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will perform. The rates of charges in making the above calculations is, at two cents per mile for passengers and two cents per ton per mile for freight.
In prosecuting the surveys and estimates of the line between Vincennes and St. Louis the duties were much interrupted by sickness among the members of the corps, which has prevented me from submitting my report at an earlier day.
From personal examination of the country between those points, previous to an instrumental survey, I was satisfied that its undulations were so light that a road was practicable either on a right line or one deviating to suit the several towns in its immediate vicinity, and the attention of the corps was directed mainly to determining their comparative merits. The result of the surveys has confirmed the above supposition and the entire practicability of a road across Illinois between St. Louis and Vincennes, without any curve whatever, with a maximum grade of 26,40-100 feet per mile, and at a reasonable cost; while, at the same time, they indicate that the line can be deviated to conform to the principal established business places of the several counties through which it passes, (with one exception) without materially affecting its merits as a great highway.
To enable you to appreciate the merits of the several lines, I have prepared the accompanying table, marked C. with the elements of the three prominent ones so arranged as at a glance to indicate their respective degrees of quality. Upon a careful examination of which it will be seen that there is so little difference between them that the whole question rests upon the difference in length and cost.
[Table C. is omitted—it is sufficiently explained in what follows:]
To arrive at a correct judgment as to the actual value of lines to be formed, I have equated their essential differences and reduced them to a common basis, taking for that basis the straight or air line.
cost. Line via Lawrenceville, Olney, Salem, Carlyle and Canton...
2,248,162 50 Add*1-05.100 miles excess length over
air line, at $32,143 per mile. ..... 33,541 00 Add 239 deg. curvature,-946 feet at $6 26 per foot.......
2,287,644.50 Deduct 134 feet ascent saved, 2-23.100 at $32,143...
71,678, 00- 2,216,176 50 Line straight, or air line ..
...... 2,635,540 00–2,635,540 00 Line via Lawrenceville, Olney, Salem,
Carlylc, Belleville and Shænbarker
2,363,932 31 Add 5-35, 100 miles excess length
over air line, at $32,143 per mile... 171,965 00 Add 344 deg, -1,376 feet curvature at 6 28
$2,544,538 31 Deduct 176 ft. ascent saved, 1,93,200
miles at $321,143 per mile........ 94,178 00 $2,450,360 34
It will be thus seen that the first Line costs the least by $115, 770, or in equated value $234,196, which difference at once decides the question of route, provided you are governed by those principles which experience in railroad management has evolved as essential, and to which I have before referred, to wit: to occupy that ground which affords the shortest and best route, other things being equal, between its points of termini, especially in trunk lines.
It is to be regretted that the town of Belleville does not fall upon the best line, as it is a place of decided industry and enterprize, and worthy of being accommodated if not at too great a sacrifice. The line passes through a country sparsely settled, without any great natural resources other than the fertility of the soil, the products of which will be equally accomodated by either. All
In the above question, I have assumed the value of a mile of road at $32,543, a degree of curvature as four feet, and sixty feet of ascent, as a mile in length. Engineers generally equate a mile of road at $50,000. In this I have considered it two much as its grades are light.
three pass over the coal region, so that the question of location depends entirely upon other than local interests. Your line will connect the two great commercial and money capitals of the Mississippi basin ; it will, therefore, at its completion take the position of a main arterial line, and consequently should be so constructed as to afford all the advantages required by such a route.
In view of the importance of the line, I have prepared my estimates for a first class road, with banks eighteen feet wide, cuts twenty-four feet, the rails to be iron sixty-one pounds per yard, laid on cross-ties two feet apart, imbedded in gravel or clean sand twenty inches in depth, the bridges are to be of How's patent or some other equally good principle, enclosed and protected from weather and fire; the masonry of range work with rock face, and cut beds laid in cement and grouted; the culverts of substantial masonry or cast iron. The grades are regular, and conform to the general undulations of the country only. The machinery and other rolling stock, as also shops, station houses, engine houses, water stations, are ample for doing a business equal to three full passenger and three of the heaviest freight trains each way per day, which number of trains will unquestionably be required upon the completion of the line to Cincinnati.
