International Engineering Congress (1901 : Glasgow.

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and passing north, enters the tunnel at five miles, and, descending i
ir 75, passes under the shore line at the Ebbstone Beacon at nine
miles; it passes round a curve of a mile radius at the head of
Beaufort Dyke at 16 miles, and reaches the shore line at Island
Magee, Co. Antrim, at 34 miles, rising i in 75 from the deep
water, and passing out of the tunnel at 39^ miles, it joins the
Belfast and Northern Counties Railway at 41 miles, and runs 10^
miles along it into the terminus at Belfast,

Total length, Stranraer to Belfast, 51 J miles, of which 34^ is
tunnel, and 25 of this under the sea.

To provide suitable drainage the line falls each way from the
centre, and drainage headings have to be run to the shafts at
each side, where pumping stations would be placed.

Subsidiary shafts are proposed at a short distance inland, and
would in connection with the main shafts enable specially accurate
lines to be given for the tunnel.


The geological formations have been reported on by Professor
Hull, late director of the Geological Government Survey of Ireland,
and his views of the strata to be met with are indicated on the
diagram section accompanying the paper. His views were con-
firmed my the late Mr. Topley, of the Geological Survey of London.

The top of the tunnel is proposed to be placed 150 feet below
sea bottom, and the tunnel is to be for a double line.

The principal operation, and that which controls the time of
execution of the whole work, is the heading.

The heading proposed is 10 feet wide by 7 feet high. The
heading through the Silurian, should probably be as rapid as those
now being made in the Simplon Tunnel ; those in the Keuper marls
more rapid ; and the whole heading can, it is believed, be completed
under 10 years, and the finished tunnel between n and 12 years.

Improvements in rock drilling in the Alpine Tunnels have been


remarkable of late years; the maximum speeds of Alpine tunnels
are as follows :

Cost of Tunnel
per yard complete.

Mont Cenis, maximum speed per day, 6 yds 22 4

St. Gothard, maximum speed per day, 10 yds.... ,i4 2

Arlberg, maximum speed per day, 12 yds , I0 7

The Simplon heading has so far been faster than the Arlberg, and
in a very hard rock (specimens of the rock were submitted with the
paper); specimens of the rock for the proposed tunnel were also
submitted, showing the silurian, sandstone, and Keuper marl.


The amount of water to be dealt with is the one uncertainty,
though there are grounds for believing it is not likely to be a very
serious difficulty. The Severn and Mersey tunnels encountered
no serious water leakage under the sea, the great leak of the Severn
Tunnel being from fresh water and a quarter of a mile from the
sea. Judging from these tunnels, and a tunnel driven under the
Forth by Sir Benjamin Baker, there seems good ground for believ-
ing that the sea bed under the Irish Channel has probably sealed
all interstices, so that excavation may be expected to be fairly dry.
Silurian rocks are found in beds nearly vertical, which have been
under heavy horizontal pressure, and will probably give little water
either in the under sea or approach tunnels; the Keuper marls
under the Irish side are remarkably suited to an under water
tunnel, being perfectly water-tight where examined down to 900

The new red sandstone which lies between the marl and silurian
allows water to percolate, but is not likely to give large quantity;
150 feet of cover between tunnel and sea bed will, it is expected,
make all safe.

The working of the line from Stranraer to Belfast is proposed to
be by electric motors from installations near the main shafts, one
at each side of the channel; and it is intended that trains be run
at a speed of 60 to 70 miles per hour, so that the time of tunnel
would be a little over half an hour, and the whole distance
traversed (Stranraer to Belfast) under an hour.


The ventilation of the tunnel is rendered easy by the use of
electric power; a current of fresh air would be sent in by a fan
at one end, and drawn out at the other, probably upon the
Saccardo system successfully used in Italy.


The cost of the tunnel is estimated by the engineers and by a


contractor at 10 millions, exclusive of interest during construction,
and this leaves a considerable margin for contingencies. The
finance of the project is the present difficulty, the prospect as a
speculation not being sufficiently good.

