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loss upon rolling stock; and the principal one in our own country has cost $32,000 per mille.
30. Narrow-gauge roads can do the same business, or any given business, at a largely reduced cost of expense of operation and maintenance. ·
The answer to this is, the reports of the narrow-gauge roads prove conclusively that they cannot carry freight as cheaply as those of the standard gauge.
The cost of transporting freight over the Denver and Rio Grande Road, the one cited as proof of the assertion, was, in the year 1873, no less than 231 mills per ton per mile, and the “experienced opinion of President Palmer" is authority for the fact that, if the road had work to its full capacity, it would still cost 164 mills per ton per mile, while the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, doing a mixed business upon a standard gauge, runs coal-trains a round trip of 190 miles (empty cars one way) at 44 mills per ton per mile on the tonnage carried. 4th. With the same trackage they can do all the business that standard roads can.
The absurdity of tbis needs no other presentation than a slight modification. They can do all the business that some of the standard-gauge roads do, but not all they can do.
5th. On these facts (?) our commerce can obtain such a reduction of rates, local as well as through, as will fully meet the public demand, and solve this transportation problem, at least so far as land-carriage can accomplish it.
As the styled facts are not facts, the narrow-gauge does not solve this transportation problem.
To prove the fallacy of the whole argument it is only necessary to exhibit one of its bases.
In my memorial of last year is a statement that this company proposed to adopt a style of freight cars which would save largely in the dead weights to be lauled. A number of these cars are now in use on the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, and it is proven that they safely carry two tons of freight for each ton of dead weight.
In the light of this fact, the argument based upon the length and weight of train upon a narrow-gauge road has this aspect, instead of that presented in H. R. Mis. Doc. No, 14.
These new freight cars are 35 feet long, 9 feet 2 inches wide, and 5 feet 10 inches high in the clear, weighing 10 tons, and carrying 20 tons of paying freight.
A train of these cars, to carry a load of a train of 25 narrow-gauge cars, weighing the same and carrying the same freight, would measure but 350 feet in length against 600 feet of narrow-gauge cars, so that at least a half more trains can be run over the standard gauge, and half the sidings would accommodate the same trains.
It is also asserted that a narrow-gauge locomotive, weighing in all 20 tons, can haul a load of 300 tons up a 40-foot grade, but that one of standard gauge of 58 tons can only haul 400 tons over the same grade.
The power of a locomotive is dependent upon its traction. As the steam-power is usually mich in excess of the friction between the driving-wheels and the rails, this is dependent upon the weight on the drivers.
Two engines of the same symmetrical construction will haul in proportion to the weight upon the driving-wheels without regard to the distance those wheels may be apart. So that if the narrow gauge locomotive of 20 tons can haul 300 tons up a 40-foot grade, the standardgauge locomotive, of 58 tons weight, same proportion of weight on drivers, will haul 870 tons on same grade.
One or the other of the assertions in the document referred to must be an error; either the 20-ton locomotive can haul but 138 tons up a 40-foot grade and the 58-ton can haul 400 tons, or if the 20-ton can haul 300 tons, the 58-ton can haul 870 tons.
The truth is, that the 20 ton locomotive of usual proportion of weight upon the drivers can haul up a grade of 40 feet to the mile 323 tons, and one of 58 tons can haul upon the same grade 938 tons; but, practically, trains should be but about one-half of these weights, that is, 160 and 464 tons respectively, on a 40-foot grade.
The most salient point brought forward by this advocate of the narrow-gauge system is the practical operation of the Denver and Rio Grande Narrow-Gauge Railroad, which is introduced as an illustration of the capacity of such roads to earn dividends. It is said that its "expense cost” is but 50 per cent. of its gross earnings. In this exhibit there is an important omission. The price paid for freight and passengers has a decided bearing upon the question. When it is known that the charges upon that road average over 8 cents a mile for passen. gers and 47 mills per ton per mile for freight, the aspect is changed; with such prices almost any gauge could be made to pay.
It would appear that the above five assertions were made expressly to mislead, not to establish truth.
When our railway-system was commenced our population skirted the sea-coast, the lakes, and the navigable rivers. To the system we are indebted for the rapid spread of the area of production. The population of the great West is now larger than was then that of our whole country, and they are now beholden for railway transportation to trunk lines of road that have been constructed, as population and production progressed, in a zigzag manner, to accommodate local traffic, and which roads are now disposed to foster the traffic that has created them. This is right; but when they openly say that they do not want the throughtraffic, it is unbecoming for them to discountenance and endeavor to kill the efforts of the West to secure for themselves the advantages their older neighbors have so thriven under.
When we began to build cars we ran combination-trains of both pas. senger and freight cars, and to carry freight at a high rate of speed it was necessary to have great strength of cars. This construction of freight-cars we have unreasonably kept up. The narrow-gange discovery has made no alteration in the laws governing the strength of material. A wagon weighing but 1,000 pounds will carry a load of 4,000 pounds over an ordinary road at a speed of two miles an hour just as well now as it would before the introduction of the narrow gauge, but if you increase the speed to twenty miles an hour your wagon of one-fourth the weight of its load will not last long.
