OPENING OF THE SYDNEY RAILWAY.
THE event of yesterday was the triumph, not only of science over natural difficulties, but of the spirit of enlightenment and civilization over prejudice and worldly mindedness.
The great agent of civilization, the best and most effective servant of progress, has been retained by the antipodean colonies of Australia within the same quarter of a century in which he became the liveried vassal of civilized Europe.
We have established a railroad in this colony—we have achieved the great distinction which ranks us with those countries who live and progress under im- pulses which modem science has seemed to indicate will work out the destinies of our race.
We have established a railway, and if we read the history of railways aright, the rails, the bridges, the tunnels, the embankments, the stations, and the whistle, are only the bones and sinews of the material form in which is embodied that expansive spirit of intellectual do- minion, which will cease not to assert its sway while one acre of ground in the furthest region of this island continent may be visited with benefit to our common kind. With the introduction of railways will follow in quick succession a series of social, moral, and ma- terial advantages which few have hitherto been led to contemplate, but which will soon evince themselves in the lives and habits of our community. The railroad comes to us not by itself alone ; all the great scientific improvements which it has partially suggested, and entirely facilitated, such as the electric telegraph, will follow in its train. It is the connecting hand, we had almost said the tie of relationship, between town, and town, and village and village. Whatever is good, whatever is desirable for the best interests of the country, or of the moral and social state in the metropolis, will be communicated to, and learned by, those in the interior, with a dispatch the value of which must rank far below that of the im- pressiveness and decision with which such information will be conveyed. Every district, every town will be nearer to us. Every district and every town will con- sequently have to be regulated by one system, and the very expansion of the action of that system will tend to rectify any latent errors, which even in its best form it may contain.
The increased facilities of communication are the cords by which the great interests of a country are bound together. The unison of these interests will be the best protection and guarantee for the advancement of them all. We have had too much antagonism of classes in New South Wales ; with the establishment of railways we firmly believe it will die out.
The Sydney Railway has been established, like almost all other great works in new countries, in the teeth of prejudice and party opposition, based on most visionary grounds. It was in the year 1846 that the idea of establishing a railway to Goulburn was first seriously considered by a few people, who believed that the time had come when this modern improve- ment in matters of transit should supersede the system of common roads, which it had then been found im-
possible to keep in repair, and which have since, under an almost quadrupled expenditure upon them, fallen only into a lower stage of dilapidation and decay. Meetings were convened—meetings of the public, but when they assembled they were found to con- sist almost entirely of the few, who then saw that to prolong the absence of railways was to condemn New South Wales to an indefinite period of struggle, against circumstances which could alone be overcome by the introduction of this magnifi- cent appliance. The gentlemen who were interested, however, in this great undertaking persevered. At every meeting the views and opinions expressed seemed to assume a more tangible shape. Tables of cost of the work and the amount of traffic were carefully com- piled, and if both have since been found erroneous, the industry and energy they called forth was exercised and disciplined to the task which has just been ful- filled. At last a subscription, liberal in its amount when the fewness of the subscribers is considered, was entered into for a survey of a line to Goulburn, and the conduct of this survey was entrusted to the hands of Lieutenant Woore, a gentleman of con- siderable scientific abilities, and who performed the duty allotted to him with much energy and skill. The survey of Mr. Woore, however, and his recommen- dations as to the manner in which they should be car- ried out, have not been adopted by the Railway Company.
In the year 1849, the Sydney Railway Company was formed. Mr. Charles Cowper, Member of Council for the County of Cumberland, being selected for its first manager. The opposition, deep and silent in its most effective shape, but often loud and overbearing, which the company met with, is only to be appreciated by those who witneesed the struggle which the infant enterprise had to undergo. Had the feeling of the community been enlisted in its favour at the outset ; could the prejudices of some, the personal interests of others, and the bitter malignity of many, have been counteracted—the railway to Parramatta might have been completed at one-fifth of its present cost, while on this day might have been recorded its completion as far as the town of Goulburn. Undismayed, however, by this opposition, "the good men and true" who were the pioneers of railway enterprise, stuck to their work.
