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Memorandum addressed to the Honourable the Minister of Railways and Canals by the engineer-in-chief of… Fleming, Sandford, 1827-1915 1880

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■^jSou^oCWwijsM&AM^C*. 3
1880.  [Printed by  authority  of  the  Honorable  the   Minister  of  Hallways and  Canals,
10th April, 1880.J
Office of the Enchneer-in-Chief
Ottawa, 26th March, 1880.
On the 3rd March, grave charges were made in the House of Commons, against
the writer, as Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which have since
been published throughout the Dominion. These charges seriously affect his personal
character and his professional reputation.
A member of the House of Commons has certainly the right to investigate the
conduct of any public servant, if he deems it proper to do so. Equallv the party
assailed, if wrongly accused, may claim to be heard in his justification.
An Engineer is an executive officer of the G-overnment, to whom the public
interest is confided according to his rank and status.   No charge can be more painful
than that he has neglected his duties, or that he has failed honestly, and with ability,
to consult the interests he has undertaken to protect,
1 /
It is obvious that, if called upon to vindicate his character from what he holds to
be an unjust accusation, the only course open to an Engineer, in the employ of the
Government, so long as he holds his position, is to address his remonstrance to the
Minister at the head of the Department.
He cannot with propriety avail himself of the colums of tbe newspapers or of a
magazine, neither can he publish a pamphlet in his vindication. To the mind of the
writer it is still more objectionable to have recourse to a borrowed pen, and to get
published anonymously what he holds inexpedient to state above his signature
The writer, therefore, rcspoctfully asks leave to address the Minister on the su!
ect of the charges made against him in Parliament.
They may be formulated:—That the writer has recommended an ill-judged and
unwaranted site for the bridge-crossing of Red River; that he was long absont in
England from his duties, during which time the railway work was unconsidered, and
his responsibilities neglected; that the original estimates given for the work undor
contract have been greatly exceeded; that he has causel needless expenditure at
Cross Lake on an improper location, and, that he has permitted large sums of money
to be carelessly wasted.
The writer has submitted, at length, the reasons which have led him'to recommend the location of the Red River Bridge. They are set forth in his report to the
Government, of 8th December, 1879, to be laid before Parliament. Subsequent
enquiry having confirmed the facts he cannot change or modify his opinions.
He respectfully submits that, if the question be examined and the facts and the circumstances be fully weighed, it will be found that his view of the case will be sustained
and his recommondation justified. It is known that the location recommended by
him is not looked upon with favour in quarters and localities adversely interested ;
but his own convictions remain unchanged, and he holds it incumbent on him, in the
general interest of the public, to adhere to the selection he has submitted, and to ask
that the considerations which dictated it be fully examined.
On this point of the censure directed against him, he begs leave respectfully to
refer to his report to the Government, and to ask for it impartial consideration. Ho turns to the other issues which have been raised. The charge is unusually
grave, that of having neglected his duty and allowed large sums of money to be
squandered. An engineer is in no way answerable for the policy adopted by the
Government in making contracts; but once a contract is entered into and placed in
his hands, he is responsible to the Government, through the Mim'ster of the Department, that it be honestly fulfilled. It is his duty to carry out and enforce its conditions, to see that the work is properly performed and full.value given for the money
paid. It is equally his duty to do justice to the contractor, as to the public ; indeed,
to act as a judge between parties whose views of right are not always identical. It is
moreover, his duty to submit to the Minislor any changes, in construction or otherwise, he may hold to be desirable, and, on obtaining the Minister's authority, to have
them carried out.
Between 1863 and 1871, the writer was Chief Engineer of the Intercolonial
Railway. Prom 1871 to 1876, he filled the position of Eogineer-in-Chief of both the
Intercolonial and Canadian Pacific Railways. In the latter year the Intercolonial
was opened for traffic, and the writer ceased to act as Chief Engineor. At
this date most of the difficulties connected with the Canadian Pacific location had
been solved. Two sections, easy of construction, had been placed under contract;
No. 13, the first section west of Port William, Lake Superior, 33 miles ; No 14, the
first section east of Selkirk, Rod River, 77 miles.
The writer's health had been much affected by his labours; his medical advisers
counselled rest. He himself felt that abstinence from work was indispensable.
