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suspend all further work until the preda- the rails and almost causing it to plunge tory pair had been stalked and shot; a over a fifty-five foot embankment. The task that took several weeks.
tusker himself was killed by the shock, On the Chota-Nagpur railroad in however, and himself rolled down the Bengal, an elephant once derailed a pas- bank instead. senger train going at a rate of forty- From lions and elephants to locusts is seven miles an hour. The animal at- a come-down indeed; yet many comtacked the engine head-on, putting it off panies in the Argentine suffer severely
from these pests, which at certain sea- the Buenos Ayres Great Southern will sons are present in such swarms as actu- often spend $250,000 a year in fighting ally to clog the locomotives and stop the them. Its smaller sister, the Cordova and trains. The Government periodically Rosario Line, is often swept by a veritaorganizes a kind of locust "conscription, ble Niagara that roars across its track, practically forcing every able-bodied man and utterly obliterates the road for the to fight the insects as the common ene- time being mies of every citizen in the Republic. And as to the Transandine Railroad,
Also in the Argentine the railroads and the Buenos Ayres Pacific, these are
have to contend with whirling clouds of periodically rent and torn by the Mensoft pampas grass. The Buenos Ayres doza River in flood which comes down Great Southern is especially afflicted in from the snows with inconceivable fury. this way, for it runs through vast plains The Buenos Ayres Pacific has one in a dead straight line for hundreds of stretch, "straight” of two hundred and miles. At certain seasons a wind rises, three miles. Its floods are freakish, for picks up veritable clouds of the long dry there are no water courses, nor any apgrass, and deposits it in clinging beds, preciable slope. The rain, therefore, acmany miles long, right over the track. cumulates on the surface, forming in Deep cuttings have been known to be en- places a monstrous shallow lake from five tirely filled up with this grass, and also to ten thousand square miles in extent. with light dust, which is often even more
The "wash-out" is a watery enemy of troublesome than the snow of northern a different kind, and much more discountries.
astrous. They are of frequent occurThe companies erect special wire rence on South American, West Indian fences to entrap the “paja volodora,” as and other tropical lines, and are comit is called, and a special staff piles the monly due to a rush of water, caused by stuff into colossal mounds and sets it on a river's sudden change of course. fire. The Argentine companies, too, These assaults have been known to have terrible floods to contend with; and sweep the permanent way from under the track, leaving it suspended in mid- were displayed; yet one day down came air, and held together only by the sleep- the irresistible torrent and in a moment ers and fish-plates. A typical company the central span lay on the ravine's rocky displaying great resource in fighting floor, a shapeless and twisted mass of wash-outs and land-slides is the Mexican spidery ironwork. Inis wonderful line Southern, which suffers much in August is carried across the summit of the Andes and September. On one memorable oc- by the thin lips of precipices dreadful and casion ninety landslides fell in a single day! And that same day saw forty-five wash-outs on the road, north of Perian Station. Thus the line has to be protected by stone walls against raging rivers that begin to exercise a "scouring' pressure. This is also defeated by sacks of sand, thrown in around bridge-piers and other threatened railroad works. The same company, like its Indian and Japanese colleagues, has to contend with severe earthquakes which in a moment will convert the best-laid road into a tortuous and sinuous brace of metals, which appear as a nightmare in the eyes of the railroad man.
WAY DESTROYED BY FLOOD. But there is no better examples of railroad enterprise than the Callao and sheer; under menacing spurs of rock; Oroya system in Peru. When the en- and over apparently fathomless gorgesgineers and surveyors were mapping out a magnificent monument of human inthis line, temporary ledges had to be genuity, calling for skill and daring of a blasted for them in the sheer faces of
very high order. terrible precipices, so that they might set Among troubles out of the ordinary, up their instruments in a rock-cut niche. too, are the sharp cyclones such as blew
Perhaps the most remarkable feature a train completely over at Frontera Staeven on these lines is the Verrugas Via- tion, on the Cordoba and Rosario Line duct, two hundred and fifty-two feet in the Argentine; the sea-spray that corhigh and five hundred and seventy-three roded and bent the rails on the Barbafeet long. It cost upwards of $170,000, does systems; and the common narcissus and none but runaway sailors, accus- that plagues the scenic mountain railtomed to work at dizzy heights, were em- roads of Switzerland. ployed in its construction. Great in- The greatest affliction a railroad knows, genuity, patience and resourcefulness however, is the winter's snow. In Rus
sia drifting is prevented by snow-screens, made of
specially selected shrubs and tall trees, and in our own country and in Canada we find snowfighting reduced to a science. Now a days every Western road has its own force of rotary snow-plows, with a large force of snowfighters, every one of them willing and able to take up the challenge of grim Winter.
In the Snow Plow WORKING NEAR THE SUMMIT OF Pike's Peak.
old days when the work
was not done on scientific principles, the protective shield. Externally it looks snow-plow's charge of a mountainous like a wrecking car, and inside it is the drift often spelled disaster; and from the engine that works the "eater,” which broken machine hurled back by the ice- bites into the white drift that bars East hard drift, brave men were dug out dead from West. At the machine's end is a or dying of broken limbs. At Truckee, great wheei in a circular shell. This California, eight engines once "bucked" wheel has oblique cutting flanges, that head-long into a slide pack, and from the bore into the snow mountain, whirling débris less than half their crews came the while like the screw propellers of a forth uninjured!
ship. Behind the propelling engines But the rotary of today, that cuts come the tender and repair cars, and through mighty snow-masses which in those containing the laborers and their the early days would have meant com- tools. plete blockade, is one of the marvels of It is an inspiring sight to see the romodern railroading. In effect it is a tary hurled with a rush and a plunge monstrous revolving auger carried in a into the white mass. Dense smoke pours
from the eager engines; the great blades of the rotary eat relentlessly into the drift, and the snow shoots out of the holes at the side, forming a vast white nimbus, constantly moving forward in triumph. At length only the spouting stacks of the locomotives are seen, belching blackness in the virgin wilderness.
A few hours later the luxurious "Limited"
comes tearing along A "Wash-out ON THE MEXICAN SOUTHERN RAILROAD, LEAVING THE TRACK
with its palace cars,
SUSPENDED IN AIR.