Lapas attēli

dend; in the Middle States 47.27 per cent of stock paid no dividend; in Group IX, which comprises Louisiana, the greater part of Texas, and part of New Mexico, 99.99 per cent of stock paid no dividend; and in Group X, which comprises the States bordering on the Pacific Ocean and certain States and Territories adjacent, 83.54 per cent of stock paid no dividend.

The number of passengers carried by the railways of the United States during the year was 492,430,865, the passenger mileage for this period being 11,847,785,617 miles. This shows an average journey of of 24.06 miles per passenger. The passenger train mileage for the same period was 285,575,804, showing the average number of passengers carried in a train to be 41.

The number of tons of freight carried by the railways of the United States for the period covered by the report was 636,541,617; the number of tons carried 1 mile was 76,207,047,298, This shows the average haul per ton to have been 119.72 miles. Freight train mileage for the same period was 435,170,812 miles, showing the average number of tons in train to have been 175.12. The average number of pas. sengers carried 1 mile per mile of line on all railways in the country was 75,751, and the average number of tons of freight carried 1 mile per mile of line was 487,245. These figures are significant as measuring the density of passenger and freight traffic. If the corresponding figures were given for each of the groups into which the country is divided, it would show the greatest diversity in the density of traffic. In the New England States, for example, the average number of passengers carried 1 mile per inile of line was 233,530, and in the Middle States it was 183,121. In Group IX, on the other hand, the average number of passengers carried 1 mile per mile of line was 33,561 and in Group VIII it was 37,027. Nothing could indicate better the difference in the conditions under which railways are operated. In freight traffic the divergence is even more marked. Thus, in the Middle States, Group II, the number of tons of freight carried 1 mile per mile of line was 1,348,107, and in Group III, that is to say, in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, which stands next to the Middle States in density of freight traffic, the number of tons of freight carried 1 mile per mile of line was 793,763. The corresponding figure for railways on the Pacific Slope is 191,806, and in Group VIII, which comprises chiefly the States of Kansas, Southern Colorado, Southern Missouri, and Arkansas, the number of tons of freight carried 1 mile per mile of line was 243,753.

The average receipts per passenger per mile for all railways in the United States was 2.167 cents; the average cost of carrying 1 passenger 1 mile was 1.917 cents. The average receipts for carrying 1 ton of freight 1 mile was.941 cent; the cost of carrying 1 ton of freight 1 mile was .604 cent. The average revenue per train mile on passenger trains on all railways in the United States, was $1.08.041; the average cost per mile of line of running passenger trains was .80.984 cents. The average revenue from a freight train running 1 mile was $1.65.434; the average cost of running a freight train 1 mile was $1.05.711. These figures indicate the margin from which railways must secure their profit in the business of transporting passengers and freight.

There is a marked difference in the rate of traffic receipts in the various groups into which the country is divided. The lowest rate per ton per mile is in Group III, that is to say, in the group comprising the States of Ohio, Indiana, and lower peninsula of Michigan, it being .695 cent; the highest rate per ton per mile is found in the railways of the Pacific Slope, it being 1.651 cents. The lowest rate per passenger per mile is found in the New England States, it being 1.912 cents; the highest rate for passengers is found in Group IX, comprising Louisiana, the greater part of Texas, and part of New Mexico, it being 2.583 cents per passenger per mile.

The statistics of accidents show in what portions of the country railway traffic is relatively more dangerous. The total number of persons reported as killed during the year was 6,334, and the total number reported as injured was 29,025. Of the total number reported as killed 2,451 were employés, 286 were passengers, and 3,597 were classed as " other persons.” Of the total number reported as injured 22,394 were employés, 2,425 were passengers, and 4,206 were classed as “ other persons.” Among employés one death occurred for every 306 men employed, and one injury for every 33 men employed. The largest number of casualties occurred to men engaged directly in handling trains; thus, while trainmen represent but 20 per cent of the total number of employés, the casualties sustained by them account for 58 per cent of total casualties. The most common accident to which railway employés are liable arises from coupling and uncoupling cars, the total number of casualties due to this source being 8,211, of which 369 were fatal. The figures further show that one passenger is killed for every 1,727,789 passengers carried, or for every 41,425,823 passenger miles accomplished.

In assigning accidents to territory, the country is divided into three divisions, the first comprising the territory north of the Ohio aud Potomac rivers and east of Illinois and Lake Michigan, the second the territory south of the Ohio and the Potomac rivers and east of the Lower Mississippi, and the third comprising the territory west of Lake Michigan, Indiana, and the Lower Mississippi River. A comparison of the liability to accidents in these divisions shows the greatest danger from railway traffic in the second division, and the least danger in the first division named. Thus, in the first division 1 passenger was killed for every 2,519,851 passengers carried, or for every 47,037,067 passenger miles accomplished, while in the second division 1 passenger was killed for every 838,555, or for every 31,021,814 passenger miles accomplished. In the first division 1 employé was killed for every 290 men employed, or 1 trainman for every 107 men employed; while in the second division 1 employé was killed for every 241 men employed, or 1 trainman for every 65 trainmen employed. Other figures are in about the same proportion as those given. The third division, that is to say, the territory occupied by the western railways, conforms in the main, so far as accidents are concerned, to the second division.

The detailed statistics, of which the foregoing is a synopsis, may be found in the report of the statistician, published in a separate volume. The figures therein given relating to capitalization of railways, and other data, are either those filed in the official reports of railway companies to the Commission, or are deductions based on the information so reported.

