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  • SheffieldPark 26 May 2012 at 18:07
    If UK wheels were unreliable, then this might explain "wheel-tapping".

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20 corrections, most recently by SheffieldPark - Show corrections


The following is the copy of a letter   received through the agent-general from Mr.     Warton W. Evans, C.E., of New York. It was laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly last night :--    

47 Exchange-place, New York,    

June 3, 1872

"To the Right Hon. H. C. E. Childers, M.P.,  

Agent General of the Colony of Victoria.

"Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of April 24, in reference to railway gauges to be established in Victoria, asking for information and advice on the subject. I also have   to acknowledge the receipt of the papers you sent me, including Parliamentary reports, evidence, maps, and sections, all of which I have not yet had time to study and read with that care and attention I propose to give them ; but I have read sufficient to know all the general features of the case. I now have the honour to submit to you the following

remarks and conclusions in reference to the   question of railway gauges, and, so far as I know, they coincide with the opinions of every leading railway engineer in the United


"I would premise by saying it is difficult   for any engineer to write on such a   subject without being accused of prejudice and not understanding the subject. I might also remark that it is more than singular to see men of undoubted cleverness and ability deliberately fasten a 'kink' on their   brain, and then go to work with all the power they possess to fasten the same on the brains of the public. This narrow-gauge question is a "kink," which has by the persistency, energy, and preaching of its prophets   and apostles, backed by the free use of the columns of the London Times and engineering pacers, entangled the brains of many in   the railway world, who without study or reflection became converts and earnest   supporters of the doctrine. And why ? Because they are told, and they eagerly believe, that they can get better results by much less expenditure. There are but few among us who would not abandon our old and tried bootmaker if we could be made to believe that a man next door could make us better boots for half the money. It is undoubtedly

the chief province of the engineer to make the most out of the least. The introduction

of the narrow gauge is an attempted step in this direction ; but will it stand investigation, and prove itself to be what it is claimed to be, namely, the best and the cheapest for all countries and under all circumstances-- that it is equally safe at high speed and with equal capacity to do the work, that is done on the standard gauge ? I must confess to my   unbelief and utter want of faith in the new


"It is now a generation since another dogma in reference to railway gauge was broached and laid before the public, and that, too, by one of the cleverest and most accom- plished engineers the world ever saw, but it was in the opposite direction to narrow gauge. It was to be the "gauge of the future." It was to carry people at incredible speed for a mere nothing, and with perfect safety. It called for a vast expenditure, but capitalists were ready to empty their pockets to insure safety, and more particularly b¡g profits. It called for the "war of gauges" and   Parliamentary investigation. It was the father and the mother of the great error made in India, where 5,000 miles of 5 1/2ft gauge have been built, at a ruinous expenditure The same error was introduced into the Argentine Confederation and the Republic of Chili, where they now have four different gauges in use. We were serious, that is, some of us in this country, participate in

the merits of wide gauge, we "pitched blind " into 1,400 miles of wide gauge, and then stopped to open our eyes and contemplate the folly. If our purses had been half   as long as they are in England, we would probably have built 5,000 miles before we stopped to open our eyes and catch a breath   of reason and common sense.

"If anyone at the present day wishes to     know about wide gauge, its merits, cost, and profit, I would refer him to the stockholders of the "Great Western" of England and the   history of that enterprise. To those of the present day who have a propensity to invest their money in railways, I would say-- first, look into the life and works of George Stephenson, and, the weight, cost, gauge, and capacity to carry of railways in his time ; then into the general tendency of railway people throughout the world for the past 40 years to increase the weight, size, and capacity of rolling-stock, rails, sleepers, ballast, and everything on the standard gauge of 4ft. 8½in., and then ask himself, can it be that all the railway world have been blind for 40 years, and have dived deeper and deeper into folly, to their own detriment ? Can it be that George Stephenson, the great father of the railway system, had no mechanical instinct, and that the genius we revered him for was all a myth ? I beg pardon for premising so much. You will expect me to give you something of the history of narrow gauge railways in this country, then some solid reasons for my belief in the merits of one gauge over another, and then speak of the difficulties of break  

of gauge.

"As regards the history of narrow gauge   railways in this country, it is easily told. There are but few being built, only one of any great length- the Denver and Rio Grande Railway, west of the Mississippi River, in a rough and almost uninhabited country. There is   another called the Kansas City, Memphis, and Mobile Railway, which will be a railway of length, if ever built. Another called the Arkansas Central is also west of the Mississippi. There is not a single narrow gauge railway in the eastern, middle, or southern states of any importance, nor do I know of any that are

likely to be built.

