[Illustration: Endless trough conveyer.]
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On the West Shore and Buffalo road its limit of grade is 30 feet to the mile going west and north, and 20 feet to the mile going east and south. Next for easy grades comes the New York Central and Hudson River road. From New York to Albany, then up the valley of the Mohawk, till it gradually reaches the elevation of Lake Erie, it is all the time within the 500 foot level, and this is maintained by its connections on the lake borders to Chicago, by the “Nickel Plate,” the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, and the Canada Southern and Michigan Central.
The Erie, the Pennsylvania, and the Baltimore and Ohio roads pass through a country so mountainous that, much as they have expended to improve their grades, it is practically impossible for them to attain the easy grades so much more readily obtained by the trunk lines following the great natural waterways originally extending almost from Chicago to New York.
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The Journal of the Statistical Society for September contains an elaborate paper by Mr. E. Foxwell on “English Express Trains; their Average Speed, etc. with Notes on Gradients, Long Runs, etc.” The author takes great pains to explain his definition of the term “express trains,” which he finally classifies thus: (a) The general rule; those which run under ordinary conditions, and attain a journey-speed of 40 and upward. These are about 85 per cent. of the whole. (b) Equally good trains, which, running against exceptional difficulties, only attain, perhaps, a journey speed as low as 36 or 37. These are about 5 per cent. of the whole. (c) Trains which should come under (a), but which, through unusually long stoppages or similar causes, only reach a journey speed of 39. These are about 10 per cent. of the whole.