The "Charleston Mercury" has some excellent remarks about railway curves, and points out the danger and absurdity of constructing so many curves upon Bomeiam uu ". It says :— "In the low and middle country of the South these mischievous meanderings of railroads are quite inexcusable. They are never necessary, and in their effects, they form one of the most fruitful sources of expense in the working of the roads. They lengthen the running distance, and thus cause a loss of time to every train. They increase this loss by checking speed. The curved track wears out much faster, and it tears and wrenches the rolling stock. Add to this that every abrupt curve, by concealing the track, becomes a trap for the trains, and will, in all probability, in the ordinary period of a charter, cost the compariy three times as much in repairs and accidents, as was saved in the first construction. We have felt that, at this time, when so many railroads are in progress in our own and the neighboring States, this point couhi not be too strongly pressed on the attention of their managers. Railroads are not temporary expedients—they are meant for the use of all future generations, and are expected to be the most enduring, as well as the grandest monuments of the enterprize and forecast ot our age. Let them be built in a manner worthy of their destined office, as the great arterial system of the industrial world,—the bond ot union, and. the beneficent minister to . the wants of the races of men." These remarks we hope will not be lost i upon our Southern and Western railroad companies. We have a country in which straight ' and level railroads can be built at less ex- ( pense than they can in any other country on the lace of this globe. Air lines, level and double track railroads, and no others should be built.
This article was originally published with the title "Railway Curves" in Scientific American 8, 31, 248 (April 1853)