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Branch, Landen to St. Trond, completed,
Branch, Ghent to Courtray,
Branch, Courtray to French frontier, and to
Tournay, unfinished,
Branch, Braine to Charleroy and Namur, un-
Junction of north and south stations, Brussels,
















The whole length The cost, exclusive

In the above statement, fractions are omitted. of all the lines, as before stated, is 350 miles. of the materiel, is $20,924,205; and the average cost per mile, 59,783. The cost of the materiel is $2,952,089. Of this cost the sum of $14,802,749 was expended previous to the 1st of January last, and $9,073,545 remained to be expended for the completion of the works.

About 65 miles of the road already completed, consists of a double track, including the whole of the north line; a considerable part of the west line, between Malines and Ghent; and a part of the east line, from Malines to Louvain, together with some portions of the same line east of Louvain. A considerable portion of the work which remains for the completion of these lines, consists of the construction of the second tracks. There are also already laid turnout and other extra tracks at the various stations, amounting in all to 22 miles of single track.

It will be perceived, that there is great diversity in the cost of the different lines of railroad. This is owing to the varieties in the face of country, and the nature of the obstacles to be encountered. It has been generally supposed, that the face of country is for the most part even, and consequently such as to present few obstacles to the construction of the railroad. This, on many parts of the several lines is not the case. From Brussels to Antwerp, the route is nearly level; but it crosses a number of rivers and canals, requiring expensive bridges. There are three bridges of 36 to 40 feet spring over the Senne; one of 80 feet in two arches over the Dyle; a draw bridge over the canal of Louvain; a bridge of 260 feet length, and 160 feet opening, in 6 arches, with a draw over the Nethe. The line from Malines to Ostend is almost entirely level, but it crosses a number of rivers and canals, requiring expensive works. The eastern line is much more expensive, crossing deep valleys requiring embankments of 50 to 60 feet in height, with cuttings of 30 to 45 feet in depth, and a subterranean gallery, or tunnel, of nearly 3,000 feet in length. There are also many bridges for the passage of the common roads over the railway, and for the passage of the railway over roads and streams. On the route from Louvain to Ans, there is an ascent mostly gradual, but in some places exceeding 30

feet in a mile, amounting in all to 492 feet. From Ans to Liege, in a space of 3 miles, is a descent of 360 feet, over which the transit is accomplished by means of 2 inclined planes, served by fixed engines of 360 horse power. From Liege to the Prussian frontier, a distance of 25 miles, the line of the road, after crossing the rivers Meuse and Ourthe on costly bridges, rises to a height of 650 feet, pursuing the winding valley of the river Vesdre, repeatedly crossing the stream on no less than 25 bridges, and penetrating rocky elevations by means of 18 tunnels. On the southern line, and on the branch to Namur, there are also expensive obstacles to be overcome. There are 2 tunnels, at Braine le Comte, and at Fayt 15 bridges over the Sambre and the Haine, and various other works of considerable expense. The grade of the road on these two lines rises to a considerable height.

The rails used in these works are 4.50, 4.57, or 5 metres in length, and vary in weight from 80 to 125 kilograms each; one parcel only being of 80 kilograms, a small part 90, a large part 99, and the residue 112 1-2 kilograms for rails of 4 1-2 metres, and 125 for those of 5 metres. The rails of lightest description were procured in 1834, being in English weight about 36 pounds to the yard in length, the rails of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway being probably adopted as the model. The other purchases of that year were of 40 to 41 pounds weight per yard. In 1836, '7, and '8, the purchases were of rails of about 44 pounds per yard; and in September, 1838, and most of the purchases since made, rails of 51 pounds per yard were procured. This progressive increase in the weight of the rails used, shows that experience there, as well as on the railroads of this country, has indicated the policy of submitting to a heavier expenditure for giving greater solidity to the track. The cost of rails used, varied in the course of the whole period, from 239 to 457 francs per 1,000 kilograms; that is, from $89.11 to $46.15 per ton English. These prices were considerably higher than the cost of rails during the same period in England, and higher than English rails delivered in this country without duty. The prices paid in successive years were, in 1834, 360 francs per 1,000 kilograms, or French ton; in 1835, 370 to 380 francs; in 1836, 440 to 450 francs; in 1837, 418 to 457 francs; in 1838, 426 to 340; in 1839, 340 to 370; and in 1840, 340 to 239. The highest price was paid in January, 1837, and the lowest in December, 1840, the difference being nearly one half. The prices paid within the same period in England for rails used on the Boston and Worcester railroad, varied from £9.2.6 to to £12 sterling; and the cost, delivered on the line of the road, including all expenses, varied from about $53 to $68 per ton. On this last-named road, also, the recommendations of experience have

