but I have come to the conclusion that we must have many storms Avith
at least such intensity. I have here an extract from the "Review," in
which I included rainfalls of over 3 inches in an hour, 2 inches in half
an hour, and 1 inch in ten minutes.
In New York, Dr. Draper, of the Observatory at the Park, has kept
an automatic registration since 1880, and from this I have taken the
maximum intensity of storms for a few minutes, in order to determine
the probable maximum quantity of water reaching the house drains.
If we reduce these amounts to a rainfall of inches per hour, we have
four storms in New York City since 1880 Avhich exceeded the rate
of 4 inches an hour, continuing, at this rate, at least five minutes, two
storms exceeding the rate of 6 inches an hour for at least three minutes,
and one storm exceeding the rate of 7 inches an hour for two minutes.
Four times within the last eight years has there been a fall at the rate of
58 DISCUSSION ON RAINFALL AND DISCHARGE OF SEWERS.
5 inches an hour for at least five minutes, sufficiently long to allow the
water from the roofs to get into the house drains.
Complaints have often been made to the Board of Health that the
drains were too small and an investigation was made by the Dejiartment
of Public Works to find out whether they Avere or not. The result in-
dicated that 6-inch pipes draining a property having 25 feet front, laid
at a grade of i inch to the foot, were large enough to take a rainfall
having the intensity of 6 inches per hour.
The Dei^artment of Public Works has made gaugings of the flow in a
large sewer, but I regret to say that as the results hava not yet been re-
ported to the Commissioner, I am not able to give any details. But the
large figures that Mr. Kuichling has arrived at are fully verified by the
observations made here. It is certain that we have generally under-
estimated the quantity of water that comes into the sewers in our most
The gaugings I refer to were made in a district of New York which is
pretty densely built up. It has been found that three times during the
last year, when the maximum rainfalls were not over .6 of an inch in
ten minutes, more than 1 cubic foot per' second per acre reached the
sewer. That is considerably more than is given by the formulas we
have been in the habit of using.
In connection with this work I tried to collect all the relative data
that were available, and proceed somewhat on the method adopted by
Mr. McMath in a paper read before this Society December 15th, 1886, by
recording the elements of sewers that were, and those that were never,
overtaxed by the heaviest rains. Then, by drawing a line between the
plottings of the two results, we obtain the apju-oximate caiiacity which
the sewers ought to have. I have collated a number of such data, and
arranged them in tabular form, which I think indicate very closely the
maximum flow from the heaviest rains.
These results show that some of our sewers have been built too
large, and others too small.
The Chair. â€” May I ask Mr. Hering if it is intended to publish the
results of his experiments when they are completed ?
Mr. Hering. â€” They will be presented to Mr. D. Lowber Smith, Com-
missioner of Public Works and Member of the Society. In a conver-
sation with him he said that the detailed matter would ijrobably be a
better subject for a paper to be presented to the Society than to print it
in the Commissioner's Annual Report, as the public are not j^articularly
interested in technical details of this nature.
I think there is one jjoiut in Mr. Kuichliug's formula which presents
a little difficulty. He introduces the element of time. Now, that is
rather difficult to fix upon in practice. Recognizing this, I tried
another plan, one which I thought more practicable, and that is by sub-
stituting the average slope of the ground. The diagrams are arranged
DISCUSSION 0:S' RAINFALL AND DISCHAEGE OF SEWERS. 50
SO that the ordiuates represent the discharges, and the abscissas the
di'ainage areas. The discharges frona different areas having the same
slope are united hy one curve. For the same area it is seen that the
greater the slope, the greater will be the discharge, so that the element
of time is introduced in that way.
Maximum Rainfalls in short periods of ten minutes or less between
January, 1880, and January, 1888, as recorded by the New York
May 22(1, 1881
June 5th, 1885
July 12th, 1884
Max. fall in
July 27th, 1880
August 4th, 1888....
21st, 1888 ...
September 21st, 1882
November 8th, 1888
Max. fall in
Maximum Rainfalls compiled from Monthly Weather Review, United
States Signal Service, and published during the year 1888, haX-ing
3 . inches in 1 hour minutes.
2.0 " 30
1.0 " 10
New Hampshire . . . .
Auburn . . . .
