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11 Wils n vlull inonspicious innum a little prelijiunry pacius. A ing when I stopperl, it 10.38 A.M., surilen Whiri of tne driving-wheels, ou the foot-plate of one of the Mid- rapiilly Checkerl hy ensing of steam, lind new single riiving - wheel au followerl by the application of express pugiues, which hail the the stealu snulers, gave momrut before Jazily backerl down forcible intimation of the difference ou to the train of eight carriages, between four - wheeler coupler weighing as lienrly as possible 105 engines and our ipajestic pralictous, or with engine and tendering steril for the day. 180 tons.
luluediately the niad whirl was Having established my borut checked, and the ouward slow and filling to the satisfaction of the steady pace was resumed, now olriver, I narle a rapid survey of slightly quickening, and realised the surromlings. The fire-box more fron, the ear, by the rapidly front bristled with bright aruit increasing beats, which alone inture, ou contrasted strangely dicated the work being done. with the simple trial au water Past the towering gasometers gango tapıs used a few
to the right, then over the disinal Everything wils perplexity to the old St Pancras graveyard, shorn stranger, and yet, when uwlerstood, of its picturesqueness by the of the simplest charncter. Injector serrated grave-stones, which seem aud nutoinatic brake apparatiis all to appeal in speechless rows, and in oue to the right, an injector refuse to be hidden by the slight aurl surling - tap to the left; screen of limes and poplars. hauilles aud pipes highly polisherl Braring down niore rapidly by 21. serrrely neat, showing in the goods depot with increasing their applicatiou the wisest econ- speed, we enter the dark arches olay of space.
which precede Caroden Road, Further speculation is to use through which we run smartly, and service were abruptly cut and pass Kentish Town station short by the shrill whistle of the at 30 miles
hour. leading guard, in respouse to a The real business of the day little pantomimic play from the conwences, and the huge set other end of the train. The crill- symmetrical engine, sentieut-like, ed head of the fireman was quick- seems to borrow something of the ly witbrirawu, and “Right away, earnestness of the men in charge. inate,” followed by a touch of the Over crossings, threading with whistle, and the almost simultane ease what appeared to be a derious ous opening of the regulator valve. and intricate way, through the A moment's hesitation, only a vio many sidings at Kentish Towy, ment, and
set off on the foot-plate ineanwhile as steady journey of 124 uniles, to be run as the floor of the saloon carriage, without a stop, as the long finger told well for the alnıost perfect of the giant clock of St Pancras balancing of the woring parts. pointed to forty ininutes past ten. Through another open space, We were punctunl.
with a gleam of sunlight in the ment was slow and dignified, and face, quickly exchanged for the reminded one of an athlete doing uninviting stone-work of the cut
ting, past Haverstock Hill station, fields, woods, and water trooping and then with a rush plunged past at 60 miles per hour. Now into the murky terrors of Belsize we are breasting one of the first tunnel, which the preceding 10.30 of the numerous gradients which train had filled with vapour, which mark the Midland route, and still twisted and clung to the which the accompanying diagram damp sides in fantastic shapes, will the better illustrate, both as rapidly enveloping us as though regards section of road and speed to hide the Cimmerian terrors maintained. The spacing between beyond. Had Dante been so each of the horizontal lines reprefortunate as to ride through Bel- sents 10 miles, the bottom being size tunnel on a locomotive under The rise of its for 44 miles such conditions, another and a to Elstree was hardly felt, the more terrible chamber of þorrors speed never falling below the rate would have been added to his of 56 miles per hour over the top. pandemonium, in which doubtless In a few minutes we were racing å wheeled monster would have up another 4.1 miles of sloping figured, before which the most ground leading to and beyond St gruesome of his shapes would Albans. The changes are no longer have flown in terror, crushed and panoramic, but become almost ground in a thick - ribbed region kaleidoscopic. So far the wary of smoke and steam.
hand of the driver had never left The fire - door is now dropped the handle of the regulator, ready (with a clang) for the purpose of to check the slightest slipping that adding more fuel, and a broad might be caused by the slippery lurid flash of light is flung back state of the rails in the tunnels, or on to the tender and the end of to check or stop in obedience to the first carriage, showing the the numerous signals encountered. piled-up coal magnified and dis- After a careful survey of the distorted by the masses of vapour tant lines he laid his hand on the which wreathed down from the quadrant wheel (the third time roof. The rapid pulse-like beats since our commencement) and adof the exhaust could be distinctly justed it with almost mathematical heard as the arched roof hurled precision to the second notch in back each reeking concussion. the sector, which I afterwards
The darkness becomes more pro- noticed was divided into eight found and wearisome, when
& parts. glimpse of light, lost as soon as The smart clean-faced pressureseen, and gradually enlarging, gauge registered 160 lb. to the gives one the impression of look- inch of pressure, and that, too, with ing through the wrong end of a left injector full on (and which was large telescope.
never taken off until our arrival at The light becomes larger and Nottingham), spoke well in favour more full-orbed, and quickly, with of the steaming qualities of the a sense of relief, we rush into the boiler. The light simmering of the awaiting glories of the day. steam through the restraining discs
Ajax at the dawn, after the of the safety-valves was constant, night's encounter, never felt more but never boisterous, a foretaste relief than was experienced by the of scientific driving not to be exthird man on the foot-plate. celled anywhere, proving the most
Through Cricklewood, Brent, judicious management of fire and Welsh Harp, and Hendon, houses, water.
