, from the moment
of their appointments, to he subjected to a deduction of 5 per cent.
from the nominal amount of their salaries, but the company is not to
contribute to the fund until after the net earnings have amounted to
6 per cent. and upwards; thus, if these earnings were declared at
the rate of £5. 19s. 11d. per annum, the shareholders would receive,
firstly, 5 per cent., and secondly, the half of 19s. 11d., under the
contract between the Government and the company; the Government would
receive the second half of the 19s. 11d., and the Provident Fund _nil_.
This scheme should be altered. The deduction of 5 per cent. from
salaries is too high, and the contributions of the shareholders and of
the Government should commence at a much earlier step in the scale of
net earnings.

The rolling stock provided for Indian railways is miserably
insufficient. The number of locomotives possessed by all the companies
on the 1st of January, 1867, was only 795, not quite one engine for
every five miles. The other descriptions of plant are equally defective
in point of numbers. The East Indian Company announced, in its report
of January last, that it intended to make up its rolling stock for a
traffic of £60 a mile, at a cost of about £300,000. The other companies
will have to outlay at least half-a-million on rolling stock almost

Apart from every consideration purely political, the railways of India
have been the means of rendering the greatest service to England, at
a moment of greatest peril. Through them she has received supplies of
cotton that otherwise could never have got even as far as a port of
shipment. There are seven districts from which these supplies come. By
far the largest and most important is the Oomrawattee Cotton District,
which both the main line of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, and
its Nagpoor Extension pass through. When the extension line of this
company to Jubbulpore is completed, it will, jointly with the East
Indian Railway, open up the Sassegur District, and, on the opening of
the Madras Connection, it will touch upon a fourth. The Bombay and
Baroda goes into the midst of the great Guzzerat Cotton Fields; the
Madras Line through that of Combatore. There is a comparatively small
one at nearly the extreme south of the continent; and the smallest of
all is in the Punjaub, between, and to the northward both of Delhi and
Lahore. Of the production of these cotton districts, we shall speak

If England have found almost exclusively the capital for the
construction of Indian railways, she has not only made a safe—or,
it might rather be said, a first class—investment, but she has also
benefited largely in her manufactures and commerce through their
construction. The amount of capital expended in the United Kingdom
in consequence of Indian railways between 1851 and 1866 has been as
follows:—In 1851 it was £154,212; in 1852 it was £174,920; in 1853,
£252,484; 1854, £960,878; 1855, £1,939,101; 1856, £1,752,813; 1857,
£1,324,873; 1858, £1,940,052; 1859, £2,507,949; 1860, £2,396,924; 1861,
£1,596,010; 1862, £1,854,289; 1863, £1,411,661; 1864, £1,387,699; 1865,
£2,192,090; 1866, £3,942,598. It is expected that the amount expended
in England during 1867 will be about £2,457,250. The industry of the
mother country has thus been greatly assisted by the valuable orders
represented by these figures. If all these amounts be added together,
it will be found that they are nearly £26,500,000, or between a third
and a half of the £67,932,550 that have been expended up to April last
on account of Indian railways. The tons weight of goods despatched have
been 3,195,862; and as the number of ships they were conveyed in was
4,827, it followed that the average load which each carried was 662

We have dwelt upon Indian railways at greater length than we had
originally intended, but the subject is a great one; for it must not
be forgotten that the capital expended upon them at this date is a
seventh of that to the same account in the United Kingdom. Presently it
will be a sixth, and hereafter it will he a fifth; because also the
mileage of these railways is, even now, nearly a third of the railways
of Great Britain; presently it will he more than a third. On the 1st
of January, 1867, it was nearly half that of France; only 1,413 miles
less than that of Prussia, 1,138 less than that of Bavaria, 69 more
than that of the Austrian dominions, 1,030 more than that of Italy, 854
more than that of Spain, 2,160 more than that of Belgium; 2,177 more
than that of both Russia in Europe and Russia in Asia; and 1,574 more
than that of Canada.[105] On the 3,638 miles which, towards the close
of 1866, constituted the length of Indian railways, the train miles run
amounted to 10,120,920. The gross receipts earned by those trains were
£4,537,235, just 1,425,000 more than in 1865; of these gross earnings,
£1,278,580 were received from passenger traffic, and £3,091,723 from
that of merchandise. The number of passengers carried in 1866 was
12,867,000, being 367,000 more than in 1865. This, of course, in no way
represents the proportion due to population in British India, for in
1861 that population was 143,271,210, dwelling on 956,436 square miles
of land.

Let us proceed some few steps farther with reference to the development
of India. Its revenue has increased from £27,832,237 in 1852, to
£45,652,897 in 1865. But on the the other hand, the expenditure,
which was £27,098,462, or £750,000 within its income, in 1852, was
£46,450,920, or £800,000 in excess of income in 1865. Then, us a
further but doubtful proof of prosperity, the public debt of India
had risen from £55,114,693 in 1852, to 98,518,145 in 1865.[106] The
tonnage of vessels entered and cleared in India during 1852 was
(exclusive of coasting trade) 1,591,937; in 1865 it was 4,268,666. The
value of imports (including bullion and specie) into India in 1840
was £8,415,940; in 1852 they were of the value of £17,292,549; and in
1865 they had increased to £49,514,275. The value of its exports rose
in fifteen years from £20,798,342 to £69,471,791.[107] In 1852 the
total amount of cotton which British India sent to the United Kingdom
was only 84,922,432 lbs., just a ninth of that received from the
United States, which was 765,630,544 lbs. In 1866 the amount of cotton
imported from India was 615,302,240 lbs.,[108] exactly 95,244,840
lbs. more than from the United States, and not far from one half of
the total amount imported from all places, namely, 1,377,129,936 lbs.
Thanks to India, the total quantity of cotton imported in 1866 is only
13,000,000 lbs. less than it was in 1860, the year of our greatest
cotton importation. In that year the quantity received from India
was little more than a seventh of the importations from all sources.
It is, therefore, not to be wondered that Manchester has altered its
cotton machinery, and has rendered it suited for working the cotton,
the importation of which will, thanks to Indian railways, soon make
England, as regards supplies, independent of all other countries in the

Let us say, finally, that if we have dwelt at such length upon the
yet _infant_ railway system of the Indian Empire, it is because India
is a land that has a well-recorded history dating back nearly 4,000
years, with national monuments and buildings still existing, and in
comparatively sound preservation, that were erected 400 years before
Rome was created; and, last of all, BECAUSE of the now standing army of
India, numbering 190,195 men, 71,880 first saw the light from Heaven
in the United Kingdom. It is at that number our reinforcements will
have to be never-failingly kept up, if we wish to avoid the dangers and
horrors of a second Indian mutiny.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Postscript._—Immediately after page 271 was printed, we met a
gentleman who, in consequence of his professional connection with
Persia, has, for several years, made the subject of a communication
from the north-western side of Asia Minor, through Persia and
Affghanistan to India, his constant study. He takes a different view
from us as to the starting point of the LONG RAILWAY, but in many
other respects our opinions are identical. It is probable that they
may be brought jointly before the public in a more detailed and
substantive form, in the course of a few months. We may here mention
that, as early as 1847, Mr. Austin H. Layard, M.P., was alive to the
importance of this communication, for in his work on the “Ruins of
Nineveh and Babylon” (London, Murray, 1853), he says, that the route
of the Euphrates, the adoption of which he urgently recommends “must
be the second Indian route until civilisation and Christianity afford
a reasonable basis for those gigantic schemes which would carry a line
of iron through countries almost unknown, and scarcely yet visited by a
solitary European traveller.”



The progress of Canada—we speak of the whole dominion recently created
by the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick[110]—has been marvellous, and in no respect, perhaps, has
the growth of the country shown itself in a more marked manner than
in the development of its railway system. It was in 1848, or almost
immediately after the completion of the magnificent canal system of
Canada proper, and by which vessels of 800 tons could pass from the
ocean to Lake Ontario, and _vice versâ_, that the Canadians discovered
it was necessary, notwithstanding their unrivalled inland navigation,
to combine with it an equally good railway communication—that was
if they were to continue to be the carriers of the products of the
western states through the valley of the St. Lawrence. They found
that their neighbours to the south had commenced their railways in
all directions, but more particularly to connect the cities on the
Atlantic Coast with the Western Lakes, and accordingly in 1849 an Act
was passed by the Canadian Government pledging a 6 per cent. guarantee
on one-half the cost of all railways made under its provisions. Under
this Act, the Northern Railway, which runs from Toronto to Collingwood,
the Great Western Railway, which runs from Windsor on the Detroit
River (opposite Detroit) to the Niagara River, and the St. Lawrence
and Atlantic, now forming part of the Grand Trunk line, running from
Montreal to Portland, were commenced. In 1852, however, the Government,
fearing the effect of an indiscriminate guarantee, repealed the law
of 1849, and passed an Act guaranteeing one-half of the cost of one
main trunk line of railway throughout the province, and it was under
this Act that the Grand Trunk Railway was projected. These terms were
subsequently modified by granting a fixed sum of £3,000 per mile of
railway forming part of the main trunk line. It is true that prior
to these dates railways existed in Canada. There was, for example,
the horse railway from La Prairie, nine miles above Montreal, to St.
John’s, on the Richelieu River, which was opened in July, 1836, and
was first worked with locomotives in 1837. There was also the horse
railway between Queenstown and Chippewa, which was opened in 1839; but
with these exceptions and the length of the Lachine Railway, a line
running from Montreal for seven miles to the westward, the railway
system of Canada cannot be said to have commenced until after the
passing of the Railway Act in 1849, and even then it was not for about
a year that any substantial progress was made. But after that date the
works of the several lines were pushed forward rapidly, and in 1853 the
lines from Montreal to Sherbrooke, from Toronto to Bradford, and from
Hamilton to Suspension Bridge were opened. In 1854 the line between
Montreal and Quebec was opened, the first train having carried Lord
Elgin, who was then _en route_ to England. In the same year the Great
Western Railway[111] was finished to Windsor, and in the two following
years the whole line from Montreal to Toronto, and thence to London
was constructed, and in 1859 the entire Canadian Railway system was
completed, including the keystone of its arch, the Victoria Bridge,
the details of the construction of which will he found in a subsequent

Whilst, as has been already explained, the Government of Canada owns
no portion of the 2,148 miles of railroad now constructed, although
the moneys granted in their aid amount to upwards of £6,000,000,
Nova Scotia has built and owns all the railways constructed in that
province. They consist of a trunk line from Halifax on the Atlantic,
by way of Truro, to Pictou, in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, with a
branch line to Windsor, in the Bay of Fundy. The distance from Halifax
to Truro is sixty miles, and from the main line to Windsor thirty-three
miles. From Truro to Pictou the distance is also about sixty miles. The
railways to both these points were completed in 1858; the total cost of
construction, including the extension to Pictou, being a little over
£8,000,000. The line from Halifax to Pictou was originally intended to
form part of the European and British North American Railway, running
from Halifax to the Great Lakes through British territory, and this has
now all been accomplished, with the exception of the intermediate link
through New Brunswick, from the St. Lawrence River to the Bay of Fundy.
This incompleted section, the projected Intercolonial Railway will now
fill in, so that within three years from the present time the dominion
of Canada will have direct railway communication between its extreme
limits—that is to say, the iron road will be laid between the ocean and
the Great Lakes.

New Brunswick, like her sister maritime province, also owns a railway,
being the line from St. John to Shediac—a distance of 108 miles. It
is called the European and North American, and it is intended to
extend the line westwards from St. John to the boundary line of the
State of Maine, the present railways of that State being in like
manner extended until a junction is effected between the two systems.
With the completion of these extensions and the construction of the
Intercolonial Railway, a passenger landing at Halifax will be able
to take his train to any city in the States or in the Dominions. In
addition to the European and North American Railway, New Brunswick
possesses two other lines—the New Brunswick and Canada, eighty-eight
miles long, running from St. Andrews to Woodstock, and the St.
Stephen’s branch railway, a short line of eighteen miles in length. It
is not unlikely that some portion of the Woodstock line may be utilised
as part of the Intercolonial Railway; but, until the route of the
latter is finally settled, it is impossible to say whether this will be
so or not.

From the foregoing figures it will be seen that, whilst in 1852 Canada
could only boast of thirty miles of railway, she has now, including the
railways of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 2,495 miles. The population
of the dominion is estimated at 4,000,000, so that, with the exception
of the United States, which possess a little more than a mile of
railway for about every thousand inhabitants, the rate of Canada, which
is nearly five-eighths of a mile for the same proportion of population,
shows a greater mileage system per head of population than any other

The following is the length and cost of the several railways in the

        Name.                       Length in miles.     Cost.

  Grand Trunk                          1,377         £16,583,033
  Great Western                          345           4,901,892
  Northern                                97           1,121,462
  Brockville and Ottawa                   86½            534,657
  Prescott and Ottawa                     54             412,808
  Port Hope, Lindsay, and Beaverton       43             327,437
  Port Hope and Peterboro’                13              82,191
  Cobourg and Peterboro’                  14             184,931
  London and Port Stanley                 24½            212,229
  Welland                                 25½            333,460
  Carillon and Grenville                  13              19,536
  St. Lawrence and Industrie              12              11,116
  Stanstead, Shefford, and Chambly        44             249,862
  Nova Scotia                            133           1,300,000
  New Brunswick                          214           1,700,000
                                       ——————       ————————————
                                       2,495½        £27,974,614

The magnificent harbour of Halifax—than which there is none finer in
the world—will, on the completion of the Intercolonial Railway, be the
Atlantic terminus of the Canadian system of railways—a system that
will yet extend across the Rocky Mountains to British Columbia; and
there, ere long, will be seen the lumber from New Brunswick, Maine, and
Canada, the beef, pork, wheat, flour, and corn of Western Canada and
the Western States, with the other products—

  From the forests and the prairies,
  From the great lakes of the northland,
  From the land of the Ojibways,
  From the land of the Dacotahs,
  From the mountains, moors, and fenlands,

all being transhipped for consumption in our Cis-Atlantic markets.

Australia has not made as rapid progress in respect of the construction
of railways as might perhaps be expected. She has not, however, been
altogether unmindful of her interests in this respect. Of the four
great modern divisions of the Australian Continent, New South Wales
had, at the commencement of the present year, 263 miles, and the
expenditure upon them had been £2,746,373; Victoria, 272, with an
expenditure of £9,905,634; Queensland, 78, with an expenditure of
£617,658; and South Australia, 56. The expenditure for railways in this
last-named colony is not stated in the returns before us. It will thus
be seen that the aggregate length of the Australian railways is 669

In the New South Wales Province there are three main lines, all of
which commence at Sydney—the Great Southern, the Great Western, and
the Great Northern. The first is to extend through Goulburn to the
Murray River at Albury. Although some of the works on this line
are very heavy, and there is a long tunnel to complete through the
Gibraltar Mountains, it is, nevertheless, expected that the line will
be completed in 1868. The Great Northern will extend to Muswell Brook
on the Hunter River, sixty miles north-west of Maitland, and 153 miles
from Sydney. The third, or Great Western Line, is to extend to Bathurst
on the Macquarie River, 122 miles from Sydney. New South Wales has
its Windsor and its Richmond, and these places are accommodated with
railway communication from Sydney. When the several lines now open, and
those now in process of construction, are completed, the Colony will
have 500 miles of railway within its limits.[112]

The Victorian railways consist of two main lines, one from Melboure
to Castlemain (Mount Alexander Goldfields) and Sandhurst (Bendigo
Goldfields), 101 miles long, and the other from Melbourne to Geelong
and Ballarat, with a branch to Williamstown (the Port of Melbourne).
The total length of this second line is ninety-six miles. The Geelong
and Melbourne Railway was purchased from the shareholders by the
Government in 1860. An extension from Sandhurst to the Murray River at
Echuca, fifty-six miles long, is in progress, and will be opened next
year. Echuca is 150 miles distant from Albury, the terminus on the
Murray River of the intended southern extension of the New South Wales
Railways. There will, therefore, not be direct railway communication
between Sydney and Melbourne, at all events for the present. The gauge
of the New South Wales and Victorian Railways is 5 feet 3 inches.

The railways of Queensland consist of two main trunk lines, one for
the southern districts from Brisbane, at the head of the Moreton Bay
Navigation, and one for the northern districts from Rockhampton, at the
head of the navigation at Keppel Bay, running nearly due west into the
interior, passing through Westwood and other townships, and traversing
the extensive Leichhardt district, whence it will be eventually
extended to Claremont, a township of the Peak Downs, distant 220 miles
from Rockhampton. This extension, when completed, will open out a vast
territory, and will give the same facilities for the inhabitants of the
province to transport their enormous yields of wool to the sea-board as
India now possesses for its cotton. The first section of this railway
from Rockhampton is on the eve of completion.

As regards the Southern line, it has been open more than a year from
Brisbane to Ipswich. Its extension to Toowoomba (sixty-two miles) will,
it is expected, be ready for traffic early next year; and later, two
forks, one extending north-west towards Dalby, and the other south-west
to Warwick, in the direction of Dumaresq River, which forms the
boundary between the southern inhabited portion of Queensland and the
northern of New South Wales, will be completed.

The gauge of the Queensland railways is 3 feet 6 inches, and the reason
for its adoption in these narrow proportions was to save the great
additional cost which construction on a wider gauge would have entailed
in passing through the extremely difficult country between Ipswich and
Toowoomba. Two ridges of hills have to be crossed, one 700 feet and
the other 1,400 feet above the level of the land at their bases. The
main range incline is sixteen miles long, and upon it there are eleven
tunnels, the longest of which is over three-quarters of a mile, all of
which require lining with stone or brick. The total number of bridges
is 47; their total length is 5,196 feet, or 84 feet less than a mile.
In one locality they are so crowded together, that there are eight in
three-quarters of a mile. The longest is 535 feet, the greatest in
height is 73 feet over the rails. The steepest gradient is 1 in 50; the
longest at that rate of inclination is 1,820 yards; the total length of
1 in 50 is 4 miles 280 yards. The average gradient of both inclines is
1 in 70.

On the lesser range there are two tunnels, one of 586 yards, and the
other 120 yards, on a curve of 120 yards, or five chains radius.
The low-lying country at the base of these two mountain ranges
is intersected by streams and water-courses, which in the wet
season become roaring torrents, overflowing their banks, and thus
necessitating an amount of bridging and water-ways as great as, for a
like distance, in any other country of the world. Notwithstanding these
heavy works, the passages through the mountain have been constructed
at a cost of about £15,000 a mile. On the lengths presenting only
ordinary difficulties they have been made at about £6,000 a mile.

The South Australian Railway extends from Adelaide in the direction
towards Murray River, not far from where it flows into Lake Alexandra.

The number of passengers conveyed on Victorian lines in 1866 was
very great—3,361,312. They also transported 482,314 tons of goods.
The number of passengers carried on the New South Wales railways was
751,587; but the amount of goods was nearly equal to that on the
Victorian lines—416,707. The South Australian carried on its fifty-six
miles of railway 402,550 passengers and 261,183 tons of goods.[113]
Owing to the failure of the harvest, there has been a considerable
falling off in the business of the South Australian railways in 1866.

New Zealand opened its first railway—from Christchurch to
Lyttelton—six miles in length, in the summer of 1867. Further reference
will be made to this railway in a subsequent page. Tasmania is also
becoming alive to the importance of its having railways running from
its sea-boards to the interior.

Railways have made progress in some of the other colonies of great
Britain. The oldest British railway, out of the United Kingdom, is
the Demerara Railway. The company was constituted so far back as 1844
for the construction of various lines, including one from George Town
to Mahaica, a length of twenty miles. This is the only railway as yet
open in the colony. It is, however, prospering, the receipts having
increased very much during late years. Its total cost has been about
£320,000; £115,000 is 6 per cent. preference capital. The ordinary
capital now earns a dividend of 3 per cent.

The Jamaica Railway Company is entitled to be spoken of with respect,
for it stands in the unique position of having “its capital closed, no
money has been borrowed, and the railway is entirely free from debt.”
The capital upon which dividend is payable is £150,000; but, owing to
the discount at which nearly half the share capital was issued, the
actual money received was only £96,675. The railway was opened for
traffic in 1850. Its length is sixteen miles. It runs from Kingston
to Spanish Town, the seat of the Colonial Government, and thence to
the Angels. At Kingston the company possesses a wharf suitable for
receiving the largest vessels alongside it. The dividends have never
exceeded £1. 10s. per cent. per annum; they are usually not more than
half that amount.

Notwithstanding that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has
sanctioned a guarantee of 6 per cent. on £300,000 by the Colonial
Government for the construction of a railway through the isle of
Trinidad, no progress has been made with the works, and the line is in
abeyance for the present.

Central American Honduras—not a British Colony, notwithstanding that
its imports and exports appear in the statistical abstract of the
Board of Trade “for the several Colonies and other Possessions of the
United Kingdom”—is about to have a railway constructed immediately
across its territory, from the Carribean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
For this purpose the Honduras Government has recently introduced with
success on the London and Paris markets a loan for £1,000,000 sterling,
under special treaties between England, France, and the United States.
The line (about 150 miles long) has been surveyed, on the part of
the British Government, by Colonel Stanton and a detachment of the
Royal Engineers, sent out from England for the purpose. As regards
interoceanic communication, the line will be of great importance, as it
will effect a saving of 1,300 miles, or five days, between the Atlantic
and Pacific ports, as compared with the Panama route. The harbours at
the respective termini—viz., Puerto Caballos on the Carribean Sea, and
the Bay of Fonseca on the Pacific, are capacious and safe, affording
every facility for direct embarkation and disembarkation.

Proceeding to Africa, we have the Cape Railway, the terminus of
which is at Cape Town. The total length of its lines in operation is
sixty-three miles. The Cape of Good Hope Government guarantees 6 per
cent. upon a sum not exceeding £500,000, and “it is to be considered
as a rate in aid towards making a dividend of 6 per cent.” The net
dividend and the guarantee combined only yield 4 per cent. on the gross
capital, which, at the date of the last report issued by the company
in October, 1867, was £746,722. This railway has suffered severely in
its traffic, in consequence of the great commercial depression in the
colony during the last two years, but its prospects are now reviving.
The Directors have recently completed arrangements with the Colonial
Government for the construction of further extensions.

The young and enterprising colony of Natal contemplates (as yet it has
done nothing more) two lines of railway, one from Durban to Maritzburg,
which will be about sixty-nine miles long, and a mineral line from
Durban to Zuguela. Its length would be sixty-nine miles, and it would
run through districts said to abound in fine coal, limestone, and iron.

The Island of Mauritius has a railway consisting of two portions, each
having its terminus in common at Port Louis. The northern line is 36½
miles long, and the Midland 34 miles. They are now both open in their
entire lengths. The traffic is reported to be highly satisfactory, and
in advance of the expectations which had been formed of it. The cost of
the whole 70½ miles has been about £1,300,000, of which the Government
advanced £300,000 out of its accumulated surplus revenue. The balance
of the capital has been principally found in England.

Shortly after the British Government took possession of Ceylon, at
the invitations of the native chiefs, the formation of a large system
of roads through the principal parts of the island was decided upon.
These, as well as several canals, were constructed at heavy cost, for
the country is extremely difficult and mountainous in several parts.
Now the railway is beginning to supersede the old roads, and in a few
years more there will be a tolerably comprehensive net-work throughout
the island. From Colombo, its capital, situated on the west-coast of
the island, to the foot of the incline over the Allagalla Mountain, the
peak of which is 8,400 feet above the level of the sea, the line has
been opened since the early part of 1867. Its length is fifty-three
miles, and it is expected that before the close of the year the whole
line to Candy will be completed. The railway will subsequently be
extended from Candy to Trincomalee.

Of the small islands in the vicinity of the British coast, the only
one which as yet has railways, is the beautiful little Isle of Wight,
the climate of which is said to be the most salubrious of any part
of Great Britain. It is, at its nearest point, about 85 miles from
London, and, thanks to express trains and rapid steamboats, it is not
farther in time than three hours, _viâ_ Portsmouth or Stokes Bay, to
Ryde, or _viâ_ Southampton and the Solent, to Cowes. For an island,
the length of which is only 22 miles, and the extreme breadth (as
nearly as possible at its centre) 13 miles, the whole of which is
necessarily, from its picturesque character, extremely undulating, it
is very abundantly supplied with railways. The most important, and the
most costly is the Isle of Wight Railway, running from Ryde to Ventnor,
with its long tunnel near the latter place. The length of this railway
is 12 miles, and the last section (through the tunnel) was opened for
traffic in October 1866. By recent enactments, the company has obtained
powers to construct 26 miles of extensions, so as, by means of them,
to connect with the Newport and Cowes Line (5¼ miles long), and thus
to establish a sufficient net-work of railways over the frequented
portions of the island.

The Isle of Man is about to construct a railway, which is to run from
Douglas, its capital, into the interior of the island.

There are no railways in Jersey or Guernsey, although possibly one may
be soon made in the former island, from St. Helier’s to St. Aubin’s.
Its length would be five or six miles, and, from a cursory inspection
of it on the occasion of a visit we made to the island a couple of
years ago, there appear to be abundant elements for traffic, if the
line were cheaply constructed. The expense of carrying it farther from
the capital would not be justifiable, both on account of the expensive
works that would be necessary, and the comparatively small traffic,
except during the tourist season. Then it is very considerable.

We have now brought our Rambles on British Railways to a conclusion.



If the reader will refer to page 16 _ante_, he will see that we left
an imaginary travelling companion of ours, to refresh himself at one
of the innumerable restaurants of Paris, whilst we were to employ the
time in giving some account of the four greatest existing railways in
Europe, and of the Pacific Union Railroad, now constructing across
the continent of North America. But one thing has led to another, and
descriptions which we had originally intended should only occupy some
fifty or sixty pages, have grown to more than 200. We now revert to
our original plan, which is, to take the reader, in the shape of an
imaginary traveller, to the Mont Cenis Railway, and having given the
best explanation of it in our power, to impart (_apropos_ of the Tunnel
of the Alps) the information we have recently collected about tunnels,
ancient and modern, canal and railway, in Great Britain, and in other
parts of the world. From the Alps, we shall proceed, by means of the
existing railways, to the extreme south-eastern end of Italy, whence we
shall cross over to Sicily, the most southern part of Europe to which
railways extend. In this manner we propose to bring the present volume
to a conclusion.

Taking place in the train of the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean
Railway, at the Mazas Station, built nearly opposite to Paris’s great
prison of the same name, we travel on the main line, 275 miles, as
far as Lamartine’s birthplace, Macon, forty-four miles short of
Lyons, and 262 short of Marseilles, which is 537 miles from Paris.
We must leave the detailed description of the route to _Murray’s Hand
Books_, of which Hand Hooks in general we have recently said, and now
repeat, that an experience of upwards of thirty years’ very frequent
travelling in many parts of the continent enables us to state that,
for lucid description, accuracy, and impartiality, they are the only
English ones that completely merit the confidence of the public. _Per
contra_, the omissions and inaccuracies met with in other so-called
“Guides” are a source of continual annoyance and disappointment to the
inexperienced continental traveller. To mention only one instance, a
Hand Book which we were assured, at the office of its publication,
was published in June 1866 (of course there is no date of publication
on the title-page), is, with a few trifling alterations, a reprint of
pages in stereotype published twelve or thirteen years previously, and
the routes given to reach the country which it professes to describe
are those that were in use, by ordinary road and by steam-boat, until
railways, opened now between six and ten years, superseded them.

At Macon we turn off from the main line of railway to the left, and
pass successively Bourg and Culoz, near to which was the boundary
between France and Italy, until the “rectification of frontier” in
1859 transferred the line of demarcation to the summit of the Alps,
and converted Niceois and Savoyards into Frenchmen. At Culoz there is
a further separation of railway—one branch turns north-east to Geneva
45 miles—the other, formerly the Victor Emanuel Railway, but lately
swallowed up by the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean Company, continues
direct into the _Savoie Propre_, and after passing Aix les Bains and
Chambery, runs up the Valley of the Arq to St. Michel, at present the
terminus of the lines in this direction. When the stupendous task of
piercing the Alps is achieved, this line will be continued to Modane,
twelve miles farther up the valley, where it will enter the great
tunnel. The works on this length, as will be explained hereafter, will
be exceedingly difficult and costly.

At St. Michel, the traveller at the present time has to exchange from
the luxurious first-class carriage to the jolting, crowded, slow
diligence. But very shortly he will only be called upon to move from
the first-class carriage of the Mediterranean Company into the equally
comfortable one of the Mont Cenis Railway, a specimen of which was
exhibited at the recent Paris Exhibition. In this he will travel from
St. Michel to Susa in less than half the time, and at a little more
than half the expense of the journey _en Diligence_.

St. Michel is 146 English miles from Macon, 421 from Paris, 717 from
London. The traveller who leaves London any morning of the week,
at twenty-five minutes past seven, will (with a break of two hours
in Paris) find himself at St. Michel at noon the following day,
notwithstanding the fact, that the railway from Macon onwards is far
from being a first-class one; its gradients are steep, its curves
numerous and abrupt. Between Calais and St. Michel, including various
ups and downs (for railways are subject to the fluctuations physically
that man experiences bodily), the traveller has risen 2,493 English
feet, but principally in the seventy-two miles and a-half from Culoz
onwards. He has, in fact, completed more than a third of the total
elevation he has to conquer, in order to be at the summit of the Mont
Cenis Pass. This summit is 6,658 feet above the sea level at Calais and

“Above sea level!” What does this mean? We shall endeavour to
illustrate; we shall therefore ask our reader to be so good as,
in the first instance, to place himself, either in imagination or
reality, exactly parallel with those at-one-time-considered impregnable
fortresses at Albert Gate Knightsbridge, Malta, and Gibraltar, so
called, because, for a long time, no one could be found to take them.
The ice, however, was broken as regards one of them, Malta, by a
monarch of former days—for the most part wrongly accused and unfairly
deposed—the Railway King. He sold it to our “natural enemy;” it has,
therefore, for many years, been in possession of France, as the
residence of the French ambassador, and let us _en passant_ express a
fervent hope—long may it continue to be so. Gibraltar, less dignified,
has, probably, not been less useful; it fell, however, through the
fatal influence of gold; it has long been a tributary or branch of one
of our leading joint stock banking establishments.

So much for our starting point, and now for the ground to be got over.
It has just been stated that the summit of the Mont Cenis Pass is 6,658
feet above sea level.[114] Converted into terms which we can more
readily appreciate for such lengths, it means one mile and a quarter
with fifty-eight feet over for good measurement. Placing this distance
on the flat instead of the perpendicular it represents the whole of the
ground that intervenes between the whilom fortresses and the corner of
Coventry Street and the Haymarket; that is, a person wanting to walk
6,658 feet on or nearly the level, must go over ground equal to that
which we have named as between these two points of measurement. But
when we come to ascend a height, be it great or small, only a few feet
or a mountain, we know by a universal law that we cannot mount exactly
perpendicularly. Even in the nearest approach to the upright straight
rise—the ladder—we are obliged to have some slope in it. We therefore,
in all ascents by steps must mount gradually, so gradually in fact that
the place for placing the human foot is usually greater than the rise
made at each step it takes forward. In ordinarily built houses of the
usual proportions, the rise of a step in a staircase is seven inches,
but what the foot steps on is eleven inches wide; consequently, for
every seven inches that we rise we must go forward eleven inches. But
this is not all: at every twelve or fourteen feet we must have breaks
in the ascent—landings; therefore, for any height above twenty feet
or so, the proportion between elevation and step forward is, as near
as can be, one to three. Taken by this standard, a person wanting to
rise 6,658 feet by means of staircases or steps, must be continually
ascending for a length that measures not only from Albert Gate to the
Haymarket; but a farther distance represented by Leicester Square,
Cranbourne Street, Long Acre, Great Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
Holborn, Newgate Street, Cheapside, and to the Bank of England.

Let us look at “above the level of the sea” in another light. The
staircase height of each of the houses we have referred to is about
sixty feet, a fatiguing ascension even for the lightest of us. The
summit of the Mont Cenis Pass is exactly 111 times 60. The top of St.
Paul’s Cathedral is 404 feet from the ground at St. Paul’s Churchyard.
The summit of the Mont Cenis Pass is sixteen and a half times higher.

Elevation by steps is only available for man, and for man’s ever
faithful, as well as for man’s doubtfully faithful, companions, the
dog and the cat. They therefore are able to ascend and descend a
_staircase_ gradient of 1 in 2; not so all other useful and domestic
animals—the horse, the mule, the sheep, and the cow can only go along
a continuous roadway; the mountain goat can skip occasionally from
rock to rock, but its normal step is that of the other animals we have
just enumerated. Were the steps of a staircase covered over, say with
boards, and the ascent made uniform, man could not ascend or descend
a gradient of 1 in 2, 1 in 3, 1 in 4, and scarcely 1 in 5. He could
not, in fact, ascend or descend the last-named gradient without having
something beside him to hold on by. But the muscles of man’s legs, and
the organisation of his feet, enable him, by one of the innumerable
and beautiful arrangements of the all-provident Creator, to ascend
elevations by steps with complete facility, and at any moment. The
steepest gradient that a horse can ascend or descend for any distance
with a load is 1 in 10; occasionally there are short slopes in roads,
especially old ones, of 1 in 6 or 7, but they overtax muscular strength
in which ever direction an animal is going. It is a good mountain road
the gradient of which does not exceed 1 in 15, or 352 feet in a mile,
excellent, if it be anything like 1 in 20, or 264 feet in a mile. A
strong, well-fed English horse with a moderate load behind him, could
trot up this latter gradient for a short distance, and then he would
fall into a walking pace, but he would draw a heavier load and with
less distress to himself if he be started at a walk and be never
pressed out of it.

Being anxious to show by an illustration, which would be familiar to
most persons, who are either resident in, or have visited London,
what is a gradient, we applied for information to Mr. Wm. Haywood,
the engineer of the Corporation of London, under whose direction the
Holborn Viaduct and Embankment are now in course of construction.
He has kindly and courteously furnished a diagram—a copy of which
is annexed at the end of the volume, showing in minute detail the
variations of gradient, from Staples Inn to opposite the Old Bailey and
Giltspur Street. The total length from point to point is 2,202 feet, a
little more than two-fifths of a mile. The steepest gradient is 1 in 15
(352 feet in the mile) for 86 feet, the next 1 in 18 (293 feet in the
mile) for 257 feet, and 1 in 19 (278 feet in the mile) for 113 feet.
These gradients are all on Holborn Hill, between Hatton Garden and Shoe
Lane. The steepest on Snow Hill is 1 in 21 (251 feet in the mile) for
87 feet, and 1 in 24 (220 feet in the mile) for 312 feet. All these
gradients will, however, in a year or so, be matters of history, for it
is hoped that the Holborn Viaduct will be opened for traffic at the
beginning of 1869.[115]


  _Horizontal scale, 352 feet to an Inch._
  _Vertical scale,    44 feet to an Inch._

It is, however, a misnomer to call it a viaduct. It is true that, by
means of a massive construction, the opposite sides of a valley—at
their summits more than two-fifths of a mile apart—are connected
together on the level. But, in reality, the viaduct is a great
metropolitan work, worthy of the Corporation of the City of London,
which, although well abused by persons who do not understand its
operations, is never-ceasing, to the extent of its means, in carrying
out improvements within its limits. A list of the works and changes
effected by the Corporation in the last thirty years would show that
it has expended millions in altering the face of the City,[116]
and in increasing facilities for traffic, especially at points of
aggregation. The manner in which the new street that is to run from
the Mansion House to Blackfriars Bridge, within City boundaries, is
advancing, contrasts markedly with what is doing beyond them. According
to present appearances, the City will have completed its work and
opened its portion of the street for traffic about the time that the
Metropolitan Board of Works will have made a fair start upon what it
has to accomplish.

The next great work that the Corporation has to take in hand is the
widening of the Poultry, infinitely more important, and more absolutely
required, in the opinion of all people who frequent the City, than the
widening of Newgate Street, upon which the Corporation is now engaged.
The expense, of course, will be enormous, but it must be met—somehow:
land to be paid for by the square _inch_; splendid constructions to
come down; historic Bucklersbury to disappear; even the Mansion House
will stop the way, and His Lordship will have to find residence either
at the rear of Guildhall, as was suggested some short time ago, or
elsewhere. Metropolitan fellow residents, metropolitan suburbanists,
and inhabitants who dwell to the extent of six miles outside the
Post-Master General’s twelve mile postal circle, you may all rest
assured that the granite pillars you see at the eighteen mile distance
post from London, on railway and roadway, on river bank and canal
tow-path—the columns of Luxor of the Corporation—with inscriptions on
them destined, in remote future times, to represent the hieroglyphics
of ancient Anglia—will remain and be found among the few signs then
extant, of the by-gone civilisation which the prophesied New Zealander
is to make his musings upon. Of the London coal tax as of the river:—

  “Rusticus expectat dum defluit amnis; at ille
  Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.”[117]

The tax exists _ex necessitate rerum_, and must continue
notwithstanding fervescence frequent—always at boiling point—in
Parochial Parliaments, with echoes occasional in that of St. Stephens.

By means of the Viaduct, as already said, the two summits of the valley
will be connected together almost on the level. The roadway will be 80
feet wide. Commencing at the western end of Newgate Street, it will be
carried in a straight line to Farringdon Street, occupying the whole of
the space which recently formed Skinner Street, as well as the sites
of several of the houses on that thoroughfare. It will include also a
portion of the church of St. Sepulchre, the dismal bell of which tolls
“the knell of parting day” to those miserable beings upon whom the law
enacts terrible and life-destroying vengeance. From Farringdon Street
the Viaduct is carried by a gentle curve to Hatton Garden, occupying
the present roadway and the sites of the houses which formerly stood
on the southern side of Holborn Hill. It will also occupy part of the
churchyard of St. Andrew’s, Holborn.

At the entrance to St. Sepulchre’s Church a street from Farringdon
Road will join the Viaduct on its northern side, and it is at this
point that whatever little gradient there is on the Viaduct may be
said to commence. From there to Farringdon Street it will be 1 in
153, or at the rate of 34 feet in the mile; from Farringdon Street to
Hatton Garden, 1 in 143, or at the rate of 35 feet in the mile. For all
purposes of traffic the Viaduct may therefore be said to be level.

The Viaduct in its formation will include vaultage beneath each footway
for the accommodation of the future houses on either side of the
roadway; outside these vaults will be a subway for the gas and water
pipes, and between each subway, and forming the centre of the Viaduct,
the roadway will be carried on a series of arches.

The general height of the subways will be about 11 feet 6 inches and
their width 7 feet; they will be of brickwork, excepting where they
are carried over the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway; there they
will be of iron. In each subway provision is made for water, gas, and
telegraph pipes, all of which will be so placed that their joints can
be inspected, and repairs made without difficulty.

The mode of construction of sewers, drains, and street gullies is such
that it will never be necessary to break up the surface of the Viaduct
to repair or cleanse them.

Farringdon Street will be crossed by a cast-iron bridge of an
ornamental character. It will be in three spans, supported by piers,
one row being on the outer edge of each footway. These piers, as well
as the outer abutment piers, are to be formed of polished granite. The
height of the bridge next to the curb stones will be 16 feet, and in
the centre the minimum height will be 21 feet, considerably more than
sufficient for the traffic. At each corner of this bridge flights of
steps will be constructed for pedestrians to pass between the upper and
the lower levels. These will be enclosed in stone structures, ample
light and ventilation being given to them.

Shoe Lane, now at its northern end but 14 feet wide, is to be increased
to 30 feet in width, and to be continued northwards, under the Viaduct,
to a new street which is to be formed from the corner of Hatton Garden
to Farringdon Road. A complete net-work of streets is to extend from
the Viaduct to all the existing adjacent streets, and as at the place
at which Holborn ends and the Viaduct commences several of these
streets concentrate, with the view to remedying the inconvenience which
would arise from a too limited area for traffic; and to add to the
character of the work in an architectural point of view, Mr. Haywood
has formed at this point a large circus 180 feet in diameter. This open
space will, in addition to its other advantages, afford an opportunity
for architectural display that we are sure will be judiciously availed

The magnitude of the work may be represented, in one shape, by the
number of bricks required for its construction. From seventeen to
eighteen millions, of which rather more than two-thirds are in the
actual viaduct, and somewhat less than one-third in the constructions
connected with the side streets. Of course these amounts are
independent of what will be used in the houses and buildings to be
erected hereafter. These will be millions in their numbers also.

Of gradients in reference to railways we speak hereafter.

The distance from St. Michel to Susa is 78½ kilometres—48¾ English
miles. It is divided into two portions nearly equal in distance, but
very different as regards gradient. For the first half of the distance
the road continues to follow the valley of the Arq for twenty-five
miles up to the village of Lanslebourg, which is situated at the foot
of the Mont Cenis Pass, and here commences the second portion of the
route forming the passage of the mountain.

Before proceeding farther we had better state that a French metre
is equal to 3 feet 3·371 inches; consequently, 1,000 metres (or a
kilometre) are equal to 1093·6389 English yards; an English mile
is 1760 yards or 1609·31 French metres; 100 kilometres are 62¼
English miles; but a rough conversion of kilometres into English
miles can always be made by multiplying the number of the former
by 5 and dividing by 8; _vice versâ_ to convert English miles into
kilometres—multiply the number of the former by 8 and divide by 5.

In the 25 miles, or 40 kilometres, extending from St. Michel to
Lanslebourg, there is only a rise of 670 metres, or 1,994 English
feet. The steepest gradient is for 2½ kilometres (1½ miles) just
beyond Modane at the French entrance of the great Tunnel of the Alps,
of which we shall speak presently, the rise is 1 in 19, or 278 feet
in the mile; and beyond Bramans, five miles farther, there is a rise
of 1 in 20, or 264 feet in the mile, for 2 kilometres. The remaining
gradients are as follows—1½ kilometre, 1 in 47; 8½ kilometres (5¼
miles) 1 in 60; 4½ kilometres (nearly 3 miles) 1 in 100; 7½ kilometres
(4¾ miles) 1 in 108. In fact, with the exception of 4 kilometres (2½
miles) post-horses go at the trot over the whole distance between
St. Michel and Lanslebourg. It is at this latter place that the real
elevation of the pass commences, and the traveller who wishes to see
a considerable portion of the ascent that is before him, can do so
by taking a look out of the comfortless-looking, but, in reality,
comfortable _Hotel Imperial_, the ground-floor of which is occupied as
a refreshment room for passengers, and by _Messieurs les Employés de
la Douane Imperiale de la France_. The frontier which separates France
from Italy is exactly at the summit of the pass, and it is 10,500
metres or 6⅓ miles from Lanslebourg. In these 6⅓ miles it is necessary
to mount 2,171 feet, or at the continuous rate of 350 feet in the mile.
The gradient is consequently 1 in 15 in the whole of these 6⅓ miles.
From the summit to L’Hospice, 4⅕ kilometres along the bank of the Cenis
Lake, which yields capital trout six months in the year, and is frozen
over for the other six, the gradient falls 1 in 25, or 211 feet in the
mile. There is a short length of 3 kilometres to the Posting House of
La Grande Croix, with a gradient of 1 in 60, or 88 feet in the mile.
The severest gradient on the whole pass is in the next 10 kilometres
(6¼ miles), 1 in 14, or 376 feet to the mile; and from Molaretta to
Susa, 10⅓ kilometres (6½ miles), it is not much better, being 1 in
15, or 350 feet in the mile. There is a difference in the comparative
elevations above the sea, of St. Michel and Susa of 715 feet, Susa
being the lower of the two. Consequently, the Italian side of the pass
is more precipitous than the French, for, whereas the total rise from
St. Michel to the summit (a distance of 31 miles) is 4,165 feet, the
descent from the summit to Susa (a distance of 18 miles) is 4,880 feet;
in fact, the descent of the mountain only terminates as the town is
entered. Of course, what are ascent and descent when going from France
to Italy are reversed when coming in the opposite direction.

Mr. John Fell,[118] a gentleman about whom we have now to speak, has
been occupied during many years of his life in the construction of
railways and other works in Italy, being associated in several of them
with Mr. Thomas Brassey, the eminent contractor, and other English
gentlemen, among whom may be mentioned Mr. William Jackson, now M.P.
for North Derbyshire. Connected with the laying out and subsequent
construction of the magnificent railway between Pistoja and Bologna,
by which the Apennines are traversed and overcome by the locomotive,
Mr. Fell’s attention was directed to the mighty cost of construction
of this railway, as well as of that across the Sœmmering and of the
Giovi Incline, by means of which last-named, Genoa obtains railway
connection with all parts of the Italian system. Reasoning and
reflecting, Mr. Fell’s mind was, by a most happy incidence, brought
to bear upon the effect that would be developed if the adhesion of
the locomotive were increased by the application of horizontal wheels
to a third or intermediate rail. But, in order to understand and to
appreciate the full force of this conception, it is necessary to
explain that the power or motive force of a locomotive is derived from
two sources—the amount of steam evaporated and the amount of adhesion,
or, as it is familiarly called, “bite,” that the wheels have on the
rails. If a railway were completely level, it would only be necessary,
in the construction of engines for working it, to make them with as
little weight of material as possible, consistent with the strength
and solidity required for their complete efficiency. But as a railway
on, or very nearly on, the level, does not exist, it is necessary, in
building engines, to give them such weight as, in addition to their
steam power, will ensure them efficient adhesion upon the railway. On
railways with favourable gradients the additional weight of engine is
trifling; but exactly in proportion as gradients become unfavourable,
so has it been found necessary to increase the weight of engines. Mr.
Fell’s system increases adhesion without increasing the weight of the
engines,[119] except to the very trifling extent of that appertaining
to the four horizontal wheels, and the machinery connected with them.
These horizontal wheels—two on each side of the engine—are made to
rotate along the _sides_ of the centre rail by identically the same
steam that operates upon and causes the rotation of the perpendicular
wheels upon the upper surface of the two ordinary rails. In this fact
is contained the whole secret of the extraordinary development and
marvellous increase of power which are obtained by the introduction of
the centre rail, combined with the action of the horizontal wheels upon


But before we go farther, let us endeavour to settle a question of
priority as regards this invention or discovery, and we are able to do
so all the more easily through the information furnished by Monsieur
P. Desbriere at page 61 of his _Etudes sur la Locomotion au Moyen du
Rail Central, Contenant la relation des expériences entreprises pour la
traversée du Mont Cenis_. Paris 1865.

“Claims having been recently started,” says M. Desbriere, “as to the
priority of the invention of the centre rail, we present the following
historic _resumé_. The first patent taken out for its application was
on the 30th of September, 1830, jointly by Messrs. Charles B. Vignoles,
the eminent English engineer, and Ericsson, the Swedish engineer,
the gentlemen who constructed the first monitors and marine engines
to be driven by means of heated air. On the 15th of October, 1840, a
patent was taken by Mr. Henry Pinkus, an English gentleman. On the
18th of December, 1843, Baron Seguier addressed a communication to
the Academy of Sciences in Paris, in which he proposed, as a means of
avoiding getting off the rails, the employment of a centre rail upon
all railways, the gradients of which were moderate and the speed upon
which was high. On the 5th December, 1846, a patent was taken out by
the Baron for this system, of which he described himself the inventor,
and of which he was at all events the very active promoter.[121] On the
13th July, 1847, a patent bearing upon the subject was taken out in
England by Mr. A. V. Newton.”



“On the 20th of January, 1863, Mr. Fell took out his first patent, and
on the 16th December, of the same year, his second, under the modest
title of ‘improvements in locomotive engines and railway carriages.’ In
neither of these patents did Mr. Fell attempt to appropriate to himself
the invention of the centre rail, but simply the means, both ingenious
and practical, by which he has succeeded in applying the principle of
additional adhesion.”

“Independent of the energy, perseverance, and straightforward practical
sense, of which he has given proof, in his long train of trials and
experiments, Mr. Fell’s principal merit, in our opinion, is that he
has understood, what theory entirely justifies, that locomotives with
additional adhesion are only applicable to steep gradients and slow
speed, because such engines are able to develop powerful means of
traction, without heavy additions to their weight.”

Early in 1863, Mr. Fell instituted experiments on a length of line
of 800 yards, laid out on his plan, upon the Cromford and High Peak
Railway, near Whaley-Bridge. The gauge was 3 feet 7½ inches, 180 yards
of the line were straight with a gradient of 1 in 13 (406 feet in the
mile); 150 yards with a gradient of 1 in 12 (440 feet in the mile);
with curves of _two chains and a-half each_. The centre rail was raised
seven and a-half inches above the surface of the two ordinary rails,
so as to be acted upon by the two horizontal wheels of the engine.
During the experiments, the first engine of the kind ever constructed,
and necessarily, from want of experience, unsatisfactory in many of
its details, working with a pressure of 120 lbs. to the square inch,
was always able to convey a load of twenty-four tons up the incline.
The maximum it succeeded in taking was thirty tons. Its dimensions
were as follows: diameter of cylinder, 12 inches; length of stroke, 18
inches; four wheels coupled, diameter 2 feet 3 inches; axles, 5 feet 3
inches apart. The weight of the engine fully loaded with coke and water
was sixteen tons. When the pressure was only brought to bear upon the
vertical wheels, the engine could not take more than a weight of seven
tons up the incline, but when the horizontal wheels acted combinedly
with the perpendicular, she took up twenty-four tons on the same day,
and under circumstances precisely similar in every respect, except as
regards the action of the horizontal wheels upon the centre rail.

These experiments were considered so satisfactory, that it was decided,
with the permission of the French Government, and for its information,
that they should be repeated upon a more extended scale upon the Mont
Cenis, with the condition made by Mr. Fell, that if the system were
found to be practicable, the authorities should grant the concession of
a portion of the roadway for a line to be laid down across the French
division of the mountain on the same terms as had already been agreed
to by the Italian Government for the Italian portion.

The experimental line was laid down between Lanslebourg and the
summit. It commenced at the height of 5,305 feet above sea level,
and terminated at the elevation of 5,820 feet. Its length was two
kilometres all but forty-four yards, or an English mile and a quarter.
Gauge, 3 feet 7½ inches. Its mean gradient was 1 in 13, the maximum
was 1 in 12; it had two curves of 44 yards each, and others, the most
favourable of which was 125 yards. It will thus be seen that the line
was constructed in a manner, both as regards gradients and curves, to
subject the system to the severest tests. The experiments, which were
conducted in the presence of commissioners from England, France, Italy,
Austria and Russia, lasted from the end of February until the end of
May 1865, and it is a remarkable fact that the adhesion was found
during the period of snow better than could be expected in summer,
for when snow was swept off the rails, it left them dry, and under
favourable conditions; whereas, summer dust combined with moisture,
would render them comparatively greasy and slippery. Captain Tyler,
who was present at all the experiments on the part of the British
Government, calls special attention to this curious fact in his report.

Two engines were employed in the trials, the first that which had
been used on the High-Peak Railway experiments, and the second an
engine built specially for the service of the Mont Cenis Railway.
This latter was the engine principally employed, No. 1 being chiefly
used to supply the place of No. 2, when any trifling derangement in
its machinery required attention. It is intended that No. 2 shall
be used on the completion of the line over the pass, and it is the
engine by which the trial trip was accomplished on the memorable 26th
of August, 1867. When empty its weight is 13 tons, when loaded with
coke and water 17 tons 2 cwt. The horizontal wheels and the machinery
connected with them weigh 2¾ tons. The boiler is 8 feet 4 inches
long, 3 feet 2 inches diameter, and contains 158 tubes of 1½ inches
exterior diameter. Heating surface 600 feet. The cylinders, two in
number, 15 inches diameter, with 16 inches stroke, act at one and the
same time upon the two systems of wheels, four horizontal and four
perpendicular. Each system of wheels consists of four coupled, diameter
of each 2 feet 3 inches. The space between the centres of each pair of
perpendicular wheels is 6 feet 10 inches, that between the horizontal
wheels 2 feet 4 inches; maximum pressure of steam in the boiler 120
lbs. per square inch; effective pressure upon the piston 75 lbs. This
engine was a great improvement upon its predecessor. With engine No.
1, Captain Tyler, R.E., from whose Report to the Board of Trade the
foregoing particulars are taken, says that during the space of two days
he descended and remounted the experimental line six times. The train
behind it consisted of three waggons, with a total gross weight of 16
tons. The average of his experiments was as follows:—The first ascent
was made in 8 minutes 15 seconds, with a loss of 14 lbs. of steam,
and of 5½ inches in the gauge glass; the mean pressure of the steam
varied from 92 to 125 lbs. per square inch. The speed in each of the
experiments was greater, with the same load, than is proposed for the
express trains. The mean speed resulting from the figures above stated,
was at the rate of 13 kilometres, 300 metres per hour (8 English
miles), instead of 12 kilometres (7½ English miles), the highest speed
specified in the programme submitted to the French Government for
this part of the line. The weather was fine and calm, the external
rails were in very good condition; but the centre rail, as well as the
horizontal wheels were greasy, and consequently in a very unfavourable
condition for adhesion.

The results of Captain Tyler’s experiments with No. 2 engine were as
follows:—Although at the time that they took place she was not in the
best order, she was, nevertheless, able to ascend the incline, with
the same load as had been attached to engine No. 1, in 6¼ minutes, or
at the rate of 17⅓ kilometres (nearly 11 miles) an hour. This engine
besides possessing a greater amount of boiler-power, travelled more
steadily than No. 1; its machinery is more easily attended to, and the
pressure of the horizontal wheels upon the centre rail can be regulated
by the engine driver at pleasure, from the foot plate. The pressure
employed during the experiment was 2½ tons on each horizontal wheel,
or 10 tons altogether, but the pressure actually provided for, and
which may, when necessary, be employed is 6 tons upon each, or 24 tons
upon the four horizontal wheels. When this engine had ascended the
experimental line in 6¼ minutes, or at the rate of 17⅓ kilometres per
hour, the steam pressure in the boiler had fallen from 112 to 102½, and
3 inches of water in the gauge glass. The engine exerted, including the
resistance from curves, 195 horses power—nearly 12 horses power to each
ton of its own weight, or about 60 horses power in excess of what would
be required to take up the load of 16 tons, over the same gradient and
curves, at the rate of 12 kilometres per hour.

Captain Tyler finally reduced the pressure to 40 lbs. on the square
inch, that is to one-third of the maximum pressure, and when he had
done this, he found that the engine _alone_ could move on a gradient of
1 in 12; the resistance of waggons and carriages being proportionally
much less than that of a locomotive, the latter could _a fortiori_,
draw a train with a gross load three times its own weight, or 48 tons
upon the same gradient, the pressure of course being raised to 120 lbs.
to the square inch.

A very important, and we believe an unexpected feature of the Fell
system was immediately developed in the experiments; M. Desbriere calls
special attention to it. The centre rail not only aids the train in
going round curves, but also adds largely to its safety. Each vehicle
is provided with four horizontal pulleys, each of about eight inches
diameter, playing around vertical axes fixed upon the frame of the
vehicle, and placed two and two at each of its extremities, and on
each side of the centre rail. By the tightening of these pulleys,
the flanges of the wheels, instead of gliding along the outer rails,
press strongly against them, and thus the train is able to overcome
curves unaccomplishable by any other means. This arrangement of parts
also renders it impossible for either engine or vehicles to get off
the line; all the more important, seeing that by the terms of the
concession, the portion of the roadway ceded to Mr. Fell is, for the
most part, on the outside, that is, the side nearest to the precipice,
the bottom of which is, in many places, eleven or twelve hundred feet
deeper than the roadway.

Before proceeding to extract from the Reports of the French
Commissioners to their government their opinions upon the Fell system,
it is desirable to give some general deductions which Captain Tyler
makes from what he witnessed, as bearing upon the important general
question of railways over mountain passes.

Hitherto the immense cost of the construction of such railways, and
the immense cost of working them, have proved all but an effective
barrier to their adoption. The cost of construction divides itself into
two portions, and we will illustrate our meaning in the following
manner:—Let us take A and B as the bases respectively on each side of a
mountain. Were we to take these two points and to measure the interval
between them, according to the every day application of the words “as
the crow flies,” we must first take our crow perpendicularly up from
A, to the exact height of the highest point which a person would be
obliged to ascend, in order to cross the mountain, and then having
drawn our imaginary tape to the point perpendicularly above B, we have
the distance between them “as the crow flies.” But this distance in
no way represents the actual distance that a person has to trudge up
the mountain, and then to trudge down again in order that he may get,
_matériellement et physiquement_, from one side of it to the other. The
road which he has gone along can only be constructed with gradients
that man and beast can accomplish. Exceed those gradients and the road
might as well not be constructed. 1 in 12, or 440 feet in an English
mile, is about as much as ought to, or, indeed, can be accomplished in
this way. Yet, even to attain a mountain road with this gradient, it
is necessary to make a great many turns and twists, to tunnel here, to
raise an embankment there, to span a gorge sometimes several hundred
feet deep with a bridge built between two projecting craigs at opposite
sides of the ravine, whilst other bridges, of almost adamantine
strength, and hundreds of feet in length, are often barely sufficient
to resist the giant force of the torrents that dash along the gorge,
and at times rise to within a few inches of a bridge’s level. And when
the road is finished, at the heavy cost which all such works involve,
and traffic is brought upon it, its length is very different from what
it would have been if it could simply have been climbed up the mountain
by the shortest and straightest possible way, and then been brought
down again in the same manner. Still greater will be the difference
between it and what our friend the crow accomplishes in the flight we
have just referred to.

The experience acquired by our engineers tells us that the very maximum
gradient an engine on the ordinary principle can climb up is 1 in
25, or 211 feet in a mile, but this can only be for a few yards, and
with what is known, in locomotive language, as “a good run at it.” On
the Sœmmering, as has already been stated, the average gradient on
the north side is 1 in 47, or 111 feet in a mile; on the south side
1 in 50, or 105 feet in the mile; yet these gradients, favourable
as they are, compared with the gradient of an ordinary roadway over
a high mountain pass, could only be obtained at a cost of £98,000 a
mile. Equally costly was the Giovi incline, constructed to surmount
the Apennines near to Genoa. The worst gradient on it for a short
distance is 1 in 29, or 160 feet in a mile; its best 1 in 50, or 106
feet in a mile. The ruling gradient of the beautiful railway over the
Apennines between Pistoja and Bologna is 1 in 40, or 132 feet to the
mile. The distance from Pistoja at the foot of the mountain on the east
to Poretta at the foot of the mountain on the west, by the old road,
is 25 “_chiliometres_” (kilometres), a little more than 15½ English
miles, but in order to obtain for the railway the average gradient of
1 in 40 we have just mentioned, it has been necessary to extend the
distance from 25 chiliometres to 40, equal to 25 English miles. Each
of these 40 chiliometres has cost 1,000,000 francs, or £40,000, making
the total cost of the railway independent of the special rolling stock
for working it, £1,600,000, or at the rate of £64,000 a mile. If at
the time that Mr. Fell was engaged in connection with the construction
of this very fine work, he had had his ideas matured respecting the
centre-rail system, and that consent had been given to the line
being laid down in accordance with it, the distance to traverse would
have only been 15½ English miles; many expensive works would have
been avoided, and the total cost of the line would not have exceeded
£400,000—probably it would have been considerably less. Another matter
worthy of consideration is, that this Apennine Railway consumed eleven
years in its construction. Not very protracted, considering that there
are nearly 7 miles of tunnels (39 in number), of which 23 are on the
ascent from Pistoja, and 16 on the descent to Poretta. The longest is
1⅞ mile, the second longest 1⅝ mile, the length of the others is pretty
nearly equal. Nearly one-eighth of what is not tunnel is bridge or
viaduct; some of the latter across ravines 300 to 400 feet long, and
nearly 180 feet high. They are, in fact, double viaducts, one built on
the top of the other, and reminding one of the two tiers of guns of an
old-fashioned two-decker. According to the testimony of M. Desbriere,
Mr. Fell would have accomplished an equally efficient railway on or
through the pass in a couple of years. He would have had no tunnels,
unless when, occasionally, he might want to get by a short cut through
a projecting ledge of rock or mountain instead of round it, and, as to
bridges and viaducts, a twentieth part of those now existing would have
amply sufficed him. Before quitting this subject, we would observe that
Captain Tyler sets down the difference between the length of a mountain
road with gradients of 1 in from 12 to 15 as one-half that of a roadway
with gradients of 1 in 40. In practice, however, it will probably be
found that the difference will hardly be so great—but there can be no
doubt of its not being less than as 3 to 5.

Taking the question of working expenses, we know that on the Sœmmering,
on the Giovi, and on the Pistoja lines, the weight of the engines is
about fifty-five tons, and that on the Sœmmering and the Giovi the
cost per train mile is 6s. 2d. _down_ the pass as well as up it, while
the average cost on the ordinary portions of the lines is under 3s. a
mile; and so oppressive is the working cost of goods trains over the
Sœmmering felt to be, and with such uncertainty are the trains, but
especially the goods trains, worked over the pass, that before the
end of the present year, a railway between Vienna and Trieste will be
opened, with a detour of 110 miles, and it is by this roundabout line
that the immense and continuously increasing goods traffic between the
interior of Austria and its great naval and commercial sea port, will
eventually be conveyed to it.