There are men who sneered at this enterprise, but who boasted having penetrated into the wilderness to open a country for the mere depasturage of sheep and cattle. They have demanded for this enterprise, not only a recollection, but a consideration. A higher, and better reward will, we hope, in its proper period, meet the services of those who battled against sterner difficulties than the Blue Mountains, in those stum- blings and rocks of offence which their opponents con- stantly cast in their way. The "rail" was to open the country to all ; the squatters search for a run was for its appropriation to himself. Maintaining itself against these difficul- ties, after much trouble the Company obtained its Act
of Incorporation, surrounded by those guarantees from the Home Government, which could alone induce the capitalists of this colony to come forward. The exer- tions of this Company were untiring ; but they had many difficulties to contend with. Competent officers were difficult to procure, and criticism has an acute eye for enterprise, to which suspicion edged on by selfish jealousy attaches. The works of the Company progressed but slowly—new capital was wanted, but was not forthcoming at the hands of the public, and was lent under the act of the Legislature to the company ; and, finally, during the last session, an Act was passed, under which the whole of the railway works in the colony were placed in the hands of the Executive. Under this arrangement the first line of railroad in the colony has been completed and opened—but, while none can deny every praise to the Commissioners, under whose direction the line has been completed, no liberal man will refuse even a larger share of praise to those public spirited men, who devoted their money and time to an enterprise of the highest moment to the progress of the country, at a time when that enterprise was almost universally looked upon as visionary and absurd.
We now proceed to offer some details of the pro- gress of the works since their actual commencement.
THE first work of the Sydney and Parramatta Railway
was began on the 3rd of July, 1850, in the Cleveland Paddock. The ceremony of cutting the first sod was performed by the Hon. Mrs. Keith Stewart, in the presence of his late Excellency Sir Charles Augustus Fitz Roy and a large concourse of people. The day was extremely unpropitious, in as much as it rained almost without intermission from morning until evening ; but, we are bound to admit that the inclemency of the weather, did not in any way restrain the universal joyousness which was felt at the commencement of this great national undertaking. The actual amount of capital at this period, in the hands of the company, was only £15,500 ; of which £10,000 had to be paid into the the Colonial Treasury prior to the commencement of operations. Up to the end of 1850 the expenditure for prosecuting the work amounted to about £3000, all of which was absorbed in the preliminary operations in the vicinity of Sydney.
On the 12th of March, 1851, the tender of Mr.
William Wallis was accepted for the construction of the line from Ashfield to Haslem's Creek, the esti- mated cost being £10,000. This was on account of earthwork, fencing and bridges, for a single line, and did not include the rails, &c. These works were pro- ceeded with, though slowly, until the rise in the labour market, consequent on the discovery of gold near Bathurst, when the contractor, with the consent of the directors, abandoned his contract, notwithstanding an offer of 30 per cent. increase on his prices. This abandonment took place in the latter part of 1852.
Towards the close of 1851, tenders were invited by
public advertisement for additional contracts, but no eligible offer having been made, the directors de- ferred entering into any agreement on account of the then unsettled state of the labour market.
On the 9th of August, however, 1852, Mr.
William Randle, the gentleman who now presides over the works as contractor, commenced operations in the Cleveland Paddock at Sydney, within 100 yards of the spot where the Honorable Mrs. Keith
Stewart turned the first turf upwards of two years before. Labour was scarce and dear, and a host of difficulties, natural and otherwise, had to be con- tended with ; in consequence of which, and the af- fairs of the Company not being in a very flourishing state, he had to limit his exertions for a time to a comparatively small district. The cash advances, though regular, were extremely small.
Mr. Randle's first gang consisted of five men, one of whom was discharged the first day, and two of them have continued in his employ ever since. This was but a small beginning. The gang of men, however, increased in a few days, and the Board had to pay £50 per week for work done. When, however, the payments amounted to £70 a week it was considered a matter for congratulation among the directors that
there were some signs of "getting on".
In the space of sixteen weeks the work had rapidly
advanced, 24,000 cubic yards of excavation having been completed, which was more than had been done
under the old contract in eighteen months. Brick yards and quarries were opened, and an establishment set in operation for the manufacture of earthwaggons and
other stock. From that period the line was vigorously prosecuted, although under many disadvantages, the greatest of which was the want of iron rails. Wooden rails were used during this time, but they were very expensive, on account of the enormous wear and tear, and the great amount of friction. Plating the rails with thin bars of iron was tried with partial success ; but the process and the re-
pairs involved in it were too expensive for general
In May or June, 1854, the first shipment of iron rails was received, and further shipments continued to arrive in rapid succession. This was felt to be a great advantage, both in point of economy and expedition. The new rails were, of course, laid down immediately, and the wooden ones (which required removing every two months) were finally abandoned. The saving in draught alone was 50 per cent—a matter of some moment at a time when draught horses were worth £80 a head, and hay was fetching £35 per ton. About this period, also, the company succeeded in obtaining a Government loan, and the works were consequently prosecuted with increased vigour. The weekly pay- ments immediately rose to £4000 per week.
