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Bridging and masonry.
Superstructure, including rails.
Land, land damages and fencing:
Passenger, freight and water stations and coal sheds.
Engine houses, car sheds and turntables..
Machine shops, including machinery and tools.
Engineering, agencies, salaries and construction expenses..
Purchase of other roads.

$ 328,462.01

541,517.21 1,461,576.55

898,556.13 360,668.85 251,316.18

378,363.24 2,053,144.37 12,359,149.13

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The total amount of taxes paid by the railroads in the State of Iowa is $881,149.36, which is 7 per cent of the net earnings. The taxes paid in 1878 were $594,912.65; in 1879 were $584,169.79; in 1880 were $591,843.08; in 1881 were $628,611.51; in 1882 were $707,660.31; in 1883 were $830,655.67. The largest amount was paid by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, $176,012.23; by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, $164,282.33; by the Chicago & Northwestern, $150,991.66; by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, $119,265.63; by the Illinois Central, $67,266.75; by the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern, $67,227.27.


The total number of miles reported in operation June 30, 1884, was 7,249,25. Poor's Manual gives, December 31, 1883, the miles of: Illinois, 9,031; New York, 7,349; Ohio, 7,227; Pennsylvania, 7,236; Texas, 6,090; Indiana, 5,522; Michigan, 5,114.


The Chicago & Northwestern reports leased lines 531.20, but since their report we were notified they had absorbed all their leased lines, and it is probable that at no distant period all the leased lines will come into the possession of the trunk roads. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific leases the Keokuk & Des Moines, 160.20 miles; the Illinois Central, 402.16 miles.


The total number of miles of side-track reported is 949.72.


The total number of miles double track reported is 48.08; of this 43.08 belongs to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; 4 miles to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and one mile to the Cedar Rapids & Marion Street Railway.



Miles of steel


Miles of iron


Total miles.

Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern..
Burlington & Missouri River in Neb..
Central lowa..
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy.

Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City...
Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs.

St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern.
Chicago, Iowa & Dakota..
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul..
Chicago & Northwestern..
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha.
Crooked Creek..
Des Moines & Fort Dodge..
Dubuque & Dakota
Humeston & Shenandoah.
Illinois Central...
Iowa Northern.
Minneapolis & St. Louis..
Ottumwa & Kirkville
Prairie du Chien & McGregor.
Sioux City & Pacific...
Union Pacific..
Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific
Wisconsin, Iowa & Nebraska.

432.431 244.07 676.50 3.86

3.86 129.65 280.87 410.52 437.84 347.78 785.62 34.69 42.97 77.66 42.00 16.35 58.35

2.85 49.22 52.07 26.50

26.50 680.00 731.60 1,411.60 902.07 146.48 1,048.55 655.08 270.20 925.28 56.16 18.38 74.54

.50 8.00 8.50 85.30 52.53 137.83 31.16 32.04 63.20

112.53 112.53 135.87: 266.29 402.16

5.93 5.93 12.65 128.35 141.00

3.33 3.33 .25

.25 12.18 68.29 80.47 3.50

3.50 41.40 342.50 383.90 108.85


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Fifty-two and one half per cent of the entire roads of the State, exclusive of sidings, is laid with steel rails. The Commissioners' Report for 1878 gives twenty-two per cent of the rails steel.


The total number of track sections reported is 1,245, the length of the sections varying from five to nine miles, averaging probably not far from six miles. On each of these the reports show from three to seven men employed; the average is about five. Number of pew ties reported is 1,390,561. The length of time that ties last in track varies according to location; an average of oak would be eight years; of cedar, six years. There were 19,750 tons of new steel laid in tracks during the year, and only eleven of new iron reported.


The number of miles of road fenced in Iowa is 3,677. The average price has not been furnished with sufficient accuracy to be relied upon. The barbed wire fences cost about forty-six cents per rod; the board fences about one dollar and twenty-five cents. With the moderate cost of wire fences it seems that no road, however poor, can afford to be without them. The land holder and the companies would avoid many differences that are annoying to both if the roads were fenced, and the Commissioners feel it to be their duty to impress upon those in charge of the roads the importance of having them fenced, particularly in regions where there is much grazing.

It is true the companies may elect to pay for the stock killed injured, but it seems a ruthless and wasteful procedure on their part. The actual value, even if he gets it promptly, does not compensate the farmer for the slaughter of stock that he has arranged his crops to feed and fit for market. Beyond his compensation there is a feeling that is not easy to get over-that there is an unnecessary loss of those things in which he is mainly interested. The Commissioners are convinced that the time has arrived when legislativo enactment should require that all railroads be fenced within a reasonable time after the track is laid.



