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the works on the Madras Railway by the engineers, without the intervention of contractors, it was stated, that when the line was commenced there were no large contractors available in that presidency, and it was thought better to proceed at once rather than to enter into correspondence with the administrative body in England, which must have resulted in considerable delay. It had already been proved, by experience in Bengal, that the natives could be readily organized on railway work; and as the large English contractors had no more information than the engineers as to the labor question, the purchase of materials, and other arrangements, there was no room for hesitation in returning to the primitive system, so successfully pursued in the cases of the Eddystone lighthouse, and the Stockton and Darlington and Liverpool and Manchester railways. Besides, in India scarcely any plant was required. The works were begun at Madras without any appliances from this country. The natives found their own tools, and baskets for carrying the earth. Temporary rails were not needed, as there were no long “ leads,” from cuttings into embankments. The earthwork for the first six miles from Madras was let to a native contractor for rather less than one penny per cubic yard. The other parts of the line were let on a similar principle, in small sections, the sub-contractors being paid weekly. No difficulty whatever was experienced in carrying out this system, within a reasonable distance of Madras.

With regard to the style adopted in the construction of Indian railways, it was sometimes argued that the substantial had been selected in opposition to what was, incorrectly, called the American system. This was denied, for it had been the practice to take advantage of the cheapest and best materials to be found upon the spot; and where there was abundance of good stone, and timber was dear, it was more economical to use stone and bricks than timber.

It was but fair to mention that the rate of wages and the price of work were much higher in the Bombay Presidency than in the Madras. In the latter, labor averaged per day, coolies. 3d. ; women or boys, to assist in carrying earth, 14d.; carpenters, from 9d. to 104d. ; and bricklayers, from 7td. to 101d. These rates were about the same as were now being paid upon the Great Southern of India. The ordinary price of earthwork was ltd. to 2d., and of masonry 7s. 6d. to 10s. per cubic yard. The making of embankments, building of bridges, laying of the permanent-way, and ballasting the road, cost about £1,500 per mile, exclusive of materials and of stations.

It was observed that the Calcutta and Southeastern was so small as hardly to be worth naming in an engineering point of view. It possessed, however, some interest commercially; the object being to open out a new port for the enormous and rapidly increasing trade of Bengal. I'he line extended from Calcutta to the Mutla, a distance of 281 miles. The dangers of the Hooghly were well known. Its crowded state, and the expense and difficulty of its navigation, all rendered it necessary to seek another outlet. This was fortunately found in the Mutla, which was, to a great extent, free from the dangers of the Hoogbly. The Mutla had a depth of not less than 24 feet at low water spring tides, from the proposed new port to the sea. It was subject to no bars, nor dangerous tidal currents. The stream of tide did not exceed, at any time, four miles per hour. It had no freshets, no shifting sands, and no bar. It was interesting, in an engineering point of view, to compare the Hooghly with the Mutla; the former with a vast body of fresh water always passing down it, incumbered with shoals and shifting channels ; the other, without fresh water, a clear, deep, and permanent channel, kept open by the tidal scour alone. The system of executing the works without the intervention of contractors had been adopted, because the works were of that nature that no advantage could be derived from the large contract system. In this case no plant was required, and the native labor could be directed quite as well by the company's engineers as by those of a large contractor.

It was contended that, in a distant country like India, where the engineer himself had no precise knowledge of what would be the cost of railway works, it was impossible to induce a fair competition among contractors; who would

be tempted, in making an offer, to add a considerable sum, to provide against contingencies which might arise. In the construction of Indian railways the best materials only should be employed, put together in the most substantial manner; for the population was very great, the traffic was likely to be heavy, and there was every prospect of a fair return for the outlay.

In closing the discussion, it was remarked that the paper was one of the most interesting and instructive that had ever been read at the institution. It was a subject for congratulation that the results of the non-contract system had been so satisfactory in India ; for, although great supervision had been exercised by the government over the expenditure, there was nothing like personal interest to insure economy. Contractors might be said to be both bold and timid-bold where the thing to be done was fairly understood ; but timid where there were contingencies in the background. In introducing a new class of labor into a new country, the engineer should pioneer the way, so as to ascertain the character of the elements on which contractors might subsequently found estimates. When that had been done, fair competition might be relied on, and then the con. tract system might be introduced with advantage.

Inferences of a useful character might be drawn from the comparison which had been made as to fares, and the average distance traveled by each passenger. The third-class fares in India seemed to be about one-half what they were in England, whilst the distance traveled by each passenger was respectively thirtytwo and twelve miles. If the distance each passenger was conveyed in England could be increased, no doubt either higher dividends would be realized, or lower fares could be charged. The intricate complications of railway companies had arisen from the contests for long fares. But it was believed that the real prosperity of a railway company was dependent more upon its own traffic; and that, in general, facilities should be afforded for the construction of lines in the districts traversed, so as to lead ultimately to an increase in the accommodation of the immediate population, and for the general conveyance of traffic.

THE RAILROADS OF NEW YORK, Too much importance, says the New York Courier and Enquirer, cannot be attached to the railroads and canals of our State. They have contributed more than all other sources combined to the growth of the city and the State. They have promoted the great interests of agriculture and manufactures throughout nearly the whole of the forty-seven thousand square miles within our limits. They will go on further, and in an equal ratio probably, in advancing the busiDess and wealth of the State.

In five years the total freights on the two leading roads, and the tolls on the canals have amounted to nearly $50,000,000—and the number of tons carried 27,000,000, viz : 1855-1859.

Freights. New York Central Railroad .....


3,884,702 New York and Erie.

19,335,575 4,419,365 Canals (tolls)...

