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The last named roads have been recently constructed, and their cheapness is very encouraging to new railroad enterprises in the State.

Complaints. The Commissioners visited Paris, Ky., and were gratified to learn that the shippers had few or no complaints to make against the railroad. We learned that cars had been furnished speedily, and they had found ready transportation for their large wheat crop. In our last report the chief complaint was the lack of transportation for their perishable surplus. Most of the wheat was shipped from Paris over the Kentucky Central and Chesapeake and Ohio. Farmers received good prices and dealers found ready transit to foreign markets. A great many complaints have reached us from different parts of the State, most of which have been adjusted. There is one class of complaints that has not been fully settled. The merchants at Lexington complain that the railroad companies there have entered into an agreement, by the terms of which no road is to receive freight which is to be carried partly in its own line and partly over the line of any other road thù goes out from Lexington. For instance, if a Lexington man wishes to ship anything to Lebanon or Crab Orchard, the Cincinnati Southern will not receive it. It must be shipped on the Louisville and Nashville by way of Louisville, one hundred miles out of the way.

The Commissioners held a session at Lexington and heard the statements of the complainants, and also of the railroad agents. There was no issue of fact between them. Prior to last September, shippers could send over any of the roads to points on another road without delay or difficulty. The agreement spoken of was made in September; at least the agents received their instructions at that time not to receive freights that was destined for a point on another road that went out from Lexington. This complaint was reduced to writing and forwarded to the companies operating the Louisville and Nashville and Cincinnati Southern Railroads. Their answers admitted that there was such an arrangement, and attempted to justify their action. The Commissioners have the matter still under consideration, and hope that the companies will rescind the agreement made in September last, and instruct their agents at Lexington and elsewhere to give shippers their choice of roads, and to receive and forward freight destined to go partly over their road and partly over another. We think the agreement is contrary to public policy, in violation of the laws relating to common carriers, and in violation of the charters of the companies named. The above complaints, and the others that have been adju-ted by us, will be found in the Appendix to this report.

Assessment. The Commissioners took special pains to make a just, fair, and equitable assessment of the railroad property for taxation. The various companies were notified of the time and place of our sitting, and nearly all of them appeared before us in the person of some chief officer or attorney. They were accorded a patient hearing by the Commissioners; in addition to that, the Commissioners visited Covington and Louisville at the urgent request of the city officials, and made a personal inspection of the railroad property in those cities in company with the rail. road and city officials. The Commissioners adopted no inflexible basis of valuation of railroad property, but in the main the gross earnings of the various roads was considered in fixing their value.

Some changes were made, but the assessment for 1886 did not differ much from former assessments. The property of most of the roads has been improved, and the mileage has increased, and the aggregate amount of railroad property in the State, as shown by our assessment for 1886, is $33,629,598, which is an increase of $1,602,926 over the assessment for 1885. The assessments for the last six years are as follows:

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1,553,596 miles .
1,593,267
1,725,897
1,819,902
.,1,921,881

1,946,125

$32,075,212
32,347,305
31,317,374
33,120,672
32,026,672
33,629,598

66

Physical Condition. The Commissioners have examined nearly every road in the State, and found the physical condition excellent. There have been very few accidents in the State.

Change of Gauge. In June last all the roads having a gauge of five feet changed to the standard gauge, four feet eight and one-half inches. The work was all accomplished in a few hours, causing little or no delay. This conformity of gauge of the Southern roads to the standard gauge will certainly prove advantageous to the roads and to the public.

Bridges. During the year 1886 the Indiana and Kentucky bridge across the Ohio river at Louisville, à cut of which appears as the frontispiece of this report, was completed. It is a magnificent structure. It will bind the cities around the falls more closely together, as well as the States of Kentucky and Indiana, and will afford another link to unite the Northern and Southern systems of roads.

A steel bridge across the Ohio river at Cairo, to give an unbroken line for the Illinois Central from Chicago to New Orleans, from the lakes to the gulf, is in contemplation. We learn that work has actually begun in locating the piers. Still another bridge across the Ohio is about to be built from Covington to Cincinnati to enable the Huntington system of roads to get into Cincinnati and connect with the roads centering there. These bridges afford great conveniences to the public by cheapening transportation and facilitating interState commerce.

Coal. The Commissioners have sought to convince the railroad officials that the coal tariffs need revision, and that a reduction would redound to the interest of the railroads as well as the public. A glance at our table, showing the amount received per ton per mile, shows that the leading roads in this State receive less on an average than one cent per ton per mile. Now, if coal was hauled at that rate, we are satisfied that there would be almost universal satisfaction with railroads, and that the mineral wealth of the State would be more rapidly developed. We think the Illinois rates are high, but they are lower than rates charged by our roads. If the roads in the State would adopt the Illinois tariff we think the change would prove mutually advantageous to the carrier and consumer. We republish the tariff adopted by all the roads in Illinois, and also a table showing a comparison between that tariff and one used in this State.

TABLE No. IV.
Illinois Railroad Commissioners' New Tariff.

Soft coal, in dollars and cents,

DISTANCE IN MILES.

per ton.

.

5 miles and under 10 miles and over 5 20 miles and over 15 30 miles and over 25 40 miles and over 35 50 miles and over 45 75 miles and over 70 100 miles and over 95 125 miles and over 120 150 miles and over 145 175 miles and over 170 200 miles and over 195 220 miles and over 210 250 miles and over 240 280 miles and over 270 300 miles and over 290 340 miles and over 320 360 miles and over 340 400 miles and over 380 440 miles and over 420 460 miles and over 440 500 miles and over 480

$0 55

60 70 70 84

90 1 05 1 20 1 30 1 40 1 50 1 60 1 68 1 80 1 92 2 00 2 10 2 15 2 25 2 35 2 40 2 50 STATIONS.

TABLE No. V. Showing Rates for Coal Hauled Over the L & N. R. R., Compared with Illinois Rates for Same Distances.

KENTUCKY RATES. ILLINOIS RATES. DIFFERENCE PER CAR LOAD OF 12 Tons.

Cents per ton, 2,000 Per ton, 2,000, lbs., pounds.

same distance.

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$0 60

70

70
1 50

84

90
1 05
1 20
1 30
1 30
1 30
1 40
1 40
1 50
1 60
1 68
1 68
1 20
1 20
1 50
1 40
1 50
1 68
1 20
1 40

[blocks in formation]

MILES.

5.50
19.50
31.
165.60
40.
45.
67.50
89.60
104.80
116.40
117.60
134.50
148.
176.10
188.90
209. 20
218.40
85.
97.10
162.60

From Pine Hill Coal Mines-
To Mt. Vernon

Crab Orchard
Stanford
Glasgow Junction
Danville Junction
Parksville
Lebanon
New Haven
Lebanon Junction
Shepherdsville
Elizabethtown
Louisville
Munfordville
Glasgow
Bowling Green
Franklin
Russellville
Campbellsville
Greensburg
Lagrange
Eminence
Frankfort
Lexington
Shelbyville
Taylorsville

$0 60

90
1 (5
1 55
1 20
1 25
1 45
1 55
1 55
1 55
1 55

80
1 55
2 15
1 25
1 75
1 90
1 65
1 65
1 80
1 80
1 80
1 55
1 80
2 00

202.60
231.43

1 56

7 20 7 20

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