News clippings compiled by Art Clowes
Revised To: October 3, 2005
EDMUNDSTON – was called Petit Sault until 1848, when it was renamed for Governor of New Brunswick, Sir Edmund W. Head.
Saint John, The Telegraph-Journal, Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, September 20, 2003 – September 23, 1765 – The Township of Hopewell is established.
Saint John, The Telegraph-Journal, Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, July 31, 2004 – August 4, 1783 – The August Fleet of Loyalist evacuations depart New York bound for the St. John River.
Saint John, The Telegraph Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 4 – Saturday, October 2, 2004 – October 4, 1783 – More than 600 Penobscot Loyalists land at St. Andrews, from Castine, Maine, to establish a settlement. The town of St. Andrews is almost instantly created and laid out in classic New England fashion.
Saint John, The Telegraph Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 7 – Saturday, April 10, 2004 – April 11, 1786 – Thomas Mallard announces in the “Royal Gazette” that he has acquired the schooner “Four Sisters” and has established a weekly passenger and cargo service from Saint John to Fredericton.
Saint John, The Telegraph Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 7 – Saturday, April 10, 2004 – April 11, 1816 – The first river steamboat in New Brunswick, the General Smyth, is launched at Saint John. On May 20, the General Smyth begins its maiden voyage upriver from Saint John to Fredericton.
Saint John, The Telegraph-Journal, Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, July 26, 2003 – August 1, 1819 – Lumberman, railway entrepreneur and industrialist, Alexander “Boss” Gibson is born near St. Andrews.
Saint John, Telegraph-Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, September 27, 2003 – OCTOBER 2, 1821 – George Ludlow Wetmore and George Frederick Street exchange shots in an early morning duel near New Maryland. Wetmore dies from a bullet to his head and the “hue and cry” is raised against Street who escapes to Maine. Street is later acquitted of murder.
Saint John, Telegraph-Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, September 18, 2004 – SEPTEMBER 19, 1825 – The Great Miramichi Fire begins – the largest fire ever recorded in the Maritimes. One fifth of New Brunswick, or about 9,656 square kms., burns – from the Northwest Miramichi to the outskirts of Fredericton.
The Great Miramichi fire killed 160 people and destroyed some 595 buildings. It is reported that 18 buildings survived, 12 in Newcastle and six in Douglastown.
Saint John, Telegraph-Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, March 5, 2005 – MARCH 7, 1826 – Gloucester and Kent counties are established out of Northumberland County, with the towns of Bathurst and Liverpool (Richibucto) as Shire Towns.
St. Andrews, The New Brunswick Standard & St. Andrews Commercial Gazette, Page 1 – Thursday, July 17, 1834 – EDINBURGH AND DALKEITH RAILWAY – On Thursday the astonishing number along the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. From half-past six in the morning till near ten o’clock at night there was a constant stream of citizens eager to enjoy an hour in the country, admit those blessings of providence which are doubly appreciated by the toil-worn mechanics – Pre May 26 – 29, 1834.
Saint John, The Telegraph-Journal, Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, July 26, 2003 – July 26, 1834 – Andrew Flemming receives the first mining licence in New Brunswick, to mine coal at Long Creek Point near Minto.
St. Andrews, The New Brunswick Standard & St. Andrews Commercial Gazette, Page 3 – Thursday, December 25, 1834 – MAIL STAGE
Saint Andrews and Saint Stephen
Has commenced running a Stage between the above places, which will leave George Watson’s, St. Andrews, on the mornings of Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00 o’clock; and William Gillis’s, St. Stephen, on the mornings of Wednesdays and Saturdays.
F A R E
From St. Andrews to Connicks, 2s 6d
to Chalmers, 3s 9d
to St. Stephen, 5s 0d
From St. Stephen to Chalmers, 1s 3d
to Connicks, 2s 6d
to St. Andrews, 5s 0d
A reasonable weight of luggage will be allowed, but it must be entirely at the risk of the owner.
From the low rates of the charges, he is determined on no occasion whatever to give any trust.
St. Andrews, 16th December 1834.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, February 5, 1835 – PETITION OF ST. STEPHEN RAIL ROAD COMPANY – To the Honourable House of Assembly, of the Province of New Brunswick – The Petition of The Subscribers Humbly Sheweth – That your Petitioners are desirous of being incorporated into a company, for the better enabling them to construct a line of Rail Road from some point on the bank of the river St. Croix to Milltown, in the same Parish; for the purpose of conveying timber and manufactured lumber to a safe and convenient place for shipment, and to have possession by the name of “The Saint Stephen Rail Road Company,” and to be capable in law, of holding land either in fee simple or by lease, having power absolutely to convey or lease the same, and generally to have all such corporate privileges, as may be conducive to the interest and welfare of such company. Also, to have power to erect the contemplated rail road over any land on the site thereof, ample compensation being first made to the respective proprietors, in such manner as your Honours may direct.
That it is an undeniable fact that this section of the Province, depends entirely but its present and future prosperity upon the timber and lumber trade in which a vast capital belonging to your Petitioners is now embarked, and from which at least nine tenths of the community directly or indirectly derive the means of subsistence. In short, from the very first strike of the axe in the forest, to the delivery of the lumber at its destined port, Colonial labour, capital, and Colonial shipping are in various and innumerable instances employed to a very serious and beneficial extent – that reasoning from these premises, and must be constrained to admit that every facility afforded to such, our staple operations (from which, spring so many advantageous,) will proported, they advance the general interests of the community, And
That the vital importance of the object contemplated by your Petitioners, merits the legislative enactment they now solicit, will come home to the conviction of every unbiased mind, after a careful consideration of the various facts hereinwith set forth, selected from a great number which presented themselves to the notice of your petitioners.
That equivalent to twenty-four millions of feet of lumber per annum, would find a more speedy, cheap and safe conveyance to market from the place of manufacture, by the mode contemplated by your petitioners, than by any others which can at present be adopted.
2nd. That to some kinds of lumber a great saving would be effected by transporting the same on a rail way, and the quality materially enhanced, as such descriptions would be more free from splits, from the deleterious effects of salt water, and from the various risks to which rafted lumber is at all times necessarily exposed.
3rd. That from the great quantity of salt water which rafted lumber is known to absorb, being estimated at five hundred and sixty pounds per thousand superficial feet, after a short time of exposure to the influence of that element, which if conveyed by a rail road would be entirely prevented, as it could then be loaded directly from wharves, or easily conveyed from the bank of the river, in scows for shipping.
4th. That reducing the cost of the transport of lumber, and increasing its good qualities will tend to stimulate consumption. And that the necessary consequence will be the increased demand for manufacturing population, again reacting in the agricultural interests, will form an increased market for that species of produce.
5th. That from the fact that the power of traction required on a well constructed rail road, being generally estimated at the 240th part of the load, the gravity of which is to be overcome, (but your petitioners are impressed with the idea that an inclined plain can be procured from Milltown downwards, with one short distance excepted) it will appear evident that lumber of all descriptions can be conveyed by rail road from Milltown in a manner as speedily as the same can be manufactured.
6th. That by means of the conveyance which your petitioners are desirous of establishing, timber would be conveyed from the pond at Milltown, to the present place of shipment, thereby avoiding the dangerous falls between these places, the great labour and expense in driving it, and the serious damage subsequently sustained, owing to coming in contract with the rugged rocks by which the river is bounded, and its navigation obstructed.
And lastly. – That from many other reasons which may be urged in favour of the contemplated undertaking, in addition to by your petitioners, they are awaiting in the hope that the prayer of the petition, will meet a ready compliance on the part of your Honours.
And as its duty bound will ever pray.
Nehamish Marks John Marks John Milliken
Robert Lindsay Wm. Porter James Frank
Robert M. Todd F. H. Todd R. Hitchings
Wm. Todd, Jr. G. M. Bone John Potter
- M. Allister, Jr. J. M. Allister A. Hill Jr.
Stephen Hill G. D. King Ben F. Waite
Alex, – – John Wilson
Annexed to the above Petition recommending the prayers thereof, to be complied with, was signed by a large number of respectable and material persons, residents of St. Stephen.
Peter Stubs, Jr.
Secretary to the Committee.
St. Stephen, January 25, 1835.
1835 – SAINT JOHN STEAMBOAT & RAILWAY COMPANY – was formed in 1835 with £20,000 capital. Their aim was to operate steamships from Saint John to The Bend (Moncton) and to build a railway from there to Shediac. This was to provide a faster route between Saint John and Montreal.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, April 23, 1835 – ENGLISH NEWS – London Paper – A novel machine was a few days ago exhibited in the Kennington and Clapham roads. It consisted of a sort of carriage wheel which carries a Railroad for itself, upon which the carriage travels with great facility and quickness. It was composed of a jointed square instead of a circle, and has four rollers, not touching the road, and four feet which alternately come to the ground, producing a kind of walking and escaping obstacles. We understand it is the invention of Lewis Gomportz?, Esquire. Should these machines be adopted, probably common railways may be partially or wholly dispensed with. – Pre March 20, 1835.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, July 16, 1835 – RAILWAY TO QUEBEC – Meeting At Augusta – From the Age – Pursuant to public notice of a meeting of the citizens of Kennebec County was held at the Court House in Augusta, on Saturday the 4th day of July, to consider the expediency of sending one or more gentlemen to assist Colonel Long of the US Engineer, in the survey he is about commencing of a route of a railway from Atlantic waters in the State of Maine in the direction of the city of Quebec, by giving him such information of the face of country as may be in their possession.
The meeting was called to order by Honourable Ruel Williams of August, and on his motion Ben. Brown, Esquire of Vassalboro’, was called to the Chair. Luther Severance was chosen Secretary.
Mr. R. Williams stated the object of the meeting, and after some remarks by him, and by Messrs. Brown, Abbot of Vassalboro’, and others, it was, on motions of Daniel Williams, Esquire voted that a committee of two be appointed to wait upon Colonel Long and give him such information, as he may desire to enable him to discover the best route to Quebec.
On motion a nominating committee was appointed by the chair, consisting of Messrs. R. Williams, General Joseph Chaadler, Elias Craig, Jr. of Augusta, Joseph R. Abbott of Vassalboro’, and Alex Cooper of Pittston, to designate the two gentlemen to aid Colonel Long in his exploration, and to report a mode of defraying the expenses. The Committee, after retiring, reported the names of
Asa Redington, Jr. of Augusta, and
Joseph R. Abbott of Vassalboro’,
to attend the Engineer, and they recommend that a committee be appointed to obtain and collect subscriptions to defray the expense, consisting of Messrs. Timothy Goutelle of Waterville, Luther Severance of August, Dr. Nourse of Hallowell, Alexr. Cooper of Pittson, and D. C. Magoun of Bath: which recommendation was adopted by the meeting.
On motion of D. Williams, Esquire, a committee was appointed to correspond with citizens of other portions of the State in relation to the subject, consisting of Messrs. Daniel Williams of Augusta, Ben Brown of Vassalboro’, Reuel Williams, Luther Severance & J. W. Bradbury of Augusta.
On motion of Edmund T. Bridge, Esquire, a committee consisting of Messrs. J. W. Bradbury, L. Severance, and J. H. Hartwell, was appointed to prepare resolutions. The committee reported that following which were adopted.
Resolved, That we are gratified to perceive the interest that is manifested and the movements that are in progress to open a communication by railway between Quebec and the Atlantic Ocean, through the State of Maine, and that such communication would be mutually beneficial to ourselves and the inhabitants of the Canadas.
Resolved, That we regard the Valley of the Kennebec as affording the most obvious and natural channel for such communication, as it occupies a central position from which other routes might proceed, and passes by a direct course through one of the most fertile and populous portions of our State.
Resolved, That the selection of the best possible route for such Railway, being an object of the first importance, we ask only that a careful examination should be made of the different routes proposed, in order to ensure such selection.
Resolved, That we would respectfully recommend to the inhabitants on this central route to take such measures, at such early day, as may be necessary in order to afford the facilities and give the information that may be desired by the Engineer, when he shall pass through in making his survey.
Resolved, That we invite the co-operation of the inhabitants of other portions of the State, who are interested with us in obtaining a communication with Quebec and the Canadas that shell be central that its advantages may be widely circulated.
Voted, That the proceedings of the meeting be certified one published.
BENJ. BROWN, Chairman.
Luther Severance, Secretary.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, September 3, 1835 – GENERAL INTEREST OF NEW BRUNSWICK – Were a Rail Road made from the River St. John in Woodstock, to our shores, this place would become the port of exit for the whole produce of the upper Country, and we pronounce the value of that produce to be immense. Lateral branches would run into it from all parts, and the supplies of lumber, which now depend on the uncertainty of season, would then depend on the certainty of orders for shipment. In addition to such facilities, one of the most prominent advantages of the Rail Road would be the ease and cheapness with which the interior would be supplied with imports which it now receives through a circuitous route at an enormous expense.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, September 3, 1835 – STEAM AT HOME – We are glad to find that when it was known here that the Steamboat “Woodstock” of the St. John River, was in the market; a number of our Merchant and Traders, persuaded that it is advisable to have “Steam of our Own,” subscribed the upset price, and Mr. Boyd has gone to bring the Boat down, which may be expected here this evening. The “Woodstock” has always been a favourable with the public, and we trust she will continue to be such. She will ply to St. Stephen, St. George and Eastport. It is in contemplation to build a powerful boat here against next season, and we would suggest the appropriate name of “Passamaquoddy.”
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 1, 1835 – RAIL ROADS – The subject of a steam communication to this continent, is now exciting considerable attention in England. In our latest papers we observe different notices respecting the great Irish Railway to Valentia, whence it is contemplated, by the originators of the scheme that the steam-vessels will depart for Halifax or Saint John. This plan, however does not appear to give general satisfaction. Liverpool and Bristol object to the Railway altogether – they suggest that to save transport, transhipments and consequent losses, it would be more desirable that the steam-vessels should leave either port – each or course asserting a right to the preference. Not to be outdone by its rivals Greenock has also put in claim. A Mr. Thomas Graham, of London, has addressed a letter to the Merchants of Glasgow, directing their attention to the subject. He states many objections, and some of them cogent to either of the great English ports being the starting place. Among others there is the danger and trouble attendant upon the navigation of the Channel, and the high price of fuel used by the vessels. Whereas, the Greenock ships could, if a canal were cut across the Isthmus at Lock Tarbet (a mile in width) get out at once, without running any risks, into the Atlantic. From the large collieries also in the neighbourhood of the port an ample supply of fuel could be had at all times, and on moderate terms. However preferable the situation of Greenock may be, we suspect that either Liverpool or Bristol will be selected in the event of the Company abandoning the Kingstown and Valentia Railway.
FROM THE MONTREAL GAZETTE
The advantages of Railways over common roads had long been the subject of the lectures and essays of philosophers and mechanics, but their practical utility had never been fully tested, until the signal success which attended the completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and the extraordinary facilities which it offered to commence, established the truth of previous theory and exceeded the hopes even of the most sanguine. Since then it would seem that in these latter days those results have called forth the latent energies of every nation, and created throughout every part of the world, a new and more powerful spirit of enterprise than ever actuated our slow, steady-going, honest ancestors.
Among our neighbours of the United States, this fever, if it may be so termed, is now raging with unparalleled activity, railways have been constructed or are in the progress throughout every portion of the Union and the day is not far distant, when from Maine to Florida there will be one continuous line of communications drawing still closer those powerful forces which now unite that flourishing confederacy.
In Maine the utmost anxiety has been for some time been to have a line opened from that State to Quebec, and scarcely have the preliminary arrangements been settled ere we notice that another scheme, equally extensive and promising similar results, has been brought under public consideration.
