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It will be noticed from the above that some of the wages are scaled. The section foremen, being seasoned, tried men, are paid according to experience. The development of this force and the scale of pay is explained in the following excerpt from a paper by Mr. Ivon Tuxford, published in the 1914–15 proceedings of the Engineering Society of China:
Gangers are mentioned from time to time in the monthly report by the divisional permanent way inspector, and if no complaint has been recorded for six months, they receive an increase in pay of $1 per month, and as long as the section is maintained in good order and the gangs in a state of efficiency, without any complaints being recorded, an increase of $1 per month every six months is given until the maximum pay for a ganger, $20 per month, is obtained. Gangers receiving $20 per month are eligible for promotion to section foremen. Leading coolies are eligible for promotion to gangers provided no complaints have been recorded against them after a period of at least 12 months' service.
Any complaints made in the monthly report against gangers are dealt with as follows:
For not turning out the gang in time, leaving work too soon, not carrying out in. structions promptly, allowing coolies to neglect their work, not keeping the section neat and tidy, or similar misdemeanors gangers are punished in the first case by a reduction in pay of $1 per month; second case, $2 per month; third case, dismissal.
If, however, å ganger receives good reports for six months after the first complaint he receives his former pay, and such complaint does not stop his further advancement. After two complaints the ganger must receive good reports for six months before getting an increase of $1. At the termination of 12 months' good conduct he reverts to his original pay, and the complaints do not stop his further advancement. The dismissal takes effect if two complaints are still recorded against the ganger when the third is made.
Every permanent-way gang coolie is medically examined, particularly as to sight and hearing, this being necessary for obvious reasons.
The Sunday holiday has also been introduced. This has a good effect on the men and better work is obtained by giving them this day off, enabling them to look after their gardens, etc., and relieving the monotony of continuous track work. At the same time inspection of track on Sundays is not neglected, the line being patrolled by the ganger and leading coolies of each gang as follows: First Sunday, ganger and first leading coolie; second Sunday, ganger and second leading coolie; third Sunday, two leading coolies.
Each section is patrolled twice a day.
The section foremen make surprise visits at irregular intervals to see whether the patrols are on duty, and the permanent-way inspector of the district also makes an occasional Sunday trip to see that the patrol work is being properly carried out.
The Sunday holiday is an incentive to make the gangs keep their sections neat and tidy and up to the required standard, as if the section gets out of order or dirty through lack of weeding, or any slackness on the part of the gang is shown, the Sunday holiday is canceled and the gang has to turn out until the section is in order again.
The question of paying a considerable number of men spread over a distance of 200 miles presents certain difficulties, especially as it is insisted upon that each coolie be paid personally by the pay clerk. The procedure is as follows: Every man is numbered, the number being in the form of a wooden ticket bearing the number of the gang and the number of the coolie wearing it. Being always paid on the same day each month and by the same train, the men know exactly at what time to leave their work and proceed to the nearest station. The permanent-way inspector travels with the pay clerk and, knowing which gangs will be at each station, checks their pay before the train reaches the particular station. The money, having been put up in small bags with each man's gang and number clearly marked and having been checked by the permanent-way inspector, is handed by the pay clerk to each coolie, who takes his pay from the bag, counts it and hands the empty bag back to the permanent-way inspector. This empty bag forms a receipt for the wages paid. Each man's pay is so proportioned in notes and silver that the permanent-way inspector can satisfy himself at a glance that the man has received his correct pay. To protect the coolies still further, as it is a general custom for the ganger to find food for the gang, a definite allowance is deducted from the coolies' pay and given to the ganger for this purpose. The ganger can not, therefore, overcharge them for their food. This is considered to be a better method of paying than that of handing the whole of the gang's money to the ganger for distribution to the coolies, as it ensures each coolie getting his proper pay without any deductions except from those who have been punished by fines.