The subject has been brought before the Government as an
Imperial one, and a small guarantee asked. Mr. Balfour ex-
pressed himself desirous of seeing the project carried out, and was
willing, if the amount of capital could be definitely fixed, to bring
the subject before his colleagues. Until a heading has been run
from the Irish side past the junction between the sandstone and
silurian, no contractor is willing to undertake the tunnel at a fixed
sum; to do this, however, would probably not cost more than half
a million, and a heading through the whole 34 miles is estimated
at 2\ millions.

The following members took part in the discussion : Mr. Jas.
Mansergh, Mr. F. W. M'Cullough, Mr. Leonard M. Bell, Sir
Douglas Fox, Professor C. A. Carus-Wilson, and the Chairman.

The author replied to their remarks, and on the motion of the
Chairman was accorded a vote of thanks.



ON no subject is opinion so frequently and strongly expressed, both
in private and in public, as on the need for cheaper railway fares.
It cannot be contended that this is mere British grumbling, since,
if it means anything at all, it implies that, on existing conditions,
the mass of the people cannot afford to travel as often as th^y
would do on more reasonable terms, or, in other words, on terms
more suited to their means. The question is one mainly of third-
class fares, for it is from this source that quite 90 per cent, of
passenger receipts are derived at the present day. The second
class must be regarded as a moribund institution, while the first
class is on most lines unremunerative, and is maintained, in great
measure, as a politic concession to a small but influential body of
customers. The movement in the direction of one class is already
well defined. Its complete success, coupled with low fares, on
tramways, on omnibus routes, and lately on the Central London
Railway, affords unmistakable signs of what we are coming to in
the near future, in serving nine-tenths of the travelling public.
Yet, in spite of these and other obvious indications of change,
our home railways still adhere stubbornly to the " parliamentary "
minimum fare of one penny per mile for all but cheap trips and
" weekend " excursions, and apparently disregard the broad hint
which the profitable results of these deviations from the standard
charge afford, viz., that by reducing the ordinary fare to, say, a
halfpenny per mile, they would probably, if not certainly, get three
persons to travel where they now get but one. They appear to
consider the penny a mile as " bed-rock," and that any departure
from it is to be regarded more as a benevolent concession, or
hazardous, if not reckless, transaction, than as sound and lucrative
business. At the time that the " parliamentary " fare was
established, now more than fifty years ago, it was vehemently
opposed, and mainly on the ground, then largely prevalent, that
the " cost of conveyance " was a fixed figure. It was not then
seen, as it is now, that, far from being fixed, the cost of moving
passengers, or hauling goods, varies up or down with the volume
of traffic dealt with. Even- tyro in railway policy now knows as
the alphabet of his business that if it costs, say, x to move 100
passengers, it does not cost 5^: to move 500. The penny a mile


has long since been found to spell anything but ruin. No railway
manager would for a moment think of increasing it. But how
many of them can see the mine of wealth which lies waiting for
those who will materially reduce it?

The absence of systematic and detailed statistics for the railways
in the United Kingdom in a large degree accounts for the timidity,
or we may call it conservatism of their management. There are
probably but few of our railway managers who are in a position
to unhesitatingly quote the prime cost of moving a passenger or
a ton of goods, as derived from the operations of any single year,
or could do more than gue>s at the cost of running expenses per
train mile; while the outlay per passenger-mile or per ton-mile,
which would include charges shown separately for each depart-
ment, would be to him no more than as a dream of perfection, or
perhaps as a nightmare of embarrassment. Yet, if we turn lo
the statistics annually offered for the American railways, or, better
still, for the Indian railways, we find that for each system, under
separate administration, there is an invaluable review of its yearly
operations, in every detail, and for each department, and in a form
so clear as to render the results on any one line readily comparable
with those 6t another. It is due in great measure to these statistics
that the rates and fares on Indian railways are probably the lowest
in the world, and at the same time eminently profitable. Taking
as an instance the East Indian Railway, the figures for 1899 show
that in this year the line carried a total of i8| million passengers,
of which 17 millions were of the third or lowest class; that the
average number of passengers in a train of all classes was 228;
the average distance travelled was 6 1 miles ; the cost of hauling
one passenger one mile was one-eighteenth of a penny, and the fare
charged one fifth of a penny per mile all debits included. Now,
it may be readily allowed, in comparing the fixed charges (for
operation only), and the running charges on this line, with those of
some of our leading English lines, that the East Indian has .some
points in its favour; but these, after all, are as nothing in face of
the fact that if the average income of the third-class passenger
in England is taken, say, at ,15 a month, that of the same class
in India may be taken, and liberally, at no more than 15 shillings;
that is to say, that in order to induce any passenger traffic at all,
and one that was worth considering, the Indian railways have had
to come down to rates which the English railway manager would
have imagined impossible. They have found, however, that by-
moving very large numbers at very low fares, the result is most
profitable, and, in face of such figures as are given above, it is but
reasonable to ask whether the penny a mile must be continued as
the standard fare in the United Kingdom, i.e., for ordinary journeys.
The reply might be that the penny pays, and that any materially