Amherst . . .
New Lake. .
Southington . ..
Ft Delaware . ...
College Hill ,
Sandusky . . .
August 27th, 1877
July 16th, 1879....
.June 29th. 1879..
August 9th, 1878.
June 29th, 1879 ..
July 10th, 1876...
August 2d, 1S87..
June 17fh, 1386. .
July 26th. 1887...
August 3d, 1885.
July 16th, 1880...
June 19th, 1882 ..
May 27th, 1888...
July nth, 1879...,
June 17th, 1881..
July 9th. 1888...
00 DISCUSSION OX RAINFALL AND DISCHARGE OF SEWERS.
Alabama . . .
West Virginia. . .
Indianapolis July 12tb, 1876
Logansport I 7th, 1879
Colliusville I May 23a, 1888
Bunker Hill August 24th, 1882
Springfield i 31st. 1881
Philo iJuly 8tb, 1888
Adrian j April 5th, 1888
Alpena .September 10th, 1884.
June 24th, 1880.
Detroit . . .
August 31st, 1878.
Ajjril 8th, 1882...
.lune 2.5th, 1879...
July 21st, 1883....
Des Moines June 24th, 1879
October 15th, 1880
August 2Gth, 1881 ,
CWr Creek IJuly 7th, 1880
June 13th, 1879
I 25th, 1882
Ft. McPherson May 25th, 1868
I 27th, 1868
Sidney Barracks iJuly 19th, 1875
Huron IJulv 26th, 1885
Ft. Kandall June 28th, 1873
St. Louis ISeptember 19th, 1849
August 15th, 1848
Ft. Kiley I April 13th, 1885
Ft. Scott October 2d, 1881
Vicksburg . . ,
Wytheville. . .
August 20th. 1875
June 19th, 1888
October 23d 1884
May 7th, 1884
February 27th, 1872...
November 2d, 1873
October 30th, 1877....
August 11th, 1875
September 30th, 1881..
May 29th, 1885
April 28th, 1879
November 15th, 1879..
September 4th, 1888..
March 12th. 1878
July 8th, 1878
March 27th, 1885
September 20th, 1883.
June 3d, 1881
August 20th, 1888
August 14th, 1878
April 23d, 1883
Julv 6th, 1886
March 28th, 1874
April loth, 1888
o < \
TRANS. AM. SOC. CIV. ENGNS.
VOL. XX N? 402
AINFALL & SEWER DISCHARGE
niAriRAKJ oAâ€ž,..,-â€ž^ -tk^ r>^iâ€ž^:^r, A^f,.,^^^ Â«x. Â«o./z.c.,vÂ«v^,,^^//â€žâ€ž, â€žf
ra/r?fa//s in the cities of ROCHESTER for the period from 187/ to 1888, of
- BUFFALO from /872 to /887, of OSWEGO from 1870 to /887 and of ITHACA
from 1873 to /888, complied from U.S. Signal Service, and other records.
o represent rainfalls at ROCHESTER
- s, Ri/rFAi a
0.3 _l _.
A ,. OSWEGO
- a â€ž , ITHACA
â€¢ HEMLOCK L
2.o\ " S^\
0.8 _^ U
o , (Horizontal, 1 Inch = 30 minutes,
ocale -j Vertical. 1 Inch -0.3 inches per hour
OR \ V
0.7 _, _^
.0.6 A 4
â–º1 X ^..
S -is- ->
1 0-2 \ n
â€¢S 0.9 J.4_J'
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â– â– â– â– 4r~~-
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^:r/,T7Jc^ :x: .
TRANS. AM. SOC. CIV ENGNS
VOL. XX IN? 402
RAINFALL & SEWER DISCHARGE.
AMEEIOAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEEES.
N0TE.-This Society is not responsible, as a body, for the facts and opinions advanced in
any of its publications.
(Vol. XX.â€” February, 1889.)
ENGLISH EAILROAD TEAOK.*
By J. H. Cunningham, M. Am. Soc. C. E.
And E. E. Russell Tkatman, Jnin. Am. Soc. C. E.
