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The Tyneside colliery rail-way was, in fact, widely adopted; though it underwent many improvements long before there was any suggestion of operating the new form of traction by means of locomotives.

The first improvement on the original wooden rail pegged on to the sleepers was the fastening on it of another rail, in order that this could be removed, when worn down, without interfering with the sleepers. This arrangement was known as the “double way”; and Nicholas Wood says of it: “The double rail, by increasing the height of the surface whereon the 南海桑拿按摩论坛 carriage travelled, allowed the inside of the road to be filled up with ashes or stone to the under side of the upper rail, and consequently above the level of the sleepers, which thus secured them from the action of the feet of the horses.” He adds that on the first introduction of the double way the under rail was of oak, and afterwards of fir, mostly six feet long, and reaching across three sleepers, and was about five inches broad on the surface by four or five inches in depth. The upper rail was of the same dimensions and almost always made of beech or plane tree.

The next improvement was the nailing of thin strips, or “plates,” of wrought iron on to the double rail wherever there was a steep descent or a considerable curve, thus diminishing the friction. These “plates” were about two inches wide and half an inch thick, 佛山桑拿天堂网 and they were fastened on to the wooden rails with ordinary nails. They constituted the first step towards the conversion of wooden rail-ways into an iron road, and Nicholas Wood thinks it very likely that the diminution of friction resulting from their use may have suggested the substitution of iron rails for wooden ones.

Cast-iron rails began to come into use about 1767. Their brittleness was, at first, found to be a great disadvantage; but this defect was subsequently overcome, to a certain extent, by the use of smaller waggons, which allowed of a better distribution of weight over the rail. Then in or about {204}1776 “plates” or “rails” (the two expressions seem to have been used somewhat indiscriminately) were cast with an inner flange, from two to three inches high, so that waggons with ordinary wheels could be taken 佛山桑拿网论坛 upon them and be kept on the plate, or rail, by means of this flange.

John Curr, manager of the Duke of Norfolk’s collieries, near Sheffield, who claimed to have invented these flanged “plates,” describes them in his “Coal Viewer and Engine Builder’s Practical Companion” (1797), as being six feet long, three inches broad, half an inch thick, from 47 lbs. to 50 lbs. in weight, and provided with nail holes for fastening them direct on to oak sleepers. Lines so constructed became known as “plate-ways,” “tram-ways,” or, alternatively, “dram-ways.”

The derivation of the words tram and tramway has given rise to a certain amount of discussion from time to time, and the

fallacy that they come from the name of Benjamin Outram, of the Ripley iron-works, Derbyshire, who, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, advocated the 南海佛山桑拿体验 flanged-plate system of rail-way, has been especially favoured. It was, however, merely a coincidence that “tram” formed part of his name, and this popular theory here in question is quite unfounded.

The real origin of “tram” is indicated, rather, by the following list of possible derivations, which I take from Skeat’s “Etymological Dictionary”:—

Swedish: Tromm, trumm, a log, or the stock of a tree; also a summer sledge.

Middle Swedish: Tr?m, trum, a piece of a large tree cut up into logs.

Norwegian: Tram, a door-step (of wood). Traam, a frame.

Low German: Traam, a balk or beam; especially one of the handles of a wheel-barrow.

Old High German: Drām, trām, a


Thus in its original signification the word tram, or its equivalent, was applied either to a log of wood or to certain specified objects made of wood.

The word itself 佛山桑拿按摩感受 was in use in this country as far back as the middle of the sixteenth century, since on August 4, 1555, a certain Ambrose Middleton, of Skirwith, Cumberland (as recorded in the Surtees Society “Publications,” vol. xxxviii., {205}page 37, note), made a will in which he left “to the amendinge of the highwaye or tram, from the weste ende of Bridgegait, in Barnard Castle, 20s.” There is no reason to doubt that the “highwaye or tram” here referred to was a road across which logs of wood had been laid, the name “tram” being applied thereto by reason of its aforesaid original signification. It is, further, easy to understand how, when the pioneer rail-ways were made entirely of wood, the word tram-way should, for that reason, still be applied to them. Just, also, as “tram” had already passed from a log of wood to a wooden sledge 佛山桑拿网论坛 or to a wheelbarrow handle, so it was given by pitmen in the north of England to the small waggon in which coal was pushed or drawn along in the workings.

When “plates” were nailed on to the wooden rails of the early rail-ways the use of the word tram-way may still have been regarded as appropriate; it was retained for the plates or rails provided with a flange, and lines constructed with flanged plates or rails were, in turn, called plate-ways, tram-ways, or dram-ways to distinguish them from other ways or roads made with rails having no flange.

