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and Hull might go by four routes. Route I (the Leeds and Liverpool) involved dealing with 4 companies: route 2 (the Rochdale) with 7: route 3 (the Huddersfield) with 9: route 4 (the Trent and Mersey) with 5.

But the main cause, according to the Committee of 1883, was the absorption of the canals by the railways. The railways owned about one-half, having bought the bulk in 1846 and made additions down to 1873, when further absorption was forbidden without the sanction of the Railway Commission. The railwayowned canals were the central links. The railways therefore had power to starve the outer parts, and it was not to their interest to develop their canals, when they could take traffic the whole way on their own road. For this situation the canal companies had mainly themselves to blame. For the railway companies were forced into buying out the canals, in order to build their lines. In this way in 1846 the Great Northern Railway and the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, overcame the opposition of the canal proprietors concerned. The canal companies sometimes had valuable way leaves and unused land. The Birmingham Canal Navigations, which served the district between Birmingham and Wolverhampton through which the London and North Western Railway proposed to build, were in this strong position; and they were persuaded to abandon the promotion of a separate railway in return for a 4% guarantee on their canal stock and a substantial holding in the stock of the London and North Western Railway. The railways sometimes acquired with the canals certain legal rights, and they were able to use these against other canals. Such were the bar and compensation tolls' exacted by the first canals for the privilege of making connections with them.

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On the whole, the canal companies did very well for themselves by selling out. The public and the independent canals paid the penalty. To these two causes, which impute blame either to the canal companies or to the railway companies, a third cause of a more general nature may be added. The majority of the coal-bearing regions of England are in hilly country. For a sharp ascent or descent very many locks are required; and this makes movement by canal slower and more expensive than in flat country. If all England had been as flat as the country around Birmingham, it would have paid somebody-the canal companies, the railway companies, or the State-to improve the canals and group them into an efficient system.

The success of the Manchester Ship Canal aroused a new interest in the old canals; and with Birmingham to the front, a Royal Commission was appointed, which reported in 1909 in

favour of unification of management and a large scheme of improvement to be pivoted on Birmingham and provide trunk line communications with the Severn, the Mersey, the Humber, and the Thames. It was realised, however, that the traffic in sight would not cover for many years the interest on the expenditure. This fact and the general uncertainty created by the arrival of motor transport prevented action both on the general plan and on that part in which Birmingham was most interested, a ship canal to the Severn. If Birmingham had a ship canal, would it still be a stronghold of Tariff Reform? It is an interesting speculation.

Canals then, like water-power, were an episode. They may, like water-power, reappear in a new form to render modern services, but of this there is little sign. Their services, however, from 1760 to 1846 were very substantial, and may be summarised thus:

(1) They valorised Great Britain's industrial hinterland, doing in particular for the heavy staples-coal, stone, salt, and iron products-what the roads did for passengers and light freight ; and they were complementary to the roads, relieving them of heavy traffic which would have injured them.

(2) They provided a cheaper form of transportation. The cost of canal carriage normally did not exceed one-half and in most cases was from one-quarter to one-third the cost of land carriage.' '1 Incidentally they were of service in transporting paupers from southern workhouses to northern factories in prerailway days.

(3) They helped to distribute population. They provided new factory sites, gave elbow-room for industrial expansion, and brought the factory workers outside the pestilential limits of old overcrowded towns.

(4) They offered a new field for the exercise of engineering talent, in building the canal works themselves-the basins, locks, and aqueducts-in building bridges over them, and in the trial of the first iron barges and steamboats upon them. Their economic tragedy was that they could not make the transition from horse to steam power. They were built when engineering was in its infancy; and the houses and factories which they attracted to their banks made any scheme of general widening insuperably dear.

1 W. T. Jackman, op. cit. I. 449.



Section 1. The Great Railway Engineers. Section 2. Technical Problems. Section 3. Purpose and Course of Construction. Section 4. Advantages conferred by Railways. Section 5. The Railways and the State. Section 6. The Challenge of Motor Transport.

Section I. The Great Railway Engineers

GEORGE STEPHENSON (1781-1848), the inventor of the railway engine, was the son of a colliery fireman in Northumberland. As a boy he drove the engine horse which wound up the colliery coals. Moving in 1804 to Killingworth, north of Newcastle, he was appointed engine-wright to the colliery in 1812, having meanwhile made himself an expert in the operation and repair of the Watt steam engines employed at the mine-head for pumping and winding. In 1814 he produced a successful locomotive engine for the conveyance of coals to the river Tyne six miles distant; and when the possibilities of steam locomotion were thus revealed, he devoted himself to the various aspects of it-to the central problem, the improvement of the engine (he patented his locomotive engine with steam blast in 1815) to engine manufacture at his Newcastle factory, which he owned in partnership with his cousin and Edward Pease of Darlington: to the manufacture of iron rails: and to the surveying and construction of railways. He was engineer to the first two steam-railways, the Stockton and Darlington opened in 1825 and the Liverpool and Manchester opened in 1830; and he persuaded the promoters of these projects to adopt the locomotive engine rather than horse traction or fixed engines. After 1830 he worked for the two districts in which his first railways were built. In the Stockton and Darlington area he constructed the line from York to Normanton, which connected the north-east coast with the Midlands, and he surveyed other lines in the service of Mr. Hudson, the railway king and organiser of the North Eastern Railway system. In the Liverpool and Manchester area he was engineer to lines which are now in the London Midland and Scottish system the Grand Junction, Manchester and Birmingham, North Midland, Birmingham and Derby, Manchester and Leeds.

Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was a true son of his great father. After serving an apprenticeship with Nicholas Wood, who was coal viewer at Killingworth and the first scientific writer on railways, he went out to South America during the mining

1 The old L. & N.W.; L. & Y.; Midland; and others.

boom of the 20's and returned in 1827 to manage his father's locomotive factory. He was engineer to the London and Birmingham Railway (1833-8), and when this railway was joined with his father's Grand Junction and Manchester and Birmingham Railways under the title of London and North Western Railway (1846) he became their consulting engineer. Euston Square, the London terminus, was thenceforward the headquarters of railway politics. With three noble bridges he crowned his life work-with the Menai Straits tubular bridge, which carried the London and North Western's traffic to Holyhead en route for Ireland; with the Newcastle Highlevel and Victoria Berwick bridges, which linked England with Scotland along the east coast; and finally with the Victoria bridge over the St. Lawrence at Montreal, constructed for the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada and opened in 1859, the year of his death.

The Stephensons were native northerners, working safely from coal outwards. Opposed to them were the Brunels, acclimatised foreigners living in the south, who exercised their genius upon railways as one among many outlets for engineering invention. M. I. Brunel, the father (1769-1849), constructed dockyards at Portsmouth (to assist him in which Henry Maudslay the London engineer constructed a complete range of machine tools) 1: steam tugs: boot machinery for Army boots: Liverpool's floating landing-stage: and, finally (1825-43), the Thames Tunnel between Wapping and Rotherhithe, which became after his death a part of the East London Railway. I. K. Brunel, the son (1806-1859), was engineer to the Great Western Railway and a builder of steamships as well as of the Great Western's broad-gauge railway. It was his ambitious task to bring the West of England into line with the North, to open up the South Wales coal valleys, and to find at Milford Haven a harbour that would rival Liverpool. He also began the beautiful Clifton Suspension bridge which joins Bristol with Clifton. But, like his father, he was too often ahead of his time; and he is remembered chiefly for his brilliant failures, for the broad gauge, which was finally abandoned, for the harbour which no ships used because it had no Manchester behind it, for the Great Eastern steamship, which was a white elephant to its owners, and for his heretical advocacy as late as 1845 of the atmospheric pressure engine in opposition to Stephenson's all-conquering steam locomotive.

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1 Cf. Macaulay on the mechanical verses of Mr. Auditor Hoole,' the ornament of the India House' (Lamb): poured them forth by thousands and tens of thousands, all as well turned, as smooth and as like each other as the blocks which have passed through Mr. Brunel's mill in the dockyard at Portsmouth.' Essays, Addison (ed. Longmans 1877), p. 705.

Two further names deserve special mention on account of the big mark they left on railway construction. Sir John Hawkshaw (1811-1891), for many years consulting engineer of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, was responsible for the Charing Cross and Cannon Street Railways with their bridges and terminal stations on the City side of the Thames, for the great Severn tunnel, 43 miles long (1887); and abroad for the Amsterdam ship canal, the first of its kind (1862).

Sir William Cubitt (1785-1861) was engineer of the line which was constructed in 1846 by the firm of Brassey (the contractors to the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada) for the Great Northern Railway of England between London and Peterborough: and also of the two lines which during the war years of 1914-18 were more heavily travelled by men of English speech than any other railways in the world-the South Eastern Railway from London to Folkestone and the Nord Railway from Boulogne to Amiens.

There are two features of general interest in British railroad construction. First, they were made bit by bit. The early railroads in the Midlands and North were built for small companies, which later amalgamated; and in constructing the longer trunk lines from London outwards it was customary to build the line by sections, the railway company having a single engineer to supervise the whole. The big mileage jobs were those undertaken by British contractors abroad. Secondly, British railroad construction was made expensive by the abundance of tunnels, bridges and embankments. This was due to the hilly nature of many of the industrial districts and the refusal of the public to run risks or allow interference with established communications. In England, therefore, it is not necessary to 'Stop: Look: Listen.'

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George Stephenson's technical contribution may be expressed thus a locomotive engine, running on edged rails laid 4 feet 81 inches apart.

(1) The Engine. Stephenson was not the first man to draw a carriage by steam power. On Christmas Eve, 1801, Richard Trevethick, a Cornishman, took a car load of passengers in a steam carriage along the ordinary highway: and after further experiments a few steam carriages appeared on the roads between 1820 and 1830, but they excited such prejudice that they had to be abandoned. Heavy tolls were laid upon them; country gentlemen, road commissioners, road trustees, farmers, coach proprietors and others who were interested in the continuance of

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