The Lartigue Railway.
(See Illustrations on this Page.)
The Lartigue railway system is that of a series of cars drawn by horse-power or a specially constructed locomotive, running on a single rail elevated a few feet from the ground. The sys-
tem has been in use since 1883 in several parts of Europe and Africa ; and a model line has recently been shown in action near Victoria-street, Westminster, London. The main features of the system, which is applicable to military, agricul- tural, or manufacturing lines, are as follow : The line, which is exceedingly portable, is composed of one rail, of the shape of a flat bar, extremely rigid when subjected te vertical pressure, but
easily bent horizontally. This rail is sup- ported above the ground by A-shaped trestles, or frames, made of angle, or some very stiff section of iron. The upper extremity
of these trestles is bolted to the rail ; and the lower extremity rests on the ground, being sup- ported by a bed-plate or sleeper, to which the frame is firmly secured. The sleepers may be of different sizes, and shapes, and may farther be secured in their places when required by long pegs driven into the ground through holes drilled near the extremity of the sleepers ; thus prevent- ing the line from shifting. If a river has to be crossed, some light piers can be made, or two wire cables may be stretched across to receive the trestles of the line ; while if a ravine, has to be traversed the line can either be carried directly over the gap, or taken down the gorge by means of a zig-zag length, which can be connected by curves of as small a radius as 10ft. Moreover, it is possible to use gradients as steep as 1 in 17. On passenger lines guards, to prevent thé swinging of the cars, and points, sidings, signal, &c., have been introduced ; and everything has been constructed with a special eye to simplicity. The cars are fitted with two grooved wheels; which run on the rails; but are fashioned according to the purpose for which they are intended. The passenger carriages, as well as the locomotives, are fitted with horizontal
grooved wheels, which run on side guide lines, attached to the trestles by the side of the main line, thus imparting steadiness. As our sketches show, it has been tried in Russia, both for the transport of troops and of military invalids ; in the Pyrenees it is used for carrying ore, while its facilities, for passenger traffic were tested at the short line at West- minster. It has been shown at various European exhibitions, and is in use in Algeria and Tunis for carrying esparto grass. Indeed, it was while seeking to solve the problem of carry- ing the grass from the plains to the mainlines of communication that the idea of the single-line railway first occurred to the inventor, M. Larti- gue ; the appearance of a caravan of camels in the distance laden with bags on each side of their humps furnishing the starting point. The ad- vantages claimed for the line are its extreme simplicity and portableness. Unevenness of the ground can be balanced by different lengths of trestles, while the motive power can be, either electricity, horse traction, or steam. The inven- tors say that during a trial in Russia 6ft 6in were laid down in six minutes by six men, so that a mile could be completed by thirty men in eight hours. In this instance the line was raised 3ft 3in, above the ground.
The ïiartigue Elevated Single-rail Railway.
(See Letterpress on this Page.) '
1. Train of the Lartigue Railway at Tothill Fields, Westminster,- London, Aaoending a Viaduot on an i
Ihoh^e bf 1 m 10; 12. Ëleqtrioal Train at the MinéB'óf ^Ria; in the Frenoh Pyrenees, Carrying
' ' Copper Ore. 3. Tram for the Transport of Wounded ' Soldiers at the Rnssian Guards' Camp', '
'.']'"' near St. Pétersbuíg. 4, Section "of Railway 'aqd^TMrd/ Class Open ' Passenger.'CaniageV ' !
5. Yiew of Carriage for the .Transport of Troops at tho Russian Guards' Camp, near St. Petersburg. ... r