Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

ing to such an extent, at least, as is works. In December last there was required to provide for their common open, or in progress of construction in national wants. No doubt the problem Canada, 1943 miles of rail, of which of the adaptation of parliamentary go- 790 miles were actually completedan vernment to a colonial system — the expenditure of capital having been then office of Governor being retained as made to the amount of more than ten the link connecting the mother coun- millions of pounds sterling: When this try and the colony

— is not yet worked complex undertaking shall be completout in Canada ; but much has been ed in all its vastness, Halifax, in Nova done, and it will probably be admit- Scotia, will be brought into direct comted that the special difficulties in the munication with the state of Michigan, way were many and great. Of the in the extreme west; and while the advancement of the province in moral traveller will be enabled to journey well-being and material prosperity, in from New York or Boston to Quebec social good feeling and political order, or Montreal in a single day, the Ca. in trade, enterprise, and wealth, since nadian, dwelling in the remotest part its fortunes have been placed in its of the province, will have it at his choice own hands, there can be no doubt. to proceed by railway, to embark for The fact could be proved by figures Europe, at either of those ports; or without end, and by the most weari- by a shorter road Portland, in the some statistics, fiscal, commercial, and state of Maine; or at Halifax, or St. educational; but as we doubt that we John's, New Brunswick, without being should carn much gratitude from our obliged, in the latter case, to pass readers were we to mesmerise them from under the British flag. It would ever so successfully by an array of co- be vain to attempt to particularise the lumns and tables, we shall content our- ramifications of this vast network of selves with endeavouring to call up communication for the information of before their imaginations 'a shadowy European readers. The names of spots vision of the future greatness of the in the wilderness to which lines are Anglo-Canadian nation, by presenting laid out or actually constructed would, to their eyes a simple sketch of the in truth, tell them nothing; albeit present condition of one gigantic in. those spots are in course of rapid strument of its material civilisation. change into populous and busy marts

“In 1847 (says Lord Elgin in his re- of industry. A glance at any map of port already quoted) the only railway British North America, carrying the in the province was a line twenty-two eye westward from the Gulf of St. Law. miles in length, running from a point rence, over thirty degrees of longitude, on the St. Lawrence opposite Montreal, may, however, prepare the mind to reto the frontier town of St. John; and ceive some idea as well of the grandeur 80 hopeless did the prospects of the of those works as of their importance, province in this respect appear to be, scarcely less to Great Britain than to at even a later period, that the follow- America. The scheme of the Grand ing paragraph occurs in a very care- Trunk Railway alone comprehends a fully prepared document signed by se- communication throughout the entire veral intelligent merchants, and put length of this vast territory, from Lake forth, at the close of 1849, with the Huron to Halifax, with such combiview of promoting the annexation of nations as would bring not only the Canada to the United States:--.While entire of the British provinces, but the the adjoining states are covered with a great cities of the United States, and network of thriving railways, Canada the far western deserts, within 2240 possesses but three lines, which to- miles of ocean travelling of the hargether searcely exceed fifty miles in bour of Galway. And although the length, and the stock in two of which full accomplishment of that gigantic is held at a depreciation of from sixty project must be committed to the futo eighty per centa fatal symptom of ture, enough has been done, and is the torpor overspreading the land.'” It doing in it, to show that that is in all is now but five years since this annex- probability not very far distant. At ationist jeremiad was composed, we the present moment the managers of doubt not in the most lugubrious sin- the Grand Trunk line bave under their cerity; nevertheless, in the summer of control, in actual work, or in active 1854, at least twenty thousand men process of construction, 1112 miles of were engaged upon Canadian railway railway, the cost of completion of which will benine and a half millions of pounds The breadth of the river, from bank to sterling, whereof about six millions bank, at the place of crossing, is ten have been already expended. The thousand two hundred and eighty-four mere mention of these figures in con- feet, or one hundred and seventy-six nexion with a single enterprise in a feet less than two English miles, over province, the destiny of which, under which the rails are to be carried by the the British rule, was five years ago

