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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/560

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SolvingNewYork's Freight Problem

��Bv Herbert Francis Slierwood

���A typical scene along the -water-front of New York and Brooklyn. Freight cars, lighters, steamers unload their freight, regardless of system, regardless of expense. Every ton of miscellaneous freight carries as much of a charge for terminal handling as it does for rail or water transportation, an average of about seventy cents per ton. New York has by far the crudest and least economical means of freight handling of any great modern city

��N.Xri'RE has made in New York Harbor the [jroMi'in of a cheap manner of transterring goods be- tween hind and water and the transporta- tion lines and factories, warehouses and stores difficult of solution. This year the complex method evolved for hanfl- ling freight has been further comiilicaled through the scarcity of ships and the (ongestion of the railroad terminals in (■()nsc(|uencc'.

It is<lirticult to iH'alize that il tile shore- line of the waters included within the limits of the port of New York was un- tangled and connected so that it ran more or less directly toward one point of the compass, and a railroad were laid U|)on it, it woulil take the Twcntielh Century Limited, Iraxeling .it ,in a\<r- age s])ei'd of fifty miles an hour, fiflciii and one-half hours to traverse it. The

��number of miles ol wati'rfront is 771. Of this total, 578 niiU's are in New York city, the remainder being the N\-w Jersey shore extending alf)ng the Hudson River from the upper end of the city around the Lower Bay to the lighthouse and artillery proving grounds on the extremit>' of Sandy Hook. Lnfortu- nateh', thiTe is no railroad along the busit'st part of this grt-al shori- front. This is what distinguishes the problem of handling freight in \i'W \'ork H.irbor from that of other ports. One conmiis- .sion after another has lookeil at the problem and found it like a moimlain front. They ha\-e tried to scale it, but this ha> proxed more dillicull than the ascent of Ml. McKinley.

In the old <l,i>s, when tnasters of ships h.id an opportunity to slmw how to (jock a \es>el with every sail flying, and

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