Pennsylvania Railroad
Its origin, construction and management.

by James Dredge

with Eighty-Two Plates and Numerous Illustrations.

Chiefly Repoduced from "Engineering"

London
Offices of "Engineering," 37 Bedford Street, Strand, W.C.
New York: John Wiley and Sons.

1879.

PDF: Text (44MB) | Plates (44MB) | US Map (5MB jpg)
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The object of this Volume is to describe the present condition of American Railroad Practice in its most advanced form, both as concerns Construction and Management.

Although the railway system of the United States is far more extensive than that of any other nation in the world, only a very incomplete knowledge of its characteristics exists in Europe. It is popularly believed that the leading features of American railroads are flimsiness in construction, and looseness in working; the idea is certainly not without foundation, but its chief support is a want of accurate information. There exist in the United States some thousands of miles of railroad, which, from the roadbed upwards, are deficient in almost every detail of excellence, while a still greater mileage, though serving the neeessities of traffic, fall far short of what, in a European point of view, is mediocrity. On the ogher hand, there are many lines--chief among them those of the Pennsylvania system--in which the most advanced features of American praetice are found, and which are of the first order in all respects.

The principal conditions by which the American engineer has been and is governed, differ materially from those with which we are familiar. Chief among them are excessive distances to be traversed, natural obstacles on a large scale go be overcome, and as a consequence, thae necessity of moderate expenditure in construction and working. These conditions have been met by minds, possibly less highly trained than those of European engineers, but certainly less trammelled by veneration for precedence, and with an instinctive power of finding suitable means, at
once practical and economical, to achieve a desired end.

 

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