Ho applied, accordingly, for twelve months' leave of absence. So much a matter of
necessity did this rest appear to himself, that he had determined, should the leave
of absence not be granted, to resign his position, a fact perfectly capable of being
Before leaving, it was arranged that the Senior Assistant, on the Pacific Railway staff, in the writer's absence, should assume his duties. Full confidence was felt
in the ability, experience and reliability of that officer, and, on the writer's recommendation, the then Minister of the Department consented to the arrangement.
That gentleman was placed in charge, and he entered on his duties with the title of
Acting Chief Engineer.
m r
The writer left for England. At that time Sections 13 and 14 only were under
construction.   The work then performed was valued at—
Section No. 13  0127,353
do 14     102,140
Section No. 25 had been placed under contract as the writer was leaving, but no
work had been executed. Six months afterwards the contract was signed for Section
No. 15.
During his absence the writer was relieved from active direction of work, superintendence of details and all the incidental duties appertaining to his office. Matters,
however, connected with the railway were frequently brought to his notice, and
formed the subject of correspondence.
Twice he was re-called by the Government. His leave was thus temporarily set
aside, and in consequence renewed and extended. Before six months had passed
he was peremptorily summoned by the Minister to Ottawa. Leaving England
in December, 1876, he remained in Canada until May following. In this period,
independently of the other duties which engaged most of his time, the writer
completed the voluminous Report of 1877, which he had commenced in England.
The leave of the writer was renewed, and he again left for England. He was
again recalled, and so urgent was the summons that he started on a few days' notice.
The consequence was that he was forced to neglect important private affairs, the
arrangement of which necessitated his return to England.
In October, 1878, he returned to Canada and resumed his duties. The Acting
Chief Engineer had, from July, 1876, held the position of principal executive officer
of the Government to supervise the works under contract, to give directions to the
engineering staff, to control the expenditure, and to issue proper certificates for
work performed by the contractors.
Prom July, 1876, to October, 1878, no charge was taken by the writer of details
of work under construction, beyond replying to the points submitted to him and
receiving the reports forwarded from time to time. The latter in no way presaged
the difficulties which now attract pnblic attention. On the return of the writer to his duties in the autumn of 1878, his attention was
directed to the difference between the original quantities and the work returned as
executed on Sections Nos. 14, 15 and 25.
Whatever the cause, it was plain that the original quantities had been greatly
increased. No report of any such contingency had been made to him. The fact fell
upon him as startling, from being unexpected, as it was alarming and unaccountable.
He had never supposed that a result of this character was possible. Had he been
in the country his duty would have led him to take means to keep down the expenditure, to amend the line where change was advantageous and possible, and if through
any cause the quantities of work executed showed a tendency to over-run the estimate, his attention would have been at once directed to the subject, as progress
sections and the monthly returns conveyed the unwelcome information. No time
would have been lost in endeavoring to ascertain the cause of the difficulty, and steps
would have been taken to rectify it.
The original bills of quantities_.were made up without the exact data necessary
for forming estimates with accuracy. They were prepared, from the best information,
by engineers who had charge of each particular survey. As there was great pressure
to have the work placed under contract, and definite quantities were indispensable,
the results were, to a certain extent, assumed.
Much of the line passes through muskegs and marshes. The surveys were
mostly made in winter when the ground was frozen. This circumstance doubtless, in some cases, deceived the surveyors as to its character, and led them to mistake
marsh and muskeg for firm earth. One thing is certain, the quantities published
before tenders were invited made no claim to exactness. Their prima facie character
establishes this fact beyond dispute. The amounts are almost in/ariably in round
figures, such as 100,000 lineal feet or 1,000,000 cubic yards. At the same timej
although estimated, or rather assumed, specially to admit of a comparison
offenders by having the different prices applied to them and the total amounts thus
worked out, it was also supposed that if not approximately correct, they would at
least not be greatly at variance with the actual results. It was, therefore, incomprehensible to the writer that the actual quantities should
in nearly every case be so much greater than those originally assumed and printed. ]
Making every allowance for imperfect data, misleading those who had made up the bills I
of quantities, for the frozen marshes having been considered to bo solid ground and for I
other contingencies, in the writer's mind there was no satisfactory explanation for
the extraordinary differences.
When the discrepancy came under the writer's notice, he at once gave it his
serious attention, and the difficulty with all the circumstances connected with it was
frequently and earnestly discussed with the Minister.
