Chambers' Journal complains that railway fares are with few exceptions higher in England than in any other country, and argues therefrom that English people ought to get better accommodation than is afforded in other countries. It asserts, however, that such is not the case, and to make good its assertion, facts are given in relation to royal and luxurious railway carriages, luncheon carriages, sleeping cars, etc., etc., used in various parts of the world, some of which will int er-est our readers. " The most right-royal production in the world in this way is the imperial train of France. It may be that each of the great French companies has a similar train of its own; but at any rate the one which is selected as an exampl e is on the Paris and Orleans line —the highway. to Biarritz. It is a veritable train, not merely one carriage in a train. First, after the enoine and tender, comes a luggage-carriage—not an uninhabitable van, but a structure which, besides ordinary luggage, contains pantry arrangents for refreshments, and accommodation for some of the company's and imperial servants. Next is a carriage adapted as a dining-room—or at least as a refreshment room—with a center table, arm-chairs, and hinged seats ; and when, at night, the seats are drawn away from the wall, they fall back so as to form bed steads for the attendants. Third in the list stands an open or platform carriage which may be opened or closed at the sides at pleasure, and used either as an open-air-look-out or as a refreshment room. Then comes the grand carriage,. the imperial saloon, with a retiring room attached, and doors at the sides and ends. All thai luxury can do is here done in the provision of couches, arm-chairs, folding-chairs. movable chairs, small tables and stands, curtains, wire-gauze blinds to exclude dust when the windo ws are open, a time-piece, pendent lamps, and mirrors. The fifth is a sleeping-carriage, divided off into seven distinct compartments ; these comprise a sleeping-chamber or bedroom, two dressing rooms, two rooms for the empress' ladies, one for the emperor's valet, and a retiring room. The sleeping chamber contains two beds, on opposite sides of a compartment nine feet' wide. Next to the sanctum of the imperial papa and mamma is a carriage for the Prince Imperial, with numerous snuggeries for sleeping, dressing, and attendants. Lastly, there is a luggage carriage the counterpart of the one at the head of the train. All the carriages have doors at the ends, and platforms which make a convenient gangway from carriage to carriage ; and there are electric bells from the imperial saloon to all the other carriages and to the engine-driver and guards. "The Czar of all the Russias should by rights have everything as grand as the Emperor of the French ; but instead of an imperial train, he has only an imperial carriage. Such a carriage, however—no less than eighty-five feet long ! The saloon for the emperor and empress, in the center of the carriage, has all the luxuries which curtains and carpets, sofas and settees, timepieces and chandeliers. can give it ; the emperor's study is a li ttle more like a gentleman's own room, while the empress' boudoir is all that a boudoir should be ; and beyond that are rooms for attendants—gentlemen next to the emperor's study, ladies next to the empress' boudoir— with all the knick-knackeries and comforts to make a journey go smoothly. As this carriage is made for comparatively short lines of railway near St. Petersburg, there is no provision for sleeping or night-j o urneys." Our American sleeping car system comes in for a good deal of Well-merited praise, ispecially mentioning the celebrated sleeping car, Omaha, whfch cost $28,000, and which " carries luxury to the extent 0 a small organ in the milildle of the chief saloon ; whereby a passenger, whether or not he has rings on his fingers or bells on his toes, can at least have muRic wherever he goes." From these extremes of northern luxury, the writer plunges us suddenly into East Indian heat, dust, and squalor, introducing us to the two storied cars, which are in use on the Bombay and Central India Railway ; constructed to hold a hundred and twen ty passengers each—seventy on the lower story, and fifty on the upper. As nineteen out of every t wenty railway passengers in India are third class (they would travel fourth, fifth, or any other class if cheapness could be thereby obtained), these two-storied carriages are crammed with Hindus of all castes (for the Brahmin and the Rajpoot may, be poor as well as the Pariah), who squat on their hams as a compact mass of humanity ; seeing that some of the carriages, like the third class originally used on our Greenwich line, are without seats. On the western and eastern railways of France (Paris to Brest, and Paris'to Strasbourg), two-storied carriages are used on some of the branches, where slow speed would render loftiness possible without danger. Some of these carriages are composite, the lower story having first and second class compartments, and the upper third cjass ; some are third class throughout, the upper having open sides, and the lower closed with windows and glazed panels. These carriages accommodate about eighty passengers each. They are nearly fourteen feet in hight by nine broad, and would therefore be unavailable under low-erown ed arches and bridges."
This article was originally published with the title "Railway Carriages in Different Parts of the World" in Scientific American 21, 25, 387 (December 1869)