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Title: The American Railway - Its Construction, Development, Management, and Appliances
Author: Bogart, John, others, Voorhees, Theodore, Clarke, Thomas Curtis
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

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  B. B. ADAMS, JR.








  COPYRIGHT, 1888, 1889, BY




  _INTRODUCTION_                                                   xxi

  _Chairman Interstate Commerce Commission_.

  THE BUILDING OF A RAILWAY                                          1

  _Civil Engineer_.

  Roman Tramways of Stone--First Use of Iron Rails--The Modern
  Railway created by Stephenson's "Rocket" in 1830--Early
  American Locomotives--Key to the Evolution of the American
  Railway--Invention of the Swivelling Truck, Equalizing Beams,
  and the Switchback--Locating a Road--Work of the Surveying
  Party--Making the Road-bed--How Tunnels are Avoided--More
  than Three Thousand Bridges in the United States--Old Wooden
  Structures--The Howe Truss--The Use of Iron--Viaducts of
  Steel--The American System of Laying Bridge Foundations
  under Water--Origin of the Cantilever--Laying the Track--How
  it is Kept in Repair--Premiums for Section Bosses--Number
  of Railway Employees in the United States--Rapid Railway
  Construction--Radical Changes which the Railway will Effect.

  FEATS OF RAILWAY ENGINEERING                                      47

  _State Engineer of New York_.

  Development of the Rail--Problems for the Engineer--How
  Heights are Climbed--The Use of Trestles--Construction on a
  Mountain Side--Engineering on Rope Ladders--Through the Portals
  of a Cañon--Feats on the Oroya Railroad, Peru--Nochistongo
  Cut--Rack Rails for Heavy Grades--Difficulties in Tunnel
  Construction--Bridge Foundations--Cribs and Pneumatic
  Caissons--How Men work under Water--The Construction of Stone
  Arches--Wood and Iron in Bridge-building--Great Suspension
  Bridges--The Niagara Cantilever and the enormous Forth
  Bridge--Elevated and Underground Roads--Responsibilities of the
  Civil Engineer.

  AMERICAN LOCOMOTIVES AND CARS                                    100

  _Author of "The Catechism of the Locomotive," Editor "Railroad
  and Engineering Journal," New York_.

  The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1830--Evolution of the Car
  from the Conestoga Wagon--Horatio Allen's Trial Trip--The
  First Locomotive used in the United States--Peter Cooper's
  Race with a Gray Horse--The "De Witt Clinton," "Planet," and
  other Early Types of Locomotives--Equalizing Levers--How Steam
  is Made and Controlled--The Boiler, Cylinder, Injector, and
  Valve Gear--Regulation of the Capacity of a Locomotive to
  Draw--Increase in the Number of Driving Wheels--Modern Types of
  Locomotives--Variation in the Rate of Speed--The Appliances by
  which an Engine is Governed--Round-houses and Shops--Development
  of American Cars--An Illustration from Peter Parley--The Survival
  of Stage Coach Bodies--Adoption of the Rectangular Shape--The
  Origin of Eight-wheeled Cars--Improvement in Car Coupling--A
  Uniform Type Recommended--The Making of Wheels--Relative Merits
  of Cast and Wrought Iron, and Steel--The Allen Paper Wheel--Types
  of Cars, with Size, Weight, and Price--The Car-Builder's

  RAILWAY MANAGEMENT                                               149

  _President of the Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia_.

  Relations of Railway Management to all Other Pursuits--Developed
  by the Necessities of a Complex Industrial Life--How a Continuous
  Life is Given to a Corporation--Its Artificial Memory--Main
  Divisions of Railway Management--The Executive and Legislative
  Powers--The Purchasing and Supply Departments--Importance of
  the Legal Department--How the Roadway is Kept in Repair--The
  Maintenance of Rolling Stock--Schedule-making--The Handling
  of Extra Trains--Duties of the Train-despatcher--Accidents
  in Spite of Precautions--Daily Distribution of Cars--How
  Business is Secured and Rates are Fixed--The Interstate
  Commerce Law--The Questions of "Long and Short Hauls" and
  "Differentials"--Classification of Freight--Regulation of
  Passenger-rates--Work of Soliciting Agents--The Collection of
  Revenue and Statistics--What is a Way-bill--How Disbursements are
  Made--The Social and Industrial Problem which Confronts Railway

  SAFETY IN RAILROAD TRAVEL                                        187

  _Editor "Railroad Gazette," New York_.

  The Possibilities of Destruction in the Great Speed of
  a Locomotive--The Energy of Four Hundred Tons Moving at
  Seventy-five Miles an Hour--A Look ahead from a Locomotive at
  Night--Passengers Killed and Injured in One Year--Good Discipline
  the Great Source of Safety--The Part Played by Mechanical
  Appliances--Hand-brakes on Old Cars--How the Air-brake Works--The
  Electric Brake--Improvements yet to be Made--Engine Driver
  Brakes--Two Classes of Signals: those which Protect Points
  of Danger, and those which Keep an Interval between Trains
  on the Same Track--The Semaphore--Interlocking Signals and
  Switches--Electric Annunciators to Indicate the Movements--The
  Block Signal System--Protection for Crossings--Gates and
  Gongs--How Derailment is Guarded Against--Safety Bolts--Automatic
  Couplers--The Vestibule as a Safety Appliance--Car Heating and

  RAILWAY PASSENGER TRAVEL                                         228

  _Vice-President Pullman Palace-Car Company_.

  The Earliest Railway Passenger Advertisement--The First
  Time-table Published in America--The Mohawk & Hudson
  Train--Survival of Stage-coach Terms in English Railway
  Nomenclature--Simon Cameron's Rash Prediction--Discomforts
  of Early Cars--Introduction of Air-brakes, Patent Buffers
  and Couplers, the Bell-cord, and Interlocking Switches--The
  First Sleeping-cars--Mr. Pullman's Experiments--The
  "Pioneer"--Introduction of Parlor and Drawing-room
  Cars--The Demand for Dining-cars--Ingenious Devices for
  Heating Cars--Origin of Vestibule-cars--An Important Safety
  Appliance--The Luxuries of a Limited Express--Fast Time in
  America and England--Sleeping-cars for Immigrants--The Village
  of Pullman--The Largest Car-works in the World--Baggage-checks
  and Coupon Tickets--Conveniences in a Modern Depot--Statistics
  in Regard to Accidents--Proportion of Passengers in Various
  Classes--Comparison of Rates in the Leading Countries of the

  THE FREIGHT-CAR SERVICE                                          267

  _Assistant-General Superintendent, New York Central Railroad_.

  Sixteen Months' Journey of a Car--Detentions by the
  Way--Difficulties of the Car Accountant's Office--Necessities
  of Through Freight--How a Company's Cars are Scattered--The
  Question of Mileage--Reduction of the Balance in Favor of
  Other Roads--Relation of the Car Accountant's Work to the
  Transportation Department--Computation of Mileage--The Record
  Branch--How Reports are Gathered and Compiled--Exchange of
  "Junction Cards"--The Use of "Tracers"--Distribution of
  Empty Cars--Control of the Movement of Freight--How Trains
  are Made Up--Duties of the Yardmaster--The Handling of
  Through Trains--Organization of Fast Lines--Transfer Freight
  Houses--Special Cars for Specific Service--Disasters to Freight
  Trains--How the Companies Suffer--Inequalities in Payment for Car
  Service--The Per Diem Plan--A Uniform Charge for Car Rental--What
  Reforms might be Accomplished.

  HOW TO FEED A RAILWAY                                            298

  _Second Vice-President, Long Island Railroad Company_.

  The Many Necessities of a Modern Railway--The Purchasing and
  Supply Departments--Comparison with the Commissary Department of
  an Army--Financial Importance--Immense Expenditures--The General
  Storehouse--Duties of the Purchasing Agent--The Best Material the
  Cheapest--Profits from the Scrap-heap--Old Rails Worked over into
  New Implements--Yearly Contracts for Staple Articles--Economy
  in Fuel--Tests by the Best Engineers and Firemen--The
  Stationery Supply--Aggregate Annual Cost of Envelopes, Tickets,
  and Time-tables--The Average Life of Rails--Durability of
  Cross-ties--What it Costs per Mile to Run an Engine--The
  Paymaster's Duties--Scenes during the Trip of a Pay-car.

  THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE                                         312

  _Ex-Postmaster General_.

  An Object Lesson in Postal Progress--Nearness of the Department
  to the People--The First Travelling Post-Office in the United
  States--Organization of the Department in 1789--Early Mail
  Contracts--All Railroads made Post-routes--Compartments for
  Mail Clerks in Baggage-cars--Origin of the Present System in
  1862--Important Work of Colonel George S. Bangs--The "Fast Mail"
  between New York and Chicago--Why it was Suspended--Resumption
  in 1877--Present Condition of the Service--Statistics--A
  Ride on the "Fast Mail"--Busy Scenes at the Grand Central
  Depot--Special Uses of the Five Cars--Duties of the Clerks--How
  the Work is Performed--Annual Appropriation for Special Mail
  Facilities--Dangers Threatening the Railway Mail Clerk's Life--An
  Insurance Fund Proposed--Needs of the Service--A Plea for Radical
  Civil Service Reform.

  THE RAILWAY IN ITS BUSINESS RELATIONS                            344

  _Professor of Political Science in Yale College, Author of
  "Railroad Transportation_."

  Amount of Capital Invested in Railways--Important Place in
  the Modern Industrial System--The Duke of Bridgewater's
  Foresight--The Growth of Half a Century--Early Methods of
  Business Management--The Tendency toward Consolidation--How
  the War Developed a National Idea--Its Effect on Railroad
  Building--Thomson and Scott as Organizers--Vanderbilt's Capacity
  for Financial Management--Garrett's Development of the Baltimore
  & Ohio--The Concentration of Immense Power in a Few Men--Making
  Money out of the Investors--Difficult Positions of Stockholders
  and Bondholders--How the Finances are Manipulated by the Board
  of Directors--Temptations to the Misuse of Power--Relations of
  Railroads to the Public who Use Them--Inequalities in Freight
  Rates--Undue Advantages for Large Trade Centres--Proposed
  Remedies--Objections to Government Control--Failure of
  Grangerism--The Origin of Pools--Their Advantages--Albert
  Fink's Great Work--Charles Francis Adams and the Massachusetts
  Commission--Adoption of the Interstate Commerce Law--Important
  Influence of the Commission--Its Future Functions--Ill-judged
  State Legislation.

  THE PREVENTION OF RAILWAY STRIKES                                370

  _President of the Union Pacific Railroad_.

  Railways the Largest Single Interest in the United
  States--Some Impressive Statistics--Growth of a Complex
  Organization--Five Divisions of Necessary Work--Other Special
  Departments--Importance of the Operating Department--The Evil
  of Strikes--To be Remedied by Thorough Organization--Not the
  Ordinary Relation between Employer and Employee--Of what the
  Model Railway Service Should Consist--Temporary and Permanent
  Employees--Promotion from one Grade to the Other--Rights
  and Privileges of the Permanent Service--Employment during
  Good Behavior--Proposed Tribunal for Adjusting Differences
  and Enforcing Discipline--A Regular Advance in Pay for
  Faithful Service--A Fund for Hospital Service, Pensions, and
  Insurance--Railroad Educational Institutions--The Employer
  to Have a Voice in Management through a Council--A System of

  THE EVERY-DAY LIFE OF RAILROAD MEN                               383

  BY B. B. ADAMS, JR.,
  _Associate Editor, "Railroad Gazette," New York_.

  The Typical Railroad Man--On the Road and at Home--Raising the
  Moral Standard--Characteristics of the Freight Brakeman--His Wit
  the Result of Meditation--How Slang is Originated--Agreeable
  Features of his Life in Fine Weather--Hardships in
  Winter--The Perils of Hand-brakes--Broken Trains--Going back
  to Flag--Coupling Accidents--At the Spring--Advantages of
  a Passenger Brakeman--Trials of the Freight Conductor--The
  Investigation of Accidents--Irregular Hours of Work--The
  Locomotive Engineer the Hero of the Rail--His Rare Qualities--The
  Value of Quick Judgment--Calm Fidelity a Necessary Trait--Saving
  Fuel on a Freight Engine--Making Time on a Passenger
  Engine--Remarkable Runs--The Spirit of Fraternity among
  Engineers--Difficult Duties of a Passenger-train Conductor--Tact
  in Dealing with Many People--Questions to be Answered--How
  Rough Characters are Dealt with--Heavy Responsibilities--The
  Work of a Station Agent--Flirtation by Telegraph--The
  Baggage-master's Hard Task--Eternal Vigilance Necessary in a
  Switch-tender--Section-men, Train Despatchers, Firemen, and
  Clerks--Efforts to Make the Railroad Man's Life Easier.

  STATISTICAL RAILWAY STUDIES                                      425


  _Author of "Scribner's Statistical Atlas_."

  Railway Mileage of the World--Railway Mileage of the United
  States--Annual Mileage and Increase--Mileage Compared with
  Area--Geographical Location of Railways--Centres of Mileage
  and of Population--Railway Systems--Trunk Lines Compared:
  By Mileage; Largest Receipts; Largest Net Results--Freight
  Traffic--Reduction of Freight Rates--Wheat Rates--The Freight
  Haul--Empty Freight Trains--Freight Profits--Passenger
  Traffic--Passenger Rates--Passenger Travel--Passenger
  Profits--General Considerations--Dividends--Net Earnings per
  Mile and Railway Building--Ratios of Increase--Construction and
  Maintenance--Employees and their Wages--Rolling Stock--Capital

  _INDEX_                                                          449



  _Title._                                   _Designer._         _Page_

  THE LAST SPAN (Frontispiece)               A. B. Frost                 v

  ALPINE PASS. AVOIDANCE OF A TUNNEL         _From a photograph_     5

    PACIFIC, COLORADO                        _From a photograph_    11

    PACIFIC                                  J. D. Woodward         19

  RAIL MAKING                                Walter Shirlaw         39

    ON THE COLORADO MIDLAND RAILWAY          J. D. Woodward         51

    CONSTRUCTION                             Otto Stark             65

    FEET BELOW THE SURFACE OF THE WATER      Walter Shirlaw         73

  BELOW THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE                  J. H. Twachtman        83

                                               & R. Blum            95


  INTERIOR OF A ROUND-HOUSE                  M. J. Burns           130

                                               & R. Blum           135


  THE GENERAL DESPATCHER                     M. J. Burns           165

     INTERLACING TRACKS                      W. C. Fitler          169

  DANGER AHEAD!                              A. B. Frost           189

     RAILROAD                                _From a photograph_   211

  PULLMAN VESTIBULED CARS                    _From a photograph_   247

  IN A BAGGAGE-ROOM                          W. C. Broughton       255

  "SHOW YOUR TICKETS!"                       Walter Shirlaw        261

    STREET, NEW YORK                         W. C. Fitler          285

  TRAINS                                     W. C. Fitler          291

    ASSISTANT                                Herbert Denman        321

     STATION, NEW YORK                       Herbert Denman        327

    FAST MAIL                                Herbert Denman        333

  A BREAKDOWN ON THE ROAD                    A. B. Frost           405


  THE TRIALS OF A BAGGAGE-MASTER             A. B. Frost           417


  First Locomotive                                                   2

  Locomotive of To-day                                               3

  A Sharp Curve--Manhattan Elevated Railway, 110th Street,
    New York                                                         7

  A Steep Grade on a Mountain Railroad                               8

  A Switchback                                                       9

  Plan of Big Loop                                                  10

  Profile of the Same                                               10

  Engineers in Camp                                                 14

  Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge, Denver and Rio Grande, Colorado       16

  Veta Pass, Colorado                                               17

  Sections of Snow-sheds (3 cuts)                                   18

  Making an Embankment                                              21

  Steam Excavator                                                   21

  Building a Culvert                                                22

  Building a Bridge Abutment                                        22

  Rock Drill                                                        23

  A Construction and Boarding Train                                 24

  Bergen Tunnels, Hoboken, N. J.                                    25

  Beginning a Tunnel                                                26

  Old Burr Wooden Bridge                                            28

  Kinzua Viaduct; Erie Railway                                      30

  Kinzua Viaduct                                                    31

  View of Thomas Pope's Proposed Cantilever (1810)                  34

  Pope's Cantilever in Process of Erection                          35

  General View of the Poughkeepsie Bridge                           36

  Erection of a Cantilever                                          37

  Spiking the Track                                                 38

  Track Laying                                                      41

  Temporary Railway Crossing the St. Lawrence on the Ice            44

  View Down the Blue from Rocky Point, Denver, South Park and
    Pacific Railroad; showing successive tiers of railway           49

  Denver and Rio Grande Railway Entering the Portals of the
    Grand River Cañon, Colorado                                     54

  The Kentucky River Cantilever, on the Cincinnati Southern
    Railway                                                         55

  Truss over Ravine, and Tunnel, Oroya Railroad, Peru               56

  The Nochistongo Cut, Mexican Central Railway                      57

  The Mount Washington Rack Railroad                                58

  Trestle on Portland and Ogdensburg Railway, Crawford Notch,
    White Mountains                                                 58

  A Series of Tunnels                                               59

  Tunnel at the Foot of Mount St. Stephen, on the Canadian
    Pacific                                                         60

  Peña de Mora on the La Guayra and Carácas Railway, Venezuela      61

  Perspective View of St. Gothard Spiral Tunnels, in the Alps       62

  Plan of St. Gothard Spiral Tunnels                                63

  Profile of the Same                                               63

  Portal of a Finished Tunnel; showing Cameron's Cone, Colorado     64

  Railway Pass at Rocky Point in the Rocky Mountains                67

  Bridge Pier Founded on Piles                                      68

  Pneumatic Caisson                                                 70

  Transverse Section of Pneumatic Caisson                           71

  Pier of Hawkesbury Bridge, Australia                              75

  Foundation Crib of the Poughkeepsie Bridge                        76

  Transverse Section of the Same                                    76

  Granite Arched Approach to Harlem River Bridge in Process
    of Construction                                                    77

  The Old Portage Viaduct, Erie Railway, N. Y.                      78

  The New Portage Viaduct                                           79

  The Britannia Tubular Bridge over the Menai Straits,
    North Wales                                                     80

  Old Stone Towers of the Niagara Suspension Bridge                 82

  The New Iron Towers of the Same                                   82

  Truss Bridge of the Northern Pacific Railway over the Missouri
    River at Bismarck, Dak.--Testing the Central Span               87

  Curved Viaduct, Georgetown, Col.; the Union Pacific Crossing
    its own Line                                                    88

  The Niagara Cantilever Bridge in Progress                         90

  The Niagara Cantilever Bridge Completed                           91

  The Lachine Bridge, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, near
    Montreal, Canada                                                92

  The 510-feet Span Steel Arches of the New Harlem River Bridge,
    New York, during Construction                                   97

  London Underground Railway Station                                98

  Conestoga Wagon and Team                                         101

  Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, 1830-35                               101

  Boston & Worcester Railroad, 1835                                102

  Horatio Allen                                                    103

  Peter Cooper's Locomotive, 1830                                  104

  "South Carolina," 1831, and Plan of its Running Gear             105

  The "De Witt Clinton," 1831                                      105

  "Grasshopper" Locomotive                                         106

  The "Planet"                                                     107

  John B. Jervis's Locomotive, 1831, and Plan of its
    Running Gear                                                   108

  Campbell's Locomotive                                            109

  Locomotive for Suburban Traffic                                  110

  Locomotive for Street Railway                                    110

  Four-wheeled Switching Locomotive                                113

  Driving Wheels, Frames, Spurs, etc., of American Locomotive      114

  Longitudinal Section of a Locomotive Boiler                      115

  Transverse Section                                               115

  Rudimentary Injector                                             116

  Injector Used on Locomotives                                     117

  Sections of a Locomotive Cylinder                                118

  Eccentric                                                        118

  Eccentric and Strap                                              118

  Valve Gear                                                       119

  Turning Locomotive Tires                                         121

  Six-wheeled Switching Locomotive                                 122

  Mogul Locomotive                                                 123

  Ten-wheeled Passenger Locomotive                                 123

  Consolidation Locomotive (unfinished)                            124

  Consolidation Locomotive                                         124

  Decapod Locomotive                                               125

  "Forney" Tank Locomotive                                         126

  "Hudson" Tank Locomotive                                         127

  Camden & Amboy Locomotive, 1848                                  129

  Cab End of a Locomotive and its Attachments                      133

  Interior of Erecting Shop, showing Locomotive Lifted by
    Travelling Crane                                               137

  Forging a Locomotive Frame                                       138

  Mohawk & Hudson Car, 1831                                        139

  Early Car                                                        139

  Early Car on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad                       140

  Early American Car, 1834                                         140

  Old Car for Carrying Flour on the Baltimore &
    Ohio Railroad                                                  141

  Old Car for Carrying Firewood on the Baltimore &
    Ohio Railroad                                                  141

  Old Car on the Quincy Granite Railroad                           141

  Janney Car Coupler, showing the Process of Coupling              142

  Mould and Flask in which Wheels are Cast                         143

  Cast-iron Car Wheels                                             144

  Section of the Tread and Flange of a Car Wheel                   145

  Allen Paper Car Wheel                                            145

  Modern Passenger-car and Frame                                   147

  Snow-plough at Work                                              154

  A Type of Snow-plough                                            155

  A Rotary Steam Snow-shovel in Operation                          156

  Railway-crossing Gate                                            157

  Signal to Stop                                                   162

  Signal to Move Ahead                                             162

  Signal to Move Back                                              163

  Signal that the Train has Parted                                 163

  Entrance Gates at a Large Station                                167

  Central Switch and Signal Tower                                  168

  Interior of a Switch-tower, showing the Operation of
    Interlocking Switches                                          171

  Stephenson's Steam Driver-brake, patented 1833                   192

  Driver-brake on Modern Locomotive                                192

  English Screw-brake, on the Birmingham and Gloucester Road,
    about 1840                                                     193

  English Foot-brake on the Truck of a Great Western Coach,
    about 1840                                                     193

  Plan and Elevation of Air-brake Apparatus                        196

  Dwarf Semaphores and Split Switch                                202

  Semaphore Signal with Indicators                                 203

  Section of Saxby & Farmer Interlocking Machine                   204

  Diagram of a Double-track Junction with Interlocked
    Switches and Signals                                           205

  Split Switches with Facing-point Locks and Detector-bars         206

  Derailing Switch                                                 207

  Torpedo Placer                                                   213

  Old Signal Tower on the Philadelphia & Reading, at
    Phœnixville                                                    214

  Crossing Gates worked by Mechanical Connection from
    the Cabin                                                      217

  Some Results of a Butting Collision--Baggage and Passenger
    Cars Telescoped                                                218

  Wreck at a Bridge                                                219

  New South Norwalk Drawbridge. Rails held by Safety Bolts         220

  Engines Wrecked during the Great Wabash Strike                   222

  Link-and-pin Coupler                                             224

  Janney Automatic Coupler applied to a Freight Car                224

  Signals at Night                                                 225

  Stockton & Darlington Engine and Car                             229

  Mohawk & Hudson Train                                            231

  English Railway Carriage, Midland Road. First and Third
    Class and Luggage Compartments                                 232

  One of the Earliest Passenger Cars Built in this Country;
    used on the Western Railroad of Massachusetts (now the
    Boston & Albany)                                               233

  Bogie Truck                                                      233

  Rail and Coach Travel in the White Mountains                     234

  Old Time Table, 1843                                             235

  Old Boston & Worcester Railway Ticket (about 1837)               236

  Obverse and Reverse of a Ticket used in 1838, on the New
    York & Harlem Railroad                                         236

  The "Pioneer." First Complete Pullman Sleeping-car               240

  A Pullman Porter                                                 241

  Pullman Parlor Car                                               243

  Wagner Parlor Car                                                244

  Dining-car (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad)               245

  End View of a Vestibuled Car                                     249

  Pullman Sleeper on a Vestibuled Train                            250

  Immigrant Sleeping-car (Canadian Pacific Railway)                251

  View of Pullman, Ill.                                            252

  Railway Station at York, England, built on a Curve               257

  Outside the Grand Central Station, New York                      258

  Boston Passenger Station, Providence Division, Old
    Colony Railroad                                                259

  A Page from the Car Accountant's Book                            277

  Freight Pier, North River, New York                              280

  Hay Storage Warehouses, New York Central & Hudson River
    Railroad, West Thirty-third Street, New York                   282

  "Dummy" Train and Boy on Hudson Street, New York                 287

  Red Line Freight-car Mark                                        288

  Star Union Freight-car Mark                                      288

  Coal Car, Central Railroad of New Jersey                         289

  Refrigerator-car Mark                                            289

  Unloading a Train of Truck-wagons, Long Island Railroad          290

  Floating Cars, New York Harbor                                   295

  Postal Progress, 1776-1876                                       313

  The Pony Express--The Relay                                      314

  The Overland Mail Coach--A Star Route                            315

  Mail Carrying in the Country                                     316

  Loading for the Fast Mail, at the General Post-Office,
    New York                                                       324

  At the Last Moment                                               326

  Pouching the Mail in the Postal Car                              329

  A Very Difficult Address--known as a "Sticker."                  331

  Distributing the Mail by States and Routes                       332

  Pouching Newspapers for California--in Car No. 5                 335

  Catching the Pouch from the Crane                                339

  George Stephenson                                                345

  J. Edgar Thomson                                                 349

  Thomas A. Scott                                                  350

  Cornelius Vanderbilt                                             352

  John W. Garrett                                                  355

  Albert Fink                                                      366

  Charles Francis Adams                                            367

  Thomas M. Cooley                                                 369

  "Dancing on the Carpet"                                          386

  Trainman and Tramps                                              387

  Braking in Hard Weather                                          389

  Flagging in Winter                                               391

  Coupling                                                         392

  The Pleasant Part of a Brakeman's Life                           395

  At the Spring                                                    397

  Just Time to Jump                                                403

  Timely Warning                                                   407

  The Passenger Conductor                                          409

  Station Gardening                                                416

  In the Yard at Night                                             419

  A Track-walker on a Stormy Night                                 421

  A Crossing Flagman                                               423

  A Little Relaxation                                              424


  Mileage compared with Area                                       429

  Railways, 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860                             430

  Railways, 1870                                                   431

  Railways, 1880                                                   432

  Railways, 1889                                                   433

  Five Railway Systems                                        434, 435


  Principal Railway Countries                                      425

  Mileage to Area in New Jersey                                    426

  Total Mileage and Increase, 1830-1888                            429

  Mileage by States, 1870                                          431

  Mileage by States, 1880                                          432

  Mileage by States, 1888                                          433

  Largest Receipts, 1888                                           435

  Largest Net Results, 1888                                        435

  Freight Rates of Thirteen Trunk Lines, 1870-1888                 436

  Wheat Rates, by Water and by Rail, 1870-1888                     438

  The Freight Haul, 1882-1888                                      439

  East-bound and West-bound Freight, 1877-1888                     439

  Freight Profits, 1870-1888                                       440

  Passenger Rates, 1870-1888                                       441

  Passenger Travel, 1882-1888                                      442

  Passenger Profits, 1870-1888                                     442

  Average Dividends, 1876-1888                                     443

  Net Earnings and Mileage Built, 1876-1888                        444

  Increase of Population, Mileage, and Freight Traffic,
    1870-1888                                                      446



The railroads of the United States, now aggregating a hundred
and fifty thousand miles and having several hundred different
managements, are frequently spoken of comprehensively as the
railroad system of the country, as though they constituted a unity
in fact, and might be regarded and dealt with as an entirety,
by their patrons and by the public authorities, whenever the
conveniences they are expected to supply, or the conduct of
managers and agents, come in question. So far, however, is this
from being the case, that it would be impossible to name any other
industrial interest where the diversities are so obvious and the
want of unity so conspicuous and so important. The diversities
date from the very origin of the roads; they have not come into
existence under the same laws nor subject to the same control. It
was accepted as an undoubted truth in constitutional law from the
first that the authority for the construction of railroads within
a State must come from the State itself, which alone could empower
the promoters to appropriate lands by adversary proceedings for
the purpose. The grant of corporate power must also come from the
State, or, at least, have State recognition and sanction; and where
the proposed road was to cross a State boundary, the necessary
corporate authority must be given by every State through or into
which the road was to run. It was conceded that the delegated
powers of the General Government did not comprehend the granting
of charters for the construction of these roads within the States,
and even in the Territories charters were granted by the local
legislatures. The case of the transcontinental roads was clearly
exceptional; they were to be constructed in large part over the
public domain, and subsidies were to be granted by Congress for
the purpose. They were also, in part at least, to be constructed
for governmental reasons as national agencies; and invoking State
authority for the purpose seemed to be as inconsistent as it would
be inadequate. But, though these were exceptional cases, the
magnitude and importance of the Pacific roads are so immense that
the agency of the General Government in making provision for this
method of transportation must always have prominence in railroad
history and railroad statistics.

Not only have the roads been diverse in origin, but the
corporations which have constructed them have differed very
greatly in respect to their powers and rights, and also to the
obligations imposed by law upon them. The early grants of power
were charter-contracts, freely given, with very liberal provisions;
the public being more anxious that they be accepted and acted upon
than distrustful of their abuse afterward. Many of them were not
subject to alteration or repeal, except with the consent of the
corporators; and some of them contained provisions intended to
exclude or limit competition, so that, within a limited territory,
something in the nature of a monopoly in transportation would be
created. The later grants give evidence of popular apprehension of
corporate abuses; the legislature reserves a control over them, and
the right to multiply railroads indefinitely is made as free as
possible, under the supposition that in this multiplication is to
be found the best protection against any one of them abusing its
powers. In very many cases the motive to the building of a new road
has been antagonism to one already in existence, and municipalities
have voted subsidies to the one in the hope that, when constructed,
it would draw business away from the other. The anomaly has thus
been witnessed of distrust of corporate power being the motive
for increasing it; and the multiplication of roads has gone on,
without any general supervision or any previous determination
by competent public authority that they were needed, until the
increase has quite outrun in some sections any proper demand for
their facilities.

Roads thus brought into existence, without system and under diverse
managements, it was soon seen were capable of being so operated
that the antagonism of managers, instead of finding expression in
legitimate competition, would be given to the sort of strife that
can only be properly characterized by calling it, as it commonly
is called, a war. From such a war the public inevitably suffers.
The best service upon the roads is only performed when they are
operated as if they constituted in fact parts of one harmonious
system; the rates being made by agreement, and traffic exchanged
with as little disturbance as possible, and without abrupt break at
the terminals. But when every management might act independently,
it sometimes happened that a company made its method of doing
business an impediment instead of a help to the business done over
other roads, recognizing no public duty which should preclude
its doing so, provided a gain to itself, however indirect or
illegitimate, was probable. Many consolidations of roads have had
for their motive the getting rid of this power to do mischief on
the part of roads absorbed.

In nothing is the want of unity so distinctly and mischievously
obvious as in the power of each corporation to make rates
independently. It may not only make its own local rates at
discretion, but it may join or refuse to join with others in
making through rates; so that an inconsiderable and otherwise
insignificant road may be capable of being so used as to throw
rates for a large section of the country into confusion, and to
render the making of profit by other roads impossible. It is
frequently said in railroad circles that roads are sometimes
constructed for no other reason than because, through this power of
mischief, it will be possible to levy contributions upon others, or
to compel others, in self-protection, to buy them up at extravagant
prices. Cases are named in which this sort of scheming is supposed
to have succeeded, and others in which it is now being tried.

Evils springing from the diversities mentioned have been cured, or
greatly mitigated, by such devices as the formation of fast-freight
lines to operate over many roads; by allowing express companies to
come upon the roads with semi-independence in the transportation
of articles, where, for special reasons, the public is content to
pay an extra price for extra care or speed; and by arrangements
with sleeping-car companies for special accommodations in luxurious
cars to those desiring them. These collateral arrangements,
however, have not been wholly beneficial; and had all the roads
been constructed as parts of one system and under one management,
some of them would neither have been necessary nor defensible. They
exist now, however, with more or less reason for their existence;
and they tend to increase the diversities in railroad work.

The want of unity which has been pointed out tended to breed abuses
specially injurious to the public, and governmental regulation was
entered upon for their correction. Naturally the first attempts
in this direction were made by separate States, each undertaking
to regulate for itself the transportation within its own limits.
Such regulation would have been perfectly logical, and perhaps
effectual, had the roads within each State formed a system by
themselves; but when State boundaries had very little importance,
either to the roads themselves or to the traffic done over them,
unless made important by restrictive and obstructive legislation,
the regulation by any State must necessarily be fragmentary and
imperfect, and diverse regulation in different States might
be harmful rather than beneficial. It must be said for State
regulation that it has in general been exercised in a prudent and
conservative way, but it is liable to be influenced by a sensitive
and excitable public opinion; and as nothing is more common than
to find gross abuses in the matter of railroad transportation
selfishly defended in localities, and even in considerable
sections, which are supposed to receive benefits from them, it
would not be strange if the like selfishness should sometimes
succeed in influencing the exercise of power by one State in a
manner that a neighboring State would regard as unfriendly and

The Federal Government recently undertook the work of regulation,
and in doing so accepted the view upon which the States had acted,
and so worded its statute that the transportation which does not
cross State lines is supposed to be excluded. The United States
thus undertakes to regulate interstate commerce by rail, and the
States regulate, or may regulate, that which is not interstate.
It was perhaps overlooked at first that, inasmuch as Government
control may embrace the making of classifications, prescribing
safety and other appliances, and naming rates, any considerable
regulation of State traffic and interstate traffic separately must
necessarily to some extent cause interference. The two classes of
traffic flow on together over the same lines in the same vehicles
under the management of the same agencies, with little or no
distinction based on State lines; the rates and the management
influenced by considerations which necessarily are of general
force, so that separate regulation may without much extravagance be
compared to an attempt in the case of one of our great rivers to
regulate the flow of the waters in general, but without, in doing
so, interfering with an independent regulation of such portion
thereof as may have come from the springs and streams of some
particular section. This is one of many reasons for looking upon
all existing legislation as merely tentative.

No doubt the time will come when the railroads of the country will
constitute, as they do not now, a system. There are those who think
this may, sufficiently for practical purposes, be accomplished by
the legalization of some scheme of pooling; but this is a crude
device, against which there is an existing prejudice not easily to
be removed. Others look for unity through gradual consolidations,
the tendency to which is manifest, or through something in the
nature of a trust, or by means of more comprehensive and stringent
national control. Beyond all these is not infrequently suggested a
Government ownership.

Of the theories that might be advanced in this direction, or the
arguments in their support, nothing further will be said here;
the immediate purpose being accomplished when it is shown how
misleading may be the term _system_, when applied to the railroads
of the country as an aggregate, as now owned, managed, and

       *       *       *       *       *

Every man in the land is interested daily and constantly in
railroads and the transportation of persons and property over them.
The price of whatever he eats, or wears, or uses, the cost and
comfort of travel, the speed and convenience with which he shall
receive his mail and the current intelligence of the day, and even
the intimacy and extent of his social relations, are all largely
affected thereby. The business employs great numbers of persons,
and the wages paid them affect largely the wages paid in other
lines of occupation. The management of the business in some of its
departments is attended by serious dangers, and thousands annually
lose their lives in the service. Other thousands annually are
either killed or injured in being transported; the aggregate being
somewhat startling, though unquestionably this method of travel
is safer than any other. The ingenuity which has been expended
in devices to make the transportation rapid, cheap, and safe may
well be characterized as marvellous, and some feats in railroad
engineering are the wonder of the world. With all these facts and
many others to create a public interest in the general subject, the
editor of _Scribner's Magazine_, some little time ago, applied to
writers of well-known ability and competency to prepare papers for
publication therein upon the various topics of principal interest
in the life and use of railroads, beginning with the construction,
and embracing the salient facts of management and service. He
was successful in securing a series of papers of high value,
the appearance of which has been welcomed from month to month,
beginning with June, 1888, with constant and increasing interest.
These papers have a permanent value; and, in obedience to a demand
for their separate publication in convenient form for frequent
reference, the publishers now reproduce them with expansions and
additions. A reference to the several titles will convince anyone
at all familiar with the general subject that the particular topic
is treated in every instance by an expert, entitled as such to
speak with authority.



  Roman Tramways of Stone--First Use of Iron Rails--The Modern
  Railway created by Stephenson's "Rocket" in 1830--Early
  American Locomotives--Key to the Evolution of the American
  Railway--Invention of the Swivelling Truck, Equalizing Beams,
  and the Switchback--Locating a Road--Work of the Surveying
  Party--Making the Road-bed--How Tunnels are Avoided--More
  than Three Thousand Bridges in the United States--Old Wooden
  Structures--The Howe Truss--The Use of Iron--Viaducts of
  Steel--The American System of Laying Bridge Foundations
  under Water--Origin of the Cantilever--Laying the Track--How
  it is Kept in Repair--Premiums for Section Bosses--Number
  of Railway Employees in the United States--Rapid Railway
  Construction--Radical Changes which the Railway will Effect.

The world of to-day differs from that of Napoleon Bonaparte more
than his world differed from that of Julius Cæsar; and this change
has chiefly been made by railways.

Railways have been known since the days of the Romans. Their tracks
were made of two lines of cut stones. Iron rails took their place
about one hundred and fifty years ago, when the use of that metal
became extended. These roads were called tram-roads, and were used
to carry coal from the mines to the places of shipment. They were
few in number and attracted little attention.

The modern railway was created by the Stephensons in 1830, when
they built the locomotive "Rocket." The development of the
railway since is due to the development of the locomotive. Civil
engineering has done much, but mechanical engineering has done more.

The invention of the steam-engine by James Watt, in 1773, attracted
the attention of advanced thinkers to a possible steam locomotive.
Erasmus Darwin, in a poem published in 1781, made this remarkable

      "Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam! afar
      Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car."

[Illustration: First Locomotive.]

The first locomotive of which we have any certain record was
invented, and put in operation on a model circular railway in
London, in 1804, by Richard Trevithick, an erratic genius, who
invented many things but perfected few. His locomotive could
not make steam, and therefore could neither go fast nor draw a
heavy load. This was the fault of all its successors, until the
competitive trial of locomotives on the Liverpool and Manchester
Railway, in 1829. The Stephensons, father and son, had invented the
steam blast, which, by constantly blowing the fire, enabled the
"Rocket," with its tubular boiler, to make steam enough to draw ten
passenger cars, at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour.

Then was born the modern giant, and so recent is the date of his
birth that one of the unsuccessful competitors at that memorable
trial, Captain John Ericsson, was until the present year (1889)
living and actively working in New York. Another engineer, Horatio
Allen, who drove the first locomotive on the first trip ever made
in the United States, in 1831, still lives, a hale and hearty old
man, near New York.

The earlier locomotives of this country, modelled after the
"Rocket," weighed five or six tons, and could draw, on a level,
about 40 tons. After the American improvements, which we shall
describe, were made, our engines weighed 25 tons, and could draw,
on a level, some sixty loaded freight cars, weighing 1,200 tons.
This was a wonderful advance, but now we have the "Consolidation"
locomotive, weighing 50 tons, and able to draw, on a level, a
little over 2,400 tons.

And this is not the end. Still heavier and more powerful engines
are being designed and built, but the limit of the strength of the
track, according to its present forms, has nearly been reached. It
is very certain we have not reached the limit of the size and power
of engines, or the strength of the track that can be devised.

After the success of the "Rocket," and of the Liverpool and
Manchester Railway, the authority of George Stephenson and his
son Robert became absolute and unquestioned upon all subjects
of railway engineering. Their locomotives had very little side
play to their wheels, and could not go around sharp curves. They
accordingly preferred to make their lines as straight as possible,
and were willing to spend vast sums to get easy grades. Their lines
were taken as models and imitated by other engineers. All lines in
England were made with easy grades and gentle curves. Monumental
bridges, lofty stone viaducts, and deep cuts or tunnels at every
hill marked this stage of railway construction in England, which
was imitated on the European lines.

[Illustration: Locomotive of To-day.]

As it was with the railway, so it was with the locomotive. The
Stephenson type, once fixed, has remained unchanged (in Europe),
except in detail, to the present day. European locomotives have
increased in weight and power, and in perfection of material and
workmanship, but the general features are those of the locomotives
built by the great firm of George Stephenson & Son, before 1840.

       *       *       *       *       *

When we come to the United States we find an entirely different
state of things. The key to the evolution of the American railway
is the contempt for authority displayed by our engineers, and the
untrammelled way in which they invented and applied whatever they
thought would answer the best purpose, regardless of precedent.
When we began to build our railways, in 1831, we followed English
patterns for a short time. Our engineers soon saw that unless vital
changes were made our money would not hold out, and our railway
system would be very short. Necessity truly became the mother of

The first, and most far-reaching, invention was that of the
swivelling truck, which, placed under the front end of an engine,
enables it to run around curves of almost any radius. This enabled
us to build much less expensive lines than those of England, for
we could now curve around and avoid hills and other obstacles at
will. The illustration opposite shows a railroad curving around a
mountain and supported by a retaining wall, instead of piercing
through the mountain with a tunnel, as would have been necessary
but for the swivelling truck. The swivelling truck was first
suggested by Horatio Allen, for the South Carolina Railway, in
1831; but the first practical use of it was made on the Mohawk and
Hudson Railroad, in the same year. It is said to have been invented
by John B. Jervis, Chief Engineer of that road.

The next improvement was the invention of the equalizing beams or
levers, by which the weight of the engine is always borne by three
out of four or more driving-wheels. They act like a three-legged
stool, which can always be set level on any irregular spot. The
original imported English locomotives could not be kept on the
rails of rough tracks. The same experience obtained in Canada when
the Grand Trunk Railway was opened, in 1854-55. The locomotives of
English pattern constantly ran off the track; those of American
pattern hardly ever did so. Finally, all their locomotives were
changed by having swivelling trucks put under their forward ends,
and no more trouble occurred. The equalizing levers were patented
in 1838, by Joseph Harrison, Jr., of Philadelphia.

[Illustration: Alpine Pass. Avoidance of a Tunnel.]

These two improvements, which are absolutely essential to the
success of railways in new countries, and have been adopted
in Canada, Australia, Mexico, and South America,[1] to the
exclusion of English patterns, are also of great value on the
smoothest and best possible tracks. The flexibility of the American
machine increases its adhesion and enables it to draw greater loads
than its English rival. The same flexibility equalizes its pressure
on the track, prevents shocks and blows, and enables it to keep
out of the hospital and run more miles in a year than an English

[Illustration: A Sharp Curve--Manhattan Elevated Railway, 110th
Street, New York.]

Equally valuable improvements were made in cars, both for
passengers and freight. Instead of the four-wheeled English car,
which on a rough track dances along on three wheels, we owe to Ross
Winans, of Baltimore, the application of a pair of four-wheeled
swivelling trucks, one under each end of the car, thus enabling it
to accommodate itself to the inequalities of a rough track and to
follow its locomotive around the sharpest curves. There are, on
our main lines, curves of less than 300 feet radius, while, on the
Manhattan Elevated, the largest passenger traffic in the world is
conducted around curves of less than 100 feet radius. There are few
curves of less than 1,000 feet radius on European railways.

[Illustration: A Steep Grade on a Mountain Railroad.]

The climbing capabilities of a locomotive upon smooth rails were
not known until, in 1852, Mr. B. H. Latrobe, Chief Engineer of the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, tried a temporary zigzag gradient
of 10 per cent.--that is 10 feet rise in 100 feet length, or 528
feet per mile--over a hill about two miles long, through which the
Kingwood Tunnel was being excavated. A locomotive weighing 28 tons
on its drivers took one car weighing 15 tons over this line in
safety. It was worked for passenger traffic for six months. This
daring feat has never been equalled. Trains go over 4 per cent.
gradients on the Colorado system, and there is one short line, used
to bring ore to the Pueblo furnaces, which is worked by locomotives
over a 7 per cent. grade. These are believed to be the steepest
grades worked by ordinary locomotives on smooth rails.

Another American invention is the switchback. By this plan
the length of line required to ease the gradient is obtained
by running backward and forward in a zigzag course, instead of
going straight up the mountain. As a full stop has to be made at
the end of every piece of line, there is no danger of the train
running away from its brakes. This device was first used among the
hills of Pennsylvania over forty years ago, to lower coal cars
down into the Nesquehoning Valley. It was afterwards used on the
Callao, Lima, and Oroya Railroad in Peru, by American engineers,
with extraordinary daring and skill. It was employed to carry the
temporary tracks of the Cascade Division of the Northern Pacific
Railroad over the "Stampede" Pass, with grades of 297 feet per
mile, while a tunnel 9,850 feet long was being driven through the

[Illustration: A Switchback.]

With the improvement of brakes and more reliable means of stopping
trains upon steep grades, came a farther development of the above
device, which was first applied on the Denver and Rio Grande
Railroad in Colorado, and has since been applied on a grand scale
on the Saint Gothard road, the Black Forest railways of Germany,
and the Semmering line in the Tyrol. This device is to connect the
two lines of the zigzag by a curve at the point where they come
together, so that the train, instead of going alternately backward
and forward, now runs continuously on. It becomes possible for the
line to return above itself in spiral form, sometimes crossing over
the lower level by a tunnel, and sometimes by a bridge. A notable
instance of this kind of location is seen on the Tehachapi Pass
of the Southern Pacific, where the line ascends 2,674 feet in 25
miles, with eleven tunnels, and a spiral 3,800 feet long.

[Illustration: Plan of Big Loop.]

The "Big Loop," as it is called, on the Georgetown branch of the
Union Pacific, in Colorado, between Georgetown and a mining camp
called Silver Plume, has been chosen to illustrate this point. The
direct distance up the valley is 1¼ miles and the elevation 600
feet, requiring a gradient of 480 feet per mile. But by curving
the line around in a spiral, the length of the line is increased
to 4 miles and the gradient reduced to 150 feet per mile. Zigzags
were used first for foot-paths, then for common roads, lastly for
railways. Their natural sequence, spirals, was a railway device
entirely, and confirms the saying of one of our engineers: "Where
a mule can go, I can make a locomotive go." This may be called the
poetry of engineering, as it requires both imagination to conceive
and skill to execute.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Profile of the Same.]

There is one thing more which distinguishes the American railway
from its English parent, and that is the almost uniform practice
of getting the road open for traffic in the cheapest manner and in
the least possible time, and then completing it and enlarging its
capacity out of its surplus earnings, and from the credit which
these earnings give it.

[Illustration: Big Loop, Georgetown Branch of the Union Pacific,

The Pennsylvania Railroad between Philadelphia and Harrisburg
is a notable example of this. Within the past few years it has
been rebuilt on a grand scale, and in many places relocated, and
miles of sharp curves and heavy gradients, originally put in to
save expense, have been taken out. This system has been followed
everywhere, except on a few branch lines, and upon one monumental
example of failure--the West Shore Railroad, of New York. The
projectors of that line attempted in three years to build a
double-track railroad up to the standard of the Pennsylvania road,
which had been forty years in reaching its present excellence.
Their money gave out, and they came to grief.


We have thus briefly reviewed the development of our railways to
show what they are, and how they came to be what they are, before
describing the processes of building, in order that the reasons may
be clearly understood why we do certain things, and why we fail to
do other things which we ought to do.

In the building of a railway the first thing is to make the surveys
and locate the position of the intended road upon the ground, and
to make maps and sections of it, so that the land may be bought and
the estimates of cost be ascertained. The engineer's first duty
is to make a survey by eye without the aid of instruments. This
is called the "reconnoissance." By this he lays down the general
position of the line, and where he wants it to go if possible.
Great skill, the result of long experience, or equally great
ignorance may be shown here. After the general position of the
line, or some part of it, has been laid down upon the pocket map,
the engineer sends his party into the field to make the preliminary
survey with instruments.

In an old-settled country the party may live in farm-houses
and taverns, and be carried to their daily work by teams. But
a surveying party will make better progress, be healthier and
happier, if they live in their own home, even if that home be a
travelling camp of a few tents. With a competent commissary the
camp can be well supplied with provisions, and be pitched near
enough to the probable end of the day's work to save the tired
men a long walk. When they get to camp and, after a wash in
the nearest creek, find a smoking-hot supper ready--even though
it consist of fried pork and potatoes, corn-bread and black
coffee--their troubles are all forgotten, and they feel a true
satisfaction which the flesh-pots of Delmonico's cannot give. One
greater pleasure remains--to fill the old pipe, and recline by the
camp-fire for a jolly smoke.

[Illustration: Engineers in Camp.]

A full surveying party consists of the front flag-man, with his
corps of axe-men to cut away trees and bushes; the transit-man,
who records the distances and angles of the line, assisted by his
chain-men and flag-men; and lastly the leveller, who takes and
records the levels, with his rod-men and axe-men. The chief of the
party exercises a general supervision over all, and is sometimes
assisted by a topographer, who sketches in his book the contours of
the hills and direction and size of the watercourses.

One tent contains the cook, the commissary, and the provisions;
another tent or two the working party, and another the superior
engineers, with their drawing instruments and boards. In a properly
regulated party the map and profile of the day's work should be
plotted before going to bed, so as to see if all is right. If it
turns out that the line can be improved and easier grades got, or
other changes made, now is the time to do it.

After the preliminary lines have been run, the engineer-in-chief
takes up the different maps and lays down a new line, sometimes
coinciding with that surveyed, and sometimes quite different. The
parties then go back into the field and stake out this new line,
called the "approximate location," upon which the curves are all
run in. In difficult country the line may be run over even a third
or fourth time; or in an easy country, the "preliminary" surveys
may be all that is wanted.

The life of an engineer, while making surveys, is not an easy one.
His duties require the physical strength of a drayman and the
mental accuracy of a professor, both exerted at the same time, and
during heat and cold, rain and shine.

An engineer, once on a time, standing behind his instrument, was
surrounded by a crowd of natives, anxious to know all about it. He
explained his processes, using many learned words, and flattered
himself that he had made a deep impression upon his hearers. At
last, one old woman spoke up, with an expression of great contempt
on her face, "Wall! If I knowed as much as you do, I'd quit
ingineerin' and keep a grocery!"

A large part of the financial difficulties of our railways results
from not taking time enough to properly locate the line. It must
be remembered that a cheaply constructed line can be rebuilt, but
with a badly located line nothing can be done except to abandon it

[Illustration: Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge, Denver and Rio Grande,

It is well therefore to consider carefully what is the true problem
of location. It is so to place and build a line of railway that
it shall get the greatest amount of business out of the country
through which it passes, and at the same time be able to do that
business at the least cost, including both expenses of operating
and the fixed charges on the capital invested. The mere statement
of this problem shows that it is not an easy one. Its solution
is different in a new and unsettled country from that in an
old-settled region. In the new country, the shortest, cheapest, and
straightest line possible, consistent with the easiest gradients
that the topography of the land will allow, is the best. The towns
will spring up after the road is built, and will be built on its
line, and generally at the places where stations have been fixed.

[Illustration: Veta Pass, Colorado.]

In a mountainous country, like Colorado, the problem is how to
reach the important mining camps, regardless of the crookedness
and increased length given to the line. The Denver and Rio Grande
has been compared to an octopus. This is really a compliment to
its engineers. It sucks nutriment from every place where nutriment
is to be found. To do this it has been forced to climb mountains,
where it was thought locomotives could never climb. In one place,
called the Royal Gorge, the difficulties of blasting a road-bed
into the side of the mountain were so great that it was thought
expedient to carry the track upon a bridge, and this bridge was
hung from two rafters, braced against the sides of the gorge. In
surveying some parts of the lines the engineers were suspended by
ropes from the top of the mountains and made their measurements
swinging in mid-air.

The problem of location is different in an old-settled country,
where the position of the towns as trade-centres has been fixed
by natural laws that cannot be overruled. In this case the best
thing the engineer can do is to get the easiest gradient possible
consistent with the topography of the country, and let the curves
take care of themselves; always to strike the important towns, even
if the line is made more crooked and longer thereby; to so place
the line in these towns as to accommodate the public, and still
be able to buy plenty of land; also to locate for under or over,
rather than grade crossings.

[Illustration: Sections of Snow-sheds.]



In all countries, old and new, mountainous and level, the rule
should be to keep the level of track well above the surface of
the ground, in order to insure good drainage and freedom from

The question of avoidance of obstruction by snow is a very
serious one upon the Rocky Mountain lines, and they could not
be worked without the device of snow-sheds--another purely
American invention. There are said to be six miles of stanchly
built snow-sheds on the Canadian Pacific and sixty miles on
the Central Pacific Railway. The quantity of snow falling is
enormous, sometimes amounting to 250,000 cubic yards, weighing
over 100,000 tons, in one slide. It is stated by the engineers of
the Canadian Pacific, that the force of the air set in motion by
these avalanches has mown down large trees, not struck by the snow
itself. Their trunks, from one to two feet in diameter, remain,
split as if struck by lightning.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Snow-sheds, Selkirk Mountains, Canadian Pacific. The
winter track under cover; the outer track for summer use.]

After the railway line has been finally located, the next duty of
the engineers is to prepare the work for letting. Land-plans are
made, from which the right of way is secured. From the sections,
the quantities are taken out. Plans of bridges and culverts are
made; and a careful specification of all the works on the line is
drawn up.

[Illustration: Making an Embankment.]

The works are then let, either to one large contractor or to
several smaller ones, and the labor of construction begins.
The duties of the engineers are to stake out the work for the
contractors, make monthly returns of its progress, and see that
it is well done and according to the specifications and contract.
The line is divided into sections, and an engineer, with his
assistants, is placed in charge of each. Where the works are heavy,
the contractors build shanties for their men and teams near the
heavy cuttings or embankments. It is the custom to take out heavy
cuttings by means of the machine called a steam shovel, which will
dig as many yards in a day as 500 men.

[Illustration: Steam Excavator.]

On the prairies of the West the road-bed is thrown up from
ditches on each side, either by men with wheelbarrows and carts,
or by means of a ditching-machine, which can move 3,000 yards
of earth daily. In this case the track follows immediately
after the embankment, and the men live in cars fitted up as
boarding-shanties, and moved forward as fast as required. If the
country contains suitable stone, the culverts and bridge abutments
are built by gangs of masons and stone-cutters, who move from
point to point. But the general practice is to put in temporary
trestle-work of timber resting upon piles, which trestle-work is
renewed in the shape of stone culverts covered by embankments, or
iron bridges resting on stone abutments and built after the road is

[Illustration: Building a Culvert.]


The pile-driver plays a very important part therefore in the
construction of our railroads, and has been brought to great
perfection. It is worked by a small boiler and engine, and gives
its blows with great rapidity. It drags the piles up to leaders
and lifts them into place by steam-power, so that it is worked
by a small gang of men. Finally, it is as portable as a pedler's
cart, and as soon as it has finished one job it is taken to pieces,
packed upon wagons, and moved on to the next job.

[Illustration: (Rock Drill.)]

Tunnels are neither so long nor so frequent upon American railways
as upon those of Europe. The longest are from two to two and a half
miles long, except one, the Hoosac, about four miles. Sometimes
they are unavoidable. The ridge called Bergen Hill, west of
Hoboken, N. J., is a case in point. This is pierced by the tunnels
of the West Shore, of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western, and of
the Erie, the last two of which, as shown on page 25, are placed at
different levels to enable one road to pass over the other.

[Illustration: Rock Drill.]

It is by our system of using sharp curves that we avoid tunnels. It
may be said, in general terms, that American engineers have shown
more skill in avoiding the necessity of tunnels than could possibly
be shown in constructing them. When we are obliged to use tunnels,
or to make deep cuttings in rocks, our labors are greatly assisted
by the use of power-drills worked by compressed air and by the use
of high explosives, such as dynamite, giant powder, rend-rock,
etc. Rocks can now be removed in less than half the time formerly
required, when ordinary blasting-powder was used in hand-drilled

[Illustration: A Construction and Boarding Train.]


From data furnished by Mr. D. J. Whittemore, chief engineer of the
Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul system (which had a total length
of 5,688 miles on January 1, 1888), the length of open bridges on
these lines was 115-91/100 miles, and of culverts covered over with
embankment, 39-2/10 miles. "Everything," says Mr. Whittemore, "not
covered with earth, except cattle guards, be the span 10 or 400
feet, is called a bridge. Everything covered with earth is called
a culvert. Wherever we are far removed from suitable quarries, we
build a wooden culvert in preference to a pile bridge, if we can
get six inches of filling over it. These culverts are built of
roughly squared logs, and are large enough to draw an iron pipe
through them of sufficient diameter to take care of the water.
We do this because we believe that we lessen the liability to
accident, and that the culvert can be maintained after decay has
begun, much longer than a piled bridge with stringers to carry the
track. Had we good quarries along our line, stone would be cheaper.
Many thousands of dollars have been spent by this company in
building masonry that after twenty to twenty-five years shows such
signs of disintegration that we confine masonry work now only to
stone that we can procure from certain quarries known to be good."

[Illustration: Bergen Tunnels, Hoboken, N. J.]

Mr. Whittemore is an engineer of great experience, skill, and
judgment, and there is food for much reflection in these words of
his: First--that it is better to use temporary wooden structures,
to be afterward renewed in good stone, rather than to build of the
stone of the locality, unless first-class. Second--that a structure
covered with earth is much safer than an open bridge; which, if
short and apparently insignificant, may be, through neglect, a most
serious point of danger, as was shown in the dreadful accident of
1887 on the Toledo, Peoria, and Western road in Illinois, where
one hundred and fifty persons were killed and wounded, and by the
equally avoidable accident on the Florida and Savannah line, in
March, 1888. Had these little trestles been changed to culverts
covered with earth, many valuable lives would not have been lost.

[Illustration: Beginning a Tunnel.]

It was safely estimated that there were, in 1888, 208,749 bridges
of all kinds, amounting in length to 3,213 miles, in the United

The wooden bridge and the wooden trestle are purely American
products, although they were invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the
sixteenth century. From the above statistics it will be seen how
much our American railways owe to them, for without them over
150,000 miles could never have been built.

The art of building wooden truss-bridges was developed by Burr &
Wernwag, two Pennsylvania carpenters, some of whose works are still
in use after eighty years of faithful duty (p. 28). A bridge built
by Wernwag across the Delaware in 1803 was used as a highway bridge
for forty-five years, was then strengthened and used as a railway
bridge for twenty-seven years more, and was finally superseded by
the present iron bridge in 1875.

These old bridge-builders were very particular about the quality of
their timber, and never put any into a bridge less than two years
old. But when we began to build railways, everything was done in a
hurry, and nobody could wait for seasoned timber. This led to the
invention of the Howe truss, by the engineer of that name, which
had the advantage of being adjustable with screws and nuts, so that
the shrinkage could be taken up, and which had its parts connected
in such a way that they were able to bear the heavy concentrated
weight of locomotives without crushing. This bridge was used on
all railways, new and old, from 1840 to about 1870. Had it been
free from liability to decay and burn up, we should probably not be
building iron and steel bridges now, except for long spans of over
200 feet; and as the table opposite shows, the largest number of
our spans are less than 100 feet long.

The Howe truss forms an excellent bridge, and is still used in the
West on new roads, with the intention of substituting iron trusses
after the roads are opened.

After 1870, the weights both of locomotives and other rolling
stock began to be increased very rapidly. This, together with
the development of the manufacture of iron, and especially the
invention of rolled beams and of eye-bars, gave a great impetus to
the construction of iron bridges. At first cast-iron was used for
the compression members, but the development of the rolling-mill
soon enabled us to make all parts of rolled iron sections at no
greater cost, and rolled iron, being a less uncertain material,
has replaced cast-iron entirely. Iron bridges came in direct
competition with the less costly Howe truss, and during the first
decade of their construction every attempt was made to build them
with as few pounds of iron as would meet the strains.

[Illustration: Old Burr Wooden Bridge.]

S. Whipple, C.E., published a book in 1847 which was the first
attempt ever made to solve the mathematical questions upon which
the due proportioning of iron truss-bridges depends. This work
bore fruit, and a race of bridge designers sprang up. The first
iron bridges were modelled after their wooden predecessors, with
high trusses and short panels. Riveted connections were avoided,
and every part was so designed that it might be quickly and easily
erected upon staging or false works, placed in the river. This was
very necessary, for our rivers are subject to sudden freshets,
and if we had adopted the English system of riveting together all
the connections, the long time required before the bridge became
self-sustaining would have been a serious element of danger.

Following the practice of wooden bridge building, iron bridges
were contracted for by the foot, and not by the pound as is now
the custom. To this accidental circumstance is greatly due the
development of the American iron bridge. The engineer representing
the railway company fixed the lengths of spans, and other general
dimensions, and also the loads to be carried and the maximum
strains to be allowed. The contracting engineer was left perfectly
free to design his bridge, and he strained every nerve to find the
form of truss and the arrangement of its parts that should give the
required strength with the least number of pounds weight per foot,
so that he could beat his competitors. When the different plans
were handed in, an expert examined them and rejected those whose
parts were too small to meet the strains. Of those found to be
correctly proportioned, the lowest bid took the work.

By the rule of the survival of the fittest all badly designed forms
of trusses disappeared and only two remained: one the original
truss designed by Mr. Whipple, and the other, the well-known
triangular, or "Warren" girder, so called after its English

It speaks well for the skill and honesty of American bridge
engineers that many of their old bridges are still in use, designed
for loads of 2,500 pounds per lineal foot, and now daily carrying
loads of 4,000 pounds and over per foot. Sometimes the floor has
been replaced by a stronger one, but the trusses still remain and
do good service. The writer may be permitted to point to the bridge
over the Mississippi River at Quincy, Ill., built in 1869, as an
example. Most bridge-accidents can be traced to derailed trains
striking the trusses and knocking them down. Engineers (both those
specially connected with bridge works, and those in charge of
railways) know much better now what is wanted, and the managers of
railways are willing to pay for the best article. The introduction
of mild steel is a great step in advance. This material has an
ultimate strength, in the finished piece, of 63,000 to 65,000
pounds per square inch, or forty per cent. more than iron, and it
is tough enough to be tied in a knot, or punched into the shape of
a bowl, while cold. With this material it is as easy to construct
spans of 500 feet as it was spans of 250 feet in iron.

Bridges are now designed to carry much heavier loads than formerly.
The best practice adopts riveted connections except at the junction
of the chord-bars and the main diagonals, where pins and eyes
are still very properly used. Plate girders below the track are
preferred up to 60 or 70 feet long, then riveted lattice up
to 125 feet. The wind strains also are now provided for with a
considerable excess of material, amounting in very long spans to
nearly as much as the strains due to gravity. Observing the rule
that no bridge can be stronger than its weakest part, a vast deal
of care and skill has been applied in perfecting the connections
of the parts of a truss, and many valuable experiments have been
made which have greatly enlarged our knowledge of this difficult
subject. The introduction of riveting by the power of steam or
compressed air is another very great improvement.[5]

[Illustration: Kinzua Viaduct; Erie Railway.]

Valleys and ravines are now crossed by viaducts of iron and steel,
of which the Kinzua viaduct, illustrated here, is an example. A
branch line from the Erie, connecting that system with valuable
coal-fields, strikes the valley of the Kinzua, a small creek,
about 15 miles southwest of Bradford, Pa. At the point suitable
for crossing, this ravine is about half a mile wide and over 300
feet deep. At first it was proposed to run down and cross the creek
at a low level by some of the devices heretofore illustrated in
this article. But finally the engineering firm of Clarke, Reeves &
Co. agreed to build the viaduct, shown above, for a much less sum
than any other method of crossing would have cost. This viaduct
was built in four months. It is 305 feet high and about 2,400 feet
long. The skeleton piers were first erected by means of their
own posts, and afterward the girders were placed by means of a
travelling scaffold on the top, projecting over about 80 feet. No
staging of any kind was used, nor even ladders, as the men climbed
up the diagonal rods of the piers, as a cat will run up a tree.

[Illustration: Kinzua Viaduct.]

The Manhattan Elevated Railway, about 34 miles long, is nothing but
a long viaduct, and is as strong and durable as iron viaducts on
railways usually are, while from the slower speed of its trains it
is much safer.

It may not be out of place for the writer to state here what, in
his belief, is the next series of steps to be taken to insure
safety in travelling over our bridges: Replace, wherever possible,
all temporary trestles by wood or stone culverts covered with
earth. Where this cannot be done, build strong iron or steel
bridges and viaducts with as short spans as possible and having
no trusses above the track where it can possibly be helped. Cover
these and all new bridges with a solid deck of rolled-steel
corrugated plates, coated with asphalt to prevent rusting. Place
on this broken stone ballast, and bed the ties in it as in the
ordinary form of road-bed.

By this means the usual shock felt in passing from the elastic
embankment to the comparatively solid bridge will be done away.
Has a crack formed in a wheel or axle, this shock generally
develops it into a break, the car or engine is derailed, and if it
strikes the truss the bridge is wrecked. The cost of this proposed
safety floor is insignificant, compared with the security resulting
from it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The improvements in the processes of putting in the foundations of
bridges have been as great as those above water. All have shortened
greatly the time necessary, and have made the results more certain.
The American system may briefly be described as an abandonment of
the old engineering device of coffer-dams, by which the bed of the
river is enclosed by a water-tight fence and the water pumped out.
For this we substitute driving piles and sawing them off under
water; or sinking cribs down to a hard bottom through the water. In
both cases we sink the masonry, built in a great water-tight box
(called a caisson) with a thick bottom of solid timber, until it
finally rests on the heads of the piles sawn to a level, or on the
top of a crib which is filled with stone, dumped out of a barge.
Sometimes it is filled with concrete lowered through the water by
special apparatus.[6]

Another process, developed within the last twenty years, is to
sink cribs through soft or unreliable material to a harder stratum
by compressed air. This is an improvement on the old diving-bell.
The air, forced into the bell-shaped cavity, expels the water and
allows the men to work and remove the material, which is taken up
by a device called an air-lock. The crib slowly sinks, carrying the
masonry on its top.

By this means the foundations of the Brooklyn bridge and of the St.
Louis bridge were sunk a little over 100 feet below water. A recent
invention is that of a German engineer, Herr Poetsch, who freezes
the sand by inserting tubes filled with a freezing mixture, and
then excavates it as if it were solid rock.

The process of sinking open cribs through the water by weighting
them and dredging out the material was followed at the new bridge
recently built over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie, where the cribs
were sunk 130 feet below water, and at the bridge building over the
Hawkesbury River, in Australia. The Hawkesbury piers are sunk to
a depth of 175 feet below water, and are the deepest foundations
yet put in. The writer (who derives his knowledge from being one of
the designing and executive engineers of both these bridges) sees
no difficulty in putting down foundations by this process of open
dredging to even much greater depths. The compressed-air process is
limited to about 110 feet in depth.


The most notable invention of latter days in bridge construction
is that of the cantilever bridge, which is a system devised to
dispense with staging, or false works, where from the great depth,
or the swift current, of the river, this would be difficult, or,
as in the case of the Niagara River, impossible to make. The word
cantilever is used in architecture to signify the lower end of a
rafter, which projects beyond the wall of a building, and supports
the roof above. It is from an Italian word, taken from the Latin
_cantilabrum_ (used by Vitruvius), meaning the _lip of the rafter_.
If two beams were pushed out from the shores of a stream until they
met in the centre, and these two beams were long enough to run back
from the shores until their weight, aided by a few stones, held
them down, we should have a primitive form of the cantilever, but
one which in principle would not differ from the actual cantilever
bridges. This is another American invention, although it has been
developed by British engineers--Messrs. Fowler & Baker--in their
huge bridge now building across the Forth, in Scotland, of a size
which dwarfs everything hitherto done in this country, the Brooklyn
bridge not excepted.

The first design of which we have any record was that of a bridge
planned by Thomas Pope, a ship carpenter of New York, who, in 1810,
published a book giving his designs for an arched bridge of timber
across the North River at Castle Point, of 2,400 feet span. Mr.
Pope called this an arch, but his description clearly shows it to
have been what we now call a cantilever. As was the fashion of the
day, he indulged in a poetical description:

      "Like half a Rainbow rising on yon shore,
      While its twin partner spans the semi o'er,
      And makes a perfect whole that need not part
      Till time has furnish'd us a nobler art."

[Illustration: View of Thomas Pope's Proposed Cantilever (1810).]

The first railway cantilever bridge in the world was built by the
late C. Shaler Smith, C.E., one of our most accomplished bridge
engineers. This was a bridge over the deep gorge of the Kentucky
River.[7] The next was a bridge on the Canadian Pacific, in British
Columbia, designed by C. C. Schneider, C.E. A very similar bridge
is that over the Niagara River, designed by the same engineer in
conjunction with Messrs. Field & Hayes, Civil Engineers. This
bridge was the first to receive the distinctive name of cantilever.

The new bridge at Poughkeepsie has three of these cantilevers,
connected by two fixed spans, as shown in the illustration (pg.
36). The fixed spans have horizontal lower chords, and really
extend beyond each pier and up the inclined portions, to where the
bottom chord of the cantilever is horizontal. At these points the
junctions between the spans are made, and arranged in such a way,
by means of movable links, that expansion and contraction due to
changes of temperature can take place. The fixed spans are 525 feet
long. Their upper chord, where the tracks are placed, is 212 feet
above water. These spans required stagings to build them upon.
These stagings were 220 feet above water, and rested on piles,
driven through 60 feet of water and 60 feet of mud, making the
whole height of the temporary staging 332 feet, or within 30 feet
of the height of Trinity Church steeple, in New York. The time
occupied in building one of these stagings and then erecting the
steel-work upon it was about four months.

The cantilever spans were erected, as shown in the illustration on
page 37, without any stagings at all below, and entirely from the
two overhead travelling scaffolds, shown in the engraving. These
scaffolds were moved out daily from the place of beginning over
the piers, until they met in the centre. The workmen hoisted up
the different pieces of steel from a barge in the river below and
put them into place, using suspended planks to walk upon. The time
saved by this method was so great that one of these spans of 548
feet long was erected in less than four weeks, or one-seventh of
the time which would have been required if stagings had been used.

[Illustration: Pope's Cantilever in Process of Erection. (From his
"Treatise on Bridge Architecture.")]

At the Forth Bridge, all the projecting cantilevers will be built
from overhead scaffolds, 360 feet above the water. It contains two
spans of 1,710 feet each. When spans of this length are used, the
rivets become very long--seven inches--and it would be impossible
to make a good job by hand riveting. Hence a power-riveter is used
in riveting the work upon the staging. A steam-engine raises up a
heavy mass of cast-iron, called "the accumulator;" the weight of
this in descending is transmitted through tubes of water, and its
power increased by contracting the area of pressure, until some
twenty tons can be applied to the head of each rivet. One rivet per
minute can be put in with this tool.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be seen that most of the great saving of time in modern
construction of bridges and other parts of railways is due to
improved machinery. The engineer of to-day is probably not more
skilful than his ancestor, who, in periwig and cue, breeches
and silk stockings, is represented in old prints supervising a
gang of laborers, who slowly lift the ram of a pile-driver by
hauling on one end of a rope passed over a pulley-wheel. The
modern engineer has that useful servant, steam, and the history
of modern engineering is chiefly the history of those inventions
by which steam has been able to supersede manual labor--such as
pile-drivers, steam-shovels, steam-dredges, and other similar tools.

[Illustration: General View of the Poughkeepsie Bridge.]

       *       *       *       *       *

After the road-bed of a railway is completed and covered with a
good coat of gravel or stone-ballast, and after all the temporary
structures have been replaced by permanent ones, that part of the
work may be said to be done, requiring only that the damages of
storms should be repaired. But the track of a railway is never
done. It is always wearing out and always being replaced.

[Illustration: Erection of a Cantilever.]

Some of the early English engineers, not appreciating this,
endeavored to lay down solid stone walls coped with stone cut to a
smooth surface, on which they laid their rails. They called this
"permanent way," as distinguished from the temporary track of rails
and cross-ties used by contractors in building the lines. But
experience soon showed that the temporary track, if supported by
a bed of broken stone, always kept itself drained and was always
elastic, and remained in much better order than the more expensive
so-called "permanent way." When the increase in the weight of our
rolling stock began to take place, dating from about 1870, iron
rails were found to be wearing out very fast. Some railway men
declared that the railway system had reached its full development.
But in this world the supply generally equals the demand. When a
thing is very much wanted, it is sure to come, sooner or later.
The process of making steel invented by, and named after, Henry
Bessemer, of England, and perfected by A. L. Holley, of this
country, gave us a steel rail which at the present time costs
less than one of iron, and has a life five or six times as long,
even under the heavy loads of to-day. We are now approaching very
near the limit of what the rail will carry, while the joints are
becoming less able to do their duty. Bad joints mean rough track.
Rough track means considerably greater expenditure both for its
maintenance and that of all the rolling stock, as the blows and
shocks do reciprocal damage, both to the rails and to that which
runs on them. Hence all railway managers are now devoting more care
and attention to their tracks.

In laying track on a new railway, if it be in an old-settled
country where other railroads are near and the highways good,
the ties are delivered in piles along the line where wanted, and
the haul of the rails is comparatively short. The ties are laid
down, spaced and bedded, adzed off to a true bearing, and the
rails laid upon them; the workmen being divided into gangs, each
doing a different part of the work. After the track is laid, the
ballast-trains come along and cover the roadbed with gravel. The
track is raised, the gravel tamped well under the ties, and the
track is ready for use.

[Illustration: Spiking the Track.]

[Illustration: Rail Making.]

The road is then divided into sections about five miles long. On
each section there is a section-boss, with four to six laborers.
Their duty is to pass over the track at least twice a day in their
hand-car, to examine every joint, and where one is found low or out
of line, to bring it back to its true position by tamping gravel
under it and moving the track. They have also to see that all
ditches are kept clear of water, a most essential point, as without
good drainage the ground under gravel ballast becomes soft, and the
mud is churned up into the gravel, and the whole soon gets into bad

They have to see that the fences are all right, that trees and
telegraph poles do not fall across the track, that wooden bridges
do not burn down, that iron and stone bridges are not undermined by
freshets, and always to set up danger signals to warn the trains.

[Illustration: Track Laying.]

It is admitted by competent judges, that the track of the
Pennsylvania Railroad is the best in this country, and one of the
best in the world. It is kept up to its high standard of excellence
by a system of competitive examinations.

About the first of November, in each year, after the season's work
has been done, a tour of inspection is made over all the lines, on
a train of cars expressly prepared, consisting of two or more cars
not unlike ordinary box cars with the front end taken out. Each car
is pushed in front of an engine, and goes slowly over the line, by
daylight only, so that the inspecting party may have a full view of
the road.

The Pennsylvania road is divided into Grand Divisions,
Superintendents' Divisions, of about 100 miles long, Supervisors'
Divisions, of about 30 miles, and Subdivisions, of 2½ miles.

The examining committee for each Supervisor's Division consists of
the supervisors of other divisions. As they pass along, they mark
on a card. One sub-committee marks the condition of the alignment
and surfacing of the rails; another the condition of the joints
and the spacing of the ties; another the ballast, switches, and
sidings; another the ditches, road-crossings, station grounds.
The marks range from 0 to 10, 0 being very bad, 5 medium, and 10
perfection. When the trip is done these reports are all collected
and the average is taken for each division.

As an inducement to the supervisors and the foremen of the
Subdivisions to excel on their division, premiums are given as

  $100 to the supervisor having the best yard on his Grand Division.

  $100 each to the supervisors having the best Supervisor's
  Division on each Superintendent's Division of 100 miles.

  $75 to the foreman having the best subdivision of 2½ miles on
  each Grand Division.

  $60 to each foreman having the best subdivision on his
  Superintendent's Division, including yards.

  $50 to the foreman having the best subdivision on each
  Supervisor's Division.

In addition to the above there are two premiums of honor given by
the general manager, which bring into competition with each other
those parts of the main line lying on either side of Philadelphia,

  $100 to the supervisor having the best line and surface between
  Pittsburg and Jersey City.

  $50 to the second best ditto.

If a supervisor or foreman of subdivision receives one of the
higher premiums, he is not allowed to be a competitor for any
others premiums, except the premiums of honor.

The advantages of these inspections and premiums are these: Every
man knows exactly what the standard of excellence is, and strives
to have his section reach it. Under the old system, a man never got
off of his own section, and had no means of comparison, and like
all untravelled persons, became conceited.

The standard of excellence becomes higher and higher every year.
Perfect fairness prevails, as the men themselves are the judges.
The officers of the road make no marks, but usually look on and see
that there is fair play.

This brings the officers and men nearer together, and shows the men
how all are working for the common good. An agreeable break is made
in the monotony of the men's lives. They have something to look
forward to better than a spree.

It is by the adoption of such methods as these that strikes will be
prevented in the future. It encourages an _esprit de corps_ among
the men, and educates them in every way.

This system was first devised and put in operation on the
Pennsylvania Railroad in 1879, by Mr. Frank Thomson, General
Manager, to whom the credit of it is justly due.


I have thus endeavored to trace the history of the building of
a railway; and it must have been seen, from what has been said,
that the evolution of the railway and of its rolling stock follows
the same laws which govern the rest of the world: adaptation to
circumstances decides what is fittest, and that alone survives. The
scrap-heap of a great railway tells its own story.

Our railways have now reached a development which is wonderful. The
railways of the United States, if placed continuously, would reach
more than half-way to the moon. Their bridges alone would reach
from New York to Liverpool. Notwithstanding the number of accidents
that we read of in the daily papers, statistics show that less
persons are killed annually on railways than are killed annually by
falling out of windows.

Railways have so cheapened the cost of transportation that, while
a load of wheat loses all of its value by being hauled one hundred
miles on a common road, meat and flour enough to supply one man a
year can, according to Mr. Edward Atkinson, be hauled 1,500 miles
from the West to the East for one day's wages of that man, if he
be a skilled mechanic. If freight charges are diminished in the
future as in the past, this can soon be done for one day's wages of
a common laborer.

The number of persons employed in constructing, equipping, and
operating our railways is about two millions.

The combined armies and navies of the world, while on peace
footing, will draw from gainful occupations 3,455,000 men.

Those create wealth--these destroy it. Is it any wonder that
America is the richest country in the world?

The rapidity with which it is possible to build railways over the
prairies of the West is extraordinary. It is true that the amount
of earth necessary to be moved is much less than on the railways
of the East. In Iowa and Wisconsin, the amount runs from 20,000 to
25,000 yards per mile, while in Dakota it is only 12,000 to 15,000
yards per mile. After making all due allowance for this, the result
is still remarkable.

[Illustration: Temporary Railway Crossing the St. Lawrence on the

The Manitoba system was extended in 1887 through Dakota and
Montana, a distance of 545 miles. A small army of 10,000 men, with
about 3,500 teams, commanded by General D. C. Shepard, of St. Paul,
a veteran engineer and contractor, did it all between April 2 and
October 19. All materials and subsistence had to be hauled to the
front, from the base of supplies. The army slept in its own tents,
shanties, and cars. The grading was cast up from the side ditches,
sometimes by carts, and sometimes by the digging machine.

Everything was done with military organization, except that what
was left behind was a railway and not earth-work lines of defence.
Assuming that this railway, ready for its equipment, cost $15,100
per mile, or $8,175,000, and if it be true, as statisticians tell
us, that every dollar expended in building railways in a new
country adds ten to the value of land and other property, then this
six months' campaign shows a solid increase of the wealth of our
country of over eighty millions of dollars. Had it been necessary
for our Government to keep an army of observation of the same size
on the Canadian frontier, there would have been a dead loss of over
eight millions of dollars, and the only result would have been a
slight reduction of the Treasury surplus.

It must be remembered that this railway was built after the
American system: when the rails were laid, so as to carry trains,
it was not much more than half finished; the track had to be
ballasted, the temporary wooden structures replaced by stone and
iron, and many buildings and miles of sidings were yet to be
constructed. But it began to earn money from the very day the last
rail was laid, and out of its earnings, and the credit thereby
acquired, it will complete itself.

And this is only one instance out of many. The armies of peace are
working all over our country, increasing our wealth, and binding
all parts into a common whole. We have here the true answer to the
Carlyles and the Ruskins who ask: "What is the use of all this? Is
a man any better who goes sixty miles an hour than one who went
five miles an hour?" "Were we not happier when our fields were
covered with their golden harvests, than now, when our wheat is
brought to us from Dakota?"

The grand function of the railway is to change the whole basis of
civilization from military to industrial. The talent, the energy,
the money, which is expended in maintaining the whole of Europe
as an armed camp is here expended in building and maintaining
railways, with their army of two millions of men. Without the
help of railways the rebellion of the Southern States could never
have been put down, and two great standing armies would have
been necessary. By the railways, aided by telegraphs, it is easy
to extend our Federal system over an entire continent, and thus
dispense forever with standing armies.