Victoria Tubular Bridge, measuring despaired of by numbers of its intelli. between its abutments eight thousand gent inhabitants, is almost sufficient to feet in length, or more than four times ereate a doubt in the sanity of those as long as the gigantic structure, amazewho projected it. A little more ac- ment at the raising of which above the quaintance with facts will probably, Menai Strait has scarcely subsided in however, convince most men that if our own minds. For the following there be madness in the case, it is the description of this marvellous work we delirium of rapid progress developed in are indebted to an article in Hunt's à young nation loosed from tutelage New York Merchant's Magazine, an and revelling amid unbounded indus. authority not to be suspected of an ex. trial resources, with full liberty to use aggerative partiality for the feats of them at its good pleasure.

Britishers :The Grand Trunk Railway, as it is at present in operation, or in course of “The bridge is to be tubular, on the plan construction, commences at Trois Pis. of the celebrated Britannia Bridge over the

Menai Straits in North Wales. It will contoles, a place on the south-east side of

sist of twenty-five spans, or spaces for navithe St. Lawrence, one hundred and

gation, between the twenty-four piers (exfifty-three miles from Quebec. It pro

clusive of two abutments) for the support ceeds from thence along the right bank

of the tubes. The centre span will be 330 of the river to Point Levi (now digni- feet wide, and each of the other spans will fied by the name of Versailles), opposite be 242 feet wide. The width of each of the the city of Quebec. It then runs away piers next to the abutments will be fifteen from the river in a south-westerly di. feet, and the width of those approaching the rection for one hundred miles to Rich- two centre piers will be gradually increased, mond, where there is a junction with

so that these two piers will each be eighteen one line passing to the south-eastward

feet wide, or three feet more than those next

the abutments. Each abutment is to be for one hundred and sixty-four miles

242 feet long, and ninety feet wide; and to Portland, and with another running

from the north shore of the St. Lawrence to nearly due west for one hundred and

the north abutment there will be a solid twenty-six miles to Montreal. The

stone embankment (faced in rough masonry whole of this section of the railway, towards the current) 1,200 feet in length from Quebec to Portland and Montreal, —the stone embankment leading from the is now at work, and on the 4th of the south shore of the river to the south abutlast month (June), trains commenced ment will be 600 feet long. running, in one day, from each of the “ The clear distance between the ordinary Canadian cities to Boston, over a

summer level of the St. Lawrence and the United States line continuous with the

under surface of the centre tube is to be Grand Trunk at Portland. Thus a

sixty feet, and the height diminishes towards

either side, with a grade at the rate of one citizen of Montreal or Quebec can leave

in 130, or forty feet in the mile, so that at bis house in the morning, and embark

the outer or river edge of each abutment the for England from the quay of Boston

height is thirty-six feet above the summer the same evening; and as Portland bas level. The summer depth of the water in a safe and capacious harbour, which is the St. Lawrence varies from fourteen feet never frozen, and is moreover the about the centre, to four feet towards the largest town in the state of Maine, no banks; and the current runs at the site of more than two thousand five hundred the bridge at a rate varying from seven to and forty miles distant from Galway,

ten miles an hour.

“ Each of the tubes will be nineteen feet it is in the highest degree probable that it will, at no distant period, become a

in height at the end, whence they will gra

dually increase to twenty-two feet six inches regular passenger port for European

in the centre. The width of each tube will traffic. At Montreal the Grand Trunk

be sixteen feet, or nine feet six inches wider is to cross to the left bank of the St.

