Imatges de pàgina

from its opening to perform this journey in handsome carriages attached to the loco. motive engines, in 14 hours, or less ! So far, indeed, as respects the facility of passing from the one to the other, this railway bas brought Manchester and Liverpool as near to each other as the western part of London is to the eastern part !

The opening of this railway having more than verified the most sanguine anticipations as to the success of such undertakings, and gone far, in fact, to strike time and space out of the calculations of the traveller, gave an extraordinary stimulus to similar undertakings in all parts of the country; and, in no long period, there were hardly any two considerable places in Great Britain, how distant soever, which it was not proposed to connect by railways. An immense number of companies were formed, and a very large amount of capital subscribed, for carrying on these undertakings; and though, as was to be anticipated, not a few of them appear to have been commenced without due consideration, and hold out very indifferent prospects to the subscribers, there can be no doubt that the country has profited very largely by the railway system, the facility of intercourse having been prodigiously extended, at the same time that the greater number of the principal lines of road have proved, in a pecuniary point of view, exceedingly beneficial to the parties engaged in them.

Among the greater lines of railway now (1843) existing, may be specified that from London to Manchester and Liverpool, which has been already extended to Lancaster, and will probably, at no distant period, be farther prolonged to Glasgow ; but, taking it as it now stands, it is one of the greatest public works ever executed in any country, and is a striking result of the wealth, science, and civilisation of modern times. The railway from London to Bath and Bristol is also a magnificent work; and is, in some respects, superior to any other in the kingdom. Among the other leading railways may be specified those from London to Southampton, Brighton, and Dover; the Eastern Counties, Midland, North Midland, and North of England railways; and those from Carlisle to Newcastle, from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Ayr, with a host of others.

Railway Legislation. -- But, notwithstanding the vast advantages which the opening of so many new and improved lines of communication have conferred on the country, we cannot help thinking that these advantages might have been much greater, and that, in the instance of railway legislation, the public interests have been overlooked to a degree that is not very excusable. It is, we admit, no easy matter to decide how far the interference of government should be carried in matters of this sort. But, at all events, this much is obvious, that when parliament is called upon to pass an act autho. rising private parties to execute a railway or other public work, it is bound to provide, in as far as practicable, that the public interests shall not be prejudiced by such act, and that it should be framed so that it should not, either when passed, or at any future period, stand in the way of the public advantage. We believe, however, thai a little consideration will serve to satisfy most persons that this important principle has, in the case of railways, and indeed of most descriptions of public works, been, in this country, all but wholly neglected.

The practice is for a railway act to authorise the company in whose favour it is granted, to appropriate a certain line of road, and to charge certain specified rates of toll on the passengers and goods to be conveyed by such road, not for 15, 20, or even 50 years, but in all time to come! Now, as it appears to us, this is a singularly injudicious arrangement on the part of the public. There is, between any two or more places that may be named, a certain railway line that is preferable to any other that can be pointed

The probability is that this line will in all cases be the first to be selected; and the act that gives it up to a company confers on the latter a virtual and substantial monopoly. The rates of charge imposed by the act are calculated to remunerate the projectors, supposing every thing to remain on its present footing. But the probability is that manufactures and population, in the places communicating by most lines of railway, will continue to increase in time to come, as they have done in time past ; and it is all but certain that great improvements will be effected in the construction of roads and engines. Whatever, therefore, may be the chances of success at the outset, the fair presumption is, that most great lines of road will in the end be exceedingly productive. But, if we continue to abide by the present system, the public will be effectually excluded from all participation in these prospective advantages; and a few private associations will be able to make enormous profits, by monopolising improvements, and keeping up the expense of transit at an exorbitantly high level. It is idle to trust to competition to remedy a grievance of this sort. There may only be one practicable line of railway between two places; and if so, no other can, of course, come into competition with it. But though this were not the case, a company in possession of the best line might, if an opposition were threatened, reduce its rates till the opposition was defeated, and then raise them to the old level. Supposing, however, that a second road is made, its managers would most likely come to an understanding with the first, so that the tolls, instead of being reduced by the instrumentality of the new road, may be raised; and were it otherwise, the question is, was the second road really necessary ? Could not the first road have sufficed for the whole traffic to be carried on by both lines ? If this be the case, it is clear the second road has been merely resorted to as a device for reducing the tolls charged on the first ; as a means, in fact, for doing that, by an outlay of some hundreds of thousands, or, it may be, millions of pounds, which might have been quite as effectually done by limiting the duration of the act authorising the first road, or by inserting a clause in it providing for the periodical revision of the tolls.


