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without a declaration upon the part of the State that there is a public necessity for it, and with the further provision that it should be built upon lines and in directions to subserve the public interests rather than the exclusive private interests of its promoters. The logic of this view is perfect. A railroad can not be built without its promoters exercising the extremest powers of the State over private property, i. e., the right of eminent domain — the right to take private property for public uses. The State never exercises this power without a declaration that it is, in fact, for a public use.

It is certainly a dangerous policy to permit a small number cf men who choose to promote a railroad company, to exercise it for their own benefit. The Board is clear that the State should exercise its right to determine where a railroad shall be originally laid out, as well as its right to regulate it after it is built. The duties of the State, also, to existing corporations should not be lost sight of; it should compel them to perform their duties with the most scrupulous regard to public rights and conveniences, and, at the same time, protect them from destructive competition by other roads in cases where the public convenience is in no way subserved by the latter being built.

A bill will be submitted by this Board to bring about these results, for the consideration of your honorable body.

In the last annual report a short account was given of the formulation of a general freight classification applicable to all railroads of the United States. This classification was printed and submitted to the traffic associations, with a letter of recommendation that it be made effective January 1, 1891. It was rejected, however, by some of the railroad associations, notably by the Trunk-Line and Transcontinental associations, in consequence of which it has not been put into effect by any. This is to be regretted, as such a classification would have simplified the details of freight transportation to a very great extent, resulting in economy of administration and convenience to the public. The conflict of interests, however, between eastern and western shippers is such that it appears to be doubtful, at present, whether any universal classification can be agreed upon that will be satisfactory to all. Manufactories are rapidly moving to the west and


their owners desire a classification that will enable them to distribute their goods to the best advantage from western cities. Eastern manufacturers, on the other hand, and the railroads dependent upon them for custom, desire a classification that will benefit the eastern cities. To reconcile the conflicting interests on a satisfactory basis appears to be a matter of great difficulty.

An effort is being made by many of the railway associations to abolish "unlimited tickets ;" that is to say, these associations propose to sell their tickets good only for a continuous ride. The object of this is to prevent a traveler desiring to go to a point near the terminus of a through line, from purchasing a ticket to a distant competitive point and then selling the unused part of his ticket to irregular dealers, known as "scalpers.” The inducement to the traveler to thus purchase a ticket, is explained as follows: To a distant point there may be several routes, a direct and an indirect route; the rate, as for instance, from New York to Chicago, is the same by either. By purchasing a ticket by the indirect route, the traveler may be enabled to go to an intermediate city from which an original ticket to Chicago would be the same as from New York. He is there enabled to sell the unused part of his ticket to "scalpers" for nearly the same price that he paid for the entire original ticket, thus securing his passage to the intermediate city for considerably less than the regular fare. It is claimed by railroad managers that the abolition of unlimited tickets will do away with the evils of "scalping,” The public, on the other hand, will be disposed to question the curtailment of their privilege of stopping over at intermediate points if they desire to do so in good faith. If this determination by the railroad companies is put into operation, there ought to be provision to redeem the unused part of the ticket at authorized agencies of the company at an equitable price.

Within the past year increased interest and activity has been shown in the direction of adopting better safety appliances for trains. At the Third Annual Convention of the Railroad Commissioners of the United States, in Washington, on March 5, 1891, the following resolutions were adopted :

First. That a committee of five be appointed by the chair to urge upon Congress, as soon as possible after the opening of its next regular session, the imperative need for action by that body, calculated to hasten and insure the equipment of freight cars throughout the country with uniform automatic couplers, and with train brakes, and the equipment of locomotives with driving wheel-brakes, and present and urge the passage of a bill therefor.

"Second. That the committee, before presenting the bill to the appropriate congressional committee, be requested, after public notice, to give a hearing to accredited representatives of such organizations of railroad officials or employees as may desire to be heard."

The committee was duly appointed, and consisted of Messrs. Crocker, of Massachusetts; Hill, of Virginia ; Smith, of Iowa; King, of South Dakota, and Rogers, of New York — chairman of the New York State Board of Railroad Commissioners. A vast amount of information was gathered in response to circulars of the committee, and condensed into shape by Mr. Edward A. Moseley, secretary of the Interstate Commerce Commission, who acted as secretary of the committee.

A public hearing was had at the New York Chamber of Commerce on the 10th day of November, at which time there appeared a large number of persons representing the railroads of the United States, and also accredited representatives of railroad employees. A committee of the American Railway Association representing 125,000 miles of railroads of the United States, out of a total of 160,000 miles, also appeared.

The information received from the railroads is tabulated as follows:

Total number of freight cars.
Equipped with automatic coupler

Hinson ....

