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Incline, on the railway between Trieste and Vienna, which is 137 miles long and 1,831 feet in height, whereas the Ghaut Incline is 1,831 feet higher from base to summit, and extends 157 miles. The number of laborers in constant employment on this work is from 40,000 to 43,000, and the amount of contract work performed in a single month has exceeded $200,000, or £50,000 sterling.
RAILWAY PROGRESS IN INDIA.
The present financial difficulties of the railway companies, and the English demand for cotton, (says the Friend of India,) are calling attention to the state of the existing lines. The East Indian Railway, commenced in 1851, will probably be finished in 1865. The line will be opened as far as Bhagulpore, 264 miles from Calcutta, in about six months. The communication with Benares will be effected some time in 1862, and the line between Allahabad and Agra in February of that year. The link between Benares and Allahabad will be among the last to be supplied. Turning to the south, we find that the line eastward from Beypore will soon be completed to Parasanoor, a distance of 30 miles. Of the 405 miles from Madras to Beypore, 207 are open to Salem. The branch line, 84 miles, to Bangalore, leaving the trunk line 132 miles from Madras, is in progress. Nothing has yet been done to the branch from Coimbatore, 22 miles, to Metapolliem, at foot of the Neilgherries. The Madras and Bombay line leaves the main trunk to Beypore, 42} miles from Madras. Of its whole length, via Bellary, for 327 miles to Moodgul, where the G. I. P. line will meet it, 182 miles are in progress, and 17 are opened for traffic from the junction. Of the 3354 miles of the Great Southern of India line, from Negapatam on the coast to Trichinopoly, 78} miles are in progress, and will be open about the middle of the year. Nothing has yet been done to the branch, for 87 miles, to Errode, to join the Beypore line, or to the branch, for 170 miles, via Madura to Tuticorin. Of the Great Peninsular Railway, 350 miles are now open. The Bombay and Baroda Railway is open from Lucheen, ten miles north of Surat, to Dolia, nine miles north of Baroda. The whole difficulty in the way of India supplying England with cotton is the want of easy and cheap means of communication between the interior and the coast. To this, more than to the establishment of societies for supplying seed and machinery to the ryots, should Manchester direct its attention. The Bombay government has deputed Captain Anderson to visit the great cotton districts of the Southern Mahratta country. He will be accompanied by a Bombay merchant. The supreme government are about to nominate an official for the same purpose from Calcutta, to begin his inquiries from Mirzapore, and extend them through Central India.
RAILWAYS IN INDIA.
The report on railways in India, for the year 1860, by Mr. DANVERS, the secretary of that department, has just been published. It appears that, on the 31st of December last, the number of miles open was 842, being an increase of 208 during the twelve months. Of these 842 miles, 100 are constructed with double and 742 with single lines of rail. The most important of the lately completed sections is that on the Eastern Indian Railway, between Cynthea and Rajmahal, Calcutta being thus connected with the Ganges, so as to render it possible for 250 miles of dangerous river navigation to be avoided. No new lines have been sanctioned during the year, and the Oude Company has been postponed; 227 miles of the East Indian Railway Company's scheme, (Allahabad to Jubbulpore,) 240 miles of the Punjaub Company's scheme, (Delhi to Lahore,) and 183 miles of the Great Indian Peninsula and Madras Companies' schemes, (Sholapore to Bellary,) have also been postponed. The extent of line now in course of execution is 2,932] miles, of which 1,3531 miles are expected to be opened during the present year, and the remainder in 1862. This will include the great trunk line from Calcutta to Delhi. A scheme has been brought forward for a line into the Guicowar's territory, in connection with the Bombay and Baroda, and another to bring the French town of Karricall, on the coast of Madras, into communication with the Great Southern of India line. These, however, are foreign works, and the India government, although desirous of facilitating them, have no direct concern with them. The importance of constructing ordinary roads as feeders on the railway lines is engaging attention, and the Madras government has sanctioned the construction of forty-three roads, of an aggregate length of 1,083 miles. The annual earnings of railways, on the 30th of June last, were £318,310, and will probably amount to £400,000 for the year ending 30th June next; but, although the indications of traffic are satisfactory, the ultimate prospects cannot be estimated with accuracy until the entire cost of each line shall have been conclusively ascertained. Up to the end of last year the total number of shareholders in Indian railways was 17,118, of whom only 336 were native Indians. The latest estimates for the completion of all the lines sanctioned in India amount to £56,000,000, of which, however, about £7,000,000 represent the cost of the sections that are to be postponed, reducing the essential amount to £49,000,000. Of this sum, £34,396,444 had been raised up to the 30th ult., the end of the Indian official year, leaving about fourteen or fifteen millions to be supplied, of which at least £8,000,000 will be required for the twelve months ending the 30th of April, 1862. Of these eight millions six will be expended in India.