Estimated cost of line from Vincennes through Lawrenceville, Olney, Salem, Carlyle and down Canteen Creek to Illinoistown, is as follows, including equipment, &c., &c., complete in best manner for a road equal to any in the United States, at a cost of $3,037,107 50. 2,239,439 yards excavation, at 9 $201,519 51 5,577,073 yards embankment, at 11 613,478 03
22,510 yards masonry, at... $1,00 90,040 00 15,900 yards bridge, at...... 5,00 79,500 00 1,229 feet bridge under 50
8,00 9,832 00 1,972 feet bridge over 50 feet at.....
20,00 39,460 00 800 feet tunnel, at....... 40,00 32,000 00 Total cost graduation, masonry and bridging......
$1,005,859 5+ 143,24 track, at....... 6,494 930,200 56 143,24 ballast, at............ 1,760
1,760 252,102 40 5 miles side track, at 8,255 41,275 00 42 sets switches and fixtures, at.......
60 2,520 00
Total cost tracks, ballast, &c. $1,226,097 96 1,226,097 96
18 water stations in-
500 9,000 00
$19,500 00 19,500 00 Right of way to depot-grounds
10,000 00 Ť small passenger stations....
3,500 00 Freight depot at St. Louis.... 60,000 00 Freight depot at Vincennes... 10,000 00
14 small freight depots at 800 11,200 00 Total cost of stations and depots.......
$115,200 00 115,200 00 Engine house at St. Louis....
10,000 00 Two engine houses at Central Railroad and Vincennes
12,000 00 Total cost of engine houses, shops, tools &c.........
$50,000 00 50,000 00 9 first class freight engines at9,000 81,000 00 9 first class passenger en
gines at..... ... 8,000 72,000 00 3 second class passenger
engines, at..... 7,000 21,000 00 3 turn tables, at....... 5,00 1,500 00 15 hand cars,at..
110 1,650 00 150 box cars at....
650 97,500 00 100 platform cars, at.......
530 51,000 00 24 passenger cars, at....... 2,000 48,000 00 6 baggage and mail cars, at 1,200 7,200 00 30 gravel cars, at
320 9,600 00
--For engineer's general and $390,450 00 390,450 00 incidental expenses......
30,000 00 For bridges across the Wa
bash, wire suspension,
An aggregate cost complete, of
This is my estimate of the entire cost, including equipment; but I may state that the use of from six to eight hundred thausand dollars can be dispensed with until after the road is put in operation.
The expenditures for extra rolling stock for permanent depots, ballasts, ect., may be delayed, and, if thought advisable, made out of the earnings of the road; of this, however, you are the judges. I might add also, that upon location and adjustment of the line, variations from the one herein estimated could be made and a few slight angles substituted, whereby large savings could be made in grading, and that the cost could be considerably reduced by increasing the grades—of this, however, you are also the exclusive judges.
I beg further to remark, that the characteristics of the streams which the road encounters are peculiar, and casually observed would be considered as presenting formidable barriers to its construction, yet when studied they at once assume that character which allows them to be effectually crossed without difficulty. The country is so flat, and the descent so gradual, that it is impossible for the streams to carry off the water at the breaking up of winter and during unusual falls of rain. The consequence is, that the low bottoms on either side are frequently inundated to the depth of from one to seven feet, forming immense ponds or reservoirs, which are gradually vented. These ponds are without currents, excepting where the principal depression occur in the low bottomu, consequently they are easily and safely crossed by embankments, thrown up to such a height as will prevent the water overflowing them during extreme rises : excep'ing where the main channel of the stream occurs, which must be bridged, care being taken to allow ample water way.
The American Bottom, between the Mississippi and Bluffs has nearly the same characteristics, and no danger is to be apprehended from confining the Mississippi to its legitimate channel, by the construction of an embankment accros3 it, and terminating on bloody Island. But two things are absolutely necessary, first that the bank will be built to such an elevation as will preclude the possibility of the water going over the top of it, and second, that its termination be not too far in the river, so as to contract the stream too much; the termination should be constructed of crib work filled with stone, built on piles, if necessary, to prevent its washing away. The bank, to be made perfectly se