Designated simply M. C. B.
Total M. C. B...
Total specified
Apparent number having plain link and pin.
Westinghouse brake, number freight cars equipped..

978,161 129, 304 40,231 23,357 42,061 13, 279 118,928 12,207 38,955 170,090 808,071 97,238

Eames, number of freight cars equipped.......
Boyden, number freight cars equipped..
Other types, number freight cars equipped
Total locomotives....
Equipped with driving-wheel brakes...


304 12, 555 27, 159 17,000

At the hearing the representatives of the railroad companies were almost unanimously in favor of the adoption of the Master Car Builders' type of coupler. They were opposed, however, to compulsory legislation upon the ground that the companies were equipping their cars as fast as practicable, and that the coupler had not yet been perfected to the point that would justify legislation. Mr. L. S. Coffin, of Iowa, representing the Order of Railway Conductors and Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, claiming to number 75,000 men, was in favor of legislation compelling the adoption of the Master Car Builders' type. To the surprise of the committee, certain persons representing the Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association, opposed the adoption of the Master Car Builders' type. Upon close questioning, however, the opposition seemed to result from the dangers incident to the transition period, it being, no doubt, the fact that while the change is being made from the link and pin to a uniform coupler, the danger to the person coupling is greater than with the old link and pin.

Whether the Master Car Builders' type is the best possible coupler, it is not necessary to discuss. It certainly seems to be the fact that its selection is approved by a very large majority of those in interest. The committee, at the present writing, has not yet decided upon the form of a measure to be recommended to Congress. It is still discussing the matter and it is to be hoped that an agreement can be reached in time to urge upon Congress at its present session, a measure that will be satisfactory to those in interest. The subject is a difficult and intricate one. There are many phases of it that require most careful consideration. To be satisfactory and prevent loss of life, the coupler adopted must be automatic and the uncoupling arrangement must be such that the employees can uncouple the cars in dark or stormy weather. In other words, there must be uniformity, both in the coupling and in the method of uncoupling. There are numerous other matters

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to be taken into consideration, financial and otherwise, which will not, however, be discussed further in this place.

The adoption of train brakes is also a matter of the greatest importance, as it will prevent the necessity of trainmen walking along the roofs of cars to set brakes by hand. From this cause alone fifty-nine men were killed and 107 injured during the last year in the State of New York.


It appears that a considerable increase in business on the railroads of the State, as compared with previous year's business, was done for the year ending June 30, 1891, but that there was also a large increase in operating expenses. The very large increase now going on does not appear in these figures, as the railroad fiscal year now ends on the 30th of June, for reasons mentioned in the report of last year. The totals for all roads, and the details for each are given with great particularity in the second volume of this report. A few of the grand totals, and most important final results, are given here as usual.

For year ending For year ending

June 30, 1890. June 30. 1891.

$163.974,833 87
107,939,410 80
56,015,423 07
5,172,928 60
27,520,491 31
5.496,092 37
1,737,484 78
16,250.052 76

4,382.244 42
1,288,698.907 56
1,225,335,120 65

$169,012,504 22 113,528.346 87 55, 484,157 35

4.965, 163 92 29,163,321 21 6,087,519 96 1,427,472 92 16,189,856 98

2.863,183 68 1,344,198,084 96 1,270,265, 163 12

Gross earnings from operation of road..
Operating expenses.
Net earnings from operation of road
Income from other sources than operation of road.
*Interest paid and accrued.
Dividends declared
Stock and debt
Cost of road and equipment.
Percentage of gross income to cost of road and equip-

Porcentage of net income to capital stock.
Percentage of dividends declared to capital stock.
Miles of road in New York State, maio line....
Tons of freight carried one mile....

Increase for year ending June 30, 1891, 01.85 per cent.
Average freight earnings per ton per mile (cents)..
Average freight expenses per ton per mile (cents).....
Average freight profit per ton per mile (cents)..
Passengery carried one mile (exclusive of elevated

Increase for year ending June 30, 1891, 09.27 per cent.
Average earnings per passenger per mile (cents).
Average expenses per passenger per mile (cents).
Average profilt per passenger per mile (cents)...



7,590.07 14,313, 403,033

04.76 02.96


7.651.17 14,577,616,629


0.767 0.522 0.245

2,355, 499,033


2.28 1.48 0.80

2.22 1.45 0.77

Includes respectively interest and dividends paid by lessors from rentals received from lessees as follows:

Year ending Year ending

June 30, 1890. June 30, 1891. Interest ....

$7,880,297 87 $7,904,005 73 Dividends

3,597,892 90 3,831,616 78

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