We are clear, indeed, that no act, authorising a private association to construct a railway or canal, to lay down gas pipes, to convey water into a town, or for any such purpose, should ever be passed without reserving to parliament power periodically to revise the tolls granted under it. Such revision would secure to the public a participation in future improvements, not in the contemplation of the parties when the project was entered upon; and it would do this without in any degree clogging the spirit of enterprise. Undertakings of this sort are not engaged in because there is a vague expectation, or even a considerable probability, of their yielding 20 or 30 per cent. protit some 30 or 40 years hence ; but because it is believed that they will immediately, or in the course of a few years, yield a reasonable profit ; that is, a return of 8, 10, or 12 per cent. The chances of realising more than this at the distance of 20 or 25 years are rarely taken into account, and are worth very little indeed. This, however, is all that would be taken away by the revision in question ; and, while a reservation of this sort would not stand in the way of any legitimate enterprise, the history of several of our existing companies shows that it may come to be of essential service to the public. Had this principle been formerly acted upon in the formation of companies for the execution of public works, the charges on some of the principal lines of canal might, long since, have been reduced to less than half their present amount; and the water brought into the city of London by the New River Company might have been sola for less than one fourth part of what it now costs ; and so in a vast number of cases.

It has been objected to the proposal now made, that the reserving to the public of power to revise the charges on railways, and other public works, would be of no use, inasmuch as the parties would contrive so to swell their charges as to make their revenue appear not more than a fair return on their outlay. And such, most probably, would be the case, were the statements of the parties to be taken without examination. But who ever proposed that this should be done? If charges are to be revised, government must be authorised to appoint parties to inquire carefully into the management of all concerns with which it is proposed to interfere : and it would be the duty of such parties to proscribe every useless expense; and to ascertain how the railway could be carried on, supposing it were wrought under a system of open com. petition, and at the least expense, and to frame their report accordingly.

We do not even krow that it is now too late to interfere with existing railways, in some such way as has been here suggested. Suppose it were enacted that it should be lawful for government to revise the rates of charge, and to lay down new regulations for the government of all railways, at 25 or 30 years hence, very little injury would be done to the existing interests of individuals, at the same time that provision would be made for securing those of the public. The fact that the rates of charge on the Birmingham and Great Western railways were to be revised, and most probably reduced, in 1869 or 1874, would have little or no influence over the present value of shares in these concerns; and such being the case, the proposed reduction could entail no real injury on the railway proprietors, inasmuch as those who may not choose to be subject to future revision may withdraw at present from the concerns, with little or no loss.

The well-informed author of an elaborate pamphlet on “ Railway Reform,” proposes that government should buy up all the railways at the prices of the day, take them into its own charge, and subject them to a uniform and economical system of administration! But, were it really desirable, which is by no means clear, it is needless to say there is not the smallest prospect of any such swecping change being ever effected in our railway system. And it would be most unwise, by wasting our energies in attempting to bring about unattainable reforms, to miss the good that may be within our reach.

Regulations for the Prevention of Accidents. --- Considering the great extent of railways in this country, and the vast number of passengers conveyed by them, the fewness of accidents is most remarkable. Indeed their greater security appears to be nowise inferior to their greater speed. Still, however, this is a matter in which as little as possible should be left to accident or individual discretion ; and considering the immense number of persons frequently conveyed by a single train, and the tremendous consequences that might ensue from a collision or other accident, we do think that a carefully drawn up code of regulations should be enacted with a view to secure the safety of travellers by railways; and that, should an accident occur, either through the neglect of such regulations, or from not complying with their provisions, the offending parties should be subjected to penalties of a severe and stringent description. A government which neglects taking precautions of this sort, neglects one of its most important functions; and allows the lives of those whom it is bound to protect to be endangered or sacrificed by the cupidity, ignorance, or carelessness of the managers and servants (how incompetent soever they may be) of every railway association in the kingdom. We subjoin An Account of the Length, Number of Shares, Sums paid up, Selling Price of the Shares, &c., of the

principal British and French Railways, in December 1843.