The railway has in use a very successful and interesting system of reports, using a "picture" language, because the men are not sufficiently educated in their own or the English language to make satisfactory reports in either. This system requires their knowing only the English numerals 1 to 0.
ROADWAY AND BRIDGE MATERIALS.
In general, it may be said that on all the lines built with foreign loans the practices and standards of the country furnishing the money were very largely followed. On the lines built by Chinese engineers with Chinese money a considerable amount of American roadway and bridge materials, as well as American rolling stock, was always used, the most noticeable instance being the Peking-Suiyuan line, built in two sections—the first 125 miles known as the Peking-Kalgan and the second section as the Kalgan-Suiyuan, the last 110 miles of the latter being not yet completed.
One serious handicap from which the Chinese railways are now suffering and which it will be very expensive to remedy is the fact that all the bridges that have been built carry what American railway men consider very light loads. In only a few cases does the load exceed the equivalent of Cooper E-40, and in a number of instances it is as low as Cooper E-35. "A good example is the Shantung Railway, where the Japanese management is desirous of using heavier motive power, but is unable to do so because the bridges only carry a load equivalent to Cooper E-35; there are about 1,000 structures involved, but most of them are short single spans. Each nation has followed its peculiar practice. The Germans, French, and Belgians use a style of floor system with a stringer carrying the rail, with no bridge ties and the space inside and outside the rails filled with metal plates. (See fig. 12.) This makes failure of the structure almost certain in case of derailment. This type of construction has been used on the Peking-Hankow, Cheng-Tai, Pienlo, and Shantung lines and the German section of the Tientsin-Pukow. The British have followed their standard practice (which applies also to all materials fabricated at the Shanhaikwan bridge works of the Peking-Mukden Railway), but their floor system is very similar to the American practice and does not have the above disadvantage in case of derailment.
It is also apparent that on some of the lines sufficiently large openings have not been provided. This has been forcibly demonstrated during the last year, particularly on the Peking-Hankow and the German section of the Tientsin-Pukow. On the first line the bridge construction has been much criticized. While the bridges are unquestionably very light, it is doubtful whether any set of engineers would have provided sufficient openings to take care of the excessive floods of the past year in this part of China. Figure 13 shows one of these bridges with both approaches washed away. The fact is that some of the lines will be compelled to do considerable reconstruction of their bridges in the future.
On account of the great scarcity and high price of lumber, there is a decided tendency to construct railway buildings of all classes with
brick, stone, or concrete. On most of the lines very substantial buildings of all classes have been provided, and, as already mentioned, in some instances these are elaborate and ornate. In many cases the buildings are erected by local contractors.
The supply of crossties (sleepers) is a matter of the greatest importance to all the Chinese railways. No part of China, except portions of Manchuria, has any timber suitable for ties. In the past most of the ties used have come from the North Island of Japan, and this will probably remain the main source of supply for some years to come. These ties are termed Japanese oak, but about 70 per cent are oak and the other 30 per cent a mixture of Japanese katsura and tamo. In addition, apitong, Australian jarrah, mixed hardwoods, Hailin pine or Manchurian red pine, and Oregon pine have been used in varying quantities. The usual dimensions have been 6 by 9 inches by 8 feet, except in the case of the jarrah, which was 5} by 9 inches by 8 feet. The apitong and jarrah, both being very dense, have to have holes bored for the track spikes.
The Tientsin-Pukow Railway advertisement shown on page 68 is a very good illustration of the present requirements and the methods of purchasing crossties.
Mr. G. A. Kyle, chief engineer of the Siems-Carey Railways, has made a careful analysis of the available data and the following table shows his conclusions; this is based on the use of untreated timber and ordinary track spikes, without tie-plates:
This shows that the present practice of using the Japanese ties is the most economical. One reason for the short life in South China is found in the ravages of white ants. The item of interest is figured on the assumption that the tie is paid for one year before being placed in the track.
The Germans used a very substantial pressed-steel tie in the construction of the Shantung Railway; it has given satisfactory results,