lower fare may not. Yet against this we have the fact that fares
approximating to a halfpenny a mile, or indeed less, on the Central
London, the District Railway, and the Glasgow Tramways, are,
with large numbers, not only possible in a fiscal sense, but that,
in the face of keen competition, it is the only way of getting the
traffic. From such facts it seems fair to expect that if the half-
penny a mile was adopted generally on English railways, for all
journeys, instead of the penny, thousands, or rather millions, would
largely increase the number of their railway journeys, and that,
moreover, an entirely new stratum of travellers would be reached.
It is further to be remembered that a development of passenger
traffic is now well understood to bring with it a corresponding im-
provement in goods traffic.

It is not overlooked that the settlement of this question is no
small matter, for it must be tested fairly, and on a sufficiently large
scale, while the experiment may, or perhaps must, involve a con-
siderable expenditure on additional rolling stock for at least main
lines. The area on which the experiment would seem at first
most likely to prove successful is on the railways serving the sea-
board round London. There lies a field for the enterprising
manager such as exists nowhere else in the world a city of, let us
say, five millions of sea-loving people at one end, and the sea at
the other. Yet there we find, at any rate for the third class
passenger, a poor and unpunctual service; a class of rolling stock
which, until quite lately, was almost the worst in the country; and
fares which, to the bulk of the people, make a visit to the seaside
a rare luxury, while it should, and could, be the commonest holiday
jaunt for the Londoner. With fares reduced to a halfpenny a mile,
with a fast direct service, and with ordinarily decent carriages,
thousands upon thousands of people, who now perhaps go down
to the sea once in the year, would come to regard such a trip with
but little more hesitation than those who now fill the Pullman
cars to Brighton and elsewhere. What can be more obviously
prohibitive to the great lower and lower middle class than the
present ordinary return third class fares to Brighton (8s 5d), to
Dover (125 nd), to Margate (125 46), or Hastings (los id) ail
at the inevitable penny a mile, and none of the places much more
than 70 miles from London. At a halfpenny rate, and with an
ample service of quick through trains, the present passenger traffic
could probably be quadrupled, more especially if facilities for
through booking were arranged with the District Railway; indeed,
it is more than likely that it would pay to make entirely new direct
lines, electric possibly, for no other purpose than to serve a through
passenger traffic between London and the sea coast. But for
the railways round London, at least, the halfpenny fare need not be
confined to seaside traffic. It would effect a great development


of suburban traffic, more especially on the shorter distances, and
induce a far greater movement of the rural population to and from
towns and villages from distances of 50 to 60 miles from the
metropolis, a movement which is now inconsiderable, and which
would well repay better attention on the part of railway men.

