AN OVERHEAD FERRY.
THE United Stated consul at Rouen,France, gives a description of a suspended ferry service which seems practicable and convenient. The bridge which sustains the “carrier” is a suspension one, with steel tower. It shows the river Seine at Rouen and was patented by two Frenchmen, F. Arnodin and A. de Palacio. This currier is practicable only In unimportant passages, where vessels have not to unchor, where the current is hardly perceptible, and where the bottom is rocky and exposed to view at low water—thus allowing the line to be examined and repaired when needed. The frame can roll over the rails in both directions at pleasure; the suspended carrier therefore, can land on one shore or the other at will, as It follows the frame in the same way as the car follows the balloon. In order to obviate any swinging motion which might result from the pressure of the wind or the forward motion of the carrier itself, the rods by which the latter is suspended are arranged in triangles, both in the longitudinal and transversal directions. There is thus a little railway for crossing the river, with this difference, that the body of the vehicle, instead of being above the ruils and wheels as usual, is some 140 or 160 feet below these. It possesses, nevertheless, the speed and regularity of motion which can be obtained on any straight and horizontal railway line, with the advantage that, thanks to its long suspension, this new kind of wagon enjoys a smoother motion than the best railwaycoaches, without the intervention of springs or other expensive and cumbersome appliances in order to modify the vibrations. The motion of the ftauie is obtained, without expending much power, by means of any motor—the kind most suitable to local circumstances—cable driven by steam, water under high pressure, compressed air, gas, or oil, or, better still, by electricity. But in the last case the dynamo, instead of being erected on shore, as the steam engine, is preferably placed on the movable frame, which it carries along with itself by means of a pinion working into the teeth of a rack fixed to the bridge. Whatever maybe the kind of engine employed, it must be able to work backwards or forwards instantaneously. It may, iu fact, be at any moment necessary to reverse the direction on account of an unforeseen obstacle. The accompanying cut showB the bridge, with a platform part way up the piers. This can be reached by stairs or elevators, and used as a restaurant, etc. In the bridge at Rouen, however, this feature was omitted. It will be observed that this is the most favorable solution of the problem of crossing maritime channels— and this for many reasons, among which are the following: The latitude it leaves for fixing dimensions— height or length—without any unreasonable increase in its cost, permits its use over many rivers and inlets requiring easy communication from shore to shore. It affords greater speed and more regularity than a boat, allowing twice or three times as many crossings to be made as with the latter, without being subject to the same cuuses of interruption. It does not even momentarily interrupt navigation, nor does it compel the traffic to make laborious ascents as in the ordinary