It was not possible for the writer to accept the returns of the work executed and
the certificates which had been issued. Accordingly he declined to grant any certificates
whatever, for what had been done during his absence, until the quantities were 'properly accounted for and irrefragably established as correct. He caused an investigar
tion to be made into each case separately. Ho sent for those who had been engaged
in the work to learn the course taken in carrying on operations, and the principle
adopted in making measurements, and fully to satisfy himself as to the accuracy with
which the quantities had been computed; but he failed to obtain any satisfactory
information with regard to the excess of quantities.
A remeasurement of the work on each section was, therefore, recommended by
him; a course approved by the Minister.
The value of the work certified as having been executed when the writer took
the matter up, was as follows :—
On Section 13—Gross amount certified  $331,978 00
"       14                  "                       583,742 00
"       15                  I  1,151,975 57
"       25                  '•                       1,180,800 00
In the winter of 1876-7, during the writer's stay in Canada, he was called upon
as Senior officer, pro forma to put his name to certificates which had been prepared
and laid before him. Their accuracy was not investigated by him, as he had the fullest
confidence in the returns submitted.   These are the only certificates for which the 7
writer is in anyway responsible up to the time he resumed his duties. According
to the certificates which he finds in the office, work to the valuo of $2,539,181 has boon
executed in the interval, on the four sections in question.
In the case of Section 13, the writer was not called upon to take any action, as
the work had been completed, the contract closod and the money paid before he
returned to Canada.
A remeasurement of Sections 14 and 25 has been made, but it does not verify
and substantiate the previous returns. In consequence, the writer has been unable to
confirm the certificates issued during his absence, for work reported as executed.
Section 15, and the circumstances connected with it, have formed the subject of
a special report. The facts have been laid before the Minister. Errors in the system
of measurement and classification of work have been rectified. Explicit rules have
been laid down for future guidance. A verification survey to check measurements
has been commenced. The whole contract has been placed on a new basis under an
Order in Council, dated 20th May, 1879, under which the work has since been carried
on and payments made. No certificates have been issued by the writer since his
return, except in accordance with its provisions.
These four sections only had been under construction when the writer reassumed
his duties as Engineer-in-Chief; since then, seven additional sections, some of them
very heavy, have been placed under contract. He has taken every means to prevent
a repetition of similar difficulties. The precautions adopted may, in part, be understood by reference to the lettei'3 of instructions to the Resident Engineers, one of
which is appended.
Prom October, 1878, the whole time of the writer, and his best efforts, have been
given to the discharge of his duty. From that date every point of detail, more or
less, has come under his personal cognizance, and for the results he holds himself
This remark cannot, with justice, be applied to the period when he was on leave
of absence, and he should not be identified with operations, over which he exercised
no supervision, carried on during the time when, with the approval of the Government he was absent from the Dominion. 8
The question has been raised that the writer caused needless expenditure by
an ill-judged location of the line on Section 15, in the neighborhood of Cross Lake. I
There are points between the terminus on Lake Superior and the Prairie Region
which govern the whole location. The geographical position of the Lake of the
Woods on the International Boundary, defines Keewatin, at the outlet of the lake, to
be one of these points. Selkirk, in the writer's view, is clearly another. The problem was to connect these points by the shortest, best and cheapest route. With the
exception of a limited area of prairie or thinly-wooded country near Selkirk, the
whole distance is forest. A great extent of the surface is rocky, broken and rugged,
with many long, nai*row lakes, some of which it is impossible to avoid. Cross Lake,
met some 36 miles west of Keewatin, is of this class.
The country here, and for a long distance, is exceedingly rough, and when the
surveys commenced it was a wilderness, well nigh impenetrable. It was necessary, however, to find a railway line through it, not simply a line over which trains
could be taken, whatever the cost of working them, but a railway which could be
operated cheaply and which would admit of the conveyance of farm produce to the
eastern markets at the lowest rates, a result only to be attained by limiting the
This view has governed the writer from the earliest inception of the undertaking.
In his published report of January, 1874, he set forth the paramount importance of
finding a location with the easiest possible gradients running easterly. He directed
attention to it again in his report of 1877, and again in 1879.
Extracts from these reports are appended. This principle has been constantly
kept in prominence, and its importance has been generally admitted. It has been
frequently brought forward during the last six years. The writer does not know
any instance of a public man having protested against it, or of any newspaper having
taken exception to it.
Although a great extent of the country between Lake Superior and the Red
River is very rugged, the general level over long distances is not diversified. There
are no great elevations or depressions to control the location and  enforce the intro- duction of heavy gradients. Cross Lake is probably the only place on the whole 410
miles where any saving worthy consideration could have been effected by a departure
from the principle of light gradients, which it was found possible to apply generally.
In the neighborhood of Cross Lake a number of lines were surveyed. Ultimately
the choice was narrowed to two lines, connecting • common points, east and west of
' Cross Lake, about six miles apart. No. 1 crossed the lake at a high level and gave
the desired easy gradients, none of which exceeded a rise of 26 feet per mile, and
the longest being for about one mile. No. 2 crossed the lake at another place, on a
lower level, but it involved a continuous ascent of 2f miles, on sharp curves, with
a rise of 44 feet per mile. The lake at the crossing of No. 1 is 600 feet wide; at
that of No. 2 fully 900 feet; for five miles east of the lake the work is heavier on
No. 2 than on No. 1, while at the lake, and for one mile west of it, the work is considerably the heaviest on No. 1. Although No. 2 would, upon the whole, cost less
in the first place, No. 1 would undoubtedly, in the end, prove by far the most
economical. After full consideration, Line No. 1 was selected, and it is on this line
that construction is now being carried on.
The writer respectfully submits that the line which conforms with the policy of
successive Ministers, and with the prevailing faith of the public mind, that
on the railway between Manitoba and Lake Superior all gradients ascending eastward
should be kept within the established limit, was the only one for selection.
It was according to this principle that the location was first made, and the writer
respectfully submits that there is no act of his in connection with the Canadian Pacific
Railway which should claim higher appreciation than his advocacy of the principle,
and his constant efforts from first to last to secure to the country a line with the
lightest possible gradients between Red River and Lake Superior.
It was six months after he left for England that the contract for Section 15 was
signed. As a matter of course, before the heavy work at Cross Lake was commenced
nothing should have been left undone to reduce its magnitude by revising and perfecting the location, and by every possible means. When the writer resumed his duties
the work was in progress, and it was too late to make any change at this point, even
if a change at an earlier stage had been desirable or possible. 10
The writer believes that he has established that the censures which have been
di ected rgainst him are not warranted by the facts, and he respectfully submits :—
1. That he has not unwisely advised the Government with respect to the bridging
of Red River.
2. That ho has njt alsjntel himself from his duties without authority and
without caus?.
3. That he has not neglected his responsibilities, or subjected to injury the
interests entrusted to him.
4. That he is in no way to blame for the original quantities being exceeded and
the cost of the work increased on the sections in question.
5. That he has not caused needless expenditure at Gross Lake on an improper
6: That he has not allowed public money to be carelessly wasted ; but that by
every means in his power, he has endeavoured to control the expenditure on the
work, and that he has earnestly endeavoured in all respects faithfully to discharge
the duties of his position.
The writer trusts that the urgency of the circumstaucos which have called for
this memorandum, will be hold by the Minister of Railways and Canals sufficient
justification for submitting in this form the facts which it sots forth.
From the Report of January, 1874.
"One of the questions which will undoubtedly force itself on public attention
when the Prairie Region begins to raise a surplus for exportation, will be the cheap
transportation of products to the east. Looking to this view of tho question, the
importance of a location which will securo the lightest gradients in an easterly direction is manifest.
"The gradients and alignments of a railway have much to do with its capacity
for business, and the cost of working it. It is well known that by attention to these
features, in locating a line, it is quite possible, in some cases, to double the transporting capacity of a railway, ana very largely reduce the cost of conveying freight
over it.
" That portion of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Red River and the
navigable waters of Lake Superior, is precisely one of those cases where the utmost
attention should be paid to its engineering features. The reduction of the cost of
transportation on this section to the lowest figure is a question which affects the
future of the country, as upon it, to a large, extent, depends the settlement of the
western prairies.
" The more this portion of tho railway can be made to convey cheaply the products of the soil to the navigation of the St. Lawrence, the more will the field be
extended within which farming operations can be carried on with profit on the fertile
" The information obtained suggests that it will be possible to secure maximum
easterly ascending gradients between Manitoba and Lake Superior, within the limit
of 26 feet to the mile, a maximum not half so great as that which obtains on the
majority of the railways on the continent.
