COAL has been definitely abandoned as fuel on the Yoakum roads in Texas. Hereafter oil alone will be burned.
THE Union Pacific is to build a telephone of its own more than one thousand eight hundred miles long, from Omaha to San Francisco. The line will be strung on independent poles.
PRUSSIA will spend in the near future fifty-one million dollars on the construction of new railways and the improvement of existing lines. Twenty-four new lines will be bulit and twenty-seven others double-tracked.
THE latest Yankee invention to be adopted by the Japanese is the block signal. A large order for mechanical safety devices has been received by a Pittsburgh company for use on the Nippon and Kobu railways.
INCLUDED in the order for new equipment, costing approximately seven million dollars, which was recently placed by the Wabash, were four thousand steel under-frame coal-cars of one hundred thousand pounds' capacity.
A NEW record was made on the Baltimore and Ohio when the bridge over Swan Creek was removed and a new one erected in exactly four minutes. The entire time that the track was closed to traffic was only fifty minutes.
ALTHOUGH steel cars have been in use on elevated and subway lines in cities for some time, the first all-steel passenger car for a steam railroad has only recently been turned out in Pittsburgh. It was built for the Southern.
THERE "isn't going to be any" tow-path soon, if a fleet of tugboats equipped with gasoilne engines now on the Erie Canal fulfils expectations. No sleeping quarters for the crews have been provided, as the men are expected to live ashore.
ALTHOUGH the official figures are not yet available, the preliminary report of the Interstate Commerce Commission for the fiscal year ended June 30 shows an increase in railroad earnings of one per cent over 1905. The earnings then amounted to two billion seventy-three million dollars.
A material for ties, oak is now findmg a rival in the wood of the catalpa-tree. Several of the Western roads are planting this tree along their right of way, as it is also valuable in protecting the road from wind and snow. Catalpa-wood is never gnarled and will not rot for many years.
STEEL mailcars are to be substituted by the Pennsylvania for the wooden ones now in use. Seventy-five cars of the new type have been ordered. This is an improvement which is regarded favorably by the Post-Office Department, as the steel frames will withstand collisions and will be more durable generally.
AN alfalfa-field two hundred yards wide and one thousand long has been planned by the Union Pacific as one solution of the problem of weeds on its right of way. Now that it has been proved that alfalfa will grow without irrigation, the company believes that it may be possible to substitute a profitable crop for the weeds.
IN its new erecting shops at Princeton, Indiana, the Southern has made a striking departure from the usual architecture of such structures. The framework of the building is of steel, but the walls are of glass. The Southern seems to be well satisfied with the innovation, for it will build more shops of a similar nature in the same town.
THE Bavarian Railroad authorities have decided to equip their trains with wireless telegraphic apparatus like that in use on ocean steamships. During the experiments a message was sent from Berlin, two hundred miles away, to the cab of a locomotive. The trials showed that a train can be warned of danger by a wireless message.
ORDERS for five hundred and sixty-two thousand tons of steel rails have been booked ahead for 1907 by American railroads. Among the roads which have placed the largest contracts are the Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, Illinois Central, and the Wisconsin Central.
IT is expected that it will soon be possible for the engineer and the conductor of a moving train to talk with each other over the telephone. Extensive experiments with this object in view were conducted on the Harriman lines during the summer, and the block system will shortly be supplemented by telephones placing the despatcher in communication with every towerman and operator on the line.
IN itself there - is nothing very remarkable about the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake road, but financially it is in a class by itself. It is a bondless railroad. Built at a cost of forty million dollars by Senator Clark and his associates, it is said that not one of the company's securities will be offered for sale for the next two years, and up to the present not a single bond has been sold or offered for sale.
A SLEEPING-CAR of a radically different type from those in common use has been on exhibition in the East during the summer. In the new car the berths are carried below the car-floor when not in use, and their places taken by comfortable arm-chairs. As the upper berth will only be made up when necessary, it is asserted that the new car is more comfortable at night, as well as in the day-time, than the present type.
GASOLINE motor-cars are receiving serious attention. The Union Pacific is using them daily on its branch line from Lawrence to Leavenworth, and the Erie has been experimenting with a car cigar-shaped in front and entered from the side. This car has shown itself capable of making good time, and it is not unlikely that a service of single cars may be inaugurated on some of the suburban lines at the New York end of the Erie.
ONLY thirty-four per cent of the revenue of the one steam railroad now in operation in the Philippines is derived from freight. The other sixty-six per cent is obtained from passengers, despite the fact that fares are much lower than in the United States and that at least ninety-five per cent of the traffic is third-class. Freight rates, on the other hand, range from five dollars a ton to ten dollars for a one-hundred-mile haul, but as the average car-load is only four tons it does not pay to run large cars.
THE Western Union Telegraph Company has been experimenting with an automatic telegraph machine, which, is asserted, can do the work of three operators, transmitting messages at the rate of one hundred words a minute, which means one hundred messages an hour. No knowledge of telegraphy is required to receive a message, all that is necessary being to insert a piece of paper in the machine. Some of these machines are already in use on the line between Buffalo and New York.
MORE miles of track were laid in the first six months of this year than in any similar period for fifteen years, with the single exception of 1902. Then two thousand three hundred and fourteen miles were completed between January 1 and June 30. This year the new mileage has been two thousand two hundred and ninety-eight for six months, but it is not improbable that by the end of the year the figures for 1902, five thousand six hundred and eighty-four miles, and for 1903, five thousand seven hundred and eighty-six miles, will be exceeded.