Page images
PDF
EPUB

re

a most convenient and pleasant means of locomotion through districts untouched by the great railways.

In Holland, where I consider steam tramways are more appreciated, and where the system is more fully developed than in any country with which I am acquainted, they penetrate everywhere, and carry an enormous number of passengers as well as light goods, the canals which intersect that country in all directions carrying the heavier goods.

The rails are laid by the roadsides, and the guage is almost invariably narrow, and although there is in Holland a great amount of cart and carriage traffic on the roads, no inconvenience seems to be experienced from the close contact with the tramway.

For these steam tramways no stations are quired, beyond a wooden room at certain points for passengers to await the arrival of the tramcars in wet weather. At any point along the road passengers can stop the cars to alight, and people wishing to travel by them can as easily stop them to get in.

There are usually in Holland two first-class and two second-class cars with one or two parcel vans on each tram, and the trams run at frequent intervals during the day. Between the Hague and the watering place of Scheveningen alone, steam trams, electric trams, and horse trams are running throughout the day at short intervals, and carry an enormous number of persons to and fro. The fares are strictly reasonable, and the cars comfortable. In summer many of the cars are open, having wooden roofs on light columns resting on the sides of the seats.

The guage is some 3 feet 4 inches. The lines are looked after and kept free from obstructions by a staff of work people (chiefly women) stationed at intervals along the roads.

These lines run both short and long distances, in some cases nearly fifty miles, and are so laid out as to form connecting lines with the railways and canals, the main railways working in connection with them.

They are formed partly by the State, partly by the larger railway companies, and partly by private enterprise, or are assisted by the State by grants in aid.

The speed ranges from 12 to 16 miles an hour, but in going through the towns the trams go at slow speed, and a flagman walks in front of the engine.

In many towns the steam tramway starts from a point just outside the town, and horse trams are run through the streets in connection with them. Passengers and parcels can be put down or delivered at their destinations on the main lines, and in like manner

[ocr errors]

taken up.

The cost per mile, including rolling stock, may be put at from £1500 to £2500. The free use of the roadsides is a great saving in the cost of land purchase, severance, fencing, &c., and the country is not cut up by fenced lines run across it in different directions, as in the case of the great railways.

The risk from these open lines to persons or convey. ances using the roads is merely nominal, even when they cross the roads, as the speed is always reduced at the crossings, and the engines are small and cased in so as to cause as little danger as possible.

In Austria and Hungary as well as in France, Belgium, and elsewhere, the steam tramways are found generally useful, more particularly, as in Holland, in regard to passenger and parcel traffic.

During the summer season the passenger traffic is very considerable, and in the Austrian Tyrol these tramways penetrate regions difficult of access by horse carriages.

I do not anticipate that light railways or steam tramways if established in England will, except in certain localities, afford much actual assistance to farmers in the transit of heavy produce, but there can be no doubt that they will indirectly assist by being the means of distributing not only people, but produce generally about the country; they will also tend to check the great migration of country people to the towns, by making the country more accessible to the towns.

I do not go at all into the technical details, as these have been well discussed recently at The Surveyors' Institution evening meetings, but I may remark that I attach little weight to the arguments against transhipment of goods.

On the Continent this is almost the invariable rule, and no appreciable difficulties result, and the light narrow gauge lines have been proved to be best adapted for general use. I may

further add that I believe these lines will facilitate the formation of small holdings, and many of our artisans now crowded into the towns would be enabled to live in the country, and bring up their families amid healthier surroundings in all respects than is now

the case.

The saving to the country districts in the wear and tear of the roads would be appreciable and would justify some assistance out of the rates.

I cannot help thinking that plenty of private capital

will be forthcoming for the making of these railways when their advantages are known, but I should have liked to see the government guarantee 2 to 27 per

cent. on the capital invested in lines certified by the Light Railways Commissioners.

The restrictions by the controlling authority should be as few as possible, or the cost of construction will be prohibitive.

C. G. BOLAM, Fellow.

SECTION III.

PROFESSIONAL QUERIES.

Information is sought on the following points :

CCLXXXIX.

BOUNDARY-Road WIDENING.

(For Replies to this qucry, see p. 31.)

[ocr errors]

(A) A public highway situate within a borough, and enclosed by quick-thorn fences, is of varying width (approximately 30 feet).

The Corporation's bye-laws provide that new streets shall have a minimum width of 40 feet, and their surveyor intimates to the owner of the land fronting the road that plans for houses to be erected on his land will only be passed on condition that the road is made 40 feet wide.

Is the owner bound to give land to widen the present road in order to get such plans passed ?

He recognises the Corporation's right to fix building line, but not to deprive him of the land between the building line and the road. (B) In the case of a high road bonnded by quick-thorn fences

(a) Planted on a cop.
(6) With a ditch intervening between the road and the fence.

(c) Where there is neither cop nor ditch. In what line should the owner of the land fronting the road erect the outer face of a boundary wall or iron fence to supersede the thorn fence so as to enclose all the land to which he is entitled without encroaching on the highway?

60XC.
TITHE RENT-CHARGE-RECOVERY OF ARREARS.

(For Replies to this Query, see p. 35.) A B (the owner of the land) is in arrear with his tithe rent-charge, due on October 1st last. In this particular instance, there is an objection to county court proceedings, and the question arises whether the amount can be recovered by distress under Section 81, 6 and 7 William the 4th, cap. 71. It is to be observed that the Tithe Act, 1891 does not rep.al the section quoted above, and Section 2 of the 1891 Act seems to state that county court proceedings are permissive, and not compulsory.

The actual occupier of the land would not proceed in an action against the owner, if a distress were le vi for breach of covenant for quiet enjoyment, as the owner has agreed to indemnify him against all costs should a distress be levied.

« EelmineJätka »