A public meeting has been recently held in Vermont, at which it has been proposed to construct a Railway from Boston to Montreal, following generally the valleys of the Connecticut and Passumpsic rivers. The meeting which was composed of delegates from all the towns along the latter stream, declare that from their own observation, from actual surveys which have been made with a view to a canal, and from the location of the country, they believe these not only to be feasible routes to unite Boston and Hartford with Montreal and Quebec, but to be the natural thoroughfares to those cities of the north and south. To carry the plan fully into effect, a Committee several of the towns most interested, has been appointed whose duties are thus laid down in one of the resolutions – “to promote the construction of a railroad to Hartford or Boston – for this purpose they shall collect facts; correspond with collective bodies and individuals; provide for the representation of the Passumpsic Valley in any railroad meeting that may hereafter be holden in the Valley of the Connecticut, or to the north, either by personal attendance of a part or all of their number or otherwise, or of their designation, call future meetings on the Passumpsic route; and, generally, they shall from time to time, perform such services as will in their judgement advance the object of this meeting, making report of their doings to the next and subsequent meetings of this convention.” They have adjourned for the present to the 23rd instant.
EXTRACTS FROM CAPTAIN YULE’S REPORT
The most favourable route for a Railway to the frontiers from Quebec, appears to pass near the following places:- Point Levi, Saint Mary, western bank of the River du Loup to near its junction with the Portage River; then crossing to the eastern bank and ascending to the height of land on the frontier, near the Kennebec road. Distance about ninety-three miles.
Before entering a more detailed description of this route, it will be proper to explain a few of the terms used in the general rules by which Railways are constructed.
A single locomotive power if calculated to draw twenty times its own weight on a plane not exceeding the height of thirty feet in one mile; other declivities are in use requiring a double of treble power. When the elevation exceeds about ninety feet in one mile, a stationary steam engine is required.
In the horizontal distances, no turning can be more sudden than that which is obtained from a radius of one hundred feet, without causing a deviation from the degree of velocity, which it is the object of the locomotive power to preserve.
It is right to bear in mind that as the greatest expense of surveying such a line of country, compared with the least expense of constructing a railway, is only one to five hundred, no pains should be spared to multiply surveys and sections, so as to render the estimates as complete as possible.
It now remains to be considered whether the route proposed above is the best for Lower Canada; it certainly appears so in point of the expense of executing it, but the occasion is favourable for taking a more extensive view of the subject than merely opening a road to the frontier. There can be no doubt that, whatever may be the route now adopted, there will be branches to other portions of the country, not only in the State of Maine, but in Canada, and it should not be lost sight of that a more easterly course would lead near the adjoining Province of New Brunswick and Halifax, whence, as well known, it has been projected to establish a communication by steam with Valentia in Ireland.
In examining the country between the Etchemin and the Chaudiere it was observed that several high ridges extend across, but between Etchemin Lake and the source of the Famine River, there is said to be no elevation.
The distance to Point Levi from the Kennebec Road, by the Etchemin Lake and the Etchemin, is nearly the same as by the forks of the Chaudiere, and, below the mountain Crapaudiere as far as St. Henry, the Etchemin offers as few obstacles to a railway as the Chaudiere; in one respect it is preferable, not being liable to be flooded.
From the Etchemin Lake there is said to be little difficulty in reaching the source of the Saint John River.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 1, 1835 – THE MAINE AND CANADA RAIL-ROADS – Belfast, Maine, Journal, August 13, 1835 – Last Monday a Civil Engine commenced a survey of a rail-road from this town to Moose Head Lake. From information derived from those well acquainted with the ground, we are satisfied that it will prove a very level and feasible route for such an undertaking; and altogether the most practicable of nay one that has been suggested. We shall be happy to compare the results of this exploration with the one from Portland and have no doubt that by saving of distance, and still more of expense from the superior fitness and equality of the ground to be transversed by the road, it will present strong claims to be the one finally to be selected. If it shall not be found that a rail-road cannot be constructed from this place to Quebec, with two-thirds of the cost that one can be from Portland, we shall be much disappointed from the data already before us. It is contemplated that the route shall pass up the Westcoat branch of the Belfast river, and through Brooks, thence to Unity, through the valleys of Marsh and Half moon stream, thence on the celebrated Horse-Back to Sabasticook river thence to St. Albans. The United States Engineer from Quebec, will be invited to examine this course, and to compare it with any other presented for his examination.
Having seen the doings of a numerous meeting in Quebec and the arrival of our rail-road Commissioners, we were not a little surprised that Albert Smith, Esquire should have considered himself the representative of Portland only, and not the whole State, by whose authority he was appointed and is paid. In his speech at the Quebec meeting, he alludes to Portland, and no other point on the sea-board, of terminating the contemplated railway from Canada to Maine. The address of the Quebec Committee to his Excellency the Governor and Commander in Chief of the Canadas, and his answer, are predicated upon this error. And even the proceeding of this meeting, as continued in the Quebec Gazette, are headed “Rail-road to Portland.” To undeceive the Governor and our friends in Canada who have manifested so much readiness to co-operate with us in the contemplated project, we quote the Legislative Resolve of last winter, from whence Messrs. Smith and Creen derive their authority:–
“Resolve respecting a Rail-Road from Quebec, Approved March 10, 1835.”
“Resolved, that the Governor with advice of Council, be authorised to appoint two competent individuals, whose duty it shall be to visit the city of Quebec and such parts of the Canadas as they think necessary, in order to consult with the civil authorities and merchants of the Canadas, and others, for the purpose of procuring a survey on their part, or any other aid towards the beginning and completion of a Rail-Road from the city of Quebec to some point on our Atlantic sea-board.”
It must appear obvious to any one who will cast his eye upon the map, that a route from Belfast to Quebec (and we have no doubt of its being the most feasible one,) would be the cheapest and most beneficial, both to Maine and the Canadas, of any one which could be selected. Here the Penobscot Bay makes up into the heart of a fertile country bringing the Atlantic coast nearer the city of Quebec by nearly forty miles than any other convenient point upon our coast. Besides it would pass nearly through the centre of the State, in the direction of Moose Head Lake, enhancing the value of our public lands and improving the new settlements in a tenfold degree.
And if the attention of the people of Canada were once directed to this place, they would, with ourselves, perceive the immense advantages it possesses over all other in the State for the termination of the route. It would make Maine a connecting link between the Canadas and the other British Provinces, thereby opening the shortest and most direct channel of inter-communication with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 1, 1835 – RAILWAY LEGISLATION – In our enumeration of the Bills read according to law before the Magistrate and Grand Jury at the late Quarter Sessions of the Peace, we omitted to mention that which was introduced by James Rait, Esquire, intituled “The Saint Andrews and Quebec Rail-Road Company,” of which we will give an outline in a future number.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 1, 1835 – RAIL ROADS – In a preceding column will be found some pertinent remarks by the Editor of the Montreal Gazette on the proposed Railways to Quebec from Boston, Portland, and Belfast. We have also made some extracts from an able report on the valleys of the Etchemin and Chaudiere, by Captain Yule of the Royal Engineers; who was appointed by His Excellency Lord Aylmar to make a reconnaissance in August last, in compliance with an address from a Committee of Citizens of Quebec, appointed to promote a Railway Communication between that City and the Atlantic through the State of Maine. Colonel Long of the US Service has also made a report on the Portland and Quebec Route, which we have likewise inserted.
The great object of the Canadian is to overcome the untoward circumstance of their being shut out from marine commerce for one half of the year, and a very feasible means of accomplishing this object presents itself in the construction of Railways from the Saint Lawrence to the Atlantic. The Americans, fully aware of the immense benefits which their country would derive by possessing the transit of British and Colonial trade have entered on the exploration of practicable routes through different parts of Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, with a vigour and perseverance which shews the value they set on its accomplishment. They could engage to carry the whole line as far as Quebec, it authority be given them by the Provincial Government. With these facts before our eyes, does it not become an important inquiry to us, whether an opening may not be made through our own territory, which would equally serve the commercial purpose of Canada, and diffuse the benefits which would flow from it over these Provinces?
We find a remarkable coincidence in the opinions of the Belfast people and those of Captain Yule as to the effect the Railways through Maine would have in extending their advantages to this Province; but Captain Yule in considering the best direction for a permanent line, throws out a hint that it is highly important to keep in view the intended Steam-boat communication from Valentia to Halifax, and that a more easterly course of the line from Quebec, would lead through New Brunswick. An attentive perusal of the copious extracts in our preceding columns, will tend to elucidate the preliminary observations we now make on a subject which is of paramount importance to British North America, and to no portion of it more than our own.
Other ages have been celebrated as the days of invention, but the present period may be called the era of execution. Splendid and extensive projects produce surprise and distrust at their first announcement, and are often the subject of ridicule, but our present experience should enable us to correct this error which is the bane of enterprise and the direct enemy of genius. A quarter of a century ago, he would have been considered a bedlamite who should have suggested the possibility of covering the ocean with ships divested of sails but perfectly adapted to the purpose of navigation; or of propelling vehicles on land at a rate exceeding the velocity of the wind; yet we have seen these miracles performed and progressively extending their wonders. Under these views we do not entertain any serious doubt of seeing a Railway extending directly from this town to Quebec; and we shall conclude the present article with a quotation from a paper written by Henry Fairbairn Esquire and published upwards of three years ago in the United Service Journal – entitled “Project for Marine Railway across the Isthmus of Panama, and in the British Possessions in North America.”
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 8, 1835 – THE ST. ANDREWS AND QUEBEC RAIL ROAD BILL – referred to in our last, having been inclosed by Mr. Rait to the members of council and Assembly for this County, together with a letter embracing in general terms the leading objects of the Bill, these gentlemen intimated their intention of laying the same before the Public, in consequence of which a large and respectable meeting of the Merchants and other Inhabitants of Saint Andrews and the neighbouring Parishes was held at Smith’s News Room on the 5th instant to take into consideration the formation of a Company, having for its object the highly important and gigantic project of constructing a Rail Road from the Port of St. Andrews to communicate with the City of Quebec.
The Honourable James Allanshaw was unanimously requested to take the Chair, Thomas Wyer, Esquire was appointed Deputy Chairman, and Adam Jack, Esquire was requested to act as Secretary.
The Chairman opened the meeting by stating in a very clear and lucid manner the importance of the object in view, and called attention to the movement now before the public of the two Canadas, on this important subject; he also alluded to the stirring industry of our neighbours in the State of Maine respecting a communication from some of the sea ports with Quebec by Rail Roads. He then adverted to the immediate and decisive measures which should be undertaken by the proposers of the present scheme to meet the views of those persons in Canada friendly to the undertaking, ere they or the Government of the Canadas should pledge themselves to support the views of any of the American companies.
Resolutions were then introduced expressive of the opinion of the meeting, namely, That a Rail Road from Canada to the nearest winter harbour in New Brunswick would be of great national importance and of incalculable benefit to the interests of the North American Provinces, and to British Trade and Commerce generally.
That it was the sense of the meeting. That the route or line of communication from St. Andrews to Quebec from all the information that can be relied upon, is the best and most natural one that can be proposed.
That the profits arising from the transportation of Merchandise, Passengers &c. from Quebec and the Atlantic, would in the opinion of the meeting be commensurate to the cost of constructing a rail road and fully justify that great and important undertaking.
That an association be now formed to endeavour by all possible means to promote so desirable an undertaking.
That Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and five Committee-men be appointed to prosecute the views of the association.
That the Honourable James Allanshaw be Chairman.
Thos. Wyer, Esquire, Deputy Chairman
be the Committee
Harris Hatch, Esquire
John Wilson, Esquire
James Rait, Esquire
Saml. Frye, Esquire
- McMaster, Esquire
and Adam Jack, Esquire be the Secretary and Treasure of the association. A paper was then sent round for signatures by all parties proposing to become members of the association.
That the Committee forthwith prepare an address to His Excellency Sir Archibald Campbell praying his countenance in furtherance of the views of the association.
A sum of money was then subscribed to defray preliminary expenses.
The Honourable James Allanshaw having left the chair, it was occupied by Colin Campbell, Esquire, High Sheriff of the County, and the thanks of the meeting expressed to Mr. Allanshaw for his able and impartial conduct in the Chair.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, October 8, 1835 – Saint Andrews, N.B. 5th October, 1835
My Dear Sir,
It affords me much pleasure in conveying to you the enclosed “Resolution” passed at a meeting of the Merchants and other Inhabitants held at Smith’s “News Room” this day.
In communicating to you this mark of respect and esteem on your departure, permit me to add best wishes for your safe arrival of yourself and family at your native town.
I am your obedient Servant,
- V. Forster, Esquire,
Controller of H. M. Customs, &c., &c.
At a meeting of the Merchants and other Inhabitants of St. Andrew, held the fifth day of October, instant, at the Reading Room, Honourable James Allanshaw in the chair.
It was unanimously Resolved,
“That the thanks of this meeting are due to C. V. Forster, Esquire for this gentlemanly and correct deportment, while discharging the duty of Controller of H. M. Customs at this Port, and that the sense of this meeting be communicated to him by the Chairman.”
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, November 19, 1835 – RAIL ROAD TO MAINE – Montreal Gazette – Continuation of the Report, for the information of the Committee of Citizens of Quebec, appointed to promote the construction of a Railway from that City to the Atlantic Ocean.
In the Report dated Montreal, 22nd August last, presented to the Committee, it was stated that the distance to the frontier by Lake Megantic, is forty miles more than that by the Kennebec Road, but as it was understood that the greater number of obstacles to the construction of the proposed Railway, existed on the American side, the point of departure from the frontier to Quebec, was to be made dependant on the route to be adopted through the State of Maine.
According to this view, it was only necessary to ascertain whether, beside the greater distance, any objection arising from the nature of the country, is to be found against the route by Lake Megantic.
The question of the greater or less proportion of the whole distance which falls within the limits of Lower Canada, is left out of consideration altogether, as being foreign to the subject of this Report.
The distinguishing features of the country through which the upper part of the Chaudiere passes, as affecting the construction of a Railway, are the numerous winding of the River itself, and on both banks a considerable extent of high ground, which, however, with few exceptions, slopes gradually to the water’s edge.
The bed of the River has a declivity not amounting to 30 feet in a mile, in any two miles of its whole length with the exception of the falls above its junction with River du Loup, so that in no place would it be necessary to deviate from the banks of the River in order to obtain the requisite declivity for the single Locomotive power.
The winding of the River are not generally so abrupt as to exceed the line of curvature; the most remarkable exception to this is at Pointe-Roade, about 32 miles above the forks where by crossing the river twice, at a neck of land 30 yards wide, a considerable distance would be saved. It will be the part of the person employed to make a survey of the route to show the comparative expense of two Viaducts, and the distance saved of length of Railway.
At about seven miles above the forks, there are several places where the right bank is high and broken, and where avalanches have occurred, to avoid which, it would be necessary either to cross the River, of to cut down the Lands from the top, and from an embankment in the bed of the River, to support the Railway.
The pass on this frontier, where the Boundary Line cuts it, is considerably higher than that already noticed near the Kennebec Road. In order to adapt the rate of decent to the single Locomotive power, the Railway may be carried along a range of hills parallel to the Eastern shore of Lake Megantic. These hills are not precipitous, so that no extraordinary expense would have to be incurred in cutting off projections, and filling up hollows.
The route in its decent would reach the level of Lake Megantic, after passing to the Eastward of the small Lake Makanamack; but as the precise spot can only be obtained by levelling, it will then be found by what course the line will be continued until it reaches the banks of the Chaudiere; it will either follow the Eastern shore of Lake Megantic or to the Eastward of a low range of hills, bounding the same shore.
