This will readily be recognized by many as a typical railroad scene, in which no locomotive plays a part; it illustrates, moreover, one of the specialties in railway construction and machinery advocated by many—the cable—and which has been introduced quite extensively in some parts of the country with varying degrees of success depending, of course, upon different working arrangements, as well as upon details of management, though a large factor in the case, under any circumstances, must necessarily be that of topography or grade. The plans which have been devised for rendering such a system most perfectly practicable are many, and have been the subject of much study and experiment. Among the most ingenious of these, and well deserving of mention, is that for ensuring efficient cable-working, in the case of an ordinary incline, by means of what is termed the three-railroad, from end to end. In this system no movable parts are used at any point in the track, consequently there is no risk of accidents from the failure of parts to work under the varying condition of such service; solidity is assured by the extra width of the road-bed, therefore steadiness of running at high speed is practicable; sufficient space and play are given for the rapidly moving cables to hold the centre of the separated tracks at all times, the grooved guide-wheels, carefully spaced, holding the cars to the curves as evenly and truly as on the straight track. Steel rails are used, twenty-five pounds to the yard, and laid on cedar ties nine feet long; no spikes are used; the rails being secured by heavy log screws five inches long.

This picture is the Kansas City Cable Company crossing the Santa Fe Argentine Yards.

New York Grocery on Cable Car: ad for a local grocery company specializing in New York type foods.

From Sea to Shining Sea | Contents Page

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