Captain Tyler, whilst instituting a comparison between the cost of the
construction and working of the Mont Cenis Over-ground Railway with
these costs upon the railway through the Great Tunnel of the Alps,
calls especial attention to the fact that the former is only laid down
on a road-bed already in existence, as a temporary (that is if we can
accept temporary as an exact translation of _provisoire_) line, whilst
that through the tunnel is permanent. But keeping this point in view,
the report of Mr. James Brunlees, C.E., the distinguished engineer
of the Mont Cenis Railway Company, shows its cost to be (including
the necessary engines and other rolling stock) a little under £8,000
a mile, whilst he asserts that the Tunnel line will probably cost,
including interest at 6 per cent, during construction, but _not_
the cost of special engines and other rolling stock, £7,000,000, or
£140,000 a mile. As the cost of the tunnel and its accessories is dealt
with subsequently at full length, we need only here remark that Captain
Tyler considers the cost of an over-ground _permanent_ Fell line, laid
down on an already existing Alpine roadway, with the ordinary 4 feet
8½-inch gauge, and with curves of radii varying from 150 to 180 yards,
should not exceed three times the cost of the present provisional road,
or about £21,000 a mile. We are disposed to concur completely in this
estimate, provided the additional width that it would be necessary
to give to the roadway could be obtained by excavating from the
_inner_ side of the road, and not by widening it on its outer side—the
side of the precipice—for this latter could only be effected by the
construction of numerous solid and very expensive abutments in masonry,
requiring great tact, nicety and judgment in their adjustment.

Captain Tyler concludes his report to the Board of Trade as follows:—

 “As the results of my observations and experiments, I have to report,
 in conclusion, that this scheme for crossing the Mont Cenis is, in my
 opinion, practicable, both mechanically and commercially, and that the
 passage of the mountain may thus be effected, not only with greater
 speed, certainty, and convenience, but also with greater safety than
 under the present arrangements. Few would, in the first instance,
 either contemplate or witness experiments upon such steep gradients
 and round such sharp curves on the mountain side, without a feeling
 that much extra risk must be incurred and that the consequences of a
 fractured coupling or a broken tire, or a vehicle leaving the rails,
 would on such a line be considerably aggravated.

 “But there is an element of safety in this system of locomotive
 working which no other railway possesses.

 “The middle rail not only enables the engine to surmount, and to draw
 its train up these gradients, but also affords a means of applying
 any required amount of extra brake power for checking the speed,
 or for stopping any detached vehicles during the descent, and it
 further acts by the use of horizontal guiding wheels on the different
 vehicles as a most perfect safeguard, to prevent engines, carriages
 or waggons from leaving the rails, in consequence either of defects
 in the bearing rails or of failure in any part of the rolling stock.
 The safest portions of the proposed railway ought indeed, under proper
 management, to be those on which, the gradients being steeper than 1
 in 25, the middle rail will be employed.

 “There is no difficulty in so applying and securing that middle
 rail, and making it virtually one continuous bar, as to preclude the
 possibility of accident from its weakness or from the failure of its
 fastenings, and the only question to my mind is whether it would not
 be desirable still further to extend its application to gradients
 less steep than 1 in 25. It would apparently be advantageous to do
 so, not only for the sake of obtaining increased adhesion with less
 proportional weight, and therefore economical traction, but also with
 a view to greater security, especially on curved portions of the line.”

The French Imperial Commission ordered to be present at Mr. Fell’s
experiments, consisted of M. Conte, ingénieur en chef des Ponts et
Chaussées de France, as President, with MM. Bochet, ingénieur en chef
des mines, Guinard, ingénieur des Ponts et Chaussées, and Perrin,
ingénieur des mines, as his colleagues. These gentlemen completed a
voluminous and elaborate report of thirty-one pages of printed matter,
accompanied by drawings, with the following “conclusions”:—

 “From the experiments which have been described, and which the
 Commission has judged unnecessary to continue any further, and from
 the different verifications which it has made, the Commission has
 arrived at the conviction:

 “First.—That the system of traction proposed by Mr. Fell is applicable
 for the passage of Mont Cenis, with the engines of the type which
 worked at the last trials.

 “Second.—That this system presents no danger as regards the public
 security on steep inclines and on sharp curves, since, on the
 contrary, the existence of the centre-rail furnishes a guarantee
 against getting off the rails, and at the same time a powerful means
 of stopping the trains.

 “Third.—That, with the exception of some points of detail, the study
 of which has not been made, but which present no serious difficulty,
 this system may from the present time be considered as applicable
 to the crossing of the mountain. That, with regard especially to
 the working of the line during the winter season, the covered ways
 proposed by Mr. Fell will be sufficient to secure the regularity of
 the service.

 “Fourth.—That there is no absolute incompatibility, in consequence
 of the vicinity of the railway and the ordinary road, one to the
 other, provided that proper protective works be erected to effectually
 separate them.”

We cannot conclude our notice of the part which was taken by France in
the trials on the Mont Cenis without referring to the fact, that the
Emperor Napoleon took a warm interest in this subject, and it is owing
to the intervention of His Majesty that, not only was the portion of
the Mont Cenis roadway granted to Mr. Fell for his experiments, but
subsequently the concession, under the terms of which the line across
the mountain has been constructed. His Majesty expressed an opinion
several years ago, that increased adhesion, and thereby increased
power, would be obtained for engines, by the adoption of a third or
centre rail, along the sides of which additional wheels would be run.
An engine was actually constructed in France, at the instance of Baron
Seguier, to illustrate the system; but the third rail was found useless
at high speeds, and with flat gradients. When, however, Mr. Fell
propounded the plan of centre rail for slow speed and steep gradients,
the conviction of His Majesty was, that Mr. Fell was right. Hence, he
afforded him his gracious patronage and support; without them, Mr. Fell
would probably have had difficulties, even greater than he now has to
contend with, in bringing his invention into practice.

On the 4th of November, 1865, “NAPOLEON, _par la Grace de Dieu et la
Volonté Nationale_, EMPEREUR DES FRANÇAISES,” authorised, by Imperial
Decree, the construction and working of a locomotive line between
St. Michel and the frontier of Italy (the summit of the pass) until
“the opening of the tunnel of the Alps” for traffic. Of this very
indefinite period and of the tunnel itself we shall have to speak
presently. In the meantime, let it be stated that the Emperor’s decree
was accompanied by a _Cahier des Charges_ (Table of Conditions), in
which, in addition to the usual conditions as affecting railways in
France, are contained several specially appropriate to this very
special railway. Of these, the only ones that interest the general
public set forth the prices that are to be charged for the conveyance
of goods and passengers. Each of the latter travelling in a _coupé_
is to pay 27 francs, or about 5¼d. an English mile; other first-class
passengers, 25 francs, or about 5d. a mile; second class, 22 francs,
or about 4½d. a mile; third class, 18 francs, or 3¾d. a mile; children
under three years of age, free; between three and seven, half-price;
above seven, full fare. It will be seen from this tariff, how small is
the difference between the charge for the highest and lowest classed
passengers. The transit for goods by passenger trains is at the rate of
£3. 1s. 6d. a ton, or 1s. 2½d. a ton a mile; by goods train £1. 12s.,
or about 7½d. a ton a mile.

The works of the railway were commenced on the 1st of May, 1866. It
was expected that they would be finished in twelve months, but various
circumstances have intervened to prevent the realisation of this
intention; the chief, the floods of September 1866, on the French side
of the mountain, when the waters rising higher than was ever known
before, committed wholesale devastation, not only upon the works of
the company executed up to that time, but upon the ten miles of the
already opened railway between St. Jean de Maurienne and St. Michel,
as well. The devastation extended from Termignon within seven miles of
Lanslebourg to St. Jean, a distance of twenty-eight miles. The Paris,
Lyons and Mediterranean Company has repaired the ten miles of railway
between St. Jean de Maurienne and St. Michel. The works of the roadway
from St. Michel, eighteen miles, to Termignon have been repaired and
their strength added to, by the French Government at an expense of
about £80,000. The French Government has also recognised the claim
of the Fell Railway Company to consideration, by agreeing to repay
two-thirds of the cost of reinstating its works as they were previous
to the floods, so that practically the company has incurred through
them a direct money loss of not more than from £3,000 to £4,000. It
has, however, sustained a heavy loss from not being opened to carry
the immense traffic which has crossed the pass during the spring, and
summer of the present year.

The railway is laid, not altogether but principally, on the outer side
of the roadway. The sleepers are transverse, three feet apart, to which
the outer or ordinary rails are fixed by bolts or nails. The line is
fenced off from the portion of the roadway to be used for ordinary
horse traffic, (the greater portion of which will disappear on the
opening of the railway) by means of substantial posts and rails. The
railway, in passing from one side of the roadway to the other, crosses
it thirty-three times, one more than half the number of these crossings
(seventeen) are on the roadway, where it is practically on the level.
The crossings are therefore of the ordinary character, such as are seen
in England and on the Continent; but inasmuch as the top of the centre
rail, which is laid upon and fastened to continuous balks of timber
bolted on to the transverse sleepers, is 9 inches higher than the outer
or ordinary rails, it has been found necessary to arrange that when the
roadway is open as a crossing, at those parts at which the centre rail
is in use, it shall be lowered, so that it shall not be higher than the
two outer rails. This is effected by a _mechanique_ extremely simple
in its action, moved by means of a lever, just as a pointsman moves
his points at an everyday railway station. One movement of the lever
depresses the centre rail, into a hollow made expressly to receive it,
to the level of its _confrères_, and when it is necessary to elevate
it again so as to place it in apposition with the centre rails at each
side of the crossing, one movement of the lever raises it, and then it
forms continuous centre rail just as completely as if there had not
been any lever beside it to elevate or to depress it.

There has scarcely been a portion of the roadway which has not been
widened. In most places it has only been to the extent of a yard or
a little more, but the heaviest works in connection with the road it
has been found necessary to execute have been at its sharp turns or
zig-zags, and in passing along the villages which are studded along the
entire length of the pass; for it must not be supposed that it runs
through a barren, uncultivated, and unfrequented district, inhabited
only by the goatherds, or occasionally dwelt in by the chamois hunter.
So far is this from being the case, that there is a well-to-do
population of at least 25,000 along the pass, the well-made, robust,
and hardy male portion of which has often been the means of saving
human life during the snows and storms of winter, with a devotion and
an indifference to personal risk or consequences, not exceeded in any
other district, along the whole length of the Alpine ranges.

As regards deviations, the railway winds to the back of the villages
of St. Michel, Modane, Bramans, Termignon and Lanslebourg, on the
French side of the mountain, but, on the Italian side, there is only
one inhabited place at which it is necessary to keep in the background,
and that is at Susa. By means of this deviation the connection with
the Alta-Italia Railway is effected. Both lines unite together at the
existing Susa station at which there is the mixed gauge of 3 feet 7½
inches, the width of the Mont Cenis Railway, and 4 feet 8½ inches,
the width of the Italian railway system, which is also the width of
the French railways as well as of our own, with the exception of the
Great Western. But even the Great Western, in order to come within
the comity of the railway world as established in England, has had to
succumb, and by means of a third railway, to become “narrow” as well
as “broad” gauge. Owing to the difference of gauge, transhipment both
of passengers and their luggage, and of goods must take place at St.
Michel as well as at Susa.

Of the deviations, or rather the prolongations or extensions of the
railway, to avoid sharp turns or zig-zags, there are four between
Lanslebourg and the summit. At all these zig-zags, as we know in our
experience of turns in hilly or mountain roads, the gradient is always
steeper than at other parts; but the deviations of the Cenis, by
taking sweeps carried through eight little tunnels in the mountain,
the longest of which is 105 metres, the shortest 40, and by increasing
the actual distance three to four times what it is by the roadway,
curves of larger radius and lighter gradient are obtained. The total
length of these tunnels is 505 metres. On the Italian side there are
ten deviations, and they would have been nearly double that number,
had not the railway, instead of following the existing road at a part
called _les Echelles_, about five miles from the summit, reverted to
the old road which had been abandoned in consequence of the prevalence
of avalanches along it in winter. Whilst the new road is undoubtedly
superior for carriages to the old one, the latter is better suited
for a railway, in consequence of their being no zig-zags upon it; but
_en revanche_ for this advantage, it has been necessary to cover the
line over. 600 metres of this covering are massive and solid masonry,
upon which avalanches will impinge, as they are hurled from the rocks
above into the abyss beneath. In addition, there will be, hereabouts,
1,200 metres of covered way, of which we shall speak immediately.
There are several other places on the Italian side of the mountain
at which protection against avalanches must be afforded by means of
similar galleries. Their total length will be 1,480 metres, or about
140 yards less than a mile, and with this amount all the Engineers
seem to agree (notwithstanding the assertion of Mr. Crawford, M.P., to
the contrary) that the railway will be completely protected from the
avalanche danger. But snow is the cause of inconvenience as well as
of danger. If snow would be satisfied to remain quietly when it falls
on _terra firma_, the snow-plough on the engines and the shovels of
a few permanent-way men would speedily send it off the line without
trouble or delay; but snow is invariably accompanied, especially in
these elevated regions, with high winds, and these cause drifts. There
is an almost undeviating rule as regards drifts, and it is that a drift
of this year will find its way to, practically, the same spot that it
was at last year, the previous year, and the year previous to that
also, and it will be at the same spot next year, the following year,
and so on _ad infinitum_. Hence it is necessary, on the Mont Cenis, to
protect the railway by means of covered ways, in addition to protecting
them from avalanches by galleries. The covered ways are constructed,
combinedly, of wood and of timber. They require to be sufficiently
strong to resist the effects of high winds or _tourmentes_, and the
weight of snow that may fall or drift upon them. By means of them the
line will be kept quite free from snow exactly at those points where,
without them, its greatest accumulations would have taken place. They
are obviously only required high up the pass—the first, on the French
side, of 450 metres long, will be at a very exposed angle of the road,
about 400 feet from the summit. At and about the apex of the pass the
covered ways will be about 5,000 metres, or a little more than 3 miles
in length, not exactly continuous, but very nearly so. Upon the greater
part of the plateau which extends along the Cenis Lake and nearly to
_les Echelles_, covering will be unnecessary, the effect of the wind
being to sweep the plain comparatively clear of snow, which becomes
deposited in the angles of the hills that form the somewhat distant
background of the panorama. Proceeding downwards on the Italian side,
there will be the 1,200 metres of covered way on the old road parallel
to _les Echelles_, already mentioned, and about 1,200 metres more
farther down, freedom from serious snow-drifts not being obtained on
the Italian side of the mountain until at an elevation of about 4,000
feet above sea level. That point passed, the softness and glow of the
Italian climate become perceptible, not only by one’s own sensations,
but because we witness the effects of the atmosphere from the crops and
trees that surround us. The line of demarcation, beyond which cereals
will not grow, is higher on the southern than on the northern aspect;
suddenly we come upon the walnut and the sweet chesnut, and we have
not proceeded more than a mile or so, when a turn of the road near to
Mollaretta, 3,795 feet above the level of the sea, brings us upon the
grape, growing in beautiful festoons, and yielding fruit that is said
to make good and vigorous wine. But the highest point at which the vine
can be cultivated on the French side of the pass—and that not always
successfully, for in cold seasons the crops do not come to complete
maturity—is St. Michel. Yet St. Michel is only 2,493 feet above the
level of the sea, or 1,300 feet lower than Mollaretta.

The total length during which the trains of the Mont Cenis Railway
will not be “_en plein air_,” will be 11,113 metres, about 6¾ miles,
scattered over 18 miles of distance, but in no case will the light of
heaven be shut out, as both in the galleries and in the covered ways
there will be openings for its admission, as well as for that of air,
which openings can, however, be closed if the direction of drifting
snow be towards them. As the average length of the eight tunnels is
only 70 yards, it is obvious that the maximum of darkness in them,
while the sun is above the horizon, will be twilight.

There will be four intermediate passenger stations—one only first
class—at Lanslebourg, the half-way house, and as already mentioned,
the place at which the ascent of the mountain on the French side
commences. The other French stations are at Modane, and Bramans—on the
Italian side only one—a place which will be rather an engine-watering
than a passenger station.

Having constructed our line, or rather we should say, having done our
possible to make our readers understand how it is constructed, the next
obvious proposition is how to work it.

Previous to the experiments of 1865, Mr. Fell gave a programme to both
the French and Italian Governments of the manner in which he proposed
to carry the traffic on the line when opened. Considering that three
trains per day in each direction would be sufficient, at all events for
the existing traffic, he divided his service into two for passengers,
one of which should also carry goods, and one for goods only. The train
conveying passengers without goods, should also be the mail train, and
he proposed that its weight, exclusive of engine, should not exceed 16
tons. The speed of this train to be about 11½ miles an hour including
stoppages; the mixed train to weigh 40 tons, but its speed not to
exceed 7 to 8 miles an hour; the goods train to weigh 48 tons, and its
speed to be 6 miles an hour. When Mr. Fell submitted these proposals,
he estimated a certain weight for each of his engines, and each of
his carriages and waggons, but unfortunately the weight of all three
has been much exceeded in the construction of the rolling stock. The
engines instead of weighing about 17 tons each, as expected, will weigh
upwards of 21 tons, and there is a corresponding increase in the weight
of the vehicles. The consequence is that although these additional
weights do not affect the question as to the power of trains to cross
the mountain, it very materially affects a most important point—that
of proportion between dead, and paying and productive weight. It is
obvious that the problem of adhesion being solved by the addition
of the centre rail, every pound added unnecessarily to the weight of
the engine increases dead weight, without affording the corresponding
benefit of carrying increased weight that brings profit and benefit to
the shareholders. In this respect, the case between the Fell engine and
the case of an ordinary engine for ascending a steep gradient is, that
with the former additional weight is an incubus—an _impedimentum_—a
break put upon the power of the engine without the slightest
counterpoising or balancing advantage, whereas the ordinary engine, by
increased weight, adds to its power, at all events to some extent, by
the additional adhesion it obtains. It is therefore to be regretted
that in laying down the plan for these engines, this most essential
point was not more carefully—we might almost say more jealously—looked
after. The same point bears, though in a less important degree, upon
the weight of the carriages and waggons, for it is obvious that if
a vehicle weighing, say, 3 tons (we take the figure at random) will
carry safely, efficiently, and without strain upon any part of it, a
given load, any weight beyond 3 tons is surplusage—not only unnecessary
but most injurious. If anything tarnish the success of the Mont Cenis
Railway, it is more likely to be from this cause than from any other
that we are acquainted with, as the fact is undoubted that the weights
are much in excess of what are required for the tractive power of the
engines or for the safe conveyance of the loads that will be placed in
the carriages and waggons behind them.[122]



It is hardly necessary to say that the great rival to the Mont Cenis
or Summit Railway is the railway that is to be laid through the
tunnel, which, in the official documents of both France and Italy
is denominated “The Great Tunnel of the Alps.” But before we enter
upon the description of this tunnel, an account of subterraneous
construction from the earliest period we have been able to trace
tunnels, may not be uninteresting.

Tunnelling through hills and mountains is not exactly “as old as the
hills,” but the practice, nevertheless, is of great antiquity.[123]
Yet, the oldest tunnel of which we have record was neither through
hill nor mountain, but was carried beneath the course of the River
Euphrates. This happened no less than 4,812 years ago, for it was at
that time that Semiramis was appointed by her dying husband, Ninus,
King of Assyria, Regent and guardian to their only child, the infant
Ninias. The royal widow, according to Diodorus the Sicilian, the most
trustworthy historian of antiquity, who has written of the peoples
that existed earliest after the world’s creation, commenced her reign
2,944 years before the birth of Christ, and immediately afterwards, the
building of Babylon was begun, by two millions of men, who had been
collected, by regal command, from all parts of the empire. The mighty
city was erected on the two sides of the Euphrates, on each bank of
which was raised a palace of colossal proportions. These the Queen
Regent connected together by “a passage under the river,[124] in the
nature of a vault, from one palace to another, whose arches were built
of firm and strong brick, and plastered all over on both sides with
bitumen, four cubits thick. The walls of this vault were twenty bricks
in thickness, and twelve feet high, and the breadth was fifteen feet.
This piece of work was finished in 220 days, and the river flowing
over the vault. Semiramis could thus go from one palace to the other
without passing over the river. She made likewise two brazen gates at
either end of the vault, which continued to the time of the Persian
empire.” The passage was made, not by the process of tunnelling as we
now understand it, but by first making enormous works for diverting
the course of the Euphrates; then restoring it to its ancient channel
as soon as the vaulted passage had been completed. The investigations
of Mr. A. H. Layard, M.P., from 1846 to 1851, show that the process of
making underground connections was fully understood from the earliest
period of Assyrian history.

The ancient Egyptians were undoubtedly masters of the art of
tunnelling. In a very interesting letter received from our much valued
friend George Groves, Esq., the secretary of the Palestine Exploration
Fund, enclosing the recent reports of Lieutenant Warren, R.E., the
writer says, “you will see by Warren’s papers that there is no lack of
tunnels at Jerusalem; in fact, the whole of the rock upon which the
city is built, appears to be honeycombed with them, but of what exact
age they are, it is impossible for us as yet to tell.”

The further reports of Lieutenant Warren cannot fail to be looked for
and read with an all-absorbing interest by every lover of biblical
literature and history. Already his researches and discoveries show
that he is a man with whom his countrymen may well be satisfied. True
type of the Englishman, he is earnest, indefatigable, and enduring;
incapable of fatigue, he never knows what it is to be beaten. His
ordinary work extends not only throughout the day with a temperature
varying from 100 to 107, but also far on towards midnight. But at that
period of the 24 hours, the Lieutenant says, “the temperature is much
cooler.” That is, the thermometer falls to about 80! Recently when
having “an attack of incipient fever and not being able to shake it
quite off,” he with his faithful assistant and humble companion in
all his labours and anxieties, Sergeant Birtles, “who was also very
unwell,” went for a three days’ ride through Faghur, &c. “We returned
on Saturday quite recovered!” Twelve or thirteen hours a day in the
saddle for three successive days, is rather a rough remedy for the cure
of fever.

We limit ourselves to two extracts from the reports; the first relates
to a discovery made as recently as the 1st of September last, which may
be truly described as one of very great importance.

 “I have made what I consider to be a very important discovery,
 viz., an ancient aqueduct, south-east of the south-east corner of
 the Cœnaculum, and fifty feet above the present aqueduct—I have no
 doubt the original aqueduct from Solomon’s Pools to the Haram Area.
 We dug out the earth from a cut stone shaft two feet square, and at
 sixteen feet was a channel running from the west to the north-east,
 precisely similar in construction to the passages under the Triple
 Gate. It varies very much in size. Sometimes we could crawl on hands
 and knees; then we had to creep sideways; again we lay on our backs
 and wriggled along; but still it was always large enough for a man
 of ordinary dimensions. In parts built of masonry, in parts cut out
 of solid rock, it is generally of a semi-cylindrical shape; but in
 many parts it has the peculiar shoulders which I have only seen
 under the Triple Gateway, but which I told you in my last letter had
 been noticed by Mr. Eaton in the channel leading towards Tekoah. To
 north-east we traced the channel for 250 feet, until we were stopped
 by a shaft which was filled with earth; to the west we traced it for
 200 feet, till it was stopped in the same manner. In part of this
 passage we could stand upright, it being ten or twelve feet high, with
 the remains of two sets of stones for covering, as shown in M. Piazzi
 Smyth’s work on the Great Pyramid; the stones at the sides being of
 great size—12 feet by 6. This channel cannot be so late as the Romans.
 It is evidently of most ancient construction. It is built in little
 spaces, as if the work had been commenced at two or three points,
 and had not been directed properly. The plaster is still in good
 preservation. I shall have the passage cleared out, if possible, as
 far as the city walls. I presume it goes into the Haram, at a slightly
 higher level than the present aqueduct. If so, by following it we may
 arrive at some very interesting conclusions as to the original method
 of supplying the Temple with water.

 “This channel must have been of great consequence in olden times, both
 from the distance it is driven under ground, and from the well-cut
 shafts which lead to it. I think the question is to be hazarded
 whether the supply of Jerusalem was not obtained by this aqueduct,
 which is quite concealed from an enemy.”

At the date of the last report the tunnel had been traced about 300
feet to the north-east, where it appears to fall into the present

Our second and concluding extract will show the difficulties and
dangers attending upon the labours of Lieutenant Warren and his party,
as well as the necessity which exists for funds coming in liberally to
meet the very heavy expenses of these marvellous explorations.

 “PROGRESS OF WORKS TO 11TH OCTOBER, 1867.—_Shaft near S.W. angle South
 Wall of Haram Area._—Depth excavated, to Thursday, the 10th October,
 76 feet.

 “On Friday, having arrived at a depth of 79 feet, the men were
 breaking up a stone at the bottom of the shaft. Suddenly the ground
 gave way, down went the stone and the hammer, the men barely saving
 themselves. They at once rushed up and told the sergeant they had
 found the bottomless pit. I went down to the spot and examined it,
 and, in order that you may have an idea of the extent of our work, I
 will give you a description of our descent.

 “The shaft mouth is on the south side of the Haram Wall, near the
 south-west angle, among the prickly pears; beside it, to the east,
 lying against the Haram Wall, is a large mass of rubbish that has been
 brought up; while over the mouth itself is a triangular gin with iron
 wheel attached, with guy for running up the excavated soil. Looking
 down the shaft, one sees that it is lined for the first 20 feet with
 frames 4 feet 6 inches in the clear; farther down, the Haram Wall
 and soil cut through is seen, and a man standing at what appears to
 be the bottom. An order is given to this man, who repeats it, and
 then, faintly, is heard a sepulchral voice answering as it were from
 another world. Reaching down to the man who is visible is a 34 feet
 rope ladder, and, on descending by it, one finds he is standing on
 a ledge which the ladder does not touch by 4 feet. This ledge is
 the top of a wall running north and south and abutting on the Haram
 Wall; its east face just cuts the centre of the shaft, which has to
 be canted off about 2 feet towards the east, just where some large,
 loose stones jut out in the most disagreeable manner. Here five more
 frames have been fixed to keep these stones steady. On peering down
 from this ledge, one sees the Haram Wall with its projecting courses
 until they are lost in the darkness below, observing, also, at the
 same time, that two sides of the shaft are cut through the soil and
 are self-supporting. Now to descend this second drop the ladder is
 again required; accordingly, having told the man at bottom to get
 under cover, it is lowered to the ledge, from whence it is found that
 it does not reach to the bottom by several feet. It is, therefore,
 lowered the required distance, and one has to reach it by climbing
 down hand over hand for about 12 feet. On passing along, one notes the
 marvellous joints of the Haram Wall stones, and also, probably, gets a
 few blows on skull and knuckles from falling pebbles. Just on reaching
 the bottom, one recollects there is still a pit of unknown depth to
 be explored, and cautiously straddles across it. Then can be seen
 that one course in the Haram Wall, near the bottom, is quite smooth
 all over, the stone being finely dressed, all other courses being
 only well dressed round the drafts; one also sees two stout boards
 lying against the Haram Wall, under which the men retire whenever an
 accidental shower of stones renders their position dangerous. One is
 now at a depth of 79 feet from the surface, and from here we commence
 the exploring of the “bottomless pit.” After dropping a rope down, we
 found that it was only six feet deep, though it looked black enough
 for anything. Climbing down, we found ourselves in a passage running
 south from the Haram Area, 4 feet high by 2 feet wide, and we explored
 this passage. It is of rough rubble masonry, with flat stones at
 top similar to the aqueduct from Triple Gate, but not so carefully
 constructed. The floor and sides are very muddy, as if water gathers
 there during the rainy season.

 “It at once struck me that it was one of the overflow aqueducts
 from the Temple of Solomon, and that there might be a water conduit
 underneath. We scrambled along for a long way on our feet, our skulls
 and spines coming in unhappy contact with the passage roof. After
 about 200 feet we found that the mud reached higher up, and we had to
 crawl by means of elbows and toes. Gradually the passage got more and
 more filled up, and our bodies could barely squeeze through, and there
 did not appear sufficient air to support us for any length of time; so
 that, having advanced 400 feet, we commenced a difficult retrograde
 movement, having to get back half way before we could turn our heads
 round. On arriving at the mouth of the passage underneath the shaft,
 we spent some time in examining the sides, but there is no appearance
 of its having come under the Haram Wall. It seems to start suddenly,
 and I can only suppose it to have been the examining passage over an
 aqueduct coming from the Temple, and I am having the floor taken up to
 settle the question. This passage is on a level with the foundations
 of the Haram Wall, which are rough-hewn stones—perhaps rock; I cannot
 tell yet. The bottom is the enormous distance of 85 feet below the
 surface of the ground, and, as far as I can see as yet, the wall at
 the south-west angle must be buried for 95 feet under ground, so that
 it must at one time have risen to the height of 180 feet above the
 Tyropœon Gully. I consider it very unsafe sinking these shafts without
 sheathing them; but I have been obliged to do so for want of wood.
 In this shaft in particular there is about 60 feet unsheathed, and a
 loose stone from any part might stave a man’s head in before he is
 aware of it. I think it running needlessly into danger; and I hope
 that, with what you are sending from England, and what I am getting
 from Malta and Alexandria, I shall soon have enough to go on with in
 a business-like manner. The amount of wood wanted is very great. This
 shaft, when sheeted, would require 100 boards 18 feet long, and 9
 inches by 1 inch. We are also very much in want of English dockyard
 rope and rope ladders; all the work here consisting of driving shafts
 of great depths, it is necessary to have many ladders. We have
 only two, and are often in great difficulties about it. It is all
 very well climbing hand over hand thirty-five feet up a rope, when
 hanging in the air; but when it is in an unsheathed shaft, with the
 dangling bringing down the loose stones on the head, it is unsafe. The
 anxiety of mind caused lately, by having to keep the workmen going
 without adequate means for their protection, is more than I can put
 up willingly with any longer. _We must have plenty of money for the
 excavations, or stop them altogether._”

The oldest tunnel, of which we can find any record or mention in
Europe, is that constructed in connection with a great aqueduct built
about 540 years B.C. in Boetia, to draw off the waters of the lake
Copais, now called lake Topolias, to the sea then called the gulf of
Opuntius, and now the Channel of Talanti. The tunnel, nearly a mile in
length, became impeded and choked up, and, about 220 years afterwards,
was ordered to be restored by Alexander the Great, who had previously
“fleshed his maiden sword” in its neighbourhood at one of the few great
and decisive battles of the world—that of Chœroncia. It was fought and
won by Philip of Macedon, 338 years before the birth of Christ.

As to how the rock was penetrated in the absence of the modern
appliance of gunpowder, we are now as ignorant as we are of the
mechanical means by which the great pyramids of Egypt and other
gigantic works there, were constructed; and we are in the like state
as regards a tunnel in the Island of Samos, which we learn on the
authority of Strabo was 4,200 Greek feet long—equal to 4,230 modern
English feet—that is more than three-quarters of a mile. The height of
the mountain through which it was driven was 900 Greek (907 English
feet), and its purpose was to supply with water the principal city of
the island, the inhabitants of which, 2,600 years ago, were among the
most active and enterprising merchants and shipowners of the world.
Ancient Samos, now called by the Turks _Susam Adasi_, is the nearest
to the coast of Turkey in Asia of the numerous islands which dot the
Eastern Archipelago.

Albano is the first halting station of the day express train from
Rome to Naples; close to it is the Alba lake seven miles round, at an
elevation of 700 feet above the level of the sea. 2,000 years ago the
Romans constructed a duct to carry off its superfluous water into the
Tiber; part of the duct is through a tunnel, which, in consequence of
modern repairs, is still in a state of perfect preservation. It is a
little more than a mile long, and its dimensions are 6 feet high and 4
feet wide; it was completed in a year.

But the grandest tunnel of ancient Italy is the underground canal
constructed by the orders of the Emperor Claudius to draw off the
waters of the lake then called Fucinus, now Celano, into the River
Siris. This stupendous work, three miles long, and nowhere less than
twenty feet high, required the labour of 30,000 men for eleven years to
accomplish. It has several shafts as in modern tunnels; it is now in a
sound state, having been solidly repaired only a few years ago.

In the second volume of _La Vie de Cæsar_, by the Emperor Napoleon
III., pages 412, _et seq._, (English edition) will be found the account
of the siege of Uxellodum (_Puy d’Issolu_, near Vayrac), the capture
of which by Julius Cæsar, U.C., 703, put him in complete possession
of Gaul. The town, surrounded on all sides by steep rocks, was, even
without being defended, difficult of access to armed men. It was
also well provisioned, but, as its water supply was derived from an
abundant spring which arose at the foot of the wall of the town, 300
feet from the channel of the River Tourmente, “Cæsar resolved,” says
his Imperial historian, “to drain this spring, and for this purpose
he did not hesitate to attempt a laborious undertaking. Opposite to
the point where the spring rose, he ordered covered galleries to be
pushed forward against the mountain, and, under protection of them, a
terrace to be raised. Although these works were attended with great
danger and fatigue, they were vigorously persevered in. At the same
time, a subterranean excavation on a lower plane than the fountain,
and running from the galleries, was made. This work, carried on, free
from all danger, was executed without being perceived by the Gauls;
the terrace attained a height of sixty feet, and was surmounted by a
tower of ten stories, which, without equalling the elevation of the
wall of the town, a result it was impossible to attain, still commanded
the fountain. Its approaches, battered by engines from the top of
the tower, became inaccessible; in consequence of this, many men and
animals in the place died of thirst. Nevertheless, the Gauls did not
yield. At last, the subterranean gallery having reached the veins of
the spring, they were taken and turned aside. The besieged seeing
the fountain all at once dried up, believed, in their despair, that
it was an intervention of the gods: they submitted to necessity, and
surrendered.” Researches made for the purposes of the _Vie de Cæsar_,
by M. J. B. Cessac, assisted subsequently by the Permanent Commission
of the Department du Lot, have brought this tunnel fully into view. It
was carried through the marl; and the proof that the Roman soldiers
had not boring tools suited for penetrating rock is afforded by the
fact that, when they came upon it, they deviated in the expectation
that they would come upon the tufas which, formed by the waters, would
necessarily lead towards the spring. The Roman soldiers were right in
their expectations.

The galleries and tunnel, as well as the siege-works, are illustrated
by two plates, No. 31 and 32 of the Appendix. The tunnel was about 550
yards long. During M. Cessac’s investigation the timber which supported
part of it still existed.

The earliest mention that we have of tunnelling in connection with
the Alps dates back more than 400 years. Anne,[125] Duchess of Savoy,
conceived the grand project of piercing the Col di Tenda, then, and
for nearly two centuries and a-half afterwards, the best and easiest
pass available between France and north-western Italy, with a tunnel
at about one-third of its height from the summit. It appears, beyond
doubt, that the works were begun, but at the death of Anne they were
abandoned; after a lapse of three centuries they were resumed in 1782
by order of Victor Amadeus III., King of Savoy. The excavation of the
mountain was continued, although not vigorously, until 1794, when it
was abandoned, in consequence of the invasion of Savoy by the French.
The total length of the tunnel would have been about 3,000 yards, and
by means of it a precipitous sugar-loaf ascent of 1,300 feet to the top
of the pass would have been avoided. At the present time the idea of
the tunnel is revived, it being proposed to construct to it a railway
on the Fell system,[126] from Cuneo at the foot of the pass, which
place is now connected with Turin and the whole system of Italian
railways by a line fifty-four miles long. The Cuneo district is one
of the most productive of the fertile plains that fringe the southern
slopes of the Alps, and extend for a width of from fifty to sixty miles
beyond them.

We did not begin either to make canals or to tunnel in Great Britain
until a little more than a century ago. Now we have 2,200 miles of
inland navigation, of which 213 are in Scotland and 297 in Ireland.
Brindley, the engineer of the Duke of Bridgewater, commenced the
Harecastle Tunnel on the Trent and Mersey Canal in 1765, but it took
him eleven years to finish it. It was not until 1776 that the first
boat was able to go through it. The tunnel is 2,880 yards long, 12
feet wide and 9 feet high. Although Brindley was much troubled with
quicksands, the work was completed for the marvellously small sum of
£3. 10s. 8d. a yard forward. Some years afterwards, in consequence of
the immense increase of the business of the canal, Telford constructed
another Harecastle Canal alongside the first, the dimensions of which
are—length, 2,936 yards; width, 14 feet; height, 16 feet.

The longest canal tunnel—indeed, the longest tunnel, whether railway or
canal—in England is the Marsden, on the Huddersfield Canal, 5,450 yards
(3 miles and 170 yards), thus exceeding the longest railway tunnel
by 154 yards. The lengths in yards of some of the principal canal
tunnels of England are as follows:—Sapperton (Thames and Severn),
4,180; Lapal (Dudley), 3,776; Blisworth (Grand Junction), 3,080; Tipton
Green, 2,926; Oxenhall, 2,192; Foulbridge (Leeds and Liverpool), 1,640;
Asperton (Hereford and Gloucester), 1,320; Fenny Compton (Oxford),
1,188. From this list we exclude the Old Thames and Medway Canal
Tunnel, near Rochester, because the South-Eastern Railway Company, when
it purchased the canal, converted the tunnel into one suitable for a
railway; its length is 3,740 yards.

The most recently constructed canal tunnel in England is the Netherton
Tunnel, on a branch of the Birmingham Canal, having only been completed
in 1858. It is 3,036 yards long, 27 feet wide, and 24 feet 4 inches
high in the clear. Seventeen shafts altogether were sunk during its
construction, of which ten were closed on being used for traffic. The
greatest depth of any of the shafts is 344 feet 6 inches, the least
65 feet 9 inches. The time occupied for completing this tunnel was
only two years. For full and minute description of this tunnel see
proceedings of the “Institution of Civil Engineers,” Vol. XIX.

The village of Highgate, situated on one of the two northern hills in
the immediate vicinity of London, was to have had a tunnel 301 feet
long, 24 feet wide, and 13 feet high, for the purpose of avoiding the
steep and dangerous hill on the great road which led, and still leads
from London, towards the North. An Act of Incorporation was obtained,
and the undertaking was prosecuted for a time with great energy; but
unfortunately, after 130 yards of the work had been accomplished, the
whole fell in on the 13th of April, 1812. The accident created an
intense sensation, and it was the subject of a drama: “The Highgate
Tunnel, or the Secret Arch,” which for a time was a source of
attraction at one of the minor theatres at the East end of London. The
disaster put an end to the desire for a tunnel, and the present road
was constructed through a deep cutting, by means of which much of the
steepness of the hill was done away with. Hornsey Lane crosses this
cutting, on a noble bridge, which is called the Highgate Arch.

The late Mr. Robert Stephenson, M.P., in his address to the Institution
of Civil Engineers, on his election as President in January 1856,
stated, that “tunnels for railways had traversed hills and penetrated
mountains to the extent of nearly 70 miles,” the miles of railways
opened in the United Kingdom at that time being 8,054.

Mr. J. M. Fraser, in a paper which he read at the Institution of Civil
Engineers, on the 24th of March, 1863, considered, that “it would not
be inaccurate to assume 80 miles as representing the length of tunnels
now daily traversed by railway trains in the United Kingdom.” At that
period there were 11,547 miles of railway in operation. As there were
13,882 miles opened for traffic on the 31st of December, 1866 (of which
about one-third is single line), we may consider that w e have about
90 miles of line “in tunnel” at the present date, and in these are
included the Metropolitan (Underground) Railway and the tunnels[127]
on the New Midland Line between Bedford and London, opened for goods
traffic in August 1867. We knew as a fact that, during the early
construction of railways in England, our engineers resorted to tunnels
to avoid gradients and curves (especially the former) that would almost
be considered favourable at the present day. As experience increased
and the power of the locomotive was developed, so did the amount of
tunnel work diminish. Hence it is that if the three estimates just
stated be correct, the proportion of tunnel to railway on the 1st of
January, 1856, was one mile to every 115; on 1st of January, 1863,
one to every 144 miles; on 1st of January, 1867, one to every 154.
Had Ireland been excluded from the reckoning,—as she might well be,
seeing that there are only three there of the aggregate length of 2,980
yards (exactly 100 yards less than a mile and three-quarters) on the
1,948 miles of railway that are now open for traffic in that part of
the United Kingdom,—the proportion of tunnel to railway in England,
Scotland, and Wales would have been one mile of the former for every
132½ of the latter. The number of tunnels in Ireland is, however, it
is alleged, about to be added to, as, since a very serious accident at
“Bray Head,” on the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway, a feeling of
uneasiness prevails in the public mind as regards the safety of the
line at this point. It is, therefore, contemplated to run four tunnels
through the mountain at its side nearest to the sea, at an estimated
cost of about £23,000. Bray Head, it may be mentioned, forms the
southern boundary of the Bay of Dublin, the Hill of Howth being its
boundary to the north.

The longest railway tunnel in England[128] is the Woodhead or Summit
Tunnel of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. Its
length is 5,296 yards, or 3 miles and 16 yards, with a gradient of
1 in 200, or 26⅖ feet to the mile, the rise being in the direction
from Dunford to Woodhead. The ordinary passenger trains require ten
minutes from Dunford to Woodhead, but trains travelling from Woodhead
to Dunford take a minute less. Therefore, with the gradient favourable,
the speed is only at the rate of 20 miles an hour; against the
gradient, 18. It is a single line tunnel.

The Stanedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Branch of the London and
North-Western Railway is exactly 3 miles long, and it is also a single
line tunnel; the gradient is nearly a level. The time for passenger
trains through it is six minutes, or at the rate of 30 miles an hour;
the time for goods trains is nine minutes, or at the rate of 20 miles
an hour. The deepest portion of the tunnel is 600 feet below the upper
surface of the mountain.

On the 3rd September, 1867, we came through the Shepherd’s Well Tunnel
of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, 2,376 yards long, against
the gradient, which is 1 in 100, or 53 feet in the mile for two-thirds
of its length, and the remainder nearly level, in two minutes fifteen
seconds; on the same day we came through the tunnel in the opposite
direction, when the time occupied was one minute forty-two seconds:
on the other hand, Mr. Allport, the General Manager of the Midland
Railway, to whom we gladly acknowledge ourselves indebted for much
valuable information most obligingly afforded, says that the passenger
trains are timed to run _in each direction_ through the Dove’s Hole
Tunnel 2,420 feet long at the same rate of speed, and actually do run
at that speed—nearly 46 miles an hour,—yet the gradient is 1 in 90, or
58⅔ feet per mile. The same for goods trains, their speed is 23 miles
an hour in each direction, and Mr. Allport assures us they maintain it
in both directions.

The following are the lengths of some of the principal railway tunnels
in Great Britain and of the two longest in Ireland:—

  Name.             Company.                      Yards.

  Medway               South-Eastern               3,740
  Sevenoaks                ”                       3,600
  Box                  Great Western               3,227
  Littleborough        Lancashire and Yorkshire    2,869
  Sapperton            Great Western               2,800
  Pohhill              South Eastern               2,750
  Kilsby               London and North-Western    2,423
  Dove’s Hole          Midland                     2,420
  Shepherd’s Well      Chatham and Dover           2,376
  Wapping (L’pool)     London and North-Western    2,250
  Lime Street ”            ”                       2,230
  Clayton              London and Brighton         2,200
  Sydenham             Chatham and Dover           2,190
  Abbot’s Cliff        South-Eastern               2,000
  Watford              London and North-Western    1,793
  Merstham             South-Eastern               1,780
  Clay Cross           Midland                     1,780
  Sapperton(A)             ”                       1,760
  Corah Wood           Newry and Armagh            1,510
  White Ball           Bristol and Exeter          1,470
  Belsize              Midland                     1,460
  Grenfield            Midland                     1,400
                       North-Eastern               1,364
  Thackley             Midland                     1,360
  Honiton              London and South-Western    1,350
  Bletchingly          South-Eastern               1,324
  Lydgate              Lancashire and Yorkshire    1,322
  Wichwar              Midland                     1,320
  Shanklin             Isle of Wight               1,320
  Shakspeare           South-Eastern               1,320
  Almonsbury           Bristol and South Wales     1,320
  Kilbarry             Great Southern and Western  1,290
  Primrose Hill        London and North-Western    1,250
  Glasgow              Edinburgh and Glasgow       1,250
  Potter’s Bar         Great Northern              1,210
  Balcombe             London and Brighton         1,122
  Brislington (No. 1)  Great Western               2,200
  Brislington (No. 2)      ”                       1,100
  Brislington (No. 3)      ”                         330
  North Welwyn         Great Northern              1,046
  Penscliff                ”                         968
  Guildford            London and South-Western      965
  Saltwood             South-Eastern                 954
  Bangor               Chester and Holyhead          910
  Chislehurst          South Eastern                 900
  Elstree              Midland                       900
  Gillingham           Chatham and Dover             895
  Stoke                Great Northern                880
  Milford              Midland                       836
  Calandar             Edinburgh and Glasgow         830
  Whitstable           South-Eastern                 822
  Haddon               Midland                       800
  Oakley                   ”                         800
  Bishopton            Glasgow and South-Western     760
  Coates Park          Midland                       740
  Buckhorn Weston      Salisbury and Yeovil          739
  Belmont              Chester and Holyhead          737
  Penmaen Bach         Chester and Holyhead          721
  Tottenham            Great Northern                714
  Leeds                North-Eastern                 700
  Copenhagen           Great Northern                694
  Dover                Chatham and Dover             682
  Manton               Midland                       660
  Ampthill                 ”                         640
  Chivet                   ”                         620
  Martello             South-Eastern                 616
  Barnet               Great Norther                 605
  Chelsfield           South Eastern                 600

(A) Followed by an open cutting of 100 yards; then a tunnel of 440
yards. The gradient in these tunnels is 1 in 70. For full details
respecting them, see Paper read by Mr. Charles Nixon at the Institution
of Civil Engineers. _Proceedings_, volume for 1842.

Some of our tunnels have been extremely costly, the Kilsby, for
instance, £125 per yard forward, total £302,000. The face of the
Primrose Hill Tunnel at its London end cost £7,000, thereby adding to
its total cost at the rate of £5. 15s. a yard. Up to 1857, the average
cost of all tunnels was £102 per yard, or for 70 miles £12,320,000.
Tunnels have certainly been constructed more cheaply since then.[129]
Mr. J. G. Fraser assumes them to have cost at the average rate of
£45 per lineal yard, but this must be considerably below the mark,
notwithstanding that many of the more recently constructed tunnels have
only been for “single line.” The dimensions of these tunnels on the 4
feet 8½-inch gauge, are usually as follows:—12 feet wide at rail level,
17 feet from rail level to soffit, whilst for a double line of the same
gauge tunnels are usually about 25 feet wide at rail level, and about
22 feet from rail level to soffit. On the exceptional Great Western
gauge, they would be respectively about a fourth higher and a third

We must only touch the Thames Tunnel at a tangent. Its length is 1,200
feet with two arches each 13 feet 9 inches at the springing of the
arch; 16 feet 4 inches high from the invert. It cost £1,000 a yard, or
for 400 yards £400,000, two and a-half times as much per yard forward
as the most expensive estimate for the Mont Cenis Tunnel, more than
three times as much as its cost per yard forward up to the present
time. In addition, the approaches of the Thames Tunnel (for foot
passengers only) cost £54,714, total £454,714. It is now about to be
utilised as a railway tunnel, having been purchased by the East London
Railway Company for the purpose of bringing together the lines at the
north-eastern and south-eastern ends of London.

As a rule, the tunnel mileage (except in one country only, Spain) is
much less in proportion to total mileage on the various continental
railways than it is in England. This is especially the case in almost
all the more recently constructed lines, but more particularly so in
Germany. Here, the ingenuity of the engineer has been exercised to
avoid tunnels wherever possible, and not to seek them. We might cite
many instances in proof, but limit ourselves to one, which must be
familiar to many—the line along the left bank of the Elbe, between
Dresden and the Austrian frontier at Bodenbach, through the beautiful
Saxon Switzerland. There are, however, tunnels in Germany, the longest
of which is that which has already been mentioned, the summit Tunnel of
the Sœmmering Pass, 1,565 yards, just 195 yards less than an English

There are long tunnels in France, both canal[130] and railway, and as
regards the first-named class, our readers will hardly be prepared
to learn that there has existed for forty-five years in France, an
underground passage at Cunhardy called a tunnel, which is in length
only 314 yards less than the Great Tunnel of the Alps; yet such is
the fact,—the Norieu underground passage which forms a portion of the
_Canal de St. Quentin_, is 13,128 yards long, or 7½ miles all but 72
yards. Its maximum depth below the surface is 86 yards. It is only 4
feet 11 inches wide and is without towing path. It was opened in 1822
at a cost of only £2. 12s. per yard. Seven years were occupied in its
construction. But the most important canal tunnel in France, in respect
of its width and elevation, is that of Rigueval, which is also on the
_Canal de St. Quentin_. It is 6,237 yards long, 26 feet 2 inches wide,
of which 5 feet 3 inches are for the towing path along which horse
traction is used. The Tunnel of Manvages, 5,320 yards long, is on the
_Canal du Marn au Rhin_. Of the two other long canal tunnels (both on
the _Canal de Bourgogne_), that of Sousey is 3,873 yards long, 7 feet 3
wide. It has not a towing path. That of Pouilly is 3,630 yards long and
20 feet 2 inches wide, including a towing path of the width of 5 feet
3 inches. The cost of the Sousey was £9. 4s. a yard; of Pouilly £80 a

The longest railway tunnel in France is that of La Nerthe on the Paris,
Lyons and Mediterranean Railway, between Avignon and Marseilles. It is
4,638 metres (5,101 yards). It cost £90. 10s. per metre. Its shafts
vary in depth from 65 to 623 feet.[131] There are twenty-four of these
shafts, which are not over the centre of the tunnel, but about 30 feet
on one side. They communicate with it by lateral galleries 10 feet
wide, and as high as the tunnel itself. The shafts are all circular,
about 10 feet wide, and have all been left open. The gradient from
one end to the centre is 1 in 500—10½ feet in the mile. It then falls
to the other entrance at the rate of 1 in 1,000. The tunnel of Blaisy
on the same line, near Dijon, is 4,100 metres (4,510 yards). It cost
£77 per metre. It had twenty shafts during construction, of which ten
are now closed. Nine of the shafts are from 515 to 643 feet below the
surface. They are not over the tunnel, but about 32 feet on one side,
and connected to it by lateral galleries. The Credo Tunnel on the
Geneva Branch of the same line 3,949 metres (4,344 yards), £65. 12s.
per metre. There are several other long railway tunnels in France. That
of Rilly near Rheims, is 3,500 metres long. There were nine shafts
during construction, of which four were closed when the railway was
opened. Although lined with masonry throughout, the thickness being 20
inches in compact chalk, and 32 inches in that which was seamy, the
cost was only £28. 15s. per yard. Hommarting Tunnel (_Chemin de Fer de
l’Est_), is 2,780 metres long, Pissy Poville, 2,400 metres; Tarare is
a very long one but we are not sure of its exact extent. The Tunnel of
Arschwiller, on the _Chemin de Fer de l’Est_, is 2,678 metres, and is
close to the tunnel of the canal from the Marne to the Rhine, named on
the previous page the Tunnel of Manvages. In fact, where they enter the
mountain they are at the same level, and a double arched entrance—the
intervening pier being only 22 feet thick, and the arches precisely
similar—receives them both. The canal tunnel was completed before that
for the railway, which latter diverges from the line of the former at
the rate of 26 feet in 1,000, so that at the end of the railway tunnel
it is 60 feet from that of the canal. The canal then makes a bend and
presently crosses _over_ the railway tunnel, as it has a descending
gradient of 1 in 200, and at what may be called its diverged entrance,
it is 44 feet below the level of the canal. The railway tunnel took
nearly eight years to construct at a cost of £38. 10s. per metre

There is also a large number of tunnels from 500 to 1,500 metres long.
The price per metre forward varies nearly as much as in England, its
maximum being £95, that of Batignolles, near Paris, on the _Chemin de
Fer de l’Ouest_, a short one, only 333 metres (366 yards); minimum
£30, that of Terre Noire 1,641 metres, on the Paris, Lyons and

The longest railway tunnel in Belgium is that of Braine le Compte,
641 metres (705 yards). It cost £46 a metre. There are altogether
eighteen tunnels along the 15½ miles of picturesque line of railway
between Liege and Verviers; they are all short, none exceeding 400
metres in length; their cost was exactly £50 a metre forward. There is
only one long tunnel in Switzerland, that of Hauenstein near Olten,
on the railway between Basle and Berne, its length is 2,731 yards,
and, notwithstanding the numerous difficulties which attended its
construction, its cost was only £80 per yard. It might be expected
that in an undulating country like Switzerland there would be a great
many tunnels on its railways; such, however, is not the case, the
larger proportion of the railways are constructed in the comparatively
level valleys, and when engineers come upon rough ground, as a rule,
they prefer stiff gradients to very expensive works. This, however is
not always the case; witness the passage of the Jura from Pontarlieu
towards Neufchatel; here there is the combination of expensive works
with a steep ascending and then a steep falling gradient. These might
have been greatly alleviated, if not altogether avoided, by a tunnel of
comparatively short length; the engineer, it is said, wished to erect
for himself, in this work, a monument _perennius ære_. He has succeeded.

The longest tunnel upon a railway in Italy, now open for traffic, is
on the Giovi incline, near Genoa, 3,225 yards, or five yards over two
miles. The longest of the two on the Brachia pass of the Apennines,
between Pistoja and Poretta, is (as already stated) 3,300 yards; the
length of the next longest, on the same pass, is 2,860 yards. A tunnel
longer by a few yards than that on the Giovi incline, is in process of
construction on the branch which is to connect Naples by a direct line
with the Adriatic. The tunnel Maggioni, between Florence and Rome, is
1,170 metres (1,287 yards) long.

The natural undulatory, in many places almost mountainous, character of
Spain, has rendered necessary the construction of numerous tunnels on
Spanish Railways. The following is an abridgment of much interesting
information on this subject, published by the Spanish Government last
summer, and translated into French a few weeks ago.

On the line from Madrid to Saragossa, the length of which is 213 miles,
there are twenty-six tunnels; the most important of them is Horna,
1,010 metres. The total length of these twenty-six tunnels is 4,791
metres, or 3⅝ miles. On the Manzanares to Cordova Line, the length of
which is 243½ kilometres, there are thirteen tunnels, the longest of
which is 1,025 metres; their total length 3,092 metres. The Albaceta
to Carthagena Line, is 154 miles long; the chief tunnel is that of
Almadenes, along the gorge of the same name, its length is 1,056
metres. There are four short tunnels on this line, all in the vicinity
of the gorge; their combined length is only 393 metres, making, with
the tunnel of Almadenes, 1,449 metres.

The Northern of Spain—Madrid to Irun—is 399 miles long. Although it
is not the longest, it is probably the most important railway in
Spain, traversing nearly throughout its entire extent, a difficult,
and, at places, an extremely hilly country, and finally terminating
at the Pyrenees, where it meets the Bayonne and Irun Railway. Thus,
on the section from L’Escurial to Avila, 44 miles long, there are
sixteen tunnels, the total length of which is 4,408 metres, all of
which are associated with numerous extremely difficult works of art
in their immediate vicinity, some of the viaducts varying from 95 to
135 feet in height, with other proportional dimensions. It is in this
section that the Guaddarama Mountains are traversed, and, until the
locomotive crossed the Mont Cenis the summit of this railway was the
highest in Europe, 4,505 feet above sea level. On the section between
Otzaurte and Beasain, 33 miles long, there are twenty-three tunnels,
the total length of which is 10,351 metres. Some of the works of art
on this section are magnificent in their character and construction.
The tunnels on the other sections of the line are not so numerous;
nevertheless, they are altogether fifty-eight in number, with an
aggregate length of 22,160 metres, exactly 14 miles.

Turning from the most difficult Spanish railway in point of
construction, to the easiest for the greater part of its extent, the
Seville, Xeres and Cadiz Line, the length of which is 103 miles, we
find that there are no tunnels upon it, although on the section between
Xeres and Cadiz there are several extremely difficult works of art.

The Alar del Rey to Santander Railway is 87 miles long. It has
twenty-one short tunnels upon it, the total length of which is 4,808

The length of the Palencia and Astorya Line is 110 miles. It runs
from Palencia to Gigon, on the Bay of Biscay. This railway is only in
course of construction. There are several tunnels upon it, of which the
particulars have not yet been published.

The Saragossa and Barcelona Line is 230 miles in length. In the section
between Cervara and Tarrassa, 59 miles long, there are sixteen tunnels.
As their aggregate length is only 3,591 metres, it will be observed
that they are all very short ones. The other portions of the line are
of comparatively easy construction.

The Ciudad Real to Badajoz Railway, 213 miles long, is a line
presenting scarcely any difficulties of construction, and it has no
tunnel upon it from one end to the other.

The principal difficulty connected with the Tudela and Bilbao Line is
that at its terminus at Bilbao, it is barely above the level of the
sea; but it has to ascend 2,060 feet in 29½ miles. There are no heavier
works in all Spain than those upon this section. For more than half
a mile the principal branch of the Ebro has been deviated, and the
railway has been constructed upon the old bed of the river.

On the Barcelona to Santa Coloma Railway there are seven tunnels, very
short in length; the longest is 443 metres long.

The Tarragona to Barcelona Line is 64 miles long; though passing
through a level country for the greater part of its extent, it has one
section—that between Villa-franca and Marterello, in which the rise
is 540 feet in 15 miles. There are five tunnels upon this length, all
short ones; but they were very difficult as regards construction, and
they are very troublesome in maintenance.

The Lerida Reus and Tarragona Line is 63 miles. It has only one tunnel
upon it, that of Terres, 700 metres long.

The Cordova to Malaga Railway, 121 miles, is extremely easy in point of
construction, except for 6¼ miles at the passage of the Guitanas, where
there are no less than twelve tunnels and six great bridges. In one of
the tunnels a singular circumstance was discovered during construction.
The miners suddenly came upon a _crevasse_ or split in the mountain
which extended from its lofty and precipitous summit to a great depth
beneath the part bored through. The space is traversed by a bridge, the
only one in the records of tunnels that we remember to have met with.

There is one very long canal tunnel in Spain—the Canal of Urgel—between
the Ebro and one of its affluents, the Segro. This canal is 90 miles
long and the tunnel is of the length of 5,230 metres.

The grandest canal in Spain for water supply is the “Canal of Isabel
II.” It furnishes the supply for Madrid. It is built after the system
of the ancient Romans—that is, aqueducts constructed in masonry arched
over. Its total length is 45 miles. It has besides, thirty-one tunnels,
partly cut straight through rocks which the canal traverses, and partly
side-cut tunnels (one is five-eighths of a mile long) for obtaining
water. At the present time, when the question of supplying London and
other important cities with water is much agitated, it may be well to
mention that by means of this canal 200,000 cubic metres of water, or
600 litres (a litre is about a quart) per inhabitant are brought to
Madrid daily. Of these 600 litres 100 per head is for domestic use,
and 500 for irrigating the districts adjoining Madrid. The quality
of the water is said to be excellent; indeed it is alleged that if
the air which it contains were abstracted it might be considered as
distilled water. The pressure of the water in the conduits is almost
without exception sufficient to raise it to the upper stories of the
highest houses in Madrid. In some quarters of the city it could rise 75
yards above them. There are two road tunnels in Spain, one on the road
between Grenada and Motril, 300 metres long, and one on the Pyrennean
road between Barbastro and Benasquez, the length of which is 90 metres.

Spain, for a country with a population under 16,000,000, cannot be said
to be badly off for means of communication. The total length of roads
in the kingdom on the 1st of January, 1867, was 4,137,640 miles of the
first class, 3,265,700 of the second, and 1,908,112 of the third. About
2,800,000 are in course of construction. It is intended eventually to
extend the road system of Spain to a total of about 22,500,000 miles.
As already mentioned, the total length of Spanish railways on the 1st
of January, 1867, was 3,182 miles.

There are few tunnels of any length in the United States. The
Cincinnati Tunnel is 3,337 yards long; the Kingwood 1,366. The
Alleghany mountains are perforated by one, the property of the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which is 1,204 yards long, 24 feet wide,
and 22 feet high. There are four through the Blue Ridge Mountains,
Virginia, the longest of which is 1,955 yards, the next 1,418 yards,
with an uniform gradient of 1 in 70. The Long Duck Tunnel, New Jersey,
is 1,437 yards in length. But the Hoosac Tunnel, Massachusetts, will,
when completed, be the longest railway tunnel in existence—except the
tunnel of the Alps—8,166 yards; it was commenced in 1855, but it has
only been vigorously proceeded with since 1864; its total estimated
cost is to be £1,100,000, of which about £420,000 have been expended
upon the 2,350 yards already constructed; its width is 26 feet, height
24 feet; the rock through which it is pierced is mica slate mixed with
a little quartz.[132]

General Haupt, of the United States Army, the engineer-in-chief of
this tunnel, is said, by the _Times_, to have invented one of the
most compact, effective, and economical drilling machines, applicable
for boring tunnels, driving adits of mines, and indeed for every
description of work in which the hardest kinds of rocks have to be
pierced. It is stated that it can drive holes in granite, or even
quartz, at the rate of nearly four inches in a minute, and that as
soon as about twenty-eight inches have been drilled, the blasts take
place, when the machine can, in consequence of its great lightness and
portability, be immediately carried over the _debris_ caused by the
explosion, and be at work upon the new face of the tunnel in the course
of a few minutes.