Mr. J. H. Cunningham. -Mr. Tratman gives details and descrip-
tions of the track of several English railways which appear to be
full and accurate, and which will afford to those who are not
familiar with the bull-head rail and chair a good idea both of the
several pieces of which that kind of permanent way consists, and
of the manner in which they are put together. No doubt a good
deal might be advanced in support of his statement that in the
Colonies "a much greater extent of country might have been developed
and made productive " if cheaper railways had been constructed,
and perhaps, in some cases, a legitimate saving might have been
effected by using the flange rail instead of the English type of track
In several important Colonies this was done, and the English track
was not introduced. I beHeve he is practically correct in stating that
the flange rail "is now the standard section of the world, being a case of
the survival of the fittest, improved upon by successive generations "
* English Railroad Track, by E. E. RusseU Tratman, Transactions, Vol. XVIII. No.
62 DISCUSSION ON ENGLISH RAILROAD TRACK.
In view of this it is not surprising that he finds it a little difficult to
understand why flange rails " are not favorably considered for English
railroads," and why lines "which were formerly laid with these rails
have been relaid with the bull-headed rail. " But I cannot agree with him
in thinking that "there can be little doubt that if English railroad com-
panies would adopt a well designed, heavy flange rail, and give it good
joints and fastenings, they would have a track fully as safe and efficient
as the present system, and costing no more for maintenance, but effect-
ing a considerable saving in first cost." Mr. Tratman bases this asser-
tion on the ground that the flange rail answers well in all other parts of
the world, and that its capabilities have been proved on the principal
lines in the Eastern States, where the traffic is heavy and fast. But it
does not necessarily follow that because the flange rail is found to answer
well in these places, it would be satisfactory in England. The fact is
that a great many tracks, including flange rails, have been tried on Eng-
lish railways, and if we accept the testimony of those in charge of these
roads we must conclude that nothing better adapted to their require-
ments than the bull-head rail and chair has been produced up to the
present time. Mr. Tratman has collected the views of several English
engineers, and his descriptions and drawings show plainly enough
what are the views of others from whom he has not heard, and their
unanimous opinion is that the flange rail is unsuitable for the work
which has to be done on their roads. He admits that "so much testi-
mony from so many sources must needs have some truth," but at the
same time he remarks, " of course " this opinion " is largely a matter of
Now I venture to think, that this testimony contains much more
truth and much less prejudice than Mr. Tratman supposes, and that a
sound conclusion as to the best form of track for English or other roads
doing heavy work is not likely to be reached if we ignore it. At least
before dismissing it let us clearly understand the nature of the experi-
ence from which it has been derived. Let us understand whether these
opinions have been formed from experience obtained on small roads, or
roads with light traffic, or from experience obtained on large roads with
large quantities of heavy traffic. Let us understand whether the roads
Mr. Tratman has heard from are fairly typical English railways or small
and obscure branch lines. Surely it is necessary to have such informa-
tion before we can form sound conclusions as to the value of this testi-
DISCUSSION ON" ENGLISH RAILROAD TRACK. 63
mony. But Mr. Tratman gives no hint of the existence of differences
of this kind in the roads he tells us about, and in some cases the differ-
ences are very great. For instance, on page 222 we find the opinions
of officials of the Isle of Wight Railway and of the Great "Western Rail-
way given without note or comment. Possibly, some of Mr. Tratman's
readers may know that one of these is a small railway and the other a
large one, but they may not fully realize how great the difference
between them is. The fact is, that the mileage of the Great Western
considerably exceeds that of any other English railway, and its capital
amounts to over $3 600 000 000, while the capital of the Isle of Wight
Railway is not quite ^1 800 000. The Isle of Wight Railway is a profit-
able concern; but experience obtained from it gives no information
about "English railroad track," because it is not a tyj^ical English
railroad. Mr. Tratman must surely attach far too much importance to
the information which he has received from this and somewhat similar
lines, or he would not iniblish so much of it as he does. Perhaps, at
the same time, he does not give due value to the testimony which he
has received from lines that are large and important. He refers, at some
length, to thirteen lines. Seven of these are small or have little traffic,
and what may be done on them is no guide as to what ought to be done
on "English railways." The remaining six are fairly typical English
roads, having all kinds of traffic. Some of them serve manufacturing
and mining districts and some agricultural. They all do a large general
jjassenger business, and some of them have also a large amount of
suburban traffic, in the neighborhood of London and other great cities.