In course of time the wooden rails which had been the original justification for the use of the word or prefix “tram” disappeared, and even the flanged rails were to be met with only on canal or colliery lines; but “tramway”—now a complete misnomer—is the name still given in this country to what in the United States are more accurately 南海大沥桑拿 known as street railways.

Of the vast number of people in the United Kingdom who daily use the word tramway, or speak of “going by tram,” few, probably, realise how they are thus recalling the days alike of log-roads and of those rail-ways of wood which were the pioneers of the iron roads of to-day.

The designation, also, of “platelayer” was originally applied to the men employed to lay the “plates” of which I have spoken; but although workers on the permanent way are now, surely, rail-layers rather than plate-layers, they are still known by the original name.

The system of flanged plates, or rails, was widely adopted; but when, in 1785, it was proposed to build a 3-mile plate-way, or tram-way, of this type between Loughborough and the Nanpantan collieries, the commissioners of a turnpike {206}road it was necessary to cross objected, on the ground that the raised 佛山夜生活论坛飞机网 flange would be dangerous to traffic passing along the road. Following on these objections, William Jessop, the engineer of the proposed line, decided, in 1788, to abandon flanged plates and flat wheels, and to substitute for them flat rails and flanged wheels.[28] He proceeded to cast some “edge-rails” which overcame the scruples of the road commissioners, and the Loughborough and Nanpantan rail-way was opened in 1789, being the first having iron rails with a flat surface, on the “edge” of which wheels with a flange on their inner side were run. The plate, or tram, system of flanged rails still had many advocates, and for a time there was much controversy as to the respective merits of the two systems; but the principle introduced by Jessop was eventually adopted for railways in general, and became one of the most important of the developments that rendered possible the attainment of high speeds in rail transport. “The substitution of the flanged wheel for the flanged plate was,” said Mr. James Brunlees, C.E., in his presidential address in the Mechanical Science Section at the 1883 meeting of the British Association, “an organic change which has been the forerunner of the great results accomplished in modern travelling by railway.”

For some thirty years after Jessop’s improvement, the rails, of whichever kind, were still made of cast-iron, wrought-iron rails, tried at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1805, not coming into general use until about 1820, when John Birkenshaw, of the Bedlington iron-works, invented an efficient and economical method of rolling iron bars suitable for use as railway lines.[29] By 1785 iron rails, even though only cast-iron rails, had widely taken the place of the wooden rails which had then been in use for over a hundred years.

The substitution, from about 1767, of iron rails—even though they were only cast-iron rails—for wooden ones became the great event in the development of railways at this period, and gave the newer lines their distinguishing feature as compared with their predecessors. Each fresh line made took the credit of being an “iron rail-way”; and not only did that designation remain in vogue in this country for several decades but it fixed, also, the names of the railway systems in various Continental countries, as shown by the term “Chemin de Fer” in France and Belgium, “Eisenbahn” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; “Strada ferrata” in Italy, and “Ferrocarril” in Spain (the English equivalent in each instance being “Iron Road”), and by the name of Holland Iron Railway Company (“Hollandsche Yzeren Spoorvegs-maatschappy”) by which one of the oldest of the railway companies in Holland—where it was founded in 1837—is still known.[30]

One factor in the preference shown for iron rails over wooden ones was the consideration of cost. Alluding to the wooden railways of Durham, in his “General View” of the agriculture of that county, drawn up for the Board of Agriculture in 1810, John Bailey, of Chillingham, says: “Of late years, on account of the high price of wood, iron railways have been substituted.” With an increase in the price of timber, owing to the greater scarcity thereof, as the available supplies in the southern counties became more depleted, the time may well have come when, apart from other considerations, it was found cheaper in the north to make cast-iron rails than to import wooden ones. The need for importing so much timber was further diminished, from about 1739, by the substitution, in many instances, of blocks of stone for {208}the wooden sleepers previously used, the iron being either spiked to wooden plugs inserted in holes made in the stones or else fastened by wooden pins into cast-iron “pedestals,” as John Bailey calls them, fixed in the stones.

Wooden rails did not, however, entirely and immediately give way to iron rails. On the contrary, the old system was so far maintained that, according to “The Industrial Resources of the Tyne,” wooden railways could still be found on the collieries in that district as late as 1860.

Among the advantages derived from the substitution of iron rails for wooden rails was the fact that a horse could draw, on the level, heavier loads than before. On the other hand, the heavier the load the greater was the danger in taking the waggons down hill-sides with only a wooden brake to check their speed; and this danger was increased to an even greater degree when the use of iron rails involved the abandonment of the wooden wheels which had hitherto been retained at the back of the waggons in order that the brake should act more effectively. Still further improvements thus became necessary, and these first took the form of inclined planes on which the law of gravity was employed, loaded waggons raising empty ones, or having their own descent regulated, by means of a rope passing round a wheel at the top of the incline. Later on stationary engines and chains were substituted for the wheel and the rope, horses then being employed on the level only.

