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ern Railway, when working at the sisting exclusively of passengers same speed, as 2,067 to 1,398, or and their personal luggage. In as 67 per cent. ; the load of the the Great Western average trains broad gauge in tons, to 45 tons, of 67 tons there is an allowance of which would be the correspond- about 16 tons for passengers and ing load for the narrow gauge ; luggage, including gentlemen's so that the narrow gauge engine carriages. Allowing the same has more power over the 42 tons it weight of luggage on the narrow would have to draw than the broad gauge line, the train would still gauge has over its average load of not exceed 50 tons, which is con67 tons, both exclusive of the siderably within the power of the weight of the engine and tender,
narrow gauge engine. For it apthe narrow gauge carriage in this pears, by the experiments that have supposition being supposed to con- been recently made on the Great tain 84.9 passengers, and the broad Western Railway, the details of gauge only 47.2.
which are given in the appendix If, however, it were necessary, to the evidence, that the Great 224 first-class passengers might be Western engine is capable of proplaced in the seven broad gauge pelling 13 tons at a greater speed carriages, and, as it has before than the average speed of that been said, 126 in the seven nar- line; and consequently, by the row gauge carriages : but it ap- proportion above stated, the narpears likely that this extent of ac
row gauge engine would be capable commodation would only be called of propelling 55 tons at the same for on such rare occasions, that rate. We conclude, therefore, the question of providing for it, that the work would be performed except by assistant power, cannot at about the same expense for be taken into consideration in the locomotive power. present comparison.
That there may be cases in It is obvious, from the foregoing which not only the full power of a statement, that the narrow gauge broad gauge engine is required, engine of the class we have been but even the assistance of a second considering has more power over engine, is quite certain, but such the
narrow gauge trains form the exception and not riages, and a load of 126 passen the rule in railway passenger gers, than the broad gauge engine traffic, and we doubt the soundness has over the seven broad gauge of a principle which involves a carriages, and the load of the great expense in construction, for same number of passengers ; and the sake of possessing capabilities that, therefore, if the Great West
so seldom called into action *. ern had been a narrow instead of a broad gauge line, the South Western engines would have had the same command over the existing ending June 30, 1845, the number of
* It appears that during the half-year passenger traffic of the
Great miles run by coupled and assisting Western as its own engines now engines for passenger-trains on the Great have with the present construction Western Railway, amounted to 11,628, of that railway.
and for goods trains to 51,155. The
total number of miles run by the former We must remark, however, that trains being 761,483, and of the latter, this calculation is for trains con 159,324.
It is proper to observe, that the profits of these companies, and foregoing comparison would have affords no proof of economy in appeared to stand more in favour working the passenger traffic on of the narrow gauge, had we taken the Great Western system. for the engine of comparison one There can be no doubt, judging of those engines of whose increased both from Mr. Brunel's evidence capabilities some of the supporters given to us, and from his report of the narrow gauge system have to the directors of the Great informed us; but we have preferred Western Railway Company, that the comparison afforded with the he originally expected there would South Western engine from its be on the Great Western Railway being the one on which Mr. Gooch, a demand for carrying great numof the Great Western Railway, bers of passengers at high veloci. superintended the recorded ex ties; but from his own evidence it periments
hence deduc- appears that the only heavy pastions are made from data fur- senger traffic upon that railway is nished by the advocates of the between London and Reading, and broad
gauge system, without between Bath and Bristol, being a drawing anything from the evi- total distance of about 50 miles, dence on the other side ; and as out of 245. these deductions sufficiently de On the remaining part of the monstrate that there is no economy line the passenger traffic, per train, in the locomotive expenses for is small. passenger-trains resulting from If the convenience of the public working a line on the broad gauge would admit of the whole of the system, even on such lines as those passenger traffic of this portion of which have at the present moment the line being conveyed daily by the most abundant passenger two or three large trains, 'Mr. traffic, any analyzation of the evi- Brunel's views would have been dence offered in support of the perfectly correct in providing such narrow gauge system appears to powerful means ; but experience us to be quite superfluous. has proved that the public require
There is one point, however, passenger trains to be run many stated in Mr. Gooch's comparative times during the day; and with this table, and repeated in his evidence, frequency of trains, such numbers which appears so much at variance of passengers as Mr. Brunel has with the results we have obtained provided for cannot be expected, from other data, as to require ex even on railways of the largest planation.
