The River War - An Account Of The Reconquest Of The Sudan By Winston S. Churchill


As the railway had been made, the telegraph-wire had, of course,
followed it. Every consignment of rails and sleepers - Page 230
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As The Railway Had Been Made, The Telegraph-Wire Had, Of Course, Followed It.

Every consignment of rails and sleepers had been accompanied by its proportion of telegraph-poles, insulators, and wire.

Another subaltern of Engineers, Lieutenant Manifold, who managed this part of the military operations against the Arabs, had also laid a line from Merawi to Abu Hamed, so that immediate correspondence was effected round the entire circle of rail and river.

The labours of the Railway Battalion and its officers did not end with the completion of the line to Abu Hamed. The Desert Railway was made. It had now to be maintained, worked, and rapidly extended. The terminus at Halfa had become a busy town. A mud village was transformed into a miniature Crewe. The great workshops that had grown with the line were equipped with diverse and elaborate machines. Plant of all kinds purchased in Cairo or requisitioned from England, with odds and ends collected from Ishmail's scrap heaps, filled the depots with an extraordinary variety of stores. Foundries, lathes, dynamos, steam-hammers, hydraulic presses, cupola furnaces, screw-cutting machines, and drills had been set up and were in continual work. They needed constant attention. Every appliance for repairing each must be provided. To haul the tonnage necessary to supply the army and extend the line nearly forty engines were eventually required. Purchased at different times and from different countries, they included ten distinct patterns; each pattern needed a special reserve of spare parts. The permutations and combinations of the stores were multiplied.

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