11,433,629 18,929,639

Tons carried.

Total for five years......




Capital. Total debt. Cost of road. Receipts, 1859. New York Central Railroad. $24,000,000 $14,333,771 $30,840,713 $6,200,848 New York and Erie

11,000,000 25,613,703 35,390,907 4,482,149 Hudson River

3,758,466 9,256,654 11,388,279 1,842,636 New York and Harlem

5,717,100 5,353,297 8,019,671 1,076,322

Total, four roads.......

$44,475,566 $54,557,425 $85,569,570 $13,601,955

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Total State of N. Y... $70,189,794 $73,077,358 $129,433,033 $20,341,374

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For these figures we are indebted to an official source; and comparing them with the company's annual report for the year ending June 30, 1859, we find that for said year the gross receipts were $1,330,812 40, and the net receipts $783,037. These amounts, deducted from the gross and net earnings for the year ending June 30, 1860, exhibit in the gross receipts an increase of $304,284, and in the net receipts an increase of $95,560 67.

The Memphis and Charleston Railroad is an astonishing financial success ; and we use this strong adjective not because there is anything surprising in the fact that the road is a success—for that result was always expected of it—but because the measure of its success is beyond the hopes of the most sanguine of its confident projectors, and is almost beyond example among iron lines.

The Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company at date, July 1, 1859, owned 287 miles of first-class road, with complete appurtenances and equipments, represented by a funded debt of $2,700,000, and a stock capital of $3,580,264, making a total of capital and funded debt of $6,280,264.

The floating debt is small; the interest on the funded and floating debt together, for the year, not exceeding $200,000, and which, deducted from the net receipts for the year, leaves a balance of $673,596 67, from which to make appropriations to sinking fund, and renewal fund, and also to pay in cash a dividend so large as to seem fabulous.

The Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company command congratulations upon their most triumphant success, for no railroad man can ponder their tigures without emotions of the heartiest and highest satisfaction.

WEAR OF RAILS, In Herapath's Railway Journal, (English,) it is stated that, “at a late meeting of the West Flanders Railway, the editor having mentioned, on the experience of one of our ablest practical railway men, that the rails, unless at the stations and places where there is skidding, do not sensibly wear out, was afterwards spoken to by a gentleman and a railway chairman, who seemed to misunderstand what Mr. HERAPath said, and adduced the splitting and exfoliation of some of the rails in disproof of what they called a theory. Lest others should run away with the same mistaken notions and misapprehensions, we think it pecessary to say that the non-wearing out applies to rails made of good iron, not inferior iron tinned over, as it were, with good, of which far too many rails are made, and to rails on the middle of a line over which the trains run in the ordinary way. Experiments have been made by taking up and carefully weighing rails in this position after twelve months' wear or more, which were found not sensibly to have lost any weight during that time, thereby proving that there could have been no sensible wear. Besides, we have been assured that, after being down for many years, they showed no signs of material wear, which justified the statement which Mr. HERAPATI made on the authority given him. It is true that, near stations and places of 'shunting,' where there is much sliding and slipping by the application of the breaks or otherwise, there is a very sensible wear, but this is caused by slipping friction, vot rolling, which is incom. parably less than the former, though it seems we have ex-railway chairmen quite innocent of the knowledge of that simple fact." Rails made of the best iron cost more at first, but they endure three times longer than rails made of an inferior quality of metal, and the former are therefore the cheapest in the end.


The number of locomotives which can be built yearly by the Frerch builders is officially reported as follows:-Cail, of Paris, 100; E. Gouin, of aris, 73; ANDRE KOECHLIN & Co., of Mulhouse, 100; works at La Creuzot, 80; Bud. DICOM, of Rouen, 40 ; Cave, 50 ; CLEMENT DESORMES, 40 ; and the workshops of the Orleans Railway Company, 34 ; making 516 yearly. Besides the Orleans, other railway companies produce from 30 to 40 more engines yearly.





1860. 1859. 1858. Export from New OrleansTo foreign ports....

..... bales 2,005,662 To coastwise ports. .

208,634 Burnt at New Orleans,

5,240 Stock, 1st Sept., 1860.


Deduct received from Mobile.. 34,179
Received from Montgomery, etc. 28,473
Received from Florida..

16,335 Received from Texas...

49,036 Stock, 1st Sept., 1859.


154,045 ALABAMA,

2,139,425 1,669,274 1,576,409 Export from MobileTo foreign ports...

659,481 To coastwise ports..

158,332 Burnt at Mobile

3,387 Manufactured in Mobile,

1,220 Stock, 1st Sept., 1860...


864,102 Deduct received from N. Orleans 984 Stock, 1st Sept., 1859


21,090 TEXAS.

843,012 704,406 522,364 Export from Galveston, &c.To foreign ports, including 1,865 to Mexico).

111,967 To coastwise ports...

139,767 Manufactured in Galveston.

177 Stock, 1st Sept., 1860...


255,079 Deduct stock, 1st Sept., 1859.


252,424 192,062 145,286 FLORIDA Export from Apalachicola, St. Marks, &c.— To foreign ports, Uplands... 58,353 Sea Islands....

755 To coastwise ports, Uplands. 117,394 Sea Islands,

13,200 Burnt at Apalachicola..

1,394 Stock, 1st Sept., 1860.


192,960 Deduct stock, 1st Sept., 1859...n


192,724 173,484 122,351 GEORGIA, Export from SavannahTo foreign ports, Uplands..... 331,159 Sea Islands....

6,596 To coastwise ports, Uplands... 190,937 Sea Islands....

18,345 Stock in Savannah, 1st Sept., '60 4,307 Stock in Augusta, 1st Sept., '60 5,252


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