The moral effect of this upon Europe is great, but its physical
effect is still greater. American railways have nearly abolished
landlordism in Ireland, and they will one day abolish it in
England, and over the continent of Europe. So long as Europe was
dependent for food upon its own fields, the owner of those fields
could fix his own rental. This he can no longer do, owing to the
cheapness of transportation from Australia and from the prairies
of America, due to the inventions of Watt, the Stephensons,
Bessemer, and Holley.

With the wealth of the landlord his political power will pass
away. The government of European countries will pass out of the
hands of the great landowners, but not into those of the rabble,
as is feared. It will pass into the same hands that govern America
to-day--the territorial democracy, the owners of small farms, and
the manufacturers and merchants. When this comes to pass, attempts
will be made to settle international disputes by arbitration
instead of war, following the example of the Geneva arbitration
between the two greatest industrial nations of the world. Whether
our Federal system will ever extend to the rest of the world,
no one knows, but we do know that without railways it would be

When we consider the effects of all these wonderful changes upon
the sum of human happiness, we must admit that the engineer should
justly take rank with statesmen and soldiers, and that no greater
benefactors to the human race can be named than the Stephensons and
their American disciples--Allen, Rogers, Jervis, Winans, Latrobe,
and Holley.


[1] It is proper here to say that English engineers now appreciate
the merits of the American swivelling truck or bogie. In the
article on Railways in the last edition of the "Encyclopædia
Britannica," speaking of locomotives, the author of the article,
who is an English engineer of high authority, says: "American
practice, many years since, arrived at two leading types of
locomotive for passenger, and for goods traffic. The passenger
locomotive has eight wheels, of which four in front are framed in
a bogie, and the four wheels behind are coupled drivers. _This is
the type to which English practice has been approximating._" The
italics are ours.

[2] The statistics of ten leading English and ten leading American
lines, given by Dorsey, show the following results: 1. The cost
per year of the rations, wages, fuel of an American locomotive
is $5,590; of an English locomotive, $3,080. 2. Average yearly
number of train-miles run by American locomotive, 23,928; English
locomotive, 17,539. 3. Yearly earnings: American locomotive,
$14,860; English locomotive, $10,940, although the English freight
charges are much greater than those of the United States.

[3] The writer has obtained many of the statistics used in this
article from A. M. Wellington's "Economic Theory of Railway
Location," a perfect mine of valuable information upon all such

[4] The amount of permanent wood and iron truss bridges, and of
temporary wooden trestles on the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul
is as follows:

  Truss bridges,   700 spans,   average 93 feet,   12-4/5 miles.
  Trestle  "     7,196   "         "    77  "     103-1/10  "
                ------                            --------
        Total,   7,896                            115-9/10  "

The approximate total number of bridges in the United States was in

  Iron and wood truss bridges,   61,562 spans,   1,086 miles.
  Wooden trestles,              147,187          2,127   "
                               --------         ------
      Total,                    208,749          3,213   "

Probably three-fourths of the truss bridges are now of iron
or steel, and may be considered perfectly safe so long as the
trains remain upon the rails and do not strike the side trusses.
The wooden trestles are a constant source of danger from decay
or burning or from derailed trains, and should be replaced by
permanent structures as fast as time and money will allow.

[5] See following article on "Feats of Railroad Engineering," page

[6] For fuller description of work in a caisson see "Feats of
Railway Engineering," page 69.

[7] See "Feats of Railway Engineering," page 55.



  Development of the Rail--Problems for the Engineer--How
  Heights are Climbed--The Use of Trestles--Construction on a
  Mountain Side--Engineering on Rope Ladders--Through the Portals
  of a Cañon--Feats on the Oroya Railroad, Peru--Nochistongo
  Cut--Rack Rails for Heavy Grades--Difficulties in Tunnel
  Construction--Bridge Foundations--Cribs and Pneumatic
  Caissons--How Men work under Water--The Construction of Stone
  Arches--Wood and Iron in Bridge-building--Great Suspension
  Bridges--The Niagara Cantilever and the enormous Forth
  Bridge--Elevated and Underground Roads--Responsibilities of the
  Civil Engineer.

There are one hundred and fifty thousand miles of railway in the
United States: three hundred thousand miles of rails--in length
enough to make twelve steel girdles for the earth's circumference.
This enormous length of rail is wonderful--we do not really grasp
its significance. But the rail itself, the little section of steel,
is an engineering feat. The change of its form from the curious and
clumsy iron pear-head of thirty years ago to the present refined
section of steel is a scientific development. It is now a beam
whose every dimension and curve and angle are exactly suited to the
tremendous work it has to do. The loads it carries are enormous,
the blows it receives are heavy and constant, but it carries the
loads and bears the blows and does its duty. The locomotive and the
modern passenger and freight cars are great achievements; and so is
the little rail which carries them all.

The railway to-day is one of the matter-of-fact associations of
our active life. We use it so constantly that it requires some
little effort to think of it as a wonderful thing; a creation
of man's ingenuity, which did not exist when our grandfathers
were young. Its long bridges, high viaducts, and dark tunnels may
be remarked and remembered by the traveller, but the narrow way
of steel, the road itself, seems but a simple work. And yet the
problem of location, the determination, foot by foot and mile by
mile, of where the line must go, calls in its successful solution
for the highest skill of the engineer, whose profession before the
railway was created hardly existed at all. Locomotives now climb
heights which a few years ago no vehicle on wheels could ascend.
The writer, with some engineer friends, was in the mountains
of Colorado during the summer of 1887, and saw a train of very
intelligent donkeys loaded with ore from the mines, to which no
access could be had but by those sure-footed beasts. Within a year
one of that party of engineers had located and was building a
railway to those very mines. No heights seem too great to-day, no
valleys too deep, no cañons too forbidding, no streams too wide; if
commerce demands, the engineer will respond and the railways will
be built.

The location of the line of a railway through difficult country
requires the trained judgment of an engineer of special experience,
and the most difficult country is not by any means that which might
at first be supposed. A line through a narrow pass almost locates
itself. But the approach to a summit through rolling country is
often a serious problem. The rate of grade must be kept as light
as possible, and must never exceed the prescribed maximum. The
cuttings and the embankments must be as shallow as they can be
made--the quantities of material taken from the excavations should
be just about enough to make adjacent embankments. The curves must
be few and of light radius--never exceeding an arranged limit.
The line must always be kept as direct as these considerations
will allow--so that the final location will give the shortest
practicable economical distance from point to point. Many a mile
of railway over which we travel now at the highest speed has been
a weary problem to the engineer of location, and he has often
accomplished a really greater success by securing a line which
seems to closely fit the country over which it runs without marking
itself sharply upon nature's moulding, than if he had with apparent
boldness cut deep into the hills and raised embankments and
viaducts high over lowlands and valleys.

[Illustration: View Down the Blue from Rocky Point, Denver, South
Park and Pacific Railroad; showing successive tiers of railway.]

But roads must run through many regions where very different
measures must be taken to secure a location practicable for
traffic. For instance, a line at a high elevation approaches a wide
valley which it must cross. The rate of descent is fixed by the
established maximum grade, and the sides of the valley are much
steeper than that rate. Then the engineer must gain distance--that
is to say, he must make the line long enough to overcome the
vertical height. This can often be accomplished by carrying it
up the valley on one side and down on the other. Tributary
valleys can be made use of if necessary, and the desired crossing
thus accomplished. But at times even these expedients will not
suffice. Then the line is made to bend upon itself and wind down
the hillside upon benches cut into the earth, or rock, curving at
points where nature affords any sort of opportunity, and reaching
the valley at last in long convolutions like the path of a great
serpent on the mountain side. These lines often show several tiers
of railway, one directly above the other, as may be seen in the
illustrations on pages 49 and 51.

The long trestle shown in the illustration opposite is an
example of an expedient often of the greatest service in railway
construction. These trestles are built of wood, simply but strongly
framed together, and are entirely effective for the transport of
traffic for a number of years. Then they must be renewed, or, what
is better, be replaced by embankment, which can be gradually made
by depositing the material from cars on the trestle itself. The
trestle illustrated is interesting as conforming to the curve of
the line, which in that country, the mountains of Colorado, was
probably a necessity of location.

       *       *       *       *       *

Where the direct turning of a line upon itself may not be
necessary, there may and often must be bold work done in the
construction of the road upon a mountain side. It must be supported
where necessary by walls built up from suitable foundations,
often only secured at a great depth below the grade of the road.
Projecting points of rock must be cut through, and any practicable
natural shelf or favorable formation must be made use of, as in the
picture on page 61. In some of the mountain locations, galleries
have been cut directly into the rock, the cliff overhanging the
roadway, and the line being carried in a horizontal cut or niche in
the solid wall.

[Illustration: Loop and Great Trestle near Hagerman's, on the
Colorado Midland Railway.]

The Oroya and the Chimbote railways in South America demanded
constant locations of this character. At many points it was
necessary to suspend the persons making the preliminary
measurements from the cliff above. The engineer who made these
locations told the writer that on the Oroya line the galleries
were often from 100 to 400 feet above the base of the cliff, and
were generally reached from above. Rope ladders were used to great
advantage. One 64 feet long and one 106 feet long covered the
usual practice, and were sometimes spliced together. The side
ropes were ¾ and 1¼ inches in diameter, and the rounds of wood 1¼
inches in diameter, and 16 inches and 24 inches long. These were
notched at the ends and passed through the ropes, to which they
were afterward lashed. These ladders could be rolled up and carried
about on donkeys or mules. When swung over the side of a cliff
and secured at the top, and when practicable at the bottom, they
formed a very useful instrument in location and construction. For
simple examination of the cliff, and for rough or broken slopes
not exceeding 70 to 80 degrees, an active fellow would, after some
experience, walk up and down such a slope simply grasping the
rope in his hands. If required to do any work he would secure the
rope about his body, or wind it around his arm, leaving his hands
comparatively free for light work.

The boatswain's chair--consisting of a wooden seat 6 inches wide
and two feet long, through the ends of which pass the side ropes,
looped at the top, and having their ends knotted--is a particularly
convenient seat to use where cliffs overhang to a slight degree.
The riggers were generally Portuguese sailors, who seemed to have
more agility and less fear than any other men to be found. At
Cuesta Blanca, on the Oroya, a prominent discoloration on the cliff
served as a triangulation point for locating the chief gallery.
Men were swung over the side of the cliff in a cage about 2½ feet
by 6 feet, open at the top and on the side next the rock. This
was a peculiar cliff about 1,000 feet high, rising from the river
at a general slope of about 70 degrees. The grade line of the
road was 420 feet above the river. The Chileno miners climbed up
a rope ladder to a large seam near the grade, where they lived;
provisions, water, etc., being hoisted up to them. The first men
sent over the cliff to begin the preliminary work were lowered in
a cage and took their dinners with them, for fear they would not
return to the work, and that unless a genuine start was made others
could not be induced to take their places. It is safe to say that
80 per cent. of the sixty odd tunnels on the Oroya and the seven
tunnels on the Chimbote lines were located and constructed on lines
determined by triangulation, and the results were so satisfactory
that the method may be depended upon as the best system for
determining topographical data or for locating and constructing the
lines in any similar locality.

[Illustration: Denver and Rio Grande Railway Entering the Portals
of the Grand River Cañon, Col.]

Where the rocks close in together, as in some of the cañons of our
Southwest, the railway curves about them and finds its way often
where one would hardly suppose a decent wagon road could be built.
The portals of the Grand River Cañon, as here shown, present such a
line, passing through narrow gateways of rock rising precipitously
on either side to enormous heights.

When such a cañon or a narrow valley directly crosses the line of
the road, it must be spanned by a bridge or viaduct. The Kentucky
River Bridge, shown below, is an instance. The Verrugas Bridge, on
the Lima and Oroya Railroad in Peru, is another. This bridge is at
an elevation of 5,836 feet above sea-level. It crosses a ravine at
the bottom of which is a small stream. The bridge is 575 feet long,
in four spans, and is supported by iron towers, the central one
of which is 252 feet in height. The construction was accomplished
entirely from above, the material all having been delivered at the
top of the ravine, and the erection was made by lowering each piece
to its position. This was done by the use of two wire-rope cables,
suspended across the ravine from temporary towers at each end of
the bridge.

[Illustration: The Kentucky River Cantilever, on the Cincinnati
Southern Railway.]

On the line of the same Oroya Railroad is a striking example of
the difficulties encountered in such mountain country and of
the method by which they have been overcome. A tunnel reaches a
narrow gorge, a truss is thrown across, and the tunnel continued.
Nature's wildest scenery, the deep ravine, the mountain cliffs, and
the graceful truss carrying the locomotive and train safely over
what would seem an impossible pass, here combine to give a vivid
illustration of an engineering feat.

[Illustration: Truss over Ravine, and Tunnel, Oroya Railroad, Peru.]

The location of a part of the Mexican Central Railway through the
cut of Nochistongo is peculiarly interesting. Far underneath the
level of this line of railway there was skilfully constructed,
in 1608, a tunnel which at that period was a very bold piece of
engineering. It was designed to drain the Valley of Mexico, which
has no natural outlet. This tunnel was more than six miles long
and ten feet wide. It was driven through the formation called
_tepetate_, a peculiar earth with strata of sand and marl. It was
finished in eleven months. At first excavated without a lining, it
was afterward faced with masonry. It was not entirely protected
when a great flood came, the dikes above gave way, and the tunnel
became obstructed. The City of Mexico was flooded, and it was
decided that, instead of repairing the tunnel an open cut should be
made. The engineer who had constructed the tunnel, Enrico Martinez,
was put in charge of this enormous undertaking, and others took his
place after his death. The cut is believed to be the largest ever
made in the world. For more than a century the work was continued.
Its greatest depth is now 200 feet. It was cut deeper, but has
partially filled with the washings from the slopes. The cost
was enormous, more than 6,000,000 dollars in silver having been
actually disbursed! Wages for workmen were then from 9 to 12 cents
a day. All convicts sentenced to hard labor were put at work in the
great cut. The loss of life was very great. Writers of the time
state that more than 100,000 Indians perished while engaged in the

[Illustration: The Nochistongo Cut, Mexican Central Railway.]

[Illustration: The Mount Washington Rack Railroad.]

When a line of railway encountered a grade too steep for ascent
by the traction of the locomotive, the earlier engineers adopted
the inclined plane. Such planes were in use at important points
during many years. Notable instances were those by which traffic
was carried across the Alleghany Mountains, connecting on each side
with the Pennsylvania railway lines. These old planes are still
visible from the present Pennsylvania Railroad where it crosses
the summit west of Altoona. The planes were operated by stationary
engines acting upon cables attached to the cars. These cables
passed around drums at the head of the planes, the weight of the
cars on one track partially balancing those on the other. Similar
planes were in use also at Albany, Schenectady, and other places.

[Illustration: Trestle on Portland and Ogdensburg Railway, Crawford
Notch, White Mountains.]

Another effective expedient is the central rack rail. No better
or more successful example of this method of construction can be
given than the Mount Washington Railway, illustrated above. The
road was completed in 1869. Its length is 3-1/3 miles and its
total rise 3,625 feet. Its steepest grade is about 1 foot rise in
every 3 feet in length; the average grade is 1 in 4. It is built
of heavy timber, well bolted to the rock. Low places are spanned
by substantial trestle work. The gauge of the road is 4 feet 7½
inches, and it is provided with the two ordinary rails and also the
central rack rail, which is really like an iron ladder, the sides
being of angle iron and the cross-pieces of round iron 1½ inches in
diameter and 4 inches apart. Into these plays the central cog-wheel
on the locomotive, which thus climbs this iron ladder with entire
safety. Very complete arrangements are made to control the descent
of the train in case of accident to the machinery. The locomotive
is always below the train, and pushes it up the mountain. Many
thousands of passengers have been transported every year without

[Illustration: A Series of Tunnels.]

The rack railroad ascending the Righi, in Switzerland, was
copied after the Mount Washington line. Some improvements in the
construction of the rack rail and attachments have been introduced
upon mountain roads in Germany, and this system seems very
advantageous for use in exceptionally steep locations.

       *       *       *       *       *

When a line of railway meets in its course a barrier of rock, it
is often best to cut directly through. If the grade is not too
far below the surface of the rock, the cut is made like a great
trench with the sides as steep as the nature of the material will
allow. Very deep cuts are, however, not desirable. The rains
bring down upon their slopes the softer material from above, and
the frost detaches pieces of rock which, falling, may result in
serious accidents to trains. Snow lodges in these deep cuts, at
times entirely stopping traffic, as in the blizzard near New York,
in March, 1888. A tunnel, therefore, while perhaps greater in
first cost than a moderately deep cut, is really often the more
economical expedient.

[Illustration: Tunnel at the Foot of Mount St. Stephen, on the
Canadian Pacific.

(The glacier 8,200 feet above the Railway.)]

[Illustration: Peña de Mora

on the La Guayra and Carácas Railway, Venezuela.]

And here is as good a place, perhaps, as any other in this chapter,
to say that true engineering is the economical adaptation of
the means and opportunities existing, to the end desired. Civil
engineering was defined, by one of the greatest of England's
engineers, as "the art of directing the great sources of
power in nature for the use and convenience of man," and that
definition was adopted as a fundamental idea in the charter of
the English Institution of Civil Engineers. But the development
of engineering-works in America has been effected successfully by
American engineers only because they have appreciated another side
of the problem presented to them. A past president of the American
Society of Civil Engineers, a man of rare judgment and remarkable
executive ability, the late Ashbel Welch, said, in discussing a
great undertaking proposed by an eminent Frenchman: "That is the
best engineering, not which makes the most splendid, or even the
most perfect, work, but that which makes a work that answers the
purpose well, at the least cost." And it may be remarked, as to
the project which he was then discussing, that after a very large
expenditure and an experience of eight years since that discussion,
the plans of the work were modified and the identical suggestions
made by Mr. Welch of a radical economical change were adopted
in 1888.[8] Another eminent American engineer, whose practical
experience has been gained in the construction and engineering
supervision of more than five thousand miles of railway, said,
in his address as President of the American Society of Civil
Engineers: "The high object of our profession is to consider and
determine the most economic use of time, power, and matter."

[Illustration: Perspective View of St. Gothard Spiral Tunnels, in
the Alps.]

That true economy, which finally secures in a completed work the
best results from the investment of capital, in first cost and
continued maintenance, is an essential element in the consideration
of any really great engineering feat.

       *       *       *       *       *

The difficulties involved in the construction of a tunnel, after
the line and dimensions have been determined, depend generally
upon the nature of the material found as the work advances. Solid
rock presents really the fewest difficulties, but it is seldom
that tunnels of considerable length occur without meeting material
which requires special provision for successful treatment. In some
cases great portions of the rock, where the roof of the tunnel is
to be, press downward with enormous weight, being detached from the
adjacent mass by the occurrence of natural seams.

At other places soft material may be encountered, and the passage
then is attended with great difficulty. Temporary supports,
generally of timber, and of great strength, have often to be used
at every foot of progress to prevent the material from forcing its
way into the excavation already made.

In long tunnels the ventilation is a difficult problem, although
the use of compressed air drills has aided greatly in its solution.

[Illustration: Plan of St. Gothard Spiral Tunnels.]

Among the great tunnels which have been excavated, the St. Gothard
is the most remarkable. It is 9¼ miles long, with a section
26¼ feet wide by 19-2/3 feet high. The work on this tunnel was
continuous, and it required 9¼ years for its completion.

The Mont Cenis tunnel, 8-1/3 miles in length, was completed in 12

[Illustration: Profile of the Same.]

The Hoosac Tunnel, 4¾ miles in length, 26 feet wide and 21½ feet
high, was not prosecuted continuously; it was completed in 1876.
These tunnels are notable chiefly on account of their great length;
there are others of more moderate extent which have peculiar
features; one, illustrated on the preceding page, is unique. This
tunnel is a portion of the St. Gothard Railway, and not very far
distant from the great tunnel referred to above. In the descent
of the mountain it was absolutely necessary to secure a longer
distance than a straight line or an ordinary curve would give;
the line was therefore doubly curved upon itself. It enters the
mountain at a high elevation, describes a circle through the rock
and, constantly descending, reappears under itself at the side;
still descending, it enters the mountain at another point and
continues in another circular tunnel until it finally emerges
again, under itself, but at a comparatively short horizontal
distance from its first entry, having gained the required descent
by a continued grade through the tunnels. The profile above shows
the descent, upon a greatly reduced scale, the heavy lines marking
where the line is in the tunnel.

[Illustration: Portal of a Finished Tunnel; showing Cameron's Cone,

[Illustration: Portal of a Tunnel in Process of Construction.]

The remarkable success achieved by engineers in securing suitable
foundations at great depths is, of course, hardly known to the
thousands who constantly see the structures supported on those
foundations, but in any fair consideration of such engineering
achievements this must not be omitted. The beautiful bridge
built by Captain Eads over the Mississippi River at St. Louis,
bold in its design and excellent in its execution, is an object
of admiration to all who visit it, but the impression of its
importance would be greatly magnified if the part below the surface
of the water, which bears the massive towers, and which extends to
a depth twice as great as the height of the pier above the water,
could be visible.

[Illustration: Railway Pass at Rocky Point in the Rocky Mountains.]

The simplest and most effective foundation is, of course, on solid
rock. In many localities reliable foundations are built upon
earth, when it exists at a suitable depth and of such a character
as properly to sustain the weight. Foundations under water, when
rock or good material occurs at moderate depth, are constructed
frequently by means of the coffer-dam, which is simply an enclosure
made water-tight and properly connected with the bottom of the
stream. The water is then pumped out and the foundation and
masonry built within this temporary dam. When the material is not
of a character to sustain the weight, the next expedient is the
use of piles, which are driven into the ground, often to a very
considerable depth, and sustain the load placed upon them by the
friction upon the sides of the piles of the material in which they
are driven. It is seldom that dependence is placed upon the load
being transferred from the top to the point of the pile, even
though the point may have penetrated to a comparatively solid
material. Wood is generally used for piles, and where the ground
is permanently saturated there seems to be hardly any known limit
to its durability. The substructure of foundations, where it is
certain that they will always be in contact with water, can be,
and generally is, of wood, and the permanency of such foundations
is well established. An exception to this, however, occurs in
salt-water, particularly in warmer countries, where the ravages
of the minute _Teredo Navalis_, and of the still more minute
_Limnoria Terebrans_, destroy the wood in a very short period of
time. These insects, however, do not work below the ground-line or
bed of the water. In many special cases hollow iron piles are used

[Illustration: Bridge Pier Founded on Piles.]

The ordinary method of forcing a pile into the ground is by
repeated blows of a hammer of moderate weight; better success
being obtained by frequent blows of the hammer, lifted to a slight
elevation, than results from a greater fall, there being danger
also in the latter case of injuring the material of the pile. The
use of the water-jet for sinking piles, particularly in sand, is
interesting. A tube, generally of ordinary gas-pipe, open at the
lower end, is fastened to the pile; the upper end is connected by
a hose to a powerful pump and, the pile being placed in position
on the surface of the sand, water is forced through the tube and
excavates a passage for the pile, which, by the application of
very light pressure, descends rapidly to the desired depth. The
stream of water must be continuous, as it rises along the side of
the pile and keeps the sand in a mobile state. Immediately upon
the cessation of pumping, the sand settles about the pile, and it
is sometimes quite impossible to afterward move it. The water-jet
is used in sinking iron piles by conducting the water through the
interior of the hollow pile and out of a hole at its point. The
piles of the great iron pier at Coney Island were sunk with great
celerity in this way. The illustration opposite shows one of the
piers of a bridge founded upon wooden piling.

In many cases it would be impossible to drive piling in such a way
as to insure the durability of the structure above it. This is
particularly true of the foundations of structures crossing many
of our rivers, where the bottom is of material which, in time of
flood, sometimes scours to very remarkable depths; the material
often being replaced when the flood has subsided. The expedient
adopted is the pneumatic tube, or the caisson. Both are merely
applications of the well-known principle of the diving-bell. In
the former case hollow iron tubes, open at the bottom, are sunk to
considerable depths, the water being expelled by air pumped into
the tubes at a pressure sufficient to resist the weight of the
water. Entrance to the tubes is obtained by an air-lock at the top,
the material is excavated from the inside, and sufficient weight
placed upon the tube to force it gradually to the desired depth.
When that depth is attained, the tubes are filled with concrete,
and thus solid pillars of hydraulic concrete, surrounded by
cast-iron tubing, are obtained.

The pneumatic caisson is an enlargement of this idea of the
diving-bell. The caisson is simply a great chamber or box, open
at the bottom; the outside bottom edges are shod and cased with
iron so as to give a cutting surface; the roof and sides are made
of timber, thoroughly bolted together, and of such strength as to
resist the pressure of the structure to be finally founded upon it.
The chamber in the open bottom is of sufficient height to enable
the laborers to work comfortably in it. This caisson is generally
constructed upon the shore in the vicinity of the structure and
towed to the point where the foundation is to be sunk. Air is
supplied by powerful pumps and is forced into the working chamber.
The pressure of the air of course increases constantly as the
caisson descends; it must always be sufficient to overbalance the
weight of the water and thus prevent the water from entering the

Descent to the caisson is made through a tube, generally of wrought
iron, and having, at a suitable point, an air-lock, which is
substantially an enlargement of the tube, forming a chamber, and of
sufficient size to accommodate a number of men. This air-lock is
provided with doors or valves at the top and at the bottom, both
opening downward, and also with small tubes connecting the air-lock
with the chamber below and with the external air above. Entrance
to the caisson is effected through this air-lock. The lower door,
or valve, being at the bottom, closes and is kept closed by the
pressure of the air in the caisson below. After the air-lock is
entered the upper door or valve is shut, and held shut a few
moments, and the tube connecting with the outer air is closed; a
small valve in the tube connecting with the caisson is then opened
gradually and the pressure in the air-lock becomes the same as
that in the chamber below; as soon as this is effected the valve,
or door, at the bottom of the air-lock falls open and the air-lock
becomes really a part of the caisson.

[Illustration: Pneumatic Caisson.]

A sufficient force of men is employed in the chamber to gradually
excavate the material from its whole surface and from under the
cutting edge, and the masonry structure is founded upon the top
of the caisson and built gradually, so as to give constantly a
sufficient weight to carry the whole construction down to its final
location upon the stable foundation, which may be the bed-rock or
may be some strata of permanent character.

The problem of lighting the chamber was until recently of
considerable difficulty. The rapid combustion under great pressure
made the use of lamps and candles very troublesome, particularly on
account of the dense smoke and large production of lampblack.

The introduction of the electric light has greatly aided in the
more comfortable prosecution of pneumatic foundation work.

[Illustration: Transverse Section of Pneumatic Caisson.]

The removal of rock, or any large mass, from the caisson is
effected through the air-chamber; but the removal of finer
material, as sand or earth, is accomplished by the sand pump or
by the pressure of the air. A tube, extending from the top of
the masonry and kept above the surface by additions, as may be
required, enters the working chamber and is controlled by proper
valves. Lines of tubing and hose extend to all portions of the
chamber. A slight excavation is made and kept filled with water.
The bottom of the tube, or the hose connected with it, is placed in
this excavation, and, the material being agitated so as to be in
suspension in the water, the valve is opened, and the pressure of
the air throws the water and the material held in suspension to the
surface, through the tube, from the end of which it is projected
with great velocity and may be deposited at any desired adjacent
point. This method, however, exhausts the air from the caisson too
rapidly for continuous service. The Eads sand-pump is therefore
generally used. This is an ingenious apparatus, somewhat the same
in principle as the injector which forces water into steam-boilers.
A stream of water is thrown by a powerful pump through a tube
which, at a point near the inlet for the excavated material, is
enlarged so as to surround another tube. The water is forced upward
with great velocity into the second tube, through a conical annular
opening, and, expelling the atmosphere, carries with it to the
surface a continuous stream of sand and water from the bottom of
the excavation.

This system has been used successfully in the foundations of piers
and abutments of bridges in all parts of the world. The rapidity
of the descent of the caisson varies with the material through
which it has to pass. The speed with which such foundations are
executed is remarkable, when one remembers with what delicacy and
intelligent supervision they have to be balanced and controlled. In
some instances it has been necessary to carry them to great depths,
one at St. Louis being 107 feet below ordinary water level in the

The pressure of air in caissons at these depths is very great; at
110 feet below the surface of the water it would be 50 pounds to
the square inch. Its effect upon the men entering and working in
the caisson has been carefully noted in various works, and these
effects are sometimes very serious; the frequency of respiration
is increased, the action of the heart becomes excited, and many
persons become affected by what is known as the "caisson disease,"
which is accompanied by extreme pain and in some cases results
in more or less complete paralysis. The careful observations of
eminent physicians who have given this disease special attention
have resulted in the formulation of rules which have reduced the
danger to a minimum.

[Illustration: At Work in a Pneumatic Caisson--fifty feet below the
surface of the water.]

The execution of work within a deep pneumatic caisson is worth a
moment's consideration. Just above the surface of the water is a
busy force engaged in laying the solid blocks of masonry which are
to support the structure. Great derricks lift the stones and lay
them in their proper position. Powerful pumps are forcing air,
regularly and at uniform pressure, through tubes to the chamber
below. Occasionally a stream of sand and water issues with such
velocity from the discharge pipe that, in the night, the friction
of the particles causes it to look like a stream of living fire.
Far below is another busy force. Under the great pressure and
abnormal supply of oxygen they work with an energy which makes it
impossible to remain there more than a few hours. The water from
without is only kept from entering by the steady action of the
pumps far above and beyond their control. An irregular settlement
might overturn the structure. Should the descent of the caisson
be arrested by any solid under its edge, immediate and judicious
action must be taken. If the obstruction be a log, it must be cut
off outside the edge and pulled into the chamber. Boulders must be
undermined and often must be broken up by blasting. The excavation
must be systematic and regular. A constant danger menaces the lives
of these workers, and the wonderful success with which they have
accomplished what they have undertaken is entitled to notice and

[Illustration: Pier of Hawkesbury Bridge, Australia.]

Another process, which has succeeded in carrying a foundation to
greater depths than is possible with compressed air, is by building
a crib or caisson, with chambers entirely open at the top, but
having the alternate ones closed at the bottom and furnished with
cutting edges. These closed chambers are weighted with stone or
gravel until the structure rests upon the bottom of the river;
the material is then excavated from the bottom through the open
chambers, by means of dredges, thus permitting the structure
to sink by its weight to the desired depth. When that depth is
reached, the chambers which have been used for dredging are filled
with concrete, and the masonry is constructed upon the top of this
structure. The use of this system has enabled the engineer to place
foundations deeper than has been accomplished by any other device,
one recently built in Australia being 175 feet below the surface of
the water. The illustrations above and on page 76 show this method
of construction.

[Illustration: Foundation Crib of the Poughkeepsie Bridge.]

Even more remarkable than the pneumatic caisson is this method
of sinking these great foundations. The removal of material must
be made with such systematic regularity that the structure shall
descend evenly and always maintain its upright position. The dredge
is handled and operated entirely from the surface. The very idea
is startling, of managing an excavation more than a hundred feet
below the operator, entirely by means of the ropes which connect
with the dredge, and doing it with such delicacy that the movement
of an enormous structure, weighing many tons, is absolutely
controlled. This is one of the latest and most interesting advances
of engineering skill.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Transverse Section of the same.]

While it is true that the avoidance of large expenditure, when
possible, is a mark of the best engineering, yet great structures
often become absolutely necessary in the development of railway
communication. Wide rivers must be crossed, deep valleys must be
spanned, and much study has been given to the best methods of
accomplishing these results. In the early history of railways
in Europe substantial viaducts of brick and stone masonry were
generally built; and in this country there are notable instances of
such constructions. The approach to the depot of the Pennsylvania
Railroad, in the city of Philadelphia, is an excellent example.
Each street crossed by the viaduct is spanned by a bold arch of
brick. Upon a number of our railways there are heavy masonry arches
and culverts, and at some places these are of a very interesting
character. The arches in the approach to the bridge over the Harlem
Valley (recently completed) are shown above. They are of granite,
having a span of 60 feet. The illustration shows also the method
of supporting the stone work of such arches during construction.
Braced timbers form what is called the centre, and support the
curved frame of plank upon which the masonry is built, which, of
course, cannot be self-supporting until the keystone is in place;
then the centre is lowered by a loosening of the wedges which
support it, and the stone work of the arch is permitted to assume
its final bearing. It is generally considered that where it is
practicable to construct masonry arches under railways there is a
fair assurance of their permanency, but some engineers of great
experience in railway construction advance the theory that the
constant jar and tremor produced by passing railway trains is
really more destructive to masonry work than has been supposed,
and that it may be true that the elements of the best economy will
be found in metal structures rather than in masonry. It is a fact
that repairs and renewals of metal bridges are much more easily
accomplished than of masonry constructions.

[Illustration: Granite Arched Approach to Harlem River Bridge in
Process of Construction.]

In this country the wooden bridge has been an important, in fact an
essential element in the successful building of our railways.

Timber is also used extensively in railroad construction in the
form of trestles; one example of which has been alluded to on
page 50. There were also constructed, years ago, some very bold
viaducts in wood. One of the most interesting is shown above, being
the viaduct at Portage, N. Y. This construction was over 800 feet
long, and 234 feet high from the bed of the river to the rail. The
masonry foundations were 30 feet high, the trestles 190 feet, and
the truss 14 feet; it contained more than a million and a half
feet, board measure, of timber. The timber piers, which were 50
feet apart, are formed by three trestles, grouped together. It was
framed so that defective pieces could be taken out and replaced
at any time. This bridge was finished in 1852 and was completely
destroyed by fire in 1875. The new metal structure which took
its place is shown on the opposite page, and is an interesting
example of the American method of metal viaduct construction, an
essential feature of that construction being the concentration of
the material into the least possible number of parts. This bridge
has ten spans of 50 feet, two of 100 feet, and one of 118 feet. The
trusses are of what is called the Pratt pattern, and are supported
by wrought-iron columns, two pairs of columns forming a skeleton
tower 20 feet wide and 50 feet long on the top. There are six of
these towers, one of which has a total height from the masonry to
the rail of 203 feet 8 inches. There are over 1,300,000 pounds of
iron in this structure.

[Illustration: The Old Portage Viaduct, Erie Railway, N. Y.]

The fundamental idea of a bridge is a simple beam of wood. If metal
is substituted it is still a beam with all superfluous parts cut
away. This results in what is called an I beam. When greater loads
have to be carried, the I beam is enlarged and built up of metal
plates riveted together and thus becomes a plate girder. These are
used for all short railway spans. For greater spans the truss must
be employed.

[Illustration: The New Portage Viaduct.]

Before referring, however, to examples of truss bridges, a
description should be given of the Britannia Bridge, built by
Robert Stephenson in 1850, over the Menai Straits. This great
construction carries two lines of rails and is built of two square
tubes, side by side, each being continuous, 1,511 feet long,
supported at each extremity and at three intermediate points,
and having two spans of 460 feet each and two spans of 230 feet
each. The towers which support this structure are of very massive
masonry, and rise considerably above the top of the tubes. These
tubes are each 27 feet high and 14 feet 8 inches wide; they are
built up of plate iron, the top and bottom being cellular in
construction, and the sides of a single thickness of iron. The
tubes for the long spans were built on shore and floated to the
side of the bridge and then lifted by hydraulic presses to their
final position. The rapid current, and other considerations, made
the erection of false works for these spans impracticable. The
beautiful suspension bridge, built by Telford in 1820, over the
Menai Straits, is only a mile away from this Britannia Bridge, but,
at the time of the construction of the latter, it was not deemed
possible by English engineers to erect a suspension bridge of
sufficient strength and stability to accommodate railway traffic.

[Illustration: The Britannia Tubular Bridge over the Menai Straits,
North Wales.]

The Victoria Bridge at Montreal is of the same general character
of construction as the Britannia Bridge, but is built only for a
single line of rails; this bridge also was built by Mr. Stephenson,
in 1859. These two structures were enormous works; their strength
is undoubted, but they lack that element of permanent economy which
has been spoken of in this article; their cost was very great, and
the expense of maintenance is also very great. A very large amount
of rust is taken from these tubes every year; they require very
frequent painting, and there are on the Victoria Bridge 30 acres of
iron surface to be thus painted.

[Illustration: Old Stone Towers of the Niagara Suspension Bridge.]

A remarkable and interesting contrast to these heavy tubes of
iron is the Niagara Falls railway suspension bridge, completed in
March, 1855. The span of this bridge is 821 feet, and the track
is 245 feet above the water surface. It is supported by 4 cables
which rested on the tops of two masonry towers at each end of
the central span, the ends of the cables being carried to and
anchored in the solid rock. The suspended superstructure has two
floors, one above the other, connected together at each side by
posts and truss rods, inclined in such a manner as to form an open
trussed tube, not intended to support the load, but to prevent
excessive undulations. The floors are suspended from the cables
by wire ropes, the upper floor carrying the railroad track, and
the lower forming a foot and carriage way. Each cable has 3,640
iron wires. This bridge carried successfully a heavy traffic for
26 years; it was then found that some repairs to the cable were
required at the anchorage, the portions of the cables exposed to
the air being in excellent condition. These repairs were made,
and the anchorage was substantially reinforced. At the same time
it was found that the wooden suspended superstructure was in
bad condition, and this was entirely removed and replaced by a
structure of iron, built and adjusted in such a manner as to secure
the best possible results. For some time it had been noticed that
the stone towers which supported the great cables of the bridge
showed evidences of disintegration at the surface, and a careful
engineering examination in 1885 showed that these towers were in
a really dangerous condition. The reason for this was that the
saddles over which the cables pass on the top of the towers had
not the freedom of motion which was required for the action of the
cables, caused by differences of temperature and by passing loads.
These saddles had been placed upon rollers but, at some period,
cement had been allowed to be put between these rollers, thus
preventing their free motion. The result was a bending strain upon
the towers which was too great for the strength and cohesion of
the stone. A most interesting and successful feat was accomplished
in the substitution of iron towers for these stone towers, without
interrupting the traffic across the bridge. This was accomplished
within a year or two by building a skeleton iron tower outside of
the stone tower, and transferring the cables from the stone to the
iron tower by a most ingenious arrangement of hydraulic jacks.
The stone towers were then removed. Thus, by the renewal of its
suspended structure and the replacing of its towers, the bridge has
been given a new lease of life and is in excellent condition to-day.

[Illustration: The New Iron Towers of the Same.]

This Niagara railway suspension bridge has been so long in
successful operation that it is difficult now to appreciate the
general disbelief in the possibility of its success as a railway
bridge, when it was undertaken. It was projected and executed
by the late John A. Roebling. Before it was finished, Robert
Stephenson said to him, "If your bridge succeeds, mine is a
magnificent blunder." The Niagara bridge did succeed.

[Illustration: Below the Brooklyn Bridge.

From a painting by J. H. Twachtman.]

We are so familiar with the great suspension bridge between New
York and Brooklyn, that only a simple statement of some of
its characteristic features will be given. Its clear span is
1,595½ feet. With its approaches its length is 3,455 feet. The
clear waterway is 135 feet high. The towers rise 272 feet above
high water and extend on the New York side down to rock 78 feet
below. The four suspension cables are of steel wire and support
six parallel steel trusses, thus providing two carriage ways, two
lines of railway, and one elevated footway. The cables are carried
to bearing anchorages in New York and in Brooklyn. The cars on the
bridge are propelled by cables, and the amount of travel is now
so great as to demand some radical changes in the methods for its
accommodation, which a few years ago were supposed to be ample.

Except under special circumstances of location or length of span,
the truss bridge is a more economical and suitable structure for
railway traffic than a suspension bridge.

The advance from the wood truss to the modern steel structure has
been through a number of stages. Excellent bridges were built
in combinations of wood and iron, and are still advocated where
wood is inexpensive. Then came the use of cast iron for those
portions of the truss subject only to compressive strains, wrought
iron being used for all members liable to tension. Many bridges
of notable spans were built in this way and are still in use.
The form of this combination truss varied with the designs of
different engineers, and the spans extended to over three hundred
feet. The forms bore the names of the designers, and the Fink, the
Bollman, the Pratt, the Whipple, the Post, the Warren, and others
had each their advocates. The substitution of wrought for cast
iron followed, and until quite recently trusses built entirely of
wrought iron have been used for all structures of great span. The
latest step has been made in the use of steel, at first for special
members of a truss and latterly for the whole structure. The art
of railway bridge building has thus, in a comparatively few years,
passed through its age of wood, and then of iron, and now rests in
the application of steel in all its parts.

Two distinct ways of connecting the different parts of a structure
are in common use, riveting and pin connections.

In riveted connections the various parts of the bridge are fastened
at all junctions by overlapping the plates of iron or steel and
inserting rivets into holes punched through all the plates to be
connected. The rivets are so spaced as to insure the best result
as to strength. The pieces of metal are brought together, either
in the shop or at the structure during erection, and the rivets,
which are round pieces of metal with a head formed on one end,
are heated and inserted from one side, being made long enough to
project sufficiently to give the proper amount of metal for forming
the other head. This is done while the rivet is still hot, either
by hammering or by the application of a riveting machine, operated
by steam or hydraulic pressure. Ingenious portable machines are
now manufactured which are hung from the structure during erection
and connected by flexible hose with the steam power, by the use of
which the rivet heads can be formed in place with great celerity.
The connections of plates by rivets of proper dimensions and
properly spaced give great strength and stiffness to such joints.

In pin connections the members of a structure are assembled at
points of junction and a large iron or steel pin inserted in
a pin-hole running through all the members. This pin is made
of such diameter as to withstand and properly transmit all the
strains brought upon it. Joints made with such pin connections
have flexibility, and the strains and stresses can be calculated
with great precision. Eye-bars are forged pieces of iron or steel,
generally flat, and enlarged at the ends so as to give a proper
amount of metal around the pin-hole or eye, formed in those ends.

Structures connected by pins at their principal junctions have, of
course, many parts in which riveting must be used.

The elements which are distinctively American in our railway
bridges are the concentration of material in few members and
the use of eye-bars and pin connections in place of riveted
connections. The riveted methods are, however, largely used in
connection with the American forms of truss construction.

[Illustration: Truss Bridge of the Northern Pacific Railway over
the Missouri River at Bismarck, Dak.--Testing the central span.]

An excellent example of an American railway truss bridge is shown
on the opposite page. This structure spans the Missouri River at
its crossing by the Northern Pacific Railroad. It has three through
spans of 400 feet each and two deck spans of 113 feet each. The
bottom chords of the long spans are 50 feet above high water,
which at this place is 1,636 feet above the level of the sea. The
foundations of the masonry piers were pneumatic caissons. The
trusses of the through spans, 400 feet long, are 50 feet deep and
22 feet between centres. They are divided into 16 panels of 25 feet
each. The truss is of the double system Whipple type, with inclined
end posts. The bridge is proportioned to carry a train weighing
2,000 pounds per lineal foot, preceded by two locomotives weighing
150,000 pounds in a length of 50 feet. The pins connecting the
members of the main truss are 5 inches in diameter.

This bridge is a characteristic illustration of the latest type
of American methods. The extreme simplicity of its lines of
construction, the direct transfer of the strains arising from
loads, through the members, to and from the points where those
strains are concentrated in the pin connections at the ends of each
member, are apparent even to the untechnical eye. The apparent
lightness of construction arising from the concentration of the
material in so small a number of members, and the necessarily great
height of the truss, give a grace and elegance to the structure,
and suggest bold and fine development of the theories of mechanics.

[Illustration: Curved Viaduct, Georgetown, Col.; the Union Pacific
crossing its own Line.]

An interesting viaduct is shown in the above illustration, where
the railway crosses its own line on a curved truss.

The truss bridges which have been mentioned as types of the modern
railway bridge are erected by the use of false works of timber,
placed generally upon piling or other suitable foundation, between
the piers or abutments, and made of sufficient strength to carry
each span of the permanent structure until it is completed and all
its parts connected, or, as is technically said, until the span
is swung. Then the false works are removed and the span is left
without intermediate support. But there are places where it would
be impossible or exceedingly expensive to erect any false works. A
structure over a valley of great depth, or over a river with very
rapid current, are instances of such a situation.

A suspension bridge would solve the problem, but in many cases not
satisfactorily. The method adopted by Colonel C. Shaler Smith at
the Kentucky River Bridge [p. 55] shows ingenuity and boldness
worthy of special remark. The Cincinnati Southern Railroad had
here to cross a cañon 1,200 feet wide and 275 feet deep. The
river is subject to freshets every two months, with a range of 55
feet and a known rise of 40 feet in a single night. Twenty years
before, the towers for a suspension bridge had been erected at
this point. The design adopted for the railroad bridge was based
upon the cantilever principle. The structure has three spans of
375 feet each, carrying a railway track at a height of 276 feet
above the bed of the river. At the time of its construction this
was the highest railway bridge in the world, and it is still the
highest structure of the kind with spans of over 60 feet in length.
The bridge is supported by the bluffs at its ends and by two
intermediate iron piers resting upon bases of stone masonry. Each
iron pier is 177 feet high, and consists of four legs, having a
base of 71½ × 28 feet, and terminating at its top in a turned pin
12 inches in diameter under each of the two trusses. Each iron pier
is a structure complete in itself, with provision for expansion and
contraction in each direction through double roller beds interposed
between it and the masonry, and is braced to withstand a gale of
wind that would blow a loaded freight-train bodily from the bridge.

The trusses were commenced by anchoring them back to the old
towers, and were then built out as cantilevers from each bluff to
a distance of one-half the length of the side spans, and at this
point rested upon temporary wooden supports. Thence they were again
extended as cantilevers until the side spans were completed and
rested upon the iron piers. This cantilever principle is simply the
balancing of a portion of the structure on one side of a support by
the portion on the opposite side of the same support. Similarly the
halves of the middle span were built out from the piers, meeting
with exactness in mid-air. The temporary support used first at
the centre of one side span and then at the other, was the only
scaffolding used in erecting the structure, none whatever being
used for the middle span.

When the junction was made at the centre of the middle span, the
trusses were continuous from bluff to bluff, and, had they been
left in this condition, would have been subjected to constantly
varying strains resulting from the rise and fall of the iron piers
due to thermal changes. This liability was obviated by cutting the
bottom chords of the side spans and converting them into sliding
joints at points 75 feet distant from the iron piers. This done,
the bridge consists of a continuous girder 525 feet long, covering
the middle span of 375 feet, and projecting as cantilevers for 75
feet beyond each pier, each cantilever supporting one end of a
300-foot span, which completes the distance to the bluff on each

[Illustration: The Niagara Cantilever Bridge in Progress.]

A most interesting example of cantilever construction is the
railway bridge built several years ago at Niagara, only a few rods
from the suspension bridge and a short distance below the great
falls. It is shown in the illustrations above and on page 91. The
floor of the bridge is 239 feet above the surface of the water,
which at that point has a velocity in the centre of 16½ miles per
hour and forms constant whirlpools and eddies near the shores.
The total length of the structure is 910 feet, and the clear span
over the river between the towers is 470 feet. The shore arms of
the cantilever, that is to say, those portions of the structure
which extend from the top of the bank to the top of the tower built
from the foot of the bank, are firmly anchored at their shore
ends to a pier built upon the solid rock. These shore-arms were
constructed on wooden false works, and serve as balancing weights
to the other or river arms of the lever, which project out over
the stream. These river-arms were built by the addition of metal,
piece by piece, the weight being always more than balanced by
the shore-arms. The separate members of the river-arms were run
out on the top of the completed part and then lowered from the
end by an overhanging travelling derrick, and fastened in place
by men working upon a platform suspended below. This work was
continued, piece by piece, until the river-arm of each cantilever
was complete, and the structure was then finished by connecting
these river-arms by a short truss suspended from them directly
over the centre of the stream. This whole structure was built in
eight months, and is an example both of a bold engineering work
and of the facility with which a pin-connected structure can be
erected. The materials are steel and iron. The prosecution of this
work by men suspended on a platform, hung by ropes from a skeleton
structure projecting, without apparent support, over the rushing
Niagara torrent, was always an interesting and really thrilling

[Illustration: The Niagara Cantilever Bridge Completed.]

The Lachine Bridge recently built over the St. Lawrence near
Montreal, illustrated below, has certain peculiar features. It has
a total length of 3,514 feet. The two channel spans are each 408
feet in length and are through spans. The others are deck spans.
Through spans are those where the train passes between the side
trusses. Deck spans are those where the train passes over the top
of the structure. These two channel spans and the two spans next
them form cantilevers, and the channel spans were built out from
the central pier and from the adjacent flanking spans without the
use of false works in either channel. A novel method of passing
from the deck to the through spans has been used, by curving the
top and bottom chords of the channel spans to connect with the
chords of the flanking spans. The material is steel.

[Illustration: The Lachine Bridge, on the Canadian Pacific Railway,
near Montreal, Canada.]

This structure, light, airy, and graceful, forms a strong contrast
to the dark, heavy tube of the Victoria Bridge just below.

The enormous cantilever Forth Bridge, with its two spans of 1,710
feet each, is in steady progress of construction and will when
completed mark a long step in advance in the science of bridge

Of entirely different design and principle from all these trusses
are the beautiful steel arches of the St. Louis Bridge [p. 95], the
great work of that remarkable genius, James B. Eads. This structure
spans the Mississippi at St. Louis. Difficult problems were
presented in the study of the design for a permanent bridge at that
point. The river is subject to great changes. The variation between
extreme low and high water has been over 41 feet. The current
runs from 2¾ to 8½ miles per hour. It holds always much matter
in suspension, but the amount so held varies greatly with the
velocity. The very bed of the river is really in constant motion.
Examination by Captain Eads in a diving-bell showed that there was
a moving current of sand at the bottom, of at least three feet in
depth. At low water, the velocity of the stream is small and the
bottom rises. When the velocity increases, a "scour" results and
the river-bed is deepened, sometimes with amazing rapidity. In
winter the river is closed by huge cakes of ice from the north,
which freeze together and form great fields of ice.

It was decided to be necessary that the foundations should
go to rock, and they were so built. The general plan of the
superstructure, with all its details, was elaborated gradually and
carefully, and the result is a real feat of engineering. There are
three steel arches, the centre one having a span of 520 feet and
each side arch a span of 502 feet. Each span has four parallel
arches or ribs, and each arch is composed of two cylindrical steel
tubes, 18 inches in exterior diameter, one acting as the upper
and the other as the lower chord of the arch. The tubes are in
sections, each about twelve feet long, and connected by screw
joints. The thickness of the steel forming the tubes runs from
1-3/16 to 2-1/8 inches. These upper and lower tubes are parallel
and are 12 feet apart, connected by a single system of diagonal
bracing. The double tracks of the railroad run through the bridge
adjacent to the side arches at the elevation of the highest point
of the lower tube. The carriage road and footpaths extend the full
width of the bridge and are carried, by braced vertical posts, at
an elevation of twenty-three feet above the railroad. The clear
headway is 55 feet above ordinary high water. The approaches on
each side are masonry viaducts, and the railway connects with the
City Station by a tunnel nearly a mile in length. The illustration
shows vividly the method of erection of these great tubular ribs.
They were built out from each side of a pier, the weight on one
side acting as a counterpoise for the construction on the other
side of the pier. They were thus gradually and systematically
projected over the river, without support from below, till they met
at the middle of the span, when the last central connecting tube
was put in place by an ingenious mechanical arrangement, and the
arch became self-supporting.

The double arch steel viaduct recently built over the Harlem Valley
in the city of New York [p. 97] has a marked difference from the
St. Louis arches in the method of construction of the ribs. These
are made up of immense voussoirs of plate steel, forming sections
somewhat analogous to the ring stones of a masonry arch. These
sections are built up in the form of great I beams, the top and
bottom of the I being made by a number of parallel steel plates
connected by angle pieces with the upright web, which is a single
piece of steel. The vertical height of the I is 13 feet. The span
of each of these arches is 510 feet. There are six such parallel
ribs in each span, connected with each other by bracing. These
great ribs rest upon steel pins of 18 inches diameter, placed at
the springing of the arch. The arches rise from massive masonry
piers, which extend up to the level of the floor of the bridge.
This floor is supported by vertical posts from the arches and is
a little above the highest point of the rib. It is 152 feet above
the surface of the river--having an elevation fifty feet greater
than the well-known High Bridge, which spans the same valley
within a quarter of a mile. The approaches to these steel arches
on each side are granite viaducts carried over a series of stone
arches. The whole structure forms a notable example of engineering
construction. It was finished within two years from the beginning
of work upon its foundations, the energy of its builders being
worthy of special commendation.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The St. Louis Bridge during Construction.]

[Illustration: The 510-feet Span Steel Arches of the New Harlem
River Bridge, New York, during construction.]

In providing for the rapid transit of passengers in great
cities the two types of construction successfully adopted are
represented by the New York Elevated and the London Underground
railways. The New York Elevated is a continuous metal viaduct,
supported on columns varying in height so as to secure easy grades.
The details of construction differ greatly at various parts of the
elevated lines, those more recently built being able to carry much
heavier trains than the earlier portions. The roads have been very
successful in providing the facilities for transit so absolutely
necessary in New York. The citizens of that city are alive to the
present necessity of adding very soon to those facilities, and it
is now only a question of the best method to be adopted to secure
the largest results in a permanent manner.

The London Underground road has also been very successful. Its
construction was a formidable undertaking. Its tunnels are not
only under streets but under heavy buildings. Its daily traffic is
enormous. The difficult question in its management is, as in all
long tunnels, that of ventilation, but modern science will surely
solve that, as it does so many other problems connected with the
active life of man.

[Illustration: London Underground Railway Station.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Many broad questions of general policy, and innumerable matters of
detail are involved in the development of railway engineering. In
the determination, for instance, of the location, the relations
of cost and construction to future business, the possibilities
of extensions and connections, the best points for settlements
and industrial enterprises, the merits and defects of alternative
routes must be weighed and decided.

Where structures are to be built, the amount and delicacy of detail
requisite in their design and execution can hardly be described.
Final pressures upon foundations must be ascertained and provided
for. Accurate calculations of strains and stresses, involving
the application of difficult processes and mechanical theories,
must be made. The adjustment of every part must be secured with
reference to its future duty. Strength and safety must be assured
and economy not forgotten. Every contingency must, if possible, be
anticipated, while the emergencies which arise during every great
construction demand constant watchfulness and prompt and accurate

The financial success of the largest enterprises rests upon
such practical application of theory and experience. Even more
weighty still is the fact that the safety of thousands of human
lives depends daily upon the permanency and stability of railway
structures. Such are some of the deep responsibilities which are
involved in the active work of the Civil Engineer.


[8] Reference is made to the substitution of locks in the Panama
Canal for the original project of a canal at the sea-level.



  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1830--Evolution of the Car
  from the Conestoga Wagon--Horatio Allen's Trial Trip--The
  First Locomotive used in the United States--Peter Cooper's
  Race with a Gray Horse--The "De Witt Clinton," "Planet," and
  other Early Types of Locomotives--Equalizing Levers--How Steam
  is Made and Controlled--The Boiler, Cylinder, Injector, and
  Valve Gear--Regulation of the Capacity of a Locomotive to
  Draw--Increase in the Number of Driving Wheels--Modern Types of
  Locomotives--Variation in the Rate of Speed--The Appliances by
  which an Engine is Governed--Round-houses and Shops--Development
  of American Cars--An Illustration from Peter Parley--The Survival
  of Stage Coach Bodies--Adoption of the Rectangular Shape--The
  Origin of Eight-wheeled Cars--Improvement in Car Coupling--A
  Uniform Type Recommended--The Making of Wheels--Relative Merits
  of Cast and Wrought Iron, and Steel--The Allen Paper Wheel--Types
  of Cars, with Size, Weight, and Price--The Car-Builder's

Among the readers of this volume there will be some who have
reached the summit of the "divide" which separates the spring
and summer of life from its autumn and winter, and whose first
information about railroads was received from Peter Parley's "First
Book of History," which was used as a schoolbook forty or fifty
years ago. In his chapter on Maryland, he says:

  But the most curious thing at Baltimore is the railroad. I must
  tell you that there is a great trade between Baltimore and the
  States west of the Alleghany Mountains. The western people buy a
  great many goods at Baltimore, and send in return a great deal of
  western produce. There is, therefore, a vast deal of travelling
  back and forth, and hundreds of teams are constantly occupied in
  transporting goods and produce to and from market.[9]

  Now, in order to carry on all this business more easily, the
  people are building what is called a railroad. This consists of
  iron bars laid along the ground, and made fast, so that carriages
  with small wheels may run along upon them with facility. In this
  way, one horse will be able to draw as much as ten horses on a
  common road. A part of this railroad is already done, and if you
  choose to take a ride upon it, you can do so. You will mount a
  car something like a stage, and then you will be drawn along by
  two horses, at the rate of twelve miles an hour.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Conestoga Wagon and Team. (From a recent

The picture reproduced below (Fig. 2) of a car drawn by horses
was given with the above description of the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad. The mutilated copy of the book from which the engraving
and extract were copied does not give the date when it was written
or published. It was probably some time between the years 1830 and
1835. That the car shown in the engraving was evolved from the
Conestoga wagon is obvious from the illustrations.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, 1830-35.]

This engraving and description, made for children, more than
fifty years ago, will give some idea of the state of the art of
railroading at that time; and it is a remarkable fact that the
present wonderful development and the improvements in railroads and
their equipments in this country have been made during the lives of
persons still living.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Boston & Worcester Railroad, 1835.]

In the latter part of 1827, the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company
put the Carbondale Railroad under construction. The road extends
from the head of the Delaware & Hudson Canal at Honesdale, Pa., to
the coal mines belonging to the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company
at Carbondale, a distance of about sixteen miles. This line was
opened, probably in 1829, and was operated partly by stationary
engines, and partly by horses. The road is noted chiefly for being
the one on which a locomotive was first used in this country. This
was the "Stourbridge Lion," which was built in England under the
direction of Mr. Horatio Allen, who afterward was president of the
Novelty Works in New York, and who is still (1889) living near New
York at the ripe age of eighty-seven. Before the road was opened,
he had been a civil engineer on the Carbondale line. In 1828 Mr.
Allen went to England, the only place where a locomotive was then
in daily operation, to study the subject in all its practical
details. Before leaving this country he was intrusted by the
Delaware & Hudson Canal Company with the commission to have rails
made for that line, and to have three locomotives built on plans
to be decided by him when in England. This, it must be remembered,
was before the celebrated trial of the "Rocket" on the Liverpool
& Manchester Railway, which was not made until 1829. Previous to
that trial, it had not been decided what type of boiler was the
best for locomotives. The result of Mr. Allen's investigations was
to produce in his mind a decided confidence in the multitubular
boiler which is now universally used for locomotives. Other persons
of experience recommended a boiler with small riveted flues of as
small diameter as could be riveted. An order was therefore given
to Messrs. Foster, Rastrick & Co., at Stourbridge, for one engine
whose boiler was to have riveted flues of comparatively large
size, and another order was given to Messrs. Stephenson & Co., of
Newcastle-on-Tyne, for two locomotives with boilers having small
tubes. The engine built by Foster, Rastrick & Co. was named the
"Stourbridge Lion." It was sent to this country and was tried at
Honesdale, Pa., on August 9, 1829. On its trial trip it was managed
by Mr. Allen, to whom belongs the distinction of having run the
first locomotive that was ever used in this country. In 1884 he
wrote the following account of this trip:

  When the time came, and the steam was of the right pressure,
  and all was ready, I took my position on the platform of the
  locomotive alone, and with my hand on the throttle-valve handle
  said: "If there is any danger in this ride it is not necessary
  that the life and limbs of more than one should be subjected to
  that danger."

  The locomotive, having no train behind it, answered at once to
  the movement of the hand; ... soon the straight line was run
  over, the curve was reached and passed before there was time
  to think as to its not being passed safely, and soon I was
  out of sight in the three miles' ride alone in the woods of
  Pennsylvania. I had never run a locomotive nor any other engine
  before; I have never run one since.

[Illustration: Horatio Allen.]

The two engines contracted for with Messrs. Stephenson & Co. were
made by them, and Mr. Allen has informed the writer that they were
built on substantially the same plans that were afterward embodied
in the famous "Rocket." They were shipped to New York and for a
time were stored in an iron warehouse on the east side of the city,
where they were exhibited to the public. They were never sent to
the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's road, and it is not now known
whatever became of them. If they had been put to work on their
arrival here the use of engines of the "Rocket" type would have
been anticipated on this side the Atlantic.

The first railroad which was undertaken for the transportation of
freight and passengers in this country, on a comprehensive scale,
was the Baltimore & Ohio. Its construction was begun in 1828. The
laying of rails was commenced in 1829, and in May, 1830, the first
section of fifteen miles from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills was
opened. It was probably about this time that the animated sketch
of the car given by Peter Parley was made. From 1830 to 1835 many
lines were projected, and at the end of that year there were over a
thousand miles of road in use.

Whether the motive power on these roads should be horses or steam
was for a long time an open question. The celebrated trial of
locomotives on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, in England, was
made in 1829. Reports of these trials, and of the use of locomotive
engines on the Stockton & Darlington line, were published in this
country, and, as Mr. Charles Francis Adams says, "The country,
therefore, was not only ripe to accept the results of the Rainhill
contest, but it was anticipating them with eager hope." In 1829 Mr.
Horatio Allen, who had been in England the year before to learn all
that could then be learned about steam locomotion, reported to the
South Carolina Railway Company in favor of steam instead of horse
power for that line. The basis of that report, he says, "Was on the
broad ground that in the future there was no reason to expect any
material improvement in the breed of horses, while, in my judgment,
the man was not living who knew what the breed of locomotives was
to place at command."

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Peter Cooper's Locomotive, 1830.]

As early as 1829 and 1830, Peter Cooper experimented with a little
locomotive on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (Fig. 4). At a meeting
of the Master Mechanics' Association in New York, in 1875--at the
Institute which bears his name--he related with great glee how on
the trial trip he had beaten a gray horse, attached to another car.
The coincidence that one of Peter Parley's horses is a gray one
might lead to the inference that it was the same horse that Peter
Cooper beat, a deduction which perhaps has as sound a basis to rest
on as many historical conclusions of more importance.

The undeveloped condition of the art of machine construction at
that time is indicated by the fact that the flues of the boiler of
this engine were made of gun-barrels, which were the only tubes
that could then be obtained for the purpose. The boiler itself is
described as about the size of a flour-barrel. The whole machine
was no larger than a hand-car of the present day.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--"South Carolina," 1831, and Plan of its
Running Gear.]

In the same year that Peter Cooper built his engine, the South
Carolina Railway Company had a locomotive, called the "Best
Friend," built at the West Point Foundry for its line. In 1831
this company had another engine, the "South Carolina" (Fig. 5),
which was designed by Mr. Horatio Allen, built at the same shop.
It was remarkable in having eight wheels, which were arranged in
two trucks. One pair of driving-wheels, _D D_ and _D′ D′_, and a
pair of leading-wheels, _L L_ and _L′ L′_, were attached to frames,
_c d e f_ and _g h i j_, which were connected to the boiler by
kingbolts, _K K′_, about which the trucks could turn. Each pair of
driving-wheels had one cylinder, _C C′_. These were in the middle
of the engine and were connected to cranks on the axles _A_ and _B_.

The "De Witt Clinton" (Fig. 6) was built for the Mohawk & Hudson
Railroad, and was the third locomotive made by the West Point
Foundry Association. The first excursion trip was made with
passengers from Albany to Schenectady, August 9, 1831. This is
the engine shown in the silhouette engraving of the "first[10]
railroad train in America" which in recent years has been so widely
distributed as an advertisement.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--The "De Witt Clinton," 1831.]

In 1831 the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company offered a premium
of $4,000 "for the most approved engine which shall be delivered
for trial upon the road on or before the 1st of June, 1831; and
$3,500 for the engine which shall be adjudged the next best." The
requirements were as follows:

  The engine, when in operation, must not exceed three and one-half
  tons weight, and must, on a level road, be capable of drawing day
  by day fifteen tons, inclusive of the weight of wagons, fifteen
  miles per hour.

In pursuance of this call upon American genius, three locomotives
were produced, but only one of these was made to answer any
useful purpose. This engine, the "York," was built at York, Pa.,
and was brought to Baltimore over the turnpike on wagons. It was
built by Davis & Gartner, and was designed by Phineas Davis,
of that firm, whose trade and business was that of a watch and
clock maker. After undergoing certain modifications, it was found
capable of performing what was required by the company. After
thoroughly testing this engine, Mr. Davis built others, which were
the progenitors of the "grasshopper" engines (Fig. 7) which were
used for so many years on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It is a
remarkable fact that three of these are still in use on that road,
and have been in continuous service for over fifty years. Probably
there is no locomotive in existence which has had so long an
_active_ life.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--"Grasshopper" Locomotive. (From an old

In August, 1831, the locomotive "John Bull," which was built by
George & Robert Stephenson & Company, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
was received in Philadelphia, for the Camden & Amboy Railroad &
Transportation Company. This is the old engine which was exhibited
by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company at the Centennial Exhibition
in 1876. After the arrival of the "John Bull" a very considerable
number of locomotives which were built by the Stephensons were
imported from England. Most of them were probably of what was known
as the "Planet" class (Fig. 8), which was a form of engine that
succeeded the famous "Rocket."

The following quotation is from "The Early History of Locomotives
in this Country," issued by the Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works:

  These locomotives, which were imported from England, doubtless
  to a very considerable extent, furnished the types and patterns
  from which those which were afterward built here were fashioned.
  But American designs very soon began to depart from their
  British prototypes, and a process of adaptation to the existing
  conditions of the railroads in this country followed, which
  afterward "differentiated" the American locomotives more and more
  from those built in Great Britain. A marked feature of difference
  between American and English locomotives has been the use of a
  "truck" under the former.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--The "Planet."]

In all of the locomotives which have been illustrated, excepting
the "South Carolina," the axles were held by the frames so that
the former were always parallel to each other. In going around
curves, therefore, there was somewhat the same difficulty that
there would be in turning a corner with an ordinary wagon if both
its axles were held parallel, and the front one could not turn on
the kingbolt. The plan of the wheels and running gear of the "South
Carolina" shows the position that they assumed on a curved track
(Fig. 5). It will be seen that, by reason of their connection to
the boiler by kingbolts, _K K′_, the two pairs of wheels could
adjust themselves to the curvature of the rails. This principle
was afterward applied to cars, and nearly all the rolling-stock in
this country is now constructed on this plan, which was proposed
by Mr. Allen in a report dated May 16, 1831, made to the South
Carolina Canal & Railroad Company; and an engine constructed on
this principle was completed the same year.

In the latter part of the year 1831 the late John B. Jervis
invented what he called "a new plan of frame, with a
bearing-carriage for a locomotive engine," for the use of the
Mohawk & Hudson Railroad. Jervis's engine is shown by Figure 9. In
a letter published in the _American Railroad Journal_ of July 27,
1833, he described the objects aimed at in the use of the truck as

  The leading objects I had in view, in the general arrangement
  of the plan of the engine, did not contemplate any improvement
  in the power over those heretofore constructed by Stephenson &
  Company,[11] but to make an engine that would be better adapted
  to railroads of less strength than are common in England; that
  would travel with more ease to itself and to the rail on curved
  roads; that would be less affected by inequalities of the rail,
  than is attained by the arrangement in the most approved engines.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--John B. Jervis's Locomotive, 1831, and Plan
of its Running Gear.]

In Jervis's locomotive the main driving-axle, _A_, shown in the
plan of the wheels and running gear, was rigidly attached to the
engine-frame, _a b c d_, and only one truck, or "bearing-carriage,"
_e f g h_, consisting of the two pairs of small wheels attached to
a frame, was used. This was connected to the main engine-frame by a
kingbolt, _K_, as in Allen's engine.

The position of its wheels on a curve, and the capacity of the
truck, or "bearing-carriage," to adapt itself to the sinuosities of
the track are shown in the plan. The effectiveness of the single
truck for locomotives, in accomplishing what Mr. Jervis intended
it for, was at once recognized, and its almost general adoption on
American locomotives followed.

In 1834, Ross Winans, of Baltimore, patented the application of the
principle which Mr. Allen had proposed and adopted for locomotives
"to passenger and other cars." He afterward brought a number of
actions at law against railroads for infringement of his patent,
which was a subject of legal controversy for twenty years. Winans
claimed that his invention originated as far back as 1831, and was
completed and reduced to practice in 1834. The dispute was finally
carried to the Supreme Court of the United States, and was decided
against the plaintiff, after an expenditure of as much as $200,000
by both sides. It involved the principle on which nearly all cars
in this country are now and were then built; and, as one of the
counsel for the defendants has said, "It was at one time a question
of millions, to be assured by a verdict of a jury."

In 1836, Henry R. Campbell, of Philadelphia, patented the use of
two pairs of driving-wheels and a truck, as shown in Figure 10. The
driving-wheels were coupled by rods, as may be seen below. This
plan has since been so generally adopted in this country that it
is now known as the "American type" of locomotive, and is the one
almost universally used here for passenger, and to a considerable
extent for freight, service. An example of a modern locomotive of
this type is represented by Figure 11.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Campbell's Locomotive.]

From these comparatively small beginnings, the magnificent
equipment of our railroads has grown. From Peter Cooper's
locomotive, which weighed less than a ton, with a boiler the
size of a flour-barrel, and which had difficulty in beating a
gray horse, we now have locomotives which will easily run sixty
and can exceed seventy miles an hour, and others which weigh
seventy-five tons and over. A comparison of the engraving of Peter
Cooper's engine with that of the modern standard express passenger
locomotive (Fig. 11) shows vividly the progress which has been made
since that first experiment was tried--little more than half a
century ago. In that period there have been many modifications in
the design of locomotives to adapt them to the changed conditions
of the various kinds of traffic of to-day. An express train
travelling at a high rate of speed requires a locomotive very
different from one which is designed for handling heavy freight
trains up steep mountain grades. A special class of engines is
built for light trains making frequent stops, as on the elevated
railroads in New York, and those provided for suburban traffic
(Fig. 12)--and still others for street railroads (Fig. 13), for
switching cars at stations (Fig. 14), etc. [Pp. 110 and 113]. The
process of differentiation has gone on until there are now as many
different kinds of these machines as there are breeds of dogs or

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--A Typical American Passenger Locomotive.]

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Locomotive for Suburban Traffic. By the
Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia.]

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Locomotive for Street Railway. By the
Baldwin Locomotive Works.]

Nearly all the early locomotives had only four wheels. In some
cases one pair alone was used to drive the engine, and in others
the two pairs were coupled together, so that the adhesion of all
four could be utilized to draw loads. The four-wheeled type is
still used a great deal for moving cars at stations, and other
purposes where the speed is comparatively slow. But to run around
sharp curves the wheels of such engines must be placed near
together, just as they are under an ordinary street-car. This
makes the wheel-base very short, and such engines are therefore
very unsteady at high speeds, so that they are unsuited for any
excepting slow service. They have the advantage, though, that the
whole weight of the machine may be carried on the driving-wheels,
and can thus be useful for increasing their friction, or adhesion
to the rails. This gives such engines an advantage for starting and
moving heavy trains, at stations or elsewhere, which is the kind of
service in which they are usually employed.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Four-wheeled Switching Locomotive. By the
Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia.]

If the front end of the engine is carried on a truck, as in
Campbell's plan (Fig. 10)--which is the one that has been very
generally adopted in this country--the wheel-base can be extended
and at the same time the front wheels can adjust themselves to
the curvature of the track. This gives the running-gear lateral
flexibility. But as the tractive power of a locomotive is dependent
upon the friction, or adhesion of the wheels to the rails, it is
of the utmost importance that the pressure of the wheels on the
rails should be uniform. For this reason the wheels must be able
to adjust themselves to the vertical as well as the horizontal
inequalities of the track.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Driving Wheels, Frames, Spurs, etc., of
American Locomotive.]

Figure 15 shows the driving-wheels, axles, journal-boxes, and
part of the frame and springs of an American type of engine--the
circumference of the wheels only being shown. The axles _A A_ each
have journal-boxes or bearings, _B B_, in which they turn. These
boxes are held between the jaws _J J J J_ of the frames, and can
slide vertically in the spaces _c c c c_ between the jaws. The
frames are suspended on springs, _S S_, which bear on the boxes
_B B_. The vertical motion of the boxes and the flexibility of
the springs allow the wheels to adjust themselves to some extent
to the unevenness of the track. But, in order to distribute the
weight equally on the two wheels, the springs _S S_ on each side
of the engine are connected together by an equalizing lever, _E
E_. These levers each have a fulcrum, _F_, in the middle, and are
connected by iron straps or hangers, _h h_, to the springs. It is
evident that any strain or tension on one spring is transferred by
the equalizing lever to the other spring, and thus the weight is
equalized on both wheels.

But to give perfect vertical adjustment of such an engine to the
track, still another provision must be made. Everyone has observed
that a three-legged stool will always stand firm on any surface,
no matter how irregular, but one with four legs will not. Now if
the back end of a locomotive should rest on the fulcrums of the
equalizing levers, as shown in Figure 15, and the front end should
rest on the two sides of the truck, it would be in the condition
of the four legged stool. Therefore, instead of resting on the two
sides of the truck, locomotives are made to bear on the centre of
it, so that they are carried on it and on the two fulcrums of the
equalizing levers, which gives the machine the adjustability due
to the three-legged principle. When more than four driving-wheels
are used the springs are connected together by equalizing levers,
as shown in Figure 29 (p. 124), which represents a consolidation
engine as it appears before the wheels are put under it.

Having a vehicle which is adapted to running on a railroad track,
it remains to supply the motive power. This, in all but some very
few exceptional cases, is the expansive power of steam. What
the infant electricity has in store for us it would be rash to
predict, but for locomotives its steps have been thus far weak and
uncertain, and when we want a giant of steel or a race-horse of
iron our only sure reliance is steam. This is the breath of life
to the locomotive, which is inhaled and exhaled to and from the
cylinders, which act as lungs, while the boiler fulfils functions
analogous to the digestive organs of an animal. A locomotive is
as dependent on the action of its boiler for its capacity for
doing work as a human being on that of his stomach. The mechanical
appliances of the one and the mental and physical equipment of the
other are nugatory without a good digestive apparatus.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Longitudinal Section of a Locomotive

Fig. 17.--Transverse Section.]

A locomotive boiler consists of a rectangular fireplace or
fire-box, as shown at _A_, in Figure 16, which is a longitudinal
section, and Figure 17 a transverse section through the fire-box.
The fire-box is connected with the smoke-box _B_ by a large number
of small tubes, _a a_, through which the smoke and products of
combustion pass from the fire-box to the smoke-box, and from the
latter they escape up the chimney _D_. The fire-box and tubes are
all surrounded with water, so that as much surface as possible is
exposed to the action of the fire. This is essential on account of
the large amount of water which must be evaporated in such boilers.
To create a strong draught, the steam which is exhausted from the
cylinders is discharged up the chimney through pipes, and escapes
at _e_. This produces a partial vacuum in the smoke-box, which
causes a current of air to flow through the fire on the grate, into
the fire-box, through the tubes, and thence to the smoke-box and up
the chimney. Probably many readers have noticed, that of late years
the smoke-boxes of locomotives have been extended forward in front
of the chimneys. This has been done to give room for deflectors
and wire netting inside to arrest sparks and cinders, which are
collected in the extended front and are removed by a door or spout,
_L_, below.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Rudimentary Injector.]

To get the water into the boiler against the pressure of steam a
very curious instrument, called an injector, has been devised.
Formerly force-pumps were used, but these are now being abandoned.
The illustration (Fig. 18) shows what may be called a rudimentary
injector. _B_ is a boiler and _E_ a conical tube open at its
lower end--and connected to a water-supply tank by a pipe, _C_.
A pipe, _A_, is connected with the steam-space of the boiler and
terminates in a contracted mouth, _F_, inside of the cone _E_. If
steam is admitted to _A_, it flows through the pipe and escapes at
_F_. In doing so it produces a partial vacuum in _E_, and water
is consequently drawn up the pipe _C_ from the tank. The current
of steam now carries with it the water, and they escape at _G_.
After flowing for a few seconds the water has a high velocity and
the steam, mingling with the water, is condensed. The momentum
of the water soon becomes sufficient to force the valve _H_ down
against the pressure below it, and the jet of water then flows
continuously into the boiler. A very curious phenomenon of this
somewhat mysterious instrument is that if steam of a low pressure
is taken from one boiler it will force water into another against a
higher pressure. Figure 19 is a section of an actual injector used
on locomotives.

[Illustration: Fig. 19.--Injector used on Locomotives.]

Having explained how the steam is generated, it remains to show
how it propels a locomotive. It does this very much as a person on
a bicycle propels it--that is, by means of two cranks the wheels
are made to revolve, and the latter must then either slip or the
vehicle will move. In a locomotive the driving-wheels are turned
by means of two cylinders and pistons, which are connected by
rods to the cranks attached to the driving-wheels or axles. These
cranks are placed at right angles to each other, so that when one
of them is at the "dead-point" the piston connected with the other
can exert its maximum power to rotate the wheels. This enables the
locomotive to start with the pistons in any position; whereas,
if one cylinder only was used it would be impossible to turn the
wheels if the crank should stop at one of its dead-points.

It will probably interest a good many readers to know how the
steam gets into the cylinders and moves the pistons and then gets
out again, and how a locomotive is made to run either backward or
forward at pleasure.

Figure 20 (p. 118) shows a section of a cylinder, _A A′_, with
the piston _B_ and piston rod _R_. The cylinder has two passages,
_c c_ and _d d_, which connect its ends with a box, _U_, called a
steam-chest, to which steam is admitted from the boiler by a pipe,
_J_. The two passages _c_ and _d_ have another one, _g_, between
them, which is connected with the chimney. These passages are
covered by a slide-valve, _V_, which moves back and forth in the
steam-chest, alternately uncovering the openings _c_ and _d_. When
the valve is in the position shown in Figure 20, obviously steam
can flow into the front end _A_ of the cylinder through the passage
_c_, as indicated by the darts. The valve has a cavity, _H_,
underneath it. When this cavity is over the passage _d_ and _g_,
it is plain that the steam in the back end _A′_ of the cylinder
can flow through _d_ and _g_ and then escape up the chimney. Under
these circumstances the steam in the front end _A_ of the cylinder
will force the piston _B_ to the back end. When it reaches the back
end of the cylinder the valve is moved into the position shown in
Figure 21, and steam can then enter _d_ and will fill the back end
_A′_ while that in the front end escapes through _c_ and _g_. The
piston is then forced to the front end by the pressure of the steam
behind it. It will thus be seen that the steam enters and escapes
to and from the cylinder through the same openings.

[Illustration: Figs. 20 (above) and 21.--Sections of a Locomotive

From what has been said it is obvious, too, that every time the
piston moves from one end of the cylinder to the other the valve
must also be moved back and forth in the steam-chest. This is done
by what is called an eccentric.

An "eccentric" is a disk or wheel (Fig. 22) with a hole, _S_,
the size of the axle of the locomotive to which it is attached.
The centre _n_ of the outside periphery of the eccentric is some
distance from _S_, the centre of the shaft. A metal ring, _K K_
(Fig. 23), made in two halves, embraces the eccentric, and the
latter revolves inside of this ring. A rod, _L_, is attached to
the strap, and is connected with the valve so that the motion of
the eccentric is communicated to it. It is obvious that if the
eccentric revolves it will impart a reciprocating motion to the rod
_L_, which is communicated to the valve.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.--Eccentric.

Fig. 23.--Eccentric and Strap.]

If properly adjusted on the axle the eccentric will run the engine
in one direction. To run the opposite way another eccentric must
be provided. Therefore locomotives always have two eccentrics for
each cylinder. These, _J_ and _K_, are shown in Figure 24, which
represents the "valve-gear" of a locomotive. _S_ is a section of
the main driving-axle, to which the eccentrics are attached by
keys or screws. _C_ is the eccentric rod of the forward-motion
eccentric and _D_ that of the one for running backward. As a
locomotive must be run either backward or forward, and, as the
one eccentric moves the valve to run forward and the other to run
backward, we must be able to connect or disconnect the rods to and
from the valve at will. The eccentric rods of the early locomotives
had hooks on the ends by which they were attached to or detached
from suitable pins connected with the valves. But these hooks were
very uncertain in their action and therefore were abandoned, and
now what is known as the "link-motion" is almost universally used
for the valve-gear of locomotives. It consists of a "link" (_a b_,
Fig. 24) which has a curved opening or slot, _k_, in it in which
a block, _B_, fits accurately, so that it can slide from end to
end of the link. This block has a hole bored in the middle which
receives a pin, _c_, which is attached to the end of the arm _N_
of the "rocker" _M O N_. The rocker has a shaft, _O_, which can
turn in a suitable bearing, and two arms, _M_ and _N_; the latter,
as explained, is connected to the link by the pin _c_ and block
_B_. The upper arm _M_ has another pin, _V_, on its end, which
is connected by a rod, _v V_, to the main slide-valve _V_. The
rocker-arms, as will be seen, can vibrate about the shaft _O_.