traffic, so that practically there is Mr. Gooch has asserted that the a waste both of power and of Great Western Company work
In the case of “ goods their passenger-trains at half the traffic,” the circumstances are not expense per ton at which the Lon- the same ; railway conveyance for don and Birmingham Company merchandize seems only to be rework their passenger-trains. The quired a few times in each day, fact is, however, that Mr. Gooch's and the trains are generally large. calculations refer to the gross and The “ through” waggons have for not to the net loads ; and, there. the most part a full load, and the fore, the comparison is not ap- disproportion between the gross plicable, so far as regards the and the net weight is consequently
much less than in the passenger- gauge for the existing lines, that trains ; still, however it appears system would be still more entitled from the evidence of Mr. Horne, to the preference for the railways and of other persons connected of smaller traffic to which we look with the carrying trade, that on the forward. London and Birmingham Railway We must here add, that towards it frequently happens that waggons the close of our inquiry Mr. Brunel are forwarded to a considerable dis. requested, on the part of the broad tance to “ road-side stations,” con gauge companies, to institute a set taining not more than a ton of of experiments to test the power of goods : and there can be no doubt their engines, and Mr. Bidder, on that this must happen on any long the part of the narrow gauge comline of railway. The same also panies, undertook, in consequence occurs in waggons coming in from of such application, to make corbranches along the trunk line, and responding experiments on the in all such cases the heavy large narrow gauge. After sanctioning waggon of the broad gauge must these trials, and being present at be disadvantageous; but although the performance of them, a record the evil is not so great with goods' of which will be found in the apwaggons of the broad gauge as pendix, we may observe, without with their passenger carriages, still entering into a minute detail of the the loss by dead weight is greater results or the discrepancies bewith these than with smaller wag- tween the returns as furnished by gons, and we do not perceive any the two parties themselves, that we advantages in the broad gauge to consider them as confirming the counterbalance it ; for where speed statements and results given by is not an object—and this is the Mr. Gooch, in his evidence ; provcase with goods' trains— we believe, ing, as they do, thạt the broad from the evidence we have received, gauge engines possess greater that engines of nearly the same capabilities for speed with equal tractive power are to be found on loads, and, generally speaking, of many narrow gauge lines as those propelling greater loads with equal in use on the broad gauge. speed; and, moreover, that the
Thus far we have considered the working with such engines is question with reference to the rail. economical where very high speeds ways as they now exist, and com are required, or where the loads to posed in a great measure of trunk be conveyed are such as to require lines of considerable traffic ; but the the full power of the engine. They railways to be made in future will confirm also the evidence given in some degree be branches or lines by Mr. Bidder as to the possibility in districts baving traffic of Jess of obtaining high evaporative power magnitude than is to be provided with long engines for the narrow for in the existing railways ; and gauge ; but under somewhat pehence, if for the greater trunk lines culiar circumstances. It appears, a superiority were due to the broad moreover, that the evaporation gauge system, that superiority thus obtained does not produce a would be less for lines yet to be corresponding useful effect in the constructed of a smaller amount of tractive power of the engine ; a traffic ; and necessarily, if the pre. circumstance that would probably ference were given to the narrow be differeutly explained by Mr. Vol. LXXXVIII.
Gooch and by Mr. Bidder ; but, as convenience to the general comwe do not refer to the power of mercial traffic of the country, we this description of engine in the are inclined to consider the narrow deductions we have made, it is un gauge as that which should be prenecessary for us to allude further ferred for general convenience ; to them.
and, therefore, if it were inAfter a full consideration of all perative to produce uniformity, we the circumstances that have come should recommend that uniformity before us, and of the deductions we to be produced by an alteration of have made from the evidence, we the broad to the narrow gauge, are led to conclude
more especially when we take into 1. That as regards the safety, consideration that the extent of the accommodation, and convenience of former at present in work is only the passengers, no decided prefer- 274 miles, while that of the latter ence is due to either gauge, but is not less than 1,901 miles, and that, on the broad
gauge, the mo that the alteration of the former to tion is generally more easy at high the latter, even if of equal length, velocities.
would be the less costly as well the 2. That, in respect of speed, we less difficult operation, consider the advantages are with We are desirous, however, of the broad gauge, but we think guarding ourselves from being the public safety would be en- supposed to express an opinion dangered in employing the greater that the dimension of 4 ft. 8 in. capabilities of the broad gauge is in all respects the most suited much beyond their present use, for the general objects of the except on roads more consolidated country. Some of the engineers and more substantially and per- who have been examined by us fectly formed, than those of the have given it as their opinion, that existing lines.
