TO BUILD ENTIRE SYSTEM OF ROADS
E.J. Beard and Party of Engineers Now in Seattle Will Construct Rail Lines in Panay, Cebu and Negros
Medical Corps to Be Organized in the Philippines Under the Leadership of Men Familiar With the Climate
Fourteen Million Dollars to Be Expended in First Development and More Work May Be Undertaken Later on.
E.J.Beard and the party of railroad engineers who will lay out the 400 miles of railroad in the islands of Panay, Cebu and Negros, which J.G. White & Co. are to build, will sail for the Philippines tomorrow on the Hill liner Minnesota. The party reached Seattle this morning.
Fourteen million dollars are to be expended by the New York Construction Company that promoted the system of railroads. Mr. Beard is taking over the first party of engineers and will be in the entire charge of the construction work during the three or four years required to build the lines. He will send for another engineering corps later, but will rely as much as possible upon native labor for the common branches of the work.
Beard is Local Advisor
L.E.Bennett, right of way agent for the company and one of Mr. Beard's principal assistants has been in the Philippines for several years. He is thoroughly familiar with local conditions and has made a reconnaissance of the territory through which the roads will run. He went over the northern Luzon country with the engineers Governor Taft took to the Philippines to lay out the plans for the railroad development.
It was this trip through Luzon with the government's engineers that is the basis for an erroneous story sent out from New York to the effect that Mr. Bennett was one of Governor Taft's advisors in the formulation of plans for the constrution of the Philippine roads. He is regarded as one of the best posted men on Philippine physical and traffic conditions and will act during the construction period as right of way agent and local advisor in the semi-political affairs that affect the building.
Corps of Medical Men
A corps of medical assistants will be organized in the Philippines under Mr. Beard's direction. He intends to send a full railroad medical corps with each of the engineering outfits working in the three islands. Men familiar with the climatic conditions and local dangers to health will be in charge, but the engineering corps will have as complete a medical and surgeion staff as any railroad in this country.
J.G. White & Co., who promoted the Philippine liens under the government's concession, are completing the forty miles of Manila electric roads and Mr. Beard will probably be able to draw upon the staff of men employed on that system to fill out his own corps. The Manila work of the New York and London syndicate is the first railroad development enterprise fostered by the American government in the Philippines.
Big Sum Involved
"We expect to build the railroad system in the islands for $14,000.000 or less, and it may be that this will be but the beginning of railroad building in the Philippines." said Mr. Beard this morning at the Ranier-Grand. "The three systems which we are to build will require between 300 and 400 miles of construction and will be built as rapidly as possible. The reports on physical and traffic conditions show that there are no serious problems to overcome in construction work and that the liens ought to pay well. There is a rich country to be developed and the traffic to be handled will be heavy."
Mr. Beard left the Rock Island a month ago to go with J.G.White and Co. in the Philippines. His withdrawal from the Rock Island gave rise to a rumor that he was to be connected with the Western road, but that was an erroneous conjecture that followed his sudden resignation.
Will Ship Via Seattle
Mr. Beard underwent an operation in Kansas City just before he left for the West, and is now under the care of Dr. Kierneff, who will be one of the medical staff on the new railroads.
"Seattle ought to appreciate what the Hill systems have done for us and what it means to this city," said Mr. Beard of his trip. Ön the Burlington, the Northern Pacific, and now the Great Northern Steamship Company's boats we have been offered every convenience and every attention. I never saw better service. The Great Northern Steamship Company is the most satisfactory corporation to do business with.
"The result of this will be that we will handle all our business by way of Seattle. We ar to order all our railroad building materials from this country and the the attention that has been show us I think Seattle can expect to see all passenger and frieght business diverted to this city.
Speaking of the railroad plans, Mr Beard said:
"The force will be followed later, as construction progress requires, by such supervisory forces and skilled labor as cannot be supplied by Filipinos and that are ncecssary to supervise the Filipino labor, which will be the labor exclusively employed in the construction of these roads. The aggregate length of the railroads on the three islands will approximate 400 miles, and most of the material therefore will be obtained in the United States, except timber and cement, which can be obtained in the Orient.
"The cost of the work so far provided for approximates $14,000,000 and it is expected will require four years to complete, owing to the conditions incident to the country, the principal obstacle to rapid work being the rainy season, which much reduces the nuber of working days.
"The unusual conditions connected with an undertaking of this nature in the Orient create for an engineer extremely interesting work, and each member of the party is in high spirits and much delighted with the prospect of the problems before them."
Under Government Sanction
These railroads will be built under a United States government concessionary grant tothe Philippine Railway Company, composed of J.G.White & Company, Cornelius Vanderbilt of New York, C.M.Swift of Detroit nad William Salamon & Co. and Heidelback-Icklheimer & Co., prominent bankers of New York and others. This company let the contract for the construction and execution of this work to the well-known firm of J.G. White & Co., engineering contractors, New York. J.G.White & Co. have under way for the United States government harbor improvements at Iloilo and Cebu and a naval coaling station at Olongapo. It is this firm that is contributing the Yuma dam in Arizona for the United States government.
E.J.Beard, members ASCE of Kansas City, MO., chief engineer of the work has on his staff J.M.Robinson, late locating engineer of the Guayaquil & Quito Railway; H.F. Howe, late acting chief engineer of the Canton & Hankow Railroad; C.H. Farnham, member ASCE, late division engineer and superintendent of construction of Sam Shul Division of the Canton & Hankow Railroad; C.J. Hogue, member ASCE late engineer M. of W. of the Choctaw District of the Rock Island System; F.D. Nash, late engineer in charge of B&Q Railroad in Iowa, and L.E. Bennett, right-of-way agent and adviser in native matters.
Mr. Bennett has spent many years in the Orient and on the islands. He made the original reconnaissance and report on these railroads and first brought before the company the wonderful resources of these islands along the routes of the proposed railroads, and has established beyond doubt a conviction of the great future for all the territory they will serve.
When we woke up our cars were sidetracked in the yards at Seattle and everybody was glad to get out and stretch. The chiefs were quartered at the Ranier-Grand and we were at the Washington. We had the best hotel in town. It is located away up on the top of a high hill and from it you get a view all over the city and around it for miles. To the west over Puget Sound is the Olympic Range, to the east is the Cascade Range, while off to the South old Mt. Rainier stands up all alone. It was grand. In the afternoon we all went aboard the steamer and were photographed. After supper a lot of the gang went out to see the Terderloins and I guess some of them saw it all right.
Woke up in the midst of the Bitter Root Mts. and talk about your swell scenery and good fresh air. This morning was the best part of the whole ride. Reached Spokane during the afternoon, more postals. After passing Spokane we rode all the afternoon through the desert, nothing but sand and sage-brush as far as we could see. And hot and dusty as blazes. Crossed the Columbia River at Pasco. Here we saw the good results of irrigation also a bit of genuine humor on the side of a building was painted
"Drink Ranier beer, the beer that makes Milwaukee jealous"