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latitude in the issuance of securities as to give ample returns for the uncertainty of the venture and reward for sagacity. The manipulator would lose his place in the railroad world, but the developer would reap his reward, and the managers would have greater latitude with a larger part of the earnings, by reason of decreased fixed charges, to develop the property as its business justified, enabling them to give improved service, satisfying both the public and investor.

We have recently investigated to some extent the river traffic of the State, and were much disappointed in its status. The conditions and methods which obtain in this traffic are as varied as are the navigable streams of the State. As the volume of traffic within the State increases, river traffic decreases. This sounds anomalous, that the traffic upon our natural waterways where it should be transported more cheaply than over artificial highways constructed at enormous expense and with perpetual cost for maintenance, should decrease in proportion as this available tonnage increases.

There are several conditions that have produced these results. We think the Commission can aid to some extent by proper regulations and orders in having these water ways perform their natural functions in the State, commerce, but there are other conditions beyond its jurisdiction, which will have to be established before the rivers of the State can be made potential factors in the State's commerce. Large amounts are appropriated periodically by the national congress for the improvement of our rivers, but how far has practical all the year round navigation been extended during our recollection? Navigation that is as uncertain as the seasons can never be a potential factor in development. The State should use its power and good offices in hav

ing such appropriations as are made by the National government for rivers expended so as to gradually extend the limits of certain navigation for all seasons.

This policy adopted, and the business on the rivers will gradually increase with the extension of navigable limits good at all times.



This Commission has had many complaints during its short tenure in office. A great many of these have been for non payment of overcharges, loss or damaged goods, etc., some of which were the accumulation of many months and even years. While the Commission has no direct jurisdiction over this matter, there being a sepa rate act governing claims, they have in each instance taken the matter up with the railroads and have effected a satisfactory adjustment before the matter dropped. Some of the railroads have adopted new and improved methods in handling this class of business, and all of them are now giving claims more attention, and adjusting them with greater promptness. The Commission has adopted the method of first taking up complaints informally with the railroads, and in this way are frequently enabled to secure relief more quickly and satisfactorily, and with less friction than could be had at a formal hearing.


There has been very little complaint for failure of railroads to furnish cars for shippers. The transportation companies appear to be alert to the needs of the shippers in this respect and have moved the crops of the present season with apparent ease. The Commis

sion has now under investigation demurrage and car service rules with the purpose of securing uniform system in the different states so as to reduce the friction to a minimum.

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Up to the time when this report is supposed to bring us, June 30th, that being the end of the fiscal year of the railroads and the time to which their reports to the Commission are made, the new law had been in effect only a short while, consequently the hearings are limited to few. We hand you herewith a list of hearings and investigations which become matters of record. The most important of these is that relating to the express companies. After investigation of their tariffs, contracts, etc., the Commission thought their rates excessive and cited them to appear and show cause why their schedule should not be revised. After this hearing and investigation the Commission had compiled a schedule of rates and rules in accordance with their ideas, which after a conference with the representatives of the express companies were, with a few changes, agreed upon, taking effect September 15th.


Following you will find such decisions and orders as the Commission has issued. Only one of these orders is contested in the courts: The order issued in the Mobile depot case, which has been before the Legislature and Commission for the past five or six years. This order has been enjoined in the Federal Court.

We expect an early hearing in this case when we hope to have the injunction dissolved and the order of the Commission made effective.


The reports of the railroads show that accidents have occurred during the past year which has resulted in death to 208 persons, and in serious personal injury to 2326. There were, however, only 7 passengers killed and 147 seriously injured of a total number hauled of 8,066,011 for the year. One hundred and two employes were killed, 2,045 injured out of a total number of 11,413 engaged in handling transportation. There were 99 trespassers and other persons killed and 134 injured.

Our records from electric roads are incomplete, but show that on one system 13 passengers were killed and 1,097 injured of a total of 31,403,769 handled and six employes killed and 264 injured of a total of 489 engaged in transportation.


The Commission has omitted from this report the mass of statistics of railways filed with the Commis. sion. They would make this report too cumbersome. These statistics, however, are carefully filed in the office for inspection and reference.

In lieu of the detailed statistics, we have made a summary of the salient points embraced in them, with some comparisons that may be of interest.

The main line mileage has increased very little in the past several years, showing a total at the end of the present fiscal year of 4,747 miles, against a total main line mileage of 4,703 miles in 1905 and 4,705 in 1906. The mileage of side tracks for 1907 amounts to 1,185 miles, second track, 43 miles, third track 0 miles, fourth track 0 miles, making a total railroad mileage in Alabama of 5,975 miles.

The average capitalization of main line in Alabama for 1907 is $52,557.00 per mile. Of this sum $31,449.00 is interest bearing bonds and $21,108.00 is stock.

The records show there is a gradual annual increase both in stocks and bonds of the average capitalization per mile. In 1905 the average per mile of bonds and stock was $46,023; in 1906, $49,433.00, against $52,557 per mile in 1907.

The increase in bonds has exceeded that of stock in the past two years $3,726.00 per mile. This demonstrates the general policy of keeping the fixed charges of the roads fully apace with their earning capacity, whereby they are forced to enter the money market with additional securities whenever improvements in equipment, or otherwise, are contemplated.

The total earnings from State traffic for the year were $34,629,312.23. Of this amount there was derived from passenger traffic $6,277,377.89. This does not show the full amount from this source of traffic, as one of the railroads omitted to divide the earnings freight and passenger in its report. The number of passengers carried one mile was 268,512,002, with an average rate per passenger per mile of 2,515 cents.

The income from State passenger traffic for 1905 was $5,939,103.30 with a haul of 250,072,840 passengers, at an average rate of 2.37 1-2 cents per passenger per mile. In 1906 the income from this source was $5,277,377.89 from hauling 252,705,517 passengers one mile at an average rate of 2.484 cents per mile.

You will notice from the above there was an increase during the past two years in the number of passenger miles within the State of 18,439,162, with an increase of rate of .0014 cents per mile, producing an increase in the passenger revenue in two years of $814,973.23.

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