11 think the line should be located so as to have the best possible alignment,
with no heavier gradients than the maximum referred to. But the importance of
securing the benefits of an unbroken steam communication at the earliest
moment are so great that I consider that it would be advisable, in the first instance,
to construct the cheapest possible line. While adhering to the permanont location in
the main, I would, with a view of accomplishing the desired object, recommend the
construction of a cheap temporary line, avoiding for the present all costly permanent
works that would retard its completion. In order to gain access to the country as
speedily and cheaply as possible, it might indeed become necessary to overcome
special difficulties by adopting temporarily, for short distances, deviations from the
true location with heavy undulating gradients and sharp curvature. I have no
reason, however, to think that this expedient would frequently be required. I am
satisfied that for the greater part of the distance between Lake Superior and Manitoba,
the permanent location may be substantially adhered to."    (Page 32, 33.)
the Report of February, 1877.
" It has been held from the first that' the successful occupation of the Prairie
Region and the extent to which it may become thickly populated will, in a great
measure, be governed by the capability of the line to Lake Superior to carry cheaply
the products of the soil. The success of the railway itself must be determined by
the number of inhabitants which can be established in the country, and the degree of prosperity of the population will be influenced in no narrow limit by the character
of the outlet for the products of their industry. The more, therefore, that the
eastern section of the railway can be rendered available for cheap transportation,
the more rapidly will the Prairie Region become populated and the more speedily will
the line become self-sustaining.
P I have folt it my duty to regard these views as of paramount importance in the
' location of the line between the Prairie Region and Lake Superior.    Accordingly,
every effort has been made to discover the shortest lino, with the lightest possible
gradients  and easiest curvature, especially in the direction which heavy traffic will
take, towards the At'antic seaboard.
| On the sections placed under contract from Red River to Keewatin, 114 miles
d from English River to Fort William, 113 miles, the maximum gradients are as
Ascending Fast.
Per 100. Per Mile.
I On tangents and 1£° curves, equal to 3,820 feet radius. 0-50   26-40 feet.
On 2° do 2,865       do 0-45
On 3Q do 1,910       do 0 10
On 4Q do 1,433       do 0-35
2376 do
21-12 do
18-48 do
Ascending West.
'■ On tangents and 1^° curves, equal to 3,820 feet radius. 1-00
On   2° do 2,865       do 0-90
On   3° do 1,910       do 0-80
On   4° do 1,433       do 0-70
Per 100. Per Mile.
52-80 feet.
47-52 do
42-24 do
36-96 do
" On the remaining distance to be placed under contract, between Keewatin and
English River, 183 miles, equally easy gradients have not been as yet, at every
point, secured. At the few exceptional points, the location will however be revised,
and I have confident expectations that all the gradients will be reduced to the same
standard, without materially increasing the cost of the works.
" Thus, there will be no impediment to the Pacific Railway carrying products
from the heart of the continent to Lake Superior, at a lowor rate per mile than
those now obtaining on the leading railways already in operation."    (Page 81, 82.)
* * * * * % %
" I have described the efforts that have been made to obtain a line, with the
easiest possible gradients, from the Prairie Region to the navigable waters of the St.
Lawrence, and the paramount importance of this feature."
•k -fc ^ 5fc 5JS 3fc <fc
| Cheapness of transportation is thus to a certain extent -assured—an important
element in facilitating the prosperous settlement of the fertile territory in the
interior."   (Page 85, 86.)
From the Report of April, 1879.
111 have always attached great importance to the endeavor to secure the best
location attainable for the railway. I have elsewhere described the efforts which
have been made from the commencement of the survey to obtain a line favorable
for cheap transportation."
* * * ' * * * * 13
I The whole of the railway between Fort William and Selkirk, in length 410 miles
is now under contract. It is with no little satisfaction that I am enabled to point to
a table of the gradients which have been definitely established in this length. Under
the contracts which have been entered into, these favorable gradients are to be
carried into execution without having recourse to the temporary expedients which I
thought necessary to suggest five years ago.
Summary of (Gradients, Fort William to Selkirk.
Ascending Easterly. Feet per Mile.   No. of Miles.
Rise -10 to -20 per cent about   5 to 10 38-52
do   -20 to-30   do  10 to 16 17-11
do   -30 to -40   do        16 to 21 42-97
do   -40 to-50   do       21 to 26.4 80-11     178-71
Level...,        108-06    108-06
Ascending Westerly. Feet per Mile. No. of Miles.
Rise -10 to   -20 per cent - about   5 to 10 28-51
do   -20 to   -30     do        10 to 16 10-91
do   -30 to   -40    do        16 to 21 9-74
do   -40 to   -50     do        21 to 26 12-83
do   -50 to   -60     do          26 to 32 6-82
do   -60 to   -70     do       32 to 37 10-65
do   -70 to   -80     do ,  37 to 42 12-76
do   -80tol-00    do       42to52-8 31-01    123-23
Total miles        410-00    410-00
" In determining the gradients the rule has been laid down to equate them with
the curvature, so that when sharp curves were called for by the physical features of
the country, the, inclinations of the line would in those cases be proportionately
" The practical effect of a sharp curve on a maximum gradient is to make the
gradient heavier by reducing the effective power of a locomotive making the ascent,
thus preventing the passage of full loaded trains over the line. The object has been,
whatever the curvature, to secure a degree of inclination which in no case would
exceed, on tangents, 26-4 feet per mile ascending easterly, or in the direction of
heavy traffic. The contract profiles of the line over the 410 miles from Fort William
to Selkirk establishes that this object has been substantially secured. Only at one
point (eighteen miles out of Fort William) has the locating engineer neglected to
enforce this rule. I greatly regret that such is the case, as it will involve an expenditure to remedy the defect greater than would have been called for in the first place,
when tho cost would have been comparatively trifling.
" With the exception referred to corrected, the portion of the Pacific Railway between Lake Superior and Manitoba is thus finally established with extremely favorable engineering features, and it may be claimed that when completed under existing
contracts, it will be available for conveying the products of the soil from the Prairie
Region to Lake Superior, at the cheapest possible rates.
As this portion of the Pacific Railway must, for a long time to come, form the
great outlet of much of the Prairie Region, tho favorable character for cheap transportation which has been secured for it cannot be over-rated. Indeed upon this important condition very largely depends the .successful settlement of the vast fertile
plains and the permanent advantage of the future settlers."    (Page 18-21.) U'
Canadian Pacific Raiway,
loc. Office of the Engineer-in-Chiep,
evg Ottawa, 3rd June, 1879.
fv Memorandum.
The Hon the Minister has appointed Mr. Jennings  to  the  charge  of Contract
^n,(     No. 42, embracing all the works of construction required to complete the railway
between Eagle River and the eastern end of Section 15, near Rat Portage.
1. A copy of the contract entered into with Messrs. Fraser, Manning & Co., has
been furnished Mr. Jennings. Ho has also been supplied with copies of the plans
and profiles and all the documents relating to the work to be executed.
2. The undersigned has verbally communicated to Mr. Jennings his views with
regard to the work and the manner it should be carried out. He has explained to
Mr. Jennings the points where changes may be made, and has indicated on the profile
some alterations that suggest themselves in the grade line. These changes are
suggested with the view of reducing and expediting the work, the Contractors being
limited to time.
3. Mr. Jennings is desired at the earliest possible period to direct his attention
to any possible change that may be made in the alignment whereby the work will
be decreased without increasing the curvature or gradients.
The undersigned directs the attention of Mr. Jennings to the importance of, in
no case, exceeding the rates of gradients and curvatures, as follows :—
Ascending Fast.
-r On  tangents and  1£° curves, gradients  not  to  exceed *50  per 100.
-* << << <(     9°        " " " "        -45      "      "
(( <( » gO <( « (( <( .<Q (( ((
<f (( <<       4.0 « it <( « .96        (j        ((
f Ascending Westerly.
On  tangents and  1J° curves, gradients not to  exceed 1-00 per 100.
(( 11
3°       " I | -80
While insisting that in no case these gradients shall be exceeded, the Chief
Engineer directs the earnest attention of Mr. Jennings to the very great importance
of keeping down the cost of the work, and he trusts that wherever it be possible,
without lowering the character of the engineering features of the line, Mr. Jennings
will studiously avoid incurring any expenditure beyond that absolutely required.
4. The undersigned recognizes the peculiar difficulties which will be met by the
contractors in this section ; not the least serious being the inaccessibility of the
country through which the line is to be constructed, and he foresees the great importance to them of having the rail track extended as far as possible easterly from
Rat Portage, the moment the rails are laid throughout Section 15. From 2 to 5
milos east of Rat Portage, the profile shows some-of the heaviest work on the whole
section, after which for several miles the work is comparatively light. 15.
Fortunately the difficult portion could easily be got over by adopting, temporarily, a steep grade, as indicated in the accompanying profile. Mr.. Jennings isauthorized
to make this suggestion to the contractors, with the understanding that the undersigned will concur in its adoption, should the contractors desire it in their own
interest. The line must, thereafter, be constructed with tho permanent gradient
before the completion of the contract, and the contractors will be paid for all now
or hereafter executed, which forms any part of the permanent work. The cost of
temporary track laying, and the small amount of excavation of parts A, B, C, D, etc.,
or any work of a merely temporary character, not necessary in the permanent works,
will have to be borne by themselves.