Bailey says on this point: “Waggon ways have generally been so contrived that the ascents were not greater than a single horse could draw a waggon up them; but some cases have happened lately where it required more than one horse, and steam engines have been substituted for horses for drawing waggons up these ascents. At Urpeth waggon way five or six waggons are drawn up at one ascent, by a steam engine placed at the top.”

Here, then, we have another stage in the process of evolution that was going on. The stationary engine at the top of an incline drawing up, or regulating the descent of, heavier loads, on iron rails, was the first employment on railways of that steam power which was afterwards to develop into the locomotive capable to-day of taking heavy trains at a speed of a mile a minute. In those early days, however, speed was {209}not regarded as a matter of any importance. Colliery managers were quite satisfied with a steady three miles an hour.

Although the general conditions of the pioneer railways were, apparently, so primitive, some of the lines were more ambitious and more costly than might, at first, be supposed. Among them were lines from five to ten miles in extent which served the double purpose of (1) enabling collieries in, for example, the Hinterland of the Tyne to benefit from the ever-expanding trade in coal; and (2) providing them with the means of discharging direct into the colliers below Newcastle bridge, thus saving the preliminary transport in, and transshipment from, the coal barges on the river. In these five- or ten-mile distances there were often considerable declivities to overcome, in order that the ideal of a gradual descent should be secured, and the cuttings, embankments, bridges and other works thus carried out were often closely akin to much of the railway construction with which we are familiar to-day. Thus Dr. Stukeley, in his “Itinerarium Curiosum,” says in describing the visit he paid to the Tanfield Collieries, Durham, in 1725:—

“We saw Col. Lyddal’s coal-works at Tanfield, where he carries the road over valleys filled with earth, 100 foot high, 300 foot broad at bottom: other valleys as large have a stone bridge laid across:[31] in other places hills are cut through for half a mile together; and in this manner a road is made, and frames of timber laid, for five miles to the river-side.”

Arthur Young, also, who visited the Newcastle-on-Tyne district in 1768, says in his “Six Months Tour through the North of England”: “The coal waggon roads from the pits to the water are great works carried over all sorts of inequalities of ground so far as the distance of nine or ten miles.”

The staiths at the river end of the Tyne railways are described in the “Commercial and Agricultural Magazine” as “solid buildings, two stories high; into the upper story the {210}waggon-way enters, and a spout projecting over the river shoots the coals into the keels, or a trap-door drops the coals into the lower story, whence they must be shovelled into the keels afterwards.”

John Francis expresses the opinion, in his “History of the English Railway” (1851), that probably by 1750 there was scarcely an important colliery that had not its own railway. Such lines as these, however, were of a private character, serving the interests only of the companies or the individuals making them, without offering transport facilities to other traders in return for tolls, and requiring no Act of Parliament so long as they retained this character, did not require to cross public roads, and could be constructed by agreement among the landowners concerned. The more important development came when the canal companies themselves desired to supplement their canals by railways which anyone paying the stipulated tolls could use in connection with canal transport. Under these conditions the companies had to seek for further powers from Parliament, and this they began to do about the middle of the eighteenth century.

The Trent and Mersey Canal Act of 1776, for example, authorised the construction of a “rail-way” from the canal to the Froghall quarries, a distance of three and a half miles.[32] In 1802 the same company obtained authority to construct three “railways” extending from their canal in various directions. The preamble of the Act (42 Geo. III. c. 25) recited that the lines would be of “great advantage to the extensive manufactories of earthenware … and of public utility,” and the Act accordingly sanctioned the lines “for the passage of waggons and carriages of forms and constructions, and with burthens suitable to such railways, to be approved by the company,” at rates duly specified. These various railways, together with the Trent and Mersey Canal itself, were, in 1846, taken over by the North Staffordshire Railway Company, whose general manager, Mr W. D. Phillipps, informs me that portions of two of them are still in daily use. They are laid with cast-iron tram plates, with flanges to keep the wheels in place, and ordinary waggons {211}and carts use them to get from the canal basin to the high road, a few hundred yards away, the same rate of toll being charged as on the canal. Mr Phillipps further says: “Our Froghall tramway rises 400 feet from the level of the canal to the quarry, passing by means of a tunnel through an intermediate hill, and it is worked entirely by gravitation, there being four inclined planes of various lengths and inclinations. The gauge is 3 feet 6 inches. It is practically the same as when laid down over 100 years ago. We convey over it nearly 500,000 tons of limestone annually, and I find it a cheap and expeditious mode of conveyance.”

