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themselves with the character of the work. About the middle of December the entire division was placed under contract; and about the same time the grading was commenced on the tenth and eleventh sections. Since that period, the work has been commenced on six other sections, and the balance will be in progress in a short time.
The surveys, upon which a Report has been made, terminated, as has been stated, near the Seven mile river, in East Brookfield ; and at this point, only, may the line be said to have reached, fairly, the Chickopee valley. We have now to trace its direction, as it has been approximately located, in its course towards the Connecticut river.
From the crossing of the Seven mile river, near Gallup's mills, down to Taft's scythe factory, in the western part of the town of Warren, about eleven miles, the line pursues, without any deviation, the immediate valley of the Chickopee river; crossing it, in this distance, eight times, to avoid abrupt curves, and to take advantage of the best ground. From this factory, two routes were surveyedone across the peninsula upon which Palmer village is situated—and the other, around by the valley of the river. The distance by the Palmer village line, is nearly two miles shorter than that by the river line; but it will be seen, hereafter, that we cannot pass the Palmer summit. The lines unite again, near Sedgwick's tavern, on the Chickopee river, about 10.4 miles, by the river line, below the scythe factory. At Sedgwick's, the Chickopee bends away to the north, to its junction with the Ware, and Swift rivers, at the village of Three Rivers; while the route continues, by a very direct course across a second peninsula, and through the valley of Baptist brook. At 31 miles beyond Sedgwick's, the river, after having made its circuit to the north, returns south, and washes the base of the Wilbraham mountain, (so called, and at this point the route falls upon the stream again, and continues near to it 2] miles, to the point of Stony hill, also in Wilbraham, and about 7 miles east of the Connecticut River. At this place, the hill and the river nearly close again, leaving a flat space
between them of some 300 or 400 feet. The point of Stony hill, we have considered to be the termination of the Chickopee river division; that is to say, any, or every route, by the valley of that stream, must
finally pass by, or near this point, and as it is necessary to fix upon some particular spot which shall be common to all the routes extending west, across the Connecticut River, in order that comparative estimates of the cost of grading may be presented, we have decided upon this as the most suitable point.
The above general description will serve to show the main direction of the line between the end of that portion of the Rail Road, which is located and put under contract, and the extremity of the plain, or flat land, which lies on the east side of the Connecticut river. To this it
be well to add a more detailed statement of particular portions of the route. From the Sturbridge road (the end of the first division,) to the point of Cranberry hill, in South Brookfield, the line is straight nearly 3 miles; it crosses the Five mile River 800 feet south of the Furnace village ; and thence across a part of the north end of the Great Swamp. Of the 4000 feet of this swamp, which the line passes over, about 2000 feet of the distance is impassable for teams, except in winter. The soundings upon it are from 18 inches to 5 feet, but usually less than 2 feet. Therefore the material, which will be thrown up from the ditches, and the sides of the road, will furnish a considerable portion of the embankment; and the residue can be conveniently obtained from the points of hard land, which form the boundary of the swamp. Turning the point of Cranberry hill, upon a curve of 2865 feet radius, the line is straight to Stone's hill, upwards of a mile. The greater portion of this distance is over an arm of the Brookfield meadows. These meadows, also, are too soft for teams.
Roads are made across them, and the bed of the Rail Road can be constructed over them without much additional expense. The soundings are generally from 3 to 4 feet; a few places 9 or 10, and at a very few, 12 feet will not reach the bottom. At Stone's hill, the line curves to the north upon a radius of 5730 feet, and by crossing the river twice to cut off an abrupt bend, it reaches, in 11 miles of straight line, the county road from West Brookfield to Brimfield ; thus from the Seven mile River to the west parish of Brookfield, we have, with the exception of the two moderate curves at Cranberry hill, and Stone's hill, a straight line of 67 miles ; and, inasmuch as the point named first, presents a
very favorable position for a depot where the trains will stop, the line may in fact be considered straight. From the Brimfield road the line curves to the west, upon a radius of a mile; and crossing the Chickopee River, it falls upon the point of Long hill; turning this hill upon a radius of 2865 feet, it continues straight, nearly to “ Warren city," 1} miles.
From the Five Mile River to Warren city, 8.1 miles, there is but 5 feet fall in the Chickopee river, or about 0.59 feet per mile; while in the next succeeding 5, miles, the fall is 212 feet, or 38.50 per mile; thence for 53 miles, it is 78 feet, or about 14 feet
mile. This will serve to show how unequally the fall in this portion of the stream is distributed, and consequently the character of the grades which must be given to the road.
Passing through the south part of the city, or village, of Warren, upon a curve of 3820 and 2865 feet radius, the line passes under the high hill, south of Moore's mill-pond. From thence to Blair's saw-mill, at the north point of Grattan mountain, the valley of the stream is much contracted, and very crooked. To avoid a constant succession of curves in this, the steepest part of the road, it may be necessary to cross the river eight times, in a distance of about 3 miles, or resort to the expensive alternative of making deep cuts across the bends of the stream. After passing Blair's sawmill, the river runs due south 4 miles. Upon this portion of the route, lines have been located upon both sides of the stream, and connected with each other at intermediate points. The main line, (as we now consider it,) continues down on the east side of the bend of the river, to a point below Capt. King's, there crossing the stream ; it continues on the west side to Fenton's; here the river turns off to the west, and the line pursues the north side of it, to a point of a mile east of Sedgwick’s tavern; the river here runs to the north, and the line after crossing it for the last time, passes over a slight summit to the valley of Baptist Brook; from thence it is straight, nearly two miles, to the point of the Wilbraham mountain; turning this point, upon a radius of 2865 feet, the line is again straight, 24 miles to the point of Stony hill.
As this portion of the route, (from E. Brookfield to Stony-hill,) stands in a manner by itself, there being no other
than the route by Palmer village, which it is necessary to compare with it, we shall state concisely, in this place, the general results furnished by the surveys and computations.
Length of the line from the Sturbridge road (end of 1st Division) to Stony hill
Miles, 27.13 Maximum grade
Feet, 42.48 Estimated cost of grading and bridging, for a single track (20' & 12)
$546,040.00 Per mile
20,120.00 The curves upon this line are as follows: 6 of 5730 feet radius—16 of 2865 do.—6 of 1910 do, and 1 of 1432.5 the last reducible (probably) to 1671 feet.
The Palmer village line in a distance of 10.32 miles (from the point whence the routes diverge, to that where they unite,) is 1.93 miles shorter than the line by the river. The rise from the scythe factory to Gammell's summit, in Palmer, is 132 feet, and the distance 2.84 miles ; thence the deep valley of Gammell's or King's Brook to Davis's, the descent is 27 feet, and distance 1.14 miles. From Davis's to the Chickopee River, below Sedgwick's, the descent is 340 feet, and the distance 3.44 miles, or about 100 feet per mile. This, of course, is inadmissible. But in addition we may add, that the grading, even upon these inclinations, could not be effected, unless at great cost. We consider, therefore, that the route by the river should be adopted.
We now proceed to the description of the routes across Connecticut River, between Stony hill and Tekoa mountain.
From the western termination, at Stony hill, of the division first described, to Tekoa mountain, (near the line between the towns of Westfield and Montgomery,) a distance of about 20 miles, several routes have been surveyed, and approximately located, with a view to ascertaining the best practicable line between these two points. They embrace an extent of about 5 miles, on the Connecticut River, viz. from the mouth of the Chickopee on the north, to Mill River on the south.
That part of the plain which lies on the east side of the river, and heretofore referred to, is, generally speaking, undulating, with occasional pond holes, and ravines, scattered over its surface; but no considerable ridges, or knolls, are to be found upon it. Its descent towards the river is very gradual, say from 5 to 10 feet per mile. The bed of the
river itself is about 170 feet below the plain, and the bank of the same about 150 feet below. On the west side of the Connecticut, this plain is interrupted by a ridge, which extends south, from the elevated ground near Northampton, and runs nearly parallel with the river, through the whole length of the town of West Springfield. The ridge in this extent is broken at two places only, viz. at Bush's Notch, west of the mouth of the Chickopee river, and at Morley's bridge, a little north of west of the village of Springfield. At the first of these points, it may more properly be called a depression; at the second, the Westfield River cleaves it to its base. It is through these two gaps that all the routes pass, in their course to the west.
The northern line, which we designate the Cabotville route, commences at the point of Stony-hill; and to the Connecticut River, a distance of 7.90 miles, it is virtually straight, there being but two curves of large radius upon it (and one of these, even, might be thrown out) it passes over the plain by easy grades, about } mile south of Jenks's or the Ludlow factories, thence north of Dimick's pond, and Five mile pond, and about of a mile south of the Chickopee factories ; opposite this point, the descent commences at a grade of 48.50 per mile, crossing the river just below the mouth of the Chickopee, by a bridge 1050 feet in length, the line ascends to Bush's Notch, before referred to.
The depression in the ridge at this place is 237 feet above the Bench Mark, at the eastern abutment of the Springfield bridge, and by the line as located, is 3 miles from the west bank of the river. The ascent is effected at grades of 83.31, 56.57, and 38.48 feet per mile. From the Notch to Tekoa mountain, the route is very direct; the descent to the plain at Sacket’s brook, is at grades of 40.33 and 15.36 feet per mile; thence ascending 41.12 per mile, thence descending to the canal feeder at Tekoa 24.84
mile. The total de scent west from the Notch to the feeder at Tekoa is 127 feet.
If the extraordinary height of 50 feet. for the bridge at the Connecticut were assumed, the grades would be reduced from 48.50 to 42.50 per mile on the east, and from 83.31 to 74.31 on the west side of the river. In such a case,
the cost of grading and bridging would be increased $28,746.47.