5. For the guidance^of Mr. Jennings, it may be mentioned that on some of the
sections which have been under construction the contractors have found it convenient,
with the modern explosives, to blast out rock cuttings considerably beyond the slope
linos, as defined on the specifications. The Engineer-in-Chief directs that only the
excavation within the slope lines be returned as rock. The material beyond the
slope lines, if placed in embankments, may be returned and paid for as earth; but, if
wasted it must not be returned as excavation under any class.
6. It may further be mentioned for the information of Mr. Jennings, that on
some sections under construction, when muskegs prevail and the embankments have
been formed from side borrowing pits and ditches, serious difficulties have arisen.
The material so borrowed is reported to be, in many cases, vegetable matter of a
spongy nature, holding much water, and when dry and compressed by a superincumbent weight, to have little solidity; itis consequently, unfit to be used in the formation
of earth embankment.   Tho undersigned accordingly disapproves of its use.
7. There is always more or less difficulty in forming embankments across muskegs
or marshes. In some cases where a proper out-fall is available, so that ditches would
have the effect of draining and consolidating the ground, it is advisable to form them
parallel to the line of railway. But when the ditches, after being formed
would simply remain full of stagnant water, their formation is of doubtful expediency,and under such circumstances,ditches are of little value. Indeed, in some
special localities they may be a positive injury, and in all such cases it is advisable not to form them, bnt rather resort to a judicious use of the logging and
brushing provided for under the contract.
This being done a thin covering of earth to form a foundation and bed for the
ties may be added. Track may then be laid and thus allow material to be brought
from any convenient distance by train. But if this expedient be resorted to, it will
be necessary to bed the track sufficiently even and solid to prevent the rails from being
bent or injured in any way.
8. These several points are bi-ought to the attention of Mr. Jennings, but he will
himself determine tho best course to be pursued when he has specially examined each
locality, and become acquainted with the depth of the muskeg,and allthe circumstances.
In arriving at a decision, Mr. Jennings will take into consideration the question of haul,
for which a price is provided, and he will see that in no case the price of earth and
haul together (when material is brought by train) shall exceed the price of ballast,
as in such cases ballast would probably be tho best and. cheapest material with which
to form the embankment.
9. There may be some exceptional case where it may not be impossible for
the contractors to procure suitable material for the road bed and where
it would be a very great advantage to them and expedite thoir operations, if
they were permitted to use in part the spongy material found in Muskegs. This shall
only be allowed sparingly, and in all cases when used, the solid contents of the
spongy matter only is to be paid for. A log platform (clause 12) must invariable be laid on the surface before any of the muskeg material is deposited, and arrangements must be made to measure the solid cubic contents in tho embankment
after the water has had time to drain out of it. On these conditions as to measurement and payment and on these only, will the undersigned approve of the use in any
form, of this peculiar material.
I 16
Mr Jennings will be good enough to inform the contractors accordingly, and obtain their written acceptance of these conditions, when tho material is placed
in embankments. Wherever it be deemed expedient to allow the use of
muskeg material, the whole must be covered over with good earth; in no case
should the coating of sand, clay or gravel be less than 12 inches under formation level.
(Sketch A.)
As a rule the surface of the muskeg should not be broken by ditches or borrowing pits within 50 feet of the centre line. )
10. When it becomes expedient to form the embankments by train, good-sized
poles, or small trees "spotted" on the side, to average say six inches
thick, should invariably be laid longitudinally under the ties. These_ poles should
break joint, and every means taken to render the track reasonably solid and secure
to prevent injury to rails.   See Sketch B.
(Sketch B.)
Surface of
Platform of Loss.
10J. The undersigned has given careful consideration to the question of rock borrowing, referred to in the specification, and he has arrived at the conclusion that it
will not be expedient to resort to the process of excavating rock for forming
any portions of embankments, except so far as tho embankments may be formed by
material from " rock line cuttings."
The contractors will, accordingly, be relieved of this expensive and troublesome
class of work referred to in Clause 98 of the specification.
11. Mr. Jennings is probably aware that on Section 15, where the railway is carried across lakes and ponds, the material from rock line cuttings has been deposited
in two parallel lines along the toe of the slopes. This was done subsequent to the
date of the contract with a special purpose in view, but it involves a good deal of
extra trouble and expense to the contractors, without corresponding advantages, and
as the undersigned recognizes the peculiar difficulties, these contractors have to overcome, and the importance in the public interest of assisting them in every legitimate
way, and of avoiding unnecessary outlay, he does not insist upon the same plan of con
struction being followed on this contract.
The contractors may be allowed to finish the embankments in tho usual way, allowing the material of whatever kind to find its proper natural slope, and in the case
of the slopes being formed of soft material, in ponds or lakes, they will be protected
by rip-rap, a few feet above and below water level. The rip-rap must be provided
after the embankment has to some extent consolidated.
12. Attention should at once be given to the volume of all streams crossed by
the railway; the necessity for the structures proposed to be erected, and their sufficiency and character.
Mr. Jennings will report from time to time such improvements or suggestions
in the mode of construction as may appear advisable.
13. The Engineer-in-Chief encloses printed general  instructions 1 to 5 for the
information of Mr. Jennings on the general guidance of the   staff under him.    These i
are in force as far as applicable.   Special attention is directed   to ihe&o general in!
structions. 17
The object in view is considered of great importance. Not the least
important is to secure a complete historical record of the progress of the work under
the contract, with details of every event noticed as it transpires. The purveyor
branch, referred to in Instructions No. 2, is, however, abolished, and Mr. Jennings
will himself be held responsible for procuring supplies and the proper
account of all expenditure. It is the intention of the undersigned to apply
for the authority of the Minister to make a money allowance in lieu of rations to
members of the staff. In the meantime it is expedient to carry on the old system.
Mr. Jennings will, however, bo good enough and report if it will be practicable
to change the system, say on 1st September next.
14- While the Engineor-in-Chief refers Mr. Jennings to the rules established by
the Department, with respect to the making of payments, the keeping of accounts
and the character of the vouchers required by the audit, he directs his attention to
the exercise of proper economy in all matters of expenditure.   Any food
obtained must be good and sufficient, and procured at reasonable prices.
15. While exercising prudence and forethought as to the wants of the staff, and
the supply of good and sufficient provisions, all extravagance and waste and all
unnecessary expense must be avoided.
16. The following staff has been selected to assist Mr. Jennings in carrying out
these instructions:—
* * * * * * *
17. The Engineer-in-Chief requests that Mr. Jennings will issue a circular letter *
to the Division and Assistant Engineers, informing them that all orders or communications in writing made to the contractors, respecting the works, must pass through
his hands and be signed by him  alone,  and Mr. Jennings will be good enough to
report all orders so given and draw special attention to any matters of importance.
18. As far as can be foreseen, ample allowance has been made in the bill of
works for every description of work required under tho contract. Should it become
exi edient, as operations proceed, to execute any class of work for which no provision
is made, Mr. Jennings' attention is directed to the 5th clause of the contract, which
stipulates that no additional work shall be performed unless the price to be paid for
the same 6hall have been previously fixed by the Minister in writing.
The recessity for any additional work must therefore be reported to the Engineer
in-Chief, and if approved, permission obtained as above for its performance.
19. Mr. Jennings will arrange that the monthly measurements shall be co
pleted on or before the last day of each month, so that he may be able to make up^
and transmit the estimates to this office as early thereafter as practicable.    All
monthly estimates are to bo signed by Mr. Jennings, and forwarded in triplicate.
20. In addition to the weekly progress reports a short report should accompany
the monthly estimates, referring to any special features of tho work done during the
month, the progress being made, the length of grading done or track laid, etc.
21. The Engineer in-Chief impresses upon Mr. Jennings the necessity of
holding the division engineers, as well as their assistants, personally responsible for
the accuracy of returns of work done. It will not always be practicable for the
division engineers in person to examine the whole work every month, but they
should personally go over a portion of their division each month ; the sub-division
engineers sending their figures to them by telegraph or otherwise. The succeeding month the division engineers will be able to measure the remaining portion,
and by this means they will test the accuracy of the whole, as the work goes on and
become familiar with all details, with respect to wh-ch they are responsible.
22. Mi-. Jennings is furnished with a copy of the contract and every plan, profile
and document relating to the works under his charge.    The undersigned looks to
Mr. Jennings with confidence, believing that he will spare no efforts to have these
instructions, and the works to which they refer, satisfactorily carried out, and that^
Jie will earnestly endeavour to have everything done with strict regard to economy


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