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twenty minutes to half-an-hour when the ice is journey is begun. These steamers are entirely fast.

fired by oil fuel, the ice-breaker going through her trials on the Tyne and steaming out to St. Petersburg under this system, which has given entire satisfaction.

As these two vessels had to pass through the system of locks on the Marinsky Canal from Lake Ladoga to the River Swer, and so to the mighty River Volga, it was necessary to build them so that they could be parted to enter the locks; the ice-breaker in halves, and the railway ferry boat into four portions. This

The other steamer is a railway ferry icebreaker, 243 feet long, 55 feet 6 inches broad. She is capable of taking twenty-four of the railway company's large goods waggons at once, the loading and unloading of which is very expeditiously carried out. She has four lines of rails, and two very powerful hydraulic lifts at the fore end of the vessel to raise the trucks from the deck to the railway level. As the Volga changes its level all the year round,

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I now wish to describe the Scotia, a most interesting boat built at Walker, to the order of the Intercolonial Railway of Canada, for service across the Strait of Canso, between Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. She is a typical ice-breaker. Either end of the vessel is intended to be bow or stern at will, so that in working she does not require to turn round in entering or leaving her landings, the gangways resting on either end of the ship when lowered for loading or discharging the trains. As her ends are alike, both propelling engines are on the centre-line of the vessel, and can be coupled to each other, if so desired. The ice in which the vessel has to work is blown into the Straits from the Atlantic or the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and at times it becomes very tightly packed.

The vessel is 269 feet long, draws loaded 14 feet, and has a speed in open water of eleven knots. Her framing is exceptionally strong, and her shell-plating in way of the icebelt is very heavy, as she has to withstand severe local shocks.

The vessel has three sets of rails of the 4 feet 8 inch standard gauge from end to end, and is designed to carry nine Pulman or Corrridcr bogie sleeping cars, 80 feet long, each weighing 52 tons unloaded. The largest bogie saloon cars in England are 67 feet long. The decks of the steamer are enormously strengthened by deep girders and pillars throughout, so that she can, when necessary, take over a locomotive or tender, which, on the Intercolonial Express of Canada, weigh 120 tons with steam up. The vessel has four boilers, and the disposition of the four funnels and the captain's bridge gave rise to considerable ingenuity. The ship is entirely concontrolled from the bridge, as the centre of the deck must be kept clear for the coaches.

In this steamer the descent of the rollingstock on to the deck of the steamer is somewhat steep, and consequently very large buffers are provided to catch the coaches should the brakes fail, as a run into the water at the other end of the ship is not part of the Railway Company's schedule at the Canso Ferry.

As time is an all-important factor when the train is being put on board, three coaches are run on and taken off at one time, the taking off being done by a small shunting engine.

The next railway ferry ice breaking steamers before us are the St. Marie and the St. Ignace working across the Straits of Mackinaw, between Lakes Huron and Michigan, a distance of seven miles. Both these boats are built of

oak, and are sheathed with iron in way of the water-line. The St. Marie is 304 feet long, has 4,000 I.H.P. She has a propeller at either end, fitted with the idea that it helped her immensely to clear the landings. This vessel takes her trains on at the bow, has three lines of rails, and is, with her sister vessel, designed to work in ice up to 24 inches thick. The power of the engines of the St. Marie is nearly equally divided on the propellers. She commences work as soon as the ice begins to form at the setting in of the winter, and crosses in the same channel. As the ice seldom moves at Mackinaw, she has not much trouble in keeping the ferry open. She is splendidly handled, and the manner in which the trains are put on board and taken off, would be a revelation to many railway officials in this country.

Another most interesting ice-breaking railway ferry steamer is the Transfer of the Michigan Central Railway Company, which ferries the trains of several railways across the River Detroit, at the City of Detroit, situated between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. She is 280 feet long, and is the only example at the present time of a steamer having both paddlewheels and screw engines. She is built with a spoon-shaped bow and heavy scantlings; has three lines of rails from end to end of the vessel, and can carry twenty-one bogie trucks, or twelve passenger bogie cars. Her paddles are 27 feet 6 inches diameter, and the floats are heavily protected by plating; the wheels are immensely strong, weighing 46 tons each. She steams through ice six inches thick easily at ten knots an hour, and is in many ways a remarkable vessel. One feature in her machinery is that the paddle - wheels are geared to the engines, which leaves the railway deck undisturbed by any openings for the crank shaft usually seen in a paddle steamer.

Another vessel of the same class, and owned by the same company, is the Michigan Central; she has paddle-wheels only, is 263 feet long, and carries a heavy freight train.

