Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/875

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

surface of the street as the height of the car itself would permit; in the case of Budapest the distance is about 9 ft. This principle of construction has since been followed in the construction of the Boston subway, of the Chemin de Fer Métropolitain in Paris, and of the New York underground railway. The Paris line is built with the standard gauge of 4 ft 8½ in., but its tunnels are designedly made of such a small cross section that ordinary main line stock cannot pass through them.

EB1911 Railways - New York Rapid Transit railway.jpg

Fig. 35.—New York Rapid Transit railway, showing also the tracks and conduits of the electric surface tramway.

The New York underground railway (fig. 35) marks a still further step in advance, in that there are practically two different railways in the same structure. One pair of tracks is used for a local service with stations about one-quarter of a mile apart, following the general plan of operation in vogue on all other intra-urban railways. The other, or central, pair of tracks is for trains making stops at longer distances. Thus there is a differentiation between the long-distance traveller who desires to be carried from one extreme of the city to the other and the short-distance traveller who is going between points at a much less distance.

To sum up, there are of intra-urban railways two distinct classes: the elevated and the underground. The elevated is used where the traffic is so light as not to warrant the expensive underground construction, or where the construction of an elevated line is of no serious detriment to the adjoining property. The underground is used where the congestion of traffic is so great as to demand a railway almost regardless of cost, and where the conditions of surface traffic or of adjoining property are such as to require that the railway shall not obstruct or occupy any ground above the surface.

Underground railways are of three general types: the one of extreme depth, built by tunnelling methods, usually with the shield and without regard to the surface topography, where the stations are put at such depth as to require lifts to carry the passengers from the station platform to the street level. This type has the advantage of economy in first construction, there being the minimum amount of material to be excavated, and no interference during construction with street traffic or subsurface structures; it has, however, the disadvantage of the cost of operation of lifts at the stations. The other extreme type is the shallow construction, where the railway is brought to the minimum distance below the street level. This system has the advantage of the greatest convenience in operation, no lifts being required, since the distance from the street surface to the station platform is about 12 to 15 ft.; it has the disadvantages, however, of necessitating the tearing up of the street surface during construction, and the readjustment of sewer, water, gas and electric mains and other subsurface structures, and of having the gradients partially dependent on the surface topography. The third type is the intermediate one between those two, followed by the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District railways, in London, where the railway has an arched roof, built usually at a sufficient distance below the surface of the street to permit the other subsurface structures to lie in the ground above the crown of the arch, and where the station platforms are from 20 to 30 ft. beneath the surface of the street—a depth not sufficient to warrant the introduction of lifts, but enough to be inconvenient.

In the operation of intra-urban railways, steam locomotives, cables and electricity have severally been tried: the first having Operations.been used in the earlier examples of underground lines and in the various elevated systems in the United States. The fouling of the air that results from the steam-engine, owing to the production of carbonic acid gas and of sulphurous fumes and aqueous vapour, is well known, and its use is now practically abandoned for underground working. The cable is slow; and unless development along new lines of compressed air or some sort of chemical engine takes place, electricity will monopolize the field. Electricity is applied through a separate locomotive attached to the head of the train, or through motor carriages attached either at one end or at both ends of the train, or by putting a motor on every axle and so utilizing the whole weight of the train for traction, all the motors being under a single control at the head of the train, or at any point of the train for emergency. The distance between stations on intra-urban railways is governed by the density of local traffic and the speed desired to be maintained. As a general rule the interval varies from one-quarter to one-half mile; on the express lines of the New York underground the inter-station interval averages about 1½ m. On steam-worked lines the speed of trains is about 11 to 15 m. per hour, according to the distance between stations. Later practice takes advantage of the great increase in power that can be temporarily developed by electric motors during the period of acceleration; this, in proportion to the weight of the train to be hauled, gives results much in advance of those obtained on ordinary steam railways. Since high average speed on a line with frequent stops depends largely on rapidity of acceleration, the tendency in modern equipment is to secure as great an output of power as possible during the accelerating period, with corresponding increase in weight available for adhesion. With a steam locomotive all the power is concentrated in one machine, and therefore the weight on the drivers available for adhesion is limited. With electricity, power can be applied to as many axles in the train as desired, and so the whole weight of the train, with its load, may be utilized if necessary. Sometimes, as on the Central London railway, the acceleration of gravity is also utilized; the different stations stand, as it were, on the top of a hill, so that outgoing trains are aided at the start by having a slope to run down, while incoming ones are checked by the rising gradient they encounter.

The cost of intra-urban railways depends not only on the type of construction, but more especially upon local conditions, Cost.such as the nature of the soil, the presence of subsurface structures, like sewers, water and gas mains, electric conduits, &c.; the necessity of permanent underpinning or temporary supporting of house foundations, the cost of acquiring land passed under or over when street lines are not followed, and, in the case of elevated railways, the cost of acquiring easements of light, air and access, which the courts have held are vested in the abutting property. The cost of building an ordinary two-track elevated railway according to American practice varies from $300,000 to $400,000 a mile, exclusive of equipment, terminals or land damages. The cost of constructing the deep tubular tunnels in London, whose diameter is about 15 ft. exclusive, in like manner, of equipment, terminals or land damages, is about £170,000 to £200,000 a mile. The cost of the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District railways of London varied greatly on account of the variations in construction. The most difficult section—namely, that under Cannon Street—where the abutting buildings had to be underpinned, and a very dense traffic maintained during construction, while a network of sewers and mains was readjusted, cost at the rate of about £1,000,000 a mile. The contract price of the New York underground railway, exclusive of the incidentals above mentioned, was $35,000,000 for 21 m., of which 16 m. are underground and 5 are elevated. The most difficult portion of the road, 4½ m. of four-track line, cost $15,000,000. (W. B. P.)