[Illustration: Fig. 24.--Valve Gear.]

The link is hung by a pendulous bar, _g h_, to the end _g_ of
the arm _E_, attached to the shaft _A_. This shaft has another
upright arm, _F_, which is connected by a rod or bar, _G G′_, to
a lever, _H I_, called a reverse lever, whose fulcrum is at _I_.
To save room, in the engraving this lever and the cylinder _G_ are
drawn nearer to the main axle _S_ than they would be on an engine.
The lever is located inside the cab of the locomotive, and is
indicated by the numbers 17 17′ in Figure 36 on p. 133, which is a
view looking from the tender at the back end of a locomotive. The
lever has a trigger (_t_, Fig. 24) which is connected by a rod,
_r_, to a latch, _l_, which engages in the notches of the sector _S
S′_. This latch holds the lever in any desired position and can be
disengaged from the notches by grasping the upper end of the lever
and the trigger.

It is plain that, by moving the upper end of the reverse lever, the
link _a b_ can be raised up or lowered at will. When the link is
down, or in the position represented in the engraving, the forward
eccentric rod imparts its motion to the block _B_, pin _c_, and
thence to the rocker and valve, and the engine will run forward.
If, however, the reverse lever is thrown back into the position
indicated by the dotted line _J I_, the link would then be raised
up so that the end _e_ of the backward-motion rod would be opposite
to the block _B_ and pin _c_ and would communicate its motion to
the rocker and valve, and the wheels would then be turned backward
instead of forward. It will thus be seen how the movement of the
reverse lever effects the reversal of the engine.

A locomotive is started by admitting steam to the cylinders by
means of what is called the "throttle-valve." This is usually
placed in the upper part of the boiler at _T_ (Fig. 16). The valve
is worked by a lever at _l_, which is also shown at 14, 14′ (Fig.
36). The steam is conveyed to the cylinders by a pipe (_s_, Fig.
16, p. 115).

If steam is admitted to the cylinders and the wheels are turned,
one of two results must follow: either the locomotive will move
backward or forward according to the direction of revolution, or
the wheels will slip, as they often do, on the rails. That is, if
the resistance of the cars or train is less than the friction or
"adhesion" of the wheels on the rails, the engine and train will be
moved; if the adhesion is less than the resistance the wheels will
turn without moving the train.

The capacity of a locomotive to draw loads is therefore dependent
on the adhesion, and this is in proportion to the weight or
pressure of the driving-wheels on the rails. The adhesion also
varies somewhat with the weather and the condition of the wheels
and rails. In ordinary weather it is equal to about one-fifth of
the weight which bears on the track; when perfectly dry, if the
rails are clean, it is about one-fourth, and with the rails sanded
about one-third. In damp or frosty weather the adhesion is often
considerably less than a fifth.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.--Turning Locomotive Tires.]

It would, then, seem as though all that is needed to increase the
capacity of a locomotive to draw loads would be to add to the
weight on its driving-wheels, and provide engine-power sufficient
to turn them--which is true. But it has been found that if the
weight on the wheels is excessive both the wheels and rails will be
injured. Even when they are all made of steel, they are crushed out
of shape or are rapidly worn if the loads are too great. The weight
which rails will carry without being injured depends somewhat on
their size or weight, but ordinarily from 12,000 to 16,000 pounds
per wheel is about the greatest load which they should carry.

For these reasons, when the capacity of a locomotive must be
increased beyond a limit indicated by these data, one or more
additional pairs of driving-wheels must be used. Thus, if a more
powerful engine was required than that shown in Figure 14 (p. 113),
another pair of wheels would be added, as shown in Figures 26,
27, and 28. Or, if you wanted a more powerful engine than these,
still another pair of driving-wheels would be provided, as shown
in Figure 30. In this way the Mogul, ten-wheeled and consolidation
engines have been developed from that shown in Figure 14. The Mogul
locomotive (Fig. 27) has three pairs of driving-wheels, but only
one pair of truck-wheels. The engravings shown in Figures 30 and
31 represent consolidation and decapod types of engines which have
four and five pairs of driving-wheels.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.--Six-wheeled Switching Locomotive. By the
Schenectady Locomotive Works.]

From the illustrations, Figures 28, 30, and 31, it will be seen
that when so many wheels are used, even if they are of small
diameter, the wheel-base must necessarily be long, so that a limit
is very soon reached beyond which the number of driving-wheels
cannot be increased.

Improvements in the processes of manufacturing steel, which
resulted in the general use of that material for rails and tires,
have made it possible to nearly double the weight which was carried
on each wheel when they were made of iron. The weight of rails has
also been very much increased since they were first made of steel.
Twenty or twenty-five years ago iron rails weighing 56 pounds per
yard were about the heaviest that were laid in this country. Now
steel rails weighing 72 pounds are commonly used, and some weighing
85 pounds have been laid on American roads, and others weighing 100
pounds have been laid on the Continent of Europe.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.--Mogul Locomotive. By the Schenectady
Locomotive Works.]

[Illustration: Fig. 28.--Ten-wheeled Passenger Locomotive. By the
Schenectady Locomotive Works.]

[Illustration: Fig. 29.--Consolidation Locomotive (unfinished).]

[Illustration: Fig. 30.--Consolidation Locomotive. By the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company.]

Of late years urban and suburban traffic has created a demand for
a class of locomotives especially adapted to that kind of service.
One of the conditions of that traffic is that trains must stop and
start often, and therefore, to "make fast time," it is essential
to start quickly. Few persons realize the great amount of force
which must be exerted to start any object suddenly. A cannon-ball,
for example, will fall through 16 feet in a second with no other
resistance than the atmosphere. The impelling force in that case
is the weight of the ball. If we want it to fall 32 feet during
the first second, the force exerted on it must be equal to double
its weight, and for higher speeds the increase of force must be in
the same proportion. This law applies to the movement of trains.
To start in half the time, double the force must be exerted. For
this reason, trains which start and stop often require engines
with a great deal of weight on the driving-wheels. In accordance
with these conditions a class of engines has been designed which
carry all, or nearly all, the weight of the boiler and machinery,
and sometimes the water and fuel, on the driving-wheels. For
suburban traffic, the speed between stops must often be quite
rapid, and consequently the engine must have a long wheel-base
for steadiness, as well as considerable weight on the wheels for
adhesion. Four-wheeled engines (Fig. 14) have all their weight on
the driving-wheels, but the wheel-base is short.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.--Decapod Locomotive. By the Baldwin
Locomotive Works, Philadelphia.]

[Illustration: Fig. 32.--"Forney" Tank Locomotive. By the Rogers
Locomotive and Machine Works, Paterson, N. J.]

To combine the two features, engines have been built with the
driving-wheels and axles arranged as in Figure 32. The frames are
then extended backward, and the water-tank and fuel are placed
on top of the frames, and their weight is carried by a truck
underneath. This arrangement leaves the whole weight of the boiler
and machinery on the driving-wheels, and at the same time gives a
long wheel-base for steadiness. This plan of engine was patented
by the author of this article in 1866, and has come into very
general use--since the expiration of the patent. In some cases a
two-wheeled truck is added at the opposite end, as shown in Figure
33. For street railroads, in which the speed is necessarily slow,
engines such as Figure 13 (p. 110) are used. To hide the machine
from view, and also to give sufficient room inside, they are
enclosed in a cab large enough to cover the whole machine.

The size and weight of locomotives have steadily been increased
ever since they were first used, and there is little reason for
thinking that they have yet reached a limit, although it seems
probable that some material change of design is impending which
will permit of better proportions of the parts or organs of the
larger sizes. The decapod engines built at the Baldwin Locomotive
Works, in Philadelphia, for the Northern Pacific Railroad, weigh
in working order 148,000 pounds. This gives a weight of 13,300
pounds on each driving-wheel. Some ten-wheeled passenger engines,
built at the Schenectady Locomotive Works for the Michigan Central
Railroad, weigh 118,000 pounds, and have 15,666 pounds on each
driving-wheel. Some recent eight-wheeled passenger locomotives for
the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad weigh 115,000 pounds,
and have 19,500 pounds on each driving-wheel. At the Baldwin Works,
some "consolidation" engines have recently been built which are
still heavier than the decapod engines.

The following table gives dimensions, weight, price, and price
per pound of locomotives at the present time. If we were to quote
them at 8 to 8¼ cents per pound for heavy engines and 9 to 22¼ for
smaller sizes, it would not be much out of the way.

_Dimensions, Weights, and Approximate Prices of Locomotives._

     Type.       |Cylinders.|Diameter|Weight of|Weight of | Approx-| Price
                 |          |   of   |engine in|engine and|  imate |  per
                 |          |driving-| working |  tender  |  price.| pound.
                 |          | wheel. |  order, |  without |        |
                 |          |        |exclusive| water or |        |
                 |          |        |of tender|   fuel.  |        |
                 |Diam.     | Inches.|  Pounds.|  Pounds. |        | Cents.
                 |  Stroke. |        |         |          |        |
  "American"     |          |        |         |          |        |
     Passenger   |  8  24   |62 to 68|  92,000 |  110,000 | $8,750 |  7.95
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  "Mogul"        |          |        |         |          |        |
     Freight     | 19  24   |50 to 56|  96,000 |  116,000 |  9,500 |  8.19
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  "Ten-wheel"    |          |        |         |          |        |
      Freight    | 19  24   | 0 to 58| 100,000 |  118,000 |  9,750 |  8.26
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  "Consolidation"|          |        |         |          |        |
      Freight    | 20  24   |   50   | 120,000 |  132,000 | 10,500 |  7.95
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  "Decapod"      |          |        |         |          |        |
      Freight    | 22  26   |   46   | 150,000 |  165,000 | 13,250 |  8.03
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  Four-wheel Tank|          |        |         |          |        |
      Switching  | 15  24   |   50   |  58,000 |   47,000 |  5,500 | 11.70
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  Six-wheel      |          |        |         |          |        |
      Switching, |          |        |         |          |        |
      with tender| 18  24   |   50   |  84,000 |   98,000 |  8,500 |  8.89
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  "Forney" N.Y.  |          |        |         |          |        |
      Elevated   | 11  16   |   42   |  42,000 |   34,000 |  4,500 | 13.23
                 |          |        |         |          |        |
  Street-car     |          |        |         |          | $3,500 | 19.44
      Motor      |          |        |         |          |   to   |   to
      Locomotive | 10  14   |   35   |  22,000 |   18,000 | $4,000 | 22.22
                 |          |        |         |          | accord-|
                 |          |        |         |          | ing to |
                 |          |        |         |          | design.|

[Illustration: Fig. 33.--"Hudson" Tank Locomotive. By the Baldwin
Locomotive Works.]

The speed of locomotives, however, has not increased with their
weight and size. There is a natural law which stands in the way
of this. If we double the weight on the driving-wheels, the
adhesion, and consequent capacity for drawing loads, is also
doubled. Reasoning in an analogous way, it might be said that if
we double the circumference of the wheels the distance that they
will travel in one revolution, and consequently the speed of the
engine, will be in like proportion. But, if this be done, it will
require twice as much power to turn the large wheels as was needed
for the small ones; and we then encounter the natural law that
the resistance increases as the square of the speed, and probably
at even a greater ratio at very high velocities. At 60 miles an
hour the resistance of a train is four times as great as it is at
30 miles. That is, the pull on the draw-bar of the engine must be
four times as great in the one case as it is in the other. But at
60 miles an hour this pull must be exerted for a given distance in
half the time that it is at 30 miles, so that the amount of power
exerted and steam generated in a given period of time must be eight
times as great in the one case as in the other. This means that
the capacity of the boiler, cylinders, and the other parts must
be greater, with a corresponding addition to the weight of the
machine. Obviously, if the weight per wheel is limited, we soon
reach a point at which the size of the driving-wheels and other
parts cannot be enlarged; which means that there is a certain
proportion of wheels, cylinders, and boiler which will give a
maximum speed.

The relative speed of trains here and in Europe has been the
subject of a good deal of discussion and controversy. There appears
to be very little difference in the speed of the fastest trains
here and there; but there are more of them there than we have. From
48 to 53 miles an hour, including stops, is about the fastest time
made by our regular trains on the summer time-tables.

When this rate of speed is compared with that of sixty or seventy
miles an hour, which is not infrequent for short distances, there
seems to be a great discrepancy. It must be kept in mind, though,
that these high rates of speed are attained under very favorable
conditions. That is, the track is straight and level, or perhaps
descending, and unobstructed. In ordinary traffic it is never
certain that the line is clear. A locomotive-runner must always
be on the look-out for obstructions. Trains, ordinary vehicles,
a fallen tree or rock, cows, and people may be in the way at
any moment. Let anyone imagine himself in responsible charge
of a locomotive and he will readily understand that, with the
slightest suspicion that the line is not clear, he would slacken
the speed as a precautionary measure. For this reason fast time
on a railroad depends as much on having a good signal system to
assure the locomotive-runners that the line is clear, as it does on
the locomotives. If he is always liable to encounter, and must be
on the look-out for, obstructions at frequent grade-crossings of
common roads, or if he is not certain whether the train in front of
him is out of his way or not, the locomotive-runner will be nervous
and be almost sure to lose time. If the speed is to be increased on
American railroads, the first steps should be to carry all streets
and common roads either over or under the lines, have the lines
well fenced, provide abundant side-tracks for trains, and adopt
efficient systems of signals so that locomotive-runners can know
whether the line is clear or not.

In what may be called the period of adolescence of railroads there
was a very decided predilection on the part of locomotive engineers
for large driving-wheels. Figure 34 represents one of the engines
built as early as 1848 for the Camden & Amboy Railroad, with
driving wheels 8 feet in diameter. Other engines with 6 and 7 feet
wheels were not uncommon. In Europe many engines with very large
wheels were made and are still in use. Here, as well as there,
excessively large wheels have, however, been abandoned, and six
feet in diameter is now about the limit of their size in this

[Illustration: Fig. 34.--Camden & Amboy Locomotive, 1848.]

So far as locomotives are concerned, fast time, especially with
heavy trains, is generally dependent more upon the supply of
steam than it is on the size of the wheels. Without steam to turn
them, big wheels are useless; but with an abundant supply there
is no difficulty in turning small wheels at a lively rate. Speed,
therefore, is to a great extent a question of boiler capacity, and
the general maxim has been formulated that "within the limits of
weight and space to which a locomotive boiler must be confined,
it cannot be made too big." But the maximum speed at which a
locomotive can run when an adequate supply of steam is provided
also depends on the perfection of the machinery. At 60 miles an
hour a driving-wheel 5½ feet in diameter revolves five times every
second. The reciprocating parts of each cylinder of a Pennsylvania
Railroad passenger engine, including one piston, piston-rod,
cross-head, and connecting rod, weigh about 650 pounds. These
parts must move back and forth a distance equal to the stroke,
usually two feet, every time the wheel revolves, or in a fifth of
a second. It starts from a state of rest at each end of the stroke
of the piston and must acquire a velocity of 32 feet per second,
in one-twentieth of a second, and must be brought to a state of
rest in the same period of time. A piston 18 inches in diameter
has an area of 254½ square inches. Steam of 150 pounds pressure
per square inch would therefore exert a force on the piston
equal to 38,175 pounds. This force is applied alternately on each
side of the piston, ten times in a second. The control of such
forces requires mechanism which works with the utmost precision
and with absolute certainty, and it is for this reason that the
speed and the economical working of a locomotive depend so much on
the proportions of the valves and the "valve-gear" by which the
"distribution" of steam in the cylinders is controlled.

[Illustration: Fig. 35.--Interior of a Round-house.]

The engraving (Fig. 36) on p. 133 represents the cab end of a
locomotive of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, looking
forward from the tender, and shows the attachments by which the
engineer works the engine.[12] This gives an idea of the number of
keys on which he has to play in running such a machine. There is
room here for little more than an enumeration of the parts which
are numbered:

  1. Engine-bell rope.

  2. Train-bell rope.

  3. Train-bell or gong.

  4. Lever for blowing whistle.

  5. Steam-gauge to indicate pressure in boiler.

  6. Steam-gauge lamp to illuminate face of gauge.

  7. Pressure-gauge for air-brake; to show pressure in

  8. Valve to admit steam to air-brake pump.

  9. Automatic lubricator for oiling main valves.

  10. Cock for admitting steam to lubricator.

  11. Handle for opening valves in sand-box to sand the rails.

  12. Handle for opening the cocks which drain the water from the

  13. Valve for admitting steam to the jets which force air into
  the fire-box.

  14, 14′. Throttle-valve lever. This is for opening the valve
  which admits steam to the cylinders.

  15. Sector by which the throttle-lever is held in any desired

  16. "Lazy-cock" handle. A "lazy-cock" is a valve which regulates
  the water-supply to the pumps and is worked by this handle.

  17, 17′. Reverse lever.

  18. Reverse-lever sector.

  19, 19′, 19″. Gauge-cocks for showing the height of the water
  in the boiler; 19′ is a pipe for carrying away the water which
  escapes when the gauge-cocks are opened.

  20, 20. Oil-cups for oiling the cylinders.[13]

  21. Handle for working steam-valve of injector.

  22. Handle for controlling water-jet of the injector.

  23. Handle for working water-valve of injector.

  24. Oil-can shelf.

  25. Handle for air-brake valve.

  26. Valve for controlling air-brake.

  27. Pipe for conducting air to brakes under the cars.

  28. Pipe connected with air-reservoir.

  29. Pipe-connection to air-pump.

  30. Handle for working a valve which admits or shuts off the air
  for driving-wheel brakes.

  31. Valve for driving-wheel brakes.

  32, 32′. Lever for moving a diaphragm in smoke-box, by which the
  draught is regulated.

  33. Handle for raising or lowering snow-scrapers in front of

  34. Handle for opening cock on pump to show whether it is forcing
  water into the boiler.

  35. Lamp to light the water-gauge, 51, 51.

  36. Air-hole for admitting air to fire-box.

  37. Tallow-can for oiling cylinders.

  38. Oil-can.

  39. Shelf for warming oil-cans.

  40. Furnace door.

  41. Chain for opening and closing the furnace door.

  42. Handles for opening dampers on the ash-pan.

  43. Lubricator for air-pump.

  44. Valve for admitting steam to the chimney to blow the fire
  when the engine is standing still.

  45. Valve for admitting steam to the train-pipes for warming the

  46. Valve for reducing the pressure of the steam used for heating

  47. Cock which admits steam to the pressure-gauge, 48.

  48. Pressure-gauge which indicates the steam-pressure in heater

  49. Pipe for conducting steam to the train to heat the cars.

  50. Cock for water-gauge, 51.

  51, 51. Glass water-gauge to indicate the height of water in the

  52. Cock for blowing off impurities from the surface of the water
  in the boiler.

Besides being impressive as a triumph of human ingenuity, there
is much about the construction and working of locomotives which
is picturesque. A shop where they are constructed or repaired is
always of interest. An engine-house (Fig. 35) especially at night,
is full of weird suggestions and food for the imagination.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.--Cab End of a Locomotive and its

Figure 37 (p. 135) is an illustration from a photograph taken in
the erecting shops of the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia;
and Figure 38 (p. 137) is a view of a similar shop of the
Pennsylvania Railroad at Altoona, which suggests at a glance many
of the processes of construction which go on in these great works.
At Altoona are immense travelling cranes resting on brick arches
and spanning the shop from side to side. These are powerful enough
to take hold of the largest locomotive and lift it bodily from the
rails and transfer it laterally or longitudinally at will. A large
consolidation engine is shown in Figure 38, swung clear of the
rails, and in the act of being moved laterally. The hooks of the
crane are attached to heavy iron beams, from which the locomotive
is suspended by strong bars. Figure 39 (p. 138) is a view in the
blacksmiths' shop of the Baldwin Works, showing a steam hammer and
the operation of forging a locomotive frame.

It is quite natural that the engineers, or "runners," as they
generally call themselves, who have the care of locomotives should
take a deep interest in and acquire a sort of attachment for them.
In the earlier days of railroading this was much more the case than
it is now. Then each locomotive had an individuality of its own.
It was rare that two engines were exactly alike. Nearly always
there was some difference in their proportions, or one engine had
some device in it which the other had not. Now, many locomotives
are made exactly alike, or as nearly so as the most improved
machinery will permit. There is nothing to distinguish the one
from the other. Therefore Bony Smith can claim no superiority for
his machine which Windy Brown has not the advantage of. In the
old days, too, each engine had its own runner and fireman, and it
seldom fell into the hands of anyone else, and those in charge
of it took as much pride in keeping it bright as the character
in "Pinafore" did "in polishing up the handle of the big front
door." On many roads--particularly the larger ones--engines are
not assigned to special men. The system of "first in first out"
has been adopted; that is, the engines are sent out in the order
in which they come in, and the men take whichever machine happens
to fall to their lot. This naturally results in a loss of personal
attachment to special engines.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.--View In Locomotive Erecting Shop.]

Every change in the construction, alteration in the proportions, or
addition to the attachments of locomotives is a subject of intense
interest to the men and a topic of endless discussion at all times
and places. The theories which are propounded, and the yarns which
are spun while sitting around hot stoves in round-houses, or
waiting for passing trains on side-tracks, would fill many books.
Jack never tires of telling what his engine did when "she was
going up Rattlesnake Grade," and Smoky Bill grows excited when he
describes how Ninety-six turned her wheels in making up forty-nine
minutes time in the down run with the "electric express."

Locomotive engineers and firemen read with avidity everything which
is explanatory of the construction or working of locomotives, but
generally have a contempt for things which have no practical
bearing. They demand "lucidity" in what they read with as much
vehemence as Matthew Arnold did, and some editors and college
professors, whose writing and thinking are foggy, would be greatly
benefited by the criticisms of the Locomotive Brotherhood.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.--Interior of Erecting Shop, Showing
Locomotive Lifted by Travelling Crane.]

Much might be written about the duties of locomotive-runners and
firemen, and the qualifications required. It is the general opinion
of locomotive superintendents that it is not essential that the men
who run locomotives should be good mechanics. The best runners or
engineers are those who have been trained while young as firemen
on locomotives. Brunel, the distinguished civil engineer, said
that he never would trust himself to run a locomotive because he
was sure to think of some problem relating to his profession which
would distract his attention from the engine. It is probably a
similar reason which sometimes unfits good mechanics for being good

[Illustration: Fig. 39.--Forging a Locomotive Frame.]

It will perhaps interest some readers to know how much fuel a
locomotive burns. This, of course, depends upon the quality of
fuel, work done, speed, and character of the road. With freight
trains consisting of as many cars as a heavy locomotive can draw
without difficulty, the consumption of coal will not exceed from
1 to 1½ pounds of coal per car per mile if the engine is carefully
managed. It takes from 15 to 20 pounds of coal per mile to move
an engine and tender alone, the consumption being dependent upon
the size of the engine, speed, grades, and number of stops. If
this amount of coal is allowed for the engine and tender, and the
balance that is consumed is divided among the cars, it will reduce
the quantity for hauling the cars alone to even less amounts than
those given above. In ordinary average practice the consumption
is from 3 to 5 pounds per freight-car per mile, without making
any allowance for the engine and tender. With passenger trains,
the cars of which are heavier and the speed higher, the coal
consumption is from 10 to 15 pounds per car per mile. A freight
locomotive with a train of 40 cars will burn 40 to 200 pounds of
coal per mile, the amount depending on the care with which it is
managed, quality of the coal, grades, speed, weather, and other


Peter Parley's illustration (p. 101) of the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad represents one of the earliest passenger-cars used in
this country. The accuracy of the illustration may, however, be
questioned. Probably the artist depended upon his imagination and
memory somewhat when he drew it. The engraving below (Fig. 40)
is from a drawing made by the resident engineer of the Mohawk &
Hudson Railroad, and from which six coaches were made by James
Goold for the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad in 1831. It is an authentic
representation of the cars as made at that time. Other old prints
of railroad cars represent them as substantially stage-coach bodies
mounted on four car-wheels, as shown by Figure 41. The next step
in the development of cars was that of joining together several
coach-bodies. This form was continued after the double-truck system
was adopted, as shown by Figure 42, which represents an early
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad car, having three sections, united. It
was soon displaced by the rectangular body, as shown in Figure 43,
which is a reproduction from an old print.

[Illustration: Fig. 40.--Mohawk & Hudson Car, 1831. (From the
original drawing by the resident engineer.)

Fig. 41.--Early Car. (From an old print.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 42.--Early Car on the Baltimore & Ohio

Figure 44 is an illustration of a car used for the transportation
of flour on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, while horses were
still used as the motive power. To show how nearly all progress
is a process of evolution, it was asserted, in one of the trials
of the validity of Winans' patent on eight-wheeled cars with two
trucks, that before the date of his patent it was a practice to
load firewood by connecting two such cars with long timbers, which
rested on bolsters attached by kingbolts to the cars. The wood
was loaded on top of these timbers, as shown in Figure 45. An old
car (Fig. 46), which antedated Winans' patent and was used at
the Quincy granite quarries for carrying large blocks of stone,
was also introduced as evidence for the defendants in that suit.
Although Winans was not able to establish the validity of his
patent on eight-wheeled cars with two trucks, he was undoubtedly
one of the first to put it into practical form, and did a great
deal to introduce the system.

[Illustration: Fig. 43.--Early American Car, 1834.]

The progress in the construction of cars has been fully as great
as in that of locomotives. If the old stage-coach bodies on wheels
are compared with a vestibule train of to-day the difference will
be very striking. Most of us who are no longer young can recall
the days when sleeping-cars were unknown, when a journey from an
Eastern city to Chicago meant forty-eight hours or more of sitting
erect in a car with thirty or more passengers, and an atmosphere
which was fetid. Happily those days are past, although the
improvement in the ventilation of cars has been very slow, and is
still very imperfect.

[Illustration: Fig. 44.--Old Car for Carrying Flour on the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.]

Improvement has also lagged in the matter of coupling cars. It
has been shown by statistics and calculations that some hundreds
of persons are killed and some thousands injured in this country
annually in coupling cars. The use of automatic coupling, by which
cars could be connected together without going between them, it
has been supposed, would greatly lessen, if it would not entirely
prevent, this fearful sacrifice of life and limb. To accomplish
this end, though, it is essential that some one form of coupler
shall be generally adopted by all railroads. One of the obstacles
in the way of this has been the mechanical difficulty of finding
a mechanism which will satisfactorily accomplish the purpose for
which it was intended. After thirty or forty years of invention
and experiment, no automatic coupler has been produced, which has
been approved by competent judges with a sufficient degree of
unanimity to justify its general adoption. The patents on that
class of inventions are numbered by thousands, so that it is no
light task to select the best one or even the best kind. Besides
this difficulty, there is the other equally formidable one of
inducing railroad men, of various degrees of knowledge, ignorance,
and prejudice regarding this subject, and who are scattered all
over the continent, to agree in adopting some one form or kind
of automatic coupler. Various cliques had also been organized
on different roads in the interest of some patents, and in such
cases argument and reason addressed to them were generally wasted.
Public indignation was, however, aroused; and the stimulus of
legislation in different States compelled railroad officers to
give serious attention to the subject. After devoting some years
to the investigation, the Master Car-Builders' Association--which
is composed of officers of railroad companies, who are in charge
of the construction and repair of cars on the different lines--has
recommended the adoption of a coupler of the type represented by
Figures 47 to 49, which has been already applied to many cars and
the indications are that it will be very generally adopted for
freight and probably for passenger cars. If it should be, it will
relieve railroad employees of the dangerous duty of going between
cars to couple them. Figure 47 shows a plan looking down on the
couplers with one of the latches, _A_, open; Figure 48 shows it
with the two couplers partly engaged; and Figure 49 shows them when
the coupling is completed.

[Illustration: Fig. 45.--Old Car for Carrying Firewood on the
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.]

[Illustration: Fig. 46.--Old Car on the Quincy Granite Railroad.]

One of the first problems which presented itself in the infancy of
railroads was how to keep the cars on the rails.

Anyone who will stand close to a line of railroad when a train is
rushing by at a speed of forty, fifty, or sixty miles an hour must
wonder how the engine and cars are kept on the track; and even
those familiar with the construction of railroad machinery often
express astonishment that the flanges of the wheels, which are
merely projecting ribs about 1-1/8 inches deep and 1¼ inches thick,
are sufficient to resist the impetus and swaying of a locomotive or
car at full speed. The problem of the manufacture of wheels which
will resist this wear, and will not break, has occupied a great
deal of the attention of railroad managers and manufacturers.

[Illustration: Fig. 47.

Fig. 48.

Fig. 49.

Janney Car Coupler, showing the Process of Coupling.]

Locomotive driving-wheels in this country are always made of
cast-iron, with steel tires which are heated and put on the wheels
and then cooled. They are thus contracted and "shrunk" on the
wheel. The tread, that is, the surface which bears on the rail,
and the flange of the tire are then turned off in a lathe, shown
in Figure 25, on p. 121, made especially for the purpose. For
engine-truck, tender, and car-wheels, until within a few years,
"chilled" cast-iron wheels have been used almost exclusively on
American railroads. If the tread and flange of a wheel were made
of ordinary cast-iron they would soon be worn out in service, as
such iron has ordinarily little capacity for resisting the wear
to which wheels are subjected. Some cast-iron, however, has the
singular property which causes it to assume a peculiar, hard
crystalline form if, when it is melted, it is allowed to cool and
solidify in contact with a cold iron mould. The iron which is thus
cooled quickly, or "chilled," becomes very hard, and resists wear
very much better than iron which is not chilled. Car-wheels which
are made of this material are therefore cast in what is called a
chill-mould. Figure 50 represents a section of such a mould and
flask in which wheels are cast.

[Illustration: Fig. 50.--Mould and Flask in which Wheels are Cast.]

_A A_ is the wheel, which is moulded in sand in the usual way. The
part _B B_ of the mould, which forms the rim or tread of the wheel,
consists of a heavy cast-iron ring. The melted iron is poured into
this mould and comes in contact with _B B_. This has the effect of
chilling the hot iron, as has been explained. In cooling, the wheel
contracts; and for that reason the part between the rim _C_ and
the hub _D_ is made of a curved form, as shown in the section, so
that if one part should cool more rapidly than another these parts
can yield sufficiently to permit contraction without straining any
portion of the wheels injuriously. For the same reason the ribs on
the back of the wheels, as shown in Figure 51, are also curved.
As an additional safeguard to the unequal contraction in cooling,
the wheels are taken out of the mould while they are red-hot, and
placed in ovens where they are allowed to remain several days so as
to cool very slowly.

Figure 52, on p. 145, represents a section of the tread and flange
of a chilled wheel, showing the peculiar crystalline appearance of
the chilled iron.

[Illustration: Fig. 51.--Cast-iron Car Wheels.]

In making cast-iron wheels the quality of the iron used is of
the utmost importance. The difficulty in making good wheels lies
in the fact that most iron which is ductile and tough will not
chill, whereas hard white iron, which has the chilling property in
a very high degree, is brittle, and wheels which are made of it
are liable to break. There are some kinds of cast-iron produced
in this country which have the two qualities combined, in a very
remarkable degree; that is, they are ductile and tough, and will
also chill. Wheel-founders also mix different qualities of irons to
produce wheels with the required strength, and which will resist
wear; that is, they use a certain amount of hard white iron which
will chill, with that which is ductile and soft. By changing the
proportions, any required amount of chill can be produced. The
danger is that iron which has little strength or ductility will
be fortified with hard chilling iron, and a very weak wheel will
thus be the result. Thousands of such wheels have been bought and
used because they are cheap, and many lamentable accidents are
undoubtedly due to this cause. To guard against this, car-wheels
should always be subjected to rigid tests and inspection.

In Europe wheels are made of wrought-iron, with tires which were
also made of the same material before the discovery of the improved
processes of manufacturing steel, but since then they have been
made of the latter material. Owing to the breakage of a great many
cast-iron wheels of poor quality, steel-tired wheels are now coming
into very general use on American roads under passenger-cars and
engines. A great variety of such wheels is now made. The "centres"
or parts inside the tires of some of them are cast-iron, and others
are wrought-iron constructed in various ways.

[Illustration: Fig. 52.--Section of the Tread and Flange of a Car

What is known as the Allen paper wheel is used a great deal in this
country, especially under sleeping-cars. A section and front view
of one of these wheels is shown by Figure 53. It consists of a
cast-iron hub, _A_, which is bored out to fit the axle. An annular
disk, _B B_, is made of layers of paper-board glued together and
then subjected to an enormous pressure. The disk is then bored out
to fit the hub, and its circumference is turned off, and the tire
_C C_ is fitted to it. Two wrought-iron plates, _P P_, are then
placed on either side of it, and the disk, plates, tire, and hub
are all bolted together. The paper, it will be seen, bears the
weight which rests on the hub of the axle and the hub of the wheel.

[Illustration: Fig. 53.--Allen Paper Car Wheel.]

Steel tires have the advantage that when they become worn their
treads and flanges may be turned off anew, whereas chilled
cast-iron wheels are so hard that it is almost impossible to
cut them with any turning tool. For this reason machines have
been constructed for grinding the tread with a rapidly revolving
emery-wheel. In these the cast-iron wheel is made to turn slowly,
whereas the emery-wheel revolves very rapidly. The emery-wheel is
then brought close to the cast-iron wheel, so that as they revolve
the projections on the latter are cut away, and the tread is thus
reduced to a true circular form. These machines are much used for
"truing-up" wheels which have been made flat by sliding, owing to
the brakes being set too hard.

It would require a separate article to give even a brief
description of the different kinds of cars which are now used. The
following list could be increased considerably if all the different
varieties were included.

  Caboose or conductor's car,
  Cattle- or stock-car,
  Drawing-room car,
  Drop-bottom car,
  Flat or platform car,
  Hopper-bottom car,
  Post-office car,
  Tool or wrecking car,
  Three-wheeled hand-car.

The following table gives the size, weight, and price of cars at
the present time. The length given is the length over the bodies
not including the platforms.

                    |  Length,  |    Weight, lbs.  |      Price.
                    |   feet.   |                  |
  Flat-car          |    34     | 16,000 to 19,000 | $380
  Box-car           |    34     | 22,000 to 27,000 | $550
  Refrigerator-car  | 30 to 34  | 28,000 to 34,000 | $800 to $1,100
  Passenger-car     | 50 to 52  | 45,000 to 60,000 | $4,400 to $5,000
  Drawing-room car  | 50 to 65  | 70,000 to 80,000 | $10,000 to $20,000
  Sleeping-car      | 50 to 70  | 60,000 to 90,000 | $12,000 to $20,000
  Street-car        |    16     |  5,000 to  6,000 | $800 to $1,200

[Illustration: Fig. 54.--Modern Passenger-car and Frame.]

Some years ago the master car-builders of the different railroads
experienced great difficulty in the transaction of their business
from the fact that there were no common names to designate the
parts of cars in different places in the country. What was known
by one name in Chicago had quite a different name in Pittsburg
or Boston. A committee was therefore appointed by the Master
Car-Builders' Association to make a dictionary of terms used
in car-construction and repairs. Such a dictionary has been
prepared, and is a book of 560 pages, and has over two thousand
illustrations. It has some peculiar features, one of which is
described as follows in the preface: "To supply the want which
demanded such a vocabulary, what might be called a double
dictionary is needed. Thus, supposing that a car-builder in
Chicago received an order for a 'journal-box'; by looking in an
alphabetical list of words he could readily find that term and
a description and definition of it. But suppose that he wanted
to order such castings from the shop in Albany, and did not know
their name; it would be impracticable for him to commence at A and
look through to Z, or until he found the proper term to designate
that part." To meet this difficulty the dictionary has very
copious illustrations in which the different parts of cars are
represented and numbered, and the names of the parts designated by
the numbers are then given in a list accompanying the engraving. An
alphabetical list of names and definitions is also given, as in an
ordinary dictionary. The definition usually contains a reference to
a number and a figure in which the object described is illustrated.
In making the dictionary the compilers selected terms from those
in use, where appropriate ones could be found. In other cases
new names were devised. The book is a curious illustration of a
more rapid growth of an art than of the language by which it is

The following table, compiled from "Poor's Manual of Railroads,"
gives the number of locomotives and of different kinds of cars in
this country, beginning with 1876, and for each year thereafter. If
the average length of locomotives and tenders is taken at 50 feet,
those now owned by the railroads would make a continuous train 280
miles long; and the 1,033,368 cars, if they average 35 feet in
length, would form a train which would be more than 6,800 miles

_Statement of the Rolling Stock of Railroads in the United States;
from "Poor's Manual" for 1889._

       |         |            || Passenger-train cars.|         |
  Year.|Miles of |Locomotives.|+----------+-----------+ Freight |  Total.
       |railroad.|            ||Passenger.|  Baggage, | cars.   |
       |         |            ||          | mail, and |         |
       |         |            ||          |  Express. |         |
  1876 |  76,305 |  14,562    ||   --     |    --     |  358,101|  358,101
  1877 |  79,208 |  15,911    || 12,053   |   3,854   |  392,175|  408,082
  1878 |  80,832 |  16,445    || 11,683   |   4,413   |  423,013|  439,109
  1879 |  84,393 |  17,084    || 12,009   |   4,519   |  480,190|  496,718
  1880 |  92,147 |  17,949    || 12,789   |   4,786   |  539,255|  556,930
  1881 | 103,530 |  20,116    || 14,548   |   4,976   |  648,295|  667,819
  1882 | 114,461 |  22,114    || 15,551   |   5,566   |  730,451|  751,568
  1883 | 120,552 |  23,623    || 16,889   |   5,848   |  778,663|  801,400
  1884 | 125,152 |  24,587    || 17,303   |   5,911   |  798,399|  821,613
  1885 | 127,729 |  25,937    || 17,290   |   6,044   |  805,519|  828,853
  1886 | 133,606 |  26,415    || 19,252   |   6,325   |  845,914|  871,491
  1887 | 147,999 |  27,643    || 20,457   |   6,554   |  950,887|  977,898
  1888 | 154,276 |  29,398    || 21,425   |   6,827   |1,005,116|1,033,368

The number of cars, it will be seen, has more than doubled in ten
years, so that if the same rate of increase continues for the next
decade there will be over two millions of them on the railroads of
this country alone. Beyond a certain point, numbers convey little
idea of magnitude. Our railroad system and its equipment seem to
be rapidly outgrowing the capacity of the human imagination to
realize their extent. What it will be with another half-century of
development it is impossible even to imagine.


[9] An engraving of a team and of a "Conestoga" wagon--which was
used in this traffic--taken from a photograph of one which has
survived to the present day, is given opposite (Fig. 1).

[10] It was not really the first train, as the Baltimore & Ohio and
the South Carolina roads were in operation earlier.

[11] The truck was first applied by Mr. Jervis to an engine built
by R. Stephenson & Co., of England.

[12] It should be mentioned that this is not one of the most recent
types of engines. The arrangement of parts in the cab has been
somewhat simplified in later locomotives.

[13] This engine had two different appliances for oiling the
cylinders, a pair of oil-cups, 20, 20, and an automatic oiler, 9.



  Relations of Railway Management to all Other Pursuits--Developed
  by the Necessities of a Complex Industrial Life--How a Continuous
  Life is Given to a Corporation--Its Artificial Memory--Main
  Divisions of Railway Management--The Executive and Legislative
  Powers--The Purchasing and Supply Departments--Importance of
  the Legal Department--How the Roadway is Kept in Repair--The
  Maintenance of Rolling Stock--Schedule-making--The Handling
  of Extra Trains--Duties of the Train-despatcher--Accidents
  in Spite of Precautions--Daily Distribution of Cars--How
  Business is Secured and Rates are Fixed--The Interstate
  Commerce Law--The Questions of "Long and Short Hauls" and
  "Differentials"--Classification of Freight--Regulation of
  Passenger-rates--Work of Soliciting Agents--The Collection of
  Revenue and Statistics--What is a Way-bill--How Disbursements are
  Made--The Social and Industrial Problem which Confronts Railway

The world was born again with the building of the first locomotive
and the laying of the first level iron roadway. The energies and
activities, the powers and possibilities then developed have
acted and reacted in every sphere of life--social, industrial,
and political--until human progress, after smouldering like a
spark for a thousand years, has burst into a conflagration which
will soon leave small trace of the life and customs, or even the
modes of thought, which our fathers knew. But, in it all, the
railroad remains the most potent factor in every development. By
bringing men more and more closely together, and supplying them
more and more abundantly and cheaply with all the varied treasures
of the earth, stored up for millions of years for the coming of
this generation, it adds continually more fuel to the flame it
originated. And as it is necessarily reacted upon equally by
every new invention or discovery, and by all progress in other
departments of human activity, the demands upon it, and its points
of contact with everyday life, are still increasing in geometrical

Hence, in the practical management of railroad affairs, problems
are of constant occurrence which touch almost every pursuit to
which men give themselves, whether of finance, agriculture,
commerce, manufactures, science, or politics; and the methods,
forms, and principles under which current railroad management is
being developed (for it is by no means at a stand-still) are the
result of the necessities imposed by these multiplying problems
acting within the constraints of corporate existences.

For while the life of a corporation is perpetual, its powers are
constrained, and the individuals exercising them are constantly
changing. It is but an artificial individual existing for certain
purposes only, and, as it lacks some human qualities, all its
methods of doing business are influenced thereby. The business
affairs of an individual, for instance, are greatly simplified
by his memory of his transactions from day to day and from year
to year. But a corporation having no natural memory, all of its
transactions and relations must be minutely and systematically
noted in its archives. Every contract and obligation must be
of record, all property bought or constructed must go upon the
books, and, when expended or used up, must go off in due form; and
especially must an accurate system of checks guard all earnings
and expenditures, and a comprehensive system of book-keeping
consolidate innumerable transactions into the great variety of
boiled-down figures and statistics necessary for officers and
stockholders to fully understand what the property is doing.

Under such circumstances, then, our railroads and their systems of
organization and management, like the Darwinian Topsy, have not
"been made" but have "growed."

Naturally, both the direction and extent of the development have
varied in different localities and under different conditions.
Within the limits of this article it would be impossible to
give anything like an exhaustive or complete account of the
organization, distribution of duties, systems of working, and of
checks in the various departments of even a single road. Most roads
publish more or less elaborate small volumes of regulations on such
subjects for the use of their various employees. The task would
also be endless to describe technically the variations of practice
and of nomenclature in different sections and on different systems.
The shades of difference, too, between managers, superintendents,
or masters; comptrollers, auditors, book-keepers, and accountants;
secretaries, cashiers, treasurers, and paymasters in different
localities would be tedious to draw. A technical account of them
would be almost a reproduction of the volumes above-mentioned. I
can only attempt to outline and illustrate very briefly the general
principles which underlie the present practice, and are more or
less elaborated as circumstances may require.

The principal duties connected with the management of a railroad
may be classified as follows:

1. The physical care of the property.

2. The handling of the trains.

3. The making rates and soliciting business.

4. The collection of revenue and keeping statistics.

5. The custody and disbursement of revenue.

The president is, of course, the executive head of the company, but
in important matters he acts only with the consent and approval
of the Board of Directors, or of an executive committee clothed
with authority of the board, which may be called the legislative
branch of the management. More or less of the executive power
and supervision of the president may be delegated to one or more
vice-presidents. Often all of it but that relating to financial
matters is so delegated, but, as their functions are subdivisions
of those of the president, they have no essential part in a general
scheme of authority.

Of the five subdivisions of duties indicated above, the first
four are usually confided to a general manager, who may also be
a vice-president, and the fifth is in charge of a treasurer,
reporting directly to the president.

The special departments under charge of the general manager are
each officered by trained experts:

A superintendent of roadway or chief engineer has charge of the
maintenance of the track, bridges, and buildings.

A superintendent of machinery has charge of the construction and
maintenance of all rolling stock.

A superintendent of transportation makes all schedules, and has
charge of all movements of trains.

A car accountant keeps record of the location, whereabout, and
movements of all cars.

A traffic manager has charge of passenger and freight rates, and
all advertising and soliciting for business.

A comptroller has charge of all the book-keeping by which the
revenue of the company is collected and accounted for. All
statistics are generally prepared in his office.

A paymaster receives money from the treasurer and disburses, under
the direction of the comptroller, for all expenses of operation.

All dividend and interest payments are made by the treasurer, under
direction of the president and board.

There are, besides the above, two general departments with which
all the rest have to do, to a greater or less extent--the legal
department and the purchasing department. The quantity and variety
of articles used and consumed in the operation of a railroad are
so great that it is a measure of much economy to concentrate all
purchases into the hands of a single purchasing agent, rather
than to allow each department to purchase for itself. This agent
has nothing to do but to study prices and markets. His pride is
enlisted in getting the lowest figures for his road, and the large
amount of his purchases enables him to secure the best rates. And
last, but not least, in matters where dishonesty would find so
great opportunities, it is safer to concentrate responsibility than
to diffuse it.

As I shall not again refer to this department, what remains of
interest for me to say about it will be said here. As an adjunct to
it, storehouses are established at central points in which stocks
of articles in ordinary use are kept on hand. Whenever supplies are
wanted in any other department--as, for instance, a bell-cord and
lantern by a conductor--requisitions are presented, approved by a
designated superior. These requisitions state whether the articles
are to be charged to legitimate wear and tear, and if so, whether
to the passenger or the freight service, and of which subdivision
of the road; or whether they are to be charged to the conductor
for other articles not properly accounted for. Without going
into further detail, it can be readily seen how the comptroller's
office can, at the end of each month, from these requisitions,
have a complete check upon all persons responsible for the care
of property. The purchasing agent, too, from his familiarity with
prices, is usually charged with the sale of all condemned and
worn-out material.[14]

Before returning to a more detailed review of the operating
departments of a railroad, its legal department requires a few
words. Not only is a railroad corporation, being itself a creation
of the law, peculiarly bound to conform all its actions to legal
forms and tenets, but it is also a favorite target for litigation.
The popular prejudice against corporations, it may be said in
passing, is utterly illogical. The corporation is the poor man's
opportunity. Without it he could never share in the gains and
advantages open to capital in large sums. With it a thousand men,
contributing a thousand dollars each, compete on equal terms with
the millionaire. Its doors are always open to any who may wish to
share its privileges or its prosperity, and no man is denied equal
participation according to his means and inclinations. It is the
greatest "anti-poverty" invention which has ever been produced,
and the most democratic. But, for all that, instead of possessing
the unbounded power usually ascribed to it, no creature of God or
man is so helpless as a corporation before the so-called great
tribunal of justice, the American jury. It may not be literally
true that a Texas jury gave damages to a tramp against a certain
railroad because a section-master's wife gave him a meal which
disagreed with him, but the story can be nearly paralleled from
the experience of many railroads. Hence settlements outside of the
law are always preferred where they are at all possible, and an
essential part of an efficient legal organization is a suitable
man always ready to repair promptly to the scene of any loss or
accident, to examine the circumstances with the eye of a legal
expert on liabilities.

But the management of claims, and of loss and damage suits, though
a large part, is by no means all of the legal business connected
with a railroad. Every contract or agreement should pass under
scrutiny of counsel, and in the preparation of the various forms
of bonds, mortgages, debentures, preferred stocks, etc., which
the wants of the day have brought forth, the highest legal talent
finds employment. For, as development has multiplied the types of
cars and engines to meet special wants, so have a great variety
of securities been developed to meet the taste and prejudices of
investors of all nations. There is, in fact, a certain fashion in
the forms of bonds, and the conditions incorporated in mortgages,
which has to be observed to adapt any bond to its proposed market.

[Illustration: (Ploughing snow.)]

We shall now return to the operating departments under their
respective heads, and glance briefly at the methods and detail
pursued in each. On roads of large mileage the general manager
is assisted by general or division superintendents in charge
of roadway, motive power, and trains of one or more separate
divisions; but for our purposes we may consider the different
departments without reference to these superintendents.

[Illustration: (Ploughing snow.)]

The superintendent of roadway or chief engineer comes first,
having charge of track, bridges, and buildings. In his office are
collected maps of all important stations and junction points,
kept up to date with changes and additions; scale drawings of all
bridges and trestles, of all standard depots, tanks, switches,
rails, fastenings, signals, and everything necessary to secure
uniformity of patterns and practice over the entire road. Under
him are supervisors of bridges and supervisors of road, each
assigned to a certain territory. The supervisors of bridges make
frequent and minute examinations of every piece or member of every
bridge and trestle, report in advance all the repairs that become
necessary, and make requisition for the material needed.

[Illustration: A Type of Snow-plough.]

Under the bridge supervisor are organized "bridge gangs," each
consisting of a competent foreman with carpenters and laborers
skilled in bridge work and living in "house" or "boarding" cars,
and provided with pile-drivers, derricks, and all appliances for
handling heavy timbers and erecting, tearing down, and repairing
bridges. These cars form a movable camp, going from place to place
as needed, and being side-tracked as near as possible to the work
of the gang. Long experience begets great skill in their special
duties, and the feats which these gangs will perform are often more
wonderful than many of the more showy performances of railroad
engineering. It is an every-day thing with such gangs to take
down an old wooden structure, and erect in its place an iron one,
perhaps with the track raised several feet above the level of the
original, while fifty trains pass every day, not one of which will
be delayed for a moment.

[Illustration: A Rotary Steam Snow-shovel in Operation.

(From an instantaneous photograph.)]

Each of the supervisors of road has his assigned territory
divided into "sections," from five to eight miles in length.
At a suitable place on each section are erected houses for a
resident section-master and from six to twelve hands. These are
provided with hand- and push-cars, and spend their whole time in
keeping their sections in good condition. Upon many roads annual
inspections are made and prizes offered for the best sections. At
least twice a day track-walkers from the section-gangs pass over
the entire line of road. To simplify reports and instructions,
frequently every bridge or opening in the track is numbered, and
the number displayed upon it; and every curve is also posted with
its degree of curvature and the proper elevation to be given to the
outer rail.

The work of the section-men is all done under regular system. In
the spring construction-trains deliver and distribute ties and
rails on each section, upon requisitions from supervisors. Then the
section-force goes over its line from end to end, putting in first
the new ties and then the new rails needed. Next the track is gone
over with minute care and re-lined, re-surfaced, and re-ballasted,
to repair the damages of frost and wet, the great enemies of a
road-bed. Then ditches, grass, and the right-of-way have attention.
These processes are continually repeated, and especially in the
fall in preparation for winter. During the winter as little
disturbance of track is made as possible, but ditches are kept
clean, and low joints are raised by "shims" on top of joint ties.
Essential parts of the equipment of any large road are snow-ploughs
(pp. 154-5-6) and wrecking cars, with powerful derricks and other
appliances for clearing obstructions. When wrecks or blockades
occur these cars, with extra engines, section-hands, bridge gangs,
and construction-trains, are rushed to the spot, and everything
yields to the work of getting the road clear.

[Illustration: Railway-crossing Gate.]

We come next to the superintendent of machinery, whose duty it is
to provide and maintain locomotives and cars of all kinds to handle
the company's traffic. His department is subdivided between a
master mechanic, in charge of locomotives and machine-shops, and a
master car-builder, in charge of car-shops.

The master mechanic selects and immediately controls all
engine-runners and firemen, and keeps performance sheets of all
locomotives, showing miles run, cars hauled, wages paid, coal and
oil consumed, and other details giving results accomplished by
different runners and firemen, and by different types of engine,
or on different divisions or roads. Premiums are often paid the
runners and firemen accomplishing the best results.

_Report of Performance of Engines, Repairs, and all other Costs
Incident thereto, for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1888._

  [Key for column headings. Column A has been repeated in each Part.]

   A. Number of Engine.
   B. Passenger
   C. Freight.
   D. Gravel or Construction.
   E. Switching.
   F. Total.
   G. Eighth Cords of wood.
   H. Bushels Coal.
   I. Cost of Fuel.

                [Table--Part 1 of 4]
    |            MILES RUN.                  |         FUEL.
  A.|    B. |   C.  |   D.  |  E.   |   F.   | G. |   H.   |     I.
   1|     --| 12,084|  4,253|     64|  16,401| 118|  10,699|  $1,090 25
   2|     --|  2,672| 11,779|    954|  15,405| 193|  10,913|   1,131 77
   3|  5,402| 14,471|    408|    120|  20,407| 189|  10,590|   1,101 08
   4| 28,643|  4,168|     --|     --|  32,811| 297|  11,875|   1,212 20
   5| 28,275|  4,490|     --|     72|  32,837| 301|  12,961|   1,335 31
   6|     --|     --|     --| 32,370|  32,370|  33|  10,360|   1,042 26
   8|  3,229| 11,799|  4,779|     --|  19,807| 150|  13,233|   1,356 30
   9|  1,050| 23,203|     --|     --|  24,253| 155|  16,344|   1,663 41
  10|    874| 24,729|     --|     96|  25,699| 158|  17,039|   1,741 67
  11|     --|     --|     --| 23,609|  23,609| 205|   7,661|     811 00
  12|  1,527|     --|  4,369| 12,060|  17,956| 142|   8,875|     918 75
  30| 41,345|     --|     --|     --|  41,345| 237|  17,702|   1,821 37
  31| 37,450|     --|     --|     --|  37,450| 215|  16,695|   1,716 56
  32|  4,233| 13,516|     --|    120|  17,869| 115|  10,918|   1,117 10
  34| 13,742|  5,217|     --|  1,224|  20,183| 149|   6,691|     704 07
    |165,770|116,349| 25,588| 70,695| 378,402|2657| 182,556| $18,768 13

   A. Number of Engine.
   J. Gallons of Engine Oil.
   K. Signal Oil.
   L. Head-Light Oil.
   M. Lbs. of Cyl. Oil.
   N. Car Grease.
   O. Waste.
   P. Packing.
   Q. Gallons Kerosene.

                [Table--Part 2 of 4]
    |                  OIL, WASTE AND OTHER STORES.
  A.|   J.    |   K.   |    L.  |    M.    |  N. |  O. |    P.   | Q.
   1|  124    |  10    |  29    |    59½   |   45|  347|   72    | --
   2|  121½   |  13½   |  35½   |    69½   |   69|  466|  102    |  2
   3|  132½   |  10½   |  38    |    74½   |   69|  350|   61    | --
   4|  258    |  14    |  49    |   125    |  106|  659|   76    | --
   5|  256    |  12    |  39    |    99½   |   75|  622|   82½   | --
   6|   30½   |  12½   | 188½   |   111¼   |   --|  298|  160½   | --
   8|  134    |  10½   |  41    |    65¼   |   60|  327|   98    | --
   9|  135    |  12½   |  45½   |    73    |   70|  374|   87    | --
  10|  131½   |  13½   |  63    |    69    |   70|  372|   96    | --
  11|  136    |   1¾   |  96    |    81    |   40|  354|   81    |  2
  12|  105    |   9¼   |  58    |    95½   |   20|  360|   75    | --
  30|  223    |  23¾   |  44½   |    69    |  106|  726|   51    | --
  31|  243    |  15¼   |  46    |    92    |  110|  660|   68    |  1
  32|  138    |  10½   |  41    |    71½   |  130|  361|   63    |  7
  34|  186    |  10    |  32    |    71    |   75|  409|   43    |  2
    |2,554    | 179½   | 846    | 1,226½   | 1045| 6685| 1214    | 14

   A. Number of Engine.
   R. Cost of Stores.
   S. Wages of Engineer and Fireman.
   T. Cost of Cleaning.
   U. Labor.
   V. Material.
   W. Total Cost of Repairs.
   X. Total Expenses and Repairs.

                [Table--Part 3 of 4]
    |        |          |        |       COST OF REPAIRS.     |
    |        |          |        |----------------------------+
  A.|   R.   |    S.    |   T.   |    U.   |   V.   |    W.   |    X.
   1|$  87.64|$ 1,293.80|$ 115.00| $ 223.40|$  66.32|$  289.72|$2,876.41
   2|  106.85|  1,646.90|   82.50|    69.65|   75.14|   144.79| 3,112.81
   3|   93.85|  1,489.65|  187.50|   178.25|   63.61|   241.86| 3,113.94
   4|  171.85|  1,719.55|  212.50|   203.95|  100.13|   304.08| 3,620.18
   5|  144.86|  1,628.80|  202.00|   240.55|  114.98|   355.53| 3,666.50
   6|  173.92|  1,884.50|   10.00|   172.35|   63.65|   236.00| 3,346.68
   8|   97.34|  1,593.05|  150.00|   110.75|  106.69|   217.44| 3,414.13
   9|  108.53|  1,625.80|  200.00|   139.80|  175.48|   315.28| 3,918.02
  10|  108.38|  1,669.55|  205.00|   207.55|  109.78|   317.33| 4,041.93
  11|  111.83|  1,126.75|    5.00|   413.95|   89.76|   503.71| 2,558.29
  12|  106.31|  1,405.10|   25.00|    37.45|   27.17|    64.62| 2,519.78
  30|  142.71|  1,719.56|  212.50|   144.50|   77.52|   222.02| 4,118.15
  31|  152.16|  1,554.55|  205.00|   642.50|  432.86| 1,075.36| 4,703.66
  32|  108.40|  1,186.40   172.00| 1,729.70|  438.40| 2,168.10| 4,752.00
  34|  108.40|  1,186.40|  137.00| 1,522.10|  781.64| 2,303.74| 4,313.48
    |1,823.80| 22,603.45|2,121.00| 6,036.45|2,723.13| 8,759.58|54,075.96

   A. Number of Engine.
   Y. Bushel Coal.
   Z. Gal. Engine Oil.
  AA. Pound of Tallow.
  BB. Repairs.
  CC. Fuel.
  DD. Stores.
  EE. Wages E. and F.
  FF. Cleaning.
  GG. Total.
  HH. Car Mileage.

                [Table--Part 4 of 4]
    | M'ls run to one.|          COST PER MILE RUN FOR.         |         |
  A.| Y. |  Z.  | AA. |  BB. |  CC. |  DD. |  EE. |  FF. |  GG. |   HH.   |
   1| 1.5| 122.3| 34.5| 01.76| 06.64| 00.53| 07.89| 00.61| 17.43|  177,659|
   2| 1.1| 126.8| 27.7| 00.94| 07.34| 00.69| 10.69| 00.53| 20.19|  197,203|
   3| 0.9|  77.7| 17.4| 02.32| 10.58| 00.90| 14.31| 02.04| 30.15|  182,402|
   4| 2.7| 127.2| 32.8| 00.92| 03.69| 05.23| 05.24| 00.64| 15.72|  139,422|
   5| 2.5| 128.2| 41.2| 01.08| 04.06| 00.44| 04.96| 00.61| 11.15|  135,780|
   6| 3.1| 140.4| 36.3| 00.72| 03.22| 00.53| 05.82| 00.03| 10.32|       --|
   8| 1.5| 147.8| 37.9| 01.09| 06.84| 00.49| 08.04| 00.76| 17.22|  305,024|
   9| 1.4| 150.0| 48.5| 01.30| 06.88| 00.40| 06.70| 00.82| 16.10|  383,682|
  10| 1.5| 195.4| 46.5| 01.23| 06.77| 00.31| 06.49| 00.79| 15.59|  409,035|
  11| 3.0| 173.6| 36.4| 02.13| 03.43| 00.47| 04.77| 00.02| 10.82|       --|
  12| 2.0| 171.0| 23.5| 00.36| 05.11| 00.59| 07.82| 00.14| 14.02|   66,834|
  30| 2.3| 185.4| 74.9| 00.53| 04.40| 00.34| 04.15| 00.51| 09.93|  231,554|
  31| 2.2| 154.1| 50.8| 02.87| 04.58| 00.40| 04.15| 00.54| 12.54|  202,289|
  32| 1.6| 129.5| 31.2| 12.11| 06.25| 00.60| 06.64| 00.96| 26.56|  184,083|
  34| 3.2| 108.5| 35.5| 11.41| 03.48| 00.54| 05.29| 00.67| 21.39|  107,060|
    | 2.5| 148.1| 38.5| 02.31| 04.98| 00.48| 05.97| 00.55| 14.29|2,722,027|

The master car-builder has charge of the shops where cars are
built and repaired, and of the car-inspectors who are stationed at
central and junction points to prevent defective cars being put
into the trains.

Formerly each railroad used its own cars exclusively, and through
freights were transferred at every junction point. This involved
such delay and expense that railroads now generally permit all
loaded cars to go through to destination without transfer, and
allow each other a certain sum for the use of cars. Usually this is
about three-quarters of a cent for each mile which the car travels
on a foreign road. This involves a great scattering of cars, and
an extensive organization to keep record of their whereabouts
and of the accounts between the companies for mileage.[15] This
organization will be referred to more fully in connection with the
department of transportation. But the joint use of each other's
cars makes it necessary that there should be at least enough
similarity in their construction and their coupling appliances to
permit their indiscriminate use upon all roads. And conventions of
master car-builders have recommended certain forms and dimensions
as standards, which are now in general use.

There is much convenience in this, but one disadvantage. It
requires almost unanimous action to introduce any change of form
or of construction, however advantageous it may be. And to secure
unanimous action in such matters is almost as hard as it would be
to secure unanimity in a change in the spelling of English words.
Still there is progress, though slow, toward several desirable
reforms, the most important of which is the adoption of a standard
automatic coupler (see p. 142).

Having shown how the property of all kinds is kept in efficient
condition, we next come to its operation. This is called
"conducting transportation," and the officer in charge is usually
called the superintendent of transportation. All train-despatchers,
conductors, train-men, and telegraph operators are under his
immediate control. He makes all schedules and provides all extra
and irregular service that the traffic department makes requisition
for, himself calling upon the superintendent of machinery for
the necessary locomotives, switching engines, and cars. It is his
especial province to handle all trains as swiftly as possible, and
to see that there are no collisions. It is impossible to detail
fully the safeguards and precautions used to this end, but the
general principles observed are as follows:

First, a general time-table or schedule is carefully made out for
all regular trains upon each division, showing on one sheet the
time of each train at each station.

This schedule is all that is needed so long as all trains are
able to keep on time, and there are no extras. Trouble begins
when regular trains cannot keep on schedule, or when extra
trains have to be sent out, not provided for on the schedule. A
diagram, or graphic representation of this schedule, upon a board
or large sheet of paper, is an important feature of the office
regulating train-movements. Twenty-four vertical lines divide the
board into equal spaces representing the twenty-four hours of
the day, numbered from midnight to midnight. Horizontal lines at
proportionate distances from the top represent the stations in
their order between the termini, represented by the top and bottom
lines of the diagram. The course of every train can now be plotted
on this diagram in an oblique line joining the points on each
station line corresponding to the time the train arrives at and
leaves that station. The cut on the opposite page will illustrate.
It represents a road 130 miles long from A to N, with intermediate
stations B, C, D, etc., at different distances from each other, and
six trains are shown as follows:

A passenger train, No. 1, leaving A at 12 midnight and arriving
at N at 4.05 A.M. A fast express, No. 2, leaving N at 12.45 and
arriving at A at 3.30. A local passenger train, No. 4, which leaves
N at 1.15, runs to E by 4 A.M., stops there until 4.10, and returns
to N by 7 A.M.; being called No. 3 on the return, as the direction
is always indicated by the train-number's being odd or even. No. 5
is a way freight, leaving A at 12.05 and making long stops at each
station. No. 6 is an opposing train of the same character.

[Illustration: Diagram Used in Making Railway Time-Tables.]

[Illustration: A lamp swung across the track is the signal to stop.]

The diagram shows at a glance how, when, and where all these
trains meet and pass each other, and where every train is at any
moment. Should it be desired to send an extra train at any time, a
line drawn or a string stretched on the board will indicate what
opposing trains must be guarded against. For instance, to send
an extra through in three hours, leaving A between 1 and 2 A.M.,
a trial line will show that Nos. 5, 2, 4, and 6 must all be met
or passed, and as (on a single-track road) this can only be done
at stations, the extra must leave at 1.35 A.M., pass No. 5 at E,
meet No. 2 at F, No. 4 at I, and No. 6 at J. A dotted line on
the diagram indicates its run, and that No. 2 is held at F for 5
minutes to let it pass. If the road is double-tracked, only trains
going in the same direction need be regarded.[16]

[Illustration: A lamp raised and lowered vertically is the signal
to move ahead.]

But the more usual way of handling extra trains, when circumstances
will permit, is to let them precede or follow a regular train upon
the same schedule. The train is then said to be run in "sections,"
and a ten minutes' interval is allowed between them. That opposing
trains may be informed, the leading section (and when there are
more than two all but the last) wears on its locomotive two green
flags by day and two green lights by night, indicating that a train
follows which is to be considered as a part of the train leading,
and having the same rights.

[Illustration: A lamp swung vertically in a circle across the
track, when the train is standing, is the signal to move back.]

So far the rules are very simple, and they would be all that is
necessary if all trains could always be kept exactly on time. But
as that cannot be, provision must be made for all the complications
which will result. The first and most important rule is that no
train must ever, under any circumstances, run _ahead_ of time.
The next is that any train making a stop not on its schedule must
immediately send out flagmen with red flags, lights, and torpedoes
to protect it. This rule is a very difficult one to enforce
without rigid discipline, and its neglect is the cause of a large
percentage of the accidents "that will happen." The flagman who
must go to the rear, often a half-mile, at night, across trestles
and in storms, must frequently be left behind, to take his chances
of getting home by being picked up by a following train. There is
no one to watch him, and he will often take chances, and not go as
far back or as fast as he should; and if all goes well no one is
ever the wiser.

[Illustration: A lamp swung vertically in a circle at arm's length
across the track, when the train is running, is the signal that the
train has parted.]

Now, when a train is prevented from arriving on time at its
meeting-point, we must have some rules by which the opposing train
may proceed, or all business on the road would be suspended by the
delay of a single train. Only the general principles of these rules
can be stated within limits. They are as follows:

1. All freight trains must wait indefinitely for all passenger

2. When one train only is behind time, the opposing train of the
same class will wait for it a specified time, usually ten minutes,
and five minutes more for possible variation of watches, then go
ahead, keeping fifteen minutes behind its schedule.

3. But should such a train, running on delayed time, lose more
time, or in any other way should both trains get behind time,
then the one which is bound in a certain direction--for instance,
north--has the right to the track, and the other must lie by

[Illustration: The General Despatcher.]

These principles, duly observed, will prevent collisions, but
they will often cause trains to lose a great deal of time. The
train-despatcher, therefore, has authority to handle extra and
delayed trains by direct telegraphic order. Every possible
precaution is taken to insure that such orders are received and
correctly understood. As there are great advantages following
uniformity of usages and rules among connecting roads, after
years of conference, in conventions and by committees, approved
forms of all running rules and signals have recently been adopted
and are now in very general use over the United States. Yet,
in spite of all possible precautions, accidents will sometimes
happen. Richard Grant White gave a name to a mental habit which,
in train-despatchers, has caused many fatal accidents. It is
"heterophemy," or thinking one thing while saying, hearing, or
reading another. A case within my knowledge, which cost a dozen
lives, was as follows: Two opposing trains were out of time,
and the train-despatcher wished to have them meet and pass at a
certain station we will call "I," as Nos. 1 and 2 are represented
as doing on the diagram (see diagram of schedule board, p. 161).
So he telegraphed the following message, to be delivered to No. 1
at "H" and to No. 2 at "J": "Nos. 1 and 2 will meet at 'I.'"
This message was correctly received at "J" and delivered to No.
2. But at "H" the operator had just sold a passenger a ticket to
"K," and, getting this name in his head, he wrote out the message:
"Nos. 1 and 2 will meet at 'K.'" But the mistake was not yet
past correction. The operator had to repeat the message back to
the despatcher, that the latter might be sure it was correctly
understood. He repeated it as he had written it--"K." But the
despatcher was also "heterophemous." He _saw_ "K," but he _thought_
"I," and replied to the operator that the message was O. K.

[Illustration: Entrance Gates at a Large Station.]

So it was delivered to No. 1, and that train left "H" at full
speed, expecting to run thirty-five miles to "K" before meeting
No. 2. There was no telegraph office at "I," and there were no
passengers to get off or on, and it passed there without stopping,
and three miles below ran into No. 2 on a curve.

By one of those strange impulses which seem to come from some
unconscious cerebration, the train-despatcher meanwhile had a
feeling that something was wrong, and looked again at the message
received from "H" and discovered his mistake. But the trains were
then out of reach. He still hoped that No. 2 might arrive at "I"
first, or that they might meet upon a straight portion of road,
and as the time passed he waited at the instrument in a state of
suspense which may be imagined. When the news came he left the
office, and never returned.

Double tracks make accidents of this character impossible; but
introduce a new possibility, that a derailment from any cause upon
one track may obstruct the other track so closely ahead of an
opposing train that no warning can be given.

[Illustration: Central Switch and Signal Tower.]

Where trains become very numerous additional safeguards are added
by multiplying telegraph stations at short intervals, and giving
them conspicuous signals of semaphore arms and lanterns, until
finally the road is divided into a number of so-called "blocks"
of a few miles each; and no train is permitted to enter any block
until the train preceding has passed out. And in the approaches to
some of our great depots, where trains and tracks are multiplied
and confused with cross-overs and switching service, all switches
are set and all movements controlled by signals from a single
central tower. Sometimes, by very expensive and complicated
apparatus, it is made mechanically impossible to open a track for
the movement of a train without previously locking all openings by
which another train might interfere. The illustrations on pages
169, 171, and above will serve to give some general idea of these

[Illustration: Mantua Junction, West Philadelphia, showing a
Complex System of Interlacing Tracks.]

There remains one other branch of the duties of the master of
transportation--the proper daily distribution of cars to every
station according to its needs, and the keeping record of their
whereabouts. And now that the gauges of all roads are similar,
and competition enforces through shipments, roads are practically
making common property of each other's cars, and the detail and
trouble of keeping record of them become enormous.

[Illustration: Interior of a Switch-tower, showing the Operation of
Interlocking Switches.]

The records are made up from daily reports, by every conductor, of
every car, home or foreign, handled in his train, and from every
station-agent of all cars in his yard at certain hours. From these
returns the car accountant reports to their respective owners all
movements of foreign cars and gives the transportation department
information where cars are lying. The honesty of each other's
reports concerning car movements is generally relied upon by
railroads, but "lost car agents" are kept travelling to hunt up
estrays, and to watch how the cars of their roads are being handled.

It has been suggested that a great step in advance would be to
have all the roads in the United States unite and put all cars
into a common stock and let them be distributed, record kept of
movements, and mileage paid through a general clearing house.
This would practically form a single rolling-stock company owned
by the roads contributing their cars to it. It could gradually
introduce uniform patterns of construction, improved couplers, and
air-brakes, and could concentrate cars in different sections of the
country in large numbers as different crops required movement, thus
avoiding the blockades which often occur in one section while cars
are superabundant in another. Consolidations usually render more
efficient and cheaper service than separate organizations can do,
and this may come about in the course of time.[18]

We have now seen how the road is maintained and its trains safely
handled. The next step in order is to see how business is secured
and the rates to be charged are fixed. This department may be
controlled by a traffic manager, with two assistants--the general
freight agent and the general passenger agent--or the officers may
report directly to the general manager without the intervention
of a traffic manager. But it would be a more accurate expression
to say, not that these officers "fix" the rates, for if they did
few railroads would ever fail, but that they accept and announce
the rates that are fixed by conditions of competition between
different markets and products, and between different railroads
and water lines. Among these complex forces a railroad freight
agent is nearly as powerless to regulate rates as a professor of
grammar is to regulate the irregularities of English verbs. He
can accept them and use them, or he may let them alone, but the
irregularities will remain, all the same. There is no eccentricity,
for example, more idiotic or indefensible to the ordinary citizen
than a habit railroads have of sometimes charging less money for
a long haul than they charge for a shorter haul. Yet I believe
there is not a railroad line in the United States which will not
be found guilty of this apparent folly of charging "less for
the long haul" if its rates to distant points are followed far
enough. For if followed far enough we shall come to the ocean,
and find the railroad accepting business between two seaports. For
instance, all railroads running westward from New York through
some of their connections finally reach San Francisco, and compete
for freight between these ports. But the rates they are able to
obtain are limited by steamers using the ocean for a highway,
and sailing vessels using the wind for motive power, and able to
carry heavy freights at one-tenth the average cost to railroads
across mountains and deserts. This average cost must fix the
average rates charged by the railroads to intermediate points,
such as to Ogden, in Utah. So the railroad must either charge less
for the long haul to San Francisco, or leave that business to be
done solely by water. Yet it may be profitable to the railroad to
accept the business at such rates as it can obtain; for, as in all
business ventures, manufacturing or mercantile, _new_ business
can be profitably added at less than the average cost. And if
profitable to the railroad its tendency is beneficial, even to the
intermediate points which pay higher rates, as promoting better
service, besides being advantageous to the whole Pacific Coast in
tending to keep down the rates by water.

But it would lead too far from our subject to follow this and
several other questions which are suggested by it. Only it may
be said briefly that the original Interstate Commerce Bill,
introduced by Mr. Reagan, absolutely prohibited "less for the long
haul." The Senate amended by adding "under similar circumstances
and conditions," and the Interstate Commerce Commission has held
that "water competition" makes dissimilar circumstances and thus
legalizes it.

And in this connection it may be added that the other Senate
amendment to the Reagan bill, creating an Interstate Commerce
Commission, was, next to the above amendment, the wisest measure
of the bill. It forms a body of experts whose opinions and
decisions must gradually educate the public, on the one hand, to
a better understanding of transportation problems, and restrain
the railroads, on the other, from many of the abuses incident
to unchecked competition among them. For, however theorists may
differ as to the advantages or disadvantages of competition
in manufactures and commerce, either absolutely unchecked or
checked only by high or low tariffs, I think all will agree that
unchecked _railroad_ competition is a great evil, because it
results in fluctuating rates and private rebates to large shippers.
The rebates, to be sure, are forbidden by law, but they can be
disguised past recognition. I have known a case, for instance,
where a receipt was given for 75 barrels of whiskey, when only
73 were shipped. The shipper was to make claim for two barrels
lost and be paid an agreed value as a rebate on his freight bill.
In another case, a road agreed with a certain shipper to pay his
telegraph bills for a certain period in order to control his
shipments. Understating the weight or class of the shipment is
another common device for undercharging or rebating.

In nearly every foreign country there is either a railroad pool or
a division of territory, to prevent this sort of competition, which
is only pernicious. A merchant needs to feel assured that rates are
stable and uniform to all, and not that he must go shopping for
secret rates, in order to be on an equality with his competitor.
In the United States the railroads had largely resorted to pools
before the Interstate Commerce Law forbade them. The result of
this prohibition has generally been very advantageous to the best
lines, which, under the pool, really paid a sort of blackmail to
the poorer lines to maintain rates. If the penalties of the law
can restrain such lines from rebating and under-billing, to be rid
of the pool will be a great blessing to the well-located roads. If
not, then the roads will be driven into consolidation, for the end
of fighting will be bankruptcy and sale. Fortunately consolidation
has already gone so far in many sections of the country that the
difficulties of abolishing rebates have been greatly reduced. And
as far as it has gone it has proved of much advantage both to the
public and to the stockholders.

Fortunately, too, the other results attendant upon consolidation
have been sufficiently demonstrated to remove any intelligent
fear of extortion in rates or deterioration of service. Who would
to-day desire to undo the consolidations which have built up the
Pennsylvania Railroad or the New York Central, and call back to
life the numberless small companies which preceded them? The
country has outgrown such service as they could render, and the
local growth and development along the lines of these consolidated
companies certainly indicates improved conditions. In this
connection, too, the improvement in cost and character of service
is instructive. In 1865 the average rate per ton per mile on the
principal Eastern lines was about 2.900 cents; in 1887 it was 0.718
for a service twice as speedy and efficient.

There are many other live issues of great interest and importance
in transportation suggested by this subject, such as "re-billing"
or "milling in transit," and "differentials," but space forbids
more than an explanation of the meaning of these two especially
prominent ones.

  A             B             C

Let A B and B C be two railroads connecting at B. Let the local
rates A to B be 10 cents per 100 lbs. on grain, and B to C also
10 cents. Let the through rate A to C be 18, since longest hauls
are usually cheapest per mile. Let A be a large grain market, such
as Chicago. Now a merchant at C can save 2 cents per 100 lbs. by
buying direct from A instead of buying from a merchant at B. For
the grain will pay less for the single long haul than for the two
short hauls. But perhaps the town of B has for many years enjoyed
the trade of C, and there are large mills and warehouses erected
there. B will then say it is "discriminated against," and will
demand the privilege of "re-billing" or "milling in transit."
That is to say, when a merchant or miller at B ships to C grain,
or flour made of grain, which he received from A, the two roads
consent to make a new way-bill and treat the shipment as a through
shipment from A to C. The road B C charges but 8 cents, and the
road A B gives B C one cent from the 10 it originally collected.
This involves much trouble and a loss of revenue to the roads,
and is, apparently, a discrimination against the home products of
B, but roads frequently do it where there is competition at C by
rival lines, and also at local points along their lines to build up
mills, distilleries, and factories of all kinds in competition with
those located elsewhere. As yet the Interstate Commerce Commission
has not pronounced upon this practice.

The question of differentials is as follows: Suppose there are
three lines, B, D, and E, between the cities A and C (Diagram, page
176). B, being the shortest, will get most of the business when
rates are the same (10 cents, for instance) by each line. But D
and E insist upon participating, so they demand that B shall allow
them to operate lower or "differential" rates--that is, B must
maintain his rate at 10 while allowing D to charge only 8 and E 6
cents, on account of their disadvantages. So that a differential is
practically a premium offered for business by an inferior line.

The foregoing will illustrate how the rivalry of railroads with
each other complicates the making of rates. But even more difficult
to manage is the rivalry of markets, and of products, and of new
methods which threaten property invested in old methods; as, for
instance, the dressed-beef traffic from the West threatens the
investments in slaughter-houses and stock-yards in the East.

As the roads have found it necessary to act together in
establishing running rules and regulations, so, in spite of
all rivalries, there must also be joint agreements reached in
some way concerning rates. Usually the roads serving a certain
territory form an "association," and their freight agents form
"rate committees," which fix and publish joint rates. A tariff
published by one of the trunk lines from the Eastern cities forms a
good example. As the result of many long and bitter wars and many
compromises, it has been agreed among these roads that the rates
from New York to Chicago shall form a basis for all other rates,
and a scale has been fixed showing the percentage of the Chicago
rate to be used as the rate to each important point in the West.
Thus Pittsburgh, Pa., is 60 per cent. of Chicago rate; Indianapolis
is 93; Vandalia, 116. The tariff above referred to gives an
alphabetical list of some 5,000 towns reached over these roads, and
opposite each town the figure showing its percentage of the Chicago
rate. The list begins with Abanaka, O., 90, and ends with Zoar, O.,

The tariff next gives what is called the "Trunk Line
Classification," which is a list comprising every article known to
commerce, in all the different conditions, shapes, and packages in
which it is offered for transportation, and opposite each article
is given its assigned "class." This particular classification
assigns every article to one of six regular, or two special,
classes, and the present rates to Chicago in cents per 100 lbs.
are given as 75, 65, 50, 35, 30, 25, 26, 21. The list of articles
begins with Acetate of Lime, in car-loads, 5th class; in less
quantities, 4th; and ends with Zinc, in various forms from 1st to
6th--comprising in all nearly 6,000 articles. From these tables any
desired rate readily appears. Thus, 500 pounds of acetate of lime
would cost, from New York to Zoar, O., 74 per cent. of Chicago's
4th class rate, or 74 per cent. of 35--say, 26 cents per 100 lbs.,
or $1.30.

There is also given in the tariff pamphlet a list of some 300
manufacturing towns in New England, from each of which the same
rates apply as from New York. So, on the whole, the pamphlet gives
rates on about 6,000 articles from 300 points of origin to 5,000

In different sections of the country different classifications are
in use, some of them embracing twenty or more classes, and allowing
finer shades of difference between articles according to their
value, bulk, or many other varying conditions which determine the
class into which each article is put.

Great efforts have been made to bring about a uniformity of
classification over the whole United States, and the number of
classifications in extensive use has been reduced from a very large
number to perhaps a dozen.

But absolute uniformity cannot be obtained under the widely
different conditions which prevail in different sections, without
great loss and sacrifices somewhere. A road, for instance,
competing with a river or canal must adjust the classification of
the particular kinds of freight best adapted to river or canal
transportation so as to secure the traffic in competition with
boats. It must almost entirely disregard bulk, value, and all other
conditions upon which a road not affected by this particular kind
of competition arranges its classification. Uniformity would either
force one of them to lose a legitimate business, or the other to
reduce reasonable rates.