There is also at Detroit another fine railway ice-breaking ferry boat, the Ontario, belonging to the celebrated Canadian Pacific Railway Company; she is 297 feet long, and has large compound paddle-geared engines.

At the port of L'Arbor, at the head of Lake Michigan, there is a fine car transfer icebreaking steamer, the Ann Arbor, belonging to the Toledo and Arbor Railway Company. She crosses the head of this great lake a

distance of 60 miles. The freight cars enter the vessel at the stern. She is decked over for a considerable distance from the bows, is 267 feet long, and 52 feet beam, draws 12 feet of water, and has a displacement of 2,550 tons. She is built of oak, has twin screws at the stern, and one propeller at the bow, all driven by compound horizontal engines. Her speed in open water is ten knots an hour, and at times she has very heavy packed and field ice to deal with.

The Nederland is an example of the usual type of large passenger screw ferry boat in use at New York to cross the harbour. In winter the ferry steamers have to pass through the

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ce that accumulates and moves up and down New York Harbour during times of hard frost.

She is

through strong gales and high seas. 350 feet long, 56 feet beam, and when fully loaded has a displacement of 4,950 tons on 12 feet 3 inch draught. She is strongly constructed, and her shell plating is very heavy. She has a splendid arrangement of cabins in the deckhouse, and every accommodation for first-class express service where the passengers may be on board all night. Her engines are twin screw compounds, 135 lbs. pressure, and 4,000 I.H.P.

THE PASSENGER ICE-BREAKER ON LAKE BAIKAL.

The Solano. This magnificent ferry-boat plies across the Straits of Carquinez situated some 30 miles north from San Francisco. She is constructed of oak, is 434 feet long by 116 feet over the guards of her paddle-boxes. The trains enter from either end. She is owned by the Central Pacific Railway Company, whose trans-continental expresses are daily ferried over by this steamer.

I will now describe to you one of the finest railway ice-breaking ferry steamers afloat-the Pére Marquette-built by Messrs. Wheeler, of Michigan. This vessel has to cross the centre of Lake Michigan, between Ludington and Manitowoc, a distance of some 56 miles, in all weathers, and encounter open water, heavy, solid, and packed ice, and steam

The rolling stock enters at the after end, and as there are four lines of rails, she can take on fourteen 80 feet corridor saloon cars, weighing about 56 tons each, loaded, or thirty

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freight cars. This steamer is truly a palatial floating hotel, and does a large amount to attract custom to the Flint and Pére Marquette Railroad Company. All the rolling stock on board is secured and blocked by mechanical means, to prevent movement in a sea-way, or when striking ice at high speeds.

On the great lakes of America, there are no fewer than fourteen car ferry routes.

From these vessels we come to the famous ice-breaker Baikal, on Lake Baikal, in the centre of Siberia. This splendid vessel was built to connect the eastern and western ends of the Siberian Railroad, which, as you know, makes a continuous railway from Ostend to Vladivostock, in Eastern Siberia, and Port Arthur, in Manchuria, some seven thousand miles long.

Now Lake Baikal lies N.E. to S.W., and all

round the S. W. corner of the lake, the Tartar mountains impinge on the lake itself; and to make this railway round the corner of the lake meant some 500 tunnels and bridges, more or less, and as the valleys are very steep, and work can only be carried on during the open months, the engineering difficulties are apparent. Also, landing from the lake is out of the question, as the débris from the mountains and valleys prevent this; and as very strong gales blow without warning on this stretch of water (principally from the north-east), the lake being 500 miles long, and nearly 4,000 feet deep, very dangerous seas get up, making it | impossible for vessels to lie at the south-west

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corner.

In the face of these and other difficulties, and the time that it would occupy to construct this portion of the railroad, Prince Khilkoff, the Minister of Railways and Communications in Russia, decided to order an ice-breaker to ferry the train across, and entrusted this most important problem to my firm, on account of their great experience in designing and constructing this class of vessel.

The field ice on Lake Baikal forms 36 inches deep, and owing to the gales, it packs heavily, particularly towards the Tartar coast, even grounding in some cases, and, owing to the extreme cold coming at times quite suddenly, and the ice being land-locked, it contracts and cracks, leaving dangerous crevices across the

lake. This lasts for well over four months of every year.

Until lately, all crossing Lake Baikal in winter was by sledges over the ice, and as severe blizzards and fogs are common, it sometimes happened that an unfortunate traveller, driver, horses, and sledge would go down one of these cracks.

THE "ERMACK" IN THE GULF OF FIN AND.

The distance of the ferry across the lake is 52 miles. The vessel is 290 feet long, and 4,200 tons displacement, and her draught, under ordinary working conditions, is about 19 feet.

She has three sets of triple expansion en-. gines, one at the bow and two at the stern.

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The principle of subdivision is carried out in the highest degree, and a large number of compartments would have to be pierced befo e she would sink. The vessel has luxurious accommodation, and a promenade deck for th use of passengers whilst they are making the passage across.

During the winters that this enormous steamer has been at work, she has proved herself to be most successful in keeping the service open under difficulties of ice-navigation that were unknown, and therefore even unthought of, during her construction. Of course, there was no knowledge of the ice as regards navigating purposes in Lake Baikal until this vessel went to work.

The hull was completely erected, marked,

taken down, and shipped inside of six months, and 2,700 tons weight, in 6,900 packages, had to be transhipped for some 1,500 miles across Siberia by boat to the place of re-erection. The boilers (of which there were fifteen) had to be kept under 20 tons in weight, for transhipment purposes, and even these great pieces were moved in sledges by the aid of hand and pony power from the railway trucks to the ship.

The vessel has three lines of rails, entered from the forward end; the centre track is very strong, to carry the locomotives, which, on this railway, weigh, loaded with tender, from 94 to 104 tons.

Her consort, the Angara, is a fine ice-breaker, having one screw of 1,500 I.H.P. triple expansion engines and loco boilers. These boilers were adopted so as to get over the difficulty of transhipment from St. Petersburg to Lake Baikal. She is a most successful ice-breaker, making her passages with the utmost regularity with mails and passengers.

I will conclude this paper with a reference to the Ermack. This magnificent piece of naval architecture is 335 feet long, 71 feet beam, and has a displacement (with coals on board) of 8,000 tons on a draught of 22 feet.

As the Ermack was built for Polar enterprise, as well as for ice-breaking in the Baltic, she was designed to receive the very severe blows that locally strike her when amongst the enormous ice of the Polar ocean, and ice pressures that may lift her clean out of the water, leaving her ice-borne.

Her bow engine, though successful in one year old ice, has been removed, as the shape at the bow to admit the propeller was not suited to the requirements of the Polar ice. Her speed through 24 inches of solid ice, with six to twelve inches of snow on the top of it, is nine knots an hour, and she can charge and demolish packs of ice twenty to thirty-five feet in thickness. In Polar ice the speed has to be kept at about 2 to 3 knots an hour, as one is apt to lose control of the vessel in this enormous ice, and the local shocks become very severe when she is charging about at her own "sweet will" amongst the Palæocrystic ice. She has proved herself to be of enormous use on her station on the Baltic coast of Russia, where she can negotiate any ice, and can safely bring out of danger all steamers that she goes to assist. In one short season, she rescued and assisted shipping of over two millions sterling value, and, in another winter,

she salved the Russian battleship, General Admiral Apraxine, of £750,000 value.

With the Ermack in the Baltic, there is no difficulty in Russia putting to sea her fleet, which usually winters at Cronstadt, as the Ermack could easily guide them to open water should necessity arise; and there is nothing to prevent this vessel herself being made an armed cruiser.

DISCUSSION.

The CHAIRMAN said that the meeting would agree that they had heard a most interesting paper upon a very important subject. The author had told them how one of the greatest difficulties which had been placed by Nature in the way of hunian progress had at length been successfully overcome by human intelligence and skill. Navigation amongst ice had always been associated with deeds of daring and adventure, but this evening it had been brought down to the prosaic level of ordinary trade and commerce. Fortunately in this country there was not any need for using ice-breakers, but other countries were less fortunate in that respect. In Russia, for example, not only the principal mercantile ports, but the most important naval ports would be absolutely closed during winter but for the operations of ice-breakers, such as had been described that evening. The Ermack in the Baltic and the Nadeshry at Vladivostock were engaged in placing the important naval ports of Cronstadt and Vladivostock practically upon a level with open ports throughout the world during the whole of the winter instead of their being in such a state that their fleets would remain icelocked and useless for national purposes during a great part of the year. One very striking feature of the paper was the description of the very great size and power which had been reached in ice-breakers such as had been mentioned compared with the small vessels which were used at the beginning a short time ago, and are described in the early part of the paper. It must have struck every person engaged in mechanical work that extremely difficult problems of naval construction and design must be involved in the building of icebreaking steamers. Mr. Gulston had not had time to deal with that part of the subject, but those who had listened to the paper could quite understand that such problems had required to be overcome by him and his firm; and we have seen evidence of how successfully they have been solved. First of all there was the question of the best form to be given to the vessels to enable them to make their way most effectively through thick ice with the least risk of doing damage to themselves. Then there came the great difficulty of structural strength and of giving to the hull sufficient strength for the purpose for which it was intended. There was also the difficulty of making the machinery and the propeller strong enough for their

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