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Motor Cars for Railroads

By M. A. R. Brunner

M TRANGE in appearance is the lat- square design of window has been done

est model, gasoline-motor car put away with, and air-, water- and dustinto service by the Union Pacific proof round window-sash has been sub

railroad company. For some time stituted. The new windows resemble the this company has been experimenting port-holes of a vessel. The car has with gasoline cars for use over its regular built-up veneered wood seats, with a lines. Its first model was completed in semi-circular seat at the rear. Its seating March, 1905, and was subjected to very capacity is seventy-five. The interior is thorough tests as to its dependability and finished in English oak. The weight of speed. After it had made several long the car is 58,000 lbs. and its length is trips, covering in the aggregate more fifty-five feet. The motor is a 100 horsethan four thousand miles, it was put in power, six-cylinder, gasoline engine with regular daily service in Nebraska, where "make and brake” spark ignition, with its performance has been extremely satis- battery and magneto for ignition. The factory. Five more models, each differ- metal clutch, operated by air-pressure, is ing slightly from its predecessor, have controlled by a specially designed opersince been constructed and put into serv- ating valve ice. Model Number 7, turned out of the

The new car has already made several shops only a few weeks ago, is the latest

successful trial runs, both on level track type and the most radical departure from ordinary practice.

and on various grades, at speeds ranging The car is equipped with side en

from thirty-four to seventy-two miles an trances, the door apertures being worked hour. The car is now at Denver and into the side of the car, by means of a will make one round trip daily between patented steel framing, which includes Denver and Greeley, Colorado, a disan uninterrupted depressed side-sill. The tance of 103 miles.

New Rival of Panama Canal

By René Bache


HILE Congress and the matter further, you will find that at this Administration have point a great gap has, so to speak, been been trying to find out scooped by Nature out of the Sierra what kind of a canal Madre Mountains—the lofty range which they are going to dig runs along the strip of terra firma uniting at Panama, the Mexi- North and South America. From an elecan government has vation of about a mile, the range sinks been quietly putting suddenly to a few hundred feet. In the finishing touches other words, there is, across the narrow

upon an enterprise neck of land described, a pass most confor inter-oceanic traffic which bids fair venient for a road to connect the Atlantic to become a very formidable competitor with the Pacific. of our own chosen route, even after the The neck is the Isthmus of Tehuanteditch has been dug—which, in the opin- pec, and it has been regarded as an inion of many who know much about the viting path for inter-oceanic transportasubject, is not likely to be finally accom- tion ever since the earliest times. In plished within less than forty years. fact, as far back as 1520, when Hernando

If you will look at a map of the west- Cortez, through the hospitality of Monteern world, you will see that in the south- zuma, was installed in the Aztec national ern part of Mexico the American Conti- palace, his attention was called to the nent shrinks in width to such a narrow matter. The King, at his request, showed neck that the distance from ocean to him charts of the coast, and immediately ocean is only 125 miles. Investigating the he sent a reconnoitering party to explore

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Map showing how lines of trade naturally center at Tehuantepec,

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that part of it, and particularly to make Since the time of Cortez repeated ata voyage up the Coatzacoalcos River, tempts have been made to utilize the opwhich, he hoped, might open a water- portunity in one way or another. In way clear across to the Pacific.

1868 a trans-isthmian carriage road was Subsequently the King of Spain, actually opened. Ships, entering the Charles V, wrote a letter from Vallado- Coatzacoalcos River from the Gulf, ran lid, enjoining upon Cortez the most care twenty-five miles up that stream, and ful inquiry "for a passage which would passengers and freight were then disem- • connect the eastern and western shores barked, to accomplish the rest of the of the New World, and shorten by two- journey on horseback and muleback.

Women were carried in chairs on the

backs of peons. The traffic was very GULF OF considerable, and even at the present day, NE X C 0

though much of the road has been obliterated by the tropical forest growth, parts of it are still discernible.

At one time our own government seriously contemplated the digging of a ship canal across the neck--the idea being that neutrality of the strip which the ditch passed should be secured by treaty with Mexico. Indeed, the project was strongly endorsed by the report of a surveying expedition which we sent out, headed by the late Admiral Shufeldt, who said : "A canal through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is practically an extension of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. It converts the Gulf of Mexico

into an American lake, and in time of C.Caio Rancho

war it would close that gulf to all comers. So to speak, it renders our own territory circumnavigable.”

Not unnaturally, Mexico was suspicious of the intentions of the stronger

republic to the north of her, and did not TEMUAN TEPEC

take kindly to the plan. Perhaps she was wise ; for who can say that, if she had

accepted, she might not find herself toPĀCIFIC OCEAN

day in the situation of Panama—that is

to say, practically a vassal of the United WHERE EAds Was DISAPPOINTED.

States ? At all events, the project fell Map showing route of the ship railroad proposed by the

through, only to be superseded, later on,

by the plan of James B. Eads, the famous thirds the route from Cadiz to Cathay." engineer, to build across the isthmus a Cortez never abandoned the idea. Hav- railroad which would carry ships. At ing explored the river above mentioned each end of the route there was to be a to its source, and finding no opening terminal dock, with a sunken lifting ponthere, he was still so convinced that at toon, over which a vessel could be run, some future time commerce would press She could then be hoisted to the required across the low and narrow divide that he level, placed upon a specially-constructed asked of the Crown and obtained a grant car, and transported, with passengers and of land, through which he judged the freight, across the neck, the operation route would lie. This land is held by being reversed in order to deposit her in his descendants today, and through it the ocean on the other side. runs the Tehuantepec Railroad, which is Unfortunately, at just about this time now on the point of completion.

the project for a Nicaraguan canal was

S. Geronimo

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Isthmus of Tehuantepec

Showing the Routes of the
National Railroad of Tehuantepec

and tbe proposed

Salina Cruz

great engineer.

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brought bufore Congress, with powerful as 160 feet to the mile. As might be exinfluence behind it, and the Eads plan pected, some formidable engineering difwas defeated—though not before he had ficulties have had to be overcome by the greatly interested a vast number of peo- bridging of chasms and tunnelling of ple in it by lectures and by the exhibition hills. For a considerable distance the of a beautiful working model of the road runs through a deep cañon. proposed ship railroad. He died, how- The equipment is first-class in all reever, in 1887—since which time various spects. All the bridges are of steel, with attempts have been made to solve the abutments of solid masonry, and the Jalproblem of inter-oceanic communication tepec River is crossed by a five-span

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by way of Tehuantepec, culminating at structure of this description 560 feet long. length in the construction of a first-class Eighty-pound rails are employed modern railroad, which, it is expected, throughout, and the road-bed is as subwill be opened for business by next Oc- stantial as possible. The gauge is the tober.

standard 4 feet, 812 inches. Oil, fetched As the crow flies, the distance from from Beaumont, Texas, in tank steamers ocean to ocean across the Isthmus of by way of Port Arthur, is utilized, instead Tehuantepec is 125 miles, but, owing to of coal, for the locomotives. It is delivnecessary divagations, the railroad is ered at Coatzacoalcos, where the com190 miles in length. Connecting the port pany has a huge storage tank with a caof Coatzacoalcos, on the Gulf side, with pacity of 1,500,000 gallons, and thence Salina Cruz, the Pacific port, it rises it is distributed to small supply tanks quite gradually from the former point to along the line. Chivela Pass, the highest part of the A very important part of this great divide, which is 730 feet above sea level. engineering problem was the construcFrom Chivela Pass the descent is rather tion of proper terminal ports, with the abrupt, the grade being in places as much requisite protection for shipping, and

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