Friday, January 10, 1873 The Woodstock Sentinel (Woodstock) Page 2

P. D. &L. H. Railway.

Fourth letter from an East Oxford ratepayer.

In accord with my promise in my last, I am able to send actual facts and figures in answer to Mr. Bursee's argument, that there are no roads in the country built on first estimated cost. Since writing you last, I have had an interview with a director of the Hamilton and Port Dover Road, by whom I was informed that their road was being built on first estimated cost, and that the estimate was sixteen thousand dollars per mile, or four thousand dollars less, than that of the Port Dover and Lake Huron road. But as their raw material was purchased before the late rise in prices, their road being the same gauge, could probably be completed at four thousand dollars per mile less than ours. I also had an interview with the President of the W. G. & B. road, who told me that their road was being built at first estimated cost, as was also the Toronto & Nipissing; that the business of these roads was in excess of the present capacity, that almost every municipality along the route of each road gave the bonus asked for, and that the people in the sections of country traversed by these roads, were satisfied that the benefit derived from them, were fare more than repaid them for their share of the expense of building. I also asked him his opinion of the prospects for our road, and he told me that with proper management, it certainly should be built within the twenty thousand dollars per mile, and when completed would, in his opinion, yield fair returns. Well, such is the opinion of a railway man of several years experience in such matters, and one, who thought possessing a knowledge of railway matters in Ontario that should make his opinion valuable, has no further interest in our road than his desire for, the prosperity of any undertaking that will develop and increase the wealth of the country. I think Andrew the Antiquated, must have pouring over some of those accounts of the Grand Trunk, with which the press occasionally favor us, when he came to the conclusion, that he expressed in that remarkable rhetorical specimen now know to your readers, as Andrew Bursee's letter on "the other side of question." It is simply ignorance to assume at the present time, that Engineers at the head of their profession, and with hundreds of precedents before them to assist their calculations, cannot estimate the cost of such an enterprise very closely. The cost of every undertaking whether public of private, is estimated before it is begun and it is just as absurd for this Antiquity to assume that the cost of a barn, shed, or any other improvement on the farm, will be double what he estimates, as to assume that the cost of the Port Dover and Lake Huron road will be, so greatly in excess of the estimate, that the Company will be unable to build it without an additional bonus. The ratepayers of East Oxford need have no tears that they will ever be asked for an additional subsidy after having given the first ten thousand, or that they will not be amply repaid their share of the cost, by the benefit derived from the road when completed.

An East Oxford Ratepayer.
East Oxford, Jan. 3, 1873.