April 28, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

No, I saw no specifications. I only got some correspondence. I asked for plans and specifications a number of times, but the Minister of Railways told me it would be an endless job preparing the plans, but that I was at liberty to go to the department at any time to examine them. I have no fault to' find with the Minister of Railways and Canals-I am speaking now of the Hon. Mr Cochrane as
I assume the acting Minister of Railways knows nothing whatever about it-he is disposed to do -what is right in the matter. He is willing to give us all the information in his possession if we like to go over to the department, but as it was so very voluminous and as I could not carry it in my head I did not get it. Certain returns were brought down in this House a year ago, and were discussed by myself on the 3rd day of June last. My hon. friend will find the discussion if he refers to ' Hansard ' of that date. According to those returns it appears that the company was allowed to put in 7 degree curves and 1 per cent grades wherever they wished. The result is that they have built 117 miles from Gagetown to Cen-treville; the two miles through the city of Fredericton have not been built. I do not mean to say that every mile of the 117 has been completed, but they have been working over that distance. I make the statement here, Mr. Speaker, that it is not a first-class road, it is not a second-class road, it is not even a third-class (road. The only thing that can be said in its favour is that it has 80 pound steel rails, and so far as the railway is completed it has a reasonable amount of ballast. The bridges-what few of them there are:-are to be of steel, and the larger culverts of concrete. So far as that goes, it is all right, but there are dozens and dozens of little corrugated iron culverts. I can tell the minister of one place where there is a three-foot corrugated culvert under a twenty-foot embankment. The culvert is broken down, and it is almost impossible for trains to get past that point.
After the remarks which I addressed to the minister a year ago, he promised me that he would have these things remedied. I told him that the road was not being built upon the plans and specifications in his office. I told him not to take the word of the company, but to put his engineers upon the right-of-way and take the levels. I told him to go to the contractors and ask them. I told him about these culverts. I believe that they did make an investigation but the trouble was that instead of the railway company changing their road to meet the plans and specifications, they changed the plans and specifications to meet the road. I happen to know that new plans and profiles were prepared. It took nearly half of the summer of 1913 to bring these things to completion. They made new plans and profiles in order to

meet the conditions and there are dozens and dozens of places-I think I am safe in saying hundreds of places-anyway, there are dozens and dozens of places, where the plans show a certain curvature while the actual curvature is much greater. I am informed that new plans have been prepared to meet these conditions. That is the character of the road. In every place where it was possible to do so they have used a seven degree curve and a one per cent grade. While I have never put a level upon this road myself, I can take the minister to places where the grades are greater than one per cent. If the minister will come with me, or if he will give me an engineer, I will tell him the places to look for them. He will find that there are grades greater than one per cent. I can take the minister to places where he can find four seven degree curves in a mile and one-quarter on a one per cent grade. I can take the minister to a place where he can find a swamp with about two feet of earth on the top of the bog and where he can run down a pole seven feet in the soft mud and no ditch on either side of the railway.

Topic:   THE ST. JOHN VALLEY RAILWAY.
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