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On the scene of the great accident at Red
Hill we have been examining, within the
last few days, another invention, designed
to lessen this expense of blood-money by
lessening the chances of collision. It does
not aim to effect so much as Mr. Whitworth's
apparatus, but it is cheaper, and it strikes
effectively at a chief source of mishapneglect
of signals. It is a fortunate chance also, and
one likely to secure for the public interests
a little more attention than they sometimes
get, that the author of this last invention,
Mr. Jonathan Crowley, is a gentleman who
treads, without polluting as a trespasser, the
ground tabooed as sacred to the brotherhood
of Railway Engineers.

The great Brighton collision of November
occurred on a Board day. The elder Mr.
Crowleywhose name, like that of Mr. Pickford,
is well known as belonging to one of the
most useful men in the three kingdoms,—
happens to be a director of the line.
Travellers believe that the days of peace and
safety upon railways are to come after a
director has been offered up. Mr. Crowley,
however, being then at Brighton, did not
on the day in question die for his country,
as he might have done had he come up to the
Board meeting. He was a truant, and so
lost an opportunity which, if his son's plans
be adopted, may perhaps never again occur. To
the son, who was on that day at the London
terminus, an hour of terrible suspense followed
the first notice of the accident: "Here's a
horrible ewent, sir, at Red Hill, the express
has been and run smash into a goods!" Then
when the melancholy train arrived that
brought the wounded, "Are these all?" was
the general question. "No, there were as
many left behind, too bad to move." By the
aid of the electric telegraph, however, one son
found that his father was not dead, but safe at
dinner in Brighton, and was enabled to go
home, reflecting calmly on the shock he had
received. These accidents, he reasoned to
himself, are certainly preventible. Unable to turn
to any other subject, he sat down to work that
evening with a pencil on a piece of paper. He
carried his thoughts with him to bed, and by
the next morning a design was formed, which
he at once prepared to carry into practice.
Models and plans having been made,
provisional protection was obtained for the device,
under the name of "Crowley's Safety Switch
and Self-Acting Railway Signals." Leave
was easily obtained to test the invention
at the Red Hill goods station on the Brighton

At that place the trial is now being made,
not of the Safety Switch, but (as the directors
wish) of the self-acting signals only. The
management of the switches, therefore, we
describe only in the words of the inventor; but
of the railway signals which we have seen
working we can give our own account. As
to the switches, we are told that "when a train
has arrived within a distance of, say from six
hundred to seven hundred yards of a station,
the flanges of the wheels, acting on a small
lever in connection with an electro-magnet,
will cause all the switches leading to the line
on which the train is advancing to become
fixed, so that nothing can thoughtlessly
be shunted, through them while the train is
running from the distance signal to the
station. The switches will remain fixed until
the train has passed the station. Should,
however, it be necessary to attach any
additional carriages to a train standing at a
station, they may be released by turning a small
handle close to the lever-box." Of the correct
working of this part of the contrivance
there can be no doubt, if there be no doubt as
to the right working of the signals. The power
used is in each case the same.

Under the broad clear sky it seemed no very
great thing that we had travelled out to see; a
small box buried below a rail at the entrance
to a great station. Winter looked fresh and
cheerful on the hills about us, there was a
crisp little wind astir, and the land glittered
with the first snow of the season. The snow
had come so late, and was so welcome, that
we scraped it from the backs of trucks into
our hands, and felt with satisfaction that our
hands were cold enough to finger without
melting it. Then we turned to the small box,
that did not quite contain the whole of the
invention, but was the beginningor the
middleor the end of it. In it ended the
two wires of a galvanic battery. While the
ends of such wires are in contact, the battery
of course being charged, a current of voltaic
electricity travels through the entire circuit
that they form. When the ends are not in
contact, charged or not, the battery is
incomplete, and practically nothing happens. The
ends of the two wires were in that box so
placed that if undisturbed they were in
contact, and the voltaic current was perpetually
flowing through the wires. Action was their
repose. But while the end of one wire in
the box was attached to a fixed point, the end
of the other was attached to a point moveable,
and so moved that (by an arrangement
obvious and simple) the downward pressure
of the flange of a railway wheel, when passing
over a small trap that we saw projecting from
the box beside the iron rail, would separate
the two ends of the wire, interrupt the circuit,
and stop the electric current. And of what
use is that electric current? How are its
movementsintangible essence as it ismade
to produce the movements of the heavy
signals mounted upon poles, one of them too
upon a hill a long way off? Those questions
we went upon the platform to see answered.
Outside the station door, as if it were a lark's
cage, there was fixed a wooden cage containing
the voltaic battery. We need tell nobody
what that is. There was the moving power;
thence the two wires started, whose ends met
within the box under the rail. We simply
glanced at that. We were invited more