Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway Company: 84 cars by Strong heater, hot air; 17 cars by Baker heater, hot water; 3 cars by steam from locomotive; all lighted by ordinary lamps.

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company: 232 cars by ordinary stoves; 112 by indirect radiation; 2 cars with steam; 11 cars fitted with Frost Dry Carbureter system of lighting, remainder with lamps.

The Burlington & Nortnwestern heats and lights all of its cars with ordinary stores and lamps.

The Wabash Company has 85 cars fitted with Baker heaters, remainder with ordinary stoves; 6 cars lighted with storage gas, balance with lamps.

Humeston & Shenandoah Company uses wood stoves and brass lamps, with high test "mineral sperm oil.”'

The Chicago & Northwestern Company has 101 cars fitted with Baker hot water heaters, 11 cars with steam from locomotive, remaining cars heated by ordinary stores, and all lighted by lamps..

Sioux City & Pacific Company: all cars fitted with stoves and lamps.

Iowa Central Company: 5 cars, Baker heaters; 14 Spear hot air heaters, other cars with stoves, and all lighted with lamps.

Mason City & Fort Dodge Company two cars fitted with steam, remaining cars ordinary stores, all lighted by lamps.

The Omaha & St. Louis Company has four cars fitted with Baker heaters, all lighted by lamps.

The Sioux City & Northern Company has four passenger and two combination cars heated with Baker heaters, “hot water circulation," three baggage, express and postal cars heated by stoves, “the sphere heater," all lighted by ordinary lamps.

The compartment cars in use in England are warmed by cans of hot water which are pushed into the cars every two hours. When the train stops at a station a truck loaded with cans is pushed along beside the cars and the guard pulls out the cold water cans and puts the freshly filled ones in their places.

The plan is safe but would not answer in this country, when the average trips made by passengers is much greater, and the temperature frequently many degrees below zero for days together.

The following from the Railroad Gazette is pertinent: “We have made a hasty examination of the record of train accidents for the last three years. We have not gone back to 1887, which year was marked by some terrible fires. We find recorded in that time twenty-six cases in which passenger trains have been in whole or in part destroyed by fire, and in four of these cases the fire is reported to have started from kerosene lamps. In many of the other cases the origin of the fire was uncertain; in some of them it may have been a lamp, and probably was. It is not likely that all such tires have been made public; in fact, we heard of a recent one that never got into print. Some of these cases have been attended with loss of life and all of them with considerable loss of property, and they serve to point out the necessity of a safer light for all classes of cars that run in passenger service.''

AUTOMATIC COUPLERS AND POWER BRAKES.

The Twenty-Third General Assembly enacted a law providing that new cars put in use in this State, and old cars sent to the shop for general repairs, or whose draft rigging has to be repaired with new draw bars, must be equipped with safety or automatic couplers, and that after January 1, 1895, all cars used in Iowa must be equipped with safety or automatic couplers. That after January 1, 1892, all locomotives used in Iowa must be equipped with a power brake, and that after January 1, 1893, all trains operated within the State must have “made up in them a sufficient number of cars equipped with automatic or power brakes to enable the engineer to control the train from the locomotive.

State legislation upon this very important question, to be fully effective should be supplemented by national legislation and steps are being taken in that direction. A petition signed by ten thousand brakemen has been presented to the Inter-state Commerce Commission, asking that body to urge upon congress the necessity of national legislation.

At the last annual meeting of the State Railroad Commissioners in Washington, resolutions were passed as follows:

Resolved, That the respective States should require either directly by law or indirectly through the instrumentality of their Railroad Commissions each railroad corporation subject to their jurisdiction to place driving wheei brakes and apparatus for train brakes on every locomotive constructed or purchased by it, and train brakes upon every freight car hereafter constructed or purchased by it, and also upon such cars and upon every freight car owned by it, the coupler or drawbar of which is repaired by it, an automatic coupler of the Master Car Builders' type at each end of the car.

Resolved, That congress either directly by law or indirectly through the instrumentality of the Inter-state Commerce Commission, should take similar action,

Among the thousands of automatic coupling appliances invented and patented, quite a number upon thorough trial have been found practical.

At a meeting of railroad presidents held on April 29, 1890, at which there was in attendance Messrs. Vanderbilt, Depew, Hayden, Webb, Newell, Lidyard, Caldwell, Ingalls, Layng and Bliss, it was resolved “that all freight cars hereafter built by the roads in the Vanderbilt system, and by the Boston and Albany, shall be equipped with the air-brake, and that all colored line and local box and stock cars of thirty-four feet in length and upwards, now in service on said roads, shall have the air-brake attached as fast as they come into the shop for repairs, and that all such cars so built or repaired shall also be equipped with self-couplers of what is known as the vertical plane type.”

