French railroad companies are fined for each train which is more than ten minutes late, but the schedules for ordinary traffic are not very exacting. On the other hand, the fast French trains attain a higher average speed than those of any other country on the continent of Europe.
According to a German authority, quoted by the Railroad Telegrapher,the average speed of the fastest European trains is as follows: French, fifty-eight miles an hour; English, fifty-five; German, fifty-one. The fastest long run without a stop is the one hundred and eighteen and a half miles from London to Bristol, which is made in exactly two hours. On this run the train drops a coach without reducing speed.
Our fast trains have not been averaged in this manner as yet, but there is no run abroad where high speed is maintained for as great a distance as it is on the eighteen-hour trains from New York to Chicago. These travel nine hundred and eighty miles in one thousand and eighty minutes, or at the rate of fifty-four miles an hour, including stops.
Recently a locomotive, while on a trial trip between Camden and Atlantic City, New Jersey, pulled a train weighing four hundred and fifty-five tons over a mile stretch in a fraction less than thirty-five seconds.