We extract the “latest novelty” in tunnels from a New Zealand newspaper
received in England August 1867,—

 “A TUNNEL THROUGH AN EXTINCT VOLCANO.—The Moorhouse Tunnel, opening up
 the fertile plains of the Canterbury settlement, is 2,838 yards long,
 and cost £195,000. It affords, we believe, the first instance where
 a complete section of an extinct volcano has been opened out. The
 elaborate drawings prepared by Dr. Haas for exhibition in Paris, will
 draw the attention of geologists to the fact, and doubtless afford
 the greatest satisfaction to the scientific world. The rock in the
 tunnel may be described as a series of lava streams and beds of tufa,
 intersected by vertical dykes of phonolite. The lava streams consist
 generally of scoria, overlaying a coarse pink trachyte, which passes
 gradually through shades of grey, purple, and blue into a black finely
 grained dolorite intensely hard and tough; the lightest and softest
 rock being at the top, and the densest and blackest at the bottom.
 Regarded from an engineering point of view, the work is considered
 eminently successful.”

The New Zealanders are naturally very much elated at the completion
of this, to them, great and important work, of which the _New Zealand
Examiner_, a monthly journal published in London, and devoted
exclusively to the interests of the New Zealand settlements, thus
speaks in its August number:—


 “That perseverance which has commanded success for England in so many
 fields has achieved another triumph in New Zealand. For six years
 has a quiet, but none the less remarkable, work been going on in the
 range of hills that divides Christchurch from Lyttelton. Possessed of
 a splendid harbour, the Province of Canterbury has had to suffer ever
 since its foundation from the difficulty of communication between its
 capital and port. At first sight the range of hills appear impassable,
 and are sufficient to frighten new arrivals. For the first years of
 the settlement’s existence there was nothing in the shape of a road
 until the track over the hills was widened into a bridle path. All
 goods destined for Christchurch had to be sent round in boats up the
 river. Then came the cutting of a cart road winding round the hills,
 and eventually reaching Heathcote (which may be properly called the
 Christchurch side of the range). The latter road was opened in 1859,
 and ever since the traffic on it has continued increasing. In 1856 an
 attempt was made to introduce steam navigation on the river, for the
 quicker and cheaper conveyance of goods, this unfortunately terminated
 disastrously in the wreck of the steamship Alma. The course of the
 river having been staked out in 1858, the Planet commenced running,
 and from that time the number of coasting steamers has steadily
 increased, while the sailing vessels from being confined to craft of
 15 to 20 tons have risen to 100 tons. Still the great desideratum of
 a _direct_ and _rapid_ communication remained, and various schemes
 were propounded, but none carried into effect till May 1861, when
 the Provincial Government accepted a tender from Messrs. Holmes &
 Co., to complete a line of railway from Lyttelton to Christchurch (a
 distance of six miles) in five years, for £240,500. In this contract
 the tunnel, 2,838 yards long (the cost of which was estimated at
 £195,000), was included. The first sod of the line was cut on the 17th
 July, 1861, and for six long years, night and day, has the process of
 boring through the mountain gone on. During that time the contractors
 have met with all sorts of difficulties, not the least of which have
 been the attractions offered to their men by the successive outbreaks
 of the Otago and Canterbury diggings, but, lending their whole
 energies to the task, the works have not been stopped for a single
 day. The completion of this work must be productive of the highest
 benefits to Canterbury.

It will thus be seen that this tunnel cost at the rate of £69 per
yard forward, and it required six years to complete it at a cost
both of money and time very onerous to a young settlement. With Mr.
Fell’s system the tunnel would have been altogether avoided, and it is
probable that the line would have been completed in about two years, at
a price not exceeding £60,000, instead of the £240,500 it has cost the
colony to construct it.

The total length of London’s greatest tunnel, the Metropolitan Railway,
from Bishop’s Road to Moorgate Street, is 23,616 feet, or 4½ miles,
less 144 feet. Starting from Bishop’s Road, the measurements are as
follows:—For 3,024 feet, or 96 feet less than five-eighths of a mile,
there is tunnel, then an open space of 675 feet around the Edgware
Road station. From there to King’s Cross, 2 miles and 496 feet, is
tunnel; but in this distance there are three most effective means of
ventilation: the first is at Baker Street Station, 2,640 feet, or
exactly half a mile from the Edgware Road Station. The second is at
Portland Road Station, 2,978 feet, or 338 feet more than half a mile,
from Baker Street. Portland Road Station is the most open of all the
four intermediate stations. The third is at Gower Street Station, 1,920
feet, or 60 feet more than three-eighths of a mile. From Gower Street
to King’s Cross Station is the longest interval between two stations,
3,900 feet, or 60 feet less than three-quarters of a mile. The distance
between the King’s Cross and the Farringdon Street Stations is 5,192
feet, or 88 feet less than a mile. In this distance there are two
tunnels—if one of them may be so called, for it is only 220 feet long;
the other is 2,170 feet, or 190 feet more than three-eighths of a mile.
In the remaining 3,836 feet, or 124 feet less than three-quarters of a
mile, there are two little tunnels, one 523 and one 91 feet. During the
hours the sun is above the horizon, complete light is never absent in
the 91 feet tunnel—the train is no sooner in it than it is out again;
and in the longer one there is for a moment or so “a dim religious
light,” and then it is actual daylight. The amount of this, however,
must depend upon the season of the year at which the passenger goes
through it. In certain dark days of November it is hard to say which is
the darker of the two—the tunnel or the daylight.

The foregoing measurements will be readily understood by reference to
the diagram herewith appended. It is a section of the Metropolitan
Railway from end to end.

As regards its ventilation we shall speak presently.


  _Horizontal Scale_ 2000 ft—1 _inch_      _Engineer, John Fewler, Esq._
  _Vertical Scale_ 40 ft—1 _inch_  _General Manager, Myles Fenton, Esq._

There are two railways in connection with the Metropolitan Railway,
which are also to be carried underneath portions of London. The
Metropolitan District Railway, when finished, will form the southern
side of the inner railway circle that is to encompass London. It
connects at Kensington, with the “Metropolitan Extension Railway”
(a continuation from Paddington of the Metropolitan Railway). This
extension is to run through Brompton to Pimlico, where it will be in
closest proximity to the Victoria Stations of the London, Chatham and
Dover, and of the London, Brighton and South Coast Companies; from
there to Westminster Bridge, whence it is carried along, and, in fact,
forms part of, the Thames Embankment, to Blackfriars Bridge. Here it
is again in close contact, although at a different level, with the
line of the London, Chatham and Dover Company, near its Ludgate Hill
station. Proceeding eastward, it is carried as far as Trinity Square,
Tower Hill, where it is to meet the eastern “Metropolitan Extension” of
the Metropolitan Railway. These two sections finished, the whole inner
Metropolitan circle will be completed. The distance from Kensington to
Trinity Square is 33,150 lineal feet, or 6 miles and 1,470 feet, of
which a little more than a third—that is, 10,974 feet—or 2 miles and
414 feet, are open cuttings or glass-covered stations, and a little
less than two-thirds, or 4 miles and 1,056 feet, are in tunnel. The
open cuttings and the tunnels are constantly alternating; the three
longest of the latter are 665 feet; one is close to Gloucester Road
Station, Brompton; one is at Tothill Street, Westminster; and the third
is in the Thames Embankment. The gradients are favourable, there being
only 2,352 feet (or less than half a mile) of 1 in 100, or 52 feet in
the mile. These are all situated between Blackfriars Bridge and Trinity
Square, Tower Hill. In addition to the foregoing main line of the
Metropolitan District Line, there is to be a railway from Kensington
High Street to join the West London Railway—the line that connects the
London and North-Western and the Great Western railway systems north of
the Thames with the Clapham Junction Station on the south. From Clapham
Junction there is unbroken connection with all parts of the London and
South-Western, and the London, Brighton and South Coast Railways.

The length of the Kensington and West London Extension of the
Metropolitan District Extension is to be 7,470 feet, or 450 feet less
than a mile and a half, of which 5,565 are to be entirely open, 525
station roof and 1,380 covered way.

The St. John’s Wood Railway, which starts from the Baker Street Station
of the Metropolitan Railway, is in tunnel throughout, and is a series
of stiff gradients, culminating with the stiffest of all at its St.
John’s Wood end. The line is 2¾ miles long, and its total rise in
this length will be 255 feet, but the elevations are very unequally
distributed. Starting from Baker Street Station, it proceeds for a
short distance on a level, and then it rises 1 in 90 and 1 in 44 to
the Regent’s Canal. From the canal the line descends slightly, and
then at three quarters of a mile from Baker Street will commence an
ascent of 1 in 60, or at the rate of 88 feet in the mile, for 660
yards. Then follows an incline of the same length of 1 in 150 (35
feet in the mile), then for 440 yards nearly level, except, just for
a few yards, 1 in 80. At one mile and 1,320 yards from Baker Street
commences a gradient of 1 in 27, or 196 feet in the mile for a length
of 1,320 yards. Half way up the gradient will be a station, but the
steepness of the gradient will be diminished for about 200 feet to 1
in 250, or 21 feet in the mile. Mr. John Fowler, the President of the
Institution of Civil Engineers, is engineer of the Metropolitan, the
Metropolitan District, and the St. John’s Wood Railway Companies. The
construction of an extension of this last-named line to Hampstead has
been authorised.

The longest tunnel in Europe _over_ land and over water is the
Britannia Tubular Bridge built across the Menai Straits, parallel to
and some mile and a-quarter from Telford’s beautiful Suspension Bridge
opened for road traffic in 1829. It is 1,834 feet 9 inches long, and
in fact consists of two independent wrought iron tubes, each placed
alongside of the other. There are four spans, two of 460 feet each,
and two of 230—that is, the tubes rest upon two abutments and three
towers of masonry—at an elevation of 100 feet above high water mark.
The tower called the Britannia Tower is built upon a solid rock that
projects above high water nearly in the centre of the Channel. The
summit of this tower is 130 feet higher than the level of the railway
in the tubes. The total weight of iron in the tubes is 9,360 tons, each
tube of 460 feet weighs 1,587 tons, each of 230 feet weighs 753 tons,
but these weights of iron are greatly in excess of what would be put
in tubular bridges of like spans at the present time; and for a length
but little exceeding a third of a mile, one tube, and not two, would be
considered more than sufficient for all traffic, in both directions,
that could be conveyed through it. The tubular bridge across the
Conway River, forty-five miles from Chester, consists of two tubes
placed alongside each other, each is 400 feet long and 1,180 tons. The
combined cost of the two bridges, Britannia and Conway, is always set
down at a million sterling. Now-a-days they would be constructed for
about half that amount.

But Canada, or rather the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, can put
forward the boast that it possesses the longest over-land-and-water
tunnel in the world. The Victoria Railway Bridge is constructed across
the River St. Lawrence just above the ancient city of Montreal. The
entire length of this stupendous structure is 3,470 yards, or exactly
50 yards less than 2 miles. The tube is approached on each side by a
solid abutment, that on the north side being 266 yards long, on the
south 400 yards. Deducting these measurements from the total length of
the bridge, the tunnel or tubular portion of it is 2,804 yards long,
or 164 yards more than a mile and a-half. In addition to the abutments
there are 24 piers of masonry which it is impossible to exceed in
grandly massive strength and solidity. The current of the St. Lawrence
runs where the bridge is constructed at a rate never less than six
miles an hour, and in some parts of the stream its rate is ten. The
real giant force, however, which the piers have to resist is the ice
at its breaking up some time between the last ten days of each April
and the first six or seven of each May. The late Mr. Robert Stephenson
the engineer of this bridge, as well as those at the Menai Straits and
at Conway, estimated the ice pressure on some of the central piers of
the Victoria Bridge at six thousand tons each. It is therefore not to
be wondered that there is no stone opposed to the current at each of
these piers which weighs less than ten tons, and that all should be
clamped together by massive bars of iron drilled into each block, and
held fast for ever by molten lead poured into each interstice. The
total amount of masonry in the bridge is 3,000,000 cubic feet, or about
22,000 tons. There are 25 tubes or spans of which 24 are 130 feet long
each, and the centre, which is 60 feet above the surface of the water,
is 242 feet long. The total amount of iron in the structure is 10,400
tons. The contractors for the bridge were Messrs. Peto & Betts, their
resident engineer was Mr. James Hodges, and to him the chief merit in
connection with the construction is due. Its cost was £1,350,000. It
was opened for traffic at the period of the Prince of Wales’ visit to
Canada and the United States in 1860.

So far as regards tunnels actually constructed. We now come to speak
of tunnels suggested. These may he divided into two classes—tunnels
under rivers and tunnels under the ocean. Of the former, the first
to he mentioned is that proposed to he constructed under the Mersey,
to connect its Cheshire and Lancashire sides together. The scheme is
propounded by Mr. John Hawkshaw, the eminent engineer, in a letter
which he addressed to the Mersey Dock and Harbour Board, on the 31st
of August last. Mr. Hawkshaw having stated that it is evident a bridge
or viaduct over the river would interfere with the navigation, whilst
the sand-stone rock which underlies its bed affords facilities for the
construction of a tunnel, proceeds to show that the river should be
crossed between New Brighton and Bootle, that being the best point for
connecting together the dock lines of railway on each side of the river

The cost is set forth as follows:—

Total length of lines 9¼ miles; length of tunneling, 4,800 lineal
yards: estimated cost £785,000.

The lowness of the estimate is owing to it not being necessary to
pass through valuable property, or important commercial buildings of
any kind. Nevertheless Mr. Hawkshaw feels that the usual allowance
for contingencies should be increased from 10 to 20 per cent. on the
outlay. Still it brings the total amount considerably under a million.
Mr. Hawkshaw does not ask the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board to be at
the total cost of these works, however important it is that the two
several portions of the board’s establishment should be closely united
in the manner which this tunnel accomplishes, but that it should only
contribute a portion of the outlay—an outlay which he considers will
not be more than a third of what will be required for accomplishing
any other of the schemes that have been proposed for carrying a tunnel
under the Mersey.

In 1864 the Dublin Trunk Connecting Railway obtained an Act for the
construction of a railway in the immediate vicinity of Dublin. Part of
the plan sanctioned by Parliament is a tunnel under the Liffey, less
than half a mile from its mouth. The depth of the tunnel-top under
the bed of the river will be 20 feet. The stratum of limestone rock
is curiously placed where the tunnel is to be pierced. The bottom of
it will rest upon the rock, but the tunnel itself will be constructed
through the superjacent clay. It will be lined with brick in cement.
Its length under the river is to be 324 yards, and the approaches to
it, which are to be constructed in the manner known as “cut and cover,”
are to be 430 yards each. The gradients on both sides will be 1 in 70,
or 75½ feet in the mile. The cost is estimated by Mr. John Burke, the
engineer for its construction, at £200 per yard forward.

A proposal has recently been made to construct a tunnel under the
Humber from Barton to Hessle, close to Hull. A bridge over the river
has often been spoken of; but its estimated cost, £700,000, render its
construction hopeless. It is considered that the tunnel, which would
be about 2,000 yards long, could be constructed for £150 a yard, and,
with an allowance of £50,000 for approaches, the total cost would
not exceed £350,000. It is not probable, however, that the railway
companies concentrating on both sides of the river would find it to
their interests, at all events at present, to carry this project into
execution. The company that would most benefit by it would be the
Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire.

Mr. Peter W. Barlow, civil engineer, has recently obtained permission
from the City Commissioners of Sewers to construct a subway beneath
the Thames, which is to be carried from Lower Thames Street to the
opposite shore of the river. The dimensions of the subway are to be
sufficient to allow a loaded omnibus to pass through it. If constructed
economically, there is no reason why it should not answer commercially.

We perceive by recent accounts from America that it was originally
intended to connect the railways concentrating on both banks of the
Mississippi at St. Louis, by a tunnel under the bed of the river; but
this plan has been abandoned, and instead of it a “sub-aqueous iron
tubular bridge” is to be laid on the bed of the river, which is about
half a mile wide in this vicinity.

The difficulties connected with crossing the upper Indus at Attock, a
thousand miles from its mouth, and 940 feet above sea level, have long
been felt. Colonel Robertson, of the Madras Staff Corps, therefore,
proposed a scheme for going under instead of over it. In his report on
the subject submitted to Government in 1859, he stated that, as the
geological formation at Attock, is a compact slate rock, it is easily
worked; and under the bed of the river it is apparently not broken by
any great fissures which might possibly endanger the tunnel. Colonel
Robertson fixed the upper level of the excavation for the tunnel at
60 feet under low water cold weather mark, or, at the water’s deepest
point, 20 feet below the bed of the river; the lining of the tunnel to
be 2 feet thick, and as its height is 20 feet, the foundation level
would be 82 feet below the low water level. To guard against all risk
of inundation through floods, which raise the level of the river from
50 to 92 feet (it was at the latter height in 1841), the two entrances
of the tunnel are to be 100 feet above low water level. The width of
the river at the point selected is 1,215 feet. This portion of the
tunnel is to be nearly on the level; but the gradient of the approaches
to it on each side, each 3,720 long, is to be 1 in 40, or at the rate
of 132 feet in the mile; the total length of actual tunnel to be 7,215
feet, as some portion of each approach is to be in open cutting. There
are ten shafts, each 600 feet apart, except at the actual river, where
they are 1,580 feet apart. In 1860 the works were commenced, and a
drift gallery had been nearly carried through, when all operations were
suspended; but it is intended that they be resumed in prospect of the
railway between Lahore and Pesshawer being constructed. The revived
estimate makes the cost of the tunnel £105,000, if the gradient on each
side be 1 in 20; but if it be flattened to 1 in 30, the estimate is

The greatest tunnels that we know of connected with mining
(irrespective of galleries for working in mines) are the great drainage
galleries at the mines of Clausthal, in the Hartz, 11,377 yards, or
6½ miles long, and in many parts 900 feet below the surface of the
superjacent mountain. The second is the _Great Adit_, which drains
several of the important mines in the parish of Gwennap, Cornwall. It
is from 30 to 60 feet below the surface, and is 30 miles long. There is
an adit level of 10,000 yards to the celebrated silver-mines of Norway.

There are two modes by which it is proposed to carry a subway between
France and England,[134] the first is by means of iron tubes laid on
the bed of the ocean, the other is by actual tunnel. At the present
time no less than three competitors present themselves for the honour
of constructing the former, and there is only one whose scheme is
before the public for the latter. The three advocates for the tubular
system are Mr. James Chalmers, Mr. B. Hilmer, and M. Thome de Gammond,
of Paris. Each has his mode of laying down and connecting the tubes
together, but the great and distinguishing feature of the plan of M.
De Gammon, is that he proposes to construct a great oceanic station,
which is to be a kind of half-way halting house between the two shores.
Here also is to be a harbour and three ship’s basins, so that any one
returning from a long voyage and being in a hurry to get either to
London or to Paris, or to any other place—it signifies not where—in
England or the Continent, might land and at once proceed upon the
_terra firma_ portion of his journey. In the centre of the harbour
there is to be a huge shaft 330 yards in diameter, which would serve
the double purpose of ventilating the tunnel, and of providing means
of ingress and egress between the _Islet de Varne_ station and the
upper and outer world. All these great advantages—tunnel, shaft, and
railway—are to obtained at the cost, as estimated by M. De Gammond, of

[Illustration: SECTION OF



 From “Engineering” #/ ]

The advocates for the tubes insist that theirs is the right system,
in consequence of its having been publicly stated that Mr. Hawkshaw
has satisfied himself by many borings that the bottom of the English
channel between Dover and Cape Grinez, has too many and too deep
“faults” to permit of tunnelling. Mr. George Remington, C.E., however,
considers he gets over the difficulty by avoiding the line originally
selected for the Anglo-French tunnel. He therefore proposes Dungenness
as his English starting point. The depths of the tunnel is, says Mr.
Remington, to be from 90 to 130 feet below the bed of the channel,
and there are to be three main shafts, the first at the point of
Dungenness, the second on the shoal in mid-channel, where there are
only eleven feet at low water spring tide, and the third at Cape
Grinez. These shafts are to be 100 feet diameter, and being carried
up considerably above the sea are to act as lighthouses. It would be
inconsistent with the character of this work to enter into an account
of the technical details which Mr. Remington proposes to adopt. We
shall, therefore, limit ourselves to saying that in addition to the
three intended permanent shafts, it is likewise proposed to put down
ten temporary shafts, the cost of each of which is not to exceed
£20,000. With these thirteen shafts, says the editor of _Engineering_,
“the tunnel may be carried on in twenty-six sections, and the distance
from shore to shore being twenty-six miles, gives only one mile for
each section, or two miles for a shaft, and assuming an advance of only
one yard a day for each headway, the whole distance may be accomplished
in about five and a-half years,” exclusive of the couple of years
required for sinking the shafts.

The following is Mr. Remington’s estimate:—

  56,320 yards run of tunnelling of £100    £5,632,000
  Three main shafts, at £50,000                150,000
  Ten temporary shafts, at £19,800             198,000
  Six miles of approaches, at £20,000          120,000
  36 miles of permanent way, at £4,500         162,000
  Stations                                     100,000
  Contingencies                                636,200
      Total                                 £6,998,200

Is it practicable? An excellent authority, although, no doubt, a little
of the “go-a-head” class, says, “Yes,” and informs the world that
there is judicious “provision for gas lighting, water pipes, electric
telegraph and proper drainage, and indeed all that can be desired to
make the passage through the tunnel as safe and comfortable as transit
on the Metropolitan Railway.” On the other hand, there is the opinion
of Mr. Hawkshaw, whose borings we have just referred to. Have they
been extended as far to the westward as the diagonal line, or course,
proposed by Mr. Remington, and do the “faults” extend to a depth of
from 80 to 130 feet below the bed of the ocean? At all events, thinking
it would interest our readers, we have had engraved the section of
the tunnel from the drawing of it, which was recently published in
_Engineering_, and it is herewith inserted.

There is no incident or occurrence in life, no matter how solemn or
serious it may be, that cannot, in some way or another, contribute
to travestie and amusement. We shall therefore, conclude our notice
of “Tunnels suggested,” with the following piece of pleasantry
extracted from a recent number of the _Scientific American_—“A gigantic
engineering project is now the sensation out West—a tunnel under the
Atlantic for a railway! The plans are already supposed to be drawn up,
complete in detail. Even to lighting the cars with the magnesium and
electric lights. The undertaking is to employ one hundred thousand
men for thirty years, and when completed it will take the trains
but five days to do the journey from Newfoundland to Ireland, _viâ_
the telegraph route. The amount of capital required is estimated at
two billions five hundred million dollars.” Well may the Editor of
_Engineering_ lift up his hands and exclaim, GOOD GRACIOUS!



[Illustration: SECTION OF THE





By some authorities, the great tunnel of the Alps is called the “Mont
Cenis Tunnel.” But this appellation is a misnomer, as the tunnel is
as far as 15 miles distant from the Cenis Mountain. It is in reality
carried through the Great Vallon Mountain, the narrowest of the Alpine
range which separates France from Italy. Nevertheless, between the spot
where the tunnel enters the mountain at Modane, on the French side, and
makes its exit at Bardoneche on the Italian, there is an intervening
distance of more than 7½ miles. It is opposite to Fourneaux, a village
1½ mile from the village of Modane, that the Modane entrance of the
tunnel commences. It is 3,709 feet above the level of the sea, and it
is at an elevation of about 150 feet over the roadway of the Mont Cenis
Pass, between St. Michel and Lanslebourg. It is visible on the right
hand side as a traveller is going from France towards Italy.

The Bardoneche entrance is not visible, as it is in the midst of the
mountains, far away from any roadway, and 426 feet higher above the
level of the sea than the Modane entrance.

At Lanslebourg, the road which has, for all the distance from St.
Michel, run nearly due east, makes a sudden turn to south-west and
continues in this direction to Susa. The course of the tunnel is
south-west throughout its entire length. It is consequently parallel or
nearly parallel to the Mont Cenis Road, between Lanslebourg and Susa;
although, as just stated, they are about 15 miles apart.

The following little outline will convey to the reader an idea of the
relative positions of tunnel and railway.


We have drawn a straight line between Lanslebourg and Susa, solely
for representing the general direction of the road; but in reality
the road is a cork-screw with fully as constant deviation from the
straight line as is exhibited by that useful article of domestic
economy, and perhaps we could not find a better manner of illustrating
the difference between an ordinary road on the level, and one on or
through a mountain passway. If the iron of a cork-screw went straight
from where it is fastened to the handle, to its point or extremity,
it would measure about three inches, but its convolutions extend it
to ten. It is precisely the same with the road between Lanslebourg
and Susa. If it were on the plain it would measure about seven miles;
but its convolutions, its twists and its turns, its zig-zags, and its
_lacets_ convert seven into twenty-five. The length of the tunnel when
completed will be 12,220 metres, or 7½ English miles and 242 yards. It
consequently exceeds by about 4½ miles, the next longest railway tunnel
on the continent of Europe, that of Lanerthe, on the Paris, Lyons and
Mediterranean Railway already referred to.

The Tunnel of the Alps has a double nationality, it is half, exactly
half, French, and exactly half Italian. By the convention of 1856,
between the Governments of Sardinia and France, 6,110 metres of
perforation and of lining were to be made at the expense of each
country, but the whole of the works were to be done by Italy
exclusively. They were commenced on each side of the mountain in 1857.
For the first 3½ years, that is, until the end of 1860, the process
of perforation was performed by manual labour only; in 1861 and 1862
it was partly by manual labour and partly by machinery; since 1862,
machinery has been exclusively adopted.

The following Table sets forth the progress made on each side since the
commencement of the work.


  —————┬———————————┬——————————┼——————————┬——————————┤    GENERAL TOTAL.
  Year.│ Progress. │   Total. │ Progress.│   Total. │
       │  M.    C .│  M.    C.│  M.   C. │  M.   C. │  M.   C. │  M.  C.
       │[135] [136]│          │          │          │          │
       │           │          │          │          │          │
  By Hand Labour.  │          │          │          │          │
  1857 │  10    80 │          │  27   28 │          │  38    8 │
  1858 │ 201    25 │          │ 257   57 │          │ 459   82 │
  1859 │ 132    75 │          │ 236   35 │          │ 369   10 │
  1860 │ 139    50 │          │ 203   80 │          │ 343   30 │
  1861 │ 193    00 │          │  00   00 │          │ 193    0 │
  1862 │ 243    00 │          │   ....   │          │ 243    0 │
       ├———————————┤ 921    0 ├——————————┤ 725    0 ├——————————┤1646   0
       │           │          │          │          │          │
  By Machinery.    │          │          │          │          │
  1861 │   ....    │          │ 170    0 │          │ 170    0 │
  1862 │   ....    │          │ 380    0 │ 380    0 │          │
  1863 │ 376   00  │          │ 426    0 │          │ 802    0 │
  1864 │ 466   65  │          │ 621   20 │          │1087   85 │
  1865 │ 458   40  │          │ 765   30 │          │1223   70 │
  1866 │ 212   29  │          │ 812   70 │          │1024   99 │
  1867 │ 317   98  │          │ 456   60 │          │ 774   58 │
  [137]│           │          │          │          │          │
       ├———————————┤ 1831  32 ├——————————┤3631   80 ├——————————┤5463  12
       │           ├——————————┤          ├——————————┤          ├————————
       │           │ 2752  32 │          │4356   80 │          │7109  12

The rate of progress given in the foregoing Table is very different
from what was expected previous to the commencement of the works. It
was then anticipated that the tunnel would be excavated from end to end
before the close of 1864, but it was not until the 15th of October,
1866, or 9¼ years after operations had been begun, that exactly
one-half was perforated. On the 1st November, 1867, the half had been
exceeded by 1,958 metres, still leaving 4,152 metres to be excavated.
The amount of perforation accomplished on the two sides of the mountain
has always been unequal, for of the 4,152 metres yet to be excavated,
2,905, equal to about 1⅞ mile, have to be accomplished on the French
side, whilst on the Italian there are two-thirds of a mile. This will
be understood by an explanation of the strata through which the tunnel
is to be carried. Commencing at Modane, there are 2,140 metres of
schist, then 363 of quartz, followed by 2,706 of compact limestone, and
finally 901 of schist. This completes one half; the other, or Italian
half, is all schist. The only rock comparatively easy in working is the
schist, but from the commencement the schist on the French side was of
a more resisting character than that on the Italian. The miners came
upon the quartz exactly where they expected to find it, but instead of
its being a stratum 400 metres thick, as was anticipated, it turned out
to be only 363 metres; nevertheless, it required two years, less two
months, to bring it into subjection, that is, from the 15th of June,
1865, until the 20th of April, 1867,—the progress forward during all
that time, not much exceeding half a metre (about 20 inches) a-day. The
compact limestone nearest to the quartz having been partly decomposed
by the action of this latter, was very workable. Hence, during May and
part of June 1867, the advance was very considerable, but since June
the compact limestone has proved to be harder but not so difficult to
work upon as the quartz. For six weeks the engineers were hopeful that
they could go on at the rate of three metres a-day. If such progress
could have been unflinchingly maintained, the excavation on the French
side could have been accomplished by August 1870. With two metres a-day
it will require until March 1872; but if, the advance do not exceed a
metre and a-half a-day for two-thirds of the whole distance, the tunnel
cannot be perforated under six years, which brings the date to July,

But the perforation of the rock is not the only serious impediment to
progress. All things that live and breathe, miners among the number,
require air for their sustenance; and, in order to supply it in
sufficient quantities for the support of the human moles within the
interior of the tunnel, it has been necessary to resort to special
appliances for this purpose. Immense machinery, moved by water-power
of an aggregate force for each end of about 400 horses, erected at
both entrances of the tunnel, works not only the boring machines,
but, at the same time, furnishes the miners with the necessary
ventilation. The air is compressed to five atmospheres by means of
the water-power just referred to; and the double application of the
air is the ingenious contrivance of Messrs. Someilier, Grandis and
Grattoni, the distinguished Italian engineers, under whom the works
are conducted. Until recently the ventilation, although indifferent
except at the site of the boring machines, was excellent in their
vicinity; but with each metre that the works progress farther into the
mountain, the difficulties of ventilation are added to; especially so
on the French side, and for a reason that will at once, on a moment’s
explanation, be evident to the reader. When the boring machines have
made the usual holes in the rock about three feet deep, they are
filled with gunpowder, and exploded. Now, if the excavation of the
mountain had been made partly by adit and partly by shaft, as soon
as one of the latter had been made, the smoke from each explosion
beyond it would have found vent through it to the outer air, and in
a few minutes the forward face of the tunnel would be ready for the
fresh action of the boring machines. But as there is no shaft in the
Cenis Tunnel, the whole of the smoke created by each explosion has
only one means of exit—that is, through the tunnel’s mouth. Smoke, in
its escape, wants to ascend (as we know by our everyday experience),
but it cannot do so for the want of a shaft; it cannot get out even on
the level, for the gradient in the tunnel on the French side is, on an
average, 1 in 45, or 117 feet 4 inches per mile. As the perforation
had, on the 1st November last, been accomplished to the extent of 3,205
metres, the face of the tunnel was about 226 feet higher than the
entrance,—consequently, the smoke of each explosion at the present time
is not only not able to come out on the level, but it has actually to
descend the number of feet just stated before it can commingle with the
outer air; and the number of these feet of elevation wall continually
increase, until, at the end of the French perforation, there will be
429. We believe it is a matter of fact, that the ventilation is every
day becoming worse, and the means of supplying the requisite air are
becoming more difficult with each metre of advance made, and so it must
continue until the final perforation has been (for no doubt it will
be) accomplished.[138] On the Italian half, the rock is throughout,
schist, and the gradient, being only one in 2,000, or 2-8/25 per mile,
all the elements for progress will continue to be, comparatively, as
favourable as they have hitherto been; and even with a much less rapid
rate of advance than on the French side, it requires no great gift of
prophesy to “forecaste” that the boring machines from Italy will be
ready to embrace those from France long before the latter shall have
arrived at the midway point. But let it be understood that the works
from the Italian side cannot go on a yard beyond midway,—first, on
account of the gradient, which would dam up all the water percolating
into the tunnel; second, because it would be impossible to keep the
line of the tunnel, owing to the absence of all the external landmarks
required for ensuring its correct direction. The embrace we have just
referred to will take place 4,138 feet above the level of the sea,
1,645 above the level of St. Michel, 429 above the Modane entrance of
the tunnel, but only 2-8/25 above that at Bardoneche, 2,360 above the
level of Susa, about 5,360 feet _below_ the highest point of the Great
Vallon Mountain, and 2,520 feet below the summit of the Mont Cenis

What might have proved a source of great trouble and expense—water—has
fortunately not as yet on any one occasion presented itself in a manner
to cause alarm or even uneasiness. We need not therefore refer to
this subject in any detail, but before proceeding to as important an
element as any with which the tunnel is encompassed—cost—we had better
state that the arch of the tunnel is a semicircle 25 feet 3½ inches at
its base, 26 feet 3 at its broadest part, and 24 feet 7 inches high.
(See diagram.)

Captain Tyler in his report of 1866, sets down the total cost of the
tunnel and its 34½ miles of approaches at £5,400,000, or £128,500 per
mile. Now we know that up to the present time each metre of tunnel
excavated and lined (for it is to be lined throughout from stone
quarried near to each entrance, with an occasional introduction of
brickwork) costs 7,000 francs, or £280. This would bring its total cost
exclusive of permanent way, which would be, say £30,000, to £3,421,600,
but we believe that the farther the tunnel is penetrated, the expenses
will increase rather in geometrical than arithmetical proportion,
and that the average cost of the tunnel will not be 7,000 francs or
£280 “_per metre courant_,” but 10,000 francs or £400. If this be so,
the cost of the tunnel, without permanent way, would be £5,188,000.
To this sum has to be added the cost of the 34½ miles of approaches.
The nature and the probable cost of the works can be appreciated from
the fact that they are now about to be let, and the contract time for
their completion is to be four years and a-half from the date of their
commencement. These 34½ miles of double railway cannot be estimated at
less than £60,000 a mile or £2,070,000, making the total cost of the
tunnel and of the railways which connect it with the railways of France
to the north, and with those of Italy to the south, £7,258,000, or at
the rate of £172,800 per mile. Possibly, if the construction were in
the hands of a railway company instead of those of two governments, a
saving of a million or so might be effected, but in any case the cost
would be upwards of £6,000,000, or nearly £142,850 a mile.

In connection with the subject of cost, a calculation of Captain
Tyler’s gives the following results. The difference, says the Captain,
of elevation between the outer summit of the Mont Cenis Pass and the
summit of the railway through the tunnel is 2,520 feet. The excess of
working expenses in consequence of this difference of height, estimated
on a traffic ten times as great as that which passed over the Mont
Cenis in 1865, and the cost of traction per horse power and per hour
being taken at 2¼d. (the cost on the Sœmmering and the Giovi), an
additional capital of £650,000, or £13,000 a mile, with interest taken
at 6 per cent., is represented. If then £13,000 a mile be added to
the £21,000 actual cost per mile of a permanent Alpine railway, the
total cost of a railway _on_ the mountain becomes, for the purposes of
comparison, £34,000 a mile, as against whatever may be the cost per
mile for the Tunnel Railway and its approaches. If they cost £142,850 a
mile, the comparison will be as 31 to 142; but, if, as we believe, the
cost will be £172,800, then the proportion will be at 31 to 172.

A few years ago people could think or speak of nothing else for the
Alps but tunnels; there was to be a tunnel railway through the Simplon,
one through the St. Gothard, and as immediately to the eastward of the
Great St. Gothard range, there is a rapid diminution of elevation of
the Alpine mountain, no less than three passes were named as suitable
for tunnels, the special advantage of each being that they could be
constructed by means both of shaft and of adit. These three passes
commencing near Dissentis, run from north to south, and each, as it
were, starting from one root, branches off and follows its own course
through its own system of valleys, but the three unite in a common pass
about two miles to the south of Olivione. They are called respectively
the Cristillina (the easternmost), the Greina (the centre), and the
Lukmanier (the westernmost). The length of tunnel suggested for the
Cristillina was the most modest of all, only seven miles; for the
Greina it was to be twelve and a-half miles, whilst that for the
Luckmanier was proposed to be fifteen miles, nearly but not quite
double that now constructing under the Great Vallon Mountain. But
if the tunnel of the Lukmanier was to be the longest, its advocates
were able to assert in its favour, that not only could the shafts be
numerous, but that not one of them need be at a greater depth from the
surface than two hundred yards. Well, notwithstanding these supposed
advantages, these long tunnel railways have ever since remained a dead
letter, and have long ago been consigned to rest in the wide laying
burial ground of Utopia. We shall one of these days (_probably_, in
four or five years) have _one_ tunnel through the Alps; we are not
likely in this or the succeeding generation to have a second.

At a very early period in the history of English Railways, the
ventilation of tunnels came to be considered a very important question,
and as usual on such occasions, ignorance furnished an immense number
of facts and realities which experience showed to be nothing but
fictions. It was in deference to the highly wrought popular feeling
on the subject, when every manner of evil was prognosticated for
travellers going through tunnels, that the late Mr. R. Stephenson was
induced to construct the large ventilating shafts on both the Kilsby
and the Watford tunnels of the London and North-Western Railway. There
are two shafts in each of these tunnels, the diameter of each of the
four being sixty feet. They may be said to divide the tunnels into
three distinct parts, the periods of going along each space of sixty
feet being perfectly appreciable by the traveller. The ventilation
is no doubt better in consequence of the execution of these gigantic
shafts; but experience has long since shown that shafts nine to twelve
feet in the clear, are quite sufficient for all ventilating purposes,
no matter how much the tunnel may be below the earth’s surface.

We are indebted to Mr. Charles S. Storrow, an American engineer of
reputation, for a great deal of very interesting information upon
the subject of the ventilation of tunnels, and the state of the
atmosphere in them during and subsequent to the passage of trains. Mr.
Storrow was sent to Europe in 1862, by the commissioners of the State
of Massachusetts, which had been appointed by legislative action,
in relation to the construction of the Great Hoosac tunnel already
referred to. The tunnel first visited by Mr. Storrow, in England, was
the Box Tunnel, of which in his report he furnishes a section. Its
length is 3,227 yards; its gradient throughout is 1 in 100. It has
five shafts, each being twenty-five feet in internal diameter. But
this diameter is, as just stated, now considered to be unnecessary.
The deepest shaft is 300 feet.[139] Mr. Storrow experienced no
inconvenience as regards ventilation when going through the tunnel in
passenger trains. On one occasion he proceeded through the tunnel in
a hand car—“a passenger train passed us” says Mr. Storrow, “on the
other track to that which we were on. It filled the tunnel with smoke
and produced perfect darkness, so that the other ends of the tunnel
(which had been seen most distinctly previous to the passage of the
train) could not any longer be seen, and on removing the lights we were
carrying, the person who sat at my side talking with me and touching
me, was absolutely invisible. With all this, however, there was nothing
troublesome to respiration. As we proceeded and successively passed
the large shafts, a ray of light appeared directly under them, which,
a moment afterwards was lost in intense darkness, and this continued
until we reached the other end of the tunnel, after an interval of
fifteen or twenty minutes from the passage of the express train.”
Mr. Storrow was informed that “the ventilation of the tunnel depends
a good deal on the weather. Whenever a strong clear wind blows, the
smoke disappears very readily, but in fogs it is quite troublesome to
the workmen. I could not find, however, that it seriously interfered
with their work. Indeed there never was a time when it could not be
done, if required. No artificial means had ever been used to ventilate
the tunnel, but the passage of quick trains going through it in the
ordinary course of the operations of the road, is a powerful agent
for this purpose. With the steep grade of 1 in 100, the steam, on the
descent of the tunnel, is nearly or quite shut off, and the train
passes quickly through. The first engine which passed us, moving
down the grade, produced no sensible effect upon the air, but in
ascending the tunnel there is a very great expenditure of steam;
the trains moving slowly, and heavy trains are assisted by a second
engine. All this of course vitiates the air. The quick passage of a
train always produces a current in the direction of its motion, and
if made by a train running downward, and therefore using but little
steam, its effect in clearing the tunnel is very marked. This effect
is said, however, to be rather impeded than assisted by the presence
of the shafts, and I found that the persons in charge of the tunnel,
taking this circumstance, and the water admitted into the tunnel by
the shafts, into consideration, would be pleased to have them closed
altogether, and to depend for ventilation upon a natural current from
end to end being caused by difference of temperature, or prevailing
winds, and by the artificial current produced by the passage of quick

“Its most dangerous enemy is frost. In winter enormous icicles are
sometimes formed by the gradual accretion, and if not removed would be
very dangerous.”

Of the Sapperton tunnel on the Birmingham and Gloucester section of the
Midland railway, 1,760 yards long,[140] Mr. Storrow says, “the grade is
very steep, 1 in 70, or 75½ feet to the mile. Hence, in running up the
tunnel a great deal of power is required, and an assistant locomotive
is kept constantly in use. This, of course, creates a large additional
development of smoke and steam, so that after the passage of a single
heavy freight train up, the smoke would fill the tunnel for hours, and
be quite offensive. Formerly coke was used on English railways, but
latterly coal (which, as we know, produces a much greater volume of
smoke) is now universally used. All agree that this change has been
very injurious in tunnels. At the Sapperton tunnel the assistant engine
is usually run down the tunnel immediately after the train has passed
up, and thus assists in clearing away the smoke, but a quick passenger
train running down the steep incline at great speed is found to be far
more effectual, and is indeed the only effectual ventilation.”[141]

“The inspector of the road, who accompanied me, thought the opening in
the shaft of some use, and said the men wanted it. The superintendent
thought it of no use whatever, and that it was something of a nuisance
from the water which dripped from it. He was of opinion that after a
tunnel was constructed, it would he better to close all shafts, and to
trust to quick trains for ventilation. As the tunnel now is, the men
continue in it all day, whenever necessary, though they do not like it,
but if two freight trains should follow each other without the smoke
being cleared away, it would be very difficult for them to work, and if
four trains followed each other, it would be impossible.”

In confirmation of the view that tunnels are better for ventilation
without shafts, than with them, Mr. Storrow gives the particulars of
interesting conversations he had with Mr. Brotherhood and Mr. Brassey
upon the subject. Both say that numerous shafts are unnecessary for
ventilation. They make eddies and currents, and interfere with each
other. Mr. Brassey particularly says, that the passage of a train at
quick speed is the best ventilator.

On the whole, although opinions are divided in England, as to the use
of shafts for ventilation after a tunnel is completed, it leans rather
to the side, that unless in very long ones, shafts are of no use and
had better be closed, as they are rather an interference with the
natural current which difference of temperature, or prevailing winds,
generally occasion; they also interfere with the great ventilating
agency of quick trains. A tunnel is compared by many engineers to an
_inclined_ chimney; and, as in the upright chimney, the draft would be
impaired if there were several openings in its side, interfering with
the direct currency of air for ventilation.

The Hauenstein Tunnel (already mentioned in our list of tunnels) is
2,731 yards long; it is straight throughout, and has a uniform gradient
of 1 in 139. Three shafts were commenced in the construction of the
tunnel—two only were completed, of which one, by a fearful accident
through fire, that caused the death of between fifty and sixty persons,
became irremediably choked up. The third shaft was used until the
completion of the works, but it was closed immediately afterwards,
and has not since been opened; the tunnel, therefore, is without
ventilating shaft. We have, in the last three years, passed through
this tunnel eight or nine times, and, notwithstanding the slowness of
the pace, never experienced any inconvenience from want of effective
ventilation. Mr. Storrow, who rode on the outside platform of the
carriages (they are on the American plan), expresses the same opinion.
The conductors of both the trains informed him that there is usually
a current of air through the tunnels, and that the smoke disappeared
in from fifteen to twenty minutes. Both complained of its being very
wet from the dripping of water—a fact that we can fully confirm from
personal experience.

Even with goods trains, drawn by two heavy locomotives, which burned
coals, although the tunnel was filled with smoke, Mr. Storrow did not
find respiration so difficult as what he had often experienced when
sitting in a room with a smoky chimney; and he remarked on several
subsequent trips the same day, how quickly the tunnel became free of

The greatest danger to travelling in the Hauenstein, is the falling
down, either of portions of the rock, through which the tunnel is
pierced, or the giving way of portions of its lining, owing to the
water, which is constantly falling, forming into ice. To exclude the
cold, as far as possible, a wooden screen, during winter, covers the
upper part of the arch at each entrance, descending as far as possible,
but allowing sufficient room for the funnel of the locomotive; there
are also canvas curtains which may be drawn across the entrance at
pleasure, and they are invariably so drawn in winter, except at the
very moment of the passage of trains.

The chief engineer of the line is doubtful as to whether there ought
not to be a shaft. At times the current of cold air through the tunnel
is so strong, that it would be an inconvenience to the trains if not
checked by the curtains. They also have the effect of keeping up a
temperature in the tunnel sufficient to prevent the water that drips on
to the rails becoming frozen in winter. Great trouble and inconvenience
were experienced from this cause in the first instance. The freezing of
water, lodged on the rails, has scarcely ever happened during the last
few years.

The time that a train will take to pass through the tunnel of the Alps
must now be considered. If it had been constructed throughout on the
level, or with every favourable gradients, and that a train would be
permitted to run throughout at express speed, it might be conveyed from
entrance to exit in about twelve minutes. This gives a speed of say
thirty-eight miles an hour. But with a gradient, the average of which
is 1 in 45, anything approaching this rate of speed would be simply

Length, however, is not the only element that has to be taken into

M. Auguste Perdonnet, in his “_Traité Elémentaire des Chemins de
Fer_” (Paris 1858-60), says with great truth: “Les fortes pentes sont
plus nuisibles dans les souterrains que dans toute autre partie, d’un
chemin de fer. L’humidité empechant la boue, qui impregne les rails,
de secher, l’ascension de fortes rampes y devient tres penible. Il
faut, donc, s’appliquer a les eviter plus encore dans les tunnels qu’a
ciel ouvert.” No matter how stoutly the tunnel of the Alps may be
lined, and no matter how impenetrably the tunnel may act as a barrier
against infiltration of water, it never can be free from moisture;
not the moisture of a downfall of rain, which washes the rails and
“makes things pleasant,” but it will be one in which will be conbined,
unchemically and therefore loosely, the steam of the engines condensed
into water, minute particles of grease, and smoke; all three will,
_inter alios locos_, find a resting place upon the rails, and they
will thus create on them a thick, clammy, _pasty_ moisture, which will
sensibly diminish the engine’s adhesion, and act as a most serious
impediment to its progress. It will therefore be impossible with the
foregoing elements, and with a gradient of 1 in 45, to calculate on a
higher rate of speed from the Modane entrance to the centre than ten
miles an hour, or six minutes to the mile—twenty-two minutes; and our
belief is that to maintain even this rate of speed it will be necessary
to have a fiercely burning fire in the fire-box and tubes, together
with a plentiful fall of sand from the sand boxes on to the rails. As
soon as the train has arrived at the centre, which is also the summit
of the tunnel, the engine will get relieved, and with the gradient
almost level the second half of the tunnel can, as a simple question
of speed, be run at the highest possible rate. But although it may be
safe, it certainly will not be expedient to do so. At twenty-four miles
an hour the time required would be nine minutes; total, with twenty-two
minutes for the ascent, thirty-one minutes. As regards the journey
from Italy to France, Can a higher rate of speed be permitted for the
descent of the 429 feet in 3¾ miles than was allowed for the ascent?
There appears to us to be but one answer—Certainly not. As regards
danger, we believe that with efficient and powerful engines and proper
brakes, in the hands of steady and competent men, the transit will
not be attended with a particle of danger; but the question arises,
Will travellers generally be of this opinion? Many of both sexes will
undoubtedly consider that they are as safe in the tunnel as during any
other part of their journey; but it is to be feared that the majority
of persons who go through it will not only have vividly present in
their minds a sense of actual danger from material causes, but also a
belief that if they escape any damage from these causes, suffocation
must be a natural result of going through seven and a-half miles of
foul, fetid, and polluted atmosphere, in a long hole never less than
three thousand, and for a tolerable distance five thousand six hundred
feet, below the upper and outer surface of the mountain. Death, if
it do occur, will be caused, not by actual suffocation, but from
some action upon the nervous system, that will produce all the fatal
symptoms of suffocation.

We have had no less than three very recent illustrations of death from
such a cause, no later in fact than in August 1867; for during that
month three inquests were held on three persons who had been taken out
in a dying state from the London Metropolitan Railway. In each case
the suspension of animation took place between Lisson Grove and King’s
Cross Stations, yet the distance (all in tunnel) between them only
slightly exceeds two miles, and there are abundant means of ventilation
at the three intermediate points, Baker Street, Portland Road, and
Gower Street Stations. The verdict in the first case was “accidental
death from natural causes, accelerated by the suffocating atmosphere
of the Underground Railway.” “Death from effusion of serum on the
brain” was the verdict in the second case—in other words, apoplexy;
but as the medical gentleman who made the _post-mortem_ examination,
could not state at the inquest that the atmosphere of the railway had
accelerated death, no reference to it was made in the wording of the

The third case, happening almost immediately afterwards, excited a good
deal of alarm in the public mind; and the alarm was not lessened in
consequence of the publication of several sensational articles in two
or three London newspapers. Therefore, at the opening of the inquest
held upon Elizabeth Stainsley, on the 28th of August, Mr. Myles Fenton,
the General Manager of the company, requested an adjournment until time
had been afforded to obtain analyses of the atmosphere of the tunnels.
Professor Julian Rodgers, of the London Medical School, was engaged by
the Coroner; Drs. Bachhoffner, Letheby and Whitmore by the company.
At the adjourned inquest, held on the 30th of October, Professor
Rodgers submitted his report, in which he stated that he had analysed
and tested the air contained in the tunnels of the railway between
Bishop’s Road and King’s Cross Stations, and he had made comparative
experiments in other tunnels. “The atmosphere in a pure condition,”
continued Professor Rodgers, “consisted of a volume of 79·19 measures
of nitrogen, and 20·81 of oxygen; and every 10,000 measures of air
contained from 3·7 to 6·2 measures of carbonic acid. On the 4th of
September he found that, in 17 cubic inches of air taken from each of
the tunnels between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m., tested for carbonic
acid, with the exception of the air from the Gower Street and King’s
Cross tunnel (which contained a more notable quantity), only a slight
trace of the acid was indicated. On the 10th of September, between 10
and 11 p.m., he determined the quantity of carbonic and sulphurous
acids contained in 17 cubic inches; and during his transit backwards
and forwards from King’s Cross to Bishop’s Road he found 13 measures
of carbonic acid in 10,000 of air, and one measure of sulphurous acid
in 40,789. Carbonic acid was evident in 17 cubic inches of the air
taken from the Gower Street and King’s Cross tunnel. On October 2, in
the same tunnel, he found 18·7 measures of carbonic in 10,000, and one
measure of sulphurous acid in 23,913. On October 28, between 8 and
9 p.m., he found traces of carbonic evident, in 17 cubic inches in
all the tunnels. On the 4th of September he found that the following
were the per centages of oxygen in the tunnels:—Bishop’s Road, 20·48;
Edgware Road, 20·60; Baker Street, 20·30; Portland Road, 20·10; Gower
Street, 18·7. In the Blackheath tunnel, on September 28, it was 20·0.
The air of Pimlico on September 21 contained 20·9. On October 24 the
per centage was as follows:—Box Tunnel, 20·3; Birkenhead Tunnel, 20·1;
Wolverhampton Tunnel, 20·5; at Wellington Barracks, 22·42, at 2 feet 6
inches from the floor.”

Replying to the Coroner, Professor Rodgers said he did not think the
deficiency of oxygen would act injuriously upon a delicate person
passing through the tunnels; and he considered that the amount of
carbonic and sulphurous gases in the tunnels could not have been
injurious to the woman. There was not a sufficient accumulation of
these gases to be of injury to the public health. The woman had eaten
heartily, was laced tightly, and had a diseased heart; he, therefore,
did not think the deficiency of oxygen could have hastened her death.

The joint report of Drs. Bachhoffner, Letheby, and Whitmore was then
read and put in evidence. It stated that the analysers collected
samples of the air on three separate occasions:—First, immediately
after the trains had ceased running at night; second, just before
they commenced running in the morning; and third, in the afternoon,
between four and five o’clock, a period of the day when there was
generally the largest amount of traffic. The samples, twenty-eight in
number, were analysed for sulphurous acid, carbonic acid, carbonic
oxide, coal gas, and oxygen. The presence of sulphurous acid having
been sought by the most delicate chemical test—namely, its action upon
iodic acid and starch, which was capable of showing the presence of
one part by volume of sulphurous acid in 100,000 parts of air, but by
such test the presence of that acid could not be detected; and from
this the analysers concluded that its volume was less than the above
in the tunnels. The mean proportion of carbonic acid was about 6 in
each volume of 10,000. The amounts of coal-gas and of carbonic oxide
were so small as to be barely discoverable. The amount of oxygen in
the tunnels and stations was not in any case deficient. These results
proved that in no instance was the air found to be vitiated to any
material extent, although the air taken in the afternoon was less pure
than that taken at night. The presence of sulphurous acid gas in the
tunnels and stations, which at times was appreciable to both taste and
smell, must not be taken as an indication that this gas existed in
dangerous quantities, for as little as one part of this gas in 100,000
parts of atmospheric air was strongly perceptible both to taste and
smell. The partial combustion of the wood forming the breaks, when
acting upon the tires of the wheels, also produces a pungent smell. The
analysers were of opinion that, having regard to the cubical volume of
the trains, the short time occupied by them in passing through the
tunnels and stations, the large volume of air they displaced, and the
increased impetus given to the horizontal movements of the air by the
rapidity of their transit, the vitiation of the atmosphere could not
be of a serious character, and this accorded with the results of their
analysis. The tunnels were dry and free from infiltration of liquid
or other matters prejudicial to health. The general health of the
_employés_ of the company was such as to afford unquestionable proof
of the sanitary condition of the air in the tunnels. The report ends
thus:—“From the foregoing facts, we are enabled confidently to state
that the atmosphere of the Metropolitan Railway is not unwholesome or
injurious to health.”

Mr. Fenton, general manager, and Mr. Driscoll, an inspector of
the company, having been examined as to the improvements made in
the ventilation of the tunnels, and the absence of complaint from
_employés_ of the company, or from passengers with respect to the
atmosphere, the jury, almost without hesitation, returned a verdict of
“Death from natural causes.”

The singular fact was elicited at the inquest that the peculiarly
“pungent smell” of the tunnel is due rather to the friction of the
brakes, than to any other cause. The partial combustion of the wood
produces a pyroligneous carbo-hydrogen, as Dr. Letheby styled it,
together with a small amount of sulphurous acid gas. These the nose
and lungs will detect sooner than the most delicate chemical tests,
and they are the real producers of the coughing and unpleasant feeling
experienced by some passengers. Such vapours, however, only affect
delicate people. This will account for the fact that people, travelling
through ordinary tunnels, are free from irritation and coughing. The
Metropolitan Railway is the only tunnel in which, owing to stoppages
at intermediate stations, it is necessary to put the brakes on.

The efforts made by the company to ensure the best ventilation and
purest atmosphere possible, are unremitting. Before the opening of the
line an extended series of experiments was made with various specimens
of coke supplied by all the leading coke manufacturers in the kingdom.
That which best bore the crucial tests, to which the specimens were
submitted, is the coke supplied by Messrs. Straker and Lowe from
their Brancepeth Collieries near Durham. Coke for locomotives, and
other purposes, is usually burned seventy-two hours. When coke of a
very superior quality is required (so that all sulphurous and noxious
vapours may, as far as possible, be consumed) it is burned ninety-six
hours, but all coke used on the Metropolitan Railway is burned
twenty-four hours more—that is 120 hours. Special ovens have been built
for burning it, and when the process of combustion is completed, the
coke is, what is well known in railway locomotive phraseology, “hand
picked.” Thus, only the bright coke of each burning is allowed to be
sent to London; any outside or dirty coke, however good it may be in
reality, being kept back. It is, therefore, impossible to procure,
in the whole range of fuel, any more free from ingredients likely to
produce unpleasant smell, or to affect respiration.

A few words must be said with respect to the peculiar construction
of the engines. In the first place the parts are so arranged that
no steam whatever escapes into the tunnel. This is accomplished by
having a large tank on each side of the engine. These tanks together
contain about 1,000 gallons of water. The exhaust steam is turned into
them, instead of through the funnel in the ordinary way. The second
peculiarity of the engines is that they are constructed with large
heating surface. The steam is raised to a pressure of about 130 lbs.
at starting, and by the time the journey through each tunnel, between
station and station, is performed, it has been reduced to about 80. The
damper is kept on during the entire journey. It will thus be seen that
the combustion of fuel in each tunnel must be very small indeed, the
fire being simply kept in, without any draft through the fire box.

Recently, the directors of the company, with the view to satisfying
public feeling in every possible way, forwarded to the Vestries of
St. Marylebone and St. Pancras, applications for permission to effect
openings to the external air at several points of the Marylebone and
Euston Roads—where important roads cross this thoroughfare—by means of
handsome and ornamental hollow columns, which should be connected with
the railway, and would support street lamps similar to those now placed
at frequented crossings in various parts of the town.

It is a fact beyond all question that, unvaryingly, there are fewer
persons belonging to the staff of the Metropolitan Railway, in
proportion to their numbers, absent from duty on account of illness,
than on other railways. We have seen returns, fully confirming the
statement to this effect. We believe they were published by Mr. Myles
Fenton, in the newspapers a few months ago.

During the year ending the 30th of June, 1867, the enormous number of
22,458,067 passengers[142] were conveyed by the Metropolitan Railway
Company without accident, injury, or (as far as the world knows) ill
effects to any one of them.

There is a source of danger in connection with travelling through a
long tunnel with a bad gradient, that a recent occurrence in the Dove
Hole tunnel of the Midland Railway (a tunnel to which special reference
is made at page 372), suggests. The accident is so extraordinary in
its character that a brief account of it at present will not he out of
place. It appears that on the 9th of September last, a ballast train
had gone into the tunnel with the intention of the permanent way men
supplying it with ballast. Whilst it was at a stand-still and the
men were at work, a cattle train, consisting of twenty-seven trucks,
and drawn by two powerful goods’ engines, was permitted to enter the
tunnel. This cattle train came into collision with the ballast train,
when, among other results, one was that the coupling chain which
connected the cattle trucks to the engines broke. The trucks thus freed
began to descend the incline, which, as already stated, is 1 in 90;
their _impetus_ increased each moment, and by the time they emerged
from the tunnel, on the wrong line, they were travelling at express
speed. Notwithstanding a slight change in the gradient, they went
on at that rate for eight miles, continuing always, of course, _on
the wrong line_. At that point the trucks came in collision with the
engine of an express train from Manchester, which had been standing on
its own proper line waiting for the signal it should receive before
proceeding onwards. The driver of the express train engine perceiving
in a moment what was occurring, reversed his engine, put on full steam,
and then jumped off, very unfortunately for himself. But the engine
had not sufficient speed upon her to prevent a collision with the
cattle trucks. The greater part of these latter were literally crushed
to atoms; and, perhaps, fortunately, the cylinders of the express
train engine were burst by the collision. This allowed a great escape
of steam, and it was ultimately, combined with the presence of mind
of a pointsman, the means of the engine not doing more mischief than
shaking some and frightening all the passengers travelling in the train
belonging to it. Not so five drovers who were in the brake-van of the
cattle train: they were killed, and, apparently, their deaths were
instantaneous. Such an accident as this is not likely to happen in the
tunnel of the Alps; but, suppose a coupling iron broke, and with it the
coupling chains, on the French or ascending side, would the brake power
attached to the carriages be enough to check their downward speed? At
all events, it must not be forgotten that the average gradient on the
French side of the tunnel is 1 in 45 (117 feet in the mile), or exactly
double as steep as that of the Dove Hole Tunnel, and that the Modane
entrance of the tunnel of the Alps is 1,216 feet above St. Michel,
consequently there is an average fall per mile during the whole twelve
miles of 1 in 101, or at the rate of 50 feet in the mile, and as there
will be no intermediate station, carriages if they came to be detached,
and had not sufficient brake power to arrest their progress, might
continue to run the whole of this distance at high speed, and _on the
wrong line_.

 [For minute details relating to the construction of the Tunnel of the
 Alps, up to 1862, and to the means of supplying ventilation during
 its progress, the reader is referred to the interesting report of
 Mr. Storrow, embodied in that of the Commissioners of the State of
 Massachusetts on the Troy and Grenfield Railroad, and of the Hoosac
 Tunnel, dated the 12th of March, 1863; also, to an article on the
 Tunnel, in the _Edinburgh Review_ for July 1865, No. 249.]