These rates and classifications are the battle-ground for all the
innumerable rivalries of trade and commerce. Every city is here at
war with every other city, every railroad with every other road,
every industry with those which rival it, and every individual
shipper is a skirmisher for a little special rate, or advantage,
all to himself. State legislatures and commissions, Congress, and
the Interstate Commerce Commission are the heavy artillery which
different combatants manage to bring into the contest. On these
rates probably a million dollars are collected every day, yet it is
very rarely that the _positive_ rates are fought over or complained
of. Their average is considerably below that of the average rates
of any other country in the world, even though other nations have
cheaper labor and denser populations. Fifty cents for carrying
a barrel of flour a thousand miles cannot be called exorbitant,
and, indeed, the retail prices paid for bread and clothing would
probably not be reduced in the slightest were the transportation
of all such articles absolutely free. But the battle is over the
_comparative_ rates to different points, over different routes, and
for different commodities.[19]

Passenger rates are established in much the same manner as freight
rates. There are passenger-agents' associations and conventions,
and they fight as do the freight men over comparative rates and
differentials, and commissions to agents. The last within a few
years has been a fearful abuse, and is not yet entirely abolished.
This will illustrate:

[Illustration: (Diagram of railways connecting A to E.)]

The road A B has two connections, C and D, to reach E. It sells
tickets over each at the same rate, and stands neutral between
them. But C agrees with A's ticket-seller that he will give him a
dollar for every ticket he can sell over C's line. D finds that
he is losing travel, and offers, privately, a larger commission.
Neither knows what the other is doing. The ticket-seller gets his
regular salary from A, and from C and D often enormous sums as
commissions, and is interested, not in sending ignorant travellers
over the line which might suit them best, but over the one paying
him the largest secret commission. This should be held as against
public policy, because it tends to prevent reductions in rates
to the public by robbing the roads of much of their revenue, and
it also demoralizes the officers who handle a business which is
practically but the giving away of large sums of money as bribes.

There is another practice in the passenger business which is unfair
at the best and is the source of many abuses. It is charging the
same to the man with no baggage as to the man with a Saratoga
trunk. If the baggage service were specially organized as a trunk
express, it could be more efficiently handled and without any
"baggage smashing," while the total cost of travelling to persons
with baggage would be no more than at present, and to those
without, much less.

As an illustration of the sort of abuses to which it is now liable,
I may cite a single case. I have known a merchant buy a lot of
twenty trunks for his trade, pack them all full of dry-goods,
check them to a city 1,000 miles away by giving a few dollars to
baggage-men, and himself buy a single ticket and go by a different
route. The roads which handled that baggage imagined that it
belonged to their passengers, and were never the wiser. While
the baggage service is free, no efficient checks can be provided
against such frauds.

Essential parts of both freight and passenger departments are the
soliciting agents. They are like the cavalry pickets and scouts of
an army, scattered far and wide over the country and looking after
the interests of their lines, making personal acquaintances of all
shippers and travellers, advertising in every possible manner,
and reporting constantly all that the enemy--the rival lines--are
doing, and often a great deal that they are not. For the great
railroad wars usually begin in local skirmishes brought on by the
zeal of these pickets when the officers in command would greatly
prefer to live in peace.

Besides their receipts from freight and passenger traffic,
railroads derive revenue also from the transportation of mails
and express freight on passenger trains, from the sleeping-car
companies, and from news companies for the privilege of selling
upon trains. Of the total revenue about 70 per cent. is usually
derived from freight, 25 per cent. from passengers, and 5 per cent.
from mail, express, sleeping-cars, and privileges. When it is
considered that high speed involves great risks and necessitates
a far more perfect roadway, more costly machinery and appliances,
and a higher grade and a greater number of employees, the fast
passenger, mail, and express traffic hardly seems at present to
yield its due proportion of income.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now followed the line of organization and management
through the physical maintenance of the road and rolling stock,
the safe handling of the trains, the establishment of rates, and
solicitation of business. It only remains to show how the revenue
is collected, how the expenses of operation are paid, and all
statistics of the business prepared. These duties are usually
united under charge of an officer called the comptroller, general
auditor, or some equivalent title. His principal subordinates,
whose duties are indicated by their titles, are the auditor of
receipts, auditor of disbursements, local treasurer, paymaster, and
clerk of statistics.

The record of a single shipment of freight will illustrate methods,
so far as limits will permit. A shipper sending freight for
shipment sends with each dray-load a "dray ticket" in duplicate,
showing the articles, weight, marks, and destination. If he has
prepaid the freight, or advanced any charges which are to be
paid at destination, it is also noted on the dray ticket. When
the drayman reaches the outbound freight depot with his load,
he is directed to a certain spot where all freight for the same
destination is being collected for loading. A receiving clerk
checks off his load against the duplicate dray tickets, keeps one
and files it, and gives the drayman the other, receipted. In case
of any loss arising afterward, the original dray ticket, made by
the shipper himself, with his marks and instructions, becomes a
valuable record. When the entire shipment has been delivered at
the loading point, the shipper takes the dray tickets representing
it to the proper desk, and receives "a bill of lading." This bill
of lading is made in triplicate. The original and a duplicate
are given to the shipper. He keeps the last and sends the former
to the consignee. It represents the obligation of the railroad
to transport and deliver the articles named on it to the person
named, or his assignee. It is negotiable, and banks advance money
upon it. But the shipper may still, by a legal process, have the
goods stopped _en route_ should occasion arise, as, for instance,
by the bankruptcy of the consignee. The goods are also liable for
garnishments in certain cases, and there is much railroad and
commercial law which it behooves the officials interested to be
well posted in. When the goods arrive at destination the possession
of the bill of lading is the evidence of the consignee's right to
receive them.

Now we will return to the shipment itself and see how it is
taken care of. The whole structure of the system of collecting
freight revenue, holding accountable all agents who assess it and
collect it, dividing it in the agreed proportions between all the
railroads, boats, bridges, wharves, and transfer companies who
may handle it in its journeys, even across the continent, and
the tabulating of the immense mass of statistics which are kept
to show, separately, the quantities of freight of every possible
class and variety, by every possible route, and to and from every
possible point of destination and departure--all this system,
neither the magnitude nor the minute elaboration of which can be
adequately described within limits, is founded upon a paper called
the way-bill.

The theory of the way-bill is that no car must move without one
accompanying it, describing it by its number and the initials
of the road owning it, and showing its points of departure and
destination, its entire contents, with marks and weights of each
package, consignors and consignees, freight and charges prepaid
or to be collected at destination, and the proportion of the same
due to each carrier or transfer in the line. And not only must a
way-bill accompany the car, but a duplicate of it must be sent
immediately and directly, by the office making the original, to
the office of the auditor of freight receipts. If the railroad
is a member of any association, as the Trunk Line Association in
New York, another duplicate is sent to its office, that it may
supervise all rates, and see what each road is doing. The sum of
all the way-bills is the total of a road's freight business. To
facilitate taking copies they are printed with an ink which will
give several impressions on strong, thin tissue-paper, forming
"soft copies," while the "hard copy," or original, goes with the
freight to be checked against it when the car is unloaded.

And while the original way-bill fulfils its important function of
conducting the freight to destination and delivery, the duplicate
which was forwarded directly to the auditor of freight receipts
has no less important purposes. It is the initial record that
freight has been earned, and it shows which agent of the company
has been charged with its collection. Before making any entries
from it its absolute correctness must be assured. For this purpose
all its figures are first checked by a rate-clerk, who is kept
constantly supplied by the traffic department with all current
rates, classifications, and percentage tables by which through
freights are divided. These way-bills, coming in daily by hundreds
and thousands, are then the grist upon which the office of the
auditor of receipts grinds, and from which come forth the accounts
with every agent, showing his debits for freight received, and the
consolidations showing the freight earnings of the road. Agents
remit the moneys they collect direct to the treasurer, who makes
daily reports of the credits due to each one. A travelling auditor
visits every station at irregular intervals and checks the agent's
accounts, requiring him to justify any difference between his
debits and credits by an exhibit of undelivered freight.

The passenger earnings are obtained from daily reports by all
conductors of their collections, and by all ticket-sellers of
tickets sold. These reports are also checked by a passenger
rate-clerk, and the travelling auditor frequently examines and
verifies the tickets reported by agents as on hand unsold.

After the auditor of receipts has finished with the way-bills and
ticket reports, they go to the statistical department, where are
prepared the great mass and variety of statistics required by
different officers to keep themselves thoroughly posted on the
growth or decrease of business of every variety, and from and to
every market reached by the road. Finally, the way-bills are filed
away for reference in case of claims for overcharges, or lost or
damaged goods.

The auditor of disbursements has supervision of all expenditures of
money, which is only paid out by the paymaster or treasurer upon
vouchers and pay-rolls approved by proper authority. The vouchers
and pay-rolls then form the grist upon which his office works, and
from which are produced the credits to be given all officers and
agents who disburse money, and the classified records of expenses,
and comparison of the same with previous months and years, and
between different divisions.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have thus outlined the skeleton of a railroad organization, and
suggested briefly the relations between its most important parts,
and some of the principles upon which its work is conducted. The
scheme of authority is outlined in the diagram on page 185. But
space is utterly lacking to clothe the skeleton with flesh and
go into the innumerable details and adjustments involved in the
economical and efficient discharge of all of its functions.

It seems a very simple matter for a railroad to place a barrel of
flour in a car, to carry it to its destination, and to collect
fifty cents for the service. It is done apparently so spontaneously
that even the fifty cents may seem exorbitant, and I have actually
heard appeals for free transportation on the ground that the cars
were going anyhow. So it also seems a very simple matter for a
man to pick up a stone and place it on a wall. But this simple
act involves in the first place the existence of a bony frame,
with joints, sinews, and muscles, sustained by a heart, lungs, and
digestive system, with eyes to see, a brain to direct, nerves to
give effect to the will-power, and a thousand delicate adjustments
of organs and functions without which all physical exertion would
soon cease. Similarly, a railroad organized to respond efficiently
to all the varied demands upon it as a common carrier, by the
public, and as an investment by its owners, becomes almost a living
organism. That the barrel of flour may be safely delivered and
the fifty cents reach the company's treasury, and a part of it
the stockholder's pocket, the whole organization outlined in the
diagram must thrill with life, and every officer and employee, from
president to car-greaser, must discharge his special functions.
All must be coordinated, and the organization must have and use
its eyes and its ears, its muscle, its nerves, and its brain. It
must immediately feel and respond to every demand of our rapidly
advancing civilization.

Each road usually has its own individuality and methods, and its
employees are animated with an _esprit de corps_, as are the
soldiers in an army. There is much about the service that is
attractive, and, on the whole, the wages paid railroad employees
are probably in excess of the rates for similar talent in any other
industry, although labor in every other industry in the United
States is protected by high tariffs, while in this it is under the
incubus of legislation as oppressive as constitutional limits will

             |                        |                          |
  _Secretary and Treasurer_    _General Manager_              _General_
                                      |                       _Counsel_
   |                    {Auditor of Receipts
   |                    {Auditor of Disbursements
   +-Comptroller--------{Travelling Auditor
   |                    {Local Treasurers
   |                    {Local Paymasters
   |                    {Clerk of Statistics
   +-Purchasing Agent--+-Local Storekeepers
   |                   |
   |                   |                 {Receiving Clerks and Laborers
   |                   |                 {Loading Clerks and Laborers
   |                   |                 {Billing Clerks
   |                ...+-Station Agents--{Discharging Clerks and Laborers
   |                :  |                 {Delivery Clerks
   |                :  |                 {Collectors     {Yard Engines
   |                :  |                 {Yard Master----{Switchmen
   |                :  |                                 {Brakemen
   |                :  |
   |                :  |
   +-Superintendent of |                 {Train Despatchers
   |    Transportation-+-Train Master----{Operators
   |                   |                 {Conductors
   |                   |                 {Trainmen
   |                   |
   +-Division          |                                 {Engine Runners
   | Superintendents---+                 +-Foreman       {Firemen
   |                   |                 | Machine Shop--{Hostelers and
   |                   |                 |               {  Cleaners
   +-Superintendent of |                 |               {Mechanics
   |         Machinery-+-Master Mechanic-+               {Laborers
   |                   |                 |
   |                   |                 |               {Car Inspectors
   |                   |                 +-Foreman       {Greasers
   |                   |                     Car Shop----{Mechanics
   |                   |                                 {Laborers
   |                   |
   |                   |
   |                   |                                 {Bridge Foremen
   |                   |                 +-Supervisors   {Watchmen
   |                   |                 |  of Bridges---{Carpenter Gangs
   +-Superintendent of |                 |               {Mason Gangs
   |           Roadway-+-Road Master-----+
   |                                     |               {Section Foremen
   |                                     +-Supervisors   {Gangs and Track
   |                                           of Road---{  Walkers
   |                                                     {Wood and Water
   |                                                     {  Tenders
   |                                                     {Floating Gangs
   |                                                     {Construction
   |                                                     {  Trains
   +Car Accountant-------Lost Car Agents
   |                   +-General           {Travelling Agents
   |                   | Passenger Agent---{Local Agents
   |                   |                   {Rate and Division Clerks
   +Traffic Manager----+-Claim Agent
                       +-General           {Travelling Agents
                         Freight Agent-----{Local Agents
                                           {Rate and Division Clerks

  Diagram showing the Skeleton of a Railroad Organization, and Lines of

In Europe, where the pooling system practically prevails, the
service is much more stable than in the United States, and in many
instances there are pensions and insurances and disability funds,
and regular rules for promotion and retirement, and provision for
the children of employees being brought into service in preference
to outsiders. Such relations between a company and its employees as
must result from arrangements of this character are surely of great
benefit to both. They are the natural outgrowth of _stability of
business_. Their most advanced form is found in France, where each
road is practically protected from dangerous competition by means
of a division of territory. In the United States we are still in
the midst of a fierce competition for territory and business, and,
as pooling is forbidden, the railroad companies will be in unstable
equilibrium until consolidation takes place. As that goes on, and
large and rich corporations are formed, with prospects of stability
in management and in business, we may hope to see similar relations
established between our companies and their employees. Already
there is a beginning upon some of the largest roads, such as the
Baltimore & Ohio and the Pennsylvania Central. But the ground still
needs preparation also on the employees' side, for our American
spirit is aggressive and is sometimes rather disposed to resent,
as interfering with its independence, any paternal relations with
a corporation. And as we have before found railroad management
in intimate contact with every problem of finance and commerce,
it is here confronted with the social and industrial questions
involved in labor unions and problems of co-operation. As to the
results, we can only say that, as war is destructive, no state of
warfare, even between capital and labor, can be permanent. Peaceful
solutions must prevail in the end, and progress toward stability,
peace, and prosperity in railroad operation and ownership will be
progress toward the happy solution of many vexed social questions.


[14] See "How to Feed a Railway," page 302.

[15] See "The Freight-car Service," page 275.

[16] Of course, this "stringing" of an extra train is not always
done in actual operation. Practice and experience will give as
wonderful expertness to a train-despatcher in handling trains "in
his head" as to a mathematician in solving problems, and often all
trains on a road will be handled entirely "by order," or as extras.
But the example given illustrates the principle upon which expert
practice is based.

[17] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 204.

[18] See "The Freight-car Service," page 288.

[19] An idea may be gained of the extent and minuteness of the
classification, and of the constant changes and adjustments,
both of rates and classifications, perpetually going on from the
following partial list of subjects submitted to a recent meeting
of the Rate Committee of the Southern Railway and Steamship

RATES.--Watermelon rates; canned goods, Richmond to Atlanta; rates
on cement from Eastern cities to Association territory; rates
on sulphuric acid from Atlanta; rates from Atlanta, etc., to
California and Transcontinental terminals; special iron rates from
Cincinnati, etc., to Carolina points; rates on earthenware, East
Liverpool to S. E. territory; rates on cotton bags to Memphis from
Atlanta; rates on fertilizers to Mobile, Ala.; beer rates; rates
on special iron articles from Chattanooga; rates from the West to
Camden, S. C.; rates from Evansville and Cairo, on business from
points between Cairo, Evansville, and Chicago.

CLASSIFICATION.--Classification of paper twine; beer packages,
empty returned; old machinery returned for repairs; steel car
springs; cotton softener; iron safes or vaults weighing over 12,000
lbs.; toys, etc.; portable powder magazines; coffee extract; empty
lard tierces returned; bolts and nuts in barrels; box and barrel
material; glass oil bottles in tin jackets; cast-iron radiators;
malleable iron castings; dried beef; sausage; straw paper; burlaps;
tobacco stems; hinges; straw braids; lawn hose reels; excelsior;
car-load rates.

SUBJECTS NOT ON THE REGULAR LIST.--Demurrage rules; adjustment of
rates as per instructions from the Executive Board; rates from
Cincinnati to Columbus, Eufaula, Opelika, etc.; classification of
iron tanks; classification of whiting; rates to Eufaula, Ala., from
East; rates to Milledgeville, Ga.; classification of cast-iron cane
mills; classification of locomotives and tenders.



  The Possibilities of Destruction in the Great Speed of
  a Locomotive--The Energy of Four Hundred Tons Moving at
  Seventy-five Miles an Hour--A Look ahead from a Locomotive at
  Night--Passengers Killed and Injured in One Year--Good Discipline
  the Great Source of Safety--The Part Played by Mechanical
  Appliances--Hand-brakes on Old Cars--How the Air brake Works--The
  Electric Brake--Improvements yet to be Made--Engine Driver
  Brakes--Two Classes of Signals: those which Protect Points
  of Danger, and those which Keep an Interval between Trains
  on the Same Track--The Semaphore--Interlocking Signals and
  Switches--Electric Annunciators to Indicate the Movements--The
  Block Signal System--Protection for Crossings--Gates and
  Gongs--How Derailment is Guarded Against--Safety Bolts--Automatic
  Couplers--The Vestibule as a Safety Appliance--Car Heating and

In 1829, when Ericsson's little locomotive "Novelty," weighing two
and a half tons, ran a short distance at the rate of thirty miles
an hour, a writer of the time said that "it was the most wonderful
exhibition of human daring and human skill that the world had
ever seen." To-day trains weighing four hundred tons thunder by
at seventy-five miles an hour, and we hardly note their passage.
We take their safety as a matter of course, and seldom think of
the tremendous possibilities of destruction stored up in them. But
seventy-five miles an hour is one hundred and ten feet a second,
and the energy of four hundred tons moving at that rate is nearly
twice as great as that of a 2,000-pound shot fired from a 100-ton
Armstrong gun. This is the extreme of weight and speed now reached
in passenger service, and, indeed, is very rarely attained, and
then but for short distances; but sixty miles is a common speed,
and a rate of forty or fifty miles is attained daily on almost
every railroad in the country. We cannot tell from the time-tables
how fast we travel. The schedule times do not indicate the delays
that must be made up by spurts between stations. The traveller
who is curious to know just how fast he is going, and likes the
stimulus of thinking that he is in a little danger, may find
amusement in taking the time between mile-posts; and when these
are not to be seen, he can often get the speed very accurately by
counting the rails passed in a given time. This may be done by
listening attentively at an open window or door. The regular clicks
of the wheels over the rail-joints can usually soon be singled out
from the other noises, and counted. The number of rail-lengths
passed in twenty seconds is almost exactly the number of miles run
in an hour.

[Illustration: Danger Ahead!]

But if one wants to get a lively sense of what it means to rush
through space at fifty or sixty miles an hour, he must get on a
locomotive. Then only does he begin to realize what trifles stand
between him and destruction. A few months ago a lady sat an hour
in the cab of a locomotive hauling a fast express train over a
mountain road. She saw the narrow bright line of the rails and
the slender points of the switches. She heard the thunder of the
bridges, and saw the track shut in by rocky bluffs, and new perils
suddenly revealed as the engine swept around sharp curves. The
experience was to her magnificent, but the sense of danger was
almost appalling. To have made her experience complete, she should
have taken one engine ride in a dark and rainy night. In a daylight
ride on a locomotive, we come to realize how slender is the rail
and how fragile its fastenings, compared with the ponderous machine
which they carry. We see what a trifling movement of a switch makes
the difference between life and death. We learn how short the look
ahead must often be, and how close danger sits on either hand. But
it is only in a night ride that we learn how dependent the engineer
must be, after all, upon the faithful vigilance of others. We
lean out of the cab and strain our eyes in vain to see ahead. The
head-light reveals a few yards of glistening rail, and the ghostly
telegraph poles and switch targets. Were a switch open, a rail
taken up, or a pile of ties on the track, we could not possibly see
the danger in time to stop. The friendly twinkle of a signal lamp,
shining faintly, red or white, tells the engineer that the way
is blocked or is clear, and he can only rush along trusting that no
one of a dozen men on whom his life depends has made a mistake.

When one reflects upon the destructive energy which is contained
in a swiftly moving train, and sees its effects in a wreck; when
he understands how many minute mechanical details, and how many
minds and hands must work together in harmony to insure its safe
arrival at its destination, he must marvel at the safety of
railroad travel. In the year 1887, the passengers killed in train
accidents in the United States were 207; those injured were 916.
The employees killed were 406, and injured 890.[20] These were in
train accidents only, it must be remembered, and do not include
persons killed at crossings, or while trespassing on the track,
or employees killed and injured making up trains. As will be seen
later, the casualties in these two classes are much greater than
those from train accidents. The total passenger movement in 1887
was equal to one passenger travelling 10,570,306,710 miles. That is
to say, a passenger might have travelled 51,000,000 miles before
being killed, or 12,000,000 miles before being injured. Or he might
travel day and night steadily at the rate of 30 miles an hour for
194 years before being killed. Mark Twain would doubtless conclude
from this that travelling by rail is much the safest profession
that a man could adopt. It is unquestionably true that it is safer
than travelling by coach or on horseback, and probably it is safer
than any other method of getting over the earth's surface that man
has yet contrived, unless it may be by ocean steamer. If one wants
anything safer he must walk.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Stephenson's Steam Driver-brake. Patented 1833.]

In considering the means that have been adopted to make railroad
travel safe, it must be remembered that there are very few devices
in use that are purely safety appliances. Nearly everything used on
a railroad has an economic or mechanical value, and if it promotes
safety that is but part of its duty. The great source of safety in
railroad working is good discipline. Of all the train accidents
which have happened in the United States in the last sixteen
years, nearly ten per cent. were due to negligence in operation,
and seventeen per cent. were unexplained. Of these no doubt many
were due to negligence, and many that were attributed to defects of
track and equipment would have been prevented, had men done their
duty. The value of mechanical appliances for safety is perhaps as
often overrated as underrated. Undoubtedly the best, and in the
long run the cheapest, practice will be that which combines in
the highest degree both elements--disciplined intelligence and
perfection of mechanical details.

[Illustration: Driver-brake on Modern Locomotive.]

First in importance among the mechanisms which demand attention
here is the brake. From the beginning of railroads the necessity
for brakes was apparent, and in 1833 Robert Stephenson patented a
steam driver-brake (the brake on the driving-wheels). This was but
four years after the Rainhill trials, which settled the question
of the use of locomotives on the Liverpool & Manchester Railroad.
This early brake contained the principle of the driver-brake,
operated by steam or air, which has in late years come into wide
use. The apparatus is so simple that the cut representing it hardly
needs explanation. Admission of steam into the cylinder raised
the piston, which through a lever and rod raised the toggle-joint
between the brake-blocks and forced them against the treads of
the wheels. Essentially the same method of applying the retarding
force can now be seen on most passenger engines, and often, but not
so commonly, on engines for freight service. For various reasons
Stephenson's driver-brake did not come into use.

[Illustration: English Screw-brake, on the Birmingham and
Gloucester Road, about 1840.]

Innumerable devices for car-brakes have been invented, but they
divide themselves into two groups: those in which the retarding
force is applied to the circumference of the wheel, and those in
which it is applied to the rail. The class of brakes in which
the retarding force is applied to the rail has been little used,
although various contrivances have been devised to transfer a
portion of the weight of the car from the wheels to runners sliding
on the rails. There are many objections to the principle, and it
will probably never again be seriously considered by railroad men.
The apparatus is necessarily heavy, the power required to apply it
is great, and its action is slow. When brought into action it is
not as efficient as the brake applied to the tread of the wheels,
and the transfer of the load increases the chance of derailment.

[Illustration: English Foot-brake on the Truck of a Great Western
Coach, about 1840.]

Many different devices have been used to apply the brake-shoes to
the wheels, and various sources of power. Hand-power brakes have
been used, worked by levers, or by screws, or by winding a chain
on a staff; or, in still other forms, springs wound up by hand are
released and apply the brakes by their pressure. The momentum of
the train has been employed to wind up chains by the rotation of
the axles. This is the principle of the chain-brake, very much used
in England. This same source of power has been utilized by causing
the drawheads, when thrust in as the cars run together, to wind up
the brake-chains. Hydraulic pressure has been used in cylinders
under the cars; and finally air, either under pressure or acting
against a vacuum, has been found to be the most useful of all means
of operating train-brakes. Early forms of hand-brakes are seen in
the illustrations of some old English cars. The coach shows a
hand-brake operated by a screw and system of levers. By turning
a crank the guard puts in operation the system of levers which
apply the brake with great force; but the operation is slow. The
common hand-brake of the United States is too well known to need
illustration. With this brake a chain is wound around the foot of
a staff, and the pull of this chain is transmitted by a rod to the
brake-levers. This apparatus is simple, and when a train is manned
by a sufficient number of smart brakemen it is capable of doing
good service. This simple form of hand-brake will probably be used
in freight-car service until it is replaced by air-brakes, and the
various forms of chain and momentum brakes do not appear likely to
be much more used in the future than they have been in the past.
Therefore, no further space will be given to them.

The expression, electric brake, is now often heard, and requires
a word of explanation. There are various forms of so-called
electric brakes which are practicable, and even efficient, working
devices. In none of them, however, does electricity furnish
the power by which the brakes are applied; it merely puts in
operation some other power. In one type of electric brake the
active braking force is taken from an axle of each car. A small
friction-drum is made fast to the axle. Another friction-drum
hung from the body of the car swings near the axle. If, when
the car is in motion, these drums are brought in contact, that
one which hangs from the car takes motion from the other, and
may be made to wind a chain on its shaft. Winding in this chain
pulls on the brake-levers precisely as if it had been wound on
the shaft of the hand-brake. The sole function of electricity
in this form of brake is to bring the friction-drums together.
In a French brake which has been used experimentally for some
years with much success, an electric current, controlled by the
engine-driver, energizes an electro-magnet which forms part of
the swinging-frame in which the loose friction-pulley is carried.
This electro-magnet being vitalized, is attracted toward the axle,
thus bringing the friction-drums in contact. In an American brake
lately exhibited on a long freight train, a smaller electro-magnet
is used, but the same end is accomplished by multiplying the
power by the intervention of a lever and wheel. The other type of
so-called electric brake is that in which the motive power is
compressed air, and the function of the electric device is simply
to manipulate the valves under each car, by which the air is let
into the brake-cylinder or allowed to escape, thus putting on or
releasing the brakes. All of these devices have this advantage,
that, whatever the length of the train, the application of the
brakes is simultaneous on all the wheels, and stops can be made
from high speed with little shock. Up to two years ago it seemed
as if this advantage might be a controlling one, and compel the
introduction of electric brakes for freight service. Since then the
new "quick-acting" form of the air-brake has been developed, by
which the brakes are applied on the rear of a fifty-car train in
two seconds, and there is no longer any necessity to turn to other
devices. It is doubtful, therefore, if the additional complication
of electricity is widely introduced into brake mechanism for many
years, if ever.

It is now universally held that the brake, both for freight and for
passenger service, must be continuous; that is, it must be applied
to every wheel of every car of the train from some one point, and
ordinarily that point must be the engineer's cab. With the valve of
an efficient continuous brake constantly under his left hand, the
engine-driver can play with the heaviest and fastest train. Without
that instrument his work is far more anxious, and much less certain.

The continuous brake which to-day prevails all over the world, is
the automatic air-brake. In the United States much the largest part
of the rolling stock used in passenger service is equipped with the
Westinghouse automatic brake. A few roads peculiarly situated use
the Eames vacuum-brake. That brake is used on the elevated roads
of New York, and on the Brooklyn bridge roads. The Westinghouse
brake is also largely used in England, on the Continent of Europe,
in India, Australia, and South America. In the United States it is
being rapidly applied to freight cars also. This brake, therefore,
being the highest development of the automatic air-brake, and
the one most widely used, will be briefly described, as best
representing the most approved type of the most important of all
safety appliances.

The general diagram which is given on pages 196-97 shows all of
the principal parts as applied to a locomotive, a tender, and a
passenger car. The diagram is reduced from one prepared by Mr. M.
N. Forney for a new edition of his "Catechism of the Locomotive."
In the plan view are shown very clearly the hand-wheels, the
chains, the rods, and the levers by which the brake is applied by
hand. In passenger service the hand-wheels are rarely used, but
they are retained for convenience in switching cars in the yard,
and for those rare emergencies in which the air-brakes fail. Under
the middle of the car the ordinary pull-rod of the old hand-brake
is cut and two levers are inserted. One lever is connected with
the brake-cylinder, and the other with the piston which slides in
that cylinder. When air is admitted to the cylinder the piston is
driven out, and the brakes are applied exactly as they would be
were the chains wound up by turning the hand-wheels. Compressed
air is supplied to the cylinder from the reservoir near it, in
which pressure is maintained at from 70 to 80 pounds per square
inch by a pump placed on one side of the locomotive. The pump fills
the main reservoir on the engine, and also the car-reservoirs, by
means of the train-pipe which extends under all the cars. When
the brakes are off there is a full pressure of air in all of the
car-reservoirs and train-pipes. It is a _reduction_ of the pressure
in the train-pipes which causes the brakes to be applied.

[Illustration: Plan and Elevation of Air-brake
Apparatus.--Reservoirs and piping in solid black; brake gear

This fact must be borne in mind, for it is on this principle that
the automatic action of the brakes depends. If a train parts, or
if the air leaks out of the train-pipe, the brakes go on. This
automatic principle is a vital one in most safety appliances,
and it is secured in the case of the air-brake by one of the
most ingenious little devices that man ever contrived, that is,
the triple valve, which is placed in the piping system between
the brake-cylinder and the car-reservoir. This triple valve has
passages to the brake-cylinder, to the car-reservoir, to the
train-pipe, and to the atmosphere. Which of these passages are
open and which are closed depends upon the position of a piston
inside of the triple valve, and the position of that piston is
determined by the difference in air-pressure on either side of it.
Thus, when the pressure in the train-pipe is greater than that in
the car-reservoir, the triple valve piston is forced over, say to
the left, a communication is opened from the train-pipe to the
car-reservoir, and the air pressure in the latter is restored from
the main reservoir on the locomotive. At the same time a passage is
opened from the brake-cylinder to the atmosphere, the compressed
air escapes, the brake-piston is driven back by a spring, and
the brakes are released. If the pressure in the train-pipe is
reduced, the triple-valve piston is driven to the right (we will
assume) by the pressure from the car-reservoir, the passage to the
atmosphere is closed, air flows freely from the car-reservoir to
the brake-cylinder, and the brakes are applied.

The function of the engineer's valve is to control these
operations. Naturally the runner's left hand rests on this
instrument, which is fixed to the back head of the boiler. To apply
the brakes he turns the handle to such a position as to allow air
to escape from the train-pipe; to release, he turns it to allow air
to pass from the main or locomotive reservoir into the train-pipe,
and thence into the car-reservoir. It is hardly necessary to say
that the operation of the brake, which has been described for one
car, is practically simultaneous throughout the train. The brakes
on the driving-wheels of the engine are also automatically applied
at the same time as those of the cars and the tender.

In the plan on page 197 the several different positions of the
handle of the engineer's valve are indicated, and among them the
service-stop and the emergency-stop positions. The quickness of
the stop can be to some degree controlled by the rapidity with
which the air-pressure in the train-pipe is reduced. To make a
stop in the shortest possible time, the runner moves the throttle
lever with his right hand and shuts off steam, and with his left
hand moves the handle of the engineer's valve to the emergency
position, then pulls the sand-rod handle to let sand down to the
rails, and finally, if the engine is not fitted with driver-brakes,
he must reverse the engine and again open the throttle. These
movements must be made in order and with precision; and to make
them instantly and without mistake in the face of sudden danger
requires coolness and presence of mind. It sometimes happens that
an engine-runner reverses his engine before shutting off steam, in
which case the cylinder-heads will very likely be blown out and the
engine be instantly disabled. Then, if there are no driver-brakes,
the locomotive is worse than useless, for instead of aiding in
making the stop, its momentum adds to the work to be done by the
train-brakes. Again, if the air-pressure in the brake-cylinders
is so high, and the adjustment of the levers such that an instant
application of the full pressure will stop the rotation of the
wheels, and cause them to slide on the rails, the stop will take
longer than if the wheels continued to revolve. The maximum
braking effect is obtained when the pressure on the wheels is
as great as it can be without causing them to slide, and it may
happen that a quicker stop can be made by putting the engineer's
valve to the service-stop position than by trying to make an
emergency-stop. The runner must, therefore, be familiar with the
special conditions of his brakes, and must have that kind of mind
which can be depended upon to work clearly and quickly in a moment
of tremendous responsibility. Fortunately, such minds are not very
rare. The world is full of heroes who want only discipline, habit,
and opportunity.

The pressure of air in the main reservoir and the train-pipe is
maintained by the air-pump on the locomotive, the speed of which
is automatically regulated by an ingenious governor. It is the
throbbing of this vigilant machine which one hears during short
stops at stations. The air-pressure has been reduced in applying
the brakes, and the governor has set the pump at work.

All of those parts of the air-brake apparatus which are shown in
the diagram (pp. 196-97) can be easily seen on a train standing
at a station; but the curious traveller must be careful not to
mistake the gas-tank carried under some cars for the car-reservoir.
The gas-tank is about eight feet long; the car-reservoir is about
thirty-three inches.

Although the air-brake can almost talk, it is still not perfect.
There are several fortunes to be made yet in improving it. For
instance, it is desirable, in descending long and steep grades,
that the brake-pressure should be just sufficient to control the
speed of the train, and should be steadily applied; otherwise
the descent will be by a succession of jerks which may become
dangerous. With the automatic the brakes must be occasionally
released to recharge the reservoirs, or when the speed of the train
is too much reduced; and it is difficult to keep a uniform speed.
So far, the means devised to overcome this difficulty and keep a
constant and light pressure on the wheels have been thought too
costly or complicated for general use. With hand-brakes long trains
are controlled by the brakes of but a few of the cars in any one
train. It follows that in the descent of grades the braked wheels
must often run for miles with the pressure as great as it can be
without sliding the wheels. The rim of the wheel is rapidly heated
by the friction of the brake-shoe, and the unequal expansion of
the heated and the unheated parts of the wheel causes a fracture.
This is why so many broken car-wheels are found at the foot of
grades--of all places the worst for such an accident to happen.
With "straight air," that is, with the pressure from the main
reservoir, or the air-pump, going directly to the brake-cylinder,
the engineer can apply the brakes to all the wheels of his train
simultaneously, and with great delicacy of graduation; and by
turning a three-way cock which is placed in the piping of each
car, the air can be used "straight." This is regularly done on
some mountain-roads. At summits the trains are stopped and the
brakes are changed from "automatic" to "straight." This practice is
dangerous, however, and is not approved by the best brake-experts,
for if a hose bursts, or through some other accident the air in
the train-pipe escapes, the brakes are useless. The automatic
arrangement by which a reduction of air-pressure in the train-pipe
applies the brakes, as previously explained, is much preferred,
although no entirely satisfactory means has yet been devised for
automatically regulating the air-pressure in the brake-cylinder.

There is not space here to enter into the history of the air-brake.
It was first practically applied to passenger trains in 1868.
The first great epoch in its subsequent development was the
invention, by Mr. George Westinghouse, Jr., of the triple valve.
The introduction of the triple valve at once reduced the time of
full application of the brake for a ten-car train from twenty-five
seconds to about eight seconds. This means, at forty miles an hour,
a reduction by more than one thousand feet in the distance in which
a train can be stopped. The next great epoch in the history of the
air-brake was made by the celebrated Burlington brake-trials of
1886 and 1887. These trials were undertaken by a committee of the
Master Car-builders' Association, to determine whether or not there
was any power-brake fit for freight service. For general freight
service the brake must be capable of arresting a very long train,
with cars loosely coupled, running at a fair average passenger
speed, without producing objectionable shocks in the rear of the
train. The two series of trials were carried out in July, 1886,
and May, 1887. The competing brake-companies brought to the trials
trains of fifty cars each, equipped with their devices. Skilled
mechanical engineers from various railroad and private companies
assisted both years. These trials were most exhaustive, and have
contributed more to the art of braking than any that preceded or
have followed them. The first year's trials developed the fact that
the air-brakes could not be applied on the rear of a fifty-car
train in less than eighteen seconds, whereas the head of a train
moving twenty miles an hour could be completely stopped in fifteen
seconds. The result was that disastrous collisions between the
cars of any one train were produced in the act of stopping. Men in
the rear cars were thrown down and injured, and much damage was
done to the cars. At the end of nineteen days the brake-companies
went home to work another year over the new problem. In 1887 they
reappeared on the same ground, and in eighteen days proved that
no simple air-brakes, as then operated, could prevent disastrous
shocks in a long train; but it was shown that by bringing in
electricity to actuate the air-valves, the application of the
brakes could be made practically simultaneous throughout the train.
Mr. Westinghouse, however, during the summer following, made such
modifications in the triple valve and in the train-pipe that he
succeeded in applying the brakes throughout a fifty-car train in
two seconds. That settled the matter. He at once equipped a train
of fifty cars, and in October and November, 1887, that train made
a journey of about three thousand miles, making exhibition stops
at various cities. The journey was a splendid and conclusive
demonstration that the air-brake is now a thoroughly efficient
and reliable contrivance for freight as well as for passenger
service. The result has been a very rapid application of the new
quick-acting brake to freight cars. The performance of this train
was to railroad men most impressive. A freight train of fifty cars
is about one-third of a mile long. To see such a train, running
forty miles an hour, smoothly stopped in one-third of its own
length, without shock or fuss, was an object-lesson that no one
could fail to understand or to remember. Some of the stops made by
this train will give a fair notion of the relative power of hand-
and air-brakes for quick stops. The following figures are averages
of stops made in six different cities. They give the distances run
in feet from the instant of applying the brakes till the train was
brought to a stand-still:

  Hand-brakes, 50 cars, 20 miles an hour        794
  Air-brakes, 50 cars, 20 miles an hour         166
  Air-brakes, 50 cars, 40 miles an hour         581
  Air-brakes, 20 cars, 20 miles an hour          99

With twenty cars at twenty miles an hour even shorter stops were
made than those recorded above. In the Burlington trials the
hand-brake stops, with fifty-car trains at forty miles an hour,
were made in from two thousand five hundred to three thousand feet.

[Illustration: Dwarf Semaphores and Split Switch.]

The air-brake is somewhat complicated, but the complicated
mechanism is strong, has little movement, and is securely protected
from dirt and the elements. It is therefore little liable to
derangement. It is, however, becoming better understood that
brake-gear must be good, and employees carefully instructed in
the care and use of the air-brake to get its best results; and in
recent years two or three elaborate instruction-cars have been
fitted up for the education of the enginemen and trainmen.

Space does not permit more than an allusion to driver-brakes,
which are operated by steam and by air. The forms in constant use
are made by the Eames, the American, the Westinghouse, and the
Beals companies. Nor can much be said here of the water-brake,
used to some extent on locomotives working heavy grades. It
consists of a simple arrangement of admitting a little hot water,
instead of steam, to the cylinders. The engine is reversed and the
cylinder-cocks are opened to the air. The cylinders then act as
air-pumps, and the retarding effect is due to the back pressure.
The use of the water is to prevent overheating of the parts.

[Illustration: Semaphore Signal with Indicators.

(One arm governs several tracks. The number of the track which is
clear is shown on the indicator disk.)]

If it is important to have efficient means of stopping trains,
it is scarcely less important to have timely information of the
need of stopping them. To give such information is the function
of signals, which, among safety appliances, must stand next after
brakes. Signals fall naturally into two great classes: Those which
protect points of danger and govern the movements of engines in
yards, and those which keep an interval of space between two trains
running on one track. For the protection of switches, crossings,
junctions, and the like, signals in immense variety have been used,
and, unfortunately, are still used; but in the last ten or fifteen
years the semaphore signal has become the general standard in the
United States, as it long has been in England. This consists of a
board, called the blade or arm, pivoted on the post, and back of
the pivot is a heavy casting which carries a colored glass lens,
either green or red. On the post is hung a lantern. The danger
position is with the blade horizontal. In this position the lens is
in front of the lamp, and the light shows red or green, as the case
may be. The safety position is with the blade hanging about sixty
degrees from the horizontal. In this position the light of the
lantern shows white. Red is the universal danger color, and green
the color of caution. Therefore, a semaphore signal at a point
of danger shows by day a blade painted red, with the end of the
blade cut square. At night it shows a red light. At a position some
distance from the point of actual danger, but where it is desirable
to warn an engine-runner that he is likely to find the danger
signal against him, a caution signal is placed. This is a semaphore
blade painted green, with the end notched in a V-shape, or, as it
is called, a fish-tail. At night this signal shows a green light.
There is nothing very remarkable about a piece of board arranged to
wag up and down on a pin stuck through a post, but it is wonderful
how much of good brains and good breath have been expended in
getting these boards to wag harmoniously, and in getting railroad
officers to understand that a plain board, having two possible
positions, is a better signal than any more complicated form.

[Illustration: Section of Saxby & Farmer Interlocking Machine.

(Showing two levers and locking mechanism. _A_ is normal, _B_ is

The arrangement of a group of signals and switches in such a way
that their movements are made mutually dependent one upon the
other, and so that it is impossible to make these movements in
any but prearranged sequences, is called, in railroad vernacular,
"interlocking," and in this sense the word will be used here.
Interlocking has become a special art. The objects which it is
sought to accomplish by interlocking, and the admirable way in
which those objects are attained, may best be understood from an
actual example. For that purpose we shall take a double-track
junction completely equipped with signals, facing-point locks, and
derailing switches (p. 205).

A general view of an interlocking frame was given on page 171 of
this volume. Two levers from such a frame are here shown. The
normal position of the levers is forward, as lever _A_. When pulled
back, as lever _B_, the lever is said to be reversed.

Let it be supposed that a main-line train is to be passed eastward
in the direction of the arrow _B_. The first movement of the
signalman in the signal-tower would naturally be to lower signals
1 and 2. He attempts to pull over lever 1, but cannot move it,
and, in spite of any effort or ingenuity on his part, that signal
remains at danger. The reason is that lever 2 when normal locks
lever 1 normal. The logic of this will be at once apparent.
Clearing signal 1 is an indication to the engineer that the way
is clear, and that he may pass the junction at speed. So long as
this signal (which, it must be remembered, is a _caution_ signal)
stands at danger he knows that he may pass it, but must be ready to
stop before he reaches No. 2, the home-signal. Therefore No. 1 must
never be lowered till all is arranged for passing the junction at
speed. As the signalman cannot lower signal 1, he attempts to lower
signal 2. Again he finds that he cannot budge the lever. It is
locked by lever No. 3. This lever works a facing-point lock, which
must be described just at this point (p. 206).

[Illustration: Diagram of a Double-track Junction with Interlocked
Switches and Signals.

_A_ is the west-bound main line track; _B_, the east-bound; _C_ and
_D_ are the west-bound and east-bound branch-tracks. Nos. 1, 10,
and 12 are distant signals; Nos. 2, 9, and 11, home signals; Nos.
3, 6, and 8, facing-point locks; and Nos. 4, 5, and 7 are switches.
The levers which move all of these parts are placed side by side
in a frame in the signal-tower. It will be noticed that No. 7 is a
switch designed merely to derail an engine on track A. A similar
switch is provided on track _C_, and is worked by the same lever
which works junction switch No. 5. In the sketch all levers are
supposed to stand in their "normal" position, all signals are at
danger, and the switches are set for the main line. The switches
themselves are not locked in this position of the facing-point lock

The front rod of the switch, that is, the rod which connects the
points of the two moving rails of the switch, is pierced with
two holes placed a distance apart just equal to the throw of the
switch. In front of these holes is a bolt which is worked by a
lever in the signal-tower. After the switch is set the lock-lever
is reversed and the bolt enters one of the holes, thus securely
locking the switch in position. There is one other interesting
feature of this facing-point lock. It has happened very often
that a switch has been thrown under a moving train, splitting the
train and derailing more or less of it. This class of accidents is
especially likely to happen when train movements are very frequent,
and may be prevented by the use of the "detector-bar." This is a
bar about forty feet long, placed alongside the rail, and carried
on swinging links, like those of a parallel ruler, in such a way
that any effort to move the bar lengthwise of the rail must raise
it above the top of the rail. This bar is moved by the same lever
which moves the locking-bolt. So long as there is a wheel on the
rail above the detector-bar it cannot be moved, therefore the
locking-bolt cannot be withdrawn, and the switch cannot be moved
until the train has passed completely off it.

[Illustration: Split Switches with Facing-point Locks and

(The rod on the right of the track is the mechanical connection to
the lever in the signal-tower by which the locks and detector-bars
are moved.)]

[Illustration: Derailing Switch.]

We left the signalman trying to lower signal No. 2; vainly, because
No. 3 lever was still normal and the switch unlocked (Diagram,
p. 205). Probably he would not have begun his operations in the
bungling way that has been supposed, but would have first reversed
lever 3. That locks the switch by the facing-point lock, and locks
also switch-lever 4 in the frame in the signal-tower and releases
lever 2. Then he reverses lever 2. That locks lever 3 and releases
lever 1. Then he reverses lever 1, which locks lever 2. Now the way
is made for a train to pass east on the main line, and the signals
are clear. The last signal could not have been lowered until the
chain of operations was complete; none of the levers can now be
moved until lever 1 is again put normal and signal 1 made to show
danger. There is one point of great danger in this particular
train-movement which has not been mentioned; that is, the crossing
of main-line east-bound track _B_ by the branch-line west-bound
track _C_. It will be noticed that with the levers normal,
derailing switch 5 is open, and it is impossible for a locomotive
to pass beyond it. Lever 5 is interlocked in the tower with lever
4 in such a way that, before 5 can be reversed to let a train pass
west from _C_, lever 4 must be reversed to trap any train on _B_
and turn it down the branch _D_. It must not be understood that the
use of "derailers" is universal. In fact, they are not recommended
by the best signal engineers, except in special conditions. In the
absence of derailer No. 5, signals 11 and 12 would be interlocked
with switch 4, so that, so long as that switch stands open for the
main line a clear signal cannot be given to a train coming west
on _C_. It will be noticed that signal 2 carries two semaphores
on one post. The upper one is for the main line and the lower one
for the branch. Both are operated by one lever, 2, and whether
reversing lever 2 lowers the main-line signal or the branch signal
depends on the position of the switch. The switch is made to pick
out its signal by an ingenious but very simple little arrangement,
called a selector, which is placed somewhere in the line of ground

It would be an interesting study, were there space, to follow
the possible and proper combinations of movements to pass trains
over the various tracks. It will be seen that, by concentrating
the levers which move switches and signals in one place and
interlocking them, it is made mechanically impossible for a
signalman to give a signal which would lead to a collision or a
derailment within the region under his control. The only danger
at such points is that an engineer may overrun the signals. This
description of the objects and the capacity of the system of
interlocking is no fancy sketch. The system has been in use for
many years, doing just what has been here described, and more. A
recent close estimate gave the number of interlocked levers now in
use in the United States as about eight thousand, and the number
is rapidly increasing. Recent official reports showed that in
Great Britain and Ireland there were thirty-eight thousand cases
in which a passenger line was connected with or crossed by another
line, siding, or cross-over. In eighty-nine per cent. of these
cases the levers operating the switches and protecting signals were

The example of interlocking which has been given is one of the
simplest; the principle is capable of almost indefinite expansion,
and any one lever may be made to lock any one or more levers among
hundreds in the same frame. The greatest number of levers assembled
in any one signal-tower in this country is one hundred and sixteen,
at the Grand Central Station in New York. In the London Bridge
tower there are two hundred and eighty levers. This is probably the
greatest number in any one tower in the world. All of these levers
may be more or less interlocked. The same principle is applied to
the locking of two levers at a single switch, and to the protection
of drawbridges and highway crossings.

The mechanism by which the interlocking is done is strong and
comparatively simple, but a detailed description of it seems out
of place here. Two levers from a Saxby & Farmer machine are shown
on page 204, with lever _A_ normal and _B_ reversed. The locking
mechanism is in front of the levers, and is actuated not by the
levers themselves, but by their catch-rods. It follows that it is
not the actual movement of a signal which prevents the movement of
other signals, or of switches, but it is the intention to move that
signal. This principle of "preliminary locking" is one of great

Switches and signals are often worked at such distances from the
tower that it is impossible for the operator to know whether or
not the movement contemplated has taken place. The British Board
of Trade does not permit switches to be worked more than 750 feet
away. In this country there is no limit, but probably 800 feet is
very rarely exceeded. Signals are worked in England up to 3,000 or
3,500 feet very commonly, and they are even worked a mile away,
but not satisfactorily. This is with direct mechanical connection,
by rod or wire, from the levers. It is obvious that a break in the
connections between the lever and the switch or signal might take
place, and the lever be pulled over, without having produced the
corresponding movement at the far end. The locking mechanism in the
tower would not be affected by such an accident, and consequently
conflicting signals might be given. Even this contingency is
provided against with almost perfect safety. If a signal connection
breaks, the signal is counter-weighted to go to danger. The worst
that can happen is to delay traffic. If a switch connection breaks,
the locking-bolt, in the latest form of facing-point lock, will not
enter the hole in the switch-rod, and consequently warning is given
in the tower that the switch has not moved. Electric annunciators
are often placed in the signal-tower, to show on a board before the
operator whether or not the movements of switches and signals have
taken place.

Considerable work must be done in the movement of each lever.
The ground connections must be put down with great care, as
nearly straight and level as may be, well drained, and protected
from ice and snow. All of these difficulties have been overcome
in a beautiful pneumatic interlocking apparatus which has been
introduced within the last two or three years. In this system
the motive power is compressed air. Near each switch is a small
cylinder, containing a piston which is attached directly to the
switch movement. Compressed air admitted to one side or the other
of this piston moves the switch one way or the other. But, as it
would take some time for the necessary quantity of air to flow
from the signal-tower to a distant switch, a small reservoir
is placed near the switch, and the air from this reservoir is
admitted to one end or the other of the switch cylinder according
to the position of a valve. For transmitting the motion from the
tower to the valve compressed air might be used, but, as air is
elastic, a quicker movement is got by using in the pipes some
liquid which does not readily freeze, and which, being practically
non-compressible, transmits an impulse given at one end almost
instantly to the other. The signals are worked in essentially the
same manner as the switches, except that the pneumatic valves are
moved by electricity. The tower apparatus of a pneumatic system in
the yard of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Pittsburg is shown in the
engraving opposite. In the front of the apparatus is seen a rank
of small handles, which can be turned from side to side with as
much ease as the keys of a piano can be depressed. Turning one of
these handles admits compressed air to the end of a pipe containing
liquid. Instantly the pressure is transmitted 500 or 1,000 feet
to the valve at the switch to be moved. The small levers are
interlocked perfectly, and in that particular perform the duties of
the ordinary machine. A model of the tracks controlled is placed
before the operator, showing the switches and signals, and when
a movement is made on the ground it is at once repeated back by
electricity and duplicated on the model. This beautiful system is
due to the same genius that gave us the perfected air-brake and the
triple valve, and is the greatest improvement that has been made in
interlocking in the last dozen years.

[Illustration: Interlocking Apparatus for Operating Switches and
Signals by Compressed Air, Pittsburg Yards, Pennsylvania Railroad.

(A model of the track is shown above the levers, on which the
movements of the switches and signals are electrically indicated
after they are completed.)]

[Illustration: Torpedo Placer.

(The torpedo is carried forward by the plunger and exploded by the
depression of the hammer shown near the rail.)]

If the reader has grasped the full significance of interlocking, he
understands that it makes it impossible to give a signal that would
lead to a collision or to a derailment at a misplaced switch. The
worst that a stupid, or drunken, or malicious signalman could do
would be to delay traffic, if the signals were obeyed. Here comes
in the failing case. The brake-power may be insufficient to stop a
train after a danger signal is given. That is a rare occurrence,
but may happen. The engineer may not see the danger signal because
of fog, or he may carelessly run past it. Provision against a
failure to see and to obey a signal may be made by placing on the
track a torpedo, which will explode with a loud report when struck
by a wheel. The use of hand-torpedoes in fogs, and for emergencies
in places unprovided with fixed signals, is very common. These are
little disks filled with a detonating powder, and provided with
tin straps that are bent down to clasp over the top of the rail.
A simple and very efficient torpedo machine, which has been used
for some years on the Manhattan Elevated and elsewhere, is here
shown. This machine has a magazine holding five torpedoes. It is
connected to a signal-lever in such a way that, when the signal is
put to danger, one torpedo is placed in a position to be exploded
by the first passing wheel. When the signal returns to the clear
position the torpedo, if unexploded, is withdrawn to the magazine.
If the torpedo is exploded another one takes its place at the next
movement of the signal-lever. One of these machines on the Elevated
Road moves about five thousand times every day. In such a case a
torpedo would soon be worn out if it was not exploded or frequently
changed. When this apparatus is in operation, an unmistakable
alarm is at once given to the engineer and to others if a danger
signal is passed. On the Manhattan Elevated lines an engineman who
overruns a danger signal and can show no good reason for it is
suspended for the first offence, and discharged for the second. The
torpedo makes it impossible for him to escape detection.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Old Signal Tower on the Philadelphia & Reading, at

The second great class of signals comprises those which are
intended to keep fixed intervals of space between trains running
on the same track. These are block signals. The block system is
used on a few of the railroads of the United States which have
the heaviest and fastest traffic. Much the most common practice
in this country, however, is to run trains by time intervals, and
under the constant control of the train despatcher. In England the
block system is almost universal. About ninety per cent. of all the
passenger lines of that country are worked under the absolute block

When the block system is not used, it is quite common to protect
particularly dangerous points, such as curves and deep cuts, by
stationing watchmen there with flags or with some form of fixed
signal. The watchman can notify an approaching engine-runner that
a preceding train has or has not passed beyond his own range of
vision; or can notify him that it has been gone a certain time.
Travellers by the Philadelphia & Reading must have noticed the
queer structures, with revolving vanes on top, looking like a
feeble sort of windmill, which appear in positions to command a
view of cuts, curves, etc. These are examples of the devices for
local protection. The non-automatic block signal develops naturally
from the protection of scattered points. Instead of placing
watchmen at points of especial danger, they are placed at regular
intervals of one mile, two miles, or five miles. Instead of the
watchman looking to see that a train has disappeared from his field
of vision before he lets another train pass, he uses the eyes of
the next watchman ahead, who telegraphs back that the train has
passed his station. Suppose A, B, and C to be three block-signal
stations placed at intervals of two miles. When a train passes A,
the operator at that point at once puts a signal to danger behind
it. This signal stands at danger until the train passes B, and
the operator puts his signal to danger, and telegraphs back to A
to announce that train No. 1 has passed out of the block A B, and
is protected by the signal at B. Then, and not until then, the
operator clears the signal at A and allows train No. 2 to enter
the block. Meanwhile train No. 1 is proceeding through the block
B C, its rear protected at B; and the same sequence of events
happens when it arrives at C as happened at B. This is the simplest
form of block signalling. In the more elaborate form there are at
each block-station three signals--the distant, the home, and the
starting. The signals are often electrically interlocked, from
one station to another, in such a way that it is mechanically
impossible for the operator at A to give a signal for a train to
pass that station until the signal at B has been put to danger
behind the preceding train.

  A             B             C

It is seen that no two trains can be in the same block and on the
same track at the same time. If all run at a uniform speed, they
will be kept just the length of a block apart. If No. 2 is faster
than No. 1, it will arrive at B before No. 1 gets to C, but will
have to wait there. The block system, therefore, while it gives
security, does not always facilitate traffic. The longer the blocks
the greater will be the delay to trains; but the shorter the
blocks, the greater the cost of establishment, maintenance, and

Various systems have been contrived to have block signals displayed
automatically by the passage of trains. This, if it can be done
reliably, will do away with the wages of part of the operators, and
will also eliminate the dangers arising from human carelessness.
But there are very great objections to relying solely upon the
automatic action of signals, and automatic block signals are little
used except as auxiliary to a system employing operators also.
So used, they are of decided advantage, as they make sure that a
danger signal is set behind every train in spite of the operator,
and that it cannot be again set to the all-clear position till the
train has passed out of the block. All this is accomplished by

Brakes, interlocking, and the apparatus of signalling have been
considered at length because they are very much the most important
of all the appliances which go to increase the safety of operating
railroads. They act chiefly to prevent collisions, but often
prevent or mitigate accidents from derailments and other causes.
Of all train-accidents happening in the last sixteen years, over
one-third have been from collisions, and more than one-half from

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Crossing Gates worked by Mechanical Connection from
the Cabin.]

After brakes and signals, the devices next in importance as means
of saving life are those for the protection of highway crossings
at the grade of railroads. In years to come, as wealth increases
and as traffic becomes more crowded, we may suppose there will
be few such crossings; but their abolition must be slow, and
meantime the loss of life at them is great. The most accurate and
complete statistics bearing on this matter are those collected
by the Railroad Commissioners of Massachusetts. In 1888, of all
those killed in the operation of the railroads of the State, seven
per cent. were passengers, thirty-three per cent. were employees,
and sixty per cent. were others. The others include trespassers,
forty-seven per cent.; and killed at grade crossings, eleven per
cent. More trespassers were killed than any other class; but the
deaths at highway crossings considerably exceeded those among
passengers. The difficulty of preventing this class of accidents
is strikingly shown by the fact that, of all crossing accidents,
forty-two per cent. were due to the victims' disregard of warnings
given by closed gates or flags. It is evident that the efforts of
the railroad companies to save people's lives at crossings are
largely nullified by the carelessness of the public, and the lack
of proper laws to punish those who venture upon railroad tracks
when they should keep off them. Still, it remains the duty and
the policy of the railroads to protect street crossings by all
practicable means. The best protection is afforded by gates with
watchmen, and of all forms of gate the most common, because it
is the simplest and most convenient to operate, is the familiar
arm-gate. This is usually worked by a man turning a crank, but it
is also worked by compressed air. On this page is shown a group of
gates worked from an elevated cabin by a mechanical connection. A
bell fixed at a crossing, to be rung by an approaching train, is a
very useful auxiliary to gates and to watchmen with flags, and is
considerably used where the traffic does not warrant the expense
of maintaining a watchman. There are several good devices of this
sort, either electric or magneto-electric. One of the latter class
has a lever alongside the rail, which is depressed by each wheel
that passes over it. This lever is geared to a fly-wheel, which
is set rapidly revolving and causes an armature to revolve in the
field of a magnet, and thus generates a current and rings a gong,
precisely as is done with the familiar magnetic bell used with the

[Illustration: Some Results of a Butting Collision--Baggage and
Passenger Cars Telescoped.]

[Illustration: Wreck at a Bridge.]

About thirteen per cent. of the train-accidents in the United
States, in the last sixteen years, were derailments due to defects
of road. These include not only defective rails, switches, and
frogs, but bridge wrecks. There are, however, few devices used in
the track, other than those already mentioned, that can be called
safety appliances. This class of accidents is to be provided
against only by good material, good workmanship, and unceasing
care. Many so-called safety switches and safety frogs are offered
to railroad officers, but those actually in wide use are confined
to a very few standard forms. The split-switch, which is shown in
the engravings on pages 206 and 207, has gradually replaced the old
stub-switch, as well as most of the "safety" switches that have
been from time to time introduced; although the stub-switch is
still in considerable use in yards where movements are slow, and
in the main tracks of the less progressive roads. It consists of a
pair of moving rails the ends of which are brought opposite to the
ends of the main-line rails, or to those of the turnout, as the
case may be. It follows that but one of these tracks is continuous
at any one time, and a train reaching the switch by the other
track must be derailed. The distressing accident which happened at
Rio, Wis., in 1886, where seventeen people lost their lives, was
a derailment of this sort. Since that time the railroad on which
the accident happened has taken out all stub-switches on thousands
of miles of main-line track. The split-switch provides against
such derailments, for if the switch is set for the turnout, and a
train approaches it from the main line in the "trailing" direction,
the flanges of the wheels move the switch-rails to make the track
continuous. The terms "facing" and "trailing," as applied to
switches, are almost self-explanatory. If a train approaches toward
the points of the moving rails, the switch is said to be facing. If
it runs through the switch from the rear of the moving rails, the
switch is said to be trailing. This will be made clear by reference
to the illustration on page 206. If a train were coming from the
bridge, the first switch reached by it would be a trailing and
the second a facing switch. In the newspaper reports an accident
will very often be assigned to one of two causes, failure of the
air-brakes or spreading of the rails. The chances are that it will
be found on investigation to be due to neither of these causes.
Those interested to maintain the credit of the air-brake or of the
track department are not often on the ground when the reporter
gets his information, and the temptation is always great to shift
the responsibility to the shoulders of the absent. Probably
the displacement of the rail will have taken place after the
derailment; but rails do sometimes spread. Loose spikes and rotten
ties allow the outer edge of the rail-flange to sink into the wood,
and the rail to roll outward enough to let the wheels drop. Sound
ties are the first safeguard against such accidents. Metal plates
under the rails are useful also; but one of the most efficient
means of preventing displacement of the rails is the interlocking
bolt shown above. These bolts cross in the timber, and slots cut
in the two bolts engage with each other in such a way that when
the nuts are screwed down on the rail-flange it is impossible to
pull the bolts out. They can only be moved by tearing through the
wood contained in the angle between them. This bolt is much used
on bridges and trestles, where it is of vital importance that the
rails should be held in place and no part of the floor broken.

[Illustration: New South Norwalk Drawbridge. Rails held by safety

In 1853 an express train went through an open draw at South
Norwalk, Conn., and forty-six lives were lost. This, one of the
most serious railroad accidents that ever happened, is still
remembered as an historical calamity. The bridge which stands on
the same site is shown opposite. In May, 1888, a west-bound express
train, consisting of an engine and seven cars, was derailed just as
it was entering the draw-span. The train ran three hundred feet on
the sleepers before it was stopped. Then it was found that all of
the driving-wheels of the engine had regained the rails, but all
the other wheels were off, except those of two sleeping-cars in the
rear. This was a remarkable escape from a bad accident, and much
of the credit of it has been given to the interlocking bolts with
which the rails were fastened. They are supposed to have prevented
the rails being crowded aside, and thus to have made possible the
rerailing of the engine. Besides, they helped the oak guard-timbers
to hold the ties in place. The destruction of a bridge in an
accident frequently begins by the ties bunching in front of the
wheels and allowing the wheels to drop through and strike the
floor-beams below. For this reason guard-timbers, notched down over
the ties, should always be used.

[Illustration: Engines Wrecked during the Great Wabash Strike.]

The traveller will have noticed, on all bridges of various roads,
two rails placed inside the track-rails, and curved to meet in
a point at either end of the bridge. These are known as inside
guard-rails, and their function is to keep derailed trucks in line
till the train can be stopped. Besides the bunching of the ties,
there is danger in a bridge derailment that a truck may swing
around and strike one of the trusses. Then the bridge is very
likely to be wrecked. A further provision for the protection of
bridges is the rerailing frog invented by the late Charles Latimer,
whose name is dear to railroad men all over America. This consists
of a pair of castings combined with inside guard-rails, designed
to raise the derailed wheels and guide them on to the rails. There
is no doubt that it has prevented several wrecks, although it has
never been widely used. The subject of bridges should not be left
without a word of explanation of the stout timber-posts often seen
at either end placed in line with the trusses. These are designed
to stop any derailed vehicle which might otherwise strike against
and destroy a truss.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is one track-fixture that has no duty or value except as
it promotes safety. It helps only one humble class of railroad
employees. That device is the foot-guard. At all places where two
rails cross or approach each other, as at frogs and guard-rails,
dangerous boot-jacks are formed by the rail-heads. The overhang of
the heads of the rail makes it easy for one to so fasten his foot
in one of those boot-jacks that it is hard to get it out. If a man
finds himself in this position in front of an approaching train, he
sometimes has the alternative of standing up to be struck by the
engine or lying down and having his foot cut off. Fortunately this
class of accidents is comparatively rare; probably not more than
two or three per cent. of all deaths and injuries to passengers
and employees is caused in this way. Nevertheless, the means of
guarding against accidents of this class is so cheap that it should
be more generally adopted than it is. It consists simply in partly
filling the space between the rail-heads by putting in wooden
blocks or strips of metal, or even packing with cinders, gravel, or
any sort of ballast. Various wooden and metal foot-guards have been
patented. They are all too simple to require description.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Link-and-pin Coupler.]

Of all accidents to employees the most numerous are those which
arise in coupling and uncoupling cars. In Massachusetts, in 1888,
the employees killed and injured were 391; of these casualties
154 occurred in coupling accidents. The commissioners of other
States, especially of Iowa, have for years published statistics
showing nearly the same ratio. Fortunately accidents of this class,
although numerous, are not proportionately fatal. Far the greater
part of them result in the loss of part of a hand; but they are
so frequent as to have caused much discussion, legislation, and
invention. Several States have, one time and another, passed laws
requiring the use of automatic couplers; and two or three years
ago there were on record in the United States over four thousand
coupler patents. The laws have been futile because impracticable;
and most of the patents have been worthless for the same reason.
It was obvious that the business of supplying couplers for the
one million freight cars of the country could not be put into
the hands of some one patentee unless his device was manifestly
and pre-eminently superior to all others. It became important,
therefore, to select as a standard some type of coupler general
enough to include the patents of various men, and at the same time
so definite that all couplers made to conform to the standard
could work together interchangeably. Those who read Mr. Voorhees'
story[21] of the wanderings of a freight car will understand
that any one freight car in the United States or Canada should
be prepared to run in the same train with any other car. A few
years ago a committee of the Master Car-builders' Association was
appointed to choose and recommend a type of coupler to be adopted
as the standard of the association. After prolonged and careful
study of the subject, the committee recommended the type of which
the Janney is the best known example, and that has now become the
standard of the association. This action does not give a monopoly
to the Janney company, as there are already half a dozen couplers
which conform to the type. This coupler is shown by diagrams in the
article by M. N. Forney, page 142. A perspective view is herewith
given. This device couples automatically, and thus does away with
the necessity for the brakeman going between the cars. It can also
be unlocked by the rod shown extending to the side of the car,
and the locking device can be set not to couple, to facilitate
switching and yard work. The mechanical principles of this coupler
are a great and important improvement upon any form of link-and-pin
coupler; and the coupler question has now come to this point: A
type of coupler has been selected by a technical body representing
most of the railroads of the United States. It is general enough to
avoid the evils of a patent monopoly. It promises to be economical
in operation, and will certainly do away with the terrible loss
of life and limb which results from the use of the non-automatic
coupler. The railroads are adopting it with reasonable speed,
perhaps, but not as rapidly as simple considerations of humanity
would dictate.

[Illustration: Janney Automatic Coupler applied to a Freight Car.]

Closely related to the coupler is the vestibule, which within
the last two years has become so fashionable. The vestibule
is not merely a luxury, but has a certain value as a safety
device.[22] The full measure of this value has not yet been proved.
Occasionally lives are lost by passengers falling from or being
blown from the platforms of moving trains. Such accidents the
vestibule will prevent, and, further, it decreases the oscillation
of the cars, and thus to some degree helps to prevent derailment.
It is also some protection against telescoping. A few months ago a
coal train on a double-track road was derailed, and four cars were
thrown across in front of a solid vestibule train of seven Pullman
cars approaching on the other track. The engine of the vestibuled
train was completely wrecked. Even the sheet-iron jacket was
stripped off it. The engineer and fireman were instantly killed,
but not another person on the train was injured. They escaped
partly because the cars were strong, and partly, doubtless, because
the vestibules helped to keep the platforms on the same level and
in line, and thus to prevent crushing of the ends of the cars.

[Illustration: Signals at Night.]

The number of passengers burned in wrecks is greatly exaggerated
in the public mind; but that fate is so horrible that it is
not wonderful that "the deadly car-stove" should be the object
of persistent and energetic attacks by the press and in State
legislatures. The result has been the development, in the last
three years, of the entirely new business of inventing and
trying to sell systems of heating by steam or hot water from the
locomotive, and even by electricity. In fact, the manufacture of
such apparatus has already become an industry of some importance,
several thousand cars being equipped with it. This whole matter
of steam-heating is still in a somewhat crude state, and it
does not seem desirable to force it by legislation. It has been
demonstrated that it is the cheapest way of heating trains, and the
most easily regulated; and it has become a good advertisement to
attract passengers. Consequently the whole subject may be safely
left in the hands of the railroad companies, and allowed to develop
itself naturally in a business way. There is not yet any system
of continuous heating so perfected that a railroad company could
without hardship be compelled to adopt it for all its passenger

Fires in wrecked trains have originated probably quite as often
from kerosene lamps as from the stoves. The danger of fire from
this source, and the desire to give passengers the luxury of
sufficient light, have led to methods of lighting by gas and,
more recently by electricity. Lighting by compressed gas ceased
years ago to be an experiment. In Germany it is almost universal,
but in this country it has been brought into use very slowly. The
system is almost absolutely safe, not unreasonably expensive, and
may be made to give satisfactory and even brilliant illumination;
but the ideal light for railroad trains will probably be found in
electricity. It is even safer than gas, and is the most adaptable
of any known method of lighting. Some sleeping-cars that have
been recently put in service on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul
Railway are provided with small electric lamps in the sides of the
car, between each two adjoining seats, so that the occupants can
read comfortably either when sitting in their seats or lying in
their berths.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not to be supposed that so large a subject as that of safety
appliances can be exhaustively treated within the limits of one
article. It has been thought best, therefore, to give most of the
space available to the two or three devices of greatest and most
useful application. There remain various others that are in daily
use, and that have important offices, which have not even been
mentioned. If the reader has gleaned from these very incomplete
notes some clearer notions than he had before of the means by which
the power of the locomotive is guided into safe and useful paths,
the writer's object has been accomplished.


[20] The statistics of train accidents used in this article are
those collected and published monthly for many years by the
_Railroad Gazette_. In the nature of things such statistics cannot
be absolutely accurate, but no others are in existence for the
whole country. These are sufficiently accurate for all practical

[21] See "The Freight-car Service," page 267.

[22] See "Railway Passenger Travel," page 249.



  The Earliest Railway Passenger Advertisement--The First
  Time-table Published in America--The Mohawk and Hudson
  Train--Survival of Stage-coach Terms in English Railway
  Nomenclature--Simon Cameron's Rash Prediction--Discomforts
  of Early Cars--Introduction of Air-brakes, Patent Buffers
  and Couplers, the Bell-cord, and Interlocking Switches--The
  First Sleeping-cars--Mr. Pullman's Experiments--The
  "Pioneer"--Introduction of Parlor and Drawing-room
  Cars--The Demand for Dining-cars--Ingenious Devices for
  Heating Cars--Origin of Vestibule-cars--An Important Safety
  Appliance--The Luxuries of a Limited Express--Fast Time in
  America and England--Sleeping-cars for Immigrants--The Village
  of Pullman--The Largest Car-works in the World--Baggage-checks
  and Coupon Tickets--Conveniences in a Modern Depot--Statistics
  in Regard to Accidents--Proportion of Passengers in Various
  Classes--Comparison of Rates in the Leading Countries of the

From the time when Puck was supposed to utter his boast to put a
girdle round about the earth in forty minutes to the time when
Jules Verne's itinerant hero accomplished the task in twice that
number of days, the restless ingenuity and energy of man have
been unceasingly taxed to increase the speed, comfort, and safety
of passenger travel. The first railway on which passengers were
carried was the "Stockton & Darlington," of England, the distance
being 12 miles. It was opened September 27, 1825, with a freight
train, or, as it is called in England, a "goods" train, but which
also carried a number of excursionists. An engine which was the
result of many years of labor and experiment on the part of
George Stephenson was used on this train. Stephenson mounted it
and acted as driver; his bump of caution was evidently largely
developed, for, to guard against accidents from the recklessness of
the speed, he arranged to have a signalman on horse-back ride in
advance of the engine to warn the luckless trespasser of the fate
which awaited him if he should get in the way of a train moving
with such a startling velocity. The next month, October, it was
decided that it would be worth while to attempt the carrying of
passengers, and a daily "coach," modelled after the stage-coach
and called the "Experiment," was put on, Monday, October 10, 1825,
which carried six passengers inside and from fifteen to twenty
outside. The engine with its light load made the trip in about two
hours. The fare from Stockton to Darlington was one shilling, and
each passenger was allowed fourteen pounds of baggage. The limited
amount of baggage will appear to the ladies of the present day as
niggardly in the extreme, but they must recollect that the bandbox
was then the popular form of portmanteau for women, the Saratoga
trunk had not been invented, and the muscular baggage-smasher of
modern times had not yet set out upon his career of destruction.
The advertisement which was published in the newspapers of the day
is here given, and is of peculiar interest as announcing the first
successful attempt to carry passengers by rail.

[Illustration: Stockton & Darlington Engine and Car.]

[Illustration: (Sign for S. & D. Railway Coach)]

The Liverpool & Manchester road was opened in 1829. The first
train was hauled by an improved engine called the "Rocket,"
which attained a speed of 25 miles an hour, and some records put
it as high as 35 miles. This speed naturally attracted marked
attention in the mechanical world, and first demonstrated the
superior advantages of railways for passenger travel. Only four
years before, so eminent a writer upon railways as Wood had said:
"Nothing can do more harm to the adoption of railways than the
promulgation of such nonsense as that we shall see locomotives
travelling at the rate of 12 miles an hour."

America was quick to adopt the railway system which had had its
origin in England. In 1827 a crude railway was opened between
Quincy and Boston, but it was only for the purpose of transporting
granite for the Bunker Hill Monument. It was not until August,
1829, that a locomotive engine was used upon an American railroad
suitable for carrying passengers. This road was constructed by the
Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, and the experiment was made near
Honesdale, Pa. The engine was imported from England and was called
the "Stourbridge Lion."

In May, 1830, the first division of the Baltimore & Ohio road was
opened. It extended from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mills, a distance
of 15 miles. There being a scarcity of cars, the regular passenger
business did not begin till the 5th of July following, and then
only horse-power was employed, which continued to be used till the
road was finished to Frederick, in 1832. The term Relay House,
the name of a well-known station, originated in the fact that the
horses were changed at that place.

The following notice, which appeared in the Baltimore newspapers,
was the first time-table for passenger railway trains published in
this country:


  A sufficient number of cars being now provided for the
  accommodation of passengers, notice is hereby given that the
  following arrangements for the arrival and departure of carriages
  have been adopted, and will take effect on and after Monday
  morning next the 5th instant, viz.:

  A brigade of cars will leave the depot on Pratt St. at 6 and 10
  o'clock A. M., and at 3 to 4 o'clock P. M., and will leave the
  depot at Ellicott's Mills at 6 and 8½ o'clock A. M., and at 12½
  and 6 P. M.

  Way passengers will provide themselves with tickets at the office
  of the Company in Baltimore, or at the depots at Pratt St. and
  Ellicott's Mills, or at the Relay House, near Elk Ridge Landing.

  The evening way car for Ellicott's Mills will continue to leave
  the depot, Pratt St., at 6 o'clock P. M. as usual.

  N. B. Positive orders have been issued to the drivers to receive
  no passengers into any of the cars without tickets.

  P. S. Parties desiring to engage a car for the day can be
  accommodated after July 5th.

It will be seen that the word train was not used, but instead the
schedule spoke of a "brigade of cars."

The South Carolina Railroad was begun about the same time as the
Baltimore & Ohio, and ran from Charleston to Hamburg, opposite
Augusta. When the first division had been constructed, it was
opened November 2, 1830.

Peter Cooper, of New York, had before this constructed a locomotive
and made a trial trip with it on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, on
the 28th of August, 1830, but, not meeting the requirements of the
company, it was not put into service.

[Illustration: Mohawk & Hudson Train.]

A passenger train of the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad which was put
on in October, 1831, between Albany and Schenectady, attracted
much attention. It was hauled by an English engine named the "John
Bull," and driven by an English engineer named John Hampson. This
is generally regarded as the first fully equipped passenger train
hauled by a steam-power engine which ran in regular service in
America. During 1832 it carried an average of 387 passengers daily.
The accompanying engraving is from a sketch made at the time.

It was said by an advocate of mechanical evolution that the
modern steam fire-engine was evolved from the ancient leathern
fire-bucket; it might be said with greater truth that the modern
railway car has been evolved from the old-fashioned English

England still retains the railway carriage divided into
compartments, that bear a close resemblance inside and outside
to stage-coach bodies with the middle seat omitted. In fact,
the nomenclature of the stage-coach is in large measure still
preserved in England. The engineer is called the driver, the
conductor the guard, the ticket-office is the booking-office, the
cars are the carriages, and a rustic traveller may still be heard
occasionally to object to sitting with his back to the horses. The
earlier locomotives, like horses, were given proper names, such
as Lion, North Star, Fiery, and Rocket; the compartments in the
round-houses for sheltering locomotives are termed the stalls, and
the keeper of the round-house is called the hostler. The last two
are the only items of equine classification which the American
railway system has permanently adopted.

[Illustration: English Railway Carriage, Midland Road. First and
Third Class and Luggage Compartments.]

America, at an early day, departed not only from the nomenclature
of the turnpike, but from the stage-coach architecture, and adopted
a long car in one compartment and containing a middle aisle which
admitted of communication throughout the train. The car was carried
on two trucks, or bogies, and was well adapted to the sharp
curvature which prevailed upon our railways.

The first five years of experience showed marked progress in the
practical operation of railway trains, but even after locomotives
had demonstrated their capabilities and each improved engine had
shown an encouraging increase in velocity, the wildest flights of
fancy never pictured the speed attained in later years.

[Illustration: One of the Earliest Passenger Cars Built in this
Country; used on the Western Railroad of Massachusetts (now the
Boston & Albany).]

When the roads forming the line between Philadelphia and
Harrisburg, Pa., were chartered in 1835, and town meetings were
held to discuss their practicability, the Honorable Simon Cameron,
while making a speech in advocacy of the measure, was so far
carried away by his enthusiasm as to make the rash prediction that
there were persons within the sound of his voice who would live to
see a passenger take his breakfast in Harrisburg and his supper in
Philadelphia on the same day. A friend of his on the platform said
to him after he had finished: "That's all very well, Simon, to tell
to the boys, but you and I are no such infernal fools as to believe
it." They both lived to travel the distance in a little over two

[Illustration: Bogie Truck.]

The people were far from being unanimous in their advocacy of the
railway system, and charters were not obtained without severe
struggles. The topic was the universal subject of discussion in
all popular assemblages. Colonel Blank, a well-known politician
in Pennsylvania, had been loud in his opposition to the new means
of transportation. When one of the first trains was running over
the Harrisburg & Lancaster road, a famous Durham bull belonging
to a Mr. Schultz became seized with the enterprising spirit of
Don Quixote, put his head down and tail up, and made a desperate
charge at the on-coming locomotive, but his steam-breathing
opponent proved the better butter of the two and the bull was
ignominiously defeated. At a public banquet held soon after in that
part of the State, the toast-master proposed a toast to "Colonel
Blank and Schultz's bull--both opposed to railroad trains." The
joke was widely circulated and had much to do with completing the
discomfiture of the opposition in the following elections.

[Illustration: Rail and Coach Travel in the White Mountains.]

The railroad was a decided step in advance, compared with the
stage-coach and canal-boat, but, when we picture the surroundings
of the traveller upon railways during the first ten or fifteen
years of their existence, we find his journey was not one to
be envied. He was jammed into a narrow seat with a stiff back,
the deck of the car was low and flat, and ventilation in winter
impossible. A stove at each end did little more than generate
carbonic oxide. The passenger roasted if he sat at the end of the
car, and froze if he sat in the middle. Tallow candles furnished a
"dim religious light," but the accompanying odor did not savor of
cathedral incense. The dust was suffocating in dry weather; there
were no adequate spark-arresters on the engine, or screens at
the windows, and the begrimed passenger at the end of his journey
looked as if he had spent the day in a blacksmith-shop. Recent
experiments in obtaining a spectrum-analysis of the component parts
of a quantity of dust collected in a railway car show that minute
particles of iron form a large proportion, and under the microscope
present the appearance of a collection of tenpenny nails. As iron
administered to the human system through the respiratory organs in
the form of tenpenny nails mixed with other undesirable matter is
not especially recommended by medical practitioners, the sanitary
surroundings of the primitive railway car cannot be commended.
There were no double tracks, and no telegraph to facilitate the
safe despatching of trains. The springs of the car were hard, the
jolting intolerable, the windows rattled like those of the modern
omnibus, and conversation was a luxury that could be indulged in
only by those of recognized superiority in lung power. The brakes
were clumsy and of little service.

[Illustration: From an Old Time-table (furnished by the "A B C
Pathfinder Railway Guide").]