than the rail-track. The total weight of iron Lawrence, and there one of the greatest in the tubes will be 10,400 tons, and they will wonders of either the new or old world be bound and riveted together precisely in is now in course of being wrought out. the same manner, and with similar machinery

of car

to that employed in the Britannia Bridge. company. The contractors are Messrs. Peto, The principal part of the stone used in the Brassey, Betts, and Jackson ; and their reconstruction of the piers and abutments is presentative in Canada for the Victoria a dense, blue limestone, found at Pointe Bridge, and for the railway from Montreal Claire, on the Ottawa River, about eigh- to Kingston, a distance of 180 miles, is Mr. teen miles above Montreal, about eight above James Hodges, a gentleman well known in the confluence of that river with the St. connexion with some of the most important Lawrence. A large village has suddenly engineering works in England. sprung up at the place: for during the last “ The coffer-dams (entirely on a new twelve months (1854) upwards of 500 quar- principle, invented by Mr. Hodges) for the ry-men, stone-masons, and labourers have northern abutment, and the three first adjabeen employed there. Every contrivance cent piers, have been some time successfully that could be adopted to save manual labour placed. The masonry in pier No. 1, as bas has also been applied, and its extent will be already been stated, is several feet above the judged from the fact, that the machinery bed of the St. Lawrence. It is commenced at the quarry and the adjacent jetty has, in the next pier, and is ready for a beginning including the cost of the jetty, involved an in the abutment. The whole of these will outlay of 150,000 dollars. Three powerful be raised ten feet above the winter level of steam-tugs, and thirty-five barges, each ca- the St. Lawrence, which is seventeen feet pable of carrying 200 tons of stone, have above the summer level, before the ice sets been specially built for the work, at a in in December, when all masonry work cost of about 120,000 dollars. These are will bave to be suspended until the spring used for the conveyance of the stone to the of 1855." piers; and by the end of September next a railway, on the permanent line of the Grand

By means of this stupendous strucTrunk track, will be laid down from the quarry-close to which the permanent line

ture the products and the inhabitants of will pass — to the north shore of the St. the remotest districts of Canada and Lawrence, so as to convey along it the stone

of the far western states of the Union required for the north embankment, and for -Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, the northern abutment.

Minnesota, may be transported without “The piers close to the abutments will break of guage or of bulk, or change each contain about 6,000 tons of masonry

or wagon, to the Atlantic scarcely a block used in the construction of seaboard, and shipped for Europe at the piers will be less than seven tons weight

Portland; or, if the design be carried --and many of them, especially those ex

out to its full extent, at the British posed to the force of the current, and to the breaking up of ice in the spring, will weigh

ports of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. fully ten tons each. As the construction of

From Montreal the Grand Trunk pier “No. 1” is already several feet above

runs along the left bank of the St. the bed of the river, the process of binding

Lawrence and the northern shore of the blocks together can now be seen and Lake Ontario, south - westward, to appreciated. In addition to the abundant Toronto, a distance of 345 miles, passuse of the best water-cement, each stone is ing on its way Prescott and Kingston. clamped to its neighbours in several places At the former it receives a tributary by iron rivets; and the interstices between

line of sixty miles in length, now in the rivets and the blocks are filled up with

operation, and connecting the river molten lead. If the mighty St. Lawrence

Ottawa, with its great timber districts, conquers these combined appliances, then,

with the St. Lawrence, which sepaindeed, is there an end to all mechanical resistances.

rates it by its own breadth only from " In consequence of the increased height Ogdensburg, in the State of New York, and width of the piers converging towards

from whence there is a line of railway the centre, the weight of stone in those that to New York City. In its course onwill bear the centre tube will be about 8,000 wards to Toronto it receives several tons each. The total amount of masonry in tributary lines from the north, some the piers will be 27,500,000 cubic feet, of which are already working. At which, at thirteen and a-half feet to the ton, Toronto it is joined by a line of ninety: gives a total weight of about 205,000 tons.

two miles in length, now in actual “Mr. Robert Stepbenson and Mr. A. M. Ross are the engineers of the bridge, on be

operation, and communicating with half of the Grand Trunk Railway.

Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, a

The former gentleman visited Canada last year,

north-eastern arm of Lake Huron. At and purposes returning again when the works

the same place it joins the Great Westhave made further progress. The latter is

ern Railway, also at work, and running permanently located in the province, not a course of 240 miles to Detroit, in only for the superintendence of the bridge, the State of Michigan, where it is met, but also as engineer-in-chief of the railway on the opposite side of the river dow

ing between Lakes St. Claire and earlier history of these colonies, a fertile Erie, by American lines leading into source of waste and jobbing, was finally the far west, and by a line which, pass.

discontinued. Previously to that period, it ing round the southern shore of Lake

had been too much the habit to expend the Erie, brings the passengers to Buffalo

surplus revenues of the province on minor

works of this class, and to invoke imperial in eight hours-less than half the time

aid, either in the shape of guarantees, or required by the monster steam-ships in some other form, for the execution of unof that inland sea. By means of a

dertakings of a more comprehensive and nashort line branching off from the Great tional character. Since the resolution to Western--and which, by the way, be- which I refer was adopted, the resources and longs to a private individual, Mr. Zim- credit of the municipalities have been so merman-a direct communication is es- much augmented by the general improvetablished between Toronto and the ment of the country, and by judicious legisFalls of Niagara, which it passes at lation, that local works have been prosecuted the distance of a stone's throw, and

with more vigour, as well as with greater connects with a suspension bridge cross- the provincial funds have been left free for

discretion and economy than before, while ing to the American side of the river.

more legitimate purposes. In my despatch From Toronto the Grand Trunk

which accompanied the Blue Book for 1851, pursues a westerly course for 172 miles I dwelt at some length on the results of this to Sarnia, where it touches the fron. change of system, and I advert to it now in tier line at the extreme southern passing, because I believe that it has mapoint of Lake Huron. There it terially contributed to the recent industrial gets into connexion with the navi- progress of the province." gation of the great lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior, and with The resolution here referred to by American arterial lines stretching Lord Elgin was embodied in a provinaway to the far west and to the cial act, which sanctioned the assumpMississippi. On its way it is crossed tion of pecuniary responsibilities by by a line which joins the eastern shore the province in order to promote railof Lake Huron with the extreme way undertakings, with a restrictive eastern point of Lake Erie at Buffalo. provision that the public credit should

A glance at a map of British North not be pledged beyond one half the America will, as we have said, enable amount actually expended on the the reader to comprehend this brief works, and that the whole resources description, and to form a general no. and property of the companies should tion of the vast enterprise to which it be liable for the amount of any sums refers; but the reader may well ask, that might be so advanced or guaranhow has all this been accomplished, teed. Under this arrangement a pro

and what are the prospects that it can vincial guarantee for £1,811,500 was - be sustained as a commercial under- assented to in favour of the Grand taking ?

Trunk; and so good was the colonial The Grand Trunk Railway Com- credit esteemed, that the capital of pany of Canada is, in fact, a fusion of nine and a half millions was, with the some five or six separate companies, exception of a small investment of the managers of which have had the Canadian money, freely subscribed in rare good sense to desire an incorpo- England. So far, we believe, there ration of their respective powers; and has been no lack of funds for this or the Provincial Parliament has been for other guaranteed speculations, and foresighted enough not only to comply thus a colony which, half-a-dozen with their request, but to aid them ef. years ago, when in its pupa state of fectually in carrying it into practice. dependency, could not boast of fiveDuring the period of Provincial de- and-twenty miles of railway, bas, now pendency, it would appear that job- that it has been metamorphosed into a bing in public works-“ taking a pull nation, been able to encounter a railat the Exchequer,” as some of our way expenditure of ten millions of home patriots express it-was a main pounds. The question, how? being branch of the business of the colonial thus shortly but satisfactorily answer. legislature :

ed, we may turn to the examination

of the question, why? and fortunately " In 1849 (says Lord Elgin) the system the solution is not altogether depen. of making grants from the public treasury dent upon the sanguine estimates of a for local works, which had been, during the prospectus :

