From the Evening Post. The importance of the telegraph in connection with railways, was recognized many years ago; but the first practical application of telegraphic signals in moving trains was made on the Erie line in 1850. Previous to that tune, locomotive eUggineers and conductors were distrustful. and there are sevei'al instarn'os on record of their positive refusal to obey telegraphic orders, especially wiien their trains were directed to proceed beyond stations, to meet and pass trains going in opposite directions, except in cases where siFh orders were plainly expressed in printed orders upon their regular timetables. In 1850, how ever, when the Erie road had but a single track between Piermont and Elmira, it was plainly demonstrated to the suporiutendont (the late Charles Miuot) that the telegraph would be a great assistance to the road, and it became plainly evident that the telegraphic service must eventuaHj be adopted upon all main trunk lines. When the first telegraphic message was sent over tli e Erie w 1res a train filled with western bound passengers was lying at Turner's Station, awaiting the arrival of an eastern-bound train, which, by the time-table, should meet and pass at that point ; but owing to an accident two hundred miles west, it could not possibly arrive until five or six hours later. Mr. Minot was a passenger upon the train lying at Turner's. He immediately decided to test the accuracy of the telegraph, and make a beginning of the plan of ordering trains to proceed to points further in advance, and not further delay the stationary train when the track was known to be clear as far as Port Jervis, a distance of one Imndrod and fifty miles further west. Orders were accordingly sent over the wire to the station agent at Port Jervis to hold all easterly-bound trains until the arrivai of the western train. This order was given in order to make all safe, and prevent a collision in case the former should arrive at Port Jervis before the latter. An answer was immediately given by the station agent, announcing that he fully understood the order and would do as di-rectod. All appeared safe, and the engmeer was ordered to start west; hut, to the astonishment of Mr. Minot, he positively refused to move the train from Turner's upon any such arrangement. Mr. Minot immediately mounted the locomotive, pulled out the ttirottle valve and ran the train himself, assisted by the fireman, and reached Port Jervis according to programme. The ice was broken, and since that time the telegraph has been acknowledged aa positive necessity, on all long railroacl lines in this country. The form of giving the necessary directions, however, has been somewhat changed ; and now the con ductsrs and engineers of each train who receive telegraphic directions are telegraphed the name of the particular point at which they are to meet, and answ'lrs are required from them to ascertain wliether they understood ordars, before any movement is made. The following is the form of message required to be sent and received : By telegraph from-station to conductor and engineer : You will run to---ion regardless of train number -. yi. -Dispatches. The numeral abbreviation means " How do )0u understand?" The answer to this dispatch must read as follows : 82. (I understand I am to) run to-atsAion regardless of train number-. -Engineer. Conductor. Upon receiving the announcement from the receiving operator that al! is right, the trains are started without further orders. All fipecial orders for the movements of trains are required to be communk.ated in writing, and extraordinary precautions are taken against the possibility of mijunderstanding directions. Not more than one person on a division at the same time has power to issue train orders. The telegraph operator is required to read the messages aloud, in the hearing of the conductor and engineer addressed. ffrains when in motion must approach stopping places in the supposition that another train is there to be met. Whenever a passenger train receives oixhjrs to meet and pass a freight train at a specific station, the conductor must not leave the depot until notice is received from the conductor that his train is safe upon the side track, out of the way. No orders are given to move a slow train in the same direction, on the time, and ahead of a faster train, unless it has started—if a passenger tmin—at least ten minutes ; and if freight, not less than twenty-five minutes in advance of the time the faster train may be reasonably expected to arrive at the station from which the slow train is first started. In cases whore a slow train is moved by telegraph the following form of order is given to the conductra of said train : To- G(iMctor and -'E/.q'wee'; You will run ahead of train No. —, to-station, con ditioned as follows: Should you from any cause be unable to make your ru riiiinn time, you must as soon as you discover such to be the case leave your flagman to warn the following train in advance of which you are running, and report your arrival at the next telegraph station, 31. In case of an accident where orders cannot he obtained hy telegraph, the station agent has power to stop trains. The speed of live-stock and freight trains is restricted to eighteen miles an hour ; and extra freight trains, commonly called " wild cats," which have no tinici upon the regular table, are not permitted to attain a higher rate of speed than fifteen. Coal trains' time average twelve miles an hour. The latter cars being very light, cannot be kept upon the ftack at a high rate of speed. Many of these oNers and forms were original with Col. D. C. McCullum, formerly superintendent of the Erie road, and durin g the late war were in general use while he was. military superintendent of all the railroads in the United States. Vast armies were moved in this way in a very successful manner. A chronometer in the principal depot is the standard time of the road, and the time is telegraphed to all stations at precisely twelve o'clock each day. Fresh engines and men are attached to all through trains at the end of each division. The salaries of division superintendents average $5,000 a year ; conductors and engineers, $100 a month ; of baggage masters, $75 a, month ; hrakemen, $1-75 a day ; telegraphers, from $60 to $125 a month ; station agnnts, from $500 to $2,000 a year. The Hartford Steam Boller Inspection and Insurance Company. This Company makes the following report of inspections for the month of October : During the month 540 visits of inspection have been made; 817 boilers examined, 715 externally and 156 internally; while 