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28. 9d.



134 123

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3s. 3 per cent. Mar. & Sep

07. per cent. 78. 6d. per share Jan. 27

104. per cent, Jan. &Jaly. 31. per cent. 24. per cent. May & Nos 41. 58. per share Feb. & Aug. 31. 55. per share 68. per share

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Birmingham and Derby

483 6,300 1014.

100%. Ditto thirds, iss. 84 dis.


251. Ditto eights

11. 108. Birmingham and Gloucester

45 9,500


1004. Ditto new, I s. 74 dis.


171. 10. Bolton and Preston



301. Bristol and Exrter

76 15,000 1007

701. Cheltenham and Great Westem


801. Chester and Birkenhead



501, Ditto new, created at 31. dis.


201. Clarence

36 3,000 1001

10014. Dublin and Drogheda


304. Eastern Counties

126 64,000 254.

231. Ditto srip

SI. 6s. 8d.
Ditto new registered
Ditto debentures

64,000 87. 6s. 8d.

All Glasgow, l'aisley, and Ayr

40 12,500 50%.

301. Edinburgh and Glasgow

18,10 504.

50%. Ditto new

18,0 12. 10s. 121. 104 Glasgow, l'aisley, and Greenock 221 16,10 277.

29. Grand Junction


1001. Ditto . shares

11,000 504.

501. Ditto shares


27. Great North of England

76 10,000 10.

1001. Great Wester

118 25.01) 2001.

651. Diuto new

25,000 301.

501. Ditto fifths

37,500 204.

121. Ditto bundls, 1819

Dit bonis, 1830, letter C. Hull and Selby

31 8,000 501.

BOL. Lancaster and Preston



471. 10s. Ditto shares created at 12) dis.

371. 10s.

191. Leeds and Selby

20 2,100 1001,

1001. Liverpool and Manchester

31 5,100 10.

10. Ditto shares


501. Ditto shares

11,175 254.

2.31. London and Brighton

36,000 301.

501. Ditto loan notes


101 London and Black wall

35 48,000

Av. 161. 138. 4d. London and Greenwich


Av.14. 158. 4d. Preference or privilege


Av. 184. 178. 2d.
Ditto bonds (152,10))
London and Birmingham

112 25.000 1001

1001. Ditto shares

23.1) 231.

2.54. Ditto thirds

31,250 321.

321. Ditto new


Ditto bamds, 1843.
London and South Western


Av.411. 6s. 101.
Ditto bonds, 1812.
London and Crosdon


- Av. 134. 158. 94. Manchester and Leeds

50 13,00

1001. Ditto new shares.

13,000 501.

304. Ditto shares

21. Manchester and Birmingham 454 30,000 700.

407. Ditto extension


71. Midland Counties

57 10,000


1001, Ditto shares, iss. 10 dis.

10,000 27.

154. Ditto hifths

10,000 201.

1. Manchester, Bolton, and Bury 10


931. Newcastle & Darlington Junction


9. North Midland

73 15,000 100%.

1001. Ditto, share, iss. io dis..

15,000 501.

401. Ditto thirds, iss. at 111. 138. 10. dis.

22,500 217. 138. 10. . North Union



751, Northem and Eastern

30 10,256 50.

451. Ditto scrip, issued at 31. dis.

3,136 50%.

134. Ditto shares

19.908 121. 10. 11. 5a. Paris and Orleans


204. Paris anxi Lyons


u. Paris and Kuuen


201. Rouen and Havre

40,000 204.

41. Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Manchester

40 7,000 1004, 821. 106. Ditto, quarters

21. Sheheld and Rotheram

57 1,000 251.