With reference to the suggestion in the last Report, for diminishing the floods on the lower part of the River Chaudiere, by the construction of a dam, where it leaves Lake Megantic, it has been ascertained that a favourable site for such a work if below a small Island at the entrance into the Lake.
It appears that the flood produced by the overflowing of the Lake, is distinct from that of the streams supplying the River-du-Loup and the Chaudiere, above the forks, as may be understood by observing on the map the difference in the length of the courses of those streams.
By attentive observation of the effect of each flood, the advantage proposed by retaining the waters of Lake Megantic, could be properly estimated.
It is also suggested that it would be very desirable to mark during the floods, at intervals of about 300 yards, along the banks of the Chaudiere, the places to which the waters rise; and to take soundings from point to point of the bends of the River, on both sides as the easiest mode of making an estimate which bank it will be best to adopt for a Railway.
- Yule, Captain Royal Engineers.
Montreal, 9th October, 1835.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, December 31, 1835 – RAIL ROAD FROM CANADA TO NEW BRUNSWICK – Quebec Gazette – A deputation composed of the following gentlemen of St. Andrews, (New Brunswick) viz. Messrs. James Rait, Harris Hatch, John Wilson and John M’Master arrived on Wednesday, to consult the Merchants and inhabitants of Quebec on the project of forming a railroad to New Brunswick. They saw some gentlemen of the Board of Trade, yesterday, and we learn are to meet it to-morrow.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, January 7, 1836 – QUEBEC – DECEMBER 18 – Messrs. Wilson and Rait of the St. Andrews, (NB) and St. Lawrence railway deputation were understand leave town tonight for Montreal, where they will seek the aid of the inhabitants at that place to their undertaking. Messrs. Hatch and McMaster return to New Brunswick by the Kennebec route.
Fredericton, Provincial Archives – RS 24/1838re12 – January 30, 1836 – ST. ANDREWS & QUEBEC RAILROAD – DESCRIPTION. – Draft?
1st Division. From observations made at Foster’s Hill, and supposing the line of the route from Saint Andrews may cross the Digdeguash near Walton’s Meadows, we assumed a level commencing at Foster’s Lake, and extending to the end of the first Division.
It may be necessary to premise that our conclusions of relative heights and distances were drawn from close and constant examination of the ground we travelled over, and the adjacent tracts; and we think the results we have set down are in close approximation to the truth. Taking our elevation in Saint David’s at 100 feet over Foster’s Lake, the River at Connick’s Dam would be 50 feet under the assumed level, which would run through Walton’s Meadows. The source of the Digdeguash at our first station near White Beaver Brook, we consider as 60 feet over the level, and the fourth Titcomb Lake the same. The falls at Cranberry Brook are 20 feet higher, and the north end of the pass at the Shogamock is of a similar elevation. The barren at Howard Settlement is 10 feet lower, consequently 70 feet over the level. From thence to the Forks of Eel River there is a gradual descent, the route there being only 10 feet over the level, and to the west of Oak Mountain it comes to nothing. From the starting point to Benson’s Camp the land is low and broken, with soft wood growth, interspersed with barrens, presenting no serious obstacle to the formation of a Road. Cranberry Brook would require a bridge from 30 to 40 feet long, the banks being well adapted to its construction. Hence to the eastward of Cranberry Lake the valley extends with a gentle rise through morasses and under growth, having the magnificent chain of Palfrey Mountains on the west, and level plains and swells on the east, to the hills on the west ward of the Magaguadavic Lakes. We spent much time, and experienced some difficulty in ascertaining a pass among the highlands separating the Palfrey, Cranberry and Shogamock Lakes. The rise at A is so inconsiderable as to present no difficulty; the growth is good hard wood down to a small barren, at north Shogamock Lake. A small bridge would serve over this Lake Stream. On the north is very superior land, the growth being Rock Maple, Birch, large Basswood, Elm and Ash. The banks of Eel River are exceedingly steep and wide at the top, and the tract north of the Howard Settlement very mountainous; but the course we took to the forks is crossed by undulating swells containing a mixed growth, decreasing in quality at the Great Bend. At this place there is much flat land and low interval on both sides of Eel River, the Stream being from 6 to 10 rods wide. The bottom is a firm gravel, with 8 feet deep of still water, and the apparent rise from freshets 5 feet. Should a bridge 12 rods long be erected here, a causeway from 20 to 30 rods would be required to pass over the low grounds.
From these observations it will appear that throughout the 1st division there are no obstacles that come near what are considered difficulties in the rise and fall of the route. It is worthy of remark that the granite formation of rock entirely disappears after passing A, and sand stone in loose detached masses is found.
The 2nd Division presents a tract of good land for cultivation, rising gradually from Eel River to the Houlton road, but not exceeding 16 feet per mile; from thence to the south branch of the Meduxnikick is an almost imperceptible descent. This stream may be easily crossed at several places, having level banks with lamellated masses of slaty rock; but we would advise that the north branch should be bridged at the Boom, where the river is about 40 feet wide, with level banks from 4 to 6 feet high. The depth of water is three feet, with a flat gravelly bottom.
A strong desire was expressed at Woodstock that the Rail Road should approach the Shire Town, and a practicable route was pointed out to us, but we did not consider ourselves authorised to depart from our line to examine it. It may be a matter for future consideration whether certain advantages would not be reaped by turning the route through this place, or whether a branch road may probably be formed, which would answer the desirable purposes contemplated by the people.
From the Meduxnikick to Presqu’ Isle the lands are covered with fine mixtures of hard and soft wood, and extensively settled. A series of small hills stretching southeasterly and northwesterly occupies this extent, between which the route may pass in valleys up a gentle ascent to Starrett’s lot, and then descend easily to the Presqu’ Isle. A noted situation on the River commonly called the Basin was generally thought the best place to pass, but we found we could not avoid a high range to the south, and fixed on an opening up stream, where the River is 6 rods wide, 2 feet deep, bottom flat rocks, and rise of freshet 6 feet. From hence by the farms of John, Henry and William Cronk, we experienced some difficulty, but by making the bend represented in the Map no (additional locomotive power would be required to reach) material obstacle was met to the end of the 2nd division.
3rd Division. Having ascended Mars Hill to the place of an observatory formerly erected by the Boundary line surveying party, under the Honourable W. F. O’Dell and Colin Campbell, Esquires, but which had been wantonly burnt down a short time ago, we there obtained an extensive view of the surrounding Country. The Palfrey Mountains and Prospect Hill, which we had seen from Saint David’s were easily distinguished by means of a good telescope, and our route from Eel River to the last station was plainly recognized, so that the conclusions we had come to in the progress of our examinations were now confirmed; we had also a clear open view to the westward, and observed a continuous tract of low, level, soft wood land, stretching almost from the foot of the mountain in the direction we were desirous of proceeding in, for fully 15 miles, and from 1 to 3 miles wide. This favourable stretch is bounded by a succession of hills, which occasionally indent the level, but not so as to obstruct the route from passing through it nearly m a straight course due west. Beyond the distance mentioned, a number of detached hardwood hills appeared, and still farther off a blue ridge was seen, over which a conical mountain, evidently of great height, formed a remarkable object. From a comparison with the distant Palfreys, we rightly judged this sharp peak to be west of the Restook; and it turned out to be that marked on the map as Mount Saul. We descended to the northward of Mars Hill at M, and proceeded to explore the line laid down magnetically north 70 west, in which there is no deviation from the level perceptible to the eye, unassisted by an instrument. From Hazel Hill to N, there is a uniform rise, and thence to the Restook a gradual fall. The Restook by Mr. O’Dell’s survey rises over the River Saint John at the mouth of the Restook 334 feet in 110 miles. The route passed the Restook 55 miles above its mouth, and if the falls from where the line passes the Presqu’ Isle to the Saint John be equal to the fall of the Saint John from the Restook to the Presqu’ Isle, (which is conjectured to be the case) then the pass at the Restook cannot be more than 6 or 7 feet in a mile over the pass at the Presqu’ Isle, and consequently much less from Mars Hill to the Restook. The Country along this division exhibits a great variety of growth; many hardwood ridges rise among the low softwood lands; an admirable tract lies at MM, and beyond Hazel Hill to the Restook are numerous hills, particularly to the north of the route, covered with the best description of Timber, among which is some Oak, and well calculated for cultivation. The rocks consist of granite and siliceous formations, but are not abundant on the surface even of the elevated lands. An extensive sheet of water called the Squaw Pond, and represented in Greenleaf’s Map to empty north of our line into a branch of the Restook, we ascertained to empty south of our line into the main Restook.
4th Division. The Restook, where the route passes, is 10 rods wide, with level banks and a rapid current, 4 feet deep, over a hard flat bottom; the freshets rise 8 feet, overflowing the interval on the north side for about 5 rods back, so that besides the bridge a considerable length of causeway would be required to reach beyond the low lands. The tract to the north of the Big Machias is very level, having a growth of Pine, Spruce an Balm of Gilead, with occasional patches of hardwood. The stream is moderately quick, with few rapids, with many interval Islands, and stretches of low grass lands. We observed very few Hemlock trees to the west of Mars Hill and none whatever after crossing the Restook.
The surface is considerably broken after passing the Machas, and the line must pass to the north of Mount Saul, into a valley through which it will be necessary to keep its level on the side of the hills forming its northern boundary, as this valley is lower than the lands west of Lake Caroline. From Prospect Peak, looking back, we discovered immense ranges of mountainous tracts, stretching north and south of Mount Saul, with no appearance of a pass but the one we had adopted. To the west lies a long extent of soft wood land, nearly level to the eye, in the direction of our route, bounded by broken eminences on the south, and rising from them in shelving masses until they form hilly ridges on the north. The range enters the gorge of a pass and goes up a deep valley hemmed in by steep hills, containing great quantities of good slate, the fissures of which appear through the surface in strata perpendicular to the base. A rise of land at R divides the Restook waters from those of the Allagash. At this place there is a rise for twenty miles, but not to a height that will affect the route. There are many well wooded eminences scattered around, and we observed that the finest Cedars grew among hardwood on these heights.
From hence to the Susquacook descent is apparent, the greatest fall being about 20 feet per mile from RR to the stream at S. This branch of the Allagash is 3 rods wide, with low banks and a rocky bottom. Beyond S to T is an easy descent, and thence to the Allagash at V there is a small rise. The river here is about 7 rods wide between banks 6 feet high, with 2 feet of water, and a strong current over an uneven rocky bottom.
5th Division. The whole tract west from the Allagash to the Saint John is extensive flat, spreading to a great distance on both sides of the route, particularly to the southward, the only perceptible ascent was at V V, from whence to the Saint John, it appeared an elevated plain, without a hill or eminence in view on the south and very few northerly.
The growth is Cedar, Spruce and Fir, with some scattering Pine, White Birch and a few small strips of hard wood. The soil appears deep and black in the Cedar, and yellow in the other growths, and free from stone. The whole is evidently what is called a second growth of wood, and the land by no means bad, although rather wet, and no large brooks. The Saint John, where the range crosses is 20 rods wide, with banks 8 feet high, to which height, nearly, the freshets appear to rise; the stream is lively but not rapid, and from 1 to 3 feet deep, flowing over a flat rocky bed.
The 6th division possesses the same characteristics as the 5th as far as W, at the southwest of Musk Lake; beyond which the land begins to rise gradually to Y, at Spruce Mountain; but where the line is marked on the map, no impediment to the construction of a road is encountered. From the peak of the northernmost of the Three Hills, the declivity shelving down to the Saint Lawrence, and the light azure heights on its banks were seen, but the view was shut out from the southwest. From Spruce Mountain hills and rugged lands were discovered for several miles south of a valley, which appeared about northwest, and the lands gradually descending in that direction. Hills were also seen apparently extending northeasterly and southwesterly. We then went northeast 1½ miles, or thereabout, to a branch of Big Black River, thence proceeded on it to the Saint John, and thence home. From Spruce Mountain to Otter Brook, we could not discover any continuous chain of high lands, but such as were separated by valleys ; and from the make of the land it appeared as if the streams flowing from them to the Saint john, nearly interlapped in the hollows among the Mountains.
Having taken the courses and estimated the distances of Great Black River, we have laid it down on the map, and also the Saint John from Black River upwards, to shew how erroneously they are represented in Greenleaf’s map, particularly Black River, the source of which is placed among highlands about 20 miles north east of where we actually met it.
On reviewing the whole explored route we do not hesitate to express our opinion that no obstructions exist that can impede the formation of a Rail Road. That a great portion of the lands through which we passed are fit for settlement, and that we met no burnt tracts whatever.
By our descriptions it will be found what materials are offered for the construction of the road, and that the grading is less difficult than is generally found in so long a Route.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
GEO. N. SMITH.
- R. HATHEWAY.
Saint John, Telegraph-Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, March 5, 2005 – MARCH 8, 1836 – Railway fever hits New Brunswick, as the Saint Andrews and Quebec Rail Road Company is incorporated with plans to build a railway line between St. Andrews and Quebec.
Saint John, Telegraph-Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, March 12, 2005 – MARCH 16, 1836 – The Saint John Stage Coach Company and the Woodstock and Fredericton Stage Coach Company are founded by an act of the Legislative Assembly.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, March 17, 1836 – RAILWAYS IN OPERATION AND IN PROGRESS – The earliest considerable railway, established with a view to general traffic, was the
STOCKTON AND DARLINGTON RAILWAY
begun in 1822, and opened in September, 1825. It is said to have cost, including the various branches to Yarm and beyond Stockton, about £200,000; the length of way travelled by locomotive engines is about 21 miles, but there are, including five or six miles chiefly worked by fixed engines, on the whole about 37? (27) miles of railway laid down. The levels are very irregular, descending, however, in the direction followed by the bulk of the traffic. The chief purpose of this line was the conveyance of the coal, &c., raised near Darlington, to Stockton, the shipping port; but the number of passengers obtained even during the time when horse power alone was employed, soon became important, and is said to have now increased thirty fold since the opening of the communication. Previously to this there was hardly travelling enough to support one coach three time a week, there now pass from 150 to 200 persons daily along the railway. The quantity of coals carried daily is stated to average more than 1,500 tons. Two thirds of these come to London. Besides this limestone and other articles are also conveyed. Considerable sums have been lately expended in improving the line; the concern however, is understood to be prosperous, returning about seven per cent; it is an object of public interest, as having undoubtedly furnished by its example and experience, a main inducement and guidance to the establishment of the
LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER RAILWAY
This, the most important undertaking of the kind hitherto constructed, was began in 1826 and opened in September 1830. The cost, including the expenses of a carrying establishment, stations, &c., is said to have exceeded £1,200,000. The distance about 30 miles is performed in 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes including a stoppage for a few minutes at the halfway station at Newton. It was on this line that the employment of locomotive engine at high velocities, was first introduced; and in this and other costly experiments an immense expense, from which subsequent undertakings will be exempt, was necessarily incurred. The accommodation it has afforded to Liverpool and Manchester can hardly be over-rated as an evidence of this it will be sufficient to state the fact, that the number of passengers between these towns was trebled in the first year after it was opened, and has since gone on increasing.