The deflected arms of the signal The duties of the men in charge posts had so far showed a clear now appear somewhat monotonous, road, and the only manipulation and consist principally in anticiindulged in was the regular laying pating the distant semaphores tha's on of a few shovelfuls of coal. here and there stand out like watchThe vacuum-gauge had from the ful sentinels of the line. The men first constantly registered 20
registered 20 in the boxes, as we pass them, by inches of vacuum, seven of which a light touch flash the information were sufficient in case of need to of our advance still farther ahead. stop our onward course.
We were well up to time; the We pass St Albans, with its difficulty was to realise that we ancient abbey looking fresh after were running at the speed indiits timely renovation, at a' speed of cated, so smoothly and easily was 57 miles per hour, and a few min. the work done. utes later sweep through Harpen Up hill and down dale, the actual den, with its breezy furze-covered work done being faithfully indiheath to the left, the speed-indi- cated by the pointer affixed to cator showing 60 miles (good the reversing screw, which marked racing speed), and with an in- the position of cutting off steam in creased speed of 65 miles an hour cylinders, on the graduated brass we passed Luton, the town cele- plate, the lineal measurement of brated for its straw hat and bon- which showed the percentages, and net industries. Another three which varied but little, ranging miles and we had reached the from 25 to 30 per cent of pistonheight of 400 feet above mean sea stroke,—and that too, with an exlevel, or equal to 328 feet above penditure not exceeding 21 lb. of St Pancras. In twenty-one min- Derbyshire coal per mile. utes from leaving Luton by my The analysis of the running by timepiece (which was carefully the time-table, and gauged by the adjusted to Greenwich time), we principal stations, was punctuality round the curve at Bedford, with to the minute. steam shut off, at the greatly re Open country, cuttings, towns, duced speed of 15 miles per hour, and hamlets approached and fled brought about by a slight touch of by; stations were approached and the brake-handle.
passed with no other regard than Leaving clean-looking Bedford the warning note of the whistle (proud of its sedgy-banked river) to stand clear as we thundered without effort, we rapidly gain through, in some places, like a speed, as is evidenced by the rise sweeping hurricane. of the water - column in the The stranger would indeed be as Stroudley indicator, which, by dead to influence and sensation us the by, is snugly ensconced in a an unpolarised magnet, or the procorner of the awning.
verbial door-nail, who could leavo We glide rather than the luxurious and comfortable coupé through Oakley, and in another (where his study has been to kill 3 miles commence our ascent of time by newspaper, or possibly by Sharnbrook, four miles of one in a round of cards), and exchange it 120. The task, which carried us for the exhilarating atmosphere of to a height of 312 feet above mean the footplate, with the freedom of sea-level, was not a laborious one, unrestricted vision, and not feel the the speed only falling to 50 miles afflatus. The difference would be per hour at the summit.
almost everything to him. The
novelty and delight in sharing a undulations to Geddington, mount seeming power of volition, would Corby, and again descending, rush be enough to inspire the old char- another tunnel, pass Gretton in a ioteer spirit. The mystery of the splendid whirl towards the lowest glistening and bright array of han- dip of the valley. dles, gauges, and pipes; the rushing Another climb of one in a wind; the interminable clatter of hundred and sixty-seven, burying wheels and rails; the momentary ourselves in the oblivion of a tunterror at the sudden swerve from nel, nearly two miles long, soon to be the straight to the curves; the followed by another, over the crest changing and mingling of views; and a short declivity. Again, on the escarped earthworks and rocks, the rise through Manton tunnel, which rise and fall, and lengthen breasting the bank of one in a and change to some new phase of hundred and forty, at å speed of interest; the fervid glowing heat 53 miles an hour, over the hills 'of the fire-box; and the reassuring by Oakham and Ashwell, with a regularity of the men in perform- splendid running ground of nine ing their duties. No necessity miles before us, leaving Whissenwith this specialysteed to hold dine and Saxby behind, we are fast, no plunging to right or left, fairly in the heart of the happy but. a steady and snake - like mo- hunting-ground, and sight the old tion, yet quicker than the wind, parish church of Melton, with its and by virtue of the bogie system, water - courses, patches of wood, which has never yet been known and graceful curve.
One more to fail, following the sinuous wind ascent of one in two hundred and ing of the line with marvellous fidel- twenty (of whose existence I should ity and ease, like one of the verte- not have known, had it not been brata, and racing the banks with for the chart with which I had more than the speed of the red deer, provided myself, so easily was it and developing more power than surmounted), then through Old a regiment of horse.
Dalby, Upper Broughton, WidThe vigilance of the driver never merpool, Plumtree, and Edwalton decreases, and the fireman, at al- - good names smacking of the most regular intervals of every old Saxon times—bowling along three to five minutes, carefully without any apparent effort, we lays on his two or three shovelfuls at last see the well-built town of of coal. So far, the pressure had Nottingham, with its handsome never varied more than two or villas, picturesquely placed, and three pounds on the square inch, crowned by the old castle. so that the pointer of the steam Over the meadows, with steam gauge seemed almost incapable of off, and rapidly reducing speed (the motion.
break being lightly and skilfully Over the summit, which had so applied), we run up in grand style, far been the most rapid elevation without a hitch, and stop, just as yet achieved, and we skim lightly the long hand of the platform down the 41 miles with a sleigh- clock pointed to five minutes past like motion." Flitting through Ir- one, having accomplished the 124 chester, then a comparatively level miles in two hours and twenty-five stretch through Wellingboro, Fine minutes, much the longest run of don, and Isham, at a speed of about any in England, since the racing 60 miles an hour, trending upwards north last year, and of everyday to Kettering, then over the rolling occurrence, without a stoppage.
VOL. CXLVI.-NO. DCCCLXXXVII.