led to the introduction of heavier rails on the second track, than were adopted on the establishment of the first. The weight of the rails laid upon it in 1833, 4 'and '5 was from 40 to 41 pounds per yard; those imported in 1838 were of 47 pounds, and those in 1841, of 60 pounds per yard. The rails of the two first descriptions, being placed upon chairs of 15 pounds weight at each support, and those of the latter description on chairs of 21 pounds at the ends of each rail only.

The cost of chairs on the Belgian railroads was from 255 to 149 francs per 1,000 kilograms, or $43 to $29 per ton. The cost of pins and keys was from 740 to 480 francs per 1,000 kilograms or 143 to $93 per ton. This is a good deal cheaper than the prices paid for these articles in this country, but not cheaper than the cost in England.

The whole quantity of rails furnished to the 31st of December, 1840, was 33,343,468 kilograms; of chairs, 14,329,246 kilograms; and of pins and keys, 1,567,351 kilograms, at a cost of 17,314,710 francs. The amount laid on the parts of road already in operation, is 24,077,000 kilograms, and the cost 12,832,199 francs. The amounts supplied for the parts of the roads not opened, is 9,251,000 kilograms, and the cost 4,482,510 francs. It will be perceived from this statement that the weight of chairs exceeds two fifths that of the rails.

The grades of the railroads of Belgium are in general extremely favorable for rapid travelling, and a moderate expenditure of locomotive power. On the whole of the northern line from Brussels to Antwerp, and the western, from Malines to Ostend, the inclinations are so slight, that the grade, for all purposes of practical utility, is equivalent to a level. On a considerable portion of the eastern line there are greater inclinations, though with a few exceptions they are hardly greater than are sufficient for the convenient draining of the track. After nearly a level track from Malines to Louvain, we there encounter an ascent of 22 feet in a mile for a distance of about 4 miles. From Tirlemont to Ans, there is an ascent nearly uniform for 25 miles of 15 feet in a mile; and after passing by stationary power the two descending planes of 357 feet in 2 1-4 miles from Ans to Liege, there is another gradual ascent along the valley of the Vesdre, for 23 miles, to the Prussian frontier, near Aix-la-Chapelle, averaging 26 feet in a mile, but rising for 2 1-2 miles near the frontier, to 50 feet per mile. Along this valley, for the purpose of avoiding inconvenient curves, the track is carried through the projecting points of highland and ledges, by a succession of eighteen tunnels, and by successive bridges from one side of the river to the other. The ascent above mentioned of 50 feet in a mile, is much the steepest inclination on

any of the Belgian railroads, with the exception of the inclined planes at Ans, and the terinination at the Prussian frontier is much the highest point of the railroad, it being 836 feet above the level of the sea. From this point there is a descent along nearly the whole line of the proposed extension of the route in the Prussian territory, of 40 miles to Cologne, amounting to 678 feet. This portion of the route passes through three tunnels of considerable extent, and over an inclined plane, descending 157 feet in less than a mile, on which will be a stationary steam-engine. This railroad, therefore, from Louvain to Cologne, a distance of a little more than a hundred miles, passes over declivities nearly equal to those between Boston and Springfield, with the disadvantage of three planes, which are so steep as to prevent their being travelled by means of locomotive power. No other portion of the Belgian railroad presents the same difficulties. The greatest inclination on any other part, is on the southern route from Brussels, on its approach to Braine le Comte, of about 25 feet in a mile for seven miles. This plane, near its summit, passes through the tunnel, and from this point the route descends by smaller inclinations to Mons, on the line to Valenciennes in France. The branch from Ghent to Courtray, Lisle, and Tournay, is nearly level, and the Charleroy and Namur branch, although passing over a comparatively elevated country, has no inconvenient grades.