At this time some doubts were expressed as to the stability of the works, and they were in consequence minutely examined, and most favourably reported upon, by a board of pro- fessional gentlemen appointed for the purpose. The same board examined the works in their finished state on Saturday last, when a train weighing 200 tons tra- versed the line from the Sydney station to Parramatta. We understand their approval of the works generally, and the arrangements made for carrying on the public traffic was unqualified.
The length of the main line of railway from Sydney to Parramatta is somewhat less than 14 miles. The
branch to Darling Harbour, which is nearly com- pleted, will be about a mile in length, and will, with the wharves and stores attached to the terminus, form a most valuable adjunct to the trunk.
Long as the period appears since the railway was first put in progress, the actual making of it has not occu- pied more than three years ; and had there been a supply of iron rails in the colony in 1852 the whole work could have been completed eighteen months ago.
The course taken by the railway is as follows :— Commencing at the terminus in Cleveland Paddock, which is 63 feet above the level of the sea, the first object of interest after emerging from the wooden station, is a large two-storied stone building, used as a machine shop, and fitted up with all the requisite machinery and power for executing repairs to the rolling stock. Over the engine room is a tank capable of containing 20,000 gallons of water, which is pumped from a well by a diminutive piece of mechanism called a donkey engine. Passing a large turn-table on the left, we enter the first cutting, and are shortly in the Cleve- land tunnel—a piece of arching 250 feet in length. The abutments and traces are of masonry, and the arch is of brickwork ; the whole forming a very sightly and durable structure. Botany and Cleveland streets past over it, and, as a matter of course, it is the medium of a large amount of traffic. This work was commenced and completed in a remarkably short period. The line then passes between massive retaining walls, through the block of houses situated between Botany and Woodburn streets. Passing thence through a cutting–out of which 50,000 cubic yards were excavated—the line proceeds within two hundred yards of the left of Mrs.
Chisholm's house (now the residence of Mr. Cargill), from which point it continues in a straight line to the left of Newtown, through the grounds of Messrs. Wilson, Blackman, Brick- nell, and Robey, to Erskinville Lane, and the Cook's River Road. These latter thoroughfares are carried over the railway by brick arches, at an angle of fifty degrees with the line, which are well deserving of in- spection, not only as works of art, but as being the first and only skew bridges constructed in the colony. 300 yards farther, we arrive at the Newtown station, which is situated near the residence of Mr. Breillat. Omnibuses will run from this point to Cook's River, for the accommodation of persons residing in the locality. Numbers of buildings are in course of erection in the vicinity, and that peculiar indication of advancing civilisation, a watch-house, will be observed near the bridge. Curving away from Newtown down an incline of one in 264 we pass Johnstone's Creek, on an embankment 26 feet high, from which a good view may be had of the dusty Parramatta Road, with its multitude of wood carts, bullock drays, flocks of sheep, and droves of cattle. The prospect also opens up the village of Camperdown at one end, Annandale House, the resi- dence of Mr. Robert Johnstone, at the other, with Mount Tomah in the far distance. Another mile, winding through the lands of Messrs. Cooper and Holt,
in conjunction with the Annandale Estate, and we find ourselves in the middle of Petersham Hill, the
deepest cutting on the line, and the summit level be- tween Sydney and Parramatta. The depth of the excavation is 88 feet, and the level of the rails is 100 feet above the sea.
The quantity of cutting in this hill was 58,000 cubic yards. At the end is the site of the intended cattle station. All fat stock brought from the interior will be landed here and driven direct to the new abattoirs at Glebe Island. Descending an incline of 1 in 100,
and passing Petersham House on our left, we find our- selves in a few moments flying over the Long Cove Creek viaduct, the largest bridge as yet arched in New South Wales. It consists of eight semi-circular stone arches, of thirty feet span each— whilst the height from the bed of the creek to the level of the rails is 60 feet. The cost of this magnifi-
cent and most durable work was £20,000. The line is level over the viaduct for a distance of ten chains, and the elevation of the rails is about 65 feet above the sea, or nearly the same as at the Sydney Terminus. An ascending gradient of half a mile, at 1 in 100, brings us to the Liverpool-road, which is carried over the line by a substantial wooden bridge on stone piers. The cutting at this place is the heaviest on the line, the quantity of excavation being about 95,000 cubic yards.