RAILWAY DIRECTORS IN FRANCE. Accounts have been given of the prosecution of M. MILLAUD (formerly a partner of M. Mires) and of Mr. Stokes, before the tribunal of correctional police, for alleged fraud in connection with the Nassau Railways ; (a prosecution which ended in the acquittal of the former and the condemnation of the latter, by default, to five years' imprisonment;) also of actions brought against MILLAUD, before the civil courts, by shareholders in those railways, to get back sums which they had paid. Two days back four other persons brought a new action before the civil tribunal against MILLAUD, and also against General MOLINES DE SAINT Yon, M. LEVY and M. CAEPPES, who had been, with him, directors of the Nassau Railway, to obtain restitution of the sums they had paid for shares, on the ground that they subscribed on an assurance that the company had obtained from the Nassau government the guarantee of a minimum revenue of seven per cent., and that such statement was altogether false. The tribunal, after hearing pleadings, condemned all the defendants to reimburse the sums in question, and to pay interest at five per cent. on the amount. With regard to Millaud, who was the originator of the affair, the court ordered that if the restitution were not made without delay, he might be arrested and lodged in the debtors' prison.
THE QUALITY OF IRON RAILS. Quality, not quantity, is the essential for economy in buying rails. How hard we have striven to impress this fact, so well known to every workman or employee on a railway, upon the hard heads of some managers.
Now it is a fact, that rails costing eighty dollars per ton may be really cheap, while others costing twenty dollars may be actually very dear. There is the same difference in the quality of rails that there is in boots and shoes. An expert can readily detect the real value of rails, as well as some railway managers can tell the quality of a piece of roast beef or mutton they are masticating. Just remember this fact : there is no company so rich that it can afford to pay for poor material for the superstructure of its line. In England the necessity of employing good iron for rails is now so generally acknowledged, that, in order to insure a superior quality, one of the greatest railway companies have established works to manufacture their own iron, and another company, not less important, are just about to follow their example. In the United States, too, the managers of the best conducted roads do not scruple to pay
from five to fifteen dollars per ton above the quoted market rates for rails. They find this is true economy, and so will the rest of them if they secure what they pay for-rails of the best quality. The heaps of refuse material which is rolled into the shape of rails, and peddled about the country at a low price, is just like PINDAR's razors—made to sell, not wear. Experts for the examination of rails can be had if the companies are willing to pay for the service they render; and let us assure our managers that they can afford to pay well for just this kind of information, or rather, they can't afford not to have the information, no matter what it costs to procure it.--Railway Times.
THE TEXAS AND NEW-ORLEANS RAIL-ROAD.
The Texas division of the Texas and New-Orleans Rail-Road has been completed to this city. The whole distance from Houston to NewOrleans is about three hundred and forty miles. Of this distance there are now one hundred and eighty miles of completed road, and forty miles more (Brashear to New Iberia) ready for the iron, leaving but one hundred and twenty miles to be built.
Houston, as the rail-road centre of Texas will, when the whole road is completed, pour a trade over it of enormous proportions. Already there are spreading out in four directions from it, rail-roads in the aggregate 280 miles in length, besides this under consideration, striking to the heart of the great sugar region, the great stock region, the great cotton region, and ultimately the great wheat region of this State. Other roads are projected to become the channel of trade for all Eastern Texas, and all these roads must be the feeders of the New Orleans road, when once it goes into operation. As the connecting link between the railroad system of Texas and the commercial metropolis of the Confederacy, the importance of this road cannot well be over-estimated.—Houston Telegraph, May, 1861.