Arrived in Italy, either by the Mont Cenis Railway, or by that through
the Tunnel of the Alps, we have in front of us a Peninsula which juts
for an extent (taking Susa as the extreme northern point and Otranto
as the extreme southern) of 765 miles into the ocean. On the east, the
ocean is called the Adriatic; on the south as well as on the west,
the Mediterranean, a sea that contains within its limits a surface of
579,000 square miles.

We have already described the mighty railway company, _Alta Italia_,
2,565 miles in length, of which, since the close of the war of 1866,
1,349 belong to the South Austrian Division, and 1,216 to that of _Alta
Italia_ proper. If we are on our road to Brindisi, we arrive at the end
of _Alta Italia_ at Bologna, and, at that station come upon _Ferrovia
Meridionale_. From Bologna, the line, proceeding southwards but also
verging towards the eastward, gets to the Adriatic at Rimini, and
thence, hugging the shore, it touches at Ancona, distant 127 miles from
Bologna. From Ancona it still follows the shore of the Adriatic, except
that at the Spur of the Boot it passes inwards through Foggia, 331
miles from Bologna. It is at this point that the line which is to unite
Naples by the shortest possible railway connection, with the Adriatic,
branches off. Its total length will be 124 miles; 43 are now open for
traffic, 68 will be finished in the summer of 1868, leaving only a
blank of 12 miles to be continued. Unfortunately, however, on these 12
miles, situated in the very heart of the Apennines, are concentrated
the greatest works of the railway—three tunnels, one of which will be
2 miles and 17 yards long, and when completed will be the longest
railway tunnel in Italy; the two others will be of the united length of
2 miles and 890 yards.

Reverting to Foggia, the main line, proceeding southerly and easterly
for 145 miles, reaches Brindisi, 470 miles from Bologna, 711 from Susa,
1,180 from Paris, and 1,477 from London.

Captain Tyler, in his interesting Report of 1866, reviews the relative
capabilities of the several harbours of Italy for the receipt and
despatch of our Eastern mails, and without hesitation, names Brindisi
as the one that should be selected. The harbour is composed of an outer
port of about 1¼ mile long by about half that distance at its greatest
width. It is connected by a channel 290 yards, or the sixth of a mile,
with two inner harbours or arms, the western of which is to be the
Packet Harbour. The Italian Government have important works going on
at Brindisi, and their objects are the security of the outer port, the
deepening of the channel, and the facing of the channel that connects
the outer and inner ports, as well as the sides of the latter, with
solid masonry. During 1865 and 1866, 1,800,000 cubic feet of excavation
were accomplished and very considerable progress has been made with
the masonry, but at the present moment the works rather flag. It is
stated, however, by the Government authorities, that as soon as it is
decided that the British Contract Steamers carrying the Eastern mails
to and from Alexandria, shall make Brindisi their port, the works will
be resumed with great vigour. The present depth of the channel is 19½
feet, but this depth is to be increased to 26 feet at low water, not
only at the channel, but at the passenger jetty (to which the railway
will be extended), and alongside the coal depôt. This depth would be
sufficient for the largest steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental,
or of any other company, and with the view to affording suitable
accommodation for large ships in case of need, it has been decided to
construct immediately a dry dock, 380 feet long, at an estimated cost
of £100,000. At the entrance of the outer port, and for a quarter of a
mile within it, the depth of water will be from 28 to 37 feet. The rise
and fall of tide at Brindisi is not more than 1½ foot. A plan of the
harbour is appended.

Whilst at Brindisi, it is impossible to omit reference to its future
with respect to the conveyance of our Eastern mails to and from
Alexandria. This subject is divisible into two portions—conveyance of
the fast and conveyance of the heavy mails. These mails go at present
respectively _viâ_ Marseilles and _viâ_ Southampton. A contract now
in course of completion between the Post Office and the Peninsular
and Oriental Steam Navigation Company is about to bind the nation to
the Southampton route for _twelve years_. It admits, however, of the
transfer of the fast mails _viâ_ Marseilles being likely to take place
at a period more or less proximate. If the reader will be so good as
to refer to Appendix No. 3 in this volume, he will see a memorandum
in which the course of the Eastern mails, both fast and heavy, is
indicated, and the vast difference between the time that letters take
in their conveyance by the two routes—that is, _viâ_ Southampton and
_viâ_ Marseilles. This difference will continue until all mails, both
fast and heavy, are carried (as eventually they will be) by Brindisi.

The following table exhibits the relative distances between London and
Alexandria by the three routes. The computation is in English miles.

     Viâ.       Land.  Water.  Total.
  Southampton    78    3,353   3,431
  Marseilles     833   1,701   2,534
  Brindisi     1,477     954   2,431

There is therefore a less distance _viâ_ Brindisi than _viâ_ Marseilles
of 103 miles; than _viâ_ Southampton of 1,000 miles; but, as Captain
Tyler says—“Apart from contingencies, which must be always greater by
sea than by land conveyance, the speed on a railway is usually double
that at sea,” hence the captain strongly recommends the Brindisi route,
not only on account of its being the shortest between London and
Alexandria, but likewise because the land portion exceeds that _viâ_
Marseilles by 644 miles, and that _viâ_ Southampton by 1,399 miles. As
a question of time, the computation made is as follows:—Southampton
fifteen days, Marseilles eight days one hour, Brindisi six days seven

The contrast between the weight of the Eastern mails carried in 1850
and at the present time is marvellous. Then the annual number of boxes
despatched, the average weight of each of which was about 60 lbs., was
under 2,500; in 1867 it is at the rate of 25,152. It is true that
since 1858 the Australian mails are conveyed by the overland route—they
are only despatched once a month, both _viâ_ Southampton and _viâ_
Marseilles, but then they form nearly two-thirds of the total weight of
the mails; they swell the number of boxes from the average of 524 to

But we must ask our reader to continue his land journey a little
further south than Brindisi, just for a moment, so that he may get
to Leece, twenty-five miles. This is as far as he can go by railway
towards Otranto, twenty-nine miles farther at the very extremity of
the heel of the boot of Italy, the Castle of which used, in the days
of our boyhood, thanks to Horace Walpole, to enchain, enchant, delight
and to terrify us. We feel bound to acknowledge the fact that we are
exactly forty-five years older than we were forty-five years ago. We
fear we must also confess to a sense of terror about Otranto that can
only cease with our own cessation. We are therefore not surprised
that even Captain Tyler, stout, resolute and brave as he is, did not
wish to go to Otranto. “I did not,” says Captain Tyler in his report
of 1866, “even consider it worth while to visit Otranto, although I
made a personal inspection of all the other Italian Ports to which I
have referred, as well as those of Naples and Genoa.” In other words,
Captain Tyler visited every Italian Port except one, and that one was

The connection of the _Ferovia Meridionale_ with the net-work of the
_Calabro-Sicula_ is effected by means of a branch given off at Bari,
half way between Foggia and Brindisi, and running for seventy-two miles
south to Tarento, situated at the very top of the front of Italy’s
heel. Whilst Brindisi is intended to be the commercial port of Italy
towards its southern extremity, Tarento is to be its great southern
port for military purposes. The extent and depth of the outer harbour,
its great natural advantage in a military as well as in a naval point
of view, and the extent of the “_seno interno_” or inner expanse of
deep water, render it admirably applicable for a naval arsenal. It
will therefore eventually fulfil for Italy the purposes which Plymouth
fulfils for England, while Spezzia on the Mediterranean, half way
between Genoa and Leghorn, may be considered as Italy’s Portsmouth.

The main-land as well as the Sicilian portions of the _Calabro-Sicula_
are at the present time very much longer on paper than on _terra
firma_. The longest of the Calabrian sections is, when completed,
to extend from Tarento all along the undersole of Italy as well as
to the ball of the foot, and thence to its very tip-toe at Reggio,
a distance of 300 miles; but although ten years have elapsed since
the railway works were taken in hand, only the ten miles nearest to
Reggio have as yet been completed. As, however, the Italian Government
has recently made a loan of £720,000 to the company, the works are
carried on actively, and it is probable that half-way in 1868 (portions
perhaps earlier) 127 miles, in two sections, of which one from Tarento
westward will be 90 miles, and the other will extend the line from
Reggio 47 miles, will be ready for traffic. Of the remaining 163 miles
to complete the continuous railway tie along the sole of Italy, some
slight progress has been made on 56 miles, none on 107.

In reply to a question put by us to a gentleman of the administration
of the company, to whom we are mainly indebted for the foregoing
information, “Quando sar[=a] terminata la Linea—Tarento—Reggio?” we
were told, “Non è dato respondere a questa domanda senza conoscere di
quali mezzi la societa potrà disporre;” and we received precisely the
same answer in respect of the Sicilian lines of the company.

The distance between Reggio and Messina is exactly 7½ miles. As we
are here on the dominions of Scylla and Charybdis, it is no wonder
that the steamers of the company, which ply backwards and forwards in
connection with its trains, are often impeded by the numerous currents
and the heavy gusts of wind that prevail in the Straits of Messina.
Nevertheless, the passage from port to port is usually made in less
than an hour, although at times the navigation is so difficult and
dangerous, that, in winter, the Royal Postal Steamers of the Italian
Government are occasionally unable to land their mails at Reggio, and
are compelled to carry them on to their next port of call.

We live in an age of wonders. M. Oudry, one of the engineers of the
_Ponts et Chaussées_ of France, proposes to cross over the Straits of
Messina with a suspension bridge of four spans, each 1,000 metres,
or 3,281 feet long. The bridge (which is to be made available for
railways) would thus be 4,200 metres, or two miles and five-eighths
long, exclusive of the great sustaining piers at each edge of the
water. M. Oudry selects this width in preference to the narrowest part
of the Straits, which is 3,200 metres, exactly two miles wide, because
at the spot of his selection the depth of his two central piers, _under
water_, would he only 110 metres; whereas, if he took the narrowest
part of the Straits, his two piers must be of the under-water depth of

The lower surface of the platforms should, in M. Oudry’s opinion, be 50
metres above high water, and to that elevation he proposes they should
be carried. The towers of the piers being, say, 40 metres higher, the
total pier elevation to be constructed, exclusive of foundations, would
be about 200 metres, exactly half as high again as the top of the
cross of St. Paul’s. Semiramis, after a repose of nearly 4,900 years,
should be started into life again, together with her two millions of
Assyrians. Her greatest elevation, however, was only 350 feet—the walls
of Babylon—270 feet short of the piers of M. Oudry. To be sure the
walls were said to be seventy miles long, and wide enough at top for
five chariots.

Of the total length of railways contemplated and sanctioned for
Sicily—347 miles, 82 are opened for traffic, of which 59½ are from
Messina (passing in its course at the foot of Mount Etna) to Catania,
in the direction of Syracuse; and 22½ from Palermo to Marsala. It is
a striking illustration of the rapid development which takes place
through the opening of railways in a fertile country, that the traffic
receipts per mile on the Sicilian sections opened have, since the
commencement of 1867, been at the rate of £640 per annum. The directors
of the company consider (apparently with justice) this amount as
indicating very satisfactory results for the future.

Whilst upon the railways in the extreme Southern Italy, we wish to
mention a non-feasible theory that has been propounded to us during
a visit we paid to Italy in July last. As England is to have her
overland route to her Eastern possessions through Brindisi, why should
not France find her way to Algeria by Reggio, and thence to Marsala,
from which latter port the city of Tunis is only separated by some 90
miles of water? From Tunis to Constantine, and thence to Algiers, the
measurement is 400 miles. But while the distance from Paris to Algiers,
_viâ_ Marseilles, is 1,100 miles, that _viâ_ Reggio is 2,297, in which
are comprised 500 miles of intended railway, the construction of which
is not likely to be accomplished for several years to come.

“The world,” says the _Pall Mall Gazette_ in its recent review of
Alfred Von Reaumont’s Work, _Geschichte der Stadt Rom_,[144] “may
be divided into those who have been to Rome, and those who wish to
go there, with more or less of looming hope that the wish may be
gratified.” For the wishful and the hopeful there are facilities that
did not exist even twelve months ago. The “Roman Railways” Company
is the second, both in length and importance on Italian soil, as it
consists of 1,024 miles “_en exploitation_,” and by it, not only Rome,
but Naples may be approached from the north, either _viâ_ Florence or
_viâ_ Ancona, and there is a net-work of lines running farther south
than Naples, which will ultimately join at the Sole of the Boot, with
the Calabro-Sicilian Railways. Summed up, the railway mileage of the
whole Italian Peninsula now open for traffic is 3,040 miles. There will
be further openings of them, to the extent of about 250 miles before
the end of 1868; but as regards lines projected, or to which even
the words “_en construction_” may be applied, we must wait for their
realisation until the whole system of Italian finance and of Italian
credit has been put upon a more solid basis than that upon which it is
at present founded. But thanks to railways as they now exist towards
and in Italy, the traveller, bent on tip-top speed, can leave London on
any morning of the week, and even now, before the opening of the Mont
Cenis Railway is accomplished, he can reach Turin before the chimes of
the innumerable, and not always correctly-going public clocks in that
city have struck twelve the following night. Of these clocks it is said
that a person knowing them well, may start on a perambulation through
the city as the first commences striking twelve and complete a circuit
in which he shall never be out of public clock hearing, just as that
from which he started is striking one. “When the Mont Cenis Railway
is opened, the traveller in search of haste can reach Turin in time
to start that night for Florence, and arrive there at eight o’clock
the following morning—forty-eight hours from London to Florence—What
distance? 1,122 miles. Resting in the city for thirteen hours, he can
proceed at 9.10 p.m. to Rome, the distance of which from Florence,
233 miles, he can accomplish in nine hours and twenty minutes, which
includes Frontier Visa, both of luggage and of passport. If he be
determined not to tarry at the Eternal City more than four hours, he
can proceed on his way for Naples, 163 miles farther, and be there 21
hours after he has left Florence, and (including his 13 hours pause
there) 44 after he has left Turin, 70 after he has left Paris, 83 after
he has left London; from which Naples is distant by railway measurement
exactly 1,518 miles.

The railway distance from Florence to Rome will be lessened some thirty
miles by the opening early next year of the line _viâ_ Orvietto. It
will also, of course, lessen to the same extent the journey between
Florence and Naples, but in some years hence the railway between
Southern and Northern Italy, avoiding Florence altogether, will be
shortened by 93 miles, that is, when two unfinished portions of line
along the west coast of Italy, one between Genoa and Spezzia 57 miles,
and the other, the portion of the line between Civita Vecchia and
Leghorn, nearest to the former, 36 miles, are completed. The works
required upon these lines will be extremely heavy and extremely costly.
How the money is to be found for them passes even conjecture, at the
time of our present writing.

“_Vede Napoli e mori._” We have seen her; we obey the injunction, and
we depart in peace with but one word on dying lips,




(_See page_ 85.)

  _29th February, 1856_.


In the First Annual Report of the Postmaster-General, presented to
Parliament last year, it is stated by Lord Canning as one of the
reasons for instituting such a report, that “many misapprehensions
arise from an imperfect knowledge of matters which might, without any
inconvenience, be placed before the public.”

That such misapprehensions do exist as to several matters connected
with the railway branch of the Post Office Service has lately been
exemplified in an address by Mr. Robert Stephenson, M.P., on his
election as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

In that address Mr. Stephenson (no doubt without any intention whatever
to mislead) puts forward, in effect, the following statements, which I
believe to be inaccurate:—

1st. That the scheme of penny postage, to the extent to which it has so
far been developed, would have been impracticable, or, if practicable,
unremunerative, but for the facilities afforded by railways for
conveying bulk.

2nd. That railway companies, instead of being liberally treated by the
Post Office, are called upon to perform the service of that department
at a rate of remuneration which affords little or no profit.

3rd. That the Post Office has lately entered into a competition which
is injurious to railway companies, by conveying books and other parcels
at very reduced rates.

My object in this Report is to direct your attention to the facts
on which, in my opinion, the Post Office is entitled to rely in
opposition to the above allegations, the last of which has likewise
been recently adopted in the Report of the Committee of Consultation
of the London and North-Western Railway. It may perhaps be the desire
of the Postmaster-General to furnish, in his Report for the current
year, some corrections of these misconceptions, the more especially
as Mr. Stephenson states, in the very outset of his address, that his
chief object is to suggest topics for communications and discussion at
future meetings over which he may have to preside. Such a correction
is the more necessary, because there is reason to apprehend that these
and other similar opinions which have been at various times promulgated
have, by being made the ground for claiming special additional payment
for the mail service, affected to a certain extent the arbitrations
between the Post Office and railway companies, and have thus acquired
practical importance.

On the first point (taking the subjects in the order in which they are
named above), it is hardly to be wondered at that the public generally
should be led to form erroneous impressions, seeing how imperfectly
the details of the Post Office are usually understood. But it will not
be difficult to prove that the conclusion arrived at by Mr. Stephenson
cannot be supported, and to show that the increase which has taken
place in the weight of the mails would have presented no difficulty to
their conveyance by mail coaches, and that since the transfer of the
mails from coaches to railways, the cost of transmission has increased
in a _far greater degree_ than it would probably have done had railways
never been constructed.

I should premise that it has been ascertained from returns kept by the
department, that while the whole number of chargeable letters delivered
in the United Kingdom has increased about six-fold, the increase has
been about nine-fold with respect to letters to and from London;
and the same remark applies, although the increase is in a somewhat
different ratio, to newspaper and book parcels. If, therefore, it can
be shown that the weight of mails at present despatched from London
(which greatly exceeds that of mails brought to London) could have
been carried by mail coaches, it follows that no difficulty would have
arisen with the mails in other parts of the country, where the increase
of weight has not been so large.

The actual increase in the weight of the mails has been much less
than is generally believed. It is often supposed that, because the
whole number of letters has, since the introduction of penny postage,
increased six-fold, therefore the whole weight of the mails has also
increased six-fold. But when it is recollected that by far the larger
portion of the mails has always consisted of newspapers, which were not
in any way affected by the scheme of penny postage, it will be obvious
that it would require a very large increase in the weight of the small
or letter portion of the mails before the total weight would exhibit
more than a small per centage of increase.[145]

In 1838 the gross weight of the night mails despatched from London in
a single evening was about 4 tons 6 cwt. 1 qr. At the present time the
total weight of the night mails despatched in a single evening may be
stated at about 12 tons 4 cwt. 3 qrs. It will be seen, therefore, that
the total increase in the weight has been only 183 per cent., or less
than three-fold.

Mr. Stephenson correctly states that in 1838 the number of mail
coaches leaving London each evening was twenty-eight, giving an
average load for each coach of 3 cwt. 9 lbs., supposing the weight
to have been equally distributed, which I am far from assuming was
the case. Taking the present weight of mails, and assuming that these
twenty-eight mail coaches were still running, the average load for
each coach would be 8 cwt. 3 qrs. Now a reference to the Third Report
of the Select Committee on Postage in 1838, pages 48 and 50, will show
that, according to the testimony of the Post Office witnesses[146]
(the general tendency of whose views was certainly not at that time
favourable to the practicability of penny postage), a weight of bags
amounting to 18 cwt., or more than double what the present average load
would have been, was sometimes carried on one mail coach, and that a
load of 15 cwt., in addition to the usual limited number of passengers
and luggage, was by no means too high a maximum to fix for mail coaches

Admitting, however, that the weight was not equally distributed over
all the mail coaches, and recollecting, at the same time, that this
average load of 8 cwt. 3 qrs. would be above the average ordinary load
on any other than weekly newspaper nights, when it would no doubt be
higher, the inference is still a fair one that the greater part of
the mail coaches would have borne the increase of weight without any
difficulty, although there can be no doubt that, on some of the lines,
additional coaches would have been required for a portion of the

But the result which the above calculations justify is a great deal
more favourable than is at all necessary for the purpose of disproving
Mr. Stephenson’s argument, that the expenses of carrying out penny
postage would have been so large as to have entailed a certain loss.

Let us suppose that, partly to meet the increase of weight, either
daily or on the heavy newspaper night only, and partly to provide
for the establishment of additional day mails (they were already in
existence on some of the lines), the number of mail coaches would have
been doubled all over the kingdom, and that their cost would also have
been doubled (an improbable supposition, considering the increase in
the number of passenger coaches which must, in the absence of railways,
have necessarily taken place to meet the increase of traffic). The
expenditure of the department for mail-coach service would in that
case have been advanced from £155,000[147] to only £310,000 per annum,
while the present expenditure for the railway and mail coach service of
the department is £443,000, of which sum £400,000 is paid to railway
companies alone. Not only, therefore, would penny postage without
railways have been both practicable and remunerative, but it would have
been even more profitable (assuming the existing increase of letters)
than it now is.

In order to show the impracticability of carrying out the penny postage
system without the use of railways, Mr. Stephenson states, while
speaking of the mails now carried by the London and North-Western
Railway, that “not one mail coach alone, but fourteen or fifteen mails
would have been needed to carry on with regularity the Post Office
traffic.” It is probable that Mr. Stephenson is not very far wrong in
this assumption, although he deduces from it the erroneous conclusion
that penny postage must have entailed a certain loss. The facts of the
case are, that in 1838 twelve or thirteen mail coaches from London
were actually employed to carry the mails which now leave London by
the London and North-Western Railway; so that, on Mr. Stephenson’s
own estimate, only two or three additional mail coaches would have
been required for forwarding those mails, which, it may be observed,
constitute about one-half of the whole of the night mail leaving London.

The mail coaches which formerly carried the mails now leaving London in
a concentrated form by the London and North-Western night mail train,
were as follows, viz.:—

  London and Edinbro’     Night Mail.
  London and Leeds             ”
  London and Halifax           ”
  London and Holyhead          ”
  London and Liverpool         ”
  London and Manchester        ”
  London and Glasgow           ”
  London and Carlisle          ”
  London and Derby             ”
  London and Birmingham        ”
  London and Birmingham }      ”
    (Dublin Express)    }
  London and Hull       }[148]   ”
  London and Worcester  }

In alluding to the advantages which have been conferred by railways,
Mr. Stephenson is unfortunate in putting forward as an illustration,
the cheap transmission of the printed proceedings of Parliament. Under
the old postal system, and during the existence of mail coaches,
Parliamentary reports and proceedings _were conveyed by post free of
all charges_. On the introduction of penny postage, a postal charge for
their conveyance was imposed, and this charge has continued up to the
present day.

Referring to the relations between the Post Office and railway
companies as to the remuneration for mail service, I should observe,
that under the old mail-coach system, the Post Office was protected
from undue demands for the transmission of its mails along the public
highways of the kingdom by means of _competition_. The principle of
free trade in locomotion operated as a safeguard against extravagant
charges. Coach proprietors, who had established themselves on any
road, were prevented from taking advantage of their occupation of the
line to levy unreasonable charges for either passengers or mails, by
a wholesome fear of opposition. The result was, that by constantly
offering its contracts to public competition, the Post Office insured
the performance of its service on terms which afforded only a fair and
moderate profit to the contracting parties.

The introduction of railways practically destroyed competition, and
placed large monopolies in the hands of a few private companies; but,
to compensate for this, Parliament took the precaution of insuring
moderate charges for passenger conveyance, by special provision in
each Railway Act. Strange to say, a similar provision as regards the
remuneration for Post Office service was omitted, and it was deemed
sufficient to specify that the remuneration should be “reasonable;” a
most indefinite term, and one which has given rise to infinite variety
of opinion.

It is true that, failing an amicable settlement, provision is made
for a reference to arbitration; but, in the absence of any general
principles to guide the arbitrators or umpire in their judgment of
what is or is not reasonable, the question resolves itself into one
of individual opinion, and the consequence has been that the most
conflicting decisions have been arrived at in cases which, if not
identical, have been so nearly alike as to render it impossible to
reconcile the strange variation in the rates awarded.

Without, however, dwelling upon the uncertainty of arbitration, which
is by no means its least objectionable feature, it can readily be
shown that this mode of determining payments has led to results very
different from those implied by Mr. Stephenson, who states that for
trains put on to suit the Post Office service, very little remuneration
is allowed beyond the absolute outlay which the service entails, and
that the Post Office insists on the right of travelling at the mere
actual cost.

It can hardly be necessary to point out that the Post Office has no
more power than a railway company has to fix any particular rate, or
to insist upon any principle of its own in regard to payment. The
department can do no more than give expression to the views which it
believes to be fair and just, leaving the final decision to the umpire.
But that those decisions have allowed to railway companies the mere
actual outlay, with little or no profit, is a misapprehension which a
brief examination of some recent awards will suffice to remove.

It fortunately happens that Mr. Stephenson furnishes in his address the
data for checking his own accuracy on this particular point. He says
that locomotive expenses on railways do not on an average exceed 9½d.
per mile, and that the cost of running a train may be assumed in most
cases to be about 15d. per mile. Compare this with some of the rates
actually paid by the Post Office to different companies at various
periods within the last few years, amounting, it will be seen, in one
instance to the enormous price of 4s. 6d. per single mile.

                                  s.  d.
  Chester to Birkenhead           2   0      per single mile.
  Dublin to Drogheda              2   0             ”
  Leeds to Selby                  2   0             ”
  London to Bristol & Gloucester  2   0¼            ”
  Ipswich to Colchester           2   0½            ”
  Ely to Yarmouth                 2   1             ”
  Peterboro’ to Grimsby           2   2             ”
  London to Dover                 2   3             ”
  Londonderry to Strabane         2   4             ”
  Arbroath to Aberdeen            2   6             ”
  Lancaster to Carlisle           2   6             ”
  Southampton to Dorchester       2   8¼            ”
  Perth to Dundee                 3   0             ”
  Dublin to Galway                3   0             ”
  York to Berwick                 3   0             ”
  Dundee to Arbroath              3   1             ”
  Preston to Liverpool            3   1             ”
  Dundalk to Castleblayney        3   2             ”
  Parkside to Preston             3   6             ”
  Exeter to Plymouth              3   7             ”
  Grange Court (near Gloucester)
   to Haverfordwest               3   7             ”
  Drogheda to Dublin              3   9             ”
  Drogheda to Dundalk             4   0             ”
  Dublin to Cork                  4   6             ”
  Limerick Junction to Limerick   4   6             ”

In these cases it will be seen that the rates paid by the Post Office
for the use of only a fraction of the train exceeded the whole cost
of running, as calculated by Mr. Stephenson himself, by from 60 to
260 per cent. But these rates, while they no doubt include in some
cases special elements of expense not covered by the average of 15d.
per mile, are independent of the receipts obtained from passengers,
parcels, and in some cases from goods, earnings which, added to the
Post Office allowance, have, in many instances, rendered the mail train
one of the most profitable trains on the line.

It should be mentioned that the rates of payment quoted above applied,
in some few of the cases, to trains which were running as passenger
trains before the Post Office employed them for the mails, the times of
departure and arrival, places of stopping, &c., being adopted by the
Post Office almost exactly as the company had arranged them for their
own convenience. In these instances the extravagance of the charge for
the mails becomes of course the more remarkable.

I should imagine that the Post Office department would be well
satisfied if those mails, the hours of which are absolutely fixed by
notice, were conveyed at rates based on Mr. Stephenson’s estimate of
the actual running cost, making some allowance, on the one hand, for
the benefit derived by the company from the train, and adding, on
the other hand, compensation for any special extra expenses to which
the company may be subjected by the requirements of the Post Office,
together with a full allowance for profit. I believe that some basis
such as this has long been considered a desideratum by this department,
and it is to be hoped that Parliament may see fit ere long to place the
question on a footing of this nature.

It may not be inappropriate to mention here, in further refutation
of Mr. Stephenson’s charge of illiberal treatment, that although the
law officers of the Crown have given an opinion that Government can
claim exemption from toll on railways, such claim has for many years
been abandoned by the Post Office. The arbitrators acting for the
department always considered the railway companies both as carriers and
proprietors of the road, and from their calculations accordingly. It
may also be observed that the strongest desire is usually evinced by
railway companies to obtain the conveyance of the mails, a desire which
is certainly incompatible with the assumption that no profit is allowed
for that service, and strangely at variance with Mr. Stephenson’s
theory that railway companies are indifferent to postal traffic.

Before dismissing this branch of the subject, I must refer to a
description of postal service by railway which has now become very
extensive throughout the kingdom. I allude to the cases in which the
Post Office sends a certain weight of mail in charge of the companies’
guards, by an ordinary train, over the working of which no control
whatever is claimed by the department. For a service of this nature,
the payment awarded under arbitration has, in a recent case, amounted
to the exorbitant sum of 7d. per single mile, the weight of the mail
averaging for the whole line not more than 1 cwt., or about half that
of a second-class passenger and his luggage. For this trifling weight
of mail the Post Office was thus made to bear very nearly half of the
whole cost of running the train; while it has been ascertained that the
average charge made by various railway companies for ordinary parcels
carried beyond short distances very little exceeds one half-penny per
cwt. per mile, the average charge for ordinary goods being of course
even less.

I may add, that, although in a few cases, railway companies have
been induced to accept moderate sums either for the use of one or
two passenger trains, or for the general use of all their trains, it
constantly happens that the department is prevented from increasing
postal facilities by the refusal of companies to accept rates equal to,
and often exceeding, the charges made to the public for the occasional
transmission of a corresponding weight of such ordinary light goods as
are frequently sent by passenger trains.

At page 7 of his address, Mr. Stephenson gives the total earnings of
railways from passengers, for the year 1854, at £9,170,000. The sum
paid to railway companies by the Post Office during the year was about
£392,000, or about 1/23 part of the gross earnings of all the passenger
trains. He estimates the gross weight of passengers conveyed during
the year at 8,000,000 of tons; while the gross weight of mails for the
entire kingdom (including guards, clerks, &c.) was considerably under
20,000 tons, a large portion of which was not conveyed by railways at
all. Assuming, however, that the whole of it had gone by the railways,
it would appear that the Post Office paid 1/23 part of the total
earnings for the conveyance of less than 1/400 part of the total weight.

In connection with this branch of the subject, it may not be immaterial
to mention, that in the finance accounts printed by order of Parliament
last year, the gross amount of the passenger tax paid to the Government
by railway companies in the preceding year is stated to have been
£309,000. As the amount paid by the Post Office to railway companies
for the postal service of the year 1854 was £392,600, it follows that
the Government paid to railway companies for the carriage of the mails
very nearly one-third more than it received from them in the shape of
passenger tax.

The third allegation of Mr. Stephenson is that the Post Office has
lately entered into a competition which is injurious to railway
companies, by conveying books and other parcels at very reduced rates.

Without stopping to inquire whether railway companies (most of whose
Acts of Incorporation are of a later date than the Penny Postage Act,
and several of whose lines have been opened since the commencement
of the book parcel regulations) have any legal or equitable right to
the monopoly of parcel traffic, it may be sufficient to state, that
with very trifling exceptions it is only to books and other printed
matter (the general circulation of which is so intimately connected
with the diffusion of knowledge and the promotion of education), that
any reduction below the ordinary postal charges for letters has been
applied. Now, even assuming for a moment, that every book parcel
that the Post Office carries is abstracted from parcels which would
otherwise be conveyed by railway, it is obvious that the companies
would not sustain any loss by such parcels becoming part of the mail,
if the Post Office paid to the companies for its mail rates only as
high as the booksellers pay them for their parcels, in which, for
the most part, such books would be conveyed, if they were sent at
all. But it is a matter of fact, that the general rates paid by the
Post Office to railway companies are largely in excess of those paid
by the booksellers for their parcels. It follows, therefore, that
the companies, instead of being injured, would be benefited by any
such abstraction, seeing that, besides receiving a higher rate of
remuneration for the carriage of those book parcels, they are entirely
relieved of the cost of collection and delivery, a cost which, as Mr.
Stephenson shows, renders goods traffic less profitable to railway
companies than passenger traffic.

But a more careful consideration of this question will establish good
grounds for the opinion that by far the larger portion of the book
parcels which the Post Office carries would not be sent at all, but
for the peculiar facilities offered by the extensive organisation of
the Post Office, contrasted with which the facilities which railway
companies can of themselves afford sink into insignificance.

As bearing strongly upon this comparison of facilities, I may mention
the somewhat remarkable fact, that copies of the very Report of the
Committee of Consultation of the London and North-Western Railway, in
which the Post Office is represented as unduly competing with railway
companies for the carriage of books and parcels, were extensively
circulated to that company’s shareholders through the medium of the
Book Post, not merely to towns and villages at a distance from their
railway, but even to Liverpool to which the company’s own trains might
have carried them without any charge whatever. When it is recollected
that there are about 10,500 Post Offices scattered throughout the
United Kingdom, that there is scarcely a village without a Post Office,
and scarcely even a hamlet without a regularly-established official
means of communication with a Post Office, and that consequently
persons even in the most secluded districts, can communicate by post
with all parts of the kingdom with tolerable certainty, and with very
little trouble or expense, it will readily be seen that such facilities
as these must lead to the transmission of books and documents which
otherwise would never be sent.

In fact, the book post service is one so different in its character
and objects from that to which the parcel arrangements of the railway
companies are adapted, that it may fairly be assumed it would hardly
exist at all, but for the extensive facilities for its development
which the Post Office possesses. The evidence given before the Select
Committee on Conveyance of Mails by Railways (1854), especially that
of Mr. Charles Knight, the eminent publisher, is very decided on
this point. He says (3872) that the cases in which books are sent
by post may be nearly all considered as exceptional cases to the
ordinary commercial operations of publishing; and again (3870 and
3892) that the book post may be looked upon as a mere auxiliary to the
conveyance of parcels by other means; and (3860) that if the existing
regulations were stopped, the public would not be able to derive the
same advantages through any other channel. The Select Committee, in
their Report, admitted their conviction that “a large proportion of the
parcels would not be sent but for the facilities offered by the Post
Office in their distribution.”

Following, however, another line of argument, let us again assume for a
moment that all the book packets conveyed by Post have been abstracted
from the companies’ vans. It can on the other hand, be shown, that
the imposition of a postal charge on Parliamentary proceedings,—the
limitation as to size of packets passing through the Post,—and lastly
(the most important alteration of all), the abolition of the compulsory
newspaper stamp,—are changes, the combined operation of which must have
been to give to the companies a far greater weight of parcel traffic
than the weight of the whole of the book packets passing through Post
Office. It has been ascertained, with regard to the night mails from
London, by which by far the largest proportion of books is conveyed,
that the reduction in the number and total weight of newspapers
conveyed by these mails since the alteration in the Newspaper Stamp
Act is more than six times the total number and weight of all the book
parcels. To show the extent to which weight has thus been abstracted
from the mails, I may mention that the number of carriage-loads of
bags sent from the General Post Office to the Euston Square Station on
Friday nights, has, since the recent Newspaper Stamp Act took effect,
been five less than previously; and that the average nightly reduction
of weight of newspapers despatched from London is upwards of two tons
and a half. At the same time it is beyond doubt that the effect of the
Act in question has been largely to increase the newspaper circulation
of the kingdom, and consequently to add still further to the earnings
of the railway companies.

If, as Mr. Stephenson states, uncertainty, irregularity, and delay are
observable in the service at the Post Office, they result to a great
extent from the irregularity which often occurs in the working of the
mail trains by the companies, and not from any difficulties experienced
at the Post Office in dealing with its vastly and rapidly increasing

Admitting, however, that slight detentions do occasionally occur from
pressure of Post Office work, it is right to mention that the Post
Office has long since urged upon the principal companies the adoption
of a plan by which they and the Post Office shall be mutually bound to
pay certain penalties for delay, from whatever cause; the Post Office
further offering to pay in addition a premium to the companies in every
instance in which the prescribed time is not exceeded. This proposal
was, however, rejected at the time by every company to whom it was
submitted, and since that date (1851) it has only been agreed to by one
of the Scotch companies. It should be mentioned, that the Post Office
offered in each case to reopen the award, and to readjust the payment
by an arbitration, in which the proposed agreement for fines and
premiums should be taken into consideration, the object being to render
the arrangement as equitable as possible to the companies. I believe
that the department is willing to renew this offer on the former
basis, or, indeed, to adopt any equitable scheme for insuring greater

Before concluding this report, it is but just to record a brief
admission of the points in regard to which railways have, to a material
extent, improved the postal communication of the kingdom.

The most important of those benefits is unquestionably the increased
rapidity of communication, which has practically brought Edinburgh
and Dublin almost as near to London as Birmingham and Bristol were in
the days of mail coaches. But the acceleration of speed, great as it
has been, has not been the sole cause of the saving of time; for the
use of railways has led to the avoidance of many of the stops which
formerly took place at what were termed “forward offices,” for sorting
purposes, that duty being now performed in travelling sorting offices,
during the progress of the train. For this boon the public are clearly
indebted to railways, and the Post Office is equally indebted to them
for the consequent simplification of its system. The chief of the other
benefits which railways have given to the Post Office and the public is
greater frequency of postal communication; for, although there would
no doubt have been established more numerous day mails, as well as
frequent postal communication between certain large towns, if coaches
had remained the fastest means of transit, it is scarcely probable that
we should ever have been able to concede the very extensive additions
to the number of communications throughout the kingdom generally, of
which the use of railways has admitted; and the effect of which has
doubtless been to cause a greater increase in the number of letters
than would otherwise have taken place.

The vast advantages comprised in those two improvements can scarcely be
overrated; but, having briefly acknowledged them, it hardly devolves
upon me, in the present Report, to dilate upon them at any greater

  I am, Sir,

  Your obedient faithful servant,

  _Inspector-General of Mails._

  &c. &c. &c.




You will no doubt remember, that on taking this chair for the first
time after election to it, I addressed you, according to the custom of
the President of the Institution, upon matters of interest connected
with civil engineering. The special points to which I directed your
attention, were connected with the rise and progress of the railway
system in this country; and amongst other matters referred to, were
the facilities afforded by railways to the Post Office, which were
described “as of the highest public consequence.” In enumerating those
facilities, I observed that speed might, at first sight, appear to be
the greatest item in the catalogue. But I said, “it may be doubted if
it is the most important”:—“What is really of the greatest value to the
Post Office, is the facility afforded of carrying bulk.” And then I
went on to state that, “without railway facilities, it was not too much
to say, that the excellent plans of Mr. Rowland Hill for the reduction
of the rates of postage, could not have been carried out to their full
extent,” and to give a variety of reasons in support of that position.

I had hoped that throughout the section of the Paper in which this
subject was considered, I had guarded myself very carefully against the
slightest appearance of impugning the merit of Mr. Hill’s plan, or its
influence for good upon the British people, as no one can appreciate
more thoroughly than I do the value of the penny postage system, and
the boon it confers upon the public. It has been, therefore, with
regret that I have seen in the “Second Report of the Postmaster-General
on the Post Office,” dated the 30th January 1856, observations upon the
Railway companies of England and upon my own statement, which appear to
misconstrue the object of my remarks.

The tendency of the Post Office Report is to depreciate the advantages
afforded to the Post Office by Railways. It is said that the railway
working is “so irregular as to require from the Post Office serious and
repeated remonstrances,” and also that against the advantages afforded
by railways “there is an important set-off in increased expenses,”
that “that change, which to the public at large has so much reduced
the charge for the conveyance, whether of persons, or goods, has had
precisely the reverse effect as regards the conveyance of mails.” It is
also alleged, that the claims of the companies are often exorbitant,
and that the loss inflicted upon the companies by the Post Office, in
undertaking the carriage of parcels by their book post, is not, as
the railways allege, “an injury, but is, in reality, a benefit,” and
that even if it were otherwise, the companies “are compensated by the
law relieving newspapers from the compulsory stamp, which has largely
transferred the conveyance of newspapers from the mail bags to the
luggage vans.” Annexed to the Report, which contains these statements,
is a letter from Mr. Page, the Inspector-General of Mails, who carries
these allegations still further.

I shall endeavour in reply, not only to sustain my own argument, but
to show, that the assertions contained in the Report are fallacious;
and that on the contrary, railways, viewed in reference to postal
facilities, are “the great public instructors and educators of the day.”

The Post Office Report commences with certain admissions. It introduces
the subject by the following sentence:—“Increased use has been made of
several of the railways.”

Now, if the railways are so irregular, if their claims are so
exorbitant, and if, as the Report says, the same work could be done by
the old mail coaches at much less expense, why is “increased use made
of the railways?”

The next sentence states, that “By means of the establishment of an
additional express mail train from London to Dover, ... a much later
despatch from London of the day mail to France has been afforded, the
time being now as late as 1·30 p.m. This change, besides affording to
the merchants in London the opportunity of replying, the same morning,
to letters from France, received by the night mail, admits of letters
from Scotland, Ireland, and the north and south-west of England, which
arrive in London by the day mail, being sent forward by the day mail to
France, instead of being detained, as previously, for the night mail.”

The Post Office claims the merit of this. Nothing is said of the
facilities afforded by the railway. The mail, here referred to,
leaves London at half-past one in the afternoon. It stops only at the
four junction stations on the line;—Reigate, Tunbridge, Ashford, and
Folkestone;—reaching Dover at four o’clock, and thus, in two hours and
a-half, carrying all the correspondence with Europe to the confines of
England. Twice a month this train carries the Indian Mail. It conveyed,
last year, nearly two million letters, exclusive of newspapers, to and
from the army and navy in the Crimea. It will thus be seen, that this
train performs important services for the Post Office and the public,
and that it travels with great speed. The Post Office complains that
the South-Eastern Railway Company are exacting “enormous prices,”
because they pay for the service of this train at the rate of 2s. 3d.
per mile! But when it is considered that this train was put on purely
for Post Office purposes, and that the ordinary train, which previously
left at the same hour, has not been superseded, but has been put back,
in order to give facility to this train, the rate charged cannot be
considered unreasonable:—in my opinion it is too low.

“Experience,” says the Report, “has confirmed the advantages to
be derived from the use of Travelling Post Offices, and several
additional offices of this kind have been provided. Much greater use
has also been made of the apparatus for exchanging mail bags.”

The Report argues, that Mr. Rowland Hill’s plans would have been
as well carried out, under the old mail coach system, as under the
railway system. If so, what are “the advantages derived from the use
of Travelling Post Offices”? There was no “Travelling Post Office”
on the Holyhead road: why should there be a Travelling Post Office
on a railway? The answer obviously is, that the immense increase of
correspondence renders necessary new appliances; that if the letters
all remained to be sorted when they arrived at what are called the
“forward” offices, the delay would be so great that the public would
have to wait much longer for their letters.

It is further said: “Against these great advantages, there is an
important set-off in increased expense; for, strange as it may seem,
the change which to the public at large has so much reduced the charge
for the conveyance, whether of persons or of goods, has had precisely
the reverse effect as respects the conveyance of mails.”

Now, I am prepared to show that, notwithstanding the enormous increase
in their bulk, there has been no real increase in the charge for
conveying the mails.

The charge for conveyance of the mails by railway is stated at page 14
of the Report, to be as follows:—

  │               MAILS CONVEYED BY RAILWAYS.                │
  │                 │ Average charge │  Maximum.  │ Minimum. │
  │                 │   per mile.    │            │          │
  │                 │  _s._  _d._    │ _s._  _d._ │  _d._    │
  │England          │   0     9¼     │  4    10   │   0¼     │
  │Ireland          │   1     5½     │  4     6   │   0¼     │
  │Scotland         │   0     8¾     │  3     2   │   0¾     │
  │United Kingdom   │   0    10      │  4    10   │   0¼     │

The rates, therefore, for conveying the mails on railways are very
unequal: varying from ¼d. a mile to 4s. 10d., according to the services
performed. The rates paid to the old mail coach proprietors were also
very unequal: varying from nothing to 1s. per mile. But the fact is,
that whilst the payments by the Post Office to the railways, represent
all they get for conveying the mails, the payments by the Post Office
to the mail coach proprietors only represented, in a very minor degree,
the cost to the public of conveying the mails, and the advantages to
the coach proprietors consequent on carrying them.

All mail coaches in England were entirely free from tolls for the
maintenance of turnpike roads, the cost of which is now, in effect,
transferred from the public to the railways. Mr. Harker, the Surveyor
and Superintendent of Mail Coaches, gave evidence before the House of
Commons, in 1811, that “the toll duties from which the mail coaches
were exempted amounted to nearly £50,000 a year,” upon the very limited
mileage then performed. This evidence was confirmed by Sir Francis
Freeling; and, taking all the data that can be obtained upon the
subject, no doubt remains that the tolls on turnpike roads in England
and Wales averaged, for a coach with four horses, nearly 5d. per mile.
From this heavy payment the mail coaches were free; though, of course,
the charge had to borne in another shape by the public. Besides this,
it is to be remembered, that the mail coach was, in many cases, paid
for by the Post Office, at the rate of 1-1/16d. per mile. I will not,
however, include that as a distinct item in my computation, but will
reckon tolls and coach together as costing 5d. per mile. Beyond this, I
may add, that whenever the bags were large and bulky, the Post Office
paid extra. They then took the places of the two outside passengers,
allowed to be carried on the roof of every mail coach (exclusive of the
box seat), and whose fares probably averaged 2d. per mile each. In many
cases, also, the Post Office was obliged to employ extra post-chaises
and coaches, to carry the mails. The Greyhound Coach, from London to
Birmingham, was permanently engaged for the carriage of newspaper-bags
between London and Birmingham, at the rate of 1d. per pound, or £9. 6s.
8d. per ton, for the newspapers carried.

The old mails, therefore, cost as follows:—

  Payment by Post Office for working     2½d.    per mile.
  Exemption from toll, with coach, say   5d.        ”

without occasional extra payments. So that the real sum allowed for
mail coaches was nearly as large as the sum allowed to railways.

But the Post Office Report admits that the mails, which were formerly
carried by coaches, now leave London “in a concentrated form”—that
for example, the North-Western Railway does the work of no less than
thirteen of the old mail coaches: _i. e._ the mails to Edinburgh,
Leeds, Halifax, Holyhead, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Carlisle,
Derby, Birmingham, Hull, Worcester, and Dublin. The cost per mile,
therefore, must be multiplied by thirteen, on the North-Western line
alone, in order to represent the actual payment the Post Office would
have had to make to the old mail coaches, as contrasted with the
payment they are now making to the railway. And so as to the other
railways, in proportionate degree.

It is to be borne in mind, also, that the Post Office authorities
obtain facilities and advantages from the railways which they could not
exact from the mail coach proprietors; and for which they pay nothing.
Not only have they the power, under Act of Parliament, of ordering the
trains at any time, at any speed, and to stop at any place, but they
have, also, the power to direct the railway companies to provide all
the carriages they require; and the railways actually find carriages
for the Post Office, which cost, not the £120 which the old mail
coaches cost, but no less than £500 each. In many cases the mail trains
are run, under Post Office direction, at such inconvenient hours,
that only three, or four ordinary passengers ever travel by them, for
any part of their journey; so that the only remuneration received by
the railway is the payment made for carrying the mails. It happens,
also, on some railways,—such for example, as the line from Shrewsbury
to Stafford—that the mail train is the only train run in the night.
The consequence is, that clerks, porters, sidesmen, gate-keepers,
telegraph clerks, and nearly all the staff of the railway must be kept
at night-work solely for Post Office purposes, for which the railway
company has to pay.

“No doubt,” says the Report, “this result (_i. e._ high rate of charge
on railways) is attributable partly to the necessity for running
certain mail trains at hours unsuitable for passenger traffic; but
even when the Post Office uses the ordinary trains established by
the companies for their own purposes, the rate of charge, especially
considering the regularity and extent of custom, is almost always
higher, than that made to the public for like services.”

What are the “like services” rendered to the public? The public are
conveyed as the mails are conveyed; but do the public take the control
of the trains into their own hands, choosing where they will stop, and
when they will go on, and preventing alteration of times? The public
accommodate themselves to the regulations of the railways; but the Post
Office takes its own time, and interferes in any way it pleases with
the conveyance of the public and their goods. What are the charges
made for conveying mails by “the ordinary trains established by the
companies for their own purposes?” The Post Office has not furnished
a list of these charges; but it appears from the table, which I have
before quoted, that there are trains which carry mails in England at
as low a rate as one farthing per mile. These are, no doubt, “ordinary
trains established by the companies for their own purposes,” and if
that charge is “almost always higher than the charge made to the public
for the like service,” all I can say is, that I can hardly conceive how
a smaller coin could be substituted for such a service.

“It fortunately happens,” says the Report, “that Mr. Stephenson
furnishes, in his address, the data for checking his own accuracy
on this particular point. He says, that the locomotive expenses on
railways do not, on an average, exceed 9½d. per mile, and that the cost
of running a train may be assumed, in most cases, to be about 15d. per
mile. Compare this with some of the rates actually paid by the Post
Office to different companies at various periods within the last few
years, amounting, in one instance, to the enormous price of 4s. 6d. per
single mile.”

This is not a correct deduction from my observation. Although
locomotive expenses do not, on an average, exceed 9½d. per mile, and
although the current expenses of running a train may he assumed,
in most cases, to be about 15d. per mile, you are all aware that
“locomotive expenses” and “the cost of running a train” are not to be
taken as representing the cost of supplying the service required by the
Post Office. These charges were estimated for different purposes. They
are the bare cost of power, &c. They do not include any calculation
for establishment charges, wear and tear of road, interest on capital,
or payment of expenses of station officers and porters. Of course the
estimate does not include any compensation for extra services, such
as are required by the Post Office, nor any allowance of any sort for

A somewhat unfair use has been made, by the Post Office, of my
statement with regard “to the cost of running a train.” That statement
was made, as you will see by reference to my Address, for the purpose
of enabling you to consider the broad principles which ought to govern
railway companies in respect of passenger traffic. It is palpable that
I never contemplated, in that estimate, what would be the cost of
running a train, put on without reference to the convenience of the
public, or to the advantage of the railway company, and yet entailing
all the charges of a special engine and night-service. The Post Office
has, however, quoted and made use of this expression, as if it was
applicable to all cases.

The Report gives a list of railways and branches, twenty-five in
number, to which Post Office rates of from 2s. to 4s. 6d. a mile are
paid. The list commences with the line from Chester to Birkenhead, and
concludes with that of the Limerick Junction to Limerick. Only two of
the lines in this list are railways running out of London, and the
payments to those lines are made under very special circumstances,
one of them being for the Foreign Mail. The rest are all small cross
lines, such as the Leeds and Selby, Perth and Dundee, Peterborough
and Grimsby, and Dundalk and Castle Blayney, upon many of which the
mail train is a special train, put on in the middle of the night,
exclusively for the purpose of carrying a small quantity of letters.
Wherever there is the least service performed, it is obvious that the
proportionate rate of charge must be the highest; and in each of these
petty cases, the arbitrators, no doubt, found some good reason why
rates above the average should be paid. Upon cross roads, wherever
a mail cart had formerly to be used, the Post Office was obliged to
pay its whole expenses. And upon cross lines of railway, in the same
manner, it is to be expected that the whole expenses of a special train
will have to be borne by those who use it.

“The Post Office department,” says the Report, “would be well satisfied
if the mails, the hours of which are absolutely fixed by notice, were
conveyed at rates based on Mr. Stephenson’s estimate of the actual
running cost, making some allowance, on the one hand, for the benefit
derived by the company, from the train, and adding, on the other hand,
compensation for any special extra expenses to which the company may be
subjected, by the requirements of the Post Office, together with a full
allowance for profit.”

If by the “benefits derived by the company from a train,” the Report
means the amount received for passengers and parcels by a mail train,
I agree with those who think that the conveyance of passengers and
parcels, by such a train, may be of no benefit to a company. If those
passengers and parcels did not go by the mail train, they would go by
some other train, probably at a more convenient time to the company,
and nothing is gained by sending them by the mail. But, apart from
this, I should imagine, that the railway companies will, one and all,
willingly accept any proposal from the Post Office to convey the mails,
based on my “estimate of the actual running cost, with the addition of
compensation for any special extra expenses to which the company may be
subjected by Post Office requirements, together with a full allowance
for profit.”

I am informed, that the claims of the Post Office upon the railway
companies are continually increasing. The old mail coach carried
only one Post Office officer, the guard, who also assisted in the
performance of the duties of the coach. But the Post Office claims of
the railway companies, under penalty, to carry, free of charge, all
guards, clerks, and officers of the Post Office, “when employed in
fetching the bags, or in returning back from carrying the same, and
the inspectors of mails and such other officers and servants of the
Post Office as the Postmaster-General shall from time to time require.”
Thus an unlimited number of free passengers may be conveyed at the
Postmaster-General’s discretion, and however unreasonable the number
may be, the company have no redress. It is to be observed also, that
instead of assisting the train, these passengers require assistance
from the officers of the company. The Post Office insists that the
porters of a railway are bound to place their bags in their vans and
remove them from their stations.

The nonpayment of fares for these officials is not the only objection
to their conveyance. Although deriving no profit from their carriage,
the companies, under a recent decision, are declared to be liable to
make them compensation for any accident, or injury they may sustain
whilst travelling; and recently on the North-Western line, a sum
of £1,200 had to be paid to an officer of the Post Office who was
accidentally hurt. Was this the case with the old mail coaches?

“It constantly happens,” says the Report, “that the department is
prevented from increasing postal facilities by the refusal of companies
to accept rates equal to, and often exceeding, the charges made to the
public for the transmission of a corresponding weight of such ordinary
light goods as are frequently sent by passenger trains.”

The Report cites no one instance in support of the case which, it is
said, so “constantly happens.” In the absence of such evidence I may be
permitted to doubt whether the Post Office has been well informed. If
such cases have occurred, it must be under extraordinary circumstances,
for the Post Office itself has power to prevent such occurrences. There
is nothing to prevent their sending their mail bags, as a parcel, by
any train they like. They may have them carried, if they please, by a
goods train, at 6d. per ton per mile; and that goods train will travel
at least as fast as the old mail coach. A mail guard, with his bag of
letters, may take his second-class ticket and walk into the railway
carriage, with his bag, like any other passenger. On most of the lines
on which it is complained that the railway rates are so heavy, the
correspondence must be comparatively trifling. For instance, between
Dundalk and Castle Blayney, the distance is 18½ miles. The Post Office
rate paid, according to the Report, is 3s. 2d. a mile, or £2. 18s.
7d. for the whole distance; but the railway fare is only 2s. 7d. for
the distance. If the Post Office insist on a special train and a
travelling mail to carry a few letters, it is clear that they must pay
in proportion, however minute may be the service rendered.

The Report complains, that whilst the gross weight of passengers
conveyed by railway, during a year, is 8 millions of tons, the gross
weight of mails (including guards, clerks, &c.), is under 20,000
tons,[149] so that “the Post Office contributes less than 1/400 part to
the total weight, whilst it contributes 1/23 part to the total earnings
of the railways.” But this is a fallacy. The mails are not to be
estimated by their weight. The tables in the Report show, that the very
cases, in which the Post Office carries the smallest weight, are those
in which they are obliged to make the largest mileage payments.

The Report states, “the total payments to the companies for the year
1854, were £392,600, which, it may be observed, exceeds by £83,000 the
5 per cent. passenger tax for the same period.”

It would therefore appear, that what the Government really pays for
all the postal service of the kingdom, even on this showing of the
Postmaster-General, is £83,000 a year. For this they carried Four
Hundred and Fifty-six Million of letters, without reckoning newspapers
and parcels.

I now come to the second branch of the subject. I ventured to say,
and I do not hesitate to repeat, that “without railway facilities the
excellent plans of Mr. Rowland Hill for the reduction of the rates of
postage could not have been carried out to their full extent.” But it
is contended, that “not only would the penny postage without railways
have been both practicable and remunerative, but that it would have
been even more profitable than it now is.” Upon that I join issue.
Would it have been practicable,—would it have been more profitable than
it now is?

1st.—As to Practicability. I argued that question, solely and
exclusively, and, I will add, fairly and properly, upon the question
of bulk. “The old mail coaches,” I said, “were never planned for bulk.
Bulk, indeed, would have been fatal to that regularity and speed, upon
which the Post Office could alone rely, as the means of securing the
monopoly of the letter carriage of the nation.” How is this reasoning
met in the Post Office Report? The Report argues the question as a
question of weight. “The increase,” it is said, “which has taken
place in the weight of the mails has presented no difficulty to their
conveyance by mail coaches.” Seventeen times in one page the word
weight is reiterated, whilst the word bulk is carefully avoided. The
reply to my argument that the bulk would have been fatal is that the
weight would have presented no difficulty. Until my argument is met on
the question of bulk, I must maintain that my argument is untouched. We
all know that letters weigh very little. But unpressed, sent in bags,
as they are, by the Post Office, what is the bulk of the mails? I told
you in my address, that “On a Friday night, when so many thousands of
weekly papers are sent into the country, the Post Office requires,
on the London and North-Western Railway, not only the use of the
travelling post office, which is provided for its convenience, but of
six or eight additional vans.” This is not denied in the Report. But it
is argued, nevertheless, as if all these letters could have been packed
into the old mail coaches. What are the facts? On Saturday week the
1.30 p.m. Dover train carried down the Indian mail. That mail consisted
of no less than 170 boxes,[150] each about 1 foot 9 inches long by 1
foot broad and 1 foot deep. How could these have been carried by a mail
coach? I have caused an old Dover mail to be measured, for the purpose
of ascertaining the space allotted to bags. The box under the guard’s
feet was 2 feet 10 inches long by 2 feet 1 inch deep, and 3 feet 5
inches broad; the boot (usually assigned to passengers’ carpet-bags and
private parcels) was 2 feet 11 inches wide, 2 feet 6 inches deep, and 2
feet 7 inches long. The space on the roof, including the roof seat, was
5 feet long by 4 feet broad. Giving all this space to the Post Office,
without reservation, had that mail coach carried last Saturday’s mail
from London, it would have carried on its top a pyramid of mail boxes
12 feet high from the roof of the mail, or 20 feet from the ground!
Yet the Report tells you, that there would have been no difficulty
in providing for the conveyance of the present mails by the old mail

On Friday night (May 16), the mail from the Euston Square Station
consisted of one Post Office van and six very large tenders, containing
large sacks of letters, newspapers and parcels (many of them as large
as sacks of corn). The vans each measured 660 cubic feet; if we say
600, we shall have a total cubic contents of 4,000 feet. This is equal
to the displacement of a vessel of more than 1,000 tons burden. I said,
in my Address, that it would take fourteen or fifteen mail coaches to
carry the Friday night’s mail from London to Birmingham: that every
coach that ran in 1830 between London and Birmingham would now have
been needed for Post Office purposes, if the London and North-Western
Railway had not been brought into existence. It turns out that I was
much under the mark. 4,000 cubic feet, the extent of accommodation
required to be provided by the railway company, could not have been
afforded by less than fifty of the old mails, even allowing that
the two passenger-seats on the roof were devoted to the Post Office
service, and the bags were packed to the height of 3 feet above the
roof. And yet the Report tells us, that this extent of accommodation
could have been afforded by the mail coaches that formerly ran on the
North road; thus assuming for each old mail the same capacity as half
an ordinary fly canal boat, or as two of our largest London omnibuses.

2nd. I proceed to the next question—the question of Expenditure.
The Report states, that Mr. Hill’s plan would have been even more
profitable under the old coach system than it now is.

“Supposing,” says the Report, “that the number of mail coaches, all
over the kingdom, had been doubled, the expenditure of the department
for mail coach service would, in that case, have been advanced from
£155,000 to only £310,000 per annum, whilst the present expenditure for
the railway and mail coach service of the department is £443,000, of
which sum £400,000 is paid to railway companies alone.”

Now, I beg you to mark these figures. £155,000, says the Report, was
the sum paid for the entire old mail coach service, whilst £443,000 is
the sum now paid for railway and mail coach service, of which £400,000
is paid to railways alone, leaving £43,000 as the charge incurred by
the side mails. Now, at page 14 of the Report, you will find it stated,
that the branch mail coaches at the present time convey the mails over
31,667 miles per day at an average charge of 2¼d. per mile. 31,667
miles at 2¼d. per mile gives a total of £108,000 a year. Here is a
total then of £108,000 a year paid at the present time merely for the
conveyance of the side mails by coaches, in place of £43,000 as the
Report leaves us to infer.[151] Now, if £108,000 a year is paid, at the
present time, only for the conveyance, by two horse coaches and mail
carts, of the side mails where railways do not run, how is it possible
that the total cost of all the mail coach transit of England could have
been only £155,000 a year?

It is clear there must be some serious error in the Post Office
figures, and that error is of such a character as really to invalidate
all the calculations of the Report. Either £155,000 could not have
represented the cost of carrying the mails formerly, or £108,000 a
year, instead of £43,000 a year, must be deducted, for the side mails,
from the total sum of £443,000, assumed to be the cost of postal
conveyance at the present time.

But, it is also to be remarked, that the payments to mail coach
proprietors for working, did not represent anything like the amount
borne by the public for the mails. The Post Office treats this question
as if the working at 2¼d. a mile is all the expense the public have to
bear. They forget the tolls. They forget that a mail coach could not
pass over a road without wear and tear, and that the Post Office paid
nothing for that wear and tear. The public in another shape bore that
expenditure. Under the old system, indeed, as the Postmaster-General’s
table shows, many of the old coaches were only too glad to “carry a
bag” (as it was termed), merely for the sake of obtaining exemption
from toll, which cost on the average 5_d._ per mile to the coach
proprietor. You must remember that this toll was levied on the public
using the turnpike road, for those purposes of repair, which are now
defrayed by railway companies, in the shape of reparation of permanent
way. The wear and tear of a railway line is solely paid for by the
railway company, who can receive nothing in the shape of an equivalent
for remission of tolls, except by direct payment.