There were conveyed in 1832 356,945
In spite of the enormous cost of its formation, and its heavy current expenditure, the enterprise has been a prosperous one, returning about £9 on a £100 share annually. It must however, be observed, that it possesses peculiar local advantages in the active intercourse long existing between Ireland, Liverpool, and the dense manufacturing population of East Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is also fed by various tributary branches, the
KENYON AND LEIGH AND BOLTON AND LEIGH RAILWAYS
connecting it by a line of about 12 miles, with Bolton. The collective cost of these branches was about £150,000; they were not supposed to have been very prosperous, having to contend with the opposition of a long established canal, in the conveyance of goods while the number of passengers is not considerable. Two other branch lines falling into the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, one from Wigan, and the other from Warrington, having been recently incorporated with the other more considerable branches now in progress of formation, will be mentioned in another place. The traffic in manufactured goods, coal, timber, and foreign imports, on the Liverpool and Manchester line, is extensive and profitable. The trains with merchandise are conveyed from Liverpool to Manchester in about two hours. The average number of passengers at each trip is about 60 or 70; the heavy trains carry from 80 to 120 tons of goods each. Proceeding southward we find in Derbyshire the
CROMFORD AND HIGH PEAK RAILWAY
Begun in 1825, opened in 1829. The object of this line was to connect the Cromford with the Peak Forest canal, between which, owing to the difficulties of the country, a water communication appeared impracticable. Its length is about 33 miles, and it cost £180,000, presenting a succession of inclined planes and tunnels in its ascent to the high ridge near its northern extremity. It derives its chief support from the conveyance of mining produce, but is understood to have been hitherto wholly un-prosperous. Another mining railway known by the name of
LEICESTER AND SWANNINGTON,
Proceeds from the first mentioned town to a point near Ashby-de-la Zouch. It was established for the conveyance of coals, limestone, &c. to the neighbourhood of Leicester, and is worked by locomotive engines, at the rate of about 9 miles an hour. The length is 16 miles; few passengers travel by it, and there are no separate trains for their conveyance at a swifter rate. The quantity of goods conveyed weekly may be about 2,500 tons on an average; the number of passengers about 400. It has been in operation since 1831; it cost £135,000, and is said now be making a profitable return. By affording a cheap supply of excellent coal to the neighbourhood of Leicester it has been of great public utility, and, it is said, that arrangements are in progress by which this traffic may be extended to London on terms of great advantage to the consumers in the metropolis
THE LEEDS AND SELBY RAILWAY
Was begun in February 1834, and opened for passengers in September, and for merchandise in December, 1834. It has cost £350,000. The length is 10 miles. The passenger trains perform the distance, exclusive of stoppage, in an hour. On the average there are carried, 300 passengers daily; 500 to 600 tons of goods, 700 tons of coals, 250 tons of lime, &c. weekly. The dividend for the first half year is said to have nearly reached the rate of five per cent, per annum, while the business of the road is increasing. An extension from Selby to Hull has been contemplated; this would increase both the prosperity and the usefulness of the Leeds line, and obviate the necessity of lighterage on the goods now conveyed by water to and from Selby. By this means a communication between the great manufactories of Yorkshire and the Baltic would be established on the most favourable terms, and the public convenience greatly consulted. With the railways above named, may now be placed the
WHITBY AND PICKERING,
A coal railway of about 17 miles in extent, the cost of which may have been £120,000. It is a decent all the way from Pickering, and must be worked cheaply, as the waggons return empty from Whitby. A part of it has been recently finished.
In the mining districts of South Wales, Durham, and Northumberland, and in the vicinity of Glasgow, there are several lines of railway, but which, as they are not remarkable for the greatness of their scale or their general traffic, ir is not requisite to particularize minutely. Passengers are conveyed in considerable numbers by the Glasgow and Garnkirk Railway; the line is now worked by locomotive engines.
As a communication of more importance however we must notice the
CARLISLE AND NEWCASTLE RAILWAY
In length about 60 miles, which is partially completed, 18 miles having been opened to the public in 1834. Before it enters the valley of the Tyne, it encounters some difficult country; the remainder of the line has no heavy works. Forty-nine miles will be opened, it is said, in May next, twenty-two of which only will have double lines of rail. The cost of the entire railway, and its establishment, when complete, it is expected will be about £540,000. The original estimate for a double line all the way, was £300,000. At the first glance it might appear that a line with one of its termini in a district thinly peopled, and not remarkable for manufacturing or commercial activity, could hardly be successful; we are however, assured, that as the experiment has hitherto been tried, it has more than realized the expectations of the parties concerned. Coal, stone, and agricultural produce, are the chief articles conveyed.
Under the head of the railways now in progress of construction, we find several schemes surpassing in magnitude any that have hitherto been accomplished. Our notice of these must be confined to the most important the review of which will most appropriately commence at the southern extremity of the great line, proceeding from the shores of the Channel to the north of Lancashire, with the
LONDON AND SOUTHAMPTON RAILWAY.
This line proceeds from Southampton, passing near Winchester and Basingstoke, to the north of Guilford, by Wimbledon, to Vauxhall, London, a distance little short of 75 miles; for which the estimate was, as far as we can remember £1,000,000. From the excessive difficulties of the country, and the consequent heaviness of the works, we should be inclined to suppose it will probably require at least £2,000,000 for its completion; it remains to be seen whether there is sufficient trade and travelling between London and Southampton to make a profitable return on this large outlay. The Act of Parliament was obtained in this large outlay. The act of Parliament was obtained in 1834; we have not heard lately what progress Mr. Giles is making with the works. A project, under the name of the
GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY,
For connecting London with Bath and Bristol, a distance, by the proposed line, of about 120 miles, with an estimate of £2,500,000, was first entertained two years ago. The eastern termination is on the Birmingham line, about four miles from the station in London. The act was obtained in the session of 1835, after a contest of almost unexampled severity and we perceive that the works, some of which are heavy, including a long tunnel, on an inclined place at Box, are in progress. The next in succession, northward, is the
LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY
Passing by the valley of the Brent, Watford Berkhampstead, Fenny Straitford near Northampton, Daventry, Rugby, and Coventry, to Birmingham, a distance of 111½ miles. The estimate of this line, which, from the nature of the district traversed, must be expensive, is two millions and a half, and the whole distance will, probably, be completed in the course of the year 1838. The works are proceeding with great activity, and at each end of the line, a certain number of miles will be opened this year, as we learn. There will be several tunnels required to carry the line through the different ridges that cross its course; one of these, at Watford, will exceed a mile in length; an objectionable, but, it is said, inevitable feature of this railway – the chief independence of which must, of course be on passengers. By this means, however, good levels have been secured, and the distance will easily be performed in five hours and a half. From Birmingham the line is continued northward by the
GRAND JUNCTION RAILWAY
Proceeding from the London Railway by Wolverhampton, Penkridge, Stafford, to the west of Newcastle, and the Potteries, through Cheshire, to Warrington; at which point it takes up a branch railway already made and pursues it to Newton, a point on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, equidistant from these towns. The total length including the Warrington and Newton line, is about 82 miles, the estimate of its cost, £1,400,000, it will probably require including the expenses of a carrying establishment a million and a half. The district traversed, presents, in general, fewer obstacles than are met with on the London line, and will require no tunnels; there are, however, some works of great magnitude at different points, among which may be named the great viaduct across the valley of the Weaver in Cheshire, consisting of twenty arches, of sixty feet span, and more than sixty feet above the level of the valley! The works are rapidly advancing and the road, it is expected, will be opened through out its entire length, in the summer of 1837. About four hours will be occupied in traversing it. At Newton another branch line, formerly known as the Wigan Railway, has been incorporated with one at present in progress, which will complete the entire distance of 21 miles from Newton to Preston, under title of the
NORTH UNION RAILWAY.
The cost of this including the improvements which must be made in the Wigan and Newton division will not be much less that £500,000; the works have already made some progress, and will, it is expected, be completed in 1838. There are a few heavy excavations on the line, and a viaduct now building across the valley of the Ribble, at Penwortham, which will be a handsome but expensive work. We find at the Northern end of the North Union Railway, the
PRESTON AND WYRE RAILWAY,
For which an Act of Parliament was obtained last year. It is connected with a proposed extension of the Harbour of Wyre, at the southern side of Lancaster Bay, where it is hoped, a port of some consequence may spring up; the distance may be about five miles. It does not appear probable that this point will become considerable as the resort for shipping; perhaps, as the cost of the works will not be heavy, the traffic dependent on a coasting trade may furnish a reasonable income. This short link completes the communication between our northern and southern waters – a length of nearly 300 miles, the expenditure on which will exceed six million sterling.
Having thus noticed the series of railways now actually in progress, destined to form the great northern road from Southampton to Preston, we may advert, in a few words, to the change of travelling which the opening of this road will effect. At the present rate of railway engines, passengers and letters may be conveyed from London to Liverpool, Preston or Manchester, in ten hours, and from Southampton in fourteen. It is difficult to over estimate the importance, in a social or commercial point of view, of such an acceleration in the rates of conveyance, which is equivalent to a reduction in the distance between the several connected places of more than one half. The stimulus thus given may reasonably be expected to insure the prosperity of the undertakings, and it is certainly for the advantage of the community that they should prosper.
Returning to London we discover at the foot of London Bridge, the commencement of the
LONDON AND GREENWICH RAILWAY.
A singular work, conducted, throughout its whole length of 3¾ miles, on a succession of irregular arches, the ground below being appropriated. The number of these arches will be from 900 to 1,000, averaging 22 feet in height from the ground; the longest structure of the kind we believe in the kingdom. The estimate is £400,00; the works were begun in 1834, and are now far advanced. The passing and carriage must be considerable, to render so costly a work profitable; it will, however, most probably, be the channel by which other lines may enter London; this circumstance would relieve it from some of the disadvantages attached to short railways. Several other minor railway schemes obtained Acts in the last session of Parliament; those above noticed appeared to be all which require particular mention.
On turning to the last division of our subject, including the various projects existing as yet on paper only, we find their number and contending professions quite perplexing. The oldest perhaps of these scheme is the
MIDLAND COUNTIES RAILWAY
Projected some time since, but now first actually taken up. This line proceeding from the London Railway at Rugby, passes by Lutterworth, Leicester and Loughborough, to Pinxton, in Derbyshire, (where it joins the Mansfield Railway,) crossed by branches near its northern extremity, to Nottingham and Derby. The length including branches will be 69 miles, the estimate for which is £600,000. The levels appear to be good, and the usefulness of the communication it will open, between a populous mining district and London, can hardly be questioned. Its importance is, however, increased by a continuation, projected under the name of the
NORTH MIDLAND RAILWAY
to be carried from the end of the Derby branch by Chesterfield and Rotherham, to Leeds, thus opening a new way to London from the manufacturing district of Yorkshire. The estimate of this line, of about seventy miles in length, is £1,500,000; the levels being favourable, this may possibly be sufficient. Both of these projects, it is said are to be brought before Parliament in the session of 1836. Parliamentary notices have also been given for a line from Birmingham to Derby, whereby the midland Railway will be connected with the former town. There is, however, little probability of this scheme being prosecuted. A gigantic undertaking, styled the
NORTHERN AND EASTERN RAILWAY
to connect London and York, with a branch from Cambridge to Norwich and Yarmouth, is now before the public. The line to York would be 199 miles, to Norwich 111, to Yarmouth 139, the total number of miles to be laid down at least, 275. The main line passes by Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge, Huntington, Peterborough, Lincoln, and Gainsborough; at York it is to be connected with a proposed Railway to Newcastle-on-Tyne, from whence continuation of Edinburgh and Glasgow have been talked of. This is certainly a magnificent scheme; it may be questioned, however, considering the great distance to be traversed, and the rivalry of other channels of communication, whether a sufficient income can ever be obtained on the enormous outlay that will be requisite. We observe that, for the present, a part only of the line is to be applied for – from London namely to Cambridge, with the branch to Yarmouth; the estimate for this part is £2,000,000, a sum which, judging from the history of other Railways, seems much less than will be necessary. A rival to this project, called the
GREAT NORTHERN LINE,
has been announced, whether it is likely to be persevered in or no, we have not yet heard. By one or other of these schemes it is proposed to continue the line from York to Glasgow and Edinburgh. A prospectus has been published for a Railway from Yarmouth to London, to be called the
EASTERN COUNTIES RAILWAY,
by way of Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and Brentwood, £1,500,000. The distance will be about the same as by the Northern and Eastern Line, already described, and it is difficult to believe that any traffic or travelling in the district to be traversed can support two Railways, which must be rivals to a considerable extent, – even if they be sufficient to repay the expense of one. This is an inquiry, however which it is not our purpose at this time to discuss. In the proposed communication between
LONDON AND BRIGHTON,
the contest of rival projects is still greater, there having been three lines lately disputing for precedence; one by way of Tunbridge, to cost £1,400,000, entitled the Great Eastern Railway; another along the London and Croydon line (an Act for which was passed in 1835,) by Dorking and Shoreham, with a capital of £900,000; and a third laid down by Mr. Stephenson, a portion of which we believe, has not been published. It is said, however, to be supported by persons of great influence. We gave not heard whether it is intended to prosecute the line laid down by Mr. G. & J. Rennie, in 1834, which was to have cost including a line to Shoreham the sum of £920,000, a liberal allowance for a difficult line of about fifty miles! The result of this contest will certainly be the needless expenditure of heavy sums; it may possibly end in the postponement or abandonment of the entire project.
Besides the above mentioned, we hear of measures being in progress for the following Railways:–
BIRMINGHAM AND GLOUCESTER.
A line of fifty miles, passing near Cheltenham, Worcester, Tewksbury, Droitwich, and Bromsgrove, estimated at £750,000. The nature and extent of the intercourse in this district seems to encourage such an undertaking, for which, however, the estimate appears small. A rival has already appeared under the title of the Grand Connexion Railway, to be carried from Gloucester to Worcester, Stourbridge and Wolerhampton, on the Grand Junction line. The distance to Birmingham, by this route is said to be shorter than by the other, or 51 miles; the estimate for the connecting line £800,000. This project certainly seems to possess some advantages in the district it will pass through, which embraces Cheltenham, and Stourbridge and the Kidderminster manufactories.
BRISTOL AND EXETER.
This appears to be intended as an extension of the Great Western Railway, passing by Clevedon and Weston, Bridgewater and Taunton, a distance of about seventy-two miles, for which a capital of £1,500,000, is to be collected. That such a communication between London and the extreme western counties would be very desirable, cannot be doubled; of its profitableness to the proprietors, we have not, at present, the means of judging. The estimate appears to be a liberal one.
MANCHESTER AND CHESHIRE JUNCTION,
This is proposed to be carried from the Grand Junction Railway near the southern boundary of Cheshire to Manchester, a distance of about twenty nine miles, the object being to shorten the distance between that town and Birmingham, by an independent line. There are no considerable towns in its course excepting Stockport, which it will pass at a short distance. Two rival projects are announced to opposition to this undertaking; one for a railway from Manchester to Stockport, another for a line proceeding from the latter point to the projected Birmingham and Derby Railway; the first, only, it is understood, will be brought before Parliament this season. Here, then, is another instance of competition, which, whether resulting from speculative eagerness, or the collision of private interests, must prejudice the object professedly sought.
MANCHESTER AND LEEDS.
This seems to be a rival of a similar project, which was defeated by an opposition in Parliament some years since; it is said, the application will be renewed in the present session. A link of this kind appears to be wanted, and might be expected to repay the cost of making it. The district to be traversed, is, however, excessively difficult; and the line can neither be a good nor cheap one.
EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW.
A scheme for this communication also has been already before the Public in 1832, and is now resumed. The line, it is said, is not yet finally determined upon; but it may be stated at about forty-four to forty-six miles in length, and would perhaps require £800,000 to complete it. There seems to be some analogy between this communication and that established between Liverpool and Manchester, in the extensive intercourse already existing; and we can only ascribe it to the cautious character of our northern friends, that such an experiment, which seems to hold every prospect of success, has not been earlier tried. In this part of the island, we hear, surveys are making of Railways from Glasgow to Paisley and Greenock, and from thence also to Carlisle, Lancaster and Preston. We apprehend that the difficulties of the country which this latter line must encounter in Westmoreland, are most insuperable; however, if they can be overcome, a western communication from London to the North may be readily established, and with less outlay than by the eastern route.