From the foregoing it must appear that quite satisfactory progress is being made in the direction of an early adoption by all railways of safety appliances. Power brakes and automatic couplers as well are gradually coming into use on all the trunk lines, especially on cars that do not go far off the line. The lines reporting to this Board had in 1889 1,781 locomotives equipped with train brakes, 1,011 freight cars equipped with train brakes and 457 equipped with automatic couplers. The same lines in 1890 report 2,445 locomotive equipped with tráin brakes, 6,658 cars equipped with train brakes and 5,557 cars equipped with automatic couplers. This showing is very creditable, and it is hoped that the coming year will bring even better results.

IOWA ROADS IN HANDS OF RECEIVERS.

The construction of cheap branches into territory not affording sufficient business to sustain them, by parent companies and others, organized as construction companies for the money to be made in such construction, and the foreclosing of these lines upon default of interest payments, necessarily brings about unfortunate conditions for which the projectors of these illegitimate schemes alone are responsible. Occasionally these bankrupt lines are consolidated with the parent company, which latter, loaded down with the additional burden of the fixed charges and unprofitable operations thus assumed, is forced to pass its usual dividends and its stock becomes a football for Wall Street manipulators. Iowa in the past has not been free from these conditions, although the situation is improving in this respect, there being at this time but one line in the hands of a receiver.

The following table shows the situation for Iowa past and present in this respect :

ROADS IN HANDS OF RECEIVERS.

1886.

Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific; Fort Madison & Northwestern ; Des Moines, Osceola & Southern ; Clarinda & St. Louis ; Council Bluffs & St. Louis ; Missouri, Iowa & Nebraska,

1887.

Central of Iowa ; Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific ; Council Bluffs & St. Louis; Clarinda & St. Louis ; Fort Madison & Northwestern ; Des Moines, Osceola & Southern ; Centerville, Moravia & Albia.

1888. Central lowa; St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern ; Minneapolis & St. Louis ; Centerville, Moravia & Albia ; Clarinda & St. Louis ; Fort Madison & Northwestern.

1889.

Central Iowa, until May 15, 1889, reorganized; Centerville, Moravia & Albia, until Feb. 1889, leased to Keokuk & Western ; Minneapolis & St. Louis ; Clarinda & St. Louis ; Ft. Madison & Northwestern.

1890.

Minneapolis & St. Louis.

FAILURE TO REPORT.

Several of the companies have made only partial reports, as will be seen by an examination of the compiled tables. In some instances the figures reported show great variance, so much so as to raise a doubt as to their accuracy. By way of illustration, attention is directed to table nine, in which the average cost of carrying each passenger one mile shows that it costs the Sioux City & Northern 6.54 cents and the Omaha & St. Louis 1.75 cents, the Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City 3.33 cents, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 3.12 cents, the Chicago & Northwestern 2.27 cents, the Union Pacific 1.89 cents, the Sioux City & Pacfic 1.81 cents.

The average amount received per ton per mile for freight shows variances even more startling. The Chicago, Iowa & Dakota received 10.44 cents, the Des Moines & Northern 7 cents, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 98 hundredths of a cent, the Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City 1.23 cents, the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs 1.26 cents, the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City 72 hundredths of a cent, and the Iowa Northern 4.29 cents. Other variances equally glaring are distributed through the entire statistical part of the reports.

A system of reporting by which the Iowa business was given would be of greater value than the present total line plan, with lowa business given largely by estimates based on the proportionate milage, and in some instances not given at all.

CASES PENDING IN THE STATE COURTS.

In the following cases the companies have failed to comply with the rulings of the Commissioners or with the requirements of law, and suits have been instituted by the attorney-general, as will appear from his report following:

[blocks in formation]

W. W. AINSWORTH, Secretary of the Railroad Commissioners, Des Moines, Iowa:

DEAR SIR: It will be impossible at present to make a complete report upon all of the cases that have been sent to me by the Commissioners. Many of the cases are in an untinished state, and some of them in such a situation that it is difficult to define with precision just how they stand, but I can doubtless give you such information as will answer your purposes.

First-The Bismark Station Case: Suit was brought on this decision of the Commissioners at Council Bluffs, but owing to the difficulty of obtaining certain important testimony in it, I caused it to be sent to Clayton county for hearing. That is the county in which it originated, and where the parties in interest reside. I requested Mr. A. Chapin, who represented the parties in interest before the Board, to conduct the cause in court in event it should turn out that I was unable to be present. I have had no report from him recently and am therefore unable to state with precision just what has been done in the case; but being under the direction on the ground, of a capable attorney, who is the choice of the parties interested, I have felt that it was in good hands, and would be pushed with all possible vigor.