Conservatism appears to be the key-note of the policy of our
railway companies. They seem to say " Our officials and GUI
work-people get their pay, the board gets its fees, and the share-
holders their moderately good dividend. What more do you
want ?" The " more " that is wanted is some attention to the
claims of the British public, more regard for the interests of the
shareholders, some attempt to shake off old-fashioned ideas, and
to strike out in new directions. In any such attempts they should
recollect that every small advantage which the third-class passenger
now has, as compared with his position 50 years ago, has been
simply wrung from the companies against their vehement opposi-
tion, and yet not one of these would now think for a moment of
returning to the old regime. The " parliamentary " train was dis-
couraged by making it almost impossible for the third-class
passenger to effect any long journey in daylight, even although he
was expected to start at cock-crow, and was made to get out and
wait at junctions; though even when his train arrived there might
be no room for him. Conveniences of any kind, even for
refreshment, were not even contemplated for this lowly type of
traveller. Again, when the Midland Company, in 1872, boldly
started to carry third-class passengers by all trains, the other
companies, especially the Great Western, lagged behind for a long
while, and even to this day the South Eastern and Chatham com-
panies run some trains either with first and second only, or with
an extra charge for third class. Again, the substitution of two
classes for three, proposed or advocated by Mr. Gladstone so long
ago as 1874, which has already been amply proved to be both
politic and profitable, has not as yet been adopted generally,
though it grows slowly. So it is with the reduction of fares; the
fare and a half, and the single fare or, in other words, the
halfpenny per mile are already well to the front for trips and
excursions, but for these only, though they show without doubt ihat
full trains at these rates are distinctly remunerative. There are,
in fact, but few lines on which the actual cost of carrying passengers
in full trains can be much more than half a farthing per head per
mile, yet, though our railways have taught us to travel, they have
not learnt their own lesson, which is to offer the necessary induce
merits to extend the habit. They go on with the same old " penny
a mile," as if there was divine revelation in the figure, and as if
our railway boards were not men of business but mere ornamental
pluralists. In some cases, if not in many, the boards are held


down by the inertia of their managers, as was notoriously the case
on the Great Western, when in the able but very conservative
hands of Grierson. His type is unfortunately still too common,
and for the reason that by the time a man has worked up from the
bottom of the ladder to the position of manager, he has too
generally and not unnaturally lost his vigour and the spirit of
enterprise. His policy is to let well alone. The better or the
best may be left to others to try for. On the other hand, there
are doubtless many younger men who, if given reasonable latitude
of action, would soon show that the true policy of the administra-
tion of a railway is, as much as in any other industrial undertaking,
to venture, to move forward, even if slowly, and to be content,
not merely when they have met a demand forced on them, buc
when they have introduced facilities which will induce a further

One acknowledged difficulty in carrying out a general an.!
considerable reduction in third-class fares lies in the want of
sufficient yard and platform accommodation at many of the oldir
principal stations, and especially in London, if, as is almost certain,
the halfpenny per mile fare led to trebling the number of
travellers in the third class. At many of the smaller stations, as,
for instance, on the Brighton and the South Eastern and Chatham
lines, the same difficulty would be experienced, though this difficukv
i: after all almost entirely one of money, and is one that can be
met gradually and tentatively as the demand develops. A similar
but probably less immediate obstacle will be found in the need for
a large increase in the rolling stock. But neither these nor other
difficulties would stand in the way for long when experiment had
.atisfactorily established that the reduction of fares would be

Mr. R. Elliott Cooper, Sir Guildford Molesworth, Sir William
Preece, and the Chairman took part in the Discussion.

On the motion of the Chairman a vote of thanks was accorded
to the author.

On the motion of the Chairman a vote of thanks was accorded
to the Honorary Secretary; and on the motion of Mr. C. P. Hogg
a vote of thanks was accorded to the Chairman.

The business of the Section was then brought to a close.



Section II.
Waterways and Maritime Works.*


Sir JOHN WOLFE BARRY, K.C.B., LL.D., F.R.S., in the Chair.

The Chairman in opening the Proceedings of the Section
cordially welcomed in name of the British representatives of
Engineering their confreres from every part of the world.