These six railways are the Great Western, the Great Northern, the Great
Eastern, the North Eastern, the Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the
Midland. The capital invested in these roads exceeds 81 662 500 000,
and they earn a net annual revenue of nearly S77 500 000. Now, it
ajjpears to me, that the deliberate opinion of those in charge of a rail-
way system of this magnitude, based ujion experience which has been
obtained during many years of successful working, ought not lightly to
be dismissed as "largely a matter of prejudice." Further, the evidence
in favor of the bull-head track, which Mr. Tratman lays before his
readers, and which he is so ready to treat as of little value, is, in reality,
not half of what may be produced. There are eight lines, each having a
capital which exceeds $100 000 000, from which Mr. Tratman has not
heard at all, or about which he tells us little, besides several smaller
64 DISCUSSION ON ENGLISH RAILROAD TRACK.
though important lines, all of which use the bull-head track. In these
roads, including the six just named, more than $4, 000 000 000 have been
invested, earning a net annual revenue of ^162 500 000. The stocks of
these roads are popular and sound investments. But the income on
which the value of these stocks depends is only maintained by vigilant
economy. Every year more work has to be done for every ^1 which is
earned. The public demand better accommodation, faster and more
frequent trains, cheaper fares and rates, and these can only be provided
without reducing the dividends by taking full advantage of improve-
ments which reduce the expenses of working and maintenance. It is.
diflScult to believe that those who manage this large and valuable prop-
erty are seriously in error as to the type of track most suitable for their
work, and in view of the opinions expressed by these gentlemen, it
ajjpears to me extremely doubtful that the alteration suggested by Mr.
Tratman would be an improvement.
So far I have dealt with the magnitude of the system which has
for its standard track the bull-head rail, for the magnitude of the in-
terests involved in the roads which use that kind of track gives great
weight to the favoi'able opinions which their officials have formed of it.
Additional weight will be given to the views of these gentlemen if we
reflect on their remarkable unanimity in regard to this matter. There
are many differences in the details of the tracks on their roads, but yet
in important features they are all much alike. As Mr. Tratman's draw-
ings and descriptions show, various forms of fishing are in use, and
various kinds of bolts and spikes for connecting the chairs to the
sleepers. There are also little differences in the rail sections and in the
shai^es of the chairs. But in the track of each road we find an 80 to 85
pounds steel rail, in 30-foot lengths, carried in cast-iron chairs weighing
40 to 56 pounds each, and resting on transverse sleepers 10 x 5 x 9
inches, placed about 2 feet 8 inches apart, center to center. The
English railway system has gradually grown up during the last fifty
years. During the first half of that period a great many kinds of per-
manent way were tried. Experience has shown that the bull-head track
is the " fittest," and, accordingly, it has survived them all. Not only is
there remarkable unanimity among English engineers as to the sujjeri-
ority of the bull-head track, but, as we have just seen, there is even
great unanimity as to the dimensions which must be given to its princi-
l^al parts. An opinion about which there is so much unanimity among.
DISCUSSIOX ON EXGLISH EAILROAD TRACK. 65
persons well qualified to judge must surely contain mucli truth and de-
serve to receive more careful consideration than Mr. Tratman seems dis-
posed to allow it.
There are some minor points in Mr. Tratman's paper about which
he states the truth, but not, I think, the whole truth.
On page 224 he tells us that "it is pleasant to hear the general ap-
proval " of the flange rail " from Ireland." Three of the lines he pub-
lishes information fi'om are Irish, and the approval of the flange rail,
if " general," is also somewhat qualified. On one of these roads the bull-
head rail is considered best for heavy traffic, on another it is considered
best for steep grades and sharp ci;rves, and the engineer of the third
thinks the flange rail "nearly as steady as the bull-head." On Irish
roads the average gross receipts are little more than Â£1 000 per mile per
annum, whereas English railways earn four times as much, and these
figures represent fairly, though perhaps roughly, the amount of traflSc.
As the flange rail is not found suitable for the heavy work on Irish rail-
ways, it does not seem probable that it would stand the much heavier
work on English lines.
On page 247 we are told that "a 75-pound steel flange rail would
probably be of ample strength for the traflic " on the Speyside Division