Second--The Bayard Overhead Crocsing Case: Suit was brought in this case at Council Bluffs. The hearing was had before Judge Deemer, at which Commissioner Smith was present. After taking the case under advisement for some time, Judge Deemer decided in favor of the State. The company has appealed the cause to the supreme court, where it is now pending.

Third-The Sutherland Crossing Case: Suit was brought on this decision at Council Bluffs, and afterwards the attorney for company served a notice upon me that the company would perform the work as ordered by the Commissioners. This, however, it did not do and has not yet done. I should have pressed it to a hearing had not the Algona case arisen in the meantime, in which the same questions of law were involved. I have thought it would be more economical to await a decision in the Algona case, which would undoubtdly determine the questions at issue in the Sutherland case. Hence the case stands for hearing in the district court of Pottawattamie county at Council Bluffs,

Fourth--The Marshalltown Crossing Case: Suit was brought in this matter at Council Bluffs, at the same time I instituted suit in the matter of the Sutherland crossing. A like notice was served by the company that the Marshalltown crossing would be constructed as it promised to construct in the Sutherland case. In the Marshalltown case, however, the company performed the promise contained in the notice; made the crossing as it agreed, and as I was subsequently informed, to the satisfaction of the Marshall county authorities.

Fifth--The Clarion Case: This was Mr. Cutler's complaint. The cause was at bis request placed in the hands of R. H. Whipple and Nagle & Birdsell. Suit was brought in the district court of Wright county, and the defendant demurred to the petition. The court overruled the demurrer, and the defendant electing to stand on its demurrer suffered judgment to be rendered against it. The defendant has appealed the cause to the Supreme Court of this State where it now stands for hearing.

Sirth-The Algona Case: At the request of the parties in interest in favor oỉ the plaintiff, this case was placed in the hands of the county attorney of Kossuth county, and the county attorney of Clay county. It will come up for hearing next week. It will likely be determined altogether upon the questions of law involving the construction of the statute, and perhaps also involving the question of a repeal of one portion of the statute by another.

Seventh-The Lyon County Case: This case, as you will remember, involved the question as to whether the order of the Commissioners referred to an inter-State matter. The suit was brought in the Lyon county district court and the hearing was had, but I am not yet advised as to what the decision was. Indeed, I think it has not yet been decided.

Eighth-The Fort Dodge Case: The suit in this celebrated case was instituted at Fort Dodge, and I called to my assistance the gentlemen who so ably presented the side of the people before your Commission. After a long controversy over the pleadings and a protracted trial, the court, presided over by Judge S. M. Weaver, decided the case in accordance with the decision of the Commissioners, extending the time, however, for the completion of the work until the expiration of the lease made with the Illinois Central. The railroad companies promptly appealed the case to the Supreme Court of the State, and at the last term of court a full hearing was had, the cause was submitted and is now with the court.

Ninth - The Helda Admunsen Case: Suit was brought on this order in the District Court of Polk county, and a hearing was had before Judge Bishop. Upon a motion filed by the defendant to dismiss it, the court sustained the motion, holding, in an elaborate decision filed, that the Commissioners had no jurisdiction in the matter; tbat the subject of the order was entirely a private matter, and that since the Commissioners had no jurisdiction over it, the court could take none. The case was therefore dismissed.

Tenth-The Mount Ayr Case: Suit was brought on this order in the district court of Polk county, and the cause was removed by the defendant into the United States Court. The general solicitor for the railway company dying during the term of court at which the motion was to be argued, put the argument beyond that time, but at the last term of the Federal Court, at Des Moines, the defendant's attorney appeared and the motion was presented to the court. Judge Shiras, who presided, announced that in his opinion the case should be remanded, as it was a suit of a nature different from that contemplated by the removal statutes. He stated that he did not think that a record could be so made, in any case instituted by the Commissioners, as to enable a Federal Circuit Court to take jurisdiction thereof. That upon the petition of the attorneys for the defendant, the final decision on the motion was withheld for a reargument before the meeting of the Federal Judges, which it was then supposed would be held in January, at Keokuk. It turned out, however, that Judge Caldwell could not be present at Keokuk, and hence, the argument went over, and the motion was continued to be heard at Des Moines in Jay next. I think, however that the decision in the Dubuque switching case, hereinafter mentioned, will be decisive of this Mt. Ayr case, and that it will have to be remanded.

Elecenth-The Dubuque Switching Case: Suit was brought on the order made in this matter in the district court of Dubuque county, and I requested Messrs. Fouke & Lyon of that city to assist me in it. The cause was removed by the defendants to the Federal court and a motion properly made to remand it. The motion was argued at the last term of the Federal court in Des Moines, and taken under advisement by Judge Shiras. Recently Judge Shiras filed an elaborate opinion in which he has remanded the case to the State court, and in which Judge Callwell, the Circuit Judge, concurs. This decision is a most important one, determining as it does, in so far as

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »