When locomotive engines, in consequence of the splendid invention of the tubular boiler, were first extensively applied to railways, it seems as if engineers had been content to rest upon a very obvious truism,—water is water; and, omitting all inquiry as to quality, had been satisfied with securing a sufficient quantity at each watering station. That this continued to be the case on some lines for several years, I know.
In one of the instances in which I was at a later period employed to analyse and report upon many springs proposed as substitutes for water which had been found very mischievous, a sum not less than £2,000 had been expended on the construction of a reservoir, and the Directors had then under consideration estimates to a large amount for its alteration, so as to admit new streams and exclude some of the old. In another case, much trouble and expense were incurred in attempts to obtain a supply of improved quality, with very indifferent success, though a river, yielding very good water, was within a quarter of a mile of the terminus. The space between being covered with houses, many of them held by small proprietors, there was no chance of obtaining consent from every owner to the laying down of pipes to the river without a fresh Act of Parliament, though it was currently stated that had the contingency been foreseen, little or no opposition would have been made to the insertion of the needful clauses in ...
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