The sanction of Parliament is also to be applied for on behalf of Railways from Greenwich to Gravesend, London to Blackwall, and London to Dover; the Particulars of which scheme have not reached us. We presume that the Greenwick Railway will afford an entrance into the city for most of the lines running to the eastward.
On the Railways already made or making, more than two thirds of their capitals (amounting to ten millions at least) are held in one corner of the island (the south of Lancashire;) the wealth of the metropolis having not hitherto flowed to any extent in this channel. While this has been the case, no diminution, but an increase rather, has been shown in the district in question in all other branches of industry requiring an outlay of money. This suggests an idea of the aggregate riches of the country which it is almost startling to contemplate.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 2 – Thursday, June 9, 1836 – ST. ANDREWS AND QUEBEC RAIL ROAD – The Committee of the St. Andrews & Quebec Rail Road Association have received by last mail from London, an official communication from the Honourable James Allanshaw and Adam Jack, Esquire containing the important intelligence that the project of the above Railway has been most favourably received by His Majesty’s Government, so that we may now confidently congratulate the Country on its speedy commencement and ultimate success. The following copy of Sir. Geo. Grey’s letter to the Agents will be read with great interest, as exhibiting the peculiar regard shown by His Majesty for the prosperity of his North American Colonies and the prompt attention paid by His Ministers to the reasonable desires of the people.
Downing Street, 23rd April, 1836
I am directed by Lord Glenelg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant with the petitions which accompanied it from New Brunswick and from Lower Canada, on the subject of the proposed Rail Road between Quebec and Saint Andrews.
Lord Glenelg desires me to state to you that he has laid the Petitions before the King, who was pleased to receive them very graciously, and to command that immediate measures should be taken for ascertaining to what extent it would be possible for His Majesty to promote the Petitioners’ object, to which His Majesty attaches the highest importance.
I am Gentlemen,
Your most Obedient Servant
To J. Allanshaw and A. Jack, Esquires.
An arrival at Saint John six days later than the above communication, brings the further news that £10,000 had been granted, from the Casual Revenue fund, to defray the expense of exploration, which is in accordance with the application for means made by the Agents. We may regard this donation as a pledge of future support to any extent that may be required, and we trust that this liberal act of the Government will be met by gratitude and respect on the part of these Provinces.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, July 28, 1836 – FROM THE MONTREAL MORNING COURIER – It is gratifying to learn that the inhabitants of New Brunswick are to lose no time in making the proper use of the £10,000 lately granted by Government for the purpose of effecting a complete survey of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad. A letter from Mr. Wilson of St. Andrews, NB to Mr. Auldjo, of this city, explanatory of the steps the Railway committee are about to take is subjoined:–
St. Andrews, June 14, 1836.
Dear Sir:– You will ere this have received a plan and Prospectus of our projected Railroad from this place to Quebec, and probably have heard of our expectations having been so happily realized by our noble Government in England granting us £10,000 the fully to explore and ascertain the practicability of making the road. And we have the strongest assurances from Government, that on this point being ascertained, we shall not be disappointed in the grant of Crown lands through which this road will pass; as well as aid in money from our Casual and territorial revenues. With these high favours we are fully confident of ultimate success in this great work.
A Deputation is now at Fredericton advising with Sir Archibald Campbell, our Governor, so as to make the necessary arrangement for the exploration.
We purpose to begin at Point Levi and, from thence proceed the whole route to St. Andrews. As the season is advancing, we wish not to lose any time in commencing the survey, and the invaluable services of Captain Yule, we fully calculate on, and as many other scientific gentlemen to be selected at your city and Quebec, as may be necessary for the work; the object therefore, in taking this liberty is to ask the favour of your communicating with Captain Yule, and should he be absent from your City, be pleased to address him advising him of our wishes, and that a Deputation will leave here in eight or ten days for Quebec, via Montreal, with a view to the necessary arrangements for starting if the exploring party; when they will have the honour to wait upon you. I am, very respectfully, &c. yours,
George Auldjo, Esquire.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, July 28, 1836 – ST. ANDREWS RAIL ROAD – Quebec Gazette – July 11 – Among the arrivals at The Albion, Palace Street, yesterday, was J. Wilson, Esquire, of St. Andrews, NB, agent of the projected Rail-way from that town to Quebec. Mr. Wilson as it has already been stated, had left St. Andrews for Quebec. The very liberal support this undertaking has met on the part of Lord Glenelg and the authorities, will probably be supported by the Home and colonial public.
We have seen a Map & Plan of the Railway from St. Andrews, (a port open to Navigation all seasons of the year,) executed with skill. It indicated the exact line of route to be followed, which turns round the point of the monument of the North Eastern Boundary.
A prospectus of the proceeding in New Brunswick, with other information, is also in town. The reconnaissance of the route will it is said be commenced at Pointe Levi, and is stated that Captain Yule’s services are to be again engaged.
Mr. Wilson came down by the Canadian Eagle yesterday.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, August 4, 1836 – ST. ANDREWS & QUEBEC RAIL ROAD – From the Quebec Gazette – We have received a pamphlet of 45 pages printed at St. Andrews, NB, 1836, entitled, “Prospectus of the St. Andrews and Quebec Rail Road.” It contains the proceeding of the meeting at St. Andrews on 5th October, 1835 for the formation of the Association, – the official approbation of the project by the Legislatures of Lower Canada and New Brunswick, and the Committee of Trade at Quebec and Montreal, together with documents and a report of the exploring party which proceeded from St. Andrews on the 28th October last to the Highlands between the River St. John and the St. Lawrence.
The party in their report give an account of the route which they traversed, and an estimate of the probable expenses of the intended improvement. They represent the ground as presenting no formidable obstacles and furnishing on the spot most of the necessary materials for effecting the work, nearly the whole of it being through unsettled lands.
The route as proposed by them crosses over from St. Andrews, on the Bay of Fundy, to the valley of the River St. John, near Woodstock, – passes to the east of Mars Hill, which was, at one time, marked out as the highlands forming the Boundary between New Brunswick and the State of Maine, and proceeds to the valley of the Restook, thence across the rising ground to the Allagash and the valley of the St. John and up that valley to the Three Hills, in the rear of the River-du-Sud, which falls into the St. Lawrence, thirty miles below Quebec.
The whole distance between St. Andrews and Quebec, by this route, is estimated at 250 miles, The whole cost is estimated at £1,000,000 currency, or £888,889 sterling. The probable annual income is estimated at £251,500.
It has already been announced that the British Government has sanctioned the undertaking by a grant of £10,000 from the land revenue of New Brunswick. The company is incorporated by act of the New Brunswick Legislature, and will probably also obtain an Act of incorporation in Lower Canada.
The activity and exertions of the company to give effect to their views for accomplishing this improvement, have been conspicuous and praise-worthy. They had a deputation last winter at Quebec, and the Honourable James Allanshaw, the chairman, a member of the Legislative Council of New Brunswick, returned to New York of the 6th instant, from a successful mission with others, to England, to obtain the sanction and aid of the British Government. Another mission is now in Quebec, preparing for the survey, which is to commence at Pointe Levi.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, September 15, 1836 – THREE AMERICAN ENGINEERS, of some standing, arrived in Toronto on the 10th instant, and were to commence the survey of the Toronto and Lake Huron Railway immediately afterwards.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, September 22, 1836 – RAIL ROAD – We met the following observations in the Quebec Gazette, which were called forth by the article published in the Portland Advertiser of the 16th July, respecting the North Eastern Boundary and the Rail Road.
We should regret exceedingly that national jealousies should be appealed to in a way to have the effect of arresting or retarding improvements tending to the general welfare.
We do not believe that either the British Government or the General Government of the United States, is, likely to be influenced by such jealousies but they clearly exist in the State of Maine, and seem to have acquired new vigour from the contemplated rail-road from Quebec to St. Andrews. If companies can be found who will open a rail-road from Quebec to St. Andrews on the Bay of Fundy; why should that prevent another rail-road connecting Quebec and Montreal with the nearest sea-ports on Maine? There would probably be trade and travel enough to support both; and the increased value of the lands in the vicinity of the routes would be worth all the expenses.
The disputed boundary is an obstacle; but why should the parties not agree that the passing of the roads should not affect the rights or pretentions of either the one or the other, and that the rail-roads should be free, in time of peace, for conveyance of goods and passengers at the established rates, to whatever party their services might be adjudged.
It is entirely out of the line of British policy, to check American enterprise. The more America thrives, the better it is for England. Her resistant to America, is that of the town to the country; the more the country thrives, the more thriving will be the town.
On this side of the line we are disposed, perhaps to do more justice to the American diplomatists than to our own, and perhaps it is out of more politeness that our neighbours return the compliment. There is no occasion for diplomacy on either side. The interests of the United States and England are not naturally in opposition; they have nothing to fear from each other, and it will only be for want of seeing their true position, that they will again quarrel. The trade of no one country can be said to be the properly or another; trade is an intercourse of mutual benefit. It ought to be free in every direction, – the more open the channel, and the less obstructions, the better, – subject only to the regulations deemed absolutely necessary for the general welfare of each separate community.
The boundary question has been in discussion for thirty years, and has cost probably half a million of dollars. We are persuaded it could be settled by two such men as Governor Cass and Sir George Murray in a week to the satisfaction of both nations and certainly for the benefit of the people of both countries. We would almost be disposed to leave it to General Jackson, in his individual capacity.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, October 6, 1836 – RAIL ROAD – FROM QUEBEC TO BELFAST – Correspondent of the Quebec Gazette – Our neighbours of Maine are proceeding in good earnest in the business of the Rail Road. Lieutenant-Colonial Long of the Topographical Engineers of the United States, was as we all know, employed during the summer of 1835, in making the reconnaissance of the rail-road projected from Belfast to Quebec. The result of this reconnaissance is contained in a report by this active and scientific officer to the Senate and House of representatives of Maine. laid before those bodies in January last. The legislature of Maine were induced, from the facts and views contained in this very able paper, to appropriate a sum of five thousand dollars for the survey of the country with a view to settle the line of this rail road. Colonel Long and a party have been engaged during the present summer in this survey, and have been in the field since the beginning of June last. The party is divided into two brigades, the one under the direction of Lieutenant Simmons, of the United States army, and the other under the direction of Mr. Frederick A. Barton, Civil Engineer and Professor of Mathematics at Andover, Massachusetts, each containing about seventeen men, most of them young gentlemen from college or from the study of some liberal profession, who have joined the party for the purpose of seeing practical engineering. They are a fine set of young men, full of zeal and spirit. The survey was commenced at Belfast on the first of June last and is now nearly completed. The party proceeded from Belfast, passing over the ground most favourable for a rail road, to the Sebasticook river, thence to Skowhegan, the nearest point of the Kennebec, – thence crossing the Wesserunsett Stream over the plain, up the west branch of the Cold stream to the town of Solon, – thence passing near the Kennebec to Bingham, – thence to the Forks. There the route will cross the Kennebec, and proceed up the valley till it reached the lines. It is really marvellous that there should be such an apathy upon the subject of this rail-road at Quebec. It is notorious that the value of property in the Lower Town has diminished wonderfully within the last two or three years; it may be said that rents have fallen in the Lower Town from 25 to 40 per cent. Let this rail-road be once established and property will rise again: such has been the uniform effect of rail roads every where: they have made work for themselves in an incredible way. Some people seem to think that the St. Andrews railroad ought to be encouraged to the exclusion of the Belfast one; but let both be encouraged. There are some difficulties arising from the boundary line question, which may retard for a time, the St. Andrews Rail Road. Trade will not wait; it must pour itself out in some course or other; and when it has formed its channels, it is not easy to divert it. Nature gives us immense advantages for trade, by the great lakes, river and gulf. Art and industry have intercepted a large portion of the advantages which ought to accrue from our natural situation, and transferred them to New York. It is to be hoped
that no little national jealousies will interfere with this great object. Our part of the road is short and easily made being about thirty leagues in length, over a level country in the valleys of the rivers Du Loup and Chaudiere. The portion of the work which is to be performed by our enterprising neighbours, is over a much more rugged country, and is longer. Some individuals effect to think that the road will have no custom; but it is believed that no rail-road has yet been made upon this continent, – no matter how unpromising the circumstances, which has not obtained adequate custom. Besides, our friends on the other side understand reckoning ‘some,’ and know the value of a dollar as well as most people. They are not likely to incur the expense of making a rail road for one hundred and twenty or thirty miles to their sea-port, – Belfast, – if they did not know that the cars would neither come nor go empty. Every one who has a correspondent in England, ought to write to him to urge upon the Colonial office the propriety of immediately sanctioning the Bill sent home last winter for our portion of the rail road. To shoe our sincerity in the cause, it might be well for the Legislature, in the present Session to appropriate a sum of money for a survey on our side as complete and efficient as that which is now going on the American side.
St. Andrews, The Standard, Page 1 – Thursday, February 9, 1837 – BELFAST AND QUEBEC RAIL ROAD – Kennebec Journal – There is a great diversity of opinion upon the utility of a rail road to Quebec. It might not pay 6 per cent interest on the outlay of capital for some years, but in time the intercourse by means of it would be very great. There is one view of the matter to which we would call attention. It is well
known that when the British first made their claim to a part of our territory, a leading object with them was to get a road from Saint John to Quebec through their territory. But if the Kennebec railroad is made, the project of the other road will be abandoned, and the leading inducement to the claim upon our territory will be taken away. If therefore, as the explorers of the proposed St. Andrews and Quebec road represent, the territory is good for nothing, and the idea of a road there is abandoned, we may suppose that the British will be willing to run the line according to the treaty.
QUEBEC AND SAINT ANDREWS
RAIL ROAD ASSOCIATION
RAIL ROAD ROOMS, SAINT ANDREWS
30th December, 1837.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,
THE acting Committee of the Saint Andrews and Quebec Rail Road Association beg leave to submit the accompanying account of expenses incurred by the several Explorations and Surveys of the country between Saint Andrews and Quebec, for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of a line for a Railway between those places – the greater part of which was conducted by Captain Yule, of the Royal Engineers, at the instance of Sir Archibald Campbell, then Governor of the Province and consequent to a grant of £10,000 sterling from the Casual and Territo Revenues of New Brunswick, directed by His late Majesty’s Government – and to report on the general proceedings.
Subsequent to a previous and partial Exploration by Messrs. Smith and Hatheway, Captain Yule in July 1836 undertook the management and direction of the Survey and Explorations, and personally conducted the same. In order to effect the object in view as speedily as possible, he employed a number of Surveyors with strong parties of men attached to each, as he deemed it important to have the practicability of the route ascertained before the intensity of the approaching winter should interrupt operations. This mode of proceeding no doubt tended to increase the amount of cost, but the Committee feel assured that Captain Yule was influenced to adopt it from a desire to subserve the interests of the undertaking to the best of his judgment. His report with that of Messrs. Smith and Hatheway are herewith submitted, as is also that of Mr. George Wightman, who conducted a Survey with a line of levels from Tide Water to the Meduxnikick River near Woodstock, in the course of the season past, in order to connect the Surveys of the previous year, and to ascertain the accuracy of Captain Yule’s observations in his reconnaissance of this part of the line, which it is satisfactory to find are fully sustained.
