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continues on its eastern side for a short distance and then passes up the valley of the river, which is crossed a number of times, to the summit level between the Androscoggin river and Portland, which is distant 62 miles 1040 feet from Portland, and is 668,5% feet above high water mark; thence the line continues on the western side of Songo pond to the Androscoggin, in Bethel, distance 68 miles 560 feet, and elevation 692,50 feet; thence to White's corner, distance 69 miles 4280 feet, with an elevation of 6590 feet; thence on the western bank of the Androscoggin river, to Pleasant river, distance 70 miles 3400 feet from Portland, and elevation 631% feet; thence to Wild river, distance 75 miles 5000 feet, and the elevation 66100 feet; thence crossing Wild river, which is 150 feet wide, the line terminates at Shelburne on the boundary line between New Hampshire and Maine; distant from Portland, 78 miles 4 feet, and at an elevation above high water mark, of 674 feet.
The bank of the Androscoggin river presents two routes, one on the lower intervale by which it is generally bordered, and another on the more elevated bank, or second intervale. The first is often overflowed in freshets, and if a Rail Road was located thereon, it might be subjected to injury, even if elevated on an artificial embankment. It is therefore probable, that an intermediate line would be established by taking advantage of the highest intervale,
to a certain extent, so as to keep above the vernal and other occasional floods; and thus be preferable to the line which has been assumed; but it requires more exact information than I have as yet been able to obtain as to the maximum rise of the river, to decide on the precise line best adapted for the actual location of the road in that portion of the route.
A route (S S, on sheets No. 1 and 2) was surveyed, which commences at a point north of the village of Saccarappa, 7 miles 2840 feet from Portland, and 70% feet above high water mark, which extends up the valley of Presumpscot river, which would accommodate the manufacturing establishments and mills that now are in operation, or may be erected on the sites of the extensive water powers, which that river affords.
The line passes up the eastern bank and near the shore of the river, to the mouth of Ink-horn brook, distance 1000 feet and 73 feet above high water mark; thence pursuing the sinuosities of the river as was indispensably necessary in several portions of the line, to Coleright's brook, at a distance of two miles 3,240 feet, with an elevation of 74% feet, the route continues to a point near Horsebeef falls, distant 3 miles 1560 feet; elevation 101 feet; thence east of the Cumberland factory falls to Pleasant river, distant 5 miles 3600 feet, and elevated 128 feet; and then leaving the immediate shore of the river, but keeping in its valley, the line continues to
a point opposite the great falls, distant 8 miles 2360 feet, with an elevation of 221 feet; from thence it extends to near Boody's tavern in Windham, where it intersects the first line, which is distant from Portland by this line, 18 miles 3210 feet, and has an elevation of 2970 feet; but by the first line the distance to the same point is only 17 miles 424 feet, making a difference in its favor of 4250 feet.
As to which of these lines the preference should be given, is a question which cannot be satisfactorily determined at this time, and may with propriety be left for consideration until the time arrives for making the definite location, when all such facts as relate to the peculiar advantages of each route, will have been carefully collected, and thus render a solution not only less difficult, but more correct than can possibly be made from the incomplete data which are now afforded; but so far as I am able to determine, from the examinations which have been made, and the elements which have been obtained, the first line appears to be the most eligible, it being the shortest, the least curved, has fewer and less elevated acclivities, and admits of the construction of a Railway, at a diminished expense; besides it would pass sufficiently near the river, at several points, to accommodate some of the sites for mills and factories; but still it is possible that there are advantages to be secured from the establishment of the second line,
which may more than balance those which have been suggested as pertaining to the first.
As to the general direction of the whole line which has been surveyed, although unwearied pains were taken to ascertain the most favorable route, it is not improbable that deviations could be made, by which the extent and number of the curves might be diminished, at some points, and the grades rendered less abrupt in others; for, in running an experimental line, for such a distance, through a country chiefly covered with a dense forest, and whose surface is so broken into steep hills and irregular valleys, it is impossible to determine, whether the best line has been obtained, by such preliminary surveys and explorations as have now been completed, that could be selected, after repeated examinations of the topographical features of the adjacent region, on both sides of the delineated route, shall have been made. Still it is believed that the extent of straight line compared with the curved, is greater than is usually obtained in trial surveys of equal distance, through the New England States, there being 58 miles 1004 feet of the former on the main route, and but 19 miles 4280 feet of the latter. The maximum curvature has a radius of 900 feet, and that for a distance of only 400 feet, while the remainder have a radius of from 1146 to 11460 feet. The total amount of lines of deflection are 17 miles 1526 feet,
of which 13 miles 1460 feet are straight, leaving only 4 miles 66 feet of curved line. For statement of straight and curved lines, see tables in appendix,
The grades have been arranged so that they shall, as much as possible, be descending towards Portland, believing that the preponderance of transportation will be in that direction. The maximum grade is 48 feet per mile, which, in comparison with those on other Rail Roads, taking into consideration the improvements which have been made in locomotive engines, are not considered so objectionable as formerly, to the attainment of high rates of speed, or the transportation of heavy trains of merchandize. I have given in the annexed table, the grades of the main line, and the length of each, in their respective order.
78 miles 8 feet and 39.
fall of Ratio. per plane]
24.55 16,400 Ascent
65 26.04 9,600 Ascent 40
12.31 28,200 Descent 10
Average grade per mile for the whole length, viz: