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Frequently the introduction of novel enterprises was not unnaturally viewed with a kind of vague suspicion that the projectors might be seeking their own advantage at the sacrifice of the public interest, but in truth no such enterprise could prove profitable fo the speculator unless ft were advantageous to the public, for otherwise it failed to'be used; hence' 1 the very first consideration of even the most greedy projector was that of whether or not the scheme might be useful to others. In the case of tramways, however, there was, besides t]ie interests of the passebgers and tramway company, thdse of the general public to be considered, and hence the discussion of the advantages and disadvantaged of the tramways was complicated by Considerations foreign to finance and mechanism. The idea of having-smooth tracks folf cart or carriage wheels was an old one, and no one could doubt the utility of such an arrangement who had seen the' eagerness of the draymen and carters to get on the tram rails, or the alacrity with which the sagacious horses themselves took to the middle path. Ihe result was that a very large proportion of the heavy traffic of the city vas already carried on along the tramways. Not only so, the coachmen were alive to the comfort of the rails, and took to them as often as possible. The readiness with which vehicles driven even at a smart trot took to and kept the rails, as well as left them, suggested the idea that, were it not for the slipperiness of the iron, it would be good to have our streets filled with as many equidistant lines as their widths permitted, in order thereby to give the greatest amount of accommodation to carts and carriages. After referring to ridges between the lines of the tramways and to tbe sunken rails, which unevenness, however, he was glad to see was being remedied, Mr Sang went on to refer to the supeiiorityin speed which busses maintained over the tramoars. It was rather remarkable, hesaid, that a contrivance intended as an improvement in street conveyance should have turned out to be rather a step backwards. How did it happen that while lorries, carts,. cabs, and carriages passed along the rails with more ease than.on the oaluseway, tramway cars made expressly for the of running on these, rails were no better than the omnibusses moving on the paving stones ? This, he pointed out, bad been variously ascribed to the weight of tbe ,cars and to the smallness of the wheels, both of which reasons, he maintained, were fallacious. The retardation in the speed|of cars over omnibusses was due to the increased friction caused by each pair of wheels in the cats being securely fixed to one axis, which caused them both to revolve at the same rate; while in the case of the omnibasses, the wheels turned separately, and at the velocity due to the side at which they revolved. Another oaose of the retardation of the oars was tbe flange of the wheels, and which caused great waste of power by friction in the grooves of the rails.

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Bibliographic details

TRAMWAYS AND TRAMCARS., Evening Star, Issue 8009, 11 September 1889

Word Count

TRAMWAYS AND TRAMCARS. Evening Star, Issue 8009, 11 September 1889