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COMPLAINTS

OF

CITIES, TOWNS, ASSOCIATIONS, INDIVIDUALS, ETC.

I.

RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF MANLIUS V. THE NEW YORK CENTRAL AND

HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD COMPANY.

July 28, 1890. This was a petition, numerously signed, filed with the Board, asking that the crossing across the New York Central and Hudson River railroad and the West Shore railroad, which was formerly protected by a gateman especially employed for the purpose, and which gateman had been removed and the duty of attending to the gates had been imposed upon an employee known as the station master, be again attended by one whose duty should be nothing else. The petition alleged that the station man, in addition to attending to the gates, handled the baggage, cleaned the lamps, moved the switches and conveyed the mail to and from the post-office, and that the public was greatly endangered by the neglect of the gates necessarily entailed. This complaint having been forwarded to the road, the Board was informed by the general manager that the gateman removed had been restored.

II. DISTRICT ASSEMBLY No. 75, BROOKLYN, v. THE SECOND AVENUE RAILROAD

COMPANY.

July 29, 1890. This assembly complained that the Second Avenue Railroad Company of the city of New York was running its cars in violation of the statute providing that not more than ten hours labor should be performed within twelve consecutive hours.

In answer the company replied that it was not in any manner violating the spirit of the act referred to; that its road was a complicated one, embracing in addition to the main line numerous branch lines, so that it was impossible to arrange its trips that some of the men would not have to remain on the cars a little longer than ten hours a day or leave the cars with the trip uncompleted; that the choice was given to the men to elect whether they would make three trips a day, working less than nine hours, or four trips, working a little over ten hours, and that the men were all anxious to make the greater number of trips as the consequent pay was greater thereby. In conclusion the company insisted upon the impossibility of arranging its trips in any other manner without injustice both to its employees and to the public.

The Board, in reply, desired to know what the number of trips were in which more than ten hours labor was performed, and as well the length of time in excess of ten hours labor so performed.

The company, by its secretary, replied that the number of trips exceeding ten consecutive hours would be about 130 daily, and the average length of trips above the ten consecutive hours would be from thirty to fifty minutes.

The Board then addressed a communication to the assembly officers, setting forth the facts as above and calling the attontion of the assembly to the statement of the company that its men were anxious to make the longer trips. To this no reply has ever been received from the assembly and the Board assumes tbat it deomed further action unnecessary.

III.

P. RICHARDS V. THE SYRACUSE, GENEVA AND CORNING RAILROAD COMPANY.

August 22, 1890. This was a complaint against unnecessarily whistling of locomotives of the road complained of in the village of Geneva.

In reply to the complaint the general superintendent replied that some time previous he had issued an order warning against whistling in the village limits any more than was absolutely necessary, and saying that he would take the matter up again and issue orders that would be obeyed. Subsequently the complainant wrote that cause for complaint had ceased to exist.

IV. CITIZENS OF CANISTEO v. THE NEW YORK, LAKE ERIE AND WESTERN RAILROAD

COMPANY.

August 28, 1890. A petition numerously signed by the residents of Canisteo set forth that the station of the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad at Canisteo was barely large enough to accommodate the freight received and shipped at that point, much of which remained out of doors for want of room within, while the station-house itself was inconvenient and dilapidated, and that passengers were subjected to the annoyance and danger of walking on the railroad track to escape walking through the mud and cinders and it prayed that the road should be compelled to erect a new passenger station upon Depot street and devote the old building wholly to the uses of freight.

A copy of this petition was transmitted to the company, which replied that it was desirous of erecting a new station building at Canisteo but at the present time could not afford to make the expenditure, but hoped to do so at an early date. This answer having been transmitted to the petitioners, no reply from them has been received.

V. RESIDENTS OF FORT COVINGTON v. THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA RAIL

ROAD COMPANY.

September 8, 1890. A petition numerously signed by the residents of Fort Covington was filed with the Board alleging that by the construction of a bridge known as a pile bridge across the Salmon river in said village, the flow of water had been greatly obstructed, and that in seasons of high water there had been great damage to property adjacent to the river by such overflow; that the petitioners were now informed that the railroad company contemplated the erection of a new bridge of the same character instead of the present one, and the petitioners invoked the authority of the Board to insist upon the construction of a bridge of a character that would not cause so much damage.

In answer thereto the company replied that it did not admit the complaint to be founded upon fact, nevertheless that it had taken steps to remove any cause for a like complaint. This answer was forwarded to the petitioners, and as no reply has been received from them it is presumed that they are satisfied.

VI. IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT OF P. H. FOSTER v. THE LONG ISLAND

RAILROAD COMPANY.

September 9, 1890. P. H. Foster of Babylon, N. Y., complained, under date of June 30, 1890, that the Long Island Railroad Company made “enormous charges of freight, particularly on trees in boxes and bales. Their charge on boxes is eighteen cents per hundred pounds for thirty-seven miles, and on trees in bales, for same distance, thirty-six cents per hundred pounds. These charges being so much above those of other railroads it is acting detrimental to my business, in fact, it is destroying it. I learn from parties who I ship stock to at Pittsburg, Pa., that charges are more from here to New York than to above place."

