greatest extent, but this I consider would be undesirable. Admit,
however, occasionally, the same grade as employed on iron lines
in Europe, and I would instance the Turin and Genoa line, over
which there is a heavy merchandise traffic equal to any line out of
England, and where the steepest grade is 3? centimetres per metre
(or about 175 feet per mile) for a length of 3? miles; a grade
comparatively easy on a rail made of wood with the grain endways.
The question of cost, therefore, will, by the system I propose, be
The next point of consideration is, whether a railway is the most
desirable means of communication; and, in fact, suitable when
l" applied to channels of great trade." Mr. Jarvis' opinion is, that
it is not, and that the conclusion arrived at by many people,
that railways will in a great measure supersede canals, is " reached
without consideration." With this opinion I am at direct vari-
ance, and will endeavour to show that experience generally is opposed
to this view.
As regards England in this matter, it may be urged that the
comparison there is not a fair one, as fuel is cheaper than anywhere
else, and the canals were not in the best condition to contend with
transport by railway.
I will therefore pass to France, where fuel is not cheap, and
where the canals and rivers constituting their water communica-
tions have been all laid out and executed by a body of engineers,
as scientific and experienced in these works as any in Europe.
What have been the results on some of the most important lines
in France ? Take the " Chemin de Fer du Nord," from Paris to
Lille and Valenciennes; the line from Paris to Strasbourg, from
Strasbourg to Mulhouse, from Paris to Lyons, and from Paris to
Orleans. I take them as representing " the channels of great
trade." The " Chemin de Fer du Nord" has to contend with a
line partly composed of canals and partly of navigable rivers, and
the struggle has been long and fierce, but has resulted as shewn by