"There has been much talk about some   short lines in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia, and some mineral lines will no doubt be built ; but many projects for narrow gauge railways have been dropped, when their advocates-- generally a set of speculating contractors, backed by uneducated engineers - found that they could not be built and worked for half the money, and still have the same capacity as a line built on the standard gauge (I call the 4ft. 8½in. the standard gauge, the 5ft., 6ft., and 7ft. the wide gauge, the 2ft., 3ft., and 3½ft. the narrow gauge.) I   hear that some railways in the west, projected to be narrow gauge, have passed into the hands of experienced engineers, who changed the gauge from 3½ft, to the standard. The Texas Pacific Railway was projected to be 3ft. 6in. gauge by its engineer, General Buell. As this gentleman is more of a military than a railway engineer of experience, the president of the company submitted his report to Mr. Seymour, an engineer of long experience, and late consulting engineer of the Central Pacific Railway. Mr. Seymour upset every argument advanced by General Buell in favour of 3ft. 6in. gauge in a well-written pamphlet, a copy of which I will send you. Since then the Legislature of Texas has passed an act prohibiting this company from building their railway on any gauge but the standard of 4ft. 8½in. If all Legislatures and Parliaments had been as sagacious years ago, much confusion and waste of money might have been prevented. I have never seen a narrow-gauge railway, except such as are used for a quarter or half mile at iron or other manufacturing works, but I have an interest, as an engineer, in the construction and equipment   of a 3½ft. gauge railway in Costa Rica   one of 3ft. in Peru, and one of 3½ft. in Chili ; so I have had some little experience in arranging the designs for engines and carriages and waggons for these railways, and now fully understand the difficulties of construction which appear to me to be greater the more I contemplate them, and particularly as regards obtaining stability, safety, and speed. I am building the bridges for the same rolling load as for other railways having the standard gauge. I am using the same size of turntables as for the standard gauge, for no   one can tell how long, or how big and costly and ponderous, the engines put on narrow-gauge lines may be in a few years. I am not building the engines as large or as costly as those I am building for various standard gauge railways, as I do not intend to require from them the same amount of work. These railways (two of which are Government works) are in mountain regions, where grades of 1 in 20 and 1 in 25 are a necessity, also many curves of 200ft. to 300ft. radius. All three start from the sea coast and are not intersected by railways of another gauge, and I might add, that all three are not likely to be overburdened with heavy traffic. They are light railways, and will not be afflicted with the evils resulting from ' break of gauge.'        

"On one of these railways- the one in

Peru- the American design of engine for overcoming steep inclines and sharp curves

is to meet the so called Fairlie engine on neu- tral ground. The railway world will hear of

the results, and can judge of the respective  


"As regards the merits and demerits of narrow   gauge railways, I can hardly say anything  

that has not already been said and written.   The advocates of narrow gauge have put   forth many bold and taking assertions which   they have been unable to substantiate by facts or in the minds and belief of experienced engineers not easily caught with     'chaff.' The London Times was caught     with this kind of 'powder,' and published long articles in the narrow gauge interest styling it the 'gauge of the future.' The public read the articles in wonder, and swallowed them as gospel. Mr. Greeley, of the  

Tribune in this country - who, by the by, takes kindly to all new ideas- swallowed The Times' articles, published them with strong editorials, and induced the Yankee public,

ever credulous, to gulp down the dose, and   flatter themselves they had found a balm, a   specific for all their railway complaints ; but these railway apostles and would-be economists did not blind for a moment George   Bidder and John Hawkshaw, both past presi- dents of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and

many more of the experienced and far-seeing   eminent engineers of England, and I may add the same of the leading engineers of this

country. They saw that the whole thing was   an abominable fallacy, likely to lead to much ruinous expenditure, confusion, and evil- a regular Babel in the railway world.

"A gauge of 1ft. 11½in., 2ft., 2ft. 3in., 2ft. 6in., 2ft. 9in., 3ft., 3ft. 3in., 3ft. 3 3-8in., 3ft. 6in., and some more in addition to what we have, is offered to us as a regular 'panacea' for     our railway wounds- our foolishness in expending on many of our railways vast sums that may have been saved, and building railways where they were not required. We are   called upon not only to entirely ignore the experience of the last 40 years, not only to build all future railways on the narrow

gauge, but to tear up all our present railways, and make them narrow gauge.