21. Stocklon and Darlington

1,500 100.

1001. South Eastern and Lover

66 8.)

301. Ditto new, iss. 25 dis.

28.000 251.

251, York and North Midland

233 6,2) 30.

50%. Ditto new shares

6,700 254

2014 Ditto, new shares

August. 327 929


Jan.& July. 110 112 56 57 42

42) 11. 108. per share' August. 10 52 65

March. 6

August. 51 per cent. Jan.& July.

51. per cent. 2.35 238

101. per share. Feb. & Aug. 29 294

21. 10s. 413

31. 44.

21. 113. 744 75

31. 28. 6d. per sh. Mar. & Sep. 15 - 153 136. 42. per share March 97 98 34. 178. per share Mar. & sep. 434

11. 138. per share 7

7 391 40

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34. 3..
11. 13. 4d.

May. Apr. & Oet.

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88 51



Jan. & July.

32 313 101



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We have taken the following statement, with respect to some of the principal railways of the U. Kingdom, from the pamphlet on " Railway Reform."

Account of the Length in Miles, Cost, present Value, Revenue Expenditure, &c. of some of the

principal British Railways in 1842.

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52,750 5,923,000 11,497,000 809,200 274,500 336,900 11 201
55,3.30 6,510,1) $,311.), 6700,00 277,11

393,100 7 001 27,750 2,581,000 3,6541,000 314,400 141,000) 173,800 6 10 0 22,740 2,319,000 | 4.640,000 413,200 162,500 250.70) 10 00 49,3%) 1,515,000 2,819,00 237,700 110,600 127,100 10 00 64,770 2.500,00 2,01,0) 169,50


91,100) 4 0 0 59,90 3,05)) 3,234.000 225,500 101,400 127,400) 5 10 0 45,70); 3,332,400 2,500,000) 2101,5110 9,800 125,00 3 5 01 29.740 1,605,000 1,263,000 135,00 78,00 57,410 3 000 34.6,50 1,51.3.10) 1,196,10 93.700 30,210 63,

5 0 0 21.720 980) 771,100 56.700 23.100 31,30) 3 0 0 27.4201 612,000 610,000 85,500 21.400 44,400

6 13 01 22,4001 560,00) 973,400) 85, 10 35,00 30,100 15 00 22,000 331),0) 5911,00 67,00 37.00 39,800 90 21.110 651,00 1,110,100 85,20

29,00 5,5,500 10 00 17.190 1,062,000) 975,00 77.610 30,100 47.200 4 0 0 56,660

361,00 3.51,00 42,100 90.000 21,800 5 0 0 13,500 315,000 287,100 21,100 10. 10,300 4 0 0 17,100 435,400) 410,000 40,100 18,200 22,200 4 10 0 37,150 538,000 276,

30,000 15,20 15,400 4 0 0 34,130 242,110 200.0

20), 8,100 12,100 4 0 0 8,6410 111.00 144,00 12.100 4,00 7,900 5 0 0 9,70 71,

83,000 18,700 19,900 7,800 6 0 0 37,376,000 48,218,000 3,901,600 1,599,100 2,301,200 Av. 6 6 7

7 164


A duty is paid to government, by the railway companies, of 5 per cent. of all the sums received by them for the conveyance of passengers. In 1842 this duty produced about 168,0001. ; but about 140,0001. was repaid by government to the different railway companies for the conveyance of the mails. When the post-office and a railway company differ as to the sum to be paid to the latter for conveying the mail, the matter is referred to arbitration.

Continental Railways. — The railway system has made great progress on the Continent and in the U. States. Paris and Rouen have already been united by a railway, which is in the course of being extended to Havre. A railway has also been constructed from Paris to Orleans; and one is now being made from Paris to Lyons, which will most probably be prolonged to Marseilles. This last will be of peculiar importance to this country, from the influence it will have in facilitating the correspondence with the East. A large amount of English capital has been invested in the French railways; and some of them have been constructed by English engineers.