The ends of the flat-bar rails were cut diagonally, so that when
laid down they would lap and form a smoother joint. Occasionally
they became sprung; the spikes would not hold, and the end of the
rail with its sharp point rose high enough for the wheel to run
under it, rip it loose, and send the pointed end through the floor
of the car. This was called a "snake's head," and the unlucky being
sitting over it was likely to be impaled against the roof. So that
the traveller of that day, in addition to his other miseries, was
in momentary apprehension of being spitted like a Christmas turkey.

[Illustration: Old Boston & Worcester Railway Ticket (about 1837).]

Baggage-checks and coupon tickets were unknown. Long trips had
to be made over lines composed of a number of short independent
railways; and at the terminus of each the bedevilled passenger
had to transfer, purchase another ticket, personally pick out his
baggage, perhaps on an uncovered platform in a rain-storm, and take
his chances of securing a seat in the train in which he was to
continue his weary journey.

After the principal companies had sent agents to Europe to gather
all the information possible regarding the progress made there,
they soon began to aim at perfecting what may justly be called the
American system of railways. The roadbed, or what in England is
called the "permanent way," was constructed in such a manner as to
conform to the requirements of the new country, and the equipment
was adapted to the wants of the people. In no branch of industry
has the inventive genius of the race been more skilfully or more
successfully employed than in the effort to bring railway travel
to its present state of perfection. Every year has shown progress
in perfecting the comforts and safety of the railway car. In 1849
the Hodge hand-brake was introduced, and in 1851 the Stevens brake.
These enabled the cars to be controlled in a manner which added
much to the economy and safety of handling the trains. In 1869
George Westinghouse patented his air-brake, by which power from the
engine was transmitted by compressed air carried through hose and
acting upon the brakes of each car in the train.[23] It was under
the control of the engineer, and its action was so prompt and its
power so effectual that a train could be stopped in an incredibly
short time, and the brakes released in an instant. In 1871 the
vacuum-brake was devised, by means of which the power was applied
to the brakes by exhausting the air.

[Illustration: Obverse and Reverse of a Ticket Used in 1838, on the
New York & Harlem Railroad.]

A difficulty under which railways suffered for many years was
the method of coupling cars. The ordinary means consisted of
coupling-pins inserted into links attached to the cars. There was
a great deal of "slack," the jerking of the train in consequence
was very objectionable, and the distance between the platforms of
the cars made the crossing of them dangerous. In collisions one
platform was likely to rise above that of the adjoining car, and
"telescoping" was not an uncommon occurrence.

The means of warning passengers against standing on the platform
were characteristic of the dangers which threatened, and were often
ingenious in the devices for attracting attention. On a New Jersey
road there was painted on the car-door a picture of a new-made
grave, with a formidable tombstone, on which was an inscription
announcing to a terrified public that it was "Sacred to the memory
of the man who had stood on a platform."

The Miller coupler and buffer was patented in 1863, and obviated
many of the discomforts and dangers arising from the old methods of
coupling. This was followed by the Janney coupler[24] and a number
of other devices, the essential principle of all being an automatic
arrangement by which the two knuckles of the coupler when thrust
together become securely locked, and a system of springs which keep
the buffers in close contact and prevent jerking and jarring when
the train is in motion.

The introduction of the bell-cord running through the train and
enabling conductors to communicate promptly by means of it with
the engineer, and signal him in case of danger, constitutes
another source of safety, but is still a wonder to Europeans, who
cannot understand why passengers do not tamper with it, and how
they can resist the temptation to give false signals by means of
it. The only answer is that our people are educated up to it,
and being accustomed to govern themselves, they do not require
any restraint to make them respect so useful a device. Aside
from the inconveniences which used to arise occasionally from a
rustic mistaking the bell-cord for a clothes-rack, and hanging his
overcoat over it, or from an old gentleman grabbing hold of it to
help him climb into an upper berth in a sleeping-car, it has been
singularly exempt from efforts to pervert it to unintended uses.

The application of the magnetic telegraph to railways wrought
the first great revolution in despatching trains, and introduced
an element of promptness and safety in their operation of which
the most sanguine of railroad advocates had never dreamed. The
application of electricity was gradually availed of in many
ingenious signal devices for both day and night service, to direct
the locomotive engineer in running his train, and interpose
precautions against accidents. Fusees have also been called into
requisition, which burn with a bright flame a given length of
time; and when a train is behind time and followed by another, by
igniting one of these lights, and leaving it on the track, the
train following can tell by noting the time of burning about how
near it is the preceding train. Torpedoes left upon the track,
which explode when passed over by the wheels of a following train
and warn it of its proximity to a train ahead, are also used.

In the early days more accidents arose from switches than from any
other cause; but improvement in their construction has progressed
until it would seem that the dangers have been effectually
overcome. The split-rail switch prevents a train from being thrown
off the track in case the switch is left open, and the result is
that in such an event the train is only turned on another track.
The Wharton switch, which leaves the main line unbroken, marks
another step in the march of improvement. Among other devices is
a complete interlocking-switch system, by means of which one man
standing in a switch-tower, overlooking a large yard with numerous
tracks, over which trains arrive and depart every few minutes, can,
by moving a system of levers, open any required track and by the
same motion block all the others, and prevent the possibility of
collisions or other accidents resulting from trains entering upon
the wrong track.[25]

The steam-boats on our large rivers had been making great progress
in the comforts afforded to passengers. They were providing berths
to sleep in, serving meals in spacious cabins, and giving musical
entertainments and dancing parties on board. The railroads soon
began to learn a lesson from them in adding to the comforts of the
travelling public.

The first attempt to furnish the railway passenger a place to sleep
while on his journey was made upon the Cumberland Valley Railroad
of Pennsylvania, between Harrisburg and Chambersburg. In the winter
season the east-bound passengers arrived at Chambersburg late at
night by stage-coach, and as they were exhausted by a fatiguing
trip over the mountains and many wished to continue their journey
to Harrisburg to catch the morning train for Philadelphia, it
became very desirable to furnish sleeping accommodations aboard
the cars. The officers of this road fitted up a passenger car with
a number of berths, and put it into service as a sleeping-car in
the winter of 1836-37. It was exceedingly crude and primitive in
construction. It was divided by transverse partitions into four
sections, and each contained three berths--a lower, middle, and
upper berth. This car was used until 1848 and then abandoned.

About this time there were also experiments made in fitting up cars
with berths something like those in a steam-boat cabin, but these
crude attempts did not prove attractive to travellers. There were
no bedclothes furnished, and only a coarse mattress and pillow
were supplied, and with the poor ventilation and the rattling and
jolting of the car there was not much comfort afforded, except a
means of resting in a position which was somewhat more endurable
than a sitting posture.

Previous to the year 1858 a few of the leading railways had put on
sleeping-cars which made some pretensions to meet a growing want of
the travelling public, but they were still crude, uncomfortable,
and unsatisfactory in their arrangements and appointments.

In the year 1858 George M. Pullman entered a train of the Lake
Shore Railroad at Buffalo, to make a trip to Chicago. It happened
that a new sleeping-car which had been built for the railroad
company was attached to this train and was making its first
trip. Mr. Pullman stepped in to take a look at it, and finally
decided to test this new form of luxury by passing the night
in one of its berths. He was tossed about in a manner not very
conducive to the "folding of the hands to sleep," and he turned
out before daylight and took refuge upon a seat in the end of
the car. He now began to ponder upon the subject, and before the
journey ended he had conceived the notion that, in a country of
magnificent distances like this, a great boon could be offered to
travellers by the construction of cars easily convertible into
comfortable and convenient day or night coaches, and supplied
with such appointments as would give the occupants practically
the same comforts as were afforded by the steam-boats. He began
experiments in this direction soon after his arrival in Chicago,
and in 1859 altered some day-cars on the Chicago & Alton Railroad,
and converted them into sleeping-cars which were a marked step
in advance of similar cars previously constructed. They were
successful in meeting the wants of passengers at that time, but Mr.
Pullman did not consider them in any other light than experiments.
One night, after they had made a few trips on the line between
Chicago and St. Louis, a tall, angular-looking man entered one of
the cars while Mr. Pullman was aboard, and after asking a great
many intelligent questions about the inventions, finally said he
thought he would try what the thing was like, and stowed himself
away in an upper berth. This proved to be Abraham Lincoln.

[Illustration: The "Pioneer." First complete Pullman Sleeping-car.]

[Illustration: (Railwayman in uniform.)]

In 1864 Mr. Pullman perfected his plans for a car which was to be
a marked and radical departure from any one ever before attempted,
and that year invested his capital in the construction of what may
be called the father of the Pullman cars. He built it in a shed
in the yard of the Chicago & Alton Railroad at a cost of $18,000,
named it the "Pioneer," and designated it by the letter "A." It
did not then occur to anyone that there would ever be enough
sleeping-cars introduced to exhaust the whole twenty-six letters of
the alphabet. The sum expended upon it was naturally looked upon
as fabulous at a time when such sleeping-cars as were used could
be built for about $4,500. The constructor of the "Pioneer" aimed
to produce a car which would prove acceptable in every respect to
the travelling public. It had improved trucks and a raised deck,
and was built a foot wider and two and a half feet higher than any
car then in service. He deemed this necessary for the purpose of
introducing a hinged upper berth, which, when fastened up, formed a
recess behind it for stowing the necessary bedding in the daytime.
Before that the mattresses had been piled in one end of the car,
and had to be dragged through the aisle when wanted. It was known
to him that the dimensions of the bridges and station-platforms
would not admit of its passing over the line, but he was singularly
confident in the belief that an attractive car, constructed upon
correct principles, would find its way into service against all
obstacles. It so happened that soon after the car was finished,
in the spring of 1865, the body of President Lincoln arrived
at Chicago, and the "Pioneer" was wanted for the funeral train
which was to take it to Springfield. To enable the car to pass
over the road, the station-platforms and other obstructions were
reduced in size, and thereafter the line was in a condition to put
the car into service. A few months afterward General Grant was
making a trip West to visit his home in Galena, Ill., and as the
railway companies were anxious to take him from Detroit to his
destination in the car which had now become quite celebrated, the
station-platforms along the line were widened for the purpose, and
thus another route was opened to its passage.

The car was now put into regular service on the Alton road. Its
popularity fully realized the anticipations of its owner, and its
size became the standard for the future Pullman cars as to height
and width, though they have since been increased in length.

The railroad company entered into an agreement to have this car,
and a number of others which were immediately built, operated upon
its lines. They were marvels of beauty, and their construction
embraced patents of such ingenuity and originality that they
attracted marked attention in the railroad world and created a new
departure in the method of travel.

In 1867 Mr. Pullman formed the Pullman Car Company and devoted
it to carrying out an idea which he had conceived, of organizing
a system by which passengers could be carried in luxurious cars
of uniform pattern, adequate to the wants of both night and day
travel, which would run through without change between far-distant
points and over a number of distinct lines of railway, in charge of
responsible through agents, to whom ladies, children, and invalids
could be safely intrusted. This system was especially adapted to
a country of such geographical extent as America. It supplied an
important want, and the travelling public and the railways were
prompt to avail themselves of its advantages.

Parlor or drawing-room cars were next introduced for day runs,
which added greatly to the luxury of travel, enabling passengers
to secure seats in advance, and enjoy many comforts which were
not found in ordinary cars. Sleeping and parlor cars were soon
recognized as an essential part of a railway's equipment and became
known as "palace cars."

The Wagner Car Company was organized in the State of New York, and
was early in the field in furnishing this class of vehicles. It has
supplied all the cars of this kind used upon the Vanderbilt system
of railways and a number of its connecting roads. Several smaller
palace-car companies have also engaged in the business at different
times. A few roads have operated their own cars of this class, but
the business is generally regarded as a specialty, and the railway
companies recognize the advantages and conveniences resulting from
the ability of a large car-company to meet the irregularities
of travel, which require a large equipment at one season and a
small one at another, to furnish an additional supply of cars for
a sudden demand, and to perform satisfactorily the business of
operating through cars in lines composed of many different railways.

[Illustration: Pullman Parlor Car.]

Next came a demand for cars in which meals could be served. Why,
it was said, should a train stop at a station for meals any more
than a steam-boat tie up to a wharf for the same purpose? The
Pullman Company now introduced the hotel-car, which was practically
a sleeping-car with a kitchen and pantries in one end and portable
tables which could be placed between the seats of each section and
upon which meals could be conveniently served. The first hotel-car
was named the "President," and was put into service on the Great
Western Railway of Canada, in 1867, and soon after several popular
lines were equipped with this new addition to the luxuries of

[Illustration: Wagner Parlor Car.]

After this came the dining-car, which was still another step beyond
the hotel-car. It was a complete restaurant, having a large kitchen
and pantries in one end, with the main body of the car fitted up as
a commodious dining-room, in which all the passengers in the train
could enter and take their meals comfortably. The first dining-car
was named the "Delmonico," and began running on the Chicago & Alton
Railroad in the year 1868.

The comforts and conveniences of travel by rail on the main lines
now seemed to have reached their culmination in America. The heavy
T-rails had replaced the various forms previously used; the
improved fastenings, the reductions in curvature, and the greater
care exercised in construction had made the trip delightfully
smooth, while the improvements in rolling-stock had obviated the
jerking, jolting, and oscillation of the cars. The roadbeds had
been properly ditched, drained, and ballasted with broken stone or
gravel, the dust overcome, the sparks arrested, and cleanliness,
that attribute which stands next to godliness, had at last been
made possible, even on a railway train.

[Illustration: Dining-car (Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad.)]

The heating of cars was not successfully accomplished till a method
was devised for circulating hot water through pipes running near
the floor. The suffering from that bane of the traveller--cold
feet--was then obviated and many a doctor's bill saved. The loss
of human life from the destruction of trains by fires originating
from stoves aroused such a feeling throughout the country that the
legislatures of many States have passed laws within the last three
years prohibiting the use of stoves, and the railway managers have
been devising plans for heating the trains with steam furnished
from the boiler of the locomotive. The inventive genius of the
people was at once brought into requisition, and several ingenious
devices are now in use which successfully accomplish the purpose
in solid trains with the locomotive attached, but the problem of
heating a detached car without some form of furnace connected with
it is still unsolved.

But notwithstanding the high standard of excellence which had been
reached in the construction and operation of passenger trains,
there was one want not yet supplied, the importance of which did
not become fully recognized until dining-cars were introduced,
and men, women, and children had to pass across the platforms of
several cars in order to reach the one in which the meals were
served. An act which passengers had always been cautioned against,
and forbidden to undertake--the crossing of platforms while the
train is in motion--now became necessary, and was invited by the
railway companies.

It was soon seen that a safe covered passageway between the cars
must be provided, particularly for limited express trains. Crude
attempts had been made in this direction at different times. As
early as the years 1852 and 1855 patents were taken out for devices
which provided for diaphragms of canvas to connect adjoining cars
and form a passageway between them. These were applied to cars on
the Naugatuck Railroad, in Connecticut, in 1857, but they were used
mainly for purposes of ventilation, to provide for taking in air at
the head of the train, so as to permit the car windows to be kept
shut, to avoid the dust that entered through them when they were
open. These appliances were very imperfect, did not seem to be of
any practical advantage, even for the limited uses for which they
were intended, and they were abandoned after a trial of about four

In the year 1886 Mr. Pullman went practically to work to devise
a perfect system for constructing continuous trains, and at the
same time to provide for sufficient flexibility in connecting the
passageways to allow for the motion consequent upon the rounding
of curves. His efforts resulted in what is now known as the
"vestibuled" train.

[Illustration: Pullman Vestibuled Cars.]

[Illustration: End View of a Vestibuled Car.]

This invention, which was patented in 1887, succeeded not only in
supplying the means of constructing a perfectly enclosed vestibule
of handsome architectural appearance between the cars, but it
accomplished what is even still more important, the introduction
of a safety appliance more valuable than any yet devised for the
protection of human life in case of collisions. The elastic
diaphragms which are attached to the ends of the cars have steel
frames, the faces or bearing surfaces of which are pressed firmly
against each other by powerful spiral springs, which create
a friction upon the faces of the frames, hold them firmly in
position, prevent the oscillation of the cars, and furnish a
buffer extending from the platform to the roof which precludes
the possibility of one platform "riding" the other and producing
telescoping in case of collision. The first of the vestibuled
trains went into service on the Pennsylvania Railroad in June,
1886, and they are rapidly being adopted by railway companies.
The vestibuled limited trains contain several sleeping-cars, a
dining-car, and a car fitted up with a smoking saloon, a library
with books, desks, and writing materials, a bath-room, and a
barber-shop. With a free circulation of air throughout the
train, the cars opening into each other, the electric light, the
many other increased comforts and conveniences introduced, the
steam-heating apparatus avoiding the necessity of using fires, the
great speed, and absence of stops at meal-stations, this train
is the acme of safe and luxurious travel. An ordinary passenger
travels in as princely a style in these cars as any crowned head in
Europe in a royal special train.

The speed of passenger trains has shown steady improvement from
year to year. In the month of June in our Centennial year, 1876,
a train ran from New York to San Francisco, a distance of 3,317
miles, in 83 hours and 27 minutes actual time, thus averaging
about 40 miles an hour, but during the trip it crossed four
mountain-summits, one of them over 8,000 feet high. This train ran
from Jersey City to Pittsburg over the Pennsylvania Railroad, a
distance of 444 miles, without making a stop. In 1882 locomotives
were introduced which made a speed of 70 miles per hour.

[Illustration: Pullman Sleeper on a Vestibuled Train.]

In July, 1885, an engine with a train of three cars made a trip
over the West Shore road which is the most extraordinary one on
record. It started from East Buffalo, N. Y., at 10.04 A.M., and
reached Weehawken, N. J., at 7.27 P.M. Deducting the time consumed
in stops, the actual running time was 7 hours and 23 minutes, or
an average of 56 miles per hour. Between Churchville and Genesee
Junction this train attained the unparalleled speed of 87 miles per
hour, and at several other parts of the line a speed of from 70 to
80 miles an hour. The superior physical characteristics of this
road were particularly favorable for the attainment of the speed

The trains referred to were special or experimental trains, and
while American railways have shown their ability to record the
highest speed yet known, they do not run their trains in regular
service as fast as those on the English railways. The meteor-like
names given to our fast trains are somewhat misleading. When one
reads of such trains as the "Lightning," the "Cannonball," the
"Thunderbolt," and the "G--whiz-z," the suggestiveness of the
titles is enough to make one's head swim, but, after all, the names
are not as significant of speed as the British "Flying Scotchman"
and the "Wild Irishman;" for the former do not attain an average
rate of 40 miles an hour, while the latter exceed 45 miles. A
few American trains, however, those between Jersey City and
Philadelphia, for instance, make an average speed of over 50 miles
per hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Immigrant Sleeping-car (Canadian Pacific Railway.)]

The transportation of immigrants has recently received increased
facilities for its accommodation upon the principal through lines.
Until late years economically constructed day-cars were alone used,
but in these the immigrants suffered great discomfort in long
journeys. An immigrant sleeper is now used, which is constructed
with sections on each side of the aisle, each section containing
two double berths. The berths are made with slats of hard wood
running longitudinally; there is no upholstery in the car, and
no bedding supplied, and after the car is vacated the hose can be
turned in upon it, and all the wood-work thoroughly cleansed. The
immigrants usually carry with them enough blankets and wraps to
make them tolerably comfortable in their berths; a cooking stove
is provided in one end of the car, on which the occupants can cook
their food, and even the long transcontinental journeys of the
immigrants are now made without hardship.

[Illustration: View of Pullman, Ill.]

The manufacture of railway passenger cars is a large item of
industry in the country. The tendency had been for many years to
confine the building of ordinary passenger coaches to the shops
owned by the railway companies, and they made extensive provision
for such work; but recently they have given large orders for that
class of equipment to outside manufacturers. This has resulted
partly from the large demand for cars, and partly on account of
the excellence of the work supplied by some of the manufacturing
companies. In 1880 the Pullman Company erected the most extensive
car-works in the world at Pullman, fourteen miles south of Chicago;
and, besides its extensive output of Pullman cars and freight
equipment, it has built for railway companies large numbers of
passenger coaches. The employees now number about 5,000, and an
idea of the capacity and resources of the shops may be obtained
from the fact that one hundred freight cars, of the kind known
as flat cars, have been built in eight hours. The business
of car-building has therefore given rise to the first model
manufacturing town in America, and it is an industry evidently
destined to increase as rapidly as any in the country.

The transportation of baggage has always been a most important
item to the traveller, and the amount carried seems to increase in
proportion to the advance in civilization. The original allowance
of fourteen pounds is found to be increased to four hundred when
ladies start for fashionable summer-resorts.

America has been much more liberal than other countries to the
traveller in this particular, as in all others. Here few of the
roads charge for excess of baggage unless the amount be so large
that patience with regard to it ceases to be a virtue.

The earlier method, of allowing each passenger to pick out his own
baggage at his point of destination and carry it off, resulted in
a lack of accountability which led to much confusion, frequent
losses, and heavy claims upon the companies in consequence.
Necessity, as usual, gave birth to invention, and the difficulty
was at last solved by the introduction of the system known as
"checking." A metal disk bearing a number and designating on its
face the destination of the baggage was attached to each article
and a duplicate given to the owner, which answered as a receipt,
and upon the presentation and surrender of which the baggage could
be claimed. Railways soon united in arranging for through checks
which, when attached to baggage, would insure its being sent safely
to distant points over lines composed of many connecting roads. The
check system led to the introduction of another marked convenience
in the handling of baggage--the baggage express or transfer
company. One of its agents will now check trunks at the passenger's
own house and haul them to the train. Another agent will take up
the checks aboard the train as it is nearing its destination, and
see that the baggage is delivered at any given address.

The cases in which pieces go astray are astonishingly rare, and
some roads found the claims for lost articles reduced by five
thousand dollars the first year after adopting the check system,
not to mention the amount saved in the reduced force of employees
engaged in assorting and handling the baggage. Its workings are
so perfect and its conveniences so great that an American cannot
easily understand why it is not adopted in all countries; but he is
forced to recognize the fact that it seems destined to be confined
to his own land. The London railway managers, for instance, give
many reasons for turning their faces against its adoption. They say
that there are few losses arising from passengers taking baggage
that does not belong to them; that most of the passengers take a
cab at the end of their railway journey to reach their homes, and
it costs but little more to carry their trunk with them; that in
this way it gets home as soon as they, while the transfer company,
or baggage express, would not deliver it for an hour or two later;
that the cab system is a great convenience, and any change which
would diminish its patronage would gradually reduce the number of
cabs, and these "gondolas of London" would have to increase their
charges or go out of business. It is very easy to find a stick when
one wants to hit a dog, and the European railway officials seem
never to be at a loss for reasons in rejecting the check system.

Coupon tickets covering trips over several different railways
have saved the traveller all the annoyance once experienced in
purchasing separate tickets from the several companies representing
the roads over which he had to pass. Their introduction
necessitated an agreement among the principal railways of the
country and the adoption of an extensive system of accountability
for the purpose of making settlements of the amounts represented by
the coupons.

[Illustration: In a Baggage-room.]

Like every other novelty the coupon ticket, when first introduced,
did not hit the mark when aimed at the understanding of certain
travellers. A United States Senator-elect had come on by sea from
the Pacific Coast who had never seen a railroad till he reached the
Atlantic seaboard. With a curiosity to test the workings of the new
means of transportation, of which he had heard so much, he bought
a coupon ticket and set out for a railway journey. He entered a
car, took a seat next to the door, and was just beginning to get
the "hang of the school-house" when the conductor, who was then
not uniformed, came in, cried "Tickets!" and reached out his hand
toward the Senator. "What do you want of me?" said the latter.
"I want your ticket," answered the conductor. Now it occurred to
the Senator that this might be a very neat job on the part of an
Eastern ticket-sharp, but it was just a little too thin to fool
a Pacific Coaster, and he said: "Don't you think I've got sense
enough to know that if I parted with my ticket right at the start I
wouldn't have anything to show for my money during the rest of the
way? No, sir, I'm going to hold on to this till I get to the end of
the trip."

"Oh!" said the conductor, whose impatience was now rising to fever
heat, "I don't want to take up your ticket, I only want to look at

[Illustration: Railway Station at York, England, built on a curve.]

The Senator thought, after some reflection, that he would risk
letting the man have a peep at it, anyhow, and held it up before
him, keeping it, however, at a safe distance. The conductor, with
the customary abruptness, jerked it out of his hand, tore off the
first coupon, and was about to return the ticket, when the Pacific
Coaster sprang up, threw himself upon his muscle, and delivered
a well-directed blow of his fist upon the conductor's right eye,
which landed him sprawling on one of the opposite seats. The other
passengers were at once on their feet, and rushed up to know the
cause of the disturbance. The Senator, still standing with his arms
in a pugnacious attitude, said:

"Maybe I've never ridden on a railroad before, but I'm not going to
let any sharper get away with me like that."

[Illustration: Outside the Grand Central Station, New York.]

"What's he done?" cried the passengers.

"Why," said the Senator, "I paid seventeen dollars and a half for
a ticket to take me through to Cincinnati, and before we're five
miles out that fellow slips up and says he wants to see it, and
when I get it out, he grabs hold of it and goes to tearing it up
right before my eyes." Ample explanations were soon made, and the
new passenger was duly initiated into the mysteries of the coupon

The uniforming of railway employees was a movement of no little
importance. It designated the various positions held by them, added
much to the neatness of their appearance, enabled passengers to
recognize them at a glance, and made them so conspicuous that it
impressed them with a greater sense of responsibility and aided
much in effecting a more courteous demeanor to passengers.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Boston Passenger Station, Providence Division, Old
Colony Railroad.]

Many conveniences have been introduced which greatly assist the
passenger when travelling upon unfamiliar roads. Conspicuous
clock-faces stand in the stations with their hands set to the hour
at which the next train is to start, sign-boards are displayed with
horizontal slats on which the stations are named at which departing
way-trains stop, and employees are stationed to call out necessary
information and direct passengers to the proper entrances, exits,
and trains. A "bureau of information" is now to be seen in large
passenger-stations, in which an official sits and with a Job-like
patience repeats to the curiously inclined passengers the whole
railway catechism, and successfully answers conundrums that would
stump an Oriental pundit.

The energetic passenger-agent spares no pains to thrust information
directly under the nose of the public. He uses every means known to
Yankee ingenuity to advertise his regular trains and his excursion
business, including large newspaper head-lines, corner-posters,
curb-stone dodgers, and placards on the breast and back of the
itinerant human sandwich who perambulates the streets.

Railway accidents have always been a great source of anxiety to the
managers, and the shocks received by the public when great loss of
life occurs from such causes deepen the interest which the general
community feels in the means taken to avoid these distressing

American railway officials have made encouraging progress in
reducing the number and the severity of accidents, and while the
record is not so good on many of our cheaply constructed roads, our
first-class roads now show by their statistics that they compare
favorably in this respect with the European companies.

The statistics regarding accidents[26] are necessarily unreliable,
as railway companies are not eager to publish their calamities
from the house-tops, and only in those States in which prompt
reports are required to be made by law are the figures given at
all accurately. Even in these instances the yearly reports lead to
wrong conclusions, for the State Railroad Commissioners become more
exacting each year as to the thoroughness of the reports called
for, and the results sometimes show an increase compared with
previous years, whereas there may have been an actual decrease.

In 1880, the last census year, an effort was made to collect
statistics of this kind covering all the railways in the United
States, with the following result:

              | Through causes |    Through     |                |
    To whom   |  beyond their  |   their own    |   Aggregate.   | Total
   happened.  |    control.    | carelessness.  |                | acci-
              +-------+--------+-------+--------+-------+--------+ dents.
  Passengers  |    61 |    331 |    82 |    213 |   143 |    544 |   687
  Employees   |   261 |  1,004 |   663 |  2,613 |   924 |  3,617 | 4,541
  All others  |    43 |    103 | 1,429 |  1,348 | 1,472 |  1,451 | 2,923
  Unspecified |       |        |       |        |     3 |     62 |    65
     Total    |   365 | 1,438  | 2,174 | 4,174  | 2,542 |  5,674 | 8,216

[Illustration: "Show Your Tickets!"

(Passenger Station, Philadelphia.)]

Mulhall, in his "Dictionary of Statistics," an English work, uses
substantially these same figures and makes the following comparison
between European and American railways:

_Accidents to Passengers, Employees, and Others._

                 |         |          |        | Per million
                 | Killed. | Wounded. | Total. | passengers.
  United States  |  2,349  |   5,867  |  8,216 |   41.1
  United Kingdom |  1,135  |   3,959  |  5,094 |    8.1
  Europe         |  3,213  |  10,859  | 14,072 |   10.8

That the figures given above are much too high as regards the
United States, there can be no doubt. For the fiscal year 1880-81
the data compiled by the Railroad Commissioners of Massachusetts
and published in their reports give as the total number of persons
killed and injured in the United States 2,126, as against 8,216
upon which the comparisons in the above table are based. If we
substitute in this table the former number for the latter, it would
reduce the number of injured per million passengers in the United
States to 10.6, about the same as on the European railways.

Edward Bates Dorsey gives the following interesting table of
comparisons in his valuable work, "English and American Railroads

_Passengers Killed and Injured from Causes beyond their own Control
on all the Railroads of the United Kingdom and those of the States
of New York and Massachusetts in 1884._

                   |  Total  |                           |       |
                   | length  |       Total mileage.      |       | In-
                   | of line +-------------+-------------+Killed.|jured.
                   |operated.|    Train.   | Passengers. |       |
  United Kingdom   |  18,864 | 272,803,220 |6,042,659,990|    31 |  864
  New York         |   7,298 |  85,918,677 |1,729,653,620|    10 |  124
  Massachusetts    |   2,852 |  32,304,333 |1,007,136,376|     2 |   42
  In               |         |             |             |       |
  1,000,000,000    |         |             |             |       |
  passengers       |         |             |             |       |
  transported      |         |             |             |       |
  1 mile.          |         |             |             |       |
                   |         |             |             |       |
    United Kingdom |         |             |             |  5.15 |  143
    New York       |         |             |             |  5.78 |   70
    Massachusetts  |         |             |             |  2.00 |   42

                                                    |  Miles.
  The average number of miles      { United Kingdom | 194,892,255
    a passenger can travel without { New York       | 172,965,362
    being killed.                  { Massachusetts  | 503,568,188
  The average number of miles      { United Kingdom |   6,992,662
    a passenger can travel without { New York       |  13,940,754
    being injured.                 { Massachusetts  |  23,955,630

From this it will be seen that in the United Kingdom the average
distance a passenger may travel before being killed is about equal
to twice the distance of the Earth from the Sun. In New York he may
travel a distance greater than that of Mars from the Sun; and in
Massachusetts he can comfort himself with the thought that he may
travel twenty-seven millions of miles farther than the distance of
Jupiter to the Sun before suffering death on the rail.

The most encouraging feature of these statistics is the fact that
the number of railway accidents per mile in the United States has
shown a marked decrease each year. Taking the figures adopted by
the Massachusetts commissions, the number of persons injured in
the year 1880-81 was 2,126, and in 1886-87, 2,483, while in the
same time the number of miles in operation increased from 93,349 to

The amounts paid annually by railways in satisfaction of claims for
damages to passengers are serious items of expenditure, and in the
United States have reached in some years nearly two millions of
dollars. About half of the States limit the amount of damages in
case of death to $5,000, the States of Virginia, Ohio, and Kansas
to $10,000, and the remainder have no statutory limit.

In the year 1840 the number of miles of railway per 100,000
inhabitants in the different countries named was as follows: United
States, 20; United Kingdom, 3; Europe, 1; in the year 1882, United
States, 210; United Kingdom, 52; Europe, 34.

In the year 1886 the total number of miles in the United States was
137,986; the number of passengers carried, 382,284,972; the number
carried one mile, 9,659,698,294; the average distance travelled per
passenger, 25.27 miles.

In Europe the first-class travel is exceedingly small and the
third class constitutes the largest portion of the passenger
business, while in America almost the whole of the travel is first
class, as will be seen from the following table:

                 |    Percentage of passengers carried.
                 | First Class. | Second Class. | Third Class.
  United Kingdom |      6       |      10       |     84
  France         |      8       |      32       |     60
  Germany        |      1       |      13       |     86
  United States  |     99       |    ½ of 1     |   ½ of 1

The third-class travel in this country is better known as immigrant
travel. The percentages given in the above table for the United
States are based upon an average of the numbers of passengers of
each class carried on the principal through lines. If all the roads
were included, the percentages of the second- and third-class
travel would be still less.

That which is of more material interest to passengers than anything
else is the rate of fare charged.

The following table gives an approximate comparison between the
rates per mile in the leading countries in the world:

                 | First Class. | Second Class. | Third Class.
                 |    Cents.    |    Cents.     |    Cents.
  United Kingdom |     4.42     |     3.20      |     1.94
  France         |     3.86     |     2.88      |     2.08
  Germany        |     3.10     |     2.32      |     1.54
  United States  |     2.18     |      --       |      --

The rates above given for the United Kingdom, France, and Germany
are the regular schedule-rates. An average of all the fares
received, including the reduced fares at excursion rates, would
make the figures somewhat less.

The rate named as the first-class fare for the railways in
the United States is, strictly speaking, the average earnings
per passenger per mile, and includes all classes; but as the
first-class passengers constitute about ninety-nine per centum
of the travel the amount does not differ materially from the
actual first-class fare. In the State of New York the first-class
fare does not exceed two cents, which is not much more than the
third-class fare in some countries of Europe, and heat, good
ventilation, ice-water, toilet arrangements, and free carriage of
a liberal amount of baggage are supplied, while in Europe few of
these comforts are furnished.

On the elevated railroads of New York a passenger can ride in a
first-class car eleven miles for 5 cents, or about one-half cent a
mile, and on surface-roads the commutation rates given to suburban
passengers are in some cases still less.

The berth-fares in sleeping-cars in Europe largely exceed those in
America, as will be seen from the following comparisons, stated in

        Route.        | Distance in Miles.| Berth fare.
  Paris to Rome       |        901        |    $12.75
  New York to Chicago |        912        |      5.00
  Paris to Marseilles |        536        |     11.00
  New York to Buffalo |        440        |      2.00
  Calais to Brindisi  |      1,373        |     22.25
  Boston to St. Louis |      1,330        |      6.50

While it would seem that the luxuries of railway travel in America
have reached a maximum, and the charges a minimum, yet in this
progressive age it is very probable that in the not far distant
future we shall witness improvements over the present methods which
will astonish us as much as the present methods surprise us when we
compare them with those of the past.


[23] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 195.

[24] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 224; also, "American
Locomotives and Cars," page 142.

[25] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 204.

[26] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 191.



  Sixteen Months' Journey of a Car--Detentions by the
  Way--Difficulties of the Car Accountant's Office--Necessities
  of Through Freight--How a Company's Cars are Scattered--The
  Question of Mileage--Reduction of the Balance in Favor of
  Other Roads--Relation of the Car Accountant's Work to the
  Transportation Department--Computation of Mileage--The Record
  Branch--How Reports are Gathered and Compiled--Exchange of
  "Junction Cards"--The Use of "Tracers"--Distribution of
  Empty Cars--Control of the Movement of Freight--How Trains
  are Made Up--Duties of the Yardmaster--The Handling of
  Through Trains--Organization of Fast Lines--Transfer Freight
  Houses--Special Cars for Specific Service--Disasters to Freight
  Trains--How the Companies Suffer--Inequalities in Payment for Car
  Service--The Per Diem Plan--A Uniform Charge for Car Rental--What
  Reforms might be Accomplished.



On the 14th of December, 1886, there was loaded in Indianapolis a
car belonging to one of the roads passing through that city. It
was loaded with corn consigned to parties in Boston. The car was
delivered to the Lake Shore road at Cleveland on the 16th; but,
owing to bad weather and various other local causes, it did not
reach East Buffalo until December 28th. It was turned over by the
New York Central & Hudson River Railroad to the West Shore road
the next day, and by this company was taken to Rotterdam Junction,
and there delivered on December 31st to the Western Division of
the Fitchburg Railroad, or what was then known as the Boston,
Hoosac Tunnel & Western. They took it promptly through to Boston.
After a few days the corn was sold by the consignees for delivery
in Medfield, on the New York & New England Railway. The car was
delivered to this road on January 24, 1887, and taken down to
Medfield. There it remained among a large number of other cars,
until it suited the convenience of the purchaser to put the corn
into his elevator.

On the 17th of March the car was unloaded, taken back to Boston,
and delivered to the Fitchburg road to be sent West, homeward. That
company took it promptly, but instead of delivering it to the West
Shore road at Rotterdam Junction, as would have been the regular
course, either through some mistake of a yardmaster at the junction
station, or in pursuance of general instructions to load all
Western cars home whenever practicable, the car was not delivered
to the West Shore, but was turned over to the Delaware & Hudson
Canal Co's. Railroad, taken down to the coal regions, and on March
31st delivered to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, by
whom it was loaded with coal for Chicago. That company promptly
delivered it to the Grand Trunk at Buffalo, and on April 10th the
car reached Chicago. It was immediately reconsigned by the local
agents of the coal company to a dealer in the town of Minot, 523
miles west of St. Paul, on the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba
Railroad. To reach that point, it was delivered to the Chicago,
Rock Island & Pacific on April 10th, then to the Burlington, Cedar
Rapids & Northern, Minneapolis & St. Louis, St. Paul & Duluth, St.
Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba, arriving at its destination on the
14th of April.

Winter still reigned in that locality, and the car was promptly
unloaded, and returned to St. Paul, where it was loaded with wheat
consigned to New York. It left St. Paul on the 26th of April, was
promptly moved through to Chicago, and delivered to the Grand
Trunk. Coming east, in Canada, the train of which this car formed
a part, while passing through a small station, in the night ran
into an open switch. The engine dashed into a number of loaded
cars standing on the siding, and the cars behind it were piled
up in bad confusion, a number of them being destroyed, and the
freight scattered in all directions. Our car, whose history we are
tracing, suffered comparatively slight damage. The drawheads were
broken, and some castings on one truck, not sufficient to affect
in any way the loading of the car. It was sent to the shops of the
road; and it became necessary for them, on examination, to send
to the owners of the car for a casting to replace that broken on
the truck. This resulted in serious detention. The requisition for
this casting had to be approved by the Superintendent and by the
General Manager, and was forwarded, after a considerable delay, to
the officers of the road owning the car. There it was sent through
a number of offices before it finally reached the hands of the
man who was able to supply the required casting. This in turn was
sent by freight, and passed over the intervening territory at a
slow rate; the whole involving a detention which held the car from
April 28th, when it was delivered at Chicago to the Grand Trunk,
until July 18th, when finally the Grand Trunk delivered it to the
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western at Buffalo. It came through promptly
to New York, the grain was put in an elevator, the car was sent
back once more to the mines at Scranton, and again loaded with coal
for Chicago. On August 9th the record says the car was delivered by
the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western to the Grand Trunk, and on the
12th of August it was in Chicago.

About this time the owners of the car began to make vigorous
appeals to the various roads, urging them to send the car home. One
of these tracers reached the Grand Trunk road while they still held
the car in their possession; so that orders were sent that the coal
must be unloaded at once, and the car returned. In order to unload
it, it was necessary to switch it to the Illinois Central for some
local consignee, and it was unloaded within four days and delivered
back to the Grand Trunk at Chicago. This was on August 16th.
During the few days that had elapsed since the order was given to
send this car home, there had been an active demand for cars, and
knowing that this one had to be sent to Buffalo in order to be
delivered to the Lake Shore road, from which it had originally been
received, the car was loaded for that point. This again resulted
in detention, for we find that the car was held on the Grand Trunk
tracks at Black Rock, awaiting the pleasure of the consignee to
unload the freight, until the 27th of September; and then, instead
of being unloaded and delivered to the Lake Shore road, as had been
the intention of the Grand Trunk officials, the consignee sold the
wheat in the car to a local dealer on the line of the Erie Railway,
and the car was sent down on that road on October 1st, and not
returned to the Grand Trunk again until the 10th day of October.

Unfortunately, the Erie was as anxious at that time to load cars
west with coal as the other roads, and when they brought the car
back to the Grand Trunk, they brought it once more filled with
coal, and back the car went to Chicago, reaching there on the 13th
of October.

It had now been away from home and diverted from its legitimate
uses for nine months, and apparently was as far from home as ever.
The delivery of the coal this time at Chicago put the car in the
hands of the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railway, and they
promptly gave it a lading by the southern route to Newport News;
for we find the car delivered by the Louisville, New Albany &
Chicago to the Chesapeake & Ohio route on October 28th, and at
Newport News on the 10th of November. The owners of the car were
meanwhile not idle. The occasional stray junction cards which came
in notified them of the passage of the car by different junction
points, giving them clews to work by, and they were in vigorous
correspondence with the various roads over which the car had gone,
urging, begging, and imploring the railway officers to make all
efforts in their power to get the car back to its home road.

On its last trip from Chicago to Newport News, the car passed
through Indianapolis, the very point from which it began its long
journey and many wanderings. Unfortunately, however, it passed
there loaded, without detention, and the owners of the car did not
discover until it had been for some time at Newport News, that the
car had been anywhere near its home territory. By the time they
made this discovery the car had been unloaded, and had started west
once more. The records of the movement of the car here become dim.
It was apparently diverted from its direct route back, which would
have taken it once more to Indianapolis, and so home, for we find,
after waiting at Newport News for some time to be unloaded, it was
delivered to the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis, next on the
Western & Atlantic, and so down into Georgia and South Carolina.
Again, on January 14, 1888, the car was reported on the Richmond
& Danville. They sent it once more down into South Carolina and
Georgia. From there it was loaded down to Selma, Ala., on the
Atlanta & West Point Railroad. They returned it promptly to
Atlanta, and so to the Central Railroad of Georgia; and the car,
after being used backward and forward between Montgomery and
Atlanta and Macon, finally appeared at Augusta, Ga., where it stood
on February 11, 1888. Here the car remained for some time, long
enough for the owners to get advices as to its whereabouts, and
communicate with the road on whose territory the car was, before
it was again moved. An urgent representation of the case having
been laid before the proper authorities, they agreed, if possible,
to load it in such a way that it should go back to Indianapolis.
This could not be done at once, however; but about the 12th of
March the car was sent to a near-by point in South Carolina loaded,
and worked back over the Georgia road and the Western Atlantic,
delivered to the Louisville & Nashville on April 3d, and finally,
after its many and long wanderings, was by that road delivered to
the home road at Cincinnati on the 17th of April; having been away
from home sixteen months and one day.

This is a case taken from actual records, and is one that could be
duplicated probably by any railroad in the country.



  _General Superintendent's Office_,
  WINNIPEG, December 31, 1888.

  _Supt. of Trans'n, L. & N. R. R. Co., Louisville, Ky._

  SIR: Our records show forty-five of our box-cars on your line,
  some of which have been away from home over three weeks. I give
  below the numbers of those which have been detained over thirty
  days, viz.:

  Nos.    28542    34210     34762     29421     28437     29842
          34628    34516     29781     28274     34333     28873

  There is at this time a strong demand for cars for the movement
  of the wheat crop, and I must beg that you will send home
  promptly all that you have on your line.

  I remain,
  Yours very truly,

  _Office of Superintendent of Transportation_,
  LOUISVILLE, KY., Jan'y 3, 1889.

  _Gen'l Supt., W. & A. L. R. W. Co., Winnipeg, Canada_.

  SIR: Your favor of the 31st ulto. was duly received and contents

  I call your attention to the enclosed mem. from our Car
  Accountant, which shows that we have but seven of your cars now
  on our road; of these but three are bad cases, Nos. 28437, 34516,
  and 28873. One of these cars was crippled, and is in the shops;
  the other two are loaded with wheat consigned "to order."

  The necessary instructions have been given our agents, and we
  will do all in our power to hurry the return of your cars.

  I am,
  Very truly yours,

  (Mem. enclosed.)


  W. & A. L. Nos.

  28542 to Ohio Northern, Dec. 5th.
  34210  " Ohio Northern, Dec. 10th.
  34762  " Kanawha Junc., 12/15 crippled.
  29421  " Elmwood, 12/15 unloading.
  28437  " Norfolk Shops, Dec. 6th.
  34628  " No account.
  34516  " Blue Ridge, 12/4 ordered out.
  29781 to Ohio Northern, Nov. 27th.
  28274  " Niantic, Dec. 12th, loading home.
  34333  " Louisville Belt, Dec. 8th.
  29842  " Brockton, Dec. 14th, empty, will load home.
  28873  " Blue Ridge, Nov. 18th, ordered out.

This is but an example of a correspondence that is constantly
being exchanged between the officials who are in charge of the
Transportation Department of the various railways of the country.

The demands of trade necessitate continually the transportation of
all manner of commodities over great distances.

Thus, wheat is brought from the Northwest to the seaboard, corn
from the Southwest, cotton from the South, fruit comes from
California, black walnut from Indiana, and pine from Michigan.
In the opposite direction, merchandise and manufactured articles
are sent from the East to all points in the West, the North, and
Southwest. The interchange is constant and steadily increasing in
all directions.

In the early period of railways in this country, when they were
built chiefly to promote local interests, and the movement
of either freight or passengers over long distances was a
comparatively small portion of the traffic, it was customary for
all roads to do their business in their own cars, transferring
any freight destined to a station on a connecting road at the
junction or point of interchange of the two roads. While this
system had the advantage of keeping at home the equipment of each
road, it resulted in a very slow movement of the freight. As the
volume of traffic grew, and the interchange of commodities between
distant points increased, this slow movement became more and
more vexatious. Soon the railway companies found it necessary to
allow their cars to run through to the destination of the freight
without transfer, or they would be deprived of the business by more
enterprising rivals. So that to-day a very large proportion of the
freight business of the country is done without transfer; the same
car taking the load from the initial point direct to destination.
The result of this is, however, that a considerable share of all
the business of any railway is done in cars belonging to other
companies, for which mileage has to be paid; while, in turn, the
cars of any one company may be scattered all over the country from
Maine to California, Winnipeg to Mexico.

The problem that constantly confronts the general superintendent of
a railway is, how to improve the time of through freight, thereby
improving the service and increasing the earnings of the company;
and, at the same time, how to secure the prompt movement of cars
belonging to the company, getting them home from other roads, and
reducing as far as possible upon his own line the use of foreign
cars, and the consequent payment of mileage therefor.

By common consent the mileage for the use of all eight-wheel
freight cars has been fixed at three-quarters of a cent per mile
run; four-wheel cars being rated at one-half this amount, or
three-eighths of a cent. This amount would at first sight appear
to be insignificant, yet in the aggregate it comes to a very
considerable sum. In the case of some of the more important roads
in the country, even those possessing a large equipment, the
balance against them for mileage alone often amounts to nearly half
a million annually.

It becomes therefore of the first importance to reduce to a minimum
the use of foreign cars, thereby reducing the mileage balance;
at the same time avoiding any action that will interfere with or
impede in any way the prompt movement of traffic.

The first step toward accomplishing this result is to organize
and fully equip the Car Accountant's Department. The importance of
this office has been recognized only of late years. Formerly, and
on many lines even now, the Car Accountant was merely a subordinate
in the Auditing Department of the company. His duties were confined
strictly to computing the mileage due to other roads. This he
did from the reports of the freight-train conductors, often in a
cumbrous and mechanical manner, making no allowance for possible
errors. At the same time, he received reports of foreign roads
without question and without check. He was not interested in any
way in the operations of the Transportation Department; and, as a
consequence, it never occurred to him to make inquiries as to the
proper use of the cars belonging to his own company. That he left
entirely to the Superintendent. The latter, on the other hand, his
time incessantly filled with many duties, could give but scant
attention to his cars.

The Superintendent of a railway in this country who has, let us
say, three hundred miles of road in his charge, has perhaps as
great a variety of occupation, and as many different questions
of importance depending upon his decision, as any other business
or professional man in the community. Fully one-half of his time
will be spent out-of-doors looking after the physical condition
of his track, masonry, bridges, stations, buildings of all kinds.
Concerning the repair or renewal of each he will have to pass
judgment. He must know intimately every foot of his track and,
in cases of emergency or accident, know just what resources he
can depend upon, and how to make them most immediately useful.
He will visit the shops and round houses frequently, and will
know the construction and daily condition of every locomotive,
every passenger and baggage car. He will consult with his Master
Mechanic, and often will decide which car or engine shall and
which shall not be taken in for repair, etc. He has to plan and
organize the work of every yard, every station. He must know the
duties of each employee on his pay-rolls, and instruct all new men,
or see that they are properly instructed. He must keep incessant
and vigilant watch on the movement of all trains, noting the
slightest variation from the schedules which he has prepared, and
looking carefully into the causes therefor, so as to avoid its
recurrence. The first thing in the morning he is greeted with a
report giving the situation of business on the road, the events of
the night, movement of trains, and location and volume of freight
to be handled. The last thing at night he gets a final report of
the location and movement of important trains; and he never closes
his eyes without thinking that perhaps the telephone will ring and
call him before dawn. During the day in his office he has reports
to make out, requisitions to approve, a varied correspondence, not
always agreeable, to answer. Added to this, frequent consultations
with the officers of the Traffic Department, or with those of
connecting lines, in reference to the movement of through or local
business, completely fill his time.

It is not to be wondered at that such a man gives but slight
attention in many cases to the matter of car mileage. He frequently
satisfies himself by arranging a system of reports from his
agents to his office that give a summary each twenty-four hours
of the cars of every kind on hand at each station; and leaves the
distribution and movement of the cars in the hands of his agents.
He will give some attention to the matter whenever he goes over his
road on other and more pressing duties. Occasionally he will even
take a day or two and visit every station, inquiring carefully as
to each car he finds; why it is being held, for what purpose, and
how long it has stood. Then, satisfied with having, as he says,
"shaken up the boys," he will turn his attention to other matters,
and let the cars take care of themselves. When the monthly or
quarterly statements are made up, and he sees the amount of balance
against his road for car mileage, he gives it but little thought,
regarding it as one of the items like taxes, important, of course,
but hardly one for which he is responsible.

His General Manager, however, will note the car-mileage balance
with more concern; and, looking into the matter carefully, he will
discover that the remedy is to put the Car Accountant into the
Transportation Department; thus at once interesting him in the
economical use of the equipment, and also placing in the hands of
the Superintendent the machinery he needs to enable him to promptly
control and direct the use of all cars.

The Car Accountant's Office may properly be divided into two main
branches--mileage and record. The computation of mileage is made
in most cases directly from the reports of each train. These
reports are made by the train conductors, and give the initials and
number of each car in their train, whether loaded or empty, and the
station whence taken and where left. To facilitate the computation
of mileage of each car, the stations on the road are consecutively
numbered, beginning at nought--each succeeding station being
represented by a number equivalent to the number of miles it is
distant from the initial station; excepting divisional and terminal
stations, where letters are used, to reduce the work in recording.
The conductors report the stations between which each car moves by
their numbers or letters. So that all that is necessary for the
mileage clerk to do is to take the difference between the station
numbers in each case, and he has the miles travelled by that car.
The mileage of each car having been so noted on the conductor's
report, it is then condensed, the mileage of all cars of any given
road or line being added together, and the results entered into the
ledgers. At the close of the month these books are footed, and a
report is rendered to each road in the country of the mileage and
amount in money due therefor, in each case; and settlements are
made accordingly, either in full or by balance. This is purely the
accounting side of the Car Accountant's Office.

There remains the record branch, equally important, and to the
operating department far more interesting. This consists broadly
in a complete record being kept of the daily movement and location
of every car upon the road, local or foreign. At first sight this
may seem to be a difficult and complicated operation, but, in
fact, it is simple. The record is first divided between local and
foreign; local cars being all cars owned by the home road, foreign
being all those owned by other roads. The local books are of large
size, ruled in such a way as to allow space for the daily movement
or location of each car for one month, and admit of twenty-five
or fifty cars being recorded upon each page. The record books for
foreign cars are similarly ruled, a slight change being necessary
to allow for the numbers and initials of the foreign cars, which
cannot well be arranged for in advance.

The train conductors' reports are placed in the hands of the record
clerks, each one recording the movements of certain initials, or
series of numbers, under the date as shown by the report; the
reports being handed from one to another until every car has been
entered and the report checked.

[Illustration: A Page from the Car Accountant's Book.[27]]

In addition to the conductors' train reports, the Car Accountant
receives reports from all junction stations daily, showing all cars
received from or delivered to connecting roads, whether loaded or
empty, and the destination of each. He also has reports from all
stations showing cars received and forwarded, from midnight to
midnight, cars remaining on hand loaded or empty; and if loaded,
contents and consignee, and also cars in process of loading or
unloading, and reports from shops or yards showing cars undergoing
repairs, or waiting for the same. In fine, he endeavors to get
complete reports showing every car that either may be in motion or
standing at any point on his road. All of these are entered on his
record books. The station reports check those of the conductor, and
_vice versa_. It will thus be seen that the record gives a complete
history of the movement and daily use of each car on the road.

In case of stock and perishable freight, or freight concerning
whose movements quick time is of the utmost importance, this
record is kept not only by days but by hours; that is, the actual
time of each movement is entered on the record. This is done by a
simple system of signs, so that an exact account of the movement,
giving date and hour of receipt and delivery, can be taken from the
record. This is frequently of the greatest value.

In addition to this, it is customary now for nearly all roads to
exchange what are known as "junction cards." They are reports from
one to another giving the numbers of all cars of each road passing
junction stations. These junction reports when received are also
carefully noted in the record, so that an account is kept in a
measure of the movement of home cars while on foreign roads, and
their daily location.

It would be difficult, and beyond the scope of this article, to
tell of the great variety of uses these records are put to. They
serve as a check upon reports of the mileage clerks, insuring their
accuracy. The junction reports serve also in a measure to check
the reports of foreign roads. Then, at frequent intervals, a clerk
will go over the record and note every car that is not shown to
have moved within, say, five days, putting down on a "detention
report" for each station the car number and date of its arrival.
These reports are sent to the agents for explanation, and then
submitted to the Superintendent. In a similar manner reports will
be made showing any use locally of foreign cars. From the record
can be shown almost at a glance the location of all idle cars,
information that is often very valuable, and that when wanted is
wanted promptly. Also, from the record, reports are constantly
being made out--"tracers," as they are termed--showing the location
and detention of home cars on foreign roads. In turn, foreign
tracers are taken to the record, and the questions therein asked
are readily answered by the Car Accountant.

Whenever possible, the distribution of empty cars upon the line
should be under the direct supervision of the Car Accountant.
Where this matter is left to a clerk in the Superintendent's
office, or, as has often been the case, is left to the discretion
of yardmasters and agents, the utmost waste in the use of cars
is inevitable. An agent at a local station will want a car for
a particular shipment. If he has none at his station suitable
he will ask some neighboring agent; failing there, he will ask
the Superintendent's office, and frequently also the nearest
yardmaster. Some other agent at a distant station may want the
same kind of car; orders in this way become duplicated, and the
road will not only have to haul twice the number of cars needed,
but very often haul the same kind of cars empty in opposite
directions at the same time. This is no uncommon occurrence even on
well-managed roads, and, it is needless to say, is most expensive.

Where the cars are distributed under the direct supervision of the
Car Accountant, he has the record at hand constantly, and knows
exactly where all cars are, and the sources of supply to meet every
demand. Not only that, but every improper use of cars is at once
brought to light and corrected.

The _theory_ of the use of foreign cars is that they are permitted
to run through to destination with through freight, on condition
that they shall be promptly unloaded on arrival at destination;
that they shall be returned at once to the home road, being loaded
on the return trip if suitable loading is available; but by no
means allowed to be used in local service, or loaded in any other
direction than homeward.

The _practice_ of many agents, and many roads, too, unfortunately,
is hardly in keeping with this theory. Agents, especially if not
closely watched, are prone to put freight into any car that is at
hand, regardless of ownership, being urged to such course by the
importunities of shippers and, at times, by the scarcity of cars.
Frequently such irregularities are the result of pure carelessness,
agents using foreign cars for local shipments, simply because they
are on hand, rather than call for home cars which it may take
some trouble and delay to procure. In this way at times a large
amount of local business may be going on on one part of the road in
foreign cars, while but a few miles distant the company's cars may
be standing idle. The Car Accountant from his record can at once
put a stop to this, and prevent its recurrence.

[Illustration: Freight Pier, North River, New York.]

Another valuable use to which the Car Accountant's Office may be
put is to trace and keep a record of the movement of freight,
locating delays, and tracing for freight lost or damaged. By a
moderate use of the telegraph wire the Car Accountant can keep
track of the movement of special freight-trains concerning which
time is important, and so insure regularity and promptness in their
despatch and delivery. From the mileage records may be obtained
the work of each engine in freight service, the miles run, the
number of loaded and empty cars hauled; and by considering two,
or perhaps three, empty cars as equivalent to one loaded car, the
average number of loaded cars hauled per mile is obtained. The
information is often valuable, as on many roads the ability of a
Superintendent is measured to a considerable extent by the amount
of work performed by the engines at his command.

In many other ways the resources of the Car Accountant's office
will be found of the greatest value to the Superintendent. When the
office is once fully organized and systematized, and all in good
working order, the Superintendent will find that his capacity for
control of his cars has been more than doubled, while the demands
on his time for their care has been really lessened. He has all the
information he needs supplied at his desk, far more accurate than
any he was ever able to secure before, and in the most condensed
form; while, at the same time, he will find his freight improving
in time over his line, his agents will have cars more promptly
and in greater abundance than ever, and last, and most gratifying
of all, his monthly balance-sheets will show a steady decrease in
the amount his road pays for foreign-car mileage, until probably
the balance will be found in his favor, although his business and
consequent tonnage may have increased meanwhile.



A package of merchandise can be transported from New York to
Chicago in two days and three nights. This is repeated day after
day with all the regularity of passenger service. So uniform is
this movement, that shippers and consignees depend upon it and
arrange their sales and stocks of goods in accordance therewith.
Any deviation or irregularity brings forth instant complaint and
a threatened withdrawal of patronage. This is true of hundreds
of other places and lines of freight service. To accomplish it,
there is necessary, first, a highly complicated and intricate
organization, and, next, incessant watchfulness.

[Illustration: Hay Storage Warehouses, New York Central & Hudson
River Railroad, West Thirty-third Street, New York.]

The shipper delivers the goods at the receiving freight-house
of the railway company. His cartman gets a receipt from the
tallyman. This receipt may be sent direct to the consignee, or
more frequently is exchanged for a bill of lading. There the
responsibility of the shipper ends. His goods are in the hands of
the railway company, which to all intents and purposes guarantees
their safe and prompt delivery to the consignee.

The tallyman's receipt is taken in duplicate. The latter is kept
in the freight-house until the freight is loaded in a car, and is
then marked with the initials and number of the car into which the
freight has been loaded. After that it is taken to the bill clerk
in the office, and from it and others is made the waybill or bills
for that particular car.

Where the volume of freight received at a given station is large,
it is customary to put all packages for a common destination, as
far as possible, in a car by themselves, thus making what are
termed "straight" cars. This is not always possible, however, or if
attempted would lead to loading a very large number of cars with
but light loads. So that it becomes necessary to group freight for
contiguous stations in one car, and again often to put freight for
widely distant cities in the same car. These latter are known as
"mixed" cars.

We will assume the day's receipt of freight finished, and most of
the cars loaded. About 6 P.M. the house will be "pulled," that
is, those cars already loaded will be taken away, and an empty
"string" of cars put in their place. An hour later, this "string"
will in turn be loaded and taken out, and the operation repeated,
until all the day's receipt of freight is loaded. Meanwhile other
freight will have been loaded direct from the shippers' carts on to
cars on the receiving tracks. For all cars, there is made out in
the freight-office a running slip or memorandum bill, which gives
simply the car number, initials, and destination. These are given
to the yardmaster or despatcher, and from them he "makes up" the

To a very great degree, the good movement of freight depends
upon the vigilance of the yardmasters and the care with which
they execute their duties. In an important terminal yard, the
yardmaster may have at all times from one to two thousand cars,
loaded and empty. He must know what each car contains, what is its
destination, and on what track it is. To enable him to do this,
he has one or more assistants, day and night. They, in turn, will
have foremen in charge of yard crews, each of the latter having
immediate charge of one engine. The number of engines employed will
vary constantly with the volume of the freight handled, but it
is safe to assume that there will be at all times nearly as many
engines employed in shifting in the various yards and important
stations on a line as there are road engines used in the movement
of the freight traffic.

The work of the yard goes on without intermission day and night,
Sundays as well as week-days. The men there employed know no
holidays, get no vacations. The loaded cars are coming from the
freight-houses all day long, in greater numbers perhaps in the
afternoon and evening, but the work of loading and moving cars
goes on somewhere or other, at nearly all times. As often as the
yardmaster gets together a sufficient number of cars for a common
destination to make up a train, he gathers them together, orders a
road engine and crew to be ready, and despatches them. In the make
up of "through" trains, care has to be exercised to put together
cars going to the same point, and to "group" the trains so that
as little shifting as possible may be required at any succeeding
yard or terminal, where the trains may pass. To accomplish this,
a thorough knowledge of all the various routes is necessary, and
minute acquaintance with the various intermediate junction yards
and stations.

The train once "made up" and in charge of the road crew, its
progress for the next few hours is comparatively simple. It will
go the length of the "run" at a rate of probably twenty miles per
hour, subject only to the ordinary vicissitudes of the road. At
the end of the division, if a through train, it will be promptly
transferred to another road crew with another engine, and so on.
Each conductor takes the running slip for each car in his train.
He also makes a report, giving the cars in his train by numbers
and initials, whether loaded or empty, how secured; and detailed
information in regard to any car out of order, or any slight mishap
or delay to his train. These reports go to the Car Accountant.
The running slips stay with the cars, being transferred from hand
to hand until the cars reach their destination. At junction yards
where one road terminates and connects with one or more foreign
roads, a complete record is kept, in a book prepared especially
for the purpose, of every car received from and delivered to each
connecting road. A copy of this information is sent daily to the
Car Accountant.

[Illustration: Freight Yards of the New York Central & Hudson River
Railroad, West Sixty-fifth Street, New York.]


[Illustration: "Dummy" Train and Boy on Hudson Street, New York.]

A road is expected to receive back from a connecting line any car
that it has previously delivered loaded. It becomes very necessary
to know just what cars have been so delivered. Without such a
record a road is at the mercy of its connections, and may be forced
to receive and move over its length empty foreign cars that it
never had in its possession before, thus paying mileage and being
at the expense of moving cars that brought it no revenue whatever.
The junction records put a complete check on such errors, and by
their use thousands of dollars are saved annually.

       *       *       *       *       *

To still more expedite the movement of through freight, very
many so-called fast freight lines exist in this country, as, for
example, the Traders' Despatch, the Star Union, the Merchants'
Despatch Transportation Company, the Red, the White, the Blue, the
National Despatch, etc. Some of these lines are simply co-operative
lines, owned by the various railway companies whose roads are
operated in connection with one another. Their organization is
simple. A number of companies organize a line, which they put in
charge of a general manager. Each company will assign to the line a
number of cars, the quota of each being in proportion to its miles
of road. The general manager has control of the line cars. He has
agents who solicit business and employees who watch the movement
of his line cars, and report the same to him. He keeps close
record of his business, and reports promptly to the transportation
officer of any road in his line any neglect or delinquency he may
discover. The earnings of the line and its expenses are all divided
_pro rata_ among the roads interested. Such a line is simply an
organization to insure prompt service and secure competitive
business, and the entire benefit goes to the railway companies.

[Illustration: (Logo on a box-car)]

Other lines are in the nature of corporations, being owned by
stockholders and operating on a system of roads in accordance with
some agreement or contract. Others, again, are organized for some
special freight, and are owned wholly by firms or individuals, such
as the various dressed-beef lines and some lines of live-stock
cars. These are put in service simply for the mileage received for
their use, and in many cases the railway companies have no interest
in them whatever.

The movement of "straight" cars and "solid" trains is comparatively
simple. But there is a very large amount of through freight,
particularly of merchandise, that cannot be put into a "straight"
car. A shipper in New York can depend on his goods going in a
straight car to St. Louis, Denver, St. Paul, etc., but he can
hardly expect a straight car to any one of hundreds of intermediate
cities and towns. Still less is it possible for a road at a small
country-town, where there are perhaps but one or two factories, to
load straight cars to any but a very few places. To overcome this
difficulty, transfer freight-houses have to be provided. These are
usually located at important terminal stations.

[Illustration: Coal Car, Central Railroad of New Jersey.]

To them are billed all mixed cars containing through freight. These
cars are unloaded and reloaded, and out of a hundred "mixed" cars
will be made probably eighty straight and the balance local. This
necessarily causes some delay, but it is practically a gain in time
in the end, as otherwise every car would have to be reloaded, and
held at every station for which it contained freight.

[Illustration: (Logo on a box-car)]

The variety of articles that is offered to a railway company for
transportation is endless. Articles of all sizes and weights are
carried, from shoe-pegs by the carload to a single casting that
weighs thirty tons. The values also vary as widely. Some cars will
carry kindling wood or refuse stone that is worth barely the cost
of loading and carrying a few miles, while others will be loaded
with teas, silks, or merchandise, where perhaps the value of a
single carload will exceed twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars.
The great bulk of all freight is carried in the ordinary box-cars,
coal in cars especially planned for it, and coarse lumber and stone
on flat or platform cars. But very many cases arise that require
especial provision to be made for each. Chicago dressed beef has
made the use of the refrigerator cars well known. These cars are
also used for carrying fruit and provisions. They are of many
kinds, built under various patents, but all with a common purpose;
that is, to produce a car wherein the temperature can be maintained
uniformly at about 40 degrees. On the other hand, potatoes in
bulk are brought in great quantities to the Eastern seaboard in
box-cars, fitted with an additional or false lining of boards, and
in the centre an ordinary stove in which fire is kept up during the
time the potatoes are in transit.

An improvement on this plan is afforded by the use of cars known
as the Eastman Heater Cars. They are provided with an automatic
self-feeding oil-stove, so arranged that fire can be kept up under
the car for about a fortnight without attention. These are largely
used in the fruit trade.

[Illustration: Unloading a Train of Truck-wagons, Long Island

For carrying milk, special cars have to be provided, as particular
attention has to be given to the matter of ventilation in
connection with a small amount of cooling for the proper carrying
of the milk. Not only the cars but the train service has to be
especially arranged for in particular cases.

[Illustration: Freight from all Quarters--Some Typical Trains.]

As an instance, the Long Island Railroad Company makes a specialty
of transporting farmers' truck-wagons to market. For this purpose
they have provided long, low, flat cars, each capable of carrying
four truck-wagons. The horses are carried in box-cars, and one
farmer or driver is carried with each team, a coach being provided
for their use. During the fall of the year, they frequently carry
from 45 to 50 wagons on one train, charging a small sum for each
wagon, and nothing for the horses or men. These trains run three
times weekly, and are arranged so as to arrive in the city about
midnight, returning the next day at noon. The trains by themselves
are not very remunerative, but by furnishing this accommodation,
farmers who are thirty or forty miles out on Long Island can have
just as good an opportunity for market-gardening as those who live
within driving distance of the city. This builds up the country
farther out on the island, which in turn gives the road other

       *       *       *       *       *

The movement of freight is not always successfully accomplished. In
spite of good organization, every facility, incessant watchfulness,
accidents will occur, freight will be delayed, cars will break
down, trains will meet with disaster. The consequences sometimes
fall heavily on the railway companies. The loss is frequently out
of all proportion to the revenue. The following instance is from
the writers own experience:

Some carpenters repairing a small low trestle left chips and
shavings near one of the bents. A passing train dropped some
ashes. The shavings caught fire and burnt one or two posts in one
bent. The section-men failed to notice the fire. Toward evening a
freight train came to the trestle, the burnt bent gave way, and
the train was derailed. Two men were killed, one severely injured,
and eighteen freight cars were burned. The resulting loss to the
railroad company was $56,113. Of this amount, the loss paid on
freight was $39,613.12. As a matter of interest, and to show the
disparity between the value of the commodities and the earnings
from freight charges received by the railway company, the amount of
each is given here in detail, taken from the actual records of the

       Property destroyed.      | Amount paid by  |Freight charges on
                                |railroad company.|    the same.
  Butter, 200 pounds at 35 cents|      $70.00     |      $0.50
  Ore, 75.9 tons at $3.50       |      265.80     |      56.91
  Paper, 4,600 pounds           |      269.10     |       8.74
  Pulp, 10,400 pounds           |      160.00     |      12.65
  Shingles, 85 M                |      192.50     |      11.00
  Horsenails                    |    2,986.06     |      37.44
  Lumber                        |      252.00     |      18.40
  Apples, 159 barrels           |      508.80     |      15.26
  Hops, 209 bales, 37,014 pounds|   34,908.86     |      59.22
                                |  $39,613.12     |    $220.12

This was during the fall of 1882, when hops sold in New York for
over $1 per pound.

The plan of payment for car service by the mile run,
without reference to time, has the merit of simplicity and
long-established usage. It is, however, in reality, crude and
unscientific, and has brought with it, in its train, numerous

The owner of a car is entitled, first, to the proper interest
in his investment, that is, on the value of the car; second, to
a proper amount for wear and tear or for repairs. The life of a
freight car may be reasonably estimated at ten years, so that ten
per cent. on its value would be a fair interest-charge. The average
amount for repairs varies directly as to the distance the car
moves, and may be put at one-half cent per mile run.

It will be seen that by the ordinary method of payment the
car-owner is compensated for interest at the rate of ¼ of a cent
for the time that the car is in motion, but receives nothing for
all the time the car is at rest. If cars could be kept in motion
for any considerable portion of each twenty-four hours, this would
prove ample. But in practice it is found that few roads succeed
in getting an average movement of all cars for more than one
hour and a half in each twenty-four. This gives about five per
cent. interest on the value of the car, only one-half of what is
generally conceded to be a fair return. Still further, there is no
inducement to the road on which a foreign car is standing to hasten
its return home. On the contrary, there is a direct advantage in
holding the car idle until a proper load can be found for it,
rather than return it home empty. The most serious abuses of the
freight business of the country have grown from this state of
affairs. It costs nothing but the use of the track to hold freight
in cars; consequently freight is held in cars instead of being put
in storehouses, frequently for weeks and months at a time.

There is but little earnest attempt made to urge consignees to
remove freight; on the contrary, the consignees consider that
they can leave their freight as long as they choose, and that the
railroad companies are bound to hold it indefinitely.

One special practice has grown up as a result of this condition,
that of shippers sending freight to distant points to their own
order. This practice is most prolific of detention to cars, and yet
is so strongly rooted in the traffic arrangements of the country
that it is most difficult to put an end to it. Cars "to order" will
frequently stand for weeks before the contents are sold and the
consignee is discovered, during which time the cars accumulate,
stand in the way, occupy valuable space, and have to be handled
repeatedly by the transportation department of the road, all at the
direct cost of handling to the road itself, and loss of interest to
the owner of the car.

[Illustration: Floating Cars, New York Harbor.]

Only two methods have so far been suggested to abate or put an end
to the evils which have been but slightly indicated above. The
first is a change in the method of payment for car service to a
compensation based upon time as well as mileage, which is commonly
known as the "per diem plan."

This plan consists in paying for the use of all foreign cars a
fixed sum per mile run, based on the supposed cost of repairs of
the car, and a price per day based upon what is estimated to be a
fair return for the interest on its value. This plan was originally
suggested by a convention of car accountants, and was brought
up and advocated by Mr. Fink, the Chairman of the Trunk Line
Commission, in New York, in the fall of 1887. At his suggestion,
and largely through his influence, it was tried by a few of the
roads (the Trunk Lines and some of their immediate connections)
during the early part of the year 1888; the amounts as then fixed
being one-half cent per mile run, and fifteen cents per day. The
results of this experiment, while they were quite satisfactory
to the friends of the proposed change, yet were not sufficiently
conclusive to demonstrate the value of the plan to those who were
indifferent or hostile to it.

For various reasons, chiefly local to the roads in question, the
plan was discontinued after a few months' trial. The experiment
resulted, however, in the collection of a large mass of statistics
and other data, the study of which has led many to believe that
the plan is the proper solution of the difficulties experienced,
and, if adjusted so as not to add too much to the burden of those
railway companies who are borrowers of cars, that it would meet
with the approval of the railway companies throughout the country.
It certainly provided a strong inducement to all roads to promptly
handle foreign cars, and in that particular it proved a great
advance over the existing methods of car service. The charge per
day of fifteen cents was found too high in practice. Ten cents
per day and a half-cent per mile would produce a net sum to the
car-owner very slightly in excess of three-fourths of a cent per
mile run. While this appears but small, yet it would be quite
sufficient to amount in the aggregate to a considerable sum, and
would serve to urge all railway companies to promptly unload and
send home foreign cars. This plan would result, if generally
adopted, in largely increasing the daily movement or mileage of all
cars, or, what would be equivalent, would practically amount to a
very considerable increase in the equipment of the country.

The plan has recently been approved by the General Time Convention,
and there is strong probability that it will be very extensively
adopted and given a trial by all the railways during the year 1890.

The second method of remedying the existing evils of car service
is in a uniform and regular charge for demurrage, or car rental,
to be collected by all railroad companies with the same regularity
and uniformity that they now collect freight charges. This car
rental, or demurrage charge, would not be in any sense a revenue
to the car-owner; the idea of it being that it is a rental to the
delivering company, not only for the use of the car but for the
track on which it stands, and the inconvenience and actual cost
that the company is put to in repeated handling a car that is held
awaiting the pleasure of the consignee to unload. The difficulty
in the way of making such a charge has been the unwillingness of
any railroad company to put any obstacle in the way of the free
movement of freight to its line, and the fear that an equivalent
charge would not be made by some one of its competitors. Of late,
however, the serious disadvantages resulting from the privileges
given to consignees at competing points, by allowing them to hold
cars indefinitely, have led the different railway companies to come
together and agree upon a uniform system of demurrage charges at
certain competing points.

If these two plans could be put into operation simultaneously, a
fair and uniform method of charging demurrage, coupled with the per
diem and mileage plan for car service, the results would be most
satisfactory not only to the railway companies and car-owners, but
also to the community.

       *       *       *       *       *

The matter of freight transportation is a vast one, and whole
chapters might be written on any one of the various topics that
have been but slightly mentioned in this sketch.

The subject is fraught with difficulties; new complications arise
daily which, each in its turn, have to be met and mastered. The
publicity recently given to the various phases of the railway
problem has done much to enlighten the public mind in regard to
these difficulties.

The result has already been evident in the growing spirit of mutual
forbearance and good-will between the railway companies and the
public. Let us hope that this will continue, and that as time goes
on their relations will steadily improve, so that the public, while
yielding nothing of their legitimate demand for safe, prompt, and
convenient service, will at the same time see that this can only
be secured by allowing the railways a fair return for the services
rendered; while the railways will learn that their true interest
lies in the best service possible at moderate, uniform rates.


[27] EXPLANATION. Each connecting road at each junction station is
assigned a number, and when a car is received from a connection
the record is shown by entering the road number in the upper space
of the block under the proper date, followed by the character ×
if loaded; or, if empty, together with the time, as for example:
Car 29421 is shown as received, Dec. 2d, from the Amherst &
Lincoln Ry. at Port Chester (10), loaded (×), at 21 o'clock, or 9
P.M. A similar entry in the lower space of the block indicates a
_delivery_ to connecting line. The middle space of the block is
used for the car movement, the first number or letter showing the
station from which the car moved. The character × as a prefix to
a station number indicates that the car is being loaded at that
station. The --, when used as a prefix, shows that the car is being
unloaded; as an _affix_ it indicates a movement empty, or on hand
empty. When the -- is used _under_ a station number it indicates
a change date record, that is, leaving a station on one date and
arriving at another on the following date. Station numbers or
letters without other characters show that the car is loaded.

The sign (B) is used when a car is left at a station for repairs,
while in transit. The sign (T) denotes that the lading was
transferred to another car, a transfer record being kept showing
to what car transferred; the sign (R), when a car is on hand at a
station or yard for repairs. Shops are assigned numbers with an O
prefix; the upper and lower spaces being used to show delivery to,
or receipt from the shop, similar to the interchange record.

For convenience the twenty-four hour system is used for recording
time, and is shown in quarter-hours; thus, 10, 12^1, 18^2, 21^3,
representing 10 A.M., 12.15 P.M., 6.30 P.M., and 9.45 P.M. This,
used in the movement record, shows the running time on each
division, or detention at train terminals.

The "transfer" column shows the station at which the car was
reported on the last day of the previous month, and the _arriving
date_; also from what road received, with date.



  The Many Necessities of a Modern Railway--The Purchasing and
  Supply Departments--Comparison with the Commissary Department of
  an Army--Financial Importance--Immense Expenditures--The General
  Storehouse--Duties of the Purchasing Agent--The Best Material the
  Cheapest--Profits from the Scrap-heap--Old Rails Worked over into
  New Implements--Yearly Contracts for Staple Articles--Economy
  in Fuel--Tests by the Best Engineers and Firemen--The
  Stationery Supply--Aggregate Annual Cost of Envelopes, Tickets,
  and Time-tables--The Average Life of Rails--Durability of
  Cross-ties--What it Costs per Mile to Run an Engine--The
  Paymaster's Duties--Scenes during the Trip of a Pay-car.

The commissary or supply department of a railroad is not unlike
that of a large army. Like a vast army, its necessities are many,
and the various departments which make up the whole system must be
provided with their necessary requirements in order to accomplish
the end for which it is operated.

If, again, we regard a railroad as a huge animal, the quantity
of supplies needed to fill its capacious maw is something
overwhelming. It is always hungry, and the daily bill of fare
(which includes pretty much everything known to trade) is gone
through with an appetite as vigorous and healthy at the end as
it exhibits in the beginning. Yet how few there are who realize
the important part this one feature plays in the operation of
the thousands of miles of railroad throughout the world! Upon
the proper conduct of this department depends very largely the
success of any road, so far as its relation to the stockholders
is concerned; for while, as has been the case in the past,
combinations and pools have aided in maintaining rates, and have
served to increase the income, and attention has been paid to
securing additional business in every possible way, the "out-goes"
have often been overlooked, to the detriment of dividends and the
general welfare of the property.

The supplies must be furnished in any event, in order that the
various departments may perform their allotted duties--coal for
the engines, stationery for the clerks, ties and rails for the
tracks, oils for the lubrication of the thousands of axles daily
turning, passage-tickets for the travellers, and a thousand and one
things which are absolutely necessary for the safe and efficient
conduct of every railroad in active operation. Each item serves its
purpose, and, properly assimilated, keeps alive all the functions
of one vast and complicated system. It is easy to see, then, the
importance, first, of proper economy in buying, and then a correct
and systematic distribution of all supplies. On the Philadelphia &
Reading Railroad, for instance, the annual supply bills aggregate
more than $3,000,000, covering such supplies as those just
mentioned, and, in fact, everything which is purchased and used in
the operation of the road; so that on a large system like that,
the commissary department requires no end of detail, both in the
purchase and the distribution of all material.

The expenditure for lubricating oils, waste, and greases alone
amounts to more than $150,000 per annum, while the outlay for fuel
represents about $1,200,000, and this is comparatively a small
sum, since that road is a coal road, so called, and the cost for
fuel, as a matter of course, is reduced to a minimum. There the
store-room system, which has now been pretty generally adopted by
many of the larger roads, is fully exemplified. With a General
Store-keeper in charge, all supplies purchased are accounted for
through him, and distributions are made daily among the sub-store
rooms, which are located at convenient points; and they in turn
distribute among the various departments, for consumption, all
accounting daily to the General Store-keeper at Reading.

To give an idea as to the quantity of material required in the
service on such a road, it may be stated that from twelve to
fifteen car-loads of supplies per day are shipped to various
points. When we consider that an ordinary car will carry from
fifteen to twenty tons of freight, we find that the annual
requirements will average about four thousand car-loads, or, say,
about fifty thousand tons, and if all the cars were made up into
one solid train they would occupy fully twenty-five miles of
track, and consume an hour and a half passing a given point running
at the ordinary speed of freight-trains.

To account carefully for all this requires necessarily a large
army of clerks and other assistants, though, with the fundamental
principles correct, it is no more difficult to account for large
quantities than for small. The supplies are purchased in the first
instance, delivered at the General Storehouse, are there weighed or
measured and receipted for, are then distributed on requisition,
and finally delivered to the several departments when needed; are
charged out to the various accounts, after consumption, and all
returns and records are finally kept on the books of the General

It would be a large army indeed which would require so much for
its maintenance; and, remembering the hundreds of roads, small and
large, throughout the country, the measure of one's comprehension
is nearly reached in estimating the amount of money and the
thousands of tons of material represented.