5 ft. would be the best dimension 3. That, in the commercial case for a railway gauge; others have of the transport of goods, we be- suggested 5 ft. 3 in., 5 ft. 6 in., lieve the narrow gauge to possess and even 6 ft., but none have rethe greater convenience, and to be commended so great a breadth as the more suited to the general 7 ft., except those who are more traffic of the country.
particularly interested in the broad 4. That the broad gauge involves gauge lines. Again, some enthe greater outlay, and that we have gineers of eminence contend that not been able to discover, either in a gauge of 4 ft. 81 in. gives ample the maintenance of way, in the space for the machinery of the encost of locomotive power, or in the gine and all the railway requireother annual expenses, any ade- ments, and would recommend no quate reduction to compensate for change to be made in the gauge. the additional first cost.
We may observe, in reference Therefore, esteeming the im- to this part of the question, that portance of the highest speed on the Eastern Counties railway was express trains for the accommoda- originally constructed on a gauge tion of a comparatively small num of 5 feet, and has since been conber of persons, however desirable verted into a gauge of 4 ft. 84 in., that may be to them, as of far less to avoid a break of gauge ; and we moment than affording increased have been informed that some lines
in Scotland, originally on the varying gradients, curves, and gauge of 5 ft. 3 in., are about to traffic might justify some differbe altered to 4 ft. 81 in. for the ence in the breadth of gauge. same reason.
This appears to be the view which Whatever might be the prefer- Mr. Brunel originally took of the able course were the question now subject ; for the Great Western to be discussed of the gauge for an proper is a line of unusually good entire system of railways, where gradients, on which a larger pasnone previously existed to clash senger traffic was anticipated, and, with the decision, yet, under the as it touched but slightly on any present state of things, we see no mineral district, it embraced all sufficient reason to suggest or re
the conveniences and advantages commend the adoption of any gauge of the broad gauge system, and intermediate between the narrow was comparatively free from the gauge of 4 ft. 8} in. and the broad influence of those defects on which gauge of 7 ft., and we are peculiarly we have commented ; but such a struck by the circumstance, that breadth of gauge, however suitalmost all the Continental railways able and applicable it may have have been formed upon the 4 ft. originally been considered to its 8} in. gauge, the greater number particular district, appears wholly having been undertaken after a inapplicable, or at least very ill long experience of both the broad suited to the requirements of many and the narrow gauge in this of our northern and midland lines. country; nor must the fact be lost In reference to the branches sight of, that some of these rail- already in connection with the ways have been constructed as well Great Western railway, we may as planned by English engineers, observe, that the greatest average and amongst that number we find train on the Oxford branch, for Mr. Brunel, the original projector two weeks in July and October, of the broad gauge.
Mr. Brunel was only 48 tons; on the Cheltenwas also the engineer of the ham branch, it did not exceed 46; Merthyr Tydvil and Cardiff line, between Bristol and Exeter, 53 ; which is on the 4 ft. 84 in. gauge; and between Swindon and Bristol and we think that the motives it was under 60 tons. With such which led to his adoption of the nar a limited traffic the power of the row gauge in that instance would broad gauge engines seems beyond equally apply to many English the requirements of these districts. lines.
We find from estimate We are sensible of the import- furnished to us, and the general ance, in ordinary circumstances, of grounds of which we see no reason leaving commercial enterprise as to dispute, that the expense of alwell as the genius of scientific men tering the existing broad gauge to unfettered; we therefore feel that narrow gauge lines, including the the restriction of the gauge is a alteration or substitution of locomeasure that should not be lightly motives and carrying stock, would entertained ; and we are willing to not much exceed 1,000,0001. ; yet admit, were it not for the great we neither feel that we can recomevil that must inevitably be ex mend the Legislature to sanction perienced when lines of unequal such an expense from the public gauges come into contact, that monies, nor do we think that the