The Theory of the Trace: Being a Discussion of the Principles of Location

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Lawrence Asylum Press, 1900 - Railroads

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Page 114 - The ill-designed bridge breaks down; the ill-designed dam gives way; the ill-designed boiler explodes; the badly built tunnel caves in, and the bungler's bungling is betrayed. But a little practice and a little study of field geometry will enable any one of ordinary intelligence, without any engineering knowledge whatever in the larger sense, to lay out a railway from almost anywhere to anywhere, which will carry the locomotive with perfect safety, and perhaps show no obtrusive defects under what...
Page 143 - ... whole distance. It was formerly the practice of Engineers to compare different lines of railway by conceding a given amount of rise and fall as equivalent to a mile of distance. This is not correct practice ; the profile of the line and the direction and amount of tonnage, or, in other words, the maximum resistances and their distribution over the line, are the elements to determine questions of relative economy of operation ; the rise and fall affect the question very slightly. If the maximum...
Page 114 - ... the locating engineer has but the one end before him to justify his existence as such — to get the most value for a dollar which nature permits ; and but one failure to fear — that he will not do so. Except as his work necessarily involves the preliminary design of constructive details, he has no lives to save or imperil ; and the young engineer cannot too early nor too forcibly have it impressed upon his mind that it takes no skill worth speaking of to do such work after a fashion, unless...
Page 114 - His true function and excuse for being as an engineer, as distinguished from a skilled workman, begins and ends in comprehending and striking a just balance between topographical possibilities, first cost, and future revenue and operating expenses.
Page 143 - ... operation ; the rise and fall affect the question very slightly. If the maximum resistances can be concentrated at one point and overcome at once with the aid of assistant engines, while lighter gradients in favor of the direction of the tonnage prevail on all the rest of the route, the line will be operated cheaply, but if the maximum resistances are scattered over the whole line at intervals more or less remote, the operation will be expensive.
Page 141 - The route of best grades and alignment should always be first projected, working back to the final and most economical route. Working in the reverse order usually results In Inferior location. The possibility of obtaining a very good line should not preclude the search for a better one; the greatest and most costly location errors occur most frequently In prairie regions. Valley locations are usually projected from "point to point...
Page 114 - meddling and muddling," after the manner of their kind, the operating expenses from bad railway location come by a gentle but unceasing ooze from every pore which attracts no attention, albeit resulting in a loss vastly larger than any possible loss from bad construction...
Page 70 - York attempted to combat modern business methods by passing a law that no corporation designed to navigate any of the canals of the State shall have a capital stock exceeding $50,000.
Page 74 - Commission may decide that it is in the public interest as well as in the interest of the private claimants that a lease be adopted.
Page 66 - Such has been the progress of railway development that, if we had a canal to-day from Lake Erie through the Ohio Valley to Beaver, free of toll, we could not afford to put boats on it. It is cheaper to-day to transfer the ore to 50-ton cars, and bring it to our works at Pittsburg over our railway, than it would be to bring it by canal.

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