If the buyer of railroad stocks for investment, besides looking
into the returns of freight and passenger business for his
decision, would investigate carefully the method adopted for the
purchase and distribution of supplies on any road in which he may
be interested, he might get information enough to satisfy himself
that a large portion of the earnings were dribbling out through
this department, and that, as a result, his stock might eventually
cease to be a dividend payer.

In the matter of buying, the result depends entirely upon the
purchasing agent, and this position must necessarily be occupied
by a man of honor and integrity, coupled with a reasonable amount
of shrewdness and aptitude for such business. As this department
covers to a greater or less degree pretty much all the known
branches of trade, the buyer cannot, under ordinary circumstances,
thoroughly master the whole field as an expert; but he can
nevertheless inform himself in the most important articles of
manufacture to the extent of preventing deception or fraud. The
field is extensive, and the sooner railroad companies realize that
the purchasing agent is not a mere order clerk, the sooner they
will discover that their disbursements for supplies are very much
less, and that the chief part of the leakage has found its source
in this very department.

Exactly the same principles are involved in this matter as in the
case of a thrifty proprietor of a country-store, whose profits each
year depend materially upon the closeness and care with which his
stock in trade is purchased from the wholesale dealers in a large
city. A purchasing agent's experience is varied in the extreme,
dealing as he does with all classes of salesmen and business
houses. There is no end to the operations which skilful salesmen
go through in offering their stock; but after some experience a
sharp buyer will be able to fortify himself against the best of
them--even against the clever vender of varnishes who disposed of
one hundred barrels of his wares in small lots to different buyers,
on a sample of maple-sirup. On the other hand, a salesman who,
when a buyer asked him if his oil gummed, replied that "it gummed
beautifully," lost the chance of ever selling any goods in that

As has been said, the ordinary or general supplies consumed in the
operation of the average railroad include almost everything known
to trade. Tobacco, for the gratification of the taste of a gang
of men out on the road with the snow-plough, is not outside the
list; and even pianos, for some trains (since the days of absolute
comfort and possible extravagance have begun) for the benefit of
passengers setting out on long journeys; nor do we lose sight of
books, bath-tubs, and barbers. The practical feature involved,
however, calls for an endless variety of expensive as well as
inexpensive materials.

It is a safe rule to follow that anything which goes into the
construction either of track, equipment, or buildings, should be
the best. Care should always be exercised against the use of any
material the failure of which might be the cause of loss of life,
and consequently result in heavy damages to the company. Iron alone
enters so extensively into railroad construction and operation
that it is safe to say three-fourths of all manufactured in this
country is consumed directly or indirectly in this way; and besides
its use in rails and fastenings (the latter including spikes,
fish-plates, and bolts and nuts), and in the many thousand tons of
car-wheels and axles annually required, there must be reckoned the
almost unlimited number of castings daily required in the way of
brake-shoes, pedestals, draw-heads, grate-bars, etc. The lumber and
timber for buildings, bridges, platforms, and crossings, and the
large quantity of glass which is necessary, are among other large
items of expenditure.

Lubricating and illuminating oils, paints and varnishes, soaps,
chalk, bunting, hardware, lamps, cotton and woollen waste, clocks,
brooms, and such metals as copper, pig tin, and antimony are only a
few of the many articles of diet which a railroad requires to keep
body and soul together, and give it strength to perform the great
duty it owes to commerce and the public. After they have all served
their purposes, such as cannot be worked over again in the shops,
and are not entirely consumed, are consigned to the scrap-heap
under the head of "old material"--an all-important consideration in
the economical management of any road. On many roads very little
attention is paid to the sale of scrap. As a general rule, the
purchasing agent has charge of it, and if he shows any shrewdness
in buying, he will exercise more or less ingenuity in selling. Most
railroad scrap has a fixed value in the market. Quotations for old
rails, car-wheels, and wrought iron are found in all the trade
journals; but as in buying one can usually buy of someone at prices
less than market price, so in selling he can often find a buyer who
is willing to pay more than the regular quotation. As it is found
not wise in the long run to purchase ahead on some prospective
rise, so in selling it is equally true that holding scrap over upon
the possibility of a rise in prices is not always for the best

There has always been a demand for old iron rails, and recently
use for old steel rails has been found. They are worked over at
the rolling mills into crowbars and shovels, spikes, fish-plates,
bolts, and other necessary things to be employed in construction
and maintenance. Not long since an experiment with old steel rails
was successfully performed, whereby they were melted and poured
into moulds for use as brake-shoes. The result showed a casting
of unusual hardness which would outwear three ordinary cast-iron
shoes. This opens up an entirely new field in railroad economy,
for with ordinary foundry appliances accumulations of old steel
rails can be worked over and cast into all sorts of shapes and
patterns to better advantage than selling them at a nominal price
to outside buyers. While worn-out car-wheels will generally bring
more money from wheel manufacturers than they command in the open
market, it has not always been found the best policy to compel the
mill from which the new wheels are purchased to take too many of
them. It is apt to encourage the use of too much old material in
the manufacture of the new; and while the company may consider that
it is realizing much more money on sales of the old wheels than
the market price, it does not take into account the inferior stock
it is getting back, or the fact that possibly when the mileage
is reckoned the wheels have signally failed to run as long as
they ought. In the aggregate about ten per cent. of the original
cost of all supplies purchased is realized out of the sales of
old material. From cast-iron wheels and old rails, however, the
percentage is much larger, for while at present new passenger
car-wheels of this class, weighing about five hundred and fifty
pounds, are worth about ten dollars each, they will bring in the
market, when worn out after running say fifty thousand miles, about
twenty dollars per ton. Four wheels go to the ton, which represents
five dollars per wheel, or fifty per cent. of the original cost.
With old rails the percentage is even higher, in the present
condition of the rail market. Old iron rails are worth within four
or five dollars of the price of new steel, and the old steel about
seventy per cent. of the price of the new. These high percentages
assist in making up for the materials which are entirely consumed
in the service, and which never form a part of the ordinary
scrap-heap, such as oils, waste, and paints.

While the majority of general supplies just mentioned briefly may
be arranged for as required and purchased from month to month upon
regular requisitions, there are certain staple articles which are
provided for in advance by contract. Among them principally are
the engine-coal, rails and ties, stationery, passage-tickets, and
time-tables. More money is expended for such supplies than for any
others, and contracts with responsible business houses, for their
delivery at fixed prices for the limit of at least a year, are
generally made to insure, in the first place, the lowest market
rates and, again, to make the delivery certain.

Locomotive fuel is the largest single item of expense in the
operation of any road, the consumption of it running up as high as
a million tons per annum on some large roads; and while there are
a few exceptional cases where wood is used as fuel, coal is the
necessary element in nearly every case in America to-day.

Of the two general varieties--bituminous or soft, and anthracite
or hard--it is safe to say that bituminous coal is the more
economical, assuming that the grade employed is the best, this
economy lying both in the original cost and the fact that the bulk
of it goes to serve its purpose, there being comparatively little
waste in the way of ashes; while the anthracite produces many ashes
and clinkers, requires much more care and attention on the part of
the stoker or fireman, and costs, as a general rule, about thirty
per cent. more. Economy, however, should not be carried too far in
any branch of the service, and if the passenger traffic be heavy
the use of soft coal may be a great detriment. To a traveller
there can be nothing more disagreeable than the smoke and cinders
emanating from it; and if, besides this, the road be an especially
dusty one, the combination of dust, smoke, and cinders will be
quite sufficient to turn the tide of travel in some other direction
and over another route.

For freight service bituminous coal is decidedly the best, and
perhaps might not be out of place on short local passenger trains;
but the company that provides hard-coal-burning engines for
passenger trains, and soft-coal burners for freight, does about
the right thing, and economizes as far as practicable in this
particular. In making contracts for this important commodity the
necessity of careful tests in advance is very apparent, and such
trials are generally left with the best engineers and firemen;
otherwise it might be difficult to get at all the qualifications.
On some roads inducements offered to firemen have brought the
consumption of fuel down to the most economical point, and it is
surprising how much depends upon their good judgment in this matter.

Now that heating cars direct from the engines is coming into
general use, and State legislatures have given the subject their
consideration, the consumption of the domestic sizes of coal as
fuel in cars is growing less; but this, too, is still a very
important matter.

Stationery is not only a very significant item, but also an
expensive one. This includes all the forms and blanks used in
the conduct of the freight and passenger business, and there is
an endless variety of them--the inks, pens, pencils, mucilage,
sealing-wax, and envelopes, besides many other odds and ends.
Perhaps the envelopes represent one of the largest single items of
expense in this line. The hundreds of thousands of them used in
the course of a year, even at low prices, mean an outlay of many
thousands of dollars. Agents must send in daily reports, there
must be covers for all the correspondence passing between the
different departments, while the daily average amount of outside
correspondence is very considerable. It is surprising how many
dollars might be saved in this direction, not only by a judicious
contract, but by a careful use of the supply.

When a railroad company takes up the question of time-tables, it
has a matter of importance to handle which on many roads receives
very little consideration. When the passenger traffic is heavy, the
number of travellers during the year running into the millions,
the demand for time-tables is very large. This refers directly to
the time-table sheets or folders, which every company must keep
on hand at its stations, and in other public places and hotels,
for the convenience of the traveller, in addition to the printed
schedules which are framed and hung up conspicuously on the walls
of its waiting-rooms. A neat and attractive folder for general
circulation is very desirable, particularly if competition is very
strong. There is more virtue in a neatly made up schedule of trains
than one would suppose. One in doubt is apt to reason that the road
is kept up in a corresponding condition, and that the trains are
made up on the same plan, and consequently would prefer to go by
that route rather than by one whose trains were advertised on cheap

Fifteen thousand to twenty thousand dollars per annum for envelopes
alone is spent on some roads, and twice as much more perhaps for

Passage-tickets, including all varieties of regular and special
tickets, such as mileage books or coupons, family trip-books,
and school-tickets are also an item of large expense, the annual
consumption covering many tons, which once used are of no value
save as waste paper; yet they are absolutely indispensable in
the operation of the road. Yearly contracts for these are made,
and while the actual cost of a single ticket may not exceed _one
mill_, the aggregate on a road carrying fifteen millions to twenty
millions or more passengers per annum is considerable.

To induce the public to travel, and encourage shippers to send
their freight to market over any road, attention must first be paid
to the condition of the track and rolling stock.

It is not economy to allow anything to be out of repair, on
the supposition that it is less expensive than it would be to
spend comparatively little from day to day to keep it up. The
day of reckoning will come in the end, and the sacrifice will
be considerable. As the track is the fundamental feature, the
cross-ties or sleepers and rails should be the best. Iron rails are
practically out of date, and it is fair to assume that the time
is approaching when wooden ties will be things of the past. Where
the traffic is light, heavy steel rails may not be necessary; but
it has been generally found economical to put in use rails which
do not weigh less than sixty-seven or seventy pounds to the yard;
an even greater weight than this is not ill-advised--they require
fewer cross-ties to the mile, and in consequence the force of men
required to keep the track in condition is less. Light rails are
soon worn and battered out on a road over which heavy engines are
run and large trains are hauled. The powerful locomotives now built
require a well-kept track and a solid and substantial road-bed.
Heavier and faster trains have tended to reduce the average life of
rails, even though the weight of the rails has also been steadily
increasing. Circumstances vary on the different roads, but it is
safe to say that eight to ten per cent. of all rails in the track
must be renewed every year. This brings the average life of the
steel rails down to about twelve years, under ordinary conditions.
On some divisions, however, where the traffic is frequent, and in
yards where a good deal of switching is done, and the rails are
under pressure constantly, the average is, of course, very much
less--even as low as two or three years.

Aside from the durability of the timber employed, plenty of face
for the rail bearings, and uniform thickness and length, are
very important requirements in contracts for ties. While white
oak is generally considered the most durable for this purpose,
the growth of this timber is limited except in certain sections
of the country, so that cedar, cypress, chestnut, and yellow
pine are more commonly used than any other class. The millions
of them used for renewals and new roads each year are gradually
reducing our forests; and, like some of the European roads, we
shall some day fall back upon metal, which (while its life may not
be measured) will make so rigid a track that the traveller over
long distances will be worn out with his journey, and the rolling
stock will require frequent repairs and overhauling. The practice
of creosoting cross-ties is growing rapidly, and this tends to
increase their durability three or four times. While the first
cost of such ties may be double that for the unprepared timbers,
the result in the end is economical, for the labor alone required
to take out an old tie and put in a new one costs at least twelve

The general store-room is properly the intermediate stage, so far
as supplies are concerned, between the different departments of
the road and the Auditor, who charges up all material used to the
different accounts into which his system is divided. Properly,
everything in the nature of material, however small, directly or
indirectly passes through the Store-keeper's books. An account is
kept with each locomotive, station agent, switchman, and flagman,
so that to a penny everything consumed in the operation of a road
is accurately known. To accomplish this the Store-keeper, of
course, must be a good accountant, and at the same time be more
or less of an expert in railroad material. Under an economical
administration of his affairs he is able to save a great deal of
money for his company. By his system, with the aid of data from
the mechanical department, he can tell the average number of miles
run during the year to a pint of oil or a ton of coal; the number
of pounds of coal consumed per mile run, as well as the number of
pints of oil for the same distance. He can give in detail the cost
in cents per mile run for all the oil, tallow, and waste, fuel,
and other supplies consumed, and can account to a nicety for all
the lanterns, brooms, hardware, and other material which he has
received and distributed.

The following statement of averages represents fairly what it costs
to run a locomotive under ordinary conditions:


  Number of miles run to pint of oil         15.32
  Number of miles run to ton of coal         46.17
  Number of pounds of coal per mile run      48.62
  Number of pints of oil per mile run         0.06

_Cost in Cents per Mile Run._

  For oil, tallow, and waste                  0.32
  For fuel                                    7.42
  For engineers                               3.60
  For firemen                                 1.79
  For wipers and watchmen                     1.25
  For water supply                            0.49
  For supplies (miscellaneous)                0.10
  For repairs                                 2.40
        Total                                17.37

He will find that some engineers and firemen are more extravagant
than others, and that some station agents and flagmen do not
perform their respective duties with near so much regard for
economy as others do under exactly similar circumstances. In such
cases a report is made and a reminder from the Superintendent
follows, calling attention to such carelessness. The result is
apparent at the next monthly comparison.

Prompt payment of all supply bills helps to insure economy, and any
company unable to make its payments promptly and regularly, suffers
to a greater or less extent always; for a firm not able to know
whether its accounts are to be settled in thirty or ninety days
cannot afford to allow all the discounts which it otherwise might,
and this may mean an extra expense every year of many thousands of

       *       *       *       *       *

So far as the employees are concerned, it is for the best interests
of the company to have a fixed time for the pay-day. They need
their money and should get it regularly. Any road on which the men
are paid at uncertain times may be subject to incalculable losses.
It is apt to provoke dishonesty and carelessness. The road which
is bankrupt and forced to pass its pay-day to some indefinite time
is always hampered by some of the most inferior class of servants
in the market. Except in some instances where special laws have
been passed requiring railroad companies to meet their pay-rolls
oftener, once each month is generally recognized as pay-time, and
on large roads it would be simply out of the question for the
pay-rolls to be made up correctly and the men paid off sooner.
The paymaster is the wage-distributing medium, and by virtue of
his generosity will command as much respect as the President of
the road. No officer's face is more familiar than his, and surely
no one connected with the institution is looked for with more
eagerness by the hard-working employees. It is no easy task he has
to perform, and the responsibility for the millions of dollars
paid out in this way annually is very great. This responsibility,
however, has been very much reduced on some roads, where wages
are paid by checks entirely. Under some circumstances this system
will not work satisfactorily, especially on a road running through
a sparsely settled country. The employees may have to stand a
good round discount to some store-keeper or tradesman in order
to secure their money. The best and most satisfactory return for
services can be nothing less than solid cash; it encourages better
attention to business and relieves the men from possible annoyance
and inconvenience. The Paymaster's car, which is virtually a
moving bank or cashier's office, and arranged conveniently for the
payment of money to the men as they pass through, is generally
run "special," upon notice in advance to all foremen or heads of
departments, either by telegraph or, as on some roads, by the
display of special signal flags, which are carried on the front
end of the locomotive of some regular train the day before the car
is run over any division. In this way all men employed along the
line of the road, whether at or between stations, are notified of
the Paymaster's coming, and it does not usually require any other
inducement than this to bring them all out. There is nothing that
will prompt them to jump higher and run faster than the whistle of
the pay-train as it comes around the curve to the station. Men have
been known to forget their names, and do other foolish things under
the excitement of drawing their month's pay. The fellow who said
he could not write all his name when requested by the Paymaster to
sign the pay-roll, but offered to write as much of it as he could,
after some deliberation made a cross on the sheet with all the care
and nicety he could muster. Others who could not write have been
very slow to admit it, and have pleaded haste as an excuse for
not doing so. So far as Italians are concerned (and what railroad
service is now complete without its gang of Italian laborers?),
they are usually designated by numbers, and in some cases their
foremen have thought it well to name them after prominent statesmen
or other public men, or possibly some of the head officials of the
company. To run across twenty-five or thirty Daniel Websters on
the same road is not surprising, and the President of the company
himself is liable to have a half-dozen namesakes throughout the
different divisions of his road. A cage of jabbering monkeys is
not a more amusing spectacle than some gangs of Italian laborers
receiving their month's pay.

The pay-department can be made very systematic, and to promote
economy and accuracy it is absolutely necessary that it should
be. The Paymaster is not simply a medium through whom wages are
distributed. He may be one of the most important officers of his
company, and ferret out frauds and dishonesty which otherwise might
never be discovered. He knows all the men, and they, of course,
know him. In fact, he is the only one connected with the road whose
recognition among all the employees is absolutely certain.

Some idea of the enormous amount of money earned annually by the
railroad men in this country may be formed from the statement that
it requires about $1,000,000 per month to pay twenty thousand
men, and there are a good many roads on which the average monthly
pay-roll embraces from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand names;
in some cases even more.

When the pay-rolls are all turned over to the Paymaster,
properly approved by each head of department, he notifies the
Superintendent or Trainmaster of his proposed trip, mapping out
in detail the route, which is usually the same each month. The
signals or telegrams are sent ahead to the various foremen, and
the car is ordered ready for the journey. The funds are arranged
in denominations to suit the circumstances, with plenty of small
change, and enough money for a day or two only at a time is
provided. The pay for the flagmen at crossings, and switchmen on
the road, as well as for the agents at small stations, is generally
done up in envelopes, and, as the train speeds by, the packages
are handed or thrown out at the proper places; and sometimes, to
warrant a safe delivery, a forked stick is used, into which the
envelope is put, thus giving it plenty of weight and saving it from
being tumbled about promiscuously on the ground. Much time is saved
in this way, and the pay-train is able to keep well out of the way
of any regular train which may be following. So the pay-car flies
along, only stopping at some large station where the number of
employees engaged is sufficient to warrant it. These are quickly
paid off, however, and the journey is continued. Perhaps at some
junction a freight crew is met; and as these fellows have to get
their money when they can, a stop is made on the road to give them
a chance to do it. At some stations are found two or three gangs
of section or track men, a watchman, an agent and his assistant, a
pumper, and possibly a mail-carrier. Perhaps a discharged trainman
will turn up also, who may have part of a month's pay coming to him.

Later in the day it may be a shop gang of five hundred or one
thousand men, consisting of carpenters, painters, machinists,
and boiler-makers, and these are paid in order, each set of men
by itself. There is no noise or disturbance, everything goes
like clock-work, as all pass through in regular order, each gang
or class preceded by its foreman, and the men arranged in line
in the order in which their names appear on the pay-rolls. When
night comes, and two or three hundred miles of road have been
covered, the balance of the funds is carefully locked up in the
safe on board, the car run in upon some convenient siding, and
the engine housed for a wiping and a thorough preparation for the
next day's run. The car is generally provided with comfortable
beds for the Paymaster and his clerks, and during the paying-off
time they practically live in the car. This insures early starts
in the morning, and on large roads the necessity for haste is very
apparent, where possibly two or three weeks are consumed each month
in paying off the rolls.

       *       *       *       *       *

The average traveller, spinning across the country at forty miles
an hour, is not apt to think of the countless details involved in
the make-up of the train in which he rides or the track over which
he is wheeled; but when he considers how safely the millions of
passengers are annually carried over the one hundred and fifty
thousand miles or more of railroad in this country alone, he may
be brought to realize that quite as much depends upon the quality
of the material entering into the construction of the train and
tracks as upon the efficiency of the engineer in the cab, or the
conductor, brakeman, switchmen, and train-despatcher who perform
their respective responsible duties in connection therewith.
Feeding a railroad, then, means a great deal more than the majority
of mankind supposes.



  An Object Lesson in Postal Progress--Nearness of the Department
  to the People--The First Travelling Post-Office in the United
  States--Organization of the Department in 1789--Early Mail
  Contracts--All Railroads made Post-routes--Compartments for
  Mail Clerks in Baggage-cars--Origin of the Present System in
  1862--Important Work of Colonel George S. Bangs--The "Fast Mail"
  between New York and Chicago--Why it was Suspended--Resumption
  in 1877--Present Condition of the Service--Statistics--A
  Ride on the "Fast Mail"--Busy Scenes at the Grand Central
  Depot--Special Uses of the Five Cars--Duties of the Clerks--How
  the Work is Performed--Annual Appropriation for Special Mail
  Facilities--Dangers Threatening the Railway Mail Clerk's Life--An
  Insurance Fund Proposed--Needs of the Service--A Plea for Radical
  Civil Service Reform.

At the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, in the Post-Office
exhibit, was a double picture showing the postal service at the
beginning of the century and as it is to-day. On one side was a
postman--perhaps Franklin--on horseback, jogging over a corduroy
road, "through the forest primeval," making a mile or two an hour;
and on the other a representation of the fast mail train, the
"catcher" taking a pouch from the "crane" as it passes at the rate
of fifty miles an hour! Standing in the foreground is the pretty
daughter of the village postmaster with the mail pouch just thrown
from the car in her hand, a group of rustics, with ill-concealed
admiration in their eyes, watching her as the swiftly passing train
goes on its journey. This picture is not, perhaps, a work of art,
but it is an "object lesson," giving at a glance the progress that
our country has made in a hundred years.

[Illustration: Postal Progress, 1776-1876.

(Facsimile of a print in the Post-Office Department.)]

Of all the executive departments of the Government, the Post-Office
is the one nearest the people, and the one with which they
are the most familiar. In addition to its work of collecting,
transporting, and delivering legitimate mail matter, viz.,
letters, newspapers, and magazines, it is the greatest express
company of the continent, since it has an office at almost every
cross-roads, even carrying merchandise cheaper (considering the
distance) than its rivals. Its registration system affords a means
of forwarding valuable packages, at a slight additional cost, with
almost absolute security. It is the greatest banking institution
on this side of the Atlantic. The transactions of its money-order
system, not only in our own country, but with almost every nation
in the civilized world (Russia and Spain excepted), run up to
wellnigh fabulous sums. Its drafts are easily obtained and cheap.
Its notes are "gilt edged," and have never been repudiated. With
the creation of the Postal Savings Bank system, the working
people's department in its organization will approach perfection.

The first mention of a travelling post-office occurs in a memorial
addressed to Congress in November, 1776, by Ebenezer Hazard,
Postmaster-General under the Continental Congress, in which he
states that, owing to the frequent removals of the Continental
Army, he was subjected to extraordinary expense, difficulties, and
fatigues, "having paid an exorbitant price for every necessary of
life, and having been obliged, for want of a horse--which could not
be procured--to follow the army on foot."

Directly after the inauguration of General Washington, in April,
1789, the organization of the Post-Office Department followed, and
Samuel Osgood, of Massachusetts, was appointed Postmaster-General.
That the people might derive the greatest possible advantage from
an institution peculiarly their own, this gigantic monopoly--for it
is nothing else--was created, and all competition forbidden. The
Postmaster-General had then but one clerk, and there were but 75
post-offices and 1,875 miles of post-roads in the United States;
the cost of mail transportation being $22,081, the total revenue,
$37,935, the total expenditures, $32,140; leaving a surplus of
$5,795. From this time until 1836 the contracts made for the
transportation of the mails do not mention any kind of service
on post-roads except stages, sulkies, four-horse post-coaches,
horseback, packets, and steam-boats.

[Illustration: The Pony Express--The Relay.]

The growth of the Railway Mail Service has been coincident with
that of the railway itself, and the importance of both cannot
be underestimated in considering the future development of the
country. Almost as soon as a railroad is fully organized it becomes
a mail contractor with the Department.

The Act of Congress constituting every railroad in the United
States a post-route was approved July 7, 1838. Postmaster-General
Barry, in his annual report for 1836, speaks of the multiplication
of railroads in many parts of the country, and suggests it as a
subject worthy of inquiry, whether measures may not be taken to
secure the transportation of the mail on them, and adds: "Already
have the railroads between Frenchtown, in Maryland, and Newcastle,
in Delaware, and between Camden and South Amboy, in New Jersey,
afforded great and important facilities to the transmission of the
great eastern mail." At this time a railroad between Washington and
New York was in process of construction, and Postmaster-General
Barry dwelt in his report on the importance of the facilities
that would be afforded for speedy service between the two cities,
predicting that the run between them would probably be made in
sixteen hours. The service is now performed in about five hours.

[Illustration: The Overland Mail Coach--A Star Route.]

At first the facilities for mail services were very limited.
Postmaster-General Kendall, in 1835, suggested that the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad Company might be asked to close in some portion of
their baggage-cars, a strong lock being placed on the apartment, to
which only the postmasters at Washington and Baltimore should have
keys. In the same report he adds: "If wheels can be constructed
which can be used alike upon the railroads and the streets of the
cities respectively, the Department will furnish an entire car
containing the mail to be delivered at one depot, and received at
the other, asking nothing of the company but to haul it." It was
even proposed at this time that the Government should have its own
locomotives, everything else on the road giving the right of way
to the mail train. This proposition was not adopted. The fear was
expressed, however, that if the Department did not have absolute
control over the road, the people would have to depend on stage
or other horse transportation for mail service. All these early
troubles in time passed away, and, through concessions on both
sides, the railways soon became the most important agent of the
Post-Office Department.

[Illustration: Mail Carrying in the Country.]

This, of course, was not accomplished without many trials and
tribulations. It seems strange, in the light of the present, to
read in an official report a remonstrance from route agents that
nearly every night dead bodies were placed in the mail crates
between Philadelphia and New York, and the mails packed around the
coffins. This breach of good order disappeared after that time, and
with it came to an end the freight methods and the old stage-coach
ideas of dealing with the mails.

A separate compartment in a baggage-car, fitted up with few
conveniences necessary for the distribution of local way-mail, was
the beginning of the system which has developed into the luxurious
postal cars of the present time. As a matter of history, however,
it is only fair to say that the system which we then adopted had
been in use for some time by our northern neighbors of Canada, who
had taken it from the mother country.

The credit of suggesting the first step toward the present system
has generally been given to Colonel G. B. Armstrong, who in 1864
was Assistant Postmaster at Chicago. This is incorrect; Mr. W.
A. Davis, a clerk of the St. Joseph, Mo., Post-Office, where the
overland mail was made up, conceived the idea, in 1862, that if the
letters and papers could be assorted on the cars between Quincy and
St. Joseph, the overland mail could start promptly on time. He was
given permission to carry out this idea, and there are vouchers on
file in the Department at Washington showing that he was paid for
that specific work. In 1864 Colonel Armstrong was authorized and
encouraged by the Hon. Montgomery Blair, then Postmaster-General,
to undertake the difficult task of arranging and introducing the
service. On August 31, 1864, he wrote: "To-day I commenced the new
distribution." Subsequently, Colonel Armstrong became the first
General Railway Mail Superintendent, and held this office until
ill-health compelled him to resign, in 1871. To Colonel George S.
Bangs, of Illinois, and his successors, Theodore N. Vail, William
B. Thompson, and John Jameson, is due the excellence of the present
system. Colonel Bangs was a thoroughly equipped post-office man,
energetic, courageous, and progressive. Brimful of ideas, he
was ever on the lookout for improvement. Never satisfied with
old ways, he was constantly striving to simplify and better the
service. He forgot himself in his work, and died a martyr to his
duty, leaving the Travelling Post-Office of to-day a monument to
his memory. While to Colonel Armstrong is due the credit for the
skeleton of the system, it was the genius of Colonel Bangs that
clothed the bones with flesh, developed the sinew, put the blood
in circulation, and breathed into its body the breath of life.
Colonel Bangs found, in 1871, that everything was disjointed,
disconnected, and sluggish. There was no attempt at "certainty,
security, or celerity." It was a "go-as-you-please" condition of
affairs. He grappled at once with it and brought order out of
chaos. He introduced a system of emulation among the employees,
rewarding those who displayed proficiency by promotion over the
sluggish, and thus, in fact, was probably the father of what
is now known as Civil Service Reform. In 1874 he discussed the
propriety of establishing a fast and exclusive mail train between
New York and Chicago, "this train" (quoting his report to the
Postmaster-General) "to be under the control of the Department,
so far as it is necessary for the purposes designed, and to run
the distance in about twenty-four hours. It is conceded by railway
officials that this can be done. The importance of a line like
this cannot be overestimated. It would reduce the actual time of
mail between the east and west from twelve to twenty-four hours.
As it would necessarily be established upon one or more of the
trunk lines, having an extended system of connections, its benefit
would be in no case confined, but extended through all parts of the
country alike."

This report met with the approval of Postmaster-General Jewell,
who ordered Bangs to negotiate with the New York Central & Hudson
River Railroad and the Lake Shore Railroad for a fast mail train,
leaving New York at four o'clock in the morning, and arriving
at Chicago in about twenty-four hours. It was the old story of
making bricks without straw. The Post-Office Department had no
appropriation to pay for such facilities, hence it had to depend at
first on the public spirit of the railroad authorities. Commodore
Vanderbilt, the president of the companies whose lines were to be
used, had had dealings with the Department, and was perhaps not
altogether sanguine as to the practical issue of the experiment,
or in respect to the countenance it would receive from Congress;
but Mr. William H. Vanderbilt, the vice-president, lent a willing
ear to Mr. Bangs's proposition, and did his utmost to aid him
in putting it into effect. There being no special appropriation
available for the purpose in hand, "the devil was whipped around
the stump" by Colonel Bangs stipulating that if Mr. Vanderbilt
would have twenty cars built and the service performed, all matter
originating at or coming into the New York Post-Office, which
could reach its destination at the same time by this line, should
be sent by this train, and that the railway companies could have
the right to demand a weighing of the mail matter at will, all
railroads being paid according to weight. When the details of the
plan were communicated to Commodore Vanderbilt, he is reported to
have said to his son: "If you want to do this, go ahead, but I know
the Post-Office Department, and you will, too, within a year." Mr.
Vanderbilt did "go ahead." He constructed and equipped the finest
mail train ever seen on the planet, ran it for ten months, never
missed a connection at Chicago, and was always on time at New
York. He did not have to wait a year, however, for a realization of
the sagacious old commodore's prophecy. Within three weeks, despite
the indignant protest of Colonel Bangs, the mails of three States
were ordered to be taken from this and given to another route. A
grosser and more wanton breach of plighted faith it would be hard
to find, and its results were far-reaching and disastrous.

This train was a marvel of completeness and efficiency. It was
manned by picked men, and the only complaint ever made against it
was that it ran so fast that the clerks had not time to sort the
mails for the post-offices between New York and Poughkeepsie. To
obviate this, Colonel Bangs requested the postmaster at New York
to have two hundred mail-bags dyed red, which should contain the
mail for those offices nearest together, so that the crew in the
train could distribute them first. There was no complaint after
that. But when the dyer's bill was sent by the postmaster to the
Department, it was disallowed by a clerk of the Second Assistant
Postmaster-General, who, in a letter announcing the fact, said that
there was no necessity for the outlay if the postal clerks did
their duty. Bangs, who had just arrived at the post-office from a
day and night's ride on his favorite train, was lying on a sofa
half asleep in the postmaster's private office, as that official
was opening his mail. When he came to that letter he handed it to
Bangs. He was wide-awake in an instant. "Mr. Postmaster," said he,
"do you know the man who signed this letter? He is a wheezy priest,
a fool, and a Baptist, at that. Give me the letter." The bill was
allowed as soon as Bangs reached the Department. He was wrong,
however, in crediting the subordinate to the Baptist faith. He was
an ornament of another persuasion.

So carefully had the project been considered and adapted that the
service on the Central, from the start, moved with the precision
of clock-work, and was an immediate success. It is proper to say
that word of what was going on between the Department and the
Vanderbilt system reached the Hon. Thomas A. Scott, President of
the Pennsylvania Railroad, and he at once made up his mind that the
corporation under his management could not afford to be behind its
great rival. One Saturday morning he telegraphed to J. D. Layng
(now General Manager of the West Shore and President of the C. C.
C. & I.), then General Manager of the Pennsylvania lines west of
Pittsburg, to know if by the following Monday week, the date on
which the train was to start, four postal cars could be built and
the first one be in Chicago ready to start on its eastern trip.
The answer came back, "Yes." The order was given to the Allegheny
shops on Saturday afternoon, and on the following Saturday the
first of the cars, complete and equipped for mail service, started
for Chicago, and began its east-bound trip on Monday morning.
The second and third cars were finished on Monday night, and the
fourth--thus fully equipping the line--on Tuesday.

Thus had been established two splendid fast trains, and the outlook
was bright for the future, when Congress, in spite of the efforts
of the Post-Office Department, passed an Act reducing the already
inadequate compensation to the trunk lines, for the carrying of the
mails. This action brought official notice from Messrs. Vanderbilt
and Scott of the discontinuance of the fast mail trains between New
York City and Chicago, and that service ended.

[Illustration: At a Way-station--The Postmaster's Assistant.]

Colonel Bangs was greatly mortified at this result, but he stood
his ground and remained at his post until the close of the year.
Then, worn out with never-ending toil, and disheartened by the
action of Congress, he tendered his resignation and insisted on
its acceptance. Parted from the Post-Office, President Grant,
knowing his worth and wishing to recognize his services, appointed
him Assistant Treasurer of the United States at Chicago. He
lived to perform the duties of this office only a few months, as
death overtook him suddenly, while on a visit to Washington on
official business, December, 1876. His work, however, was not
permitted to drop. He had left in the service three assistants,
Theodore N. Vail, William B. Thompson--afterward Second Assistant
Postmaster-General--and John Jameson, who were fully imbued with
the ideas of their late chief and were fully loyal to them. They,
in the order named, became his successors, and never permitted
opportunities to escape wherein there was a possible benefit
to the service to be secured. Although the fast mail service
was suspended for lack of support from Congress, its usefulness
and practicability had been so thoroughly demonstrated that an
appropriation of $150,000 was made in March, 1877, for its
resumption on the trunk lines. This victory was not reached
without untiring efforts on the part of Mr. Vail, and by generous
support in both houses of Congress; in the Senate by the Hon.
Hannibal Hamlin and James G. Blaine, of Maine, and in the House of
Representatives by such broad and liberal statesmen as Mr. Waddell,
of North Carolina, Mr. Randall, of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Cox, of
New York.

Since then, Messrs. Thompson and Jameson have watched the progress
of the work with jealous eyes, and have succeeded in extending it
practically to the whole country. The present service is due not
alone to the liberality of Congress, because the appropriations
have been parsimonious, but to the generosity of the railways,
which have performed a valuable work for a price which in many
cases does not pay the expense of the necessary additional labor

The Railway Mail Service at the close of the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1888, gave employment to 5,094 clerks. Matter was
distributed on 126,310 miles of railway, and on 17,402 miles
additional closed pouches were carried. There were also operated 41
inland steam-boat lines on which postal clerks were employed. The
postal clerks travelled (in crews) 122,031,104 miles by railway,
and 1,767,649 miles by steam-boats. They distributed 6,528,772,060
pieces of ordinary mail matter, and handled 16,001,059 registered
packages and cases, and 1,103,083 through registered pouches and
inner registered sacks. The service is in charge of one General
Superintendent, who has his headquarters at Washington, and it is
divided into eleven divisions with a superintendent in charge of

The majority of people who travel on railways (and how many
Americans are there who do not?) have paid passing attention to the
railway mail cars as they have stood at the station preparatory
to the starting of the train, and have glanced through the open
doors with more or less curiosity at the scene of energy and
bustle witnessed within. At such a moment, no matter how great
the curiosity, it is not feasible to investigate closely, for
the workers must not be hampered by the prying public, however
praiseworthy the motive. To supply this pardonable desire to know
how it is done, I invite my readers to accompany me in spirit on a
visit to the Grand Central Station, to witness the preparations
for the departure of train No. 11, known in railway parlance as
"the New York and Chicago Fast Mail," which leaves New York every
night at nine o'clock.

[Illustration: Loading for the Fast Mail, at the General
Post-Office, New York.]

It must not be supposed that everything has been left until the
last moment, and that the mail matter has been tumbled into the
cars on the eve of departure, to be handled as best it may in the
short run to Albany; for under such conditions the task would
be an impossibility even to an army of trained hands. Work has
been in progress since four o'clock in the afternoon, and it has
been steady, hard labor every minute of the time. The five cars
have been backed down to the tracks opposite Forty-fifth Street,
and have been so placed that they are convenient of access to
the big lumbering mail wagons which are familiar sights in the
streets of the metropolis. The crew of nineteen men, skilled in
the handling of mail matter, and thorough experts in the geography
of the country, reported to the chief clerk and took up their
stations in the various cars at the hour named. At the same time
the wagons began arriving from the General Post-Office with their
tons of matter which had "originated" in New York, and were soon
transferring their loads to the cars, where agile hands were in
waiting to receive them. Since the removal of the deadly stoves
from the railway trains the occupants of the postal cars have
suffered to no small extent owing to the lack of heat. These cars
are provided with steam-heating apparatus which is worked from the
engine, but they are occupied for five hours before the engine
comes near them, and in cold weather the hands of the men employed
in distributing letters become numb with cold. This is a matter
which should receive prompt attention.

[Illustration: At the Last Moment.]

Before we deal with the mail matter, let us look at the cars and
the men who occupy them. The train, as it leaves New York, is made
up of five cars which are placed immediately behind the engine, and
are followed by express and baggage cars and one passenger coach.
The car next to the engine is devoted entirely to letter mail, and
the four following it to papers and packages. The letter car is
fifty feet in length, while those for the newspaper mail are ten
feet longer. All are uniform in width, nine feet eight inches,
and are six feet nine inches high in the clear. When newly built,
before long and hard service had told on their appearance, their
outsides were white in color, with cream-tinted borderings and gilt
ornamentations, and were highly varnished. Midway on the outside,
and below; the windows of each car, is a large oval gilt-finished
frame within which is painted the name of the car, with the words,
"United States Post Office" above and below. The cars used by
the New York Central are named for the Governors of the State
and the members of President Garfield's cabinet. Along the upper
edge and centre are painted in large gilt letters the words, "The
Fast Mail Train," while on a line with these letters at the
other end, in a square, are the words, in like lettering, "New
York Central" and "Lake Shore." The frieze and minute trimmings
around the windows are of gilt finish. The body of the car also
contains other ornamentation, including the coat-of-arms of the
United States. The running gear is of the most approved pattern.
The platforms are enclosed by swinging doors which, when opened,
afford a protected passage between the cars. This arrangement no
doubt suggested the modern improvement now known as the vestibuled
train. The letter car is provided with a "mail catcher," which is
placed at a small door through which mail pouches are snatched from
conveniently placed posts at wayside stations where stops are not
made. Each car is divided into three sections, all fitted up alike
with conveniences for the service to be performed. The letter car,
however, is somewhat differently arranged from the others, to
meet the requirements of that particular branch of the work.

[Illustration: Transfer of Mail at the Grand Central Station, New

[Illustration: Pouching the Mail in the Postal Car.]

In the first section of the letter car are received the pouches
from the General Post-Office, which when opened are found to
contain letters done up in packages of about a hundred, marked
for Michigan, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania,
Montana, Dakota, and California. When this mass of matter has
been emptied out of the pouches and, in the vernacular of the
service, "dumped up" preparatory to distribution, the section is
clear for the registered mail which is worked in it. Before this
is accomplished, however, much work is done; in fact, a sort of
rough distribution is made. All packages which are directed to one
office are distributed into pouches, which are afterward stored
away until the towns are reached. The other packages are carried
into the letter department for distribution, where a rack, similar
to those seen in almost every post-office, although space is
thoroughly economized, is used for the purpose. To give a slight
idea of the work done in this section, it may be mentioned that
the distribution for New York State alone requires 325 boxes.
Still there is plenty of space, otherwise the third section of the
car would not be used, as it is, for the distribution of Montana
and Dakota newspapers. How closely everything is packed, and
all available space utilized, may be imagined when it is stated
that for this newspaper mail ninety-five pouches are hung in the
section, and that there is still sufficient room for the storage of
pouches locked up and ready for delivery, and also for the sealed
registered mail. A separation of the California mail is also made
in this car, so that when it reaches Chicago the pouches into which
the matter is placed are transferred without delay, thus saving
twenty-four hours on the time to the Pacific Coast, not by any
means an unimportant accomplishment.

There have been received in this car before it moves out of the
Grand Central Station between 1,000 and 1,500 packages of letters
and, in addition, forty or fifty sacks of Dakota and Montana
papers. To handle this mass of correspondence there are six men in
addition to the chief clerk, or superintendent. This official is
not assigned to any particular duty, but he supervises the general
work and lends aid where it is most required. The second clerk
handles letters for Ohio, Dakota, and Montana; the third clerk
takes charge of those for New York State; the fourth, Illinois; the
fifth opens all pouches labelled, "New York and Chicago Railway
Post-Office," distributes their contents, and afterward works on
Dakota and Montana papers; the sixth, Michigan State letters,
and the seventh, California letter mail. The salaries of these
men, intrusted with so much responsibility and of whom so much is
expected, range from $900 per annum for the lowest grade to $1,300
per annum for the superintendent.

The second, or "Illinois Car," is devoted, as are the others which
follow it, to the newspaper and periodical mail. In it are handled
papers for Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Wyoming.
Two clerks and two assistants man this car. The first assistant,
who "faces up" papers ready to be distributed, draws mails from
stalls to case, and removes boxes as fast as they are filled, has
gained the sobriquet of the "Illinois derrick," owing to the heavy
nature of his duties. The second, who lends what aid he can in the
heavy work on the run between New York and Albany, has become known
on the train as "the short stop." The third section of the car is
used for storing the bags of assorted matter.

[Illustration: A Very Difficult Address--known as a "sticker."]

The third car is used for storing through mail for San Francisco,
Omaha, and points west of Chicago. In it are also carried stamped
envelopes from the manufacturer at Hartford, Conn., to postmasters
in the West. This car is frequently fully loaded with matter from
the New York office when the journey is begun, and it is then
found necessary to add a similar car to the train on its arrival
at Albany for the accommodation of matter taken on by the way and
bound for the same destination.

[Illustration: Distributing the Mail by States and Routes.]

[Illustration: Sorting Letters in Car No. 1--The Fast Mail.]

The Michigan paper car is the fourth. In it are handled papers for
Michigan, Iowa, and the mixed Western States. In the first section
are piled the Iowa pouches and those for points out of Utica, which
have been distributed in the centre section, and in the third
section the distribution for Michigan, Nebraska, and Minnesota,
as well as for points reached from Buffalo, is made. Two men
perform the work of the car, one of whom has already handled the
registered mail and Indiana letters in the first car.

[Illustration: Pouching Newspapers for California--in Car No. 5.]

The fifth, or California paper car, is the last mail coach on the
train, as it is made up when leaving the Grand Central Station.
Besides the papers for the Golden State the car carries through
registered pouches to Chicago and the West, which have been made
up in the New York office, and, as a usual thing, a large lot of
stamped envelopes for postmasters in the West. The California
letter man from the first car looks after the papers for the same
State, and has an eye to the safety of the car. On reaching Albany
another car is added to the train, making six in all from that
point. This last addition comes from Boston, brings the morning
mail from Bangor, Me., and is manned by four men.

The run to Chicago for post-office purposes is divided into three
divisions: from New York to Syracuse, from Syracuse to Cleveland,
and from Cleveland to Chicago. Each division has its own crew, so
that the men leaving New York are relieved at Syracuse by others,
and these in turn at Cleveland. The New York crew go to work, as
has been said, at 4 P.M., and if the train is on time at Syracuse,
as it usually is, they arrive there at 5.35 A.M., after thirteen
and a half hours of as hard work as men are called upon to do. The
same evening at 8.40 they relieve the east-bound crew, and are in
New York again at six o'clock on the following morning. Half an
hour later they are to be found on the top floor of the General
Post-Office building, comfortably ensconced in bunks and in a
large and airy room, provided as a dormitory for their use by the
postmaster of New York at the time of the inauguration of the fast
mail service. Each crew makes three round trips and is then laid
off for six days, but its members are all this time subject to
extra duty, which they are called upon to perform with unpleasant
frequency, particularly in holiday times.

After leaving New York, the first stop the train makes is at
Poughkeepsie, but no mail is taken on there. At Albany the second
halt is made, and there twenty minutes are spent in taking on
the mail from New England and northeastern New York. At Palatine
Bridge there is a brief stop, and after that comes Utica, where
the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, the Ontario & Western, and
the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg roads exchange mail matter. At
Syracuse more mails come, this time from the Oswego, Binghamton
& Syracuse, and the Auburn & Rochester branch of the New York
Central. Here also comes welcome relief for the crew which left
New York. Those who follow have much to keep them busy, but the
heaviest part of the work has been already performed.

From Syracuse to Cleveland there are several distributing points
where mail matter is also received on the train, and the routine is
continued much as already described until the crew is relieved at
Cleveland. There the men of the Western Division take charge and
continue the work until Elkhart, Ind., is reached. There a special
force from Chicago meets the train, takes possession of a portion
of the letter car, and makes the distribution for the main office
and stations of the city of Chicago, thus saving much time. When
the train arrives in Chicago, it makes connection with a fast mail
train on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, as also on a like train
on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. The former train arrives at
Council Bluffs about 7 P.M., and there overtakes the train which
left Chicago on the previous evening. The Pacific Coast mail is
thus expedited just twenty-four hours. A similar train on the St.
Paul road also saves twenty-four hours' time on the trip to the
northwestern portion of the Pacific Coast.

The appropriation for special facilities for the year ending June
30, 1889, was $295,987.53. The uses to which the appropriation
referred to is put are explained in the following table.

         Termini.        |    Railroad Company.     |Miles.|    Pay.
  New York to            |New York, New Haven       |      |
    Springfield          |  & Hartford              |136   | $17,647.06
  4.35 A.M. train        |New York Central &        |      |
                         |  Hudson River            |144   |  25,000.00
  Philadelphia to        |Philadelphia, Wilmington  |      |
    Bay View             |  & Baltimore             | 91.80|  20,000.00
  Bay View to Quantico   |Baltimore & Potomac       | 79.80|  21,900.00
  Quantico to Richmond   |Richmond, Fredericksburg  |      |
                         |  & Potomac               | 81.50|  17,419.26
  Richmond to Petersburg |Richmond & Petersburg     | 23.39|   4,268.67
  Petersburg to Weldon   |Petersburg                | 64   |  11,680.00
  Weldon to Wilmington   |Wilmington & Weldon       |162.07|  29,541.27
  Wilmington to Florence |Wilmington, Columbia      |      |
                         |  & Augusta               |110   |  20,075.00
  Florence to Charleston |                          |      |
    Junction             |Northeastern              | 95   |  17,337.50
  Charleston Junction    |                          |      |
    to Savannah          |Charleston & Savannah     |108   |  19,710.00
  Savannah to            |Savannah, Florida         |      |
    Jacksonville         |  & Western               |171.50|  31,309.70
  Baltimore to           |                          |      |
    Hagerstown           |Western Maryland          | 86.60|  15,804.50
  Jacksonville to Tampa  |Jacksonville, Tampa & Key |      |
                         |  West & South Florida    |242.57|  43,962.42
  Total                                                    |$295,655.38

A careful perusal of this table develops the fact that the greater
portion of this money is expended south of Philadelphia, the
railroad companies in that section not having sufficient weight of
mails to warrant fast trains without some additional compensation.
It will also be noted that with the exception of the sum of $25,000
for a special train to Poughkeepsie, which leaves New York City at
4.35 in the morning, the New York Central receives no compensation
except that earned by them as common carriers of so many pounds of
freight-mail matter carried, being paid for in accordance with its
weight. It will also be observed that the Pennsylvania Railroad, on
its trunk line, is not even so fortunate as its great rival.

There may be more dangerous pursuits in life than that of the
railway post-office clerk, but there are not many so, and there are
few in which the risk to life and limb is so constant. The everyday
citizen who is called upon occasionally to make a railroad journey
of a few hundred miles feels it to be incumbent upon himself on
such occasions to make special provision for those dependent on him
in case injury or death should come while riding in the thoroughly
appointed and luxurious coach placed in a portion of the train
least likely to suffer from accident. But too little thought is
devoted to the safety of those poorly paid but efficient servants
of the State, in the forward cars, without whose services the
business of the country, as conducted to-day, would come to a
stand-still. To show that the importance of this service is not
here exaggerated, it is only necessary to recall the condition
of affairs in New York City, and other cities as well, in March,
1888, when the great blizzard fell upon the land. There were then
no mails for several days, and the prostration which came upon
the community is too well remembered to need comment. The danger
to those within the postal cars, however, is recognized by the
railway people, and efforts have been made in the way of providing
safety appliances, but it is, of course, impossible to lessen the
danger to any great extent. All that American ingenuity suggests
in the way of construction, both inside and outside of the cars,
is provided. The body of the car is most substantially built, the
platforms and couplings are of the most approved patterns, the
trucks are similar to those used under the best passenger coaches,
and the air-brakes and other safety apparatus are all brought into
requisition. Within the cars are saws, axes, hammers, and crowbars
conveniently placed in case of wreck, and safety-bars extend the
length of the cars overhead to which the clerks may cling when
the cars leave the track and roll down embankments, as they often
do. In the year ending June, 1888, there were 248 accidents to
trains upon which postal clerks were employed. In these wrecks four
clerks were killed; sixty-three were seriously, several of the
number permanently, and forty-five slightly injured. The official
report of the accidents shows that the majority of them resulted
from collisions, while others were due to the spreading of the
rails, the failure of air-brakes to work at critical moments, and
obstructions on the track.

In every case where cars were wrecked the postal car was among the

In many instances the cars were telescoped, and on such occasions
the clerks were found buried in the wreckage or pinned under the
engine or its tender. And many times true heroism was shown by the
injured men. Over and over again the General Superintendent reports
that, notwithstanding severe injuries received by the clerks, the
scattered mail matter was collected by them and transferred either
to another train or to the nearest post-office. Several times
trains in the West were held up by robbers, who, after sacking the
express car, visited the postal car, introducing themselves with
pistol-shots. One clerk was seriously wounded in the shoulder.
An instance of self-possession is reported in Arkansas, where
the robbers, before visiting the postal car, had secured $10,000
from the express safe. When they came to clerk R. P. Johnson he
suggested that they had secured booty enough, and that under the
circumstances they might let the mail matter alone. The masked men
agreed with him, and did not molest the mails.

[Illustration: Catching the Pouch from the Crane.]

In view of the dangers to which employees of the Railway Mail
Service are exposed, it may be permitted to quote from the last
annual report of General Superintendent Bancroft on the subject
of insurance. No action, he points out, has ever been taken by
Congress toward providing for the care of clerks permanently
injured in the service, or those dependent upon them in case of
death, notwithstanding frequent recommendations by the Department.
He attributes this to insurmountable objections on the part of the
people's representatives to the creation of anything of the nature
of a civil pension-roll. He therefore suggests that there shall
be deducted from the pay of each and every railway postal clerk
ten cents per month, to be paid into "The Railway Postal Clerks'
Insurance Fund," the custodian of which is to be the United States
Treasury. In case of death from injuries while on duty, $1,000 is
to be paid to the clerk's heirs. While this proposition is in the
right direction, it hardly goes far enough. Provision should be
made for the disabled, and to do so, the clerks doubtless would not
object to an assessment of double the amount suggested. That they
should be compelled to resort to such a mode of relief, however, is
a reflection upon the Government of the United States.

The first great need of the Railway Mail Service is an adequate
appropriation by Congress to extend its usefulness, and to keep
it up to the demands and the needs of the public. Where speed
is required to make connections, the Department should have the
cash on hand to buy what is necessary. The railways are business
institutions, managed as such, and when the Department desires
extra facilities it should be prepared to pay in coin and not in
talk. In this connection it is a pleasant duty for the writer of
this very imperfect sketch to say that during his term of service
in the post-office at New York, and at the Department, he always
found Mr. William H. Vanderbilt, Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mr.
J. H. Rutter, of the New York Central; Mr. John Newell, of the
Lake Shore; Mr. George B. Roberts, Mr. A. J. Cassatt, and Mr.
Frank Thomson, of the Pennsylvania system; Mr. R. R. Bridgers
and Mr. H. B. Plant, of the Atlantic Coast Line, ready to grant
any reasonable request for the improvement and extension of the
service. Time after time Mr. Roberts has run a special train with
the Australian transcontinental mail from Pittsburg to New York,
that it might catch an outgoing steamer; and he and Mr. Vanderbilt
practically re-established the fast mail, by taking letters on
their limited trains. Mr. Roberts gave, in addition, an extra mail
train from Philadelphia west at four o'clock in the morning, and
Mr. Vanderbilt placed a postal car on the 4 P.M. train from New
York, receiving in return--what they had a right to demand--an
extra weighing of the mails, and, what was not a matter of surprise
to them, unmeasured abuse on the floor of Congress for giving these
additional facilities to the people of the country.

The last and greatest need of the postal service is the total
and complete elimination of partisan considerations as affecting
appointments and removals in the working force. The spoils method
invariably brings into the service a lot of do-nothings or a race
of experimenters, whose performances never fail to breed disaster
and to crush out substantial progress.

There is no position in the Government more exacting than that
of a postal clerk, and none that has so many requirements. He
must not only be sound "in wind and limb," but possessed of more
than ordinary intelligence, and a retentive memory. His work is
constant, and his only recreation, study. He must not only be
proficient in his own immediate work, but he must have a general
knowledge of the entire country, so that the correspondence he
handles shall reach its destination at the earliest possible
moment. He must know no night and no day. He must be impervious
to heat or cold. Rushing along at a rate of forty or fifty miles
an hour, in charge of that which is sacred--the correspondence
of the people--catching his meals as he may; at home only
semi-occasionally, the wonder is that men competent to discharge
the duties of so high a calling can be found for so small a
compensation, and for so uncertain a tenure of official life. They
have not only to take the extra-hazardous risks of their toilsome
duties, but they are at the mercy of the practical politicians
who believe that "to the victor belong the spoils." There are no
public offices which are so emphatically "public trusts" as those
whose duties comprise that of handling the correspondence of the
people, because upon the proper and skilful performance of that
duty depend--to a far greater degree than in the care of any other
function accomplished through government agency--the business and
social welfare of the entire community. The effects of ignorance,
carelessness, and dishonesty in any other branch of the public
service, although to be deplored, are not to be compared to those
which follow the existence of such evils in the Post-Office.
Can there be a more flagrant abuse of a "public trust" than the
perversion of a branch of the public service into an agency for
furthering the ambitious ends of local politicians and their
partisans by allowing them to distribute its "patronage" as rewards
for party services among those who, by reason of inexperience--if
for no graver cause--are incompetent to replace the skilled
workman who must be routed out in order to give them room? This
evil should be corrected at once. The Railway Mail Service must no
longer be left at the mercy of the local partisans. The reform is
not only a present necessity, but it was one in the past and will
be in the future, until the force of public sentiment shall compel
acquiescence in the reasonable demand that what was so eminently
meant for mankind shall not be given up to party; that the
non-political business of letter-carrying, which the Government has
monopolized, shall be conducted by it solely with a view to prompt
and expeditious carrying of mail matter, and not with the object of
bolstering up local "statesmen" or carrying elections.

At the coming in of Mr. Cleveland's administration, William B.
Thompson was Second Assistant Postmaster-General--in charge of
the contract office--and John Jameson was General Railway Mail
Superintendent. Both of these gentlemen had worked their way from
the ranks by sheer merit. In private business the value of their
services would have been so highly appreciated that, no matter
who became senior partner of the firm, under no circumstances
would they have been permitted to retire. The case of these
gentlemen is mentioned now simply to illustrate an idea and not
to found a complaint. On the incoming of the new administration,
General Thompson, in accordance with precedent, promptly tendered
his resignation, and it was as promptly accepted; while General
Superintendent Jameson struggled along doing his work until,
to relieve his chief from embarrassment, he, too, tendered his
resignation. The country was thus deprived of the services of two
men who were experts in their profession, simply to give place
to others, of high character, no doubt, but with no knowledge
and special aptitude for the great trust that was committed to
them. And now, in the first year of another administration, the
experience that many valuable officials have gained has counted
for nothing, and they have been rotated out. In no other civilized
country would such an atrocity be possible. An attempt to remove,
for similar reasons, such postal authorities as Messrs. Rich, of
Liverpool, Johnston, of Manchester, or Hubson, of Glasgow, all of
whom, under a sound, logical, just, and economical business system,
have reached their present positions by merit and efficiency from
more or less inferior places, would hurl an administration in
Great Britain from power, and justly too. The possession of the
immense patronage of the Government did not save the Republican
party from defeat in 1884, or keep the Democratic party in power in
1888. Ideas are stronger than "soap," and principles more potent
than spoils. It is due to President Cleveland to state that toward
the close of his administration he recognized the importance of
permanency in the Railway Mail Service, and that he made a long
step in advance by approving a series of rules submitted by the
Civil Service Commission having for its object the removal of the
service from the influences of politicians. It needs more than
this, however; it needs the sanctity of the statute law, declaring
that the clerks should not only keep their offices during good
behavior, but that after twenty years of faithful and efficient
service, or before that time, if injured in the discharge of
their duty, they should retire on half-pay. In case of death from
accident while on duty, proper provision should be made for the
family of the official. Whenever justice is done by Congress in
these particulars, the United States will have the best and most
efficient Railway Mail Service in the world.



  Amount of Capital Invested in Railways--Important Place in
  the Modern Industrial System--The Duke of Bridgewater's
  Foresight--The Growth of Half a Century--Early Methods of
  Business Management--The Tendency toward Consolidation--How
  the War Developed a National Idea--Its Effect on Railroad
  Building--Thomson and Scott as Organizers--Vanderbilt's Capacity
  for Financial Management--Garrett's Development of the Baltimore
  & Ohio--The Concentration of Immense Power in a Few Men--Making
  Money out of the Investors--Difficult Positions of Stockholders
  and Bondholders--How the Finances are Manipulated by the Board
  of Directors--Temptations to the Misuse of Power--Relations of
  Railroads to the Public who Use Them--Inequalities in Freight
  Rates--Undue Advantages for Large Trade Centres--Proposed
  Remedies--Objections to Government Control--Failure of
  Grangerism--The Origin of Pools--Their Advantages--Albert
  Fink's Great Work--Charles Francis Adams and the Massachusetts
  Commission--Adoption of the Interstate Commerce Law--Important
  Influence of the Commission--Its Future Functions--Ill-judged
  State Legislation.

The railroads of the world are to-day worth from twenty-five to
thirty thousand million dollars. This probably represents one-tenth
of the total wealth of civilized nations, and one-quarter, if not
one-third, of their invested capital. It is doubtful whether the
aggregate plant used in all manufacturing industries can equal it
in value. The capital engaged in banking is but a trifle beside it.
The world's whole stock of money of every kind--gold, silver, and
paper--would purchase only a third of its railroads.

Yet these facts by no means measure the whole importance of the
railroad in the modern industrial system. The business methods
of to-day are in one sense the direct result of improved means
of transportation. The railroad enables the large establishment
to reach the markets of the world with its products; it enables
the large city to receive its food-supplies, if necessary, from
a distance of hundreds or thousands of miles. And while it thus
favors the concentration of capital, it is in itself an extreme
type of this concentration. Almost every distinctive feature of
modern business, whether good or bad, finds in railroad history at
once its chief cause and its fullest development.

[Illustration: George Stephenson.]

As befits a nineteenth century institution, the railroad dates
from 1801. In that year Benjamin Outram built in the suburbs of
London a short line of horse railroad--or tramroad, as it was
named in honor of the inventor. Other works of the same kind
followed in almost every succeeding year. They were recognized as
a decided convenience, but nothing more. It was hard to imagine
that a revolution in the world's transportation methods could
grow out of this beginning. Least of all could such a result be
foreseen in England, whose admirable canal system seemed likely
to defy competition for centuries to come. And yet, curiously
enough, it was a man wholly identified with canal business who
first foresaw the future importance of the railroad. The Duke of
Bridgewater had built canals when they were regarded as a hazardous
speculation; but they proved a success, and in the early years
of the century he was reaping a rich reward for his foresight.
One of his fellow-shareholders took occasion to congratulate the
Duke on the fact that their property was now the surest monopoly
in the land, and was startled by the reply, "I see mischief in
these--tramroads." The prophecy is all the more striking as coming
from an enemy. Like Balaam, the Duke of Bridgewater had a pecuniary
interest in cursing, but was so good a prophet that he had to tell
the truth in spite of himself, even though his curse was thereby
turned into a blessing.

It is hardly necessary to tell in detail how this prediction
was realized. Thanks to the skill and perseverance of George
Stephenson, the difficulties in the use of steam as a mode of
propulsion were rapidly overcome. What was a doubtful experiment
as late as 1815 had become an accomplished fact in 1830. The
successful working of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway gave an
impulse to similar enterprises all over the world. In 1835 there
were 1,600 miles of railroad in operation--more than half of it in
the United States. In 1845 the length of the world's railroads had
increased to more than 10,000 miles; in 1855 it was 41,000 miles;
in 1865, 90,000; in 1875, 185,000; in 1885, over 300,000.

There were perhaps a few men who foresaw this growth; there were
almost none who foresaw the changes in organization and business
methods with which it was attended. People at first thought of the
railroad as merely an improved highway, which should charge tolls
like a turnpike or canal, and on which the public should run cars
of its own, independent of the railroad company itself. In many
cases, especially in England, long sheets of tolls were published,
based on the model of canal charters, and naming rates under which
the use of the road-bed should be free to all. This plan soon
proved impracticable. If independent owners tried to run trains
over the same line, it involved a danger of collision and a loss
of economy. The former evil could perhaps be avoided; the latter
could not. The advantages of unity of management were so great that
a road running its own trains could do a much larger business at
lower rates than if ownership and carriage were kept separate. The
old plan was as impracticable as it would be for a manufacturing
company to own the buildings and engines, while each workman owned
the particular piece of machinery which he handled. Almost all the
technical advantages of the new methods would be lost for lack of
system. The railroad company, to serve the public well, could not
remain in the position of a turnpike or canal company, but must
itself do the work of carriage.

This was not all. The same economy which resulted from the union
of road and rolling-stock under one management was still further
subserved by the consolidation of connecting lines. This change
did not come about so suddenly as the other. Half a century had
elapsed before it was fully carried out. At first there was no need
of it. The early railroads were chiefly built for local traffic,
and especially for the carriage of local passengers. They were
like the horse railroads of the present day in the simplicity
of their organization and the shortness of their lines. England
in 1847 had chartered 700 companies, with an average authorized
length of hardly fifteen miles each. The line from Albany to
Buffalo and Niagara Falls was in the hands of a dozen independent
concerns. These were but types of what existed all over the world.
As through traffic, and especially through freight traffic, grew
in importance, this state of things became intolerable. Frequent
transshipment was at once an expense to the railroad and a burden
to the public. Even when this could be avoided, there was a
multiplication of offices and a loss of responsibility. The system
of ownership and management had to adapt itself to the technical
necessities of the business. The change was not the result of
legislation; nor was it, except in a limited sense, the work of men
like Vanderbilt or Scott. It occurred in all parts of the world
at about the same time. It was the result of business necessity,
strong enough to shape legislation, and to find administrative
leaders who could meet its demands.

From the very first there were some men who felt the importance
of the railroads as national lines of communication. The idea was
present in the minds of the projectors of the Baltimore & Ohio, of
the Erie, and of the Boston & Albany. But it was not until 1850
that it became a controlling one; nor was it universally accepted
even then. As late as 1858 we find that there was a violent popular
agitation in the State of New York to prohibit the New York Central
from carrying freight in competition with the Erie Canal. It was
gravely urged that the railroad had no business to compete with the
canal; that the latter had a natural right to the through traffic
from the West, with which the railroads must not interfere. It is
less than thirty years since a convention at Syracuse, representing
no small part of the public sentiment of New York, formally
recommended "the passage of a law by the next Legislature which
shall confine the railroads of this State to the business for which
they were originally created."

But matters had gone too far for effective action of this kind.
Besides the New York Central, the Erie and the Pennsylvania were in
condition to handle the through traffic which Western connections
were furnishing. These connections themselves were rapidly growing
in importance. Prior to 1850 there were very few railroads west of
the Alleghanies. In 1857 there were thousands of miles. The policy
of land-grants acted as an artificial stimulus to the building of
such roads; and a land-grant road, when once built, was almost
necessarily dependent on through traffic for its support. It
could not be operated locally; it was forced into close traffic
arrangements which paved the way for actual consolidation.

The war brought this development to a stand-still for the time
being; but it was afterward resumed with renewed vigor. It is
probable that the final effect of the war was to hasten rather
than to retard the growth of large systems. In the first place,
it familiarized men's minds with national ideas instead of those
limited to their own State. It is hard for us to realize that our
business ideas were ever thus confined by artificial boundaries;
but if we wish proof, we have only to look at the original location
of the Erie Railway from Piermont to Dunkirk. Both were unnatural
and undesirable terminal points; but people were willing to submit
to inconvenience and to actual loss in order that the railroad
might run as far as the New York State limits would allow, and not
one whit farther. Similar instances can be found in other States.
Hard as it is to understand, there seems to have been a positive
jealousy of interstate traffic. The war did much to remove this
by making the different sections of the country feel their common
interest and their mutual dependence. It also had more direct
effects. It produced special legislation for the Pacific railroads
as a measure of military necessity; and this was but the beginning
of a renewal of the land-grant policy, no longer through the medium
of the States, but in the Territories and by the direct action of
Congress. All the results in the way of extension or consolidation
which had been noted in the first land-grant period were more
intensely felt in the second. Never was there a time when business
foresight and administrative power were more needed or more richly
rewarded than in railroad management during the third quarter of
the century.

[Illustration: J. Edgar Thomson.]

In 1847 J. Edgar Thomson, an engineer of experience, entered the
service of the Pennsylvania Railroad, of which he afterward became
president. Three years later, a young man without experience in
railroad business applied to him for a position as clerk in the
station at Duncansville, and was, with some hesitation, accepted.
Not long after--so runs the story--an influential shipper entered
the station, and demanded that some transfers should be made in
a manner contrary to the rules of the company. This the clerk
refused to do; and when the influential shipper tried to attend
to the matter himself, he was forcibly ejected from the premises.
Indignant at this, he complained to the authorities, demanding that
the obnoxious employee be removed from his position. He was--and
was promoted to a much higher one. This is said to have been the
beginning of the railroad career of Thomas Alexander Scott. Edgar
Thomson was a sufficiently able man to appreciate Scott's talent at
its full worth, and took every opportunity to make it useful in the
service of the company. Both before and after the war the system
was extended in every direction; and the man who in 1850 had need
of all his nerve to defy a single influential shipper was a quarter
of a century later at the head of 7,000 miles of the most valuable
railroad in the country.

[Illustration: Thomas A. Scott.]

As an enterprising and active railroad organizer, Scott was
probably unrivalled--especially when aided by the soberer judgment
of Thomson; nor has the operating department of any other railroad
in the country reached the standard established on the Pennsylvania
by Scott and Thomson and the men trained up under their eyes.
But in business sagacity and those qualities which pertain to
the financial management of property, Scott was surpassed by
Vanderbilt. The work of the two men was so totally different in
character that it is hard to compare them. Vanderbilt was not so
distinctively a railroad man as Scott. He had already made his mark
as a ship-owner before he went into railroads. But he was a man
who was bound to take the lead in the business world; and he saw
that the day for doing it with steamships was passing away, and
that the day of railroads was come. He therefore presented his best
steamship to the United States Government in a time when it was
sorely needed, disposed of the others in whatever way he could, and
turned his undivided attention to railroads.

In 1863 Vanderbilt began purchasing Harlem stock on a large scale.
The road was unprofitable, but he at once improved its management
and made it pay. Speculators on the other side of the market had
not foreseen the possibility of this course of action, and were
badly deceived in their calculations. Vanderbilt had begun buying
at as low a figure as 3; within little more than a year he had
forced some of its opponents to buy it of him at 285. He soon
extended his operations to Hudson River, and somewhat later to
New York Central. Defeated in an attempt to gain control of Erie,
he turned his attention farther west; and was soon in virtual
possession of a system which, in his hands at any rate, was fully a
match for all competitors.

These systems did not long remain without rivals. The Baltimore
& Ohio, whose development had been interrupted by the war,
soon resumed, under the leadership of John W. Garrett, its old
commanding position in the railroad world. Farther west, in the
years succeeding, systems were developed and consolidated which
surpassed their eastern connections in aggregate mileage. The
combined Wabash and Missouri Pacific system in its best days
included about 10,000 miles of line under what was virtually
a single management. The Southern Pacific, the Atchison, the
Northwestern, and the St. Paul systems control each of them in
one way or another decidedly over 5,000 miles; and a half-dozen
others might be named, scarcely inferior either in magnitude or in
commercial power.

The result of all this was to place an enormous and almost
irresponsible power in the hands of a few men. The directors of
such a system stand for thousands of investors, tens of thousands
of employees, and hundreds of thousands of shippers. They have
the interests of all these parties in their hands for good or
ill. If they are fit men for their places, they will work for the
advantage of all. A man like Vanderbilt gave higher profits, larger
employment, and lower rate as the result of his railroad work. But
if the head of such a system is unfit for his trust intellectually
or morally, the harm which he can do is almost boundless.

[Illustration: Cornelius Vanderbilt.]

Of intellectual unfitness the chance is perhaps not great. The
intense competition of the modern business world makes sure that
any man, to maintain his position, must have at least some of the
qualities of mind which it exacts. But of moral unfitness the
danger is all the greater, because some of the present conditions
of business competition directly tend to foster it. A German
economist has said that the so-called survival of the fittest in
modern industry is really a double survival, side by side, of the
most talented on the one hand and the most unscrupulous on the
other. The truth of this is already apparent in railroad business.
A Vanderbilt on the Central meets a Fisk on the Erie. In spite of
his superior power and resources he is virtually beaten in the
contest--beaten, as was said at the time, because he could not
afford to go so close to the door of State's prison as his rival.

The manager of a large railroad system has under his control a
great deal of property besides his own--the property of railroad
investors which has been placed in his charge. Two lines of action
are open to him. He may make money _for_ the investors, and thereby
secure the respect of the community; or he may make money _out_ of
the investors, and thereby get rich enough to defy public opinion.
The former course has the advantage of honesty, the latter of
rapidity. It is a disgrace to the community that the latter way is
made so easy, and so readily condoned. A man has only to give to
charitable objects a little of the money obtained by violations of
trust, and a large part of the world will extol him as a public
benefactor. Nay, more; it seems as if some of our financial
operators really mistook the _vox populi_ for the _vox Dei_, and
believed that a hundred thousand dollars given to a theological
seminary meant absolution for the past and plenary indulgence for
the future. It is charged that one financier, when he undertook any
large transaction which was more than usually questionable, made a
covenant that if the Lord prospered him in his undertaking he would
divide the proceeds on favorable terms. But--as Wamba said of the
outlaws and "the fashion of their trade with Heaven"--"when they
have struck an even balance, Heaven help them with whom they next
open the account!"

A word or two as to the methods by which such operations are
carried on, and the system which makes them possible. From the very
first, railroads have been built and operated by corporations.
A number of investors, too large to attend personally to the
management of the enterprise, took shares of stock and elected
officers to represent them. These officers had almost absolute
power; but while matters were in this simple stage, there was no
great opportunity for its abuse. The losses of investors were
due to _bona fide_ errors of judgment rather than to misuse of
power. But soon the corporations found it convenient to borrow
money by mortgaging their property. We then had two classes of
investors--stockholders and bondholders, the former taking the
risks and having the full control of the property, the latter
receiving a relatively sure though perhaps smaller return, but
having no control over the management as long as their interest was
regularly paid.

Of course there is always some danger when the men who furnish
the money do not have much control of the enterprise; but as long
as the relations of stock and bonds were in practice what they
pretended to be in theory, the resulting evils were not very
great. Matters soon reached another stage. The amount of money
furnished by the bondholders increased out of all proportion to
that furnished by the stockholders. Sometimes the nominal amount of
stock was unduly small; more commonly only a very small part of the
nominal value was ever paid in.[28] The stock was nearly all water,
simply issued by the directors as a means of keeping control of the
property. After the crisis of 1857, people had become shy of buying
railroad stock; but they bought railroad bonds because they thought
they were safe. This was the case only when there was an actual
investment of stockholders behind them; without this assurance,
bonds were more unsafe than stock had been, because the bondholders
had still less immediate control over the directors and officials.
If there was money to be made at the time, the directors made it;
if there was loss in the end, it fell upon the bondholders.

Let us take a specific case. An inside ring issues stock
certificates to the value of a million dollars, on which perhaps
a hundred thousand is paid in. They then publish their prospectus
and place on the market two million of bonds with which the road is
to be built. They sell the bonds at 80, reimburse themselves for
the $100,000 advanced by charging the moderate commission of 5 per
cent. for services in placing the loan, and have at their disposal
$1,500,000 cash. These same directors now appear as a construction
company, and award themselves a contract to pay $1,500,000 for work
which is worth $1,200,000 only. The road is finished, and probably
does not pay interest on its bonds. It passes into the hands of a
receiver. Possibly the old management may have an influence in his
appointment. At the worst, they have got back all the money they
put in, _plus_ the profits of the construction company; in the case
supposed, 300 per cent. The bondholders, on the other hand, have
paid $1,600,000 for a $1,200,000 road.

[Illustration: John W. Garrett.]

But the troubles of the bondholders and the advantages of the old
directors by no means end here. When the receiver takes possession
he discovers that valuable terminals, necessary for the successful
working of the road, are not the property of the company, but of
the old directors. He finds that the road owns a very inadequate
supply of rolling-stock, and that the deficiency has been made up
by a car-trust--also under the control of the old directors. Each
of these things, and perhaps others, must be made the subject of a
fight or of a compromise. The latter is often the only practicable
alternative, and almost always the cheaper one; by its terms the
ring perhaps secures hundreds of thousands more, at the expense of
the actual investors.

These are but a few of the many ways in which a few years' control
of property may be made profitable to the officials at the expense
of legitimate interests. In a case like this, all depends upon the
possibility of selling bonds. It is usually impossible to place the
whole loan before construction; and if the market-price falls below
the cost of the work undertaken, as was the case with the West
Shore, the loss falls upon the construction company. Such accidents
were for a long time rare. It took the public nearly twenty years
to learn the true character of imperfectly secured railroad bonds.
Within the past five years it seems to have become a trifle wiser.
The crisis of 1873 was insufficient to teach the lesson; but that
of 1885 has been at least partially successful in this respect.

In cases like the one just described the bondholders are largely to
blame for their own folly. But sometimes the loss falls on those
who are in no way responsible for it. A railroad may be built as a
blackmailing job. If a company is sound and prosperous, speculators
may be tempted to build a parallel road, not with the idea of
making it pay, but because they can so damage the business of the
old road as to force it to buy them out. They build the road to

It is but fair to say that operations as bad as those just
described are the exception rather than the rule. But the fact that
they can exist at all is by no means creditable to our financial
methods. The whole system by which directors can use their
positions of trust to make contracts in which they are personally
interested puts a premium on dishonesty. Such contracts are
forbidden in England. It may be true, as is urged by many railroad
officials of undoubted honesty, that it would be inconvenient to
apply the same law here; but on the whole, the gain would far
outweigh the loss.

At the very best, a railroad president is subject to temptations
to misuse his financial powers, all the more dangerous because it
is impossible to draw the line between right and wrong. He knows
the probable value of his railroad and of the property affected
by its action a great deal better than any outsider possibly can.
The published figures of earnings of the road are the result of
estimates by himself and his subordinates. Out of the current
earnings he pays current expenses, and probably charges permanent
expenditures to capital account. But what expenditures are current
and what are permanent? This division is itself the result of
an estimate, and a very doubtful one at that. There are some
well-established general principles, but none which will apply
themselves automatically. With the best will in the world he cannot
make his annual reports give a thoroughly clear idea of what has
been done. Is he to be forbidden to buy stock when it seems too
low, or sell it when it is high? Shall we refuse him the right
to invest in other property which he sees will advance in value?
Apparently not; and yet, if we allow this, we open the door for
some of the worst abuses of power which have occurred in railroad
history. The line between good faith and bad faith in these matters
is a narrow one, and the average conscience cannot be trusted to
locate it with accuracy.

But the relations to the investors cover but a small part either
of the work or of the responsibility of the railroad authorities.
They are managing not merely a piece of property, but a vast and
complicated organization of men, and an instrument of public
service. In all these capacities their cares are equally great.
The operating and the traffic departments are not less important
than the financial department. The relations of the railroad to its
employees, and to the business community at large, are even more
perplexing than its relations to the investors.

Of the questions arising between the railroad and its employees we
are just beginning to realize the full importance. They are not
matters to be settled by private agreement or private war. If they
involve a serious interruption of the business of the community
they concern public interests most vitally. The community cannot
afford to have its business interrupted by railroad strikes. On
the other hand, it cannot allow the men to make this public duty
of the railroads a means of enforcing their own will on every
occasion, to the detriment of all discipline and responsibility, or
in disregard of investors' rights. How to compromise between these
two conflicting requirements is one of the most serious problems of
the immediate future.[29] Little progress in this direction has as
yet been made, or even systematically attempted.

The questions arising from the relations of the railroads to those
who use them are wider and older. From the very outset attempts
were made to regulate railroad charges by law in various ways.
The fear at that time was that they might be made unreasonably
high. This fear proved groundless. From the outset the rates were
rather lower than had been expected, and much lower than by many
of the means of transportation which railroads superseded. These
low rates caused a great development in business; and this, in
turn, gave a chance for such economy in handling it that rates
went still lower. Each new invention rendered it easier to do a
large business at cheap rates. The substitution of steel rails
for iron, which began shortly after the close of the war, had an
enormous influence in this respect. This was not merely due to the
direct saving in repairs, which, though appreciable, was moderate
in amount. It was due still more to improvements in transportation
which followed. It was found that steel rails would bear heavier
rolling-stock. Instead of building ten-ton cars to carry ten tons
of cargo, companies built twelve-ton cars to carry twenty tons of
cargo, or fourteen-ton cars to carry thirty tons; and they made the
locomotives heavy enough to handle correspondingly larger trains.
A given amount of fuel was made to haul more weight; and of the
weight thus hauled, the freight formed a constantly increasing
proportion as compared with the rolling-stock itself. The system
of rates was adopted to meet the new requirements. Charges were
made incredibly low in order to fill cars that would otherwise
go empty, or to use the road as nearly as possible to its full
capacity. In the twenty years following the introduction of steel
rails the traffic of the New York Central increased from less than
400,000,000 ton-miles to decidedly over 2,000,000,000; while the
average rates fell from 3.09 cents per ton per mile in 1866 to 0.76
cent in 1886. This is but a single instance of a process which has
gone on all over the country. The average freight charge on all
railroads of the country to-day is a little over one cent per ton
a mile: less than half what would have been deemed possible on any
railroad a few years ago.

The progress of railroad consolidation contributed greatly to
this economy. It saved multiplication of offices; it saved
re-handling of freight; it enabled long-distance business to
be done systematically. So great were its advantages that
co-operation between connecting lines was carried far beyond
the limits of actual consolidation. Through traffic was handled
without transshipment, sometimes by regularly incorporated express
companies or freight companies on the same plan, but more commonly
by what are known as fast-freight lines.[30] These are little more
than combinations for keeping account of through business; they are
by no means ideal in their working, but they have the advantage of
few expenses and no income, so that the temptation to steal, which
is the bane of such organizations, is here reduced to a minimum.