It is half a mile in length, and the end of it is situated at the Ashfield Station, a distance of five miles from Sydney. This station comprises a plain verandah cottage, containing living rooms for the station-master, and a commodious booking-office. Though the style of architecture is more simple than ornamental, yet the building answers all the purposes required, and was not costly. Crossing the Ashfield Church Road on the level, we come to Seven Mile Hollow. The embankment here contains 76,000
cubic yards of earth, and is 23 feet high for a considerable portion of it. The line, now di- verges from the Liverpool Road, and rising an in- clination of 1 in 500, and passing through a cutting of 28 feet in depth, we reach the newly laid out town ship of Cheltenham, at the Parramatta end of which is situated the Burwood station, on the main road from the village of Concord to the Liverpool Road. It is six miles and a half from Sydney. On descending a gra- dient of 1 in 165 and 1 in 100, we reach Powell's Creek, at which point the line is but 82 feet above the level of the sea. A quarter of mile farther on, and we arrive at the Homebush station, which is situated within 200 yards of Parramatta Road, near the
Governor Gipps and Cutler Inns. The entrance to the Homebush Racecourse is about three quarters of a mile from this station, toward Parramatta. Ascending at the rate of one in 132 and one in 100 for 38 chains, and descending again at the rate of one in 100 for 15 chains, we come to Potts' Creek at a distance of a quarter of a mile from the Parramatta Road whence the line gra- dually diverges. From this point to Parramatta, the land is covered with timber and thick scrub. After leaving Potts' Creek we pass through some heavy cuttings and embankments in the land of Mr. Thomas Underwood. We next pass over the land, formerly the property of Sir Charles Nichol- son, who (and let it be mentioned as an honourable exception) gave the ground required for the railway free of charge. There is also a piece of land here, ten acres in extent, reserved for a station. The rails at this place, are 73 feet above the level of the sea. Curving to the right, on a descending gradient of 1 in 100, we pass over Haslem's Creek, which, although but a small stream, is remarkable for possessing a supply of pure water at this locality in the hottest weather. The railway now ascends 1 in 132 on a straight line of about a mile in length to the highest point between Haslem's Creek and Parramatta, being 67 feet above the aea. After curving slightly to the left the line descends another gradient of 1 in 100 for about a mile in length to Duck River, over which it passes by a dam. The level of the rails here is only 16 feet above the sea, being the lowest point on the line. We are now once more within a quarter of a mile of the Parramatta Road. From Duck River the line is straight into the Parramatta Station, which is reached on an ascending gradient of 1 in 200. The Salt-water Creek is also passed by means of a dam, with a bridge of 20 feet span, to allow the escape of flood waters. Along the last two miles may be observed immense heaps of burnt clay, which is used for ballasting the line. We now arrive at the Parramatta Station (the present terminus of the line). This is situated at the junction of the Dog Trap and Parramatta Roads, near Beckett's Bridge, and is distant from the centre of the township about one mlle. From this point the line curves off to the left, towards the town of Liverpool, which we understand is the next point to which it will be ex-
It has been arranged that omnibuses shall run to
and from Parrammatta, to meet the trains, for the purpose of conveying passengers free of charge into the town. This will go a great way to obviate the inconvenience which is felt from the fact of the rail- way terminus not having been carried into the heart of Parramatta.
The principal works on the line may be recapitulated as under :—750,000 cubic yards of excavation ; 27
bridges and 50 culverts ; one viaduct over Long Cove Creek, and the tunnel at Chippendale ; 2 terminal sta- tions erected ; and 4 intermediate ones, besides work- shops and other buildings sufficient to carry on the line. The stations are chiefly constructed of timber, but they are sufficiently substantial and capacious for the present traffic. In a few years probably, more exten- sive arrangements will be required, when it will be easy to remove the present buildings and cause more permanent ones to be erected in their place. The station at the terminus on the Darling Harbour branch will be constructed on a very large scale, and will have the advantage of warehouses and a large pier for shipping, receiving, and discharging goods.