Cars can be made to carry two tons for each ton of their weight at a uniform rate of ten miles an hour, and they will probably last as long as wood can be preserved in such work. It matters little what the gauge may be ; that is so insignificant a factor that it will never compensate for transbipment of freight.
The above exbibit of the fallacies of the document in question is suf. ficient, so far as it concerns the question of narrow gauge.
But there are some other assertions and explanations that deserve notice, from their manner of special pleadings.
The explanation of the watering of stock seems designed to hide the operations of some of these great trunk-lines. The explanation is very lucid, but unfortunately it does not apply to the roads where the watering
is most notorious. It is not the poor roads that water the stock, but those that pay good dividends.
The increase of the cost of railroads by the process the writer explains is not called watering of stock; that is usually the wiping out of stock.
The assertion that the exclusively freight character of the Continental, by failing to transport passengers, is a weakness, condemns the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the Erie Canal, and, to a large extent, all our great lakes, for our people ignore them as means of travel, yet their freight capacity is not thereby entirely destroyed.
But on the Continental Railway it “must result in exorbitant rates, and perhaps total failure.” Such foolish assertions do not deserve notice, except that they find place in the documents of the House of Repre. sentatives.
2d Session. S
WASHINGTON, CINCINNATI AND SAINT LOUIS RAILROAD.
P. B. BORST,
PRESIDENT OF THE WASHINGTON, CINCINNATI AND SAINT LOUIS RAIL
FEBRUARY 16, 1875.-Referred to the Committee on Railways and Canals and ordered
to be printed.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress
assembled : The general assembly of Virginia passed an act, which was approved March 15, 1871, incorporating the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad Company, with an authorized capital of $15,000,000, to constrnct a railroad, with a gauge of three feet, from any point in Virginia opposite the District of Columbia (with a branch to the city of Richmond) to the West Virginia line, by the most practicable route. Pursuant to the provisions of this charter the company was organized on the 13th day of June, 1872.
In August following a barometrical examination of the proposed line of the road was made by Col. Richard B. Osborne, chief engineer, and myself, from Harrisonburgh, in Rockingham County, Virginia, to the western slope of the Alleghany Mountains.
Subscriptions to the capital stock of the company have been made by towns, connties, and individuals, and valuable tracts of mineral lands, including iron and coal, have been subscribed.
In September, of the same year, a corps of efficient engineers was put in the field. In August, 1873, sixty-five miles of grading from Harrisonburgh to Monterey, in Highland County, was let to contract.
Work was begun by the contractors in September, and at this time twenty miles of grading is completed.
On the 28th of January, 1873, a bill authorizing the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad Company to extend and construct their road into the District of Columbia, and west to Saint Louis and Chicago, was introduced in the Uuited States Senate, which bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, and by that committee favorably reported to the Senate, but owing to the shortness of the session it failed to become a law.
Believing that we have the best unoccupied and most central line from tide water to the Mississippi Valley, with low gaps and connecting
ridges, and that along the line of road in the two Virginias, Ohio, Indi. ana, and Illinois there is great mineral wealth to be developed by the construction of our road, and that the largest grain-growing region on the continent would, by the construction of the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad, be accommodated with low freights, pot in name only, but in reality, we have introduced House bill No. 3983, asking aid and the right to extend our road from Wasbington City, in the District of Columbia, and Richmond, to Saint Louis and Chicago.
The Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will begin at Washington City, and pass through Fauquier and other counties of East Virginia, at about an average distance of twenty miles north of the old Orange and Alexandria Railroad, through Beabm's Gap, a low point on the Blue Ridge Mountains, to Page County, in the Valley of Virginia. From the Valley of Virginia to the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, it will pass about midway between the Baltimore and Ohio and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads, which are parallel roads, with a general average of about fifty miles from each road. From Point Pleasant to Cincinnati, the distance between the Ohio River and the Marietta Railroad will average about forty miles, and the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will pass between the two, about twenty miles from each. From Cincippati to Saint Louis, it will pass between the Obio and Mississippi Railroad, on the south, and the Cincinnati and Terre Haute, and the Terre Haute and Indianapolis Roads, on the north. The two former roads are about forty miles apart, and the Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad will pass between the two.
It will be seen that the line of this road, from Washington City to Saint Louis, will pass through a country as yet but poorly supplied with railroad facilities. For the Chicago branch, the shortest and most feasi. ble, unoccupied route will be adopted.
Five important and rapidly growing cities-- Washington, the capital of the nation, Richmond, the capital of Virginia, Cincinnati, the leading commercial inart of the valley of the Ohio, Saint Louis, now firmly fixed in the class of the great American cities as a center of trade, manufactures, commerce, and all the refinements of a high civilization, and Chicago, the great grain center of the Mississippi Valley-are on the line of this road.
A table showing the distanees between Washington and Baltimore and western cities over the
Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad, and other roads.
Distance from Washington via
Washington, Cincionati and Saint Louis Railroad
Chesapeake and Obio.....
Washington, Cincinnati and Saint Louis Railroad.