Most of the lines are owned by the Western Union Company. The railroads report 984 stations in their offices, and 1,615 miles of wire belonging to them and operated exclusively for their business.




Total number of miles run by passenger trains was.
Total number of miles rup by freight trains was..
Total number of miles run by switching trains was
Total number of miles run by construction and other trains was.

24,235,381 46,788,236 13,205,909 9,521,367

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The average distance traveled by each passenger was, computing mainly from the through lines, about 45 miles. The amount paid by each passenger was one hundred and eight cents. Maximum rates are fixed by statute and the tickets are usually sold at that rate, although some discount is made on through tickets, and most of the roads sell mileage tickets at reduced rates. The average rates paid by passengers on all roads reporting is 2 4-10 cents per mile.

The speed of passenger trains varies from twenty to twenty-five miles per hour; of freight trains from ten to eighteen.


A few roads are unable to report their car mileage. The freight car mileage reported is as follows:

The number of miles run by loaded cars east and south....
The number of miles run by loaded cars west and north
The number of miles run by empty cars east and south
The number of miles run by empty cars west and north.

313,753,648 335,998,572 129,347,907 103,478,493

Total freight car mileage..


The excess of loaded cars going west over those going east we have commented upon before. Why this should be we can hardly tell. Much of it is probably due to the condensed form our products are assuming, and some to the amounts of lumber required in regions that are practically devoid of lumber for building.

A railway manager of long experience in Iowa remarked to the members of this Board that the rates on his line of road had been reduced to a very low figure, while the volume of freight, by a change in the method of agriculture, for the same mileage, had been largely reduced during the last fifteen years.

The following table shows the amount of freight charges per ton per mile of the railroads doing business in Iowa for the past seven

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Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern.. 2.34| 2.14 2.20 1.98 1.331 1.22 1.34 Central Iowa .

2.29 2.052.15 2.14 1.69 1.38 1.21 Chicago, Burlington & Quincy... 1.24 .96 .91 1.05 1.06 1.00 .93 Kan. City, St. Jo & Council Bluffs 2.32 1.93 1.70 1.79 1.75 1.871 1.53 Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul.

1.92 1.71 1.72 1.77 1.60 1.43 1.36 Chicago & Northwestern

1.70 1.531 1.46 1.47 1.47 1.42 1.29 Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific ..

1.57 1.43) 1.21 1.22 1.24 1.18 1.10 Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & O. 1.831 1.72

1.17 1.40 1.26 1.43 Crooked Creek.

8.75 9.00 13.00 9.00 9.00 9.75 8.80 Des Moines & Ft. Dodge

4 76 3.40 4.58 4.36 3.08) 2.36 2.31 Humeston & Shenandoah.

1.14 1.07 Illinois Centra)...

1.99 1.76 1.58 1.60 1.68 1.60 1.41 Minneapolis & St. Louis.

1.76 1.70 .71 1.00 1.27 Ottumwa & Kirkville...

2.00 1.04 Sioux City & Pacific.

2.44 2.45 1.83 2.25 1.96 2.28 2.28 Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific.

1.37 1.20 .79 .89 .96 .95 .95 Burlington & Northwestern

5.90 6.24 5.05) 4.26) 4.24 4.64 4.25

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The actual cost to move this freight per ton per mile is reported as follows: Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern, 0.40; Central Iowa, 0.50; Kansas City, St. Joe & Council Bluffs, 0.40; Chicago & Northwestern, 0.83; Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, 0.82; Crooked Creek, 4.50; Des Moines & Ft. Dodge, 0.43; Humeston & Shenandoah, 0.96; Illinois Central, 1.21; Minneapolis & St. Louis, 0.67; Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific, 0.79; Ottumwa & Kirkville, 0.80; Burlington & Northwestern, 1.00. The discrepancies in the cost makes it apparent that some of the roads in estimating the cost of transportation per ton per mile make it bear its proportion of the whole cost of maintenance of road and stations, and all other expenses, while the others simply charge the cost of hauling the trains. other hypothesis can we account for the rates returned. Assuming the former to be the correct basis, we conclude that in the present state of the railway traffic in Iowa, 7 85-100 cents per ton per mile is as low as the freight can be hauled in this State under the favorable conditions of a large traffic, as the rates received by the

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