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with wharves and other facilities for hand. In this case, by the building of handling immense quantities of freight. enormous breakwaters of rubble, conAt Salina Cruz, on the Pacific side, there crete, and rock-blocks, extended seaward was only an open roadstead, and a har- from a rocky promontory, an outer harbor had literally to be created out of bor and an inner harbor, admirable for
Map showing great saving in distance as compared
the Mississippi navigable by the largest 4
ships. The jetties stretch outward to
ward the sea like great arms, so narrowUN D-AS
ing the channel as to force the river to scour it out, doing the work for itself. .
The. gigantic task is now practically completed. Not only is the railroad finished, with the requisite locomotives and cars supplied, but the terminal ports are in a position to deal with the expected traffic. Huge steel wharves have been erected, with warehouses and all facilities for loading and unloading freight. Extensive railroad yards have been provided, and everything imaginable is at hand that can help in the rapid handling of merchandise of all sorts. The Mexican government, which owns the entire outfit, will have its own lines of steamers plying between New Orleans and Coatzacoalcos and between Salina Cruz and San Francisco.
The Tehuantepec Railroad proposes to
compete for all traffic between our own THE ADVANTAGE OF TEHUANTEPEC.
Atlantic ports and the Orient; also for the trade between New York and San
Francisco, and between European ports the purpose, have been made. On the and the Orient-in a word, for all of the Atlantic side, however, the Coatzacoal- traffic that is now moving around Cape cos River furnishes a natural harbor of Horn, over our transcontinental railunlimited capacity, and the difficulty, roads, and through the Suez Canal. Even which has been solved, was simply to re- were the proposed Panama Canal an acmove a bar, and prevent it from forming complished fact, this Mexican outfit again, by constructing jetties such as would be a formidable rival, for a number those which have made the entrance to of reasons presently to be stated. Mr.
John F. Wallace, former Chief Engineer of the Panama Canal, in the course of a recent address, declared that our Pa na m a investment, which already represents a cost of $70,000,000, may suffer serious impairment by the attractiveness of the Tehuantepec route.
As compared with Panama, the average saving of distance to all points in Europe and on our Atlantic coast is no less than 1,250 miles. An ordinary freight
steamer travels at the COFFEE FANNING MILL ON THE ISTHMUS.
rate of ten miles an hour,
the world's commerce, are likely to find Panama inaccessible. They cannot reach it, and they cannot get away from it, because of the lack of reliable winds. It is in what sailors call the Doldrums. One of the foremost of modern authorities in navigation, the celebrated Maury, said: “Should Nature by one of her convulsions rend the American Continent in twain, and make a channel across the Isthmus of Panama as deep, as wide, and as free as the Straits of Dover, it could never become a thoroughfare for sailing vessels.”
The Tehuantepec Railroad will be able to transfer freight across the isthmus at
$2 per ton from ship-hold to ship-hold. STEEL Bridge OVER TEHUANTEPEC River. “It is estimated,” says Mr. Wallace, “that
modern steamers can carry ocean freight are required to transfer freight from ship with profit at the rate of $1 a ton per to ship, ocean to ocean, by the Mexican 1,000 miles. On this basis, from New route; but, even considering this draw York to Sydney, Australia, the saving in back, there is still a saving of four days, distance by the Mexican route would be or $2,000.
5.700 miles, and any rate across the neck Another advantage of the Tehuantepec less than $5.75 per ton should take this route is that it is out of the region of business from the Suez Canal. This does calms and variable breezes. Sailing ves- not count the time required to steam sels, which must always carry much of 5,700 miles—from which, of course,
should be subtracted the time consumed in transferring the freight by rail across the isthmus. From New Orleans to Hong Kong, the saving over Suez would be 4,800 miles and fourteen days in time; and from New Orleans to Yokohama the saving, similarly' reckoned, would be 8,400 miles and twenty-four days."
One of the difficulties encountered by the Tehuantepec enterprise is the tendency of the luxuriant tropical vegetation to overrun the tracks, obstructing the line. To overcome this trouble a novel and ingenious contrivance is employed, which, it is reckoned, will save $12,000 a year in labor. It is an apparatus, which, by the help of a huge atomizer, distributes a powerful chemical fluid on either side of the road, the liquid being heated in a tank car by steam coils. Applied hot in this way, it kills even the roots.
The climate of the Tehuantepec Isthmus compares most favorably with that of Panama, being mild and healthful. Coffee, cacao, tobacco, vanilla, and sugarcane are grown in the region, which has a population of about 50,000. The inhabitants are hardy and industrious,