"I am told by a gentleman in Melbourne that the great apostle of narrow gauge has published in the papers of that city that the Americans were not only building thousands   of miles of narrow gauge railways, but had decided to change their entire system to narrow gauge-- namely, the 'Fairlie gauge.' This will be stunning news for the Yankees. Just imagine tearing up the tracks of over 60,000 miles of railway, now in operation in this country, and changing the plans of about 30,000 miles more in the course of construction, almost all of which are being built on the 'standard gauge.' What a harvest this would be for day labourers and engine and car builders. The harvest might be extended and made more fruitful (of ruin) with us much reason and common sense by reducing the size and capacity of all our steamboats, omnibuses, canals, water-powers, factories, rivers, and, I may us well add, Niagara Falls. When we conclude to do all these things, in connexion with adopting narrow gauge, it will be appropriate to close all the schools and colleges, and tell the professors that their work it, done, perfection has been obtained, and they need bother their brains no longer iu the matter of progress and education,

"I cannot find much in the Parliamentary     evidence you have sent me to encourage the narrow gauge advocates, for I find that while the railways in Victoria of 5ft. 3in. gauge are being worked for 41 to 45 per cent. of the receipts, the railways in Queensland, of 3ft. 6in. gauge, are worked- one, the Southern, 40 miles long, at 85.6 per cent of the receipts, the other, the Northern, 160 miles long, at 214 per cent, of the receipts ! It was proposed to remedy this ruinous state of affairs by the introduction of the double-bogie engines. Three were sent out; one only was tried. It distorted the track, and disabled itself on its first day's work. (See Engineering, October 15, 1869.)

"I beg leave to state that when George Stephenson adopted, and by so doing estab- lished, the standard gauge of 4ft. 8½in., he followed the rulings of common sense, as his great mechanical instinct led him to do in everything he attempted. There were narrow gauges in those days, as well as 4ft. 8½in., but that or something very near to it had been

established, I suppose, for centuries, for high- way and road purposes, as the most convenient, useful, and best for all work, where carriages, waggons, carts, &c., were used. In this country the gauge for carriages and waggons on highways has been fixed by statute. In   some states it is about the same as the standard railway gauge. In talking with some of the most experienced railway engi- neers of this country about railway gauges, they say the chief points urged by the narrow gauge advocates are as yet matters of assertion and experiment as to cost safety, and capacity, not backed up by facts that will stand calm and unprejudiced reasoning.

"That narrow gauge railways might be in- troduced in some places, under peculiar cir- cumstances, with propriety, I am willing, as are most engineers, to admit. These places and circumstances are mountainous countries, where many sharp curves are required, where the population is poor and sparse, and likely to continue so ; where the business is small,

and the future apparently smaller ; where speed is a matter not required or sought for, and where railways of standard gauge will not intersect or connect with them. These narrow gauge railways are a propriety also in mines, where the workings are limited in size. But to adopt narrow gauge for such a country as Australia-- a country which we here are led to believe will become one of the richest, most powerful, and well-settled countries of the world-- appears to be an absurdity. A great many clever and conscientious men, but men of no great experience in railway con- struction and economy, believe in the merits of narrow gauge, and why ? Because they have been told they can be built and worked   at less cost, and that there is a great economy to grow out of it. They believe this because they wish to- they try to believe it.

"Let us examine some of the leading points in this matter, and try to find out where the

economy lies in building and working two   railways of different gauges, each having the same kind of business to do, running the   same number of trains per day, each train of same tonnage, and run at same speed. To make it as favourable to narrow gauge as possible, let both roads be located where heavy inclines and sharp curves are re- quired, and where there is a fair but not enormous business. It should be un- derstood that on many lines the two rails of a railway are a very considerable portion of the whole expenditure (exclusive of rolling stock)-- in some cases one-half of the whole. It should also be understood that on many lines there is no ballast. This is not, as put down in the evidence you sent me, confined entirely to American and Russian lines, but is the case with lines built and owned by Englishmen. The Central Argentine Railway is a case of the kind. It runs for 247 miles over the Pampas, in rich alluvial deposit, where there is no ballast. This line is nearly straight from end to end. The 'Arica and Tacua' Railway of Peru,     belonging to an English company in London, and built under my direction, has no ballast, and does not require any, as the formation is sandy, and every day in the year bright, sunny, and warm ; no rain, ice, or frost to encounter as disturbing causes. I beg now   to ask some questions, which are simple, and can be understood by all having reasoning faculties and unprejudiced minds.