Although it is to be regretted that the expenditure has been so great, it should be kept in mind that the difficulties attendant on the exploration and survey of 300 miles of wilderness country for the first time, whilst the necessary points of depots were unknown, must be of a character not easily surmounted, especially under the circumstances connected with the preliminary operations, when all parties were unacquainted with the exact nature of the practical service required. It is however to be hoped that the future results of the expenditure will ultimately facilitate internal improvement, and finally secure the great object for which it was undertaken, and thereby promote the interests and enlarge the destiny of New Brunswick to an extent which no other measure can be likely to rival.
All which is respectfully submitted.
- HATCH, )
JOHN WILSON ) Acting
JAMES RAIT ) Committee.
- FRYE, )
To His Excellency Major General Sir John Harvey, K. C. H. & C. B.
Lieutenant Governor &c. &c. &c. Fredericton.
SMITH AND HATHEWAY’S REPORT OF THE EXPLORED RAIL ROUTE.
FINISHED 30th JANUARY, 1836.
Saint Andrew; 30th January, 1836.
GENTLEMEN – In accordance with the arrangement entered into with you, and in obedience to the instructions you addressed to us, to explore a route and ascertain the practicability of making a Rail Road from this place to the Highlands (so called), on the borders of Canada, we proceeded on that service on the 28th October last, and after encountering many unexpected obstacles, and consequently much detention, we reached these Highlands on the 29th of December. The details of the route and the accompanying explanatory Maps, we beg herewith to submit for your information.
Although we were directed to commence operations near the west branch of the Digdeguash, we deemed it expedient first to repair to Foster’s Hill in Saint David’s, from which we were enabled to make such preliminary observations as served to facilitate our exploration among the hills at the source of Cranberry Brook. Here we assumed as a range for reference, a line N. 10 E. by the magnet, which bears to the west of Prospect Mountain and to the east of the Palfrey Ridges, agreeing with the course pointed out in our instructions. We then proceeded up the Digdeguash to White Beaver Brook, and entered on the details of the route.
In order to render our numerous descriptions distinct and readily comprehended, we have separated the whole line into the following divisions, viz.:–
1st. From White Beaver Brook to Forks of Eel River.
2nd. From Forks of Eel River to angle at Mars Hill.
3rd. From angle at Mars Hill to Restook River.
4th. From Restook River to Allagash River.
5th. From Allagash River to River Saint John.
6th. From River Saint John to Highlands.
By reference to the Map, the LOCATION OF THE LINE which we recommend for adoption will be found tinted bright red.
The following is a record of that location, given without adverting to other particulars relating to it, which will be subsequently enumerated.
1st Division. The point of commencement is in the north line of the Honourable James Allanshaw’s, Digdeguash Reserve, at about two miles west from its northeastern angle; thence northerly, across White Beaver Brook and Stag Brook, to the eastward of the fourth south Titcomb Lake; onward to Cranberry Brook, crossing it a few rods below the Falls; keeping the east side of Cranberry Brook, at A, is a pass west of the South Shugamock Lake, and east of the north end of the Palfrey mountains; at B cross the north Shugamock Lake Stream; at C enter No. 9 of the Howard Settlement, and proceed through Nos. 8 and 7 to D; thence the line turns northwesterly to E; and thence, leaving the Oxbow and Great Falls of Eel River on the right, reaches the Forks at F.
2nd Division. Cross Eel River between 50 and 60 rods below the Forks, and keeping to the west of Oak Hill, proceed northwesterly to the Houlton Road at G, about 2½ miles from the American boundary line; thence at H cross the south branch of Meduxnikick, about a mile above the Forks, and at I cross the north branch at a boom, about 2½ miles above the Forks;. thence on a course nearly parallel to the boundary line, onward to the Presqu’ Isle River at K, which is half a mile west of Wheeler’s, and 40 rods west of the north and south dividing line between the fifth and sixth tier of lots; thence east of John Cronk’s; and at L pass between the houses of William and Henry Cronk; thence west of Ira Miller’s, inclining nearly north by the Magnet, to the boundary line, keeping Mars Hill about two miles to the west.
3rd Division. Here the route turns from M round the north end of Mars Hill; and thence N. 70 W. to N; thence to the Restook at O, crossing that River immediately below the mouth of the Big Machias Stream.
4th Division. Proceed on a general course N. 75 W. and cross the Machias below the Meadows and Forks at P, passing about a mile to the southward of two hills, called the Twins; thence north of Mount Saul, and through the Valley of Saint Andrews and Caroline’s Lakes, along a level tract, to Q; thence up the north side of a Beaver Brook to a rise of land at R; thence down a Valley to the Susquacook at S, and cross that Stream; thence northerly down the west side to opposite the Forks at T, and thence westerly to the northeast of a high hard wood Ridge, crossing the Allagash at V, about a mile below the first Lake.
5th Division. From hence the course is nearly a straight line N. 70 W. to the River Saint John, which it strikes about 15 miles below the Forks and about 4 miles above the Islands.
6th Division. Across Saint John River, following nearly the same course as in the 4th division; passing Grassy Lake Stream, and onward to the south end of Musk Lake at W; thence inclining northerly to the north of Carriboo Lake at X; thence through a defile and dry barren to the south of Spruce Mountain at Y.
1st Division. From observations made at Foster’s Hill, and supposing the line of the route from Saint Andrews may cross the Digdeguash near Walton’s Meadows, we assumed a level commencing at Foster’s Lake, and extending to the end of the first Division.
It may be necessary to premise that our conclusions of relative heights and distances were drawn from close and constant examination of the ground we travelled over, and the adjacent tracts; and we think the results we have set down are in close approximation to the truth. Taking our elevation in Saint Davids at 100 feet over Foster’s Lake, the River at Connick’s Dam would be 50 feet under the assumed level, which would run through Walton’s Meadows. The source of the Digdeguash at our first station near White Beaver Brook, we consider as 60 feet over the level, and the fourth Titcomb Lake the same. The Falls at Cranberry Brook are 20 feet higher, and the north end of the pass at the Shogamock is of a similar elevation. The barren at Howard Settlement is 10 feet lower, consequently 70 feet over the level. From thence to the Forks of Eel River there is a gradual descent, the route there being only 10 feet over the level, and to the west of Oak Mountain it comes to nothing. From the starting point to Benson’s Camp the land is low and broken, with soft wood growth, interspersed with barrens, presenting no serious obstacle to the formation of a Road. Cranberry Brook would require a Bridge from 30 to 40 feet long, the banks being well adapted to its construction. Hence to the eastward of Cranberry Lake the valley extends with a gentle rise through morasses and under growth, having the magnificent chain of Palfrey Mountains on the west, and level plains and swells on the east, to the hills on the west ward of the Magaguadavic Lakes. We spent much time, and experienced some difficulty in ascertaining a pass among the highlands separating the Palfrey, Cranberry and Shogamock Lakes. The rise at A is so inconsiderable as to present no difficulty; the growth is good hard wood down to a small barren, at north Shogamock Lake. A small Bridge would serve over this Lake stream. On the north is very superior land, the growth being rock maple, birch, large basswood, elm and ash. The banks of Eel River are exceedingly steep and wide at the top, and the tract north of the Howard Settlement very mountainous; but the course we took to the Forks is crossed by undulating swells containing a mixed growth, decreasing in quality at the Great Bend. At this place there is much flat land and low interval on both sides of Eel River, the Stream being from 6 to 10 rods wide. The bottom is a firm gravel, with eight feet deep of still water, and the apparent rise from freshets five feet. Should a Bridge twelve rods long be erected here, a Causeway from 20 to 30 rods would be required to pass over the low grounds.
From these observations it will appear that throughout the first division there are no obstacles that come near what are considered difficulties in the rise and fall of the route. It is worthy of remark that the granite formation of rock entirely disappears after passing A, and sand stone in loose detached masses is found.
The second division presents a tract of good land for cultivation, rising gradually from Eel River to the Houlton Road, but not exceeding 16 feet per mile; from thence to the south branch of the Meduxnikick is an almost imperceptible descent. This stream may be easily crossed at several places, having level banks with lamellate masses of slaty rock; but we would advise that the north branch should be bridged at the boom, where the River is about 40 feet wide, with level banks from 4 to 6 feet high. The depth of water is three feet, with a flat gravelly bottom.
A strong desire was expressed at Woodstock that the Rail Road should approach the Shire Town, and a practicable route was pointed out to us, but we did not consider ourselves authorised to depart from our line to examine it. It may be a matter for future consideration whether certain advantages would not be reaped by turning the route through this place, or whether a branch road may probably be formed, which would answer the desirable purposes contemplated by the people.
From the Meduxnikick to Presqu’ Isle the lands are covered with fine mixtures of hard and soft wood, and extensively settled. A series of small hills stretching southeasterly and northwesterly occupies this extent, between which the route may pass in valleys up a gentle ascent to Starrett’s lot, and then descend easily to the Presqu’ Isle. A noted situation on the River commonly called the Basin was generally thought the best place to pass, but we found we could not avoid a high range to the south, and fixed on an opening up stream, where the River is six rods wide, two feet deep, bottom flat rocks, and rise of freshet six feet. From hence by the farms of John, Henry and William Cronk, we experienced some difficulty, but by making the bend represented in the Map no material obstacle was met to the end of the second division.
3rd Division. Having ascended Mars Hill to the place of an observatory formerly erected by the Boundary line surveying party, under the Honourable W. F. Odell and Colin Campbell, Esquire, but which had been wantonly burnt down a short time ago, we there obtained an extensive view of the surrounding Country. The Palfrey Mountains and Prospect Hill, which we had seen from Saint Davids, were easily distinguished by means of a good telescope, and our route from Eel River to the last station was plainly recognized, so that the conclusions we had come to in the progress of our examinations were now confirmed; we had also a clear open view to the westward, and observed a continuous tract of low, level, soft wood land, stretching almost from the foot of the mountain in the direction we were desirous of proceeding in, for fully fifteen miles, and from one to three miles wide. This favourable stretch is bounded by a succession of hills, which occasionally indent the level, but not so as to obstruct the route from passing through it nearly m a straight course due west. Beyond the distance mentioned, a number of detached hard wood hills appeared, and still farther off a blue ridge was seen, over which a conical mountain, evidently of great height, formed a remarkable object. From a comparison with the distant Palfreys, we rightly judged this sharp peak to be west of the Restook; and it turned out to be that marked on the map as Mount Saul. We descended to the northward of Mars Hill at M, and proceeded to explore the line laid down magnetically north seventy west, in which there is no deviation from the level perceptible to the eye, unassisted by an instrument. From Hazel Hill to N, there is a uniform rise, and thence to the Restook a gradual fall. The Restook by Mr. Odell’s survey rises over the River Saint John at the mouth of the Restook 384 feet in 110 miles. The route passed the Restook 55 miles above its mouth, and if the falls from where the line passes the Presqu’ Isle to the Saint John be equal to the fall of the Saint John from the Restook to the Presqu’ Isle, (which is conjectured to be the case) then the pass at the Restook cannot be more than six or seven feet in a mile over the pass at the Presqu’ Isle, and consequently much less from Mars Hill to the Restook. The Country along this division exhibits a great variety of growth; many hard wood ridges rise among the low soft wood lands; an admirable tract lies at MM, and beyond Hazel Hill to the Restook are numerous hills, particularly to the north of the route, covered with the best description of Timber, among which is some Oak, and well calculated for cultivation. The rocks consist of granite and siliceous formations, but are not abundant on the surface even of the elevated lands. An extensive sheet of water called the Squaw Pond, and represented in Greenleaf’s Map to empty north of our line into a branch of the Restook, we ascertained to empty south of our line into the main Restook.
4th Division. The Restook, where the route passes, is ten rods wide, with level banks and a rapid current, four feet deep, over a hard flat bottom; the freshets rise eight feet, overflowing the interval on the north side for about five rods back, so that besides the bridge a considerable length of causeway would be required to reach beyond the low lands. The tract to the north of the Big Machias is very level, having a growth of Pine, spruce an Balm of Gilead, with occasional patches of hardwood. The stream is moderately quick, with few rapids, with many interval Islands, and stretches of low grass lands. We observed very few Hemlock trees to the west of Mars Hill and none whatever after crossing the Restook.
The surface is considerably broken after passing the Machas, and the line must pass to the north of Mount Saul, into a valley through which it will be necessary to keep its level on the side of the hills forming its northern boundary, as this valley is lower than the lands west of Lake Caroline. From Prospect Peak, looking back, we discovered immense ranges of mountainous tracts, stretching north and south of Mount Saul, with no appearance of a pass but the one we had adopted. To the west lies a long extent of soft wood land, nearly level to the eye, in the direction of our route, bounded by broken eminences on the south, and rising from them in shelving masses until they form hilly ridges on the north. The range enters the gorge of a pass and goes up a deep valley hemmed in by steep hills, containing great quantities of good slate, the fissures of which appear through the surface in strata perpendicular to the base. A rise of land at R divides the Restook waters from those of the Allagash. At this place there is a rise for twenty miles, but not to a height that will affect the route. There are many well wooded eminences scattered around, and we observed that the finest Cedars grew among hardwood on these heights. From hence to the Susquacook descent is apparent, the greatest Fall being about twenty feet per mile from RR to the stream at S. This branch of the Allagash is three rods wide, with low banks and a rocky bottom. Beyond S to T is an easy descent, and thence to the Allagash at V there is a small rise. The river here is about seven rods wide between banks six feet high, with 2 feet of water, and a strong current over an uneven rocky bottom.
5th Division. The whole tract west from the Allagash to the Saint John is extensive flat, spreading to a great distance on both sides of the route, particularly to the southward, the only perceptible ascent was at VV, from whence to the Saint John, it appeared an elevated plain, without a hill or eminence in view on the south and very few northerly.
The growth is Cedar, Spruce and Fir, with some scattering Pine, White Birch and a few small strips of Hard Wood. The soil appears deep and black in the Cedar, and yellow in the other growths, and free from stone. The whole is evidently what is called a second growth of wood, and the land by no means bad, although rather wet, and no large brooks. The Saint John, where the range crosses is twenty rods wide, with banks eight feet high, to which height, nearly, the freshets appear to rise; the stream is lively but not rapid, and from one to three feet deep, flowing over a flat rocky bed.
The 6th division possesses the same characteristics as the 5th as far as W, at the southwest of Musk Lake; beyond which the land begins to rise gradually to Y, at Spruce Mountain; but where the line is marked on the map, no impediment to the construction of a road is encountered. From the peak of the northernmost of the Three Hills, the declivity shelving down to the Saint Lawrence, and the Light azure heights on its banks were seen, but the view was shut out from the southwest. From Spruce Mountain hills and rugged lands were discovered for several miles south of a valley, which appeared about northwest, and the lands gradually descending in that direction. Hills were also seen apparently extending northeasterly and southwesterly. We then went northeast 1½ miles, or thereabout, to a branch of Big Black River, thence proceeded on it to the Saint John, and thence home. From Spruce Mountain to Otter Brook, we could not discover any continuous chain of high lands, but such as were separated by valleys ; and from the make of the land it appeared as if the streams passed each other in different directions, as they flowed from these hollows to the Saint John and the Saint Lawrence.
On reviewing the whole explored route, we do not hesitate to express our opinion that no obstructions exist that can impede the formation of a Rail Road; that a great portion of the lands through which we passed are fit for settlement, and that we met no burnt tracts whatever.
By our descriptions it will be found what materials are offered for the construction of the road, and that the grading is less difficult than is generally found in so long a route.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
GEO. N. SMITH.
- R. HAT HE WAY.
To H. Hatch, John Wilson, S. Frye, James Rait, and John McMaster, Esquires,
Committee of Management for the Saint Andrews and Quebec Rail Road Association.
Report of an exploration for a Rail Road between Saint Andrews in the Bay of Fundy
and the City of Quebec, 1836.