This complaint being forwarded to the Long Island Railroad Company, Mr. Benjamin Norton, second vice-president, replied on July eleventh, in substance, that the rates, compared with rates for similar merchandise on other roads for a corresponding distance, showed but a slight increase; that “the amount of such business from the point in question over this road is very limited, said Foster being the only one, we believe, who is engaged in this enterprise there, and our records show for the year ending July first last, we received from said

*

Foster but $191.38 for such freight.

We do not feel that we should make any change in our tariff covering this particular commodity, in view of all the circumstances."

This answer having been in , due course forwarded to the complainant, he replied on the twenty-third of July that he claims the Pennsylvania railroad's charge from Trenton to New York is sixteen cents per hundred pounds which he has paid heretofore; that “if you will look for information from another source than the parties interested, I think you will satisfy yourselves that I have not made an unjust complaint.”

The Board made a careful examination of the freight rates of ten New York railroads, under practically similiar conditions, and finds that the maximum rate for trees in boxes for thirty-seven miles, is twenty-seven cents per hundred pounds; that the minimum rate for trees in boxes, thirty-seven miles, is ten cents; that the maximum charge for trees out of boxes, thirty-seven miles, is forty and onehalf cents, and the minimum charge for trees out of boxes, thirtyseven miles, is ten cents; that the average charge by these ten roads for trees in boxes, thirty-seven miles, is seventeen and three-tenths cents per hundred pounds; that the average charge for trees out of boxes, same distance, is twenty-five and one-half cents per hundred pounds.

The complainant states that the through rate from New York to Pittsburg, Pa., is but sixteen cents per hundred. This rate is through and competitive.

The rate for trees in boxes per one hundred pounds for thirtyseven miles over the Pennsylvania railroad, is sixteen cents, and for trees out of boxes, same distance, twenty-four cents — being about the same rate as the average of the ten roads above referred to.

It will be noticed that the rate through New York to Pittsburg, over 440 miles, is exactly the same as it is over thirty-seven miles. The full force of the advantage of competition is shown by this comparison.

The Board is of the opinion that the rate charged by the Long Island Railroad Company for transporting trees in boxes is a reasonable one and does not unjustly discriminate, and while the rate per hundred pounds for transporting trees out of boxes over the Long Island road, thirty-seven miles, is not as high as the maximum charge by the roads compared, it is ten and one-half cents per hundred pounds higher than the average, and twenty-six cents higher than the minimum rate charged, and seems to be out of proportion with the rate for trees in boxes.

RECOMMENDATION. The Board recommends that the Long Island railroad reduce its charges for transportation of trees out of boxes for thirty-seven miles to twenty-five and one-half cents per hundred pounds, the average price charged by the ten roads referred to.

By the Board.

VII.

SIBLEY, LINDSEY & KERR v. THE AMERICAN, WELLS-FARGO, AND UNITED

STATES EXPRESS COMPANIES.

September 11, 1890. This was a complaint against the express companies named of discrimination in rates against Rochester, to wit, one dollar and twentyfive cents a hundred from New York to Rochester, which is the same rate charged from New York to Buffalo, a longer distance by seventy miles.

The reply of the companies was that the cost of handling business at terminal points was practically the same, and that it cost as much for their service in New York city for shipments to Middletown, a near-by point, as it did for similar shipments to Buffalo, Rochester or San Francisco. Whereupon they argue that it was plain they could not make a tariff on distance basis alone, as other considerations of cost entered into the question; that, as related, the specific allegation, the terminal costs as between New York and Buffalo and New York and Rochester, were identical, while the cost of handling en route was greater to Rochester than to Buffalo, and but for the consideration of the obligation of treating all communities as equally as possible, a higher rate would be charged.

These answers having been transmitted to the complainants, no answer was received from them, and it is therefore supposed that they were satisfied with the answer.

VIII. McADAM & Sons v. THE NEw York, ONTARIO AND WESTERN RAILWAY

COMPANY.

September 17, 1890. This complaint was that the firm bringing freight upon the canal to Rome, with a view of shipping by the New York Central Railroad Company, was compelled to have cars transferred to the New Yorki Ontario and Western switch, which lies along the side of the Erie canal on State property. For this the Ontario and Western Railroad Company had made a charge of one dollar per car, the price charged other parties. As soon, however, as the Ontario and Western learned that the freight came from the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg territory, the charge for switching was increased 400 per cent. The complaint further alleged that a New York Central engine did all the switching

To this the Ontario and Western replied that the charge made was a fair and reasonable one, and that if the complainants had ever been charged but one dollar per car such charge was without the knowledge of the proper officers of the company, and denied that one dollar per car was the regular rate for switching cars. The complainants replying to this alleged that they could prove their allegations by the testimony of D. F. Fox, freight agent of the road complained of, 8. H.

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