The present rolling stock of the line consists of four engines and tenders of the very best description, from the manufactory of Robert Stephenson and Co., New- castle-Upon-Tyne. Great power rather than high speed was taken into consideration in their manufac- ture, and they are consequently well adapted to the present circumstances of the country. The diameter of the driving and trail wheels is 5 feet 6 inches ; that of the cylinder 16 inches, and the stroke is 24 inches. The tenders are mounted on 6 wheels, and are provided with breaks of the most powerful description. The weight of the engine and tender empty is 30 tons, and the total weight when the boiler and tank are filled and the firing is in the tender is about 45 tons. The carriages are from the establishment of Wright and Co., of London and Birmingham, and are ad- mitted by competent judges to be equal to anything of the kind in England ; they are all built of teak, and are richly fitted up in the most modern and fashionable style. The utmost amount of comfort is combined with great elegance and taste in the general arrangement. The roofs more- over are double, so as to keep the inside of the car- riages as cool as possible. Altogether there are eight first class carriages; twelve second class, and twelve third class, also six break vans, and about sixty wag- gons of all descriptions, besides wheels and axles for a large number of cattle and sheep vans. The above stock, although apparently large for the colony, it is expected will prove quite insufficient for the traffic.
The working of this line and the repairs of the works have been taken tender contract by Mr. Randle for a period of twelve months from the day of open- ing, and by virtue of this arrangement he is to pro-
vide, clothe, and pay all the servants, such as station- masters, guards, engine-drivers, stokers, policemen, and labourers of every kind necessary to work the
trains to the satisfaction of the commissioners. In
consideration of this he is to receive 55 per cent. on the gross amount of the receipt. The commissioners provide rolling stock, and appoint and pay officers to receive all the moneys for fares and freights.
The event of yesterday was commemorated with a more universal observance of holiday festivities than we have witnessed on any previous occasion in our remembrance. All thought of business, except it was auxiliary to pleasure, was abandoned. The shops throughout the city were shut from earliest dawn, and there was evidently a restless interest mingled with anxiety as to the result of the "great enterprise"' which had never before been excited. The colony has much to be thankful for that the result was propitious. Thousands who before were adverse to railways, thousands who sneered in their ignorance of the advantages they offered, thousands who were timid as to the capabilities and safety of a colonial line— now became staunch friends of railway enterprise.
The morning was unfortunately wet and gloomy— the more disappointing because unexpected ; the weather for some days previous having been unusually bright and cheerful. This did not, however, deter thousands on thousands from congregating around the centre of attraction—the terminus on the Cleveland
Paddock. At eleven o'clock his Excellency the Governor-General arrived at the statíon, and was received by a salute of 19 guns, fired by the Artillery (Volunteer) Corps. A second salute of 21 guns was also fired when the train started.
The scene at the station was exciting. Never was a greater concourse assembled in New South Wales.
People of many climes, of all ages, and representing every class of society, congregated to witness the opening of the colony's greatest work. Every elevated spot from which a view could be obtained was covered with human masses, and on the sloping ground in the immediate vicinity of the engine house, thousands of
anxious spectators were assembled.
The platform was crowded to excess by those who had purchased tickets, each of whom was desirous of occupying the first place, so that those in the rear had not the slightest chance of a seat, and scarcely had the train arrived alongside the platform and it was
literally crammed, much to the disappointment of the outsiders, who had no alternative but to stand over for the next trip.
In consequence of the very limited first-class accom- modation, a very large number holding first-class tickets crowded into carriages of the third-class even after all the seats were occupied, rather than see the
train start without them.
His Excellency and company having taken their seats in the viceregal carriage, the train was soon in motion, and the shrill whistle of the engine was the precursor of the waving of flags, hats, and handkerchiefs, the salute of the artillery, and the hearty cheers of the assembled thousands. There was not the slightest accident, and it was quite unnecessary for any "stout old buffer" to apply his shoulder to the "buffer," to
set the train in motion.
The bridges were also crowded with spectators, and the inhabitants along the railway all turned out to look on, feeling assured the line was a wrinkle indi- cative not much of age as of progress, and the future wealth of the colony.