The exploration of the Country from Quebec to Saint Andrews was ordered to be made in consequence of a Petition to the Home Government on the part of the Railway Association of Saint Andrews; it was carried on under the sanction of the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, conveyed to His Excellency Major General Sir Archibald Campbell, Baronet, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.
The object was to ascertain whether the nature of the Country was such that a direct practicable route for a Railway could be found in it, also to obtain as much information as the limited time would allow, by which an opinion could be formed of the most eligible line on which the more detailed operations required for the construction of a Railway might subsequently be directed.
According to the general description of the proposed road, given by the Association, it was required to pass round the northern extremity of Mars Hill, about 36 miles below the Great Falls of the River Saint John. Mars Hill being about twenty miles south of the latitude of Quebec, the first examination was accordingly made in a direction east, towards Saint Gervais. After reaching the high ground on the south bank of the Saint Lawrence, there is a descent to Saint Charles on the Boyer Stream, forming the side of a valley extending upwards as far as Saint Henry, near which, on the road leading to Saint Anselme, it is to be seen opening to the North, and affording extensive views of a cultivated Country, and the appearance of one continued village.
The prolongation of the gentle slope required for a Railway, would not admit of this valley being crossed, and the high ground above Saint Gervais attained, without leading the general line as far as the River Du Sud, and there is no opening to the East through the rising ground extending from Saint Gervais to that river.
In the report of a reconnaissance which I made the preceding year, by order of Lord Aylmer, then Governor General of Canada, for the purpose of meeting the projected Railway from the State of Maine, the route by the Etchemin was recommended, in case it should ever be contemplated to communicate by a Railway with New Brunswick; it was found on the present examination, that the line towards the River Du Sud would lead as much farther to the north of the general line, as that by the Etchemin to the south, the latter was therefore adopted and a survey of it commenced.
Even if other considerations respecting the choice between these two routes had been equal, that of the Etchemin appears preferable, because the Country bordering on the Saint Lawrence has already easy access to the Capital; but the Etchemin leading directly to the interior of the Country, a Railway along its banks at once gives increased value to a remote and almost inaccessible district.
It will be a ruling principle in the execution of the proposed work to take a wider view of the undertaking than the mere general object of connecting Quebec and Saint Andrews, for although the chief advantage proposed to be derived from it may be obtained without reference to a great portion of the intervening Country its utility* ought not to be so limited; it should when completed, form such a road as will be best capable of contributing to the general benefit of the Country.
A work having this object in view, although it should not offer an immediate return, would be more entitled to the support of the community, as being more suitable to an undertaking of national importance.
By whatever route to the south the Railway may be made to pass, the high ground above Point Levi has to be surmounted; this was rather prematurely looked upon as the chief obstacle in the whole distance, and the adoption of a stationary power believed to be indispensable.
If the stationary power be used anywhere, its disadvantages must obviously be least felt at the extremities of a Railway.
In the report above alluded to, a general question was put relative to this subject; it is a point yet to be decided by considerations apart from peculiarities in the features of the ground.
The high ground above Point Levi is about 278 feet above the Saint Lawrence, and a line traced with a slope of 40 feet in a mile reaches it near Beaumont.
The commencement of the line might be traced upwards towards the mouth of the Etchemin, but the banks of the Saint Lawrence in that direction being very rocky and precipitous, would require extensive excavations and embankments.
The line marked in the mean time commences at the east end of the Cliffs which extend from the lowest Ferry Wharf to the Shore below Point Levi Church, near a small Stream, and at an elevation of about 59 feet above the Saint Lawrence.
If this should be adopted as the end of the Railway, there will be found ample space for the necessary establishment of store houses at less cost than near the present Ferry; it is also considered to be a good site for erecting a Wharf, the water being shallow off this point.
But if it should be thought preferable to continue the Railway more nearly opposite to Quebec, an expensive viaduct will be required along the rocky shore as far as the wharf of the nearest Ferry.
The ascent of 40 feet in a mile terminates at Beaumont, about 6½ miles below Point Levi, it is free from abrupt curves, and will not require much excavation.
Being a practicable route and within the limits of a reasonable expenditure, it is sufficient for the object of the present report, it represents the extreme deviation from the direct line to Saint Henry;† and offers an alternative in case it should be thought preferable not to adopt the stationary power.
From Beaumont to Saint Henry, the line was not traced, it appearing unnecessary to do so, as the County is nearly flat, until the question of the two lines shall be settled.
Saint Henry is situated between the head of the valley extending as above described to Saint Charles and the River Etchemin; it is therefore a fixed point in the route.
A line is traced from Saint Henry with slope of 30 feet in a mile for fifteen miles, being about a quarter of a mile beyond the Abenaques River. When the line approaches the bank of the Etchemin, occasional excavations will be necessary, and there are two ravines on this plane, one 60 feet wide by 12 deep, another 90 feet wide and about 40 feet deep, which will require viaducts; but the general nature of the ground is favourable.
* Because so much of it is uncultivated that for some years it must be left out of the question of profit.
† The distance in a straight lime from Saint Henry to the Ferry at Point Levi is 11 miles; by Beaumont it is 15½ miles; the choice then lies between the latter distance, of which 6½ are with a slope of 40 feet in a mile, and 11 miles of Railway with a stationary power; but the difference would be more in favour of the Beaumont line, as the country from Saint Henry direct is of a more difficult nature, being intersected by the River a la soie, and other water courses, the channels of which have been worn very deep.
After proceeding six miles nearly at a level, there is a slop of 20 feet in a mile, then it is level for a mile to the River de’l Eau Chande; above this stream the section for 11 miles shows a rise along the river of about 12 feet in a mile; but from the junction of the River Etchemin and the discharge of the lake, to the lake itself there is a fall of 52 feet in a mile for 4½ miles, but this would be reduced by keeping the high ground on the banks of the river, at a considerable cost however for excavation and filling up.
The next obstacle in poplar estimation after Point Levi, was the highlands or ridge dividing the Saint John from the Etchemin.
On exploring a short distance beyond Lake Etchemin a stream was crossed which was known to fall into the River Famine, and after a considerable descent that river was reached.
A very slight elevation was found between Lake Etchemin and the above mentioned stream, and it was understood that the Famine and one of the tributaries to the Saint John, take their rise from the same swamp at the distance of about seven miles.
As it appeared probable that from the hilly nature of the Country, the Famine descended rapidly from its source, instead of tracing the line straight to it, the level of the dividing ridge was directed to be continued, following the sinuosities of the valley until it should intersect the plane of the bed of the Famine.
The levels taken accordingly showed that from Etchemin to the height of land, there are only 12 feet of descent; the line crosses the swamp above mentioned and is carried level without any interruption for eleven miles, when it reaches the Daagwam; one of the principal branches of the Saint John, by a descent of about 90 feet in the distance of one mile.
It is obvious that by keeping close to the right bank of the stream from the swamp, this descent can be made by a slope not exceeding twenty feet in a mile without increasing the distance.
But it will probably be found preferable to continue the level line from Lake Etchemin either until it reaches the bed of the Daagwam (in the same manner as at the Famine,) or until the valley be found of such a breadth or depth that a viaduct could be constructed across it at moderate expense.
This would also save the ascent which otherwise would probably be necessary to reach the Allagash from the banks of the main branch of the Saint John.
East of the Daagwam the Country is nearly flat; where the undulations do not exceed the required slopes, the route may be made to follow them, so as to avoid the circuitous line of absolute level, which, as shown on the Plan, is too far to the north.
Circumstances prevented the commencement of the survey between the Allagash and the river Saint John, and the line explored late in the season, fell upon a Lake about seven miles long and crossed two ridges of about 300 feet elevation: but these may be passed to the south without deviating widely from the general course, as the fourth Lake of the Allagash is visible from a hill to the west of this Lake through a valley at the head of it.
It may be observed with respect to the general course between Mars Hill and the upper part of the River Saint John which is nearest to Lake Etchemin, that the Country from east to west was previously entirely unknown; it was supposed to be level, but it had merely been examined and partially surveyed by persons passing in canoes, along the Saint John, the Allagash, or the Restook; accordingly in the present exploration, not a single feature, neither stream, lake nor mountain could be identified, until the Restook was reached, by referring to any existing map, or any which fell in the way of the exploring party. No provisions were to be obtained on the route; the dry season rendered (as it was afterwards found) the transportation by water difficult, but no one connected with the proposed operations, knew whether the Allagash and Restook were navigable or not.
The Saint John River was described to be navigable, but it was scarcely so, even for canoes, from August to November 1836.
A journey in which every thing required on it, had to he carried through the woods on men’s backs, was limited both in time and distance, by the loads the men could carry; each man’s load was about seventy pounds, but they who carried baggage, required others to carry provisions for them; the track was also to be marked as a guide for future operations. The provisions were calculated for twenty days, leaving very little time to deviate from a straight line, for the purpose of extending observations of the Country, or to meet difficulties or accidents of any kind.
Having decided on a general direction, the mode adopted was to proceed straight* on it, with the compass as the only guide.
The point of crossing the Allagash required the greatest degree of attention in the exploration, for being nearly† midway through the unknown part of the Country, it could only be determined by balancing the advantages of the route from the two points, Mars Hill and Lake Etchemin.
The first line explored between the Restook and Mars Hill, was from near the mouth of the Machias; it was favourable, but not being within the general direction, it was not surveyed until after an examination of the line by the Skahapan Lake.‡
From Mars Hill the view west appears uninterrupted over a hilly Country for nearly 60 miles, at which distance, there are ranges of mountains extending north to south, which have been designated according to the names of the streams nearest to them; the Musquacook, Mooseluc, and Monaghsahagan.
A valley was observed to extend due west from Mars Hill, and the survey of it was immediately commenced and a section of the Country made to the River Restook, 25 miles distant.
The Country was favourable for 17 miles, when the line was found to intersect a ridge two hundred feet high, and the Lake Skahapan at the foot of it; and although by turning the ridge to the southward, the Lake would be avoided, yet as the route necessarily passes north of Mars Hill, it is as near the Restook by the north line towards the River Machias, as by the south one towards the Skahapan Lake.
The due west line, produced across the Restook, runs through a level Country for eighteen miles, when it reaches some high ground which can be passed to the north.
This line continued to the Allagash, crosses the Mooseluc range seen from Mars Hill, but it can be avoided, and the fourth Lake of the Allagash reached by an opening at the foot of Monaghsahagan Mountain.
A survey has been made from the Allagash to the north of the Mooseluc range, through the dividing ridge of the waters of the Mooseluc and Musquacook. The approach to the third Musquacook Lake is over a ridge, supposed to be 500 feet high, but it is not known whether to the south of this part of the surveyed line an opening may not be found from the Portage near the fourth Lake to the source of the Musquacook River, a distance of 7 miles; if it does exist, and as the ridge at the Portage between the Musquacook and Mooseluc is not more than 100 feet high, the valley of the Mooseluc may be reached by this course as well as by the foot of the Monaghsahagan Mountain.
The section made to the Restock was joined by another passing round Mars Hill from the south east, and was afterwards prolonged to the nearest part of the River Saint John.
This part of the course as far as Eel River crosses several tributaries to the Saint John River, and the general level of the country above its bed being about 300 feet, these Streams descend rapidly, and their channels are very deep.
It would be of no advantage to construct the Railway along the banks of the Saint John, because it would be necessary to quit them at Eel River, and rise again to the general level of the country there.
The banks of the Saint John would also require a great deal of labour, in order that the track should be free from undulations.
The direction southward, to be followed from Mars Hill, was in the first instance indicated by a hollow observed in the ridge between that Mountain and the Saint John River; this was afterwards found to be at Cronkite’s Settlement.
The route to be traced thence was proposed to be ascertained by finding the level of some at* the valleys in the broken country between Jackson Town and Eel River.
Accordingly three lines were levelled from the Saint John; one to Jackson Town, and the others along the Houlton Road and old Church Road.
* This plan was not followed implicitly; considerable delay and inconvenience were occasioned by descending the Saint John, partly with the hope of finding the navigable waters, the original line produced crosses the meridian of Mars Hill at seven miles from its base.
† It is the centre of a circle of more than one hundred miles in diameter, comprising probably the largest tract of Country to be found in North America, south of the St. Lawrence, and east of the Mississippi, which with the exception of a few scattered settlements on the banks of the Restook, is still in a state of wilderness. There are only two settlers on a hundred and thirty six miles of this portion of the line.
‡ Mars Hill was found, by levelling, to be 1500 feet above the Saint John River near it, and 1200 feet above the general level of the surrounding Country; there is no other elevation so great nearer than the Musquacook and Mooseluc mountain chain.
The best line in connection with the country on both sides of it, appeared to be near Parley’s Hill on the Houlton Road, about 2½ miles from Woodstock.
The Jackson Town Road will be crossed near the Meeting House, at an elevation of 305 feet above the Saint John, and the old Church Road at 192 feet above it; the descent of the Saint John in this distance need not be taken into account, as the slope to connect these two points will not exceed 14 feet in a mile.
The operation of levelling was not carried on further in this neighbourhood, but a line was explored beyond the southern bank of the Eel River, still keeping nearly at the same elevation above the Saint John. The view from Polphrey Hill and Prospect Hill shows a level country, which has been already surveyed for settlements.
In passing through it a number of large granite boulders were found, which will be expensive to remove should they come in the way of the route. After crossing Eel River, the route proposed will skirt the foot of the Polphrey Hills on the north side; thence to the westward of Mount Prospect.
A high ridge at Saint Davids crosses the line of approach towards Saint Andrews.
As the most direct line appeared to be towards the Wohaweig, a section was made of a low part of the ridge dividing the waters of that Stream from those of the western branch of the Digdeguash. This height of land was found to be about 200 feet above this branch, which, at 40 feet to a mile, would carry the line considerably to the westward; it is therefore not ascertained whether a line may not be preferable along the western branch of the Digdeguash, in the Grummock Settlement.
Although there is no feature of the country in this long extent which can be called an obstacle; that is none requiring expense to remove; yet the country is not of so uniform a nature that the best route could be ascertained by mere ocular inspection.
There are many degrees between a practicable route and the most eligible one, and the choice requires the balance of conditions which can only be adjusted by considering large portions of the line with reference to particular parts, and by minutely surveying them.
This remark, however, is only applicable to a few miles on each side of the Allagash, the country between Saint Davids and Saint Andrews. On comparing the whole with the accounts of other similar works, it is apparent that it is not only remarkably free from such obstacles as might have been expected in so large a tract, of which part at least was known to be mountainous, but it is very favourable for the object in view.
There are no abrupt and rocky ridges to turn the route wide from a straight line; only four large Rivers, and few ravines which are broad and deep. The principal expense in constructing a Railway in this tract of country, compared with works of similar extent, will be for provisions, owing to the remoteness of the route from supplies.
But this expense will be within the reach of sure calculation before the Railway be commenced, by the establishing of depots of provisions along the projected line during the winter season when the Roads are good.
With respect to the nature of the country as adapted for settlement, it is to be observed that generally the best soil was found on the Hills.
The first forty miles from Quebec are already inhabited, and twenty miles more are well fitted for cultivation; but on approaching the banks of the Saint John, the soil is very poor.
Onwards towards the Allagash and the Restook, as the line for the Railway is in the flattest country, the soil is not the best according to the above general description; but all around, and more especially to the north of the proposed route and the Machias River, there is a considerable extent of Country on the banks of the Fish River, its Tributaries, and chains of Lakes, which contains good soil and Timber of much mixed growth – also many sites for Mills. The Restook has some strips of valuable alluvial soil.