73 have been tested by hydrostatic pressure. The number of defects in all discovered are 280, of which 33 are regarded as especially dangerous. These defects in detail are as follows: Furnaces out of shape, 11 ; fractures in all, 19— 3 dangerous. One of our inspectors remarks as follows on fractures which he discovered : In the fracture marked dangerous, a rip seam occurred 36 inches long, which 1 attribute to three causes ; first, defect in plate at rivet seam ; second, blowing water out of boiler while hot; and third, bridge wall too high, allowing fire to concentrate too much at one point. The blowing out of boilers while hot, and especially filling vrp directly with cold water, are not unfrequently attended serious consequences. The uneq nal contraction strains j oints, loosens tubes and fiues, preparing the way for leaks, which, in time, are the occasion of no little trouble and danger. Another inspector finds the upper tube sheet of an upright boiler badly fractured, and the boiler generally so badly strained as to he unfit for use, and hardly worth repairing. Burned plates, 18—2 dangerous ; new crown sheets were necessary ; blistered plates, 43—1 dangerous. A blister was found on a crown sheet some two feet long and four inches wide, taking away nearly half the thickness of plate. Blisters are occasioned by a want of homogeneity in the iron. From various causes sheets become laminated in rolling, and the surface over the fire receiving the greatest heat, expands most, and bulges down. Sometimes these blisters are three, four, and even six-leaved. All such defects should be carefully examined, and the blisters trimmed off by an expert. If the portioa of the plate remaining is sund, and the plato has been effected hut little, it may not be daDgerr'iis ; if. how evei, the plate is considei-ally reduced in thickm:S3, it Bhould be repaired at once. Cases of internal corrosion and gfooving, 6 ; extei-nal corrosion, 23—4 dangerous; incrustation and gc;:de, 55—3 dangerous; water gages out of order, 22—1 dangerous. While water gages are very convenknt boiler appliances, they should not be depended on to the exclusion of gaye cocis. I The first thing- an engineer should do in the morning is to try his gage cacks, then proceed to unoank and start up hia fires. Blow apparatus out of order, 3—1 dangerous ; safet.y valves overloaded and inoperative, 29—5 dangerous; five of these were in such bad condition that they liad to be taken entirely off, and the valve " backed out " with a bor fitted for that purpose. We have frequently referred to the neglect of safety valves. They should be raised carefully ewTy day to see that they arc in good working order. Pressure gages out of order, 52, varying from 13 to + 2O ; improper staying, 3—a11 dangerous ; boilers condemned aa tmsafe and beyond repair, 1. The Doom of the Maorie,,". " Aa the Pakelia fly hag driven out the Maori fiy ; As the Pal;:eha grass has killed the Maori gr&sa ; As the Pakelia rat has slain the Manri rat ; Ae the Pakeha clover haR st&rved the Maori fera So will the Pakeha. destroy the MaorL" These mournful words of a well-known Maori soug, are-considered l)oth by the Maories thomselves, and by the Pake-has, or European settlers. as prophetic of the fate tt) which the native race of New Zf;aland is doomed. We trust tho prophecy will fail in its fulfillment. We are well aware that in giving expression to our hope in regard to tt-.is matter, we are running counter to the ideas entertained hy the majority of men at the present day—a majority composed of tho thmk-ing and the untliinking alike, Even jut(slligi;nt travclcre, like Mr. Wentworth DUke, regard tlle ftilfillment of the prophecy as certain. "Nature's woi-t in New Zealand," he says, "is not the same as tha,t which she is (niiukly doing in North America, in Tasmania, in Qtieonsland. It is not merely that a hunting and fighting people is being roplac.'rd by an agricultural and pastoral people, and must farm or die. The Maori does farm ; Maori chiefs own villages, build Louses which they let to European settlers. We have Jiere Maori sheep-farmers, Maori ship owners, Maori mechanics, Maoi soldiers, Maori rough-riders, Maori sailors, and even Maori traders. There is nothing which the average Englishman can do which the average Maori cannot be taught to do as cheaply and as well. Nevertheless the race ds out. The Indian dies hecause he cannot farm ; the Maori farms and dies." As a ere matter of fact, destruction has no doubt gone on to such an extent as to threaten extinction ; hut IB the utter extinction, therefore, inevitable ; if SO, is it the result of a divine law, and how is it such a result ? That is the question we ask. Now, as it must surely be admitted that the extinetion of any race involves a wrong, we are compelled to inquire if there be no remedy applicable before the process of wrong has reached its consummation ? The ruin of races which have perished aforetime, has been owing to the unrestricted operation of what, in Bible language, is called the law of sin; in the language of civic life, vice and crime ; in the language of economists, self interest; and in that of our meoern ,StTans, the law of natural selection and struggle for csistenci\ Grant full swing to the operation of any or all of the se princjpks of. human natuie or laws of human action, and the Pakeha will, as a matter of course, crush his Maori brother, jnst as the strong beats the weak all the world over, and as the strong-have done through all ages since the day of Cain. But is there no other fbrce than that of the strong, no other piinci-ple than that of self interest, no other law than that of ,a mere selfish struggle for existence ? Is it in vain that Christianity has proclaimed a higher law of fraternity between man and man, rich and poor, between race and race, a law of justice or respect for equal rights, and above all a law of philanthropy or kindness towards the weak, the helpless, and the erring? Talk as they will of the lower races of humanity dying out by operation of .1 natural law, it would be a more scientific way of putting it to say that their destruction, whenever it does occur within the reach of Christian civilization, is owing to the v iolation, by a professedly Christian people, of the laws of Christian ethics. In a word, the superior race on coming in contact v,-ith the inferior, has repudiated not only fraternity and kindness, but common j ustice.—JlluA-trated Aastralia News.
This article was originally published with the title "How Trains are Moved by Telegraphic Signals" in Scientific American 21, 25, 391 (December 1869)