ns for securing this object,--"compound rails," "fished joints," "bracket chairs," "sleeve joints," etc., etc. But without better road-beds no form of superstructure will last, and with road-beds as good as they ought to be almost any simple and easily adjusted arrangement will answer well enough.
But a more important matter than all these, so far as the economy of maintenance is concerned, is the quality and shape of the iron rails, forming one-eighth of the whole cost of our railways. Where companies, instead of buying rails, are selling bonds, they have no right to complain, if the iron turn out as worthless as the debentures. But where they pay cash, they can insist on good iron, and will get it, if they will pay the price, which will rule from eighteen to twenty dollars per ton over that of the poorest article. Nor should the shape and weight of the rail be overlooked. Experience, that stern schoolmaster, has taught us, that, while heavy rails of seventy pounds to the yard, and over, of ordinary iron,
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