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1 Western European Trains

William D. Middleton Indiana University Press ePub

Western European Trains. A Holyhead-Crewe train emerges from the ornate tunnel portal at Conwy, Wales.



THE UNITED KINGDOM WAS THE BIRTHPLACE of the railroad and brought to it such things as the world’s predominance of British standard gauge, the early technology and development of the steam locomotive, the basic formation of trains made up of locomotives and cars, train ordering, train braking, and one of the most important of all, the technology and development of the construction of the civil works that supported the railway. In these civil works were some of the most significant differences often found between British and American practice. In the British Isles, the cities and towns were well developed, and agriculture, mining, and manufacturing were already well established. Thus the British could build the new railways to high standards and could likely begin operations with good traffic from already developed resources.

In the United States, in contrast, cities and towns, commerce, and financial support were often less well developed, and the railways were forced to build to a much lower standard, just enough to run the railroad, with the expectation that when traffic was built up the roadbed and its structures could be rebuilt to better standards. And the farther west the railroads went, the more likely that this was true. A new British railway, on the other hand, would likely build its roadbed to high standards of curvature and grade; such appurtenances as culverts, tunnel portals, and the like were often masonry with decorative work of stone on brick; and longer, high bridge structures were commonly masonry. Large bridges were also built in wrought iron or steel, designed for the specific locations, and put together on the site by skilled ironworkers. New U.S. railroads were often built with the lightest iron rail that would carry the loads, and crossties were made with whatever wood could be located in the vicinity. There was little ballast employed: sometimes ashes, dirt, or none at all. Treatment of crossties was seldom seen. The favorite material for building smaller bridges was timber ties, while later wrought iron and steel members were often from a factory and assembled in a post-and-pin manner.

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Medium 9780253356963

11 - Ocean Steam: The Triumph of Technology

John H.Jr. White Indiana University Press ePub

The Triumph of Technology

THIS CHAPTER IS ONCE AGAIN ABOUT PASSENGER TRANSIT across the North Atlantic, the most heavily traveled sea lane during the Victorian era. The motive power was now steam, and Britain would replace the United States as sovereign of the sea. Steam power was readily accepted for river and lake travel in the United States after Fulton's North River boat proved herself in 1807. The Hudson River had a sizable steamer fleet by 1825. Steamers appeared on the Ohio River in 1811, and others were soon running on Lake Champlain, the Delaware River, and the Great Lakes. A congressional report on steam engines published in December 1838 stated that some eight hundred steam vessels were in operation on U.S. waterways. It would seem natural that ocean shipping would be part of this fleet, yet there was not a single vessel in such service. America's pioneer ocean steamer, the Savannah, crossed the Atlantic in 1817, but most of the trip was made by sail. It is true that the Dutch sent a small steamer to the island of Curacao off the coast of South America in 1827. Two years earlier the Enterprise steamed from London to Calcutta in 113 days. The trip was made partway by sail. Even so, popular opinion was that no steamship could possibly carry enough fuel for a 3,000-mile journey. In late 1835 an eminent technical authority of the time, Dr. Dionysius Lardner, declared in a public lecture in Liverpool that a steamship might as well attempt a voyage to the moon. An American expatriate living in England at the time of this lecture hoped to prove the learned doctor wrong.

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Medium 9781855209657

Chapter 10 Electrical

Greg Hudock Brooklands Books ePub

The vehicles covered in this manual employ an alternator with an output of either 65 or 90 amps, depending on the equipment. This equipment contains polarity sensitive components and the precautions below must be observed to avoid damage.

The checking and tensioning of the drive belt for the alternator has already been described in Section “Cooling System”, note the different arrangements. The alternator pulley is driven together with the other units with one single belt. A torn belt can be taken to the supplier, to obtain the correct belt.

A different mounting arrangement is used on the various engines.

Install in the reverse sequence to removal. The following points should be noted when alternator and bracket are refitted:

Either a Bosch or a Valeo alternator can be fitted, having an output of 60, 90 or 120 amps, depending on the engine and equipment.

We do not recommend that the alternator or control unit should be adjusted or serviced by the owner. Special equipment is required in the way of test instruments and the incorrect application of meters could result in damage to the circuits.

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Medium 9780253019066

11 Excursions and Interurbans

Simon Cordery Indiana University Press ePub

Railroads created new markets by advertising special excursion trains for vacationers. Long-distance holiday services gained in popularity as Niagara Falls, the Florida coasts, and other locales became fashionable destinations for escape-minded Illinoisans. Growth in this area did not hinder the development of locally oriented interurban railroads around the turn of the twentieth century. Usually powered by overhead electrical wires and using lightweight equipment, interurbans attracted capital and customers in the first twenty or so years of the new century by offering speedy trips between towns. Illinois was home to two of the nation’s largest interurban networks, including one audacious but unsuccessful attempt to link Chicago with St. Louis. Interurbans signaled the desire for fast, frequent, comfortable services and, ultimately, for the types of freedom and mobility automobiles would offer.

Taking a vacation of any distance in the nineteenth century involved riding a train. Railroads catered to a growing taste for travel by operating popular and inexpensive excursions, giving rise to the somewhat exaggerated saying “it was cheaper to travel than to stay at home.” Excursions—literally, to run out—provided cheap vacations for people whose horizons might otherwise remain restricted to their immediate surroundings. Group outings were commonplace and often garnered positive press coverage, serving as early tourist advertisements. An account of a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, for example, described the destination as “the most attractive point for an excursion . . . the prettiest city in the northwest,” where the visitors were treated “with great cordiality.” Methodists created camp-meeting grounds across Illinois and hired trains to get there, highlighted by the Des Plaines gathering of 1860, which attracted twenty thousand people. The CRI&P offered Illinois Oddfellows special fares to Denver between September and October 1887, for example. The Chicago & Alton sold “excursion tickets” to any station within two hundred miles of its line, offered in cooperation with nine other railroads serving Kansas City. Organizations booked round-trip journeys to special events, as with the Chicago-area teachers’ “Grand Excursion” on the Michigan Central for the 1896 National Education Association convention in Buffalo, New York. This included a stop at Niagara Halt “overlooking the grandest panorama in the country.”1

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Medium 9781574412383

“Legends of the Trail”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

LEGENDS OF THE TRAIL by Francis E. Abernethy

[A legend is a traditional prose narrative that has a historical setting and real people as characters. It deals with extraordinary happenings, even supernatural events, in a realistic way. Legends are folk history which document heroic or dramatic events of a culture’s life.—Abernethy]

The following happened in August of 1886 on the Camino

Real de los Tejas, where the Trail crosses Onion Creek southwest of Austin.

1886 was the drouthiest year in over a generation, and the wells had dried up, and the black land on Tobe Pickett’s farm had cracks in it wide enough to swallow a jackrabbit. María, who with her husband Pablo were Tobe’s hired help, walked alongside a great wide crack on her way to cut prickly pear for the hogs. As she looked into the depths of the crack, thinking to see a trapped jackrabbit, her eyes caught the gleam of old metal. A closer look revealed a crack’s-width view of a large chest with an iron chain around it.

María had found the chest of gold the Spaniards had buried on the Camino Real when they were attacked by bandits a hundred years earlier—before Spaniards became Mexicans. María marked the spot and told her husband, and they waited and planned how they would get the chest out when nobody could see them.

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