But all these things, while they increased the efficiency of the
service, also increased the power of the railroad authorities
and rendered the shipper more helpless. The very cheapness of
rates only made a recourse to other means of transportation more
difficult. If _A_ was charged 30 cents while his competitor _B_ was
paying only 20 cents for the same service, he was worse off than
when they were both paying a dollar; and the fact that no other
means of conveyance could be found to do the work for less than a
dollar simply put _A_ all the more completely at the mercy of the
railroad freight-agent. In other words, the fact that rates were so
low made any inequality in rates all the more dangerous. The lower
the rate and the wider the monopoly, the less was the chance of

Such inequalities existed on a large scale: and they were all the
more difficult to deal with because there was a certain reason
for some of them arising from the nature of railroad business.
The expenses of a railroad are of two kinds. Some, like train and
station service, locomotive fuel, or repairs of rolling-stock, are
pretty directly chargeable to the different parts of the traffic.
It costs a certain amount in wages and in materials to run a
particular train; if that train is taken off, that part of the
expense is saved. But there is another class of items, known as
fixed charges, that do not vary with the amount of business done.
Interest on bonds must be paid, whether the volume of traffic
be large or small. The services of track-watchmen must be paid
for, whether there be a hundred trains daily or only a dozen. In
short, most of the expenses for interest and maintenance of way
are chargeable to the business as a whole, but not to particular
pieces of work done. The practical inference from this is obvious.
In order that the railroad as a whole may be profitable, the fixed
charges must be paid somehow. The railroad manager will try to get
them as he can from different parts of his traffic. But if, for any
reason, a particular piece of business cannot or will not pay its
share of the fixed charges, it is better to secure it at any price
above the bare expense of loading and hauling, without regard to
the fixed charges. For if the business is lost, these charges will
run on just the same, without any added means of meeting them.

The consequence is that there is no natural standard of rates;
or, rather, that there are two standards, so far apart that the
difference between the two is quite sufficient to build up one
establishment or one locality and ruin another, in case of an
arbitrary exercise of power on the part of the freight-agent.
In the use of such a power it was inevitable that there should
be a great many mistakes, and some things which were worse than
mistakes. Colbert once cynically defined taxation as "the art of
so plucking the goose as to secure the largest amount of feathers
with the least amount of squealing." Some of our freight-agents
have taken Colbert's tax theories as a standard, and have applied
them only too literally. It is this short-sighted policy which
has made the system of charging "what the traffic will bear" a
synonyme for extortion. Interpreted rightly, this phrase represents
a sound principle of railroad policy--putting the burden of the
fixed charges on the shipments that can afford to pay them. But
practically--in the popular mind at least--it has come to mean
almost exactly the opposite.

The points which got the benefit of the lowest rates were the
large trade centres, which had the benefit of competing lines of
railroad, and often of water competition also. The threat to ship
goods by a rival route was the surest way of making a freight-agent
give low rates. The result was that the growth of such places was
specially stimulated. In addition to their natural advantages they
had an artificial one due to the policy of competing lines of
railroad. It may well be the case, as is argued by railroad men,
that sound railroad economy demands that goods in large masses
should be carried much more cheaply than those which are furnished
in smaller quantities. But it is certain the practice went far
beyond the limits of any such justification. There was a time
when cattle were carried from Chicago to New York at a dollar a
car-load; and many other instances, scarcely less marked, could be
cited from the history of trunk-line competition. The fact was,
that in an active railroad war freight-agents would generally
accede to a demand for reduced rates at a competing point, whether
well founded or not, and would almost always turn a deaf ear to
similar demands from local shippers, however strongly supported by
considerations of far-sighted business policy.

But this was not the worst. Inequalities between different places
might after some hardship correct themselves; differences of
treatment between individuals could not be thus adjusted. And the
system of making rates by special bargain almost always led to
differences between individuals, where favors were too often given
to those who needed or deserved them least. The fluctuation of
rates was first taken advantage of by the unscrupulous speculator.
Often, if he controlled large sources of shipment, he might receive
the benefit of a secret agreement by which he could obtain lower
rates than his rivals under all circumstances. A more effective
means for destroying straightforwardness in business dealings than
the old system of special rates was never devised. Sometimes, where
one competitor was overwhelmingly strong, the pretence of secrecy
was thrown aside, and the railroad companies so far forgot their
public duties as almost openly to assist one concern in crushing
its rivals. The state of things in this respect twelve or fifteen
years ago was so bad that it is painful to dwell upon; but the
reformation to-day is not so complete that we can wash our hands of
past sins.

Less was said or felt of similar evils in passenger traffic,
because the passenger business of the country generally is of much
less importance than its freight business, either to the railroad
investors or to the producers themselves. But there was the same
fluctuation in passenger rates; and there was an outrageous form
of discrimination in the development of the free-pass system; a
practice which would have fully deserved the name of systematic
bribery, had it not become so universal that most men hardly
recognized any personal obligation connected with the acceptance
of a pass. Officials and other citizens of influence had come to
regard it as a right; it was not so much bribery on the part of the
companies as blackmail levied against them.

The remedies proposed for all these evils have been various. From
the very beginning until now there have been some who held that
such abuses could be avoided only by State railroad ownership.
Such experiments in the United States have not gone far enough
to furnish conclusive evidence either way; but the experience of
other countries indicates that State railroads, as such, do not
avoid these evils. Where they have been worked in competition with
other lines, they have been as deeply involved in these abuses as
their private competitors--perhaps more so. Where the government
has obtained control of all the railroads of the country, and made
such arrangements with the water-routes as to render competition
impossible, the abuses have vanished, because there was no longer
any conceivable motive to continue them. But this was the result
of the monopoly, not of the State ownership; and the advantage was
purchased by a sacrifice of all the stimulus of competition toward
the development of new facilities.

Many people assume that, because the government represents the
nation as a whole, therefore government officials will not be
under the same temptations to act unjustly which are felt by the
representatives of a private corporation. This is a mistake. It
is not as representatives of the investor that railroad agents do
much injustice; this motive has practically nothing to do with
it. Most of the abuses complained of are positively injurious to
the investor in the long run. When officials really represent
the interests of the property with wise foresight, they, as a
rule, give the public no ground to complain. The question reduces
itself to this: Will the State choose better representatives and
agents than a private corporation? Will it secure a higher grade
of officials, more competent, more honest, and more enterprising?
The difference between state and private railroads is not so much
on matters of policy as on methods of administration. The success
of government administration varies with different countries. In
Prussia, where it is seen at its best, the results are in some
respects remarkably good; yet even here the roads are not managed
on anything like the American standard of efficiency, either in
amount of train service, in speed, or in rapidity of development.
And what is barely successful in Prussia, with its trained civil
service on the one hand and its less intense industrial demands
on the other, can hardly be considered possible or desirable in
America. No one who has watched the workings of a government
contract can desire to have the whole trade of the country put
to the expense of supporting such methods in its transportation

A more easy method of trying to regulate railroad charges has been
by forced reductions in rates. This was tried on the largest scale
in the Granger movement fifteen years ago. A fall in the price of
wheat had rendered it difficult for the farmers to make money. The
Patrons of Husbandry, in investigating the causes, saw that the
larger trade centres, where there was competition, were getting
lower rates than the local producer. They reasoned that if all the
farmers could get such low rates, they could make money; and that,
if the roads could afford to make these low rates for any points,
they could afford to do it for all. The railroad agents, instead of
foreseeing the storm and trying to prevent it, assumed a defiant
attitude. The result was that legislatures of the States in the
upper Mississippi Valley passed laws of more or less rigidity,
scaling down all rates to the general level of competitive ones.
After a period of some doubt, the right of the States to do this
was admitted by the courts. But before the legal possibility had
been decided, the practical impossibility of such a course had
been shown. If all rates were reduced to the level of competitive
ones, it left nothing to pay fixed charges. On such terms, foreign
capital would not come into the State; nor could it be enticed by
such a clumsy effort as that of one of the States, which provided
"that no road _hereafter constructed_ shall be subject to the
provisions of this act." The goose which laid the golden eggs was
not such a goose as to be deceived by this. The untimely death of
several of her species meant more than any promises of immunity to
those who should follow in her footsteps. In those States which had
passed the most severe laws capital would not invest; railroads
could not pay interest, their development stopped, and the growth
of the community was seriously checked thereby. The most obnoxious
laws were either repealed or allowed to remain in abeyance. Where
the movement was strongest in 1873 it had practically spent its
force in 1876. There have been many similar attempts in all parts
of the country since that time; just now they are peculiarly
active; but nothing which approaches in recklessness some of the
legislation of 1873 and 1874. The lesson was at least partly

We had hardly passed the crisis of the effort to level down, when
some of the more intelligent railroad men made an effort to level
up. Recognizing that discriminations and fluctuating rates were
an evil, they sought to avoid it by common action with regard to
the business at competing points. A mere agreement as to rates to
be charged was not enough to secure this end. Such an agreement
was sure to be violated. Even if the leading authorities meant
to observe it, their agents could always evade its requirements
to some extent. Such evasion was favored by loose arrangements
between connecting roads, and by the somewhat irresponsible system
of fast freight lines. Wherever it existed, it gave rise to mutual
suspicion. _A_ believed that his road did it because he could not
help it, but that _B_ and _C_ were allowing their roads to do
it maliciously; while _B_ and _C_ had the same consciousness of
individual rectitude and the same unkind suspicions with regard to
_A_. It was at best a rather hollow truce, which did not really
accomplish its purpose, and which might change to open war on very
slight provocation.

To avoid this difficulty a pool, or division of traffic, was
arranged. It is a fact that, whatever wars of rates there may be,
the percentage of traffic carried by the different lines varies
but little. If an arbitrator can examine the books and decide what
these percentages have been in the past, he can make an award for
the future, under which the competitive traffic of the different
roads may be fairly divided. The arrangements for doing this are
various. Sometimes the roads carry such traffic as may happen to
be offered, and settle the differences with one another by money
balances; sometimes they actually divert traffic from one line to
another. But the advantage of either of these arrangements over a
mere agreement to maintain rates is that they cannot be violated
without direct action on the part of the leading authorities of
the roads concerned--either in open withdrawal, or in actual
bad faith. The ordinary irregularities of agents do not, under
a pooling system, give rise to much suspicion, because they do
not benefit the road in whose behalf they are undertaken. Its
percentage being fixed there is no motive for rate-cutting. So
great is this advantage that pooling is accepted in almost all
other countries as a natural means of maintaining equality of
rates; the state railroads of Central Europe entering into such
contracts with competing private lines and even with water-routes.
In America itself, pools have had a longer and wider history than
is generally supposed. In New England they arose and continued to
exist on a moderate scale without attracting much attention. In the
Mississippi Valley, the Chicago-Omaha pool was arranged as early as
1870, and formed the model for a whole system of such arrangements
extending as far as the Pacific Coast. But, as involving wider
questions of public policy, the activity of the Southern and the
Trunk Line Associations has attracted chief attention.

The man whose name is most prominently identified with both these
systems is Albert Fink. A German by birth and education, his long
experience as a practical railroad engineer did not deprive him of
a taste for studying traffic problems on their theoretical side. As
Vice-President of the Louisville & Nashville, he had given special
attention to the economic conditions affecting the Southern roads;
and when, in the years 1873-75, a traffic association was formed by
a number of these roads to secure harmony of action on matters of
common interest, he became the recognized leader. His success in
arrangements for through traffic was so conspicuous that when, in
1877, the trunk lines were exhausted with an unusually destructive
war of rates, they looked to him as the only man who could deliver
them from their trouble. In some lines, division of traffic had
already been resorted to; but it was in the hands of outside
parties, like the Standard Oil Company or the cattle eveners,
and was made a means of oppression against shippers not in the
combination itself.

[Illustration: Albert Fink.]

The conditions were not favorable; the result of Fink's efforts to
bring order out of chaos was slow and by no means uninterrupted.
Yet on the whole, as was admitted even by opponents of the pooling
system, it contributed to steadiness and equality of rates. The
arrangement of these agreements was hampered by their want of
legal status. While the law did not at that time actually prohibit
them, it refused to enforce them. Existing thus on sufferance,
they depended on the good will of the contracting parties. None
but a man of Fink's unimpeached integrity and high intellectual
power could have kept matters running at all; and even he could
not prevent the adoption of a policy of making hay while the sun
shines, more or less regardless of the future. The results of the
trunk-line pool were unsatisfactory--most of all to those who
believed in pools as a system; but it is fair to attribute a large
part of this failure to the absence of legal recognition, which
in a manner compelled the agreements to be arranged to meet the
demands of the day rather than of the future.

Meantime an equally important contribution to the solution of the
railroad question was being worked out in another quarter. In the
year 1869 the Massachusetts Railroad Commission was established.
Its powers were so slight that it was not regarded as likely to
be an influential public agency. Fortunately it numbered among
its members Charles Francis Adams, Jr.; a man whose efficiency
more than made up for any want of nominal powers. In his hands the
mere power to report became the most effective of all weapons.
Representing at once enlightened public judgment and far-sighted
railroad policy, he did much to bring the two into harmony and
protect the legitimate interests on both sides from short-sighted
misuse for the benefit of either party. The detail of his work is
matter of past history; perhaps its most prominent result was to
introduce to State legislation the idea of a railroad commission
as an administrative body. Those States which had no stringent
laws appointed commissions to take their place; those which had
overstringent ones appointed commissions to use discretion in
applying them. In either case, the existence of a body of men
representing the State, but possessing the technical knowledge
to see what the exigencies of railroad business demanded, was a
protection to all parties concerned.

[Illustration: Charles Francis Adams.]

But matters were rapidly passing beyond the sphere of State
legislation. Each new consolidation of systems, each additional
development of through traffic, made it more impossible to control
railroad policy by the action of individual States. It could only
be done by a development of the law in the United States courts or
by Congressional legislation. The former result was necessarily
slow; each year showed an increased demand for special action on
the part of Congress. But such action was hindered by divergence of
opinion in that body itself. One set of men wished a moderate law,
prohibiting the most serious abuses of railroad power, and enforced
under the discretionary care of a commission. These men were for
the most part not unwilling to see pools legalized if their members
could thereby be held to a fuller measure of responsibility. On the
other hand, the extremists wished to prescribe a system of equal
mileage rates; they would hear of no such thing as a commission,
and hated pools as an invention of the adversary. Between the two
lay a large body of members who had no convictions on the matter,
but were desirous to please everybody and offend nobody--a hard
task in this particular case. It was nearly nine years from the
time Mr. Reagan introduced his first bill when a compromise was
finally effected--largely by the influence of Senator Cullom.
As compromises go, it was a tolerably fair one. The extremists
sacrificed their opposition to a commission, but secured the
prohibition of pools; the disputed points with regard to rates were
left in such a shape that no man knew what the law meant, and each
was, for the time being, able to interpret it to suit the wishes of
his Congressional district.

The immediate effects of the law were extremely good. There
were certain sections of it, like those which secured publicity
of rates and equal treatment for different persons in the same
circumstances, whose wisdom was universally admitted. Indeed it was
rather a disgrace, both to the railroad agents and to the courts,
that we had to wait for an act of Congress to secure these ends;
and most of the railroads made up for past remissness in this
respect by quite a spasm of virtue. In some instances it was even
thought that they "stood up so straight as to lean over backward."
But this was not the only part of the law which proved efficient.
The very vagueness of the clause concerning the relative rates for
through and local traffic, which under other circumstances might
have proved fatal, put a most salutary power into the hands of the
Interstate Commerce Commission, and one which they were not slow to

[Illustration: Thomas M. Cooley.]

The President was fortunate in his selection of commissioners;
above all in the chairman, Judge T. M. Cooley, of Michigan, a
man whose character, knowledge of public law, and technical
familiarity with railroad business made him singularly well fitted
for the place. The work of the Interstate Commission, like that
of its Massachusetts prototype, shows how much more important is
personal power than mere technical authority. It was supposed at
first that the commission would be a purely administrative body,
with discretion to suspend the law. Instead of this, they have
enforced and interpreted it; and in the process of interpretation
have virtually created a body of additional law, which is read and
quoted as authority. With but little ground for expecting it from
the letter of the act, they have become a judicial body of the
highest importance. Their existence seems to furnish a possibility
for an elastic development of transportation law, neither so weak
as to be ineffective nor so strong as to break by its own rigidity.

But the final test of their success is yet to come. They have laid
down a few principles as to the cases when competition justifies
through rates lower than those at intermediate points. But the
application of these principles is as yet far from settled; and
it is rendered doubly hard by the clause against pools, which
does much to hamper the roads in any attempt to secure common
action on the matter of through rates. Each ill-judged piece of
State legislation, and each reckless attempt to attack railroad
profits, increases the difficulty. There was a time when the
powers of railroad managers were developed without corresponding
responsibility. In many parts of the country we are now going
to the other extreme--increasing the responsibility of railroad
authorities toward shipper and employees, State law and national
commission, and at the same time striving to restrict their powers
to the utmost. Such a policy cannot be continued indefinitely
without a disastrous effect upon railroad service, and, indirectly,
upon the business of the country as a whole.


[28] In 1886 the capital stock and the indebtedness of the
railroads of the United States amounted to about four thousand
million dollars each. Most of the debt represents money actually
paid in; but a very large fraction of the stock is a merely
nominal liability on which no payments have been made. Some was
issued as here described merely as a means of keeping control of
the property; some, as the easiest method of balancing unequal
values in reorganization; some, to represent increased value of
the property, so as to be able to divide all the current earnings
without calling public attention too prominently to the very
profitable character of the business. On the other hand, some stock
on which money was actually paid has been wiped out of existence;
and something has been paid out of earnings for capital account
without corresponding issue of securities. The net amount of
"water," or excess of nominal liabilities over actual investments,
in the capital account of the railroads of the country can only be
made the subject of guesswork. Estimates of responsible authorities
vary all the way from nothing to $4,000,000,000.

[29] See following article on "The Prevention of Railway Strikes."

[30] See "The Freight-car Service," page 287.



  Railways the Largest Single Interest in the United
  States--Some Impressive Statistics--Growth of a Complex
  Organization--Five Divisions of Necessary Work--Other Special
  Departments--Importance of the Operating Department--The Evil
  of Strikes--To be Remedied by Thorough Organization--Not the
  Ordinary Relation between Employer and Employee--Of what the
  Model Railway Service Should Consist--Temporary and Permanent
  Employees--Promotion from One Grade to the Other--Rights
  and Privileges of the Permanent Service--Employment during
  Good Behavior--Proposed Tribunal for Adjusting Differences
  and Enforcing Discipline--A Regular Advance in Pay for
  Faithful Service--A Fund for Hospital Service, Pensions, and
  Insurance--Railroad Educational Institutions--The Employer
  to Have a Voice in Management through a Council--A System of

In 1836--fifty years ago--there were but a little more than 1,000
miles of railroad on the American continents, representing an
outlay of some $35,000,000, and controlled by a score or so of
corporations. There are now (1886) about 135,000 miles in the
United States alone, capitalized at over eight thousand millions of

The railroad interest is thus the largest single interest in the
country. Probably 600,000 men are in its employ as wage-earners. It
is safe to say that over two millions of human beings are directly
dependent upon it for their daily support. The Union Pacific,
as a single and by no means the largest member of this system,
controls 5,150 miles of road, represented by stock and bonds to
the amount of $275,000,000. More than 15,000 names are borne upon
its pay-rolls. Its yearly income has exceeded $29,000,000, and
in 1885 was $26,000,000. Large as these aggregates sound, there
are other corporations which far exceed the Union Pacific both in
income and in capitalization, and not a few exceed it in mileage.
The Pennsylvania, for instance, either owns or directly controls
7,300 miles of road. It is represented by a capitalization of
$670,000,000; its annual income is $93,000,000; it carries 75,000
names on its pay-rolls.

This has been the outgrowth of a single half-century. The vast
and intricate organization implied in the management of such an
interest had, as it were, to be improvised. The original companies
were small and simple affairs. Some retired man of business
held, as a rule, the position of president; while another man,
generally a civil engineer, and as such supposed to be more or
less acquainted with the practical working of railroads, acted as
superintendent. The superintendent, in point of fact, attended
to everything. He was the head of the commercial department; the
head of the operating department; the head of the construction
department; and the head of the mechanical department. But
there is a limit to what any single man can do; and so, as the
organization developed, it became necessary to relieve the railroad
superintendent of many of his duties. Accordingly, the working
management naturally subdivided itself into separate departments,
at the head of which men were placed who had been trained all their
lives to do the particular work required in each department. In
the same way, the employees of the company--the wage-earners, as
they are called--originally few in number, held toward the company
relations similar to those which the employees in factories, shops,
or on farms, held to those who employed them. In other words, there
was in the railroad system no organized service. As the employees
increased until they were numbered by hundreds, better organization
became a necessity. The community was absolutely dependent upon its
railroad service for continued existence, for the running of trains
is to the modern body politic very much what the circulation of
blood is to the human being. An organized system, therefore, had
to grow up. This fact was not recognized at first; and, indeed,
is only imperfectly recognized yet. Still the fact was there; and
inasmuch as it was there and was not recognized, trouble ensued.
No rationally organized railroad service--that is, no service in
which the employer and employed occupy definite relations toward
each other, recognized by each, and by the body politic--no such
service exists. Approaches to it only have been made. A discussion,
therefore, of the form that such a service would naturally take if
it were organized, cannot be otherwise than timely.

It has already been noticed that in the process of organization the
railroad, following the invariable law, naturally subdivides itself
into different departments.[32] In the case of every corporation of
magnitude there are of these departments, whether one man is at the
head of one or several of them, at least five. These are:

1st. The financial department, which provides the ways and means.

2d. The construction department, which builds the railroad after
the means to build it are provided.

3d. The operating department, which operates the road after it is

4th. The commercial department, which finds business for the
operated road to do, and regulates the rates which are to be
charged for doing it.

5th. The legal department, which attends to all the numerous
questions which arise in the practical working of everyone of the
other departments.

These five divisions of necessary work exist in the organization of
every company, no matter how small it may be, or how few officers
it may employ. In the larger companies the need is found for yet
other special departments. In the case of the Union Pacific, for
instance, there are two such: First, the comptroller's department,
which establishes and is responsible for the whole method of
accounting; second, a department which is responsible for all
the numerous interests which a large railroad company almost of
necessity develops outside of its strict, legitimate work as a
common carrier.

When it comes to dealing with the employees of the company, it
will be found that the vast majority of those whose names are on
the pay-rolls belong to the operating department. This department
is responsible not only for the running of trains and, usually,
for the maintenance of the permanent way, but also for the repairs
of rolling stock. All the train-hands, all the section-men and
bridge-gangs, and all the mechanics in the repair shops thus belong
to the operating department. The accounting department employs
only clerks. The same is true of the commercial department, though
the commercial department has also agents at different business
centres who look after the company's interests and secure traffic
for it. The construction department is in the hands of civil
engineers, and the force employed by it depends entirely upon the
amount of building which may at any time be going on. As a rule,
the bulk of the employees in the construction department are paid
by contractors, and not directly by the railroad company. The legal
department consists only of lawyers and the few clerks necessary to
aid them in transacting their business.

In the operating department of the Union Pacific at the present
time (1886) about 14,000 names are carried upon the pay-roll. The
number varies according to the season of the year and the pressure
of traffic. In January, and during the winter months, the average
will fall to 12,000, while in June and during the summer it rises
to 14,000.

Of these, 2,800, or 20 per cent., are engaged in train movement;
4,200, or 30 per cent, are in the machine-shops and in charge
of motive power and rolling-stock; 7,000, or 50 per cent., are
employed in various miscellaneous ways, as flag-men, section-hands,
station agents, switch-men, etc., etc.

So far as the wage-earner is concerned, it is, therefore, this
portion of the force of a railroad company which may be called
distinctively "the service." If good relations exist between the
men employed in its operating department and the company no
serious trouble can ever arise in the operation of the road.
The clerks in the financial department, or the engineers in the
construction department, might leave the company's employ in a
body, and their places could soon be filled. In point of fact,
they never do leave it; but should they do so, the public would
experience no inconvenience. The inconvenience--and it would
be very considerable--would be confined to the office of the
company, and their work would fall into arrears. It is not so with
the operating department. So far as the community at large is
concerned, whatever difficulties arise in the working of railroads
develop themselves here. All serious railroad strikes take place
among those engaged in the shops, on the track, or in handling
trains. That these difficulties should be reduced to a minimum is
therefore a necessity. They can be reduced to a minimum only when
the railroad service is thoroughly organized.

How then can this service be better organized than it is? It is
usually maintained that only the ordinary relation of employer
and employed should exist between the railroad company and the
men engaged in operating its road. If the farmer is dissatisfied
with his hands, he can dismiss them. In like manner, if the
laborer is dissatisfied with the farmer, he can leave his employ.
It is argued that exactly the same relation should exist between
the great railroad corporation and the tens of thousands of men
in its operating department. The proposition is not tenable.
The circumstances are different. In the first place, it is of
no practical consequence to the community whether difficulties
which prevent the work of the farm from going on arise or do not
arise between an individual farmer and his laborers. The work of
innumerable other farms goes on all the same, and it is a matter
of indifference what occurs in the management of the particular
farm. So it is even with large factories, machine-shops--in fact,
with all industrial concerns which do not perform immediate
public functions. A railroad company does perform immediate
public functions. The community depends upon it for the daily
and necessary movements of civilized existence. This fact has to
be recognized. For a railroad to pause in its operation implies
paralysis to the community which it serves.

Such being the fact, it is futile to argue that the ordinary
relations of employer and employed should obtain in the railroad
service. Something else is required; and because something
else is required but has not yet been devised we have had the
numerous difficulties which have taken place during the present
year--difficulties which have occasioned the community much
inconvenience and loss.

The model railroad service, therefore, is now to be considered.
Of what would it consist? At present, there is practically no
difference between individuals in the employ of a great railroad
corporation. All the wage-earners in its pay stand in like position
toward it. There should be a difference among them; and a marked
difference, due to circumstances which should receive recognition.
Take again the case of the Union Pacific. The Union Pacific, it has
already been mentioned, numbers 14,000 employees in its operating
department as a maximum, and 12,000 as a minimum. They vary with
the season of the year, increasing in summer and diminishing
in winter. Consequently there is a large body of men who are
permanently in its employ; and there is a smaller body, although
a very considerable portion of the whole, who are in its employ
only temporarily. Here is a fact, and facts should be recognized.
If this particular fact is recognized, the service of the company
should be organized accordingly, and each of the several divisions
of the operating department would have on its rolls two classes of
men: First, those who have been admitted into the permanent service
of the company; and, second, those who for any cause are only
temporarily in that service. And no man should be admitted into
the permanent service until after he has served an apprenticeship
in the temporary service. In other words, admission into the
permanent service would be in the nature of a promotion from an
apprenticeship in the temporary service.

Those in the temporary service need not, therefore, be at present
considered. They hold to the companies only the ordinary relation
of employee to employer. They may be looked upon as candidates for
admission into the permanent service--they are on probation. So
long as they are on probation they may be engaged and discharged at
pleasure. The permanent service alone is now referred to.

The permanent service of a great railroad company should in many
essential respects be very much like a national service, that of
the army or navy, for instance, except in one particular, and a
very important particular: to wit, those in it must of necessity
always be at liberty to resign from it--in other words, to leave
it. The railroad company can hold no one in its employ one moment
against his will. Meanwhile, to belong to the permanent service
of a railroad company of the first class, so far as the employee
is concerned, should mean a great deal. It should carry with it
certain rights and privileges which would cause that service to be
eagerly sought. In the first place, he who had passed through his
period of probation and whose name was enrolled in the permanent
service would naturally feel that his interests were to a large
extent identified with those of the company; and that he on the
other hand had rights and privileges which the company was bound
to respect. It has been a matter of boast in France that every
private soldier in the French army carried the possibility of
the field-marshal's baton in his knapsack. It should be the same
with every employee in the permanent service of a great American
railroad company. The possibility of his rising to any position in
that service for which he showed himself qualified should be open
before him and constantly present in his mind. Many of the most
remarkable and successful men who have handled railroads in the
United States began their active lives as brakemen, as telegraph
operators, even as laborers on the track. Such examples are of
inestimable value. They reveal possibilities open to all.

Beyond this, the man who is permanently enrolled should feel that,
though he may not rise to a high position, yet, as a matter of
right, he is entitled to hold the position to which he has risen
just so long as he demeans himself properly and does his duty well.
He should be free from fear of arbitrary dismissal. In order that
he may have this security, a tribunal should be devised before
which he would have the right to be heard in case charges of
misdemeanor are advanced against him.

No such tribunal has yet been provided in the organization of any
railroad company; neither, as a rule, has the suggestion of such a
tribunal been looked upon with favor either by the official or the
employee. The latter is apt to argue that he already has such a
tribunal in the executive committee of his own labor organization;
and a tribunal, too, upon which he can depend to decide always in
his favor. The official, on the other hand, contends that if he is
to be responsible for results he must have the power of arbitrarily
dismissing the employee. Without it he will not be able to maintain
discipline. The two arguments, besides answering each other, divide
the railroad service into hostile camps. The executive committees
of the labor organizations practically cannot save the members of
those organizations from being got rid of, though they do in many
cases protect them against summary discharge; and, on the other
hand, the official, in the face of the executive committee, enjoys
only in theory the power of summary discharge. The situation is
accordingly false and bad. It provokes hostility. The one party
boasts of a protection which he does not enjoy; the other insists
upon a power which he dares not exercise. The remedy is manifest. A
system should be devised based on recognized facts; a system which
would secure reasonable protection to the employee, and at the
same time enable the official to enforce all necessary discipline.
This a permanent service, with a properly organized tribunal to
appeal to, would bring about. Meanwhile the winnowing process would
be provided for in the temporary service. Over that the official
would have complete control, and the idle, the worthless, and the
insubordinate would be kept off. The wheat would there be separated
from the chaff. Until such a system is devised the existing chaos,
made up of powerless protection and impotent power, must apparently
continue. None the less it is a delusion on the one side and a
mockery on the other.

How the members of such a court as has been suggested would be
appointed and by whom is matter for consideration. It would,
of course, be essential that the appointees should command the
confidence of all in the company's service, whether officials
or employees. The possible means of reaching this result will
presently be discussed.

Not only should permanent employees be entitled to retain their
position during good behavior, but they should also look forward
to the continual bettering of their condition. That is, apart
from promotion, seniority in the service should carry with it
certain rights and privileges. Take the case of conductors,
brakemen, engineers, machinists, and the like; there seems to be
no reason why length of faithful service should not carry with it
a stipulated increase of pay. If conductors, for example, have
a regular pay of $100 a month, there seems no good reason why
the pay should not increase by steps of $5 with each five years'
service, so that when the conductor has been twenty-five years in
the service his pay should be increased by one-quarter, or $25 a
month. The increase might be more or less. The figures suggested
merely illustrate. So also with the engineer, the brakeman, the
section-man, the machinist. A certain prospect of increased pay, if
a man demeans himself faithfully, is a great incentive to faithful
demeanor. This is another fact which it would be well not to lose
sight of.

There ought likewise to be connected with every large railroad
organization certain funds, contributed partly by the company and
partly by the voluntary action of employees, which would provide
for hospital service, retiring pensions, sick pensions, and
insurance against accident and death. Every man whose name has once
been enrolled in the permanent employ of the company should be
entitled to the benefit of these funds; and he should be deprived
of it only by his own voluntary act, or as the consequence of some
misdemeanor proved before a tribunal. At present the railroad
companies of this country are under no inducement to establish
these mutual insurance societies, or to contribute to them. Their
service, in principle at least, is a shifting service; and so long
as it is shifting the elaborate organizations which are essential
to the safe management of the funds referred to cannot be called
into existence. A tie-up, as it might be called, between the
companies and their employees is a condition precedent. Were this
once effected the rest would follow by steps both natural and easy.
For a company like the Union Pacific to contribute $100,000 a year
to a hospital fund and retiring pension and insurance associations
would be a small matter, if the thing could be so arranged that
the permanent employees themselves would contribute a like sum;
and permanent employees only would contribute at all. Once let
the growth of associations like these begin, and it proceeds with
almost startling rapidity. At the end of ten years the accumulated
capital on the basis of contribution suggested would probably
amount to millions. Every man who was so fortunate as to become
a permanent employee of the company would then be assured of
provision in case of sickness or disability, and his family would
be assured of it in case of his death.

The moment a permanent service was thus established it would also
involve further provision of an educational nature. That is, the
companies must continually provide a stock of men for the future.
Where a boy--the son of an employee--grows up always looking
forward to entering the company's service, he becomes to that
company very much what a cadet at West Point or Annapolis is to
the army or the navy of the United States; the idea of loyalty
to the company and of pride in its service grows up with him.
Railroad educational institutions of this sort have already been
created by at least one corporation in the country, and they should
be created by all railroad corporations of the first class. The
children of employees would naturally go into these schools, and
the best of them would at the proper age be sent out upon the
road to take their places in the shops, on the track, or at the
brake. From those thus educated the higher positions in the company
would thereafter be filled. The cost of maintaining these schools,
at least in part, would become a regular item in the operating
expenses of the road. Properly handled, a vast economy would be
effected through them. The morale of the service would gradually
be raised, and the morale of a railroad is, if properly viewed, no
less important than the morale of an army or navy. It is invaluable.

But it is futile to suppose that such a service as that outlined
could be organized, in America at least, unless those concerned in
it were allowed a voice in its management. Practically the most
important feature of the whole is therefore yet to be considered.
How is the employee to be assured a voice in the management of
these joint interests, without bringing about demoralization?
No one has yet had the courage to face this question; and yet
it is a question which must be faced if a solution of existing
difficulties is to be found. If the employees contribute to the
insurance and other funds, it is right that they should have a
voice in the management of those funds. If an employee holds his
situation during good behavior, he has a right to be heard in the
organization of the board which, in case of his suspension for
alleged cause, is to pass upon his behavior. No system will succeed
which does not recognize these rights. In other words, it will be
impossible to establish perfectly good faith and the highest morale
in the service of the companies until the problem of giving this
voice to employees, and giving it effectively, is solved. It can be
solved in but one way: that is, by representation. To solve it may
mean industrial peace.

It is, of course, impossible to dispose of these difficult matters
in town-meeting. Nevertheless, the town-meeting must be at the base
of any successful plan for disposing of them. The end in view is to
bring the employer--who in this case is the company, represented by
its president and board of directors--and the employees into direct
and immediate contact through a representative system. When thus
brought into direct and immediate contact, the parties must arrive
at results through the usual method: that is, by discussion and
rational agreement. It has already been noticed that the operating
department of a great railroad company naturally subdivides itself
into those concerned in the train movement, those concerned in
the care of the permanent way, and those concerned in the work
of the mechanical department. It would seem proper, therefore,
that a council of employees should be formed, of such a number
as might be agreed on, containing representatives from each of
these departments. In order to make an effective representation,
the council would have to be a large body. For present purposes,
and for the sake of illustration merely, it might be supposed
that, in the case of the Union Pacific, each department in a
division of the road would elect its own members of the employees'
council. There are five of these divisions and three departments
in every division. The operating-men, the yard and section-men,
and the machinists of the division would, therefore, under this
arrangement choose a given number of representatives. If one
such representative was chosen to each hundred employees in the
permanent service those thus selected would constitute a division
council. To perfect the organization, without disturbing the
necessary work of the company, each of these division councils
would then select certain (say, for example, three) of their
number, representing the mechanical, the operating, and the
permanent way departments, and these delegates from each of the
departments would, at certain periods of the year, to be provided
for by the articles of organization, all meet together at the
head-quarters of the company in Omaha. The central council, under
the system here suggested, would consist of fifteen men; that
is, one representing each of the three departments of the five
several divisions. These fifteen men would represent the employees.
It would be for them to select a board of delegates, or small
executive committee, to confer directly with the president and
board of directors. Here would be found the organization through
which the voice of the employees would make itself heard and felt
in matters which directly affect the rights of employees, including
the appointment of a tribunal to pass upon cases of misdemeanor,
and the management of all institutions, whether financial or
educational, to which the employees had contributed and in which
they had a consequent interest.

There is no reason whatever for supposing that, within the
limits which have been indicated, such an organization would
lead to difficulty. On the contrary, where it did not remove a
difficulty it might readily be made to open a way out of it. The
employees, feeling that they too had rights which the company
frankly recognized and was bound to respect, would in all cases
of agitation proceed through the regular machinery, which brought
them into easy and direct contact with the highest authority in
the company's service. They would not, therefore, be driven into
outside organizations. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the highest
officers of the company, including the president and the board
of directors, would be brought into immediate relations with the
representatives of the employees on terms of equality. Each would
have an equal voice in the management of common interests; and it
would only remain to make provision for arriving at a solution of
questions in case of deadlock. This would naturally be done by the
appointment of a permanent arbitrator, who would be selected in

The organization suggested includes, it will be remembered, only
those employees whose names are on the permanent rolls of the
operating department. For reasons which have been sufficiently
referred to, those whose names are on the rolls of the other
four departments have not been considered. But there would be
no difficulty in making provision for them also, should it be
found expedient or desirable so to do. Through the system of
representation the organization could in fact be made to include
every employee in the permanent service of the company, not
excepting the president, the general manager, or the general
counsel. Each employee included would have one vote, and each
division and department its representatives. The organization in
other words is elastic. No matter how large it might be it would
never become unwieldy so long as it resulted in the small committee
which met in direct conference face to face with the board of

Could such a system as that which has been suggested be devised
and put in practical operation there is reason to hope that the
difficulties which have hitherto occurred between the great
railroad companies and those in their pay would not occur in
future. The movement is the natural and necessary outcome of the
vast development referred to in the opening paragraphs of this
paper. It is based on a simple recognition of acknowledged facts,
and follows the lines of action with which the people of this
country are most familiar. The path indicated is that in which for
centuries they have been accustomed to tread. It has led them out
of many difficulties. Why not out of this difficulty?


[31] NOTE.--The following paper was prepared for a special purpose
in June, 1886, and then submitted to several of the leading
officials directly engaged in the local management of the lines
operated by the Union Pacific Railway Company, of which the writer
had been president for two years. It drew forth from them various
criticisms, which led to the belief that the publication of the
paper at that time might easily result in more harm than good. It
was accordingly laid aside, and no use made of it.

Nearly three years have since elapsed, and the events of the year
1888--with its strike of engineers on the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy--seem to indicate that the relations of railroad employees
to the railroad companies have undergone no material change since
the year 1886, when the strike on the Missouri Pacific took place.
The same unsatisfactory condition of affairs apparently continues.
There is a deep-seated trouble somewhere.

No sufficient reason, therefore, exists for longer suppressing this
paper. Provided the suggestions contained in it have any value at
all, they may at least be accepted as contributions to a discussion
which of itself has an importance that cannot be either denied or

The paper is printed as it was prepared. The figures and statistics
contained in it have no application, therefore, to the present
time; nor has it been thought worth while to change them, inasmuch
as they have little or no bearing upon the argument. That is just
as applicable to the state of affairs now as it was to that which
existed then. The only difference is that the course of events
during the three intervening years has demonstrated that the paper,
if it does no good, will certainly do no harm.

  BOSTON, February 4, 1889.
  C. F. A.

[32] See "Railway Management," page 151.



  The Typical Railroad Man--On the Road and at Home--Raising the
  Moral Standard--Characteristics of the Freight Brakeman--His Wit
  the Result of Meditation--How Slang is Originated--Agreeable
  Features of his Life in Fine Weather--Hardships in
  Winter--The Perils of Hand-brakes--Broken Trains--Going back
  to Flag--Coupling Accidents--At the Spring--Advantages of
  a Passenger Brakeman--Trials of the Freight Conductor--The
  Investigation of Accidents--Irregular Hours of Work--The
  Locomotive Engineer the Hero of the Rail--His Rare Qualities--The
  Value of Quick Judgment--Calm Fidelity a Necessary Trait--Saving
  Fuel on a Freight Engine--Making Time on a Passenger
  Engine--Remarkable Runs--The Spirit of Fraternity among
  Engineers--Difficult Duties of a Passenger-train Conductor--Tact
  in Dealing with Many People--Questions to be Answered--How
  Rough Characters are Dealt with--Heavy Responsibilities--The
  Work of a Station Agent--Flirtation by Telegraph--The
  Baggage-master's Hard Task--Eternal Vigilance Necessary in a
  Switch-tender--Section-men, Train Despatchers, Firemen, and
  Clerks--Efforts to Make the Railroad Man's Life Easier.

The typical railroad man "runs on the road;" he is not the one
whose urbane presence adorns the much-heralded offices of the
railroad companies on Broadway, where the gold letters on the front
window are each considerably larger than the elbow-room allowed
the clerks inside; nor, indeed, is he, generally speaking, the one
with whom the public or the public's drayman comes in contact when
visiting a large city station to ship or receive freight. These and
others, whose part in the complex machinery of transportation is
in a degree auxiliary, are indeed largely imbued with the _esprit
de corps_ which originates in the main body of workers; but their
duties are such that their interest is not especially lively. Even
the men employed at stations in villages and large towns acquire
a share of their railroad spirit at second hand, as life on a
train is necessary to get the experience which embodies the true
fascination which so charms Young America.

The railroad man's home-life is not specially different from other
people's. There have been Chesterfields among conductors, and
mechanical geniuses have grown up among the locomotive engineers,
but these were products of an era now past. Station-men are a part
of the communities where their duties place them. Trainmen and
their families occupy a modest though highly respectable place in
the society they live in. Trainmen who live in a city generally
receive the same pay that is given to their brothers, doing the
same work, whose homes are in the country. The families of the
latter therefore enjoy purer air, lessened expenses, and other
advantages which are denied the former.

On most railroads the freight trainmen--engineers, conductors,
brakemen, and firemen--are the most numerous and prominent class,
as the number of freight trains is generally larger than that of
passenger trains; and among these men there are more brakemen than
anything else, because there are two or more on every train, while
there is but one of each of the other classes. And as the ranks
of the passenger-train service are generally recruited from the
freight trainmen, it follows that the _freight brakeman_ impresses
his individuality quite strongly upon not only the circles in which
he moves but the whole train-service as well. Freight conductors
are promoted brakemen, and most (though not by any means all)
passenger conductors are promoted freight conductors; so that
the brakeman's prominent traits of character continue to appear
throughout the several grades of the service. As he is promoted he
of course improves. The general character of the _personnel_ of
the freight-train service has undergone a considerable change in
the last twenty years. Whiskey drinkers have been weeded out, and
pilferers with them. Improved discipline has effected a general
toning up, raising the moral standard perceptibly. One reforming
superintendent, a few years ago, on undertaking an aggressive
campaign found himself compelled to discharge three-fifths of all
his brakemen before he could regard the force as reasonably cleared
of the rowdy element.

       *       *       *       *       *

The brakeman, like the "drummer," is a characteristic American
product. Each has his wits sharpened by peculiar experiences,
and, while important lines of intellectual training are almost
wholly neglected, there is contact with the world in various
directions, which develops qualities that tend to elevate the
individual in many ways. Although freight brakemen do not have
any intercourse with the public, they somehow learn the ways of
the world very quickly, and the brightest ones among them need
very little training to fit them for a place on a passenger train
where they are expected to deal with gentle ladies and fastidious
millionaires, and bear themselves with the grace of a hotel clerk.
Perhaps one reason why brakemen impress their characteristics on
the whole _personnel_ of the service is because they have abundance
of opportunity for meditation. Many of them have a superfluity
of hours and half-hours when they have nothing to do but ride on
the top of a car and keep a general watch of the train, and they
have ample time to think twice before speaking once. Even a circus
clown or the vender of shoestrings or ten-cent watches has to study
the arts of expression; why should not the intelligent trainman,
who wishes to let people know that he is of some account in the
world? If he wants a favor from a superior he knows just the best
way of approach to secure success. If he deems it worth while to
complain of anything, he formulates his appeal in a way that is
sure to be telling. Everyone knows the old story of the brakeman
who was refused a free pass home on Saturday night with the
argument that his employer, if a farmer, could not be reasonably
expected to hitch up a horse and buggy for such a purpose. The
reply that, admitting this, the farmer who had his team already
harnessed up and was going that way with an empty seat would be
outrageously mean to refuse his hired man a ride, is none too 'cute
to be characteristic. The brakeman who is not able to puncture
the sophistries of narrow-souled or disingenuous superiors is the
exception and not the rule.

The brakeman gives the prevailing tone to the "society" of
despatchers' lobbies and other lounging places which he frequents.
If he be profane or fault-finding or sour, he can easily spread the
influence of these unpleasant traits. A lazy brakeman becomes more
lazy, because his work is in many respects easy. Having little to
do he demands still less. A foul-mouthed one gives himself free
rein because many usual restraints are absent. The prevalence of
profanity, which, aside from the question of sinfulness, hampers a
man in any aspirations he may have toward more elevating society,
is perhaps the worst blot on the reputation of brakemen as a
class. Many worthy men among them, and especially among conductors
and engineers, have, however, done much to improve the tone of
conversation in trainmen's haunts, and on the better disciplined
roads decorum is the rule, and rowdyism the exception. There is
abundance of humor and spirit, however. The brakeman originates
whatever slang may be deemed necessary to give spice to the talk
of the caboose and round-house. He calls a gravel train a "dust
express," and refers to the pump for compressing air for the
power-brakes as a "wind-jammer." The fireman's prosaic labors
are lightened by being poetically mentioned as the "handling of
black diamonds," and the mortification of being called into the
superintendent's office to explain some dereliction of duty is
disguised by referring to the episode as "dancing on the carpet."

[Illustration: "Dancing on the Carpet."]

The disagreeable features of a freight brakeman's life are chiefly
those dependent upon the weather. If he could perform his duties
in Southern California or Florida in winter, and in the Northern
States in summer, his lot would ordinarily be a happy one, though
the annoyance of tramps is almost universal in mild climates, and
in many cases takes the shape of positive danger. These vagabonds
persist in riding on or in the cars, while the faithful trainman
must, according to his instructions, keep them off. In some
sections of the country they will board a train in gangs of a
dozen, armed with pistols, and dictate where a train shall carry
them. Not long ago in Chicago a conductor, while ejecting a tramp
from the caboose, was shot and killed by the ruffian.

[Illustration: Trainman and Tramps.]

The hardships of cold and stormy weather are serious, both because
of the test of endurance involved and the added difficulties in
handling a train. The Westinghouse automatic air-brake, which
has served so admirably on passenger trains for the past fifteen
years, has only recently been adapted and cheapened so as to make
it available for long freight trains, but it is now so perfected
that in a few years the brakeman who now has to ride on the outside
of cars in a freezing condition for an hour at a time will be
privileged to sit comfortably in his caboose while the speed of the
train is governed by the engineer through the instantaneous action
of the air-brake. On the steep roads of the Rocky Mountains, and a
few other lines, this brake is already in use.

[Illustration: Braking in Hard Weather.]

But "braking by hand" is still the rule. In running on ascending
grades or at slow speeds, the brakemen can ride under cover, but in
descending grades, or on levels when the speed is high, they must
be on the tops of the cars ready to instantly apply the brakes,
for the reason that there are generally only three or four men
to a long train weighing from 500 to 1,000 tons, whose momentum
cannot be arrested very quickly. In descending steep grades, only
the most constant and skilful care prevents the train from rushing
at breakneck speed to the foot of the incline, or to a curve,
where it would be precipitated over an embankment and crushed into
splinters. One of the mountain roads in Colorado which now uses
air-brakes is said to be lined its whole length with the ruins of
cars lying in the gorges, where they were wrecked in the former
days of hand-brakes. Even on grades much less steep than those in
Colorado the danger of this sort of disaster is one that has to
be constantly guarded against. Take the case of a 40-car train
descending a 1½ per cent. grade (79-2/10 feet per mile). Before all
of the cars have passed over the summit and commenced to descend,
the forward part of the train will have increased its velocity
very perceptibly and will thus by its weight exert a strong pull
on the rear portion, "yanking" it very roughly sometimes, and
if one of the couplings between the cars chances to be weak it
breaks, separating the train into two parts. Mishaps of this kind
are frequent, and two or more breakages often occur at the same
time, dividing the train so that one of the parts--between the
two end portions--is perhaps left with no brakeman upon it. The
engineman then has the choice of slackening his speed and allowing
the unmanageable cars to violently collide with his portion, or
of increasing his own speed to such a rate that he is soon in
danger of suddenly overtaking a train ahead of him. To avoid this
breaking-in-two the brakemen must be wide awake on the instant
and see that their brakes are tightened before the speed even
begins to elude control. As soon as the whole train has got beyond
the summit, and the speed is reduced to a proper rate by the
application of the brakes on, say, one-third or one-half the cars,
it will perhaps be found that one or two brakes too many have been
put on and that the train is running too slowly. Some of them
must then be loosened. Or perhaps some are set so tightly that the
friction heats the wheels unduly or causes them to slide along
the track instead of rolling; then those brakes must be released
and some on other cars applied instead; and all this must be done
(sometimes for an hour) when the temperature is 20 degrees below
zero, or the wind is blowing a gale, just as under more favorable
circumstances. A train moving at 20 miles an hour against a wind
with a velocity of 30 miles increases the latter to 50, so far as
the brakeman is concerned; and if rain or sleet is falling, the
force of it on his hands and face is very severe. If we add to
this the danger attendant upon stepping from one car to another
over a gap of 27 to 30 inches, in a dark night, when the cars are
constantly moving up and down on their springs and are swaying
to one side or the other every few seconds, we get some idea of,
though we cannot realize, the sensations that must at such times
fill the minds of the men whose pleasant berth seems so enjoyable
on a mild summer's day. And this is not an overdrawn picture or
the worst that might be given; for rain and snow combined often
coat the roofs of cars so completely and solidly that they are
worse than the smoothest skating-pond, and moving upon them is
attended with danger at every step. Jumping--it cannot be called
walking--from one car to another is in such cases positively
reckless. The brake-apparatus will in a snow-storm be coated with
ice so rapidly that vigorous action is required to keep it in
working condition. Even a wind alone, in dry weather, sometimes
compels the men to _crawl_ from one car to another, grasping such
projections as they may. The brakeman who forgets to take his
rubber coat and overalls sometimes suffers severely from sudden
changes of temperature. In spring or fall a lively shower will be
encountered in a sheltered valley, and the clothing be completely
drenched, and then within perhaps half an hour the ascent of a few
hundred feet brings the train into an atmosphere a few degrees
below the freezing point, so that with the aid of the wind, fanned
by the speed of the train, the clothes are very soon frozen stiff.

[Illustration: Flagging in Winter.]

Another feature which often involves discomfort, and occasionally
positive suffering and danger, is "going back to flag." When a
train is unexpectedly stopped upon the road, the brakeman at the
rear end must immediately take his red flag or lantern and go back
a half-mile or more to give the "stop" signal to the engine-men of
any train that may be following. This rule is sometimes disregarded
in clear weather on straight lines, and is even evaded by lazy or
unfaithful brakemen where the neglect is positively dangerous,
but still many a faithful man has to go out and stand for a long
time in a severe snow-storm or risk his life in walking several
miles to a station. The record of individual perils and heroisms
in the New York blizzard of March, 1888, are paralleled, or at
least repeated, on a slightly milder scale, by brakemen every
winter. Even in the blizzard country of the Northwest, where a half
hour's exposure is often fatal, the system of train-running is
such that the stopping of a train at an unexpected place involves
danger of collision if the brakeman does not at once go back and
_stay back_. A "tail-end" brakeman has various anxieties, which
cannot be detailed here. Often there is a possibility that the
advancing engineer will not see his red lantern. One brakeman in
New Brunswick several years ago ignominiously deserted his post,
leaving his train to look out for itself, because of a visit from
a huge bear whose residence was in the woods near the point on the
railroad where the brakeman was keeping his lonely night-vigil.

[Illustration: Coupling.]

The danger of sudden accidental death or maiming is constant
and great, and the bare record of the numerous cases is acutely
suggestive of inexpressible suffering; but, strange to say, it does
not worry the average brakeman much. Though probably a thousand
trainmen are killed in this country every year, and four or five
thousand injured, by collisions and derailments, in coupling cars,
falling off trains, striking low overhead bridges, and from other
causes, not one brakeman, from what he sees in his own experience,
realizes the danger very vividly. As in other dangers which are
constant but inevitable, familiarity breeds carelessness which is
closely akin to contempt. Falling from trains is really a serious
danger, because the most ceaseless caution--next to impossible for
the average man to maintain--is necessary to avoid missteps. This
will be practically abolished when the long-wished-for air-brake
comes into use, as that will obviate the necessity of riding on the
tops of the cars.

Coupling accidents are practically unavoidable because, although
the necessary manipulations _can_ be made without going between
the cars or placing the hands in dangerous situations, the men
as a general thing prefer to take the risk of the more dangerous
method. With the ordinary freight-car apparatus (which, however,
is destined to be superseded by an automatic coupler) the link by
which the cars are connected is retained by a pin in the drawbar of
either car; as one car approaches another at considerable speed,
this link, which hangs loosely down at an angle of thirty degrees,
must be lifted and guided into the opening in the opposite
drawbar. This operation must, according to the regulations of most
roads, be performed by the aid of a short stick; but, disregarding
the regulation, partly to save time and partly because of fear of
the ridicule that would be called out by the exhibition of a lack
of dexterity, the average brakeman uses his fingers. He must lift
the link and hold it horizontally until the end enters the opening,
and then withdraw his hand before the heavy drawbars come together.
A delay of a fraction of a second would crush the hand or finger
as under a trip-hammer. And, in point of fact, this delay does,
for various reasons, frequently happen, and the number of trainmen
with wounded hands to be found in every large freight-yard is sad
evidence of the fact. But again, assuming that this part of the
operation is accomplished in safety, there is another and worse
danger in the possibility of being crushed bodily. Cars are built
with projecting timbers on their ends at or near the centre, for
the purpose of keeping the main body of each car twelve or fifteen
inches from its neighbor; but cars of dissimilar pattern sometimes
meet in such a way that the projections on one lap past those on
the other, and the space which should afford room for the man to
stand in safety is not maintained. If the brakeman, in the darkness
of night or the hurry of his work, fails to note the peculiarities
of the cars, he is mercilessly crushed, the ponderous vehicles
often banging together with a force of many tons. A constant danger
in coupling and uncoupling is the liability to catch the feet in
angles in the track.[33] Freight conductors are peculiarly liable
to this, as the duty of uncoupling (pulling out the coupling-pin)
generally devolves upon them, and must be done while the train is
in motion. Walking rapidly along, in the dark, with the right hand
holding a lantern and grasping the car, while the left is tugging
at a pin which sticks, involves perplexities wherein a moment's
hesitation may prove fatal.

The dangers here recounted are those which only brakemen (or those
acting as brakemen) have to meet. The liability of all trainmen to
be killed by the cars tumbling down a bank, colliding with another
train, and a hundred other conditions, is also considerable. The
horror which the public feels on the occurrence of such a disaster
as that at Chatsworth, Ill., in the summer of 1887, or the
half-dozen other terrible ones within the past few years, could
reasonably be repeated every month if railroad employees instead
of passengers were considered. There are no accurate official
statistics kept of the train accidents in the country, but the
accounts compiled monthly by the _Railroad Gazette_ always show
a large number of casualties to railroad men from causes _beyond
their own control_ (collisions, running off the track, etc.), no
mention being made of the larger number resulting from the victims'
own want of caution. In the month of March, 1887, in which occurred
the terrible Bussey Bridge disaster, near Boston, 25 passengers
were killed in the United States; but the same month recorded 34
employees killed. At Chatsworth 80 passengers were killed; but in
that and the following month the number of employees killed in the
country reached 97. In both of these comparisons the number of
passengers is exceptional, while that of employees is ordinary.
But, as already intimated, these dangers and discouragements are
distributed over such a large territory and among such a large
number of individuals that the general serenity of the brakeman's
life is not much disturbed by them. In spite of them all, he enjoys
his work and, if he is adapted to the calling, he sticks to it.

[Illustration: The Pleasant Part of a Brakeman's Life.]

The brakeman must be on hand promptly at the hour of his train's
preparation for departure, and generally he must do his part in 15,
30, or 60 minutes' lively work in assembling cars from different
tracks, changing them from the front to the rear or middle of
the train, and setting aside those that are broken or disabled;
but, once on the road, by far the greater portion of his time is
his own, for his own enjoyment, almost as fully as that of the
passenger who travels for the express purpose of entertaining
himself. In mild weather and in daylight, life on the top of a
freight train is almost wholly devoid of unpleasant features, and
it takes on the nature of work only for the same reason that any
routine becomes more or less irksome after a time. Much of the time
there are a few bushels of cinders from the engine flying in the
air, which a novice can get into his eyes with great facility, but
the brakeman gets used to them. He sees every day (on many roads)
the beauties of nature in great variety. Much of the scenery of
the adjoining country is 500 per cent. more enjoyable from the
brakeman's perch on the roof than from the car windows, for the
reason that the increased height gives such an enlarged horizon.
This education from nature is an element in railroad men's lives
not to be despised. The trainman whose daily trips take him past
the panoramic charms of the Connecticut Valley in summer, through
the gorgeous-hued mountain-foliage along the Erie in autumn, or the
perennial grandeur of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, certainly
enjoys a privilege for which many a city worker would gladly make
large sacrifices. But to trainmen the refining influence of these
surroundings is often an unconscious influence, and with the
majority of them is perhaps generally so, because of the prosaic
round of every-day thoughts filling their minds. There are also
some other advantages, not wholly unæsthetic, which a millionaire
might almost envy the freight trainman. Every twenty miles or so
the engine must stop for water, and it often happens that this
is in a cool place where the men can at the same time refresh
themselves with spring water whose sparkling purity is unknown in
New York or Chicago. Though brakemen who love beer are not by any
means scarce, an accessible spring or well of pure water along the
line always finds appreciative users during warm weather; and the
Kentuckian who sojourned six months in Illinois without thinking to
try the water there is not represented in the ranks of level-headed
brakemen. A certain railroad president regales himself in summer on
spring water brought in jugs from 100 miles up the road by trainmen
who find in this service an opportunity to "make themselves solid"
at headquarters. Freight trainmen get all the delicious products
of the soil at first hands. In their stops at way-stations they
get acquainted with the farmers, and can make their selection of
the best things at low prices, thus (if they keep house) living on
fruits, vegetables, etc., of a quality fit for a king.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: At the Spring.]

The passenger-train brakeman differs from the freight trainman
chiefly in the fact that he must deal with the public, and so
must have a care for his personal appearance and behavior, and
in the fact that he is _not a brakeman_, the universal air-brake
relieving him of all work in this line. His chief duties are those
of a porter, though the wide-awake American brakeman, with an eye
to future promotion to a conductorship, maintains his dignity and
is not by any means the servile call-boy that the English railway
porter is. The wearing of uniforms has been introduced here from
England and is, in the main, a good feature, though some roads,
whose discipline is otherwise quite good, allow their men to
appear in slovenly and even ragged clothes. Superintendents should
give more care to this matter, as it is not an unimportant one.
It affects the men's self-respect and influences their usefulness
in other ways. The frugal brakeman cannot wear his blue suit on
Sunday or a-visiting, and his Sunday suit when old cannot be used
up by week-day wear, so he naturally concludes that his employer
is guilty of a little undue severity toward him. Brakemen on
the modern "limited" trains (a three hours' run without a stop
constituting a day's work) have in some respects too easy a task,
and their minds are more likely to rust out than to wear out.
They have a constant care, to be sure, and sometimes must "go
back to flag," the same as a freight trainman, but, in the main,
their berth would about fill the ideal of the Irish shoveller who
confided to his fellow-workman that "for a nice, clane, aisy job"
he would like to be a bishop.

Brakemen have had the reputation of doing a good deal of flirting,
and many a country-girl has found a worthy husband among them;
but there is not so much of this method of diversion as formerly;
both passenger and freight men now have to attend more strictly to
business, and they cannot conveniently indulge in side play. There
are still, however, enough short branch-lines and slow-going roads
in backwoods districts to insure that flirting shall not become a
lost art in this part of the world.

The freight conductor is simply a high grade of brakeman. His work
is almost wholly supervisory and clerical, and so, after several
years' service, he becomes more sober and business-like in his
bearing, the responsibilities of his position being sufficient
to effect this change; but he generally retains his sympathies
with his old associates who have become subordinates. His duties
are to keep the record of the train, the time, numbers of cars,
etc.; to see that the brakemen regulate the speed when necessary,
and to keep a general watch. The calculations necessary to make
a 75-mile trip and get over the line without wasting time are
often considerable, and an inexperienced conductor can easily
keep himself in a worry for the whole trip. Often he cannot go
more than ten miles after making way for a passenger train before
another overtakes him; so that he must spend a good share of his
time sitting in his caboose with the time-table in one hand and
his watch in the other, calculating where and when to side-track
the train. On single-track roads perplexities of this kind are
generally more numerous than on double lines, because trains both
in front and behind must be guarded against, and because the
regulations are frequently modified by telegraphic instructions
from headquarters. A mistake in reading these instructions,
which are written in pencil, often by a slovenly penman, and on
tissue-paper, may, and occasionally does, cause a disastrous
collision. These duties of conductors are especially characteristic
of trains that must keep out of the way of passenger trains, so
that in this particular line it will be seen that the passenger
conductor has much the easier berth. The freight and "work-train"
conductor must really be a better calculator, in many ways, than
the wearer of gilt badges and buttons, though the latter receives
the higher pay.

The _bête noire_ of the freight conductor is an investigation
at headquarters concerning delinquencies in which the blame is
divided. A typical case of this kind is that of a freight train
which has stopped at some unusual place and been run into by a
following train, doing some hundreds of dollars damage, if not
killing or injuring persons. "Strict adherence to rules will avert
all such accidents," the code says; but they do happen, and the
inquiry as to whether the conductor used due diligence in sending a
man with a red flag to warn the oncoming train, or the engineer of
the latter was heedless, or what was the trouble, is the occasion
of much anxiety.

Conductors, concerning whose life I have only noted a few of
the duties and perplexities, are not so much subject to the
vicissitudes of cold and wet weather, and therefore have in many
respects better opportunities than the brakemen to avail themselves
of the enjoyments of a trainman's life. The risk to life and limb
from coupling cars, etc., is also somewhat less, though many a
faithful conductor has lost his life in the performance of a
dangerous duty which he had assumed out of generous consideration
for an inexperienced or overworked subordinate. The beneficial
influences on health, mind, and morals coming from contact with
nature are, as before remarked, largely unconscious influences,
because of the counteracting effect of the immediate surroundings.
The irregular hours are unfavorable to health. The crews run in
turn; if there are forty crews and forty trains daily, each crew
will start out at about the same hour each day. But if on Monday
there are forty trains, on Tuesday thirty, and on Wednesday fifty,
it will be seen that the starting time must be very irregular.
Ten of the crews which worked on Monday will have nothing to do
on Tuesday, but on Wednesday or Thursday will have to do double
service. The first trip will be all in the daytime, and the next
all in the night, perhaps. This irregularity is constant, and
it is impossible to tell on Monday morning where one will be on
Wednesday. All the week's sleep may have to be taken in the daytime
or all at night. There may be five days' work to do between Monday
morning and the following Monday morning, or there may be nine.
The trainman has to literally board in his "mammoth" dinner-pail,
and his wife or boarding mistress knows less about his whereabouts
than if he were on an Arctic whaling vessel.

       *       *       *       *       *

The locomotive engineer is the popular "hero of the rail," and the
popular estimate in this respect is substantially just. Others have
to brave dangers and perform duties under trying circumstances; but
the engine-runner has to ride in the most dangerous part of the
train, take charge of a steam-boiler that may explode and blow him
to atoms, and of machinery that may break and kill him, and try
to keep up a vigilance which only a being more than human could
successfully maintain. He must be a tolerably skilful machinist--he
cannot be too good--and have nerves that will remain steady under
the most trying circumstances. If running a fast express through
midnight darkness over a line where a similar train has been tipped
off a precipice (and a brother runner killed) by train-wreckers
the night before, he must dash forward with the same confidence
that he would feel in broad daylight on an open prairie. But he
does not "heroically grasp the throttle" in the face of danger,
when the throttle has been already shut, nor does he "whistle down
brakes," in order to add a stirring element to the reporter's tale,
when by the magic of the air-brake he can, with a turn of his hand,
apply every brake in the train with the grip of a vise in less time
than it would take him to reach the whistle-pull. When there is
danger ahead there is generally just one thing to do, and that is
to stop as soon as possible. An instant suffices for shutting off
the steam and applying the brake. With modern trains this is all
that is necessary or can be done. Reversing the engine is necessary
on many engines, and formerly was on all; this would, in fact, be
done instinctively by old runners, in any case, but this also is
done in a second. After taking these measures there is nothing
for the engineman to do but look out for his own safety. In some
circumstances, as in the case of a partially burned bridge which
may possibly support the train even in a weakened condition, it may
be best to put on all steam. The runner is then in a dilemma, and
a right decision is a matter of momentary inspiration. Many lives
have been saved by quick-witted runners in such cases, but there
is no ground for censure of the engineer who, in the excitement
of the moment, decides to slacken instead of quicken his speed.
The rare cases of this kind are what show the value of experience,
and of men of the right temperament and degree of intelligence to
acquire experience-lessons readily. The writer recalls an instance
several years ago where an alert, steady, and experienced runner
found himself on the crossing of another railroad with a heavy
train rushing toward him on the transverse track at uncontrollable
speed. It was too late to retreat, and in less than ten seconds the
oncoming train would crash broadside into his cars, filled with
passengers. A frantic effort to increase the speed and clear the
crossing would have either broken the weak couplings then in use or
would have simply whirled the driving-wheels with such excessive
force as to slacken the speed of the train rather than accelerate
it. In point of fact, the rear car just escaped being struck by
the ponderous engine bearing down upon it at the rate of twenty
or thirty feet a second; and the preservation of the lives of the
passengers was due to the fact that the engineer was well-balanced,
quick to act, and not excitable. What did he do? He instantly put
on more steam, but with unerring judgment opened the valve just far
enough and no more.

But the terrible cloud constantly hanging over the engineer
and fireman of a fast train is the chance of encountering an
obstacle which cannot possibly be avoided, and which leaves them
no alternative but to jump for their lives, if, indeed, it does
not take away even that. To the fact that this cloud is no larger
than it is, and that these men have sturdy and courageous natures,
must be attributed the lightness with which it rests upon them. On
one road or another, from a washout, or inefficient management,
or a collision caused by an operator's forgetfulness, or some one
of a score of other causes, there are constantly occurring cases
of men heroically meeting death under the most heart-rending
circumstances. Every month records a number of such, though happily
they are not frequent on any one road. The case of Engineer Kennar,
a year or more ago, is a typical one. Precipitated with his engine
into a river by a washout which the roadmaster's vigilance had
failed to discover, his first thought, as zealous hands tried
to rescue him, was for the safety of his train; and, forgetting
his own anguish, he warned those about him to attend first to
the sending of a red lantern to warn a following train against a
collision. The significance of facts like this is not so much in
the service to humanity done at the time, or even in the example
set for those who shall meet such crises in the future, but rather
in the evidence they give of the firm and lofty conscientiousness
that inspires the every-day conduct of thousands of engineers all
over the land. As has already been said, the critical occasions
on which engineers are supposed to be heroic often allow them no
chance at all to be either heroic or cowardly, and their heroism
must be, and is, manifested in the calm fidelity with which they,
day after day and year after year, perform their exacting and
often monotonous round of duties while all the time knowing of the
possibilities before them.

On the best of roads a freight train wrecked by a broken wheel
under a borrowed car may be thrown in the path of a passenger train
on another track, just as the latter approaches. This has happened
more than once lately. No amount of fidelity or forethought
(except in the maker of the wheels) can prevent this kind of
disaster. There is constant danger, on most roads, of running off
the track at misplaced switches, many switches being located at
points where the runner can see them only a few seconds before he
is upon them; but the chance is so small--perhaps one in ten or
a hundred thousand--that the average runner forgets it, and it
is only by severe self-discipline that he can hold himself up to
compliance with the rule which requires him to be on the watch for
every switch-target as long before reaching it as he possibly can.
He finds the switches all right and the road perfectly clear so
regularly, day after day and month after month, that he may easily
fall into the snare of thinking that they will always be so. But,
like other trainmen, the engineman finds enough more agreeable
thoughts to fill his mind, and reflects upon the hazards of his
vocation perhaps too little.

[Illustration: Just Time to Jump.]

The freight engineman's every-day thoughts are largely about the
care of his engine and the perplexities incident to getting out
of it the maximum amount of work with the minimum amount of fuel.
The constant aim of his superiors is to have the engine draw every
pound it possibly can. To haul a train up a long and steep grade
when the cars are so heavily loaded that a single additional one
would bring the whole to a dead stand-still requires a knack that
can be appreciated only by viewing the performance on the spot.
Failure not only wastes time and fuel (it may necessitate a return
to the foot of the hill or going to the top with only half the
load), but it raises a suspicion that some other runner might have
succeeded better. The runner whose engine "lays down on the road"
(fails to draw its load because of insufficient fire and consequent
low steam-pressure) is liable to the jeers of his comrades on his
return home, if not to some sharp inquiries from his superior.

The passenger runner's greatest concern is to "make time." Some
trains are scheduled so that the engineman must keep his locomotive
up to its very highest efficiency over every furlong of its
journey in order to arrive at his destination on time. A little
carelessness in firing, in letting cold water into the boiler
irregularly, or in slackening more than is necessary where the
right to the track is in doubt for a few rods; these and a score of
similar circumstances may make five minutes' delay in the arrival
at the terminus and necessitate an embarrassing interview with the
trainmaster. A trip on a crowded line may involve watching for
danger-signals every quarter of a mile and the maintenance of such
high speed that they must be obeyed the instant they are espied in
order to avoid the possibility of collision.[34]

The passenger runner finds himself now and then with a disabled
engine on his hands, and two or three hundred passengers standing
around apparently ready to eat him up if he does not remedy the
difficulty in short order. Often in such cases he is in doubt
himself whether the repairs necessary to enable his engine to
proceed will occupy fifteen minutes or an hour. This, with the
knotty question of where the nearest relief engine is, causes the
brow to knit and the sweat to start, and to the young runner proves
an experience which he long remembers.

[Illustration: A Breakdown on the Road.]

Stories of fast running are common but unreliable; and when
truthful, important considerations are often omitted. There are
so many elements to be considered, that usually the verdict can
be justly rendered only after a careful comparison with previous
records. Most regular runs include a number of stops, and are
subject to numerous slackenings of the speed, thus dimming the
lustre of the record of the trip as a whole. Frequently, quick
runs which have been reported as noteworthy have had favoring
circumstances not told of. The most remarkable single run on
record was that of Jarrett & Palmer's special train chartered to
carry their theatrical company from New York to San Francisco
(Jersey City to Oakland), June 1-4, 1876, which is well known to
all Americans. Perhaps the fastest long run ever made in this
country was that of a special train over the West Shore Railroad
from East Buffalo to Frankfort, N. Y., two hundred and one miles,
on July 9, 1885, which ran this distance in four hours, including
several stops. This train ran thirty-six miles in thirty minutes,
and ran many single miles in forty-three seconds each. An engine
with two cars ran over the Canada Southern Division of the Michigan
Central from St. Clair Junction to Windsor, Ont., on November 16,
1886, a distance of one hundred and seven miles, in ninety-seven
minutes; and this included two or three stops. The average rate
of speed was about sixty-nine miles an hour, and in places it
rose to seventy-five and over. The engineers and their firemen,
and all connected with the handling of the trains, certainly
deserve credit for performances like these, and they receive it;
but the supplying of the perfect machine, the smooth and safe
roadway comparatively clear of other trains, and other conditions,
is so manifestly beyond their control, while at the same time
constituting such an important factor in the result, that
praise should be given discriminatingly. An engineer who makes a
specially quick trip feels proud of his engine, and of the honor
of having been chosen for an important run, and he shares with the
passengers the exhilaration produced by such a triumph of science
and skill in annihilating space; but in the matter of credit to
himself for experience and judgment, patience and forethought, he
feels and knows that many a trip in his every-day service is worthy
of greater recognition. Many a runner has to urge his engine, day
after day, with a load twenty-five per cent. heavier than it was
designed for, over track that is fit only for low speeds, at a
rate which demands the most constant care. He must run fast enough
over the better portions of the track to allow of slackening where
prudence demands slackening. The tracks of many roads are rendered
so uneven by the action of frost in winter that with an unskilful
runner the passengers would be half-frightened by the unsteady
motion of the cars. This condition is not common on the important
trunk-lines, of course; but it does prevail on roads that carry a
great many passengers, nevertheless; and engineers who guide trains
over such difficult journeys, gently luring the passengers, with
the aid of the excellent springs under the cars, into the belief
that they are riding over a track of uniform smoothness, should not
be forgotten in any estimate of the fraternity as a whole.

[Illustration: Timely Warning.]

The engineer whose humanity is not hardened has his feelings
harrowed occasionally by pedestrians who risk their lives on the
track. Tramps and other careless persons are so numerous that the
casual passenger in a locomotive cab generally cannot ride fifty
miles without seeing what seems to him a hair-breadth escape, but
which is nevertheless treated by the engineer as a commonplace
occurrence. These heedless wayfarers do, however, occasionally
carry their indifference to danger too far, and they are tossed in
the air like feathers.[35] Doubtless there are those who, like the
fireman who talked with the tender-hearted young lady, regret the
killing of a man chiefly "because it musses up the engine so;" but,
taking the fraternity as a whole, warmth of heart and tenderness
of feeling may be called not only well-developed but prominent
traits of character. The great strike on the Chicago, Burlington &
Quincy road in 1888, which proved to have been ill-advised, would
have been possible only in a body of men actuated by the most
loyal friendship. Undoubtedly a large conservative element in the
Brotherhood of Engineers believed the move injudicious, but they
joined in it out of an intense spirit of fidelity to their brethren
and leaders.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Passenger Conductor.]

The passenger-train conductor has in many respects the most
difficult position in the railroad ranks. He should be a
first-class freight conductor and a polished gentleman to boot. But
in his long apprenticeship on a freight train he has very likely
been learning how _not_ to fulfil the additional requirements of
a passenger conductorship. In that service he could be uncouth
and even boorish, and still fill his position tolerably well; now
he feels the need of a life-time of tuition in dealing with the
diverse phases of human nature met with on a passenger train. He
must now manage his train in a sort of automatic way, for he has
his mind filled with the care of his passengers and the collection
of tickets. He must be good at figures, keeping accounts, and
handling money, though the freight-train service has given him no
experience in this line. Year by year the clerical work connected
with the taking up of tickets and collecting of cash fares has been
increased until now, on many roads, an expert bank clerk would
be none too proficient for the duties imposed. The conductor who
grumblingly averred that "it would take a Philadelphia lawyer with
three heads" to fill his shoes was not far out of the way. Every
day, and perhaps a number of times a day, he must collect fares of
fifty or a hundred persons in less time than he ought to have for
ten. Of that large number a few will generally have a complaint
to make, or an objection to offer, or an impudent assertion
concerning a fault of the railroad company which the conductor
cannot remedy and is not responsible for. A woman will object to
paying half-fare for a ten-year-old girl or to paying full rates
for one of fifteen. A person whose income is ten times larger
than he deserves will argue twenty minutes to avoid paying ten
cents more (in cash) than he would have been charged for a ticket.
Passengers with legitimate questions to ask will couch them in
vague and backhanded terms, and those with useless ones will take
inopportune times to propound them. These are not occasional but
every-day experiences. The very best and most intelligent people in
the community (excepting those who travel much) are among those who
oftenest leave their wits at home when they take a railroad trip.
All these people must be met in a conciliatory manner, but without
varying the strict regulations in the least degree. The officers
of the revenue department are inexorable masters, and passengers
offended by alleged uncivil treatment are likely to make absurd
complaints at the superintendent's office. A conductor dreads an
investigation of this sort, however unreasonable the passengers'
complaints may be, because it may tend to show that he lacked tact
in handling the case. But after becoming habituated to this sort of
dealings, there are still left the occasional disturbances which no
amount of philosophy can make pleasant. These are the encounters
with drunken and disorderly passengers. The conductor, starting
at the forward end of his train, finds, perhaps, in the first car
one or two "toughs" who refuse payment of fare and are spoiling
for a fight. Care must be taken with this sort of character not to
punish him or use the least bit of unnecessary severity, for he
will, when sobered off, quite likely be induced by a sharp lawyer
to sue the railroad company for damages by assault. The conductor,
however, if he be one who has (in his freight-train experience)
dealt with tramps, is able to cope with his customer and confine
him to the baggage-car or put him off the train. But a tussle of
this kind is at best far from soothing to the temper, and the very
next car may contain the wife of a nabob, who will expect the most
genteel treatment and critically object to any behavior on the part
of the conductor which is not fully up to the highest drawing-room
standard. Experiences of this kind, it can be readily imagined, are
exceedingly trying. The conductor cannot give himself up completely
to learning gentility, for he still has need for his old severity.

The difficulty of always finding the ideal person when wanted has
led to the employment of men of good address who have had little or
no training on freight trains; so that we find some conductors who
are able to deal with all sorts of passengers with a good degree
of success, but who are far from brilliant as managers of trains,
technically speaking; while others, who from their early experience
have first-class executive ability, are slow in discarding the
somewhat rough habits of the freight train. While there are not
wanting those who strive faithfully to reach the ideal, and succeed
admirably, it may be said that the average conductor retains
more of the severe than of the gentle side of his character, at
least so far as outward behavior goes. The rigid requirements of
his financial superiors, which compel him to actually fight for
his rights with dishonest and stingy passengers, make it almost
impossible that he should be otherwise. Ignorant foreigners, poor
women and girls who have lost their way, and other unfortunates
are, however, encountered often enough to preclude the conductor's
forgetting how to be compassionate.

The heroic element is not wholly lacking in the conductor's
life. The temporary guardianship of several hundred people is
an important trust even in smooth sailing, but the conductor's
possibilities are entirely different from the engineer's. He has so
much to do to attend to the petty wants of passengers that their
remoter but more important interests are not given much thought.
The anxieties of a hundred nervous passengers who terribly dread
the loss of an hour by a missed connection are much more likely to
weigh down a conductor's mind than any thoughts of his duty to them
in a possible emergency that will happen only once in five years.
And yet the last-mentioned contingency is a real one. Only last
year, in the great Eastern blizzard, conductors risked their lives
in protecting their passengers. One spent three or four hours in
travelling a mile and a half to a telegraph-office; in consequence
of the six feet of snow, the blinding storm, and the darkness, he
had to constantly hug a barbed-wire fence to avoid losing his way,
and was on the point of exhaustion when he reached the station.

       *       *       *       *       *

The term "station-agent" means, practically, the person in charge
of a small or medium-sized station. When one of these men is
promoted to the charge of a large city station, either freight or
passenger, he becomes really a local superintendent, his duties
then consisting very largely in the supervision of an army of
clerks and laborers who must, each in his place, be as capable
as the agent himself. The agent at a small station has a great
multiplicity of duties to perform. He must sell tickets, be a good
book-keeper, and a faithful switch-tender. He generally must be
a telegraph-operator and must be vigorous physically. He must be
ready, like the conductor, to submit to some abuse from ill-bred
customers, and should be the peer of the business men of his town.
He often encounters almost as great a variety of knotty problems
as the superintendent himself, though he has the advantage that
he can generally turn them over to a superior if he feels unequal
to them. The practical difficulties that most beset him are those
incident to doing everything in a hurry. People who buy tickets
wait until the train is about to start before presenting themselves
at the office. Then the agent has a dozen other things to attend
to, and must therefore detect counterfeit ten-dollar bills with
the expertness of a Washington treasury-clerk. Just as a train
reaches his station the train despatcher's click is heard on the
wires, and he must drop everything and receive (for the conductor)
a telegram in which an error of a single word would very likely
involve the lives of passengers. At a very small station the
checking of baggage devolves on the agent, his overburdened back
being thus loaded with one more straw. He is in many cases agent
for the express company, and so must count, seal, superscribe, and
way-bill money packages and handle oyster-kegs and barrels of beer
at a moment's notice. Women with wagon-loads of loose household
effects to go by freight, and shippers of car-loads of cattle, for
which a car must be specially fitted up, will appear just as the
distracted station-man is receiving a telegram with one side of
his brain and selling a ticket with the other. The household goods
must be weighed and tagged, the sewing-machine tied up, and tables
repaired; the cattle-shipper must be given a short lecture on the
legal bearings of the bargain for transportation which he is about
to make, and his demand that his live-stock shall be carried 500
miles more quickly than human animals are taken over the same road
is to be gently repressed. It is not every day that a small station
is enlivened by this sort of excitement, yet it is common, and is
familiar to every station agent. The variety in the duties of this
position is, however, a great advantage to the ambitious young
man, because it serves to give him a good lift toward a valuable
business education. He can learn about the methods and knacks and
tricks of many different kinds of business, and can profit by
the knowledge thus gained. Thomas J. Potter, the lately deceased
vice-president of the Union Pacific Railway, whose memory it is
proposed to perpetuate by a bronze statue, began his railroad
career as agent at a small station in Iowa. Others of equal ability
and perfection of character have risen from similar places and by
the same means.

[Illustration: In the Waiting Room of a Country Station.]