THE Dortmund and Ems Canal connects the industrial regions of
Rhineland and Westphalia with the North Sea. It begins at
Dortmund and Herne, and ends at Emden. The distance between
the two termini is 270 kilometres (168 miles). The canal is
2.5 metres (8 i~5th feet) deep, and 18 metres (59 feet) wide at the
bottom. The locks in the upper reaches between Dortmund and
the 138 kilometre post (about 85 miles) have an available length
of 67 metres (220 feet), and are 8.2 metres (27 feet) wide. Barges
of this length, and having the permissible maximum draught of
2 metres (6 feet 7 inches), can carry about 1000 tons. On the
lower reaches the locks are 165 metres (542 feet) long, and can
accommodate a whole train of barges. The water-level in the
summit reach (15.5 kilometres 9^ miles long) at Dortmund is
70 metres (230 feet) above zero (zero equals zero of the Amsterdam
standard gauge). Barges are lowered from this level to the main
reach below, 67 kilometres (4 if miles) long, by a canal lift at
Henrichenburg. The next lock is at Munster, and has a fall of
6.20 metres (20 J feet); by its aid barges reach the Midland Reach,
which is about 37 kilometres (23 miles) long. The reach is so

* The proceedings of Section II. are published in full by Messrs. Wm.
Clowes and Sons, Ltd., Duke Street, Stamford Street, London, S.E., price
6s. 6d. post free.


"called because, from its northern end, immediately before the lock,
the Midland Canal is about to start, leading to the Weser and the
Elbe without any change in the water-level, which is 49 metres
(161 feet) above zero. When carried out, there will be a reach
210 kilometres (130^ miles) long, without a single lock, between
Munster and Hanover. Between the Midland Reach and Meppen.
there are eleven locks to pass through. Beyond Meppen. the
River Ems forms the sole waterway, and is divided into five
lengths by as many locks. From Oldersun, at 10 kilometres (6
miles) above Emden, a lateral canal, skirting the Ems. leads by
means of two locks to the inland port of Emden.

Altogether there are 20 locks between Dortmund and Emden,
representing a total fall of 70 minus 1.138 metres (Emden
inland gauge), or 68.862 metres (226 feet). The smallest radii of
curvature on the canal are 400 metres (20 chains), and on the
River Ems, where the bottom width is 30 metres (98^ feet). 350
metres (iyj chains).

There are one hundred and seventy-five bridges leading over
the canal. Only two of these are movable; all the others are
fixed, and have a free headway of 4 metres (13^ feet) above the
highest water-level. The canal crosses the Rivers Lippe. Stever,
and Ems, on massive aqueducts, 18 metres (59 feet) wide. All
slopes of the canal that are cut through any formations that are
not compact enough in themselves to withstand the wash of the
waves, are protected with stone pitching or cement concrete slabs.
The covering is carried 0.60 metre (2 feet) below, and 0.50 metre
(i foot) above the water level. The canal is made water-tight
on all high embankments by a layer of clay to prevent leakage.
The thickness of this layer varies from 0.30 to i.oo metre < i foot to
3 feet 3 inches). The bulk of the water for feeding the canal
is pumped from the River Lippe. The balance of the supply is
derived from the natural drainage of only 60 square kilometres
23.17 square miles). The loss of water in the canal, from all
causes, amounts to 10.4 litres per kilometre (3.68 gallons per mile)
per second, according to observations made to date.

There are three pumps in use, each of 400 H.P. The height to
which the water is raised is 15.75 metres (51! feet). To be able
to sub-divide the long reaches of the canal into short lengths, in
the event of sudden accidents, stop-gates of a novel design have
been provided, which can be turned either way, and are able to
withstand the full head of water in either direction. Each gate
consists of a single web plate of mild steel, which is bent in the
shape of a segment of circle, and is properly stiffened by suitable
frame-work. The gate is raised out of the water by means of a
pair of long lattice-work arms or spokes, carried by trunions, which
revolve in bearings bedded in the side walls of the passage. The



arms are set in motion by capstans. When not in use the gate is
held up by the arms across the canal, like a hood or shield.

The canal lift at Henrichenburg is constructed on the principle
of a floating trough moving in parallel guides. The whole weight
of the trough full of water is carried by five floats, which move up
and down in as many wells. The whole system is in equilibrium,
so that any addition to the volume of water in the trough makes
this sink, and, vice versa, any reduction in the volume causes the
trough to rise. The up or down movement is controlled by four
screw spindles, which work in four nuts, which are attached to

Online LibraryInternational Engineering Congress (1901 : GlasgowReport of the proceedings and abstracts of the papers read → online text (page 5 of 37)