I would call special attention to these details because it was, no doubt, the fact that ordinary road carts, with flat-edged wheels, could be taken along the flanged plates of the early railways, and were so taken under authority of the Acts of Parliament here in question, that originally established the idea both of a common user of the railways by traders employing their own vehicles upon them and of competition being thus ensured between different carriers. The pioneer public railways, provided as accessories to canal transport, were, indeed, looked upon as simply a variation, in principle, of the ordinary turnpike road. They were roads furnished with rails, and available for use, on payment of the authorised tolls, by anyone whose cart-wheels were the right distance apart.

The position in this respect was entirely changed when the system of railway operation came to be definitely fixed on the principle of edge-rails and flanged wheels, with locomotives in place of horses; yet the legislation immediately following the spread of railways on this vastly different basis was still determined, as regarded their use by the public, by the precedent originally established under the conditions here narrated.

While thus operated on the toll principle of a turnpike road—the pioneer “railway stations” being themselves simply the equivalent of toll-houses—the early railways were all associated with canal or river transport. Robert Fulton says in his “Treatise on the Improvement of Canal Navigation” (1796) that “Rail-roads have hitherto been considered as a medium between lock-canals and cartage, in consequence of the expence of extending the canal to the {212}particular works in its neighbourhood”; and, in the course of a detailed argument in favour of small boats, of from two to five tons burden, in preference to the unduly large ones—as he considered them—then in vogue, he adds: “Rail-ways of one mile or thereabouts will, no doubt, be frequently necessary, where it may be difficult to find water at the extremity, or when the trade from the works is not sufficient to pay the expence of machinery,[33] and, its extent being one mile, can be of little importance to the country.”

That Parliament itself, at this time, looked upon railways only as accessories to canals is shown by a reference to the “House of Commons Journals,” where, under date June 19, 1799, it is reported that a Committee appointed, on the 10th of the same month, “to consider the expediency of requiring notices to be given of an intended application to Parliament for leave to bring in a Bill for the making of Ways or Roads usually called Railways or Dram Roads, or for the renewal or alteration of an Act passed for that purpose,” had adopted the following resolution: “That it is the opinion of this Committee, That the Standing Orders of the House of the 7th of May, 1794, relating to Bills for making Navigable Canals, Aqueducts and the Navigation of Rivers, or for altering any Act of Parliament for any or either of those purposes, be extended to Bills for making any Ways or Roads, commonly called Railways or Dram Roads, except so much of the said Standing Orders as requires,” etc. The resolution was agreed to by the House on the 25th of the same month.

Towards the close of the century it became customary for canal companies applying to Parliament for powers, or extensions of existing powers, to seek for authority to make railways, waggon ways or stone roads in connection with their canals; and these they were generally authorised to lay down to any existing or future mines, quarries, furnaces, forges or other works within a distance of, at first four, subsequently eight, miles of such canal. They were, also, authorised to construct any bridges necessary for giving access to the canal. If, after being asked to make a railway, waggon road or bridge, under these conditions, the canal company refused so to do, the person or persons concerned {213}could carry out the work at his or their own cost and charges, without the consent of the owner of the lands, rivers, brooks or water-courses it might be necessary to cross, though subject to the payment to them of compensation under conditions analogous to those in force in regard to the construction of canals. One Act of this type, the Aberdare Canal Act, 1793, goes on to say: “Every such rail way or waggon road and bridge … shall … be publick and open to all persons for the conveyance of any minerals, goods, wares, merchandizes and things, in waggons and other carriages,” of a specified construction, “and for the passage of horses, cows and other meat cattle, on payment to the person or persons at whose charge and expense such rail way or waggon road shall have been made or erected” of the same rates as would be payable to the canal company under like conditions.

It was in South Wales, even more than on the Tyne, that the early railways eventually underwent their greatest development. In “Illustrations of the Origin and Progress of Rail and Tram Roads and Steam Carriages or Loco-motive Engines” (1824), by T. G. Cumming, Surveyor, Denbigh, we read:—

“As late as the year 1790 there was scarcely a single rail-way in all South Wales, whilst in the year 1812 the rail-ways, in a finished state, connected with canals, collieries, iron and copper works, &c., in the counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan and Carmarthen alone extended to upwards of one hundred and fifty miles in length, exclusive of a very considerable extent within the mines themselves, of which one company at Merthyr Tydvil possessed upwards of thirty miles underground connected with the stupendous iron works at that place; and so rapid has been the increase of rail-ways in South Wales of late years that at the present 佛山桑拿论坛q群 period they exceed four hundred miles, exclusive of about one hundred miles underground.”

The whole of these lines were on the tram-plate, or flanged-rail, principle, while solid blocks of stone were, in Wales, generally substituted for wooden sleepers. Cumming further says:—