In connection with these statistics it is suggested to the Commission:

(1) That corporations and companies furnishing rolling stock to railways should be obliged to submit some report as to their equipments and as to the amount and character of the business done by them; also that corporations and companies owning terminal facilities leased to railways should be required to submit corresponding reports.

(2) That express companies should be required to make reports of traffic operations to the Interstate Commerce Commission. The business which they carry on is in reality a business of quick delivery of freight. The amount of money which they pay annually to the railways exceeds $20,000,000, and their gross income is believed to exceed $40,000,000. They should be treated as a branch of the railway service.

(3) That transportation on the Great Lakes and the coasting and river traffic should be brought under the control of the Interstate Commerce Commission, so far at least as statistics are concerned. The traffic on the Great Lakes in 1889, estimated in ton mileage, equaled 22 per cent of the traffic of all the railways in the United States. The coast and river traffic is known to be of immense magnitude. It is impossible to secure complete statistics of transportation without calling upon water carriers for a statement of business done, and it is believed that, in some instances at least, water lines are used to assist railways in evading the requirements of the interstate commerce law.

These suggestions to the Commission are submitted for the consideration of Congress.


The duties imposed upon the Commission in regard to Governmentaided railroad and telegraph lines by the act of Congress of August 7, 1888 (chap. 72, acts of Fifty-first Congress, U. S. Stats. at Large, p. 382), have been performed. The Commission treated this subject at length in its third annual report, and last year reported that blanks had been supplied to the several aided lines, as provided in the act, but that none of the companies had forwarded the information required. Reports for that year have since been filed by the Sioux City and Pacific Railway Company and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. The Commission sent blank forms for the current year to all the lines required to report, receiving no returns, except from the two companies above named, and these are incomplete and not in compliance with the act. The Attorney-General has been notified of these failures to ob. serve the statute, and the Commission is informed that legal proceedings have been instituted under his direction to compel the railroads in question to fulfill the requirements of the law.


In a number of complaints made in the past year the Commission has been asked to order reparation for damages alleged to have been sustained. Prior to the amendment of March 2, 1889, no provision was made for enforcing in the courts by judgment and execution any recommendation or order for such reparation which the Commission might make. As the law then stood any order of reparation would have been altogether ineffectual, and the Commission generally declined to consider the question of damages, and confined its recommendations or orders to questions of regulation or matters of an injunctive character, to prevent the continuance of wrong rather than to afford redress for past injuries.

The amendment of March 2, 1889, provided a summary remedy for the recovery of damages in court by the party to whom the Commission might award reparation; yet in most cases presented to the Commission, involving the question of damages, that question seemed so peculiarly suitable for jury trial, it was deemed proper to leave it for determination in the courts. In some of the United States circuit courts it has been recently held that where the Commission has been asked to consider a claim for damages, that question can not be subsequently made the basis of a suit in court, even though the Commission declined to pass upon it. If these decisions correctly interpret the law, a failure or refusal on the part of the Commission to act upon the question of damages leaves the party without redress.

Since the announcement of these decisions the Commission has considered and passed upon the question of reparation whenever the issues and the evidence required it.


To keep itself informed as to the manner in which the business of common carriers is conducted, and to promote the public convenience while endeavoring to execute and enforce the act, the Commission has during the year held special sessions, made investigations, and instituted inquiries at Jacksonville, Fla.; Aiken, S. C.; Chicago, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; St. Paul, Minn.; Fargo, N. Dak.; Spokane Falls, Wash.; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, Cal.; Denver, Colo.; Topeka, Kans.; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; and Boston, Mass.

The magnitude of the business of railway transportation, the enormous capital invested, and great number of persons employed in it require full information and great familiarity with the varied conditions affecting transportation in widely separated sections of the country. The knowledge necessary to any proper railway regulation can scarcely. be acquired without opportunity for local inquiry and investigation in a country of such vast extent and in which the cost and other conditions of transportation are so different and subject to such variety of circumstances in different sections.

It would, it is believed, facilitate and better secure the enforcement of the law to hold such special sessions and local investigations in the various parts of the country more frequently, if other imperative duties imposed on the Commission would permit. Some of the information and advantages of these local examinations might be secured, under the direction of the Commission, by special agents, were their appointment authorized in accordance with the recommendations made in previous annual reports. The administrative duties of the Commission connected with establishing and changing rates and charges, publication and filing of rate sheets, classification of freight, collection and preparation of Statistics, adjustment and settlement of controversies by means of correspondence, and the investigation and decision of disputed questions is done at the main office in Washington. The performance of these duties leaves to the Commission scant time for necessary work elsewhere. An abstract of the decisions made during the year and of the more important decisions previously made is given in Appendix B. These decisions, in the form of reports and conclusions, are published and copies sent to the parties interested, to common carriers, and to members of Congress.


In respect to most of its principal provisions, there has been in the past year marked improvement in the disposition of carriers towards compliance with the law. Greater charges for shorter distances, unjust discriminations, and undue or unreasonable advantages favoring particular persons or places or kinds of business, are less frequent. But in the matter of establishing rates and charges, perfecting, publishing, and filing of rate sheets, little progress has been made, and in this the action of railway officials has been unsatisfactory. Especially in respect to joint tariffs of rates and charges the plainest provisions of the law are neglected. The duties imposed upon the carriers by the statute in this respect are frequently left to irresponsible agencies, through which schedules of rates are in some instances filed without authority and at times announced without compliance with the statute.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »