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REGIUS PROFESSOR OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS IN THE UNIVERSITY
Citius emergit veritas ex errore quam ex confusione.
Baco, de forma calidi, Aph. x.
EDINBURGH: SUTHERLAND & KNOX:
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO., LONDON.
selves, may be looked upon as a machine for effecting the transport of “ passengers” and “goods.”
The power of the steam is taken up by the pistons of the engine, and transmitted to the circumference of the driving-wheels, the adhesion of which to the rails gives the fulcrum, or point of reaction, by which the power is continually transferred by the subsidiary mechanism of wheels, axles, springs, and carriages, to the useful effect to be produced—the transport of passengers and goods.
The existing railway machinery will be found to be monstrously disproportioned to the useful effect produced, in four-fifths of the number of times that the machine is put in action. And to this waste of power may be most justly attributed much of the present embarrassment of Railway Companies, whether in respect of their own internal financial position—their position with the dissatisfied public, as respects its pampered expectation of, and their power to supply accommodation ; and, lastly, their position with respect to inability to introduce, what in the opinion of the best judges in the matter, is the main element of traffic, that will conduce to the success of the railway system.
To convey, on the metropolitan railways, a net weight of from six to ten tons of passengers and luggage, at thirty miles per hour, a gross weight of from sixty to seventy tons is usually kept in motion. On provincial lines, the transport of from two to five tons of useful or paying weight involves the keeping in motion a gross weight of from forty to fifty tons.And to these facts may be traced most of the ano
malies and imperfections manifest in the railway system as hitherto developed.
To prove these assertions I must, in the first place, enter into an examination and discussion, which shall be as brief as possible, of the facts ascertained on the following points :
1. What is the present average weight of locomo
tive engines and tender—what is the amount of the adhesion—what is the power of the engine —what its efficiency, and what is the prevailing opinion on the question of the best form and pro
portion of the locomotive engine ? 2. What is the average weight of the first, second,
and third class carriages and of the trucks ? and what is the average composition of the trains on railways in different districts ? What is the resist
ance they oppose to the locomotive power ? 3. What is the average weight of passengers and
their luggage, per train, on railways in different districts ? What is the efficiency of the railway train as a machine?
OF THE LOCOMOTIVE.
Mr. R. Stephenson's engine, the “Rocket,” was constructed according to the 5th condition on which the Directors of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, in October 1829, offered “ a premium of £500 for the most improved locomotive engine.” The weight of the “Rocket” engine was 4 tons, 5 cwt.; its tender, with water and coke, 3 tons, 4 cwts., 2 lbs.