"1. Will it cost any less for the surveys   and location of a narrow-gauge line than for, one on the standard gauge ?

"2. Will it cost any less for land, assuming in all cases that the land taken is a few feet more than the actual positive requirements at the time the railway is built ?  

"3. Will the ditches required for drainage be any less in size or cost on narrow gauge than on standard gauge ?

"4. Will changing channels of streams or cutting off bends in rivers cost any less for narrow than for standard gauge ?      

"5. Will grubbing and clearing cost any   less per acre for narrow than standard gauge ? "6. Will fencing cost any less per mile for    

narrow than for standard gauge ?

"7. Does not and should not the width of   carriages and waggons govern the width of cuttings more than the gauge of track ?  

"8. Is there any reason why carriages and waggons of any appropriate width of body for narrow gauge cannot be built for and run on standard gauge ?

"9. If so, is there any reason why the cuttings   should be wider and cost any more for   standard than for narrow gauge ?

"10. In embankments, is there any good   reason why they should be any wider for standard than for narrow gauge beyond a vertical longitudinal slice placed in the centre

14 1/2in, wide, the difference between 3ft. 6in. and 4ft. 8 1/2in. This in an embankment of 50ft. high makes 1 4-10 per cent difference in   quantity and cost, but only for so much as is 60ft. high ?

"11. Where the line is a surface line, or very nearly so, will there be any difference in the cost of formation between the narrow and standard gauge ?

"12. Will the waterways for bridges and culverts be any less in clear span for narrow   than standard gauge ?

"13. Will the foundations for bridges require to be any less deep for narrow than for standard gauge ?

"14. If the rolling load is to be the same,   would it be safe to build the bridges with less strength for narrow than for standard gauge ?

"15. If bridges are to be of same strength, will cost be any less for narrow than for standard gauge ?

"16. Will there be any difference in the amount of ballast required between the

£10 ? But where will this difference be if there is no ballast?

"17. If the engines are of equal power, will they not, if of the same design and general character, be of equal weight and cost for both gauges ?

"18. If engines of same weight are used on   both gauges, will they not require the same

amount of sleeper-bearing (surface for one   gauge as the other ?

"19. If it requires 14,000 square feet of bearing surface of sleepers per mile for standard gauge, will it require less for narrow gauge ? I beg to put in an answer to this : -- The bearing surface should be more for narrow gauge, for with engines of same power and size of wheel, the elevation of centre of gravity in relation to gauge will be greater iu narrow gauge than in standard gauge, and consequently the leverage will be greater, and cause greater disturbance of

surface of track during lateral oscillations.

"20. If the same number of cubic feet of


timber is used in one gauge as the other, will the sleepers for narrow gauge cost less than sleepers for standard gauge ?

"21. If rails of iron or steel, of 40 lb., 50 lb, or 60lb. per yard are used, will they cost less per mile for narrow than for standard gauge or any other gauge ?

"22. I would ask the same question as to   fish-plates, bolts, chairs, spikes, and screws?

"23. Will switches and crossing-points, supposing each road requires the same number, cost less for narrow than for JJKK standard gauge ?

"24. Will it cost less for laying and finishing a mile of narrow gauge than a mile of   standard gauge ?

"25. Will it cost less per mile to sod or seed the slopes of narrow gauge than to do the same on standard gauge ?

"26. Will the telegraph lines (now   required on all railways) cost less on narrow than on standard gauge ? JJKK

"27. Can we make the station yards smaller for narrow than for standard gauge, the amount of business being the same ?

''28. Will any one sell land cheaper for narrow than for standard gauge ?

"29. Will there be any less, smaller, or   cheaper station buildings, turntables, or water reservoirs or derricks, or tools for repairs, stationary engines, stores, or extras required for narrow than for standard gauge ?

"30. Will the locomotives of same weight,   power, and material cost less for narrow than for wide gauge ? As this is a question that people generally cannot well answer, I will state that they cannot be built for a less sum, and that when very great power and speed is required, such as we are using on the standard gauge every day, they cannot be built at any price and have the required stability, for

there are mechanical difficulties in connexion   with narrow-gauge engines that cannot  

be overcome when great speed and power are required, and this fact is as well known to the   engineers of England as it is known here. To put wheels of 6ft. diameter, or cylinders of 20in. x 24in., or boilers with 200 2in. flues in a 3ft. gauge engine, would be simply ridiculous, The above dimensions have often been much exceeded in engines to run on standard gauge.