The Post Office forgets, again, that under the old system, the roads,
to some extent, were made at the cost of the public. Nearly a million
of money was expended by Government in making and improving the old
Holyhead line of road. Why was this expenditure incurred? It was
incurred to save six hours in the delivery of the mails between Dublin
and London. This, be it recollected, was the measure of the value of
time by the State. They spent a million of treasure to save six hours
of time. Contrast the time occupied in the transmission of mails now
and in the year after that expenditure was incurred? The Holyhead
mail, after a million of public money had been spent in expediting
it, still took 26 hours on the road. The same mail by railway only
occupies 8½ hours[152] on its whole journey. Nearly 18 hours have been
thus saved on this one line of road; and yet though the Government
could spend a million to save 6 hours, they complain of paying
£30,000 a-year, or only the interest at 5 per cent. upon £600,000,
for a railway service passing over a line of road which they did not
expend a farthing to construct, and which is kept in repair by private
individuals, who have incurred the enormous expense of spanning the
Menai Straits by a railway bridge.

In estimating the comparative cost of conveyance by road and by
railway, not only are the Government officers, as I have shown you,
wrong in their figures and calculations, but they suppress the great
items which entailed expense on the public under the old mail coach
system, and which are now saved to the State. Let me mention another
saving. Under the old system, the Post Office packets were a source of
well ascertained loss to the State. The old Holyhead mail coach could
not bring down a sufficient number of passengers to pay the cost of
the passage from Holyhead to Dublin. The packet service with Ireland
entailed a loss of more than £100,000 a-year. At the present time,
the railway saves the Government nearly all this loss. In consequence
of the travelling facilities now afforded by the railway, the boats
between Holyhead and Dublin contract to perform the service of the
Government for a payment of £25,000 a-year.[153] And yet the department
complains that it pays £30,000 a-year, for carrying its mails, to the
railway company which has enabled it to effect this enormous annual

This example proves this part of the case. The Report omits to take
into account the amount thus saved; or any similar savings, such
as £25,000 a-year formerly paid for conveyance of mails by steam
packets from London to Rotterdam and Hamburgh, now sent to Dover by
the South-Eastern Railway. If I admit that which the Report does not
establish, that £400,000 is paid to railway companies for postal
service, at any rate I am entitled to have the public savings put
against that amount. If I consider the vast total of those savings, I
cannot doubt, for a moment, that railways are in reality not getting
what they are fairly entitled to, for performing the duties for which
the State formerly had to pay so largely. Considering the enormous
item of turnpike tolls remitted to the old mail coaches,—the vast
saving effected in the maintenance of the roads themselves,—the
greatly increased facilities demanded by the new postal system,—the
incalculable gain in consequence of the increased speed,—and the
diminution of heavy loss upon steam packet and such like traffic,
I should really be tempted to say, that if the Government paid to
railways double what they paid to the proprietors of old stage coaches,
they would still be gainers by the use of railways for the purposes of
the Post Office. But when I consider, that according to the showing of
this Report itself, they pay no more, if so much to railways, as they
paid under the old system, whilst they carry five-and-a-half fold more
letters, to say nothing of newspapers and parcels, I am surprised at
the assertion that “The penny postage, without railways, would even
have been more profitable than it now is.”

I stated, in my address, that not only was the Post Office dealing
illiberally with the railway companies, but that it was absolutely
entering into competition with them, as carriers, by undertaking the
conveyance of books and other parcels, at very reduced postal rates.
The Post Office authorities open their reply by saying, that they
shall not stop to inquire whether railway companies have any legal,
or equitable right to the monopoly of parcel traffic.[154] I shall
not stop to inquire, by what policy a Government department steps in
to interfere with the free course of trade. But, argues the Report,
the companies sustain no loss, “for the general rates paid by the
Post Office to railway companies are largely in excess of those paid
by the booksellers for their parcels.” The Post Office has never paid
one farthing to the railway companies in respect of these parcels. The
Post Office pays the companies so much per mile for the whole service.
It carries what it pleases. It chooses to carry books. Those books
formerly went by the companies’ luggage vans, and were paid for to
the companies by the public. The Post Office undertakes the carriage
of these parcels, puts them into its letter bags, and carries them,
under its contract with the railways, without paying the railways a
single farthing extra. The railways suffer all the loss: the Post
Office obtains all the profit. And then the Report tells you that “the
companies, instead of being injured, are benefited by the abstraction.”

“By far the larger portion of the book parcels,” says the Report,
“which the Post Office carries, would not be sent at all, but for
the peculiar facilities offered by the extensive organisation of the
Post Office.” But there is one remarkable fact in the Report which is
inconsistent with this theory. Since the stamp duty has been removed
from newspapers, the Post Office, on their own showing, has lost the
annual delivery of nearly 28,000,000 of newspapers, which formerly
passed through the post;[155] and there is reason to believe, that the
number of such transmissions is daily decreasing. Now, if the superior
facilities of the Post Office induce the public to get their book
parcels by post, how is it that they are gradually relinquishing the
use of the post as a means of getting their newspapers? The superior
facilities, if there are any, are precisely of the same description
both for newspapers and book parcels; yet, nevertheless, the public,
who best know how to appreciate superior facilities, are gradually
giving up the facilities of the post in respect to newspapers, and
employing the facilities afforded by the railway. The superior
facilities, are, therefore, not estimated by the public as equivalent
to 1d. per newspaper parcel.

It would appear, therefore, that the question was rather one of
“charge” than of superior facilities. The Post Office chooses to
undersell the railways, availing itself of the facilities railways
afford it for the purpose of so doing. The public always buy in the
cheapest market. They send their books by post, because the post
takes them cheaper than the railways took them. And I told you, in
my Address, why the Post Office is able to do this. The Post Office
insists on the right of travelling over the railways at a fixed cost
per mile; and, as I have just observed, without paying anything
additional whatever for book parcels. The railways have to pay, not
only expenses, but interest on capital; and it is to be expected
therefore, that they cannot compete, in respect to this traffic, with a
public department which contributes to neither. But how far this use of
the railways for the purpose of the Post Office, and to the detriment
of the railways is equitable, or proper, is another question.

The Post Office itself seems to feel that it is not quite equitable or
proper, for the Postmaster-General, in the body of the Report, treats
the question solely on the ground that “a benefit” is conferred on
the railway companies by this abstraction of their traffic, and that,
even if that is not the case, the companies are compensated by the
transference to the luggage vans of the newspapers previously carried
by the mails. I think it is in “Gil Blas” that the gentleman who
takes the canon’s purse, is made to prove that the abstraction was a
“benefit” to his soul’s health, and would keep him free from many of
the pomps and vanities of this wicked world. Upon the same principle,
I suppose it is intended to be argued, that the abstraction of their
traffic is a benefit to the railway companies. But, with regard to the
second part of the argument, I deny that the railways are “compensated”
for their loss by the transference to their vans, of the newspapers
which the Post Office used to carry for nothing, and which it is
admitted the officers would be “only too glad to see removed from the
Post Office altogether.”[156] The stamp duty, you will remember, never
was a postal duty under the old system; it went into the accounts of
another branch of the revenue. The Post Office consequently never
benefited, but, on the contrary, was only taxed for the performance of
its duty as the carrier of newspapers. Latterly, this duty became so
onerous, that the Post Office felt itself almost incompetent to its due
performance. To save itself the trouble and expense of receiving all
the papers, at the last moment, at the Post Office, it was in the habit
of sending its own vans to the offices of the great news publishers,
and carrying their papers in bulk to Euston Square, where an office was
assigned to the Post Office for newspaper purposes. The change effected
by the removal of the stamp might have been taken advantage of as a
great source of revenue to the Post Office, which failed, however, to
work out a system that would have been remunerative to itself, and
advantageous to the public; and the consequence has been, that the
public have resorted to what I may call, in the words of the Report,
the “superior facilities” of the railway. But the railway gets for the
carriage of these parcels nothing like the amount that the Post Office
would get. The Post Office is bound, under Act of Parliament, to charge
1d. per paper, but the railways take these papers in bulk, several
hundreds in a package; and carry them at the rate of so much per ton.
To tell us, that an act of their own, by which they threw off an excess
of labour which had become not only burdensome, but overpowering to the
Post Office, was done out of consideration for the railways, and as a
compensation for the abstraction of the book parcels, is not likely to
be entirely acquiesced in.

The number of book parcels that passed through the Post Office last
year was a million and a-half. Captain Huish, in his evidence before
Parliament in 1854, has shown, that the loss of revenue to railways,
by the abstraction of book parcels has, in some cases, borne a large
proportion to the sum paid to railway companies for the conveyance of
the mails. A stronger proof than this, of the unfair dealing of the
Post Office towards the railway companies, could scarcely be afforded.
But I own, that I do not look so much to the actual loss as to the bad
precedent. It seems to me, that there is no limit to what the Post
Office may carry, if this is permitted. There are many lighter articles
than books forming the substance of railway packages. Is the Post
Office to undertake all the light carrier trade of the kingdom, without
extra payment to the railways for the use of the roads?

The Report says, “Mr. Stephenson is unfortunate in putting forward
as an illustration the cheap transmission of printed proceedings of
Parliament. Under the old postal system, and during the existence of
mail coaches, Parliamentary reports and proceedings were conveyed by
post free of all charges. On the introduction of a penny postage, a
postal charge for their conveyance was imposed, which continues up to
the present day.”

If I am unfortunate in referring to this charge, the Report, I must
say, is doubly so. For if all Parliamentary papers have been subjected
to a penny postage, who receives the money? The railways ought to
have a share of it; but they get nothing. The public ought to have a
share of it; but on the contrary, the Post Office, which has greater
facilities for carrying public papers, makes the public pay more for
their transmission instead of carrying them for less. Who, then, does
get the penny? The only answer is, that it goes to the credit of the
Post Office account in reduction of the expenses incurred in carrying
out the penny postage system.

[Mr. Stephenson having reviewed the complaints made by the Post Office
about irregularities in 1856, and previously, and stated facts to show
their injustice, and that they were fully as much attributable to the
department as to the companies, proceeded with his address as follows.]

If the Post Office authorities want the highest rates of speed, with
perfect observance of time, they have an easy mode of securing it. Let
them contract with the railway company for special trains, exclusively
for the purposes of the mails. The companies will be only too glad to
provide those trains, at the same, or even a less rate, than that at
which they provide special trains for the public. They will, no doubt,
enter into any arrangement for the arrival of such trains at their
respective destinations, at the hour agreed upon. On the side of the
Post Office, all that is requisite to secure this, is an equitable
payment for the service, which, considering the great importance of
the subject, ought not to be grudged to secure a rapid and punctual
delivery of letters.

We are told, indeed, in the Post Office Report, that the railways have
no right to be treated on such principles. On the contrary, they are
threatened. “The law officers of the Crown,” says that document, “have
given an opinion that Government can claim exemption from toll on
railways.” Happily, it is one thing for “the law officers of the Crown
to give an opinion,” and another for a Government department to succeed
in enforcing it.

But who are these, asks the Report, who complain of “illiberal
treatment?” The old mail coaches, it says, represented free trade and
competition; but these railways are “large monopolies in the hands of
a few private companies.” A few private companies! What is meant by a
“private company”? The railway share and debenture holders of England
number more than a quarter of a million. Do these capitalists represent
a “private company”? An old mail coach, carrying four insides and
three out, and horsed by Mr. Fagg at 2½d. a mile, is called in this
Report a public conveyance, “by which the Post Office was protected
from undue demands, in the transmission of its mails along the public
highways of the United Kingdom,” whilst a railway, like the London
and North-Western, with nearly eighteen thousand shareholders and a
capital exceeding thirty millions, is called “a monopoly in the hands
of a private company.” A monopoly! Allow me to ask, again, of what has
any railway got a monopoly? The old “public highways,” as the Report
calls them, are still open to everybody. The Post Office authorities
may put upon them, once more, if they think fit, their favourite
public conveyances. Except the bulk of their bags, there is nothing
to prevent them from loading them once more in the court-yard of St.
Martin’s-le-Grand, and starting them off for Holyhead, or Aberdeen,
with the old guard on his seat behind, and the old driver flourishing
his whip.

The railways have no monopoly; Parliament has never allowed them a
monopoly. In France, and elsewhere, the Legislative bodies have given
railway companies a monopoly for a certain number of years; but with
us the practice of Parliament has been precisely the reverse. So far
from exercising any monopoly, the railways here are subjected, even
among themselves, to a fierce competition. Parliament has sanctioned
a second railway to Dover; there are already two lines to Hastings;
two are completed to Portsmouth, and a third is making; the Government
has insisted upon the South-Western making a second line to Exeter;
there are already three lines to Birmingham; there are three lines to
Derby, three to Peterborough, three to York, two to Cambridge, two to
Oxford, two to Norwich, two to Lincoln, two to Liverpool; I know not
how many to Shrewsbury; and many routes to Scotland both by the west
coast and the east. Monopoly! Why Parliament on the whole circuit of
the country has established, not only the principle, but the practice
of free competition; and we have absolutely as much competition amongst
railways now as ever existed in the old days of, what the Post Office
Report calls, the public highways.

The only monopoly ever accorded by Parliament to the railway companies
has been the right of taking land; but that right has been encumbered,
both legally and by the opportunity afforded for making claims for
exorbitant compensations. Parliament has subjected railway companies
to frightful expenses, and to most uncertain and unfair tribunals in
its own committees. It has never assisted any work in progress, however
useful even for purposes of State. It has given no concession to any
company; it has undertaken no share of the work, as has been done by
the Governments of other States; it has granted no crown lands for
any line; it has not assisted to make a line; it has guaranteed no
interest upon outlay; it has not even lent money (with the exception
of about two millions to Irish railways), as it did year after year
to the Holyhead Road Commissioners. What, then, is the Government
entitled to from the railway companies? No doubt it is entitled to
have public services properly performed, at a moderate cost. And all
public services are performed by the railways for the Government, at
a moderate cost. But it is not entitled—it can establish no claim—to
use the property of railway proprietors, without toll, or to have its
work done, without paying a fair rate of profit to those who perform
it. When the Post Office Report tells you, that railways are monopolies
which have destroyed competition, I ask you to consider, on the other
hand, whether railways are not in fact too much subject, at the present
time, to Government control. This very mail service is performed by the
railways under compulsion. Did the Government compel any one to perform
the duty of carrying the mails in the days of the old mail coaches?
If, in those days, they had advertised for tenders from stage coach
proprietors, for the performance of a duty such as they now exact from
railway companies, subject to arbitration as to the sum that should be
paid for its performance, how many tenders is it likely they would have

On the other hand, I ask you to look at the treatment the railways
are receiving from the Government. I will take the case of their own
selection—the case of the Chester and Holyhead Railway—in which they
make a merit of paying at least double what would have been awarded by
arbitrators. Look at the route to Ireland before the Holyhead Railway
was constructed. No less than thirty-six hours were occupied in getting
from London to Dublin. But this was regarded as great expedition,
and it was most munificently paid for by the Government. They spent,
as I have told you, nearly a million of money in making the road.
They lost on the Irish steamers more than £100,000 a-year, to say
nothing of their contract for the coach, and upwards of £3,000 a-year
remitted on the tolls. This was the state of things before railways
were established. The work is now done, not in thirty-six, but in
fifteen hours.[157] The whole mail service now, with this increased
expedition, costs the Government no more than £65,000 a-year.[158] Thus
the Government save, upon this route alone, twenty-one hours in every
journey, and nearly £40,000 a-year in expenditure.

But in the face of this, what has been the conduct of the Government
to the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company? In the first place, it
imposed conditions which greatly enhanced the cost of the Britannia
Bridge. Then observe how it treated that line with reference to other
matters. The Holyhead road runs for about half-a-mile near Conway
upon an embankment constructed on the sea-shore. The Holyhead Company
proposed to form its railway outside that embankment, thereby, in fact,
widening the embankment and affording it protection from the sea. The
same state of things occurred in the Isle of Anglesea, at an inlet
known as the Stanley Sands. In both cases the railway rested on the
slope of the Government embankment, and for this “privilege,” as it is
called, the Government to this day charges the railway an annual rental!

Such is one illustration (among many) of the treatment of the railway
companies by the Government departments. They have aggravated the
expenses and difficulties of a line which has helped to save them,
as I said before, twenty-one hours in every journey between London
and Dublin, and no less than £40,000 a year in money outlay. At the
present time, the Post Office Report tells us, that the department is
paying double what it ought for conveying the mails over this railway,
and that “the law officers of the Crown have given an opinion,” that
Government can claim the right to pass over it, in common with all
others, without paying any toll at all!

In conclusion, I ask, how can the Post Office authorities justify
their tone respecting the railways? They admit great advantages from
railways, but they say that against those advantages there is an
important set-off in increased expense. Is there any foundation for
this charge? Let us look at the figures. The mails are now conveyed
daily by rail and coach over, in round figures, 60,000 miles. The total
cost of this conveyance is stated at £443,000. Upwards of £100,000 is
saved upon the sea service with Ireland and the continent alone. Now,
suppose the mail service of the country was still performed under the
old mail coach system, what would it have cost? The net payment to
mails, upon their own showing, would have amounted to £310,000; the
tolls and coaches, at 5d. per mile, would have been £456,000. Add to
this the steam-boat saving, and we should have a total cost exceeding
£800,000 per annum. But as the present cost is only £443,000, there is
a difference in favour of the railway system exceeding £400,000 a year,
without taking credit for the increased rapidity of transmission.

If I turn to the Post Office accounts, at page 57 of the Report, I find
that the additional work, to the extent of five and a-half times, has
been performed at an increased cost of only two and a-half times. By
their own showing then, the cost of conveyance has not “increased in a
far greater degree,” but in a far less degree in proportion to the work
performed. I find, also, that the cost of conveying the mails has only
increased, in a corresponding ratio, with the increase in the expenses
of all the other branches of Post Office expenditure since 1838. I find
still further, that the whole cost of conveyance amounts to little more
than one-fourth of the whole cost of management, for whilst the whole
cost of management in 1855 was £1,651,000, the entire payment for cost
of conveyance was only £443,000. I ask, then, with what justice, with
what show of propriety, can the Postmaster-General, or his officials,
complain of the payments to railways for the postal communication of
the nation?

The whole course of this argument has not only confirmed my conviction
that without railway facilities the plans of Mr. Rowland Hill, for
the reduction of the rates of postage could not have been carried out
to their full extent, but it has clearly proved to my mind, that they
could not have been carried into effect at all. Space, we have seen, is
absolutely essential to the accommodation of the increased bulk,—speed
is absolutely essential to that multiplication of correspondence,
which is requisite to sustain the rapidly increasing establishment
charges, augmented already from £500,000 to £1,200,000 per annum. If
the absence of facilities, both of space and speed, had not proved
fatal, by preventing the development of the system, it is clear,
that the expense would have broken down that system altogether. I am
convinced also, that unless more and more advantage be taken of railway
facilities, the postage system will not progress, in proportion to
the increase of the population and wealth of the kingdom. What is it
that multiplies communication? Speed and facility of transmission. In
those the Electric Wire is now a competitor with the Post. Suppose we
had the Electric Telegraph in operation, without a railway system, and
our correspondence consequently dependent on the old mail coach, I ask
what would be the effect upon the penny postage system? If the Post
Office authorities desire to increase the correspondence of the nation,
through their machinery, they must make more and more use of railway
facilities. It is only by more frequent postal communications and
accelerated speed of delivery, that the telegraph can be successfully
competed with, as regards the large and increasing portion of the
correspondence of the nation, which is flashing unceasingly along its
wires. To obtain that increased frequency and accelerated speed, the
Post Office authorities must deal equitably with the railway companies.
It is not only the duty, but it is for the interest, of Government
so to do. If the Government and the railway companies went hand in
hand, arrangements might be made, by which the whole correspondence
of the nation might be carried on, in a much more perfect manner,
with advantage to the companies, and without any direct payment by
the Government. When the Post Office authorities are prepared to deal
with this question in an equitable spirit, I shall be prepared to show
them how such an arrangement may be effected.[159] Meanwhile I leave
them, in the hope that these remarks, offered in all good-will and
friendliness of spirit, upon the document they have published, may have
some influence, in inducing them henceforward to regulate their affairs
for their own and the public interests, and to endeavour, in some
degree, to keep better pace with the advancing spirit of the time.




  _5th June, 1867_.

In consequence of the promise I made when in Florence on the 20th
and 21st ultimo, that I should write to you on the subject of postal
communication between Great Britain, the East Indies, China, Japan, and
Australia, I have the honour to address this letter to you.

I propose to commence it with a short sketch of the history of this
communication, which, from being of comparatively trifling importance
in 1830, has become, at the present time, one of immense magnitude, as
well as of equally great commercial, social, and political importance.

Previous to 1830, the mail communications of Great Britain with the
East were maintained solely by the route round the Cape of Good Hope.
Letters then were never less than 90 to 120 days on the passage between
England and Calcutta, and from 20 to 30 days more between England and

In 1830, the then great political and commercial company of England,
called the East India Company, first placed a postal steamer in the
Indian Seas; but it was not until 1834 that a regular monthly service
was organised between Suez and Bombay.

In 1835, steam communication was organised, although in an imperfect
and unsatisfactory manner, between England and Alexandria. By degrees
this service became improved.

In 1839 the British Government, by convention with that of France,
opened the Marseilles route for the conveyance of a portion of
the Indian Mail; as, at that period, the railway system was not in
operation in France, it required 108 hours to convey the correspondence
despatched by this route, between Calais and Marseilles. It may here be
mentioned that in 1845 great efforts were made by Lieutenant Waghorn
of the British Navy, a man eminently distinguished in connection
with the first attempt to establish postal communication between
Great Britain and the East Indies, _viâ_ the Isthmus of Suez, to make
Trieste the port for the embarkation of the mails. These efforts were,
however, not successful, and the attention of Great Britain became
thenceforward limited to the routes, _viâ_ Marseilles for the more
rapid communication, and _viâ_ Southampton for the heavier and larger
portion of the Indian mails.

Reverting to the year 1840, the British Government entered, at
that period into a contract with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam
Navigation Company for a service once a month, from Southampton to
Alexandria, and from Suez to Calcutta and China; and two services were
organised between Marseilles and Alexandria, one in connection at
Suez, with the service by the steamers for Calcutta and China, and the
other in connection with a service between Suez and Bombay, which was
performed by the postal steamers of the East India Company.

In 1849 the services between Southampton and Alexandria became
bi-monthly instead of monthly as before.

In 1854 the postal steamers of the East India Company were withdrawn,
and the whole of the services in the Indian Seas were transferred to
the Peninsular and Oriental Company.

In 1858 the postal service with Australia, _viâ_ the Isthmus of
Suez, was first commenced. It is a monthly service, but by recent
intelligence received from Australia, there is probability of its
becoming bi-monthly at an early date. I shall give particulars of the
immense magnitude of this mail hereafter.

In 1857, in consequence of the very great increase of correspondence
passing between Great Britain and the East, it was found necessary to
augment the postal services to four a month in each direction _viâ_
Marseilles, and to four in each direction _viâ_ Southampton.

The whole of the sea service of the Indian, China, Japan, and
Australian postal communications of Great Britain, is performed by
the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. This company
is the largest in the world. It has a fleet of fifty-three steamers,
with an aggregate tonnage of 86,411 tons, and 19,230 horses power. Its
largest ship is of 2,800 tons. Its next largest is 2,600 tons, five
are between 2,000 and 2,500 tons, and eighteen are between 1,500 and
2,000 tons each. Its routes extend from Southampton and from Marseilles
to Alexandria, from Suez to Bombay, from Suez to Point de Galle and
Calcutta, from Bombay to Calcutta, from Point de Galle to Singapore,
Hong Kong, Shanghai and Yokohama (Japan), and from Point de Galle to
Melbourne and Sydney. The total number of knots (sea miles) performed
by the postal vessels of the company in 1866 was 1,194,952, equal to
2,290,320 kilometres.

By successive openings of the railways, the length of which between
Calais and Marseilles is 1,190 kilometres, the time occupied in the
transit of the Eastern mails through France has been diminished from
108 hours to 28 hours.

I have already stated the total contract service of the Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Packet Company, 2,290,320 kilometres.

The annual land service of the Eastern mail is as follows; first, as
regards Marseilles:—

  │        Route.          │ Kilos. │ Number    │ Total.  │
  │                        │        │ of        │         │
  │                        │        │ Journeys. │         │
  │ London and Dover       │   150  │ 96        │  14,400 │
  │ Calais and Marseilles  │ 1,190  │ 96        │ 114,040 │
  │ Alexandria and Suez    │   400  │ 96        │  38,400 │
  │                                             ├—————————┤
  │                                             │ 166,840 │
  │                    _Viâ_ SOUTHAMPTON.       │         │
  │ London and Southampton │   135  │ 96        │  12,960 │
  │ Alexandria and Suez    │   400  │ 96        │  38,400 │
  │                                             ├—————————┤
  │                                             │ 218,200 │

It should be explained that the heavy mails that are conveyed by the
steamers of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company,
between Southampton and Alexandria, are taken across the Isthmus of
Suez by separate trains from those which convey the light mails _viâ_
Marseilles; hence, there are ninety-six trips of Eastern mails per
annum across the Isthmus for the Marseilles mails, and ninety-six for
those _viâ_ Southampton. Thus the total annual length of this great
postal service is:—

  Water    2,290,320
  Land       218,200

The weight and dimensions of the Eastern mails have increased very
greatly during recent years. This is owing partly to the immense
expansion of the trade of England in the Indian, Chinese, and
Australian oceans, and partly to the British army in India, consisting
of at least three times as many Europeans as previous to the Indian
mutiny of 1857. England has also a larger fleet in the Indian and
Chinese Waters than formerly. In 1865, the trading interests of
England, in the Eastern seas, was as follows, in pounds sterling:—

  │                   │            │            │ Tonnage of Vessels.  │
  │    Countries.     │  Imports.  │  Exports.  ├───────────┬——————————┤
  │                   │            │            │ Entered.  │ Cleared. │
  │                   │     £      │      £     │     £     │    £     │
  │ British India     │ 37,395,372 │ 18,254,570 │   664,391 │  671,856 │
  │ Singapore         │  2,169,056 │  1,442,450 │    77,835 │   50,292 │
  │ Ceylon            │  3,707,615 │    685,308 │    52,197 │   50,400 │
  │ Mauritius         │  1,246,299 │    596,848 │    41,029 │   30,805 │
  │ China             │ 10,673,690 │  3,609,301 │    91,606 │   80,375 │
  │ Hong Kong         │    773,068 │  1,561,851 │    14,608 │   42,848 │
  │ Egypt             │ 21,772,250 │  5,985,087 │   361,419 │  488,268 │
  │ Dutch Possessions │        226 │    928,642 │    Nil.   │   29,349 │
  │ Philippine Island │  1,253,904 │    945,642 │    23,207 │   18,055 │
  │ Japan             │    614,743 │  1,520,895 │     9,361 │   19,602 │
  │ Australia         │ 10,283,113 │ 13,352,357 │   156,649 │  387,239 │
  │           Total..£│ 68,117,356 │ 42,897,846 │ 1,492,102 │1,869,090 │

The value of all the imports into the United Kingdom for the year 1865,
was £271,131,967; so that the value of the imports of the countries
above enumerated is very nearly one-fourth of the total value of
English imports. British exports, consisting of materials and of
articles manufactured in Great Britain in 1865, were £165,862,402,
of which nearly one-fourth was exported to the above-enumerated
countries. The total tonnage of the vessels cleared inwards in British
ports during 1865, was 14,317,866 tons. The total outward tonnage was
14,576,206 tons. The inward tonnage, to the countries enumerated above,
was therefore a tenth of the total inward tonnage of the kingdom; and
the outward tonnage was an eighth of the total outward tonnage.

In proof of the immense and rapid extension of England’s trade with the
East, it may be stated that the figures given above show amounts three
times as great as they were five years, and nearly twenty times as
great as they were fifty years ago.

The Eastern mails, sent _viâ_ Marseilles, are packed in wrought-iron
boxes. They weigh about thirteen pounds, and their contents usually
weigh about thirty-seven pounds. A box, fully packed, contains about
220 newspapers; the average weight of each of which is 3¼ English
ounces. If a box be filled with letters, the number of them is about
1,800. The average weight of each letters is a little more than a
quarter of an English ounce, or about 7½ French grammes.

The mails sent _viâ_ Southampton are packed in wooden boxes of larger
dimensions than those sent _viâ_ Marseilles. As the letter postal rate
is really double _viâ_ Marseilles what it is _viâ_ Southampton, and
as the great proportion of the official letters passing between the
Indian office in London and the three presidencies in India, as well
as the official correspondence with the army and navy, is conveyed
_viâ_ Southampton, the number of letters carried in a box is about the
same as in a box _viâ_ Marseilles, notwithstanding the difference of
dimensions. The number of newspapers sent in a box _viâ_ Southampton is
about a third more than in a box sent _viâ_ Marseilles.

In 1850, when there were only two despatches of mails from England
to the East per month, _viâ_ Marseilles, and one per month _viâ_
Southampton, the average number of boxes per despatch was 57 _viâ_
Marseilles and 152 _viâ_ Southampton.

In 1858, as I have already stated, mails commenced to be despatched
between England and Australia by the Overland Route—that is both _viâ_
Southampton and _viâ_ Marseilles. The service is once a month, and the
Australian mail forms a part of the mails despatched from Southampton
on the 20th of each month, and from Marseilles on the 26th of each

The dates for the three other despatches of each month are _viâ_
Southampton the 4th, the 12th, the 27th; _viâ_ Marseilles the 3rd, the
10th, and the 17th.

I mentioned in the last paragraph but two the number of boxes of mails
despatched per month in 1850.

In 1861 the average number of boxes despatched _viâ_ Marseilles, on the
three occasions in each month when the Australian are not forwarded,
was 89; but on the 26th of each month, when the Australian mail is
included, the number of boxes despatched was 232.

The weight of the mails from the East towards England is never so
great as from England towards the East; and this is caused from the
fact that for every fifty newspapers that are sent from England to the
East there is not more than one sent from the East to England; and the
average weight of the latter is little more than one half the average
weight of the former. For this reason the number of boxes received on
each occasion in each month of 1861, when the Australian mail was not
received, was twenty-two; but when the Australian mail was received the
number was fifty-three.

I regret that I am not able to give the same information for 1861 as
regards the Southampton route; but an Appendix to the Report of a
Committee of the House of Commons which sat in 1866 upon the postal and
telegraph communications of England with the East, enables me to state
them with accuracy for the years 1864 and 1865.

In 1850 the total number of boxes despatched by that route was 1824, or
an average of 152 each departure—in other words, each month; for at
that time there was only one despatch a month _viâ_ Southampton.

In 1864 the total number of boxes despatched during the year had risen
to 16,559, an average of 345 per despatch. The actual weight of these
16,559 boxes was 690 tons, an average of nearly 14½ tons per despatch.
If we compute these mails according to the rules by which articles are
received on board ships—that is by _measurement_ or _bulk_—the tonnage
was 1,540 tons, or an average per voyage of 32 tons.

The greatest mail carried by any one steamer was by the departure from
Southampton of the 20th of April, 1864. There were 1,117 boxes; they
weighed 46 tons actual weight, but by measurement they were 99 tons.

In 1865 the total number of boxes despatched was 17,839, being 1,280
more than in 1864. The average per despatch was 372. The actual weight
of these 17,839 boxes was 747 tons, an average of a little more than
15½ tons per despatch. Their tonnage by measurement or bulk was 1,660
tons, or an average per voyage of 35 tons. The greatest mail carried by
any one steamer was by the departure from Southampton of the 20th of
November. There were 1,207 boxes; they weighed 49¾ tons actual weight;
but by measurement, 106½ tons. The mail despatched on the 20th of each
month is, of course, invariably the heaviest, containing as it does the
Australian mail, which mail usually consists of about six times as many
boxes as are despatched to Egypt, India, China, and Japan combined. The
mail despatched on the 27th of each month is invariably the lightest;
the mail despatched on the 12th is the second lightest; next comes in
weight the mail despatched on the 4th.

I was favoured last month with official returns, which give the
number of boxes despatched outwards, both _viâ_ Marseilles and _viâ_
Southampton, during the months of January, February and March of this
present year, and the same information as regards mails received
inwards. As these returns give the latest information respecting the
mails conveyed by both routes, I send you the following very full
compilation of them.

Number of boxes of Eastern mails despatched from and received at London
during the first three months of 1867:-


  │ Date of │  India,   │            ║ Date of  │  India,   │          │
  │Despatch │China, and │ Australia. ║ Arrival  │China, and │Australia.│
  │Outwards.│ Mediterr. │            ║Homewards.│ Mediterr. │          │
  │ Jan.  4 │   213     │     ..     ║  Jan. 10 │     23    │    ..    │
  │  ”   12 │   169     │     ..     ║   ”   18 │     30    │   475    │
  │  ”   20 │   233     │    709     ║   ”   26 │     20    │    ..    │
  │  ”   26 │    80     │     ..     ║  Feb.  2 │     27    │    ..    │
  │ Feb.  4 │   248     │     ..     ║   ”   11 │     24    │    ..    │
  │  ”   12 │    92     │     ..     ║   ”   16 │     31    │   448    │
  │  ”   20 │   232     │    762     ║   ”   24 │     24    │    ..    │
  │  ”   27 │    80     │     ..     ║ March  8 │     27    │    ..    │
  │March  4 │   199     │     ..     ║   ”   13 │     25    │    ..    │
  │  ”   12 │    97     │     ..     ║   ”   21 │     35    │   463    │
  │  ”   20 │   184     │    800     ║   ”   28 │     23    │    ..    │
  │  ”   27 │    56     │     ..     ║     ..   │     ..    │    ..    │


      OUTWARDS.       │      INWARDS.
    Date.      Boxes. │   Date.      Boxes.
  January  3    125   │ January  3     38
     ”    10    122   │    ”    10     80
     ”    18    114   │    ”    18     22
     ”    26    374   │    ”    26     25
  February 4    114   │ February 4     45
     ”    11    168   │    ”    11     81
     ”    18     99   │    ”    18     41
     ”    26    340   │    ”    26     50
  March    4     98   │ March    4     34
     ”    11    161   │    ”    11     81
     ”    18     96   │    ”    18     51
     ”    26    323   │    ”    26     22

The returns, _viâ_ Marseilles, do not separate the numbers of boxes
to and from Australia, from those for the Mediterranean, India, and
China, but the great difference between the number of boxes despatched
outwards on the 26th of each month, and the number received inwards
on the 10th of each month, will show approximately what is the number
of boxes attributable to Australia. Outwards, it would be about 240;
inwards, about 40.

But this is certain, that during the three first months of 1867 no
less than 6,288 boxes (or at the rate of 25,152 boxes per annum) were
despatched outwards, and 1,675 boxes (or at the rate of 8,980 per
annum) were received inwards. Total outwards and inwards for three
months, 8,533, or at the rate of 34,132 boxes per annum. Taking each
box at the weight of 30 kilogrammes (which is below their weight taken
all round) it follows that the gross weight of the Eastern mails per
annum is 1,024,000 kilogrammes, or about 1,100 tons. By ship-board
measurement it would be about 2,300,000 kilogrammes, or 2,550 tons.

There are two important subjects which it appears to me should at once
be impressed upon the minds of the members of the Italian Government.
The first is, the probable very early completion of the Mont Cenis
Railway on Mr. Fell’s system, and the second, the notice given at
the end of last year by the British Government to the Peninsular
and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, to terminate its existing
_Mediterranean_ contracts on the 31st of January, 1868, and the
advertisement which it has since issued, inviting parties to tender
for these services, dating from the 1st day of the ensuing month—that
is from the first of February, 1868. This advertisement contains,
for the first time, an intimation that the British Post Office is
desirous of establishing an ocean contract service between Brindisi and
Alexandria, in addition to its existing services between Southampton
and Alexandria, and between Marseilles and Alexandria.

As regards the Mont Cenis Railway, the testimony of the various
Imperial and Royal Commissioners who were present at the trials on the
experimental line above Lanslebourg, made in 1865, is so uniformly
in favour of the system, that we have simply to look forward to its
opening as the commencement of a revolution, not only as regards
railway construction in mountainous districts, but also as leading to
the most important results, in connection with the transport of the
Anglo-Eastern mails.

The two kingdoms most deeply interested in the success of the system
are, undoubtedly, England and Italy, the former, because, by means
of the railway the transport of the fast mails can, according to the
testimony of Captain Tyler, of Her Britannic Majesty’s Royal Engineers,
and the Commissioners of the British Government, at the trials on the
Mont Cenis, be effected between London and Alexandria, in thirty-nine
hours less time than _viâ_ Marseilles. Italy becomes, by means of this
railway, a route hitherto undeveloped, and it can be brought into
active operation not only for mail transport, but also for that of
passengers; and no doubt, eventually, for that of light goods, and of
specie also.

The advertisement of the British Government leads to the inference
that it desires the conveyance of the fast mails,—that is the mails
that now take the route _viâ_ Marseilles—by way of Brindisi, as soon
as all the arrangements for their transit are completed. It is to be
feared, however, that the French Post Office, instigated no doubt by
the Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean Railway Company, whose interests
are concentrated at Marseilles, _and who has no love whatever for the
Mont Cenis Railway_, will offer all the opposition in its power to
the divergence from Marseilles to Brindisi taking place. In the first
instance the department gave assurances that it would not only not put
obstacles in the way of the British Government making the transfer,
but would co-operate with it and assist it whenever required to do so.
But in December last, the Marquis de Moustier, the French Minister of
Foreign Affairs, addressed to Earl Cowley, the British Ambassador at
Paris, a despatch which contained a memorandum from the French Post
Office, the object of which was to show that the Brindisi route would
only save ten hours over that _viâ_ Marseilles, for mails from England,
and would not effect any saving for mails coming from Egypt towards
England. The memorandum contains several errors of fact, the most
conspicuous of which is that the calculations are the same as were
brought forward by the department when the _Ferrovia Meridionale_ was
only opened as far as Ancona, whereas it is now extended to Brindisi,
559 kilometres farther southwards, and therefore that much the nearer
to Alexandria.

I have reason also to know that the French Government expressed, in
December last, to the British Government, its willingness to reduce
its present transit rate for British correspondence to and from India,
China, Australia, &c., _one-half_, provided the fast mails continued to
be conveyed _viâ_ Marseilles, and that they be not deviated to Brindisi.

For these reasons I am sure that the Italian Government will see the
necessity and importance of vigorous action; and vigour is all the
more necessary, as the officers of the British Post Office have very
frequently made the avowal that their leading principle in all their
postal arrangements is to make each self supporting. Therefore, unless
under compulsion to the contrary, they would probably accept such a
proposal,—at all events I am convinced that they would, if they could.
At the present time the British Government sustains a loss of about
1,000,000 francs (£40,000), a-year by its Anglo-Eastern mail services.

So far as regards the substitution of Brindisi for Marseilles in the
conveyance of what are known in this country as “THE FAST EASTERN

I now desire to approach a subject which I consider to be of at
least equal interest and importance, both to Italy and to England,
and I shall be much gratified if the Italian Government consider the
suggestion I have to offer (which I may state is an original idea of
my own), in the same light as I do. In order that I may make myself
clearly understood, it will be necessary to go into rather lengthy

England has two rates of postage for the letter correspondence.
Newspapers and printed matter, which are conveyed by her Anglo-Eastern
Mails, by the Marseilles route, the letter postage rate for half ounce,
or fifteen grammes, is 100 centimes (tenpence); newspapers thirty
centimes (threepence) each. Book post sixty centimes (sixpence), per
four ounces, or 120 grammes. By the mails which are conveyed _viâ_
Southampton, the letter rate per half-ounce, or fifteen grammes, is
sixty centimes (sixpence); newspapers twenty centimes (twopence) each.
Book post forty centimes (fourpence) per four ounces or 120 grammes.
It follows therefore that a great number of newspapers and all heavy
letters are forwarded _viâ_ Southampton.

At the commencement of the Overland Indian Mail Service, in consequence
of the absence of railways in France, there was scarcely any difference
between the time required to convey correspondence _viâ_ Southampton
and _viâ_ Marseilles. But by degrees, as the railway system between
Calais and Marseilles came into operation the time by that route
diminished, and what, in 1840, was a journey of 120 hours, or five
days, between London and Marseilles, has in recent years, for the
Eastern mail service, been reduced to thirty-four hours.

The contract speed of the steam vessels that sail between Southampton
and Alexandria is ten _knots_ an hour, exclusive of the stoppages
allowed by the British Post Office, at Malta and Gibraltar. The time,
therefore, occupied in the passage between Southampton and Alexandria
is fourteen days, and as the vessels are timed to arrive at the latter
port, at least one day in advance of the steamer _viâ_ Marseilles, the
journey may be said to require fifteen days. As the mails conveyed by
the steamers _viâ_ Marseilles only requires eight days, it follows, in
order that the mails _viâ_ Southampton and _viâ_ Marseilles be carried
forward by the same steamer from Suez, that there shall be an interval
of from 6½ to 7½ days between the time of posting a letter for the
same destination in the east. Thus precisely the same occurs in the
reverse direction, that is to say, if the writer of a letter in London
wishes to forward it, on account of its comparatively cheap rate of
postage, _viâ_ Southampton so that it shall arrive in, say, Bombay, at
the same time as a letter despatched _viâ_ Marseilles on the _evening_
of the 10th of the month, he must take care that it is posted in time
for despatch by the _morning_ mail of the 3rd; or if the writer of a
letter in Bombay forward it for delivery in England _viâ_ Southampton,
he must be content that his correspondent receive it seven days later
than if he sent it _viâ_ Marseilles; as the usual time for a letter to
be conveyed between London and Bombay _viâ_ Marseilles, is twenty-one
days, the letter if sent by the other route, is practically one-third
longer on its journey. The _comparative_ penalty in time is not so
great for Calcutta and other places more distant than Bombay, but the
absolute penalty is the same in all cases, a delay of six days and a
half as a minimum, seven days and a half as a maximum.

When the Brindisi route is available for the mails now taken _viâ_
Marseilles, the interval, in consequence of the saving of thirty-nine
hours, between the despatch of the mails, _viâ_ Brindisi and _viâ_
Southampton, must never be less than eight days as a minimum, or more
than nine days as a maximum. The consequence is, in my opinion, that
arrangements must be made for conveying, by the Brindisi route, the
great portion of the “HEAVY,” or “SOUTHAMPTON MAILS,” as well as the
conveyance of the “FAST,” or the “MARSEILLES MAILS.”

It can, however, only be accomplished by the countries interested
consenting to take a transit rate, very different from that which is
the ordinary transit rate for mail correspondence.

As long as the Mont Cenis Railway is the only railway open towards
the western extremity of the Alps, France may refuse to agree to such
an arrangement. There would then be no alternative but to continue
the heavy mail service _viâ_ Southampton, until the completion of
the Simplon Railway would make both England and Italy independent of
France. The reason is, that there would then be two routes between
England and Italy, _viâ_ the Simplon; one, undoubtedly the shorter,
through Paris, Dijon, Pontarlier, and Lausanne, the other through
Ostend, Belgium, Rhenish Germany, and Switzerland.

The distance from London to Brindisi, _viâ_ Paris, Dijon, &c., would be
2,395 kilometers; _viâ_ Ostend, Belgium, and Rhenish Germany, 2,758
kilometers. At the present time the fast mails are conveyed between
London and Alexandria, _viâ_ Marseilles, in 193 hours, or eight days
one hour.

According to the calculations of Captain Tyler, the fast mails can
be conveyed from London to Brindisi, _viâ_ Mont Cenis, in sixty-nine
hours. That is to say, a letter posted in London on the evening of the
11th of a month would arrive in Brindisi at 5·30 p.m. on the evening
of the 14th; allowing two hours for placing the mails on board the
steamer, she would start at 7·30 p.m., and at the existing contract
rate of ten knots an hour, she would reach Alexandria in eighty-three
hours; that is at 6·30 a.m. on the 18th. If the Simplon line were
opened, the mails would be conveyed in, at least, three hours less
time; making the arrival at Brindisi 3·30 a.m. Thus, the total distance
would be accomplished in 151 hours, or six days seven hours; showing a
saving over the Marseilles route of forty-two hours.

If the French Government would enter into an agreement for carrying the
HEAVY MAILS, through French territory _by ordinary trains_, they could
be conveyed between London and Alexandria in seven days nineteen hours;
or six hours less time than at present, _viâ_ Marseilles: in other
words, these mails need not be despatched from London until thirty-six
hours before the departure of the fast mails.

But if the adoption of the route, _viâ_ Ostend, Belgium, and Rhenish
Germany, be unavoidable, it will then be necessary to despatch the
heavy mails twenty-four hours earlier than if they were transmitted
_viâ_ France. Still this despatch will only be two days and a half
earlier than the despatch of the fast mails, instead of being eight or
nine days, which would be the case if the heavy mails still continued
to be despatched _viâ_ Southampton.

The progress of the heavy mails by ordinary trains _viâ_ Ostend, &c.,
would be as follows:—Despatched from London on the morning of the 9th
of a month, they would reach Basle on the evening of the 10th. At
present there is no night mail trains on the Swiss railways, but they
will be established before the opening of the Simplon Railway. They
would thus reach Lausanne very early on the morning of the 11th. The
distance from Lausanne to Milan, is 351 kilometres, of which, 77 would
constitute the passage across the mountain; allowing five hours for
it, and nine for the remaining 234, the train would arrive at Milan
two hours before departure of the 9·10 p.m. train southwards; leaving
Bologna at 3·40 on the morning of the 12th, the mails would, _at the
latest_, arrive at Brindisi at noon on the 13th. Thus, the whole
journey from London to Brindisi would be performed in 101 hours, or
four days five hours, and the heavy mails would be there 29 hours in
advance of the light mails despatched on the evening of the 11th.

The following table will show at one view the distances (given in
kilometres) and the times occupied, or to be occupied in the several
routes between London and Alexandria.

  │           Viâ.            │ Land.  │ Water. │ Total. │ Time.  │
  │                           │ Kilos. │ Kilos. │ Kilos. │ D.  H. │
  │ Southampton               │   130  │ 5,588  │ 5,718  │ 15  0  │
  │ Marseilles                │ 1,416  │ 2,835  │ 4,251  │  8  1  │
  │ Brindisi[160]             │        │        │        │        │
  │ Fast mails                │ 2,470  │ 1,629  │ 4,099  │  6  7  │
  │ Heavy mails _viâ_ France  │   ..   │   ..   │   ..   │  7 19  │
  │ Heavy mails _viâ_ Belgium │ 2,833  │   ..   │ 4,462  │  8 19  │

It is a well established maxim with all Post Office authorities to
prefer land to water service for conveyance of mails; but especially
so, when the land service can be effected by railway. There are two
reasons for this preference; the first is, the greater certainty of
land over water conveyance; and the second is that mails carried by
railways, are conveyed at a rate of speed never less than double, and
frequently it is three times greater than that of even the quickest
water conveyance.

Viewed in that light, it will be seen by the above table what
advantages the Brindisi route to Alexandria affords over all others.
The direct route is not only 152 kilometers shorter than that _viâ_
Marseilles; but, whereas the sea voyage of the latter route is 2,835
kilometers, that _viâ_ Brindisi is only 1,629, showing a difference in
favour of Brindisi, of 1,206 kilometers; again, the Marseilles route,
has only an advantage of 211 kilometers in point of length over that
_viâ_ Belgium; but the sea passage is still in favour of the latter
by 1,206 kilometers. If the routes _viâ_ Southampton and Brindisi be
compared, the difference exhibited will be still more striking, and the
effect is, that a journey which can be accomplished in six days seven
hours, _viâ_ Brindisi takes nearly twice and a half as long by the
other route.

I therefore consider that great efforts should be made both by Italy
and by England, to accomplish the conveyance of the HEAVY EASTERN
MAILS _viâ_ Brindisi. Even if Italy made apparent sacrifices—that is,
if she carried those mails along her railways at the rate charged for
merchandise, it would be worth her while to do so. She would thereby
not only secure a passenger traffic such as she does not possess
at present, nor can she ever possess, unless with such apparent
sacrifices, but she will thereby make Brindisi the Great European
Terminal Port for all Eastern Postal and Passenger Traffic.

Let but the Government reflect upon the growth and development of
Marseilles in the last twenty years. They are due solely to its being
the port from which steamers depart, and at which steamers arrive
daily from all parts of the Mediterranean. A gigantic commerce centres
there from this cause only. Brindisi has, or at all events may have,
the same career before it; and it is my firm conviction that, with
well-organised arrangements between London and Brindisi, by which
passengers would be attracted to the route, we should see a magnificent
steamer starting daily for Alexandria, and one arriving from there
also daily. Surely this is an anticipation by no means hazardous to
make, when we remember that at the present time there are no less
than eighteen first-class communications a month from Europe to
Alexandria, and the same number from Alexandria to Europe. They are as
follows:—from Southampton four; from Marseilles six; of which four are
by the steamers of the English Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation
Company, and two by those of the _Messageries Impériales_; four from
Trieste, by the Austrian Lloyd’s Company, subsidised by the Austrian
Government, and four from Brindisi, subsidised by the Government of
Italy. In addition, there are two second-class steam communications a
month from Liverpool to Alexandria, by the Bengal Steam Packet Company,
and one from Marseilles, which belongs to the _Messageries Impériales_.

I regret to observe that in the advertisements for New Mediterranean
Contracts, issued by the British Government, the speed proposed is only
ten knots an hour. This was a suitable speed twenty years ago, but does
not correspond with modern requirements. No doubt this speed will be
exceeded before long, and there is no reason why we should not have,
on the Mediterranean, a rate of speed equal to what the steamers of
the Atlantic, built in the last five or six years, have accomplished.
They frequently run during a considerable portion of the entire voyage
from New York to Liverpool at a rate of fifteen knots an hour, but
even if there were a speed between Brindisi and Alexandria of twelve
knots an hour, the passage of eighty-three hours would be converted
into one of seventy-one hours—thus diminishing the time between London
and Alexandria to 139 hours, or five days, nineteen hours—at all
events, this is certain, that it will be much easier to apply increased
speed to vessels which have before them only voyages of the distance
between Brindisi and Alexandria, than to those which have to run from
Marseilles to Alexandria; and the argument is still stronger when we
refer to the vessels between Southampton and Alexandria.

Brindisi will, in my opinion, also become, on the completion of the
Alpine Railways, the port for the postal and passenger communication of
England and Western Europe, with Greece, the Ionian Islands, Turkey,
and the Black Sea. The trade of England with those parts of the world
has increased greatly in recent years.

This letter has extended to much beyond what I had originally proposed;
but I feel that I shall be pardoned its length, in consequence of the
great interest I have for several years taken in the subject, and of my
desire to impart to you all the information I possess relating to it.

Probably, the points I have opened for consideration may lead to the
desire for further particulars. If so, I shall only say that I am
completely at your service for this purpose.

  (Signed)      CUSACK P. RONEY.


  “Above sea level,” described, 318.

  Absence of mind, remarkable instances of, _note_, 170.

  Acceleration of East Indian contract steamers, its importance, 247.

  Accidents on railways, 173;
    statistical account of, 176;
    causes of, 178;
    impossible to prevent them altogether, 179;
    cost of, 180;
    small in proportion to accidents from other causes, 181;
    accidents in London, 181;
    carriage, _note_, 181;
    by shipwreck, 182;
    in collieries and by fire, 183;
    on American railways and steamers, 184;
    on Indian railways, 290.

  Affghanistan, the Long Railway will pass through it, 271, 300;
    opinion of Mr. A. H. Layard, M.P., thereon, 300.

  Africa, mountains of, _note_, 9;
    railway mileage of, _note_, 211.

  Ainsworth, William Harrison, his “Turpin’s Ride to York,” _note_, 215.

  Alba Lake, tunnel from, 364.

  Aldworth, Miss, the lady Freemason, _note_, 210.

  Alexandria, comparative distances to, from London, 429.

  Allen, inventor of Cross Posts, _note_, 103.

  “Allen’s Indian Mail,” its views upon East Indian railway extension,
      _note_, 262.

  Alpine passes enumerated, 7;
    heights of, _note_, 319.

  Alps, the, traversed from the earliest periods, 6;
    Hannibal’s army crosses them, 6;
    the first tunnel under, 366;
    the Great Tunnel of, described, 401.

  America, mountains of, _note_, 10;
    railway mileage of, _note_, 211.

  American railways and steamers, accidents upon, 184.

  American trotting horses, their pace, 188.

  Anglia, _unde derivatur_, _note_, 167.

  Anne, Duchess of Savoy, first constructor of an Alpine tunnel, 366.

  Annuities Act, the Post Office, 101.

  Apennines, the highest peaks of, _note_, 9;
    railway from Pistoja to Poretta described, 344.

  Arbitration, differences between railways and the Post Office to be
      settled by, 75;
    opposition to it by the Post Office, 76;
    the only real mode of settling with railways, 123;
    Mr. E. Page’s opinion on it, 445.

  Argyll, the Duke of, Postmaster-General, 102;
    senator, politician, man of letters, _note_, _ib._

  Army, British, that must be maintained in India, 300.

  “As the crow flies,” described, 343.

  Ascending heights, by man and animals, 320.

  Ashford, locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Asia Minor, the Long Railway will pass through it, 271, 300;
    opinion of Mr. A. H. Layard thereon, 300.

  Asia, mountains of, _note_, 9.

  Atlantic, grand tunnel under the, 400.

  Atlantic islands, mountains of, _note_, 10.

  Attock, the Indus at, _note_, 278, 280;
    the tunnel at, 395.

  Australia, mountains of, _note_, 10;
    British exports to, 54;
    coal in, for Indian railways, 288;
    railways in, _see_ Railways.

  Austria, mountains of, _note_, 8;
    foremost among nations in constructing railways, 12;
    postage stamps in, how called, _note_, 142;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297.

  Avalanches, protection from, on the Mont Cenis Railway, 353.

  “Bagmen” travelling on railways, _note_, 171.

  Bahamas, the, cotton supply from, _note_, 299.

  Baker, Sir Samuel, his views respecting railway extension in India,
      _note_, 263.

  Ball, John, late president of the Alpine Club, Alpine passes and peaks
      enumerated by him, _note_, 319.

  Banging of railway carriage doors, _note_, 213.

  Barlow, Peter W., Esq., C.E., his proposed Thames subway, 395.

  Barrow Docks, opening of, _note_, 51.

  Bavaria, mountains of, _note_, 9;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297.

  Belgium, the first continental nation to construct railways, 12;
    fastest trains in, 113;
    postage stamps in, _note_, 142;
    locomotive constructing establishments in, 193;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297;
    railway tunnels in, 380.

  Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Great Britain, _note_, 9.

  Bermuda, cotton supply from, _note_, 299.

  Bernardino Pass, the, 10.

  Bessemer process of steel manufacture, 201;
    its great value and importance, _note_, 202.

  Beypoor, unsuitable terminus for Madras Railway, 256.

  Bhore Ghaut, the, described, 252.

  Birmingham, rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Bletchley Station, 220.

  Blue Coat School, the, _note_, 217.

  Board of Trade, its powers respecting cheap parliamentary trains, 61;
    errors in its calculations, 71;
    its wreck register, 182;
    Captain Tyler’s report to, on the Mont Cenis Railway, 347.

  Boetia, ancient tunnel in, 364.

  Bohemia, mountains of, _note_, 8.

  Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway, the, 258;
    proposed extension of, to Delhi, 260;
    working expenses, 289.

  Bombay, development necessary at, for it to become the capital of
      India, _note_, 258;
    advantage to Bombay of the extension of the Baroda line to Delhi,

  Book Post, the, Mr. Page’s vindication, 450;
    refuted, 471.

  Bordeaux, the port for the Orleans Railway Company, 24;
    population of, _note_, 31.

  Box Tunnel, the, its ventilation, 411.

  Bradshaw’s Continental Guide, 32.

  Bray Head, proposed tunnels under, 371.

  Bread winners and bread managers, _note_, 161.

  Brenner, the, a very old Alpine pass, 11;
    the railway over the Pass, 13;
    its political importance, 14;
    its first time table, _note_, _ib._

  Bridgewater, Duke of, opening of his canal, 65.

  Brighton Locomotive and Carriage Establishment, 209.

  Brindisi described, 428;
    its importance for the conveyance of the Eastern mails, 429, 496.

  Brindisi, distance from London _viâ_ Brenner Pass, _note_, 15.

  Bristol, the highest rainfall in, of England, _note_, 281.

  Britannia Tubular Bridge, the, described, 391.

  British Columbia, Canadian railways to extend to, 306.

  Broadstone Locomotive and Carriage Establishment, 209.

  Brockedon, William, his illustrated work on Alpine passes, 7.

  Brunlees, James, Esq., C.E., 346.

  Bucke, W., engineer of Manchester and Birmingham Railway, 4.

  Bulk, not weight, the real manner in which mails must be
    estimated, 85.

  Burke, John, Esq., C.E., his tunnel under the Liffey, 394.

  Byron, Lord, educated at Harrow, 218;
    recollection of his schoolboy days, _note_, _ib._

  Cæsar, Julius, his tunnel under Uxellodum, 365.

  Cairn Tual, the highest mountain in Ireland, _note_, 9.

  Calais to Paris, railway distance, 15;
    to Nice, 240;
    to Constantinople, 270.

  Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway, the, 273;
    working expenses, 290.

  Calcutta, population of, _note_, 259;
    postal communications with, 247;
    their future accelerations, 266, 272.

  Caledonian Railway, its locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  California, discovery of gold in, 17;
    telegraphing with London, 19.

  Campbell, Lord, his lives of the Chancellors of England, full of
    blunders, _note_, 324.

  Canada, railways in, 301, _see_ Railways;
    proportion of, to population, 305.

  Canals, passengers carried on them in 1837, 57;
    effect of their opening upon the cost of conveying goods, 65;
    canals have not suffered through railways—dividends in 1846 and
      1867, 67, _note_, 149;
    their length in Great Britain, 368;
    tunnels in, _ib._;
    canals in France, _note_, 377.

  Canton, distance from San Francisco, 22.

  Cape of Good Hope Railway, the, 311.

  Capital invested in British railways, 40, 147;
    can no longer be charged with working expenses, 55.

  Capitol of Rome, how saved, 213.

  Carriage accidents in London, _note_, 181;
    doors of railways, banging of, 213.

  Carson, city, 19.

  Cat, the, its power of ascending elevations, 321.

  Catherine of Arragon introduces the mantilla and farthingale into
    England, _note_, 210.

  Cattle conveyed on British railways, 40;
    increased since 1859, 47, 69;
    imported in 1866, 70.

  Celerity of postal communication, Mr. Frederick Hill’s notions
      upon, 129;
    inaccuracy of Post Office assertions thereon, 130.

  Cenis, the, Mont. _See_ Mont.

  Central American Honduras Railway, the, 312.

  Centre rail system, Mr. Fell’s claims as its inventor, 337.

  Ceylon Railway, the, 313.

  Chaix, M. M., “Indicateur des Chemins de Fer,” 32.

  Chalmers, Mr. James, his subway between France and England, 398.

  Charterhouse School, _note_, 217.

  Chaucer, Geoffrey, _note_, 168.

  Cheshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Christ’s Hospital School, _note_, 217.

  City of London, value of house property in, _note_, 326.

  Cleghorn, Mr. John, his railway statistical tables, 40.

  Coal, conveyance of, by railway, rapidly increasing, 48;
    extraction of, from British collieries, _ib._, _note_, 49;
    how consumed, 50;
    its existence in India, _note_, 284;
    cost of, on Indian railways, 286;
    prospects of its being found in India, 288;
    Labuan and Australia, _ib._

  Cochin, best sea-board terminus for the Madras railway, 257.

  Coffee, the use of, diminishing in Great Britain, 71.

  Col di Tenda, the, 8;
    height of, 319;
    tunnel under in the 15th century, 366.

  Cold, how excluded from the Hauenstein tunnel, 416.

  Collieries, number of, in Great Britain, _note_, 49;
    loss of life in, 183.

  Colonies of Great Britain that supply it with cotton, 299.

  Combinations, their injurious effects upon workmen, _note_, 159;
    _note_, 161.

  Commission of 1853, on Contract Packet Services, extract from its
    report, 267.

  Committee on Postal and Telegraphic Communications with the East,
    extract from its report, _note_, 266.

  Constantinople, railways to, 271.

  Corkscrew, the, ladies ungraceful in the use of, 228;
    advice thereon, 229;
    its analogy to mountain railways, 402.

  Corn, foreign, imports of, 72.

  Corporation of the City of London, great works accomplished by, 326;
    further required, 327;
    its columns of Luxor, 328.

  Cotton, cost of conveyance from Liverpool to Manchester, last
      century, 65;
    districts of India, the, 295;
    whence imported into England, 299.

  Crampton engines, 190.

