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JOURNAL OF SCIENCE,
AND ANNALS OF
MINING, METALLURGY, ENGINEERING, INDUSTRIAL ARTS,
MANUFACTURES, AND TECHNOLOGY.
3, HORSE-SHOE COURT, LUDGATE HILL.
HE Report recently issued by the Royal Commission
on Railway Accidents brings very prominently to
notice the fact that the break-power at present ordinarily applied to passenger-trains is inefficient, and that to this fact is due the occurrence of many accidents which, by the application of better mechanical contrivances, might have been avoided. Former Committees and Commissions appointed by the Legislature to enquire into the subject of railway accidents have generally in their reports assumed that the principle of self-interest, in its influence on Railway Companies, should be relied on as the best safeguard against accidents; that the liability of the Companies to pay a serious amount in compensation in individual cases was a strong inducement to railway directors to work the line carefully, the Companies having thus a direct pecuniary interest in keeping their lines safe.
These assumptions have not been borne out by subsequent experience. One of the members of the late Royal Commission, in a separate report, has shown to what extent the self-interest of Railway Companies has any practical bearing on the subject, and, in order to make the matter more clear, he has deduced from the expenditure returns made by Companies to the Board of Trade the following figures, which represent an average
VOL. VIII. (N.S.)