"31. Is there any sane person who can show   any good reason why a railway car (or waggon, as it is called in England) can be built for a narrow gauge railway to carry 24 times its own weight, and the same cannot be done for waggons to run on the standard gauge? As this matter of the ratio of dead to live weight in favour of narrow gauge has so often been stated, and so persistently forced upon public notice, and as I began to fear I was not sane on the subject as I could not see the thing, although it was in plain English and big print in The Times, I went to various engineers and waggon builders to propound to them this problem relative to live and dead weight. I went to my friends and found them just as insane as I was ; they could not see or believe that there was any good reason. They say that the same wheel will be of the same weight, and carry as much if run on narrow as on any other gauge ; that the side sills of car of same size will bear the same, if of same wood and distance between supports ; that if the axles are longer it must be recollected the floor of the waggon is wider for standard gauge and will carry more ; the springs, breaks, buffers, couplings, bearings, pedestals, bolts, &c, if of same size and material, will weigh no more, cost no more, and be no less efficient if used in a car or waggon on standard gauge

than it used in a car on the narrow gauge.

"32. Is there any good reason why a 22in.     wheel will not run on the standard gauge as well as on the narrow gauge under samo cir- cumstances of load and speed ?

"33. Is there not a very good reason why the 36in. and 42in. wheels in general use in

England on standard gauge cannot be used   with propriety or safety on the narrow gauge?

" 34. Can it be that all the railway world,   the people of countries widdy separated in ' distance, language, and ways of doing things,   have gone wrong, and committed the same

error steadily through more than the third of   a century, in increasing the size, and weight,

and power of engines, cars, and rails, sleepers,  

and everything belonging to railways ? Are,

we all idiots ?  

"35. Will there be any less sidings, or sidings less in length, required for a narrow   tban for a standard gauge railway ?  

"36. Will there be less break power   required coming down a steep incline on a narrow than on a standard gauge, or less number of men to handle the brakes ?

"37. With cars on the two gauges of     aopropriate width for each gauge, will not the train on standard gauge, carrying the same load, be much the shortest train, with   less wheels and less rolling frictions ?

"38. If the train on the narrow gauge is    

much the longest, with more wheels under it,   will not the flange frictions on very sharp curves be much greater than in the short train on the standard gauge ? The angle at which the flanges strike the outer rail being, the same in both cases, this angle is governed by distance of axles apart and not by  

the gauge.

"39. Is a long train as easily handled as a   short train ?  

"40. Will a narrow-gauge railway require any less officers and employees than a standard gauge railway, and can they be procured for less pay and salaries ?  

"41. Can narrow-gauge cars carry horses and cattle as easily and comfortably   as standard gauge cars ?

"42. Has a passenger in a first- class narrow    

gauge car the same room to stand in, sit in and sleep in, and the same comforts as he finds in a standard gauge car?  

"43. Will the Parliamentary and legal expenses and taxes be any less on a narrow than on a standard gauge railway ?  

"44. Will not a break of gauge, occasioning   a change of cargo from one set of cars to another create endless confusion and annoyance, besides extra expense, damage to goods   and additional risk of accidents ? If anyone doubts this, let him read the reports of Robert Stephenson and other eminent engineers in England on the subject ; or let him start out in this country and gather evidence as he goes west and south, first on a 6ft. gauge, then on a 4ft. 8 1/2in. gauge, then on a 4ft. 10in. gauge, and then on a 5ft gauge. I will answer for it, he will come home disgusted with the want of uniformity in gauge now existing in this country, and possibly to be made worse by the introduction of various narrow gauges. If this seeker after knowledge is a merchant, and happens to see the cargo of a train unloaded from one gauge and loaded on to another, with the usual damage and loss of time, he will on his return seek to find some line with uniform gauge by which to send his goods to the west. With uniform gauge over a system of various lines of railway intersecting and connecting with each other, there will be much less rolling stock required, also less station tracks, and

station accommodation ; engines and engine drivers will be idle less time, goods will be delivered earlier and in better condition. It is probable, putting it at a low estimate, that a change of goods in quantity will cost in time a day, or in distance more than 100 miles run, in addition to damage aud amount paid for the transfer ; two sets of cars have to be furnished, and both have to lie idle during, the transfer. I beg pardon for saying so much on this point, but it is a vital point. A partner of the late Mr. Brassey, writing to me a short time since, says ; 'Break of gauge, after once being adopted, is the vital point, and one that every country has seen or will see the sad policy of.' An engineer of note, writing to me   recently from London, says,- 'I have just seen a Russian engineer who has the same opinion of the double bogie engine and narrow gauge that you have, and thinks they will have no more of them in Russia.' If I may be allowed to offer advice I would most earnestly urge you not to adopt any system calling for a break of gauge. If you are inclined to make a change and repair the error of having adopted a gauge of 5ft 3in., decide to adopt the standard gauge of 4ft. 8 1/2in. If a line is required in a district now sparsely populated and with small traffic, build it at first   with economy, using sharp curves, and undulating the gradients, make cuts and embankments   narrow, put down a light rail and   sleeper and no ballast, equip it with light rolling stock, use the bogie system of American carriages, and engines (but not the   double bogie engine), use the American cast iron chilled wheel, as a great economy. All these things can be made in England as well as here, and much cheaper. You can, as circumstances call for it, ballast the road, flatten the curves, and improve the gradients, lay down heavier rails, and put on them heavier and more powerful engines, and improved carriages and waggons, without interrupting travel or traffic. We have followed this system for many years. and find it the only system that would insure

success. Our railway system and its success have been the result of our necessities. We had not as long purses as they have in England. We were forced to forego the luxury of extravagance, and long since discovered that if we followed England in railway expenditure we would all become bankrupt. The   best proof I can give of the success and merits of the American railway system is that while our country is sparsely populated, as compared with England, while some of our railways run into uninhabited regions, while we carry a ton of goods per mile and a passenger per mile for less than the same service is performed for in England (and this, too, at a time when we pay double for the three chief items of railway expenditure; namely, labour, fuel, and iron), we make a much larger return on the total amount invested than is done in England. We are indebted to England for many clever and useful inventions connected with railways aud the mechanical arts. We watch with anxious care all new Europoan discoveries and inventions, and give them a fair trial, but it has appeared to me that with many of your railway men, builders, and manufacturers, the reverse is the case. It only requires to be known that a thing is of American origin to insure its   being condemned, and this is more particularly the case with railway plant than   with anything else. I will mention some cases in point. The bell and cord running through a train- the best, cheapest, and most reliable means that is or can be invented for passengers to communicate with the guard or engineman- is not allowed to be introduced into England, although something of the kind has been long needed. Again, the American journal boxes and oil lubrication were tried by Mr. M'M. Connell on the London and North-Western Railway ia 1852, and the result found to be that a set of six American boxes cost 1½d. per day, while a set

of six Normanville boxes cost 9d. per day- [see paper read by Mr. Hodges before Institution of Mechanical Engineers at Birmingham,     October 27, 1852]- and yet this system of lubrication of railway journals has been used but little in England. I might add that one of the leading mechanical engineers of England told me that on his return to Eng;land some years since from the charge of     motive power of Grand Trunk Railway in Canada, where he saw the merits of the American chilled cast-iron disc wheel, he went to Mr. Locke, then president of the   Institution of Civil Engineers, and told him of them, and proposed to him to introduce them into England as a great railway   economy. Nothing resulted from this,   and I am now satisfied there is not an engineer in England who will advise their introduction for fear an accident might occur, and the coroner would say, ' It is your fault ; you are the criminal. Why not leave well enough alone ?'-no matter what well enough may cost. I have the satisfaction to know that these wheels (made of pure Salisbury charcoal iron, the ' tread' being chilled so that no cold chisel will cut them), which I put   under the whole rolling-stock of the Southern Railway of Chili in 1857, were all in use in 1867, not one being broken, worn out, or taken from a car. The whole of the carriages and waggons of the railways of the United States are mounted on these wheels, they being found preferable, independent of cost,

to any other.

" Mr. Whistler told me at St. Petersburg, in 1866, that he had some of these wheels there that had been running 15 years on the Nicolai Railway, which he believed was the most severe railway on wheels in winter of any road iu the world. I will   forward to you with this lettor a copy of General Buel's report on Texas Pacific Railway. Mr. S. Seymour's opinion on narrow gauge railways, Poore's Manual of Railways in the U. S., a railway map of the United States, and one of the American railway guides, where you will find much data in reference to American railways.

" I find in the Parliamentary evidence and documents you have kindly sent me some points showing that the American railway system is not well understood by the engineers in Australia, and as there are some   matters connected with railway construction in America that I would like to explain and comment on, I propose to attach to this paper a supplement touching those matters.

" With sentiments of esteem, I remain,

dear sir, your obedient servant,

" W. W. EVANS."