THE LADRONE ISLANDS. The Ladrones comprise a group of not very extensive islands, some twenty or more in number, but situated so close together, that on approaching them they have the appearance of one large irregular island. Contrary to the general aspect of the Polynesian Islands, the Ladrones present a rugged, gloomy appearance, dark, beetling cliffs rising to a towering height perpendicularly from the water's edge. The interior of the islands is, however, fertile in the extreme, the country being overrun with rank, luxuriant vegetation, differing singularly from the trim, neat manner in which Nature herself has decked the Society, Fiji and Friendly groups—for, strange to say, in these latter, however indolent and careless the natives, the soil always seems to be well cultivated, and vegetation trimmed to the perfection of neatness.
The Ladrone Islands were discovered by Magellan, in the middle of the 17th century, and were named from the Spanish word for thief, (Ladrone,) in consequence of the thievish disposition of the inhabitants, though in reality they are no worse than their neighbors. They belong to Spain, though the Spanish government has made no use of them, and of late years has withdrawn the few civil and military settlements formerly maintained on the Island of Tinian. The natives appear to be a happy, careless, indolent, contented race of savages, apparently a cross between a Papuan negro and the Polynesian aborigines.
THE SOURCES OF THE NILE. The Levant Herald says :—" Baron HOCHBEIN, envoy from the Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, who recently presented the Grand Vizier with the decoration from that prince, left during the past week for Alexandria, after himself receiving the third class of the Medjidieh. From Alexandria he proceeds, accompanied by six scientific fellow-travellers and an armed escort of thirty attendants, to explore the sources of the Nile. The Prussian government has placed a sloop of war in the Red Sea at the disposal of the party. The Baron has already made one journey to Soudan, and on this second expedition intends, it is said, to penetrate into a country which has been explored by no previous traveller."
THE AMOOR COUNTRY. According to the report of Mr. Collins, the Amoor River has an outlet in the ocean, which can be entered by merchant ships and steamers, and it is navigable for steamboats more than two thousand miles from the Pacific Ocean. Already seven American commercial houses have
been established at Nicolaiosky, the commercial port of the Amoor, with which there is now communication by means of ships and steamboats from the United States. It can be reached by steamboats in two days from Hakodadi and other ports in Japan, with which a profitable trade has already sprung up.
On the tributaries of the Amoor is a population of fifteen or twenty millions of people, inhabiting a vast and productive country, not destitute of wealth in material resources, and the valleys, watered by the Amoor, are rapidly filling up with the military colonies of Russia. There is a growing demand for the products of American industry and ingenuity.
EXPLORATION OF THE RED SEA. A report was presented last week to the Academy of Sciences, on a paper sent in some time ago by M. COURBON, on the results obtained by him during an expedition sent to the Red Sea for scientific purposes by the Emperor of the French. M. St. Claire Deville, who was the reporter for the geological part, stated that M. COURBON had minutely examined many parts of both coasts of the Red Sea, had also crossed the Egyptian Desert between Cosseir and the ruins of Thebes, and even penetrated to the neighborhood of the town of Halay, in Abyssinia. Of this country M. Courbon has made a highly interesting geological map, and, moreover, given a minute description of the configuration of the soil at Jeddah, the Island of Desseh and the Bay of Adulis, the Island of Doomairah, &c. At Edd he found an immense basaltic wall built by nature, the whole country being of volcanic formation. The Island of Perim is trachytic. The culminating points of the island reach an elevation of 228 feet, and prove that the island itself is the result of a volcanic eruption under the sea. The lava had first raised up the large bank of madrepores which covered the bottom, and had then forced its way through the interstices, and become visible over the water. This volcano, the vast crater of which embraced the Bay of Perim, in course of time covered the new island with mud, ashes, trachytic blocks; &c., and then became extinguished. M. VALENCIENNES, who reported on the zoological part, noticed among the specimens brought by M. COURBON 8 new species of the genus gymnodactylus. It is a Saurian, to which M. Valenciennes has given the name of gymnocephalus. There were also two species of fish, the cyprinodon lunatus and cyprinodon dispar, which M. Courbon had fished in a lake near Massuah, the waters of which marked as much as 111° of Fahrenheit. This was the first instance on record of cyprinodons living in such warm water. A third kind of fish inhabiting the rivers of Abyssinia, quite unknown, and belonging to a genus of which a single species only has yet been met with in Java, M. VALENCIENNES has called balitora pusilla. M. BROGNIART, the reporter on the botanical part, stated that M. COURBON had presented his valuable herbarium to the Museum of Natural History, and mentioned several new species or varieties of plants brought home by the enterprising traveller.