On the arrival of the train at the Terminus the pas- sengers had scarcely alighted before the predictions of the weatherwise were verified, and the rain came down for some minutes in torrents. Many availed
themselves of the shelter afforded at the station, some returned to Sydney, and others having braved the rail, defied the storm and pursued their way to Parramatta. The Commissioners of the Railway invited his Excellency to a lunch at Williams' Family Hotel, at Parramatta, at which several members of Council, officers of the work, and influential gentlemen were also present. The entertainment was almost of a private character, but, the health of his Excellency the Governor-General having been proposed by Mr. Thomas Barker, and received with loud cheers, his Excellency in returning thanks said, that he felt sincerely gratified at the honour done him by the attention paid to him, and he congratulated them all on the successful opening of the first railway in the colony. It must be, he hoped, only the precursor to more extended enterprise in this direction. It was not
sufficient, for the colony to have a railroad ; it must
he had said on another occasion, have a system of railroads—a network of railroads, by which every part of the country would be connected one with another. With- out railroads they might go on sleepily existing from century to century ; but their existence would be a stagnant one. lt would possess no vitality, no energy, no usefulness. But he would further add, if they desired to possess railroads, they must pay for them. They must be willing to find the money, and surely this would be no false liberality. In this great colony in which there were some two hundred and fifty millions of acres of land, but a small quantity, about six millions, had been actually alienated. This land was the great capital of the country, and if, by giving some ten or twelve millions of these acres for railway purposes, they advanced, the price of the other incalculably, by affording means of access to the metropolis, they would invest this capital well. He could assure them, that whatever he could do to advance railway enterprise, would be cheerfully done by him ; but if that enterprise were to succeed, it must be by a "long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether." They must have railroads if they wished the colony to go a-head ; if they wished it to cease to be a collection of scattered towns and villages, having no connected interests, and become a country worthy of taking its position among the nations of the earth.
His Excellency then proposed the Commissioners of Railways, paying them a high compliment for the
judicious manner in which they had worked out the enterprise to its present stage, and expressing his opi- nion that if they had been paid officers they could not have worked more efficiently, and zealously, and per- haps not so well.
Mr. GOTHER MANN returned thanks on the part of
The GOVERNOR-GENERAL then proposed the health of the original projectors of the railway, assigning to them the credit of having first put this enterprise in mo- tion, and making particular mention of the names of Mr. Kemp and Mr. Cowper, as having been foremost and most steadfast in the great work.
Mr. COOPER, in returning thanks, entered at some length into the difficulties which the Company had to encounter in its earlier efforts. He considered that the surrender of railways to the care of the Executive was right in principle, and was glad it had been adop- ted in this colony. He concluded, by paying a high tribute to the talent and zeal of Mr. Wallace, the chief engineer, whose skill and judgment had placed them in the position to open the line as successfully as they
had done that day, and he would beg to propose to them the health of Mr. Wallace.
The toast haying been drunk with cheers, Mr.
WALLACE briefly returned thanks, stating his belief, that whatever objections might have been raised to them, he did not think in future years they would be regarded as being of too costly a nature. After some earnest remarks in support of the claim of Mr. Ran- dle, the contractor for this railway, to public gratitude for his enterprise, energy, and zeal, Mr. Wallace pro- posed that gentleman's health.
The toast was drunk with enthusiasm, and was responded to by Mr. WRIGHT, who regretted that the
pressing business of the line demanded Mr. Randle's
absence on this occasion.
After some observations from Mr. KEMP, in which he stated that he believed that any useful and efficient line of railroad in the colony would cost £10,000 per mile, but while he thought this should be fairly looked in the face, he believed even at this price a railroad would be cheaper than any other road could be to the country.
Mr. KEMP then proposed the health of Mr. Brady, formerly resident engineer to the company, and now to the department. He passed a high eulogy on Mr. Brady's talents and conduct, which was joined in by
Mr. CHARLES COWPER.
Mr. BRADY returned thanks in a neat speech.
The health of the original shareholders having been proposed by Mr. COWPER, and drunk with all the
honours, the party, warned by the growing lateness of the hour, broke up, and the visitors returned to the station.
The trains, with the exception of the first one, were thronged all through the day, and nearly two thousand people must have travelled to and fro on the first line of railway in this colony ; and it is most gra- tifying to say that not a single accident occurred. We believe that no trip up or down exceeded forty minutes. We are, however, prevented from entering into any more detailed account of the various trips, as the arrangements by which members of the press could obtain any information, or even secure seats in the trains, were so very deficient, that it is impossible that any accurate narrative of the day's proceedings could be compiled.
In concluding this notice, it is only right that we should acknowledge in complimentary terms the skilful and energetic exertions of those officers to whom we are more immediately indebted for the suc- cessful construction of the line. Of Mr. Randle the contractor, we have frequently expressed our opinion in terms of unqualified commendation. The part which he has taken in the public works of the colony has been truly one of revolutionary enterprise, and the beneficial results which are daily becoming more palpable to the community speak most eloquently of his ability and usefulness. But there are other gentlemen professionally engaged in the enterprise whose exertions, although perhaps in- dividually less perceptible to the general public, are not less worthy of honourable mention. We allude in particular to the engineer officers, Mr. William Wal- lace, chief, and Mr. Joseph Brady, resident engineer, to whose energy and ability the scientific and practical execution of the works are mainly owing.