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5A. Report of Attorney-General.

5B. Report of Adjutant-General.

5C.

Weather and Crop Service Report for 1898.
5D. Weather and Crop Service Report for 1899.

5E. Report of Improved Stock Breeders' Association.
5F. Report of Fish Commissioner.

OF THE

Board of Railroad Commissioners

FOR THE

YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1898.

STATE OF IOWA

PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

DES MOINES:

F. R. CONAWAY, STATE PRINTER,

1899.

RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS' REPORT.

STATE OF IOWA,

BOARD OF RAILROAD COMMISSIONERS,
DES MOINES, December 5, 1898.

To Hon. L. M. Shaw, Governor of Iowa:

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Pursuant to the provisions of the statute the board of railroad commissioners of the state of Iowa submit the following as the twenty-first annual report of its proceedings for the fiscal year last past. The law requires the board to report the amount of capital stock of the various railroad companies doing business in the state, the amount of preferred stock, if any, and the condition of its preferment; the amount of its funded debt, the amount of its floating debt, the cost and actual present cash value of its road and equipment, including permanent way, buildings and rolling stock, all real estate used exclusively in operating the road, and all fixtures and conveniences for transacting its business, together with schedule of the same, not including lands granted in aid of its construction.

The law further requires the board to report concerning the number of locomotive engines and cars used in the state, and the number supplied with automatic safety couplers; the kind and number of brakes used, and the number of each; the number of employes, and salaries paid each class; the amounts expended for improvements each year, how and where expended, and the character of such improvements; the earnings and receipts from each branch of business, and from all sources; the operating and other expenses, balance of profit and loss, etc. In its endeavor to comply with these requirements there have been prepared tables of statistics upon the subjects set out below, as well as on many others not here enumerated, which are, to the many who seek information on any particular line, of interest and value, and amply repay the most careful research and investigation, showing as they do as fully as the nature of the returns secured from common carriers will afford the data, the condition and workings of the various railways of the state, so far as their duties as common carriers may relate to or interest the general public. These tables, among many other things, contain information concerning dividends, amount of capital stock representing the roads in Iowa, interest accrued and paid during the year, equipment and obligations concerning the same, amount of debt and debt per mile of road, rentals received and paid, total cost of road and equipment to the end of the fiscal year, the income from operation and from other sources, deductions from income, net income, surplus or deficit, taxes, permanent improvements, earnings from entire lines and from lines in Iowa, from passengers, express, mail, excess baggage, storage, freight, switching, telegraph, miscellaneous and other sources; operating expenses, including maintenance of way and structures, maintenance of equipment, conducting transportation, general expenses, including salaries, insurance, legal expenses, taxes in Iowa, and in other states, cash and current assets, current liabilities, mileage, description and character of roadbed, ballast, rails, rolling stock, different classes of employes and salaries paid each class, including

general officers, number of passengers carried and receipts from each passenger, freight tonnage and tonnage of different commodities, and train mileage, together with information in minute detail concerning many other subjects.

The board has not considered it necessary to refer especially to all tabulated information herewith submitted, but in the discharge of its duties presents the same for the consideration of the public.

IMPROVED PHYSICAL CONDITION.

During the year steady improvement has been made in roadbed, it being obvious that with poor roadbed the best superstructure and most modern equipment would be of little use in assuring safety to passengers, or reasonable dispatch in the delivery of freight. Expenditures to the accomplishment of this muchdesired result have been made for such ballast as experience may have determined to be the best for the road in question, or that can be made or obtained within reasonable distance of the locality. By constant attention to this allimportant feature, some of the Iowa lines have roadbeds unsurpassed by any in the west. Iron rails have substantially disappeared from all main lines and important branches, and with recent material increase in weight of engines of nearly double the hauling capacity of earlier and lighter types, together with corresponding increase of capacity of freight cars, have caused the taking up of much light steel and its replacement with heavy steel.

REDUCTION OF GRADES-INCREASED CAPACITY OF ENGINES.

Grades are being reduced, either by being cut down or by relocation of lines, thus largely increasing the tonnage that can be handled on one trip by one train crew and an engine of given weight. Much attention has also been paid to the increased hauling capacity of engines, and in this particular alone, in connection with reduction of grade and improved road bed, may be found an important factor in the ability of carriers to still transport freight at a small profit, on rates that can be said to have had a downward tendency for a considerable number of years.

WOODEN BRIDGES.

Wooden bridges are rapidly giving place to steel and stone structures, which represents an important element in the expenditure of the earnings and in speed of trains, the safety of the traveling public, and outlay for permanent improvements.

AUTOMATIC COUPLERS AND AIR BRAKES.

The old link and pin coupler, to which has been charged many of the accidents and ills which railroad flesh is heir to, is rapidly disappearing, and in its place there is being put in the most approved automatic couplers that invention and mechanical skill have as yet devised, thus obviating to a great extent the necessity of going between cars to couple and uncouple the same. It is believed that the expiration of the time limit fixed by the last general assembly will see the provisions of that law referring to automatic couplers and air brakes in effect, and these life saving safety appliances in general use.

LIGHTING AND HEATING CARS.

Not least in the list of changes that are taking place is the lighting of all through trains by gas, and, in some instances, by electricity, instead of by dim and somewhat dangerous oil lamps. Steam heat from the engines is, in many

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