“On the occasion (says Lord Elgin) of good ground for expecting that the a visit to the western section of the pro- sections of this great line as yet unvince which I made a few weeks ago, tried in actual work, will be at least in the autumn of 1854) to attend the

equally successful. The combined annual exhibition of the Upper Canadian Agricultural Association, which was held

population of Quebec; Montreal, and this year in the town of London, I saw

Portland, now in direct railway comenough of the effect produced by the rail

munication with each other, amounts ways already in operation, to be able to form to 120,000 persons, independent of some estimate of the results which may be those resident along the line. From expected to follow when the great schemes the 4th of June trains were to run benow in course of execution shall have been tween Quebec and Boston in fifteen completed. It is indeed hardly possible for hours a journey which last summer it any one but an eyewitness, to form an ade- required, by the then existing routes, quate conception of the impulse which is

thirty-seven hours to perform. At given to these new countries which contain

present it takes forty-seven hours to a vast amount of undeveloped resources, and are accessible to European emigration, by go by water from Montreal to the the introduction of such facilities for inter

western extremity of Lake Ontario; communication, and the transport of com

on the opening through of the Grand modities, as railways afford. I was the Trunk the same journey will be acbetter able to appreciate these effects in the complished in fourteen or fifteen hours. present case, as I had visited portions of the It has, hitherto, in summer required same district of country on a similar errand forty-one hours to travel from Quebec in 1847.”

to Brockville, and there is only one This is the general testimony of an

opportunity for this journey in each observer whose intelligence and good twenty-four hours. Ñext autumn the

same distance will be completed twice faith do not admit of doubt; a few of

each day in about twelve hours. The the details that composed the broad

most expeditious route at present from picture seen by Lord Elgin, we shall

Montreal to Toronto, and places west take the liberty of extracting from a

of it, is to make a circuit of 592 miles very able report, addressed by Sir Cusack Roney, the managing director by railway through the United States,

with several changes of carriages. of the Grand Trunk Railway, to the

When the Grand Trunk shall be comLondon Board of Directors, and dated

pleted to Toronto, the total distance in May of the present year:

from Montreal will be 335 miles, which “ Previous (says Sir Cusack) to the open

will be traversed in twelve or thirteen ing of the line between Montréal and Port

hours. We might multiply examples land, in July, 1853, those two cities were as

of such cheatings of time and space, much separated from one another by ranges

which, it cannot be doubted, will proof hills and dense forests, as if they had been duce their effect upon traffic pleasurethree thousand instead of three hundred miles able and profitable :apart. The country, in the centre one hundred and fifty miles, was totally unknown, "" There is no feature (proceeds Sir Cusack and part of it had only a short time pre- Roney) more remarkable, in connexion with viously been surveyed by the United States the habits of the citizens of the United government. The first population brought States, than their universal desire for tra. into these one hundred and fifty miles, was velling. During the summer of 1853, in to make the railway, and at its opening consequence of the opening of railways, which there were not upon them more than about gave facility of access through all parts of two hundred settlers.

the United States, and to the Falls of " The following are the traffic receipts, in Niagara, a large number of those who were sterling, for the three past half-years :-- attracted there proceeded through Canada Half-year ending 31st Dec.,

by the river Saint Lawrence to Montreal, and 1853

£55,615

thence to Quebec. The unfortunate prevaJuly, 1854

lence of cholera in the provinces during the

72,831 December, 1854

97,917

summer of 1854 put almost a total stop to

this traffic. “The receipts for the first thirteen weeks

" Another important source of the pleaof 1854, were £29,559 ; for the first thirteen

sure traflic of the Grand Trunk Railway weeks of 1855, £38,852, showing an in

will be the Victoria Bridge, the knowledge crease of £9,292 in that period."

of which has now spread all over America,

where its progress is beginning to be watchHere is no bad practical result fored with deep interést. “ a beginning," and there seems to be * The average contribution of each resi

...

...

« ПредишнаНапред »