Belgium, as everybody knows, has numerous railways; and they have already been extended to a degree that one could hardly have anticipated. We subjoin a return taken from the Algemeine Zeitung, being An Account of the varions Railways open in Germany in September 1843, specifying their Length (in

English Miles), the Number of Passengers conveyed along them in that Month, and in the Nine Months ending therewith.

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Liny to Budwels (just opd.)
2,195 13,104 Beriin to Frankfort -


23,965 199,1791 Linita (nunden 421 10.904 105,720 Breslan to Oppeln

495 25,170 181,511 Ferdinand's North Road 1871 68.705 502,112 Leipzig to Altenburg


1901.9721 Vier 1 to Glognité. 166, 13 1,025,353 Leipzig to Dresden

715 47,935 315,0331 Munich to Augsburg

23,176 159,285 Magdeburg to Leipzig

73,391 478,94 Numurg to furth 31 42,761 3:2,709 Magdeburg to Halberstadt

19,563 Frankfort to Wiesbaden 261 100.4412 61 1.112 Brunswick t: Oschersleben 59 37,492

233.864 Cartruhe to Manheim 90,152 6, M17 Dusseldorf to Elterfeld

16 33, 115 212,4031 Hamuru to Bergedorf 10 23,1.58 167,109 Cologne to Aix la Chapelle

43 33,953 217,543 Berinfo Anhalt

9.38 37,430 262,116 Berlin to Potsdam 16 45,905 359,393

Total - 1,083 Berlin to Stettin

29,542 170,241 The number of passengers in September 1813 was 966,635. In September 1842 it was 761,866.

The receipti in September 1843 were 1,252,921 florins, or 125,000. In September 1842 they were 90,0001. Other ratl. wars are now, also, in the course of being constructed in various parts of Germany, some of which are of great length and importance.

In a late number of the Scotsman some peculiarities of the German railways are noticed as follows:

Ist. A great number of them have been undertaken either directly at the expense of the state, or upon security being given by the state for 3 per cent. interest on the capital invested. To prevent jobbing in shares, a law has been enacted in most German states, that 10 per cent. of the sum must be paid forthwith after subscribing.

2d. German railways would appear to pay better than English ones. It is said that two yield 15 per cent. clear profit; others from 7 to 10 per cent.; and none has begun with less than 4 per cent. dividend. This, we presume, must be owing to the greater facility with which the railways have been constructed, and the all but total want of any other means of expeditious travelling. The railways of the Ù. States are exceerlingly numerous, and some of them are of



great length. But, speaking generally, they are not so substantially executed, and have not been nearly so expensive, as those of this country. Many of them consist only of a single pair of rails, with double pairs at certain intervals to admit of the trains passing.

RAISINS (Fr. Raisins secs, ou passés ; Ger. Rosinen ; It. Uve passe ; Por. Passas ; Rus. Issum ; Sp. Pasas), the dried fruit of the vine. They are produced from various species of vines; deriving their names partly from the place where they grow, as Smyrnas, Valencias, &c. ; and partly from the species of grape of which they are made, as muscatels, blooms, sultanas, &c. Their quality appears, however, to depend more on the method of their cure than on any thing else. The finest raisins are cured in two methods; - either by cutting the stalk of the bunches half through, when the grapes are nearly ripe, and leaving them suspended on the vine till the watery part be evaporated, and the sun dries and candies them; or by gathering the grapes when they are fully ripe, and dipping them in a ley made of the ashes of the burnt tendrils; after which they are exposed to the sun to dry. Those cured in the first way are most esteemed, and are denominated raisins of the sun The inferior sorts are very often dried in oven, --( Thomson's Dispensatory.) Raising are imported in casks, barrels, boxes, and jars. The

finest come in jars and 4 boxes weighing about 25 lbs. Some of the inferior sorts are brought to us in mats.

Malaga raisins are in the highest estimation The muscatels from Malaga fetch fully a third more than any other description of raisins. The Smyrna black is the cheapest variety, and may average froin 278. to 30s. á cwt., duty included ; muscatels vary from 35s, to 60s., duty included. But ihe price depends much on the season, and the period of the year. --(See MALAGA.)