The railroad is most liberally provided with buildings for the accommodation of every branch of the service. The buildings of various descriptions, are about 200 in number. Houses are provided at most of the stations for the residence of the officers, as well as halls, rooms, storehouses, workshops, and sheds, for the accommodation of passengers, for the receipt of merchandise, for the deposite and repair of locomotives and cars, and the storing of coal and wood. Some of these buildings are of large dimensions, and they are built part of brick and part of wood. At Malines, there is a car-house 410 feet in length by 80 in width, 4 engine houses 83 feet by 40, a forge and foundry 215 feet by 44, several workshops and a large number of storehouses and other buildings. At Brussels are three passenger halls, a freight-house 150 feet by 90; 2 repair shops, 120 feet by 33; 2 car-houses 225 feet, and 108 feet in length, with other buildings. At the other stations are buildings, adapted in their dimensions to the amount of business at each.

Of the 122 locomotives on the road, 18 have cylinders of 14 inches diameter, 5 of 13 inches, 41 of 12 1-2 inches, and of this class are the greater number recently built; 38 of 12 inches, and 20 of 11 inches. Of this number 99 were in good condition on the 1st of January last, 23 were under repair, and 6 were yet under construc

tion. The whole amount of service which has been performed by the engines to the above date, is 641,762 leagues, or 1,989,462 English miles; and the amount performed in the year 1840, was 236,221 leagues, or 732,285 miles. The greatest distance travelled by any one engine is 51,773 miles ;* the next greatest, 46,376; and the third, 43,465 miles. These three engines have all been upon the road from 1835, and each has once undergone a thorough repair. Several others have performed to nearly the same amount. The greatest perforinance by any engine in the year 1840 was 16,293 miles, and the next greatest, 15,400 miles.

There are 528 passenger carriages, of which 1 is a royal Berlin, 9 ordinary berlins, now disused, 96 diligences, or 1st class carriages; 205 chars-a-bancs, or 2d class, of which 46 are glazed, and 159 are without glass, and 217 are wagons or 3d class carriages, of which 121 are covered, and 96 are without cover. The chars-a-bancs were until the last 4 months without glass. There are in all 673 merchandise and freight cars, of all descriptions, and 136 for the service of the road, in construction and repairs. Of the freight cars, 44 are for the transport of cattle, 8 for horses, and 41 for carriages.

Having thus given a description of the rail-road and its materiel, we proceed to give some account of the operations upon it. The first object of attention was to provide for the transport of passengers; and at a more recent period provision was made for the conveyance of merchandise. The advance from year to year in the length of line open for use, the number of passengers transported in each successive year, with the amount of receipts for the transport of passengers and merchandise, are exhibited in the following table:

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421,439 771,307 1,384,577 2,238,303




Receipts from From merchandise
Passengers. and baggage.

268,997 frs.








of receipts.

000 frs. 268,997 frs. 000

825,133 1,416,983








2,080,507 15,193,938


The amounts received for baggage, included in the 5th column, were in 1837, 16,994 francs; in 1838, 103,421; in 1839, 132,514; and in 1840, 132,254. The residue of the amounts in this column was from freight and merchandise.

The following table shows the amount of the expenses of working

There is an engine on the Boston and Worcester Railroad which from February 1836 to July 1841, ran with trains of passengers and freight, chiefly the former, 76,250 miles.

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