1902 Encyclopedia > Railway, Railways (Railroad) > Railways - United States - Speed

Railway, Railways
(Part 52)


Railways - United States - Speed

There are very few, if any, lines which have trains whose speed equals that of the fast English trains, the fastest being between New York and Philadelphia, 90 miles in 112 minutes. The 440 miles from New York to Buffalo are run in 10 3/4 hours, and the 960 miles from New York to Chicago in 25 hours. A great obstacle to fast running is the original vice of construction with level highway and railway crossings. Only few lines are provided with the block signals and interlocking apparatus required with numerous fast trains; but the use of continuous air-brakes is general. There has been more success in designing appliances to mitigate the effect of accidents than in inventions for avoiding them altogether. Accidents are very numerous, the casualties being more frequent in proportion to traffic than in the principal European countries. The number of accidents to passengers, however, is insignificant when compared with that of accidents to employés and persons walking over crossing-lines. In 1880 the numbers killed and injured were (Table XXXVIII.):—

This gives one passenger killed for every 43,280,000 miles travelled, and one injured to every 11,375,000. In the United Kingdom there were one passenger killed for every 960,000 miles run by passenger trains, and one injured for every 254,000 miles.

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