The duty on raisins, which formerly amounted to 20s. a cwt on the inferior sorts, and to 423. 64. on the finest, was reduced in 1834 to 158. a cwt. on all classes. This reduction has occasioned a very considerable increase of consumption ; but the truth is, that the duty is still quite exorbitant, being no less than 100 per cent. ad eu lorem (and sometimes more) on the price of most descriptions. Raisins are a luxury that can at present be enjoyed only by the richer classes. But were the duty reduced, as it should be, to 58. a cwt, on the cheapest sorts, and 10s, on the dearest, we are well assured that they would be very largely consumed by the middle and even lower classes. Nothing but the magnitude of the duties prevents them from becoming of very considerable in portance as an article of food: and it is really quite monstrous, that the public should be debarred from the use of a desirable article, on the stupid pretence of its being necessary, in order to keep up the revenue, that it should be loaded with an oppressive duty. We admit the importance of keeping up the revenue; but so far from exorbitant duties having such as effect, they contribute more than any thing else to its reduction. They invariably limit the consumption of the articles on which they are laid to the very richest classes, or cause them to be clandestinely sup. plied, or force recourse to other articles ; reducing the revenue as well as the consumption far below the level to which it would attain were the duties moderate. But it is needless to reason speculatively on such a point. Have we not seen the revenue derived from spirits increased, by reducing the duty from 58.6d. á gallon to 28. 6d.? and the revenue derived from coffee quadrupled by reducing the duty from is. 74. per lb. to 6d. ? And, as most qualities of raisins are but little less overtaxed, have we noi every reason to expect that a like effect would be produced by an adequate reduction of the duties by which they are burdeped ?

Exclusive of raisins, a considerable quantity of undried grapes is annually imported from Spain and Portugal, in jars packed in sawdusi. "The duty on these grapes, which is 5 per cent. ad vaiorem, produced, in 1840, 1,6861. Raisins, the produce of Europe, may not be imported for home consumption, except in British ships, or in ships of the country of which they are the produce, or from which they are imported, on forfeiture of the goods and of 104. hy the captain of the ship. -- (3& 4 Will. 4. c. 54. 5 2.22.)

No abatement of duty is made on account of any damage received by raisins. — (3 & 4 Will. 4. e. 53. $32.) Account of the Quantities of Raisins imported into the U. Kingdom during each of the 7 Years

ending with 1841, specifying the Countries whence they were brought, and the Quantities brought from each.

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Cat. 117,138

2,369 47,359


Cat. 104,335

4,932 71,347 1,672

Cnt. 119,722

3,627 45,094 1,117

162, 118

160 28,942 3,946


441 22,050 3,411

Cat. 166,505

1,368 54,153 2,575

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Sprin and the Balearic Islands
Hialy and the Italian Islands
All other countries
Total imported

205,911 224,781 216,741 Retained for consumption 160,844

152,162 155, 174

175,116 The duty on raisins produced, in 1842, 147,0311. 128.4d.

RANGOON, a commercial port and town of the Burmese dominions, about 26 miles from the sea, on the left bank of the eastern branch of the river Irawaddy, in lat. 16° 42' N., lon. 96° 20 E. The town and suburbs extend lengthwise about I mile along the bank of the river, being about of a mile in depth : but the houses are very unequally scattered over this area. The fort, or rather wooden stoekade, which contains the town, properly so called, is a regular square about 14 feet high, composed of heavy beams of teak timber. It appears from a census, taken a short time previously to the commencement of the war in 1824, that the population was 18,000, which, probably, is not far from its present amount, though it has been stated considerably higher.

Rangoon is the chief, and, indeed, almost the only port of foreign trade in the Burmese dominions, which extend from between the 15th and 16th, up to the 26th and 27th degrees of N. lat., and from the 931 to the oth degree of E. lon., containing an arca of about 181,000 squnre miles, with a population of about 4,000,000. Its situation is extremely convenient for commercial purposes, being situated so near the sea, and commanding the navigation of the Irawaddy, which extends to Ava, the capital, a distance of

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