From Mars Hill towards Jackson Town the Country is said to be superior to any tract of equal extent between it and the Connecticut River, and in approaching the Polphrey Hills line will pass through an arable country, which only requires to be made accessible to add to the wealth of the Province.
The total distance will be about 300 miles, and the expense as estimated according to the present cost of similar Works in America will be about One Million.
The distance between Fredericton and Quebec (which by the present Post Office Route is 350 miles) will be reduced to 274 miles by the line of Railway.
- YULE, Captain Royal Engineers.
REPORT OF GEORGE WIGHTMAN, CIVIL ENGINEER
SIR – Having been directed last Spring by the Committee of the Saint Andrews and Quebec Rail Road Association, to explore and survey a line for a Rail Road from Saint Andrews to the River Meduxnikick in the County of Carleton, I beg leave to lay before you, for the information of the Committee, the following report of the result of my researches.
Commencing at Caty’s Cove in the rear of the Town of Saint Andrews, the line passes along the shore at High Water mark for thirty five chains, and then rises at a maximum grade of thirty five feet per mile to the dam at the lower Chamcook Lake – a distance of two hundred and twenty three chains, and attaining a height of ninety one feet above the sea; it thence runs along the eastern side of the lower Chamcook Lake, passes Dr. Fry’s Mill, and along the western side of the second Chamcook and Limeburners Lakes, thence near the house of Mr. Leonard Bartlett, and to the Fredericton Road near Mrs. Connick’s – a distance from the place of beginning of eleven miles and three eights and height above the sea one hundred and forty eight feet; from this point it continues rising at maximum grades of thirty two feet per mile to Connick’s meadow on the height of land between the Waweig and Digdeguash Rivers – the distance being from the place of beginning seventeen miles and three eights, and height above the sea two hundred and seventy five feet; from thence it runs seven miles on a level to a point about thirty five chains northwardly of the west branch of the Digdeguash, and then rises at thirty eight feet per mile to the high lands westwardly of Symmonds’ – the whole distance from the place of beginning is twenty seven miles and three quarters, and height above the sea three hundred and ninety five feet.
Up to this point the line keeps either a level or rising grade in going northwardly, and has undergone such corrections as to bring it near to the place of final location. The remainder is merely an experimental line, carried directly forward, as a base for future operations, but as the surface of the country is much more even and regular than to the southward, it will not require so much alteration, and the final line will not be very different, but most probably superior in grades and distances to that of the present survey. With these remarks, I proceed to describe the remainder of the line.
From the high lands before mentioned to the head of the Digdeguash, twelve miles and a quarter, the ground is undulatory, the steepest grade being thirty two feet per mile, and the greatest height above the sea four hundred and fifty four feet; from thence to the Howard Settlement Road the distance is twenty four miles. About one half of this is level, the remainder upon grades of from sixteen to thirty three feet per mile. The height at this point above the sea is five hundred and forty three feet. From Howard Settlement Road there is a descent on grades of from thirty to eight feet per mile, nine miles and three quarters to Eel River – the whole fall being one hundred and forty three feet. From thence to the summit of ground northwardly of Eel River is five miles and a half, and the rise is one hundred and seventy five feet, which is ascended by grades of thirty nine, but which I think may be reduced to thirty five feet per mile – Eel River is therefore in a deep valley running directly across the general course of the line, but its great width (fifteen miles) enables us to cross it at practicable grades. From the summit last mentioned to Richmond corner, passing across the head of the Basin of Bull’s Creek, are several undulations upon grades not exceeding thirty feet per mile; the distance is seven miles, and the height of Richmond Corner above the sea five hundred and forty nine feet. At this place there must be a deep cut through soft slate rock that will cost about twelve thousand pounds, or otherwise a circuit made of two miles to avoid the necessity of an inclined plane to the northward. From Richmond Corner to the Meduxnikick, the fall of ground is three hundred and sixteen feet the distance by the line, which is through the most obvious opening, is eight miles and three quarters, and can be passed by a grade of thirty six feet per mile. A good part of this grade is along the irregular banks of water courses, and will be considerably expensive. From this last place to the Falls of the north branch, a mile and a half, the rise is twenty five feet per mile, and the height of that point above the sea two hundred and sixty nine feet. The whole distance from the place of beginning is ninety six miles and three quarters.
This is the termination of the survey, but from what I have learned of the country further north, I have no doubt of the practicability of the line to Mars Hill.
The grades are as follows
From Saint Andrews to the Meduxnikick.
Grades. Ascending. Descending.
M.F.P. M.F.P. M.F.P.
Level, 33: 7: 4
0 to l0 feet per mile, 3: 7: 32 7: 1: 36
l0 to 20 feet per mile, 8 : 6: 4 3: 5: 00
20 to 30 feet per mile, 9: 7: 24 6: 5 : 36
30 to 40 feet per mile, 13 : 5: 24 8: 6: 16
33: 7: 4 36: 3: 4 26: 3: 8
From the Meduxnikick to Saint Andrews.
Grades. Ascending. Descending.
M.F.P. M.F.P. M.F.P.
Level, 33: 7: 4
0 to l0 feet per mile, 7: 1: 36 3: 7: 32
10 to 20 feet per mile, 3: 5: 00 8: 6: 4
20 to 30 feet per mile, 6: 5: 36 9: 7: 24
30 to 40 feet per mile, 8: 6: 16 13: 5: 24
33: 7: 4 26: 3: 8 36: 3: 4
Of these ascending grades, the whole of the last mentioned is north of Richmond corner; the next heaviest, 30 feet per mile, is in Eel River valley, but there is reason to believe that this may be reduced. It would be very desirable to obtain a line, having level or descending grades, from Howard Settlement to Saint Andrews. If this were effected much of the freight originating along the line would be brought to the sea nearly free of charge for power, by reason of the difference of weight of the outward and inward cargoes. The establishment of a line as far northwardly as possible has been a leading feature in my plan of operations, and I believe it may be accomplished as far as that place at an extra outlay of about twenty thousand pounds. Whether it be most expedient to pursue this scheme at present, to arrange for its final accomplishment by leaving undulations to be levelled at a future period, or to abandon the design altogether, will be questions for future determination.
Another course that might be taken with a very little additional expense, is to leave a series of ascents in the southward direction, ten feet to the mile. This would allow the line to cross the west branch of the Digdeguash near its mouth, and continue up the valley of the River, as shown on the plan by the dotted lines, thus avoiding the steep grade at Symmonds’. The average rise from the west branch to Barber’s dam would be twelve feet per mile, and from thence to the Pole dam nearly level. Upon this scheme we would have the maximum grades in the direction of the heavy traffic ten feet, and in the contrary direction thirty two feet per mile. This would give the useful effect outwards about three times as much as inwards, which is probably about the same proportion that would exist in the traffic.
It has been suggested as very desirable that the road should touch upon the River Saint John. As a proper attention to this matter would have taken up more time than could be devoted to it, I have only made a few passing observations, and beg leave to submit such opinions as my limited knowledge of the subject has enabled me to form. The broken nature of the Country from the Palfrey mountains to the Meduxnikick precludes the idea of carrying the line any nearer to the Saint John; but there are two openings by which that river may be reached. One of these is by Bull’s Creek, the other by some streams that rise in Howard Settlement and flow into Eel River. The latter course will probably prove the most eligible. I do not think there are any insuperable obstacles in either route. Supposing the banks of the Saint John reached, the line may be carried along the river and across the Meduxnikick about thirty rods above the bridge, upon a high viaduct, which might be converted into warehouses, and so pay for itself. From that place it may rise to the high lands of Jackson Town, falling into the line of Mr. Playford. This line will cross the Meduxnikick upon a level of about one hundred and twenty lower than that at the Forks, producing the effect of a deeper valley, but the disadvantage may prove more apparent than real. The expense of working a Railway is governed more by the steepness of its grades than by the absolute height or depth of the hills or valleys passed over. The profits also depends much upon the first cost and maintenance of the way, and the direction of the heavy traffic, taken in connection with the grades, and it is not till comparison can be made on all these points that a proper estimate can be had of the comparative advantages of these lines.
Supposing the line by the river to prove ineligible, a connection with Woodstock may still be obtained by a branch of six or seven miles along the Meduxnikick, or by slack water navigation, by means of dams upon the river. This last method might prove the best; the water power created would be a source of profit, and would serve to work an inclined plane connecting the road with the canal. The freezing of the canal may at first view appear as disadvantage, but as the Saint John is frozen at the same time, the detriment from that cause is more apparent than real.
With respect to grades, it has been stated that the steepest is thirty six feet per mile. This is quite within what is considered profitable working grades on the American roads. The rapid improvements in locomotive engines enable them to ascend slopes that were till lately considered impracticable. By experiments made on the Hudson Rail Road in the spring of 1836 an engine of ten tons weight, was found to draw forty one tons upon a grade of fifty feet to the mile, at twelve miles per hour. In the spring of 1837, an engine of nine tons weight, was found, in ordinary course of work, to draw on the Columbia road in Pennsylvania 172 tons up a grade of forty-nine feet per mile, at ten miles per hour, equivalent to 140 tons at twelve miles an hour on a grade of fifty feet per mile, being an improvement upon former engines of nearly three and a half to one. This engine would take 175 tons up a grade or forty feet per mile at 12, or 260 tons at eight miles an hour. We may therefore conclude that the grades of this line are quite within the power of the present engines for heavy work; indeed it will become a matter for serious consideration whether the grades had not better, in some instances be increased for short distances to fifty or even sixty feet per mile; making compensation by powerful engines and extra fuel, and thereby avoiding expensive excavation and embankment. The profit to stockholders being governed by the cost of construction and of working taken together, to reduce the first item at an increase of the second, may be the most economical management. By adopting such a course a large present outlay might be saved, and the way left open for future improvement, should such be required.
With respect to curvatures, the first twenty three miles from Saint Andrews the lowest radii are about 1,000 feet, with the exception of one at the Chamcook Lake, which is 560 feet and two others of 750 feet. On the remainder of the line they will generally range at from half a mile to a mile; a very few being as low as 1,000 feet. This is quite as favourable as most roads in the United States. In the Baltimore and Ohio road curves of from four to five hundred feet radii are quite common. On the Erie and many other roads, seven hundred feet is not thought too small. Curves produce partly the same effects as ascents; they lessen the speed, but they create no necessity for reducing the load. If they have short radii the peripheries are proportionally short, and the momentum of the train carries it past the curve. A train moving at ten miles an hour, would in passing thirty-six degrees of a circle of seven hundred feet radius, be retarded by curvature only six seconds. The loss of time therefore from curvatures in a Rail Road, is ordinarily too trifling to require going into heavy expenses of construction to avoid or lessen them. Were one fourth of the road from Saint Andrews to the Meduxnikick composed of such curves as the above, the whole retardation in time, of a train at ten miles an hour, would be only half an hour or five per cent. And it would depend a good deal upon general arrangements, whether that half hour required any more additional expense than a few shillings for wood. It is indeed known that since the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Rail Road, the tendency of practice, especially in America, has been to make engines more heavy and powerful, grades steeper, and curvatures smaller. These alterations are indicative of the common experience of engineers, and are doubtless founded upon considerations of profit. The inference to he derived from them should not be unattended to in the present instance. It may be thought that steep grades and quick curvatures compensated by increased locomotive power, is rather a barbarous plan for a scientific undertaking of this kind – that the practice of England is against it. But the cases are not parallel. In Great Britain Railways are luxuries created by cheap labour and boundless wealth; in this Country they will be necessaries to be obtained by the application of limited means; their chief use being to facilitate heavy traffic, and open inaccessible regions to settlement. The cheapest way of effecting these objects is probably the best. There are moreover other reasons of a more local nature, in favour of adopting the above plan on this road. The heavy excavations required on a more perfect line would be attended with a great deal of expensive rock cutting; and they would besides be liable to a considerable annual expense for clearing them of snow, and of ice formed from the spring water that would issue from their sides. On the other hand, extra power in the engine is attended with but little advance in the first cost, or in the working; the quantity of fuel indeed must be proportional to the power, but by making reserves of the soft wooded land along the line, the expense of wood will never rise above the cost of cutting.
This subject should be well considered before entering upon the work, and enquiries upon the new roads in the mountainous districts of the United States, and where freightage is the principal object aimed at, would materially assist in coming to proper conclusions.
In connection with the subject of expense of construction, I beg leave to state that it appears from calculation that in crossing low ground, embankments below ten feet in height, and above that height trestle work will be cheapest, allowing for a reserved fund for the repair of the wood work. It may be made of white cedar, which is a very cheap and durable material, and as it fails its place may often be supplied with stone from the adjoining fields at a moderate expense, and at the same time giving encouragement to the clearing of the Country.
Another topic which I beg leave just to notice, is the width of track. The Liverpool and Manchester road was laid at four feet eight inches, taken probably from the width of common carriages. This width has been copied on most other Rail Roads in England and in America, and such is the connection between most of these roads that it would be inconvenient to make an alteration. The present road being the first of its kind in this region, connections of this nature will not exist. Some of the reasons in favour of an increased width of track may be stated as follows. An increase of the power of an engine can only be obtained by extension of the heating surface of the boiler; but upon steep grades a great length of boiler is inadmissible, the most proper increase would be in width. An increased width of track would admit this, besides giving greater stability to the train in passing curves. For passenger trains broad engines and proportional diameter of working wheels would probably be found most profitable; the former property would admit increased power, the latter of corresponding speed, without requiring too rapid a motion of the piston, while the greater width of track would preserve stability. For burthen trains the wheels and motion of piston might be reduced to the speed required.
With respect to superstructure, much has been written on the subject and many schemes tried ; we however should be guided by the peculiarities of our situation. In England and in the United States the rails are laid nearly level with the ground, and their supports wholly or partially covered, a horse path being made between them. In this country the propriety of such a plan is very doubtful; the snows of winter would cover the road to too great a depth, and the heaving of the frost derange the rails; besides the American plan induces speedy decay of the wood. These inconveniencies may be in a good measure prevented by raising the superstructure entirely above the ground, and by forming and arranging the timbers so is to prevent water from lying upon them, or insinuating itself between the bearing surfaces. It might be thirty inches high without costing more than is usual, and a snow plough would clear off any depth of snow that would ordinarily accumulate above the rails. For lower timbers I would recommend white cedar, and for rails pine, covered on the top with the heartwood of red beech. Such a work would last twenty or thirty years. The materials are in abundance all along the line.
Before closing this paper it may be expected that I should say something on the subject of expense. When it is considered that more than two thirds of this line is a mere experiment upon the capability of the country, and has undergone no corrections, and that neither is there any proper determination of the point of perfection at which to aim with respect to grades, curvatures, and permanent works, it will be perceived that formal estimate would be entitled to very little confidence. I beg leave to state a matter of opinion, founded upon some measurements and comparisons, that the road may be made in the manner I have recommended for from ten to twelve thousand dollars per mile.
With respect to the degree of exactness of measurements on this line, I beg to state that upon thirty five miles of the southern part they have been verified by double lines to be correct within less than a foot to the mile; and I have no reason to think the work less exact on the remainder; but as the errors are as likely to be above as below the truth, the general deviation cannot be very great.
Observations upon the general formation of the country, openings for other lines, and such information as may serve to abridge the labour of a future Engineer, will form the subject of a future paper to accompany the plans.
All which is respectfully submitted.
Saint Andrews, 14th December 1837.
- H. Whitlcck, Esquire, Secretary and Treasurer, &c.
Saint John, The Telegraph Journal, The New Brunswick Reader, Page 5 – Saturday, December 26, 2004 –
December 28, 1837 – After 12 days of overland travel from Fredericton, the New Brunswick 43rd Regiment arrives at Quebec.
Compiled by A. Clowes
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