  Crawford, R. W., Esq., M.P., memorandum on the East Indian Railway,
    _note_, 251.

  Crewe works, locomotives made at, 192;
    the town and works described, 194;
    statistics in 1849, 196;
    in 1867, 200;
    steel and iron rail manufactory, 201;
    modern Crewe, 204;
    its municipal government, 206;
    places of worship and schools, 207.

  Crinoline forbidden on locomotives, 210;
    its introduction into England, _note_, _ib._

  Cumberland, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Cusack, Mr. Ralph, establishes low railway fares in Ireland, 45.

  Daft, T. B., Esq., C.E., his proposed steamers between Newhaven and
    Dieppe, _note_, 397.

  Dâk, establishment of, between Jubbulpore and Nagpore, _note_, 247.

  Danvers, Juland, Esq., government director of Indian railways, his
    annual reports on them, 247, 248, 256, 272, 277, 290.

  Day mails, their number to and from London, 106.

  De Camp, Monsieur A., 97.

  Debenture capital of British railways, 147;
    holders, number of, in Indian railways, 276.

  Delhi Railway, the, 273.

  Demerara Railway, the, 311.

  Derby locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Derby, Right Hon. the Earl of, speech upon combinations, _note_, 159.

  Derby, the, speed at which it is run, 186.

  Derbyshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Desbriere, Monsieur P., _Etudes sur la Locomotion au Moyen du Rail
    Central_, his resumé as to the priority of the centre rail
    discovery, 336.

  Dingwall and Skye Railway, _note_, 239.

  Distances, tables of, 15, 22;
    from Dover and Penzance to the North of Scotland, 240;
    traversed by the Eastern mails, 496.

  Dividends upon share capital of British railways, 147.

  Divine service, arrangements for, at Crewe, 206.

  Dix, General John A., president Union Pacific Railroad, 22.

  Docks, importance of, at Bombay, _note_, 258;
    advantages of, to Southampton, _note_, 259.

  Dog, the, its power of ascending elevations, 321.

  Dogs travelling on railways, _note_, 171.

  Doncaster locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Dove Hole Tunnel, 372;
    singular accident in, 425.

  Dover, railway distance from, to North of Scotland, 240.

  Dublin, rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Duncombe, George, Esq., his noble contribution to the town of Crewe,

  Durham, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Earlestown, waggon repairing establishment, 200.

  East Indian Railway, the, its commencement, 245;
    its present extent, 246;
    importance of completing the gap from Jubbulpore towards Bombay,
    cost of the Railway, 248;
    its alleged mismanagement, _note_, _ib._;
    history of, by R. W. Crawford, Esq., M.P., _note_, 251;
    its net earnings exceed the Government guarantee, 277;
    iron sleepers upon, 283;
    coal-fields adjacent to the line, 287;
    working expenses, 289;
    provident fund, 293;
    its insufficiency, 294.

  Eastern Bengal Railway, the, 273.

  Eastern Counties Railway, strike upon, in 1849;
    described, _note_, 161;
    locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Eastern mails, weight and dimensions of, in 1839, 90;
    at present, 95, 98;
    their great bulk and weight, 431, 488;
    savings to be effected by sending them _viâ_ Brindisi, 490;
    table of the several routes, 496.

  Edinburgh, course of post from London, 1672 to 1867, 2;
    Journey from, to Marseilles in 1867, 157;
    speed of limited mail to, 237;
    rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  _Edinburgh Review_, the, describes the tunnel of the Alps, 426.

  Edward VI., founder of Christ’s Hospital and other schools, _note_,

  Eggs, imports of, 72.

  Elephants have crossed the Alps, 7.

  Elevations, powers of ascending them, by man and animals, 321.

  Elizabeth, Queen, on the “Winton birching,” _note_, 216;
    her letter to the Bishop of Ely, _note_, 324.

  Engine, the Locomotive, a ride upon, from London to Stafford and back,

  Engine drivers, strike of, upon the Eastern Counties Railways in 1849,
      _note_, 161;
    their numbers on English railways, 211.

  Engine manufacturers, British and Continental, 191.

  Engines, dimensions of, on the Sœmmering Pass, 13;
    number of, on British railways, 45;
    fuel consumed by them, 50;
    number of component parts, 172;
    effects of bursting a tube, 173;
    compared to horses, 186;
    speeds of various classes of engines, 188;
    great size and power of some on the Continent, 189;
    inside and outside cylinder engines, 190;
    names of makers of, 191;
    number made annually in England and abroad, 191;
    railway establishments for the repairs of, 209;
    the engine in steam, 213;
    started, 215;
    capacity of their tenders, 219;
    engines and watches compared, 244.

  _Engineering_ newspaper, the, extracts from, _notes_, 125, 202, 237,
     248, 264, 284.

  England, Helvellyn, the highest mountain in, _note_, 9;
    prosperity of, 164;
    public schools of, _note_, 216;
    commercial value of the East Indian Railways to, 296.

  Englishmen for thirteen centuries described by Professor Henry Morley,
      _note_, 167;
    national character of, similar to that of the Romans, _note_, 169.

  Etna, Mont, height of, _note_, 9.

  Eton College, _note_, 216.

  Euphrates River, the, described, _note_, 264;
    the tunnel under, 359.

  Euphrates Valley Railway, the, 262, 266.

  Europe, railway mileage of, _note_, 211.

  Euston Station, its Doric portico, 212;
    departure of a train from, 213.

  Fares on French railways, 30;
    high on Irish railways, 44.

  Fell, Mr. John, the inventor of the centre rail system, 332;
    the system explained, 334;
    his appreciation both in theory and practice, 337;
    his experiments on the High Peak Railway, 338;
    on the Mont Cenis, 330;
    effect of the centre rail going round curves, 342;
    the Emperor Napoleon’s appreciation of the system, 349.

  Ferrovia Calabro-Sicula, the, 433.

  Ferrovia Meridionale of Italy, 427.

  Fire, accidents by, 183;
    houses destroyed by, in London, _note_, 184;
    expense of, in several cities, _ib._

  Fish, conveyance of, on railways, 156.

  Fitzgerald, Sir Seymour, Governor of Bombay, ordered to report on
    Kurrachee Harbour, _note_, 264.

  Florence, distance from London _viâ_ Brenner Pass, _note_, 15;
    _viâ_ Mont Cenis, 437.

  Food, large conveyance of, by railways, 70;
    imports of, from abroad, 71.

  Foot mileage of the Post Office, great variety in its cost, 123.

  Foreign postage stamps, _note_, 142.

  Forest of Dean, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  France possesses the three highest mountains in Europe, _note_, 8;
    history of railways in, 24;
    railway passenger traffic of, 30;
    cheap railways in, 31;
    railway postal service in, 38;
    material progress of, _note_, 54;
    letters and newspapers circulating in, _note_, 81;
    rural postmen in, _note_, 97;
    speed of railway trains in, 112, 130;
    stopping trains in, often unpunctual 114;
    postage stamps in, _note_, 142;
    fortunate escape through not annexing Luxemburg, _note_, 143;
    locomotive establishments of, 193;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297;
    canal and railway tunnels in, 377;
    mode of their construction, _note_, 378;
    subways and tunnels from England to, 396.

  Francis, John, his valuable compendium of English railways, 74.

  Franks, number of, in 1839, 75.

  Fraser, J. M., Esq., C.E., upon British railway tunnels, 370.

  Free trade has developed the present commercial grandeur of England,
    America takes a different view, _note_, _ib._;
    free trade and the railway, the twin sisters of progress, 165.

  Freemason, Miss Aldworth, the lady, _note_, 210.

  Fremont, General, 17.

  Frere, Sir Bartle, his views on Indian railway extension, _note_, 262.

  Frith, W. P., Esq., R. A., his pictures “The Derby Day” and “The
    Railway Station,” 212.

  Fucinus, Lake, ancient tunnel from, 365

  Fuel for Indian railways, 284.

  Furies, the, and the officials of St. Martin’s-le-Grand, 146.

  Gammond, M. Thome de, his subway between France and England, 398.

  Gauge of railways, _note_, 110.

  Gauges, the battle of the, 4.

  Genevre Mont, the, 8;
    height of, _note_, 319.

  Germany, locomotive building establishments in, 192;
    railways in, _note_, 297;
    railway tunnels in, 377.

  Ghaut, the Bhore, 252;
    the Thull, 254.

  Gibraltar, height of summit, _note_, 9.

  Gibson, Rt. Hon. Milner, the author of the abolition of stamps on
    newspapers, 80.

  Giovi incline, the 344.

  Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Wm., speech of, on KING IRON, _note_, 51;
    gratitude due to him for establishing Post Office Savings Banks,

  Glasgow, rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Gloucestershire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Glover, Colonel, his memorandum on Indian telegraphs, _note_, 280.

  Glyn, George Carr, Esq., M.P., 74.

  Gold, discovery of, in California, 17.

  Goods conveyed on British railways, 40, 47;
    cost and speed of conveyance in the last century, 65;
    contents of first goods train on the Liverpool and Manchester
      Railway, 66;
    slow development of goods traffic on British railways, 66;
    increase in subsequent years, _ib._

  Government Insurance and Annuities Act, the, 101;
    transmission of documents which its establishment renders necessary,

  Gradients, the early, on English railways, 4;
    maximum at present, 5;
    explained, 322;
    on the Mont Cenis Railway, 331;
    on mountain road, 343;
    that engines can ascend, 344.

  Grand Junction Railway incorporated, 2;
    opened, _ib._;
    used by the Post Office as soon as opened, 73.

  Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, the, begun, 302;
    its length and cost, 305;
    Victoria Bridge upon, 391.

  Great Britain, mountains of, _note_, 9.

  Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the, its course and works, 252;
    receipts, 254;
    its liability to heavy working charges, 255;
    its net earnings exceed the government guarantee, 277;
    working expenses, 289.

  Great Southern of India Railway, the, 274;
    working expenses, 289.

  Great St. Bernard, 8;
    height of, _note_, 319.

  Great Vallon Mountain, the, the Tunnel of the Alps carried through it,

  Great Western Railway has the fastest train in England, 110;
    its gauge, _note_, _ib._

  Great Western Railway of Canada, the, 302;
    its length and cost, 305.

  Greece, mountains in, _note_, 8.

  Gregory, Charles Hutton, Esq., C.E., Post Office Arbitrator, 132, 144.

  Gretna Green pace, the, 187.

  Griffiths, Mr. Darby, M.P., chances of his Post Office Bill passing,

  Grove, George, Esq., Secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 359.

  Guarantee, the, of the Indian Government to railways, 275;
    impossible to construct railways in India without it, 278.

  Guernsey, no railways in, 314.

  Halifax, Nova Scotia, 304;
    its magnificent harbour, 306.

  Hamburg, postage stamps in, how called, _note_, 142.

  Hand books, continental, 317.

  Hannibal, his army crosses the Alps, 6.

  Hanover, postage stamps in, how called, 142.

  Harrow School, 216;
    distinguished men educated there, 217.

  “Haste, post haste,” defined, _note_, 158.

  Hatton, Sir Christopher, _note_, 324.

  Hauenstein Tunnel, the, its ventilation, 415;
    cold, how excluded, 416.

  Haupt, General, his tunnel boring machine, 385.

  Hawkshaw, John, Esq., C.E., his tunnel under the Mersey, 393;
    his borings between Calais and Dover, 398.

  Haywood, William, Esq., engineer of the Corporation of London, 322.

  Head, Sir Francis, Bart., quotations from his “Stokers and Pokers,”
    196, 197, 198, 224.

  Helvellyn, the highest mountain in England, _note_, 9.

  Henry VI., founder of Eton College, _note_, 216.

  Hermit, winner of the Derby, 1867, 186.

  Hibbert, the late Mrs., “Generalissima,” _note_, 227, 228.

  High Peak Railway, Mr. Fell’s experiments upon the, 338.

  Highgate, intended tunnel through, 369.

  Highland Railway, the, _note_, 237, 238.

  Hill, Mr. Frederick, Assistant-Secretary of the Post Office, supports
      his brother’s views respecting purchase of railways;
    his ignorance of their working, 118;
    his anticipations if the State purchase British railways, 123;
    his assertions answered, 124;
    differences between Mr. Hill and Postmaster-General’s Reports, 130;
    Mr. Hill believed to be the writer of them, 131;
    his evidence before the Committee on Postal and Telegraph
      Communications with the East, _note_, 266.

  Hill, Mr. M. D., his article on the Post Office, in _Fraser’s
    Magazine_, _note_, 98, 137.

  Hill, Sir Rowland, K.C.B., appointed on the Royal Commission on
      Railways, 115;
    dissents from report, his reasons, 117;
    the chief witnesses in his support, 118;
    real reasons for his recommendations, 118;
    what they are, 132.

  Hilmer, Mr. B., his subway between France and England, 398.

  Hofer, Andreas, 12.

  Holborn, past and present, _note_, 323.

  Holborn Viaduct and Embankment, the, described, 321, 328.

  Holland, postage stamps in, how called, _note_, 142.

  Holyhead and Kingstown, the magnificent steamers between, _note_, 95.

  Holyhead Mail, the old and the new compared, 46.

  Honduras railway, the, 312.

  Hooghley, the river, importance of a railway bridge across, 247.

  Hoosac Tunnel, the, 385.

  Hora di Roma, _note_, 158.

  Horse boxes, their use in railway traffic, 46.

  Horse, the, and the locomotive compared, 186;
    its power of ascending elevations, 321.

  Horses, numbers required for mail coaches in 1839, 93;
    number required if the Post Office reverted to mail coaches, 94.

  Hotel accommodation required at Bombay, _note_, 259.

  Howell, Mr., Secretary of the Peninsular and Australian Navigation
    Company, 95.

  Humber, the, proposed railway tunnel under, 394.

  Ice, conveyance of, by railway, 156.

  Imperial railway train for the Emperor Napoleon, 33.

  Inchicore locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Inclines, the Oldham, Lancashire, and Yorkshire Railway, _note_, 5.

  India, population of, British exports to, 53;
    railways in, 245, _see_ Railways;
    marvellous development of, 297;
    its debt, _note_, 298;
    cotton imported from, 299;
    what quantity produced, _note_, _ib._;
    army that must be maintained there, _note_, 300.

  Indus River, the, how it must be crossed at Attock, _note_, 278.

  Indus steam flotilla, the, 262.

  Indus Valley Railway, the, 262.

  Insurance Act, the Post Office, 101.

  Intercolonial Railway, the proposed, 304.

  Ireland, Cairn Tual, the highest mountain in, _note_, 9;
    population of, _note_, 34;
    railways in, 43;
    railway animosity in, 44;
    probable reduction of high fares, 45;
    production of coal in, _note_, 49;
    sums paid by Post Office to railways in, 108;
    railway gauge in, _note_, 110;
    report of royal commissioners upon, 116;
    dissentients, 117;
    absence of locomotive manufacturers in, 192;
    canal navigation of, 368;
    railway tunnels in, 371, 373.

  Iron, British coal consumed in the manufacture of, 51;
    KING IRON, _note_, _ib._;
    how he should be heard at St. Stephen’s, 208.

  Isle of Man Railway prospects, 314.

  Isle of Wight Railway, the, 314.

  Isthmus of Suez Railway, 95;
    canal, _note_, _ib._, _note_, 265.

  Italy, mountains of, _note_, 8;
    postage stamps in, how called, _note_, 142;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297;
    ancient tunnels in, 364;
    railway tunnels, 380;
    its railway system, 427.

  Jamaica Railway, the, 311.

  Jeddo, distance from St. Francisco, 22.

  Jerrold, Blanchard, one of the workman’s best friends, 228.

  Jersey, no railway at present in, 314.

  Jerusalem, explorations in, 360.

  Kensington, its frequent use in London street nomenclature, _note_,

  Kilometres, how to convert into English miles, 331.

  Kingstown and Holyhead, magnificent steamers between, _note_, 95.

  Kurhurbali Coal-field, 287.

  Kurrachee Harbour, its present unfitness as a harbour, _note_, 264.

  La Vallée, M. Charles, “Les Chemins de Fer en France,” 30.

  Labouchere, Mr., his speech upon railways, 1838, 74.

  Labuan, coal prospects in, 288.

  Ladies’ dogs carried on railways, _note_, 171.

  Lancashire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Lange, Daniel A., Esq., English representative of the Suez Maritime
    Canal Company, _note_, 95, _note_, 265.

  Lanslebourg, the Mont Cenis village of, 332.

  Lardner, Dr. Dionysius, Treatise on Railway economy, 61.

  Late trains, 166.

  Lawyers at Crewe, 204.

  Layard, H. A., Esq., M.P., his opinion upon a railway through Persia,
      &c., to India, 300;
    upon Assyrian antiquities, 359.

  Leeds, rainfall in, 281.

  Leicestershire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Letter postage, low as contrasted with high newspaper postage; its
    effects; necessity of its reduction upon local letters, _note_, 81.

  Letter writing among the working classes, 205.

  Letters, number of, in 1839 and 1840, 75;
    number circulating in France, _note_, 81;
    transmission alone gives them value, 141.

  Lewins, William, “Her Majesty’s Mails,” 103.

  Liechtenstei, the smallest state in the World, _note_, 34.

  Life boats, the, of the National Association, their great use in
    saving life, 183.

  Liffey, the, proposed railway tunnel under, 394.

  Lille, population of, _note_, 31.

  Limited mail, the, its speed, 109, 237.

  Linsdale Tunnel, 220.

  Little St. Bernard, the, crossed by Hannibal’s army, 7;
    easiest Alpine pass, 8.

  Live stock conveyed on British railways, 40, 47.

  Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened, 2;
    “Rocket” engine tried upon, 5;
    contents of first goods train conveyed upon it, 66;
    used by the Post Office as soon as opened, 73;
    speed upon, 109.

  Liverpool, its postal arrangements with Manchester, _note_, 124;
    rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Local letters, the most profitable to the Post Office, _note_, 81;
    history of their development in London since 1800, _note_, 82.

  Locke, the late Joseph, M.P., 4, 195.

  Locomotive engine and the horse compared, 186;
    ride upon one from London to Stafford and back, 210.

  Locomotive engines, number of, on British railways, 45.

  London and Birmingham Railway incorporated, 2;
    opened, _ib._;
    immediately used by the Post Office, 73.

  London and North-Western Railway, length, 23;
    cost, 28;
    passenger traffic, 33;
    rolling stock and train mileage in 1847, 38;
    in 1866, 39;
    receipts, _ib._;
    its London coal traffic likely to diminish, 48;
    its locomotive establishment at Crewe, 194;
    carriage establishment at Wolverton, 199;
    waggon establishment at Earlestown, 200;
    its minor repairing shops, 201;
    rail manufactory at Crewe, 201.

  London, Chatham and Dover Railway, 15;
    Workman’s trains, 63;
    its locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  London (City), mortality in, _note_, 35.

  London General Omnibus Company, passengers carried by the, 35.

  London, population of, 34;
    its motive habits, 35, 37;
    street nomenclature, _note_, 36;
    dependent upon railways for its food supply, 70;
    carriage accidents in, _note_, 181;
    rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Long Hedge locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Lubeck, postage stamps in, how called, note, 142.

  Lukmainer Alpine Pass, the, 10;
    proposed tunnel through, 409.

  Luxemburg, the Duchy of, inconveniences if annexed to France, _note_,

  Lyons, population of, _note_, 31;
    the Croix Rousse Railway, 32.

  Lytton, Lord, obtained the reduction of the Newspaper duty in 1836,
    _note_, 80.

  Madras, population of, 259.

  Madras Railway, its course, 255;
    traffic, 256;
    small amount of its working expenses, 289;
    freedom from accidents to passengers, 291.

  Madrid, its magnificent water supply, 384.

  Mail bags, 90;
    conveyance of by ordinary trains, 139, 463.

  Mail coaches, their speed, 56, 109;
    passengers carried by them in 1837, 57;
    their numbers, weights they carried, 93;
    numbers required if Post Office now resorted to conveyance by them,
      93, 94, 95;
    more costly proportionately than railways, 137;
    that formerly left London each evening, 443;
    payments to, 457;
    dimensions for postal purposes, 466.

  Mail Contract Packets, excluded from expenses of Post Office until
    1860, 94.

  Mails, weight of, 92;
    prices paid to railways for conveyance of, 95, 106, 446;
    day, 106.

  Man, his power of ascending elevations by steps, 321.

  Manchester and Birmingham Railway, 4.

  Manchester, its postal connection with Liverpool, _note_, 124;
    the city described, _note_, 125;
    rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Manners, Lord John, his tardy mode of doing business, _note_, 242.

  Marseilles, from Paris, time of journey in 1672, 1;
    the Liverpool of the Mediterranean, 24;
    population of, _note_, 31;
    from Edinburgh to, 157;
    distance to Alexandria, 429;
    its growth and development, 497.

  Matheson, Alexander, Esq., M.P., his efforts to establish the Dingwell
    and Skye Railway, _note_, 239.

  Mauritius Railway, the, 313.

  Meat, imports of, 71;
    conveyance of, by American railways, _note_, 156.

  Merchandise conveyed on British railways, 40, 47.

  Merchant Tailors’ School, _note_, 217.

  Mersey, the, Mr. Hawkshaw’s tunnel under, 393.

  Messina, the Straits of, 434;
    marvellous bridge across, _ib._;
    mail steamers between Marseilles and Malta to go through the
      Straits, _note_, 432.

  Metre, the, its equivalent in English measure, 331.

  Metropolitan District Railway, the, described, 389.

  Metropolitan Railway, passengers conveyed in, 35;
    its workman’s trains, 62;
    described, 387;
    character of the atmosphere in it, 419;
    cause of the pungent smell in it, 422;
    efforts made to ensure the best ventilation, 423;
    excellent health of the employés, 424.

  Midland Railway incorporated, 3;
    present length, _ib._;
    its importance for the conveyance of coal to London, 48.

  Mileage, British Postal, on Railways, 38, 105, 138;
    variety of its cost for all modes of conveyance, 123.

  Mileage, train, of British Railways, 40, 47.

  Minerals conveyed on British railways, 40, 47;
  their rapid increase in recent years, 69.

  Mining, tunnels connected with, 396;
    shafts ditto, _note_, 411.

  Mississippi, proposed sub-aqueous bridge for, 395.

  Monadnock on free trade, _note_, 151;
    his arguments refuted, _note_, 153.

  Money Orders, documents connected with them, that pass through the
      Post Office, 87;
    absence of complete information respecting them, _note_, 98;
    amount of, in 1865, 98.

  _Moniteur des Interets Materiels_, 32.

  Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, 8.

  Mont Cenis, height above sea level, 319;
    its height described, 321;
    gradients of, 331;
    Mr. Fell’s experiments upon, 339;
    Captain Tyler’s trials, 340;
    concession for the railway, 349;
    the works described, 350;
    level crossings, 351;
    the railway at Susa, 352;
    Zig-zags, 353;
    protection from snow and avalanches, _ib._;
    stations, 355;
    the engines for working the line, 356;
    its great rival, 358.

  Morley, Professor Henry, his description of Englishmen, _note_, 167.

  Mormons, head quarters, 19;
    their contributions to the Union Pacific Railroad, 21.

  Mountains, early desire to construct railways over them, 5;
    height of, throughout the world, _note_, 8.

  Mousell, the Right Hon. Wm., appointed on the Royal Commission on
      Railways, 115;
    dissents from Report, 117.

  Munich, distance from London, 15.

  Murray’s Hand Books the best published, 317.

  Nantes, population of, _note_, 31.

  Naples, distance from London, _viâ_ Brenner Pass, _note_, 15;
    _viâ_ Mont Cenis, 437.

  Napoleon I. crossed the Great St. Bernard, 9;
    narrow escape from death there, _ib._

  Napoleon III., Imperial Railway Train for, 33;
    his appreciation of the Centre Rail System, 349;
    Extract from his _Vie de Cæsar_, 365.

  Natal Railway, the proposed, 313.

  National Debt, the, 151;
    compared with capital invested in railways, _ib._

  National Life Boat Institution, the great benefit it confers, 183.

  Nederschindermanderscheid, a Luxemburg postal town, _note_, 144, 194.

  Nevada, State of, 19.

  New Brunswick, railways in, 304.

  New South Wales, railways in, 307;
    first locomotive made in, _note_, _ib._;
    amount of traffic, 310.

  New Zealand, railway tunnel in, 386.

  Newcastle, rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Newspapers, number of, circulating through the Post in 1839 and 1840,
    misrepresentations by the Post Office respecting, 80;
    stamps for, issued, from 1835 to 1854, _note_, _ib._;
    effect of high postal charge for their transmission, and comparative
      low charge for letters, _note_, 81;
    erroneous Post Office statements respecting, 81, 83, 87, 452.

  Nine Elms Locomotive and Carriage establishment, 209.

  North of Scotland, railway distances from, to Dover and Penzance, 240.

  North Wales, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Northampton, its hostility to the London and Birmingham Railway, 233.

  Northern of France Railway, its powerful engines, 189.

  Northumberland, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Nottinghamshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Nova Scotia, railways in, 304.

  Oberschindermanderscheid, a Luxemburg postal town, _note_, 144, 194.

  Officials of railways, their general good conduct, 174;
    difficulties of their positions and duties when accidents occur,
    numbers killed and injured, 177;
    numbers employed in Great Britain, 211;
    their love of banging carriage doors, _note_, 213.

  Oldham, Mr., superintendent of the geological survey of India, his
    opinion as to coal being found there, 288.

  Omaha, terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad, 19.

  Orleans Railway Company, length, 23;
    its first conception, 25;
    cost, 28;
    traffic receipts, 29;
    passengers conveyed, 31;
    engine mileage, 37;
    goods traffic, 39.

  Otranto, the Port and Castle of, 432.

  Oudry, M., his bridge across the Straits of Messina, 434.

  Overland Californian Mail, the, 18;
    the “Pony Express,” _ib._

  Pacific islands, mountains and volcanoes of, _note_, 10.

  Pacific Railroad, the Union, described, 17.

  Page, Mr. Edward, Inspector-General of Mails, his personal character,
    his report, _ib._;
    cause of its being issued, 85;
    error in the mode Mr. Page makes his computations, _ib._;
    omissions in his calculations, 86, 92;
    his assertions disproved, 92, 94;
    one of Sir Rowland Hill’s witnesses in favour of the State
      purchasing railways, 118, 132;
    his report of 1856, 439;
    increased weight of mails under penny postage system would not have
      prevented their carriage by mail coaches, 440;
    weight increased less than supposed, 441;
    comparative cost of road and railway mails, 443;
    relations between the railway companies and the Post Office, 444;
    arbitration, 445;
    prices paid to railway companies, 446;
    Mr. Page denies illiberal treatment, 447;
    mails by railway companies’ guards, 448;
    payment by passengers and Post Office compared, 448;
    competition from parcels post, 449;
    manner in which railways have improved postal communication, 452;
    Mr. R. Stephenson’s reply to Mr. Page, 454. _See_ Stephenson.

  Palmerston, Lord, educated at Harrow, 218.

  Paper _versus_ letters, 141.

  Parcels, post, by the Post Office not approved by the Royal
      Commissioners of Railways, 121;
    Mr. Frederick Hill’s
    method of removing the chief difficulty in its establishment, 124;
    Mr. Page’s views, 449.

  Paris, Lyons, and Mediterranean railway, length, 23;
    cost of construction, 28;
    traffic receipts, 29;
    engine mileage, 37;
    goods traffic, 39;
    its hostility to the Mont Cenis Railway, 492.

  Paris to Marseilles, time of journey in 1672, 1;
    present distance from London, 15.

  Paris to St. Michel, 316.

  Parliament, incompetence of, as regards railway legislation, 165.

  Parliamentary reports, the Post Office thereon, 444;
    their assertions refuted, 474.

  Pascal, _note_, 10.

  Passenger traffic on French railways, 30, 31;
    on railways terminating in London, 37;
    on British railways, 40;
    third class, its immense increase, 47;
    number carried in the United Kingdom in 1837 and subsequent years,
    cause of immense increase of third class, 61.

  Passengers conveyed on British railways, 40, 166;
    accidents to, 176;
    numbers conveyed on Indian railways, 291, 297;
    accidents to, on Indian railways, 290.

  Patterns, numbers transmitted by post incorrectly stated by Post
      Office, _note_, 81;
    first carried in 1863, 98.

  Peel, Sir Robert, educated at Harrow, 218.

  Peninsular and Oriental Steam Packet Company, increased postal subsidy
      required by it, _note_, 241;
    services performed by it, _note_, 268;
    its new contract, note, 430;
    its history traced, 482.

  Penny postage, date of its commencement, 75.

  Penzance, Railway distance from, to North of Scotland, 240.

  Persia, the long railway will pass through it, 271;
    opinion of Mr. A. H. Layard, M.P., thereon, 300.

  Perth, speed of limited mail to, 109, 237.

  Periodical tickets on railways, numbers of, 64.

  Peshawer and Lahore Railway Company, the, difference of opinion
    respecting its construction, 278.

  Phipps, G. H., Esq., C.E., on tunnel construction, _note_, 375.

  Pigs and piglings at Wolverton, _note_, 225;
    disputed statistics of, 231.

  Pistoja, railway from, across the Apennines, 344;
    its working expenses, 346.

  Poland, unpronounceable post towns in, _note_, 144.

  Policemen at Crewe, 204.

  Pondicherry, railways for, 257;
    population and area of, _note_, _ib._

  Pony express, the Transatlantic, described, 18.

  Population of chief cities of France, _note_, 31;
    of London, 34;
    of India, 53;
    of United Kingdom in 1837 and subsequent years, 57.

  Port Canning Company, the, 274.

  Porta Cæsaris Augusti, Susa, 6.

  Portugal, mountains of, _note_, 9.

  Post haste defined, _note_, 158.

  Post horse duty, the, not diminished by the opening of railways, 59.

  Post Office, the, has produced many literary men, _note_, 103.

  Post Office, the, its railway mileage, 38;
    railways used by the department from the earliest period, 73;
    its jealousy of railways; _ib._;
    the Bill of 1838, _ib._;
    largely modified in its passage through the House of Commons, 74;
    introduction of the penny postage system, sudden increase of
      letters, 75;
    hostility of the department to railways, 76;
    its outcry against arbitration, _ib._;
    extracts from Postmaster-General’s Second Report, 77;
    its fallacies, 79;
    misrepresentations, 80;
    Mr. Edward Page’s Report, 83;
    its omissions, 86 to 92;
    number of horses necessary if the Post Office reverted to mail coach
      conveyance, 94, 95;
    mails could not be carried across the Isthmus of Suez but for the
      railway, 96;
    Post Office service must have broken down but for railways, 97;
    savings banks, 99;
    the Insurance and Annuities Act, 101;
    Bill for “Further Provision for the Conveyance of Mails by Railway,”
    withdrawn before second reading, 104;
    apparently better feeling of the Post Office to railways, _ib._;
    it is a complete mistake, 115;
    present arrangements with railways, 105;
    amounts paid to railways for conveyance of mails, 106;
    objection to its taking to parcels traffic, 121;
    impossible to define payments to railways by Act of Parliament, 122;
    can only be settled by arbitration, 123;
    the official supporters of Sir Rowland Hill’s recommendations, 132;
    railways proportionably less costly to the department than mail
      coaches, 137;
    immense facilities it derives from railways, 138;
    unreasonableness of its demands, 139;
    day mails in charge of railway guards, 140;
    hollowness of Post Office pretences, 144;
    discreditable proceeding in 1855, 145;
    impossible to satisfy postal officials, 146;
    remedies suggested, _ib._;
    statistical blunders of the department, 230;
    its costly blunder, _note_, 241;
    its tardy mode of doing business, _note_, 243;
    constantly increasing its demands upon railways, 462;
    advantages to, from railways, 459;
    unjustifiable tone of, to railways, 478.
    _See_ also Page, Stephenson.

  Post offices, number of, in the United Kingdom, 89, 450.

  Postage stamps, number transmitted through the mails, 88;
    weight of, _note_, 89;
    general information respecting, _note_, 142;
    suppressed, note, 143;
    only available for newspapers sent abroad, 473.

  Postal communication with India, 247;
    its future accelerations, 266, 272.

  Postal Guide, the, Post Office notice respecting, 79;
    first issued in 1855, 91;
    not implicitly to be relied upon, _note_, _ib._

  Postmaster-General’s reports. _See_ Reports.

  Postmasters, great increase of documents sent by them by railway, 88.

  Poultry, the (City of London), should be immediately widened, 327.

  Preference share capital of railways, 149.

  Provident Fund, the, of the East Indian Railway, 293;
    its insufficiency, 294.

  Prussia, fastest trains in, 113;
    postage stamps in, _note_, 142, 143;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297.

  _Punch, Mr._, his admonition to government officials, _note_, 242.

  Punjaub Railway, the, 272.

  Puy de Dome, Pascal’s observations upon, _note_, 10.

  Queensland, railways in, 308;
    the difficulties and expenses of their construction, 309.

  “Quicksilver” mail in the olden days, 110.

  Rails, iron and steel, manufactured at Crewe, 201.

  Railway guards in charge of mails, 140.

  Railway run, the longest without stopping for water, 111.

  Railway subways and tunnels between France and England, 396.

  Railway system, the, its immense power and magnitude, 152.

  Railway, the centre rail on the Mont Cenis, the experimental line,

  Railway, the first passenger, in England, 2.

  Railway, the Isthmus of Suez, 95.

  Railway, the Long, 271, 300.

  Railways and the Post Office. _See_ Post Office.

  Railways, Australian, their moderate amount at present, 306;
    in New South Wales, 307;
    Victoria and Queensland, 308;
    difficult works in the latter, 309;
    South Australia, 310;
    New Zealand, _ib._

  Railways, Canadian, necessity for their construction, 301;
    the first railways, 302;
    the present system, 304;
    their length and cost, 305;
    their eventual extent, 306.

  Railways, Colonial, Demerara, Jamaica, Trinidad, 311;
    Honduras, Cape of Good Hope, 312;
    Natal, Mauritius, Ceylon, 314.

  Railways, continental, date of their construction, 12;
    French railways, 24;
    their length, 27;
    modern cheap lines, 31;
    fastest trains on, 112; from Calais to
    Constantinople, 270.

  Railways, English, miles constructed from 1843 to 1867, 360;
    published traffic receipts incorrect, _note_, _ib._;
    capital expended upon them, 28, 40;
    revenue from passengers and goods, train mileage, working expenses,
    Irish, 43;
    Scotch, _ib._;
    rolling stock upon British, 45;
    continual development of the system, 47;
    advantages of, to the community, 56;
    number of passengers carried on them, 57;
    their importance in the conveyance of food, 70;
    hostility of the Post Office to, 73, 146;
    present arrangements with the department, 105;
    amounts paid to them, 106, 138;
    speed on, 109;
    gauge of, _note_, 110;
    Royal Commission upon, 115;
    character of the report of the Royal Commissioners thereon, 116;
    recommendations and opinions as regards railways and the Post
      Office, 119;
    impossible to pass a general act as proposed, 122;
    railways less costly proportionately than mail coaches, 137;
    immense facilities they afford the Post Office, 139;
    their duties towards the department and the public, 144, 145;
    capital of, receipts, working expenses, and profits, 147;
    dividends, _ib._;
    as compared with the national debt, 151;
    powers of, for conveyance of every article of commerce, 152;
    for personal locomotion 157;
    value to the humbler classes, 158;
    railways and free trade the twin sisters of progress, 165;
    working and traffic of, 166;
    accidents upon, 176;
    locomotive and carriage repairing shops of, 209;
    number of men employed upon, 211;
    prices paid to, by Post Office, 446;
    their benefits to the Post Office, as estimated by Mr. Page, 452;
    monopoly, alleged, as regards the Post Office refuted, 475.

  Railways in India:
    the East Indian, 245;
    Great Indian Peninsular, 252;
    Madras, 255;
    Bombay, Baroda, and Central India, 258;
    Scinde, 261;
    Indus Valley (proposed), 262;
    Euphrates Valley (proposed), 263;
    Punjaub, 272;
    Delhi, 273;
    Eastern Bengal, Calcutta, and South-Eastern, _ib._;
    Great Southern, 274;
    future railways, the guarantee, 275;
    working expenses, 280;
    difference of working expenses upon, 289;
    reasons for their being high, 281;
    iron-sleepers, 282;
    fuel, 284;
    accidents, 290;
    provident fund of the East India Railway Company, 293;
    objections to, 294;
    rolling stock, 295;
    commercial advantages of their construction to England, 296;
    National importance of Indian railways, 297;
    their mileage as compared with other countries, 297.

  Railways of Italy described, 427.

  Railways, rapidity of their construction in America, 20.

  Railways throughout the world, _note_, 211.

  Rainfall in India, 255, _note_, 281;
    in England, _ib._

  Ramsbottom, John, the head of the Crewe establishment, 200.

  Raneegunge coal-field, the, 286.

  Receipts of British railways, 40;
    their constant increase, 47;
    percentage of, to working expenses, 55, 147.

  Receptacles for letters in England, 97;
    in France, _note_, _ib._

  Remington, George, Esq., C.E., his proposed tunnel between France and
    England, 398.

  Reports of the Postmaster-General, their first issue, _note_, 76;
    two not dated, _ib._;
    extract from second Report, 77;
    its fallacies, 79;
    misrepresentations, 80;
    errors in the 12th, _note_, 81;
    in the 3rd, 82;
    unceasing changes in the modes of compiling them, 83;
    difficulty of understanding the statistics contained in them, 89;
    facetia, _note_, 105;
    extraordinary contradictions between the 9th and 12th, _note_, 121;
    constant references to postal accelerations, 130;
    Mr. Frederick Hill believed to be the writer of them, 131;
    they abound in misstatements, 467.

  Reuss-Greiz, the second smallest state in the world, _note_, 34.

  _Revue des Deux Mondes_, 22, _note_, 97.

  Rice, Mr. Spring, his speech upon railways, 1838, 74.

  “Rocket” engine, the, 5.

  Rocky Mountains crossed by the Union Pacific Railroad, 20.

  Rolling stock on British railways, 45.

  “Roman Railways” Company, the, 436.

  Rome, distance from London _viâ_ Brenner Pass, _note_, 15;
    time of journey to, in 1834, 157;
    in 1867, 158, 437;
    ancient, saved by the hissing of a goose, 213;
    present population of, _note_, 436.

  Rouen, population of, _note_, 31.

  Royal Commissioners of railways, their names, 115;
    character of their report, its main recommendations, 116.

  Rugby school, 217.

  Rugby station, 235;
    arrival of trains at, 234.

  Rural postmen in France, _note_, 97.

  Russia, unpronounceable post-towns in, _note_, 144;
    mileage of railways in, _note_, 297.

  Salmon, conveyance of, by railway, 156.

  Salt Lake, 19.

  Samos, ancient tunnel in, 364.

  Samples and patterns incorrectly stated by Post Office, _note_, 81;
    first carried in 1863, 98.

  San Francisco, 18, 20;
    to Canton, 22;
    to Jeddo, _ib._

  Sapperton Tunnel, the, its ventilation, 413.

  Sardinia, mountains of, _note_, 8.

  Savings Banks, Post Office, documents transmitted through the Post in
      consequence of them, 99;
    their establishment “with the security of the Government,” 100;
    is this undoubted? _note_, _ib._;
    the business done by them, _note_, 101.

  Saxony, mileage of railways in, _note_, 297.

  Schindermanderscheid, a Luxemburg postal town, _note_, 144, 194.

  Scinde Railway, the, 260;
    its traffic, 261;
    working expenses, 290.

  Scotland, mountains of, _note_, 9;
    railways in, 43;
    production of coals in, _note_, 49;
    amounts paid by Post Office to railways in, 108;
    locomotive manufacturers in, 192;
    north of, distances to Dover and Penzance, 240;
    canals of, 368;
    railway tunnels in, 371, 373.

  Scudamore, Frank Ives, secretary of the Post Office, a distinguished
      author, _note_, 104;
    not examined before Royal Commissioners on Railways, 133.

  Sea-sickness, 15.

  Seguier, Baron, his claim as inventor of the Centre Rail System, 337.

  Semiramis, founder of Babylon, 358;
    her resuscitation required, 435.

  Service, Ambulant (postal), of France, the, _note_, 78.

  Sevigny’s, Madame de, journey to Marseilles 1672, 1.

  Shareholders, numbers of, in Indian railways, 276.

  Sheffield, rainfall in, _note_, 281.

  Ships, of the United Kingdom, statistics of, _note_, 182.

  Shipwreck, losses of life from, 182, _note_, 183.

  Shoddy-shoebility of Northampton, 233.

  Shrewsbury Grammar School, _note_, 217.

  Shropshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Sicily, mountains of, _note_, 8.

  Sierra Nevada Mountain, 19.

  Simplon, the, 8;
    height of, _note_, 319.

  Skye and Dingwall Railway, _note_, 239.

  Sleeping railway car, _note_, 303.

  Sleepers, railway, iron in India, 282.

  Sletvio Pass, the, 11.

  Slow trains, difficulty of keeping time with them, 113.

  Sœmmering Pass and Railway described, 12;
    gradients upon, 344.

  Somersetshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  South Australia, railways in, 310.

  South Austrian and Alta-Italian Railway, length, 23;
    described, _ib._;
    cost of construction, 27;
    traffic receipts, 29;
    rolling stock, 37;
    engine mileage, _ib._

  South-Eastern Railway, the, 15;
    its locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  South Wales, production of coal in, note, 49.

  Southampton, its progress since 1840, _note_, 259;
    distance to Alexandria, 429.

  Spain, mountains of, _note_, 8;
    postage stamps in, _note_, 142;
    mileage of railways in, 297;
    railway tunnels, 381;
    its water canal, Isabel II, 384;
    roadway communications, _ib._

  Speed on railways, 109;
    if accelerated, position that Mr. Frederick Hill should take, 132.

  Spezzia, the Italian Portsmouth, 433;
    unfinished railway to, 438.

  Spiers and Pond, Messrs., of _buffet_ celebrity, 228.

  Splugen Pass, the, 10;
    height of, _note_, 319.

  St. Etienne, population of, _note_, 31.

  St. Germain and Paris, first railway in France, 25.

  St. Gothard Alpine Pass, the, 9;
    height of, _note_, 319;
    proposed tunnel through, 409.

  St. John’s Wood Railway, the, described, 390.

  St. Michel, distance from London and Paris, 318.

  St. Paul’s Cathedral, height of, 219, 321.

  Staff, the, of Indian railways, its composition—insufficiency of the
    provident fund for, 292.

  Staffordshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49; canal navigation.

  Stage coaches, their speed, 56, 109;
    passengers carried by them in 1837, 57.

  Stamps, newspaper, _note_, 80;
    letter, first use of, _note_, 141;
    the author of those now in use, 141;
    premium for the first design of, _note_, 142.

  Steam Vessels, British, number of, 50;
    passengers carried by them in 1837, 57;
    statistics of, _note_, 162.

  Steel rails, manufactory of, at Crewe, 201;
    value and importance of, _note_, 202;
    use of in India, 284.

  Stephenson, the late Robert, M.P., extract from his inaugural address
      to the Institution of Civil Engineers, 83;
    upon railway tunnels, 370;
    answer to the report of Mr. Page, Inspector General of mails, 454;
    tendency of his report, 455;
    errors respecting the Dover day mail train, 456;
    travelling post offices, 457;
    payments to railways not higher than to mail coaches, _ib._;
    services to the Post Office and the public compared, 460, 464;
    cost of running trains, 461;
    mail bags by ordinary trains, 463;
    argument that the penny postal system would be cheaper by horse than
      by railway power, refuted, 465;
    unjustifiable competition of the Post Office, 470;
    Post Office threats against the railways, 475;
    alleged monopoly, 476;
    treatment of the railways by Government, 477;
    unjustifiable tone towards railways, 478.

  “Stokers and Pokers,” by Sir Francis Head, Bart., quotations from,
    196, 197, 198, 224.

  Storrow, Mr. Charles, his interesting information upon tunnel
      ventilation, 411;
    his report upon the tunnel of the Alps, 426.

  Strasbourg, population of, _note_, 31.

  Stratford locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Strickland, Miss Agnes, on crinoline, _note_, 210.

  Strike upon the Eastern Counties Railway in 1849, _note_, 161.

  Strikes, their injurious effects upon workmen, _note_, 159, _note_,

  Sturgey, the immaculate, _note_, 243.

  Styria, mountains of, _note_, 8.

  Subways and tunnels between France and England, 396.

  Suez Canal, _note_, 95, _note_, 265.

  Suez, Isthmus of, Railway, 95;
    Eastern mails, how conveyed upon, _note_, 269;
    iron sleepers upon, 282.

  Sugar, imports of, 72.

  Suicide upon Railways, 177.

  Sultan, the, his views on railways, 270.

  Susa, Porta Cæsaris Augusti, at, 6;
    the centre rail at, 352.

  Sutherland Railway, the, 239.

  Sweden, mountains of, _note_, 8;
    postage stamps in, 142.

  Swindon, locomotive and carriage establishment, 209.

  Switzerland, mountains of, _note_, 8;
    postage stamps in, _note_, 142;
    locomotive building establishment in, 194;
    railway tunnels in, 380;
    Hauenstein Tunnel described, 415.

  Tarento, the Italian Plymouth, 433.

  Tea, imports and consumption of, 71;
    passage of, between London and Liverpool, 155.

  Telegraph between London and California, 19.

  Telegraphs in India, great expenses and difficulties connected with
    them, _note_, 281.

  Tenders of engines, their water holding capacities, 219.

  Teneriffe, Peak of, its height, _note_, 10.

  Thames subway, Mr. Barlow’s, 395.

  Thames Tunnel, the, 376.

  Third class carriages used by people for whom they were never
    intended, _note_, 61.

  Third class passengers, their enormous increase on British railways,
    cause, 61.

  Thouvenot, M., his colossal engine, 190.

  Thull Ghaut, the, 254.

  Thurn and Taxis, postal privileges of the house of, _note_, 143.

  Thurso, sleepy, 240;
    the most northern town in Scotland, its postal facilities, _note_,

  Timber, advantages of railways in the conveyance of, 155;
    inapplicable for sleepers in India, 282.

  Timbromaniacs, _note_, 142.

  Time, difference of, between London and Dublin, _note_, 111;
    between London, Paris and Rome, _note_, 158.

  Tinsley, Brothers, Messrs., publishers of “Some Habits and Customs of
    the Working Classes,” 205.

  Toulouse, population of, _note_, 31.

  Traffic, receipts of English railways incorrectly published,
      _note_, 3;
    of South Austrian and Alta Italia, 29;
    of Paris, Lyons and Mediterranean, _ib._;
    of Orleans Company, _ib._;
    London and North-Western, 39;
    of British railways, 40.

  Trains behind time, 113, 166;
    accidents to, 175;
    cost of running them, 461.

  Transmission, postal, gives value to letters, 141.

  Travelling post offices, their introduction on English railways,
      _note_, 77;
    superiority of arrangements connected with them all over the
      continent, as compared with those in England, _ib._;
    staff of, 78;
    their advantages, 453, 457.

  Trespassers on railways, killed and injured, 177.

  Trinidad Railway, the proposed, 311.

  Trollope, Anthony, 104.

  Trotting horses, American, the pace of, 188.

  Trough for watering engines, 111, 232.

  Tunnel of the Alps, the, described, 403;
    progress, 404;
    ventilation, 405;
    gradients, 406;
    their effects in working the railway, 417;
    time to be occupied in going through, 418.

  Tunnels, their antiquity, 358;
    under the Euphrates, 359;
    at Jerusalem, 360;
    the earliest in Europe, 364;
    the first under the Alps, 366;
    canal tunnels, 368;
    Highgate, 369;
    length of, in Great Britain, 370;
    the chief enumerated, 371;
    cost, 375;
    the Thames Tunnel, 376;
    tunnels in France, 377;
    Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, 380;
    Spain, 381;
    United States, 385;
    New Zealand, 386;
    Metropolitan Railway, 387;
    Metropolitan district, 388;
    St. John’s Wood, 390;
    Britannia Tubular Bridge, 391;
    Victoria ditto, _ib._;
    tunnels suggested under the Mersey, 393;
    the Liffy, the Thames, 394;
    at Attock, 395;
    tunnels in mines, 396;
    between France and England, 397;
    under the Atlantic, 400;
    ventilation of, 411.

  Turkey, railways for, 270.

  Turpin’s ride to York, _note_, 215.

  Tyler, Captain, R.E., his experiments on the Mont Cenis, 339;
    practical deductions therefrom, 342;
    his comparisons of working expenses, 346;
    of costs of construction, 347;
    extract from his Report to the Board of Trade, _ib._;
    his views on costs of the tunnel of the Alps, 408;
    his opinion as to the Brindisi route, 430;
    does not visit Otranto, 432.

  Ulcers, Post Office, remedies suggested to cure them, 146.

  Undertakers at Crewe, 204.

  Union Pacific Railroad, the, described, 17;
    by whom constructed, 21;
    cost, _ib._

  United States Mails in 1839 and 1855, 91;
    railway mileage of, _note_, 211;
    proportion to population, 305;
    railway tunnels, 385.

  Utah, contribution of, to the Union Pacific Railroad, 21.

  Vandal, Monsieur, Directeur-General des Postes Françaises, _note_, 98;
    on railway distances in France and England, 240;
    his views upon contract packet services, 268.

  Varne, Islet de, its proposed sub-aqueous railway station, 398.

  “Vede Napoli e Mori,” 438.

  Ventilation of tunnels, 411;
    means to ensure its efficiency in the Metropolitan Railway, 423.

  Vesuvius, height of, _note_, 9.

  Victoria Bridge, Montreal, the, described, 391.

  Victoria, railways in, 308;
    amount of traffic, 310.

  Vignoles, Mr. Charles B., first patentee of the centre rail, 336.

  Volcano, extinct, railway tunnel through, 386.

  Volcanoes in the world, 10.

  Von Reaumont, Alfred, History of Rome, 436.

  Wales, North and South, production of coal in, _note_, 49;
    unpronounceable post towns in, _note_, 144.

  Wallis, the late Robert, Esq., M.P., his committee on postal reform,

  Warren, Lieut., R.E., his explorations at Jerusalem, 360.

  Warwickshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Watches and engines compared, 244.

  Water supply to Crewe in 1849, 197, in 1867, 205.

  Water supply to Madrid described, 384.

  Water tower, the, of the Crystal Palace, railway tunnel under, _note_,

  Weedon, its deadly liveliness, 234.

  Wellington, the Duke of, sends to Rome in 1834;
    time occupied in the journey, 157.

  West India mails, the, in 1839 and 1855, 91.

  Westbourne, its frequent use in London street nomenclature, _note_,

  Westminster school, _note_, 217.

  Widows from Wolverton, 229;
    married, “no cards,” 230.

  Winchester school, _note_, 216.

  Worcestershire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.

  Word-coining approved of by the Archbishop of Dublin, _note_ 167.

  Wolverton carriage establishment, 199;
    station and repairing shops, 221;
    statistics of, _ib._;
    churches and schools, 222;
    the refreshment rooms, 224.

  Working expenses of British railways, 40, 147;
    per centage of, to receipts, 55;
    rate per cent. for twelve leading companies, 56.

  Working expenses of Indian railways, causes why they must be high,
      periodical inundations, 280;
    iron sleepers, 282;
    fuel, 284;
    differ very much on different lines, 289;
    on the Alpine and Apennine railways, 346.

  Workman’s trains, 62.

  Wynter, Dr., the London Commisseriat, 70.

  Yard, its proportion to the French metre, 331.

  Yates, Edmund, _note_, 104.

  Yonge, the Rev. T. E., _note_, 169.

  York, the locomotive and carriage establishment of the North-Eastern
    Company at, 209.

  Yorkshire, production of coal in, _note_, 49.


[1] The traffic receipts published each week by the newspapers neither
represent correctly the actual mileage of railways opened nor the
receipts upon them. Thus, although about 300 miles have been opened
since the 31st of December, 1866, making the actual length of the
railways in the United Kingdom nearly 14,200, the mileage upon which
traffic was published for the week ending the 14th of September last
was only 12,958. Many of the small railway companies, and those which
are chiefly mineral lines, do not publish weekly traffic returns; and
it is to be feared that, in the case of some of the larger railway
companies, increased mileage is not included for several weeks—in some
cases, for several months—after branches are opened, although the
increased earnings are included in the published receipts.

[2] In the paper read by the late Admiral Laws to the Institution of
Civil Engineers, on the 11th of March, 1851, upon the mode of working
an incline of 1 in 27½ on the Oldham branch of the Lancashire and
Yorkshire Railway, and in the report of the discussion which followed
the reading of the paper, will be found several interesting details
relating to the working of inclined planes on railways at that time.

[3] France now possesses these three mountains, the highest in Europe;
Switzerland possesses the two next highest, Finsterarhorn, 14,026
feet, and the Jungfrau, 13,716 feet, both in the Bernese Oberland.
The highest mountain in the Austrian Dominions is the Orrtler Spitz
in the Tyrol, 12,822 feet, the fourteenth highest in Europe. She also
has the fifteenth, Gross Glockner, 12,431 feet. Spain possesses the
sixteenth and seventeenth, Mulhaeen, 11,664 feet, and Pico de Veleta,
11,398 feet. Mount Etna in Sicily is 10,872 feet, the twenty-fourth in
height in Europe, and the highest belonging to the Kingdom of Italy.
Olympus in Thessaly is 9,749 feet. Monte Santo in Greece, 9,628 feet,
is the forty-second highest in the European order. The forty-ninth and
fiftieth are in Corsica, Monte Rotondo, 8,767; Monte d’Oro, 8,701;
Parnassus in Greece is 8,068 feet, and Mount Athos, 6,776. The highest
in the island of Sardinia is Monte Genergentu, the seventy-ninth,
6,293. The Rigi in Switzerland is 6,050. The highest in Styria is
Wechselsberg, 5,352. The highest in Bohemia is Schneekoppe, 5,328.
The highest in Sweden is Mount Adelat, 5,145. The highest peak of the
Apennines, Monte Corno, the thirty-sixth highest mountain in Europe, is
10,144 feet. The next highest, Monte Amaro di Majella, the fifty-first,
is 9,113; Monte Velino, the sixty-second, 7,851; Termenillo Grande,
the sixty-eighth, 7,212. Monte Cimone the seventy-first, 6,975. The
height of Vesuvius is 6,950 feet less than that of his brother volcano,
Mount Etna, being only 3,922 feet, and the 125th in European order.
The highest mountain in Portugal is the Sierra de Foga, 3,609 feet.
The Gross Arberg is the highest in Bavaria, 4,832 feet. Coming to the
United Kingdom, we find that Ben Nevis in Scotland, 4,406 feet, is
the highest, it is the 111th in European order. They come afterwards
as follows—Ben Macdin, 113th, 4,296. Cairn Tuol (Aberdeen), 115th,
4,225. Cairn Gorm, 121st, 4,090. Ben Lawers, 124th, 3,984. Ben Avon
(Aberdeen), 129th, 3,821. Snowdon in North Wales, 134th, 3,590.
Schehallion, Scotland, 135th, 3,547. Cairn Lewellen, North Wales,
136th, 3,471. Curran or Cairn Tual, near the Lakes of Killarney, 140th
in European order, is 3,045 feet. Ben Lomond, Scotland, 144th, 3,912.
Helvellyn, in Cumberland, 147th, is the highest in England, 3,115 feet.
Skiddaw in the same county is fifty-seven feet lower, being 3,058,
and Cross Fell, also in Cumberland, is 2,928. The Cheviot is 2,669,
and Coniston Fell, in the Lakes District, is 2,649 feet. The Nephin
Mountain in the County of Mayo is 2,638 feet. The Morne Mountains,
in the County of Down, are 2,493 feet, Shunner Fell in Yorkshire is
2,348. The summit of Gibraltar is 1,493 feet, and whether Arthur’s Seat
Edinburgh be or be not a mountain, it is 822 feet above sea level.

But many mountains in other parts of the world are of much greater
altitude than those in Europe. The highest in Asia and in the world
is Deodunga, or Chingo-pamari, in Nepaul, 29,002 feet, or exactly 5½
miles above sea level; and there are no less than twenty-eight other
mountains in Asia, the height of which exceeds 20,000 feet, besides
seven that exceed 15,000, twelve that exceed 10,000, sixteen that
exceed 7,500, twenty-two that exceed 5,000, and six that are below
5,000, the lowest enumerated being Taganai, in the Ural Mountains,
3,532 feet above the level of the sea. The total number of the above is

The highest mountain belonging to Africa and the Atlantic Islands is
Kilimanjaro, in equitorial Africa, 20,000 feet high. There are four
others more than 15,000 feet high, seven more than 10,000 feet, (among
which is the Peak of Teneriffe, 12,205 feet), eight above 7,500,
thirteen above 5,000 and eighteen below 5,000; total, 51.

The highest mountain of the American Continent is the Aconcagua,
in Chile, 23,910 feet. There are fourteen higher than 20,000 feet,
forty-two higher than 15,000, nineteen higher than 10,000, twelve
higher than 7,500, twenty-one higher than 5,000, twelve less than
5,000; total, 121.

The highest mountain in Polynesia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands
is a volcano, in Sumatra, called Singalang, 15,000 feet high. Volcanoes
particularly abound in the groups of these highlands. Thus, while
there are only four volcanoes among 169 European mountains, thirteen
among ninety-two Asiatic, eleven among fifty-one in Africa and the
Atlantic islands, thirty-three among 121 American mountains, there are
sixty-three in a total of 109 mountains in Polynesia, Australia, and
the Pacific islands. There are twenty-three of them above 10,000 feet,
sixteen above 7,500, twenty-nine above 5,000, and forty-one under 5,000.

Thus it appears that there are 524 mountains in the world, of altitudes
varying from 1,400 to 29,000 feet, of which 124 are volcanoes. The
greater portion of the foregoing information is derived from the very
interesting article headed “Physical Geography,” in the seventeenth
volume of the eighth (and latest) edition of the _Enclyclopædia
Britannica_, to which the reader is referred for further details.
Writing of mountains reminds us that it was on the Puy de Dome, the
summit of which is 4,806 above the level of the sea, that Pascal, for
whom M. de Charles has invented the letters by which he has attempted
to rob Newton of the honour of having discovered the laws of gravity,
first observed the decrease of barometric pressure as mountains are
ascended. Honour and reputation enough attach to the name of Pascal,
without attempting to add to them by fraud and forgery.

[4] The _Times_ does not take this view, for we find as follows, in one
of its leading articles of the 27th of August, 1867:—“By one of the
clauses in the recent commercial treaty between Austria and Italy, it
is provided that both countries shall co-operate in the restoration and
maintenance of international communication on the frontier. One of the
results of this agreement is, that the magnificent military road of the
Stelvio, a road which constituted one of the wonders of the Alps, but
which Austria, ever since her loss of Lombardy in 1859, had suffered
to go to ruin, will be completed and re-established. Italians and
Austrians are now hard at work, each on their own side, vying with each
other in their endeavours to efface the traces of ten years’ neglect,
and restoring gradients and galleries, bridges and embankments, to
their former condition. It is pleasant to hear of competition in such
peaceful pursuits among people who, only twelve months ago, were
confronting each other amid those very mountain scenes, bent on mutual

[5] Here is the first advertisement announcing the intended passage of
trains over the Brenner Railway:—

 CENTRALE.—_Ouverture de la ligne du Tyrol._ (Passage du Brenner).—La
 Compagnie a l’honneur de prévenir le public que la ligne du Tyrol,
 section d’Innsbruck à Botzen (passage du Brenner), sera ouverte au
 transport des marchandises entre l’Allemagne et l’Italie le 17 de ce
 mois, et au service des voyageurs, le 24 du même mois. Les expéditions
 de marchandises devront être adressées à Kustein (Tyrol), station
 frontière du Nord, ou à Ala, station frontière du Sud. Le livret des
 tarifs et celui de la marche des trains seront, dès aujourd’hui, à
 la disposition du public. A l’agence commerciale de la Société, à
 Kustein. A toutes les stations de la ligne du Tyrol. A la direction
 commerciale de la Société, à Vienne. Les stations d’Italie forment
 l’objet d’un tarif spécial, qui sera à la disposition du public,
 dès les premiers jours du mois de Septembre. Jusque là, l’agence
 commerciale à Kustein donnera tous les renseignements d’expéditions et
 de prix qui lui seront demandés—Vienne, 10 Août, 1867.

Later advertisements announce that the express passenger trains between
Munich and Verona are to complete the journey in eighteen hours. The
distance is 295 miles. Verona is 95 miles from Bologna; 565 miles
from Brindisi; 178 from Florence; 411 from Rome; 574 from Naples. The
following are the distances between London and Munich:—London to Paris,
296 miles; Paris to Kehl (_viâ_ Strasbourg), 325; Kehl to Bruschal
junction, 59; Bruschal to Ulm, 107; Ulm to Munich, 94—total, 881.
Total—London to Brindisi, 1,741 miles; to Florence, 1,354; to Rome,
1,587; to Naples, 1,750.

[6] In trade and commerce? Yes—but not yet in population, as will
be seen by the following statement, very recently published, of the
inhabitants of the ten principal cities in France: Paris, 1,825,274;
Lyons, 323,954; Marseilles, 300,131; Bordeaux, 194,241; Lille, 154,779;
Toulouse, 126,936; Nantes, 111,956; Rouen, 100,671; St. Etienne,
96,620; Strasbourg, 84,167.

[7] According to the _Almanac de Gotha_ for 1867, the smallest
independent state in the world is that of Leichenstein, not quite
three German square miles. Population in 1861, 7,994. Its contingent
to the German Federal Army was seventy-two men. These were supplied by
Austria. The community however was not taxed for them, as the Sovereign
Prince paid for their equipment and maintenance out of his own private
fortune. Leichenstein has not been swallowed up by Prussia. Next to
Leichenstein comes Reuss-Greiz, seven German square miles; population
under 24,000. Prince Henry XXII. came to his sovereign hereditary
honours there last year.

[8] The population of Ireland was at its highest in 1845. It was then
estimated to be 8,295,061. It is estimated to be, in June, 1867,
5,556,262: showing a decrease of 2,738,099 in twenty-two years.

[9] One thing is certain,—it is that the ladies who live within city
precincts do as ladies do in all other parts of the world; for we
learn that at the meeting of the City Commissioners of Sewers, held at
Guildhall, on Tuesday, the 24th of September last, presided over by
our friend, Mr. Deputy de Jersey, Dr. Letheby, the Medical Officer of
Health, presented his report, in which he stated that there had been
103 births in the city during the previous fortnight, or just at the
rate of 2,610 for the twelve months. The Doctor deserves his title,
for only 76 deaths (being 9 less than the average for 10 years) were
registered in the same period. Reference to death statistics for the
whole kingdom shows that the mortality among children under 5 years old
is slightly above the average, 31, as against a little under 30, which
would be the average on 76 for the whole kingdom. The 14 over 60 years
of age who died, are below the average for the whole kingdom; it is
about, 18 for each 76 of the population, at the period of death.

[10] The street nomenclature of London is very extraordinary. Those
unacquainted with it would hardly believe that there are as many as 50
King Streets, nearly as many Queen Streets, above 60 George Streets,
60 William Streets, and about 45 “New” Streets. This last name often,
as may be supposed, greatly misleads strangers, who imagine that such
streets are only of recent construction. Until the modern conversion of
the “New Road” into City Road, Euston Road, and Marylebone Road, there
were along its entire length places and terraces with every conceivable
name, and as many as between fifty and sixty different enumerations of
numbers. Nor must it be considered that recently-constructed London is
exempt from blemishes of this nature. The word “Westbourne” appears no
less than nineteen times in the _Postal Guide_—there are Westbourne
Crescent, Westbourne Grove (the Regent Street of Westburnia), and then
not only Westbourne Park, but Westbourne Park Cottages, Westbourne
Park Crescent, Westbourne Park Place, Westbourne Park Road, Westbourne
Park Road West, Westbourne Park Terrace, Westbourne Park Villas,
Westbourne Place (Bishop’s Road), Westbourne Square, Westbourne Street
(Paddington), Westbourne Terrace (Bayswater), Westbourne Terrace
(Bishop’s Road), and Upper Westbourne Terrace—so far for the northern
side of Hyde Park; but on the southern there are—Westbourne Street,
Pimlico (to distinguish it from Westbourne Street, Paddington), and
Westbourne Place, Eaton Square. Finally, the list winds up with
Westbourne Road, _Holloway_.

Not so numerous in its locations, but equally puzzling and
unsatisfactory, is “Kensington.” Besides that name, there
are—Kensington Crescent, Kensington Road, Kensington Gate, Kensington
Gore, High Street, Kensington; Kensington Hall, North End, Fulham, and
Kensington Square on the south side of Hyde Park. Kensington Palace and
Kensington Palace Gardens are situate between Kensington and Bayswater,
Kensington Gardens Square is in Paddington, Kensington Gardens Terrace
is in Bayswater Road, Kensington Park Gardens and Kensington Park
Terrace are at Notting Hill.

It is needless to dwell upon the inconvenience and trouble to which
such nomenclature gives rise. Sir John Thwaites, Tite, M.P., Ayrton,
M.P., and other your colleagues of the Metropolitan Board of Works, to
the rescue!

[11] Judging by the appearance of the traffic receipts published for
the first thirty-eight weeks of 1867, it is probable that their total
amount for the year will not fall short of £41,000,000.

[12] Here is one of a great many instances that might be quoted,
from the Irish correspondence of the _Times_ of no later date than
the 1st of October, 1867.—“The necessity for having some efficient
government control of railways, apart from the question of purchase,
is illustrated by the unsatisfactory relations now subsisting between
the Great Southern and Western Railway and the Kilkenny Junction line,
which joins the former at Maryborough. The Great Southern are naturally
unwilling to facilitate an opposition line, and pursue a policy of
obstructiveness, which the directors conceive to be legitimate and
expedient for the protection of their own interests, but which the
public cannot quite understand, and find extremely inconvenient.
Passengers are exposed to the risk of missing the train to Dublin on
reaching Maryborough, and at Kilkenny the Great Southern Company will
neither allow their waggons to come on the rival line with goods nor
to enter the store of the Kilkenny Company. The consequence is that
goods and cattle have to be taken out of the waggons at one part of the
same track and placed in other vehicles at another part to resume their
journey. It is hardly, perhaps, to be expected that companies should be
disposed to assist competitors, but the interests of the public require
that the intention of Parliament to afford increased accommodation
shall not be frustrated.”

[13] During 1866 the coal produce of the various districts of the
kingdom was as follows:—Durham and Northumberland, 25,194,550 tons;
Cumberland, 1,490,481 tons; Yorkshire, 9,714,700 tons; Derbyshire,
4,750,520 tons; Nottinghamshire, 1,600,560 tons; Leicestershire,
866,560 tons; Warwickshire, 775,000 tons; Staffordshire and
Worcestershire, 12,298,580 tons; Lancashire, 12,320,500 tons;
Cheshire, 895,500 tons; Shropshire, 1,220,700 tons; Gloucestershire
and Somersetshire, 1,850,700 tons; Monmouthshire, 4,445,000 tons;
South Wales, 9,376,443 tons; North Wales, 2,082,000 tons; Scotland,
12,625,000 tons; and Ireland, 123,750 tons; making the total
101,630,544 tons above stated. It will be gathered from that statement
that Durham and Northumberland have furnished one-fourth of the
total yield of the kingdom. It is said that the coal-fields of these
counties are gradually lessening; no doubt they are, although it will
be probably three centuries before coal production there will cease to
be profitable. But on the other hand, it is but a few years since the
coal trade of South Wales assumed important proportions; still later,
those of the Forest of Dean and of South Yorkshire. The coal-fields
of Derbyshire are of vast extent, and extraction from them bears no
proportion to what it can be in three or four years, owing to the
opening of new and extensive collieries, especially in the Southern
part of the county. Leicestershire also abounds in very good coal, the
yield of which can, and no doubt will, be rapidly stimulated by means
of the Midland Railway. We are surprised to see it figured for so small
an amount in the above statement.

The estimated value of the 101,630,544 tons of coals raised in 1866
was £25,407,635, at the places of their production. There were 3,188
collieries at work, being an increase of 373 since 1855.

[14] Of these, France took 1,586,327 tons in 1865, and 1,841,335 tons
in 1866. In 1865, Austria took 97,226 tons; Belgium, 21,810; Prussia,
577,183; Russia, 477,033; Spain, 409,497; the “Zolverein,” 586,507. The
Coals imported from England into Belgium are used exclusively in the
manufactories of Ghent and its neighbourhood.

[15] In 1866 many magnificent vessels were added to our mercantile
steam fleet. In fact all the great steam navigation companies have
increased their tonnage, so that no doubt at the present time the total
steam tonnage of the Empire cannot be less than 900,000 tons. It is to
be remembered that in computing registered tonnage in steam vessels,
the space occupied by the engines, boilers, and coal bunkers are not
included. This tells in a very marked manner in the smaller vessels,
especially in tugs, in which the object is to have as much motive-power
as possible, and in which all other space is comparatively useless.

[16] It requires a consumption of from 8 to 9 cwt. of fuel before an
engine is in steam and ready for service.

[17] It was at one of these rolling mills that was produced, within the
last few weeks, an astounding armour plate 15 inches thick. Two years
ago 6-inch plates were considered not difficult of production; 7-inch
might be produced, but anything beyond it was impossible!

[18] KING IRON!—_Vide_ speech of the Right Hon. William Gladstone,
M.P., at the opening of the Barrow Docks, on the 19th of September,
1867. The following magnificent article from the _Times_ of four days
later gives, in the compass of half a column, the most life-like
picture that could be penned of the grandeur of England in former
times, and of her Titanic power in the present:—

“Within living memories,—‘Lancashire-over-Sands’—a couple of score of
inhabitants represented its population; and when the operations at
Barrow, now consummated, were first commenced, a dozen dwelling-houses
were as many as could be counted: yet in ten years Barrow has become
a flourishing town, with a population of, at least, 20,000, and such
prospective wealth and importance as have earned for it a municipal
charter. The explanation of the marvel is contained in two words—iron
and coal. Beneath the desolate soil of this savage district lay beds
of rich iron ore,—the ore brought the miners, the miners brought the
railway, the railway brought the docks; and now the docks, the railway,
and the mines together are represented in a borough as populous as the
old city of Lincoln. When the Furness Railway was first projected, a
person experienced in such matters estimated that a traffic of 60,000
tons would be near the mark. The result affords an instance of how
calculations of this kind have uniformly been exceeded by realities.
Within three years the quantity of ore exported from Barrow exceeded
150,000 tons; this amount had risen in five years to 250,000; and in
ten years, to nearly 500,000.

“This is the simple history of the rise and growth of Barrow. In other
parts of the north similar miracles of progress have occurred during
the present generation—one a place where there was one farmhouse thirty
years since, is now a town with 30,000 inhabitants. But the truth is,
that all these examples, down to the very latest here commemorated,
do but express the continuous displacement of wealth, industry, and
population which has been effected by the development of mineral riches
in the north of England. If any reader will peruse Lord Macaulay’s
description of the Northern Counties in the 17th century, and with
that picture contrast the scene of the present day, he will see at a
glance what a revolution has been accomplished. England began in the
south, and Winchester was its capital. The south was still England,
until mining called the north into place and power. It was not that
the north-country people lacked energy or intelligence,—far from it;
but they had no manufactures, and, for want of them, they were left
behind in numbers, riches, civilisation, and all that confers social
and political importance. Such elements of grandeur as the country
possessed were those of a backward state. Its great feudal nobles
were unmatched in power. The three northern earldoms—Northumberland,
Cumberland, and Westmoreland, represented by the great families of
Percy, Clifford, and Neville—were like little principalities, and
their rulers could combine to alarm the Government and defy the
authority of the Crown. The bishopric of Durham was a Palatinate,
almost a sovereignty, and its cathedral church was as grand as that
of Winchester itself. The great northern abbeys—Fountains, Rivaulx,
Bolton—could compete in magnificence with the most famous foundations
of the south, but all around these wonderful piles reigned solitude
and poverty. At last came the mighty change not unforeseen even in
the days of the Stuarts. As soon as coal was brought into use, the
iron manufacture left the south for the north—the exhausted forests
of Sussex for the productive mines of Newcastle. The woollen trade
gradually flitted from Exeter to Leeds, and the cutlery craft from
Salisbury to Sheffield.

“All this is the work of coal and iron, and Barrow is the most recent
product of the forces in operation. Mr. Gladstone observed with
characteristic ingenuity that, whereas iron is by far the most useful
of all metals—‘perhaps more useful and more necessary than all the rest
put together’—it is at the same time, or rather it was till coal was
discovered, the hardest to obtain. Iron is rarely found in a virgin
state. It is obtained only in the shape of ore, which must be reduced
and purified by fire. The great forests which once covered the whole
county of Sussex supplied the necessary fuel to former generations of
manufacturers, but that material was easily exhausted, and, except for
the development of coal mining, our iron industry would never have
been known. Put coal and iron together, and the result is wealth,
trade, population, power. These mighty agents turn a barrow into a
borough. They attract labour as surely as gold-fields, and it is by
their instrumentality that the displacements of modern society have
been accomplished. What fire and water effect in geology iron and coal
effect in social history. Mr. Disraeli remarks in one of his novels,
that men who sneered at the antiquity of Damascus had great faith in
the future of Birkenhead. There is reason for such faith, and it is to
be found in the history of England for the last two centuries. Trade is
the making of cities. It will be the making of Barrow, just, indeed,
as it was the making of Tyre. Furness is now drawn from its obscurity,
and, for anything that we can tell, may, in a few years’ time, win a
name as great as Winchelsea has lost.”—_Times_, 23rd September, 1867.

[19] But while we are advancing, let it not be forgotten that other
nations are also progressing, some of them marvellously. Take for
example France. M. de Vinck, one of its ablest statisticians, has
recently summarised the commercial state of the country since 1851,
and the following are several of his figures converted from French
to English values. In 1851 the imports of France were £43,760,000,
exports £60,200,000, total £103,560,000. In 1865, imports £141,120,000,
exports £163,480,100, total £304,600,000. In 1851 the number of French
and foreign vessels which entered or left the French ports was 34,436.
In 1865 the number was 51,156. In 1851 the miles of railway open were
2,187. In the end of 1866, 8,750. In 1851 the telegraph services
possessed 1,875 miles and 100 stations, by means of which 10,000
messages were sent in the year, In 1866 it possessed 19,700 miles and
2,100 stations, by means of which 2,500,000 messages were transmitted.
The charges on messages have been reduced 70 per cent. between 1851 and
1866. In 1851 the number of letters carried was 65,000,000, in 1865
329,000,000, and in the interval the postage has been diminished about
20 per cent. In 1851 the indirect taxes and those on consumption were
£29,529,680, in 1866 £51,290,720.

[20] The _Times_ concludes a recent article upon our exports with the
following valuable words of advice and of admonition. “To maintain our
trade we must zealously maintain our industry. We undertake, it may be
almost said, to clothe the world; our exports represent, in the main,
cotton, linen, woollen, and worsted manufactures; our imports are the
raw materials required for this industry, and the food to sustain us in
the work. What other countries grow we make up for use, taking at the
same time the abundance of their harvests, to compensate the deficiency
of our own. That, in a few words, is a summary of our national trade.
We are keeping our position pretty well, but it should not be forgotten
that our rivals are now more numerous, more energetic, and more
confident than in former times, and that we must prepare ourselves for
a competition far more severe than any we have hitherto experienced.”

[21] We omit these in our subsequent comparisons. No doubt their
numbers have increased very greatly in recent years.

[22] There is no doubt that in many instances persons for whom
third class carriages were never intended travel in them. There
is a well-known railway story of a banker in a large agricultural
and commercial town, who was asked, with a look of surprise, by an
acquaintance that he met on the platform, if he were going to travel
third class. “Oh, yes,” was the reply, “it is too bad of the company,
they took off the fourth class only last week.” Two ladies, one with an
expensive black satin dress; the other, with one of Swiss muslin, very
elaborately got up, and both with very pretty bonnets, once complained
to the author, of the conduct of a railway guard, for having put a
bricklayer “with his dirty clothes on” in a compartment with them.

[23] _Workman’s Trains.—From Penge, Sydenham Hill, Dulwich, and Herne
Hill._ The privilege of travelling with Workman’s Tickets is now
accorded to artisans, mechanics, and daily labourers residing in the
vicinity of the above stations. The charge for a Weekly Ticket is Two
Shillings. These tickets will for the present be available to travel
to Victoria, Ludgate Hill, or any other intermediate station by the
following up trains:—

  Penge           dep. 7  6 a.m. 7 36 a.m. or 8  6 a.m.
  Sydenham Hill    ”   7 11  ”   7 41  ”   ”  8 11  ”
  Dulwich          ”   7 14  ”   7 44  ”   ”  8 14  ”
  Herne Hill       ”   7 18  ”   7 48  ”   ”  8 18  ”

and to return by the trains leaving Victoria at 5·15 p.m., and Ludgate
Hill at 5·44 p.m., and by any later third class train. On Saturdays
these tickets will be available by the train leaving Victoria and
Ludgate Hill at 2·25 p.m., or by any later third class train for the
above stations.

_The Metropolitan Extension._ Trains for the use of artisans,
mechanics, and daily labourers now run every day in each direction,
between Victoria and Ludgate Hill. The charge for a Weekly Ticket will
be One Shilling. These tickets are only available in the morning by
one of the advertised workman’s trains, which leave Victoria at 4·0
a.m., 5·0 a.m., and 6·5 a.m., or Ludgate Hill at 5 a.m., and 6·5 a.m.,
and the holders of such tickets may return by any of the ordinary loop
line Metropolitan trains which leave Victoria or Ludgate Hill after
5·30 p.m., or on Saturdays by any similar train starting from either
Victoria or Ludgate Hill after 1·0 p.m.

Conditions upon which the above tickets are issued,—

These tickets are issued subject to the conditions contained in the
Company’s Act, 27 & 28 Vict. cap. 195, and use by the holder is
evidence of a special contract upon those conditions. Tickets for
these trains can be obtained at the booking office of any station
between Victoria, Ludgate Hill, and Penge inclusive, upon personal
application only. The christian and surname, address, and trade, of
the applicant may be required, as well as the name and address of the
employer. Each ticket will be available for Six Days, from Monday to
Saturday inclusive, and for one journey only in each direction on each
day whilst in force, and by the advertised Workman’s Trains only. The
tickets will have to be given up to the company’s ticket collector on
the Saturday on which they expire, and even if issued on a later day in
the week than Monday will still be available only up to and including
the following Saturday. Each subscriber will be allowed to carry, at
his or her sole and exclusive risk, a basket, not exceeding 28 lbs.
weight, containing trade tools, so packed as not to be inconvenient or
dangerous. No other luggage of any description will be allowed to the
holders of Workman’s Tickets.

[24] There is another mistake as regards 1865, the number of sheep and
lambs imported was 914,170; the value for that year is stated at £2.
10s. a-head. At that value 914,170 make £2,285,425, not £1,787,866 as
set forth in the Statistical Abstract of the United Kingdom, issued in
August last. We have occasionally observed other errors in Board of
Trade Returns. They are not absolutely to be depended upon.

The following curious paragraph is from the journal of the Financial
Reform Association of April last—“Since 1851 there has been published
annually a return professing to give number and tonnage of vessels
and customs’ revenue at twelve principal ports of the United Kingdom.
In the Commons on Friday, March 15th, Mr. Candlish stated that only
seven of these ports were properly described, the other five being
far below Cardiff, Sunderland, Hartlepool, Swansea, and Grimsby; and
that, whether as regarded shipping, commerce, or revenue, the return
was grossly inaccurate in all particulars.—Mr. Cave, Vice-President
of the Board of Trade, said that for some particular reason or other,
he knew not what, the return had been moved for almost beyond the
memory of man, and had since been continued year after year, for which
he was very sorry, since it added needlessly to the great expense of
unnecessary returns, and was entirely inaccurate from beginning to end.”

[25] The total amount of Tea imported into the United Kingdom in 1866,
was 139,610,044 lbs., but 37,355,044 lbs. being exported, leaves the
amount above stated as the total of British consumption. Its aggregate
cost to the consumers was about £18,500,000, or about 12s. 4d. for each
unit of the population.

[26] A very valuable compendium of the history of English railways from
1820 to 1849. It was published in 1851.

[27] The first of these reports was issued in 1855. Of the eleven
reports since issued, two, the tenth and eleventh, bear no date at all,
whilst the twelfth bears the comprehensive one of “March 1866.” These
three reports, as well as the three that precede them, are signed by
Lord Stanley, of Alderley; of the others the Duke of Argyll signed two,
the late Earl of Elgin one, the late Lord Canning one (the first), and
Lord Colchester one. That for 1867 (the thirteenth) is signed by the
Duke of Montrose. His Grace has dated it.

The last person, not a Peer of Parliament, who was Postmaster-General,
was the Right Hon. Henry Frederick Carteret, who was appointed on the
29th January, 1771, joint Postmaster-General with Lord Despencer.
He became Lord Carteret on the 29th January, 1784, and continued
as joint Postmaster-General with Lord Walsingham until the 19th
September, 1789. On the death of James, Marquis of Salisbury, on
the 13th June, 1823, Thomas, Earl of Chichester, who had been one
of the two Postmasters-General since the 5th of May, 1807, became
sole Postmaster-General, and there has not been more than one
Postmaster-General since that date. Lord Chichester finally retired
from office on the 17th September, 1827.

[28] The first travelling Post Office was placed on the Grand Junction
Railway (the connecting Railway between Liverpool, Manchester and
Birmingham) on the 6th of July, 1837. On the 1st of January, 1839, the
travelling Post Offices commenced running through, between London and
Liverpool. The first travelling Post Office in Ireland was established
on the Great Southern and Western Railway, between Dublin and Cork,
on the 1st of January, 1855. They are now on every important line
of railway in the United Kingdom, but they are not available as the
travelling post offices are over almost all Europe, for the receipt of
letters as they arrive at and stop at stations. In France, Belgium,
Holland, all Germany, Austria and the Austrian dominions, Switzerland
and Italy, there are letter boxes and receiving apertures on each side
of them, into which letters can be thrown until the very moment that
the trains to which they are attached are leaving the stations; no
late fee is necessary for such letters, in fact a late letter fee is
not known on the Continent, with one exception—Paris. In that city,
since the 9th of May, 1863, letters can be posted at the _Bureaux
d’Arrondissement_ until half an hour after the general closing of the
boxes, and until an hour after their closing at the _Grand Bureau_.

The travelling Post Office staff of the United Kingdom consists of
53 clerks and 147 sorters. These are exclusive of mail officers at
some railway stations, and of 89 mail guards and 40 mail porters. The
average daily journey of each travelling Post Office employé is 170
miles, and the average time of his duty is between 5 and 6 hours.

The “_Service Ambulant_” of France is much more comprehensive, as by
means of the travelling offices a large amount of sorting is performed,
which is the work of the ordinary post offices in England. The staff of
the French travelling post offices was, on the 1st of January, 1866,
composed of 518 “_Agents_” and 654 “_Sous Agents_;” total of the staff,

[29] “Newspapers and book packets liable to detention if posted in
pillar boxes within three miles of St. Martin’s-le-Grand.”—POSTAL
GUIDE. _Passim._ Why? Let us also ask, does “detention” mean forfeiture
or delay? Such a penalty, whichever it may be, does not, we believe,
exist in any other part of the Kingdom with regard to newspapers and
book packets posted in pillar boxes.

[30] It is to Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, Bart, (now Lord Lytton),
that the public is indebted for the Newspaper Duty Reduction Act of
1836; and it is to Mr. Milner Gibson, M.P., that is mainly due the
distinction of having effected, in 1855, the abolition of the “Tax upon
Knowledge” as the Newspaper Duty was then designated.

In 1835 the number of newspaper stamps issued was 32,874,632, and the
number of newspapers conveyed by the post was nearly the same. In 1854,
the last complete year before the abolition of the compulsory stamp, it
was 107,052,053, of which about 37,000,000 were for London newspapers.
About 70,000,000 were transmitted through the post. It is now of course
impossible to do more than estimate the circulation of newspapers,
but the London morning papers alone may be taken at 400,000 a-day, or
125,000,000 per annum; the daily papers published in all other places
at as many more, and weekly papers at 250,000,000: total 500,000,000.
If these figures be approximatively correct, the issue of newspapers
has increased five-fold since 1854, but not more than about a seventh
of them circulate through the post. In fact there has been scarcely any
increase in the number of newspapers through the post since 1854.

The effect of comparatively high newspaper, as contrasted with low
letter postage may be thus illustrated:—the chargeable letters
delivered in the United Kingdom have risen from 75,907,562 in 1839,
the year before the penny postage, to 720,467,007 in 1865, whilst
newspapers, 44,500,000 in 1839, have (including book post packets, of
which there were none in 1839), advanced in 1865 only to 97,252,766.(A)
In France, in 1847, the year before the reduction of inland letter
postage (one penny in each town or _commune_, twopence throughout
France and Algeria, which latter, for postal purposes, is considered
as France), the chargeable letters were 126,480,000, newspapers,
printed matter, and pattern post 90,275,466. In 1856 the newspaper
postage rate was reduced to four centimes per copy, not exceeding an
ounce and a third, with one centime for each additional third of an
ounce, and these rates are diminished one-half when a newspaper is
posted and delivered in the same department. In 1865 the number of
chargeable letters was 314,817,000, newspapers, &c., 275,317,880. Thus
the chargeable letters only exceeded newspapers, &c., by 39,499,120. In
Great Britain the excess was 643,814,241.

There is no doubt that the Post Office charge upon newspapers,
especially with the facilities which the railways now afford to the
department of transmission to any extent, is much too high. This is
particularly so as regards the smaller, general, as well as many of
what are called “class” papers, several of which do not exceed an ounce
or so in weight. The author has given much attention to this subject,
as also to the reduction of postage upon local letters not exceeding
a quarter of an ounce in weight, to one half-penny each, but neither
of these questions can be entered upon here. It may, however, not be
inappropriate to say at present, that “local letters,” that is, letters
which never leave the district of the office in which they are posted,
are those that yield by far the largest revenue per letter to the Post
Office; in fact, a very considerable portion of the total net revenue
of the department is derived from them. The history and development
of London local letters since the commencement of the present century
is curious. In 1801 they were estimated at about 3,200,000. In 1803
they had increased to 6,000,000; and in 1813, to 9,400,000; but in the
following ten years they had advanced only to 10,500,000, that being
the estimated number in 1823. They were almost stationary during the
next ten years, notwithstanding the increase of population; indeed,
they rather retrograded, their number in 1833 being estimated at only
10,200,000. In 1835 they rose to about 11,200,000. In 1839, the year
before the introduction of the penny postage, they were 12,480,000. In
1840, they bounded suddenly to 20,372,000, and in 1844 they reached
27,000,000. In nine years afterwards (1853) they were 43,000,000. In
1855 London was divided for postal purposes into ten districts, by
which very much more rapid delivery was obtained for local letters.
The consequence was, that, in 1858, the third complete year after the
alteration, local letters had risen to 58,404,000; and in 1862, to
71,961,000. In 1865 they were about 90,000,000, of which upwards of
16,000,000 were delivered in the districts in which they were posted.
At the present time the average delivery of letters in London is about
560,000, of which about half are local and half from the provinces
and abroad. The daily number of newspapers and book packets delivered
is about 55,000. If London correspondence continue to increase as it
has in recent years, it will soon be necessary to have half-hourly
collections and deliveries during certain parts of the day.

(A) This is the number stated at page 2 of the Postmaster-General’s
Twelfth Report, but at page 15, it is 97,250,000, a difference of
2,766. The difference between the number of letters, as stated at pages
2 and 15 of the same report, is 7,007; of packets by pattern post,

[31] In March of the present year the Post Office commenced sending
the Eastern mails in bags, but no doubt the department will not be
able to continue their use. When cholera prevails, like as it has done
during the present year, Eastern mails contained in bags are said to be
certain conductors and disseminators of the subtle poison.

[32] We recently had twenty shillings’ worth of penny postage stamps
weighed; with the border all round the sheet, 240 stamps weigh a little
more than half an ounce; without the border, the weight is a little
less than half an ounce. Consequently £32 worth weigh one pound, £3,584
one cwt., £71,680 one ton, £716,800 ten tons.

[33] It is at times very difficult to understand the statistics of
the department as given in consecutive Postmaster-General’s reports.
For instance, in the report (the third) following that from which
the figures in the text are taken, we find that the number of the
post offices was increased by 368 in 1856, “making the whole present
number 10,866,” of these 845 are head post offices (75 less than in
1855). In the Fourth Report, although the post offices of the United
Kingdom were increased in 1857 to 11,001, the number of head offices
is stated at 810, or 35 less than in 1856 and 110 less than in 1855.
In the Fifth Report, 134 post offices were added during 1858, making
11,235, but the head offices were 4 less than in 1857. In 1859 the head
offices became 825. In 1860 they were 818. In 1861, 813. In 1862, 808.
Since 1862 the generic terms, “receptacles of letters” are, in the
Postmaster-General’s reports, applied to all places at which letters
can be posted. By a Parliamentary return issued on the 1st of October,
1867, it appears that there are 11,282 post offices in the United
Kingdom, of which 814 are head offices, and 10,468 are sub-offices and
receiving offices. These numbers are irrespective of about 7,000 pillar
boxes all over the kingdom.

[34] The Postal Guide, although containing a great deal of useful
information relating to postal matters, is not a work implicitly to
be relied upon. Recently the author pointed out, in addition to many
other errors and modes of imparting information calculated to mislead
the public, 146 errors upon one subject only. These first appeared in
No. 44, published on 1st of April 1867, and they were repeated in No.
45, published on the 1st of July. In the reply of the Post Office, all
these errors were designated “minor points.” The _amende_, however, was
made in subsequent communications, and improvements promised in the
October edition. The promise has been, in a large measure, fulfilled.

[35] We think we shall he able to show clearly in a work on the Post
Offices of England and France, preparing for publication early next
year, that the penny postal system only began to be profitable to the
nation about the time that Mr. Page wrote his report, notwithstanding
that the statements of net revenue given in Post Office reports would
make it appear to be otherwise. Until 1860, the charges for mail
packets and contract mail steamers were borne on the Naval, and not on
the Post Office Estimates, and the Postal Department debited itself
specifically, for several years, with a charge for packets of about
£4,500 a year! Last year, the total amount voted for our Ocean Postal
Services and Packet Establishments was £821,163, of which £90,601 were
for water conveyance of mails between different parts of the United
Kingdom. Eight-ninths of it (£79,900) were for the mail service between
Holyhead and Kingston. The vessels employed in this service are the
finest and fastest afloat; they usually perform 63 statute miles in
three hours and forty minutes, or at the rate of 17 miles an hour. The
passages have, on some few occasions, been performed in three hours and
twenty-five minutes, or over 18 miles an hour.

[36] We perceive by recent advertisements in the French papers, and
by a letter from Mr. Daniel A. Lange, the “English representative
of the Suez Maritime Canal Company,” inserted in the _Times_ of the
26th September 1867, that the company proposes to raise £4,000,000
of capital by means of debentures, in addition to the £12,000,000
it has already expended. It is stated that the Great or Grand Canal
will, by means of this loan, positively be finished by the first of
October 1869. The debentures issued at £12 each, bear interest at
the rate of 8½ per cent. per annum, and are to be paid off in the
usual manner adopted in France, that is by lottery at the rate of £20
each. The original capital of the Suez Canal Company was fixed, at
its formation in 1858, at £8,000,000. The length of the canal, when
finished, is to be 100 miles, whilst the railway is 250. The reason is
that Cairo is only about eight miles less distant from Alexandria than
the Mediterranean mouth of the canal is from that of the Red Sea. Suez
and Cairo are, practically, in the same latitude, but when the railway
running nearly due south from Alexandria reaches Cairo, it makes a
right angle towards the east to reach Suez.

[37] In France the number of receptacles for letters is nearly three
times as great as in the United Kingdom. On the 1st of January, 1866,
they were over 43,000, counting the receiver in each railway _bureau
ambulant_ as one. The staff of the French Post Office is also greatly
in excess of that of the United Kingdom. On the 1st of January, 1866,
the latter consisted of 25,082 persons, in which are included “rural
messengers.” At the same date the French staff was 27,749, exclusive of
16,406 rural messengers. Total men, 44,155. The system of rural posts
in France is of extreme interest. For the first thirty years of the
present century, out of 38,000 _communes_ 35,587 were without direct
relations with the Post Office. To obtain a letter it was necessary to
send, in many districts, distances varying from fifteen to twenty-five
miles. By a law passed in May, 1829, every _commune_ of the kingdom
was to be afforded, from the 1st of April, 1839, postal communication,
not less than every second day, with every other part of France. The
service commenced with the appointment of 11,036 rural postmen, and the
system has gradually extended to the employment of 16,406, for there is
not at present a _commune_ in France that has not a daily collection
and delivery. “These 16,406 rural postmen,” says M. A. De Camp, in the
_Revue des deux Mondes_, of January, 1867, “start every morning from
4,700 post offices. They travel through every _commune_, village, and
hamlet, they convey correspondence to the most remote and to almost
inaccessible houses and cottages. Every _commune_ has, at its ‘_Chef
lieu_,’ a letter-box, which is opened by the rural postman. The letters
which he finds in it are delivered by him if they are addressed for
any place in his walk; if not, they are conveyed by him to his post
office, whence they are despatched every evening _en route_ for their
ultimate destinations.” So complete and penetrating is the system, that
immediately after the annexation of Savoy, and of its Alpine regions,
the rural postmen were installed, and now they present themselves daily
at every habitation in the mountains, whenever there is a letter or
even a newspaper to be delivered. “Let,” says a pleasant writer in a
French periodical, “but an Englishman afflicted with ‘_le splene_,’
or any other man, but take up his permanent residence on the highest
Alpine peak on French territory, it matters not Monte Rosa, Monte
Cervino, or Monte Bianco, the rural postman of the mountain will be
bound, if necessary, to visit him daily.”

The rural postmen of France walk an average of sixteen miles each,—a
total of 267,600 miles _daily_. Of their number, 5,248 walk seventeen
miles a day and “upwards.” In this last word is included a certain
number who complete twenty-five miles, “a fact,” as M. Vandal informs
us in the _Annuaire des Postes_ for 1866, “of melancholy notoriety.”

“His visits,” continues M. Vandal, “are solicited with ardour and
received with gratitude.” But his remuneration is not on a par with
these feelings. There are 673 whose pay is only £12 a year, 996 who
receive £14, 2,970 between £14 and £20, 9,988 between £20 and £24, and
only 1,779 who receive higher than £24; the average is only £21. 4s.
per man. They are allowed, however (as is the case in England), to
supplement their postal pay by performing certain little commissions
and conveying small parcels for the inhabitants of the districts in
which their services are employed.

Belgium possesses a rural postal system as extensive and penetrating as
that just described, but, although food and rent are cheaper there than
in France, the average pay of Belgian rural postmen is £30 a year, just
2 francs a day.

[38] There are no official means afforded of distinguishing between
the number of newspapers and of book parcels sent through the post.
A writer in the September number (1862) of _Fraser’s Magazine_ (said
to be Mr. M. D. Hill, brother to Sir Rowland) states, that, in that
year, the number of book parcels was 12,000,000. The circulation of
newspapers through the post is, we apprehend, decreasing, but the
diminution is more than compensated for by the increased number of book

[39] From 1839 until 1862, the _number_ of Money Orders issued was
regularly stated in the appendices to the annual reports. Half the
value of the returns now issued is lost through the omission of this
information, especially as it was in 1862 that the limit of an Inland
Money Order was raised from £5 to £10.

[40] We trust there is no doubt whatever upon this point, yet two cases
have recently occurred which cannot fail to awaken much apprehension in
the minds of depositors. In each it appears that a fraudulent person
got hold of a depositor’s book and withdrew the sum to his credit. The
Post Office denied its responsibility on the ground that it had already
discharged its obligation. Machinery to prevent the repetition of such
a fraud could, we apprehend, be easily instituted, which would protect
the Office, and at the same time not interpose unnecessary delay or
impediment to the withdrawal of deposits. For some few years after the
establishment of money orders some frauds were successfully practised
upon the Post Office, but there do not appear to have been of late even
attempts at fraud, yet the money order system is much more simple now,
as regards the public, than it formerly was.

[41] Since the commencement of the present century the idea of making
the machinery of the Post Office available as a means of carrying out
the saving bank system, was occasionally in the minds of benevolent
persons, and the idea so far took shape, that in 1806 Mr. Whitbread
brought into the House of Commons, a bill for the purpose of effecting
this object; but the nation was then too deeply immersed in war and in
considering the ways and means for its sustainment to give attention to
philanthropy. The bill was rejected at an early stage of its career. In
1817 the first comprehensive Savings Bank Act was passed, but it does
not appear that during its progress through Parliament, any effective
efforts were made to connect the Post Office with the system.

On the 31st December, 1865, 3,321 Post Office Savings Banks had been
opened throughout the United Kingdom. Since then the number has been
considerably added to. They have had some but not a very marked effect
upon the savings banks on the old system, for whilst the “capital” of
these latter, that is, the amount of money to the credit of depositors
at the end of each year, was, on the 31st December, 1861, 41,546,475,
it had fallen to £36,307,019 on 31st of December, 1866, but on the
other hand, the “capital” of the Post Office Savings Bank was, at
the last date, £8,121,175, making the total of savings bank capital
£44,428,194, an increase of £2,881,719 since the end of 1861. It is
to be remembered that this last named sum is principally, it might
very nearly be said, altogether due to depositors of the humblest
classes and of the smallest means who, until the establishment of Post
Office Savings Banks, were never able to, at all events did not, avail
themselves of any depositories for their earnings. The subject is one
of deepest interest, but it cannot be perused further in these pages.

[42] The Duke of Argyll is equally distinguished as a senator, a
politician, and a man of letters. The _Quarterly Review_, vol. 84, page
79, reviewing his “Presbytery Examined,” (published in 1848, when His
Grace was not twenty-five years of age), thus speaks:—

“Every peer who employs the opportunities furnished by his high
position, together with his natural gifts, in conscientious labour for
the public good, is now, more than ever, an ornament and a bulwark
to the State, and a blessing to the people. It is therefore, with
unfeigned satisfaction, that we find another of our nobles, one of the
highest in rank, and not the least wealthy in traditional fame, adding
himself to the number who are pledged in the face of the world, by
early efforts, to a life of continued labour. The Duke has not entered
the field of ostensible authorship with any light or frivolous aim, nor
has he incurred the heavier responsibility of handling subjects of deep
moment to human destiny, for the purpose of displaying his intellectual
gifts. The theme he has chosen is one of extended interest, and has
points of contact with a wider sphere, while his pages bear throughout
the marks of an earnestness not to be mistaken; besides, they present
specimens of acuteness and of eloquence full of promise for his
literary fame.”

Of the Duke’s last work, the “Reign of Law,” four editions have gone
rapidly through the press. It is described respectively by the _Times_,
the _Spectator_, and the _Examiner_, as “a very able book,” “a masterly
book,” and “a very remarkable volume;” whilst the _Pall Mall Gazette_
says of it,—“The aim of this book is lofty, and requires not only a
thorough familiarity with metaphysical and scientific subjects, but a
breadth of thought, a freedom from prejudice, a general versatility,
and sympathetic quality of mind, and a power of clear exposition rare
in all ages and in all countries. We have no hesitation in expressing
an opinion that all these qualifications are to be recognised in
the Duke of Argyll, and that his book is as unanswerable as it is

[43] Mr. Lewins, one of the senior clerks, we believe, in the Post
Office, has written a very pleasant and amusing book upon the British
Post, but he naturally looks upon St. Martin’s-le-Grand as perfection.
The Post Office has produced several literary men. Allen, who was
the inventor of Cross Posts, introduced in 1720, by which he amassed
considerable wealth, although not an author, was a great patron of
literature, as well as a most benevolent man. He was the friend of
Fielding, Warburton, and Pope, the last of whom has celebrated his
benevolence in the well known lines,—

  “Let humble Allen, with an awkward shame,
  Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.”

At the present day, there are Anthony Trollope, Edmund Yates, besides
many who adopt the anonymous, and are contributors to our magazines and
reviews, and occasionally to comic periodicals. But there is one man
who, if his duties, first as Accountant-General, and now as one of the
secretaries of the Post Office, had not been so unceasing and absorbing
for many years, would have been, in another sense, among the most
distinguished men of letters of his day. Mr. Frank Ives Scudamore’s
“People that One Never Sees” and his essays “On Dreams,” are amongst
the most brilliant and exquisite little conceptions that pen has ever
committed to paper. Mr. Scudamore finds “sermons in stones,” and
sweetest harmony also.

[44] The following very seriously meant paragraph is contained in the
Postmaster-General’s Fourth Report:—“I think I am safe in stating, as
a general fact, that those boards of directors of railway companies
which have evinced the greatest readiness to meet the wishes of the
Post Office, and to convey mail bags by frequent trains, and at
moderate rates, are, at the same time those boards which have been most
successful in promoting the interests of their companies, as shown by
the market value of their shares!” The company which the writer had
specially in view when framing the foregoing paragraph, was the London,
Brighton and South Coast. The note of admiration is ours.

[45] This is the amount stated in evidence before the Royal
Commissioners on Railways.

[46] Some persons have odd notions of the speed of railway trains. Some
few years ago, a jockey who had missed the express to Newmarket, was
anxious to have a special train, but on being informed of the cost,
he earnestly asked an officer of the Company “if he did not think the
express might be overtaken if he followed it _in a cab_!” The express
train was running on the Eastern Counties.

[47] The “narrow” gauge, the gauge all but universal through England,
Scotland, Wales, and Europe generally, is 4 feet 8½ inches; the
“broad,” or Great Western gauge, is 7 feet. The New York and Erie
Railway gauge is 6 feet; the other American railways are the same as in
England and Europe. The Irish gauge is 5 feet 3 inches. The Canadian
and Indian 5 feet 6 inches.

[48] There is a difference of twenty-six minutes between London and
Dublin times, London being to the east, is the earlier; thus when it
is for instance 9 o’clock, it is 9.26 in Dublin. Dublin time has now
become universal time in Ireland.

[49] At page 6 of the Ninth Report of the Postmaster-General, dated
30th April, 1863, signed by Lord Stanley, of Alderley, it is stated,
“Postal communication between provincial towns has also, in many
instances, been made more frequent. Between Manchester and Liverpool
there are not fewer than _eight mails_ in each direction daily.”
At page 11 of the Twelfth Report, dated “March, 1866,” and signed
also by Lord Stanley, of Alderley, the following words occur:—“The
town districts of Liverpool have now _six deliveries_ of letters
from Manchester daily, as compared with only _three deliveries_ of
such letters in 1863. The improvement in the course of post between
ordinary correspondents in Liverpool and ordinary correspondents in
Manchester, is at present only partial and one-sided. A scheme is
under consideration, however, for the extension of the deliveries and
collections in Manchester, and when this plan shall have been carried
out, a very marked improvement will be effected in the course of post
between these great towns, and will, I doubt not, be followed by a
rapid development of their already large correspondence.” The italics
in the foregoing extracts are ours. To solve the difficulty, if
possible, we obtained the October number of the “Local Postal Guide for
Manchester, (published monthly) by command of the Postmaster-General,”
and it appears by it there are _ten_ collections for Liverpool at the
head office, and _three_ at the receiving offices and pillar posts,—one
of which only began on the 4th of October, 1867. There are eight
arrivals from Liverpool, and six deliveries.

[50] The following admirable and eloquent description of MANCHESTER is,
with one unimportant omission, taken from _Engineering_, of the 22nd of
March, 1867:—

“To the mechanical engineer the name of Manchester has a significance
similar in a certain sense, to that which the name of Mecca has for the
people of Mahommet’s creed. ‘He is not a true follower of the Prophet
who has not been to Mecca once in his life at least;’ so is the saying
in the Orient; and, in drawing the parallel, we are tempted to say—he
is not a true mechanical engineer who has not visited Manchester once
in his life, who has not seen the monuments raised to the memory of
the prophets of modern generations, only recently dead, and more than
that, who has not seen the faces of those great prophets still living
and daily effecting marvels and revealing truth for the benefit of
future generations. With the monuments raised to the dead we do not
of course mean any special bronze memorial of James Watt, nor the
unsightly monument of Crompton which ornaments the central part of
Bolton, nor indeed, the memorial of Richard Roberts, which _ought_ to
stand somewhere in Manchester, but _does not_ stand anywhere. But there
are 150,000 boilers in operation in Manchester and the manufacturing
district surrounding it—we state this figure as estimated by Mr.
Longridge, the chief engineer of the Boiler Insurance and Steam Power
Company—they represent, perhaps, one million of horses’ power in steam
engines daily at work, and these we call the memorial raised by the
town of Manchester to the name of James Watt. As for the monuments
of Crompton and Roberts, they form great groups like the pyramids in
the graveyards of Egyptian rulers, only more numerous, more valuable,
and more useful. Every cotton mill, every manufactory of textile
machinery, is a memorial to Samuel Crompton and Richard Roberts. Take
the largest of these groups—the Hartford Ironworks, Oldham—there are
8,000 men under the command of one leading mind, assisted by every aid
that mechanical appliances can give, and indebted in almost every one
of the details of their machinery to Richard Roberts again, employed
in carrying out the ideas of this great inventor for the benefit of
themselves, their families, and mankind at large. What a sight to
compare with that of a solid chimney standing between four bronze
lions! It is characteristic to the engineering profession that the
works of our great men form monuments for their names which no national
munificence can equal.

“To pass from the memory of those gone by to those who make Manchester
what it is at present, viz., the centre and metropolis of mechanical
engineering, we need scarcely make an interruption in our cursory
reference to the history of mechanics. Mr. William Fairbairn, Mr.
Whitworth, Mr. Nasmyth, are fellow travellers of Richard Roberts
on the road of progress. They also are erecting monuments to their
names; and the great engineering establishments which bear their
names, form some of the most important items in the great total of
Manchester manufactories, which great total may be considered at
this moment to represent almost every one of the more important
branches of mechanical engineering in the widest sense of that term.
To commence with coal-mining, the Lancashire coal-bed is one of the
richest and most important of this country; its different seams are
applicable to all the varied branches of industry, commencing with
the most valuable of all, the cannel coal, down to the cheapest coal
slack, which is still capable of being converted into coke of good
quality, and by the assistance of the washing machine can be made to
yield the best coke required for the smelting of hematite iron of the
highest marks. We have entered in detail into some interesting points
connected with the coal-mining and iron manufacture of this district,
in our recent account of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company. The iron
manufacture in that locality is rapidly rising. It is based upon an
exchange of coal and ore with the Ulverstone district, and may thank
the introduction of the Bessemer process for its recent prosperity
and its excellent prospects for future success. The Bessemer process
itself (this important element in modern engineering), has found a
centre in Manchester and its neighbourhood. The Bolton Steel Works,
the Lancashire Steel Works, the Manchester Steel and Plant Company,
the important steel works at Crewe, and the Mersey Ironworks in
Liverpool, form an aggregate power of production fully as great as that
which is centred in Sheffield, and of course much greater than in any
other part of the world, that small district in Prussia, on the banks
of the river Ruhr, excepted. The foundries of Manchester, although
their production does not reach that of the largest establishments in
Scotland with regard to quantity, are fully equal to them with regard
to quality and size of individual castings which they are capable of
producing. We have had occasion to mention the hydraulic ram of the
hoist for charging the Woodward cupola at Messrs. Dobson & Barlow’s
works, which has been cast in one piece, 22 feet long, standing on
its end, at the Union Foundry in Bolton, and we have been informed
that this foundry is laid out for casting articles of the heaviest
description, up to a depth of 30 feet. In the Bolton Steel Works,
the anvil of the 25-ton hammer, which has been cast in its place,
is said to be about 200 tons in weight. Machine-moulding, with all
its delicacy and beauty of form, is more developed in the Manchester
district than in any other locality. We have heard of wheels 3 feet in
diameter, with teeth pitched one-eighth of an inch, _i. e._, about 900
in number, being moulded by machinery at the Hartford Works, Oldham.
The application of machine-moulding to railway axle-boxes we have
noticed in our description of the Ashbury Works. For the construction
of stationary engines of different sizes Manchester, we believe,
admits of few rivals. We have noticed the large blowing-engines, with
100-inch cylinders, 12 feet stroke, made at the Bridgewater Foundry,
Patricroft; the pumping-engines for the Abbey Mills Station, and the
Liverpool Waterworks engines, now in progress at the Union Foundry,
Bolton; the beautifully finished rolling-mill engines for the Barrow
Hematite Steel Works, made by Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves & Co.; and
Messrs. Musgrave & Sons’ engines at the Lancashire Steel Company’s
Works and at Barrow-in-Furness. All these, and numbers of others, which
may be counted by hundreds, form the vast group of engine constructions
in Manchester. Engineers’ tools have had their early development, and
still have their principal seat of manufacture, in this important
place. One by one they have come into existence at the Atlas Works in
their first and original types, have obtained their graceful shapes,
the hollow castings of their framework, the scraped surfaces of their
slides, and the dead accuracy of their movements, at Mr. Whitworth’s
works, and have then become standard types of form more or less closely
imitated by every tool-maker, not only in Manchester, but all over the

“Of specialities in tools, such as Messrs. Collier & Co.’s multiple
drills, Messrs. Hetherington & Son’s new drilling machines, and
some new tools at work at Messrs. Parr, Curtis & Madeley’s, we have
had opportunities of taking notice some short time ago. They are
only single items selected out of a great crowd of others, and that
great crowd again forms only one small part of the entire mechanical
business of Manchester. We pass to boiler construction, and we find
it developed into a branch of engineering by itself. It stands upon a
higher level in Manchester than elsewhere, and we need only refer to
our recent description of Mr. Adamson’s works, if we desire a proof
for this assertion. The construction of locomotives—and we comprise
Crewe, St. Helen’s, &c., in the name of that manufacturing district
generally understood under the designation of Manchester by mechanical
engineers—shows the same predominance over that of any other town
as the branches previously named. For railway plant we have now the
newly established Bessemer Steel Works, making rails, axles, tires,
and other articles; we have the Ashbury Works, with their large
production of carriages and waggons; for iron bridges, the Fairbairn
Engineering Company’s Works. Of the machinery employed in the Bessemer
process, the manufacture is exclusively in the hands of Messrs. W. &
J. Galloway & Sons, and Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves & Co. The Nasmyth
and the Condie hammer, and almost all the rolling mills for weldless
tires, such as Messrs. Collier & Co.’s., Messrs. Galloway & Sons’,
and Mr. Jackson’s mills, belong to the workshops of Manchester, and
form elements of its trade. In wood-working machinery the production
of Messrs. Thos. Robinson & Son, of Rochdale, is the largest of that
class. For shipbuilding and marine engineering we need go no farther
than the Mersey; but in this line, and in the branch of agricultural
machinery, the great centres of manufacture lie elsewhere, and must
remain so in the future from natural causes. With the consideration
of these facts we think it sufficiently established that ‘the city
of the tall chimneys’ is more than what it used to be half a century
ago ‘the cotton metropolis;’ it is now the metropolis of mechanical
engineering as well. There is another important institution which
gives to Manchester the character of a metropolis for manufactures,
and that is the Exchange. To attend at the Exchange forms part of the
business of a commercial engineer in Manchester, and the Exchange has
thereby become one of the most important institutions for one branch
of the profession. The Manchester Exchange forms a general place of
appointment for all parties interested in the manufactures of that
district, where every manufacturer expects to find everyone engaged in
trade at a certain hour once or twice in every week. To point out what
saving of time, what enlargement of power for transacting business,
this institution has given to the whole industrial population of
Manchester, will hardly be necessary, but the extraordinary aspect
which the Manchester Exchange presents to the eye of a stranger
entering it any Tuesday between twelve and one o’clock is worthy of
a brief remark. There is a dense crowd, numbering by thousands of
heads, filling the entire area of the large hall, which is divided
longitudinally in three parallel passages by two rows of columns or
pillars supporting the roof. By universal admission, a kind of rule
seems to have been established, perhaps without its having ever been
expressed in words. This rule refers to the division of the total space
in the hall between the different branches represented there. One of
the outer passages belongs to engineers and machinists; the central
part is devoted to the manufacturers of textile fabrics; and the part
of the hall at the opposite side is occupied by the mercantile part of
the assembly, the cotton brokers, exporters of goods, &c.

“A stranger entering the hall for the first time may recognise the
side belonging to the engineers at a single glance. Their faces, their
general appearance, and their whole bearing are characteristic, and
not to be mistaken. There is, of course, no possibility of knowing one
engineer from one merchant at first sight, but an assembly of, say,
two hundred engineers looks as different from a congregation of two
hundred merchants as two groups of men possibly can be. Those habits
of thought and observation, that consciousness of—we may say—creative
power, that determination to succeed in spite of difficulties, which
are the attributes of the mind of an engineer, never fail to show
themselves in the outward appearance of the man; they may be too
faint for recognition in the single individual, but they are stamped
upon an assembly of the members of our profession, where the marks
common to the group come out more prominently by repetition. There
are other things clearly visible in the appearance of the great crowd
collected ‘on Change’ which are not perceptible by observation of
single individuals, and that is the state of the trade and the nature
of the transactions afloat. Looking at the crowd from above, and
knowing the positions which the different branches habitually occupy
in the building, the manner in which the groups cluster together, and
the greater or less speed with which they change their positions, give
remarkably clear indications to the practised eye. The Manchester
Exchange is to be rebuilt and very considerably enlarged. At a public
competition of plans for a new Exchange building, Messrs. Mills and
Mergatroyd, architects of Manchester, have gained the two first
prizes, and they are now entrusted with the construction of the new
building. There are some other points, with regard to which the town
of Manchester has just commenced to take up its proper position as
the great centre of mechanical engineering. A college for engineering
science is to be established in the cotton metropolis very shortly, and
the funds for this purpose have been raised by subscriptions amongst
the leading members of our profession, who have responded to the call
with a princely munificence.”

[51] The earliest historical notice that exists respecting stamps
freeing letters through the post, dates as far back at 1653. In that
year M. de Velayer, _Maître des Requêtes_ in the French Court of
Chancery, established an office close to the law courts, in pursuance
of a Royal Decree of Louis XIV., authorising him to sell for two sous
each, stamped slips of paper with the words printed on them, _Port
payé———— le———— jour du mois———— de l’an_. The date of the privilege
ceasing is not known; it was at M. de Velayer’s death. As regards
modern postage stamps, Sir Rowland Hill, in 1838, gave the credit
of them to Mr. Charles Knight; on the other hand, Dr. Gray, of the
British Museum, claimed to have suggested them in 1834; and Mr. Charles
Whiting, of Beauford House, Strand, in his evidence before the Postal
Committee of 1838, stated that as early as 1830, he had proposed them
to the Government for franking printed matter, and he exhibited several
specimens to the Committee. Mr. Lewins, in _Her Majesty’s Mail_, does
not take a correct view on this subject.

On the 23rd of August, 1839, the Lords of the Treasury offered to “all
artists, men of science, and the public in general,” a premium of
£500 for the best design of an envelope that should fulfil the double
purpose of illustrating the universality of the new postal system, and
of acting as a frank of the value of one penny. The premium was awarded
to the late Mr. Mulready, R.A., but the appearance of the envelopes
caused such fun, banter, and amusement, that they were withdrawn as
soon as possible, and they are now extremely scarce. We hope we shall
not be accused of one of the highest of crimes, if we mention a belief
very current in 1840, that it was not to Mr. Mulready, but to a very
exalted personage, that the authorship of the design should really have
been attributed.

At the first institution of postage stamps, there were only two forms,
black (very shortly afterwards changed to red), one penny; blue,
twopence. There are now ten forms, the value of each of which varies
from one penny to five shillings.

In France, in Switzerland, and in Belgium, in consequence of the cost
of transmission of newspapers and other printed matter in those several
countries being so low, there are postage stamps of the value of one
centime, two, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and eighty,
each. France has also postage stamps of the value of five francs (four
shillings) each.

The number of stamps of different values circulating in the different
countries of the civilised world that issue them (and there is hardly
one such country that does not do so), is rather over 2,000. In case
the reader should be travelling abroad, he may perhaps like to know
what he must ask for, as the equivalent for the English compound word
“Postage-Stamp.” If in France, Switzerland, or Belgium, the word is
“_Timbre-Poste_;” if in Prussia proper or Sweden, “_Freimarke_;”
Hamburg or Lubeck, “_Postmarke_;” Austria, “_Post-Stempfel_;”
the territory that was Hanover, “_Bestelgeld-frei_;” Holland,
“_Post-zegel_;” Italy, “_Franco-bollo_;” Spain, “_Timbre_ (with the
final _e_ pronounced) _de Posta_.”

Timbromaniacs (so collectors of postage stamps are called), give
employment, as we learn from the editor of the _Every Boy’s Annual_,
for 1866, to a considerable number of persons who are especially
engaged in the collection and sale of foreign stamps. These for the
purposes of the trade are of two orders, the “maculate,” or those
which have gone through the post, and the “immaculate,” or those
which, if the owner were in the country to which they belong, would
give free transmission to his letters, the adequate amount of stamps
being fixed upon them. Some postage stamps have already become out of
date, in consequence of the dominions in which they were issued having
been absorbed in other kingdoms. Thus, in Italy, there are no longer
the postage stamps issued in the former kingdom of Naples, or in the
overthrown Grand Duchies of Tuscany, Parma, and Modena. (The last
Stuart Queen of England, wife of James the Second, was the Princess
Mary of Modena.) In 1866, Hanover, Frankfort, Nassau, and Electoral
Hesse, having been seized by Prussia and absorbed into that kingdom,
have ceased to issue postage stamps. The sovereign of the largest
territorial possessions, since the time of Imperial Rome, Charles the
V., of Spain, reigning also as Emperor over Germany, Austria, Bohemia,
Hungary, and the Netherlands, gave authority in or about 1540, to the
Prince of Thurn and Taxis, to establish a line of posts from Vienna to
Brussels; and the family of this House has, ever since, held special
rights and privileges in relation to the postal systems of Germany,
their posts being distinct from those appertaining to the Crown, in
the kingdoms through which their rights extended. But these privileges
absolutely ceased in the countries absorbed by Prussia in 1866, and
negotiations have since been completed for the transfer to Prussia of
the remaining postal rights of the princely house of Thurn and Taxis.
Their cessation, however, will have no consequence as regards postage
stamps, those of the Governments of the countries through which their
privileges extended, only having been issued in them.

Had France at the commencement of this year, been able to obtain
possession of the Duchy of Luxemburg there would not have been an
absorption of postage stamps, as those in use are Dutch.

But, apart from political considerations, France has had
a very fortunate escape, in one respect, by not obtaining
the desired annexation. In the canton of Diekerch there are
three rather picturesque villages, the names of which are
respectively, Schindermanderscheid, Oberschindermanderscheid, and
Nederschindermanderscheid. What the French, with their dislike to
consonants, would have converted those words into it is impossible
to say. Even “Nantzig,” when they got possession of Lorraine, was
changed to “Nancy,” and Metz, instead of retaining its original German
pronunciation, is invariably spoken in France as if it were written
“Messe.” Although the _Annuaire des Postes_ for 1867, gives the names
of upwards of 19,000 foreign post offices in Europe and North America,
it has not ventured to include in it the above named Luxembourg
villages; yet, there are among them several Welsh, Polish, and Russian
towns, with many names totally unpronounceable except by natives, and
even they must, at times, experience difficulty; witness—Solnychewsku,
Wysselok, Domojirowe, Oiaskoe Sermanske (Russian); Jjewsku, Zawod,
Wjätka (Poland); Yaysymudw, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, and Llanfairynghornwy

[52] The Furies have the faces of women; their looks are full of
terror, they hold lighted torches in their hands, snakes and serpents
coil around their necks and shoulders. They are sometimes called in
Latin _Furiæ_, because they make men mad by stings of conscience.
They are the offspring of Nox and Acheron, and are esteemed virgins,
because, since they are the avengers of all wickedness, nothing can
corrupt or pervert them from inflicting the punishment that is due
to offenders. There are only three Furies; some add a fourth, called
Lisso, that is rage and madness, but she is easily reduced to the
other three. The office of the Furies is to punish and torment the
wicked by frightening and following them with burning torches.—_Tooke’s
Mythological Systems of the Greeks and Romans_, 36th edition, revised,
corrected, and _improved_. London, 1831.

[53] The following is a statement of the traffic receipts and dividends
on unguaranteed stock, for 1865, of the leading English railways.
For their mileage see page 107. London and North-Western, receipts
£6,312,056, dividend 6⅝ per cent.; Great Western, £3,585,614, 1
per cent.; North-Eastern, £3,529,288, 3 per cent.; Great Eastern,
£1,690,269, no dividend; North British, £1,309,865, no dividend;
Midland, £2,728,131, 5⅜ per cent.; London and South-Western,
£1,477,843, 5 per cent.; Caledonian, £1,432,475, 5¼ per cent.;
Lancashire and Yorkshire, £2,150,643, 5⅞ per cent.; Great Northern,
£1,064,799, 7⅛ per cent.; London, Brighton and South Coast, £1,055,116,
5¾ per cent.; London, Chatham and Dover, £446,896, no dividend. It is a
fact worthy of notice, that some of the smallest lines pay the largest
dividends. Thus the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont (10 miles), paid
10 per cent.; the Whitehaven Junction (13 miles), 10 per cent.; the
Furness (53 miles), 10 per cent.; Taff Vale (76 miles), 9½ per cent.;
Blyth and Tyne (36 miles), 9¾ per cent. In Ireland, the Dublin and
Kingston 7½ miles long, is guaranteed nearly 9 per cent. by the Dublin,
Wicklow and Wexford Company. The reverse and black side of the picture
is, that there were no less than ninety-one railways in England,
twenty-eight in Ireland, and eleven in Scotland, which paid no dividend
at all.

