IT has been of considerable interest to me to find how many readers have discovered or admitted the charm of the story of the locomotive. History is so often another word tor dullness, and to look back into the past is frequently not so intriguing as to look forward to the future; but locomotive history seems to possess a romance all its own. It teaches us, as all history should, that what has gone before can be as romantic and glamorous as what is to-
Those readers who have written to me to express their enjoyment of this particular angle of railway development will find in the present number a further chapter describing the progress of the railway engine after the Rainhill Trials in the British Isles, on the Continent and in the United States of America. The early problems facing locomotive builders were indeed considerable, and how, by their ingenuity, these pioneers overcame the most difficult of problems is a drama more fascinating than many told in the form of fiction.
THE whole story of railways is one of spectacular achievement; it is also a story of high endeavour, for without the vision of our predecessors we should not now be able to travel with such facility. The more we speed up communications, especially international communications, the more likely is peace to come upon the world, for it is only by the inter-
In this number, too, I am publishing an account of the Great St. Gothard, a Swiss wonder line that threads its way through the Alps and makes use of those astounding spiral tunnels that were cut to enable trains to overcome what are almost fantastic gradients. Switzerland has not lagged behind in railway progress.
The word “wonderful” is not used ill-
Every facet of common life seems to be reflected in the railway mirror. Who is familiar with the intricacies of the TPO’s -
These are but a few of the items included in this special number. We begin, too, the story of the electrification of the Southern Railway, the largest suburban electrical scheme yet attempted by any railway in the whole world.
NEXT week we shall return to high-
We shall also deal with another of the famous trains of the world. It is doubtful if there is anyone who has never heard of the “Flying Scotsman”, which runs between London and Edinburgh, covering 392.7 miles in 7¾ hours. To travel on this train is an education in itself. Since June, 1865, it has been making its daily departure from King’s Cross at 10 o’clock. Of course, many changes have been made since the inception of this train.
I have been asked by a number of correspondents whether Railway Wonders of the World will cover the important dock railways which mean so much to intercommunication. There is no railway subject of interest that will not ultimately be dealt with, for I have given considerable attention to the fact that this publication is ultimately to form a complete survey of railway development.