The agent at a small station catches his breath between trains.
There is then generally ample time for calming the nerves and
preparing for the next onslaught. If he is a telegraph-operator he
can chat with the operators at other stations--a common resource
if the wires are not occupied with more important affairs. In the
class periodicals of operators and railroad men, reference to
this phase of their life may be constantly seen, and incidents
of even romantic interest are not infrequent. Many of the men at
small stations are young and unmarried, while at places where the
business has increased enough to warrant the employment of an
assistant, a young woman to do the telegraphing is frequently the
first helper engaged. With this combination it is unnecessary to
tell what follows. If iron bars and stone walls are things which
Cupid holds in contempt, an electric telegraph wire is the thing
which makes him "snicker right out," if we may use the language
of the circus ring. A distance of 100 miles, instead of being a
barrier, is, under these circumstances, an advantage. There is,
to be sure, a slight disadvantage in the fact that any tender
communication confided to the wires will be liable to fall on
the ears of unfeeling persons at intermediate offices, but the
overcoming of this obstacle provides the agreeable incidental
excitement which is always necessary in genuine love-making. Young
persons (or old, either) can study each other's characters, in
important phases at least, at a distance better than at short
range. The telegraphic mode of sending communications discloses
one's disposition far better than does handwriting. Working on
the same wire with another for a few months enables one to form
judgments of that other's generosity or narrowness, serenity or
excitability, industry or laziness, refinement or boorishness,
kindliness of heart or otherwise, which are quite sure to be
correct judgments. Judgments ripen into attachments, and romances
of the wire are common.

At the railroad station next larger in size, the work is more
divided. One man sells tickets, another attends to the freight
office, another to the baggage, and so on. The ticket-seller must
make five-cent bargains with the same urbanity that is given to a
$100 trade, and must be able to toss off the latter in two minutes
if occasion requires, or to spend an hour in helping the passenger
choose the best route among a score of possible ones. The fusillade
of questions that must be met by the ticket-seller every time he
opens his window is familiar to everyone who has ever watched a
place of the kind for ten minutes. The inexperienced traveller
wants to be fully posted as to the exact hour of departure of a
tri-weekly stage with which he is to connect at a railroad station
a thousand miles away, and the more intelligent ones demand an
oral time-table covering the trains for the ensuing week on all
railroads within a radius of 50 miles. Those who cannot read or
understand the time-tables are too modest to ask aid, and their
misfortune is disclosed only after their train has gone and they
are found in tears; while those who can read the table ignore it
and ask questions simply to be sociable.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: The Trials of a Baggage-master.]

[Illustration: Station Gardening.]

The station baggage-master has an important but rather thankless
place. He must handle 200-pound trunks with as much ease as though
they contained feathers, and, if he break a moulding off one,
must meet the reproaches of the owner, who imagines that the time
available for handling the trunk was five minutes instead of two
seconds. He must handle much dirty and otherwise unpleasant stuff,
and on the whole pursue a very unpoetic life. He has little to
do with train-handling, but he "keeps in with" the trainmen and
furnishes them with a share of their entertainment. They lounge
in his room sometimes and he keeps on tap a supply of jokes such
as that about the new brakeman who sent to headquarters for a
supply of red oil for his red lantern, and the engineer who lost
time with an excursion train on the Fourth of July because the
extremely hot weather had elongated the rails and thus materially
increased the distance to be travelled over. When "hot boxes"
(friction-heated axles) are given as the cause of a delay the
real cause of which is concealed (by the conductor who is ashamed
of it), the baggage-master gently punctures the deception by
suggesting that perhaps a hot _fire_-box (in the engine) is what
is meant. Whether the roguish clerk of an inexperienced general
manager, who slyly induced his chief to issue an order to station
agents directing that "all freight cars standing for any length of
time on side tracks must be occasionally moved a short distance in
order to prevent flattening of the wheels," had formerly been a
baggage-master, history does not state.

[Illustration: In the Yard at Night.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The switch-tender, whose momentary carelessness has many a
time caused terrible disaster, but whose constant faithfulness
outweighs a million-fold even that painful record, is one of the
essential figures around a station. Nothing but eternal vigilance
will suffice to keep switches always in safe position, and the
conscientious custodian of these always possible death-traps
often takes his burden of care to his pillow. The mishaps which
do occur strikingly illustrate the practical impossibility of
holding the human brain always to the highest pitch. A conductor
in New Jersey (trainmen have to set switches at many places where
no switchmen are employed) recently caused a slight collision by
misplacing a switch, and on seeing the consequences exclaimed, "I
deserve to be discharged; my mistake was inexcusable." And yet an
honest man of that type is the kind demanded for such a place. The
interlocking of switches and signals (the arrangement in a frame
of the levers moving the switches and those moving signals in such
a way that the signal which tells the engineer to come on _cannot
be given_ until the switch is actually in proper position) is one
of the notable improvements of the last twenty years, and is a
great boon to switchmen, as well as to passengers and the owners
of railroads.[36] By the aid of this apparatus and its distant
signals, connected by wire ropes, the switchman's anxieties are
reduced immeasurably. By concentrating the levers of a number of
switches in a single room one man can do the work of several, and
to the looker-on the perplexities of the position seem to have been
increased instead of diminished. But the switchman's task now is
of a different sort. Under the old plan he was constantly on guard
lest he make a mistake and throw an engine or car off the track.
Under the new, his calculations are chiefly about saving time and
facilitating the work of the trainmen. Questions of danger rarely
come up, being provided against by the perfection of the machinery.
By long familiarity with the ground and the ways of handling the
trains, the switch-tender in an "interlocking tower" is enabled to
safely conduct a score of trains through a labyrinth of switches
in the time that the novice would take to make the first move for
a single train. Without this admirable apparatus, and skilful and
experienced attendants, the business of great stations like the
Grand Central at New York would be impossible in the space allowed.

[Illustration: A Track-walker on a Stormy Night.]

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the habitués of every station is the section-master, who
looks after three, five, or ten miles of track and a gang of from
five to twenty-five men who keep it in repair. He is not much
seen, because he is out on the road most of the time; and his
duties are not of a kind that the reader could study, on paper,
to much advantage; but he deserves mention because his place is
a really important one. Railroad tracks cannot be made, like a
bridge, five times as strong as is necessary, and thus a large
margin be allowed for deterioration; they must be constantly
watched to see that they do not fall even a little below their
highest standard. This care-taking can be intrusted only to one who
has had long experience at the work. In violent rain-storms the
trackman must be on duty night and day and patrol the whole length
of his division to see that gravel is not washed over the track or
out from under it. Though roughly dressed and sunburnt, he is an
important personage in the eye of the engineer of a fast express
train, and if he be the least bit negligent, even to the extent of
letting a few rails get a quarter of an inch lower than they ought
to, he hears a prompt appeal from the engine-runner. The latter
could not feel the confidence necessary to guide his 50-ton giant
over the road at lightning speed with its precious human freight if
he had not a trusty trackman every few miles; and passengers who
feel like expressing gratitude for a safe railroad journey should
never forget this unseen guardian.

A number of classes of men in the railroad service must be turned
off with a word for lack of space. The train despatcher, with
his constant burden of care, deserves a chapter. The locomotive
fireman, who has not been directly alluded to, is practically an
apprentice to the engineer, and, like apprentices in some other
callings, has a good deal of hard work to do. He generally has
longer hours than the engineer, as he has to clean a portion of
the polished brass- and iron-work of the engine. He has to throw
into the fire-box several tons of coal a day, and gets so black
that his best friends would not know him when washed up. Those who
begin young and are intelligent, and conserve their strength, are
at length promoted to be engineers. The fireman's twin brother is
the "hostler," who is employed at the larger termini to get the
iron horse out of its stable, lead it to the watering place and
feed-trough (coal-bin), and harness it to the train.

The clerk in the freight office has almost as much variety of work
as the ticket-seller, and is by no means a mere book-keeper. The
workmen at the freight station are not common laborers. Their work
requires peculiar skill and experience, and they have diversions
worth telling of, if there were space. The men in the shops, and
those who go out with derricks and chains to pick up wrecks, are an
important class by themselves, and bridge-builders, gate-tenders,
and various others bring up the rear.

[Illustration: A Crossing Flagman.]

In conclusion, railroad men as a body are industrious, sober when
at work, and lively when at play, using well-trained minds, in
their sphere, and possessing capacity for a high degree of further
training. The public is not without its duty toward the million
or so of men in the railroad service. The liability to death or
maiming from accident is such a real factor in railroad men's
lives that the public, and especially shareholders in railroads,
are bound to not only uphold officers in providing every possible
appliance and regulation for safety, but to demand the introduction
of such devices. Some of the State railroad commissioners have
done and are doing noble service in this direction, and should be
vigorously supported by their constituencies. The demands of the
public, re-enforced by the exigencies of competition, have made
Sunday trains in many localities almost as common as on week-days,
so that many train and station men work seven days in the week.
In addition to this, holidays oftener increase their work than
diminish it, so that there is room for a considerable reform in
this regard.

[Illustration: A Little Relaxation.]

The general moral welfare of railroad men has received much
attention in late years, and affords a wide field for work by all
who will. Many railroads have co-operated with the Young Men's
Christian Association branches, started by a few of the employees,
in building and equipping reading-rooms, libraries, etc., and the
companies give many hundred dollars annually toward the support of
these resorts, which serve to keep many a young trainman away from
loafing places of a questionable character or worse. Mr. Cornelius
Vanderbilt, whose millions came largely out of the profits of the
New York Central & Hudson River Railroad, has set a good example
to other railroad millionaires in the erection of a building for
the employees of that road in New York City, whose luxuriousness
is an evidence that he loves his neighbor as himself, even if
that neighbor be a plain brakeman earning but low wages. That the
resorts provided for railroad men are appreciated is evidenced by
their records. Of the trainmen who regularly come into the Grand
Central Station in New York, 46 per cent. are members of the
Association occupying the building given by Mr. Vanderbilt, and 65
per cent. make use of the rooms more or less regularly. Rooms in
numerous other cities also make encouraging showings.

Railroad officers, with their great advantages for enlightenment,
owe it to themselves and their men to see that the thousands under
them have fair opportunities for rising in the world, and that the
owners of the immense corporations which stand as masters of such
vast armies fully understand their measure of responsibility in the
premises. Science and invention, machinery and improved methods,
have effected great changes in the railroad art, but the American
nation, which travels more than any other, still recognizes the
fact that faithful and efficient _men_ are an essential factor
in the prosecution of that art. People desire to deal with a
personality, and therefore wish to see the _personnel_ of the
railroad service fostered and perfected.


[33] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 222.

[34] The New York elevated roads run 3,500 trains a day, each
one passing signals (likely to indicate danger) every hundred
rods, almost. Who can expect engineers never to blunder in such
innumerable operations?

[35] Mr. Porter King, of Springfield, Mass., who has run an engine
on the Boston & Albany road for forty-five years, and who served on
the Mohawk & Hudson, the Long Island, and the New Jersey Railroads
in 1833-44, when horses were the motive power and the reverse lever
consisted of a pair of reins, ran until December, 1887, before his
engine ever killed a person.

[36] See "Safety in Railroad Travel," page 204.



  Railway Mileage of the World--Railway Mileage of the United
  States--Annual Mileage and Increase--Mileage Compared with
  Area--Geographical Location of Railways--Centres of Mileage
  and of Population--Railway Systems--Trunk Lines Compared:
  By Mileage; Largest Receipts; Largest Net Results--Freight
  Traffic--Reduction of Freight Rates--Wheat Rates--The Freight
  Haul--Empty Freight Trains--Freight Profits--Passenger
  Traffic--Passenger Rates--Passenger Travel--Passenger
  Profits--General Considerations--Dividends--Net Earnings per
  Mile and Railway Building--Ratios of Increase--Construction and
  Maintenance--Employees and their Wages--Rolling Stock--Capital

Although the United States was the second nation to open a line of
railway, it operates to-day nearly half the mileage of the world,
and it has so many miles of double, triple, and quadruple track
that, were the data of trackage available, such a comparison would
undoubtedly show it to more than equal all the rest of the world

Below is given a chart comparing the mileage of the principal
railway countries. The list contains all countries having a mileage
of over ten thousand kilometers.

  Principal Railway Countries, 1887.
  | Countries.  |Kilo-  |
  |             |meters.|
  +-------------+-------+   25,000 Kilometers
  |Italy        | 11,759|»»  |  50,000
  |Australia    | 15,297|»»» |    |  75,000
  |Canada       | 19,883|»»»»|    |    | 100,000
  |British India| 22,665|»»»»|    |    |    | 125,000
  |Austria-     |       |    |    |    |    |    | 150,000
  |  Hungary    | 24,432|»»»»|    |    |    |    |    | 175,000
  |Russia       | 28,517|»»»»|»   |    |    |    |    |    | 200,000
  |France       | 31,208|»»»»|»»  |    |    |    |    |    |    | 225,000
  |Great Britain| 31,521|»»»»|»»  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |250,000
  |Germany      | 39,785|»»»»|»»» |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
  |United States|241,210|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»»»|»»» |

The most prominent fact is impressed by the very long line
representing the mileage of the United States. A second impressive
fact is that the United States has more than six times the mileage
of any other country. A third, that there are but five other
countries that have even a tenth as much railway.


_Total Annual Mileage and Increase._--On page 429 is given a
chart which, beginning with the 23 miles of 1830 and ending with
the 156,082 miles of 1888, delineates our ever-increasing total
mileage. It also portrays the fluctuations in the number of
miles built annually. This latter study is the more interesting,
especially during the last twenty-five years, which cover the
periods of extreme activity.

_Mileage Compared with Area._--The shaded map on the same page
pictures the railway mileage of each State as compared with its
total area. The eleven States bearing the deepest shade (5) are
those having the larger proportions of mileage to area. Of these,
New Jersey stands first, having almost exactly one-fourth of a
mile of railroad for each square mile of land. The proportion of
total area occupied by this mileage is measured to the eye by the
accompanying diagram.

[Illustration: Mileage to Area in New Jersey.]

The entire square stands for one square mile of land, and the space
at the upper left-hand corner stands for that part of the square
mile which the railroad occupies, counting from fence to fence
on each side of the road. This comparison is made on the basis
of one hundred feet for the "right of way" (the width allowed in
government grants), and is useful in connection with the study of
the historical maps, especially those of 1880 and 1889, on which
the area of some of the States seems to be nearly all taken up with
roads, owing to the small scale of the maps. Iowa has the smallest
proportion of any in Group 5. The figures show her proportion to
be a little over one-seventh of a mile of road to one square mile
of area. (Nevada has the smallest proportion of all the States and
Territories, viz., a trifle over 1/117 of a mile of line to one
square mile.)

That part of the map bearing the deepest shade shows at a glance
that an unbroken belt, averaging some two hundred miles wide,
stretching from Cape Cod to beyond the Mississippi River, is that
part of the country best supplied with railways.

The lighter shades grouped on either side of this belt show how the
mileage grades away north and south.


On pages 430 to 433 is a series of historical maps showing the
location of railway lines at each census-year from 1830 to 1880,
and in 1889. Charts comparing and ranking the mileage by States
accompany the maps of 1870, 1880, and 1889. These maps and charts
give a better idea of the location and extent of progress than
could be given by a dozen pages of description and a hundred
columns of figures.

_Centre of Mileage and of Population._--The space for notes on the
maps permits the bare mention of the meaning of the series of stars
in the 1889 map (page 433), which mark the centres of mileage and
of population. It is well to state the manner of determining the
centres of mileage, that it may have its proper bearing in any
study of the subject into which the showing may enter.

The locations are necessarily approximate. Each centre was
determined by selecting, on the proper map, a line running east and
west which seemed, to the eye, to nearly divide the mileage into
equal parts. The sum of the mileage of the States north, was then
compared with that of the States south of the line. By this means
the position of the line chosen by the eye was corrected and the
right parallel determined. The meridian dividing the total mileage
into equal parts was ascertained in like manner. The point of
intersection of the parallel and meridian is marked in the map by a
star, having the proper date printed to the right of it.

The upper series of stars locates the centres of railway mileage,
and the lower series the centres of population, as given by the
returns of the census of 1880.

The following table describes the several locations thus

_Centres of Railway Mileage._

  Date.| Latitude.|Longitude.|    Approximate location by towns.
  1840 |40° 50′ N.|76° 10′ W.|Twenty miles west of Mauch Chunk, Pa.
  1850 |41° 30′ N.|77° 27′ W.|Twenty-five miles northwest of Williamsport,
       |          |          |   Lycoming County, Pa.
  1860 |40° 40′ N.|82° 30′ W.|Ten miles south of Mansfield, O.
  1870 |41° 10′ N.|84° 35′ W.|Paulding, Paulding County, O.
  1880 |41° 05′ N.|86° 50′ W.|Thirty miles northwest of Logansport, Ind.
  1888 |39° 50′ N.|88° 40′ W.|Pontiac, Ill., about ninety miles S. S. W.
       |          |          |   of Chicago.

The remarkable movement of the centre of mileage from 1850 to
1860 is easily understood when one turns to the maps of those
dates (page 430) and locates the fields of activity. The wonderful
increase in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa gave the
Western impulse, while the growth in Tennessee and the States south
of it furnishes the principal explanation of the southerly motion.

Although the study of this period is the most interesting of the
series, in the space passed over, yet each period has its points of
special interest, which the reader will easily solve by referring
to the proper maps on pages 430 to 433.

_Railway Systems._--The consolidation of separate lines under
central controlling interests has resulted in several "systems" of
great extent. Five such are mapped on pages 434 and 435. The roads
controlled by them are printed in broad lines, while all others
are printed in narrow lines. It needs but a glance to see whether
any of them has so far absorbed the roads of a given region as to
be able to control rates. The systems selected are believed to be
representative ones, and the mapping of a dozen others would not
tell the story any more plainly.


_Compared by Mileage._--At present there are twenty-four
corporations reporting over one thousand miles of line each. A
comparison of these roads by mileage is profitless, as it furnishes
no just clew to their importance in point of business transacted.
Several of the shorter of these twenty-four lines largely exceed
some of the longer ones in the volume of business transacted. As
an example of the little value of comparison by mileage, the New
York Central & Hudson River Road, with but 1,421 miles of line,
reports $63,132,920 receipts, while the Union Pacific, with 6,288
miles, reports but $19,898,817. Two of the twenty-four roads, viz.,
the Southern Pacific Railroad (5,931 miles) and the Richmond, West
Point & Terminal Railroad (6,869 miles) report neither gross or net
earnings. The remaining twenty-two report both, and these reports
furnish a satisfactory basis for study.

[Illustration: Railway Mileage of the United States.

  Compared with Area, 1888.

  =Explanatory.=--The horizontal black lines below interpret the
  right-hand column of figures, and therefore picture the annual
  total mileage of railways operated.--The color below interprets
  the left-hand column, and therefore pictures the fluctuations in
  the number of miles built annually.

  The =Key= explains the shades on the map. The lightest shade
  indicates an average of less than one-fiftieth of a mile of
  railway for each square mile of land. The second shade, from
  one-fiftieth to one-twentieth of a mile of railway, for each
  square mile of land, etc.


  Less than 1/50 m. to 1 sq. m.   =1=
  1/50 m. - 1/20 m.  " "  "  "    =2=
  1/20 m. - 1/15 m.  " "  "  "    =3=
  1/15 m. - 1/8  m.  " "  "  "    =4=
  1/8  m.  and over, per  "  "    =5= ]

  Total and Increase.

  |      |      Miles.      |
  | Years+--------+---------+
  |      | Built  | Operated|
  | 1830 |     -- |      23 |
  | 1831 |     72 |      95 |
  | 1832 |    134 |     229 |
  | 1833 |    151 |     380 |
  | 1834 |    253 |     633 |
  | 1835 |    465 |   1,098 |
  | 1836 |    175 |   1,273 |
  | 1837 |    224 |   1,497 |
  | 1838 |    416 |   1,913 |
  | 1839 |    389 |   2,302 |
  | 1840 |    516 |   2,818 |
  | 1841 |    717 |   3,535 |
  | 1842 |    491 |   4,026 |
  | 1843 |    159 |   4,185 |
  | 1844 |    192 |   4,377 |
  | 1845 |    256 |   4,633 |
  | 1846 |    297 |   4,930 |
  | 1847 |    668 |   5,598 |
  | 1848 |    398 |   5,996 |
  | 1849 |  1,369 |   7,365 |
  | 1850 |  1,656 |   9,021 |
  | 1851 |  1,961 |  10,982 |
  | 1852 |  1,926 |  12,908 |
  | 1853 |  2,452 |  15,360 |
  | 1854 |  1,360 |  16,720 |
  | 1855 |  1,654 |  18,374 |
  | 1856 |  3,642 |  22,016 |
  | 1857 |  2,487 |  24,503 |
  | 1858 |  2,465 |  26,963 |
  | 1859 |  1,821 |  28,789 |
  | 1860 |  1,846 |  30,635 |
  | 1861 |    651 |  31,286 |
  | 1862 |    834 |  32,120 |
  | 1863 |  1,050 |  33,170 |
  | 1864 |    738 |  33,908 |
  | 1865 |  1,177 |  35,085 |
  | 1866 |  1,716 |  36,801 |
  | 1867 |  2,249 |  39,250 |
  | 1868 |  2,979 |  42,229 |
  | 1869 |  4,615 |  46,844 |
  | 1870 |  6,070 |  52,914 |
  | 1871 |  7,379 |  60,293 |
  | 1872 |  5,878 |  66,171 |
  | 1873 |  4,097 |  70,268 |
  | 1874 |  2,117 |  72,385 |
  | 1875 |  1,711 |  74,096 |
  | 1876 |  2,712 |  76,808 |
  | 1877 |  2,280 |  79,088 |
  | 1878 |  2,679 |  81,767 |
  | 1879 |  4,817 |  86,584 |
  | 1880 |  6,712 |  93,296 |
  | 1881 |  9,847 | 103,143 |
  | 1882 | 11,569 | 114,712 |
  | 1883 |  6,743 | 121,455 |
  | 1884 |  3,924 | 125,379 |
  | 1885 |  2,930 | 128,309 |
  | 1886 |  8,100 | 136,409 |
  | 1887 | 12,872 | 149,281 |
  | 1888 |  6,801 | 156,082 |

[Illustration: Railways in the United States, 1830-1860.

(From Scribner's Statistical Atlas.)

  =Note.=--These maps are reductions of larger maps referred to
  in the titles. This makes it possible to bring them within
  very convenient space for comparison, and compensates for any
  indistinctness of lettering in the maps.

  The railways of 1830 are pointed out by red arrows. Those of the
  other maps are easily seen. The growth by decades is thus quickly
  located. In 1840, one continuous line stretched from New York
  to Washington, D. C. Another considerable line was that from
  Fredericksburg, Va., to Wilmington, N. C. In 1850, one could not
  go by direct railway from New York to either Albany or Boston. In
  1860, several direct routes stretched from New York to far west
  of the Mississippi.

  _=Note.=_--In 1860 there was also in California, a railway from
  Sacramento to Folsom City (22 miles).]

[Illustration: Railways in the United States. 1870

(From Scribner's Statistical Atlas.)

  Railway Mileage by States, 1870.

  |Rank| State  | Miles |
  | 41 | Dak.   |    65 |»
  | 40 | R.I.   |   136 |»
  | 39 | Colo.  |   157 |»»
  | 38 | Oreg.  |   159 |»»
  | 37 | Del.   |   197 |»»
  | 36 | Ark.   |   256 |»»»
  | 35 | Utah   |   257 |»»»
  | 34 | W. Va. |   387 |»»»»   1,000 Miles
  | 33 | Fla.   |   446 |»»»»    |
  | 32 | La.    |   450 |»»»»    |
  | 31 | Wyo.   |   459 |»»»»    |
  | 30 | Nev.   |   593 |»»»»»   |
  | 29 | Vt.    |   614 |»»»»»   |
  | 28 | *Md.   |   671 |»»»»»»  |
  | 27 | Nebr.  |   705 |»»»»»»» |
  | 26 | Tex.   |   711 |»»»»»»» |       2,000
  | 25 | N.H.   |   736 |»»»»»»» |        |
  | 24 | Conn.  |   742 |»»»»»»» |        |
  | 23 | Me.    |   786 |»»»»»»» |        |       3,000
  | 22 | Cal.   |   925 |»»»»»»»»|        |        |
  | 21 | Miss.  |   990 |»»»»»»»»|        |        |
  | 20 | Ky.    | 1,017 |»»»»»»»»|        |        |
  | 19 | Minn.  | 1,092 |»»»»»»»»|»       |        |
  | 18 | N.J.   | 1,125 |»»»»»»»»|»       |        |       4,000
  | 17 | S.C.   | 1,139 |»»»»»»»»|»       |        |        |
  | 16 | Ala.   | 1,157 |»»»»»»»»|»»      |        |        |
  | 15 | N.C.   | 1,178 |»»»»»»»»|»»      |        |        |
  | 14 | Mass.  | 1,480 |»»»»»»»»|»»»     |        |        |      5,000
  | 13 | Va.    | 1,488 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»    |        |        |        |
  | 12 | Tenn.  | 1,492 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»    |        |        |        |
  | 11 | Kans.  | 1,501 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»    |        |        |        |
  | 10 | Wis.   | 1,525 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»   |        |        |        |
  |  9 | Mich.  | 1,638 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»  |        |        |        |
  |  8 | Ga.    | 1,845 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»» |        |        |        |
  |  7 | Mo.    | 2,000 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»» |        |        |        |
  |  6 | Iowa   | 2,683 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»  |        |        |
  |  5 | Ind.   | 3,177 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»      |        |
  |  4 | Ohio   | 3,538 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»   |        |
  |  3 | N.Y.   | 3,924 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»» |        |
  |  2 | Pa.    | 4,658 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»  |
  |  1 | Ill.   | 4,823 |»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»» |
  +----+--------+-------+        |        |        |        |        |

  * Includes District of Columbia.

  In 1850 Chicago had one short road. In 1860 she had several main
  lines, reaching hundreds of miles.--east, west, north, and south.
  In 1850, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were open fields. In 1860
  they were crossed and recrossed many times A similar change had
  taken place in the south east. The 1860 map marks the condition
  at the breaking out of the Civil War.--In 1870 there does not
  appear to have been much change except in the north-west, and the
  completion of the first Pacific line, and yet there were 22,296
  more miles than in 1860, nearly 700 miles more than the 1850-1860
  growth, but being spread over a wider area it does not appear
  as clearly. A little careful study shows that many States had
  added considerably to their mileage.--The names in the maps are
  given mainly to mark terminal points.--While the map locates the
  mileage, the chart at the left accurately measures and compares
  it State by State.

  Before turning to the 1880 map, let the eye go carefully over the
  1870 lines, that the comparison may be the more properly made.]

[Illustration: Railways in the United States. 1880

(From Scribner's Statistical Atlas.)

  Railway Mileage by States, 1880.

  |Rank| State | Miles |
  | 47 | Mont. |   106 |»
  | 46 | Ida.  |   206 |»
  | 45 | R.I.  |   210 |»
  | 44 | Del.  |   275 |»»
  | 43 | Wash. |   289 |»»
  | 42 | I. T. |   289 |»»
  | 41 | Ariz. |   349 |»»
  | 40 | Oreg. |   508 |»»»
  | 39 | Wyo.  |   512 |»»»
  | 38 | Fla.  |   518 |»»»
  | 37 | La.   |   652 |»»»»
  | 36 | W. Va.|   691 |»»»»
  | 35 | Nev.  |   739 |»»»»
  | 34 | N.Mex.|   758 |»»»»
  | 33 | Utah  |   842 |»»»»»
  | 32 | Ark.  |   859 |»»»»»
  | 31 | Vt.   |   914 |»»»»»
  | 30 | Conn. |   923 |»»»»»
  | 29 | Me.   | 1,005 |»»»»»»
  | 28 | N.H.  | 1,015 |»»»»»»  2,000 Miles
  | 27 |*Md.   | 1,040 |»»»»»»   |
  | 26 | Miss. | 1,127 |»»»»»»   |
  | 25 | Dak.  | 1,225 |»»»»»»   |
  | 24 | S.C.  | 1,427 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 23 | N.C.  | 1,486 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 22 | Ky.   | 1,530 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 21 | Colo. | 1,570 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 20 | N.J.  | 1,684 |»»»»»»»» |
  | 19 | Tenn. | 1,843 |»»»»»»»» |
  | 18 | Ala.  | 1,843 |»»»»»»»» |
  | 17 | Va.   | 1,893 |»»»»»»»»»|
  | 16 | Mass. | 1,915 |»»»»»»»»»|       4,000
  | 15 | Nebr. | 1,953 |»»»»»»»»»|         |
  | 14 | Cal.  | 2,195 |»»»»»»»»»|»        |
  | 13 | Ga.   | 2,459 |»»»»»»»»»|»»       |
  | 12 | Minn. | 3,151 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |
  | 11 | Wis.  | 3,155 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |
  | 10 | Tex.  | 3,244 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»    |
  |  9 | Kans. | 3,400 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |
  |  8 | Mich. | 3,938 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|       6,000
  |  7 | Mo.   | 3,965 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|         |
  |  6 | Ind.  | 4,373 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»       |       8,000
  |  5 | Iowa  | 5,400 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |         |
  |  4 | Ohio  | 5,792 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |         |    10,000
  |  3 | N.Y.  | 5,991 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»» |         |         |
  |  2 | Pa.   | 6,191 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»        |         |
  |  1 | Ill.  | 7,851 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»» |         |
  +----+-------+-------+         |         |         |         |         |

  * Includes District of Columbia.

  It is difficult to believe that so many roads could have been
  added in ten years. All the 1870 area north of the Ohio River
  seems crowded at nearly every point, and the network of advance
  westward, in the States of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas,
  Nebraska, and Dakota, is equally surprising. The growth in Texas
  was also very large, and many new lines appear in other Southern
  States. The total increase of the ten years was over forty
  thousand miles (40,374).

  It would not seem possible that this rate of building could be
  longer maintained, and yet the 1889 map shows a still greater
  growth. At the close of 1888 (only eight years), the increase was
  62,785 miles.]

[Illustration: Railways in the United States, 1889

(From the "Scribner-Black Atlas of the World.")

  Railway Mileage by States,
  Dec. 31, 1888.

  |R'k |States | Miles |
  | 48 | D.C.  |    21 |»
  | 47 | R.I.  |   214 |»»
  | 46 | Del.  |   315 |»»»
  | 45 | Ida.  |   868 |»»»»
  | 44 | Wyo.  |   902 |»»»»
  | 43 | Nev.  |   948 |»»»»»
  | 42 | Vt.   |   959 |»»»»»
  | 41 | I. T. |   973 |»»»»»
  | 40 | Conn. | 1,006 |»»»»»
  | 39 | N.H.  | l,079 |»»»»»
  | 38 | Ariz. | 1,095 |»»»»»
  | 37 | Utah  | 1,133 |»»»»»»
  | 38 | Md.   | 1,162 |»»»»»»
  | 35 | W. Va.| 1,281 |»»»»»»»  2,000 Miles
  | 34 | Wash. | 1,319 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 33 | Me.   | 1,321 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 32 | N.Mex.| 1,321 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 31 | Oreg. | 1,412 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 30 | La.   | 1,505 |»»»»»»»  |
  | 29 | Mont. | 1,804 |»»»»»»»» |
  | 28 | N.J.  | 1,981 |»»»»»»»»»|
  | 27 | Ark.  | 2,046 |»»»»»»»»»|»
  | 26 | Mass. | 2,074 |»»»»»»»»»|»
  | 25 | N.C.  | 2,084 |»»»»»»»»»|»
  | 24 | Miss. | 2,218 |»»»»»»»»»|»»
  | 23 | Fla.  | 2,250 |»»»»»»»»»|»»
  | 22 | Tenn. | 2,488 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»      4,000
  | 21 | N.C.  | 2,529 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»      |
  | 20 | Ky.   | 2,585 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |
  | 19 | Va.   | 2,931 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»    |
  | 18 | Ala.  | 2,986 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |
  | 17 | Ga.   | 3,928 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|
  | 16 | Colo. | 4,038 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|
  | 15 | Cal.  | 4,128 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»
  | 14 | Dak.  | 4,465 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»       6,000
  | 13 | Nebr. | 4,980 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |
  | 12 | Wis.  | 5,330 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |
  | 11 | Minn. | 5,375 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |
  | 10 | Ind.  | 5,890 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»» |
  |  9 | Mo.   | 5,901 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|
  |  8 | Mich. | 6,490 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»       8,000
  |  7 | N.Y.  | 7,598 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   |
  |  6 | Ohio  | 7,636 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»  |
  |  5 | Tex.  | 8,211 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»   10,000
  |  4 | Pa.   | 8,225 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»        |
  |  3 | Iowa  | 8,365 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»       |
  |  2 | Kans. | 8,755 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»     |
  |  1 | Ill.  | 9,901 |»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|
  +----+-------+-------+         |         |         |         |         |

  The figures in the two charts show that four States alone claim
  more than one-fourth of the growth (Kansas, 5,354; Texas,
  4,967; Dakota, 8,240 and Nebraska, 3,207 miles; total, 16,768
  miles.) Six other States (Iowa, Mich., Col., Minn., Wis., and
  Penn.) had each an increase of over 2,000 miles.--The charts
  give Illinois the longest line from 1870, but the position of
  Texas in the three charts seems to prophesy that Illinois must
  soon yield. In 1860, Ohio led; in 1850, New York, and in 1840,
  Pennsylvania.--The upper series of stars in the 1880 map locate
  the center of railway mileage. See page 427, preceding.]

[Illustration: Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul System, 1889.]

[Illustration: Chicago, Burlington and Quincy System, 1889.]

[Illustration: Chicago and Northwestern System, 1889.]

[Illustration: Pennsylvania System, 1889.]

[Illustration: Vanderbilt System, 1889.]

[Illustration: Largest Receipts, 1888.

(See page 437, following)

  |R.|  Corporation   | Receipts  |     $10M
  +--+----------------+-----------+      |
  |15|Ill. Cent.      |$13,660,245|»»»»»»|»»
  |14|Mich. Cent.     | 13,770,593|»»»»»»|»»   $20M
  |13|A. T. & St. F.  | 15,612.913|»»»»»»|»»»   |
  |12|N. Pacific      | 15,846,328|»»»»»»|»»»   |
  |11|L. & N.         | 17,122,026|»»»»»»|»»»»  |     $30M
  |10|L. S. & M. S.   | 18,029,627|»»»»»»|»»»»» |      |
  | 9|U. Pacif.       | 19,898,817|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|      |
  | 8|B. & O.         | 20,353,492|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»     |     $40M
  | 7|C. B. & Q.      | 23,789,168|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»    |      |
  | 6|C. M. & St. P.  | 24,867,730|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»   |      |
  | 5|C. & N. W.      | 26,697,559|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»  |      |    $50M
  | 4|N. Y. L. E. & W.| 27,217,990|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»» |      |      |
  | 3|N. Y. C. & H. R.| 36,139,920|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»  |      |
  | 2|Penn. W. of P.  | 37,894,370|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»» |      |
  | 1|Penn. E. of P.  | 58,172,078|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»»|»»»»»

Largest Net Results, 1888.

(See page 437, following)

  |R.|  Corporation   |Net %|         10%       20%       30%
  +--+----------------+-----+         |         |         |
  |15|N. Y. C. & H. R.|31.85|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»
  |14|Penn. E. of P.  |33.39|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»
  |13|D. & R. G.      |33.43|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»
  |12|A. T. & St. F.  |33.47|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»
  |11|N. Y. L. E. & W.|33.85|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»
  |10|Ill. Cent.      |34.41|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»
  | 9|C. R. I. & P.   |35.29|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»
  | 8|E. T. V. & G.   |36.06|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»
  | 7|L. & N.         |36.11|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»   40%
  | 6|L. S. & M. S.   |37.27|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»  |
  | 5|C. & N. W.      |37.56|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»» |
  | 4|U. Pacif.       |40.80|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»
  | 3|N. Pacif.       |41.52|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»
  | 2|St. L. & San F. |41.88|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»
  | 1|St. P. M. & M.  |46.08|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»»»»|»»»»»»


  TRUNK LINES. 1870--1889
  Chicago and Northwestern
  Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul
  Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific
  =Av. of 6 Lines West of Chicago=
  Chicago, Burlington and Quincy
  Illinois Central
  Chicago and Alton
  Boston and Albany
  Michigan Central
  New York Central
  =Av. of 7 Lines East of Chicago=
  Lake Shore and Michigan Southern
  New York, Lake Erie and Western
  Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago

  =Explanatory.=--The upper edge of the deep shade marks the
  fluctuations of the average rate charged by the seven lines
  east of Chicago.--The upper edge of the light shade marks the
  fluctuations of the average rate charged by the six lines west
  of Chicago.--Each particular road has a distinctive line, which
  makes it easy to trace it among other lines.--All Western lines
  are accompanied by lines of color, to distinguish them plainly
  from the Eastern lines, and to make their relation to their own
  average more easily discovered. The Boston and Albany is the only
  Eastern line whose rate places it near the Western lines, but the
  absence of color prevents it from being taken for a Western line,
  which it might otherwise be, especially during the last three
  years, in its journey through and above them all.--The C. B. &
  Q. Road makes no report later than 1879.--The Chicago and Alton
  report begins at 1874.

  =Explanatory.=--The diagram upon which the rates are charted
  (like all such diagrams) is constructed of perpendicular and
  horizontal lines. Each line, and each space between lines, has
  a particular meaning. The perpendicular spaces represent years,
  indicated by the figures at the top of each space. The horizontal
  spaces represent money values, each space representing .2c (two
  mills). Each horizontal line represents a particular money value,
  marked by the figures at the end of the line. Each black dot
  represents the average annual rate of some particular road. For
  example, take the Boston and Albany Road. Starting with the name
  and following the tracing line, the 1870 dot is found just below
  the 2.2c (2 cents and 2 mills) line. This indicates that the
  average rate charged by that road in 1870 was a trifle less than
  2.2c. Following the line leading from the 1870 dot into the 1871
  space, the 1871 dot is found a little below the center of the
  space between the 2c line and the 2.2c line, indicating a rate of
  a little less than 2 cents and 1 mill for 1871. The next year it
  is lower still. In this way the history of any road is quickly

_Largest Receipts._--A comparison on the basis of gross receipts
gives the best means of judging of the financial importance of the
several roads, for it measures the volume of business done. On
page 435 is given such a comparison of the fifteen roads (of the
twenty-two referred to above) reporting the largest gross receipts.

_Largest Net Results._--While the gross receipts measure the volume
of business they may not give any indication of net results. A
chart, immediately under that comparing gross receipts, compares
the net receipts of the fifteen roads (of the same twenty-two)
which report the highest per centages.

Of the ten reporting largest net results, seven are west of
Chicago. This fact, coupled with the desire of the great western
systems to possess new territory in advance of others, suggests a
reason for the large railway growth in that part of the country.


The gross traffic receipts of the railways of the United States are
divided between freight and passenger business in very nearly the
proportion of three to one in favor of the freight traffic. For
this reason, and because the data are still more largely available
on the same side, the freight service receives herein the fuller

_Reduction of Freight Rates._--On the opposite page is a chart
delineating the fluctuations in freight rates since 1870. To one
not familiar with the subject the picture presented is a most
remarkable one. It looks as though the roads are all in a mad
scramble to see which can reach the bottom of the hill first. To
railway managers the picture is a painful reminder of a serious
struggle, the end of which no one can yet predict.

The lines selected are representative lines of the east and west
divisions of the country, north of the Ohio River, where the great
number of competing roads has induced sharp competition.

The history of the _averages_ is very clear, and it is easy to see
that they are steadily approaching common ground, for while in 1870
the eastern average marked almost exactly one cent six mills, the
western marked two cents four mills, a separation of eight mills;
in 1888 they recorded seven mills and a trifle over nine mills, a
separation of about one-quarter of the 1870 record.

_Wheat Rates._--The chart below repeats the lesson of the larger
chart as to reduction of rates. The persistency with which water
rates have kept below rail rates, emphasizes the fact that wherever
water-ways exist, they are stubborn competitors for such freight
traffic as will not suffer by the longer time required for the

[Illustration: Average Freight Rates per Bushel of Wheat from
Chicago to New York.]

_The Freight Haul._--It costs as much to load and unload a train
that hauls its freight ten miles as it does one that carries it a
thousand miles. In other words, the longer the haul the less the
proportional cost to the carriers. The great extension of long
lines westward in the last few years naturally raises the question
whether the average freight haul has increased. The largely
diminished rates suggest that probably producers have been led
thereby to ship both agricultural and manufactured products greater
distances to market. One or both of these conditions may have
operated favorably for some roads, but, plausible as the theories
seem, the facts prove that neither of them is supported in a study
of the average haul of the country. The available figures permit us
to go back only to 1882. Within that period the little chart given
herewith delineates the fluctuations, but indicates no permanency
in either direction. It is a matter of regret that in this, as in
many other studies, the history is not available for earlier years,
as the more extended the view the better the judgment of such
questions becomes.

[Illustration: Average Number of Miles each Ton of Freight was

_Empty Freight Trains._--One of the considerable items of expense
in the freight traffic is that of returning empty cars to their
point of starting. Just how large an item this is depends chiefly
upon the demands of the population at either end of the operating
line for the product of the population at the opposite end. Thus
the carriage of the great agricultural product of the West to
feed the denser population of the East, and for export to foreign
countries, may or may not be met by the demand of the western
people for the manufactures of the East and the imports from
foreign countries arriving at the eastern seaboard. It is scarcely
probable that any line, short or long, running east and west or
north and south, finds its traffic in opposite directions balanced.

[Illustration: Percentage of East-Bound and West-Bound Freight
carried by the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Co.]

An interesting study of this problem is presented in the
accompanying chart, the road selected for the illustration being
one of the large carriers between Chicago and Buffalo. The upper
chart-line marks the proportion of freight carried from west to
east, while the lower line (at the top of the shaded part of the
diagram) marks the portion carried from east to west. It is readily
seen that in 1877 the west-bound freight was less than half as
much as the east-bound, for they stand 30.8 per cent, and 69.2 per
cent., respectively; and in 1878 the difference is still greater.
From that year, however, there has been great improvement, so that
now it would appear that there is on that road a much diminished
need for hauling empty cars. The history of the Pennsylvania Road
is similar to that shown in the chart, but the ratios have not come
so nearly together. That of the New York Central & Hudson River
Road shows very little change in the ratios since 1870, and all
the time both these roads report a very large excess of east-bound

[Illustration: Profit per Ton per Mile.]

_Freight Profits._--The change in rates are of great moment to the
producer; that of profits is the important one to the carrier.
No matter how great the reduction of rates, if the reduction of
expense is as great, the profits are not disturbed. This question
can be studied best by examining the figures which measure the
actual profits. But few corporations furnish such figures, and the
two whose history is delineated on the accompanying chart are among
those giving the most readily available data. It will be seen that
the reduction of profits is no less remarkable than the reduction
of rates, which shows that the reduction of rates has far exceeded
that of expense of carriage; for, had the reduction of expenses
kept pace with that of rates, the profits would have remained
level. As it is, the reduction of profits in the history of these
roads, as shown, is from about six mills per ton per mile in 1870,
to about two mills in 1888. These two roads are probably good
representatives of the experience of the general freight service
of all railways north of the Ohio River. If so, the prospect of the
future of freight traffic is not cheerful.


The study of passenger traffic is less satisfactory than that of
freight traffic. Fewer lines furnish a history of their passenger
rates, and ordinarily those histories cover shorter periods. The
study is therefore confined to narrower limits and its lessons are
necessarily less conclusive.

[Illustration: Passenger Rates per Mile.]

_Passenger Rates._--Below is given a chart interpreting the
available data of six representative lines. The first lesson
impressed is that no such reduction marks the history of passenger
rates as is shown in freight rates, although the general trend
of the chart-lines is plainly downward. The line indicating the
average rate for all the roads in the country (marked U. S. in the
chart) shows a reduction of over one-fourth of a cent per passenger
per mile since 1882.

Certain features of this chart attract special attention. The
reduction of rates by the Pennsylvania, and the New York Central &
Hudson River roads in 1876, and that by the same roads in 1885, are
suggestive. Equally noticeable are the reductions of the Illinois
Central in 1871, 1872, 1880, and 1888.

This chart would seem to indicate that competition has not operated
as sharply on passenger as on freight traffic.

_Passenger Travel._--The average distance that passengers ride is
not as important an element of railway business as is the average
freight haul, for the passengers load and unload themselves; so
that, whether they ride few or many miles, the cost of loading and
unloading is neither increased nor diminished. On the contrary,
if a thousand tons of freight, once loaded, is to be hauled one
hundred miles instead of fifty, the proportional cost of loading
and unloading is reduced one-half.

[Illustration: Average Number of Miles each Passenger was Carried.]

Still, the average distance passengers ride is important; for,
if the number of passengers remains the same and their ride is
shorter, the receipts are diminished. The returns show that while
the number of passengers has increased since 1882 about fifty-six
per cent., the total miles travelled have not increased quite fifty
per cent., marking a falling off in the average number of miles
each passenger rode. The reduction is graphically shown in the
little chart given herewith. This result is no doubt largely due to
the great increase of suburban travel which has developed about our
large cities within the past few years.

It is necessary to state, however, that the figures embraced in
this study do not include the traffic of the elevated roads of New
York and Brooklyn.

_Passenger Profits._--Again a marked difference between freight and
passenger traffic appears in comparing the chart given below with
the corresponding chart on page 440.

[Illustration: Profit per Passenger per Mile.]

The study covers the history of the same roads in each case. The
history of freight profits shows a persistent falling off, which
in the nineteen years amounts to four mills per ton per mile, a
loss of two-thirds of the six mills of 1870. The history delineated
on this chart shows the average profit of the two roads to be
almost exactly at the same point that it was in 1870, while the
profits for most of the intervening years have been much greater.

Were this the record of the freight traffic, it would be much more
gratifying to the managers of the roads, for the New York Central
& Hudson River Railway receives about twice as much, and the
Pennsylvania Railway receives four times as much, from freights as
from passengers. Attention is invited to the opposite results of
the same policy on these two roads in 1876. The chart of passenger
rates on page 441 marks a decided reduction of rates by the
Pennsylvania Road, and a slight reduction by the New York Central &
Hudson River Road. The chart of profits records an increase for the
former and a decrease for the latter. This year (1876) is the date
of the Centennial World's Fair at Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania
Road had an enormous increase of passenger traffic (double that
of the following year), a record which it did not equal until
1887. The New York Central & Hudson River Road had but a slightly
increased traffic, the record of which it passed in 1881.


_Dividends._--While many readers are probably not holders of
railway stocks, yet a look at the dividends received by those who
are will not be without interest. The little chart given below
tells an interesting, although a not over-attractive story.

[Illustration: Average Dividend Paid on Total Capital Stock.]

It shows that, comparing the aggregate of all the railroad stocks
of the country with the aggregate of all dividends paid, the
holders of stock realized an average of 3.03% on their investment
in 1876. In 1878 it had fallen to less than 2½%. From that date to
1885 the record makes a curve ending just above 2%. A slight rally
is indicated for 1886 and 1887, but 1888 carries it down to 1.81%.
The stock of many roads has paid no dividend whatever these later
years, and the lines whose stock proves a good investment at par
are very few.

[Illustration: Net Earnings and Mileage Built.]

_Net Earnings per Mile._--Although the studies of the financial
question already made undoubtedly point out the true drift of
railway business, yet one more comparison is worth making, both
for its bearing on the question of profits and the study of the
influence of profits on railway building. The upper one of the
two charts given herewith is the record of net earnings per mile
of road in operation, and is based on the reported net earnings
less the interest-charge. It therefore shows the average number of
dollars each mile had earned, after paying all expenses and the
interest on its debt. This money, then, is the clear amount each
mile could apply each year to pay the principal of its debt and the
dividends on its capital stock, or to use for improvements, such as
rolling stock, stations, better road-bed, new rails, or any other
betterments which might seem advisable.

In 1876 this sum was $1,264; in 1880 it was $1,798, since which
time it has suffered a serious decline, until in 1888 it was only
$650. It is the story of the previous studies repeated, and needs
no further reiteration.

_Railway Building._--The larger chart given on page 429, gives the
history of railway building from 1831 to 1888. The lower chart of
the two given together on page 444, repeats the annual record from
1876, for the purpose of studying the influence of profits on the
progress of building. The net earnings per mile show a reduction
in 1877. The following year shows an increase of earnings, and the
building responded somewhat feebly the same year. The next two
years (1879 and 1880) show great gains in net earnings, and the
impetus given thereby to building, carries its increase steadily
forward even two years beyond the turning-point of the earnings.
The decline is then mutual to 1885. In 1886 the advance in earnings
was responded to by such a remarkable increase in building that
the stimulus is to be sought for partly outside of the increase
of earnings, and is undoubtedly found in the desire to occupy the
newly opening fields of western settlement; for the records mark
unparalleled activity among the great trunk lines of the West in
pushing their advances in Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado,
in 1886 and 1887. This is graphically shown in the map of 1889,
when compared with that of 1880 (pages 432 and 433).

_Ratios of Increase._--It is difficult to obtain a just impression
of values when expressed by figures alone. It is easy when these
values are expressed in lines or colors. The greater difficulties
come in the effort to compare values expressed in differing terms.
To read that the increase of population was 23,400,000 from 1870
to 1888; and that of railway mileage was 62,785 miles; and that of
freight traffic was nearly 30,000,000,000 tons, in the same period,
and then to attempt the comparison of increase without further aid,
is a hopeless task.

As a study of financial economy the comparison is worth making,
for evidence of the over-development of an industry or a financial
interest, rightly considered, may prevent suicidal development.
The chart given on the next page makes the comparison easy. The
actual increase in each instance is reduced to percentages, and
the several chart-lines measure the progress. The increase of
population is estimated on the basis of 62,000,000 persons in 1888.
(So far as the lesson conveyed by the chart is concerned, the
estimate might as well have been 60,000,000, the variation in the
location of the line would be trifling.)

It appears, then, that railway mileage has increased nearly
two hundred per cent. and that the rate of increase of freight
traffic (as measured by ton-miles[38]) has been enormously larger,
considering the history of the thirteen trunk lines as indicative
of the whole. It further appears that the freight traffic of the
West has developed much more rapidly than that of the East, during
the last eight years.

[Illustration: Ratios of Increase.]

_Construction and Maintenance._--The tabulated statistics of these
subjects are not of special interest, as the annual variation of
cost is slight. In both these elements the wage-question is so
large a factor that a comparative level is maintained from year
to year. The available figures touching these subjects are few.
The first table on the opposite page gives the average cost of
construction per mile of the _total mileage of the country_; and
the cost of maintenance per mile as reported by the New York,
Lake Erie & Western Road. The second table furnishes interesting
_details_ of the cost of maintenance.

_Construction and Maintenance for Ten Years._

  Years.| Cost of construction | Cost of maintenance
        |      per mile.       |      per mile.
   1879 |      $57,730         |       $1,671
   1880 |       58,624         |        1,371
   1881 |       60,645         |        1,448
   1882 |       61,303         |        1,335
   1883 |       61,800         |        1,533
   1884 |       61,400         |        1,281
   1885 |       61,400         |        1,082
   1886 |       61,098         |        1,496
   1887 |       58,603         |        1,533
   1888 |       60,732         |        1,226

_Comparative Statement of Maintenance of Way of the Illinois
Central Road for Ten Years._

                    [Table--Part 1 of 2]
       | Miles  |                     MAINTENANCE OF WAY.            |
  Year.|of road +----------+---------------------+-------------------+
       | at end | Labor on |     New rails.      |    Cross-ties.    |
       |of year.|  track.  |                     |                   |
       |        |    $     |   Tons.       $     |Number.      $     |
  1879 |1,286.72|297,363.40| 9,276.00  125,062.70|264,520   93,107.51|
  1880 |1,320.35|343,982.23| 9,767.49  215,365.32|260,116   93,330.32|
  1881 |1,320.35|411,018.91|10,098.47  169,718.80|345,260  127,279.76|
  1882 |1,908.65|690,112.59| 8,438.00  128,521.48|604,096  201,648.26|
  1883 |1,927.99|742,476.20| 8,191.79  183,239.65|425,627  153,739.00|
  1884 |2,066.35|706,751.86| 6,342.73   93,446.25|462,665  154,083.19|
  1885 |2,066.35|749,254.19| 8,747.31   87,331.95|508,756  176,835.69|
  1886 |2,149.07|705.553.82| 6,376.40   63,238.84|492,524  174,515.72|
  1887 |2,355.12|760,093.33| 6,092.66   79,917.84|573,898  197.989.47|
  1888 |2,552.55|847,806.67| 8,172.36  106,372.94|654,141  214,130.73|

                    [Table--Part 2 of 2]
       |   MAINTENANCE OF WAY.            |Expense |          |Repairs of
  Year.+----------+-----------------------+per mile|Repair of |station
       | Repair of|  Other   |   Total.   |run by  | fences.  |building and
       | bridges. |  items.  |            |engines.|          |water-works.
       |    $     |    $     |      $     | Cents. |    $     |     $
  1879 | 73,119.56|125,041.92|  640,575.53|  11.73 |$33,416.86|  45,755.09
  1880 |105,551.62| 49,399.09|  807,628.58|  12.39 | 36,981.94|  80,887.34
  1881 |114,193.18| 30,399.46|  852,610.11|  12.16 | 36,690.33|  70,699.58
  1882 |174,826.24| 17,277.34|1,212,385.91|  11.87 | 31,032.57|  87,588.26
  1883 |121,101.03| 72,294.71|1,272,850.59|  11.89 | 30,084.49|  87,291.93
  1884 |173,831.23|107,236.13|1,235,348.66|  12.20 | 21,394.71|  94,122.03
  1885 |164,586.39| 88,126.28|1,266,134.50|  11.27 | 21,932.48|  94,518.19
  1886 |172,144.65| 63,976.69|1,179,429.72|  10.15 | 26,668.91| 123,519.83
  1887 |250,337.47| 61,441.88|1,349.779.99|   9.95 | 31,905.46| 129,526.76
  1888 |310,908.42|115,898.04|1,595,116.80|  10.74 | 40,423.39| 170,023.85

_Employees._--This item is also one touching which railways make
few reports. The New York Central & Hudson River Road reports as
follows: "Average number of employees, 20,659, being at the rate of
14.54 per mile of road worked; aggregate wages, $12,460,708.89,
or $603.16 each. Payments in wages equalled 50.60 per cent. of
the total working expenses, against 51.90 per cent. in 1886-87."
Reckoning that each employee's wages supports an average of three
persons, we have a total of 61,977 persons clothed, housed, and fed
by this one corporation.

"Poor's Manual" discusses this subject at some length, but mainly
on theoretical ground.

_Rolling Stock._--A table showing the history of the growth of the
rolling stock of the country is given on page 148; it is therefore
unnecessary to repeat it here.

_Capital Invested._--It is folly for the human mind to attempt to
grasp the immensity of the financial interest expressed in the
statement, that the combined capital invested in the railways of
the United States is $9,369,398,954. No more can it comprehend that
this vast aggregate has been the growth of about fifty years in a
single interest, in a single country.

_Capital Invested._

  Year. |    Capital.
   1876 | $4,468,592,000
   1877 |  5,106,202,000
   1878 |  4,772,297,000
   1879 |  4,872,017,000
   1880 |  5,402,038,000
   1881 |  6,278,565,000
   1882 |  7,016,750,000
   1883 |  7,477,866,000
   1884 |  7,676,399,000
   1885 |  7,842,533,000
   1886 |  8,163,149,000
   1887 |  8,673,187,000
   1888 |  9,369,399,000

The first date in the table marks the close of the first century
of our national life. Since that time the investment has more than
doubled; an increase of nearly five billion dollars in twelve
years--an average of over four hundred million dollars per year.
More exactly expressed, this means $1,118,906 per day, or $46,621
for every hour, day and night, during the first twelve years of our
second century.

It is safe to say that no other financial interest shows a total of
such wonderful magnitude. And with greater emphasis may it be said,
that the finances of the world, record, in all the ages, to the
present day, no such astounding increase of investment.


[37] Data drawn from "Poor's Manual of Railroads," 1889, and the
"Statistical Abstract of the United States," 1888, and carefully
revised, form, in large part, the basis of the several studies; and
the writer hereby expresses obligation to Mr. John P. Meany, editor
of the "Manual," for kindly aid in his work.

[38] A ton-mile means a ton of freight hauled one mile; ten
ton-miles, a ton of freight hauled ten miles, or two tons hauled
five miles.


  Accidents, chances of, 191
    at crossings, 408
    from coupling cars, 223, 392
    investigation of, 399
    to railway bridges, 26
    South Norwalk, 221
    statistics of, 260
    to trainmen, 393
    to trains, origin of, 167

  Adams, Charles Francis, 104, 367

  Air-brake, 193, 195

  Allen, Horatio, 2, 4, 102

  Arbitration between railways and their employees, 376, 381

  Armstrong, Colonel G. G., 316

  Atkinson, Edward, 43

  Auditor's duties, 180, 183

  Baggage-check system, 253

  Baggage-master, work of, 416

  Baggage service, abuses in, 179

  Baggage transportation, 253

  Baldwin Locomotive Works, 132

  Ballast of a railway, 37

  Baltimore & Ohio, the, 103
    cars, 139
    early passenger-trains, 230
    in 1830, 101

  Bangs, George S., 317

  Bell-cord train-signal, 237

  Bessemer, Sir Henry, 37

  Bessemer steel, invention of, 37

  Blaine, James G., 323

  Blair, Montgomery, 317

  Block-signal, automatic, 215
    system, 168, 213

  Boilers, construction of, 114

  Bonds and stock, relative position of, 354

  Brake, air-, 193, 195
    advantages of air-, 387
    improvements suggested to air-, 199
    American, 202
    and coupler, 237
    Beals, 202
    chain, 193
    continuous, 195
    early forms of, 192
    electric, 194
    hand, 193;
      perils of, 387;
      how to manage, 388
    hydraulic, 193
    steam driver-, 192
    trials at Burlington, 200
    vacuum, 193, 195
    water, 202
    Westinghouse air-, 193, 195

  Brakemen, characteristics of, 384
    duties of, 394
    life, agreeable and disagreeable features of, 386, 389
    passenger-train, advantages of, 396
    pleasures of, 394
    wit of, the result of meditation, 385

  Bridges, railway, accidents to, 26
    American iron, 28
    American, development of, 27;
      length of, 24, 26
    American wooden, 27
    and culverts, how built, 22
    Bismarck, 86
    Britannia, 79
    builders, 423
    cantilever, 33, 88
    connecting two tunnels, 55
    connections, types of, 85
    foundations by crib or open caisson, 75

  Bridges, foundations by pneumatic caisson, 69
    foundations, how made, 32, 67
    foundations under water, 67
    gangs, work of, 155
    great, over cañons and valleys, 55
    guard-rails and frogs for, 221
    Hawkesbury River, 32
    Howe truss, 27
    how to build safe, 31
    Kentucky River, 34, 55, 88
    Kinzua, 30
    Lachine, 92
    masonry arch, 76
    Niagara cantilever, 34, 90
    Portage, 78
    Poughkeepsie, 32, 34
    steel truss, development of, 85
    strength of, 29
    St. Louis, 93
    trusses, types of, 86
    tubular, 80
    typical American truss, 86
    Verrugas, 55
    Victoria, 80
    Washington, over Harlem River, 77, 94
    wooden, 78
    wood, stone, and iron, 25, 26

  Bridgers, R. R., 340

  Bridgewater, Duke of, 345

  Broken trains, dangers of, 388

  Burr & Wernwag, 27

  Caissons for bridge foundations, how made, 32, 69
    open, 75
    pneumatic, 69

  Camden & Amboy locomotives, 106

  Cameron, Simon, prediction of, 232

  Campbell, Henry R., 109

  Cantilever bridges, 33, 88

  Capital invested in railways, 344, 448

  Car-accountant, and the transportation department, 275
    office of, 271

  Car-accounting, benefits of a good system, 280

  Car-builders' dictionary, 147

  Car-couplers, imperfections of, 140
    need of uniformity in, 141

  Car-coupling, accidents from, 223, 392

  Cars, American and English, 7
    American, evolution of, 139
    Baltimore & Ohio freight-, 139
    different kinds of, 146
    old, discomforts of, 234
    distribution of, 171, 279
    empty, distribution of, 279
    first American passenger-, 139
    first sleeping-, 140
    for special uses, 289
    freight-, wanderings of a, 267
    heating by gas, 226
    heating by steam, 226
    heating, methods of, 245
    lighting safely, 226
    mileage and records, 158
    mileage charges, 273
    Mohawk & Hudson passenger-, 139
    number of, in the United States, 148
    records of movement, 171
    service charges, per diem plan, 29
    service of, payment for, 293
    service records and reports, 276
    tracers for, 279
    trucks, 7;
      invention of, 108
    use and abuse of, 281

  Car-wheels, European, 144
    how made, 142
    paper, 145

  Cassatt, A. J., 340

  Check system for baggage, 253

  Chief engineer, duties of, 154

  Chimbote Railway in the Andes, 50, 53

  Civil service reform in the mail service, 340

  Classifications of freight, 176

  Clerks, railway, 422

  Coffer-dam foundations for bridges, 67

  Commissions to passenger agents, 179

  Competing points and pools, 364

  Concentration of power, 351

  Conducting transportation, 159

  Conductors, freight, trials of, 398
    heroism of, 411
    passenger, 408

  Consolidation, effects of, 351
    tendency to, 346

  Construction companies, 355

  Contractors, railway, work of, 21

  Conveniences at stations, 259

  Cooley, Judge Thomas M., 368

  Cooper, Peter, 104, 231

  Council, proposed railway, 380

  Couplers and brakes, 237
    imperfections of, 140
    uniform automatic, 223

  Coupling cars, accidents from, 223, 392

  Coupon tickets, 254
    misunderstood, 254

  Cox, S. S., 323

  Cranes, large travelling, in locomotive shops, 132

  Crib foundations for bridge piers, 75

  Crises of 1873 and 1885, effects of, 356

  Crossings, accidents at, 408
    protection for, 216

  Cullom, Senator S. M., 368

  Culverts, building of, 22
    log, 25
    masonry, 76
    on American railways, 24, 26

  Curves, American and European railway, 8
    least, 8

  Cutting, largest ever made, 56

  Cylinders, locomotive, construction of, 117

  Darwin, Erasmus, 2

  Davis & Gartner, 106

  Davis, Phineas, 106

  Davis, W. A., 317

  Death and accident provisions for postal clerks, 343

  Delays in a long journey, 267

  Delaware & Hudson Canal Company, 101

  Demurrage charges, 296

  Derailing switches, use of, 207

  Derailments of trains, causes of, 218

  Destructive force of a locomotive at high speed, 187

  Detector-bar for switches, 205

  Differentials, 175

  Dining-cars, introduction of, 243

  Discipline necessary on a railway, 377

  Distribution of cars, 171, 279

  Dividends, average, on railway stock, 443

  Drawbridge accidents, 221

  Driving-wheels, large and small, 128

  Eads, Captain James B., 64, 93

  Eames vacuum brake, 195

  Eccentric, operation of, 118

  Educational institutions for railway employees, 379

  Electric annunciator for signals, 209

  Electric lights for cars, 226

  Electricity applied to brakes, 194

  Elevated Railroad, New York, 97

  Employees, railway, benefit funds, 378
    permanent and temporary, 375
    promotion of, 376
    number of, in the United States, 43, 370
    permanency of service during good behavior, 376
    relations of, to the railway, 357
    representative system for, 380
    rights and privileges of permanent, 376
    to have a voice in management, 379
    wages of, 448

  Engineer, the, as a public benefactor, 46
    civil, qualifications of, 15
    responsibilities and duties of, 98

  Engineering, good, true test of, 60

  Ericsson, John, 2

  Facing and trailing point switches, 219

  Facing-point locks, 205

  Fast freight lines, 287

  Fast mail service, appropriations for, 337

  Fast mail train, trip with, 323

  Fast runs, remarkable instances, 404

  Fast time on railways, conditions of, 128

  Field & Hayes, 34

  Fink, Albert, 365

  Fisk, James, Jr., 353

  Flagging trains, 390

  Foot-guard for frogs, 222

  Foreign cars, theory and practice in their use, 279

  Foster, Rastrick & Company, 102

  Free-pass system, 362

  Freight-car wanderings, 267
    classifications and rates, 176
    conductor and his trials, 398
    department, organization of, 282
    engines, saving fuel on, 402
    empty trains of, 439
    handlers at stations, 423
    movement, accidents in, 293;
      cost of delays in, 293

  Freight profits, 440
    rates, reduction of, 358, 438
    traffic, 437;
      how handled, 180

  Freight trains, air-brakes for, 200
    transportation, needs of the service, 297

  Fuel, saving, on freight-engines, 402

  Garrett, John W., 351

  Gate-tenders on the railway, 423

  General Freight Agent, 172

  General Manager, duties of, 154

  General Passenger Agent, 172

  Geographical location of railways in the United States, 427

  Goold, James, 139

  Grades, limit of, 8

  Grand Central Station interlocking signals, 208

  Grand River cañon, 54

  Granger movement, 363

  Guard-rails and frogs for bridges, 221

  Hamlin, Hannibal, 323

  Hampson, John, 231

  Harrison, Joseph, Jr., 4

  Hawkesbury River bridge, 32

  Heater-cars, Eastman, 289

  Heating cars, 245

  Highway crossing accidents, 216
    crossing gates, 217

  Holley, Alexander L., 37

  Hoosac Tunnel, 63

  Hospital funds for railway employees, 378

  Hotel-cars, 244

  Howe truss bridges, 27

  Immigrant sleeping-cars, 251

  Inclined planes for overcoming elevations, 58

  Injectors, principle of, 116

  Insurance funds for railway employees, 378

  Interchange of cars, methods of, 272

  Interlocking bolts, uses of, 221
    signals and switches, 204

  Interstate commerce law, 173, 368
    Commerce Commission and its work, 368

  Investigation of accidents, 399

  Investors and managers, relations of, 357
    difficult position of, 354

  Irregular hours of work, 399

  Jameson, John, 317, 323, 342

  Janney car-coupler, 237

  Jervis, John B., 4, 107

  Johnson, R. P., 339

  Judgment, value of, in a locomotive-runner, 407

  Junction-cards and car-reports, 278

  Kentucky River cantilever bridge, 34, 55, 88

  King, Porter, 408

  Kinzua Bridge, 30

  Lachine Bridge, 92

  Latimer, Charles, 221

  Latrobe, Benjamin H., 8

  Layng, J. D., 319

  Legal department of a railway, duties of, 152

  Lighting cars, safe methods, 226

  Lincoln, Abraham, in the first sleeping-car, 240

  Link motion for locomotive valves, 119

  Location, approximate, 15
    final, 18
    how governed, 16
    in old and new countries, 17
    importance of, 15

  Locomotives, ability to climb grades, 8
    American type, origin of, 109
    Baltimore & Ohio "grasshopper," 106
    boiler construction, 115
    cab, what is in it, 131
    capacity to draw loads, 120
    consolidation, 122
    cost of running, 307
    cylinders, how supplied with steam, 117
    decapod, 122
    destructive force of, at high speed, 187
    "DeWitt Clinton," 105
    driving-wheels, how made, 142
    earliest American, 2
    early eight-wheeled, 105
    engineer, the duties and qualifications of, 137;
      peculiarities of, 134;
      duties and dangers of, 400;
      spirit of fraternity of, 408
    English type of, 3
    equalizing levers, 4
    fireman, 422
    first trial of, in America, 103
    fuel, 303;
      consumption, 135
    hostler, 422
    how to start and stop, 120
    "John Bull," 106
    Mogul, 122
    number of, in the United States, 148
    Peter Cooper's, 104
    prize offered for, by the Baltimore & Ohio, 105
    pumps and injectors, 116
    "Rocket," 1
    running, systems of, 134;
      cost of, 158, 159
    running gear, adjustment of, 114;
      flexible, 113
    shops, 132
    size, weight, and price, 126
    speed, law of, 127
    suburban traffic, 124
    ten-wheeled, 122
    trials, Liverpool & Manchester Railway, 2, 3
    truck, invention of, 4, 107
    types of, 109
    valve motion, 118

  London Underground Railway, 97

  "Long and short haul," 173

  Mail service, railway, civil service reform in, 340

  Mail train, fast, 317

  Managers and investors, relations of, 357

  Masonry arch bridges, 76

  Massachusetts Railroad Commission and traffic questions, 367

  Master Car Builders' Association brake-trials, 200
    type of car-coupler, 223

  Master car-builder's duties, 158

  Master mechanic's work, 157

  Master of transportation, duties of, 159, 171

  Mexican Central Railway, 56

  Mileage balances, reduction of, 273

  Miller coupler and buffer, 237

  Miller, Ezra, 237

  Milling in transit, 175

  Model railway service, 375

  Mohawk & Hudson passenger-cars, 139

  Mont Cenis Tunnel, 63

  Moral standard on the railway, improvement in, 384

  Mount Washington Railway, 58

  Mountain climbing by rack railways, 58
    railways, 49

  National regulation of railways, 367

  Newell, John, 340

  New York Elevated Railways, 97

  Niagara cantilever bridge, 34, 90
    suspension bridge, 81

  Nochistongo cut, 56

  Operating department of a railway, importance of, 373

  Oroya Railway in the Andes, 50, 53

  Outram, Benjamin, 345

  Paper car-wheels, 145

  Passenger advertisement, first, 229
    brakeman, 396
    burned in wrecks, 225
    cars, early, 231;
      English and American, 232;
      first American, 139;
      manufacture of, 252;
      Mohawk & Hudson, 139
    conductor, 408
    fares, comparative rates, 265
    profits, 442
    rates and commissions, 17
    tickets, old, 236
    traffic, 442
    trains, first, 228;
      early American, 230;
      making time on, 403
    travel, 362;
      amount of, 264;
      safety of, in England and America, 260;
      speed of, 249

  Pay-car, trip of the, 309

  Pay, increase of, for faithful service, 378

  Paymaster's work, 308

  Parallel roads, 356

  Pensions for railway employees, 378

  Pennsylvania Railroad shops at Altoona, 132
    maintenance of track, 41
    system, 371

  Permanent service of a railway, 375

  Pile-driver, work of a, 22

  Pile foundations for bridges, 68

  Plant, H. B., 340

  Pneumatic caissons for bridge foundations, 69
    interlocking apparatus, 210

  Pœtsch method of building foundations for bridge piers, 32

  Pooling rates, 184

  Pools and competing points, 364
    railway, origin and nature of, 364

  Pope, Thomas, 33

  Portage Bridge, 78

  Postal cars, 325
    first used, 316
    provision against accident in, 338

  Postal clerks, accidents to, 338

  Postal progress, object lesson in, 312

  Postal service, early history, 313

  Potter, Thomas J., 412

  Poughkeepsie cantilever bridge, 32, 34

  Predecessors of the railway, 101

  Premiums to section-men, 41

  Promotion of employees, 376

  Pullman, George M., 239
    Palace Car Company, 242
    sleeper, first, 241

  Purchasing agent's varied duties and experience, 300

  Rails, development of, 47
    increased weight of, 122
    iron, first used, 1, 37
    joints for, 37
    steel, first introduction, 37
    supply and renewal of, 306
    weight which they will carry, 121

  Railroading fifty years ago, 100

  Railways, American, key to the development of, 3;
      rolling stock of, 148;
      and English, essential differences, 10
    amount of capital invested in, 344
    and their employees, nature of relations, 374
    and democracy, 45
    and their customers, 358
    beginning of, 345
    building, cost of, 43;
      example of rapid, 44;
      history of, 445
    competition of, 174;
      with canals, 347
    consolidation, 174, 346
    council, proposed, 380
    division of expenses on, 359
    earnings, average net, per mile, 444
    earliest, 1;
      in America, 103
    early systems of management, 346
    economic view of, 45
    educational institutions, 379
    employees, permanent and temporary, 375;
      general characteristics of, 423;
      moral welfare of, 423;
      a typical, 383;
      wages of, 448
    growth of, 346
    income, sources of, 180
    influence on the world, 149
    mail first carried on, 314
    mail service, growth of, 314;
      importance of, 323;
      needs of, 341;
      organization of, 323;
      party injury to, 341
    management, development of, 150;
      in Europe, 184;
      organization and division of authority, 151;
      results expected from, 184;
      special departments of, 372;
      stability of, 184;
      subdivisions of, 372
    men's building in New York, 424
    mileage, comparative, of the principal countries, 425;
      of the United States, 426
    national idea developed by, 348
    national regulation, 367
    officers' duties and responsibilities, 151
    organization analyzed, 185;
      complex, 183;
      growth of, 371
    personnel, importance of, 424
    place in the modern industrial system, 344
    postal clerks' dangers, 337;
      just claims, 343;
      need of provision against disability, 339;
      work, 334
    relations of, to their employees, 357
    shop-men, 423
    State ownership of, 362
    statistics of, 425
    systems, 428
    the largest single industrial interest, 370
    United States, extent of, 43
    "wars" between, 361

  Randall, Samuel J., 323

  Rates and rebates, 173
    causes of reduction, 358
    combinations and adjustments, 176
    forced reductions, 363
    how made and regulated, 176
    inequalities of, 359
    passenger, and commissions, 178
    plans for regulating, 362
    special, wars over, 177
    without a natural standard, 360

  Reagan, John H., 368

  Reconnoissance, 13

  Refrigerator cars, 289

  Representation for railway employees, 380

  Restriction of railways, tendency to, 369

  Ride on a locomotive at night, 188

  Righi Railway, 59

  Road-bed of a railway, how made, 21

  Roadway department of a railway, 154

  Roberts, George B., 340

  Roebling, John A., 82

  Rolling stock, growth of, 448

  Routine of the railway mail service, 325

  Rutter, J. H., 340

  Safety appliances, railway, 191
    devices needed, 423

  St. Gothard Tunnel and spirals, 63

  St. Louis Bridge, 64, 93

  Schneider, C. C., 34

  Scott, Thomas Alexander, 319, 349

  Scrap-heap, value of, 302

  Section-master's duties, 421

  Section-men's work, 156

  Semaphore signals, 203

  Shepard, General D. C., 44

  Signals and switches, interlocking, 168, 204
    automatic block, 215
    block system, 168, 213
    semaphore, 203
    torpedo, 213

  Sleeping-car rates, comparative, 266

  Sleeping-cars, first experiments, 239
    immigrant, 251
    Pullman, 239, 242

  Smith, Colonel C. Shaler, 34, 88

  Snow-sheds and fences, 18

  South American mountain-railways, 50

  South Carolina Railway, 104
    early passenger trains, 231

  Special rates, 177, 361

  Spoils system, how it works in the railway mail service, 342

  Spreading of rails, 220

  State ownership of railways, 362

  State regulation of railways, 362, 363

  Station agent's duties, 411

  Station indicators, 259

  Station, large, work at, 415
    small, work at, 411

  Stationery and blanks, quantity used on a railway, 304

  Statistics, railway, 425

  Steam driver-brake, 192
    how distributed to the cylinders, 117
    shovel, work of, 21
    supply and speed, relations of, 129

  Steel bridges, 29

  Steel rails, first introduction, 37

  Steel truss-bridges, development of, 85

  Stephenson, George, 1, 2, 3, 228, 346
    Robert, 1, 2, 3, 79, 192

  Stock and bonds, relative position, 354

  Storekeeper's duties on a railway, 307

  Stockton & Darlington passenger train, 228

  "Stourbridge Lion," 102

  Strikes, evils of, 374

  Superintendent, duties of, 274
    of machinery, powers and duties, 157

  Supply department, 298
    importance of, 311

  Supplies, aggregate of, on a railway, 299
    variety required for a railway, 301

  Surveying party, life of, 13
    from a rope ladder, 50

  Surveys, preliminary, 13

  Suspension bridges, 81

  Switchbacks and loops, 8;
    types of, 9, 10

  Switches, interlocking, 420
    stub, accidents caused by, 218

  Switch-tender's work, 420

  Telegraph in railroading, 238

  Thompson, William B., 317, 322, 342

  Thomson, Frank, 43, 340

  Thomson, J. Edgar, 349

  Through and local freight, 288

  Through lines, growth of, 348

  Tickets, cost of, on a railway, 305
    coupon, 254
    old, 236
    sales and reports, 182

  Ties and timber supplies, 306

  Time, fast, instances of, 404
    making, on passenger trains, 403

  Time-tables, cost of, 305
    earliest American, 235
    how made, 160

  Torpedo signals, 213

  Track, early experiments with, 36, 37
    how laid, 36
    how maintained and kept in order, 38
    inspection on the Pennsylvania Railroad, 41
    laid on stone, 36
    standards of excellence, 41

  Trackmen's duties, 38
    organization and officers, 41

  Track-walker's duties and trials, 422

  Trade centres, advantages of, 360

  Traffic, how influenced and secured, 172
    manager, duties of, 172
    questions and the Massachusetts Railroad Commission, 367
    receipts, how returned and accounted for, 182

  Train despatcher and his work, 163, 422

  Train despatching, 162
    old and new, 187

  Train orders and rules, 164

  Train signals, bell-cord and other, 237

  Train work, irregularity of, 399

  Trainmen, accidents to, 393
    and tramps, 386

  Trains, rules for running, 162

  Tramways, Roman, of stone, 1

  Transfer freight stations, 288

  Transportation, cost of, 43
    conducting, 159
    department and the car-accountant, 275

  Trestles, wooden, 78

  Trevithick, Richard, 2

  Tribunal, proposed, for adjusting differences between railways and
        their employees, 376

  Trucks for cars, 7, 108
    for locomotives, 4, 107, 109

  Trunk lines compared, 428

  Trunk-line pool, origin and history, 365

  Truss-bridge, typical American, 86

  Tubular bridges, 80

  Tunnels, 59
    American, 23
    connected by a bridge, 55
    difficulties of construction, 62
    great, 62
    how avoided, 23
    located by triangulation, 53
    Mont Cenis, 63
    St. Gothard, 63

  Underground Railway, London, 97

  Union Pacific Railway system, extent of, 370

  Vacuum-brake, 193, 195

  Vail, Theodore N., 317, 322

  Valleys, how crossed by a railway, 49

  Valve-motion arrangements, 118

  Vanderbilt business methods, 351

  Vanderbilt, Commodore, 318, 340

  Vanderbilt, Cornelius, 350, 424

  Vanderbilt, William H., 318, 340

  Verrugas Viaduct, 55

  Vestibule train, luxury of, 248
    as a safety device, 224

  Viaducts, American metal, 79

  Victoria Bridge, 80

  Waddell, A., 323

  Wagner Palace Car Company, 242

  Wagon cars, 290

  War, the late, effect of, on railway growth, 348

  Washington Bridge over the Harlem River, 77, 94

  Waste and saving in supplies, 302

  Water-jet method of sinking piles, 68

  Watt, James, 1

  Way-bill and its theory, 181

  Westinghouse air-brake, 195, 196

  Westinghouse, George, Jr., 200, 237

  West Point Foundry as a locomotive shop, 104

  Whipple, Squire, 28

  Winans, Ross, 7, 108

  Yardmaster's duties, 283

  Young Men's Christian Association, Railway Department, 424


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Bold text is denoted by =equal signs=.

  A superscript is denoted by ^x for example 12^1.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Basic fractions are displayed as ½ ¼ ¾; other fraction are shown in
  the form a/b as 1/117 or 39-2/10 for example.

  A large dense table spanning two pages in the original book (page 158
  and 159) has been split into 4 parts, with column #1 (engine number)
  being repeated in each part. The vertical column headings have been
  replaced by a key, A B etc, with an explanation of the keys at the
  beginning of each part. Some cell values were unclear in the scanned
  image and a best guess of the digit has been made.

  Another large table at page 447 has been split into 2 parts.

  In several tables with dollar.cent values the decimal point is faint
  or missing. For consistency the decimal point has been inserted in
  all cases.

  Footnote #31 had no anchor; this has been added in the chapter title.

  Nine consecutive full-page illustrations placed after page 428
  have detailed maps and Gantt charts and many have large amounts of
  text on them. Most of this text, and the Gantt chart information,
  have been copied and placed under the illustration as part of the

  In the organization chart on page 185, it is very likely that the
  Train Master and the Station Agents were all intended to report
  to the Superintendant of Transportation. The missing connecting
  line has been inserted using a dotted line to indicate this

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  untravelled; sirup; smouldering; box car, box-car; cast iron,

  Pg 42, 'from 1 to 10' replaced by 'from 0 to 10'.
  Pg 114, 'have ournal-boxes' replaced by 'have journal-boxes'.
  Pg 392, 'no one brakeman' replaced by 'not one brakeman'.
  Pg 416, 'fusilade' replaced by 'fusillade'.

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