[54] Statements have recently appeared in the newspapers to the effect
that the per centage available for division upon the _whole_ capital
invested in English railways is 4, in Scotch 4½, and in Irish 3½. This,
no doubt, is correct, but the average is diffused over both debenture
and share capitals.

[55] The National Debt was diminished £3,994,102 in the year ending
the 31st March, 1867. Its amount then was £800,848,847, composed as
follows:—£769,541,004 funded, £23,351,043 annuities capitalised, and
£7,956,800 unfunded. The interest and management were £151,510 less
than in the previous year.

[56] Our American cousins do not exactly agree with us in notions
respecting Free Trade. A worthy writer in the _New York Times_, of
September last, under the _nom de plume_ of MONADNOCK, writes thus:—

“The correspondents of English papers give melancholy accounts of
dull business in commerce and manufactures in America, but the remedy
for this is so easy, as pointed out in a _Times’_ leader, that it is
only necessary to call an extra Session of Congress and adopt it.
You have only to remove all restrictions upon Free Trade. Repeal all
duties upon imports, and every shipyard would be alive with workers,
every factory in full operation, and the whole country prosperous and
happy. But the trouble is that nobody in America knows anything about
political economy. Under the actual tariff it is said that American
manufacturers are undersold by those of England and Germany, and Free
Trade would bring all right again. It happens, however, that England,
with Free Trade, is scarcely building any ships, and that she is in
serious danger from Continental competition. How is this muddle to be
disposed of? With Free Trade, half the labouring population in England
lives upon wages just above the point of starvation, with no resource
in sickness or old age but the workhouse, and Ireland is in a state of
chronic poverty and discontent. With Free Trade there is a perpetual
war between capital and labour, and the enormous burden of pauperism
is increasing. Americans may be ignorant of political economy, but I
cannot see that the English are overburdened with wisdom, or that the
practical results of their system are of a very enticing character. The
working men of England believe in Protection, and the English Colonies
practise it to the great annoyance of the theorists at home.

“After all, Free Trade is a proved impossibility. Parliament is
constantly interfering with what, according to our philosophers, should
regulate itself. The Poor Law system is itself a Protective measure.
So are all the laws limiting the hours and ages, and regulating the
conditions of labour. There are Acts of Parliament forbidding the
employment of women in coal-pits, where a few years ago they worked
naked like brute beasts; Acts forbidding the employment in factories
of children of twelve years; and during the last Session laws have
been passed for the protection of children in the numerous trades and
in the agricultural gangs which would disgrace Dahomey. There is need
of abundance more of such interference. In the black country, north of
Birmingham, there is a large population engaged in making nails by hard
labour, especially horseshoe nails. On an average, three females are
employed in this work to one male. I wonder if in all America there is
one female blacksmith. Even the strongest-minded of the advocates of
woman’s rights have not claimed for women the trade of a blacksmith.
But here little girls from seven to nine years old, are set to work
and kept to work, as long as they can stand, hammering at the anvil,
roasting by the forge, blacked with soot, never seeing schoolhouse or
playground, but employed their whole lives making horseshoe nails for a
bare subsistence. Absolute Free Trade sets women and children to work
at forge and mine, and reduces wages to the lowest possible standard,
and that is the system against which humanity protests, and with which
Parliament, in spite of theories, finds it necessary to interfere. Free
Trade, as ultimated in England, is the most debased ignorance, the most
abhorrent cruelty, the most disgusting vice, and the most heartbreaking
misery that can be seen in any country calling itself civilised and
Christian. There is too much freedom of all kinds in England, and
especially a great deal too much in Free Trade.”

The _Times_, of the 5th of October last, replies at great length.
Having fully explained the reasons why the United States adhere to
Protection, the writer proceeds:—

“Free Trade in this country has been the labour of several generations
of scientific and public-spirited men; it has been established on
principles that have acquired the force of axioms, and is now proved
and illustrated by splendid results. It may be said to have outlived
prejudice, and to require no vindication. This, at least, is true as
regards the educated classes, for it cannot be denied that lower down
in the social scale Protection lingers still, in company with many
other heresies, superstitions, and manifold forms of unreason. Free
Trade requires a man to look beyond himself, beyond his own employment,
beyond his own class, to the common right and weal, and this requires a
certain amount of moral education. But it would be scarcely possible to
detect in any respectable organ of opinion any trace of the old error,
however ingeniously disguised.

“The _New York Times_ abuses Free Trade, by charging upon it everything
unhappy or disagreeable in the condition of this country, and by
asserting that Free Trade cannot be carried out consistently, and is
therefore a hollow hypocrisy. Our agricultural labourers work like
slaves for a pittance, our women and children make horseshoe nails,
or traverse the country in gangs such as would disgrace the kingdom
of Dahomey. Our shipyards are idle, our workhouses full, and the most
repulsive and incessant toil receives wages just above starvation
point. The English labourer pines for Protection; the Irish peasant for
any possible escape from the allegiance and laws that keep him poor
and degraded. Meanwhile, when the pinch comes, we give up Free Trade.
In the opinion of the _New York Times_, it is an abandonment of Free
Trade to provide workhouses for destitution, sickness, and old age; to
prohibit the employment of women and girls in coal-pits; to limit the
hours of factory children and provide for their schooling; to interfere
with any trade for sanitary ends; or to aid any man, woman, or child
to be what they ought to be, to have what they ought to have, or to do
what they ought to do. Free Trade, the writer says, has produced all
this hideous mass of misery, and, having done it, recoils in horror
from its own work, and hands the matter over to Protection in the shape
of public charity and philanthropy.

“As the writer has taken his picture of England from the columns of
its public press, and from its Parliamentary debates and returns, we
should be the last to deny that there is in it a foundation of truth.
But it is only as if an American were to fill his boxes with the very
worst and filthiest rubbish he could pick up in this metropolis, and
take it home as a fair average and faithful representation of the
capital of the mother country. There is no falsehood so mischievous
as truth partially and malignantly selected. As to Free Trade, the
writer does not know what it is, and probably does not care to know. It
is trade emancipated from all restrictions and burdens which are not
in the interest of all the parties concerned; that is, which are for
one person against another, one class against another, or one nation
against another. As it is in the interest of common humanity—that is,
of all the world—that the destitute, sick, and aged should not be left
to perish; that children should not be worked above their strength,
or left without education; that women and girls should not be made
mere beasts of burden, or reduced to savagery, these are not questions
of trade at all, free or not free. Little as “MONADNOCK” seems to be
aware, he is himself interested in the maintenance of human nature
at its highest possible elevation all over the world. At all events,
he must allow Englishmen to indulge the sentiments of benevolence
without having it imputed to them that they do it on protective—that
is, selfish—principles, and, in so doing, are offending against the
great doctrine of Free Trade. But is it Free Trade that has produced
the scandals which Protection, this writer says, is invoked in vain
to mitigate? They all existed, far worse, in the days of Protection.
They are the evils of a crowded country. The population of these isles
has doubled since the beginning of the century, but it is impossible
to rescue an acre from the surrounding seas except generally at an
extravagant cost, or even to reclaim an acre without risk of loss. The
land won’t employ all, and the surplus must do what they can. America,
on the contrary, has millions upon millions of the best land in the
world to draw upon as fast as she wants them. She has all the charm
of novelty, as well as its more solid advantages. Till her citizens
fell out with one another in the mere excess of youthful energy,
and the mere exuberance of wealth and power, they had no need of an
army to call an army, or of a fleet to call a fleet. It is folly,
if not mockery, to compare such a country with England, as if the
circumstances were equal, and laws responsible for all the difference.
A septuagenarian may be healthy and strong for his years; his activity
of mind and body may speak well for the moderation of his diet, the
regularity of his habits and the calmness of his temper. What would be
thought of a young man of twenty, of remarkable strength and stature,
who taunted the old gentleman with his inability to carry a sack of
corn, to throw a cricket ball a hundred yards, to run a mile in five
minutes, to leap over his own height, to walk twenty miles in a day, to
eat a dish of raw fruit or a quart of oats without indigestion? Should
the old gentleman even confess himself unequal to such feats, that
would be no disparagement of the habits and plan of life which have
made him what he is—healthy for his time of life, strong, with good
heart, and with duly cultivated mental powers.”

The following, from the _Scientific American_ of August last, furnishes
a present comment upon the value of “Protection” in the United States:—

“The mills are running at a loss in Lowell, Lawrence, and most of the
other manufacturing towns of Massachusetts, and throughout New England.
The Manchester mills and print works have goods on hand unsold of the
value of $2,000,000 (£430,000). The same state of things exists with
the Amoskeag Company.”

[57] Since 1865 there is a regularly organised service for the
conveyance of ice from Martigny, Sion, and intermediate stations in
the Canton du Valais, Switzerland, _viâ_ Lausanne and Dijon, to Paris.
As many as fifty tons a-day are during several months in the year,
thus carried. As we write we have before us the traffic estimates of
the proposed railway from Geneva to Chamounix, forty-four miles long,
and one of the items of business expected is the conveyance of ice
to Paris, Lyons, Avignon, and Marseilles, to be carried in the first
instance on a tramway or siding not more than half-a-mile from one of
the glaciers of Mont Blanc, and then to be hooked on to the railway.

Of the value of ice in actual railway transport, we have the testimony
of recent American papers. The _New York Times_ says,—“Large quantities
of dead meat are brought to New York from distances of 800 to 1,200
miles, by railway. Ordinary covered goods waggons are employed, and the
meat, in quarters, is laid upon the ice, the ice being laid directly
upon the floors of the waggons. Ice is laid also upon the top, and
additional quarters are laid upon this, with a final layer of ice over
the whole. At one time a break of gauge existed, and the waggons had
to be unloaded, and the meat repacked in ice. This expense and delay
are now saved. This mode of carrying meat is found to be very cheap and

[58] On the death of the Earl of Spencer, father of the well-known
Lord Althorp, in 1834, His Lordship succeeded to the Earldom. When
Lord Melbourne went to Brighton to receive the king’s commands as to
the appointment of a new Chancellor of the Exchequer, His Majesty
informed the Minister that, under the circumstances, he considered the
administration at an end. This announcement created great surprise and
excitement in the political circles and throughout the nation. The Duke
of Wellington being sent for, His Grace advised the King to appoint Sir
Robert Peel premier, and this was done accordingly.—_Haydn’s Book of
Dignitaries._ The Earl Spencer, whose death is above referred to, died
on the 10th of November. The Duke of Wellington held several offices
until the return of Sir Robert Peel to England, at the latter end of
December. His ministry only lasted until the end of March, 1835.

[59] “Post,” in the middle periods of our Anglo Saxon history, was
the man who conveyed a letter. “Haste! post haste!” was intended as
an instruction or request to the bearer of it to use despatch in its
conveyance, just as in modern days we occasionally see on the envelope
of letters, “Immediate,” or on the letters of the humbler classes,
“With Speed,” “A Post,” was a character often introduced in the masques
and allegories of the middle ages, as well as in the pageants got up
for the amusement of Majesty during royal “progresses.”

[60] “_L’Hora di Roma_ is now the time all over Italy. It is 36 minutes
in advance of Paris, and 45 in advance of that of London.”

[61] “I know, gentlemen, that I have detained you at considerable
length. There is, however, one most important subject upon which I must
speak, and you must bear with me for a while. I claim that during the
whole course of my political and private life I have been, and I will
continue to be, the friend and well-wisher of the working classes;
and I think I know those classes well enough, and more especially
in this my own immediate neighbourhood, to know this, that there is
nothing they wish for so much as plain speaking and plain dealing,
and I venture in their presence, I hope of many of them—and I trust
my words may reach many of those which are not present—I venture to
warn them against one danger which I, in common with others, foresee
as a possible consequence of the great measure which we have given.
Apprehensions are entertained that the working men, not satisfied with
overcoming that political influence to which they are entitled, will
be disposed to lend themselves as dupes to designing persons, who may
endeavour to cajole them, with the idea of returning representatives
to Parliament, with loud professions of being the only friends of
the working classes, and of being sent to Parliament especially to
promote legislative measures intended to conduce to their welfare. Now,
I believe that there never was a Parliament more disposed than the
present to look to the interests of the working classes, and to consult
for their benefit. I can only hope that the next Parliament may be
equally desirous of effecting that object, and equally acquainted with
the best modes of carrying it into effect. But I warn as a friend—as an
earnest and sincere friend, and speaking from the deepest conviction—I
warn the working classes not to be led away by the flattering delusion
of men who will tell them that they can induce Parliament to pass a
measure of exceptional legislation for their especial and immediate
benefit. They cannot induce, I hope, any Parliament to pass any such
measure; and if such a measure were to be passed, the workmen would
find to their misfortune that it was the greatest injury that could be
done them—I mean a measure attempting to regulate the rate of wages. To
interfere between labour and capital is beyond the legislation of any
Parliament; and, indeed, it would be, in short, only to lead Parliament
to adopt such a course of legislation as has been recommended in some
of the bye-laws we have heard so much of lately in connection with the
various Trades’ Unions in the country. Do not let me be misunderstood.
I am no adversary or opponent of Trades’ Unions. I think that,
confined to their legitimate object, they are useful and salutary
instruments for maintaining the rights of the labouring classes; and
forty-three years ago I was the member of the House of Commons who
first recommended and succeeded in carrying the abolition of those
laws which made it illegal for workmen to agree to combine together
not to work under a certain amount of wages. I therefore hope that
what I say may be understood as not proceeding from one who desires
to oppress the working man. I say that even strikes, objectionable
as they are in principle, and injurious as they are to the working
classes, are not an illegitimate or an illegal mode of proceeding. I
say that if capital and labour cannot agree together, the only mode
of bringing them together is the absence of one or the other—the
capital to employ the labour, or the labourer to give the capital. I
go further, and I say that so long as Trades’ Unions are charitable
associations, and their contributions go to the relief of those who are
thrown out of work by no fault of their own, they are unobjectionable
and meritorious; but, from the disclosures we have recently heard, it
appears they have gone far beyond those acts. I do not mean to refer
to those gross acts of intimidation, picketing, rattening, and acts
leading to murder. They are acts which no person will defend, and
the members of Trades’ Unions themselves shrink from acknowledging
their participation in them; but I say that these associations go
beyond their limits when they agree not only themselves not to work,
but to prevent and intimidate other persons from working. For my own
part, looking to the public and private interests of the members, I
cannot for the life of me understand how English workmen, entitled to
make the most of their own industry and science, can submit to the
tyranny under which they are groaning. Gentlemen, the whole course of
our legislation for the last, I won’t say how many years, has been a
protest against class legislation. It has been an argument in favour
of the free admission of all foreign goods, an argument in favour of
free-trade, an argument opposed to all class protection. What would
you say if, in the city of Manchester, Government were to impose,
as in Continental countries, an _octroi_ duty on the importation of
every article of agricultural produce? The whole city would be in an
uproar; and yet you submit to the bye-laws of associations which say
that not only shall a tax be paid, but that not a single brick shall
be laid in Manchester that is imported from a foreign country, that
is, from beyond a single district, even from beyond the breadth of a
canal. We are speaking here in the Free-trade Hall. What do you say
of bye-laws which say that not a stone shall be worked in a quarry,
to save an enormous additional amount of labour in carting it to the
place where it is to be deposited, but that it shall be brought in bulk
and worked by the workmen; and if it should have been worked in the
quarry, then the farce is to be gone through of working it again by
workmen in Manchester? If this system is to prevail, what is to become
of your threshing machines and your steam ploughs, your mowing and
reaping machines? You would have to resort to your old flail and other
obsolete implements, and in manufactures to old handloom weaving; you
would have to do away with the power-loom and all those inventions of
genius which, while they have multiplied, to an indefinite amount, the
productive capital of the country, have at the same time multiplied to
an extent almost equally indefinite the amount and number of persons
employed. I say that the British workmen would do well seriously to
consider these things. Let me add that I have now been for two and
forty years a married man; and let me advise the workmen when they fall
into any difficulty to consult their wives. If the workmen are the
bread winners, their wives are the bread managers; and let them ask
their wives and their children, if they cannot answer for themselves,
what they think in the long run they have gained from those strikes
which they have carried on with so much perseverance and so much loss,
greatly to the advantage of those who apply the strings and manage the
puppet.”—_Speech of the Right Hon. the Earl of Derby at Manchester,
17th of October, 1867._

The author avails himself of this opportunity to give his experience
of a strike, which he went through as principal officer of the
Eastern Counties Railway Company in 1849. In that year the locomotive
superintendent had frequently to direct engine-drivers of passenger
trains, not to leave their engines at stations, except to oil or
look after them. The order not having been attended to by some of
the men, the locomotive superintendent issued a notice to the effect
that a shilling fine would be inflicted upon any driver who quitted
his engine except for the purposes above stated. A man, notoriously
not a first-class man, but with an abundance of that quality which is
vulgarly, though effectively, expressed by the word “jaw,” undertook,
as was afterwards learned, to set the rule at defiance. Accordingly on
the next day, he alighted from his engine at a first-class station,
and ostentatiously walked up and down the platform with his hands
in his trowser’s pockets; he was, of course, fined. He declined to
pay the shilling; and, owing to what is unfortunately usual in such
cases, the influence of outsiders, men who had never done the honest
day’s work of an honest workman in their lives, the engine-drivers
to a man, gave notice of their intention to leave the service in a
week, unless the order were withdrawn. Had the demand been complied
with, the discipline of the line was at an end. The Board, for it now
became a Board question, therefore, after much serious and protracted
deliberation, took this view. Orders were consequently given to the
principal officers to lose not a moment, and to spare no expense in
procuring engine-drivers elsewhere. This was no easy task to accomplish
in so short a time as a week, but by arranging for the diminution of
the number of trains, and through the sympathy of the public, which in
the first instance had been altogether with the men, but was totally
changed when the real facts became known, the service of the line was
continued, and within nine days from that on which the old hands had
given notice of retirement, almost all the usual trains were restored
to the time table. The anxieties of a strike on a great leading railway
are of a fearful character; those only who, like the author and his
other brother officers, had to go through one, can attempt to describe
them, and the very best description that could be written would fall
far short of their reality.

But as regards the men; at first their leaders and the outsiders who
were urging them to destruction, were very sanguine of success; in
fact, at the meetings that were held three or four times a day (for
there was a species of sittings _en permanence_) it was assured to
them. But as days passed on and the order was not withdrawn, the
passions of the leaders rose; not only were threats uttered, but
notwithstanding apparently most careful watching on the part of men
whose trustworthiness there was no reason to doubt, some of the engines
were tampered with, tow was introduced along the piston rods to prevent
their acting; parts that should be oiled were not oiled, and some other
things were done that at the time were described as “not intended to do
serious damage, just to maim and lame the engines a bit, not to destroy

But in this strike, that happened which has happened in every other
strike, combination, or conspiracy of men of the humbler classes, since
the days that strikes, combinations, or conspiracies first existed—that
is, there was what is usually known as “a traitor in the camp,” for the
author knew, within less than an hour after each meeting broke up, all
the material facts that had occurred at it. It is needless to say that
the information given was of great value in check-mating the men, and
leading to their eventual defeat.

So far as regards the strike during its progress, and until its death;
and now for its consequences. The men were no sooner completely beaten
than they were of course deserted by the leaders and the puppet-movers.
The subscriptions that were promised by “the trades” during the strike
were not forthcoming when the strike was over. The very word implies
that the workers work not, but that, nevertheless, the employers
require their service. But, unhappily for the men, this had ceased to
be so on the railway.

The reverse of the picture was now seen by the men whom Lord Derby so
happily describes as the “bread-winners,” as well as by the wives, whom
His Lordship, with equal aptitude, names the “bread-managers.” The two
pounds sterling a-week—or more—that the men were accustomed to receive
each Saturday afternoon, were no longer ready at the pay-table; no,
they did not even have the ten, fifteen, or twenty shillings a week,
so vauntingly promised just a fortnight previously. “Strike-pay” was
promised for six months certain, actual payment was for one week only.

Engine drivers, as a rule, are not more provident than the other
sections of the working community of the railways; yet, some had saved
a little money, with which they expected to hold out a few weeks, by
which time they believed they would easily get into work again. But, in
this respect, they were mistaken. There is a rule on railways that when
an engine driver applies for a situation, the locomotive superintendent
of the company at which employment is sought, writes for the man’s
character at his last place. This is obviously requisite, not only
as an ordinary precaution, but as an act of necessity, in case a man
should have been dismissed in consequence of intoxication, or owing to
having caused an accident. In the case of the Eastern Counties engine
drivers, the locomotive superintendents of the already opened lines
throughout the country refused to engage them for fully a year after
the strike had ended.

The more necessitous of the men appealed to the author, and to his
brother officers, to be reinstated. Many a man, hard working, honest,
and worthy, accompanied his appeals by tears, caused by bitter sorrow
and anguish at their positions; and, some of them, when reproached,
that they, so esteemed and respected, as they knew they always had
been, by their officers—yet had deserted—invariably replied, that they
were told, in the plainest terms, that if they did not join the strike,
they, their wives and children, should be made to suffer for it in
their persons. No doubt they then knew, what the world at large has
only recently known, that such threats were meant, not as threats, but
as realities. It was felt, however, that it would be unjust towards the
new men if the old were re-admitted, at all events at first; but, by
degrees, as vacancies occurred, some of those who had not emigrated, or
who had not been taken on lines which just then were opened in various
parts of the kingdom, came back into the service. But they came back
at the bottom of the list of drivers, with six shillings a-day, as
goods engine drivers, instead of seven shillings and sixpence a-day
as passenger drivers of the first class, and it took some of them two
years after re-admission, before they regained their former first-class
pay. Of the distress in many forms which the strike caused to men who
had no alternative but to join in it, innumerable instances could be
cited, and the author was able to confirm by personal experience what
he had always believed to be the case, that in strikes, workmen are
usually beaten, and that, if even apparently successful, they are, they
must be, losers.

[62] We would not dare to invent a word of bi-lingual derivatives if we
had not the authority of all the bishops for so doing, and to this we
may add that the member of the Episcopal Bench, who is a distinguished
philologist, especially sanctions word-coining. Dr. Chenevix Trench,
Archbishop of Dublin, says (page 151 _et seq._ of his “_Study of
Words_,”) that poets may at all times coin them, and prose (not prosy)
writers occasionally, and His Grace refers, in proof, to Cicero and
St. Augustine. “Pan,” is of the old Greek, but “Anglican,” as well as
“Anglia,” are Latin words, that were coined two or three centuries
after Latin was living and every-day-spoken. “Anglia” is in reality
derived from the Angles, an ancient German nation, an off-shoot of the
Suevi, who migrated to the parts of Denmark, now known as Schleswig and
Holstein. In process of time they came over to this country in greater
numbers than the inhabitants of the other nations that dwelt along the
East Coast of Northern Europe. Tracing the derivation of “Angli,” we
fear that the name comes from nothing more dignified than the Saxon
word angel or engel, which signified a fish-hook. Being the most daring
of all the pirates that infested the Northern Seas, they were specially
distinguished as such among other nations, who said of the Angli, that
they were like hooks, they caught all that was in the sea and made prey
of it. Such were our ancestors of 2,000 years ago and upwards. (Has
the vulgar saying of “with a hook,” any connection with our origin
as an Anglo-Saxon nation?) But hear what Professor Henry Morley says
of Englishmen, through Saxon and English Literature, for more than
thirteen centuries. “Our writers before Chaucer, were men speaking the
mind of our country during the period of the formation of the language,
either in Latin, the common tongue of the learned, or in Anglo-Saxon,
or in Anglo-Norman, or in English, of which the original elements were
so variously proportioned and so incompletely blended, that it differs
much from English of to-day. But with occasional impediment of a word
that has passed out of use, the language of Chaucer, and those of his
contemporaries who did not, like the author of “Piers Plowman,” write
in the less developed English of a rural district, speaks to us all yet
with a living warmth. With Gower and Chaucer, therefore, begins the
literature of formed English; and as the best fruit of John Gower’s
genius is contained, not in his English, but in his Latin poetry, it is
by common consent to Geoffery Chaucer that we now look back as to the
very spring and well of English undefiled.

“But our Chaucer was only a middle link in a long chain. Before his
birth, the literature of this country had maintained, for a longer time
than has passed since his birth, a foremost place in the intellectual
history of Europe. To say nothing of the yet earlier Beowulf, English
Cædmon poured the soul of a Christian poet into noble song 650 years
before Chaucer was born. Six centuries before Chaucer, Bede, foremost
of Christian scholars, was the historian of England, and Chaucer wrote
his “Canterbury Tales,” not quite five centuries ago. It is only
because we have done so much during these five centuries, and every
stroke of the work has told upon our present, that we are content to
look on Wycliff, Chaucer, Gower, and the author of “Piers Plowman,”
as men of a remote time who lived in the dim caves about the bubbling
source of our literature. They did not live at the source of our
literature, and they are not remote. Their aspirations were ours, their
ways of thinking ours, their battle ours, except that we have the
advantage of a few points gained.

“With Chaucer our own day begins, but he is not the day-spring of
our literature. In prose and verse for century after century before
the time of Chaucer, there was a literature here of home-speaking
earnestness, practical wit and humour, that attacked substantial ills
of life; sturdy resistance against tyrannies in Church and State; and
as the root of all its strength, a faithful reverence for God. With all
this, Chaucer was in harmony; and so too, as we shall find, have been
our best writers of every succeeding generation. For in our literature,
which is but our voice as a people, the mind speaks, that has so
laboured as to win for England, almost alone among the nations, the
inheritance of an inalienable freedom.”—_English Writers from Chaucer
to Dunbar._

The most distinguished among our classical scholars, the Rev. T. E.
Yonge, says, in his recent edition of the complete works of Horace,
that, partly in consequence of some resemblance in our present national
character to that of the Romans in their cultivated age, our literature
bears many traces of Horace. His sentiments, if not indicative of deep
thought, are so instinct with the practical common sense on which we
pride ourselves, so genial, and, above all, so charmingly expressed,
that they are continually recurring to the recollection of every
educated mind, and re-appearing in our best authors. The _Pall Mall
Gazette_ hasn’t a good word for Mr. Yonge, nohow.

[63] The most remarkable instances of absence of mind that we can
remember reading are the two following:—

A writer in the eighty-seventh volume of the _Quarterly Review_, in
the course of a very pleasant article upon the mechanism of the Post
Office as it was in 1850, says: “Of dead letters, a considerable
number containing property valued in two consecutive years at upwards
of £10,000, have actually been posted without any addresses at all!
Indeed many years ago, a blank undirected letter, on being opened
at the Dead Letter Office in London, was found to contain in notes
no less than £1,500. The only way,” proceeds the writer, “in which
this extraordinary, and at first sight almost incomprehensible, fact
can be accounted for is, that the attention of the good lady or good
gentleman who had folded and sealed such a valuable money letter had
been so hysterically exhausted by the desire to do both with extreme
caution, that, under a moral syncope, there had not remained between
the crown of the head and the soles of the feet strength of mind enough
to enable her or him to finish the operation. In short, the neglect had
proceeded from what is properly enough called ‘absence of mind,’ which,
in a description for which we humbly beg pardon, we will endeavour to
exemplify by the following anecdote:—An over-tired Yankee, travelling
in Kentucky, called at a log-hut for refreshment. The young woman
of the hovel, that she might quickly spread the table, gave him her
infant to hold, and in a few minutes laying before him a homely meal,
she then modestly returned to her work. The long-backed man, naturally
enough, was enraptured at the sight of the repast, and overwhelmed by
conflicting feelings of gratitude to the young woman, of admiration
of the lovely infant that sat smiling on his knee, and of extreme
hunger, in a fit of absence of mind exactly such as caused the person
in England to post a letter containing £1,500 without any address, he,
to the horror of the hostess, all of a sudden, with great energy ...
kissed the loaf, buttered the child’s face, and cut its head off—at
least so runs the story in Kentucky.”

Our second case of remarkable absence of mind is also American, and it
has in one respect the advantage over the foregoing, it occurred at
the beginning of this year. A judge “out West,” presiding at a trial,
so completely lost his presence of mind by the presence of a beautiful
young English lady about to be examined as a witness, that when she
had repeated the words of the oath, previous to her examination in the
case, he placed his face for her to kiss instead of the book. The young
English lady, not being acquainted with American jurisprudence, but
having a great respect for the law, did as she was ordered to do by
the judge. His absence of mind was so great, that when the witness had
completed her evidence he swore her again, this time, however, varying
the form of the oath slightly; “The evidence you have given is the
truth, the whole truth,” &c. The kiss was in the act of being repeated,
and there is no knowing how long the Judge’s absence of mind might have
continued, had not his wife very fortunately come on to the bench in
the very nick of time to administer to him a sharp blow on one ear,
which, for fear of ear-jealousy, was passed on to the other with almost
electric rapidity. The spectators in court, as well as the counsel,
attorneys, jury, and officers, were unanimously of opinion that the
remedy was equally effective as it was rapid and pungent. As regards
the beautiful English lady, the only inconvenience she experienced was
that she had to be sworn all over again and to be examined all over
again. Both the direct and cross-examining counsel were bachelors.
“The next news that is expected to be heard of one of them,” says the
editor of the American newspaper from which the foregoing is extracted
and its truth guaranteed, “and of the beautiful English lady, is in
the portion of our advertisements that we call ‘Our Ladies’ Column’;
and as regards the other counsel, we have already set up in type
the following headings of a sensational article we intend to write:
‘Appalling suicide of a very distinguished and remarkable Member of the
Bar.—Disappointed love.—A beautiful young English lady.’”

[64] The class of all others that sails closest to the wind on railways
is the class of “Bagmen.” Ladies’ dogs occasionally lead them to do a
little bit of cheating. Innumerable pleasant stories could be told in
connection with this subject. “Sweet little pets!” hidden under shawls
and in hand-baskets are the most common modes of concealment, but
others more erudite are occasionally practised. For instance, shortly
after telegraphs were laid alongside of railways, a principal officer
of a Railway Company got into a compartment of a stopping train, at
an intermediate station. The train had hardly left, when an elderly
gentleman, in terms of endearment, invited what turned out to be a
little Skye terrier to come out of its concealment under the seat. The
dog came out, jumped up, and appeared to enjoy his journey, until the
speed of the train slackened previous to stopping at a station; the dog
then instinctively retreated to its hiding place, and came out again in
due course after the train had started. The officer of the Company left
the train a station or two afterwards. On its arrival at the London
ticket platform, the gentleman delivered up the tickets for his party.
“Dog ticket, Sir, please.” “Dog ticket! what dog ticket?” “Ticket,
Sir, for skye terrier, black and tan, with his ears nearly over his
eyes; travelling for comfort sake under the seat opposite to you,
Sir, in a large carpet-bag, red ground with yellow cross-bars.” The
gentleman found resistance useless; he paid the fare demanded, when the
ticket collector, who throughout the scene had never changed a muscle,
handed him a ticket that he had prepared beforehand. “Dog ticket, Sir;
gentlemen not allowed to travel with a dog without a dog ticket; you
will have to give it up in London.” “Yes; but how did you know I had
a dog?—that’s what puzzles me?” “Ah, Sir,” said the ticket collector,
relaxing a little, but with an air of satisfaction; “the telegraph is
laid on our railway. Them’s the wires you see on the outside; we find
them very useful in our business, Sir. Thank you, Sir, good morning.”
It is needless to tell what part the principal officer of the Company
played in this pleasant little drama. On arrival in London the dog
ticket was duly claimed, a little word to that effect having been sent
up by a previous train to be sure to have it demanded, although, as a
usual practice, dog tickets are collected at the same time as those for

Sometimes scenes that ought to be very heart-rending and touching occur
when a dog for which the fare has been regularly paid is separated from
its owner, but as a rule, objection is not made to a dog travelling
with passengers if they have no objection, and the dog be only a small
one. We have more than once had conversations with ladies on “the
great dog question,” and some of them say truly that, as there is no
charge on railways for “nasty cats and parrots, and other birds,” or
“for babies under three years of age,” why should they be made to pay
for what does not give a twentieth part of the trouble that only one
baby causes. But after all, the number of dogs that are paid for, as
compared with “free” dogs, is very small indeed.

[65] It is to be understood that, although the numbers of passengers
carried, as stated above, do not correspond with the numbers given
at page 40 _et seq._, there is in reality no difference, as in the
previous pages the journeys of the ticket-holders are not included, but
in this page they are.

[66] As these sheets are going through the press, we find circulating
through the newspapers the following account of _carriage accidents
only_ in the streets of London for 1866 and the first nine months of
the present year:—“Of the persons who frequented the streets of London
last year, 205 were killed by horses and carriages of various kinds,
or, on an average, four persons met with a violent death by this class
of accidents every week. In 1865 the number was still greater, 232
persons being killed by street vehicles. These numbers, however, only
represent the cases which terminated fatally; of those persons who were
seriously, but not fatally, injured, there is no record. Of the 205
deaths in 1866, 36, or 17·4 per cent., were the result of falls from
vehicles, and 17, or 8·4 per cent., occurred by collisions, &c., death
resulting through being knocked down by or thrown out of vehicles. Of
the number of persons who were run over, 14, or 6·6 per cent., were
killed by omnibuses; 7, or 3·6 per cent., by carriages; 25, or 12·0 per
cent., by cabs; 105, or 51 per cent, by heavy vehicles, such as carts,
vans, drays, and waggons. In glancing at these results, it is worthy
of notice that the greater portion of the fatal carriage accidents in
the streets of London were not caused by cabs or omnibuses, the deaths
by these vehicles amounting only to 29 per cent. of the total number.
One-half of the accidents were caused by the heavy vehicles, and about
20 per cent. of the total deaths occurred among carters and carmen. Of
persons run over, about 77 per cent. were males and 23 per cent. were
females. Among males 26 per cent. of the deaths were those of children
under ten years of age; among females about 60 per cent. of the deaths
were those of children under ten years of age. The number of carriage
accidents in the streets of London which terminated fatally in the
first nine months of 1867 was 129.”

Dr. Ogden Fletcher, the Medical Officer of the Manchester, Sheffield
and Lincolnshire Railway, in his recent interesting work, _Railways in
their Medical Aspects_, to which, as well as to the subject upon which
it treats, we hope to refer hereafter, says that there are five times
more people killed by carriages in the streets of London every year,
than were killed on all the railways in Great Britain during any of the
last seven or eight years.

[67] The aggregate number of vessels entering and clearing outwards
from all the ports of the United Kingdom in 1866 was 403,598, being
5,657 less than in 1865. The total tonnage of these vessels in 1866
was 31,262,450, of which 21,255,726 was British, and 10,006,724 was
foreign. Of this total tonnage about a third, or 10,761,413 was tonnage
of steam vessels, of which 9,484,594 was British, and 1,276,819 was
foreign. Thus, whilst the steam tonnage of Great Britain was not far
from being one-half of its total tonnage, the tonnage of foreign steam
vessels frequenting the ports of the United Kingdom was only a little
more than an eighth of its total tonnage. The tonnage of the ships
lost or damaged on or near the British coasts in 1866 was 428,000. The
_Times_, in the course of a most interesting and lengthened summary of
ocean and coast disasters for 1866, speaks in terms of just indignation
of the unseaworthy state that colliers and other coasting vessels,
but especially colliers, are permitted to go to sea, and concludes
by stating that, “The aggregate loss of life is enormous, and so is
the aggregate destruction of property. The former is a species of woe
inflicted on humanity; the latter is practically a tax upon commerce.
While the art of saving life on the coast is understood, thanks to the
progress of science and to the stout hearts of our coast population,
the art of preserving property is as yet but imperfectly known among
us, and still more imperfectly practised.

“On reviewing the dismal record, we are bound to take courage from the
many gratifying facts it reveals in regard to saving of life, which,
after all, is our principal object in commenting on this doleful
_Register_. Noble work has been done, and is doing, in that way, which
has not only elicited the admiration of the British public, but also
that of many foreign nations; and this was strikingly illustrated
last July by the International Jury of the Paris Universal Exhibition
awarding to the National Lifeboat Institution one out of their nineteen
great gold medals, in acknowledgment of the important services it had
rendered to shipwrecked sailors of all nations, hundreds of whom, and
thousands of our own hardy sailors, it had rescued from a premature
grave, and many homes from the desolation of widowhood and orphanage.”

[68] The return issued by the Statistical Committee of Lloyd’s,
October, 1867, shows that the number of lives lost by casualties to
ships for the half-year ending the 30th of June last was 687, being
only 209 less than during the whole of 1866. 503 crews of sailing ships
were saved and 17 crews of steamers. The number of crews drowned was
29. The return goes on to state that the total number of casualties
to sailing ships in the half-year was 5,525, to steamers 500. The
number of ships missing was 64, of steamers 7. Total number of ships
abandoned 228, steamers 5. Of these 190 were totally lost. The number
of collisions to ships is 808, to steamers 147; total, 955. Of these
85 were sunk. The number of vessels sinking from causes other than
collision was 281. The number of ships stranded was 1,483, of steamers
126. There were three cases of piracy. The number of vessels burnt or
on fire was 65 ships and 5 steamers. The number of cases of mutiny,
sickness, casualties to crew, and refusing to do duty was 201. There
were 11 ships waterlogged. Totally lost, 1,072 ships and 37 steamers.

[69] Captain Shaw, the Superintendent of the London Fire Brigade,
stated in his evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons that
sat in 1867, on protection of life and property from fire, that there
were 681 fires in London in 1840, one to every 2,800 inhabitants, and
one to every 379 houses. In 1850 the number of fires was 868, or one
to every 2,673 inhabitants, one to every 347 houses. In 1860 the fires
were 1,056, one to every 2,613 inhabitants, one to every 335 houses.
The fires in 1865 were unexceptionally high—1,502, or one to every
1,900 inhabitants, one to every 250 houses. In 1866 the number of fires
was 1,338. The “heavy fires” are now about 25 per cent. of the whole
number, but in 1860 they were above 40 per cent. The average sum spent
upon a fire in London for many years has been £18. But fires are much
more expensive in America: Brooklyn (opposite New York), costs £35 each
fire; Baltimore, £90; Boston, £157; New Orleans, £172. Of 29,069 fires
which have occurred in the last 33 years in London, candles caused
11 per cent. of them; curtains nearly 10; gas nearly 8; flues nearly
8; sparks from pipes, 4½; lucifer matches, children playing, smoking
tobacco, and stoves, each, 1½ per cent. The Fire Insurance Companies
and the Fire Brigade consider one-third of the London fires as involved
in suspicion; but Sir Thomas Henry, the Chief Magistrate of Bow Street,
does not concur in this opinion.

[70] A proof of the value and economy of steel rails is afforded by
what has occurred at Chalk Farm station. At this part of the London
and North-Western Railway the traffic is literally unceasing. On one
line, for a short length, are ordinary rails, and Bessemer rails on
the other. The latter have already outlived twenty-five sets of iron
rails, and appear very nearly as fresh as when first laid down. Very
nearly the same result has been obtained at the locomotive shops of the
London, Chatham and Dover Company.

“STEEL-LAID RAILWAYS.—A line of railway laid in steel is now well known
to be superior, in respect of economy of working, to one laid in iron.
It requires less labour in keeping up, and, all other things being
equal, it can be maintained in a better running condition than an iron
way. The reasons of its superiority are apparent enough. A yielding
roadway is a bad roadway for traction; and while bad at all speeds, it
is especially bad at high speeds. Whatever may be the explanation, the
following are well-established facts:—The axle friction of carriages,
and the mere resistance to rolling along a smooth rail, are constant
at all speeds. The actual resistances to the motion of trains upon
our best railways are, however, considerably greater at high than at
low speeds, and the excess is very much beyond that known to be due
merely to the atmosphere. Besides the latter resistance, there is a
considerable resistance known to increase in the ratio of the square
of the speed, and it is, we believe, the universal custom of the
profession to speak of this as the resistance due to “concussions;” and
what but an irregular, uneven, or yielding line can cause concussions?
These increased resistances apply to lines in good and even first-rate
condition, and are much greater on lines not well kept up. The constant
resistances are but from 8 lb. to 10 lb. per ton for the engine,
tender, and train, so that the resistances due to “concussions” are
about equal to the constant resistances at 40 miles an hour, and twice
as great at 60 miles an hour. At the high and increasing speed at which
railways are now worked, these “concussions,” due to the irregularities
of our lines, thus absorb the principal portion of our locomotive
power, and entail a heavy charge in the shape of working expenses.
But for these “concussions” our lines might be worked, probably, at
35 per cent. instead of 50 per cent. of their present gross receipts,
there being always a considerable proportion of the working charges
which, like management, station attendance, &c., are independent of
the condition of the line. Although we have no precise data to show
the superior working condition of a steel-laid, as compared with an
iron-laid line, it is notorious and beyond dispute that the steel lines
are worked at less expense, not only so far as renewals of rails are
concerned, but in respect also of maintenance of way, locomotive power,
and wear and tear of carriage and waggon stock. Steel rails, by their
superior hardness, strength, and stiffness, approach much nearer than
iron to the mathematical planes to which all rails should conform, in
order to diminish the resistance to traction to a _minimum_. Taking the
working expenses of railways at their present average rate, it would be
a low estimate indeed to say that, even apart from all consideration
of the _renewals_ of rails, the superiority of steel over iron rails
does not amount to at least 2d. per train mile, taking into account
the saving of locomotive power, wear of carriage and waggon stock,
maintenance of way, &c. At this rate a line, having fifty trains each
way daily, and having 240 tons of steel per mile of double line,
would save, yearly, £304 per mile of way, equal to more than 25s. per
ton of the steel in the line. One great objection heretofore made to
the introduction of steel has been the extent to which the compound
interest upon its increased cost would mount up in a series of years;
but even if the saving in working expenses were but half that estimated
above, it would fully pay for the _whole_ interest of steel, at £12.
10s. per ton, at which rate steel rails are now often sold. Under the
hardest wear, steel rails have outworn twenty-five times their weight
of iron, and no estimate now made of their service is ever less than
that of a three-fold durability over iron; but if their durability was
only as much greater than that of iron as their cost is greater, or
even if it were absolutely no greater, it is virtually certain that
they would prove cheaper in use than iron, because of the superiority
of working condition of a steel-laid as compared with an iron-laid
line, and the consequent very considerable saving in working expenses.”
Abridged from _Engineering_, October 11, 1867.

[71] The first admission of crinoline into England is thus described
by Miss Agnes Strickland in Vol. 3 of her “_Lives of the Queens of
England_”:—“On the day of St. Erkenwald, the 14th of November, 1501,
writes the herald to whom we are indebted for the particulars of the
marriage of Prince Arthur with Princess Catherine of Arragon, the Duke
of York led the infanta from the Bishop’s Palace to St. Paul’s. Strange
diversity of apparel of the country of Hispania is to be ‘_descriven_,’
for the bride wore, at the time of her marriage, upon her head a coif
of white silk with a scarf bordered with gold and pearl and precious
stones, five inches and a half broad, which veiled great part of her
visage and of her person; this was the celebrated Spanish mantilla. Her
gown was very large, the body with many plaits, and beneath the waist
certain round hoops bearing out their gowns (those of the princess
and of the four Spanish maids of honour who attended her) from their
bodies, after their country manner. Such was the first arrival of the
famous farthingale in England.” Ladies, a friend of ours recently asked
us, “What is the length of a crinoline”? Having of course “given it
up,” he informed us that it is usually _over two feet_!

[72] Miss Aldworth of Newmarket House, County of Limerick, concealed
herself in the case of a clock in the room of a house at which a
masonic lodge was held. Before the completion of the day’s proceedings
her hiding place was discovered. She was immediately brought forth and
on the spot she was made a mason. She took the oaths, and like a good
member of the craft as she was, never divulged the secret to the day
of her death. Even now (1867) her insignia as a masoness are preserved
with religious care at Newmarket House, and the chair in which she used
to sit when at her lodge is in the dining room; above the chair is her

[73] The latest statistics show that there are 50,117 miles of railway
in Europe; North and South America, 40,866; Africa, about 300; India,
4,070; Australia, 480. Of the North and South American railways,
33,896, belong to the United States, and there are about 16,000 miles
constructing. Almost all American railways are very inferior in point
of construction to European railways, and they are nearly all single
lines. They have, however, been of inestimable value in developing the
material resources of the country.

[74] Penny-a-lining, so called, because it is paid for by the
newspapers at the rate of three-half-pence a line!

[75] There is only one part or portion of railway practice which,
with all our railway experience, we are unable to account for. Yet
the practice is universal. We (always in the singular number, we
are plural, editorially, only) have travelled in a great many parts
of the world, but wherever we have gone we have never found but one
undeviating and unalterable rule among the door-opening and the
door-closing portion of the railway community. Is it an instinct or
an abstract idea with them that the door of a compartment cannot be
closed unless the closing be accompanied with a loud and violent bang,
which pleases nobody and sets nervous persons into a state of glowing
trepidation? Or is there a masonry among the officials of this grade,
from participation in which the higher classed portion of the railway
fraternity is excluded, the secret of the craft being that all railway
carriage doors must be banged as they close them? Dear colleagues
of the class of carriage door shutters, country station masters,
inspectors, ticket collectors, guards of the first class, guards of
the second, and temporary guards, foremen porters, ordinary porters
and good-looking porters, porters of the strong back, and porters of
brachial muscle much developed, let us entreat and implore you to
retire from the brotherhood and learn to close carriage doors gently,
quietly, and as becomes your gentle natures. There is a Latin proverb
which means do your work vigorously, but be gentle in the mode of doing
it,—_suaviter in modo, fortiter in re_. One word from a cordial friend
to a wise man, suffices.

[76] Turpin’s ride to York turns out, notwithstanding the bright and
vivid description of it by Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, to have no real
existence as regards his hero. Nevertheless, Mr. Ainsworth had fact for
the foundation of his story, a noted burglar of the latter end of the
17th century having actually ridden, after the commission of a great
and daring robbery, from, if we recollect rightly, Stamford or some
place to the south of it, and on his trial (for he was subsequently
indicted) he was able to produce persons who had seen him in York early
the following morning. The evidence, however, against him on other
points was clear and decisive, and he paid the penalty for his crime,
in the manner usual in those days; they hanged him.

[77] The oldest of the great public schools, or “grammar” schools,
of England is Winchester, founded in 1381 by William of Wykeham, a
Bishop of Winchester, the year after he had founded “New College,”
Oxford. There is no doubt, however, that Winchester school, in its
original shape, is of much greater antiquity than the time of William
of Wykeham, some authorities tracing its existence to the introduction
of Christianity into Britain. It has the only English motto of all our
great public schools, “Manners makyth man.” Royalty frequently visited
the school for the first two hundred years after Wykeham’s endowment.
In 1570, Queen Elizabeth pleasantly asked one of the scholars whether
he had ever endured the famous Winton birching. He happily replied from
the “Æneid,”

  “Infandum, Regina, jubes renovare dolorem,”

which produced a most gracious smile from Her Majesty.

Eton College was founded by Henry VI. The Procuratory is dated the 12th
September, 1441; but the Charter is dated twenty-nine days later—on the
11th October; and the royal endowment was not completed until 1443.
The most pious, but most unfortunate, of English sovereigns took the
warmest interest in the success of the school, and whenever he heard
of any of the boys visiting his officers and attendants at Windsor
Castle, he would send for them, and admonish them to follow the paths
of virtue; besides his words, he would give them money to win over
their good will, saying to them “_Sitis boni pueri; mites et docibiles,
et servi Domini_.” “Be good boys, be gentle and docile, and servants of
the Lord.” The motto of Eton is, “_Floreat Etona_.”

John Colet, Dean of St. Paul’s, founded St. Paul’s School in 1509. The
motto is “_Doce, Disce, et Discede_.”

Westminster School (the motto of which is “_In patriam populum que_”)
was established in its present shape by Henry VIII.; but it existed
as a school even in the time of Edward the Confessor. The Letters
Patent of Queen Elizabeth, who took an interest in the school from the
patronage bestowed upon it by her father, are the oldest extant about
it. They bear date the 11th of June, 1560.

Rugby School, founded by Laurence Sheriff, grocer and citizen of
London, celebrated the tricentenary of its existence on the 26th of
June, 1867, with Dean Stanley, of Westminster, as President. Rugby’s
motto is, “_Nihil sine Laborando_.”

The Royal Grammar School of Shrewsbury was founded by the Corporation
of the town in 1549; and in two years afterwards obtained from Edward
VI. for its endowment, a portion of the estates of the dissolved
collegiate churches. Its motto is “_Intus si recte, ne labora_.”

Edward VI. founded several grammar schools, the first of which was that
of Norwich, but his name is more intimately associated with that of
Christ’s Hospital, London (popularly known as the Blue Coat School),
than with any other. He died on the 6th July, 1553, having just one
month previously signed its charter of incorporation. Christ’s Hospital
is without a motto.

The foundation of the Merchant Tailors’ School is due to the wisdom and
munificence of the ancient “Company of the Marchaunt Tailors,” which,
according to Stow, has been a guild or fraternity from time immemorial.
The statutes of the School, which has for a motto “_Homo plantat, homo
irrigat, sed Deus dat incrementum_,” were authorised and sanctioned on
the 24th September, 1561.

The motto of Harrow is “_Stet fortuna domus_.”

The site upon which Charterhouse School stands was purchased by
Thomas Sutton in 1611 from Thomas Earl of Suffolk, fourth son of the
fourth Duke of Norfolk (beheaded in Queen Elizabeth’s reign), for the
establishment of a hospital for the support of poor and aged people,
and a free school for the maintenance and education of poor children.
Letters patent to carry out both these objects were immediately granted
by James I.; the motto is “_Floreat Æternum Carthusiana Domus_.” For
full particulars of these schools see “The Great Schools of England,”
by Howard Staunton; and for details concerning the early history
of Eton College, and of all authors who have written respecting it
previous to 1858, Vols. 1 and 2 of the “_Annals of Windsor_,” by
Messrs. R. R. Tighe and J. E. Davis, should be consulted.

[78] Byron has left us the following recollection of his Harrow
School-boy days:—

  Ye scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollections
    Embitter the present, compared with the past;
  Whence science first dawned on the powers of reflection,
    And friendships were formed too romantic to last;

  Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance
    Of comrades in friendship and mischief allied;
  How welcome to me your ne’er-fading remembrance,
    Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied!

  Again I revisit the hills where we sported,
    The streams where we swam, and the fields where we fought;
  The school where, loud warned by the bell, we resorted,
    To pore o’er the precepts by pedagogues taught.

  Again I behold where for hours I have ponder’d,
    As, reclining at eve, on yon tombstone I lay;
  Or round the steep brow of the churchyard I wander’d,
    To catch the last gleam of the sun’s setting ray.

  I once more view the room, with spectators surrounded,
    Where, as Zanga, I trod on Alonzo overthrown;
  While to swell my young pride, such applauses resounded,
    I fancied that Mossop himself was outshone;

  Or, as Lear, I poured forth the deep imprecation,
    By my daughters of kingdoms and reason deprived;
  Till, fired by loud plaudits and self-adulation,
    I regarded myself as Garrick revived.

  Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you!
    Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast;
  Though sad and deserted, I ne’er can forget you,
    Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.

  To Ida full oft may remembrance restore me,
    While fate shall the shades of the future unroll!
  Since darkness o’ershadows the prospect before me,
    More dear is the beam of the past to my soul.

  But if through the course of the years which await me,
    Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
  I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me,
    “Oh, such were the days which my infancy knew.”

Byron used to lay on the tombstone above referred to for hours,
when labouring, even as a boy, under those morbid excitements that
embittered his comparatively short life. It is still called “Byron’s

[79] Subjoined is Sir Francis Head’s description of the Wolverton
Refreshment Rooms as they were in their palmy days:—

“In dealing with the British Nation, it is an axiom among those who
have most deeply studied our noble character, that to keep John Bull
in beaming good humour it is absolutely necessary to keep him always
_quite full_. The operation is very delicately called ‘refreshing him;’
and the London and North-Western Railway Company having, as in duty
bound, made due arrangements for affording him, once in about every
two hours, this support, their arrangements not only constitute a
curious feature in the history of railway management, but the _dramatis
personæ_ we are about to introduce, form, we think, rather a strange
contrast to the bare arms, muscular frames, heated brows, and begrimed
faces of the sturdy workmen of railways.

“The Refreshment Establishment at Wolverton is composed of—1. A
matron or generalissima. 2. Seven very young ladies to wait upon the
passengers. 3. Four men and three boys, ditto ditto. 4. One man-cook,
his kitchen-maid, and his two scullery-maids. 5. Two housemaids. 6. One
still-room maid, employed solely in the liquid duty of making tea and
coffee. 7. Two laundry-maids. 8. One baker, and one baker’s boy. 9. One
garden-boy; and lastly, what is most significantly described in the
books of the establishment—10. ‘An odd-man.’

“‘_Homo sum, humani nihil à me aliemun puto._’

“There are also eighty-five pigs and piglings, of whom hereafter.

“The manner in which the above list of persons, in the routine of their
duty, diurnally revolve in the ‘scrap drum’ of their worthy matron,
is as follows:—very early in the morning—in cold winter long before
sunrise—‘the odd-man’ wakens the two housemaids, to one of whom is
intrusted the confidential duty of awakening the seven young ladies
exactly at seven o’clock, in order that their ‘première toilette’
may be concluded in time for them to receive the passengers of the
first train, which reaches Wolverton at 7·30 a.m. From that time
until the departure of the passengers by the York mail train, which
arrives opposite the refreshment room at about eleven o’clock at
night, these young persons remain on duty, continually vibrating, at
the ringing of a bell, across the rails (they have a covered passage
high above them, but they never use it), from the north refreshment
room for down passengers to the south refreshment room, constructed
for hungry up-ones. By about midnight, after having philosophically
divested themselves of the various little bustles of the day, they all
are enabled once again to lay their heads on their pillows, with the
exception of one, who in her turn, assisted by one man and one boy of
the establishment, remains on duty receiving the money, &c., till four
in the morning for the up mail. The young person, however, who in her
weekly turn performs this extra task, instead of rising with the others
at seven, is allowed to sleep on till noon, when she is expected to
take her place behind the long table with the rest.

“The scene in the refreshment room at Wolverton, on the arrival of
every train, has so often been witnessed by our readers, that it need
hardly be described. As these youthful handmaidens stand in a row
behind bright silver urns, silver coffee pots, silver tea pots, cups,
saucers, cakes, sugar, milk, with other delicacies over which they
preside, the confused crowd of passengers simultaneously liberated from
the train, hurry towards them with a velocity exactly proportionate
to their appetites. The hungriest face first enters the door, ‘magnâ
comitante catervâ,’ followed by a crowd very much resembling in
eagerness and joyous independence the rush at the prorogation of
Parliament of a certain body following their leader from one house to
the bar of what they mysteriously call ‘another place.’ Considering
that the row of young persons have among them all only seven right
hands, with but very little fingers at the end of each, it is really
astonishing how, with such slender assistance, they can in the short
space of a few minutes manage to extend and to withdraw them so often;
sometimes to give a cup of tea, sometimes to receive half-a-crown,
of which they have to return two shillings, then to give an old
gentleman a plate of warm soup, then to drop another lump of sugar
into his nephew’s coffee cup, then to receive a penny for a bun, and
then again threepence for four ‘lady’s fingers.’ It is their rule,
as well as their desire, never, if they can possibly prevent it, to
speak to anyone; and although sometimes, when thunder has turned the
milk, or the kitchen-maid over-peppered the soup, it may occasionally
be necessary to soothe the fastidious complaints of some beardless
ensign by an infinitesimal appeal to the generous feelings of his
nature, we mean, by the hundred-thousandth part of a smile, yet they
endeavour on no account ever to exceed that harmless dose. But while
they are thus occupied at the centre of the refreshment table, at its
two ends, each close to a warm stove, a very plain matter-of-fact
business is going on, which consists of the rapid uncorking of, and the
emptying into large tumblers, innumerable black bottles of what is not
inappropriately called ‘stout,’ inasmuch as all the persons who are
drinking the dark foaming mixture, wear heavy great-coats, with large
wrappers round their necks, in fact are _very_ stout. We regret to have
to add, that among these thirsty customers are to be seen, quite in the
corner, several silently tossing off glasses of brandy, rum, and gin.

“But the bell is violently calling the passengers to ‘Come! come away!’
and as they have all paid their fares, and as the engine is loudly
hissing—attracted by their pockets as well as by their engagements,
they soon, like the swallows of the summer, congregate together, and
then fly away.

“It appears from the books that the annual consumption at the
refreshment room averages 182,500 Banbury cakes; 56,940 Queen’s cakes;
29,200 patés; 36,500 lbs. flour; 13,140 lbs. butter; 2,920 lbs.
coffee; 43,800 lbs. meat; 5,110 lbs. currants; 1,277 lbs. tea; 5,840
lbs. loaf sugar; 5,110 lbs. moist sugar; 16,425 quarts of milk; 1,095
quarts of cream; 8,088 bottles of lemonade; 10,416 soda water; 45,012
stout; 25,692 ale; 5,208 ginger beer; 547 port; 2,095 sherry; 666 gin;
464 rum; 2,392 brandy. To the eatables are to be added or driven,
the eighty-five pigs, who after having been from their birth most
kindly treated and most luxuriously fed, are impartially promoted, by
seniority, one after another, into an infinite number of pork pies.

“Having, in the refreshment sketch which we have just concluded,
partially detailed at some length, the duties of the seven young
persons at Wolverton, we feel it due to them, as well as to those of
our readers who, we perceive, have not yet quite finished their tea,
by a very few words to complete their history. It is never considered
quite fair to pry into the private conduct of any one who performs
his duty to the public with zeal and assiduity. The warrior and the
statesman are not always immaculate; and although at the opera ladies
certainly sing very high, and in the ballet kick very high, it is
possible that their voices and feet may reach rather higher than their
characters. Considering, then, the difficult duties which our seven
young attendants have to perform—considering the temptations to which
they are constantly exposed, in offering to the public attentions which
are ever to simmer and yet never to boil; it might be expected that
our inquiries should considerately go no further than the arrival at
11 p.m. of the ‘up York mail.’ The excellent matron, however, who has
charge of these young people—who always dine and live at her table—with
honest pride declares, that the breath of slander has never ventured
to sully the reputation of any of those who have been committed to
her charge; and as this testimony is corroborated by persons residing
in the neighbourhood and very capable of observation, we cannot take
leave of the establishment without expressing our approbation of the
good sense and attention with which it is conducted; and while we give
credit to the young ladies for the character they have maintained,
we hope they will be gratefully sensible of the protection they have
received.” _Stokers and Pokers_, by the author of “Bubbles from the
Brunnen of Nassau.” London: John Murray, Albermarle Street, 1849.

[80] Ladies, it is sometimes dangerous to conceal your exact ages. We
will give you a case in point, that only occurred in the summer of
the present year. A lady, as far back as 1825, insured her life for
the benefit of her relatives. She only died a few months ago; but on
coming to compare her age, as given by herself at the time of effecting
the insurance, with that on the certificate of births required by the
office, to be obtained, after death, from the parish register, it was
found that although the lady was in reality 42 years, in 1825, she only
owned to 35, and paid premiums on that scale for 42 years. The office,
had it been so disposed, might have declared the policy absolutely
forfeited. It took a more generous course; the policy was admitted, as
a claim, but from the amount that would have come to the legatees, if
all had been in order, the difference of premium between 35 and 42, for
42 years, with interest and compound interest thereon, from the period
that each premium became due, was deducted. The legatees thus received
not more than half the nominal amount stated on the policy.

[81] Both ladies have since been married. “No cards.” Were we a
newspaper proprietor, we should charge two and sixpence additional for
the two last words of this announcement.

[82] _Engineering_, of September the 27th, and October the 4th, 1867,
contains several extremely well executed views of some of the bridges
and viaducts of the Highland Railway. “They are engraved,” says the
Editor, “not because of any special peculiarities of their mechanical
structure, but mainly on account of the fine character of the abutments
and approaches; in short, the artistic qualities of their general
design. For variety and originality, for pleasing outline and detail,
and for their dignity and their harmony with the associations of the
district traversed by the line, these bridges are admirable works
in every respect. They have an artistic as distinguished from their
merely material character, and they are, notwithstanding, economical

Mr. Joseph Mitchell, the engineer, by whom the line was constructed,
read a paper descriptive of it at the Meeting of the British
Association at Dundee in August last. This paper is given in full in
_Engineering_ of September the 13th.

[83] Great, and it is hoped successful, efforts are now making to
connect the North-East and the North-West of Scotland by a line to
be made from Dingwall, eighteen miles beyond Inverness and the most
western station of the Highland Railway, through Strathpeffer to
Loch Carron, a distance of fifty miles, whence there will be steam
communication with the Isle of Skye. The Dingwall and Skye Railway
Company has been formed some time, but now, in consequence of the
amount of capital subscribed, and the liberality of the landowners,
application is to be made for an Act of Parliament to authorise the
construction of the line; Mr. Matheson, M.P., is the Chairman of the
Company. At the conclusion of its half-yearly meeting, held on the
30th October last, Mr. Kenneth Murray proposed a vote of thanks to